17. Black Saturday: Why is wildfire arson common?

17. Black Saturday: Why is wildfire arson common?

By BBC Radio 5 Live

On February 7th 2009, Australia experienced its worst natural disaster. The weeks-long intense heat and gale force winds culminated in 400 separate wildfires which ended up taking 173 lives.

In the town of Churchill, detectives began an investigation which led them to believe that one man, driving a sky-blue sedan, may be responsible for 10 of those deaths.

After the arrest, detectives quickly realised that the man in their custody was not who they thought they'd be dealing with.

On this episode of Bad People, presenters Julia Shaw and Sofie Hagen discuss wildfire arson, the dubious origin of the link between sex and fire and how we can tell when someone is malingering.

Archive credits: This episode includes audio from ABC, Inside The Mind of An Arsonist.

Presenters: Dr. Julia Shaw and Sofie Hagen Producer: Simona Rata Music: Matt Chandler Series Editor: Rami Tzabar

Commissioning Producer: Hannah Rose Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps

Bad People is a BBC Audio Science Production for BBC Sounds


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