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The creator of ‘Casefile’ | Interview

On 26 January 1966 three children named Arnna, Grant and Jane disappeared from Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, Australia. 52 years later the case remains unsolved. The country changed that day; a collective realisation that something or someone sinister was lurking on the streets of Adelaide. It was no longer safe to let our children play in the streets out of sight.

The case has remained open by the South Australian police and as of 2018, an A$1 million reward has been offered in exchange for information related to the cold case. It is cases like the Beaumont children that are covered in one of Australia’s top true crime podcasts – Casefile. Featuring stellar writing, research and production, Casefile has reached 100 episodes – culminating with the Beaumont children’s case as the milestone marker.

Casefile covers both unsolved and solved cases from Australia and across the globe. Cases are riveting; holding your attention like a book you simply cannot put down. To celebrate the podcast’s milestone we reached out to Casefile’s creator ‘Casey’ – the show’s anonymous host.

The birth of Casefile and Australia’s fascination with true crime

Australia’s fascination with true crime started long before Casefile. Infamous crimes such as the Lindy Chamberlain case, Ivan Milat, Ned Kelly,the Beaumont Children, the Tamum Shud case and William Tyrell continue to mystify the Australian public.

When listening to Casefile it is sometimes hard to accept the facts and a case’s truths. The murder and the deception undertaken by both men and women. The inhumanity. Casefile’s birth onto Australia’s plate of true crime shows, books and podcasts came about from the show’s creator needing something to focus on and distract himself from the long recovery of a surgery he had recently endured.

“For me it wasn’t so much boredom, but more struggling with getting through the long recovery of another injury. It was my third in quick succession and as someone who likes to remain fairly active, I was looking at a good 12 months before my knee was back to 100% and I was not coping with that too well. So it wasn’t boredom, it was about needing something to focus my attention on to get my mind out of the fairly dark place I was in at that time.”

Human nature explored

As for Casefile itself, the show deals with various aspects of human nature. Lies, murder, corruption, kidnapping, violence, international crime, money; families broken apart. Due to the dark nature of the crimes explored on Casefile, the content can affect both listeners and the creator.

“Physical activity is my number one escape from the podcast and the heavy content we deal with – I like fitness: runs, crossfit style workouts, things like that. Photography is another thing I’m getting into. I’m not good at it, but learning as I go. Spending time with friends and family is also important. I’ve just gotten into meditation and some yoga and stretching as well to balance things out a bit.”

Each episode of the podcast is generally self contained and focuses on a single crime committed. Multiple part episodes such as the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker take an in-depth look at the crime/s and generally feature police recording and external audio sources when available.

“Many hours from many people are invested into a single Casefile episode. [Time invested] varies with each case, especially with the multi-part releases, but on average the research takes two weeks and the writing another one to two weeks on top of that. The recording is usually done in one day, but can turn into two days if I’m having a bad session.

Casefile was born from a need – a need to escape, create and take someone’s mind off something else. For the podcast itself it has grown immensely from its humble beginnings as a side project. The production quality from episode 1-100 has improved immensely. The research, writing and the narrator’s confidence has also steadily improved.

“I’m never satisfied until the narration sounds good, so there is always a lot of different takes until I eventually get one where I say, “Okay this is the one.” After the recording, the production and music composition process takes about another week. So it’s very full on and it’s evolving as we continue to grow and improve.”

For Casey, the steep learning curve of podcast production was an element he endured with persistence and dedication. He is not a journalist nor writer and had no previous experience in podcast nor writing production. Casey is a guy with a love for what he does and found a way to make it work.

“It was all learn as I go. I had no experience in anything related to podcast production so I went in blind. As the show grew, I found other people to come in and join the Casefile team to help me. Mike Migas, Casefile’s producer, improved the audio quality and overall production of the show, and our team of talented writers Milly, Elsha, Vicky, Eileen, and Gemma helped boost the research and writing.”

An element that sets Casefile apart from other podcast is the level of research into cases. Whilst the solved cases probably prove easier to research, Casey hopes to create awareness around the unsolved.

“…I think it’s equally important to highlight some of the older cases, especially when they are unsolved. Just because a certain case may not receive much media attention today, it’s important that they don’t get swept under the rug and remain part of the public consciousness so the grieving families and community may one day get the answers they are looking for.”

“Ultimately, it also comes back to our audience. The show has continued to grow and grow, we are fortunate enough to have gained a large following. We strive to keep improving the quality of the show for our listeners – they are a major motivating factor as to why we keep going.

Out of the now 100+ cases covered by Casefile there are a number of them that stand out. The Golden State Killer, Daniel Morcombe (really worth a listen as the police work in this case is astounding), The Janabi Family, The Frankston and Tynong Serial Killer and several international cases leave listeners bewildered, shocked and astounded.

“It‘s really hard to pick one. [The episodes] have all had an impact on their respective cities, states and countries in some way. I guess for the sheer enormity of the tragedy, it would be hard to go past Jonestown. The Golden State Killer is another one, due to the amount of people affected. The mysterious case of the missing Beaumont Children arguably had one of the biggest impacts in Australia, as it significantly changed the way of life for Aussie children and families, and was the beginning of the end of an era of freedom and independence.”

Reaching 100 episodes

Casey said it’s an amazing feeling to reach 100 episodes, as when he started the podcast he thought he’d be lucky to have three people listen to it.

“I thought I might get to 3 or 4 episodes and that would be the end of it, but at least it would have given me something to get my mind off my injury and rehab. It has now gone far beyond anything I ever imagined.”

Although one might think it odd that the creator has chosen to remain anonymous, for Casey it’s a choice he’s content with and there are no plans for the anonymity to change. For us as listeners, an anonymous host allows us to fully consume the story and not focus on the storyteller themselves.

“…I am content remaining anonymous and there’s no plans for that to change. There’s always problems and issues to deal with that need to be worked out and resolved, but that’s life, and no different to any other workplace.”

For creators it can be hard to let go of your content and release it for viewing, listening or critique. It is so easy to be consumed with self doubt that as creators we can often forget why we create in the first place.

“I am really critical, as I touched on earlier when discussing the recording process, and am never happy with the narration. It’s tough to listen to the sound of your own voice, I think most people struggle with that, so I really rely on the feedback of the rest of the Casefile team. I trust their judgement – without it, I’d probably never get another episode out as I’d never be happy with how it sounds.”

Learning to let go of fear and rejection is a learning process of its own. Creating content with positive energy and creating something because we enjoy doing it shows through in the work we create. We really are our own worst critics. For Casefile a lot of time and energy is invested into each episode. The attention to detail, care and respect of victims both alive and deceased is of paramount importance which has helped the show gain the following it has.

To listen to an episode of Casefile visit Casefile.com or stream it through your favourite podcast app. Casefilepodcast.com has further information about each episode and if there is a breakthrough in a previous case, Casey will often provide a short update which you can listen to.

Our recommendations (Australia focused):

  • Case 19: ‘Snowtown’ – Australia
  • Case 23: ‘The Frankston Serial Killer’ Parts 1 and 2 – Australia
  • Case 45: ‘Port Arthur’ – Australia
  • Case 46: ‘The Frankston and Tynong North Serial Killer’ – Australia
  • Case 53: ‘The EAR/GSK’ Parts 1 to 5 – United States
  • Case 54: ‘Daniel Morcombe’ – Australia
  • Case 100: ‘The Beaumont Children’ – Australia

If you feel at anytime you need support, please contact your local crisis centre.

AUSTRALIA:

Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: Depression and anxiety support: 1300 22 46 36
Rape & Domestic Violence Services: 1800 737 732
Men’s Line: 1300 78 99 78
Headspace: Youth Mental Health Foundation: see headspace.org.au for your local centre

USA:
Distress & Lifeline: 1800 273 8255
Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741
Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 799 7233
Victim Connect: support for victims of crime: 855 484 2846

UK:
Mind: mental health support: 0300 123 3393
SANE: mental health support: 0300 304 7000
Samaritans support network: 116 123
National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300

CANADA:
For a list of Canadian crisis centres: https://thelifelinecanada.ca/help/call/

NEW ZEALAND:
Lifeline: 0800 543354
Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (Text 4202)

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