Forensics: The Real CSI raises a fascinating question with its new case: can you kill someone without remembering?
Tonight’s new episode begins with a bloodcurdling phone call to the police, in which Tamer Moustafa tells the operator he has stabbed his wife.
He says: “I just murdered my wife. She’s dead.
“[…] The kids are at school. Come quickly.”
It couldn’t be a more dramatic start to the second series of the documentary which shows us how crucial evidence is in convicting criminals.
Later, in the interrogation room, Tamer tells police he has no knowledge of the phone call or the attacks.
Can you kill someone without remembering? Here’s what we know.
Forensics: The Real CSI on BBC Two: What’s it about?
The return of the often gruesome series showing us the nuts and bolts of crime scene analysis.
The first episode begins when Tamer Moustafa calls 999 to say he has killed his wife.
Police and paramedics find Mrs Moustafa in a bedroom with multiple stab wounds and she is pronounced dead at the scene.
They also find the butchered body of their neighbour.
Mrs Bi, police said, was found in her garage with multiple stab wounds and later died in hospital.
When Tamer later denies all knowledge of the murders, police must search for clues that could prove or disprove his account.
Forensic scientist Phil Field carries out blood pattern analysis at the scene to help establish the sequence of events.
Then digital forensics specialists crack the suspect’s mobile and an insight into his possible motive is revealed.
Real CSI Tamer Moustafa: Can you kill someone without remembering?
Father-of-four Tamer claims he doesn’t remember killing his wife.
When investigators arrive at his Birmingham home, he’s covered in blood.
He says he has murdered his wife, but also claims to have no memory of the incident.
In real life, there is a condition called homicidal sleepwalking, also known as homicidal somnambulism or sleepwalking murder.
It is the act of killing someone during an episode of sleepwalking.
One such case is that of Kenneth Parks.
He was acquitted of the murder of his mother-in-law in 1987 after using the sleepwalking defence.
Claims of crime-related amnesia is not uncommon.
Offenders of violent crimes often claim they have total or partial amnesia.
In a 1984 study of 203 men charged with both violent and non-violent crimes, 19 reported having only partial or no memory of the incident.
Other contributing factors include alcohol abuse, drug use and mental health disorders.
Tamer Moustafa suffered from severe paranoid schizophrenia and a jury was tasked with deciding whether he was guilty of double murder or manslaughter.
Real CSI Tamer Moustafa: Was he convicted?
Tamer Moustafa was a businessman living in an affluent Birmingham suburb until he killed his wife and neighbour.
The 40-year-old initially claims not to remember anything about the vicious attacks.
Thanks to the police investigation, he was sentenced to at least 30 years for murdering his wife and neighbour in what police described as a “drug-fuelled rage”.
Nelly Moustafa, 43, and neighbour Zahida Bi, 52 were found stabbed at their homes on Belle Walk, Moseley, Birmingham in March 2020.
On 16 March, West Midlands Police said Tamer Moustafa sent his oldest sons to work and took the two youngest to school.
He then returned home, and several hours later called emergency services to say he had killed his wife.
Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “I must consider whether your abnormality of mental function may have relevance in either of the killings.
“I am satisfied, although you had long-standing delusional beliefs, you had not used violence on her.
“There were text messages which made it clear Nellie had decided to leave you. You have never offered an explanation why you killed Mrs Bi.
“You were heavily under the influence of cocaine when you murdered both women.
“I am satisfied your delusional beliefs were present at the time of both killings. I am satisfied those beliefs were or may have been a factor in what you did.”
Real CSI Tamer Moustafa: Why did he do it?
Tamer believed his wife was having an affair with his next door neighbour.
The murders were thought to be a consequence of Tamer’s drug-taking and his jealously.
The property developer had taken cocaine before the attacks.
The “delusional” 40-year-old had wrongly believed his wife had been unfaithful to him.
Forensics: The Real CSI returns at 9pm on BBC Two on Tuesday February 9 2021.
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