11 episodes

On 29th July 1981, while the eyes of the world are on London and captivated by the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, an eight-year-old boy disappears on his way home from the celebrations. Despite a huge police search he is never seen alive again. Seven months later his partial remains are discovered in a small patch of woodland in rural Sussex, many miles from home. Forty years on, and despite the emergence of new evidence, no-one has been brought to justice for the abduction and death of Vishal Mehrotra and the police appear to have exhausted all their leads. Then one day, as the world is going into lockdown in 2020, a BBC local reporter receives a secretive message from a person who has worked within the police – they tell him they’ve seen something extraordinary that could blow the case wide open.
That call sets in motion an epic true story - an astonishing podcast investigation, three years in the making, that has consequences no-one could have imagined. As the team investigate they track down and question a convicted paedophile, a teacher who fled the UK while being questioned by police in relation to child sexual abuse in the 1990s and has been on the run across the world for over 25 years. Most shocking of all, the series discovers that a UK police force had been aware for years he’d been at the address and had decided not to try to bring him back - while telling Vishal’s family that he hadn’t been located.
The disappearance of Vishal Mehrotra is a case that haunts our age: a case that has repeatedly fallen through the cracks over 40 years – the cracks of our justice system, of our collective attention, of who we choose to listen to and who we don’t. In this extraordinary podcast series, Vishal’s 30 year old half-brother Suchin Mehrotra and investigative reporter Colin Campbell set out to gather the pieces and try to get answers. What they uncover takes them deep into the disturbing underworld of what appears to be a completely separate crime - and sends them halfway across the globe in a search for the truth. Alongside a deeply moving personal story about the toll of this tragedy on one family across generations, what also emerges is a picture of all of us and the world we live in now.

Vishal BBC Sounds

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 25 Ratings

On 29th July 1981, while the eyes of the world are on London and captivated by the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, an eight-year-old boy disappears on his way home from the celebrations. Despite a huge police search he is never seen alive again. Seven months later his partial remains are discovered in a small patch of woodland in rural Sussex, many miles from home. Forty years on, and despite the emergence of new evidence, no-one has been brought to justice for the abduction and death of Vishal Mehrotra and the police appear to have exhausted all their leads. Then one day, as the world is going into lockdown in 2020, a BBC local reporter receives a secretive message from a person who has worked within the police – they tell him they’ve seen something extraordinary that could blow the case wide open.
That call sets in motion an epic true story - an astonishing podcast investigation, three years in the making, that has consequences no-one could have imagined. As the team investigate they track down and question a convicted paedophile, a teacher who fled the UK while being questioned by police in relation to child sexual abuse in the 1990s and has been on the run across the world for over 25 years. Most shocking of all, the series discovers that a UK police force had been aware for years he’d been at the address and had decided not to try to bring him back - while telling Vishal’s family that he hadn’t been located.
The disappearance of Vishal Mehrotra is a case that haunts our age: a case that has repeatedly fallen through the cracks over 40 years – the cracks of our justice system, of our collective attention, of who we choose to listen to and who we don’t. In this extraordinary podcast series, Vishal’s 30 year old half-brother Suchin Mehrotra and investigative reporter Colin Campbell set out to gather the pieces and try to get answers. What they uncover takes them deep into the disturbing underworld of what appears to be a completely separate crime - and sends them halfway across the globe in a search for the truth. Alongside a deeply moving personal story about the toll of this tragedy on one family across generations, what also emerges is a picture of all of us and the world we live in now.

    Introducing Vishal

    Introducing Vishal

    On the day Prince Charles marries Lady Diana a boy in the crowd vanishes.

    • 3 min
    Episode 1: The Royal Wedding

    Episode 1: The Royal Wedding

    A young family joins the crowds to celebrate the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in central London. But on the way home one of the children disappears and a nightmare begins.
    Presented by Suchin Mehrotra

    Series written and produced by Satiyesh Manoharajah

    Audio production, sound design and original music: Steve Urquhart

    Executive producer: Alistair Jackson

    A BBC Studios Production

    • 29 min
    Episode 2: The Search

    Episode 2: The Search

    A massive search for the missing child swings into action. The police comb London, the TV news appeals for information, the public report sightings - and suspicion falls on his father...
    Presented by Suchin Mehrotra

    Series written and produced by Satiyesh Manoharajah

    Audio production, sound design and original music: Steve Urquhart

    Executive producer: Alistair Jackson

    A BBC Studios Production

    • 34 min
    Episode 3: The Woods

    Episode 3: The Woods

    Many miles from home two men make a chance discovery. Vishu gets a call at work, the media descend – and life for this family will never be the same again.
    Presented by Suchin Mehrotra

    Series written and produced by Satiyesh Manoharajah

    Audio production, sound design and original music: Steve Urquhart

    Executive producer: Alistair Jackson

    A BBC Studios Production

    • 30 min
    Episode 4: The Coincidence

    Episode 4: The Coincidence

    Decades pass without an answer. But in 2020 lightning strikes. A BBC reporter gets a mysterious call – the man says he’s been deep within the police and he’s seen something that might blow the case wide open...
    Presented by Suchin Mehrotra and Colin Campbell

    Series written and produced by Satiyesh Manoharajah

    Audio production, sound design and original music: Steve Urquhart

    Executive producer: Alistair Jackson

    A BBC Studios Production

    • 38 min
    Episode 5: The School

    Episode 5: The School

    Colin meets a witness – and a group of men bravely tell him what happened to them at school 40 years ago when they were boys, in the hope that what they know may help the investigation into Vishal’s disappearance...
    If you have been affected by child sexual abuse, help and support is available at bbc.co.uk/actionline
    Presented and investigated by Colin Campbell

    Series written and produced by Satiyesh Manoharajah

    Audio production, sound design and original music: Steve Urquhart

    Executive Producer: Alistair Jackson

    A BBC Studios Production

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Listening in NZ ,

Excellent!

Well done BBC on an outstanding podcast investigative series into the murder of this little boy. So many strands followed up and brought together. Yes it is “true crime” but thanks to the journalistic skills and contributions from Vishal’s family, it never feels exploitative.

Bellbird26 ,

Powerful, confronting, heartbreaking

Amazing journalism uncovering injustice, incompetence, negligence and racism. Justice for Vishall!

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