HBO’s The Jinx: The Life & Deaths of Robert Durst, Netflix’s The Making of a Murderer, Serial, The Underbelly series, Unravel, The Teacher’s Pet …when it comes to real life thrillers, worldwide audiences can’t get enough of the true crime genre. We’re fascinated by evil – and we like it across all platforms, in all guises.
Whether it’s drama, documentary, podcasting, or even animation, finding and producing true crime is a huge opportunity for all TV, radio and online storytellers. For this TV Talks, MC’d by Anita Jacoby (once a journalist, always a journalist) we’ve gone cross-genre and welcome some of Australia’s best true crime storytellers to give us the inside stories.
Brendan Doyle: Director – The Twist
Caro Meldrum-Hanna: Journalist & Producer – Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane
Gina McKeon: Host/journalist – Unravel: Last Seen Katoomba
Greg Haddrick: Writer/ EP – Pine Gap, Underbelly
Mark Llewellyn: Journalist/ Producer – Murder, Lies and Alibis
MC | Anita Jacoby: Producer, broadcast executive, journalist
Brendan J Doyle
Brendan J Doyle is a director and producer with 20 years’ experience in the film, television and media industry. Brendan was the director on The Twist, an award winning animated true crime series which covers a range of historic and contemporary Australian true crimes. The series was one of the first animated concepts in the true crime genre and was recognised for its new approach in the space as winner of the Best Animation Program at the Rockie Awards International Program Competition as part of the Banff World Media Festival 2019. The Twist can be viewed on ABC iView and through ABC’s social media and online channels. It is also due to hit TV screens in 2019. Brendan’s credits include The Twist – True Crime Stories (ABC), #shelfie with Dan Hong (ABC), Australian of the Year Awards (ABC, 2012-2019) and the Norseman documentary, as well as hundreds of online videos.
Caro Meldrum-Hanna is an investigative journalist with ABC TV. Most recently, she co-created, wrote and reported the critically acclaimed and Logie nominated three part documentary series EXPOSED: The Case of Keli Lane, which quickly became the most viewed ABC Factual program online to date, beaten only by dramas Killing Eve and Mystery Road. Prior to EXPOSED, Caro was a reporter for the ABC’s Four Corners program where she won multiple awards for her work including the Gold Walkley Award and the Walkley for Investigative Journalism in 2015, three other Walkley Awards, the 2017 Logie Award, The Melbourne Press Club Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year 2016, NSW Journalist of the Year 2015, multiple Kennedy Awards, the Australian Human Rights Media Award 2016, the United Nations Media Peace Prize 2016, and other domestic and international awards. She has reported on the underbelly and misdeeds of corporations, institutions, sport, government and industry, including exposing the illegal practice of live baiting in greyhound racing in 2015, bringing the sport to its knees, sparking multiple Commissions of Inquiry and forcing multiple criminal prosecutions. In 2016 Caro exposed the mistreatment and abuse of children imprisoned at Don Dale in the Northern Territory, prompting national and international outrage and sparking a Royal Commission in record time
Gina McKeon is a dual Walkley Award- and international award-winning journalist and producer. Gina was ABC Unravel True Crime’s digital editor on the Walkley Award-winning Unravel Blood On The Track, and host and reporter of season three, Last Seen Katoomba. She reported and produced the Walkley Award-winning SBS interactive documentary My Grandmother’s Lingo, which also won a Webby Award and SXSW Interactive Innovation Award, among others. Gina co-produced the SBS True Stories podcast which investigated historical gay-hate crimes in South Australia, which was selected as a Webby Award Honouree and was number one on Apple Podcasts AU. Gina was also the 2014 ABC Andrew Olle Scholar and won the 2012 Walkley Award for Young Australian Radio Journalist of the Year.
Most recently Greg Haddrick was Executive Producer and co-writer (“Showrunner”) on the 6x1hr Netﬂix/ ABC co-commission Pine Gap – currently on the Netﬂix platform here and around the world. Prior to that Greg was Head of Drama at Screentime 2001-2017. During that time he EP’d and/or co-wrote three seasons of MDA, six seasons of Underbelly, one season of Crownies, two seasons of Wolf Creek and three seasons of Janet King. He also wrote the telemovie My Husband, My Killer, co-produced and wrote the telemovies Society Murders and The Informant, co-produced and co-wrote the mini-series Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms and the telemovie The Killing of Caroline Byrne and co-produced Mary Bryant, False Witness, Cloudstreet and Anzac Girls. Over the last twenty years Greg has received seven AWGIE Awards for screenwriting (including the Gold Awgie for Underbelly) and three AFI/AACTA Awards for producing and one International Emmy Nomination. Episodes from the Underbelly franchise ﬁll seven of the Top Twenty highest rating Australian drama shows this century, including the #1 and #2 spots. Also, Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms was the highest rating drama on Network Ten, and Anzac Girls was the ABC’s highest rating mini-series of 2015.
Mark Llewellyn started his career as a journalist at the ABC. After moving to the Nine Network he was a current affairs reporter then producer before becoming EP of A Current Affair and then 60 Minutes. He rose to the position of Head of News and Current Affairs at Nine before being ‘boned’ (his words). After moving to Network Seven he founded Sunday Night and then the award winning crime documentary series Murder Uncovered. He was also the Director of the Logie nominated documentary on Michael Hutchence, Michael: The Last Rockstar. Now back at Nine, he has just completed a new and much improved crime documentary series Murder, Lies and Alibis.
Anita Jacoby is an award-winning producer, broadcast executive, journalist and non-executive director. She has held senior production roles with all the FTA broadcasters and Foxtel, as well as in the independent production sector. As Managing Director of ITV Studios Australia she was responsible for the local operations of this global production company. Prior to this she managed Zapruder’s other films for a decade alongside Andrew Denton.
Zapruder’s was responsible for hundreds of hours of innovative programming including Enough Rope, The Gruen Transfer, God on my Side and Elders.
Anita currently sits on the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA), is a Director of Women in Media Australia and the Australian Film Institute/AACTA. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women, established the Jacoby Walkley Scholarship and is a non-executive director on a number of NFP boards. In 2019 she was appointed a member of the Order of Australia.