Former crime reporter at The Australian Dan Box has spent the past three years covering the Bowraville murders in print, and for a podcast. He returned to Australia this month to cover the latest developments in the case, which has been referred to the High Court.
He talks to media diarist Stephen Brook about the podcast that won him two Walkley awards in 2016, his follow up video documentary series The Queen & Zak Grieve, and the state of true crime at the moment.
“One bloke said to me, ‘true crime is so hot right now,’ and I just wanted to slap him, I wanted to reach across the desk. And just say, ‘you have no idea because it's not entertainment, it's not something you watch for fun. These are actual people's lives, these are people's children who've been murdered, these are families that will never recover from that harm'.”
Covering the crime round can take its toll, and Dan struggled after two years spent reporting on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. On one occasion he came home and felt the walls were shaking.
Dan began his career at the The Sunday Times on work experience and lucked into a job as the oil and gas correspondent.