from the Sunday Times Magazine in 2012

December 2nd, 2012

The Little Orphans of Annecy

In September four year old Zeena al-Hilli and her sister Zainab, aged seven, lost their parents and grandmother when they were murdered in a brutal attack in the French Alps. Three months later, detectives are still searching for the killer – and the motive. With unprecedented access to family and friends David James Smith pieces together new evidence.

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September 9th, 2012

The Satanic Backlash

The fatwa on Salman Rushdie forced him into hiding and gave the West its first glimpse of Islamic extremism. As the author publishes his memoir, some of the key people who helped him escape the death squads talk for the first time to David James Smith.

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July 15th, 2012

The Rogue Commander

Ali Dizaei has just emerged from jail, where he was abused, assaulted and had excrement poured over him. After being convicted twice for misconduct and sacked from the Met Police, why does he think he can get his old job back? By David James Smith.

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May 13th, 2012

He had all to play for – The life and death of Gary Speed

Gary Speed was a father of two, a successful former footballer, the manager of Wales and universally respected. So why, at the age of 42, was he found hanged at his home after an evening of larking about with friends? David James Smith investigates.

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February 19th, 2012

The heat after the storm

On Facebook, Jamie Counsel called for riots in Cardiff. They never happened but now he’s serving a four-year stretch. David James Smith met him in jail and discovers other young people who got carried away in the week of shame.

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Latest News

  • The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
    Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.

  • Young Mandela the movie – in development.

    From The Guardian
    Read the article

    In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011

    More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.

Latest Review

    New York Times – J. M. Ledgard
  • Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review

See David James Smith…

Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011