This is an edited extract of what the Walkley’s Board wrote about Debi:
By any measure, Debi Marshall fits the image of a “crusading” journalist. And brave. How brave? How many among us would track down and arrange to meet a person her research tells her is a murderer – alone? This is a scene Marshall has placed herself in more than once.
As a reporter and writer, Marshall specialises in true crime. She has written eight books, most of them bestsellers. Each was researched and written by Marshall alone, combining her excellent storytelling skills with her forensic approach to accurate research…
For Marshall, the search for the truth became intensely personal when she undertook the investigation into the murder of her own partner, Ron Jarvis, who was killed in 1992. Again meeting alone with the man she suspected had killed her partner, Marshall became the chief prosecution witness at his murder trial. Stephen Standage was sentenced to 48 years in prison for the murder of Marshall’s partner and for another man, ten years later.
The Walkley Board considers that the hallmark of Marshall’s success has been her ability to establish a bond of trust with victims and their families, and with witnesses who came forward to tell her their stories.
Nowhere is this more evident than during her investigation into the Family Court murders dating back to 1980-1985. Working as a producer with Channel 7’s Sunday Night program and then conducting more research for her own book on the case, Marshall gained the trust of victims and their families, as well as interviews with the former wife and daughter of the main suspect Leonard Warwick, who has subsequently been arrested over the same matters.
While working full-time in the media, Marshall has also mentored aspiring journalists in her role as a tutor in journalism at the University of Tasmania, Hobart and as a former teacher of English/media at college.