Ransom: The Michael Sams Story

Channel 5

Ransom is the unbelievable true story of how kidnapper, extortionist and murderer Michael Sams evaded an enormous police operation to collect a £175,000 ransom from a lonely moorland track in Yorkshire.  One of the biggest manhunts in British history ensued, eventually leading to his capture and conviction.

In January 1992, 25-year-old estate agent Stephanie Slater was kidnapped as she showed a man around a property in Birmingham. The kidnapper demanded a £175,000 ransom for her release. Similarities in the case led police to believe he was the same man who had murdered a young woman in Leeds six months earlier.

The kidnapper kept Stephanie imprisoned in his workshop for eight days, then released her after obtaining his ransom money through an audacious plan that initially outfoxed 1000 police officers… however he left behind just enough clues that would finally lead detectives to his door.

Using a combination of dramatic reconstruction, archive and interviews with people closely involved with the case this 2-part documentary tells the remarkable story of how for eight months beginning in July 1991, police forces across the UK hunted and eventually caught a mysterious criminal who left a trail of kidnap, extortion and murder in his wake.