I was going to let it go, I was going to just move on, but then he blocked me on Twitter.
It was a real “STUFF YOU” to a once dedicated listener of true crime podcast Casefile.
Fans of this blog – those hundreds and thousands of you – may recall I wrote a post a few months back revealing the identity of the host of Casefile. I even included his photo.
What followed was frantic messaging via Twitter from the “anonymous host” of Casefile asking me to remove the post as revealing his identity would comprise the show and could bring about its early end.
This I agreed to do in exchange for an interview (anonymously) with “Brad” (He revealed his name in a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone magazine).
I thought I was doing him a huge favour by not disclosing his sacred identity (after all what I wrote was true) and in return all I asked were responses to a few questions to write an interesting profile piece.
I took down my original post and identifying photo (as he asked) and wrote something new about Casefile– but no Q&A responses were forthcoming.
Instead a rather blunt email followed over a week later suggesting that my follow-up post was also not to his liking and when I declined to acquiesce to his demands (including removing Twitter messages between us), our correspondence ended.
It was disappointing, but to be honest (based on the tone of our previous dealings) not that all surprising.
But I did stop listening to his podcast, finding his voice now irritating rather than pleasingly creepy.
But my curiosity persisted reaching fever pitch when I discovered this week that I had been blocked on Twitter from accessing any tweets from both @case_file (the show’s handle) and the Anonymous Host himself, @casefilehost.
Prior to that I should add that ‘Brad’ had also removed all photos on social media of himself and other bits of identifiable information scattered on the internet in clear efforts to protect his anonymity.
(That said, he can still be easily found if you know where to look).
Clearly, ‘Brad’ is very keen to remain anonymous something which completely bemuses me.
On a very basic level, doesn’t he want at least some recognition of his incredible success rather than so jealously guards his identity?
I can think of no other popular show – podcast, radio or television – where the people behind it deliberately shun the limelight.
( The only example that springs to mind is The Stig from BBC show Top Gear, and we all eventually found out who he was, an event which did not mean the end of the show).
All I can do for now is speculate and consider what others have suggested might be a plausible explanation.
Perhaps the host of Casefile is a former or current police officer? Or perhaps he has served in the army or worked for one of those secretive government agencies?
The pictures I have seen of him, suggest he is a gym fanatic and is dedicated to staying in shape, so the elite soldier scenario seems quite plausible.
Is it too fanciful to suggest that maybe he have a ‘case file’ of his own?
The other possibility is that being anonymous protects him to a degree from being sued personally.
This I have been pondering a bit after finding out that one Casefile episode, case 55 – the unsolved 2005 murder of Perth backpacker Simone Strobel – is no longer downloadable anywhere.
So why has it disappeared? Has someone complained?
In our exchanges the Casefile host said there was nothing “sinister” about his anonymity, but equally his other explanations (told in many interviews) that he wants to stay out of the way of the story does not explain his extreme reactions to my original post , his demands and his follow-up actions.
However, it is only I believe a matter of time before his identity becomes public, especially as he travels around the world to meet up with people and discuss famous cases.
As a friend mentioned to me: “When he goes overseas to speak to people about famous cases like the Golden State Killer, does he introduce himself as “Mr Anonymous”?
The answer is surely no.
There must in fact be an ever-widening circle of people who know who he is including his friends, family, work colleagues, show advertisers and interview subjects.
Someone will eventually let the cat out of the bag.
Lastly, how do the people who now work for Casefile – his team of researchers, writers, composers, producers – feel about their livelihood being dependent on such bizarre grounds?
Equally, how do they feel researching and writing in graphic detail about the horrible things done to people, who are afforded no anonymity while their employer so jealously guards his.