How we got hooked on grisly true crime

On 29 November 1970, a family discovered the badly burned body of a woman in the bleak Isdalen Valley near Bergen, Norway. Labels were removed from her clothes and strange objects were scattered about: bottles; a broken umbrella; a watch. Carl Halvor Aas, a lawyer who was one of the first to be called to the scene, told the BBC that jewellery was placed beside the body “like there had been some kind of ceremony”.

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Police later found disguises, coded messages and fake passports, but drew a blank when it came to discovering the true identity of the women the press called ‘the Isdal Woman’. Was it suicide, an accident or was she murdered?

In 2018, Norwegian investigative journalist Marit Higraff and documentary-maker Neil McCarthy investigated

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