A special podcast investigation into a serial killing that remains unsolved after 25 years.
Introducing: Who the Hell is Hamish?
A new podcast from The Australian.
Tracy fell in love with Max Tavita, a man who won her over with tales of ...
Bowraville Bonus Episode - The Phone Call
Only a small section of our interview with Jay Hart made it into episode 5. Here is the full 45 minute conversation. A podcast investigation...
Bowraville Episode 5 - The Case For Jay
How strong is the evidence of Jay Hart's innocence? Can you build a case to prove he didn't do it? A podcast investigation into a case that ...
Bowraville Episode 4 - The Trials
How the courts refused to jail the main suspect in the murders. Has a serial killer been allowed to walk free? A podcast investigation into ...
Bowraville Episode 3 - The Suspect
Who is Jay Hart? His family and former friends describe the boy who grew up to be the suspect in the case. A podcast investigation into a se...
Bowraville Episode 2 - The Investigation
What happened after the police finally arrived in Bowraville? The mistakes made - and the evidence never heard in court. A podcast investiga...
No doubt as for many who listened to this podcast, I was horrified by the crimes, the prevailing social attitudes against aboriginal townspeople and the failure to produce and successfully prosecute the person or persons responsible. As a mother I can only imagine the heartbreak of the parents and close relatives of the victims. Similarly as for many others, I was ready to feel outrage that Jay Hart, the obvious perpetrator who twice was found not guilty of the deaths of two of the children- was as guilty as sin.
After listening to episode 5 and the supplementary episode which provided the entire phone call between The Australian journalist Dan Box and Jay Hart, my opinions have changed.
There is nothing to be gained by rating the validity of witness testimonies except to say Jay introduces significant valid counter argument and reminds us that 25 years on memories collectively impacted by time and chronic substance abuse prevailing in the Bowraville community, may not support the outcome every one desires.
In the meantime as we have seen in many cases covered here and overseas, while everyone has concluded Jay is undoubtedly the perpetrator, it is entirely possible the actual perpetrator/s remain free and invisible for 25 years while community members and law enforcement alike focus on one person and ignore other lines of inquiry.
In terms of Dan Box’s efforts, I was relieved to find he finally raised the issue of ‘what if the very easy to dislike’ Jay Hart is innocent? Personally I was beginning to wonder if Dan would put any hard albeit uncomfortable questions to the families and friends of the victims. I could not help but be offended at times by Dan’s constant line of accusatory questions levelled at Jay in the full phone interview that was surprisingly agreed to by Jay Hart as Dan endeavoured to seek balance and allow Jay the right to respond. I have not yet read The Australian article that was to follow this interview however we were left with the impression the article would provide balance. I also acknowledge that as a competent investigative crime reporter that Dan went in with a plan. If I was to compare Dan Box’s style with that of Hedley Thomas in ‘Teacher’s Pet’ there is no comparison and Hedley was a more effective interviewer.
Well worth following and if there is a third inquiry I pray for justice and closure and an outcome that brings peace to the families; and for efforts to be made to heal the many scars that remain in this troubled community.
A story that needs to be heard
This is a well-told story that exposes just one of the many tragic injustices that continue to be perpetrated against Aboriginal people in Australia.
But I’m curious if anyone bothered to check the ad placements? In Episode 1 there is an ad break literally in the middle of a sentence! I found this particularly insensitive and disrespectful given the delicate subject matter.
I understand that ads are a fair trade-off for people who don’t pay for content, but do they really have to be shoved in wherever? At least have the decency to find a natural break in the show to put the ads.
I listened to this series a couple of years ago and found it fascinating. I’d recommend it to fans of casefile and the teachers pet. Sad story, not only that people died, but the police mess up in investigating it. It does tell you something about how the media pick and chose whose cases get into the media… ask yourself why when 3 children turn up murdered in one town and it never got the blanket coverage that other cases got??