Claremont serial killings trial: Claremont in Conversation podcast breaks the two million downloads barrier
- Police, pathologist combine for extraordinary act of empathy towards Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer’s families
- Forensics cut piece of Ciara’s hair to give to parents
- New Zealand DNA expert Dr SallyAnn Harbison weighs in on sample contamination fears
It’s been called WA’s trial of the century - a fitting description for the Claremont Serial Killings trial, which has wrapped up its ninth week, with at least another three months of evidence, hundreds of witnesses and countless hours of testimony still to be heard - and the Claremont in Conversation podcast has been following it every step of the way.
With Natalie Bonjolo and Tim Clarke at the helm, and guests which include veteran 7NEWS reporter Alison Fan as well as legal and forensic experts helping to make the sometimes complicated evidence easy to understand, they’ve condensed eight hours of court proceedings into around half an hour every day.
Following the first season, which looked back at the last 24 years ahead of the trial, season two has followed every day of the trial since it started in November 2019, and has just ticked over two million downloads earlier in the week. It’s sitting at number one in the news category on Podbean, and has been trending high in Apple podcasts and Spotify.
“We knew West Australians would be invested in this case, but we’ve been overwhelmed by the response, it’s really taken us by surprise,” Claremont in Conversation host Natalie Bonjolo said.
“We’re being bombarded with feedback from listeners who are clinging onto every detail and they’ve got burning questions they want answered.”
The Claremont killings has left an impression on people who have lived in Perth, some that are still here and others who have moved away, listeners of the podcast have told of their connections to the case, whether it be that they lived and socialised in Claremont in 1996 and 1997, knew the victims or are true crime buffs.
Since day one of court proceedings, people from Perth and all over the world have been hooked on every detail. Listeners have tuned in from America, the UK and Europe, UAE and Africa and Asia. Even high profile ‘Perthonalities’ like Australian cricketer Cam Bancroft and 7NEWS presenter Susannah Carr have confessed to be daily listeners.
“I’ve actually found it quite riveting and I’ve learnt so much, I’ve listened to every episode,” Susannah Carr said.
“Because I was reading news when the whole thing happened in the 90s, and Alison was reporting on it, and I was down in Claremont doing live broadcasts on the occasional night as well, it’s something we’re all just aware of.”
The veteran 7NEWS presenter said she, like many other people who don’t have time to read the paper - or even watch the news - uses the podcast to catch up on each day’s details, some of which the public are hearing for the first time.
“Another thing that’s astonishing is that we’re looking at a history timeline of DNA investigation too and DNA evidence, it’s really interesting seeing it being pulled to pieces, I’m learning a huge amount, as is everybody who’s following it I think,” she said.
“(Tim Clarke) retains so much and he’s so fluid when he delivers it all as well, and I mean, we’re talking about really complex stuff...and yet Tim is holding onto it so well.”
The West Australian’s Tim Clarke, in court everyday since the start of the trial, said reporting on the Claremont case is a huge responsibility.
“We are talking about three young women who have been taken away from their families,” he said.
“The last nine weeks of the trial has revealed previously unknown details which have been shocking, salacious, upsetting and at times gruesome.
“We have tried to bring that information to the listeners sensitively and comprehensively, and the feedback we have got from our audiences is that they have understood what we are trying to do, and appreciated how we are trying to do it.”