‘#TextMeWhenYouGetHome’: How real-life abduction and murder of Sarah Everard inspired Lifetime docuseries

Sarah Everard was 33-years-old when she was kidnapped and brutally murdered as she was walking home


                            ‘#TextMeWhenYouGetHome’: How real-life abduction and murder of Sarah Everard inspired Lifetime docuseries
Sarah Everard (Twitter / Metropolitan Police)
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Inspired by an incident that occurred back in 2021, Lifetime's docu-series '#TextMeWhenYouGetHome' will depict the stories of women who have been abducted, harmed or even murdered when they were alone. Sarah Everard was 33-years-old when she was kidnapped and brutally murdered as she was walking home to the Brixton Hill area from a friend's house near Clapham Common back on March 3, 2021.

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Lifetime will launch a new collection of true-crime docuseries, dubbed 'Life & Crime Mondays,' in June. '#TextMeWhenYouGetHome' is part of the three original unscripted series that will premiere on the network. #TextMeWhenYouGetHome became a viral hashtag following the 2021 death of Sarah Everard. Sarah's death sparked a conversation about sexual harassment, and the vulnerability and lack of safety women feel while in public alone. Since this story broke, there’s been plenty of anger & frustration, with countless women speaking out & sharing their own experiences with sexual harassment.

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The true story behind Sarah Everard’s death

In early March, Everard mysteriously disappeared while walking home to Brixton after visiting a friend in Clapham. She left her friend’s flat at 9 pm, and is believed to have walked through Clapham Common, a large park, while on the way home. Everard spoke to her boyfriend on her phone for around 15 minutes, before ending the call. The following day, Everard’s boyfriend alerted the police to report that she was missing. Police along with friends & family began investigating after failing to reach her. The police even sought public help in tracing her, and posted tweets to elicit responses from Londoners. Flyers were distributed to the local community, CCTV footage was checked, and even house to house searches took place 

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On March 9, Police arrested a Metropolitan Police Officer in connection with Sarah's disappearance. They reveal the man was arrested on suspicion of kidnap & murder, along with a separate allegation of indecent exposure. The officer's identity was revealed to be Wayne Couzens. Upon further investigation, the police found out that Couzens had handcuffed Everard on the roadside, using his position as a police officer. He arrested her based on 'false charges' for breaching Covid protocols, to get Ms. Everard into his car. A witness in a passing vehicle saw the interaction between Couzens and Sarah and noted that it looked abnormal, but thought it was just a police officer detaining a woman “who had done something wrong".

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Chilling footage from surveillance cameras was found that showed the interaction between Couzens and Everard, where she agreed with Couzens’ demand to get into his car, as she most likely thought she was being arrested. Couzens then drove Everard around for about 80 miles and ultimately raped and strangled her to death. He then burnt her body and disposed of her remains in a nearby pond. It was also revealed that Couzens spent at least a month traveling to London to research how best to commit these crimes.

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Wayne Couzens (Met police/Getty Images)

On March 10, the police discovered bodily remains in a wooded area of Ashford town in Kent, and on March 12 confirmed, through the use of dental records, that the body belonged to Everard. Wayne Couzens was later sentenced to life in prison for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard. The judge called the circumstances of the case “devastating, tragic and wholly brutal” and paid tribute to the dignity of Everard’s family. In a statement released after the sentencing, the Everard family said they were “very pleased” that Couzens will “spend the rest of his life in jail.” They said the knowledge that he will remain behind bars until his death “brings some relief” but that “nothing can make things better, nothing can bring Sarah back”.

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