140 episodes

True Crime Conversations explores the world's most notorious crimes by speaking to the people who know the most about them. Hosted by Jessie Stephens. 

True Crime Conversations Mamamia

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 107 Ratings

True Crime Conversations explores the world's most notorious crimes by speaking to the people who know the most about them. Hosted by Jessie Stephens. 

    The Razorhurst Wars: Part One

    The Razorhurst Wars: Part One

    It’s 1926, and Sydney’s underworld is held tightly in the hands of Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine. But down in Melbourne? They’ve got a fella called Joseph Theodore Leslie Taylor running the show, or ‘Squizzy’ as he was better known. Squizzy Taylor is a bonafide gangster in every sense, backed up by a handful of savage henchmen and crooks, known as The Fitzroy Gang.

    Norman Bruhn is one of Squizzy’s closest confidants. Well, he was. Until…he crossed him. Usually, a betrayal of the kingpin would cost you your life, but Norman Bruhn had been spared, under one condition. That he get the hell out of Melbourne quick-smart, and never, ever return.

    So Norman, his wife, and their two sons pack up and head north, to Sydney. A fresh start, he thinks. This man is a hardened gangster, a standover man, thief, and pimp, and he doesn’t think much of two women running the streets of Sydney. Norman thinks he can shake things up around Darlinghurst. He wants to take a slice of the pie that in his mind, has been in the wrong hands for too long.

    It doesn’t take him long to assemble a crew of villains, a gang who would roam the streets of East Sydney carrying not guns to intimidate their enemies, but cut-throat razors. Sharp enough to cause serious damage to anyone caught on the wrong side of Norman Bruhn or one of his boys. Not only are these razors serious weapons, they’re a cheap and easy way to protect yourself, and fly under the radar of police, who are busy targeting mobsters carrying illegal firearms. 

    Momentarily, life will get more difficult for Tilly and Kate under the disruption their new Victorian competitor brings. But Norman Bruhn is about to bite off more than he can chew. Kate and Tilly are already in a never-ending battle to dominate Darlinghurst and its surrounds. This town? It just ain’t big enough for three of them.

    In a few short months, Norman Bruhn will be dead. And it will be just the beginning of bloodshed between East Sydney’s cruelest and most cunning gangsters. 

    CREDITS

    Host: Emma Gillespie

    Guests: Larry Writer& Leigh Straw

    Producer: Gia Moylan

    Audio Producer: Rhiannon Mooney

    CONTACT US

    Tell us what you think of the show via email at truecrime@mamamia.com.au  

    Join our closed Facebook community to discuss this episode. Just search True Crime Conversations on Facebook or follow this link https://bit.ly/tcc-group 

    If any of the contents in this episode have caused distress, know that there is help available via Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

    Just by reading or listening to our content, you’re helping to fund girls in schools in some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world - through our partnership with Room to Read. We’re currently funding 300 girls in school every day and our aim is to get to 1,000. Find out more about Mamamia at mamamia.com.au 

    Support the show: https://www.mamamia.com.au/mplus/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 21 min
    Kate Leigh: The Worst Woman In Sydney

    Kate Leigh: The Worst Woman In Sydney

     It’s the 4th of February 1964. Once dubbed ‘The Worst Woman in Sydney,’ Kate Leigh lies unresponsive in a hospital bed at St Vincent's in Darlinghurst. She suffered a severe stroke just a few days earlier, and she’s about to take her final breath. But the twilight years of Kate Leigh’s life have not been marked by the debauchery and violence of her heyday. There’s no more sly grog, no diamonds and fur, no more cocaine, and no more razor gangs. 

    She was once one of the wealthiest and most powerful underworld figures in the country. But as Kate Leigh slips away at St Vincent’s Hospital, the 82-year-old has lost almost everything. From changes to alcohol laws, increased police powers, and a rather unwelcome knock at the door from the taxman, Kate Leigh will die bankrupt and impoverished.

    But she hadn’t quite lost everything. Kate Leigh never moved away from the pocket of East Sydney she once ran, and locals never forgot about their infamous Aunty Kate. Despite her criminal past, ties to violent razor fights and deadly shootouts, some 700 mourners packed out St Peter’s Catholic Church in Kate’s Surry Hills for her funeral. Among the attendees? Kate’s long-time rival, her once ferocious enemy, Tilly Divine. And though it may have seemed the ruthless antics of Kate and Tilly were put to bed, at their prime, they were giants. Equal parts revered and feared by those who crossed them. Long before their time would be up, these force-to-be-reckoned-with women left an indelible mark on one of Sydney history’s most notorious chapters. The Razor Wars. 

    CREDITS

    Host: Emma Gillespie

    Guests: Larry Writer& Leigh Straw

    Producer: Gia Moylan

    Audio Producer: Rhiannon Mooney

    CONTACT US

    Tell us what you think of the show via email at truecrime@mamamia.com.au  

    Join our closed Facebook community to discuss this episode. Just search True Crime Conversations on Facebook or follow this link https://bit.ly/tcc-group 

    If any of the contents in this episode have caused distress, know that there is help available via Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

    Just by reading or listening to our content, you’re helping to fund girls in schools in some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world - through our partnership with Room to Read. We’re currently funding 300 girls in school every day and our aim is to get to 1,000. Find out more about Mamamia at mamamia.com.au 

    Support the show: https://www.mamamia.com.au/mplus/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 24 min
    Tilly Devine: The Brothel Queen Of Darlinghurst

    Tilly Devine: The Brothel Queen Of Darlinghurst

    The year is 1927.  Sydney is in a post-war party that’s been raging on for almost a decade. The suburb of Darlinghurst is the beating heart of it all, and the surrounding areas of Kings Cross, Potts Point, Woolloomoloo and Surry Hills are slums of debauchery, crime and vices. It’s an underworld run by two rival crime queens. Kate Leigh and Tilly Divine. 

    In an effort to stamp out excessive alcohol consumption, pubs have shut at 6pm since 1916, giving rise to what they call the six o'clock swill - where punters attempt to drink as much as they can in the final minutes before 6, before being tossed out of the pub. Thirsty working-class Sydneysiders have the money and appetite for more. So the sly-grog business is born. Unlicensed hotels and liquor-stores are concealed behind butcher shops and florists. There’s one on every corner and chances are, if you’re somewhere in East Sydney, Kate Leigh supplied the Sly Grog you’re drinking. 

    As you sip that over-priced, watered down whiskey, you’re probably no more than a stone's throw from one of Tilly Devine’s parlours. The London born madam has a gift for acquiring brothels. She’s just 26 and controls some 20 brothels in Darlinghurst alone. 

    Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine have a stranglehold on their respective businesses, but in a city of sin, with egos like theirs, blood will spill over and over again for control of the streets of Darlinghurst, or Razorhurst as it’s about to become known.

    CREDITS

    Host: Emma Gillespie

    Guests: Larry Writer& Leigh Straw

    Producer: Gia Moylan

    Audio Producer: Rhiannon Mooney

    CONTACT US

    Tell us what you think of the show via email at truecrime@mamamia.com.au  

    Join our closed Facebook community to discuss this episode. Just search True Crime Conversations on Facebook or follow this link https://bit.ly/tcc-group 

    If any of the contents in this episode have caused distress, know that there is help available via Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

    Just by reading or listening to our content, you’re helping to fund girls in schools in some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world - through our partnership with Room to Read. We’re currently funding 300 girls in school every day and our aim is to get to 1,000. Find out more about Mamamia at mamamia.com.au 

    Support the show: https://www.mamamia.com.au/mplus/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 19 min
    Coming Soon: Sydney's Razorhurst Wars

    Coming Soon: Sydney's Razorhurst Wars

    This month on True Crime Conversations we’re examining the life and crimes of Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine, and the violent razor wars that erupted between their two gangs with special guest host Emma Gillespie. Coming to your ears from January 6th. 

    Support the show: https://www.mamamia.com.au/mplus/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 min
    The Life & Disappearance Of Melissa Caddick

    The Life & Disappearance Of Melissa Caddick

    It’s the 21st of February, 2021, a summer’s day on the south coast of New South Wales. 

    A small group of campers are walking along Bournda Beach, an incredible expanse of pristine sand, and clear, blue water, surrounded by national park. Along the shore, washed up, they spot a single, grey, Asics shoe. It is only when they look more closely that they realise inside it holds human remains. The group, visiting for a surfing trip, are alarmed. Quickly, they contact the police.

    It wasn’t long before the police were able to identify who the DNA belonged to. It is Melissa Caddick, who had disappeared three months prior from her Dover Heights home, some 438 kilometres from the south coast beach. What the discovery didn’t answer was what exactly happened to Caddick. Did she take her own life? Was she murdered by her enemies? Or, is it possible that the foot was not evidence she was dead at all. Could Melissa Caddick, a woman accused of stealing more than $30 million, still be alive?

    CREDITS

    Host: Jessie Stephens

    Guest: 7News Journalist & PresenterMichael Usher

    Producer: Gia Moylan

    Audio Producers: Ian Camilleri & Rhiannon Mooney

    CONTACT US

    Tell us what you think of the show via email at truecrime@mamamia.com.au  

    Join our closed Facebook community to discuss this episode. Just search True Crime Conversations on Facebook or follow this link https://bit.ly/tcc-group 

    If any of the contents in this episode have caused distress, know that there is help available via Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

    Just by reading or listening to our content, you’re helping to fund girls in schools in some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world - through our partnership with Room to Read. We’re currently funding 300 girls in school every day and our aim is to get to 1,000. Find out more about Mamamia at mamamia.com.au 

    Support the show: https://www.mamamia.com.au/mplus/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min
    The Weeping Woman

    The Weeping Woman

    It’s an unusual place to start a true crime story - at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1985. 

    The director of the gallery, a man named Patrick McCaughey, purchases a single painting for $1.6 million. Due to currency fluctuations, the cost increases to $2 million, the most expensive purchase ever made by an Australian gallery. The painting is by Pablo Picasso, titled The Weeping Woman. The work represents suffering - oddly fitting for the story that was about to unfold. 

    Also oddly fitting is the statement made by McCaughey upon announcing the purchase. He said of the Weeping Woman: “This face is going to haunt Melbourne for the next 100 years.” 

    And haunt Melbourne it did.

    CREDITS

    Host: Jessie Stephens

    Guest: Marc Fennell, host of FRAMED 

    Producer: Gia Moylan

    Audio Producer: Ian Camilleri

    Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 | beyondblue.org.au

    Lifeline: 13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au

    CONTACT US

    Tell us what you think of the show via email at truecrime@mamamia.com.au  

    Join our closed Facebook community to discuss this episode. Just search True Crime Conversations on Facebook or follow this link https://bit.ly/tcc-group 

    If any of the contents in this episode have caused distress, know that there is help available via Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Mamamia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

    Just by reading or listening to our content, you’re helping to fund girls in schools in some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world - through our partnership with Room to Read. We’re currently funding 300 girls in school every day and our aim is to get to 1,000. Find out more about Mamamia at mamamia.com.au 

    Support the show: https://www.mamamia.com.au/mplus/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
107 Ratings

107 Ratings

hazelbnr ,

Variety crime topics 👍

From the USA, I appreciate English speaking podcasts from other countries with different incidents and their take on those originating from the States. History, historical references abound. Excellent interviews by host. TY.

NatheyWilliams ,

The BEST True Crime Podcast

This show is truly the best true crime podcast I’ve heard (and I listen to most of the popular ones!). I really like that the host is speaking to people who have a connection to the case, and not just doing “research” on a search engine- this gives the podcast a lot more credibility. The host also makes a concerted effort to recognize those affected by the crimes and not glorify the perpetrator— another thing that I find, disturbingly, all too often in other podcasts. This is a really well-done true crime podcast that reports true crime stories accurately and with compassion.

Watchathink ,

All time favorite

I listen to numerous True Crime podcasts. So much so, that I gave up Netflix and Hulu as my tv break options. I’ve binged this podcast for the last 3/4 days. Interviews and interviewees are excellent. Love the format. Keep up the great work. A USA fan!!!

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