May 3, 2022

Filmtip: The Good Doctor Bodkin-Adams – Murder Docudrama 1986

Filmtip: The Good Doctor Bodkin-Adams – Murder Docudrama 1986

Fraudstorytelling | Weekly filmtips | April 4, 2022

Title: The Good Doctor Bodkin-Adams – Murder Docudrama 1986
Duration: 76 minutes
Year: 1986
Producer: BBC
Streamer: Videocurious
Tagging: #corruption#integrity#financialfraud#insuranceindustry#healthcareindustry#authorities

A doctor’s diploma from a reputable school does not guarantee that he or she will provide quality care, but it is a good starting point. With this documentary, BBC wants to take you back in time to a classic fraud case. This is a TV docudrama based on John Bodkin Adams’ 1957 trial. Many of these fraud crimes are still occurring in 2022, and occasionally in a new form. John Bodkin Adams was a convicted fraudster and suspected serial killer in the United Kingdom. Between 1946 and 1956, 163 of his patients died in comas, which prompted an investigation. What made it even more intriguing was the fact that 132 of the 310 patients had left Adams money or items in their wills. Bodkin Adams, the son of a Plymouth Brethren preacher, was born in Randalstown, County Antrim, in 1899. He later moved to Coleraine, County Londonderry, and then to Belfast to attend Queen’s University before settling in Sussex. It wasn’t long after becoming a doctor that rumors began to circulate in Eastbourne that a doctor was abducting wealthy, elderly widows. Adams was convicted of the death of one patient in 1957, while the prosecution withdrew another claim of murder in what the presiding judge, Sir Patrick Devlin, later described as “an abuse of process,” raising questions in Parliament about the prosecution’s treatment of the case. At a subsequent trial, Adams was convicted of thirteen counts of prescription fraud, lying on cremation forms, impeding a police search, and failing to keep a dangerous substances register. After two failed applications, he was thrown off the medical register in 1957.

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