Life-long friends launch true crime podcast dedicated to South London – South London News

Life-long friends launch true crime podcast dedicated to South London – South London News

Two lifelong friends have set up their own true crime podcast which delves into the shocking murders, art thefts and gang activities of South London.

Rachel Baines, 35, of Marvels Lane Grove Park, and Hannah Williams, 35, from Eltham, released their first episode of Sinister South – recorded in Mrs Baines shed – on May 13.

With four episodes already available on all major podcast platforms, the South London duo said they were committed to bringing their perspective and passion for their hometown to listeners around the world.

Mrs Baines said: “We’ve been friends since we were 11. We used to love watching programmes like Silent Witness and horror films, and then when Netflix started up we got into the true crime documentaries.”

Both born and raised in South London, Mrs Baines and Ms Williams now work together at a South London based independent marketing agency, Chimes Agency.

Mrs Baines said: “We had been playing with the idea of a podcast for years, but never got round to it.”

Rachel Baines and Hannah Williams recording for Sinister South in Mrs Baines shed (Picture: Rachel Baines)

Last November, Mrs Baines and Ms Williams visited Cork in Ireland to watch a live show of the podcast Murder Most Irish. The hit series, which combines comedy and true crime, has thousands of weekly listeners in Ireland and across the globe.

Mrs Baines said: “The idea for Sinister South came off the back of that visit.

“We realised there are so many cases from South London that no one talks about.”

Returning home, Mrs Baines and Ms Williams started to trawl through archives to gather research on South London crimes.

Mrs Baines said: “We use books, online archives and newspapers like the South London Press to find the cases which had a significant impact on the community. But we also wanted to focus on the stories that got less attention.

“We love South London, but crime numbers here speak for themselves. 

“We look at the perpetrator but we’re careful to avoid glamourising their actions – we want to find out more about the victim and what led them to being in that situation and why they should be remembered.”

Hannah Rach 1Life long friends Hannah Williams and Rachel Baines (Picture: Rachel Baines)

By January they had bought their podcast equipment and researched a series of cases ready for their first recording session in March.

Mrs Baines said: “We record the episodes in the shed in my garden and my husband – who is an audio engineer – edits it all together for us.”

So far, Sinister South’s four episodes focus on murder cases. 

Dating as far back as the brutal killing of Jane Maria Clouson in 1871, episodes feature the murder and discovery of Rochelle Holness in the Milford Towers estate in 2008, as well as the unsolved stabbing of Debbie Linsley in 1988.

Mrs Baines said: “We’re branching out into different types of crime now. Over the next few episodes we look into a prevalent conman, the Peckham Boys gang and a diamond heist.”

Throughout each episode the friends infuse their storytelling with personal anecdotes about their own experiences growing up and living in South London.

Ms Williams said: “It’s just us, our microphones, and a lot of research. 

“We’re deeply invested in every story we tell, making sure we highlight the human element behind each crime.”

For more information, visit or @SinisterSouthPodcast.

Pictured top: From left, Hannah Williams and Rachel Baines, founders of Sinister South (Picture: Rachel Baines)

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