Channel 4 orders investigation into death of true crime series producer who took his own life

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John Balson worked on the programme In the Footsteps of Killers (Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA)

Channel 4 has ordered an independent investigation after a producer who worked on a true crime series took his own life.

John Balson, who worked on the programme In the Footsteps of Killers, died on May 17 this year.

Balson, who worked on the series in the first four months of the year while his wife was pregnant with their second child, reportedly received threats from someone linked to an individual that he was researching for the show.

After a family declined to take part in the docu-series, his wife claimed that he felt as though production blamed him for their decision.

Deadline outlined that they had spoken to Balson’s family, who wanted to highlight the dangers of overworking in factual TV.

The charity Samaritans stresses that ‘suicide is extremely complex and most of the time there is no single event or factor that leads someone to take their own life’.

A friend of mine tragically took his own life recently.

John has a three year old and his wife Yumeno is due to have another daughter in August.

He was a lovely guy and I’m heartbroken for his family.

Please read and give what you can.

— Matt Bentley-Viney (@MattViney12) May 29, 2024

Balson was said to have experienced exhaustion, developed severe physical symptoms linked to a health condition called vestibular migraine disorder, and been suffering in his mental health.

On a fundraising page set up for Balson, it states: ‘John was a hard-working professional and was 100% healthy up until eight weeks ago, when he stood up at work one day and became instantly dizzy.

‘The condition quickly worsened causing him constant dizziness, migraines, insomnia and pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week.’

The GoFundMe page explained that Balson ‘left his job due to illness’, seeking out an array of medical treatments including appointments with neurologists, psychiatrists and therapists.

His family said that he described his pain as ‘the cruelest punishment I could have imagined’. They wrote: ‘Ultimately, unable to escape this severe brain condition, and suffering from chronic panic disorder and insomnia, he passed away alone, without anyone by his side.’

A statement from Channel 4 sent to reads: ‘Channel 4 was deeply saddened by the news of John’s death, and our thoughts are with his wife and family at this incredibly difficult time.

‘John was a highly respected and much-loved professional – both amongst his colleagues at Alaska TV and those who worked with him across the industry – and will be sorely missed.

‘We are in ongoing contact with John’s family and offering them our support. We are also in a dialogue with [the union] BECTU and have engaged an external law firm to undertake a thorough investigation, which will be as swift as circumstances allow. We will take whatever action is appropriate in response to its findings.’

The statement continues: ‘While we do not employ …read more

Source:: Metro


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