The Return of the Isdal Woman

I’m a fan of long-form reporting

A very well-made, suspense loaded and sometimes thrillingly tense BBC podcast engulfed me early 2018: two journalists reported, over the course of ten episodes, their efforts to shed light on the death of an mysterious, unknown woman (the “Isdal Woman”) in Bergen, Norway, some 40 years ago. The story had it all: money, sex – maybe not that obvious, given it was a BBC podcast – and international politics with a possible hint of a nuance of a spy tale.

The podcast series ended on a very disappointing note after episode 10: the team, through their own and many others’ efforts, managed to unearth some circumstantial evidence only. Thus, the identity of the woman remained unknown and the back-story to the case continues to be an enigma.

I could hardly contain my anger with the well-reputed BBC. How could they dare to publish a 10-episode podcast and let us hang out in the dry without even a hint of what really happened to that still unidentified woman? After calming my self down and receiving a fair dosage of gloating joy from my loved ones (“why do you even bother, she has been dead for 40 years”), I resorted to the easy way out, aka speculation: the whole podcast was well-engineered by the BBC, creating suspense and listener engagement and certainly they wouldn’t be committing that level of resource if there wasn’t something bigger behind it, would they?

Low and behold, a few days ago, the BBC announced in one of their podcasts that Episode 11 of the “Death in Ice Valley” podcast would be released late June 2019.

Chewing nails in anticipation!!

Why do I blog about this?

I’m a great fan of the occasional binge splurge into long-form reporting. Such long-form journalism is an oasis of mental wellness in the 21st century. A counterbalance to the omnipresent cacophony of 7 second news. Additionally, I’m a decade-long addicted podcast listener, especially on my weekend hikes in Singapore, where the scenery, although being full of nice sights, is no longer the prime attraction (after having walked the same routes over and over and over).

So, dear BBC, please keep them coming and solve that conspiracy theory behind the Isdal Woman.