Adam Shand says in his pursuit of criminals: "We look for the simple facts people ... and then say, 'let's try to solve things'

Adam Shand
Adam Shand

Adam Shand, presenter of the Nine Network's Australian Crime Stories - The truth behind the headlines, is not particularly fond of the term investigative journalist.

"Every journalist should go a bit deeper I think. I've been lucky enough to have bosses who let me do it," the Walkley Award winner says.

Last week's episode saw him delve into the infamous disappearance of activist, heiress and journalist, Juanita Nielsen. This week he told of how Renae Marsden was catfished by a man she met online, manipulated and lied to, and ultimately tormented into suicide.

He says audiences are fascinated by true crime because "people want to find out something new".

"It's the same reason I get so excited about it. Is it voyeuristic? Sure, but we look for the simple facts people had at the time and then say, 'let's try to solve things'."

Shand says detectives have a different assignment to his.

"They have to take it beyond a reasonable doubt. You have to listen to everyone and then try to corroborate what you've heard.

"Sometimes you get too close to the crooks, others are too far away. You start with nothing, get a few facts, but don't jump to conclusions. You are not supposed to be a cheer squad for anyone."

His deep diving into crimes has often put him in the line of fire, but he admits to enjoying the publicity.

"I had some problems with the bikers in Melbourne, but it was more dangerous in Africa [he freelanced in Zimbabwe in the '90s]. I've been threatened on phone calls, but I was told once that it's the ones that don't ring you that you should worry about.

"I'm a storyteller. I enjoy working with the police in NSW, they do care. But I'm the good time detective."