• Podcast Librarian

Where is George Gibney?: ...And how has he gotten away with this?

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

A famous Olympic coach charged with child sexual abuse never stood trial. Instead, he vanished.


Reporter Mark Horgan travels across Ireland, the UK and the US on his trail.


Series or standalone:

Series


Begin listening to:

It Happened in the Summer


Format:

Investigative reporting


Host(s):

Mark Horgan (BBC)


Sound/production quality:

Very good


Rating/age suitability:

Adult. CW: Sexual abuse/rape of children.


Approximate length of episodes:

30 minutes


Curricular ties:

n/a


Similar recommended pods:

Believed, which is about sexual abuse in gymnastics and one of the best podcasts ever made (in this reviewer's opinion). Crisis is about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.


Podcast Librarian’s Review:

By now, most people have heard of the USA gymnastics sexual abuse scandal. Larry Nassar, a trusted and well-respected Olympic trainer was convicted of abusing more than 150 girls and women, most of whom were elite gymnasts. This is all detailed in one of the best investigative podcasts I’ve ever heard, Believed.

You may be surprised (and disgusted) to learn that gymnastics wasn’t the only sport to experience a sexual abuse scandal. In Ireland, George Gibney was a swim coach who, in the 60s and 70s, abused many of his athletes, primarily adolescent boys. The difference is that he was never convicted and moved to US. End of story, right? Not quite because he’s still at it.

Once in the US, George moved around the country frequently, relocating every time word of his past allegations catch up to him. In this series, reporter Mark Horgan of the BBC tries to track his whereabouts and find out where he is volunteering (and potentially coming in contact with more young people to abuse). He stakes out in front of George’s Florida home, hoping to question George himself. He interviews neighbors, coworkers, and others who have interacted with George. The most heartbreaking story is in episode 6 and details the story of a women who George raped and whose life tragically changed after that incident. It's one of the saddest episodes of any podcast that I've ever listened to (but really good if you can stomach that topic).

Some of the early episodes feel a bit slow, but the suspense increases in episode 8 when the reporter finally confronts George in person. I believe the series is not yet finished, but I’m fully invested now and can’t wait to find out how it turns out. Hopefully, they nab him for good and get justice for the victims.




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