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New Stuff podcast sheds light on cold case

The writer of international success Black Hands Martin van Beynen returns to explore another New Zealand crime story in a new Stuff podcast released today.

Van Beynen has teamed up with Stuff investigative journalist Blair Ensor to produce Heavy Metal, a three-part podcast investigating the brutal murder of Christchurch scrap metal dealer John Reynolds in 1996.

“The Reynolds murder is one of those cold cases that comes up every time someone talks about New Zealand’s unsolved murders,” van Beynen says.

“At the time, police must have thought it wouldn’t take too much to solve but although they got close 22 years later the killer or killers haven’t been brought to justice.”

Heavy Metal is the first release in a periodic Stuff podcast series that will explore some of New Zealand's most intriguing crimes and the controversy that surrounds them.

The Reynolds murder is a very different case to the Bain family killings which was the subject of Black Hands, the most successful podcast to come out of New Zealand. Black Hands shot to the top of the iTunes podcast charts in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and the UK, and has racked up more than 3.4 million episode downloads worldwide.

Heavy Metal is the brainchild of Blair Ensor, an experienced crime reporter who has just taken up a role as Stuff’s Auckland editor.

Following the blockbuster that was Black Hands isn’t a concern for Ensor, who played a key role in Stuff’s award-winning Faces of Innocents investigation into child homicide and was named a finalist for senior reporter of the year at the 2017 Canon Media Awards.

Black Hands certainly brought home the potential of podcasts for looking at New Zealand crime,” says Ensor.

“Having us both work on Heavy Metal, which Martin wrote and I researched, worked really well and I hope we’ve showed that these cold cases shouldn’t be forgotten and can still be solved,” Ensor says.

“Reynolds was a bit of a rogue but much loved by his family. We hope the podcast will help get the family justice in the end.”

Heavy Metal: The murder of John Reynolds will be complemented by a series of interactive editorial features running on Stuff this week.

Each 30-minute episode was recorded at the ARA Broadcasting School and edited in-house by Alex Liu. Episodes are available to listen to on iTunes and Stitcher from today.


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