From Unravel to The Lighthouse: The 5 true crime podcasts we were obsessed with in 2019.

2019 has been a big year for locally-made, gripping true crime podcasts – from mysterious disappearances to con artists, to some of the most baffling cases in Australian true crime history.

Here are the five podcasts everyone was obsessed with this year:

The Lady Vanishes

true crime podcasts 2019
Image: supplied.

The disappearance of Gold Coast teacher Marion Barter is a case that has baffled NSW police for 22 years. The 51-year-old mother of two went missing in 1997 after quitting her job and telling family and friends she was going on an overseas holiday to Europe.

Apart from a few postcards and phone calls shortly after she arrived, no one has heard from her since.

LISTEN: Jessie Stephens chats to reporter Bryan Seymour about the disappearance of Marion Barter. Post continues after podcast. 

Barter’s disappearance is now the focus of a 7NEWS podcast. The Lady Vanishes is heralded as the ‘new Teacher’s Pet’, in which investigative reporter Bryan Seymour, executive producer Alison Sandy and Marion’s daughter, Sally Leydon, delve into the disappearance.

You can read more about The Lady Vanishes here.

Unravel: Snowball

true crime podcasts 2019
Image: supplied.

In 2006, Greg Wards was backpacking in London when he met Lezlie Manukian in a courtyard at a house party.

What Greg didn’t know is that their meeting would change his life, and his family’s lives, forever.

After a whirlwind early relationship, Greg and Lezlie opened a café in the small town of Matakana near Auckland, with Greg’s parents signing on to guarantee the $1.5 million loan.

Not long after that, the pair were married in front of 150 guests.

Once they were married, things quickly began to shift.

SIDENOTE: The most haunting true crime documentaries. Post continues after video. 

In season four of ABC's flagship true crime podcast Unravel, Content Director of Triple J Ollie Wards delves into his brother's relationship with the woman who cost his family everything.

From New Zealand to Hawaii, to the UK, Brazil and the US, Ollie investigates the con artist who has been described as a female 'Dirty John' across seven episodes, as he meets other victims and even confronts Lezlie herself in a Californian supermarket car park.


You can read more about Unravel here.

Who The Hell Is Hamish

true crime podcasts
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In this eight-part series, award-winning journalist Greg Bearup investigates the crimes of a convicted fraudster named Hamish McLaren.

Going by various names, Hamish lived in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney and took $7.66 million from 15 separate victims. Among them, was Australian fashion designer Lisa Ho.

Hamish pretended to be a barrister, a Harvard graduate, a survivor of September 11, and an investment fund manager, in order to manipulate his victims.

Host Bearup says, “The scale and cruelty of McLaren’s crimes are breathtaking –  these are good and intelligent people who were unfortunately caught in McLaren’s web of lies. Many have suffered horrible consequences.”

Read more about Who The Hell Is Hamish here.

True Crime Conversations

True Crime Conversations is the interview based true crime podcast in which host Jessie Stephens explores the world's most fascinating and mysterious crimes with the people who know the most about them.

Jessie interviews authors, journalists and podcast hosts who have reported on stories such the Bowraville murders and the case of balcony murderer Simon Gittany.

Listen to Mamamia's true crime podcast, True Crime Conversations. Post continues after podcast.

You can read more about True Crime Conversations here.


The Lighthouse

true crime podcasts
Image: supplied.

For the past seven months, the disappearance of Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez has baffled the Byron Bay community and police alike.

On May 31, the 18-year-old was seen leaving Cheeky Monkey’s nightclub in Byron Bay. As he made his way back to the hostel where he was staying, Hayez messaged a friend back home in Belgium just after midnight.

Almost a week later, however, the 18-year-old was reported missing when he failed to check out from the WakeUp! hostel in Byron Bay, leaving his belongings – including his passport – untouched in his room.

Following Hayez’s disappearance, State Emergency Service volunteers, dogs, drones and members of the public searched unsuccessfully for the backpacker in a months-long search, finding little clues in regards to his disappearance.

Three and a half months after Hayez vanished the case was referred to the New South Wales coroner – bringing the official police search to an end.

Now, a new podcast from The Australian – the team behind award-winning podcasts The Teacher’s Pet and Who the Hell is Hamish? have released podcast The Lighthouse, which investigates the search for Hayez.

New episodes are dropping each week, revealing fresh clues in one of the most baffling disappearances in Australian history.

You can read more about the disappearance of Theo Hayez here.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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