Gympie true crime podcast returns, but co-host departs
THE wildly successful, locally produced true crime podcast delving deep into the unexplained July 2014 death of Wolvi mum Kirra McLoughlin has returned but without one of its founders.
Beenham Valley Road, created and co-produced by former Gympie police officers Jamie Pultz and Tom Daunt, published its latest episode "Undone” last week after a two-month hiatus, which the pair took for various reasons.
Mr Pultz said he was excited to see the podcast return after it reached unexpected but welcome heights during its first run.
"I think we peaked at No.13 on the Aussie podcast charts and we've pretty much always been in the top 200,” Mr Pultz said.
"We're sitting at 118,000 downloads across all platforms, we've done interviews with the ABC and been listened to all over the world.
"It was a pleasant surprise, we always had high hopes. It was just a dream and it (success) has kind of blown us away. The goal was to get as many people to hear Kirra's story and her unexplained death.”
One reason for the hiatus was the confirmation a coronial inquest into Kirra's brutal death at the age of 27 would go ahead and another saw one half of the duo step away from the microphone indefinitely.
"We took a break for a few reasons,” Mr Pultz said at the beginning of the "Undone” episode.
"Firstly, because of the coronial inquiry. Protecting the integrity of the case is the main concern here.
"And the other reason is a little more personal.
"Although Tom is very strong, BVR has brought some things up in him that he's going to take some time to work through.
"He's still very much a part of the Six10 Media Group but you'll not be hearing his voice on the BVR project from now on.”
Mr Daunt, also a former journalist with The Gympie Times, will continue to work for the pair's wider company Six10 Media as a blog writer and administrator.
Both men, who have personal connections to Kirra's life and death from their days with the police, had previously been open about their respective mental health stories, even dedicating an audio blog episode of BVR called "Tear it Down” to discuss the topic.
Mr Pultz said while he hoped a date for the inquest would be announced before the end of the year, there was plenty more of Kirra's story to explore.
"I'm happy it's been announced, I'm hoping by the end of this year a date has been set,” he said.
"The next episode will be dropping about mid-next week.
"It features the infamous neighbour, there are lots of revelations to come.”
Beenham Valley Road is available on every major streaming service.