A ‘true-crime’ mystery set in Birmingham and the Black Country, in the English Midlands. Graeme Rose investigates the real unsolved murder of his great uncle, sweetshop-owner Fred Jeffs, on Good Friday 1957, by talking to people who remember the case. Can he unravel what really happened on that fateful night?
Written & presented by Graeme Rose.
Music Composition & Sound Design by Fox & Rocha (guest musician Martin Cox)
Director Steve Johnstone.
Podcast supported by Black Country Touring, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Arts Council England, Creative Black Country.
Weeks after the brutal murder of Fred Jeffs, the arrival of a new witness casts fresh light on the events of Maundy Thursday. But who is 'Jan Achcenit'? Closer investigation raises fascinating questions about the man himself.
[Original music by Fox and Rocha; sound edit by Graeme Rose]
A week after the discovery of Fred Jeffs's body, the funeral takes place at Quinton Cemetery. The Inquest does little to provide closure and the Police investigation goes cold, but sixty years on, with memories still vivid, can we separate the facts from the fiction? What have we learned about Fred himself? Are we close to cracking the case and finally bringing the story to an end?
Against a backdrop of spawning teen culture, speculation emerges about Fred Jeffs’s secret lifestyle, with the possibility of gangland involvement and even an Italian connection. A new witness appears out of the blue, and the scope of the story gets wider.
Attention shifts to a young woman seen in Jeffs sweetshop on Maundy Thursday. But who is she? And what has been going on between her and Fred Jeffs? As Police launch a search for the ‘Mystery Woman’, the Press speculate on Fred’s secret life.
News of the crime spreads quickly through the neighbourhood. Interviewees remember first hearing the news of a murder in their midst. For the Police, there is one obvious motive for the crime… robbery.
A few months after recording Ep.2, Graeme was contacted by the granddaughter of David Jones, one of the Smethwick boys who discovered the body of Fred Jeffs. Here he recalls that fateful Good Friday, 1957.
18th April 1957. There’s a queue for Easter Eggs at Jeffs Sweetshop, but owner Fred seems distracted. What does he know of the dreadful fate that awaits him? In Ep.1, customers share memories of the shop in Stanley Road.