A new documentary has brought back news about a 20-year-old murder, which involved Jane Andrews, former personal dresser of British royal Sarah Ferguson.
The ITV documentary, titled "Fergie's Killer Dresser: The Jane Andrews Story," has been released two years after she completed her sentence for murdering her millionaire boyfriend Thomas Cressman. The documentary explores her life and the crime she committed in April 2001.
Jane Andrews was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, in 1967. She had a troubled life as a teenager, during which she suffered from depression, panic attacks, and an eating disorder. At the age of 15, she tried to commit suicide by overdosing apparently because her mum found out she was playing truant from school. At the age of 17, she fell pregnant and subsequently had an abortion.
At the age of 21, Andrews answered an anonymous ad in The Lady magazine for a personal dresser, and was invited for an interview with the Duchess of York six months later. Buckingham Palace soon hired her for the post on a salary of £18,000 a year. It is alleged that she was fired from her job nine years later because Tuscan aristocrat Count Gaddo della Gherardesca was having an affair with Fergie and was also interested in her, though Buckingham Palace insists the decision was a result of cost-cutting.
In August 1990, at the age of 23, she married IBM executive Cristopher Dunn-Butler, who was 20 years her senior. They divorced five years later, and Andrews confessed that she had "a couple of flings" that she is "not proud of." She had several romances in London's high society circle after that, including one with Dimitry Home, the son of a Greek shipping magnate. She reportedly destroyed the flat they had been staying at after their breakup and overdosed, though she survived without seeking medical treatment.
Andrews met her victim Thomas Cressman in 1998 after they were introduced by a mutual friend. Cressman was a former stockbroker who was running a successful business selling car accessories and mixed in the upper echelons of London society. Meanwhile, Andrews had already been dismissed from royal service, and started working at Claridge's Hotel as a PR manager, but was required to leave just after two months.
Andrews soon moved in with Cressman at his flat in Fulham, South West London, making it clear to him that she hoped to marry him and start a family. In September 2000, two years after they started dating, she went with him to his family's villa on the French Riviera where she expected him to propose.
However, Cressman told her he had no such intention and they returned to their flat where they had a heated argument following which he called police to say "somebody is going to get hurt." Police didn't come, and Andrews stabbed him and beat him to death with a cricket bat when he was sleeping.
After the fatal attack, she left him dying in his bed at the home they shared while she went on the run, calling and messaging friends to ask about his whereabouts. She made another attempt to take her own life by overdosing in her car in Cornwall, but was found by police who arrested her.
She was sentenced to 12 years in prison in May the following year after the court found her guilty of murdering her partner despite her claims that it was self-defense. Andrews was claiming that she awoke to find Cressman hitting her and therefore hit him with a cricket bat and "he must have come forward on to the knife in the dark." She also alleged that Cressman raped her hours before she killed him.
However, Superintendent Jim Dickie who led the murder inquiry, said about her claims: "She murdered him in life and murdered him again in death by trying to ruin his reputation."
The 53-year-old was later diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. The doctor declared that some of her claims regarding Cressman, that he was abusive and violent, were found to be true. During her prison term, she became obsessed with another man who was serving time for fraud in another jail, and escaped from open jail when he failed to visit her. She was caught in a nearby hotel with her family three days after the escape that took place in November 2009, eight years into her jail term.
After her imprisonment, reports emerged that the royal aides believed she duped around £10,000 from Fergie's private account as well. The fraud was discovered when the Duchess left royal service in the late 90s after her divorce from Prince Andrew. It is said that the pair had enjoyed an extremely close bond, reports The Sun.
After coming out of prison in 2019, Andrews has been living in Lincolnshire, where she has been spotted shopping and working stacking shelves in a supermarket.