Missing Maura Murray first launched in July of 2015. The podcast became one of the best true crime podcasts. Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna’s instantly became podcast gurus and created a platform for Maura Murray’s investigation. But as you can imagine, they wanted to branch out from just covering the case of Missing Maura Murray. In 2017, they decided to launch their second podcast: Crawlspace. Crawlspace continues Lance and Tim’s deep dive into missing person cases, murders, robberies, and other mysteries.
It’s important to note that Lance and Tim’s chemistry oozes out of earbuds on your first listen. Besides the chemistry between, one of my favorite parts of Crawlspace is the variety of cases and topics. The podcast initially focused on Brianna Maitland’s disappearance. A teenager who went inexplicably missing in Vermont in March of 2004. The case is eerily similar to Maura Murray.
However, Tim and Lance have expanded into various unsolved cases that they approach with the same passion they have for Maura Murray.
With variety being the spice of life, listeners can expect to hear guests ranging from criminologists, podcasters, victims, and government officials. Tim and Lance have a unique ability to draw information out of their guests while making them comfortable. This creates fantastic conversations with troves of valuable information. As a listener, it’s a great product to digest. Each episode is about an hour-long making it an easy podcast to add to your rotation.
Both Missing Maura Murray and Crawlspace have a very loyal fan base and take time to engage their audience. It’s more than just a podcast, which is why we love them here at Podfluence. If you want to check them out, check out GetVokkl on Thursday evenings. The two do a live show, and it’s a great opportunity to interact with the hosts and whatever subjects they may be exploring that given week. Also, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Podchaser or Spotify below. Crawlspace network continued to produce some of the top podcasts in 2020.
Naama Kates of Incel
We were late to the party, but Incel has quickly become one of the more fascinating listens in our podcast lineup. It takes a very special person to take on such a complex topic. But that’s exactly what host Naama Kates is! We recently connected with Naama to learn more about what inspired her to start Incel, and what her podcasting journey has been like over the last 2 years. Check out our Podcaster Spotlight for Naama Kates of Incel!
What inspired you to start your show? What were some of your influences?
I actually started getting really into podcasts at the end of 2018 with Tim and Lance’s “Missing Maura Murray,” which was wisely recommended by my Apple podcast directory. I knew a bit about the story as a fellow true crime fan from New England, and I’m also a very “deep dive” kind of person so the fact that it was all about one case was enthralling. I have a background in film and I’ve produced and directed in that medium, so I became really interested in the challenge of vividly telling a story with only audio. Shows like Serial, Dirty John, S-town, and Caliphate were really influential with their use of interviews, editing, music, and sound design. I kind of knew I wanted to work in that space and found the subject of incels just fascinating and unexplored… but actually, I’d started having and recording my conversations with one incel without consciously realizing why. I played them for a friend and they said, you have to make a documentary or something out of this, and that’s how it began!
What paths have you taken to grow your audience?
Choosing guests who have some following with whom I can cross-promote is a great way, including other podcasters who cover interesting topics (CSN obviously has a bunch of great ones) or content creators of other kinds, from YouTube, radio, or blogs. I’m also fortunate to have picked a pretty niche topic (and named my show with that single word!) which has been the subject of some very serious news lately, so it’s gotten attention in many academic, law enforcement, and political circles. Early on the show got a New York Times write-up which was immensely helpful too.
Is there a special episode of yours that you recommend new listeners to check out?
I think that ep. 1: “Bluepilled AF,” ep. 6: “GoneER,” and ep. 8: “The True Believer” are all great places to start for true crime fans and for the story… and maybe ep. 15: “The Chadfishing Experiment,” for something a bit lighter.
What has it been like to be a part of the Crawlspace Network? What is your favorite podcast on the Crawlspace network (besides your own)?
As I mentioned, Crawlspace is where I first developed my taste for podcasts, even as a fan, so being a part of the network is really a dream come true. Tim and Lance, our pod bosses, are so easygoing and helpful, and smart and funny, and as with every production, the tone of the organization is established at the center and runs throughout, so I think everyone involved is wonderful too, and I’m honored to be included in this group of fantastic shows. Among my favorites are MMM and Crawlspace, Empty Frames, LA Not So Confidential, and Criminal Perspective.
More Reviews On Incel!
Mind Over Murder
I featured Mind Over Murder back in 2020 as one of our top podcasts of 2020. I’m not surprised (and very excited). Oxygen and the team released a special this past week called “Lover’s Lane Murders.” Before you check out the special, make sure to download their podcast to find out why it’s continuously ranked as one of the best true crime podcasts. This investigative podcast is led by two victim advocates that bring a level of professionalism and passion to the medium that is quite refreshing in such a content-rich genre.
Why is it so easy to love Mind Over Murder? Because this is a podcast that is done for the right reasons, as host Bill Thomas has been directly affected by crime himself. He is the brother of Cathy Thomas, a graduate of the US Naval Academy. She was with her girlfriend Rebecca Dowski when they became the first victims of the Colonial Parkway Murders. Bill’s background is flush with experience as an entertainment executive. Mind Over Murder is genuinely a team effort as Bill is joined by his co-host Kristin Dilley, a researcher, writer, and teacher. By combining their powers as victim advocates, Bill and Kristin present an incredibly informative podcast with a ton of personality.
When we first reviewed Mind Over Murder in April, they had just released their tenth episode. Fast forward, and the Mind Over Murder feed is flush episodes. Mind Over Murder listeners will quickly be drawn in by the levels of professionalism and thoughtfulness that both Kristin and Bill approach each episode with making it one of the best true crime podcasts.
Bill and Kristin will walk you through a variety of cases with intricate details and great storytelling. Many episodes cover subjects in the Virginia area stemming from the Colonial Parkway Murders. Bill and Kristin cover a variety of cases and conduct interviews with victims and crime professionals. The crimes are captivating, and well-known guests bring insights, always while being respectful to the victims.
What’s most impressive about Minds of Murder is how Bill and Kristin have been able to find their footing early in the first season. Their chemistry is undeniable, and their professional approach to the research and presentation of each episode is second to none. Episodes clock in at anywhere from 45-60 minutes, making Minds of Murder the perfect time filler for this quarantined life most of us are living right now. So if you need something new to listen to, why not check out one of the fastest-growing podcasts of the year! The podcast is available on Spotify (below), Podchaser or wherever you find your podcasts. You can also check out their active Facebook community, Twitter and YouTube Mind Over Murder will only continue to grow and remain one of the best true crime podcasts. Also be sure to check out their Podchaser profile.
We review podcasts that span across the deepest and darkest parts of the web. But nothing prepared us for the journey Incel took us on. It’s difficult to know even where to begin when covering a topic like the deranged Incel community. Before we go any further, this is not a standard true podcast. Incel is a top podcast that focuses on the exploration of a self-identified community. An Incel is best described as a member of an online subculture that defines themselves as “involuntary celibate.” Involuntary celibate describes a person, typically a man, who identifies as being frustrated by a lack of opportunities to have sex. Incel is one of the best true crime podcasts.
As you can guess, this is an extremely complex and nuanced topic to cover, and Incel could not have a better host to bring you through this twisted journey. Producer and host, Naama Kates, sets the tone instantly by exploring the background and rise of this online subculture. Admittedly, I did not have much familiarity with this topic, which in many ways made me the perfect listener. That is where the strength of host Naama Kates comes into play. Naama is an extremely talented actress, musician, and filmmaker that has expanded her talents into podcasting. She met instant success. The background of this project is interestingly non-linear for her. Naama has always had an interest in the emergence of technology and online profiles. But it wasn’t until she received a DM from an incel that she brought this podcast to life.
The intimacy of the podcast format is the perfect medium to explore such a complex topic. Naama utilizes a variety of investigative formats – narrated online posts, personal interviews with doctors and nurses, and other members of this subculture to explore this web-based phenomenon. Not only is her narration and hosting style a perfect fit for the topic, but also Naama’s personality also brings a sense of calming for her guests so they can comfortably discuss such a twisted topic.
Since Incel’s launch in August of 2019, it has become increasingly a top podcast and a voice to better educate society on the important online subculture. There’s no question why Incel was featured in the New York Times as one of the best new podcasts in 2019. I went into my first listen of Incel with little to no knowledge of this topic, Incel educated me in an extraordinary eye-opening, and respectful manner. Check out incel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Podchaser.
We spend a lot of time at Podflience talking about true crime podcasters and their amazing pods. But for this review, we are going to take a slight left turn from true crime and focus on a fictional series. To first understand Pi_Rational Stories, you need to table your expectations for a fictional podcast. Because these are not your typical Great Gatsby’s or To Kill a Mockingbirds. Pi_Rational focuses on the space between reality and fantasy. That space between the darkness and light. The distance from rational and irrational.
Pi_Rational is more than a podcast, it is a is a work of art. Each episode is written carefully. Each word is written to keep the listener hanging on each passing second of the podcast. Given that this is a work of art, it’s hard to point out one characteristic that makes Pi_Rational so great. Listeners will find themselves quickly drawn in by the smooth narration and incredible writing. It’s almost as if hypnosis is due to set in by pushing play.
So where does Pi_Rational play in the true crime world you ask? Great question! It doesn’t play in the true-crime universe. But this audio drama is part of the broader Crawlspace Media Network, who specialize in true-crime podcasts, and Pi_Rational fits perfectly into their rost of well-produced and content-rich podcasts. These are stories are not only haunting, but they offer listeners an escape from the typical true crime podcast while maintaining that level of mystery we are all searching for.
Since it’s launch in October of 2019, Pi_Rational Stories has released 5 fantastic seasons of stories. The anthology-style format not only keeps things exciting but makes for the perfect binge-listen. Each season is accompanied by a different narrator, all of who add to the mystique and lore of each story. pi_rational is one of the best true crime podcasts out there and a top podcast of 2021.
By this point, you can tell I have sung the praises of Pi_Rational without revealing too much detail. Simply put, the less you know the better heading into these stories of drama and intrigue. With episodes ranging from 15-30 minutes, you can kill an entire weekend of activities or just lose yourself in a cup of coffee for a mid-afternoon escape. However you see fit, let Pi_Rational guide you into a new realm of audio fiction you haven’t experienced before.
Sitting Down with Even the Podcast is Afraid
We’ve been wildly impressed with the podcasts Crawlspace Media Network delivers to listeners. One of their newest network additions has become our favorite true crime comedy podcast: Even the Podcast is Afraid.
We recently connected with the team to hear how they came together, what excites them most, and what they enjoy listening to. Check out our Q+A with Even the Podcast is Afraid below!
And don’t forget to check out our recent review to learn more about why they are one of the best true crime podcast.
Podfluence: What inspired you to start your show? What were some of your influences?
It was something I always wanted to do, I (Jared Ordis) was formerly a streamer on Twitch, streaming horror games, and one day decided to finally bite the bullet and start a podcast. in September of 2019.. ultimately leaving streaming on Twitch all together.
Originally the podcast wasn’t Even the Podcast is Afraid it was Talking Trash with Ordis and focused on mainly interviews, which eventually morphed into three shows: Talking Trash with Ordis, Storytime (Which add Nick Porchetta as co-host,as we talked true crime and paranormal cases) and Pasta Time (which had Nick & Me, joined by co-host Samantha Vazquez reading Creepy Pasta Stories)
Nick Porchetta and Samantha Vazquez were both guests on Talking Trash with Ordis, I’ve known Nick for a few years through gaming and met Samantha when she was a guest on my show. However, none of us have ever met in person! Nick is in Canada, Sam is in Florida, and I’m in Alabama.
We have just recently in the last 3 months added a new person to our team, though she isn’t on the actual show in voice, her words are though, our Elbow Deep Researcher and Writer (as we call her) Stephanie Kemmerer. She came to us having written for Skeptical Inquirer Magazine & formerly at a Pennsylvania Newspaper. Stephanie has helped change the overall dynamic in our stories and it’s been great! and she is a huge advocate for the show!
By episode 21(we are on episode 66 as of writing this) we officially changed the name to Even the Podcast is Afraid and morphed all three shows into one, focusing mainly on true crime, horror, the paranormal, the unexplained, and just weird cases involving anything that goes bump in the night – or just makes you go what the hell. All while adding in our own comedic dialog.
Influences for the show..i’ve had a few, but the main influence would be Last Podcast on the Left, the humor that Ben, Henry, & Marcus bring to their show is on point, they can tell you about anything dealing with the macabre and leave you with a smile (not many people have the ability to do that) I loved what they were doing, and it drew me into the comedic true crime area of podcasting.
I have always been fascinated by the strange & the macabre, so being able to talk about things that I read about and watch is exciting for me! It never gets boring, I really enjoy being able to tell stories and make people laugh, it never feels like work.
Podfluence: What paths have you taken to grow your audience?
In the beginning it was telling my followers from Twitch about the show, as the original incarnation” Talking Trash with Ordis” was live on Twitch. However, over time social media has been a big influence in promoting the show and reaching people who might have interest in listening to what we offer.
Word of mouth seems to be the best, some of our listeners are so passionate that they will tell their friends & Family about us, bringing in more listeners. Without loyal fans and listeners I think sometimes it would be hard to grow!
We have done the same things most podcasts do, by getting really good microphones and having good music, editing, etc. but it will always come back to our listeners!
Branding I think is also essential, I (Jared Ordis) am a graphic arts nerd, and I’m all about branding, all the logos and branding for the show was thought out, and I make sure that it stays that way, so you always know you are looking at Even the Podcast is Afraid, or any other show I would do in the future. It makes a listener want to click your show, and once they are there it is up to the hosts or host to be able to keep them there.
Talking to your listeners is another big one, we make sure to talk with them as much as we can, whether that is through email or social media, we are always going to respond! Knowing what they like is great feedback.
Podfluence: Is there a special episode of yours that you recommend new listeners to check out?
We actually have a few episodes, since we dabble in a few different styles of topics. We did a series on Joe Exotic, and during that series Jared Ordis wrote a letter to Joe while he was in prison, to see if I could get an interview by letter back. I asked dhim 10 questions, and to my surprise I received a 7 page front and back letter from Joe. The episode that we read Joe’s letter is a special one for me, episode 49 – Joe Exotic: Letter from the Tiger King, Interview by Mail
The series on the British serial killer couple, Fred & Rose West was the longest series we have done to date, 7 part series, and it was the first series written and researched by Stephanie Kemmerer, that series packed with so much information on that sadistic couple, Episodes – 53 to 59 Fred & Rose West Series.
The Luka Magnotta two part series is a popular one with our listeners and the True Story of the Amityville Horror series, plus we have some one off episodes on Michael Rockefeller, The Lobster Boy Grady Stiles, Carl Tanzler, the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp and more. As you can tell it’s hard for me to pick just one episode or series!
We have listeners that only listen to certain types of episodes, whether that’s our Creepy Pasta stories, the Side Crime episodes, true crime, or the paranormal. There is something for all types of macabre history.
Podfluence: What has it been like to be a part of the Crawlspace Network? What is your favorite podcast on the Crawlspace network (besides your own)?
It has been great! We have been with Crawlspace Media Network now for a few months, it has really helped us grow our show, to places I want sure we are going to get. Tim and Lance are really good people who have been a great help to us, and we highly respect those guys for that. I (Jared Ordis) really appreciate everything they do for me, and what they have done for not only our show, but for Ordis Studios.
Crawlspace is more like family than a partnership, or just some ol network that has you on there to be on there. Tim and Lance, Crawlspace as a whole, care about one another and everyone is willing to champion for the other. It’s a great place to be!
I have two that I listen to on the regular from Crawlspace Media Network, there are many great shows and some I listen to one off episodes like: Murder Was the Case, Criminal Perspective, DIE-ALOGUE, and LA Not So Confidential but the two I listen to on a regular bases would be Pi_Rational Stories and Crawlspace Podcast.
It is hard to choose sometimes, as they all bring something different to the table, like Tim’s podcast called “Life Of” I actually thoroughly enjoy that podcast! I have listened to every episode thus far.
How can you pick?? It’s one of those places that if you listen to one of the shows, you are probably listening to 4 or more of them. As we all mingle with each other, and pop up within each other’s shows. I think everyone would agree, if you are listening to our show, big chances are you are listening to Crawlspace Media Network as a whole!
DIE-ALOGUE: a true crime conversation, is a weekly true crime podcast, hosted by Rebekah Sebastian.
Each week, Rebekah interviews fascinating people connected to true crime in unique ways. Think field experts, cult escapees, veteran journalists, podcasters, and attack survivors. Together they will attempt to answer the WHY of true crime- as opposed to the WHO/ WHERE /WHAT/WHEN.
Let’s Kill the Small Talk + Start a DIE-ALOGUE.