There’s nothing more comforting during a dreary winter day than taking solace under a blanket, seated firmly next to a heater.
In the last few years, there has been an uprise in true crime podcasts and while there have been some seriously good ones from overseas (like Serial), nothing is more captivating than a story from our very own backyard.
Australian true crime is often centred around cases that have gone cold or are happening at this very moment and for audiences who delve deep into the mystery surrounding these crimes, it’s very easy to feel a part of the investigation.
The Teacher’s Pet was one of the first podcasts in the country to gain such traction. When the story of the disappearance of Lyn Dawson launched in May 2018 hosted by Hedley Thomas, the story captivated audiences around the world.
Then, most recently, a podcast about missing Belgian teen Theo Hayez — The Lighthouse — made headlines as more and more people jumped on board to help solve what happened, before it was revealed that police were conducting new investigations into his disappearance.
While true crime is very real and at times, very scary, it hasn’t stopped its ever-growing popularity.
In light of this, we’ve rounded up the top Australian true crime podcasts you need to listen to now.
Australian True Crime with Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb
Official Synopsis: Think nothing ever happens in your town? Australia’s suburbs are home to some of the most mysterious and disturbing true crime cases in the world.
Meshel Laurie is a true crime obsessive and Emily Webb is a true-crime author. Together with expert interviews with writers, victims, investigators and perpetrators, they probe the underbelly of our towns and suburbs and uncover the darkness at the heart of Australian life.
Official Synopsis: Theo Hayez went missing in May 2019 in Byron Bay, a beautiful beachside town on Australia’s most easterly mainland point. Theo is an 18-year-old from Brussels and vanished while on a backpacking holiday. Behind the scenes, local volunteers who’ve never met Theo began searching and investigating with his family, parallel to a major police investigation.
At the request of Theo’s family, The Australian’s national crime correspondent David Murray joins the unofficial search party to investigate the mysterious disappearance for a new podcast series, The Lighthouse. Theo left a local bar around 11pm. As the search narrows to the area around the 118-year-old Cape Byron Lighthouse, a range of theories emerge.
Official Synopsis: Lyn and Chris Dawson appear to have the perfect marriage. He’s a star footballer and popular high school teacher. She’s a devoted wife and mother to their two daughters. They share a beautiful home above Sydney’s Northern Beaches. But when Lyn goes missing, dark secrets are buried. This is no fairytale, but a story of strangely close twin brothers, teenage student lovers, and probable, unsolved murder (no body has ever been found). The Australian‘s award-winning journalist Hedley Thomas digs deep into a cold case which has been unsolved for 36 years, uncovering startling new evidence.
Official Synopsis: A special podcast investigation into a serial killing that remains unsolved after 25 years.
The Australian’s crime reporter Dan Box investigates an unsolved serial killing in Bowraville. Three children, all killed within five months, all living on the same street.
Who the Hell Is Hamish
Official Synopsis: He was born Hamish Watson, a surfie dude from Sydney — but he could morph into whatever you needed him to be. Hamish is due to be sentenced to jail in early 2019 for swindling a handful of victims out of more than $7m. But these crimes are just the final pages in a resume too thick to staple; for decades he’s duped victims in the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong and Australia. How did he do it? How did he evade authorities around the world for so long and what’s he done with all those tens of millions of dollars he stole?
Unravel True Crime
Official Synopsis: Unravel True Crime is a podcast where, each season, some of Australia’s best journalists investigate unsolved crimes.
You can listen to the series here.
Official Synopsis: A major investigation by The Age newsroom in Melbourne, Australia, into the death of Phoebe Handsjuk, who was found at the bottom of a garbage chute in a luxury apartment building.
Bloody Murder — A True Crime Podcast
Official Synopsis: Nominated for four Australian Podcast Awards, including 2019 Best Independent True Crime. Barney Black and Tara Sariban discuss the dark details of lesser know true crime stories from Australia and around the world. As avid listeners of true crime podcasts, they aim to add to the conversation by talking about murders that haven’t been done to death on other shows. Their humour comes from some rather unusual places but never at the expense of the victims or their families.
Casefile: True Crime Podcast
Official Synopsis: Fact is scarier than fiction.