Podcast Madness: East, Round 2.1

Recap: 40 podcasts, single-elimination brackets — 1 winner will emerge!

Read the first post here, then come back for the results.

East, Game 1: Undisclosed v. Crimetown

Crimetown‘s premise is to look at a different American city each season and explore the “culture of crime” in each city. The first season looks at Providence, RI. I listened to episode 1, which introduces a young prosecutor named Buddy Cianci who wanted to clean up his town.

The podcast opens with the funeral of Buddy Cianci, mayor of Providence, who was mourned as a good guy, but who had also been convicted of racketeering, and had also been accused of torture and kidnapping. Wait…what? It turns out Providence is a big mob town, something I didn’t know, so this seems to be an interesting story.

Undisclosed looks at wrongful convictions, the criminal justice system, and takes a closer look at evidence at investigations to shed light on the way investigations are run and the biases inherent in the system.

I listened to episode 1 of The Killing of Freddie Gray, which is the story of a black man arrested in Baltimore, MD, loaded into a police wagon in perfect health, and when the wagon arrived at its destination, Gray was unloaded unconscious. He died a few days later from his injuries. the official story changed several times, and key pieces of evidence were overlooked or suppressed until much later.

The podcast reviews evidence, talks to witnesses, and generally digs deeper on the case.

Both stories are fascinating, but I have to pick one, so…

Winner: Crimetown

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East, Game 2: Criminal v. Real Crime

“Real Crime” was a suggestion I received, and when I searched, I found 2 podcasts by that name. So I listened to them both.

The first, Real Crime with Danny Lopez, is a guy who combs through old newspapers to find interesting (or brutal) crimes. Then he reads the newspaper articles. Guys, this one was kind of boring. I listened to episode 2: Gentlemen Robbers and Part 1 of a Female Torso. The Gentlemen Robbers story was pretty good, but at the beginning the host just read quickly from multiple newspapers without pausing between each one, making it hard to follow. Also, because it was just one guy reading the newspaper aloud, it was easy to tune out. So I moved on to the next “Real Crime.”

Real Crime Profile takes real cases and a former FBI profiler, a former New Scotland Yard criminal behavioral analyst, and a casting director for CBS’ Criminal Minds show looks at the behavior of criminals to do what they do best and paint a picture of the perpetrators.

They do some long arcs, so I listened to ep. 59: Profiling and Talking Murder, a standalone episode. While interesting to hear them talk about the theory and where amateurs can go wrong, I think it would be more interesting to listen to one of the longer arcs.

Criminal is about people who have committed a crime, or about a type of crime, such as faking one’s death for insurance fraud, in the episode I listened to, called Vanish (ep. 61). The host interviewed some people who know a lot about what it takes to fake your death, and how committed you’d have to be to pull it off. It was fascinating to listen to. And I’m sure I’d get caught — I’m too close to my family to cut them out of my life that way.

Winner: Criminal

Next time: East, Round 2.2.

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