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What time is Puppet Master released on Netflix? What to expect in true crime series

The story of a notorious conman is to be put on the world stage this week when Netflix releases its latest true crime documentary series.

Robert Hendy-Freegard is the subject of Netflix's new show, The Puppet Master
Robert Hendy-Freegard is the subject of Netflix's new show, The Puppet Master

The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman focuses on Robert Hendy-Freegard, who for years convinced his victims that he was a spy working for MI5 and their lives were in danger, while fleecing them for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The convicted conman targeted students in Shropshire while working in the area, and they speak to Netflix in the mini-series.

Netflix's new docuseries is not the only project focusing on Hendy-Freegard.

Last year a biopic starring James Norton and Gemma Arterton was filmed, though no release date has been announced yet.

What time is Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman released?

The series lands on Netflix at 8am on Tuesday.

There are three episodes and all three will be released simultaneously.

What's Puppet Master about?

Sarah Smith emotionally recalls her experiences with Hendy-Freegard

Netflix describes the series as the "jaw-dropping story of one of the world’s most audacious conmen".

"Over the course of a decade, Robert Freegard controlled, conned and fleeced at least seven women and one man, stealing close to a million pounds," Netflix's promotional material says.

"His traumatised victims were led to believe they were accomplices in highly elaborate secret service operations and that their families were in grave danger if they did not obey. Freegard exploited, abused and controlled them with extreme cruelty, confident his victims were too paralysed by fear to escape."

Some of those victims were students at Harper Adams Agricultural College in Newport. Hendy-Freegard reeled them in while working as a barman at The Swan in Newport in the early 1990s, exploited them, and left them in squalid conditions as he forced them into hiding.

Two of those students, Sarah Smith and John Atkinson, speak in the documentary, recalling how he controlled their lives for up to 10 years by convincing them he was an MI5 agent investigating an IRA cell operating in the college.

He warned them they were at risk from being murdered by the IRA as he took them to various 'safe houses' around the country, isolating them from friends and family and taking their money.

Investigators from Scotland Yard and even the CIA also explain how they caught the fake spy who went on to target more women.

Netflix's promotion of the series ends: "Now, in an incredible twist, the story reaches into the present day, with a family who fear for their mother’s safety."

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