Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun

By What's the Story? Sounds

In every murder investigation, there's one key item that could bring a killer to justice. But finding it....and knowing what evidence it contains....well that's the challenge. Because the smoking gun could be anything. A bouquet of flowers...a Chinese meal...a mosquito. In this series we tell the remarkable true stories of how everyday items such as these have been the key to unlocking a criminal case. And we unpack the science - revealing the cutting edge techniques and the disciplines mastered over decades, which allow specialist forensic scientists to find this evidence. Hosted by actor Romola Garai, and the UK's most prominent forensic scientist Tracy Alexander.


Episode 20: The Billboard

In the late 80s in picturesque Tampa bay, the bodies of three women were discovered floating in the water. The case gripped the nation; and the hunt for their killer reached fever pitch. In the ultimate cautionary tale, a detective refuses to give up, and turns to the help of the public, and a giant billboard, in a bid to catch the culprit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/10/22·31m 15s

An update, and a brand new show!

Series 2 of Smoking Gun is coming to a close - but we've got good news about more content. And we want to tell you about a brand new show, called Con Juan, made by the people behind Smoking Gun, which launches today! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/10/22·3m 25s

Episode 19: The Cat Hair

After a body was discovered on Southsea Beach in Hampshire, it became a race against time to establish who it belonged to, and how they’d died. But as so many of the body parts were missing, this was no easy feat. This is the heart-breaking story of friends turned enemies, mental health issues, and the perils of owning a cat if you’re a murderer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/10/22·31m 4s

Episode 18: The Toilet Tissue

When Colette Aram went missing after setting off on the short walk to her boyfriends house there was immediate alarm. Detectives and her family searched through the night. But when morning came, and a body was discovered a short distance away, it was immediately obvious that there was a killer in the community. For decades, detectives searched for that man - spurred on by a DNA profile which they thought could belong to the killer. But it would take an extraordinary sequence of events to finally provide the clue which identified the most unlikely of murderers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/10/22·31m 53s

Episode 17: The Korean Rope

Our Smoking Gun in this episode could have been a rope swing in Canada. It could have been used on a trawler in the china sea. Or on a building site in France. Instead, it became a crucial piece of evidence – used to convict a serial killer, who was hiding in plain sight. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/09/22·35m 29s

Episode 16: The Vacuum

A rancher’s son spotted the body of a young woman lying by the banks of a river in remote Utah. Police could identify 17-year-old Krystal Lynn Beslanowitch, but what had happened to her – and how her body had ended up there - was a mystery. Follow us as we walk through the leads detective followed, experience the breakthroughs of this surprising case, and learn how a pioneering invention designed to stop food poisoning eventually convicted the killer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/09/22·30m 24s

Episode 15: The Ornamental Frog

Solving crime is all about considering every possibility. Gut instincts are part of a detectives DNA, but so is methodical processing of facts, and blue sky thinking. In this case - police had to use both, to identify human remains - understand how they'd arrived in a small communal garden, and then to conclude if a crime had been committed. The clue to unlock of all of this, was the most unexpected of items... an ornament, of a frog on a lillypad. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/09/22·32m 20s

Episode 14: The Coke Can

In a suburban town in Colorado, the body of Sylvia Qualye was discovered by her father, lying on the floor of her living room. Her brutal murder sparked an investigation which would span 40 years, and rely on the incredible forensic progression of that time - as well as the diligent detective work which preserved a key and unlikely piece of evidence... a coke can. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/09/22·33m 32s

Episode 13: The Rolex Watch

When a murder investigation begins by trying to identify the victim - detectives know the case will be long and complex. But this story takes that to the extreme. A case which began with the discovery of a body in the waters around Britain, took police on the trail of a con man originally from Canada... but who was who? Who was dead? And who was responsible? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/09/22·41m 59s

Episode 12: The Concrete Block

When a man began confessing to police about a murder - you could be forgiven for thinking the case would quickly be solved. But in reality - the confession would spark one of the most complex and intricate investigations these detectives had ever been involved in. This is a case which would only get resolved after evidence was extracted from a concrete block, and the true sequence of events, and he people behind them, were revealed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/08/22·34m 41s

Episode 11: The Postage Stamp

The opening episode of Season Two unpicks the story of Yara Gambriasio, and the investigation into her murder. This is a story of how DNA was thought to lead to a suspect, but time and time again what appeared to be a promising lead, turned into false hope. But with methodical deductions and a steadfast determination, a killer was finally identified, thanks to the existence of a 10-year-old postage stamp. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/08/22·40m 44s

Episode 10: The Lego Brick

When Lucille Johnson was found murdered in her own home, it wasn't the murder weapon, or the method of entry which would provide the clue as to what had happened. In this episode, we tell the story of how Lego bricks provided answers in a case which threatened to go unsolved, and unmasked a killer who had tragically already gone on to kill again. In the final episode of the season we tell one of the most tragic and shocking cases of a double killer who twice thought he had evaded capture - but couldn't stay ahead of the law. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/07/22·34m 11s

Episode 9: The Pyjamas

Arriving at a house with three dead bodies, and one seriously injured witness, detectives faced an uphill battle to make sense of the scene, and identify the offenders. And they didn't expect that a pair of pyjamas would contain the vital clues which could explain the events and bring the case to a dramatic conclusion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/07/22·35m 54s

Episode 8: The Potato

Detectives have many tools at their disposal. And when a suspect is in their sights, they'll explore them all - in the hope they can provide the evidence they need. But it's rare that something as simple as a potato can confirm their suspicions. In this episode we explore a baffling disappearance, which evolved into a murder enquiry. But while the suspect was under investigation, it would take an incredibly detailed forensic hunt to finally prove the case against him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/06/22·34m 36s

Episode 7: The Nail File

When police investigated a potential serial killer, on the streets of Manchester, England, they feared they had an even bigger problem. The evidence pointed to TWO killers, operating at the same time, in the same city. This episode tells the story of one of the UK's lesser known, but most dangerous murderers, and how he used a nail file to avoid detection and continue his killing spree - fooling forensic officers until the horrific truth finally came to light. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/06/22·34m 7s

Episode 6: The Human Brain

A detective will know that fingerprints, strands of hair, and spatters of blood can be vital clues when investigating a murder. But in this episode we tell the story of how a human brain - donated to medical science - would provide the smoking gun in one of the most extraordinary murder cases ever seen in the UK. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/06/22·42m 14s

Episode 5: The Dog Collar

Faced with a complex crime scene, and no suspects - police officers had the painstaking task of trawling hundreds of potential clues in the hope of a breakthrough. In this episode we tell the story of how detectives who refused to give in, combined with cutting edge science, to first identify a suspect, and then prove the case against him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/06/22·38m 33s

Episode 4: The Chinese Takeaway

When officers visit the scene of a murder - they don't often know where the smoking gun of evidence will be found. In this story - we tell the story of Cassandra McDermott - whose death initially proved to be a mystery - until detectives found clues from a Chinese Takeaway which pointed to who had to be responsible. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/06/22·43m 19s

Episode 3: The Ladder

The kidnap of a baby in 1930's America prompted one of the most thorough and complex police investigations of its time. But it would take more than a year before the evidence contained in a wooden ladder would help to reveal the person responsible. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/05/22·50m 8s

Episode 2: The Bathing Shorts

For years, one person tormented the Pembrokeshire community - and for more than two decades - he evaded capture. But this episode reveals how a pair of ordinary bathing shorts would eventually prove his identity - and ensure he could never kill again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/05/22·40m 23s

Episode 1: The House Brick

Killers and criminals can be identified in many different ways. In this episode, we find out how a regular house brick carried the evidence which would prove a man's guilt in a complex murder enquiry. Narrated by Romola Garai, and with expert insight from forensic specialist Tracy Alexander, we tell the story of a long-running murder case, a desperate hunt for clues, and the sequence of events that led to a killer being identified from the clues contained on a brick. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/05/22·34m 53s

Episode 0: Introducing Smoking Gun

In this brand new series, actor Romola Garai and forensic scientist Tracy Alexander tell the remarkable stories of how every-day items can often be the smoking gun that catches a killer. Series launches on May 20th, with new episodes every week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/05/22·1m 32s
Heart UK