Shipmonk writer Dave Monk appears on Channel 4 ‘cold case’ programme about a murder he covered as a provincial reporter more than 40 years ago

Dave and Prof David Wilson are filmed studying some of his old cuttings

Cruise writer Dave Monk (‘Shipmonk’) is appearing in a Channel 4 programme about a murder case he covered more than 40 years ago.

Monk, 62, was the senior reporter on the Midhurst & Petworth Observer in West Sussex when the body was found in nearby Rogate of eight-year-old Vishal Mehrotra.

The boy had gone missing in London seven months earlier on July 29, 1981 – the day of the royal wedding between the then Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. 

Despite intensive investigations by the police, no suspect was ever charged.

Dave at the Midhurst office in 1982 with fellow reporter Karen Bray

The case is now being re-examined by the Channel 4 series In The Footsteps Of Killers, featuring actress Emilia Fox and criminologist Prof David Wilson.

The programme on the Vishal Mehrotra murder airs in the UK at 10pm on Thursday, January 19, but the whole series can already be viewed in the UK on the streaming service All4. Here’s the link to Thursday’s episode:

Monk, who started in journalism at the age of 18, was a provincial reporter and sub-editor before working on national titles. He retired as deputy editor of Metro newspaper in 2016 and now writes about cruising. 

He said: ‘More than 40 years on, the case still affects me. I sincerely hope this programme helps bring Vishal’s killer to justice and finally gives his family some answers to their questions.’

Read about my memories of the investigation on the Sussex World site here

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