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Podcast shines a light on family’s darkest secrets

My Sister's Secrets: A new investigative podcast from The Australian

Image: The Australian

Image: The Australian

Alexandra Tapp died alone in a motel room in 2020, aged just 32. She was haunted by the abuse of predators in her own family, who have not been brought to justice.

Now, her sister, journalist Virginia Tapscott, is returning to her home town with reporter Steve Jackson to uncover her family’s darkest secrets and expose the lies that have protected Alexandra’s abusers for so long.

My Sister’s Secrets is a new investigative podcast from The Australian in January 2022. The podcast is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute.

Virginia Tapscott said she wants to uncover everything that happened to her sister.

“I couldn’t live with the injustice of the situation, for our family but also for millions of other sexual abuse victims where the perpetrators have never had to answer for their crimes,” she told The Australian.

“I felt compelled to do something to change the culture that had kept my sister and myself silent and unable to seek help for so long. I wanted to take the discussion public because it seemed issues of child sexual abuse and sexual assault, particularly where family members are involved, were not getting the attention of mainstream media or policy makers or law enforcement.”


Episode 1: Along Came a Spider

Virginia Tapscott is on a quest to uncover her family’s darkest truth — and shine a light on the secrets in all our families.

Episode 2: Torn Apart

What happens when you expose sex offenders within your own family? How far will some people go to bury the truth?

Episode 3: A Deadly Spiral

Alex was loved – and intensely alive. We meet her friends and the man who wanted to spend his life with her, and hear how her trauma bubbled to the surface.

Episode 4: Confessions

How people around Virginia reacted to her disclosures of sexual abuse defined the course of her recovery.

Episode 5: Girl with a halo

Alex’s death remains shrouded in mystery. Episode 5 retraces her final days.

Episode 6: Breakthrough

Another victim comes forward with crucial new information that supports Alex’s story.

Episode 7: Abusers and abused

Most discussions around sexual violence centre on the victim. What if the solution lies in better understanding the predator?

Episode 8: Building a case

Virginia and Steve find out exactly what it takes to hold sexual predators accountable in a court of law.

The Australian

About the project

My Sister's Secrets is a new investigative podcast from The Australian in January 2022, supported by JNI. Follow journalist Virginia Tapscott as she seeks to uncover her family's darkest truth — and shine a light on the secrets in all our families.