- Forensic Investigators
show_name = Forensic Investigators
runtime = approx 0:60
Fiona Baker Endemol Southern Star
num_episodes = 34
"Forensic Investigators": Australia's True Crimes is an
Australian televisionshow hosted by Lisa McCunewhich airs on the Seven Network. It was first aired to television in 2004.
Focusing on actual
Australian crimes, each episode unfolds the drama minute-by-minute showing viewers the tireless work of detectives, and the scientific procedures required to solve these mysteries.
The series includes exclusive footage that has never been seen outside the courtroom, including police videos, crime scene stills and other forensic evidence. Recently the 1st and 2nd seasons have been released on DVD.
The third season featured a new time slot - Wednesday at 8:30pm.
Its not known when, or if the Fourth Season will begin airing.
eason One 2004
Paul Denyer, 21, was responsible for the deaths of three young women (Elizabeth Stevens, 18, Debbie Fream, 22, and Natalie Russell, 17) in the town of Frankston, Victoriaduring 1993. The police had the odds stacked against them and would need to call on all their investigative and forensic skills to solve this crime.
*Episode TwoA routine run on a quiet weekday morning leads to a gruesome discovery, throwing investigators into one of Australia's most bizarre murders.
*Episode ThreeFour bodies were found shot in a house in an outer suburb of
Canberra. Inside the house was evidence that would not only lead investigators to the killer, but would uncover a secret buried for three years.
*Episode FourNeddy Smith had been given a life sentence when he confessed to the killing of Harvey Jones to his cell mate, giving a detailed account of how he killed him and where. In March
1995a skull was found at Botany Beach.
*Episode FiveA mother and her two children were found in their house brutally bashed to death. Was it a robbery gone wrong, or something far more sinister?
*Episode SixIn April of
1999, Maya Jakic's body was found covered under leaves and hidden in bushes out the front of an unused police patrol station in Adelaide, South Australia. Two years later, Japanese student Megumi Suzuki had gone missing and when police discovered her schoolbooks abandoned near a rail over-bridge they knew she had met with foul play.
eason Two 2005
*Episode OneIn December
1994Andrew Astbury's body was found floating in Melbourne's Yarra River. He was a hard working, reliable 25-year-old man from a good family. So why was he murdered? Look at the brilliant detective and forensic science work that helped solve this chilling murder.
*Episode TwoQueensland Cat Protection Society president Kathleen Marshall is found brutally stabbed to death. In a case involving rumours, cat-fights and fortune telling, the detectives rely on forensics and five tiny spots of blood to separate fact from fiction and point them towards the killer.
*Episode ThreeA young woman's body is found wrapped in plastic. Unidentified for several months, she became known as
Jane Doe. Who was she and who wanted her dead?
*Episode FourThe body of 22-year-old
Tasmanian Amanda Carter was found alongside the Derwent River. It took 13 years and a revolution in forensic science to finally bring her killer to account.
*Episode FiveThis Granny Killer murdered six elderly women before his year-long reign of terror in Sydney's northern suburbs ended. How was the killer
John Wayne Gloverfinally brought to justice?
*Episode SixPolicewoman Angela Taylor was killed when a car exploded outside Melbourne's Russell Street police headquarters. What clues were found among the debris? Who was responsible?
*Episode SevenWhen the battered body of Darryl Lewis is found dumped outside an ambulance station, police began an investigation that becomes one of the longest running in Queensland's history.
*Episode Eight (Part One)In
1998, Wollongong, NSW, was gripped by fear after the brutal deaths of shopkeeper David O'Hearn and Lord Mayor Frank Arkell.
*Episode Nine (Part Two)After committing two violent murders in Wollongong, NSW, Mark Valera became the youngest offender to receive a life sentence. While he's behind bars his father is brutally killed. But who committed that crime and what was the motive?
*Episode TenWhen 17-year-old American-born Gabriel Meyer first went missing in the Northern Queensland town of Innisfail, it was feared he'd been eaten by a
crocodile, but the truth was far more sinister.
*Episode ElevenSamantha Bodsworth's body was found in a Noosa carpark one hour away from her hometown of Gympie. The killer thought he'd committed the perfect murder but a little-known area of forensic science would be his undoing.
*Episode TwelveFifteen-year-old schoolgirl Janet Phillips went to a party in her home suburb of Wynnum on Brisbane's southside in July
1987and never came back. Not long after she was reported missing her body was found a couple of kilometres away. Police had a strong suspect but they were unable to prove he'd killed the teenager. When DNAtechnology later became available they were astounded that their suspect was eliminated. Then, there was a further attack on a girl in Wynnum, with chilling similarities to the way police believed had been murdered 10 years before. Was it the same killer?
*Episode ThirteenDanny Wasley and Mark Banks disappear without a trace in
Newcastle, NSWduring August 1999. In a case involving drug lords, revenge and cold blooded murder, police uncover a tangled web of lies which finds Kevin Naysmith guilty of the two murders which took place at his home and burial of the two bodies in sand dunes at Stockton Beach.
*Episode FourteenWhen Peter Astill went missing during August,
1998, it took three months before his decapitated body (missing his head and hands), and also wrapped in a blanket was found stuffed inside a wheelie binfloating in a river in Lower Colo, NSW. What could have been the perfect murder was proved wrong when the serial number of the wheelie bin fell into the bin after an attempt had been made to remove it. The bin had been silicon sealed and tightened with hex screws. Police crews tracked the bin back to belonging to his next-door neighbour Bruce Patterson who had killed Peter Astill on the outskirts of Sydney, NSWand decapitated the body with an axe which belonged to the victim.
Easterfamily holiday in 1998ends in tragedy when a truck collides with a caravan on the Hume Freewaynear Violet Town, Victoria, killing a 12-year-old boy. The truck driver fails to stop. With no licence plate number and little to go on, finding the person responsible may take a miracle.
*Episode SixteenWhen caravan park manager Angelo Agostinelli went missing from the small town of Millicent in
South Australia, friends and family called everyone they knew to try and find him. Yet no-one had seen or heard anything.
eason Three 2006
*Episode One - The Valentine's Day Murders
* Date Aired: 9th August 2006Two women are found dead on
Valentine's Dayin a burning massage parlour. The ashen remains uncover not only the killer, but a murder spree spanning 10 years.
On Valentine's Day 1994, two women were found dead in a burning massage parlour in Sydney. The owner had been stabbed while her employee had been shot three times.
It appeared that the manager was the target in the frenzied attack. Her husband told police she'd been receiving death threats prior to her death. But whether it was a disgruntled client or a rival business, he was unsure.
As investigators delved into the manager's past and her final movements, all was not what it seemed. The attacker had started the fire to destroy any evidence but investigators were able to pick through the ashen remains and uncover the truth... a truth that would not only lead to her killer but to a murder spree spanning 10 years.
*Episode Two - Till Death do us Part
* Date Aired: 16th August 2006In a small New South Wales country town, a man arrived home in June 2000 to find his wife of 20 years woman lying dead. After making the grisly discovery, he cradled her body and hysterically called for help. After hearing his cries, neighbours called police, who arrived to find the husband in an uncontrollable state of rage. Police at the scene noted his hostile behaviour as unusual. But did that make him the murderer or was he simply a husband grieving in anger for his slain wife?
Detectives discovered the victim's watch had stopped at exactly 9.14 and 28 seconds. It was potentially the time that she'd been killed. Crime scene examiners also found the scattered remnants of two beer bottles, and a number of bloodied footprints and paw prints on the carpet through most of the house. In the main bedroom, drawers were open, clothes scattered, yet no valuables had been taken. The scene just didn't add up.
Thanks to a forensic watchmaker's expertise and the purchase of a slab of beer to test some laws of physics, the true picture emerged and the motive for the woman's murder was discovered.
*Episode Three - Flemington Armed Robbery
* Date Aired: 23rd August 2006When armed robbers launched a surprise attack on security guards in the process of restocking two ATMs in January 2002, they did so in broad daylight along a busy shopping strip just minutes from the heart of
Melbourne. So brazen was the assault, when police arrived moments later one witness told them he thought the balaclava-clad figures must have been making a movie.
Examining the scene, it was immediately apparent the hold-up had been well-planned. Clearly the bandits were not amateurs. They had managed to escape with $150,000 but who were they?
Thanks to the help of witnesses and some unusual forensic evidence, that included green floral contact paper and orange rope, detectives were eventually able to identify and capture the two masked men who'd committed this violent crime.
*Episode Four - Turkish Consulate Bombing
* Date Aired: 30th August 2006The Melbourne suburb of South Yarra was rocked by a blast in the early hours of November 23, 1986. A car containing a bomb had exploded in the car park below the Turkish Consulate, wrecking the building and damaging shops in the area. An elite group of Victorian police were called together to find those responsible for the apparent act of terrorism. The discovery of human remains at the crime scene suggested the bomber had been killed in the explosion.
While the bomber had been blasted beyond recognition, other vital clues had survived the explosion. Identifiable sections of the bomb car and a wallet containing vital links to those involved were recovered.
Through careful examination of crime scene evidence, investigators were able to identify those responsible. The case was the first act of terrorism investigated and prosecuted in Victoria.
*Episode Five - My Partner, My Killer
*Date Aired: 6th September 2006Patricia Byers and her partner of three years, John Asquith, were enjoying a romantic evening for two aboard the luxury cabin cruiser Misty Blue. Moored near
Stradbroke Island, they enjoyed a meal together and made love before retiring for the night in April 1994. Hours later, Asquith awoke covered in blood. He'd been shot in the head. When he found Byers lying on the deck, she claimed they'd been attacked by pirates. When police investigated the incident, they discovered Byers stood to gain almost $300,000 from Asquith's death through life insurance policies. Was she telling the truth about the pirate attack or had she pulled the trigger herself?
As police delved further into Byers' history, they learned that her defacto husband Carl Gottgens had mysteriously disappeared in 1990. Was she the victim of a series of unfortunate coincidences? Or was she a black widow preying on men for money?
*Episode Six - Who Killed Paul Snabel?
*Date Aired 13th September 2006A man disappears without a trace. When parts of his beloved bike begin appearing in local tips and dams, suspicions of foul play prove correct.
When Paul Snabel didn't return home for over a week in November 1989, his flatmate became concerned and reported him missing. Police were told he was last seen driving off into the distance on his motorbike, having consumed an entire bottle of whiskey before embarking on his journey home. Had Paul been involved in an accident and was he now lying injured in a ditch somewhere?
But when the police began their search for the young man, parts of his motorbike began suspiciously appearing in rubbish tips and dams in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. The bike had been systematically dismantled... this had been no accident. Why would Paul destroy his beloved bike? Their hopes for his safe return were rapidly diminishing.
As detectives delved further into Paul's last known movements, they uncovered a tangled web of lies and deceit. Slowly but surely detectives began to unravel the truth behind Paul's disappearance, relying on forensic evidence to link the offenders to this grisly crime.
*Episode Seven - Truong Kidnap and Murder
*Date Aired 20th September 2006On 29 April 1996, Le Anh Tuan was kidnapped by three men from his Melbourne home. In broad daylight, neighbours watched as he was bundled into the boot of a car. His captors later demanded a $400,000 ransom for his safe return.
In a series of phone calls, the kidnappers demanded payment and organised for the drop off to happen. But as the undercover operative drove Le's mother to hand over the money, things went horribly wrong.
On June 7, school boys discovered Tuan's body in a Noble Park drain. He'd been shot in the head. While police targeted a
Hong Kong-based drug trafficker as the mastermind behind the kidnap and killing, their job was to link him with his Australian-based operatives.
What followed was one of the largest and most complex homicide investigations ever undertaken by Victorian Police. It crossed many continents, including the
USA, where a Marlboro baseball cap found at the kidnapping crime scene was identified as one of a limited number made as giveaways at duty free outlets within the States. It provided investigators with the breakthrough they needed and led them to the people responsible.
*Episode Nine - Operation Sorbet
*Date aired: October 4, 2006In April 2003, 125 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value of $160 million landed off the coast of Victoria near the town of Lorne.
Two men in a rubber dinghy had brought it over from an ocean going vessel called the Pong Su. In the process of meeting their three-man shore party, the dinghy capsized and one of the men drowned.
Australian Federal Policehad known about the drug running operation for some weeks and had undercover surveillance in place. But when the arrests occurred they could only find three persons of interest - one was still missing.
As a special operations group dramatically boarded the fleeing ship, the
Victoria Policefound their missing man and because he held a GPS(Global Positioning System) in his pocket they were able to virtually retrace every step made by the smugglers.
Hansel and Gretel, the forensic team came across breadcrumbs of evidence that would seal the four men's fate and put them behind bars for 16 years.
*Date Aired: 11th October 2006
*Date Aired :18th October 2006
*Date Aired 25th October 2006
Throughout all seasons of the show Forensic Investigators has covered a few of Australia's most bizarre and grusome crimes. The show has also covered some infamous serial killers and murderers. Here are some of the infamous crimes the show has covered:
Paul Denyer: The "Frankston Serial Killer" murdered 3 women between June and August in 1993.
Neddy Smith: Notorious Sydney gangster linked to several underworld murders during the 1980s. Smith was convicted of (and confessed to) 2 murders, that of Harvey Jones and the other of a tow truck driver.
John Wayne Glover: The "Granny Killer" murdered 6 elderly women in broad daylight in Mosman, New South Wales between 1989 and 1990.
Russell Street Bombing: A car bomb exploded outside the Russell Street Police Headquarters in Melbourne in 1986 killing policewoman Angela Taylor.
Mark Valera: He murdered shopkeeper David O'Hearn and former Mayor Frank Arkell, and planned to murder his father. Later his father was murdered by his best friend on his sister's orders.
Mark Rust: Murdered Maya Javic in April 1999 near Adelaideand Japanese student Megumi Suzuki in 2001.
Richard Leonard: In one of Australia's most bizarre murders, murdered Stephen Dempsey in 1994 then him and his girlfriend murdered a taxi driver.
* Allen Thompson: Murdered The Milosevic Family (Rad Miller, her defacto husband Tony and their 2 children) in the ACT in March 1984. Forensic evidence later connected him to the murder of Rad's 2 sisters who had died in a car crash in December 1981, where Thompson was the driver of the vehicle. He was one of Australia's worst killers at the time.
Lloyd Clark Fletcher: Raped and attempted to murder a young girl in 1977, and later raped and murdered 15-year-old Janet Phillips in 1987. Between 1987 and 1997 he raped and attempted to abduct various other women in Victoria; other crimes were in Queensland.
Pong Su Incident: A drug syndicate, importation of heroin into Australia.
In early 2006 the 1st and 2nd seasons of the show were released on DVD. Each episode has bonus features, the main feature is that each episode has a longer running time than when it was shown on TV. All the episodes on the DVD have longer interviews with police, family or friends of the victim or victims and even interviews with family or friends of the killer or killers. There are also more video clips and photos shown of the crime scene.
*List of Australian television ratings for "Forensic Investigators"
List of Seven Network programs
List of Australian television series
* [http://au.blogs.yahoo.com/forensic-investigators/ Seven's "Forensic Investigators" website]
* [http://colsearch.nfsa.afc.gov.au/nfsa/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=Number%3A675947;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 Forensic Investigators at the National Film and Sound Archive]
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