May Madness - Nine New Podcasts!
Our Covid-19 restrictions have eased but my thirst for great Podcasts continues! Here are the Podcasts that I have been binging on for the last month.
1. Alan Carr’s “Life’s a Beach” - From Travesty Media & Keep It Light Media.
I only discovered this Podcast this month but the first episode aired in February 2021. I am a massive Alan Carr fan and have been laughing my way through all the episodes and I am now waiting for a new episode to be released.
In each episode Alan chats with a celebrity guest about all things holiday related:
“Bursting with anecdotes, laidback chat and laugh out loud travel tales - if this podcast was a suitcase you’d have to sit on it.” (Source here).
“In these gloomy days of not being able to go anywhere or do anything, what better way than to spend your days dreaming of happier ones? And places. Oh the places we’ll go!” (Source here).
The Podcast as described by Alan Carr:
“My Life’s A Beach podcast is the escapism we ALL need right now. I sat down and chatted with some of my famous friends about everything travel. From caravanning in Rhyl to private jetting to the Maldives, my guests spill the beans on their holiday horrors and dream destinations. Let’s face it: we might not have the sun on our faces, but after a listen to this you’ll definitely have a smile.” (Source here).
Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, this feel good Podcast is not to be missed.
2. Looking For The Todt Family - Produced By The Day.
“On January 13, 2020, four bodies were found inside a home in Celebration, Florida – a small community near Disney World. The bodies were those of Megan Todt, 42, a stay-at-home mom, yoga instructor, and former physical therapist, and her children, Alek Todt, 13, Tyler Todt, 11, and Zoe Todt, 4. They had all been drugged with Benadryl and Megan, Alek, Tyler, and Breezy, the family’s dog, had been stabbed. According to the medical examiner, they had been dead for weeks. Tony Todt, Megan’s husband and the children’s father, was found inside the home with their bodies. He was arrested and charged with murder.” (Source here).
“… explores every facet of this case, from Tony’s violent family history to the FBI investigation surrounding Tony’s healthcare fraud, the murders themselves, and Tony’s revelations, and accusations, from jail. It also will follow the case through Tony Todt’s trial.” (Source here).
There are ten episodes of this Podcast series currently available (plus a few bonus Q&A episodes) and as the case is on going you can expect more episodes to follow. I was not familiar with this terribly sad story prior to listening to the Podcast but found myself eager to know the outcome of the case.
3. Spy Affair - Hosted By Celia Aniskovich for Wondery.
This is a crazy story of:
“… deception, appearances and betrayal.” (Source here).
Maria Butina is a gun advocate who arrives in the USA from Russia with the hope of “improving relations between the two countries” and it isn’t long before she makes some powerful friends and in doing so sparks the interest of the FBI:
“… who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria gets closer to the rich and connected she also attracts the attention of the FBI. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, everyone has secrets and almost nothing is what it seems.” (Source here).
This is a another great six-part miniseries from Wondery.
4. The Pit - A CBC Investigative Podcast.
Sheree Fertuck has been in missing in Saskatchewan since the 7th of December 2015. Sheree is believed to be deceased but her body has never been found. This Podcast is an in-depth look into Sheree’s disappearance and includes lots of interviews with those who were close to Sheree and miss her hugely.
“When Sheree Fertuck’s truck is found abandoned, suspicions grow around what happened to her.” (Source here).
Sheree’s truck was found at the gravel pit that she owned and worked at shortly after her worried mother reported her missing. On the day that she disappeared, Sheree had lunch with her mother but never returned for her supper (as was her normal routine) causing her mother to became concerned about her welfare and subsequently report her missing.
The Podcast goes through Sheree’s life prior to her disappearance including her troubled marriage to Greg Fertuck:
“Sheree gets married. Soon, cracks in the relationship begin to form. Court documents reveal troubles in Sheree’s private life. There’s a death threat, weapons, and the police get involved.” (Source here).
Greg Fertuck quickly becomes the main suspect in this case. There are eight episodes currently available however there will be more released as the case progresses further, Covid-19 has caused some delays!
5. O.C. Swingers - By Justine Harman for Audiochuck.
Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley are at the centre of this true crime Podcast. Both individuals are charged with the serious crimes of drugging and raping women in the wealthy Newport Beach area of Orange County, California:
“When the charges against Newport Beach orthopedic surgeon and former Bravo reality star Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend, substitute teacher Cerissa Riley, were revealed back in September of 2018, the world gawked at the unlikely criminals. And when a search warrant resulted in a haul that included unlawful guns, drugs, cash, and a mountain of digital evidence, the two were accused of drugging and raping MANY women. Things only got weirder from there.” (Source here).
“… one of the most sordid sex crimes cases in Orange County history.” (Source here).
Prior to their crimes, both Grant and Cerissa were respected members of their community and in their lives prior to living together in Newport:
“Long before he found himself accused of multiple sex crimes, Grant Robicheaux was a small town good ol’ boy with big ol’ plans.” (Source here).
And as for Carissa, she was:
“… a devout Christian evangelist married to her high school sweetheart.” (Source here).
A crazy story that has me hooked and eagerly awaiting the next episode!
6. Broken Harts - Hosted By Justine Harman, Elisabeth Egan & Lauren Smiley for Glamour & HowStuffWorks.
The Hart Family story was a “fairytale”, six adopted children being raised in a happy loving environment by two doting parents. But it was all an illusion, one that ended in complete devastation, the murder of six innocent children by the two people entrusted to care for them:
“Markis, Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Jeremiah, and Sierra Hart—six beautiful black children, ranging in age from 12 to 19—were all adopted by Sarah and Jennifer Hart, both white. On Jen’s Facebook page, it looked as if they were the perfect blended family, even earning the nickname “Hart Tribe” from friends. Then, on March 26, 2018, the family’s GMC Yukon was found belly-up on the rocks below California’s Highway 1. The news of the murder-suicide shocked their friends and made national headlines, leaving many wondering what possibly led to the fatal crash.” (Source here).
A shocking and heart breaking story which clearly highlights major flaws in the U.S.A’s system of adoption and child welfare investigations. It clearly illustrates the lack of inter-connectivity and traceability between the different U.S states with regard to various governing agencies established to protect the rights of children. These agencies are state wide and not country wide. Because of this, Jennifer and Sarah Hart were essentially able to “run away” and move from state to state every time a child welfare agency (or similar agency) got close enough to uncover what was really going on and/or were charged with a crime. As a result of these system failings (and a variety of other circumstances that you will hear about in the Podcast), their six adopted children never got the help they so desperately needed.
One of the key questions posed in this Podcast is “Could these lives have been saved?” and I think the answer is a resounding “YES”. Let’s hope some changes are brought about as a result of this tragic event and failings in the systems designed to protect children are rectified.
7. The Followers: House of Prayer - Hosted By Leila Day & Beth Karas for UCP Audio.
This true crime Podcast takes a deep dive into the life of cult leader Anna Young. When Anna’s daughter Joy starts to recall memories from her childhood, memories that she has fought hard to suppress, she realises she needs to speak to the police about these memories and about her mother:
“A daughter’s call to police about memories of her mother’s alleged crime triggers a year-long investigation into a cult, the disappearance of a child and a murder.” (Source here).
“… this podcast delves into the alleged torture, abuse & death that occurred at the hands of cult leader Anna Young.” (Source here).
Anna’s cult was called “The House of Prayer for All People” and it:
“… offered an opportunity for outcasts to find redemption; it promised safety and compassion to those who had committed unspeakable wrongdoings—along with free room and board. But it also allowed Mother Anna, as she was often called, complete control over dozens of lives.” (Source here).
In this Podcast we quickly learn that Anna’s cult was far removed from what it purported to be. Anna’s house (the home of the cult) was in fact:
“… a house of horrors, as her perverted interpretation of the Pentecostal faith allowed her to strip her followers of their birth names in favor of biblical ones, adorn them in robes and ankle-length dresses and allegedly torture and abuse them for their “sins.”” (Source here).
All seven episodes are available now.
8. In God We Lust - Hosted By Brooke Siffrinn & Aricia Skidmore-Williams for Wondery.
Two of my favourite Podcast co-hosts Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams are back with another entertaining and amusing Podcast In God We Lust from Wondery.
The background to this Podcast is:
“A luxury hotel pool attendant in Miami meets a married couple. The wife starts flirting with the young man… and pretty soon he is caught up in a love triangle, one that will have far-reaching results. The husband is Jerry Falwell Jr., member of one of the most famous evangelical families in America and president of a Christian university with a strict code of conduct. The affair is part of a pattern of questionable behavior that will threaten the Falwell family dynasty.” (Source here).
Three episodes in and I am truly captivated, check it out!
9. Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jennifer Chambers - Hosted By Beth Karas for OXYGEN.
Jessica Chambers was only 19 years old when she was murdered, set on fire in her car, in a rural community in Mississippi. With her blonde hair and blue eyes (you will hear this mentioned continuously throughout the Podcast) Jessica was a much loved family member, popular among her peers and a keen cheerleader whose brutal murder thoroughly shocked her community:
“As investigators work to figure out who could have done this and why, there’s an onslaught of online sleuths digitally descending on this grieving community wreaking havoc and placing blame. Finally, after a 14-month investigation, there’s a surprise arrest and trial of the accused with an ending that sends shockwaves once again.” (Source here).
Having listened to all of this Podcast series it really is hard to decide if the police have arrested the right guy - all the evidence presented, all the opinions voiced, the endless interviews, discussions and days in court and still the community remains divided. Listen for yourself and let me know what conclusions you draw from it all. The one thing everyone agrees on - whoever committed such a grotesque crime deserves to be caught and prosecuted.