Impact Podcasts

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


November 30, 2023 1 min

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.

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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.

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November 20, 2023 30 secs

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

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November 20, 2023 43 mins

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.

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November 20, 2023 29 mins

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.

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November 20, 2023 27 mins

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.

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September 14, 2023 21 mins

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 ...

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September 7, 2023 25 mins

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 Ric...

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June 15, 2023 27 mins

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

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June 8, 2023 26 mins

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

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June 1, 2023 21 mins

After being put in a car during the middle of the night, on the orders of Julian Chisholm, Chris Howarth and Noel Hawkins eventually find themselves in Gibraltar where they then set off on a journey across the Atlantic to pick up 500kg of cocaine from the Cali Cartel.

They are faced with a battle for survival as the pair try to land the drugs near Ullapool amid a fierce storm.

This is not the end of the story...

Episode 4 releases ...

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June 1, 2023 22 mins

From Spain to Ullapool, customs officer Graham Dick and his team keep a watchful eye on the gang’s movements. As they begin to build a case against Julian Chisholm, Graham has a hunch Chisholm, who later became known as Mr X, is planning something big with his criminal associates - including latest recruit, “Crazy” Chris Howarth.

For more Mr X content visit and

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June 1, 2023 25 mins

A young and ambitious diver from the Highland village of Straffpeffer travels to Aberdeen in search of fortune but his sights aren’t just set on oil money. Julian Chisholm forms a gang with the intention of smuggling drugs into Scotland through a once dangerous deserted island.

For more Mr X content visit and

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May 26, 2023 1 min

Introducing Hunting Mr X: A new 5-part true crime podcast series from the DC Thomson titles The Press and Journal and The Courier

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