reviews

Podfluence True Crime Tuesday Podcast Pick: Dark Side

DARK SIDE PODCAST

When I think of the Dark Side podcast one phrase comes to mind: “out of darkness comes light.” Not only is Dark Side one of the many great true crime podcasts that premiered last year, but it applies directly to the theme of Dark Side. This is a true-crime podcast that focuses on cases that have directly influenced laws, law enforcement, and communities. 



DarkSide Podcast

Since Dark Side’s first episode in November 2020, it has quickly grown in popularity to become a top true crime podcast. And that is simply because Dark Side checks all the boxes for a great podcast. That starts with pod’s fantastic host, SuZe, who hails from a tiny village in Northern England. What’s so impressive about SuZe is that she is a first-time podcaster and an instant natural behind the microphone. After experiencing a significant loss of her own, SuZe turned to true crime podcasts as an escape and felt that she could oftentimes relate to the families and friends of victims. 

Dark Side is told in a narrative format, which allows SuZe’s great writing to shine through. The goal of each episode is to both highlight the story of a case, but to also bring a level of human depth and perspective. True crime podcast fans will be impressed with the level of detail provided in each episode. Cases range from a boy that went for a bike ride and never came home, to a flight that was delayed for mysterious reasons, and even a girl who was silenced by a religious establishment. 

With episodes ranging from 45-50 minutes, Dark Side has become one of my favorite weekend podcasts. It’s hard to believe that Dark Side has only been available for a few months, as it has become one of my favorite new true crime podcasts and could potentially become one of the best podcasts of 2021. Check out more about Dark Side on their Facebook and PODCHASER

Down the Hill: The Delphi Murders

DOWN THE HILL

Down the Hill is a ten-episode podcast produced by HLN TV and hosted by Barbara Macdonald  and Andrew Iden  The podcast features The Delphi Murders– the story of Abigail Williams and Liberty German, two friends who went out for a hike on an unseasonably warm day on February 13th, 2017 in Delphi,  Indiana. The case takes place in Delphi  a small suburb of just under 3,000 people. Delphi is the quintessential reminder of the small-town USA, a place where many of us can call home. Delphi is also a disturbing reminder that there are real monsters among us.

Down the Hill

The case remains unsolved, but the podcast is a platform for detectives and family to engage the public. Besides being one of the best podcasts, it’s also an opportunity to see if you can help. The beginning of each episode begins with a recording that one of the victims took—where the offender told them both—”To Go Down The Hill”. The website lays out the case file, along with information about who you can contact. Four years later and with 50,000 tips—they are asking for your help.

I do not want to discuss the case too much out of respect for the victims. It only happened four years ago and is an on-going investigation. Honestly, its fucked up. But, unlike other unsolved cases, the local police engaged the FBI almost immediately.

The podcast itself is an excellent piece of journalism. Barbara and Andrew are engaging hosts and push to understand what happened that day and a possible suspect.  The episodes follow the case chronologically and include interviews with friends, family members, and law enforcement. The production and audio quality are both of high standard, thanks to Dan Szematowicz.

Down the Hill is a great podcast to binge on and one of the best true crime podcasts out there. Give it a download and see if you can help solve the case. There is a monster out there, and the more attention given to the case increases the chances the suspect will be apprehended. If you enjoyed the podcast, be sure to check out the special that just dropped on HLN  This is a two-part special just aired on Sunday and Monday of this week.

We have our playlist below along with a link to Spotify podcast. Be sure to check out our other podcast pics for binges and for this month

THE APOLOGY LINE

If you could call a number and say you’re sorry, and no one would know…what would you apologize for? For fifteen years, you could call a number in Manhattan and do just that. This is the story of the line, and the man at the other end who became consumed by his own creation. He was known as “Mr. Apology.

PodFluence Featured: NECRONOMiPOD

Podfluence podcast review of NECRONOMiPOD, one of the best true crime comedy podcasts available

True Crime Tuesday Feature: Drinking the Koolaid

PodFluence podcast review for #truecrimetuesday featuring “Drinking the Koolaid”

Podcast Spotlight: Pi_Rational

Podfluence interview with pi_rational

A few weeks ago we featured and reviewed a different type of podcast than you would typically see on Podfluence. That said, pi_rational has quickly become one of our favorite podcasts that we have stumbled on this year. This fictional series strays away from our typical true crime recommendation, but there’s a good reason for it…pi_rational is a work of art. 

This anthology series explores a different fictional story each season. With a new Christmas themed episode dropping on December 22nd, we recently sat down with podcast writer Kat to learn more about what inspired the idea for pi_rational and how the podcast has grown over the course of the past year. 

Check out our Q+A and stay tuned for pi_rational’s new Christmas episode: Sacrifice – A Witch’s Christmas Story!

 

 

Podfluence: What inspired you to start your show? What were some of your influences?

I always appreciated a great story and love fiction. It became clear to me that the fiction genre had started to shift away from books and onto other media, such as podcasts. I wanted to be a part of this movement and to provide a great and fun listening experience to others. It so happened that I was a fan of Crawlspace podcasts, and it made sense to become a part of the network since their goal was also to engage others and help them establish themselves. If it was not for Crawlspace I would probably never have started the podcast in the first place, so certainly a huge influence on Pi_Rational. They saw the potential and also wanted to dive into the world of Pi. 

Podfluence: What paths have you taken to grow your audience?

I try to engage on social media as much as possible. I also work with other podcasts on the network to spread the word. 

Podfluence: Is there a special episode of yours that you recommend new listeners to check out? 

I have a special attachment to every season because I wrote all the stories. I’ve always been very attached to Season 2, which is the story called “Bathtub”; it is the first story I had ever written. 

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)?

Without the support of Crawlspace network, and especially Lance, pi_rational would never exist. I have always appreciated the guidance and the honest feedback that I get. I think all the podcasts on the Crawlspace network are great to work with and we are keen on helping each other grow. 

It is so difficult to answer the last question because there are so many great shows! I would have to go with “Even the Podcast is Afraid”. I love their funny banter and their ability to make even the hardest topic easy to digest. The topics are thought-provoking and well written. 

Crawlspace

Crawlspace

When Missing Maura Murray first launched in July of 2015, there was no telling how popular Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna’s first podcast would become. But as you can imagine, they wanted to branch out from just covering the case of Missing Maura Murray. So in 2017 they decided to launch their second podcast: Crawlspace. Crawlspace was meant to continue their deep dives into missing persons cases, murders, robberies, and other mysteries. 

It’s important to note that Lance and Tim have incredible chemistry and that oozes out of your earbuds upon your first listen. But as appealing as Tim and Lance’s chemistry is, one of my favorite factors of Crawlspace is the variety of topics that they cover. The podcast initially launched covering the disappearance of Brianna Maitland, a teenager who went inexplicably missing in Vermont in March of 2004; a case that is eerily similar to that of Maura Murray. However, Tim and Lance have expanded into a variety of 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. 





Podcaster Spotlight: Naama Kates of Incel

Naama Kates of Incel

We were admittedly 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!

Podfluence: 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!

Podfluence: 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.  

Podfluence: 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. 

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)?

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!

New York Times Review

Vulture Podcast Review

Mind over Murder

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.

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.

incel

incel

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. And to be frank, before we go any further, this is not a true-crime podcast. Incel is a 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. 
 
 
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 popular not only amongst podcast listeners but as 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.