He was born Hamish Watson, a surfie dude from Sydney – but he could morph into whatever you needed him to be. Hamish is due to be sentenced to jail in early 2019 for swindling a handful of victims out of more than $7m. But these crimes are just the final pages in a resume too thick to staple; for decades he’s duped victims in the US, Canada, Britain, Hong Kong and Australia. How did he do it? How did he evade authorities around the world for so long and what’s he done with all those tens of millions of dollars he stole?
Theo Hayez is missing in Byron Bay, a beautiful beachside town on Australia's most easterly mainland point, frequently in the spotlight for its famous residents. Theo's from Brussels. He's 18 and on a backpacking holiday when he vanishes in May 2019. Behind the scenes local volunteers who've never met Theo begin searching and investigating with his family, parallel to a major police investigation. As the search narrows to the area around the 118-year-old Cape Byron Lighthouse, a range of theories emerge.
At the request of Theo's family, The Australian newspaper's national crime correspondent David Murray joins the unofficial search party to investigate the mysterious disappearance for a new podcast series.
To hear more, search for The Lighthouse in your podcast app.
William Tyrrell was a three year old boy who disappeared from the village of Kendall, on the mid-north-coast of New South Wales. Key facts were kept from the public, from day one. A lot of what was reported, especially early on, was false. In the new podcast, Nowhere Child, The Australian's Caroline Overington delves into a case where notions of class and privilege; opportunity and poverty came crashing together, to create a nightmare for William Tyrrell.
For years Hamish McLaren had evaded the law. But not any more. The brutal truth, like a runaway out-of-control limited edition Mercedes McLaren, is bearing down on him. There's no escape. Judgement Day for Hamish McLaren, has finally arrived.
As a bonus for all listeners, we are publishing the full interview with Jane, recorded in her house north of Sydney. She speaks at length about her experiences of Hamish, the impact it had on her life, and how she hopes to begin moving on.
It may appear that Hamish got away with his schemes for decades. But he didn't. He kept getting caught out, time and again. It's self evident that many systems failed to apprehend this serial offender. How could this be so?
He killed off his parents, by air and by sea. He ran over his twin brother Phil, and killed him too. What are we to make of these fanciful stories Hamish made up about his life? We've called in experts. And, we've gathered bevy of ex-girlfriends to give us their take on their time with Hamish.
Skiing was Hamish Watson's great love. Before he was a puffed-up futures trader in Sydney, he was a pumped-up muscle-bound ski instructor, in Australia and Canada. The ski fields of Canada were his home away from home, a place where he could show off the millions he'd stolen. He flew in on private jets, he bought properties, he handed out Rolex watches and he regaled the locals with tales of life as a billionaire who was mates with Tom and Nicole.
But it wasn't all play and no work for Hamish in Canada. He stole millions, roping in a high end car dealership, and drawing the attention of a spy and a former Australian Prime Minister.
Hamish arrived on the floor of the Sydney Futures Exchange in the late 90s - he talked big, but they all knew he traded small. They called him a One Lot Wonder. And they all wondered where he got his cash. There were cars and boats and trips in private jets and a girlfriend called The Pleasure Machine. But it was all other people's money. One of his victims reported $20m dollars worth of fraud to police, but Hamish slithered away to strike again.
Jane was destined for big things. She was the great hope of her local school. She was in love with Jack, her teenage sweetheart. Life was sweet. Then along came Hamish, promising an internship and a placement at Princeton. Two families would be devastated by the results.
Meydn - L'Etoile danse Pt.2,
Smallertide - One March Day
electric-tric - Sketch 3, Sketch 14
Komiku - Action Time Attack Research
Chris Zabriskie- Last Night I Dreamt I Saw True Love In Your Eyes
Hamish arrived in sleepy Blueys Beach with a beautiful woman on his arm, and on the run from his past. Rumours of dark deeds wafted through in his wake. Then he met Bec Rosen. He'd shower her with love.They'd be married on the balcony of a beach shack. He'd become a father figure to her boys. And then he'd cruelly betray them all.
Meydn - L'Etoile danse Pt.2, Rain
Rafael_Archangel - Melancholy Tune
Uuriter - Years And Years
Hamish McLaren was always attracted to the high-life. It was inevitable he'd gravitate to fashion. And so, nestled among the retirees and energy healers Hamish stole from was another name: Lisa Ho. But had Hamish met his match in this high profile Sydney designer?
Meydn - L'Etoile danse Pt.2, Blind, Rain
Chris Zabriskie - Cylinder Five
Smallertide - One March Day
Tracy fell in love with Max Tavita, a man who won her over with tales of a life in the investment world and how he was working in the World Trade Center in New York when the first plane hit in 2001. Then Hamish crashed into their lives.
Music credits for this episode:
Meydan - L'Etoile danse pt 2
Lee Rosevere - Decompression
Derjuli - Driving in a car
Uuriter - Years and years, future peace
Stephen Ludwig - 214S