Welcome to the Australian True Crime podcast bookshop, showcasing the books of people we’ve interviewed, as well as other titles we think you’d like to read!
If you’re anything like us you’ll have several true crime books on the go so here’s a way to keep your book pile replenished.
As authors, Meshel and Emily know how much time, research and effort goes into writing a book so we want to share the love and support writers.
Books listed by episode
Episode 101: Karlie and Khandalyce: The Lost Girls
Episode 100: Snowtown the Bodies in the Barrels Murders
The definitive account of Australia’s most notorious criminal case
When bodies were discovered in barrels in 1999, hidden within a bank vault in Snowtown in South Australia, Jeremy Pudney was one of the first journalists on the scene.
Episode 98: The Day They Blew Up The Police Station: The Russell Street Bombing
If You Are Interested Enough To Read This Book Of True Experiences By A Career Victorian (Australia) Police Officer, By The End Of It, You Will Be Clawing To Become A Police Officer, Totally Turned Off, Or If You Are Currently a Police Officer, Wondering! When Armageddon arrives, if you are or have been a police officer, I know what you will be doing . . . running at it!
Episode 95: The Serial Killer Premonitions of Dave Warner
In 1999, a number of young women go missing in the Perth suburb of Claremont. One body is discovered. Others are never seen again. Snowy Lane (City of Light) is hired as a private investigator but neither he nor the cops can find the serial killer.
Episode 95: The Serial Killer Premonitions of Dave Warner
In 1963, former hitman Blake Saunders flees the Philadelphia Mob for a quieter existence in a tiny coastal Australian town. Life in Coral Shoals is perfect and Blake is a new man – running a club called the Surf Shack, and playing nights there with his surf music band, The Twang. But then a young woman’s body is found at a local motel, a matchbook from the Surf Shack on her bedside table.
Episode 92: Catching the Narong Road Rapist with Liz Porter
Its opening case begins when the body of a woman is found in a Singapore nature park. Nobody has reported her missing. Nobody knows who she is. The only clue to her identity is a set of tiny numbers etched into a series of implants in her teeth. Police door-knock the dentists of Singapore until they find the one who treated her. Then, following a trail of numbers called from her phone, they unmask her killer.
`At last! An insider’s account of one of Australia’s most sinister crimes!’ John Silvester, The Age
Kidnapped on his ninth day of teaching with nine students, Rob Hunter retells the story of how Edwin John Eastwood, the Faraday kidnapper, having escaped from prison, burst into his remote South Gippsland school and at gun point took Rob and his nine students hostage.
The riveting inside story of a journalist’s cold-case investigation of a shocking murder.
Every cop has a case that dug its claws in and would not let go. For veteran detective Ron Iddles, it was his very first homicide case — the 1980 murder of single mother Maria James in the back of her Melbourne bookshop. He never managed to solve it, and it still grates like hell.
Tales of the great escapees who have driven, walked, pedalled, swum or sailed away from custody.
Since the arrival of the First Fleet, thousands of prisoners have escaped from prison, police stations, courts, prison vans and hospitals—even dentists’ chairs. They have driven, walked, pedalled, swum or sailed away from custody. Some have killed or been killed in the process; a few have gone overseas or escaped from foreign prisons, and a handful have remained at home, undetected.
Patreon Bonus Episode: September 2018
Once a copper, always a copper. At least that’s how it seems for Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy, long-retired but sought out by a trail of journalists and cops who regularly beat a path to his door. Once known as Australia’s toughest cop, The Skull was both charged with manslaughter (and acquitted), then awarded a Valour Award for bravery in the line of duty. It is these two sides to the complex man that intrigue audiences to this day.
This is the graphic, authentic and often humorous autobiography of a young man’s journey into Melbourne’s underworld and nightclub scene in the recent past.
‘The Hammer’ was a feared enforcer capable of inflicting indescribable pain on anyone that stood in has way. Supreme violence and a manipulative calculating streak were tools of the trade.
Part father-son story, part true crime, Loose Units is a race through the underbelly of policing as ex-cop John Verhoeven tells all to his son Paul about the crimes, the characters and the pitch-black humour.
The extraordinary Martha Needle was not only the most treacherous poisoner in Australian history – she clearly stands out as one of the nation’s worst murderesses of all time. And from an international perspective, she still ranks among the world’s most prolific female killers.
A true-crime book about the exploits of the notorious Stoccos, father Gino and son Mark, whose eight-year crime spree ended in 2015 when they were dramatically captured in rural NSW and charged with an array of offences – including murder.
Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things- husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife…
But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.
As enigmatic in life as in death, Mollie Dean was a woman determined to transcend. Creatively ambitious and sexually precocious, at twenty-five she was a poet, aspiring novelist and muse on the peripheries of Melbourne’s bohemian salons – until one night in 1930 she was brutally slain by an unknown killer in a laneway while walking home.
To Hell and Back is a memoir detailing one policewoman’s trials and tribulations working within the ranks of the Victorian Police Force from the early 1980’s to the present day. Despite numerous instances of harassment, false accusations and character assassinations, the member still manages to maintain her sanity and perform her policing duties to the best of her ability.
It was a cause cel bre – the biggest case of alleged art fraud to come before the Australian criminal justice system, a $4.5 million sting drawing in one of the country’s most gifted and ultimately tragic artists, Brett Whiteley, a heroin addict who died alone in 1992. It started with suspicions raised about artworks being produced in the style of Whiteley in a Melbourne art restorer’s studio.
The apocalyptic group The Family and their guru, Anne Hamilton-Byrne, captured international headlines throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Hamilton-Byrne, who some followers believed was Jesus Christ, was glamorous and charismatic — and, many allege, very dangerous. She acquired children — some through adoption and some born to cult members — and raised them as her own, bleaching their hair blonde to make them look like siblings.
The discovery of the body of Beth Barnard in her Phillip Island farmhouse in 1986, began a homicide investigation that rocked a peaceful community.
It also created an enduring mystery, for no one was ever brought to trial for her brutal death, and the main suspect disappeared – never to be seen again.
‘Doc’ Tim Watson-Munro is famous for his association with the infamous. As Australia’s leading criminal psychologist he assessed over 20,000 ‘persons of interest’ in some of the country’s most notorious court cases, including Hoddle Street gunman Julian Knight, corporate fraudster Alan Bond, Melbourne gangster Alphonse Gangitano and, more recently, many of Australia’s first terrorist convicts.
In the early hours of a February morning in 2012, Dana Vulin was the victim of a hideous, unprovoked attack. A woman who’d been stalking and harassing her for weeks – incorrectly and baselessly thinking Dana was having an affair with her estranged husband – burst into her apartment, doused her with methylated spirits and set her alight.
Ivan Milat, the notorious backpacker serial killer, is not the most feared person in the prison system. Nor is it Martin Bryant, the man responsible for claiming 35 lives in the Port Arthur massacre. No, the person in Australia controversially ruled ‘too dangerous to be released’, the one who needs chains, leather restraints and a full-time posse of guards is Rebecca Butterfield: a self-mutilating murderer, infamous for slicing guards and stabbing another inmate 33 times.
How did a father with no criminal history come to be on trial for the brutal murder of his wife?
It began with a phone call to Brisbane police on 20 April 2012. Allison, wife of real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay, was missing.
Siege? Bomb threat? Terrorist alert? Shooting spree?
The Sons of God are who Australia turns to in times of extreme crisis. The SOG’s top-secret methods, advanced training and incredible bravery have made them the ultimate urban warriors in the war against high-level crime and terrorism.
Award-winning writer Mary K. Pershall details her heart-rending personal experience of raising a beloved child who couldn’t cope with reality, and ends up in a maximum-security prison convicted of murder.
‘The only way to comprehend this tragic story of mine is to write it.’
Patreon Bonus Episode: December 2018
In an incredible twenty-five year career as a homicide detective, Ron Iddles’ conviction rate was 99%. Yet that only partly explains why Iddles is known to cops and crims alike as ‘The Great Man’.
Tough, inventive and incorruptible, stoic in the face of senseless horror yet unafraid to shed tears for a victim, Ron has applied his country cunning and city savvy to over 320 homicide cases – some of them the most infamous, compelling and controversial crimes in the nation’s history. To the victims of crime, Ron is both a shoulder to cry on and an avenging angel.
BEHIND THE WALLS OF GOULBURN JAIL
An unprecedented spate of murders in the 1990s – seven in just three years – earned Goulburn Jail the ominous name of ‘The Killing Fields’. Inmates who were sentenced or transferred to the 130-year-old towering sandstone menace declared they had been given a death sentence.
Devious, daring, cunning a but ultimately too greedy, too cocky. Gangland Oz – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow exposes the country’s pantheon of crooks and criminals since the first convicts stepped ashore and got to work.
A true crime classic, the bestselling Huckstepp investigates the murder of a charismatic woman who has fascinated Australians since she first appeared on national television to accuse NSW detectives of shooting her boyfriend in cold blood. Throughout her short life, Sallie-Anne Huckstepp lived a dangerous existence.
Episode 5: Sallie-Anne Huckstepp: The Woman who Knew Too Much
The verdict is guilty.
On 20 May 2014, former New South Wales police officers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murdered student Jamie Gao in cold blood. Both have been found guilty of murder and possession of 2.78 kilograms of methamphetamine, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
One Australian woman is hospitalised every three hours and two more lose their lives each week as a result of family violence. This book is a timely exploration into the evil done by vengeful fathers who kill their own flesh and blood in order to punish wives who have chosen to end abusive relationships.
As featured in our Patreon Bonus Episodes
Patreon Bonus Episode: May 2019
From true crime to petty crime – this is the memoir of one of Australia’s most experienced court reporters.
As a seasoned court reporter, the ABC’s Jamelle Wells has filed thousands of stories on murderers, sex offenders, thieves, bad drivers, family feuds and business deals gone wrong. In more than 10 years, Jamelle has witnessed many of Australia’s most notorious and high-profile court cases.