The Detective


Series 3, Episode 1 • Mary Flanagan - Missing or Murdered?

Season 3, Ep. 1

Mary Flanagan was aged 16 when she disappeared from her London home on New Year's Eve, 1959. Mary is the UK's longest missing persons case.

Mary was brought up in a strict London-Catholic family and had two sisters, Eileen and Brenda, and a brother, Kevin. 

At the time of her disappearance, she was working at the Tate and Lyle sugar refinery in Plaistow. 

In episode 1 Mary’s sister Brenda explains how close they were as a family and what it was like growing up in West Ham in the 1950’s and 60’s 

Brenda provides a valuable insight into how Mary was engaged to a person who was introduced to her by her father.

This person was known as Tom, and he worked at the docks.

As the episode continues, we hear how Mary was pretending to go work at Tate & Lyle in the two weeks prior to her vanishing and how none of the family can remember Tom’s surname or where he lived.

What is very significantly is how the original police file was destroyed, the police say in a flood; a police file that almost certainly would have held significant information about Mary’s disappearance.


During the podcast Mary’s case manager from the Missing People charity gives a valuable insight into the case and explains why some people go missing. 


In episode 2 we explore some of the sightings, the creation of an age-progression image of Mary by a forensic artist and explore what the family think could have happened to Mary.

More Episodes


Series 2, Episode 1 • What If It's Not Murder?

Season 2, Ep. 1
We set the scene on the horrific and brutal murder of 17-year-old, Sana Ali who was 11 weeks pregnant. The attack on Friday 10 May 2007 resulted in over 40 separate knife wounds, described as ‘sustained and ferocious’, and occurred at the home of her husband’s parents in Bury on the outskirts of Manchester, England.Sana’s husband, playboy businessman Sair Ali had been having a long-term affair withHarmohinderSanghera, also known as Mindy.On that fateful day Mindy drove from her home in Solihull, West Midlands to confront Sana about her husbands illicit affair but to tell also her it was all over.After a trial in November 2007Mindy, a dentistry student was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 14 years, for the murder of Sana Ali.Mindy has always maintained her innocence and this podcast will take you through a very careful and thorough forensic re-investigation of all the evidence from both the prosecution and the defence.We hear from Mindy as she describes her visit to Sana.You, the listener will be asked to consider if Mindy is a cold-blooded killer or if she is the result of a flawed police investigation, resulting in a tragic miscarriage of justice.In the opening episode we will explore the following:·Mindy as a person, and her family's fight for what they believe is a miscarriage of justice·Background to Mindy’s affair with Sair·The initial police investigation·Mindy’s own account of what happened when she visited SanaTEASE – Next week·We hear from the police officer that lead the police investigation·Hear the initial 999 emergency call·Mindy’s best friend describes her conversations with Mindy on the day of the murder·We begin to piece together the timeline of Mindy’s movements