As Sarah Ferguson’s dresser, Jane Andrews rubbed shoulders with royalty while working at Buckingham Palace.

The working-class girl from Grimsby became close friends with the Duchess of York, spent time with Princess Diana and was even given the nickname ‘Lady Jane’.

But Andrews’ subsequent fall from grace ended with the brutal murder of her boyfriend Tom Cressman after he refused to marry her.

The ‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ battered her sleeping boyfriend with a cricket bat before stabbing him in the chest with a knife.

"There are only two people who really know what happened in that bedroom, and one of them is dead," says Former Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dickie in tonight’s brand new ITV documentary - Fergie’s Killer Dresser.

"She is a cold-blooded murderer. Any man who gets into a relationship with her needs his head tested."

Jane Andrews (pictured) was hired as Sarah Ferguson's royal dresser
Jane Andrews (pictured) was hired as Sarah Ferguson's royal dresser

Andrews, who was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, had troubled teenage years but rose to work alongside royalty.

She suffered from depression, panic attacks and an eating disorder as a teen, according to a 2003 report by The Guardian.

When her mum discovered she was playing truant from school, 15-year-old Andrews overdosed and later described: “Fading in and out of consciousness.”

At the age of 17 she fell pregnant and had an abortion, which she stated was a traumatic experience.

While working for Marks & Spencer as a sales assistant, Andrews answered an anonymous advert for a personal dresser in the Lady magazine

To her shock, Andrews was summoned for an interview with Sarah Ferguson and was offered the position in July 1988.

Duchess of York with Jane Andrews behind her October 1994
Duchess of York with Jane Andrews behind her October 1994

The pair reportedly struck up an immediate rapport, with Fergie leaving her flowers on her first day with a card which read: “Welcome to the team, the Boss.'"

Despite being on a modest salary of £18,000 a year, the job opened the door to worlds Andrews could only have dreamed of before.

With her higher status she started mixing in sophisticated circles and reportedly became obsessed with Fergie, copying her accent, clothes and hairstyle.

Andrews became particularly close to the Duchess of York during the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Andrew.

When Fergie’s staff numbers dwindled, Andrews took on extra responsibilities as one of her few remaining servants.

In the introduction to one of her travel books, the Duchess included a warm thanks to her assistant "whose loyalty and kindness knows no bounds".

Sarah Ferguson (right) with her dresser Jane Andrews in October 1994
Sarah Ferguson (right) with her dresser Jane Andrews in October 1994

However, Andrews was devastated when she was unexpectedly made redundant in November 1997.

There was some speculation she was fired after Count Gaddo della Gherardesca, the rumoured Italian admired of the Duchess, showed feelings for Andrews.

But palace officials insisted that there was no truth in this and that Andrews’ departure was simply part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Feeling badly treated, Andrews sank into a deep depression and struggled to find another job.

In 1998, Andrews was introduced to successful businessman Thomas Cressman by a mutual friend.

She had a whirlwind romance with the former stockbroker, which brought her closer to the high-society world she used to live in.

Tom Cressman was murdered by his girlfriend Jane Andrews
Tom Cressman was murdered by his girlfriend Jane Andrews

Andrews moved into her boyfriend’s flat in Fulham and made it obvious she had pinned all her hopes on them getting married and having kids together.

During a trip to Italy in September 2000, Andrews reportedly expected Cressman to propose, but he actually told her he had no intention of marrying her.

They had a blazing row when they returned to their Fulham flat and Cressman called the police, warning them “somebody is going to get hurt”, but no officers ever arrived.

Later that night, while Cressman was asleep in bed, Andrews murdered her boyfriend in cold blood.

She bludgeoned sleeping Cressman with a cricket bat then stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife.

Following the horrific attack, Andrews fled the bloody scene and vanished for four days.

Tom Cressman was killed while he slept by Jane Andrews
Tom Cressman was killed while he slept by Jane Andrews

She sent out text messages to friends inquiring about Cressman's whereabouts and well-being, claiming she was not involved in his death.

While Andrews was on the run, Fergie left two voicemail messages pleading with her former dresser to hand herself into the authorities.

Andrews was eventually found in a "distressed" state in her car in Cornwall.

During her trial at the Old Bailey in April 2001, Andrews tried to claim that Cressman had abused her and even suggested he "must have come forward on to the knife in the dark".

Superintendent Jim Dickie, who led the murder inquiry, said: "She murdered [Tom] in life and murdered him again in death by trying to ruin his reputation."

Despite her claims of domestic abuse, it took a jury just 12 hours to convict Andrews of Tom’s murder in 2001. She was sentenced to serve a minimum of 12 years of a life sentence.

Former royal aide Jane Andrews during her trial at the Old Bailey
Former royal aide Jane Andrews during her trial at the Old Bailey

In 2002, Andrews was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by a psychiatrist.

After serving nine years in prison, Andrews made a daring escape from East Sutton Park Prison in Kent.

She walked out of the open prison, causing the police to launch a manhunt to bring her back.

After three days on the run, Andrews was captured in a hotel room on the outskirts of Maidstone after a tip off from the taxi driver who took her there.

Andrews was put back behind bars and moved back to a more secure facility to continue serving her the rest of her sentence.

She was considered for early release several times but was repeatedly adjudged a 'danger to the public'.

In June 2015, Andrews was released on license, but just three years later she was jailed once again after being accused of breaching the terms of her release by harassing a married man.

The claims were investigated but no further action was taken and Andrews was freed again in 2019.

Jane Andrews pictured being escorted by a prison officer into the Royal Courts of Justice
Jane Andrews pictured being escorted by a prison officer into the Royal Courts of Justice

Tonight's new documentary in ITV's Crime And Punishment strand explores Andrews’ case in new detail.

Journalists, police, prosecution, close friends of the killer and Tom Cressman’s friends and family describe their experiences of the extraordinary case.

Some who had met Andrews prior to Tom's murder say they would not have expected it of her.

"I still find it hard to believe that the girl I met in the corridors of Buckingham Palace knocked him on the head with a cricket bat and stabbed him,” says Royal commentator Ingrid Seward.

Yet for Tom’s family, and most of the journalists who wrote about her, Jane is an obsessive stalker and 'a danger to all men'. 

His brother Rick Cressman says: "She never once said sorry for what she did, she’s just tried to get out of what she has done, [in] any way she could."

There are also never-seen-before interviews with Andrews’ cousin, who has known her since childhood, along with her defence psychiatrist Trevor Turner, who goes on record for the first time.

The film sets out to tell the definitive story of Andrews’ rise and fall, asking whether the courts would have dealt with the case in the same way had it happened now.

*Fergie’s Killer Dresser: The Jane Andrews Story airs tonight on ITV at 9pm