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- English criminal
If you've been absolutely hooked on Channel 4's latest true crime documentary series, The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It?, then same. The three-part series, which re-examines the evidence from British au pair Louise Woodward's murder trial 25 years ago, has had us on the edge of our sofas.
Not only does the series explore the facts and evidence of the case that gripped the US and UK public in the late nineties, it features compelling and exclusive interviews from those who found themselves at the very heart of the trial, including both the prosecution and defence lawyers.
While it's undeniable that the three-part doc is incredibly emotional, it left us wondering where exactly Louise Woodward, who the media branded the Killer Nanny, is now? With that in mind, here's everything we know about what happened to Louise Woodward.
Who is Louise Woodward?
In 1997, 19-year-old Louise Woodward (who had left her home in the UK to enjoy a year abroad in the US) was working as an au pair in Boston, Massachusetts for the Eappen family. But, just 10 weeks after she started the job, eight-month-old Matthew Eappen (whom Woodward cared for) died of brain injuries – which she was accused of causing.
What happened to Louise Woodward?
Following her arrest, Woodward admitted to "tossing" and "lightly shaking" the baby, words which were later used against her at trial, with the prosecution arguing that Eappen had died as a result of a brain haemorrhage caused by Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Woodward's lengthy trial gripped both the US and UK public, and there was a clear divide amongst everyone who had followed the case over whether or not she was innocent. Woodward herself pleaded not guilty to battery of a child, but the prosecution painted her as a "a liar" and she was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Is Louise Woodward still in prison?
Despite initially being sentenced to 15 years in prison, shortly after her conviction details came to light that the jury had been split on her murder charge, resulting in Woodward's legal team pleading for a change in conviction. In response, Judge Zobel who presided over the case reduced Woodward's conviction to involuntary manslaughter.
The change in conviction meant that her sentence was reduced to time served. Given that Woodward had already spent 279 days awaiting trial, just 10 days after receiving her initial life sentence she was free to leave prison.
Where is Louise Woodward now?
After being released from prison, Woodward returned the the UK in June 1998. Upon her arrival in the UK, she took part in a landmark interview with BBC's Panorama in which she maintained her innocence.
Four years on, Woodward graduated with a degree in law [per Liverpool Echo] and began a career at a Manchester law firm, however she later left to pursue work as a dance teacher.
As of 2021, she is known as Louise Elkes (after taking on her husband's surname) and the pair live in Shropshire with their daughter, who was born in 2014. Before becoming a parent, Woodward told the Daily Mail: "I know there are some people waiting for me to have a baby so they can say nasty things."
"It upsets me but that is not going to stop me leading my life. I am innocent. I have done nothing wrong," she added. "I am entitled to enjoy my life. I am not going to apologise for being happy."
All three episodes of The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It? are available to watch now on Channel 4 online.
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