Unravel True Crime is a podcast where, each season, some of Australia's best journalists investigate unsolved crimes.
Season 4: Snowball tells how an average family's encounter with a charismatic Californian con woman cost them everything.
S4 07 | The Morning After
After the confrontation in the supermarket carpark, Ollie is left feeling confused — has he been charmed just like everyone else in this story? Will Lezlie fail to keep her promises to Ollie or leave him and his family hanging?
S4 06 | Stakeout
Ollie and Simon have criss-crossed California to find themselves parked in a supermarket car park staking out where Lezlie supposedly works. They may only have one shot to talk to her and finally get some answers. It doesn't go the way Ollie imagined.
S4 05 | Black Widow
Ollie and his brother Simon follow the trail of broken dreams and failed restaurants to Paso Robles, California. It's apparent Lezlie's exploits didn't stop when she left New Zealand. Ollie discovers his former sister-in-law had manufactured an image of a successful restaurateur in Hawaii, Lake Tahoe and New Zealand. Her exotic CV and exciting stories pull a new family into her web — with disastrous consequences.
S4 04 | Charmed
Following the trail to Lezlie Manukian, Ollie and his other brother Simon end up in California. With a muscle car and loud Hawaiian shirts, the brothers look every bit like '80s TV detectives as they head off on their very first stakeout. But, when the trail runs cold, they decide to chase down a lead at Lezlie's first restaurant in the resort town of Lake Tahoe. Meanwhile, Lezlie's emails become stranger than fiction.
S4 03 | The Coconut Wireless
Lezlie Manukian's stories about her time in Hawaii usually ended with murderous local mobsters running her off the island. So, to track down his brother Greg's ex-wife, Ollie Wards needs to understand her past. What really happened according to "the coconut wireless"?
S4 02 | The Great Houdini
Ollie and Greg's dad, David Wards, picks through the clues left behind by Greg's American wife, Lezlie. He realises that the entire family may have been victims of an elaborate con job. David is obsessed with finding answers, launching his own investigations and even becoming a 60-something computer hacker.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Really worth a listen
Great podcast. Good to hear a podcast with Kiwi accents.
Fantastic loved every second of it. Really engaging and hooked you from the first to the last episode. Life is stranger than fiction alright!
Such a great job at telling this story Oli. It’s a very sad story that you never think could happen in your own backyard, but in line with one of the themes in this story that is probably just naivety. Throughout the whole thing it was humbling to hear how down to earth kiwis are. Despite everything the family remained compassionate and objective.