The bare bones of true crime: Five crime writers and investigators on video

Why do people kill? Do women do it better? What happens to the victims? Can the wrong person be convicted? Is toxic masculinity really a thing? Find the answers to these and lots more in our true crime series, the Bare Bones of True Crime. In partnership with Sisters in Crime Australia, journalist and crime author Karina Kilmore spoke last year with five crime writers and investigators about their research and writing for Port Phillip Library Services.

Available now is the first video:


Book publisher and crime author, Lindy Cameron, looks at how the male sense of entitlement and superiority is the basis of most domestic homicides.

Lindy Cameron: A writer of crime fiction and fact, Lindy is the co-author – with Fin J Ross – of Toxic: Cold-Blooded Australian Murders, Killer in the Family, and Murder in the Family; and contributing editor of the true crime anthologies Meaner than Fiction and Outside the Law 1, 2 & 3. She’s also the fiction author of the Kit O’Malley PI trilogy; the archaeological mystery Golden Relic; the action thriller Redback. Lindy is a founding member and convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia and the publisher of Clan Destine Press. You can contact Lindy or read more about her and her books here.

Watch the video here.

Going live on sequential Monday nights, 6-7pm, are the videos below. The videos will remain on the Port Phillip Library Service website so don’t worry if you miss the live broadcast.



Writer, researcher, and sociologist, Tanya Bretherton discusses women who kill and the differences between female and male murderers.

Tanya Bretherton: Tanya is a Sydney-based writer and researcher, with a PhD in sociology. She has been published in the academic and public sphere for more than 25 years. Her special interests include narrative life history, gender, and social history. Tanya has written several true crime books including The Suitcase Baby (2018), The Suicide Bride (2019), which won the Danger Prize, The Killing Streets (2020), and The Husband Poisoner (2021) about the post World War II crime wave of wives using rat poison to kill their husbands – and others.  You can contact Tanya or read more about her and her books here.


Podcaster and author Vikki Petraitis says it’s a necessary skill to keep her distance from the true crimes she writes but some cases never let her go.

Vikki Petraitis: As a true crime author, Vikki Petraitis has written about the worst of the worst. Part of the skill required to work in this genre is the need to keep a distance. But every now and again, there’s a case that breaks through the barrier. Over a 30-year career, Vikki has several haunting cases that have become much more than stories. Her recent podcast, The Vanishing of Vivienne Cameron, covered one such case, and she has just begun re-visiting the Frankston serial murders — another case that has never let her go. You can contact Vikki or read more about her and her books here.


Forensics expert and academic Soren Blau explains how science has changed the criminal landscape, before and after crimes are committed.

Professor Soren Blau: Soren Blau is the manager of Identification Services and Senior Forensic Anthropologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University, and Founding Fellow Faculty of Science, The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA). Soren has participated in the recovery and analysis of human remains from archaeological and forensic contexts in numerous countries and has delivered training to forensic practitioners and related stakeholders in Australia and overseas. Soren also undertakes domestic forensic anthropology casework and consults for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice Rapid Response (JRR), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). When time permits, Soren enjoys watching crime shows such as Silent Witness, Broadchurch, and Luther. You can contact Soren or read more about her and her work here.


Australian ‘true crime queen’, private investigator, writing tutor, and justice campaigner Robin Bowles gets up close and personal with the culprits.

Robin Bowles: Robin is one of Australia’s leading female true-crime writers, dubbed ‘Australia’s True Crime Queen’. In 1997 she closed her successful public relations business to concentrate on investigating the death of a young country housewife whose story she’d read in a newspaper. That book, Blind Justice, initiated a new career as a creative non-fiction investigative writer. Since Blind Justice Robin has written fourteen more best-sellers and numerous short stories. She obtained a Swinburne University Diploma in Investigation, working part-time as a licensed PI along the way. She teaches writing and is an active campaigner about injustice. In 2006, she won the inaugural Davitt Award (Non-Fiction) for her book Dead Centre: The inside story of the Peter Falconio mystery.  You can contact Robin or read more about her and her books here.

Port Phillip Library Services can be contacted here.