POLICE in Dorset have agreed to examine evidence gathered for a TV investigation into a baffling, 30-year-old murder mystery - after the killer retracted his confession.

Files compiled for the four-week The Investigator: A British Crime Story will now be studied by officers determined to conclude their inquiries into the disappearance of Veronica Packman, known as Carole, in 1985.

Her husband, Russell Causley, was convicted of her murder although her body has never been found.

Last year he admitted killing her but he has always refused to reveal exactly what happened.

He has suggested that he set fire to her body, scattering her ashes in locations across the country, including Meyrick Park in Bournemouth.

But last night's TV programme revealed that he has since claimed that he in fact buried her body - and then that he has since retracted the confession altogether, saying he made it up.

Their daughter, Samantha Gillingham, and grandson Neil Gillingham, have begged Causley to tell them what happened to Veronica for many years and agreed to take part in the TV series, which concluded last night.

During the series, award-winning former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who unmasked presenter Jimmy Savile as a serial paedophile, studied the case in detail.

He succeeded in getting replies to letters he sent to Causley, now in his 70s, in prison and has now given his dossier of evidence to police in Dorset.

Veronica Packman disappeared from the family home in Westbourne shortly after visiting a solicitor to enquire about divorcing Causley, who had moved his lover Patricia Ward into the family home a year before his wife's disappearance.

Causley attempted to fake his own death in 1993 as part of an insurance fraud, for which he was jailed for two years and Patricia handed a 12-month suspended sentence for conspiring to defraud.

While serving his sentence, despite the absence of a body, he was prosecuted for Carole's murder and given 16 years behind bars.

However, the judgment was quashed by the Court of Appeal before a retrial was ordered in 2004, which again saw Causley found guilty and jailed for the murder.

Causley refused to reveal the whereabouts of his wife's body, something Neil said has never allowed his mother to achieve a sense of closure.

Sam, then only 16, remembers coming back from a day in London with her father in June 1985 and finding her mother's wedding ring in the kitchen with a note saying she had left.

She found her mother's clothes, jewellery and Rolex watch were still in the bedroom and a favourite red evening dress had been deliberately ripped.

During the programme, investigators suggested that Patricia had pretended to be Carole on more than one occasion after her disappearance, with Causley also telling the team she knew that Carole was dead - later retracting that claim along with his confession that he had killed her.

Police reinterviewed her following the claims but concluded they could take no action based on the word of Causley, a convicted fraudster.

In a statement to the show, she denied any knowledge of Carole's death and said she would never have supported Causley if she had.

Following the television show last night, a Dorset Police spokesman said: “This case has been thoroughly reviewed on a number of occasions by Dorset Police over the last 30 years.

“We would like to thank ITV for providing Dorset Police with their file and we will now consider the new information passed to us. As is usual in such cases, we are unable to comment further until this process has been completed. 

“We will continue to provide support to Carole’s family during this very difficult time. 

"They want to know what happened to Carole and this case will always remain open until her body is found. 

“Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 4:221. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”