Claremont the podcast: The five must-listen episodes on accused killer Bradley Robert Edwards’ trial

Kate RyanThe West Australian
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Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo, defence lawyer Paul Yovich, the victims of the Claremont killer Ciara Glennon, Sarah Spiers and Jane Rimmer, and a court sketch of accused man Bradley Robert Edwards.
Camera IconProsecutor Carmel Barbagallo, defence lawyer Paul Yovich, the victims of the Claremont killer Ciara Glennon, Sarah Spiers and Jane Rimmer, and a court sketch of accused man Bradley Robert Edwards. Credit: The West Australian

From salacious intimate details of the accused killer’s life to the graphic descriptions of the tragic final moments of the victims, WA’s trial of a century has captivated not only locals but people from around the world with its movie-like plot.

The investigation involved experts poring over evidence, with a tiny fleck of DNA found on a fingernail, barely even noticeable, and a chance test eventually leading to the dramatic arrest of Bradley Robert Edwards.

And for listeners tuning into The West Australian’s podcast, the twists and turns of the trial have had many flipping between being convinced the accused was guilty, to being not so sure. Nowhere was this more starkly brought into focus than during each side’s closing statements.

Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo’s final words were: “Bradley Robert Edwards, we say, is the Claremont serial killer.” While defence lawyer Paul Yovich said: “A conviction founded on inadequate evidence would not constitute proper closure.”

Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo.
Camera IconProsecutor Carmel Barbagallo. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

More than five million listeners have tuned into the 95 trial-day episodes and 16 bonus episodes of the Claremont in Conversation podcast since it debuted in November 2019 with the podcast team, along with their expert guests, unpacking and recapping the day’s proceedings, making them easy to understand with eight hours of evidence squeezed into half an hour. As WA now waits for the verdict, here’s our guide to the five must-listen episodes.

5. Episode 17 - Death Lilies

The discovery of Jane Rimmer’s body has been described by Alison Fan several times as “supernatural”. A chicken running across the road stopped a family driving along Woolcoot Road in Wellard in their tracks, and the crop of Arum, or “death” lilies which guided a mum of two to pick them.

Jane Rimmer.
Camera IconJane Rimmer. Credit: unknown/Supplied by family

That mum, Tammy Evans gave evidence on day 17, which left her in tears as she recounted finding Jane’s body, and told the court when her husband went to get her, she decided to stay because “she didn’t want to leave her alone”.

The day after Jane’s body was found, The West Australian’s front page read “The State is in Mourning”.

4. Bonus Episode – The Day a Teenager’s Innocence Was Taken

WARNING: This episode contains details of the most violent of the crimes Bradley Edwards has admitted.

In February 1995, he abducted a teenager off the streets, bound and gagged her, then took her to Karrakatta Cemetery where he brutally raped her twice before dumping her in bushes.

In this episode, the podcast team is joined by veteran journalist John Townsend, who was a crime reporter for The West Australian in the 90s. As well as reporting on the rape, he also covered the disappearance of Sarah Spiers a year later.

The Seven West Media podcast team Kate Ryan, Tim Clarke, Alison Fan and Natalie Bonjolo.
Camera IconThe Seven West Media podcast team Kate Ryan, Tim Clarke, Alison Fan and Natalie Bonjolo. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Townsend’s emotional description of his anger about the little information, or the wrong information, sent out to the public at the time shows the extent to which this case has stayed with him for more than 25 years.

3. Episode 85 - The Case End

“Brace yourself, Bradley”: that was the pivotal moment of the six-hour police interview played to the court on day 85.

This was the part of the trial most listeners had been waiting for — the police interview of Bradley Robert Edwards.

A young Bradley Robert Edwards.
Camera IconA young Bradley Robert Edwards. Credit: Unknown/Supplied by Supreme Court

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the number of people allowed in the public gallery was limited, and while Justice Hall had accommodated for proceedings to be available on the Supreme Court website, the public wanted to know for themselves just what Mr Edwards looked like as he was being questioned.

2. Bonus Episode - The Third Wheel

Otherwise known as “The Lover” — this was the man who came in between Bradley Edwards and his first wife.

An young Bradley Robert Edwards.
Camera IconAn young Bradley Robert Edwards. Credit: Unknown/Supplied by Supreme Court

This was the episode we were inundated with requests to cover in more detail. In this bonus episode we cover the computer which saw the beginning of the end of Bradley Edwards’ marriage to his first wife, the affair, pregnancy and subsequent breakdown of the marriage, which the prosecution initially said was an emotional trigger for Bradley Edwards to abduct and kill Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.

1. Bonus Episode - Remembering Ciara

Ciara Glennon was the third woman to go missing from the streets of Claremont in a matter of 14 months.

In this episode, the podcast team look into the kind of person the 27-year-old lawyer was, the last sightings of her and later desperate search.

They then move on to the discovery of her body 19 days later and the fight for her life, which the prosecution believe was how a tiny fleck of DNA lodged in her fingernail — the detail which broke open the investigation.

Ciara Glennon had recently returned to Perth from a European holiday.
Camera IconCiara Glennon had recently returned to Perth from a European holiday. Credit: unknown/Fairfax Media

In this emotional episode, hear from Ciara’s heartbroken parents, the police re-enactment and excerpts from Una Glennon’s book, “Ciara’s Gift”.

To hear about the lives of Sarah Spiers and Jane Rimmer, also listen to “Remembering Sarah” and “Remembering Jane”.

To read the Top 10 Claremont in Conversation episodes, and a list to listen to the whole trial in 20 episodes, head to thewest.com.au

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