Chinese restaurants are being firebombed in the dead of night. The police arson squad is racing against the clock to stop the next attack. Along the way, there are buried weapons, secret informers, punks, ninjas, and political manoeuvres. As the rest of Australia celebrates the nation's bicentenary, a campaign of terror is getting underway in Perth. Now, in this deeply personal season of Unravel True Crime, Crispian Chan investigates what really happened after his family's restaurant went up in flames
Unravel True Crime is the ABC's award-winning true crime podcast. Previous seasons include 'Blood on the Tracks', 'Barrenjoey Road', 'Last Seen: Katoomba' and 'Snowball'..
01 | The Man Lin
Chinese restaurants are being firebombed in the dead of night. As the attacks spread, police scramble to work out what is happening in the city.
In this episode of Firebomb, host Crispian Chan sets out to investigate the events surrounding the fire that destroyed his family's restaurant.
02 | The Posters
The city has been blanketed in threatening posters. The list of suspects narrows as the fire bombers' potential motivations become clearer.
In this episode of Unravel True Crime, Police become suspicious of a hardened and fanatical group of neo-Nazi activists, who are thumbing their nose at law enforcement and threatening Asian communities in Perth.
03 | Punks and Ninjas
As police struggle to keep up with a wave of terrorism, unlikely defenders emerge to confront the city's gangs.
In this episode of Unravel True Crime, activists are badly beaten, and the neo-Nazi gang is starting to push its luck, but the police still can't nail anyone over the restaurant firebombings.
04 | Operation Jackhammer
A risky undercover operation strikes at the heart of the firebombing gang. But in this episode of Unravel True Crime, hatred reverberates around the city, and lives are lost.
(Audio of Russell Willey courtesy of Anthony Buckley AM, from the film ‘Nazi Supergrass’)
05 | The Gang Rises
A decade later, the gang reemerges. In this episode of Unravel True Crime, Crispian and Alex come face to face with a former follower of the gang at a men's health and yoga retreat, sparking a bizarre and emotional reckoning.
Host and co-reporter: Crispian Chan
Co-reporter: Alex Mann
Producer and researcher: Dunja Karagic
Research and fact checking: Johnny Lieu
Rollout producer: Amelia Mertha
Theme and music composition: Martin Peralta
Sound design and additional music: Simon Branthwaite
Commissioning editor: Alice Brennan
Executive Producer: Tim Roxburgh
06 | Track Jack
Crispian and Alex hit the road to track down the gang's leader, Jack Van Tongeren. It turns out that Jack's past contains some big surprises. Meanwhile, in this episode of Unravel True Crime a former member of the gang reveals its secrets.
I have lived in Perth most of my life and I’m really grateful that you have shared your story and Western Australia story.
Fascinating insight into Perths’s dark history
As an Chinese-Australian kid growing up in Manning in the late 90s/ early 2000s I remember the Man Lin well. It’s Asian inspired architecture was really magical to a young kid like me in otherwise dreary suburbia. I had been to the restaurant innumerable times before it closed, usually on special occasions and have very fond memories of the place. I knew about it previously being firebombed but never the real story behind it Thankyou to everyone involved making this podcast and sharing their stories of this dark piece of history.
Great story well told. It’s important to remember these incidents and for Australia to be vigilant about racism. When I hear white, usually male, politicians saying that Australia is not a racist country, I think that they really are not in a position to make such statements. This podcast shows how vile racism is and how it can flourish in Australia.