Emilia Di Girolamo

I don’t have a single doubt that Jeremy is innocent by Emilia Di Girolamo, Writer

During the eight years I worked in offender rehabilitation, I met many men and women convicted of murder and other very serious crimes. Some I met fleetingly, others I worked with intensively but in all cases, it was clear that the person before me was capable of committing the offence their prison file told me they had committed. Even the prisoners who claimed to be innocent victims of a ‘fit up’, were betrayed by aspects of their personality, demeanor, little signs indicative of guilt. Working inside, I quickly learned to trust my instincts. My instincts told me Jeremy was innocent even before I read the huge amount of incredibly compelling evidence proving beyond any doubt, his conviction is unsafe.

Why was I so certain? I have studied many cases of family annihilation and women who have killed their own children, something we as a nation found incomprehensible in 1985. My knowledge of these cases, and of the typical profile of a family annihilator, meant Jeremy’s case never felt quite right to me. Jeremy doesn’t fit the profile of a family annihilator, though sadly his sister Sheila did fit the profile of a mother capable of killing her children.

It is incredibly difficult to accept a woman is capable of killing her own children but the sad truth is, since the murder at White House Farm, many women have committed equally tragic and terrible murders. There have been literally thousands of cases worldwide though there are the ones that stick in your head – Susan Smith who drove her car into a lake in 1994 with her two children strapped inside, Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who drowned her five children in the bath tub in 2001. In 2009, Rekha Kumari-Baker, stabbed her teenage daughters a total of 69 times. In 2010, Brit Lianne Smith, confessed to killing her two children in a Spanish hotel room. Just this month Theresa Riggi, pleaded guilty to killing her three children.

It’s disturbing and terrifying to the national psyche but it happens.

It is exactly what I believe happened that night at White House Farm. I believe Sheila, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, who had been directly challenged by her parents that very evening over her parenting skills, snapped, killing her children, her parents and then herself. It isn’t just my belief - there is overwhelming evidence that Sheila was alive inside the house, while Jeremy was outside with the police for several hours, before the police broke down the door. The police log, hidden from the defense at the time of Jeremy’s trial, clearly quotes Nevill Bamber, ‘My daughter’s gone beserk, she’s got hold of one of my guns’.

I don’t work in prison anymore. I work as a TV script writer and producer, writing television drama. Jeremy’s case is so bizarre, so loaded with mistakes, cover ups and conspiracies it’s way beyond anything I would dream up at my desk. But at the heart of this case is an innocent man who has been locked up far too long. The evidence is so overwhelming, the CCRC are going to look very stupid if they reject an appeal again.

My husband and I have come to know Jeremy well and we are one hundred percent certain the man we know is not capable of killing anyone. He is an extraordinary person who continues to work relentlessly to prove his innocence. He has a remarkable spirit, a rare strength of character and is a warm, compassionate and kind human being who I am deeply privileged to know.