Annie Börjesson’s untimely death has remained a perplexing enigma since her body was discovered on Prestwick Beach in Scotland on December 4, 2005. A new documentary titled “Body on the Beach: What Happened to Annie?” produced for BBC Three and BBC Scotland delves into the baffling series of events surrounding the demise of the 30-year-old Swedish resident of Edinburgh.
Initially classified as a tragic suicide by the authorities, the documentary questions this conclusion, shedding light on an intricate web of circumstances surrounding Annie’s death. Award-winning Scottish journalist Hazel Martin spearheads the investigation, driven by her personal connection to the case.
Journalist Hazel Martin spoke to Bradford Zone, offering further insights into the making of the documentary and her personal connection to the case.
Reflecting on her decision to pursue this series, Hazel shares, “My dad is from near to where Annie’s body was found. I know the area well and spent much of my childhood there. As an investigative journalist, I love a story that takes time to unravel and get to the crux of the matter, and I love giving people a platform to have their voices heard. For me, Annie’s story does exactly that.”
When questioned about the enduring fascination surrounding Annie’s case, Hazel elaborates on the various factors that contribute to its ongoing appeal. “There is a real human element to Annie’s story, which I think lots of people can relate to. Annie was a vibrant and lively individual who had a deep passion for music. She had friends and family who adored her, and they firmly believe that there is more to her death than what has been officially reported. This relatability and empathy play a significant role in capturing people’s attention,” she explains.
She further acknowledges the allure of mysteries, stating, “The intrigue surrounding Annie’s death is genuinely captivating. The current popularity of true crime series exemplifies viewers’ fascination with unravelling the truth behind stories like Annie’s. Additionally, the fact that her case has gained substantial traction over the years makes it difficult to ignore.”
When asked about her decision to undertake this project at this particular time, Hazel reveals her personal connection to Annie’s story. “Annie was the same age as I am now when she passed away. Her case struck a chord with me. To this day, there are numerous unanswered questions surrounding her death. The fact that Annie’s family feels like they are missing crucial answers, combined with the lingering suspicion of foul play, piqued my interest. Moreover, the emergence of online speculation and interest from YouTubers and internet sleuths keeps her story alive in the present day,” she discloses.
Throughout the course of the documentary’s production, Hazel and her team made significant discoveries that shed new light on Annie’s case. “You’ll have to watch it to find out!” Hazel teases. “But yes, we uncovered critical new details about Annie’s death while making this series. We compiled a document consisting of 11 points that we believe warrant further examination. This document has been submitted to the Scottish Fatalities Unit. One example of a groundbreaking revelation is that marks on Annie’s body, potentially indicating bruising, were not included in the original post-mortem report. Renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Stuart Hamilton brought this to our attention.”
However, the journey to uncover the truth was not without its challenges. Hazel acknowledges the emotional toll the investigation took on her as a journalist. “It can be difficult to detach from stories like this. Annie was a real person, and her family continues to live without her, searching for answers for almost two decades. It’s impossible not to feel deeply connected when working on a story of this nature, especially considering the extensive time and effort invested in it,” she reveals.
In terms of her aspirations for viewers, Hazel hopes that the documentary will provide them with a comprehensive understanding of who Annie was as a person and evoke a strong emotional investment in her case. She also emphasizes the dedication and meticulousness of her team’s work, stating, “We spent a significant amount of time thoroughly examining the evidence and consulting with experts to ensure that nothing potentially crucial was overlooked. I hope that viewers recognise the immense effort that went into crafting this series.”
“Body on the Beach: What Happened to Annie?” will premiere on BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer on July 4, followed by BBC Three on July 5. Through this thought-provoking documentary, viewers will be invited to delve into the mysterious circumstances surrounding Annie Börjesson’s tragic death, fostering a renewed curiosity and contemplation of the truth behind this enduring enigma.