The other day I sat behind a girl on the bus who was on the phone discussing, at high volume, her reservations about a chap she’d met.
“He’s lovely,” she said. “But the thing is… I googled him… And there’s nothing. There’s nothing about him on the internet. At all.”
For someone of her generation, perhaps, that really did sound an alarm bell, but as MYSTERY OF THE MAN ON THE MOOR (Ch4) demonstrated, it’s increasingly rare for people of any age to have no digital footprint.
This film followed the CID in Oldham, Greater Manchester, as they grappled with a mystery that hit the headlines at the end of 2015.
As in all the best mysteries, the puzzle grew more complex the more people tried to solve it.
The bottle had not contained thyroid pills, but the fast-acting poison strychnine – and the man’s body was full of it, too. Labels on the medication, and the serial number on a metal plate in the man’s leg, suggested he’d spent time in Pakistan.
CCTV revealed he’d travelled up from London to this lonely spot, spending substantial amounts of time wandering aimlessly around Manchester Piccadilly Station. He’d popped into a pub on the edge of the moor to ask for directions, dressed like no hillwalker, and set off as the December light was fading.