• Podcast Librarian

Appalachian Mysteria: Respectful, well-researched true crime in my favorite US region

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Welcome to Appalachian Mysteria, a true-crime podcast series that all started with Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders and Big Savage: The Death of Alexander Stevens.⁣


Series or standalone:

Series


Begin listening to:

The Disappearance (or you can start with the season 2 case--either way)


Format:

Longform true crime/investigative reporting


Host(s):

J. Kendall Perkinson & Sarah James McLaughlin


Sound/production quality:

Very good


Rating/age suitability:

Best for adults


Approximate length of episodes:

40 minutes


Curricular ties:

N/A


Similar recommended pods:

The second season case reminds me a lot of Culpable


Podcast Librarian’s Review: I’m honesty shocked I hadn’t heard of this pod prior to Podcast Business Journal shouting it out in their newsletter. It’s a true crime podcast focused on Appalachia (specifically West Virginia/Virginia). I’ve had a thing for Appalachia-based stories lately, possibly from listening to Inside Appalachia so often or from visiting West Virginia last summer. But more than the region, this podcast stands out in the overcrowded true crime genre because of the extensive research and impressive access the hosts have to the information and people surrounding the cases. Season 1 covers the WVU co-ed murders in the 70s, and Season 2 covers a more recent case of two teens who went into the woods with only one returning alive (and with a strange story to explain it all). Season 2 is definitely reminiscent of another favorite pod, Culpable. One narrator, Kendall, reminds me so much of Zander Sherman of CBC’s Uncover; there are two other narrators in season 1, co-host Sarah and author/WVU murders expert Geoffrey. While the format is typically single-narrator, the hosts sometimes chat with each other to discuss certain aspects of the cases or ask each other the questions that the listener may be wondering. I appreciate how respectful they are of the victims; it never feels like they’re exploiting the stories for their own gain, which we all know can happen with true crime pods. I’ve read reviews that criticize the frequent use of music breaks, but to be honest, that didn’t stand out to me either way. Also, I really like that the music is from artists local to the cases. That, along with hosts who have a connection to the area, makes the pod feel somewhat homegrown and always authentic. This pod started out great and keeps getting better; I’m really looking forward to season 3!


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