'The Murders at White House Farm': What to Know Ahead of the HBO Max Miniseries

The Murders at White House Farm Freddie Fox Alexa Davies
New Pictures and All3Media International via WarnerMedia

True-crime junkies have already gotten their fix this year with I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, The Act, Tiger King, The Vow, and other can’t-look-away series. On September 24, HBO Max takes a spot on the list with The Murders at White House Farm, a dramatized take on a grisly 35-year-old crime.

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In the late hours of August 6 into August 7, 1985, five people were killed at White House Farm in rural Essex, England: Nevill and June Bamber, both 61; their adopted daughter, Sheila Caffell, 26; and her 6-year-old twin sons, Daniel and Nicholas.

Investigators initially put the blame on Sheila—who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia—with a murder-suicide theory. But not everything added up, and weeks later, police arrested Jeremy Bamber, Sheila’s adoptive brother and Nevill and June’s adopted son. The jury convicted Jeremy of the murders that October, believing that Jeremy framed Sheila in an effort to receive a large inheritance, as Radio Times reports. Jeremy was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, though he maintains his innocence. As of 2019, he was still trying to exonerate himself through evidence.

The Murders at White House Farm

New Pictures and All3Media International via WarnerMedia

Now the story is en route to American TV screens, thanks to an adaptation by Kris Mrksa and Giula Sandler in collaboration with Colin Caffell, Sheila’s ex-husband. “This is an incredibly compelling true-crime story, but it’s the human dimension of these events that gripped my imagination, particularly after reading Colin Caffell’s book [In Search of the Rainbow’s End],” Mrksa said in a statement. “So much discussion of the case has focused on contested legal details, but I wanted to tell this story in a way that did justice to the devastating emotional truth of what happened.”

HBO Max picked up the U.S. rights to The Murders at White House Farm in November 2019, a month and a half before the series aired in the U.K. as White House Farm on ITV.

In a press release, HBO Max says the series is “a dramatized true-crime story based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts, that explores the mystery behind what happened that fateful day.” The streamer is also joining iHeartRadio in coproducing The Murders at White House Farm: The Podcast, which debuts alongside the TV show on September 24.

The Murders at White House Farm stars Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire) as DCI Taff Jones, Freddie Fox (Watership Down) as Jeremy Bamber, Cressida Bonas (Tulip Fever) as Sheila Caffell, and Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as Julie Mugford. The series also features four Game of Thrones alums: Mark Addy as DS Stan Jones, Gemma Whelan as Ann Eaton, Alfie Allen as Brett Collins, and Mark Stanley as Colin Caffell.

The Murders at White House Farm, U.S. Streaming Debut, Thursday, September 24, HBO Max