Amazon’s podcast and audiobook service is to launch, next month, a series on the unsolved murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, writes Joe Leogue.
Entitled West Cork, the entire 13-part series will be made available for download on Amazon’s Audible service on February 8. The company behind the documentary said it had been "three years in the making".
Ms Toscan du Plantier was found dead outside her holiday home near Schull on Christmas week 1996. She had been beaten to death and, more than 21 years later, no one has been charged with her murder.
Local journalist Ian Bailey was twice arrested in connection with the murder. He always maintained his innocence and continues to be engaged in legal actions against the State.
The series is to feature in-depth interviews with Mr Bailey, Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family and friends, forensic experts, detectives who worked on the case, witnesses, and locals.
Advanced publicity has compared the new series to the smash hit ‘S-Town’ podcast which, to date, racked up over 33 million downloads.
Like S-Town, West Cork is expected to look at the impact the case had on the local area, how the crime captured Irish and foreign attention and the continuing international ramifications.
The French courts plan to try Mr Bailey for the murder, despite the Irish courts ruling he should not be extradited to France.
The series will be co-hosted by by Jennifer Forde who previously worked as a documentary maker for the BBC, and Sam Bungey, a contributor to the popular This American Life series.
This American Life developed Serial, the true crime podcast which has surpassed 250 million downloads.
Its first series concerned the conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, and questions that arose from his trial.
Mr Syed was granted a retrial following the series publication.
Its second season concerned Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American Army soldier charged with desertion after he left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, who held him for five years.
Last November, he was dishonourably discharged.
Once released, Audible members can listen to West Cork for free, while non-members can listen for free as part of a 30-day trial on audible.co.uk.
Amazon’s podcast and audiobook service is to launch, next month, a series on the unsolved murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
This story originally appeared in Thursday, January 18's Irish Examiner.