LANDSCAPERS - Here's what happened in Mansfield's Wycherley Murders from start to finish
Are you looking forward to Landscapers – the new four-part drama starring Olivia Colman about one of Mansfield’s most heinous crimes?
Ahead of the show, and so you can refresh your memory of the double murders of William and Patricia Wycherley in Forest Town in 1998 by their daughter and son-in-law Susan and Christopher Edwards, your Chad has produced a timeline of events based on our coverage of the case from the time.
1970s – Susan Edwards inherits £10,000 from her grandfather. She spends half of it taking her mother on a trip to Graceland, and the remainder on a house in London which she co-owned with William and Patricia Wycherley. The house cost less than £10,000.
1983 – Susan marries Christopher Edwards after meeting him through a dating agency. Both the Edwards were embarrassed about how they met and their relationship causes a rift between Susan and her father, who does not like Christopher.
1986 – The Wycherleys persuade Susan to sign away her half of their house in London. They then sell the house for £36,000 and move to 2 Blenheim Close, Forest Town. They do not keep in regular contact with Susan and Christopher, but there are several visits.
1992 – The Edwards pay a visit to the Wycherleys and there is a row. Christopher claims this is the last time he sees the Wycherleys. Susan pays occasional visits but the family unit is effectively estranged.
1998 – Susan and Christopher travel to Mansfield for the May Day Bank Holiday. Over this weekend the Wycherleys are murdered and buried in their own back garden. Bank accounts are opened and closed and a structure is put in place to allow the Edwards to steal about £250,000 in pensions, savings, loans, benefits and property over the next 15 years. The Edwards had claimed Susan had travelled to Mansfield alone, witnessed her mother kill her father, and then killed her mother. She claims to have returned to Mansfield the following weekend with Christopher, who helped her dispose of the bodies.
1998-2012 – The Edwards maintain the fiction that the Wycherleys are still alive - maintaining the garden and assuming the Wycherleys’ identities in letters and cards to family members, banks, government departments and the authorities. They also tell neighbours that the Wycherleys have moved away. The majority of the money is spent on film memorabilia.
2005 – The Edwards sell 2 Blenheim Close for about £66,000. Police said they were willing to risk giving up their control of the burial site because they needed the money.
2012 – The Department for Work and Pensions attempt to contact William to conduct an interview to assess his need for benefits, unaware he has been dead since 1998. The Edwards realise the ‘game is up’ and flee to Lille, France, after Christoper borrows £10,000 from his employers. He tries to find work in France but is unsuccessful.
2013 – By late October, the Edwards were running out of cash and Christopher calls his stepmother Elizabeth to ask for money. He tells her about the bodies buried at 2 Blenheim Close, but tells her the story that would later form their defence. Police swoop on the address and the bodies are discovered. A murder investigation is launched. After a month’s silence, the Edwards agree to give themselves up. They travel back to the UK and are arrested at St Pancras International railway station.
2014 – The Edwards are tried for the murders of William and Patricia Wycherley. After almost five weeks of evidence, they are found guilty and sentenced to serve at least 25 years in prison. Weeks later, the Wycherleys were cremated at Mansfield Crematorium.
2015 – Susan appealed the severity of her sentence, but it was rejected by the Court of Appeal.