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Assault Your Ears – October Podcast Review

Welcome to Assault Your Ears, a monthly column dedicated to podcasts.

By Jess Ong.

Maria James was a mother of two young children, Mark and Adam. She owned a second-hand bookshop in Melbourne and, in June 1980, she was stabbed 68 times in her own home. Her killer has never been found.

Trace is a new true crime podcast from the ABC, re-investigating the unsolved murder of Maria James. Hosted by ABC reporter and investigator Rachael Brown, Trace is a pretty consuming albeit dark listen and, as seen with season one of the hit podcast, Serial, new eyes on an investigation can yield important discoveries.

Through their investigation, the Trace team has discovered DNA bungles by Victoria Police, holes in a key suspect’s alibi, and the presence of the Catholic Church – these, in addition to 50 emails with fresh leads and tip offs from the community, could result in the coroner reopening Maria James’ case file. In fact, Maria James’ family and the Trace team are waiting for the next move from Victoria Police and the coroner. Pursuing these previous discounted leads, and the uncovering of new information, means there is sometimes a wait between podcast episodes.

I heard Rachael Brown speak at a recent podcast conference, and her commitment to Maria James’ family in seeing this investigation through is absolute. The care and concern Brown has for Mark and Adam is evident in each episode, and her thoughtful approach helps make Trace addictive listening.

You can subscribe to Trace via Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast app. 

Jess Ong works as a Communications Manager in the arts and the private sector, and is also the Creative Producer of local storytelling night, SPUN. She is the host of the SPUN Stories podcast and moonlights in the world of freelance. 

FOLLOW | @jess__ong

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