Jill Dando was murdered in a ‘professional hit’, a former career criminal has claimed.
The TV presenter was shot dead on her doorstep in Fulham, West London, on April 26, 1999, in a crime that shocked the nation.
New Netflix series Who Killed Jill Dando is set to explore the cold case, which led to one of the most high profile and complex police investigations in history.
Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, who has 58 convictions and spent 32 years in some of Britain’s toughest jails, is among the interviewees in the series, which is released tomorrow.
He said Barry George – the man whose conviction for Ms Dando’s murder was overturned in 2008 – was not involved and that it was instead carried out by a hit man, but the killer was ‘not who you would think’.
According to the Mirror, when asked if he could give any clues into why the popular Crimewatch presenter was killed, he said: ‘No. If I tell you why – you’d know who did it.’
It comes as the producer behind the new series said she finds it ‘outrageous’ that Ms Dando’s murder remains unsolved.
Jill Dando was murdered in a ‘professional hit’, a career criminal has claimed. The TV presenter was shot dead on her doorstep in Fulham, West London, on April 26, 1999, in a crime that shocked the nation
New Netflix series Who Shot Jill Dando is set to explore the cold case, which led to one of the most high profile and complex police investigations in history. Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, who has 58 convictions and spent 32 years in some of Britain’s toughest jails, is among the interviewees in the series
Ms Dando’s murder prompted a huge investigation led by the Metropolitan Police.
George – a local loner and fantasist who had already served a prison sentence for attempted rape – was convicted of her murder in July 2001.
However, he was granted a retrial on appeal and was unanimously acquitted by a jury in August 2008 after spending eight years in prison.
Smith, who was first arrested at the age of 14 for stealing apples, said in the new series: ‘I don’t really want to talk about that for my own safety. But there are rumours in the criminal world, let’s put it that way.
‘It’s not who you would think and it’s not Barry George. It was a professional hit.’
Hamish Campbell, the former Detective Chief Inspector who led the investigation into Ms Dando’s murder, is also among the interviewees.
He still insists that Barry George was Ms Dando’s killer.
Smith has committed more than 200 bank robberies in his life as a criminal. Above: With his son joseph in the early 1980s. His son was later found hanged as a teenager
Police at the scene outside Ms Dando’s home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham. She was shot dead on her doorstep
He said: ‘I thought the guilty verdict in 2001 was the correct verdict. It’s been in the news or subject to comment or report, every year for 23 years.
Asked ‘do you think that Barry George killed Jill Dando?’, Campbell added: ‘I did, yes. ‘I don’t think I’ve changed my mind.’
George is another interviewee in the series. In a clip shown in the trailer, he said: ‘It makes me angry that they have taken eight years of my life.’
Speaking to the Independent ahead of the release of Who Killed Jill Dando?, producer Emily Cooper said today: ‘I was thinking about Jill, and I’m older than she was when she died, and I just find it outrageous that it’s an open case.
‘I think it’s really sad. And I think that you would want people to keep your memory alive.
‘We checked that with [Dando’s brother] Nigel and that was something that he wanted, too.’
Asked about who she thinks killed the presenter, Ms Cooper added: ‘I don’t have an opinion,’ she insists.
‘It’s not my role to have an opinion. I just assess the facts to give the audience a truthful account of some of the many things that happened surrounding the crime over the years.
Smith has committed more than 200 bank robberies in his life as a criminal.
He spent time inside 34 different prisons, including the notoriously tough Whitemoor where he was locked up with infamous murderers such as police killer Harry Roberts.
He was also imprisoned at Belmarsh, where he struck up an unlikely friendship with former MP Jonathan Aitken and took him under his wing after the politician was jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
Smith finally turned away from a life of crime after spending five years at HMP Grendon, a prison that provides a regime of therapy.