Brendan

The Drop Out

Elizbeth Holmes and Theranos, a truly fascinating story. It almost seems too perfect for a podcast. With all the weight of a great story on their shoulders ABC News and host Rebecca Jarvis knock this out of the park. Rebecca and her producers present a well formatted show with all the context you could need. 

The Theranos story is that of greed and pride, and those themes ring true in this podcast. Rebecca and her producers set the tone by helping you understand who Elizabeth Holmes truly is. As fascinating as the Theranos story is, this podcast helps you understand the mind behind it. Through a series of direct audio from Holmes herself you will learn how “the Next Steve Jobs” became the world’s biggest con-woman.

 The Dropout is a great pairing with the HBO documentary The Inventor – both having very appropriate titles to describe Holmes herself. The potential challenge with the Thernos story is how to properly present the material in a concise manner, and the execution to that point is flawless.

22 Hours: An American Classic

Certified Fresh. The case is one of the most disturbing and bizarre cases I knew little about. Daron Wint stands accused of murdering an entire family, including a ten-year-old boy, and then setting the house on fire. Although he is caught shortly after, his motive is unclear. The podcast covers court proceedings using transcripts, interviews, and recorded testimony all while it unfolds. Excellent production and narration.

The crime spree takes place in an unassuming upscale DC neighborhood. The next store neighbor is the ambassador from Australia. Little did they know, the family would suffer a nightmare for 22 hours, resulting in their horrific deaths. 

I can’t say enough good things about this podcast. The show follows a single-season format to cover the entire case. The podcast is seven episodes long, with additional bonus episodes. Crazy good podcast

Jensen & Holes

Where is this podcast trying to go? The podcast promised an interactive show with the audience to solve murders, but fails to deliver. On the surface—an accredited crime duo covers a new case each week and presents evidence and theories. Their website is open to arm chair detectives who can build on their findings with the goal of solving cases. Sounds great! In actuality, two overly confident hosts who are uncomfortable being recorded attempt to keep the audience engaged with episodes who do not follow any consistent structure. Hit snooze and return back in 6 months to see if they got any better.

Although with increasingly negative reviews, the podcast remains in the top 100 each week. Paul Hole’s credentials speak for themselves—he worked for two decades for law enforcement in Contra Costa CA investigating some of the most notorious serial killers.  For the last ten years he was worked with the FBI and contributed to the infamous arrest of the Golden State Killer. Billy Jensen is a true crime journalist who writes for some serious publications on high attention cases. He also helped contribute to the Golden State Killer Book, “I’ll Be Gone”. Lastly, this team consults on “MFM” which helped them gain 5K reviews before even one episode was released.

The issue is podcasts do not achieve success overnight. Single season shows covering one case or story can quickly become a sensation—because it is a story. However when a show depends on their hosts for content, it seems these shows take a while to find their groove. Unfortunately for Jensen and Holes, they may have already had their chance go by.