Monday, August 04, 2008

Not Suzanne

So who killed Jill Dando? According to Uri Geller, it was a Serb hitman.

I know this because about two days after her murder, I had lunch with Uri Geller for a project we wanted him to do. I wasn't looking forward to it as I considered him to be a bit of a charlatan and found his spoon-bending schtick to be tiresome. However, I was surprised as he was quite fascinating. And did he like to talk.

After little persuasion (Me: Will you do your spoon thing? Uri: I'd rather not. Oh alright then), a selection of cutlery was brought from the kitchen and he wowed a rubbernecking restaurant full of diners with his special powers. He read our minds and drew what he thought you were thinking of (I was thinking of a tree - he got it), and regaled us with tales of Michael Jackson and Seventies chat shows. He was great. I totally changed my opinion of him. (Sadly the project never came off, though we did speak on the phone once and he was at Glastonbury doing casting an anti-rain dance for the NME). He also said he was convinced a Serbian hitman was responsible for Jill Dando's death.

So I wonder if he's right? I once saw Jill Dando at BBC TV Centre. I was going in, she was going out. She was willowy and elegant and she smiled at me. I was smitten. Her visit to Compass Point in the Bahamas made our minds up about our honeymoon destination. We went where she went. She was a star. But doesn't she look dated in the picutres and footage now? It's one of those frozen-in-time moments.

While I'm here, one thing that sticks in my mind about this case, is the 999 call made by the woman who found her. She tells the operator that a woman has collapsed in her garden and "confidentially" she thinks it's Jill Dando. Why "confidentially"? To me, it sounds over-reverential about her celebrity status. I wonder if she regrets that now? Perhaps she's never given it another thought.

Anyhoo, will we ever know who killed Jill Dando. And where are those Beaumont children?


Valentine Suicide said...

I've no doubt Geller is convincing and charismatic in person, but he's been debunked so many times I wonder why he has any credibility left? I recall seeing the American chat show (Johnny Carson possibly) that had a professional magician advise them on how he may be 'doing it' and help them prepare for his appearance. Predictably, his powers deserted him completely.

Odd that his powers will tell him Jill Dando's killer was a Serb hitman, but fall short of a name and address?

Anonymous said...

I was initially pleased when I heard Barry George had been released, as I had thought for many years this was one of the most dubious judgments on the most flimsy evidence.

The whole thing sticks in my memory really sharply because in April 1999 I moved to London and it was one of the first major news stories.

However, I started to have a few doubts about Barry George after he was released when he decided to reveal to a newspaper that he couldn't have killed Jill Dando because "he was stalking another woman at the time" -- does this man not know anything about incriminating oneself ...?**

**The answer to that is obviously no, because he didn't have the intellectual capacity to understand even the first trial, let alone what effect anything he says now might have. (Why is no one advising him to keep quiet and say nothing?)

Clair said...

Having read Derren Brown's excellent book, you can smell the snake oil on Geller. But he's terribly charismatic.

I did the penultimate interview (typical!) with Jill Dando, and thought she was absolutely wonderful, not at all what you saw on the box. My boss said the same; cool and mumsy on TV but a right goer in private. I don't think Barry George did it, and I agree with John Roseman that sadly, the real murderer will never be found.

Five-Centres said...

I was rather horrified by his 'so that's alright then' attitude to Sharon. I think stalking's probably off the agenda, now.

And Val, I saw it with my own eyes, and had to believe it. Unless that specially bought in cutlery was a plant...hmmmm.