The Trial

A podcast by: Stuff Audio
In May 2017, 49-year-old builder Michael McGrath disappeared, almost without trace. No crime scene was ever found

18 Episodes

In May 2017, 49-year-old builder Michael McGrath disappeared, almost without trace. No crime scene was ever found. No weapon was ever found. No body was ever found. So how could his longtime friend be arrested and charged with murder? In February 2023, the trial of David Charles Benbow finally began. Benbow stood accused of murdering McGrath because he’d started a relationship with Benbow’s former partner, Joanna Green. The prosecution said that, while based entirely on circumstantial evidence, its case was so comprehensive there could be no doubt Benbow was guilty. The defence said detectives were biased, working hard to build a case against Benbow after he was identified as a prime suspect - by Green. Stuff, New Zealand’s award-winning leader in true crime podcasts (Black Hands, The Commune, Gone Fishing) presents The Trial. Journalists from The Press newsroom in Christchurch spent weeks at the High Court and pored over hundreds of hours of recordings to create a compelling and in-depth insight into New Zealand’s criminal justice system. Hear the evidence. Follow the twists and turns. Wait - for the verdict. Podcasts like this one take a lot of time and resources to create. To help cover some of that cost, you will hear some ads during this episode. For an ad-free experience go to to get access to this and three other Stuff True Crime podcasts ad-free, for about the price of a cup of coffee… and you’ll be helping us make more great podcasts, like this one. WARNING: This series contains some strong language and content that may upset some people. For full written coverage of the trial by The Press, visit Need more great true crime podcasts? Check out Stuff's full catalogue here. CREDITS Scripted, hosted and produced by Michael Wright Sound design, audio editing and mixing by Connor Scott Visual design: Kathryn George Legal checks: Genevieve O'Halloran and Courtney Grenfell Associate producer: Jen Black Consulting producer: Adam Dudding Executive producer: Chris Reed Special thanks: Kamala Hayman, Martin van Beynen and Jake Kenny from The Press; John Cooper, Tyson Jemmett, Laura Heathcote, Amanda Montgomerie, Philippa Tolley and Candice Robertson.