65 episodes

Ever since the shocking deaths of three young women in 1996 and 1997, the unanswered questions surrounding the Claremont serial killings have remained one of the biggest mysteries in WA history.

Any hope of justice in the tragic deaths of Ciara Glennon, Sarah Spiers and Jane Rimmer seemed bleak for more than 20 years, with police coming unstuck and no sign of a breakthrough.

That was until the arrest of Bradley Robert Edwards in 2016, who was subsequently charged with the trio's murders.

For the past three years details about the allegations facing Mr Edwards have been in short supply as his case headed toward what has been dubbed the trial of the century.

Now, we bring you in to the courtroom and walk you through all the revelations, allegations and talking points as the historic court case unfolds.

Join our team of journalists and legal experts as we break down all the key information from the proceedings in Claremont: The Trial.

CLAREMONT: The Trial The West Australian

    • News

Ever since the shocking deaths of three young women in 1996 and 1997, the unanswered questions surrounding the Claremont serial killings have remained one of the biggest mysteries in WA history.

Any hope of justice in the tragic deaths of Ciara Glennon, Sarah Spiers and Jane Rimmer seemed bleak for more than 20 years, with police coming unstuck and no sign of a breakthrough.

That was until the arrest of Bradley Robert Edwards in 2016, who was subsequently charged with the trio's murders.

For the past three years details about the allegations facing Mr Edwards have been in short supply as his case headed toward what has been dubbed the trial of the century.

Now, we bring you in to the courtroom and walk you through all the revelations, allegations and talking points as the historic court case unfolds.

Join our team of journalists and legal experts as we break down all the key information from the proceedings in Claremont: The Trial.

    Getting "That" Shot

    Getting "That" Shot

    Whenever there’s a big event, there’s bound to be news crews. That was no exception when police descended on the accused Claremont Serial Killer’s house on December 22, 2016.

    But unlike now, those news crews had no idea just how big that raid would be. With special guests, veteran 7NEWS cameramen Ray Raab and The West Australian photographer Justin Benson-Cooper joining Natalie Bonjolo and Tim Clarke, they discuss, even when the opposition got a shot of ‘a man’ being taken away by police from his house, they had no idea what they were looking at.

    As the day progressed, rumours started to swirl. Rumours turned into questions and then scrambling by news houses across the state.

    It was the biggest story WA had ever seen. Did police catch the Claremont Serial Killer? We still won’t find out for another few months as the trial continues.

    Reporters, camera operators and photographers had one chance at getting a shot of the man arrested for one of the most infamous crimes in WA history.

    As Justin and Ray relive the day they stayed out until 4am to get “that” shot of Bradley Edwards being driven to police lockup after a six-hour interview with police. The preparation, the nerves, the 10 seconds of action.

    In this bonus episode, the podcast team talk the massive police operation, the confusion which led to shock and captured the attention of the state.

    Join the team again on Thursday as court resumes.

    • 29 min
    The Day Police Swooped In

    The Day Police Swooped In

    December 22, 2016. The day police had hoped for, for more than 20 years.That was the day they arrested the man they thought was Claremont serial killer. Bradley Robert Edwards.As he was arrested in the early morning raid and taken for questioning, police spent 2 days sifting through every item in his house.What they found was a handwritten notebook with copies of bank statements inside.
     The court has previously been told that notebook belong to Bradley Edwards' second wife. She said she copied the bank statements because she was sick of the lies and she feared for her life.
    It was also revealed on day 52 of the Claremont serial killings trial that police sifted through every copy of the Mandurah Mail between 1995 and 1996 to see if there were any fireworks in the area the night Sarah Spiers disappeared.
    Join Natalie Bonjolo, Tim Clarke and Alison Fan as they discuss that moment which  changed Australia's most expensive and longest running investigation.

    • 28 min
    "The DNA Doesn't Lie"

    "The DNA Doesn't Lie"

    THAT moment, the phone call which changed the Claremont Serial Killings investigation after almost two decades of nothing, was described by the police officer, that took the call from UK scientists who said male DNA had been found with Ciara Glennon’s fingernail samples.

    That officer was former head of MACRO, Jim Stanbury, who took the stand today.

    What followed the call would change the whole investigation. Police no longer had to rely on alibis or witnesses.

    The DNA doesn’t lie, and if the person of interest didn’t match the male DNA found, they weren’t considered a suspect anymore.

    That’s how the man police suspected for almost a decade of being the Claremont Serial Killer - Lance Williams - was cleared.

    Day 51 of the Claremont Serial Killings trial also revealed the other high profile cases which police had sent tp the UK.

    We’d previously heard about the Gerard Ross murder case, but the FSS also tested exhibits from one of WA’s most high profile murder cases in recent history, the murder of Corryn Rayney, as well as a double homicide which ended up in a conviction - which Justice Hall himself sentenced.

    We found out this because Det Sgt Stanbury had to fly to the UK to collect the exhibits when the FSS was shut down.

    In this episode, Natalie Bonjolo, Tim Clarke and forensic DNA expert Brendan Chapman discuss why the UK state lab, which helped in the breakthrough for WA police, was shut down,  “The CSI effect”,  and the moment of relief for investigators of the Claremont case. We also answer some of your questions.

    If you have any questions for the podcast team, or any of their guests, send them in to claremontpodcast@wanews.com.au

    • 38 min
    Panic as Exhibits 'Go Missing'

    Panic as Exhibits 'Go Missing'

    When Claremont exhibits were sent over the to the UK for expert low copy number testing, the exhibits which are now seen as crucial to the prosecution’s case - Ciara Glennon’s fingernails - went missing.

    It turns out they were never ‘missing’, just separated from the other exhibits and placed in a fridge for storage.

    As Tim Clarke explains, there must have been a sense panic that went through that lab in the time the exhibits were thought to be missing.

    The scientists didn’t know just how important these fingernails would be to the case at that time, because they hadn’t yet been tested.

    But what they did have with them, that were considered important at the time, were samples from multiple ‘people of interest’ to the case, which they planned to test against the Claremont samples.

    As the Claremont Serial Killings trial entered its 50th day, another cold case which gripped WA was in the headlines again, just over two years since a conviction was made.

    But today, that conviction of Francis Wark was overturned. He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 17-year-old WA teenager Hayley Dodd in 1999. Hayley’s body was never found.

    Tim Clarke says this raises questions in the case of Sarah Spiers.

    The Claremont in Conversation podcast team discuss what, if any implications this could have on the Claremont case.

    If you want to know more about the Hayley Dodd case, head to https://thewest.com.au/news/court-justice/francis-john-wark-to-face-re-trial-for-murder-of-hayley-dodd-after-conviction-quashed-on-appeal-ng-b881468701z

    If you have any questions for the podcast team, or any of their guests, send them in to claremonpodcast@wanews.com.au 

    • 27 min
    Court Room Clash

    Court Room Clash

    The two lead lawyers on WA’s mammoth case have been working for 49 days and nights every day of the Claremont Serial Killings trial.

    After 49 days, it seemed - as The West’s Emily Moulton pointed out in this episode - that they were getting tired.

    As the day was drawing to a close, a new witness, from the MACRO Taskforce took the stand. Just as soon as Senior Sergeant George Paton started his evidence, defence lawyer Paul Yovich objected, which led to a 20-minute legal argument between him and the lead prosecutor.

    Eventually, Justice Hall said he would ‘lock them in a room together’ so they could sort it out, which they eventually did.

    Outside of courtroom clashes, during UK witness Carole Evans’ cross examination, it was revealed hairs found on Ciara Glennon’s body were also sent to be tested in the UK - in fact, these samples were considered more important than the fingernails at the time.

    It was found that the hairs from 10 people including Ciara were found, but after comparison with those hairs against some taken from Bradley Edwards after his arrest, none of them matched the accused Claremont Serial Killer.

    Join Natalie Bonjolo, Tim Clarke and Emily Moulton as they discuss the late sitting of day 48, as well as day 49’s proceedings.

    If you have any questions for the podcast team, or any of their guests, send them in to claremontpodcast@wanews.com.au

    • 30 min
    How the UK Helped Break WA’s Cold Case

    How the UK Helped Break WA’s Cold Case

    In 2008, exhibits from Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon were sent for testing in a state-of-the-art lab in the UK.

    Paperwork attached to the samples left no questions about what they were investigating:

    “The three women are believed to have fallen victim to a serial killer”.

    When the samples got to the Forensic Science Service, they were tested in an air-tight lab, which was known as the clean room. We heard anyone who left the ‘clean’ room and became ‘dirty’, they weren’t allowed back in, the lengths that the scientists went to, to try and stop contamination was detailed in court by FSS scientist Carole Evans, who travelled to Perth to appear in court.

    The court had previously been told samples from another WA case were sent along with the Claremont Serial Killings samples.

    Today we found out samples in the investigation of the suspected murder of an 11-year-old boy were also sent to the UK. See the investigation of the disappearance of Gerard Ross at https://thewest.com.au/features/gerard-ross

    Join Natalie Bonjolo, Tim Clarke and Damien Cripps as they discuss what’s to come for the late sitting, answer some of your questions and discuss the relationship between the court and the media.

    Tune in tomorrow to hear evidence from the two other UK scientists, who are giving evidence via video link during the night.

    • 30 min

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