10 episodes

We’ve started this podcast to create a dialogue with you, that may help solve a 1929 murder in Toorak.

If you want to know more, or help in the amateur sleuthing, we’ve uploaded documents and images to our website www.murderarchives.com.au to complement the podcast.

About the case.

On 9 September 1929, Norma McLeod, an unmarried 29-year-old teacher was found unconscious in her parent’s home in the prestigious suburb of Toorak.

A pair of men’s underpants lay across her forehead. By 5pm that day she was dead.

An autopsy revealed a seven-inch crack in the back of her skull caused by violent trauma from a blunt object.

The case attracted huge press and public attention; accusations were plentiful, but an inquest returned an open verdict.

Almost 90 years after this mysterious death, an extensive three-year investigation involving a re-examination of the police files, combined with an in-depth look at Norma’s family, raises questions about the rigour of the original investigation.

With the aid of the victim’s descendants and a group of renowned experts we’ve discovered long-held secrets, connections in high places and people who weren’t who they seemed to be.

Experts who provide input: forensic pathologist, Byron Collins; ex-homicide detective, Charlie Bezzina; criminal barrister, Alan Hands; psycho-physiologist, Elizabeth Martin; forensic psychologist, Dr Karen Scally and graphologist, Andrea Scarfe

Some of Norma’s descendants, who are also actors, ‘voice’ various parts throughout the podcast.

Murder Archives Nearly

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 47 Ratings

We’ve started this podcast to create a dialogue with you, that may help solve a 1929 murder in Toorak.

If you want to know more, or help in the amateur sleuthing, we’ve uploaded documents and images to our website www.murderarchives.com.au to complement the podcast.

About the case.

On 9 September 1929, Norma McLeod, an unmarried 29-year-old teacher was found unconscious in her parent’s home in the prestigious suburb of Toorak.

A pair of men’s underpants lay across her forehead. By 5pm that day she was dead.

An autopsy revealed a seven-inch crack in the back of her skull caused by violent trauma from a blunt object.

The case attracted huge press and public attention; accusations were plentiful, but an inquest returned an open verdict.

Almost 90 years after this mysterious death, an extensive three-year investigation involving a re-examination of the police files, combined with an in-depth look at Norma’s family, raises questions about the rigour of the original investigation.

With the aid of the victim’s descendants and a group of renowned experts we’ve discovered long-held secrets, connections in high places and people who weren’t who they seemed to be.

Experts who provide input: forensic pathologist, Byron Collins; ex-homicide detective, Charlie Bezzina; criminal barrister, Alan Hands; psycho-physiologist, Elizabeth Martin; forensic psychologist, Dr Karen Scally and graphologist, Andrea Scarfe

Some of Norma’s descendants, who are also actors, ‘voice’ various parts throughout the podcast.

    Your theories - Part 2

    Your theories - Part 2

    In this second part, once again with the help of experts and family members, we talk about: The murder suspects themselves, Asmodeus and some new information from the Toorak Bowls Club that suggests Norman did indeed have friends in high places!

    Murder Archives is written and presented by Emma Curtin.

    www.muderarchives.com.au

    Editing and sound by Courtney Carthy

    Produced in partnership with Nearly

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Your theories - Part 1

    Your theories - Part 1

    In this first part, with the help of experts and family members, we talk about: The underpants, the idea of incest, Norma’s physical and mental health, the land in Heidelberg, as well as thoughts around pregnancy and Norma’s sexuality.

    Murder Archives is written and presented by Emma Curtin.

    www.muderarchives.com.au

    Editing and sound by Courtney Carthy

    Produced in partnership with Nearly

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    8: Where to now?

    8: Where to now?

    In this final episode, we bring in a handwriting expert, Andrea Scarfe, to review the Asmodeus letter and cross-reference the handwriting with that of potential writers, including Walter Maxwell Dumont Dunn.

    We also examine the life of this man more thoroughly.

    We wrap up where we’ve got to so far in our investigation and leave the listener with some potential theories.

    More importantly, we leave the listener with some remaining questions in the hope that the podcast will stimulate discussion and open up new avenues for investigation.

     

    Murder Archives is written and presented by Emma Curtin.

    www.muderarchives.com.au

    Editing and sound by Courtney Carthy

    Produced in partnership with Nearly

     

    Thanks to all those who added their voices to this podcast (in alphabetical order):

    Daniel Alfieri

    Courtney Carthy

    Simon Curtin

    Alan Hands

    Cassidy Krygger

    Ben Mitchell

    Elaine Mitchell

    Gill Neale

    And our experts:

    Charlie Bezzina

    Dr Byron Collins

    Dr Karen Scally

    Andrea Scarf

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 45 min
    7: Scenarios of death

    7: Scenarios of death

    We introduce another expert, forensic psychologist, Dr Karen Scally, to help us look at each McLeod family member through a psychological lens.

    We present three scenarios of what may have led to Norma’s death.

    And look at a potential new suspect – Walter Maxwell Dumont Dunn – poet, writer, fantasist, and a friend of the McLeods who had been suggested as a possible Asmodeus.

    How was he involved in the case, if at all?

    And what do we know of this man?

     

    Murder Archives is written and presented by Emma Curtin.

    www.muderarchives.com.au

    Editing and sound by Courtney Carthy

    Produced in partnership with Nearly

     

    Thanks to all those who added their voices to this podcast (in alphabetical order):

    Daniel Alfieri

    Courtney Carthy

    Simon Curtin

    Alan Hands

    Cassidy Krygger

    Ben Mitchell

    Elaine Mitchell

    Gill Neale

    And our experts:

    Charlie Bezzina

    Dr Byron Collins

    Dr Karen Scally

    Andrea Scarf

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 58 min
    6: Watching the detectives

    6: Watching the detectives

    This episode focuses on the police themselves and the kind of environment they were working in in 1929 – a world of social distinctions and only six years after a major police strike that rocked public confidence in the constabulary.

    Retired detective Charlie Bezzina provides some more insights into the nature of murder investigations and his opinion on the thoroughness of the McLeod investigation.

    We also examine accusations at the time that Norman McLeod had ‘friends in high places’ and how this may have had an impact on the case.

     

    Murder Archives is written and presented by Emma Curtin.

    www.muderarchives.com.au

    Editing and sound by Courtney Carthy

    Produced in partnership with Nearly

     

    Thanks to all those who added their voices to this podcast (in alphabetical order):

    Daniel Alfieri

    Courtney Carthy

    Simon Curtin

    Alan Hands

    Cassidy Krygger

    Ben Mitchell

    Elaine Mitchell

    Gill Neale

     

    And our experts:

    Charlie Bezzina

    Dr Byron Collins

    Dr Karen Scally

    Andrea Scarf

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    5: The men in Norma’s life

    5: The men in Norma’s life

    What kind of men were Norma’s father and brother (Norman and Rhys McLeod)?

    And what clues their stories might provide about her death?

    Once again, we hear from family members to help us develop a picture of the McLeods.

    We look at the reasons why Norman apparently didn’t want the police involved, question why Rhys seemed almost missing from the police investigation and examine more letters from the public, this time pointing the finger at Rhys.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

yobonks ,

Recommend

I love hearing about murders and conspiracy theories in other countries. The host does a great job at giving us background details on the victim and her family and also about how Australia was back in the 1900s

Cloudy43 ,

Highly Recommended

I recently stumbled across this podcast, and am enjoying bingeing on Norma McLeod very much. The case is compelling, excellently researched, well laid out and engagingly presented.
While I’m generally turned off by the insertion of sound effects and use of actors recreating dialogue, somehow both work well here.
The host does a wonderful job of providing the listener with an understanding of the time, place and world view in which the murder occurred, and her incorporation of current-day expert opinions encourages the listener to see the past through the lens of the present, as well as in its own right.
Finally, her self described obsession with the case is contagious, it must be, because I’ve caught it.

trod10 ,

Excellent

This podcast is unusual because it actually examines the history and psychology of the family members. This in-depth exploration of the case makes it extremely interesting. I really enjoyed it!

Top Podcasts In True Crime

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Nearly