8.2/101 Votes Alchetron8.2
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 36
First episode date August 2005
Cast Steve Liebmann
Country of origin Australia
No. of seasons 3
Executive producer(s) Graham McNeice
Presented by Steve Liebmann
|Networks Nine Network, Crime & Investigation Network|
Nominations ASTRA Awards for Most Outstanding Factual Program
Similar Forensic Investigators, Tough Nuts: Australia, Beyond the Darklands, Deadly Women, Border Security: Australia
Crime Investigation Australia is an Australian true-crime series that first premiered on Foxtel's Crime & Investigation Network in August 2005. The series is also rebroadcast on the Nine Network, and made its debut there on 14 August 2007. The host of the series is Steve Liebmann.
The series is produced by Graham McNeice of Moore Park NSW. In a 2008 interview McNeice said the impetus for the series was to provide an element of local content to a channel (Foxtel) that is dominated by American and European crime stories.
The series (often abbreviated to CIA) examines some of Australia's most shocking and infamous crimes. It includes interviews from victims, loved ones and the investigators who brought the criminals to justice. These crimes are further examined by re-enactments shot in the actual locations where the crimes took place.
Foxtel announced that the series would be "rested" for 2010. However, it never returned.
The show has been generally well received.
Michelle Nagy in her Editorial Review of the program writes: "Crime Investigation Australia presents an impressive package, using re-enactments, montages of real evidence, locations, maps, photos and real footage – not to mention leading Australian anchor Steve Liebmann, who lends weight and integrity to the series."
Similarly: "Producer Graham McNeice's Crime Investigation Australia program revisits landmark crimes that once shocked and that remain embedded in the memories of many of us. Hosted by stern, gravelly voiced Steve Liebmann, McNeice's films skilfully dramatise the stories behind these cases, though in disturbing the past he sometimes creates a sense of dismay... It's all very noir, very tabloid, and very conspiratorial. McNeice, with his just-the-facts method, unashamedly gives us criminality, violence, gritty realism, horror and psychopathology. There is no apology and no shame here, which is what makes it such riveting TV."
A recent review by David Knox explains that: "True crime television is hitting us from all corners lately. Sitting at the top of the heap, at least in Australian productions, is Crime Investigation Australia. Hosted by Steve Liebmann, it shies away from emotive, sometimes even racist, sensationalism of other players. CIA has also triggered viewers to come forth with new information – surely a measure of success for any in this genre. Hopefully, this week’s case study ... will elicit the same response."
Another review asks the question: "What is it about the true crime genre that's so addictive? A showcase of the worst elements of human nature should be repellent, yet so often it's darkly compelling... Crime Investigation Australia has all the hallmarks of a pay-TV documentary – lots of stock footage, dodgy re-enactments, eerie music and talking heads – but nevertheless tells an engaging tale."
The re-enactments featured on the show are very often gratuitously portrayed, as for example the Anita Cobby episode in which the moment of the murder is replayed over and over again. There are also inaccuracies and anachronisms, for example in the Beaumont Children Mystery episode where the hairstyles and hair lengths of the child actresses playing Jane and Arnna Beaumont do not match photographs of the real children.
The series is currently available in four sets: Series 1 (Volumes 1–5), Series 2 (Volumes 6–10), Series 3, and Box Set (Series 1 and 2).
CIA Series 1 – 5 DVD Boxed Set became available in late October 2007. Series 1's running time is approximately 670 minutes. The Set is classified MA 15+.
CIA Series 2 – 5 DVD Boxed Set is now available. Series 2's running time is approximately 250 minutes. The Set is rated MA 15+.
CIA Series 3 – 4 DVD Boxed Set became available in early October 2011. Series 3's running time is approximately 619 minutes. The Set is rated MA 15+.