A powerful podcast series from acclaimed Aboriginal journalist Amy McQuire and Senior Advocate for Foreign Prisoner Support Service, Martin Hodgson is taking a very in-depth look at the case of Kevin 'Curtain' Henry.
By
Luke Pearson

6 Mar 2017 - 1:44 PM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2017 - 3:02 PM

Few people today are likely to recognise the name of Kevin 'Curtain' Henry, an Aboriginal man charged in 1992 with the murder of an Aboriginal woman named Linda (last name withheld). At the time it appeared to many an open and shut case, but the new podcast series from Hodgson and McQuire is hoping to shed new light on this story. 

Henry has been in prison for 25 years for murder, but has always maintained his innocence. The podcast has highlighted the fact that there is no DNA evidence tying him to the crime, only a confession, a portion of which the judge threw out at trial, and which Hodgson and McQuire have concerns was coerced. The podcast has also uncovered what it believes to be serious flaws in the police investigation and at trial, in a town well known for its racial divisions. McQuire and Hodgson also believe they have uncovered new testimony that provides Henry with an alibi. They claim their ongoing investigation, which has included collaboration with a number of international experts and investigators, has found flaws with the police investigation, witness statements, and forensic evidence; all of which is explored in detail in their weekly podcast. 

It is about the racism that underpins the justice system - from the police to the courts to the prisons.

Already 17 episodes in to the series, Hodgson expressed some surprise about who is, and who isn't, listening. 

"One thing that has been interesting, and a little bit disappointing, is that we are getting a lot more listeners in America, UK and the rest of the world than we are in Australia. I was told that podcasts usually have around 85% local audience and only 15% international, but we are seeing almost the exact opposite of this." says Hodgson.

While it is heartening for Hodgson and McQuire to receive such strong international interest and support, they are sorely disappointed that Australian audiences are still yet to show the same levels of engagement with a story they believe goes to the very heart of the issue of justice for Aboriginal people in Australia. 

"This podcast is not just about an innocent Aboriginal man locked up for 25 years, but about an Aboriginal woman who lost her life, and who never saw justice. It is about the racism that underpins the justice system - from the police to the courts to the prisons. And yet, very few people seem to care. Very few people are outraged. We have to ask ourselves why? Because if an injustice of this scale happened once, you better believe it has happened again and again all over the country. That's why we have decided to follow this case - because Martin and I both believe that this case is not isolated." McQuire told NITV.

We will keep telling this story until Henry is a free man.

Hodgson also explained that since he started working on this podcast, many others have been in touch with him to share their own stories of perceived bias and injustice from police and courts around Australia. "We get contacted all the time with stories from other Indigenous people who claim that they have been mistreated by police and the legal system in Australia so it looks like if and when this chapter finishes, there are still plenty more stories that need to be told."

Despite the complexity of this story and the difficulty in overturning judgments, McQuire and Hodgson are both optimistic and are committed to covering this story for as long as it takes. 

"I believe in what we are doing, we are committed to this cause and we committed to making a high quality podcast, and even though it is a long road ahead for us it's been a longer road for Kevin, so we are in this until the job is done. We will keep telling this story until Henry is a free man." explained Hodgson. 

You can learn more about the series via their website, or download episodes from Curtain the Podcast on iTunes

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