Tonight STV will air the first part of new drama The Widower, which is based on the true story of the convicted killer Malcolm Webster, who murdered one wife and attempted to kill another to cash in on their life insurance policies.
Webster was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2011 after being found guilty of murdering Claire Morris in 1994, after drugging her and setting fire to her car in a staged crash.
He was also found guilty of plotting to kill his second wife in 1999, in a similar staged accident, again in a bid to cash in her life insurance policy.
Ahead of the airing of the hard-hitting drama, Peter Morris, the brother of Webster’s first victim, Claire Morris, joined This Morning to talk about his family’s feelings about the programme and how their lives were ripped apart when they were informed Claire hadn’t died in a tragic accident, as they’d believed for 14 years.
Peter explained that he and the family were entirely duped by Webster, who he said was an “extraordinary actor”, and had no reason initially to believe her death was caused by anything other than a genuine accident.
“When the police tell you something you tend to believe them. And there were also other factors [that made us believe the story]. For example, at Claire’s funeral I was standing next to the graveside and in my left band I had one of the cords lowering her coffin into the grave, and in the right hand I was holding onto Malcolm’s left hand," Peter explained.
“I’m not one who’s much for tears but I was very tearful that day and I looked at him and so was he.
"So for 14 years it was beyond my comprehension that someone could fight that.
“For many years after I found out what happened. It actually [lowered] my faith in humanity to a very low level.”
For 14 years the family grieved the loss of Claire, and did their best to move on. But in 2008 the case was reopened, as suspicions arose about Webster.
“They [the police] come along and tell you the case is reopened, so the wound that has pretty much healed just gets ripped again complete and then you have to wait three years to find out what’s happened," Peter said.
“It’s like those poor people waiting to hear the result of what happened to that [missing Malaysia Airlines] aeroplane, you need to know the truth, the truth is essential.”
One of the hardest things for the family was then having to wait a further three year wait to find out what had really happened to Claire in her final hours.
“If someone tells you after 14 years that was not the truth, you have to wait three years to find out the truth, it can drive you slightly insane.
“[Webster] maintained an extraordinary stance of innocence.”
In 2011 Webster was found guilty of murdering Claire in 1994, and attempted murder of his second wife, Felicity Drumm, in 1999.
The extraordinary story will be told in the drama The Widower on STV at 9pm tonight, in a three-part series. Find out what else Peter has to say about Malcolm Webster, and his thoughts about Claire’s tragic story being told on TV, in the video above.