Colleen Stan: The Girl in the Box

Colleen Stan: The Girl in the Box Colleen Stan was kidnapped and held as a sex slave by Cameron and Janice Hooker in their home in Red Bluff, California between 1977 and 1984. At Cameron Hooker’s trial, Colleen Stan’s ordeal was described as unparalleled in FBI history. In May 1977, Colleen Stan was hitchhiking from her…Read more

The wrongly convicted in the US – the death penalty debate.

Founded by George Gallup in 1935, Gallup is an American research-based, global performance-management and consulting company. Gallup has become known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide and provides research and strategic consulting to large organisations in many countries. Almost since its formation this company monitors support for the death penalty in the United States…Read more

The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door S3 – Top 5 Extreme Cases

The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door, Season 3 Neighbourhood disputes are common in most countries – not the least in the United Kingdom where there are around six million registered complaints each year. Most of these are of a minor nature but occasionally relationships between neighbours can turn nasty and dangerous – with physical violence and…Read more

Heroin and opioid abuse in the United States

Heroin Triangle: Intervention Wednesdays at 9.30pm AEST from May 2 until July 4   Heroin Triangle: Intervention looks at the all too human cost of opioid addiction in the United States across a collection of affluent suburban communities north of Atlanta which has become known as “The Heroin Triangle”. Documented through city officials, community leaders, and…Read more

The cycle: the abused children who become abusive adults

Child Protection is the Government agency in the United States that has to deal with the ongoing tragedy of neglected and abused children – and is being overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. Agency workers see battered and starving children, filthy living conditions and acute poverty on a daily basis – with perhaps the…Read more

The McCann’s and the Conman – Timeline of events

The disappearance of three year old Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz in Portugal on 3 May 2007 proved to be one of the most perplexing and heart wrenching child disappearances of modern history. Despite one of the most intensive international searches of all time the little girl was never found, and her parents Kate and Gerry…Read more

Episode 10: Morgan Huxley – Family heartbreak

  The media were fascinated by the story. A lover’s tiff gone wrong? A provocation defense? Their news articles were incredibly painful writes Ruth Wykes.   This week’s episode of Crimes That Shook Australia is a sobering reminder of how painful it is for victim’s families when the media jump to conclusions about the circumstances…Read more

Episode 9: The Walsh Street Massacre – Deadly Revenge

It is discomforting to watch events unfold, to see the terrible vulnerability in the very people who are sworn to protect us, writes  Ruth Wykes.   In the early hours of Wednesday 12 October 1988 two young Victorian police constables, Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre, were ambushed and shot dead in Walsh Street, South Yarra. It was a…Read more

Episode 8: Patricia Byers – Black Widow

  Cold-blooded, calculated murder comes from a very dark heart, writes Ruth Wykes, you may think you know your partner but maybe you never did at all.   When the Queensland Coastguard received a distress call from a yacht in Queensland’s Moreton Bay their reaction was swift. Pirates, it was reported, boarded the yacht and…Read more

The Bystander Effect

In the early morning of 3 March 1964 residents of apartments located around Kew Gardens, a neighbourhood in New York City, were startled to hear a woman’s screams – “Oh my God, he stabbed me”. Several witnesses were believed to have heard or seen the attack but no one directly intervened. A man was seen to run…Read more

Little Boy Lost – The Disappearance of William Tyrell

Amongst the most tragic of all crimes are those involving the unexplained disappearance of children. In Australia there have been several such cases, with perhaps the most infamous involving the Beaumont children, three siblings aged 9, 7 and 4 who disappeared from South Australia’s Glenelg Beach on Australia Day 1966. However in recent times the disappearance of…Read more

Episode 7: Raymond Edmunds – “Mr Stinky”

It was a crime that rippled across the community and damaged everyone involved, writes true crime writer Ruth Wykes,   On 10 February 1966 two vastly different matters dominated the news: Australia was four days away from converting to decimal currency and in Adelaide, three children – the Beaumonts – had been missing for fifteen days. Little attention…Read more

Father, Fiend, Brute and Pervert – The Josef Fritzl Story

On 26th April 2008 police in the Austrian town of Amstetten, acting on a lead, interviewed a mature aged woman regarding the disappearance of a local girl Elisabeth Fritzl some 24 years before. What they learned from the interview led to the discovery of one of the most infamous cases of domestic abuse ever known, a crime…Read more

Prophet of Doom – The David Koresh story

David Koresh was born Vernon Wayne Howell in 1959, to a 14-year-old mother Bonny Clark and 20-year-old father Robert Wayne Howell, who promptly abandoned his family. Much of Vernon Howell’s life as a boy was fractured and dysfunctional but he gained some sense of solace and direction through religion, joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church in…Read more

Episode 6: Jill Meagher – It could have been anyone

It was supposed to be a normal Friday night, writes true crime writer Ruth Wykes, but it was a case that showed the gaping flaws in our justice system. When Tom Meagher reported his wife, Jill, missing at 6am on Saturday 22 September 2012 police knew immediately something was terribly wrong. Jill was last seen less than…Read more

Episode 5: Anu Singh – Knowing right from wrong

  On October 26, 1997, Anu Singh invited friends over for a dinner party, and then drugged her boyfriend Joe Cinque to kill him. True crime writer Ruth Wykes sifts through the lies and deceit of Anu Singh.   This week’s episode of Crimes That Shook Australia offers a glimpse into a crime that has…Read more

Tragedy at Dunblane

Thomas Hamilton, drove to the Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, in Scotland.   Armed with four handguns he entered the school gymnasium and opened fire on a class of twenty-eight year one students, mostly between 5 and 6 years of age. In the next 4 minutes he murdered 16 children and one teacher before killing himself with a gunshot to…Read more

Kitty Genovese Murdered, Neighbours "Do Nothing"

On this day in 1964, Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was stabbed to death in front of her Queens, New York, apartment, as apartment residents reportedly did nothing. The tragic story sparked research into the social psychological phenomenon known as Genovese Syndrome, or bystander effect. Genovese was the eldest of five children in a lower-middle class Italian-American…Read more

Episode 4: Matthew Milat – A Family’s Legacy

  What on earth would possess a 17-year-old boy to lure his friends into the Belanglo State Forest, armed with a hidden double-edged axe and fueled by the desire to kill one of his mates? Ruth Wykes tries to understand the horrifying legacy of the Milat family. Matthew was only two years old when Ivan…Read more

Episode 3: The Queen Street Massacre – Not an Ordinary Day

It was an ordinary Tuesday when the unimaginable happened, it was only 17 minutes.  True crime writer Ruth Wykes relives the Queen St Massacre on Crimes That Shook Australia.  Imagine this: it’s an ordinary Tuesday in December 1987 and you’re in your office on the 11th floor of a high rise building in Melbourne’s CBD. You’re looking forward to…Read more