🏡 A very creepy house 🍫 poisonous candy 👨🎤 why Morrissey sucks 🧱 Minecraft explained by a kid 🌮 the "100 tacos" woman 💁♀️
🍭 👂 You're in for a treat! 🌈 🤸♀️
Today is Monday, October 17th. I went on my Disney cruise. If you sent me your full mailing address, expect a postcard. (Warning: my dad wrote some of them for me and those ones are a bit lewd.) It is also my parent’s anniversary. Thank god those two weirdos found each other. And in case this email is too long, Rabia Chaudry’s new podcast flipped my thinking, this and this made me cry, and my favorite conspiracy theory proved here.
ps If you are pleased with Podcast The Newsletter, please spread the word.
👋q & a & q & a & q & a👋
Describe Small Town Dicks in ten words or less.
Every case is told by the detective who investigated it.
How is it different from other true crime shows?
It’s a deeply personal, behind-the-scenes look at how these detectives pull out all the stops to make sure every the domino is lined up perfectly, so that justice can be served.
What do you, Dave, Dan, and Paul each bring to the show? (How are you different?)
Dan investigated violent crimes and is an expert in how to process a crime scene and how to connect the seemingly random dots that will ultimately lead him to the suspect.
Dave investigated sex crimes and child abuse and has given hundreds of talks on how sexual predators groom children IRL and online. He also had a knack for getting suspects, who’ve done the unthinkable, to trust him and keep talking during interviews,
Paul is a brilliant cold-case investigator who brings his extensive knowledge of DNA and criminal psychology to the conversation. He’s also a walking true-crime encyclopedia.
Together, they are the ultimate Dream Team.
Me? I’m the outlier. I try to ask all the questions you, the listener, would ask if you had a seat at the table. Including, where does the not-normal job of seeing people on their worst day everyday live in the heart and soul of these investigators?
If people haven’t listened to an episode yet, which one should they start with?
This is a terrible question! It’s like asking me which, of our over-700 episodes, is my favorite “Simpsons” episode? Ugh. But I’ll try to answer… Today – because it could be different tomorrow!-- I’m going to say, start with RAMPAGE in Season 4. Detective Dave was the lead on the case and in order to gain the suspect’s trust, Dave eats lunch with this man who’s just killed multiple people during the suspect interview, which is part of the episode. You’ll be on the edge of your seat.
If Lisa were to start a podcast, what would it be?
I think it’d be something about animals. Like, maybe she’d team up with a pet psychic and a DJ and then go around the world making life better –through music!– for pets and zoo animals everywhere.
What has making Small Town Dicks taught you about the world?
Trust no one. Just kidding! (Sort of). But I have learned to be hyper-aware of my surroundings whenever I leave the house.
What’s a podcast you love that not enough people know about?
Dark Downeast. It’s a true crime podcast hosted by Kylie Low who does extensive research when she covers a case, all of which take place in Maine and New England. It’s beautifully edited and always includes one or several people connected to the case offering their thoughts and insights.
What do you love about podcasting?
I believe everyone has a story, and I want to hear it.
Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you want to say?
I often get asked “What’s the secret to having a successful podcast?” The real answer is: I don’t know. But, if I were to draw on my own experience, I would say there are there 3 key things I podcast by:
Play the long game. Because with tens of thousands of podcasts to choose from, it might take a while for people to find you.
Record on the best equipment you can afford. Podcast listeners these days are extremely sophisticated and if your sound quality is bad they won’t stick around.
Last, and most importantly, do a podcast about something you love. Because if you don’t, and the podcast doesn’t succeed, now you’ll have lost twice. But if you love what you’re doing and the podcast still doesn’t take off, at least you spent your time and energy doing something you care about.
🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
You know Rabia Chaudry from bringing Adnan Syed’s case to Sarah Koenig for Serial and for her tireless work setting wrongful conviction cases straight in her podcast Undisclosed. Rabia and Ellyn Solve the Case is Rabia’s new show with Ellyn Marsh, a Broadway star/sparkling delight, and together the two form a team that’s cracking down on their favorite true-crime cases with a talk show tone. Anyone who has listened to Undisclosed or who follows Rabia on Twitter knows she’s not only smart but has a totally fun side, and this show is letting her explore both places. The first episode covers the Laci Petersen murder case, and completely flipped my thinking around Scott Peterson’s innocence, proving that these cases are never about the truth, they’re about delivering a believable story to the jury. Rabia and Ellyn take us through the plot points to reveal a story that was twisted by the news and a shocking wrongful conviction of Scott Peterson. I told my mom to listen to it and hours later she texted me this.
✨From body building to 1M downloads in 3 months: You need to know Stephanie Arakelian. [Podcast Marketing Magic]
✨Thanks to Anna David for including Lizzy Cooperman’s In Your Hands in her KATU TV segment!
✨TRAILER DROP: On Mentally Gil, host Gil Kruger interviews some of the biggest YouTube and social media creators in the world about their mental health journeys. Season one centers around anxiety, OCD, and burnout. The show also explores the connection between mental illness and creativity.
✨Call 1-844-POD-AT-ME every morning while you’re brushing your teeth—and leave your own podcast recommendation at the sound of the beep. We might feature it on the hotline. (You can suggest your own podcast.)
🎙️This two-parter from This Is Uncomfortable is like a fairytale that starts with a princess who gives up everything (her voice, her dreams) to marry her prince who ends up being the founder of Oath Keepers. It ends in a resurrection. Tasha Adams married Stewart Rhodes, who controlled every inch of her life and kept the entire family impoverished, fearful, and in real danger for years. Tasha was always too afraid to leave, and when Stewart started organizing a far-right anti-government militia, she worried but kept on being a supportive wife. There were big things in this story: Tasha stripping to support Stewart go to school though she had given her own college fund to him, bearing him children he almost starved, being completely abusive and isolating her and her family. (Oh, and a resurrection.) And small things: Tasha buying a throw pillow with a bicycle that said “Life Is an Adventure” that inspired her to make a big move—leave Stewart. The night of their escape, narrated in part by Tasha, her oldest child Dakota, and host Reema Khrais, is so well-told I could hear Stewart’s Iron Maiden music thumping through the house, his grunting as he frantically worked on his Oath Keepers campaigns, all while Tasha and her kids were sneaking out of the house with Stewart’s beloved guns, in a plan that took months to make, one they called “The Don’t Die Plan.” I think I could hear my heart beating through my chest. This story is about money—they money that Stewart stole and spent wildly and Tasha gaining her own financial independence, but also about love and what is required of us to receive it. Listen here and here.
🎙️Do you remember when that woman went viral on TikTok for recounting her epically terrible date where the guy ordered 100 tacos and made her pay for them? Me too, and I remember thinking that it wasn’t so much the story that was entertaining, it was the woman who told it, who is Elyse Myers, host of the new Lemonada show called Funny Cuz It’s True. It’s all about the moments that freeze you and make you want to die but seem funny with time. It’s a little meta in the way Elyse breaks the fourth wall, interrupting her interview to add commentary and even talking to her producer. This funny, fresh interview show is giving a promising talent the chance to fly in the world of audio. Listen here.
🎙️I wouldn’t dare miss an episode of Fan Theory Queries that’s Disney related, and last week they featured my FAVORITE FAN THEORY EVER LOOK AT ME I’M SCREAMING, about Disney’s attraction The Haunted Mansion. Some people believe that it’s more than just a haunted house, but an entire interactive story where the rider falls to their death (remember the part where you go backwards in your Doom Buggy?) to enter the spirit world. Disney is so dedicated to storytelling, I want to believe it and I do. (Those Happy Places has an episode that dives into this rabbit hole even further.) Listen to Fan Theory Queries here.
🎙️We love true crime, and we love awkward dating stories—Crimes of the Heart is a combo of both. In each episode, Rory Uphold presents a horrific sex story that involves some sort of crime (in the first episode the crime is a guy’s one night stand on the night his son was born) to a funny guest in a fun, engaging format that feels a little like Normal Gossip. (“He did what?”) Episode one’s guest is Akilah Hughes and we get this outrageous hookup story that launches Rory and Akilah into a conversation about hooking up, Akilah’s resistance to giving blow jobs (it’s a matter of sanitation) and both of their own attitudes toward sex. It’s a fun way to hear wild stories and funny conversations about sex, love, dating, one-night stands, and everything in between. Listen here.
🎙️Secretly Incredibly Fascinating unleashed an episode from the Patreon, a conversation between host Alex Schmitt and Jason Pargin about a seasonal topic hotter than the PSL: people sneaking drugs into Halloween candy, something that absolutely doesn’t happen. Alex and Jason (BTW where is Jason’s podcast? I love hearing him talk about anything) remind us of the history of this American hysteria (speaking of…Chelsey Weber-Smith has a great episode about this, too) and how it has reflected current events, the reason these myths have persisted and what much scarier things they’re covering up. Listen here. Also don’t miss this mind-blowing episode SIF episode on Halloween stores, also with Jason.
🎙️Don’t be sad The 11th is over, be happy that it happened. It wrapped up its final episode in an absolutely perfect way, by preeminently saying that perfect endings do not exist. So don’t try. This is true and why I Irish Exit at good-bye parties. Bye bye, The 11th. Thanks for all the stuff. Listen here.
🎙️In the first few minutes of the Evil Men’s Morrissey episode, one of the hosts declared he would eat Thanksgiving dinner shirtless, underwear-less, in jeans, and I have been finding myself chuckling about that at random moments ever sense. (I am absolutely wondering if anyone else finds this funny or if this is a Me thing.) Chris Locke, James Hartnett, and Michael Balazo then get into Morrissey’s evil-doings, which are heinous and actually rather confusing. It’s one thing to list a bunch of shitty things about a person, but the guys try to actually map out the bees in Morrissey’s bonnet to see if there’s any meaning to the madness. (He loves animals, hates immigrants, that’s for sure.) Another line that made me laugh: “It sounds like he is sitting in a well-worn living room chair eating candies out of a dish.” If you can’t find yourself able to separate the artist from the art, at least you can still love The Smiths. Don’t punish Johnny Marr. This was a really fun look at a gross person, and I think it takes really talented hosts to be able to make a straight-forward show so enjoyable. Listen here.
🎙️For more than 20 years, Laurie Stern has been recording audio of her journey adopting her son, Diego, and Defining Diego is the diary of Laurie’s travels to Guatemala, the hurdles she had to clear to bring Diego home, and the story from Diego’s adult vantage point: how he felt growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, playing hockey and growing up as a Guatemalan, American, Indigenous and adoptee raised by white parents, with a full understanding of where he came from. Laurie doesn’t hide anything, from the awkwardness of meeting Diego’s birth mom and wondering if he wouldn’t feel more at home in Guatemala. It’s also a critical look at international adoption as a business that boomed and busted, and what it means for the families involved. Laurie’s recordings are decades of storytelling which tee up Diego to tell his story, and by taking it in, we’re allowed to rethink our assumptions about identity, race, family, community, and home, and what it means to live in two worlds. Listen here.
🎙️The Ten News is hands down the best news show for kids and for their adults, too. It’s a must-listen for families or teachers who want to bring their kids up to speed on what’s going on in their world without sugarcoating, but in an understandable and even fun way. The last episode on Minecraft was a) adorable and b) for people like me who don’t GET Minecraft. Host Ryan Willard gets super-player (and child) Everett to break down the game, explaining the magic that has kids under its spell, how exactly to play, and the benefits the game provides. (I mean take that last part with a grain of salt, Everett is totally biased.) I have been waiting for someone to demystify the lure of Minecraft, and it turns out I needed Everett to do it. Listen here.
🎙️Man, if you like compelling storytelling and interviews, you have to binge every single episode of Kimi Culp’s All the Wiser. A recent episode was so tense I felt it physically. Meyli Chapin (aka “Terrorist Attack Girl”) was on a Google work trip in Nairobi when her hotel was attacked by terrorists and she was sure she would die. For 17 hours she stayed hidden and tortured wondering what would happen to her, waiting to be saved. A random hero, retired combat vet Chris Craighead, happened to be nearby and went in to save people. 33 people died, and while being escorted to safety through the carnage, Meyli had to look at her shoes so she wouldn’t be further traumatized. But trauma doesn’t just go away, it’s something I understand at a whole new level after listening to this. Listen here.
🎙️Bone Valley is reporting on the 1987 murder of 18-year-old Michelle Schofield and the imprisonment of her husband Leo Schofield, which host Gilbert King believes is totally backwards. It’s hard to argue with him. Previously unidentified fingerprints match Jeremy Scott, a violent teenager who lived nearby who has since confessed to Michelle’s murder. But Leo is still behind bars. (Plus this was just a totally shitty and unfair case.) This seems like a straight-forward wrongly accused story, but this show is immersive and inviting, and uses the perfect amount of production. It goes up-close for the investigating and steps back for the storytelling. Gilbert and producer Kelsey show up to Lakeland with their microphones and strong conviction that Leo is innocent, and while sometimes this tactic can go horribly (and ethnically) wrong, Gilbert won a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Devil in the Grove, so I feel comfortable trusting him. Because the podcast feels a bit scrappy (when I say this I just mean not overly produced—it’s hard work to make a good show sound scrappy) there is a real sense of time and place that brings you back to the Florida swamps to convince us that Leo should be freed. That’s happened before, it could happen again. Listen here.
🎙️Last week I asked Twitter to put their podcast manifestations into the universe (on a thread.) Audrey Gillan said she hoped her new podcast Bible John: Creation of a Serial Killer makes it across the Atlantic and other oceans to loads of ears. So let’s make it happen, friends! Bible John is the story of the Zodiac Killer of Glasgow, who murdered three young women between 1968 and 1969 and freaked out everyone in the city. Audrey was the one who reported the case decades ago, the identity of Bible John is still unknown. Audrey is going back to her old files, joining up with a former journalist rival to see if together they can retell a story in a way that reframes how we talk about the victims, not as provocatively dressed women being irresponsible floozies at a dance club, but innocent women who had families that are still grappling with loss. It feels like you’re along with her as she revisits Glasgow looking for a new look on an old story. Listen here.
🎙️I am a child woman who literally can’t rinse her teeth with mouth wash unless it’s Wild Watermelon flavored. (I have tried all the kid’s kinds…you think pineapple is the best, but you’re wrong, it’s Wild Watermelon.) Money Honeys is my way to listen to smart conversations about money UGH in a sweet, friendly, relatable way. Ex-Buzzfeed producers Chantel, Devin, and Freddie host conversations with entrepreneurs, financial experts and business insider friends about everything from entities to becoming a sugar baby. They aren’t the experts, they have worries and questions just like me, so I feel less dumb and afraid (which would be the name of my money podcast.) Each listen wears down the worry I have about my own money. Love the two-parter about what Buzzfeed taught them about content and money. Listen here.
🎙️If you’re watching Netflix’s The Watcher (the “based-on-a-true-story” story about a house in New Jersey that became the target of an anonymous stalker who sent threatening letters to the new owners) I urge you to listen to Dark House’s two-part episode about it, because the TV series has taken so many editorial liberties that I’m not sure it should claim to be based on a true story. The real story is still incredibly creepy. Dark House is House Beautiful’s show that explores beautiful homes with dark histories. (Love the direction they took with this show.) Hosts and House Beautiful editors Hadley Mendelsohn and Alyssa Fiorentino break down the real story and then talk to psychology and sociology instructor Casey Lytle about the many possible suspects of the still-unsolved case, which suspects and theories are the most realistic, the psychology of murder and stalking, and why murders are technically down but our appetite for talking about them are up. Listen here and here.
🎙️The CIA is distributing
propaganda a podcast for your ears.
🎙️I love you!
This week we’re getting to peek into the listening life of Grace Piña, the Texan barbecue-eatin’, music-lovin’ horror fan who manages Pod People’s social media accounts and creates a lot of their graphics and videos. She’s also a tour manager for an incredible rock/soul/blues/country musician named Zac Wilkerson.
The app you use to listen: I usually use Spotify to listen, but I also watch a couple on YouTube. I hope that's not a controversial answer.
What speed do you listen to podcasts? 1x and continuously rewinding because I wasn’t paying attention.
How do you discover new shows? Newsletters!!! Although, I’m much better at subscribing and adding shows to my list than I am at actually listening to them all.
One show you love that everybody loves. Stuff You Should Know
One show you love that most people don't know about. My Funeral Home Stories
Anything else you want to say? We just started a TikTok (@dreammachinepod) for one of our originals, Ghosthoney’s Dream Machine. Follow us to see a different way of TikTok-ing for podcasters.