Maids Moreton murderer Ben Field with his victim Peter Farquhar
True Crime

Maids Moreton murderer Ben Field ‘had list of 100 other targets’ after killing teacher Peter Farquhar

He had no compassion for his victims

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The Sixth Commandment airs on BBC One this month, and dramatises the chilling story of murderer Ben Field.

In what remains one of the most disturbing true crimes in recent memory, church warden Ben targeted teacher Peter Farquhar and subjected him to a campaign of gas lighting.

In a heartbreaking betrayal of trust, Ben subsequently murdered Peter, and tried to make it look like suicide or an accident. He then promptly moved on to his next target – Peter’s neighbour Ann Moore-Martin.

Shockingly, it was later revealed that the Maids Moreton murderer Ben Field “had a list of 100 other targets” after killing teacher Peter Farquhar…

Ben Field mugshot
Ben Field mugshot: Churchwarden was eventually charged with murder (Credit: Thames Valley Police)

The Sixth Commandment based on a horrifying true story

The BBC One drama The Sixth Commandment is based on a chilling true story. The four-part series is a dramatisation of the sickening Maids Moreton murder in 2015.

Churchwarden Ben Field targeted teacher and novelist Peter Farquhar, who he knew to be vulnerable and lonely. The pair embarked on an affair. However, unbeknownst to Peter, Ben just wanted his money. He manipulated Peter purely for his own financial gain.

After a period of gaslighting, manipulation, and abuse, Ben eventually murdered Peter and made it look like an accident. However, police became suspicious when he went on to target another elderly neighbour who – like Peter – changed her will to make Ben her sole beneficiary…

Of course, the sixth commandment in the Bible refers to ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’.

Murderer Ben Field ‘had list of 100 other targets’

Vicar’s son Ben Field murdered his partner Peter Farquhar, and targeted an 83-year-old woman before being caught. He cruelly targeted the vulnerable, lonely and elderly.

In a shocking revelation during his high profile trial, police admitted he had a list of 100 other potential targets.

The police force warned that Ben, 29 at the time he was sentenced, could have killed again if Ann Moore-Martin had not told friends that he was giving her “white powder” before she died. Her alarming comments, coupled with the death of neighbour Peter Farquhar, eventually sparked an investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Glover said Ben Field had drawn up a list of 100 people he could “use” for accommodation or money. He told The Independent: “His own grandparents were on there, his mum and dad, his brother, his girlfriend, her mother.”

He added: “Some of them were elderly. They fitted the same profile as his victims – independent, living alone, affluent, no children.”

Ben Field taking a picture of himself in the mirror
Murderer Ben Field tormented Ann Moore-Martin with ‘messages from God’ on the mirror (Credit: Thames Valley Police)

Ben Field caught after Ann Moore-Martin raised the alarm

DCI Glover, the senior investigating officer for the case, also said that Ben was caught thanks to Ann Moore-Martin raising the alarm before she died.

After Ben Field had killed Peter Farquhar, he turned his attentions to his next victim. And he didn’t go far from home. Whether it was arrogance or stupidity, Ben targeted Peter’s elderly neighbour Ann Moore-Martin.

However, she mentioned Ben to her friends and family – including her niece. She revealed that he had given her “white powder” to sleep better. Before her death, she changed her will because she thought she loved Field.

Retired head teacher Ann Moore-Martin died in May 2017 from a stroke. Her death eventually led to Mr Farquhar’s body being exhumed. A second post-mortem discovered sedatives in his system.

The court heard that Ben Field entered an “undoubtedly sexual” relationship with Ann, while sending her love poems and writing messages on mirrors claiming to be from God.

In his journal, Ben Field had listed “options” for killing Ann. These included “electrical device, dehydration, stair, sex, in the bath, overdose on her prescriptions, church tower, sleep apnoea”. Like in the case of Peter, Ben planned how to make the death appear natural or accidental.

DCI Glover, of Thames Valley Police, said Ben Field had taken “pleasure in inflicting pain, torment and mental torture” on both his victims.

Ben Field was acquitted of the attempted murder of Ann Moore-Martin.

Read more: Why did Ben Field kill Peter Farquhar, and where is the Maids Moreton murderer now?

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Helen Fear
TV Editor