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Bad Apple: A True Crime Podcast
26 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
Episode 35 - The Brownout Strangler: American soldier turned serial killer.
In 1942, Melbourne was subject to light restrictions, known as a ‘brownout’, in order to lessen the threat of an air raid. Little did they know, another threat was lurking in the darkness. When 3 women were killed in the span of 15 days, police had to work fast to find the perpetrator. Suspicions were raised when reports came to hand that a US soldier had been harassing and attacking women - with a quarter of a million US troops stationed in Australia at the time, finding the Brownout Strangler would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
36 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
The Mount Erebus Disaster: Innocent human error, or criminal cover-up?
In the late 1970s, Air New Zealand began operating an Antarctic sightseeing flight. These flights offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience and attracted tourists from all around the world. This all changed on the 28th of November, 1979, when Air New Zealand flight 901 lost contact with Antarctic air traffic controllers during its descent over Ross Island. A fatal error had been made, but was it an honest mistake, or was the crash a result of deliberate shortcuts and cover-ups?
27 minutes | Jun 27, 2021
Episode 33 - Abduction at Adelaide Oval: The unsolved disappearance of Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon.
On the 25th of August 1973, Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon went to a Saturday afternoon football game with their families at Adelaide Oval. In the 3rd quarter, Joanne and Kirste went to the bathroom together. When they didn’t return to their seats 15 minutes later, Joanne’s mother became worried and began to look for the two girls, but it may have already been too late. Despite a number of witness accounts of the abduction, and potential links with similar cases, the disappearance of Joanne and Kirste remains unsolved.
28 minutes | Jun 13, 2021
Episode 32 - The Parker-Hulme Murder: "Incurably insane, or incurably bad"?
In 1954, two teenage girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme orchestrated and carried out the murder of Pauline's mother in Victoria Park in Christchurch, New Zealand. Their attempt to cover up the death as an accident quickly fell apart, and both girls were charged with murder. When their trial began, rumours of insanity and homosexuality consumed the Christchurch population as people speculated about the motivations around the seemingly cold and callous murder of Honorah Parker.
34 minutes | May 30, 2021
Episode 31 - Lightning Strikes Twice: How one man connects two tragic deaths, 6 years apart.
In 2014, Queensland veterinarian, Dr Martin Pearson, was in the final stages of an endurance cycling ride when he was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run accident. When police located the driver responsible, they realised that he had been responsible for the accidental death of his wife, Leanne, just 6-years prior. Although Geoffrey Sleba’s actions had resulted in the loss of 2 lives, he substantially escaped punishment, only serving 13-months in prison, after proving that both occasions were ‘accidental’.
37 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Episode 30 - The Moe Incest Case: Australia's 'Josef Fritzl' lived in a quiet country town.
In 2005, Victoria Police received information that a woman had been sexually assaulted by her father, but were unable to pursue the claim as the woman, fearing what her father might do, refused give more information. 3 years later, police obtained a DNA sample from the man, which revealed that he was the father of his daughters 3 children. What followed was a discovery of almost 30 years of sexual abuse and emotional manipulation at the hands of a man she should have been able to trust.
36 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
Episode 29 - Mystery at the Mill: The vanishing of Jim Donnelly.
On June 21st, 2004, 43-year-old Jim Donnelly signed into work at the Glenbrook Steel Mill. 16 years later, Jim still hasn't signed out. Despite a wide-ranging search, and investigation of Jim's personal life, there is very limited evidence as to what happened to him, leading to plenty of speculation and unique theories about his disappearance. To this day, Jim's family is no closer to finding out what happened, and without new evidence or witness information, they may never know.
30 minutes | Mar 14, 2021
Episode 28 - Amber-Rose Rush: The Dunedin teenager murdered by an out-of-control doctor.
In the summer of 2018, 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush was anticipating 2018 would be her year, after finishing school and starting a new job. But her future was robbed from her on the night of February 3rd 2018 when Amber-Rose was murdered in her family home. After retrieving heated Instagram messages between Amber-Rose and a 30-year-old Dunedin doctor, police had their prime suspect. It was revealed that Dr Skantha had been behaving erratically at work, and inappropriately with young girls, and Amber-Rose was set to reveal all.
38 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
Episode 27 - The Disappearance of Frederick Valentich: UFO's, an ocean phenomenon, or a paranoid pilot?
Frederick Valentich was a 20-year-old man, training to become a pilot. In late October 1978, during a solo flight between Melbourne and King Island, Frederick made radio contact with Air Services to report a suspicious unidentified aircraft circling around his plane. The contact lasted for a few minutes, ending with some metallic scraping noises, and then silence. Despite a large-scale air and sea search, no trace of Frederick was ever found, leading people to ask, was his disappearance related to the "unidentified flying object", or did he fall victim to an unfortunate pilot's error?
25 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
Episode 26 - The Tromp Family Road-trip: 6 days, 5 towns, 3 missing persons, and no explanation.
On the 29th of August 2016, Mark and Jacoba Tromp, and their 3 adult children, left their red currant farm in Melbourne's outer suburbs for an "off-the-grid" roadtrip. Far from home, the family became separated, and they were unable to be located as their behaviour became increasingly erratic and disoriented. Police located the missing family members 6 days later, and over 400km apart, but none were able to offer any insight as to the motives for their impulse getaway.
44 minutes | Feb 21, 2021
Episode 25 - Melbourne's Picasso Heist: The theft of The Weeping Woman.
On the 4th of August 1986, an open letter was published in The Age from a group calling themselves the Australian Cultural Terrorists, taking responsibility for the theft of a Picasso from the National Gallery of Victoria. Staff hadn't noticed The Weeping Woman was missing until reading the letter, which prompted a large, cross-border police investigation. The group was demanding more funding for independent, community artists, and threatened to destroy the $2M AUD painting if their demands were not met.
50 minutes | Feb 14, 2021
Episode 24 - The Crewe Cold Case: The unsolved double homicide of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe.
Harvey and Jeannette Crewe, and their 18-month-old daughter Rochelle, lived on a farm in Pukekawa. On a cold and rainy June night in 1970, someone entered their home, fatally shot Harvey and Jeannette, took their bodies, and left baby Rochelle distressed in her cot. Neighbouring farmer, Arthur Thomas, was convicted of the murders, but after it was revealed that evidence was fabricated by police, he was granted a Prime Ministerial pardon. This double murder in the quiet New Zealand countryside remains unsolved.
68 minutes | Feb 7, 2021
Episode 23 - Port Arthur Massacre: Australia's largest random mass shooting.
On the 28th of April 1996, 25-year-old Martin Bryant woke early, packed two semi-automatic rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and travelled by car to the Port Arthur historical site. What happened next would change the Australian social and political landscape forever. With 35 fatalities and 24 injuries, the Port Arthur massacre is the largest random mass shooting in modern Australia committed by a single person.
43 minutes | Jan 31, 2021
Episode 22 - Bring Him Home: The disappearance of William Tyrrell.
On the 12th of September 2014, William Tyrrell and his sister were playing hide and seek at their foster grandmother's house, on a quiet cul-de-sac in Kendall, New South Wales. After taking a photo of William in his spiderman costume, his foster mother went inside to make a cup of tea. That was the last time William was seen, and after a 6-year investigation with almost 700 persons of interest, police still aren't certain what happened to the little boy in the spiderman suit.
28 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
Episode 21 - Neglect and Betrayal: The unsolved death of Agnes Ali'iva'a.
When New Zealand police were alerted to the body of a young woman in a drainage canal in suburbian Auckland in February 1992, they almost immediately categorised the death as an accidental drowning despite many indicators of foul play. After the body was identified as 12-year-old schoolgirl Agnes Ali'iva'a, police still didn't properly investigate the possibility that Agnes was murdered, and to this day the case remains unsolved.
31 minutes | Jan 17, 2021
Episode 20 - The Shark Arm Case: How a captive shark uncovered a 1930s Sydney gangland murder.
On the 25th of April 1935, Gertie the shark became agitated in her Coogee Aquarium tank. Soon after, she coughed up a large amount of ocean matter, including one human arm. The arm had a distinctive tattoo, and was quickly identified as Jim Smith, but how his arm ended up inside a captive shark was a mystery which ran far deeper than originally thought.
53 minutes | Jan 10, 2021
Episode 19 - The Adelaide Family Murders: Solo serial killer or high-profile murder ring?
From 1979 to 1983, 5 young men were murdered in Adelaide, all as a result of similar injuries. While police initially didn't link the deaths, a pattern soon emerged and investigators began to suspect there were multiple offenders. While it has never been officially uncovered, 'The Family' is believed to involve a number of high-profile doctors, lawyers, and even TV personalities who targeted young men from the LGBT+ community in Adelaide.
35 minutes | Jan 3, 2021
Episode 18 - Samurai sword, shooting, siege: The life and crimes of Antonie Dixon.
On the 21st of January 2003, a 35-year-old New Zealand man, Antonie Dixon, attacked two women who lived at his Pipiroa home with a samurai sword. This horrific attack was just the tip of the iceberg in this story, which involves another murder, a hostage situation, and ends in Dixon's tragic prison-cell death in 2009.
10 minutes | Nov 29, 2020
Season One Wrap-Up
That's a wrap! Thank you so much for all your support during "Season One" of Bad Apple! We will return in 2021 with new episodes. In the meantime, we hope you all have a safe and happy holidays, how ever you celebrate. If you've liked the show so far, leave us a review! Until next time, Helen and Rylee.
35 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
Episode 17 - Mr Stinky: How one fingerprint solved a decade-long crime spree.
On the 10th of February 1966, two teenagers left a rock-and-roll dance in Shepparton, Victoria to go for a drive, but they never returned. Shortly after, there was a number of connected sexual attacks in Melbourne's Eastern suburbs which went unsolved for the next decade. The Shepparton attack was linked to the Melbourne attacks by a young fingerprint expert, but the offender, known by the media as 'Mr Stinky' due to his offensive body odour, was not caught until almost 20 years after his first known attack.
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