Britain’s overcrowded prisons currently house somewhere around 87,000 inmates at any one time, the vast majority of whom have an expected release date and for whom the aim remains rehabilitation and release. There is no death penalty in the United Kingdom, and a ‘life sentence’ is actually a 25 year sentence, but there are a small number of prisoners who have had a special whole life tariff approved by the UK government. These 46 prisoners are deemed so dangerous or so deranged that they will never see the light of day.
When Life Means Life is a 2012 series which explores the dark world of some of the 45 men and 1 woman who will definitely die in prison, some of whom like Ian Brady and Denis Nilsen are household names and others who are largely unknown by the general public. They include serial killers, hired assassins, and psychotic sadists. We have all six episodes of series one available to watch here on Documentary Vine, navigate them via the numbered tabs beneath the video player or via the episode link list below. When you have finished moved on to series 2.
- Episode 1: Anthony Arkwright
- Episode 2: Wilbert Dyce / Paul Culshaw
- Episode 3: Royston Jackson
- Episode 4: John Cooper
- Episode 5: Andrew Dawson
- Episode 6: Ernest Wright / Mark Martin
For more about some of Britain’s most dangerous and depraved prisoners check out the Nick Appleyard book Life Mean Life, published by John Blake Publishing in 2009 and available in paperback or kindle formats. It has received excellent customer reviews.