The Daniel Morcombe murder and a twist of fate

In 1997 I was commissioned to review a TV program called “Front Up” for The Courier Mail newspaper. This program was screened on SBS and I admired what its producer, Andrew L. Urban was doing. So I interviewed him about his program and promoted it unashamedly.

During our interview Andrew explained how he believed that everyone has a story to tell and that is why he would stop people in the street and see if they were willing to talk frankly about themselves.

And yes, he was right. People are quite happy to talk about themselves if they are approached in a relaxed and non-confrontational manner. Andrew told me that he relied on “an educated hunch”, a degree of openness which would encourage a friendly conversation.

“Front Up” became very popular because it was about ordinary people rather than celebrities.

So who would have imagined that two years after my interview with Urban that Brett Peter Cowan, the paedophile who has just been convicted of murdering Daniel Morcombe ten years ago, would appear on one of Urban’s “Front Up” episodes?

In it, Cowan appears relaxed and affable, the sort of man whom you would introduce to your parents. He talked about his hard battle with drugs and that he’s over all his problems and that he has found God… blah blah.

Alas, poor Andrew Urban had no idea that he was talking to a convicted child molester. How ironic it is that what was intended to be a show about ordinary people should have accidentally stumbled upon one of the most monstrous criminals in Australian history.

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