The District is a seven-part podcast from the Stuff Circuit investigative team. It’s a story about injustice, but mostly it’s a story about people. People who are trying to get on with their lives, but can’t. It centres on an infamous unsolved murder case, in a rural district of New Zealand: examining the colourful characters involved and their unending search for justice, the kicks in the guts, the suspicions, and the fresh clues - could they hold the answer to New Zealand’s most notorious cold case? The District is also about another strange death; another family gripped by a sense of injustice, desperately seeking answers. The two cases end up colliding in the most unexpected way. Injustice is like a disease. There’s always a starting point, patient zero. But it never stops there.
Episode One - The Sister
We meet Lynette Stevens who, in the process of investigating the death of her brother, finds an intriguing connection to one of New Zealand’s most notorious cold case murders.
Episode Two - The Brother
A secret witness, police corruption, an unsolved murder, and mysterious goings-on around Lynette’s brother’s death. Are they linked? And Lynette introduces us to another family fighting injustice - for almost 50 years.
Episode Three - The Review
The police launch the “review to end all reviews” of their investigation. A farmer finds a gun not far from the crime scene - and he gives it to us! Could it be the murder weapon?
Episode Four - The Tale of Ted Tickle
Accusations fly about who had connections and motive for the murders. We learn of strange omissions from the police file. We discover another mystery gun. And what does a larger-than-life character and former rodeo identity have to do with the murders?
Episode Five - More Sleeping Dogs
Guns, guns, and more guns. And this time, the way the police deal with yet another mystery rifle, is utterly confounding. Plus - and this is awkward - could the murderer be someone we’ve come to know well?
Episode Six - Old Leads, Fresh Leads
We’re on the hunt for answers about one of those guns. And tensions rise as we track down a key witness. Is he the villain he’s been built up as? Does he have the answers we need?
Takes on a docu-drama feel as the listener realises there is no intent to make any genuine attempt to answer the questions and inconsistencies it poses.
What’s the point?
I got to the end and wondered what this podcast was trying to achieve. A poorly researched look at one of New Zealand’s most well-known murders? It’s just a lot of chatting with damaged people. How did his podcast help them or progress our understanding of the case?