Do you like a podcast?
I have a drive to a medical appointment each 2-3 weeks that means I am in the car on a Saturday afternoon, I don’t mind listening to the footy sometimes … but not all in a row.
If I am home on a Saturday morning pretending to clean my place I will need distraction to go with my constant moans of I hate cleaning.
So I hunt out the latest podcast from a list so long I will not get through them this year.
I heard about Trace before it was dropped, it caught my ear immediately. For years I had heard about Tony’s aunty and how she was murdered in her book shop in Thornbury. My brother had been Tony’s friend since they were both running around in shorts in the playground at the local primary school. So there was mention of his aunt, her death and that no one had ever been held to account.
Trace is the story of Maria James and her children, about her murder and the investigation. It is about a journalist who researched for 18 months before the first episode went live. A journalist who had to change the episodes because of the public, of people who came forward and said they thought they knew something. It is the story of a mistake by police in the 1980s being recognised in 2017, it is the story of DNA testing starting again all these years later, to work out if indeed those who were discounted should now be counted.
It is the story of child abuse at the hands of clergy, it is the story of the horror of a woman being stabbed 68 times, of an ex-husband desperate to contact her after hearing what must have been her murder on the phone. It is the story of Mark James and his brother Adam.
This weekend I was in Thornbury for a People of Letters event at the Thornbury Theatre and whilst sitting with my friend chatting we started talking about podcasts. I told her about Trace and as I sat their I realised that the events that unfolded happened very close to where we were.
I walked past Hutton St and back to my car at the end of the event. I realised I had parked in front of St Mary’s. It made me shiver … on this cold late afternoon winter Sunday I could imagine someone running across High St and up Hutton St, I could imagine someone running through the grounds of the church and attached dwelling. It makes me wonder if indeed I walked past the shop long gone as I walked up High Street, at that though I had to stop, I could not start imagining what happened in that bookshop in 1980. Sitting writing and thinking about the horror of her murder makes me hope that Maria and her boys get answers.