A journalism podcast investigating one of the UK’s most notorious unsolved murders has gone to number one this week in the iTunes downloads charts.
Untold tells the story of Alastair Morgan’s 29-year campaign to find out why his brother was murdered and to expose the police corruption which saw five investigations fail to bring those responsible to justice.
Presented by Peter Jukes, the podcast was originally broadcast in six parts with the help of £10,000 in crowdfunding. Now, with the help of sponsorship from website developers Squarespace, it has beeen revampeed and expanded to ten parts availanble on the podcasting distribution platform Acast.
Jukes said that the podcast has already generated tens of thousands of downloads and that his investigation has brought new material to light about the circumstances surrounding Daniel Morgan’s murder.
He said: “It is like LA Confidential: its about the media, and corruption and corrupt police.
“It’s about the nexus of police, private investigators and confidential inquiries that took of in the 1980s.
“They were bribing cops, getting personal information, bribing and blagging and the News of the World was very closely involved. Phone-hacking was the benign side of it.”
Daniel Morgan was murdered with an axe outside the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham in 1987 after telling friends he was going to share evidence of major police corruption with the media.
He was a partner in the private investigations agency Southern Investigations which would later be found to have widespread illegal dealings with the News of the World.
Former detective sergeant Sid Fillery was involved in the first failed investigation into Daniel Morgan’s murder before retiring from the police and replacing him as the business partner of Jonathan Rees in Southern Investigations.
The pair stood trial in connection with the killing but proceedings collapsed in 2008.
Morgan told the House of Commons earlier this year: “When the private investigator took over my brother’s company with the prime suspect you’d think the British press would be scratching their heads and saying: ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’ But not a bit of it.
“They saw it as a business opportunity and within weeks of my brother’s murder the News of the World was in business with them. There were commercial transactions that went on and which continued well over a decade. And not just the News of the World. There was also Mirror group newspapers and those are the ones that we know of.
“I knew there was corruption in the investigation within three weeks of my brother’s murder, I had seen it.
Karl Rosander, president of Acast Stories, likened Untold to US-based podcast Serial.
He said: “Serial captured the attention of people around the world, creating a new generation of true-crime enthusiasts. The show’s reach was international, and the UK has not had an equivalent – until now.
“‘Untold’ goes further than Serial, however, because Daniel’s murder represents the tip of an iceberg of corruption within the British policing and media establishment. By unravelling the story through a podcast, the Untold team can circumvent these institutions and have their voices heard, when others might want them silenced.”