In 2013, on a whim Vanessa Russell googled Ahmad Shah Abed, an Afghan asylum seeker she had exchanged letters with a decade earlier, to find he had been murdered in 2009. The news came as a shock. Ahmad Shah had been living in detention in Port Hedland when Vanessa had first started writing to him as a student hoping to do some good. Their relationship had been brief but impactful. After all these years, Vanessa couldn’t shake the feeling that she had failed him. With the news of Ahmad Shah’s murder, Vanessa realised she needed to find answers.