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The Frankston Murders
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The Frankston Murders

Author: Casefile Presents

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In June 1993, Elizabeth Stevens, 18, was murdered on her way home from the bus stop. Her death began a seven-week reign of terror for the people of Frankston. A serial killer was on the loose. No one was safe, not young mother, Debbie Fream, 22, taken on a trip to the shops, nor Natalie Russell, 17, murdered on her way home from school. The serial killer, Paul Denyer was captured and sentenced to life in prison. On appeal, he was granted a 30-year minimum sentence. Fast forward 30 years and Denyer has applied for parole. Award winning crime writer Vikki Petraitis was on patrol with police the night the final  murder took place. She wrote the bestselling book, The Frankston Murders which has never been out of print. Vikki has revisited the case in a longform podcast to remind the world why Denyer must never be released. The Frankston Murders Podcast uncovers new material and new victims stalked by Denyer in the lead-up to the killings. Vikki interviews prison guards, police officers, family members, and people caught in the periphery of a serial killer.

Credits:
Created by Vikki Petraitis
Research and writing by Vikki Petraitis
Audio production and scoring by Mike Migas (https://mikemigas.com/)
Audio production by Anthony Telfer
Archive production by Catherine Seccombe/Arcdive (https://www.arcdive.com/)
Archival audio supplied by The Footage Company / Nine Network Australia
11 Episodes
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When Denyer’s reign of terror was over, he left devastation in his wake. Family and friends struggle to make sense of the crimes. Debbie Fream’s son, now nearly 30 speaks of his loss. With the parole bid looming, we all need to be warned.  
So who is Paul Denyer? He was a boy with some strange and concerning habits which people noticed. As a 21-year-old in prison, he had to navigate a whole new world. We meet the people who met him in prison. 
As Natalie’s family holds her funeral, the police prepare the case against Denyer. He pleads guilty and the judge gives him a life sentence. He appeals and is granted a 30-year non-parole period. Widespread community outrage follows. 
8: Episode 8: The confession

8: Episode 8: The confession

2023-03-2901:04:0811

Denyer’s confession is like nothing the police have seen before. He is cocky and boastful and details his crimes with a note of pride in his voice. However, he is cagey about some aspects. He talks to the detectives like they are all friends. 
While Natalie’s loved ones spend the night wondering if the body found could be her, police frantically hunt the killer, fearing he’ll strike again. When two cops report checking a car near the murder scene, his name comes up on the computer. 
Natalie Russell was on her way home from school at 2.30 in the afternoon when she was targeted by the serial killer. He had grown cocky and left evidence at the scene that would link him to the murders. 
A frantic hunt for Debbie is shadowed by images of her partner Garry and their tiny baby. He begs for Debbie to come home on the nightly news. Four days later, a farmer discovers her body. The public panics and fears of a serial killer grow.
Debbie Fream’s new baby was just 12 days old when she invited a friend over for dinner to show him the baby. In the middle of cooking, she ran out of milk and left the friend with the baby while she went to the local store. She never returned. 
After work Thursday 8 July, Roszsa Toth caught the train home to Seaford. Walking in the dark past the Seaford Reserve, Roszsa saw a man watching her. He suddenly lunged and grabbed her. She fought her way from him and was picked up by a passing car.
When Elizabeth Stevens left Tasmania, seeking a career in the army, she stayed with relatives, finally settling in Langwarrin to finish her studies. On a cold Friday night in June, her worried aunt and uncle wait for her, but she doesn’t come home. 
1: Episode 1: In the lead up

1: Episode 1: In the lead up

2023-03-2901:08:1223

The signs were there but no one recognised them as a serial killer in the making. Stalking, ‘accidentally’ ramming women and children with shopping trolleys, pets at the local kindergarten killed and left for the children to find. 
Comments (18)

Stephanie

It's not often I'm moved to tears by a true crime podcast but gosh, this series floored me on more than one occasion. So fantastically done. Props to everyone involved and I'm thrilled to hear Denyer won't be getting out.

Jan 21st
Reply

Jae Shepard

I searched online for quite a while without luck before coming here... Maybe I misunderstood, but twice now, when describing a family member identifying a body., it sounds like they say, "I am a medical practitioner..." before stating that they identified the body, then describing who they are in relation to the decedent (uncle and grandfather respectively). Is this an Australian thing? A 1990s thing? 🤔 I tried to look it up, but I couldn't find it *anywhere*. So curious.

Jul 1st
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Beth Roberts

Let's please do a series on the lady that engaged with him in prison. Transgender motivation?? I think not. Riding the wave of the dead body next to the road. Disgusting.

May 26th
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Mary P

Top podcast. Excellent detail, facts and narration. Thank you, Vikki.

May 3rd
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Holly Dawson

Safe ways didn't have smoke counters then. smokes were in glass help yourself shelves. my memory from 1993 victorioa. I'm finding big problems with this story in episode 2

Apr 19th
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Holly Dawson

I call bullshit on kids seeing dead animals at a daycare centre. staff are there before kids ffs

Apr 19th
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Holly Dawson

ANYONE who does such putrid deeds forfeits a choice of pronouns in my opinion. They should be referred to as IT

Apr 19th
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Elly

surely this monster will never walk free. great podcast. hard to believe it's been 30 years, I was a new young mum living in seaford at the time, doesn't seem that long ago. i remember feeling the fear before he was caught. he has to stay where he is...imagine he moved in next door ..too frightening to even contemplate. throw away the key

Apr 11th
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Rebecca Butcher

Ends mid sentence. After repeating the same information 2x.

Apr 10th
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ID23771755

If he gets parole, no woman or child in Victoria will be safe! Please don’t let him out! 😪😪

Apr 10th
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Amber Raffa

Quality journalism paired with an empathetic approach. 5 stars.

Apr 6th
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G DeA

This is very well done, but once again... as with almost every podcast about serial killers I am left wondering WHY the police failed in their duty. From botched investigations to their refusal to believe women (and sometimes men) who reported frightening incidents the police failed. They failed back in the 80s and 90s and the same failures still persist today. From Dalmer to Bundy to the Golden State killer... so many lives could have been saved and families kept from lifelong devastation if the police had listened and believed the people they were supposed to protect!!

Apr 3rd
Reply (2)

cheryl campbell

Great podcast & a great narrator. Thank you for your empathy towards the animals that were also murdered by that beast. Unfortunately, this is usually played down but not less devastating to the owners. Keep up the great work 💫

Apr 1st
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MM

This womans voice is over dramatic and painful to listen to. She sounds like she's talking to someone learning English, and she thinks they are stupid. Interesting topic, terrible narration, hard pass.

Apr 1st
Reply (2)
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