IT WAS the story which gripped the nation, but nine years after the Shannon Matthews fake kidnapping plot it seems there are still secrets to be uncovered and unanswered questions to be asked.
The nation was gripped by the real life tale which saw nine-year-old Shannon ‘kidnapped’ by her mother Karen Matthews and then reported missing in a bid to claim £50,000 in reward money.
The hunt for Shannon cost West Yorkshire Police £3.2million and lasted 24 days, before the child was found tethered and drugged inside the base of a double bed at the grotty home of Michael Donovan almost a month after she disappeared.
Karen and Michael were later jailed for eight years, with the pair serving half their sentence before being released.
Now, a new Channel 5 documentary will suggest a new line of thought.
When is Shannon Matthews: What Happened Next airing?
The documentary airs on Channel 5, Tuesday February 28 at 10pm.
What will the documentary explore?
Shannon Matthews: What Happened Next explores the theory that there were more people involved in the plot to ‘kidnap’ Shannon.
The new lines are put forward by those close to Karen Matthews.
In a series of interviews, viewers will see how the community in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire have moved on from the shocking incident in 2008.
Who will feature?
The main interviewee is Julie Bushby, a former friend of Karen’s, who is 2008 led a search to find missing Shannon.
Speaking about the case, Julie who went on to regularly visit Karen in prison after her sentencing, told of how the Dewsbury mum criticised Madeleine McCann’s parents, allegedly saying; “at least my daughter was never left alone”.
Her rant continued; “It’s one rule for them and another for us, but she was a dreadul mum.”
Julie still has lots of questions about the case that have never been answered. She says; “I think others were involved.
“There’s got… others have got to be involved, because like I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, Karen didn’t have the intelligence, and Donovan, from what the cops have said, he didn’t have the intelligence.
“But as for those saying it were for the £50,000 reward, I also don’t think that’s true, because the envelopes… the amount of envelopes she got through her door, offering her money for her story, were unbelievable.
“And she didn’t take one of them up. In fact, she did a story with one of the local papers.”
How has life on the Moorside estate changed?
Julie, who still lives in the area, said: “I don’t anybody could recapture that spirit.
“For the simple reason that you have to live it to know exactly how you feel.”
She added: “Majority of it is new people now.
“Some people are saying they moved off of there because of what happened. But I don’t think so. They just moved on with their lives.”