The infamous murder of a Lithuanian farm worker is to feature in a reality crime series a decade on from the ‘head on the beach’ slaying which shocked Angus.
Documentary makers have been filming in the county for a programme on the killing of Jolanta Bledaite as part of a series called Murder By The Sea for CBS Reality, a study of horror cases around the coast of the UK.
The first set of programmes produced by genre specialists Monster Films has already aired, presented by Greenock-born Geoffrey Wansall, a true crime author whose books include the official biography of notorious serial killer Fred West.
Hard-working Jolanta was suffocated and dismembered by fellow Lithuanians Vitas Plytnykas and Alexandras Skirda at a block of flats in Brechin dubbed the Poles’ Palace.
The evil pair then dumped her body in the sea at Arbroath, wheeling her torso in a suitcase through the streets of Arbroath before throwing it off the town’s harbour wall.
In another horrific twist, they also transported her severed head in a plastic supermarket bag on a public bus from Brechin to Arbroath.
A murder hunt was triggered when two young girls playing on the foreshore discovered the 35-year-old woman’s head, leading to sentences of 20 and 28 years being handed down to Skirda and Plytnykas respectively following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Monster Films producer Bo Channon said the series seeks to examine the psychological connection between infamous killers and the seaside location of their gruesome crimes.
“We focus on telling the true story through bona fide experts and true witnessed linked to the crimes we focus on,” he said.
“Murder By The Sea looks at why the killers may have gravitated to these areas to commit their crime – the end of the road.”
The character of Vitas Plytnykas – who arrived in Angus having previously served a prison term in Germany for killing a man – will be a key focus of the Jolanta documentary, which should be set for release in the early part of 2019.
“We have done a lot of work speaking to people who were involved closely with the Jolanta case and are trying to show the impact such crimes have on people connected to them in some way, and the communities where they took place,” added Mr Channon.
“We are not in the business of glamorising or sensationalising the crimes we feature, we have a bank of experts including psychologists and former forensic detectives and the intention it to tell the true story.”
In 2012, a production company came under fire following the release of a horror film telling the story of a woman’s search for her sister who has gone missing while working in a fish factory in the Scottish Highlands.
Former Angus Provost Ruth Leslie Melville branded David Hutchison’s Graders “greedy and sensationalist”, although the film company stressed it was a “work of fiction”.