Episode 389:

Chill and Withhold

The Kidnapping and Murder of Graeme Thorne


NYPD’s First Female Detective, Isabella Goodwin


Episode 389: Chill and Withhold

On today’s episode, Georgia covers the kidnapping and murder of Graeme Thorne and Karen tells the story of the NYPD’s first female detective, Isabella Goodwin.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

The Kidnapping and Murder of Graeme Thorne

The Kidnapping and Murder of Graeme Thorne Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by JM Productions/Alamy

Other Images:

1. Graeme Thorne


"Former NSW Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi was the same age as Graeme Thorne when the young boy disappeared from outside his Bondi home in Australia’s first kidnap for ransom case 59 years ago today.

The kidnapping of the eight-year-old Scots College boy on his way to school on July 7, 1960 shocked the nation.

“Like many Sydney children I was very moved at the time he went missing…I was eight and had photos of Graeme pasted on the wall of my bedroom to know what he looked like so that if I saw him in the streets I could tell my parents,” Tedeschi told the Sun-Herald.

Tedeschi, who wrote the 2014 book Kidnapped about the case, says in many ways the search for the boy influenced him to become a barrister. He is now best known for the prosecution of backpacker murderer Ivan Milat.

The 1960 Thorne case, which haunts Sydneysiders still, introduced the concept of "stranger danger" to Australian children. It was also the first time forensic science was used in a criminal investigation.

“It was the end of innocence in Australia, childhood changed for many in Sydney – we were no longer given the same freedom to play in the streets or roam the bush… dozens of people have told me how they were confined to playing in the backyard after this as so many parents were fearful,” Tedeschi said.

The Thorne tragedy began on June 1, 1960, when Graeme’s father Bazil won the 10th draw of the Sydney Opera House Lottery, and the £100,000  (equivalent to $3 million today) windfall for the travelling salesman and his family hit the headlines.

Over at Clontarf, a Hungarian immigrant called Stephen (born István) Bradley stared with disdain at the photograph on the front page of the newspaper. Then he hatched a ransom plan and headed to 79 Edward Street, Bondi to observe the family’s daily routine..."


Source: “Graeme Thorne Tragedy: The Crime That Haunts Sydney Still” by Helen Pitt (Sydney Morning Herald, 2019)

NYPD’s First Female Detective, Isabella Goodwin

NYPD’s First Female Detective, Isabella Goodwin Notes:

Other Images:

1. Isabella Goodwin


"Grafting as a scrubwoman for just $6 a week, Isabella Loghry was working for the New York City Police in the old town, but her duties were little more than cleaning jail cells and supervising inmates, taking her opportunity to foil a bank robber to rise to the role of detective when no-one else could solve the case. New York’s first female sleuth started life in Greenwich Village, born in 1865 to James Harvey and Anna Monteith, who ran a restaurant and hotel on Canal Street. But far from the seedy underbelly of a city laden with crime waves and gangster hooligans running rampant, young Isabella dreamt of nothing more than lighting up the stage as an opera star on the old boardwalks of Broadway. However, away from the bright lights, Isabella would grow into a woman emersed in darkness and intrigue…"


Source: “Stories of Her” (blog)

Karen's Episode Sources

  1. “The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin: How New York’s First Female Police Detective Cracked the Crime of the Century” by Elizabeth Mitchell
  2. “Overlooked No More: Isabella Goodwin, New York City’s First Female Police Detective” by Corey Kilgannon (New York Times) 2019
  3. “Women in Blue: 16 Brave Officers, Forensics Experts, Police Chiefs, and More” by Cheryl Mullenbach
  4. “Stories of Her” (blog)
  5. “Get Three Men in $25,000 Holdup” (The Sun) 1912
  6. “Bandits Planned to Shoot Driver in Taxi Holdup” (The Evening World) 1912
  7. “The Woman Detective’s Remarkable Work” by Charles A. Logue (Leslie’s Volume 114, Part 1)
  8. Plainclothes Policewomen on the Trail: NYPD Undercover Investigations of Abortionists and Queer Women, 1913–1926 by Elizabeth Evens (Cambridge University Press) 2020