FEATURES

Murder by the Sea - Episode 4 case details: Colin Gunn
By James W, Monday 11th June 2018

Image of Colin Gunn from the series Murder by the Sea

Number of victims: 2 confirmed
Date of murders: 8th August 2004
Date of arrest: 17th March 2005
Date of sentencing: 30th June 2006
Victims:
John Stirland (55)
Joan Stirland (51)
Method of murder: Gangland style execution shooting
Location: Trusthorpe, Lincolnshire

Colin Gunn ruled Nottingham by murderous violence and corruption. He ordered and oversaw the killing of the parents of a rival shooter, Joan and John Stirland, in 2004. Gunn's decision to order the murders took his organised crime cartel's violence to a new level. The murders were in revenge for the death of Jamie Gunn, Colin's 19-year-old nephew, who died on 2nd August that year. Jamie Gunn never recovered from watching his best friend, 22-year-old Marvyn Bradshaw, die in his arms from gunshot wounds fired by Mrs Stirland's son, Michael O'Brien. Jamie spiralled into a drink and drug binge that ultimately resulted in his death from pneumonia. Marvyn was shot dead by Michael O’Brien outside a Nottingham pub, ‘The Sporting Chance’ on 30th August 2003, however, Colin Gunn believed the bullet was meant for his nephew, and blamed O'Brien for Jamie Gunn's subsequent death.

The Stirlands were then marked for blood and shortly after, the Stirlands had to be moved into police protection after the front windows of their Nottingham home were shot out in a drive-by shooting. Joan Stirland even wrote a letter to Colin Gunn pleading for their lives, expressing how they had nothing to do with his nephew’s death. Tired of being constantly on the run and after moving several times, the Stirlands left police protection and set up home in a bungalow in Trusthorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. This decision would cost them their lives.

Joan and John Stirland were traced by Gunn’s criminal gang to their remote house after a telecommunications employee handed over their address. On the 8th of August 2004, the Stirlands made two phone calls to the police complaining about a prowler outside their bungalow. The Lincolnshire Police, not having any previous intelligence about the threat level the Stirlands faced, did not treat this incident with any priority. Despite Mrs Stirland speaking to her family liaison officer shortly before 2pm to report the stalker, the couple did not receive a visit from Lincolnshire police until 9:30pm. By that time, the couple were already dead. Mr Stirland had been shot six times in the chest, and his wife, a nurse, had suffered four gunshot wounds. The bullet to her neck was fatal.

The inquest was also told that detectives failed to hand over intelligence about a shooting involving one of Gunn's associates in Sutton on Sea, near Trusthorpe, to officers in charge of protecting the Stirlands. Detectives working on the murder of Marvyn Bradshaw and dealing regularly with the Stirlands did not even know about Operation Utah – the secret investigation studying Gunn and his cartel – because it was so classified, it was said. They did not therefore ask whether Gunn had any links to the Trusthorpe area when the Stirlands moved there in December 2003.

In addition to six murders and at least one unsolved "disappearance", police believe at least 54 non-fatal shootings in the years up to 2005 can be linked to Gunn's gang. Although Gunn operated from a modest bungalow in the area, he and his brother owned Porsche 4 x 4s and Nottinghamshire Police employed 81 separate operations, both covert and overt, and arrested more than 100 people in a bid to dismantle the Nottingham-based gang. Although he has been connected to at least 6 murders and 50 other shootings, Gunn used police insiders to feed him valuable information about investigations to stay one step ahead of the law.


Related show tags: MURDER BY THE SEA
MORE FEATURES
Back-to-back episodes of Murderers and their Mothers this New Year's Eve
By James W, Sunday 21st November 2021
Murderers and Their Mothers

This New Year's Eve get the story behind some of the most compelling murder cases of all time.

Murderers and their Mothers reveals startling new evidence and opinion about the relationships between killer and mother from experts. Each unique programme will explore which category each mother falls into.

Anti, Uber or Passive-Mother, all of which can be equally as damaging and deadly when it comes to the effect they have on their children.

Back-to-back Murderers and their Mothers this New Year's Eve from 9pm on CBS Reality.

SHARE: READ MORE
Listen to the Voice of a Serial Killer this December on Horror
Posted on Sunday 21st November 2021
Voice of a Killer

Locked in police station vaults are interviews with some of world's most notorious murderers and serial killers.

Using cutting edge lip-sync technology, Voice of a Serial Killer invites the audience to step into the shoes of the detectives who questioned them. The police interrogations are complemented by first rate drama recon of the crimes themselves, and further supported by expert interviews.

Professor of Criminology, David Wilson, and Professor of Forensic Psychology, Michael Brookes OBE, listen to and analyse the actual killers' voices, exposing the journeys of the murderers from kill to confession. With years of experience working with murderers, both Wilson and Brooke...

SHARE: READ MORE
A night celebrating 48 Hours this December on CBS Reality
Posted on Saturday 20th November 2021
48 Hours image 1

48 Hours investigates the most intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all areas of the human experience. Each week the show spearheads in-depth investigations into emotionally compelling stories.

For multiple seasons, 48 Hours has been a leader in original reporting and impact journalism that has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, caused cold cases to be reopened and solved, and changed lives along the way.

48 Hours' Night is happening December 28th from 9pm.

SHARE: READ MORE
Experience an unexplained Christmas this December on CBS Reality
Posted on Saturday 20th November 2021
Worlds most unexplained Christmas

Science is powerful, but there is much it can't explain. And when people see, hear or believe something that is not explained, science finds itself trying to prove things don't exist.

How, for example, is it possible that some people have stigmata - the wounds inflicted on Jesus, with no apparent medical or scientific explanation? How can these wounds disappear and reappear?

Why, forty years after his reported death, do sightings of Elvis Presley happen every year? Was Mozart poisoned by his arch rival Antonio Salieri? In some cases, despite all of our modern technology and scientific advancements, some mysteries are still left unsolved.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Murder: First on Scene starts this November on CBS Reality
Posted on Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Murder First on Scene

Murder: First on Scene is an in depth look at how the police and specialists in the UK and US bring the perpetrators of murder to justice.

The series will look at the investigation through the eyes of those first on scene, the police, the experts called in and the prosecuting lawyers.

This dramatically shot series will follow the timeline of 10 real life murder cases uncovering the intricate nature and the ingenious methods used by the police to catch a killer. Each case will be brought to life through personal testimonials and stylised reconstruction.

Murder: First on Scene starts 16th November on CBS Reality.

SHARE: READ MORE
Donal MacIntyre’s Released to Kill - November on CBS Reality
Posted on Monday 1st November 2021
Donal MacIntyre's Released to Kill Image 2

1 in 5 murders in the UK are committed by an ex-prisoner. Why did they kill and could they have been stopped? From violent offenders to cold-blooded killers, this chilling series reveals how these criminals, once released from prison, went on to kill innocent people - some in a matter of days.

Donal MacIntyre's Released to Kill is a ten part series, presented by respected criminologist and investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre, that takes an in depth look into these criminals and their crimes.

Each episode tells the story of one terrifying case as it unfolds, and we hear from both the victims' and the murderers' familie...

SHARE: READ MORE
Celebrate 25 years of Medical Detectives with CBS Reality in November
Posted on Friday 29th October 2021
Medical Detectives 25th Anniversary Image 1

25 years after the premiere of Medical Detectives, it remains the most successful true crime series of all time.

Inspired by the O.J. Simpson murder case, Medical Detectives went onto over 400 episodes where science catches the bad guys. The 25th Anniversary tribute brings viewers clips from favourite episodes, with the most popular categories forming the background of the show. Exclusive interviews bring back the original production team for insights and secrets of the show.

Behind-the-scenes segments show how the production of recreations was accomplished so successfully.

Medical Detectives 25th Anniversary Cele...

SHARE: READ MORE
Murder by the Sea: Season 6 starts this November
Posted on Sunday 3rd October 2021
Murder by the Seas Season 6 Image 2

Crime historian and author Dr Nell Darby reprises her role as the host of Murder by the Sea in season six, as she investigates further cases of seaside murders, including a case in which Philip Manning, the perpetrator, sparked a nationwide manhunt after killing his wife in a small town near Newport, Wales, on Christmas Day 1994. And the murder of Margaret Wilson which took over three years to solve, with the police interviewing hundreds of leads and utilising state of the art technology to eventually catch the perpetrator.

In this new series of Murder by the Sea, viewers will join Nell on a journey to the cliff’s edge, where the land meets the sea...

SHARE: READ MORE
More from the Medical Detectives in November
Posted on Sunday 3rd October 2021
Medical Detectives Season 16 Image 1

Medical Detectives (produced as Forensic Files in the US) profiles intriguing crimes, accidents and outbreaks of disease from around the world.

Follow coroners, medical examiners, physicians, law enforcement officials, journalists and legal experts as they put together the pieces of the crime puzzle. Cutting-edge forensic techniques and every piece of evidence available are combined with true-to-life reenactments and profiles of the people who lived through the events.

Medical Detectives - Season 16 premieres on CBS Reality 4th November.

SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK
Donal MacIntyre's Released to Kill
DONAL MACINTYRE'S RELEASED TO KILL
Wednesday 1 December
10.00 PM
Medical Detectives
MEDICAL DETECTIVES
Sunday 12 December
9.00 PM
It Takes A Killer
IT TAKES A KILLER
Wednesday 15 December
9.30 PM