6 episodes

Trial by Water is an investigative podcast series about Robert Farquharson, who has been locked up for decades for an unthinkable crime: murdering his three sons in a dam on Father’s Day, 2005.

Now scientists and lawyers are asking the question: did we get it wrong? And is this man in prison for a crime he didn’t commit?

Trial by Water The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

    • True Crime
    • 3.3 • 430 Ratings

Trial by Water is an investigative podcast series about Robert Farquharson, who has been locked up for decades for an unthinkable crime: murdering his three sons in a dam on Father’s Day, 2005.

Now scientists and lawyers are asking the question: did we get it wrong? And is this man in prison for a crime he didn’t commit?

    Trial By Water, Episode 1: Father's Day

    Trial By Water, Episode 1: Father's Day

    On Father’s Day, 2005, Robert Farquharson crashed his car into a dam. He survived, but his three children who were in the car with him didn’t. At first it seemed like a tragic accident. But quickly, it turned into a murder investigation.
     
    For exclusive content and additional reporting on the case, available to subscribers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, visit theage.com.au/trialbywater or smh.com.au/trialbywater. Subscribe now to access the special Good Weekend investigation, which features never-before-seen 3D models recreating key scientific evidence, video, audio and other interviews.
    Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 56 min
    Episode 2: Strands of the Rope

    Episode 2: Strands of the Rope

    A day after Robert Farquharson drove his car into the dam with his three sons, the homicide squad took over the investigation. Sceptical of his story and suspecting Farquharson's motive was revenge, they began delving into every aspect of his account.
    Had he really coughed and passed out? Or would the evidence show he deliberately steered off the road and into the dam to murder his children?
    For exclusive content and additional reporting on the case, available to subscribers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, visit theage.com.au/trialbywater or smh.com.au/trialbywater. Subscribe now to access the special Good Weekend investigation, which features never-before-seen 3D models recreating key scientific evidence, video, audio and other interviews.
    Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min
    Episode 3: Bad Memories

    Episode 3: Bad Memories

    There were two key witnesses in the Robert Farquharson case.
    The first was Greg King, an old friend of Farquharson, and the story he told provided police with something they desperately wanted for their case - a motive for murder.
    The other witness, Dawn Waite, came forward four years after the crash. She said she had actually seen Robert Farquharson on the night of the crash, as he was sizing up his exit from the road.
    But how reliable are they? And how much can we trust our memories?
    For exclusive content and additional reporting on the case, available to subscribers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, visit theage.com.au/trialbywater or smh.com.au/trialbywater.  Subscribe now to access the special Good Weekend investigation, which features never-before-seen 3D models recreating key scientific evidence, video, audio and other interviews.
    Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 57 min
    Episode 4: The Dad Test

    Episode 4: The Dad Test

    In the story of Robert Farquharson, there's one thing that’s hardest to understand: his behaviour in the minutes and hours after the crash.
    Because on that night, his actions seemed so far outside normal behaviour for a father that the police, the media and the general public all came to the conclusion that he must have murdered his three sons.
    But is that true? Or is there some other explanation for his unsettling behaviour that night?
    For exclusive content and additional reporting on the case, available to subscribers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, visit theage.com.au/trialbywater or smh.com.au/trialbywater. Subscribe now to access the special Good Weekend investigation, which features never-before-seen 3D models recreating key scientific evidence, video, audio and other interviews.
     
    The original version of this episode included a re-enactment of parts of Robert Farquharson's formal police interview. We decided to do the re-enactment because of a legal threat from Victoria Police that we would be in breach of a 2009 law, and potentially liable for imprisonment, if we included the audio of the original interview. But since then we’ve clarified that parliament never intended the law to apply to old recordings, so we’ve replaced that re-enactment with the actual interview of Robert Farquharson.
    Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min
    Episode 5: The Golden Thread

    Episode 5: The Golden Thread

    As lawyer Luke McMahon prepares a new fight for Robert Farquharson’s release, we discover something new: that Farquharson and his ex-wife believed that police investigators were trying to pin the crime on him just days after the crash.
    So would it be a problem if the system had a strong impression, right from the start, that Farquharson was guilty?
    For exclusive content and additional reporting on the case, available to subscribers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, visit theage.com.au/trialbywater or smh.com.au/trialbywater. Subscribe now to access the special Good Weekend investigation, which features never-before-seen 3D models recreating key scientific evidence, video, audio and other interviews.
    Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 56 min
    Introducing: Trial by Water

    Introducing: Trial by Water

    From The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Trial by Water is a new investigative podcast series about Robert Farquharson, who has been locked up for decades for an unthinkable crime: murdering his three sons in a dam on Father’s Day, 2005.
    Now scientists and lawyers are asking the question: did we get it wrong? And is this man in prison for a crime he didn’t commit?
    Episode 1 will arrive on Saturday, June 1.
    Subscribe to The Age & SMH: https://subscribe.smh.com.au/
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5
430 Ratings

430 Ratings

YancoGlen ,

The truth is in the psychology

This podcast thoroughly attempts to question the evidence. However there is much more than legal “ facts” in cases such as these. The truth is in his psychology and his motive. He drove into the dam. He didn’t do this to get back at Cindy. He did this to try and get her back. Cindy had lost her previous partner to a car accident. After that she commenced a relationship with Farquharson. In his despair over losing her, he imagined that if she was plunged into grief again, she would fall back in love with him, like she did the first time. That’s why he didn’t try and rescue them and that’s why he wanted to be there when he told her.

trexmonster ,

Confirmation bias in faith in legal system

There is so much confirmation bias and unjust faith in the legal system displayed, especially in the final episode. Three children are at the absolute center of this and they rarely get mentioned. So little analysis of the philosophical position of justice, juries and ignoring the victim to focus on the accused. …. There ARE signs of domestic violence completely ignored here too. Glaring red flags that absolutely no one properly discusses, even when the very point of prior DV episodes is raised for concern. Having an “obsessive and possessive “ mindset is even ADMITTED to by the accused. …. Yet this flat, dull uninsightful lack of understanding of power and control and low IQ. …. Constant blackouts also kill brain cells. … how on EARTH can someone pass out regularly and NOT get a diagnosis. …..? Idiotic.

Rosie (that cat girl) ,

A disgrace during a male perpetrated violence epidemic

This podcast and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. All in the name of ratings. Cindy isn’t alive to speak for herself. You have cherry picked the evidence and left out so many crucial facts.
Two juries found this monster guilty. He wanted to hurt Cindy in the worst way possible- by horrifically murdering the children. It was proven beyond reasonable doubt- twice.

Your podcast is pathetic at best. It only
Convinced me further of his guilt. From the first episode it is just blindingly obvious he deliberately drove them into that dam and left them in that car to drown while he swam away. Lit up a smoke. Didn’t call for help.

Again, during a national crisis of male perpetrated violence against women- and domestic abuse which is now regularly presenting in the form of the murder of their own children- you should hang your heads in shame and embarrassment.

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