Welcome to Show Notes, a brand-new Q&A series from Crime + Investigation. We'll be speaking to the hosts of your favourite true crime podcasts to find out more about the shows, their passion for true crime and the cases that keep them awake at night. There are hundreds of true crime podcasts available across every platform, so this is your chance to meet the people behind the microphones and discover your next favourite listen.
In this inaugural Show Notes interview, we spoke to Stuart Blues, the host of British Murders. As one of the most popular true crime podcasts in the UK, British Murders is an independently produced operation that focuses exclusively on British murder cases and serial killers, from the obscure to the infamous. Across ten seasons, Stuart has covered almost 100 cases and regularly interviews those fighting crime on the front lines.
1. What five words would you use to describe your podcast?
2. What makes your podcast stand out from the crowd?
My podcast differs from others for a few reasons. Firstly, solo male hosts are a rare thing in the true-crime podcast industry, especially host from northern England (I’m from Yorkshire). My episodes are also shorter than the typical 40-60 minute length of most true crime podcasts. My episodes last between 15 and 30 minutes (except interviews), which makes them binge-able, something my listeners constantly inform me that they do with my episodes (binge them).
Every single case I cover has been suggested by a listener, which means I tend to cover a lot of local cases that don’t have much coverage. I get case suggestions all the time and have to use an ever-growing spreadsheet to keep track of them all!
I also open my episodes with two ice-breakers ('True facts that sound like bulls**t' and 'random quote of the day'). Both segments have nothing to do with the episode. they’re just here to break the ice/tension before the dark content begins.
3. What first sparked your interest in true crime?
I get my true crime love from my Mum. I always remember her watching true crime documentaries growing up and vividly remember her reading 'Wicked Beyond Belief' - I couldn't believe how thick that book was! Interestingly, my mum was a teenager/young adult when Peter Sutcliffe was active. She recalls being in a Huddersfield nightclub (that’s where I was born) and having the 'Wearside Jack' tape being played over the sound system one night. Scary stuff.
4. What's your favourite part of the podcasting process?
Pressing “upload” when the episode is finished! In all seriousness, I love each step for different reasons, but if I had to pick one, I’d say the research. Gradually building the layers of a story and working out how I’m going to portray it to my listeners is a fascinating creative process.
5. What's the favourite episode you’ve done and why?
I’m really proud of my recent two-part special called 'The Forgotten Thirteen', about the thirteen innocent women killed by the Yorkshire Ripper. It’s a close-to-home case as many of the murders occurred in Huddersfield (my hometown) and Leeds (where I now live). One murder occurred up the road from me and I know most of the other locations. Add to that my Mum’s experience and it made it a special one to research.
6. What keeps you awake at night?
The thought of my daughter growing up and leaving the house. Nothing petrifies parents more, I imagine. Knowing what happens to so many women out there terrifies me.
7. What do you now know about podcasting that you wish you knew when you started?
It takes up far more hours than you expect when first starting and it’s much harder to gain an audience than I originally thought. Also, I’ve learnt through experience to not take negative reviews/feedback so personally and to heart. It’s natural to receive 99 pieces of praise and 1 negative and to only focus on the latter.
8. What life lessons has true crime taught you?
To steal an expression from my childhood hero, wrestler 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, DTA (Don’t Trust Anybody!)
9. What's one cold case you would like to see solved?
This is a difficult question to answer because my show exclusively covers solved cases. It’s just a personal preference. There are plenty of other shows that deal with unsolved crimes. The most obvious answer is the one we’ll likely never solve - Jack the Ripper. Imagine how huge that story would be if his true identity was finally revealed!
10. What's your favourite true crime podcast?
It’s tough to choose because I’ve got so many close friends in the true crime world and many of them have fantastic podcasts, but my answer to this question is always REDRUM by Grace Cordell. It probably has the best narration I’ve ever heard in a podcast.
11. What’s your favourite Crime + Investigation show and why?
“Crimes That Shook Britain” with Dermot Murnaghan. British crimes are my jam.
12. If you could start a podcast based on a topic other than true crime, what would you choose and why?
I’m a huge horror movie fan and I often flirt with the idea of starting a horror movie podcast. I just don’t have the space or time at the moment and the thought of starting again with a new show is daunting. I’ve also considered doing sister shows such as “European Murders”, “American Murders” etc., but, again, time constraints have prevented me from doing so thus far.
Listen and subscribe to British Murders wherever you get your podcasts.
- Check out our true crime podcast hub for podcast features and interviews, plus full episodes of the Murdertown podcast.