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Find out about the drama 'My Murder' based on Shakilus Townsend's honey trap murder broadcast on BBC3 as part of the criminal Britain Season.

My Murder is the gripping factual drama broadcast on BBC 3 that re-enacted the tragic death of  16-year old Shakilus Townsend. The emotive one hour drama tells the true story of how Shakilus was led to his death by Samantha Joseph he thought of as his girlfriend.

The set up initiated by Samantha and her boyfriend Danny McLean resulted in the brutal beating and stabbing of Shakilus by Danny's South London gang mates. The conspired betrayal claimed the young man's life and became known as the 'honey trap killing'.

My Murder will remain a strong talking point not only due to it's theme's of crime in Britain but because of the film's ability to present the undeniable charisma of victim and protagonist Shakilus.

Despite not being an angel himself Shakilus' bubbly character shone through in the film as he sat on the see saw seat with his sister in the park, watched a childhood video with a friend, engaged in cheeky banter at his college interview or even moments before his death when he discreetly told his mum he loved her not wanting to lose his 'cool' in front of Samantha. Its these gestures of personality that actor John Boyega displayed so well as Shakilus making him a real and likeable person.

The lad's character was not like the stereotypical portrayal of teenagers we see in other urban drama's. Yes, he had a background and flaws but My Murder introduced the kid behind the hoody. Through his story we learn that there is a person that can be as naive to love just as anyone else, strives to correct their mistakes and yes isn't perfect. It thes characteristics which made Shakilus relatable in some way and one could even imagine him as a younger sibling or cousin who needed some straightening out. A turning point of his life was his application and enthusiasm to start college reflecting his potential to a positive future. This further frustrates the audience that is left wondering what he could of made of his life had he not been killed.

A defining moment of the film is Shakilus' voice over narrative which states it took 10 hours to die as he is beaten and stabbed to death. The film ends with documentary contribution from his mother sharing her pain of burying a son who she will never have another birthday or witness wed. Key moments every parent should experience in their child's life. The piece concludes with the real images of Shakilus's killers and their life sentences, who have robbed their own lives just as much as Shaks.

My Murder can be viewed on BBC iPlayer here

My Murder is part of the Criminal Britain Season on BBC 3 this week which continues:

Reggie Yates: Teen Gangs Tuesday 27th March 9PM

I Never Said Yes Wednesday 28th March 9PM

Our Crime Monday 2nd April 9PM

Prison, My Family and Me Tuesday 3rd April 9PM

Mugged Wednesday 4th of April 9PM

Free Speech: Crime Special Wednesday 4th of April 10PM

For More info about Criminal Britain:




  1. Heather says:

    It was so sad to watch but you could tell that they did their homework before producing this. Shak seemed like a lovely boy full of potential.
    Heartbreaking reality that the youth today are just dying for no reason.

    Thoughts and prayers for his family x

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  2. Mui says:

    I have not watched something as heart breaking as this for a long time. Truly saddened by this. Sad thatbpeople can be so naive and stupid as to cause an innocent person their life over something so jovial. After watching this I meditated on what I had just seen and only I good do was be thankful for his grace and his hand on all our family and friends.

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  3. Dman says:

    It was a good watch and there were many lesson to be learned for all. . Great peice of writing. I love th fact that you highlited the fact they potrayed Shak as as child like 16 year old who has aispirations but was no angel., unlike the stereo typical boy in the gang we usually get.

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  4. Ruth Frimpong says:

    This drama was very good to watch, it showed where the trust lies with certain ppl, it also shows how some people when they try their best to change n something bad ends up happening to them. Its not a good look. what the girl done wasn't good at all she knew what she was doing was bad yet she done it just to show her love for someone when the person doesnt even love u! Things like that annoy me because is a sign of stupidty. This drama had me in tears cos it was really sad.... I hope the people that watched this will learn from this.

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  5. Dorcas says:

    i think for me, this short film has been an eye opener to a lot of people most importantly the youth.it was very sad indeed to watch this and the part that really made me upset was the fact the he twisted the knife when he stabbed shaki in his liver.It clearly shows his intention and what an inhuman act.As for the girl i just feel very sorry for her ,really cause i know shaki is at the better place .GIRLs REALLY NEED ROLE MODELS and people to talk to.this girl is clearly lacking something in her life which i think is love not the love of a boy but the love of a mother.R.I.P Shaki ..

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  6. em says:

    Powerful factual drama allowing us to see the harsh reality of what is really going on out there. I was literally in tears by the end of it because it shows how tough life is for the young black men of today. Change needs to come as it seems things are getting worse. We must work on our brothers, cousins and friends also do the best we can to bring up our children in ways that will prevent things like this occurring in future. Every young black man was once a small child and it is the nurturing and the teaching that allows them to grow up to become successful black men.

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  7. Eric Konadu says:

    My deepest condolences goes out to the family of Shakilus Townsend.
    When we watch things like this it is not for us to sit back and be grieved or sad but rather a wake up a call to stand in the gap for the youth and leaders of tomorrow.
    To create an awareness that we as a society have a growing problem.

    It is always a waste of life when a young person dies so tragically. The hand off blame is always so quick to be pointed. Has it got so bad to the point where there is no regard for human life? The times when conflicts where solved with a handshake and a word or two. Now we resort to using weapons to settle our disputes and differences.

    Why can't we accept these differences and appreciate that we are all unique. We need to be united and stand against this growing culture of knife and gun crime. The generations to come will only come into the world and inherit this war of factions between groups of youths who have a dislike and hatred for each other, all because of supremacy, power and respect.

    The main focus should be on developing ourselves and using our gifts and talents to improve the unfamiliar situations we find ourselves in. Making a positive mark so that when we are gone we will be known for our efforts to create and preserve peace. The solution to solving the crisis our society is in, is not in the House of Parliament, or in our living rooms but in God's presence, positive change can take place and it starts with God working on our insides to remove the hurt the pain and suffering, the anger and the pride.

    He will do away with the negativity and leave in its place a positive imprint that demonstrates love and compassion for one another. For all the real men out there stand up and be counted, fathers start being a positive role model for your sons, uncles begin being a role model for your nephews, teaching them about integrity and what true respect is. Where are the Fathers? The responsible ones? Show them the identity of what it means to be a real man, one who reasons and negotiates to bring peace and understanding.

    Mothers begin to be the ideal role models for your daughters teaching them purity and character of a real woman. It is not easy but we all have a major part to play to ensure that our society is not destroyed.

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