Impact Podcasts

Impact podcasts create narrative investigative podcasts that shine a light on major crimes or scandals in communities covered by DC Thomson brands such as The Courier and The Press and Journal. Impact’s first season, Hunting Mr X, centred on the story of former North Sea oil diver Julian Chisholm who orchestrated a £100m cocaine deal with the Cali cartel. It was shortlisted for best podcast at the UK Society of Editors’ Media Freedom Awards in 2023. Season two - ’Vanished: The Arlene Fraser Murder’ - is also now available. Follow investigative journalist Dale Haslam as he uncovers what really happened in Scotland’s biggest ever missing persons case. In 1998, 33-year-old mum of two Arlene Fraser was at her home one minute - and gone the next. The team involved in Impact includes reporters Dale Haslam and Brendan Duggan, Senior Audio Producer Morven McIntyre, and Special Projects Editor Cheryl Livingstone. Check out more investigations from the Impact team here: and

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3 days ago

Investigative journalist Dale Haslam, who spoke to Arlene's friends, family, and those who brought her killer to justice, will be answering your questions about the case.
Submit your questions here.

6 days ago

Frustrated by a lack of progress, detectives turn to a lipreader in an attempt to build evidence - and strike gold.
It is enough to build a case against a key suspect, convince his friends to testify against him - all leading up to a dramatic court showdown.
Episode 5 will be released on Monday, December 4.

Trailer: Vanished

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Introducing Vanished: A new 6-part true crime podcast series from Impact Podcasts and the DC Thomson title The Press and Journal.

S2 EP3: Just say nothing

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Six months have passed and there is still no clear lead in the case - and Arlene Fraser is still missing.
But a new team of detectives dubbed 'the A team' arrive on the scene and make a breakthrough. Police make a key arrest - and use leverage to launch an undercover operation in a bid to snare a suspect.
Episode 4 will be released on Monday, November 27.

Monday Nov 20, 2023

A crack team of detectives arrives in Elgin to investigate Arlene Fraser's disappearance - and they quickly begin to suspect her husband of foul play after a suspicious phone call.
But he tries every trick in the book to the throw police off the scent - and officers are perplexed by his cast-iron alibi.

S2 EP1: Arlene

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Monday Nov 20, 2023

How does someone just vanish?
In 1998, Arlene suddenly disappears from her home in the north-east of Scotland - and she was previously known to police as a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, Nat Fraser.
Investigative journalist Dale Haslam travels to Elgin to investigate.

Thursday Sep 14, 2023

In the second of our bonus episodes, we take you behind the scenes of our true crime podcast, Hunting Mr X.
In a revealing conversation, host Brendan Duggan sits down with Impact Investigations reporter Dale Haslam to uncover the extensive work that went into crafting this gripping series.
Get a glimpse into the investigative process and learn about the months of dedication chasing leads and interviews that that brought Hunting Mr X to life.
If you have any questions about Mr X or tips about Julian Chisholm, please email To read more about this case go here.

S1 Bonus Ep: A history of drugs

Thursday Sep 07, 2023

Thursday Sep 07, 2023

In the first of two new bonus episodes of Hunting Mr X, we dive even deeper into the UK’s gritty underworld in the 1980s and 1990s.
Host Brendan Duggan is joined by two guests to learn how the criminal industry evolved and the devastating impact of the drug scene on communities during these turbulent times.
Retired detective chief superintendent Neil Leslie is now a lecturer of criminology and policing at Abertay University and Richard Prest is DC Thomson’s head of content development and a former crime reporter.
If you have any questions about Mr X or tips about Julian Chisholm, please 89email To read more about this case go The Press and Journal for more information.

S1 EP5: Prison Break

Thursday Jun 15, 2023

Thursday Jun 15, 2023

It’s not how you thought this story was going to end.
Listen to the epic conclusion to Hunting Mr X and find out where each of our characters ended up after their lives were forever changed by Julian Chisholm.
For more Mr X content, visit and

S1 EP4: The Bright Orange Van

Thursday Jun 08, 2023

Thursday Jun 08, 2023

The net closes in on the gang as police and customs officers swoop after weeks of covert surveillance stretching from Spain to Scotland.
Customs investigator Graham Dick races to intercept the huge drugs haul, which is packed in a bright orange van, but gets the surprise of his life.
For more Mr X content visit and
Episode 5 coming June 15th


The team behind Impact Podcasts

Impact podcasts create narrative investigative podcasts that shine a light on major crimes or scandals in communities covered by DC Thomson brands such as The Courier and The Press and Journal.

Our first season features original reporting and exclusive interviews that unveil the incredible true story behind the biggest drugs importation in Scottish history and the man who masterminded it all – Julian Chisholm.  

Original reporting came Dale Haslam who is part of the Impact team, an investigative unit at The Courier and Press and Journal.  

Dale is a multi-award winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of experience reporting on crime.  

He spent more than a year researching the story of Julian Chisholm, tracking down and speaking to those who fought to bring Chisholm to justice.  

This true crime podcast was co-produced by Brendan Duggan and Morven McIntyre.  

Brendan Duggan is an investigative journalist and is the host of this thrilling series.  

Morven McIntyre is a multi-award winning podcast producer. She has produced for major publishers across Scotland. 


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