Ebury Press has acquired Catching a Serial Killer by former Detective Sergeant (DS) Stephen Fulcher - a true-crime memoir about the manhunt for murderer Christopher Halliwell.
The book, ghosted by writer Kate Moore, will reveal the inside story of Fulcher's investigation into Halliwell, a man considered potentially one of the UK’s most prolific serial killers, and the impact this had on his career.
In March 2011 Fulcher was called on to find a missing 22-year-old woman, Sian O’Callaghan from Swindon. O’Callaghan was abducted by Halliwell outside a nightclub and murdered. Halliwell was jailed in October 2012 for life after admitting to the crime.
The book, described as "thrilling, devastating and absorbing", follows the investigation hour-by-hour, as "a cat-and-mouse situation ensues", eventually leading Fulcher to Halliwell.
It also describes how he risked his career when he decided to breach the police code on formal cautioning so that Halliwell would show him where he had hidden O’Callaghan and unexpectedly lead him to a second body, that of victim Becky Godden-Edwards, missing since 2002.
The BBC reported that Halliwell almost evaded prosecution over the death of Godden-Edwards after a judge ruled detectives had "ignored arrest guidelines" by not cautioning him or allowing access to a solicitor, rendering the case inadmissable. It reported in January 2014 Fulcher had been allowed to keep his job, following a private hearing, although he was "found guilty of misconduct" and later resigned. Halliwell was eventually found guilty of the murder of Godden-Edwards in September 2016.
Senior commissioning editor Sara Cywinski acquired world rights from Robert Smith at Robert Smith Literary Agency. Ebury Press will publish in paperback and e-book in June 2017.
Cywinski said: “I’m thrilled that Steve is working with Ebury to publish his compelling story. His commitment to the case was second to none and eventually gave two families justice and resulted in a dangerous man behind bars. Steve’s book is set to be an eye-opener.”
Fulcher said: “I am delighted that Ebury Press is to publish my personal account of hunting down Sian's and Becky's murderer, which gave some comfort to their devastated families following Halliwell's whole-life sentence. This is a seminal case which has far-reaching consequences for me personally and for policing globally."
Smith added: “I am privileged to be representing Steve, a heroic beacon of principled policing. Ebury is the perfect home for his gripping and exceptional book.”
Fulcher, a former DS, has 28 years of police experience, including several cases on which he worked as the senior investigating officer. Today he works trains local police officers for UK government agencies, including in Libya and Somalia.