Popular podcast sheds new light, opens 'flood gates' on 1989 murder of Swedish tourists Heidi Paakkonen, Urban Höglin

  • 26/10/2023

The popular podcast 'Finding Heidi' is shedding new light on the murder of Swedish tourists Heidi Paakkonen and Urban Höglin and it's opened the "floodgates" to people coming forward with new information. 

The couple went missing near Thames in 1989, Urban's body was found 70 km across the peninsular seven years later, but Heidi's body has never been found.  

David Tamihere was convicted of the murders but was released on parole in 2010. He has always denied being guilty.  

Now the 'Finding Heidi' series by the 'GUILT' podcast has piqued fresh interest in the cold case. 

Podcast host and producer Ryan Wolf told AM he went into the series knowing "something wasn't quite right". 

He didn't have to dig too deep to find there were a lot of people who tried to reach out to police during 1989 and 1990, or simply kept quiet. 

"The number of people who have come forward now...is, I mean the floodgates have opened." 

Wolf's aim of the series is not to find who is guilty and who is innocent but to find Heidi.   

"But part of it obviously is to go over the case and see where there might be some inaccuracies. But ultimately, the goal is to find Heidi." 

He told AM his team have already put together its own official search. 

"It's my belief that they didn't quite search in the right area and that's why she was never found and that's something that needs to be resolved."  

'Finding Heidi' is the third case Wolf has worked on, he told AM in the early stages a new witness came forward that had seen Heidi in Whangamatā. 

Wolf said police have been "awesome" and "receptive" when he's passed on new information, in fact, they interviewed the new witness at length.  

"I have an advantage over police in some ways because people are more open to speak to me oftentimes than they might police, because of ramifications that might come from that, or the perceived thoughts, of you know, the trouble that might put them in if they do."  

Wolf said the official last sighting of the couple was April 7, 1989, when the pair got a haircut in Thames, but there are other sightings after, like in Whangamatā, that Wolf has discovered.  

"We're talking everything unfolded in a period of a few days around that time, and trying to pin down exact dates is tricky, but I don't believe that was the last time that they were actually seen."  

Watch Wolf's full interview above for more.