Crime+Investigation is proud to partner with CrimeCon UK, a new True Crime event, coming to the UK in September 2021. As part of the show, CrimeCon has gathered together leading true crime podcasters in Podcast Row. Here fans will be able to meet the stars of their favourite shows in person.
UK True Crime podcast
Ahead of the event, Crime+Investigation is doing a series of Q&As with some of the podcasters who will be attending CrimeCon in September. In the sixth instalment, we spoke with Adam, the host of UK True Crime podcast, a weekly podcast focussing on lesser-known UK cases, offering new perspectives and insight on stories you may already know.
1.How would you describe your podcast in one sentence?
A weekly helping of lesser-known UK true crimes in 30 minutes.
2.What makes your podcast stand out from the crowd?
It isn’t for everyone, I get that. I take the crimes I cover incredibly seriously but I don’t take myself seriously at all, so happily laugh at myself and share my life/personality. As I do this for fun, I think it is important that I am authentic and this helps develop the bond with listeners.
3.What first sparked your interest in true crime?
When I was very young, after listening to the top 40 on radio one on a Sunday night with my family, the news immediately afterwards announced the arrest of a man believed to be the Yorkshire Ripper. I recall both being terrified by the name and my mum and dad telling me that the world was now a safer place. I was hooked from that point on….
4.What's your favourite part of the podcasting process?
Answering Q&As for my fave website! Hmmm, unsurprisingly my least favourite is editing. The best part, by far, is all the interaction with my listeners, at live shows like CrimeCon and online.
5.What do you think your fascination with true crime has taught you in your personal life?
I have two lovely Dalmatians and whenever they are sniffing around suspicious arguments I move away quickly. As us true crime fans know, it is always the dog walkers who stumble on the body.
6.What's your favourite episode and why?
It is probably an episode called ‘catching the bus’ which is all about suicide chatrooms and a man who was charged after making a suicide pact and changing his mind at the last moment as the other person jumped to their death at Beachy Head. A really harrowing story that posed lots of questions.
7.Which case that you've featured on the podcast keeps you awake at night?
The clear miscarriages of justice naturally bother me. For example, I covered one recently about a group of men known as ‘The Freshwater Five’ who this year lost their appeal against a conviction for drug smuggling. How they were found guilty on the evidence presented at court is beyond me. A clear miscarriage of justice and although it is only a matter of time before the convictions are quashed, in the meantime, lives continue to be ruined – not just the men involved but their families.
8.What do you now know about podcasting that you wish you knew when you started?
To ignore the terrible reviews that really bothered me – and all podcasters - in the early days. They really don’t matter because with true crime podcasts there is something out there for everyone and other shows you will dislike. I get that now. My show isn’t for everyone and quite right too – I would hate it to be the podcasting equivalent of ‘The One Show’. Eek, imagine…..
9.What's one cold case you would like to see solved?
Damian Nettles who disappeared from Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1996. My mum is from Cowes and I have spent loads of time there sailing and seeing family. Funnily enough, I was in Cowes the night Damian disappeared. His family have tried so hard to get the answers needed and I suspect they have a very good idea about exactly what happened to Damian. But there are a number of people who know exactly what happened to him who aren’t telling the truth. Unfortunately, it is also one of those investigations where the police have fallen below the high standards we expect: they should have done so much more.
I think it is unforgivable, after all this time, for these people who know what happened to Damian not to give a family closure. I hope that one day they will get the answers they deserve. I fear they won’t.
10.What reforms are needed in the world of policing and the judicial system?
I think policing is just an impossible job and I have no idea where to start making this better.
I don’t get why we keep sending so many people to prison when they don’t pose a danger to the public and could be used much more effectively in the community. This would give the hard-working people in the prison service the opportunity to actually help prepare some of the inmates for their future. To me, wherever possible it should be all about rehabilitation rather than punishment. From the many ‘discussions’ I have about this, many people don’t agree.
But, my number one issue in the judicial system is magistrates. Unaccountable, unrepresentative of their communities and, frankly, unqualified and unfit for purpose. To me, it is outrageous how they are able to make such dreadful decisions time and time again and we just keep giving them more power.
11.What's your favourite true crime podcast, documentary or TV series and why?
I watch and listen to so much it’s hard to say.
I have particularly enjoyed Murdertown on Crime & Investigation and of course love the podcast of the same show narrated by one of my all-time podcasting heroes, Ben Fitton who also creates the excellent They Walk Among Us with his wife Rosie.
12.If you didn’t have a true crime podcast, what type of podcast would you have?
My main interests outside my family are sailing, Leeds United, rugby and gardening, so one combining all of those? Hmmm, not so sure that would work. Luckily there are some great ones on Leeds – the very first podcast I ever listened to The Square Ball I still listen to today. Probably one on sailing making this amazing sport much more accessible to all and finally getting rid of the myth that it is only for the wealthy. It really isn’t and it is such a great way to meet some amazing people and to travel the world.
13.What are you most looking forward to at CrimeCon?
For me, it is really simple. I am looking forward to chatting to loads of people who, like me, have a strong interest in true crime. After all, as we all know, we aren't the strange ones – it is all the others who aren’t interested in true crime!