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News article

National award for Policing Lecturer’s “outstanding and relentless” pursuit of the truth

Published: 10 May 2022

  •   Featured
A red haired woman in a business suit being interviewed

Jen Jarvie being interviewed by ITN productions for 'The Mysterious Murder of Ann Heron'

Jen Jarvie, Lecturer in Professional Policing at York St John University, has been named Investigator of the Year by the Association of British Investigators (ABI). Jarvie, who works as a cold case investigator, has also had her work featured in a high-profile documentary by ITN productions about the unsolved murder of Ann Heron. 

Care worker Ann was killed at her home in Darlington in 1990 and no one has ever been charged over the attack. For the past 16 years, Jen has worked with family members to try to uncover fresh information about the case.  

It was this work that led to the ABI naming her the Zena Scott Archer - Investigator of the Year 2022. 

The award was backed by members of Ann’s family. Stepdaughter Debbie Simpson said: “I have no hesitation in recommending Jen Jarvie as a worthy nominee of the Zena Scott-Archer Award for her outstanding and relentless work in helping to bring this cold case investigation to its rightful conclusion.” 

Jen Jarvie said: “The Ann Heron case is one of the UK’s most high-profile unsolved crimes. It was a local case to me and one that had resonated throughout my own history, so I thought why not see if I can help a local family.  

"The Heron family have fought for justice for the past 32 years.  Peter Heron wants to know in his lifetime who killed Ann and, in the process, clear his name. The lack of answers has had a profound effect on the family and not a day passes where the need for justice is not raised.” 

Now a 2-hour documentary ‘The Mysterious Murder of Ann Heron’ has been produced about the case by ITN productions for Channel 5. With input from family members and featuring Jen Jarvie’s investigative work, it raises challenging questions about the case and why Ann’s husband Peter remains a suspect.  

The film’s development producer is Janette Hodds, an alumna of York St John who graduated in 2011 with a BA in Film & Television Production. 

Janette said: ”My passion is documentary making, telling the stories behind the newspaper headlines. The horrendous murder of Ann Heron is a tragedy because Ann's family have been left with so many questions. They will never truly get closure from finding out who killed Ann, but hopefully they will be able to begin to process and understand what happened to her on the 3rd of August 1990. Giving Ann and her family the voice in the documentary to remind people of the events in the case over the 32 years was so important. I hope the documentary will be a platform to bring in new leads, and this is my motivation for making the documentary.   

 “I was drawn to the case by an article in the Sun Newspaper about the research they had done into Michael Benson. Benson was a new possible suspect in Ann's murder, and had been discovered by Jen Jarvie. I then started researching the case, discovering that Ann's husband Peter Heron had been arrested for Ann's murder in 2005. The case against Mr Heron was later discontinued - but it's not every day you get to interview someone once suspected of murder for a documentary. This case is full of twists and turns and we hope the documentary will help move the case forward for the families.”  

The documentary aired on Channel 5 in the UK in May 2022 and is available to watch again on My5 until March 2027 


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