10 episodes

Janine Vaughan’s disappearance 19 years ago is at the heart of a mysterious case that has split a close-knit community left wondering if a murderer walks among them.

The Night Driver The Australian

    • True Crime

Janine Vaughan’s disappearance 19 years ago is at the heart of a mysterious case that has split a close-knit community left wondering if a murderer walks among them.

    Episode 9 - Love You, Sis

    Episode 9 - Love You, Sis

    In the search for Janine’s murderer, her sister Kylie who devotes much of her life to this case is taken to the brink of what she believes is a breakthrough, only to have her hopes dashed. Every time there’s a discovery of bones near Bathurst it hits Kylie and the rest of Janine’s family that these might be the remains of Janine. More evidence including details of a police strike force investigation of possible criminal links to taxi drivers who could have picked up Janine come to light as a retired detective who helped lead the major probe into Janine’s murder reveals he formed a view about the identity of the likely killer, a man who is still alive. The former top cop also describes some of the hurdles put in the way of police who spent years in Bathurst trying to solve the mystery. The crucial assumption of almost all investigating detectives that Janine was abducted by the same night driver who attempted to entice another blond-haired woman into his car 10 minutes earlier is challenged. The podcast investigation pauses for several weeks from the release of this ninth episode to look into fresh leads provided by confidential sources from Bathurst.
     
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    • 1 hr 26 min
    Episode 8 - Trying Like Mad

    Episode 8 - Trying Like Mad

    Janine’s private life came under close scrutiny and details were aired publicly as the Coroner Mary Jerram heard evidence about a young woman overwhelmed by sadness at times in the final days of her life. Janine was in financial and emotional distress - her bills were mounting and she was spending beyond her means on nights out with youthful friends from the local university. She wanted to settle down with a man her own age and raise children but her boyfriends were mostly a decade younger and wanted to party. Janine was taking recreational drugs including pills with her younger friends and the lows were becoming harder to bear. Janine confided to her friend Jordan on the night she disappeared that she had tried to commit suicide days earlier. She made another cryptic disclosure to a friend, Mark. The Coroner Mary Jerram assured the family that she and detectives were ‘trying like mad’ to find Janine’s killer as fresh leads came to light.
     
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 7 - The Cops

    Episode 7 - The Cops

    A local woman’s evidence was dramatic and deeply disturbing - she was adamant that she saw Janine with her hands bound with baling twine and a look of grave distress on her face while in a small red car being driven by the town’s top cop. The woman had remained silent for four and a half years but when she saw a photo of Janine in the newspaper she came forward. At the same time investigators were having another look at the police officer because of anonymous tip-offs, and then the discovery that he had arrived back in Bathurst before Janine disappeared, contrary to his earlier evidence that he was away visiting his mother. The fallout from the revelations contributed to the crippling of the murder investigation and still affects it now despite explanations of what at first appeared sinister and a cover-up.
     
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    • 1 hr 22 min
    Episode 6 - The Pharmacist

    Episode 6 - The Pharmacist

    Andrew Jones is a deeply spiritual man who came to Bathurst after studying pharmacy, travelling and working in a small hospital in Nepal, and studying religion in Sydney. When Janine disappeared, Jones lived alone at The Scots School in Bathurst in an arrangement where he had boarding house accommodation in return for giving up some spare time to coach the students. He worked in a pharmacy near Janine’s menswear store and he had bought clothing there. He drove a small red car, a Renault 19 series. And he became a significant person of interest in the police investigation. He has always emphatically denied wrongdoing and says police have ruined his reputation by unfairly targeting him. He insists Janine has never been in his car which police seized years later for DNA testing. Women in this episode relate their experiences with him - but Jones states that the encounters which they describe never happened.
     
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    • 1 hr 17 min
    Episode 5 - Bad Denis

    Episode 5 - Bad Denis

    When Janine disappeared there was no crime scene or body.
    One man in Bathurst stepped up to tell a chilling story of having raped her at White Rock and cut her throat. Denis Briggs called himself ‘Bad Denis’ when a reckless side of his bipolar personality came out. His friends and his longtime partner were horrified by his claims. They were also plausible - because Denis had a matching car and an inflation with Janine at her menswear store. He changed his appearance and got rid of the car soon after Janine vanished. Briggs has long denied his own confessions to murder which he made when he was off his medication. But some of those he told still think he did it.
     
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 4 - The Dirty Tav

    Episode 4 - The Dirty Tav

    Lynette Boreland ran terrified and hid in the pre-dawn darkness as the mystery driver of a small red car stalked her. In the minutes before Janine took her fateful last steps, Lynette feared for her life. She saw the driver and the interior of the car. She wrote down the number plate. On the other side of Bathurst’s Machattie Park, Janine left The Metro Tavern, dubbed The Dirty Tav. A young student bar attendant reveals being stalked after her shift there, narrowly avoiding rape or worse. Years later, homicide cops looked into whether her stalker was the night driver who had tried to get Lynette and then lured Janine ten minutes later.
     
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    • 1 hr 11 min

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