A CHANNEL 5 show is set to explore the tragic death of Wendy Speakes in 1994.
Titled The Incident Room, the show will investigate the infamous case of Wendy Speakes and what happened to the much-loved mum-of-two.
Who was Wendy Speakes?
Wendy Speakes was a 51-year-old mum-of-two from Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
She lived alone in her terraced house and was a creature of habit – going to work and returning at the same time every day, working shifts at a pub and waitressing at the weekend for extra cash.
Describing her late mum, Wendy's daughter Tracey said: ''She was kind, loving – the best mum in the world.
''I could talk to her about anything. Mum, my younger sister Leah and I called ourselves the Three Musketeers because we always tackled everything together.
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''She didn't earn a lot but we always got looked after. She would give me her last piece of bread and go hungry herself. I don't think anyone could be more loved than my mum.''
What happened to Wendy Speakes?
On the night of March 14, 1994, Wendy came home from work looking forward to a night in front of the television.
After she returned home, there was a knock on the door and a witness saw her talking to a man on the doorstep – already in her slippers.
Pushing her inside the house, Christopher Farrow produced a knife and forced Wendy to put on a pair of blue heels he had bought at a charity shop before marching her to the bedroom.
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He used stockings, bought that day in a local shop, to tie her hands and gagged her – before brutally raping her and stabbing her to death.
Farrow placed a pair of her black stiletto shoes on a bedside table before carrying out a sexual attack.
He also stole a pair of Wendy’s shoes from a cupboard under the stairs as a trophy.
The day following the brutal attack, Wendy’s boss rang her daughter Tracey to inform her that her she had not turned up for work.
Tracey explained: ''I instantly knew something was wrong because Mum was very loyal and hardworking, not the sort of lady to skive off, and if she was unwell she would have called me.''
Tracey then made the journey to her mothers house, where she and her sister were taken to the police station and told that their mum had been murdered.
The family spent the next three months in a safe house as officers searched for the killer responsible – who left behind a fingerprint on the inside door handle, his own blood and plenty of DNA samples at the scene.
However, it would take six years, and a fluke arrest, before Wendy's killer was caught.
In 1996, a boast about drink-driving in a pub at Bradford led to Farrow’s eventual arrest.
A police officer who had overheard his brag made the decision to arrest him – resulting in a conviction, meaning his DNA, fingerprints and blood type were added to the police database.
Despite monthly checks on the evidence, it was four years later, in 2000, when Farrow’s name came out as the top match.
Farrow was later arrested at the house he shared with his pregnant partner and her kids.
He denied the murder but faced with overwhelming forensic evidence, he finally confessed.
He told officers he had “bad day” which drove him to search for a victim.
He also revealed he killed Wendy “as an afterthought”, having walked out of the bedroom to leave, he then realised she would be able to identify him.
His chilling statement was: “I’m a rapist who killed, I’m not a murderer who raped.”
Following his arrest, Farrow was sentenced to 18 years for the rape, sexual assault and murder of Wendy.
He was also sentenced to four years for the attempted burglary of another woman in November.
How can I watch The Incident Room?
The murder of the mum-of-two features in the crime documentary The Incident Room, which will be broadcast on Channel 5.
The second episode, which sees detectives and family members tell the tragic story of Wendy Speakes, will air on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 8pm.
Viewers can also catch up on episodes of The Incident Room on Channel 5's on-demand service, My5.
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