The Wanda Beach Murders

The Wanda Beach Murders are possibly Australia’s most well-known cold case. The 1965 murder of Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock devastated the nation, and to this day police are still trying to piece together the circumstances of their deaths. In this episode, your girls discuss one of the most likely suspects, a serial killer who travelled across the US, luring girls to their deaths by posing as a photographer. In 1965 though, he was just another Aussie teenager… one who happened to match the description of the only other person seen at the beach when Marianne and Christine were murdered.


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Ghosts in the Land of Oz, Halloween 2018

For this Very Special Episode of Murder in the Land of Oz, the girls take you on an auditory tour of some of Australia’s most haunted locations. From the isolated cells of the Separate Prison in Tasmania’s Port Arthur to a row of poinciana trees in Darwin where a wraith waits to devour the guts of men (mood), we’re going around this great southern land to hear the spookiest tales of those who remain on Earth after death.


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The Murders of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce

Two bodies lay thousands of kilometres apart – one, a two-year-old girl in a suitcase on the side of the highway in South Australia, the other, a twenty-year-old woman left lying next to a log in the Belanglo State Forest. No one was looking for them. No one even knew they were missing.

When the body of the little girl was finally discovered, seven years after she was killed, police knew she must have a mother somewhere out there. They looked to the body found in Belanglo, and found the little girl’s mother. Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce Pearce had their names back, and now the police just had to discover who killed them – and who had spend the previous five years stealing thousands of dollars from Karlie’s bank account, and using her phone to pretend to her family that she was still alive.

Please be warned that this episode contains descriptions of violence against children.


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The Murder of Anita Cobby

Take a drink every time we tell a story about a young women murdered while walking home. And then keep drinking to help dull the pain.

This week we cover the murder of beauty pageant queen, nurse, and all-around angel Anita Cobby, who’s life was tragically cut short by a gang of absolute sickos who pulled her into a car when she was walking home one evening. This episode is low on banter and high on absolute tragedy, so if you’re in a rough mood… maybe save this one for later.


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The Backpacker Murders Part Two

The murders of the seven backpackers had dominated headlines for years. The police, psychologists, scientists, and the international media were trying to work out exactly what went down in the Belangalo State Forest. The few leads the police had all seemed to point in one direction – towards a roadworker from Sydney with a passion for guns.

In this episode, your girls dive into the background of Ivan Milat and how he became the Backpacker Murderer, Jess's continued love for Paul Onions, and the unfortunate Milat family legacy. We also dive into perhaps the most burning topic related to the case – did Milat work alone? We don’t know for sure, but that’s not gonna stop us from wildly speculating!


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The Backpacker Murders Part One

Seven backpackers disappeared hitchhiking off the Hume Highway in New South Wales from 1989 to 1992. For years, Australia was gripped by the mystery – was it the work of a serial killer, or just some more inexperienced tourists bested by the Australian outback?

In the first episode of Season Two and our first case in New South Wales, your girls discuss the initial disappearances of the seven backpackers, Jess's fear of the outdoors, and how much Sydney sucks. Fuck you, Sydney.


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The Lesbian Vampire Killers

Tracey Wigginton was convicted of murdering Edward Baldock and trying to drink his blood. Tracey wasn’t just a regular old murderer, you see. She was a vampire, a night stalker, one of the Devil’s children, who needed to feed on the sweet nectar of life to sustain herself.

At least, that’s what her vampire coven believed. And they believed in her enough to help her take another human life.

On this episode of Murder in the Land of Oz, your girls talk about mind control, why men don’t think women can murder, and of course, our shameful teenage vampire phases. We renounce Twilight, but Buffy is still cool.

On October 20, 1989, Edward Baldock was violently murdered. It was a tragedy, but the media had an absolute field day when it was discovered that his killers were a coven of wannabe vampire lesbians. Readers couldn’t get enough of the Lesbian Vampire Killers, and the story made international news. Some people were titillated, others were terrified. Were cults of lesbian vampires coming for you?

Tracey Wigginton and three others were arrested for the murder. Tracey’s three accomplices quickly turned on her, saying they were compelled by Tracey to commit the crime. While Tracey got life imprisonment with a minimum of 13 years, her accomplices got barely more than a slap on the wrists. So were these women really compelled by Tracey to help her murder an innocent man? Or did the accomplices take advantage of the burgeoning Satanic Panic to make Tracey take the fall?

Our main source this week was Great Crimes and Trials: Lesbian Vampires Killers, which you can partake of here

For more information, you can check out these news articles


If you want to find out more, pro tip: turn on Safe Search before searching “Lesbian Vampire Killer”.


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The Mayne Family

Anyone who has roots in Brissie could probably ask ten different people what they know about the Mayne family and they’d get ten different answers. They’ve been called the Mad Maynes and the Murderous Maynes – but are they really as black as they’re painted? Does the family who helped establish most of Brisbane have literal skeletons in their closet?

This week your girls jump into the time machine for one last whirl as they try to tackle a question that has haunted Brisbane for over a hundred years – was Patrick Mayne really a murderer? Or was he just a weird rich guy?

Patrick Mayne was a rich businessman and city alderman in Brisbane in the mid nineteenth century. On his deathbed, he allegedly confessed to murdering a man named Robert Cox twenty years prior, stealing a sum of £300 and using the money to purchase a butcher’s shop on Queen Street. From this shop, Mayne amassed a great fortune, high status in society, and a reputation that has followed him throughout the centuries. Did Patrick Mayne really kill Robert Cox? Or was it a game of Chinese whispers, a bit of good old-fashioned Aussie tall poppy syndrome? This week we’re talking about a murder, but we are also talking about how rumours get started, and how they can have an impact hundreds of years later.

Our mayne source (see what we did there) this week was The Mayne Inheritance by Rosamund Siemon, available here

Our other sources this week include this fantastic article which debunked a fair amount of what Siemon wrote in The Mayne Inheritance, available here

If you wanna learn more about Mayne the man, go here

For another interesting debunking of some Mayne myths and legends, this two-parter on Haunts of Brisbane is a cracker


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The Murder of Betty Shanks

Betty Shanks was twenty-two years old and walking home from work when she was attacked, beaten and left for dead. Could be the first line of any article in the Courier Mail today, unfortunately, but this attack happened in 1952, and her killer was never found.

This week your girls talk exhaustively about Jess’s childhood, just how dirty motorbikes are, and just how unbelievably shitty it is to be a woman sometimes, regardless of what decade we’re in.

In 1952, a young woman named Betty Shanks was walking home from work when she was attacked, beaten, and left to die on the side of the road.

I have now told you literally everything there is to know about this case.

There are no suspects, really, despite the fact that every couple of years someone pops out of the woodwork claiming they know who did it.

There isn’t much information to be found out there about this case, due to the age and the unsolved nature of the crime. No one was ever brought to trial or even charged with ending the life of Betty.

Our main source this week was I Know Who Killed Betty Shanks, by Ted Duhs, which can be found here, although fair warning, there’s some graphic imagery and also, we didn’t love it as a read.

If you want to read another book about the case, you can’t cause it’s out of print, but the title to search the library for is Who Killed Betty Shanks? By Ken Blanch

For some lighter reading, we have the following news articles

And ya primary sources, if you’re doing a school essay


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The Gatton Murders

Some towns become synonymous with the crimes that happen in them - Salem. Waco. Snowtown.

In Queensland, we have Gatton. When the bodies of Michael, Ellen, and Norah Murphy were discovered in a field the day after Boxing Day, 1898, the little agricultural town would become forever linked to one of the most famous unsolved crimes in Australian history.

For years the murders were considered by police to be a crime of opportunity - the act of a desperate man from out of town, wanting to rob the well-off siblings. Or perhaps some madman, killing for a thrill. But was the crime actually perpetrated by a member of the Murphy family? Or worse, was it committed by a conspiracy of townspeople, determined to get revenge upon the alleged seducer Michael Murphy?

This week your hosts saddle up the horses and set out west to investigate this murder most foul. On this treacherous journey, we encounter suspicious swagmen, incompetent police work, the horrors of a 19th-century autopsy, and some good old-fashioned Catholic and Protestant religious tension.

In 1898, in Gatton, west of Brisbane, the bodies of Michael, Ellen, and Norah Murphy, along with their horse, were discovered lying in a field. Michael had been shot through the head, while Ellen and Norah had been raped and bludgeoned to death. Suspects ranged from their brother in law William McNeil, to the butcher’s man Thomas Day, to a number of swagmen who were waltzing in and out of town.

Due to the unfortunate state of telecommunications infrastructure in the late 19th century, no police officers from the CIB were sent out to investigate the crime until two days after the bodies were found. The chief inspector never even saw the bodies of the victims. And the investigation became hyperfocused on one particular suspect, who had an alibi for the time of the murder, leaving any number of potential suspects uninvestigated.

The Gatton murders have captured the imaginations of Australians for the past hundred years. No one has ever been found guilty of the murders, although armchair sleuths in modern times come up with different suspects and different explanations for the crime every couple of years. In this episode, we consider each of the main suspects, as well as a new theory put forward by Stephanie Bennet in her book The Gatton Murders: A True Story of Lust, Revenge and Vile Retribution.

Who do you think killed the Murphys? If you've got a theory or know of a suspect we didn’t mention, get in contact with us via our email, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

Our main source this week was the aforementioned The Gatton Murders: A True Story of Lust, Revenge and Vile Retribution, which can be purchased here

You can get all up in some great information and also revel in some peak Internet 1.0 web design at

If you want to delve deep into the Oxley-Gatton connection, you can read Neil Bradford’s book The Oxley-Gatton Murders: Exposing the Conspiracy which is out of print but can be found in a few libraries around Brisbane.


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Eurydice Dixon

Something a little different this week, friends.

Your girls do like to talk about murders, but we are not excited when they happen. Twenty-two year old aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon was brutally raped and murdered by a stranger walking home from a comedy gig in Melbourne in June 2018. Her death has sparked outrage nationwide, particularly after police superintendent David Clayton advised women to "take responsibility" for their own safety.

We are tired of hearing about the deaths of so many wonderful women and even more tired of women being blamed when a man decides to cut their life short.

This week we share our thoughts, our sadness and our anger in a little bonus episode. We will release a full-length episode on the tragically short life of Eurydice Dixon after the trial.

You can read about Eurydice’s impact here

You can learn more about Destroy the Joint’s Counting Dead Women project on their Facebook page


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The Murder of Bronia Armstrong

A corrupt police force. A violent murder staged to look like a suicide. A wrongful conviction. And a suicide in custody. It’s not a Netflix series, it’s the new episode of Murder in the Land of Oz, and this week your girls are solving a mystery. Reg Brown was convicted for the 1947 murder of his typist, Bronia Armstrong. But was he really guilty, or were the notoriously corrupt Queensland Police feeling lazy that day and just decided to arrest the first bloke on the scene? For sixty years the conviction was unquestioned until Reg’s granddaughters decided to dig a little deeper and find out what really happened to the grandfather they never knew.

In this episode, we blow a little dust off the photo album and take a look back into Brisbane’s past, from the post-war era right up to the seedy underbelly of the Fitzgerald Inquiry years. A lot has changed in this big country town, and an awful lot has stayed the same.


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The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay Part Two

In Part Two of our investigation into the murder of Allison Baden-Clay, ya girls discuss the absolute gall of a man who so obviously killed his wife to appeal that decision in the first place, the absolute legend that is Bevan Slattery, and we get a little serious to discuss domestic violence and the impact this case has had on Australia’s slow but steady change in the way we understand domestic and family violence.


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The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay Part One

On April 20, 2012, Gerard Baden-Clay phoned the police. His wife hadn’t come home from her morning walk, you see, and it wasn’t like her to be late. She had a big day ahead, and he didn’t want to cause a fuss, but he was getting worried. When the police arrived at the Baden-Clay household in Brookfield in Brisbane’s west, Gerard greeted the officers, gesturing apologetically at his face. “Cut myself shaving,” he said. He needn’t have pointed it out. Officers immediately noticed the long, ragged scratches on the side of Gerard’s face.

And they knew they weren’t from shaving.

The investigation into Allison’s disappearance would become one of the largest in Brisbane’s history, in man hours and in media coverage. The people demanded to know what happened to Allison, a much-loved mother, friend, and member of the community. People who had never met her joined a crowd of hundreds at the Brookfield Showgrounds to volunteer their time to search for Allison. Her husband Gerard was not amongst them.

When Allison’s body was found, days later, dumped in a creek under a bridge, miles from her home, there was one person the police and the public were sure was responsible.


The bulk of the information for this episode was taken from David Murray’s outstandingly excellent book, The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay, a fantastic addition to anyone’s true crime library.

The Courier-Mail archives have a huge range of articles written by David Murray and other journalists which can be accessed here if you have a Courier-Mail subscription.

Allison’s autopsy report can be found at

The judge’s summary for the jury at Gerard’s trial can be found here


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