Podcast reviews & recommendations.
Navigating the overwhelmingly dense world of documentary podcasts one season at a time.
Listen. Review. Repeat.
This astonishing 12-parter examines the horrific multi-decade abuse and corruption that took place at The Anneewakee Treatment Center for Emotionally Disturbed Youth in Douglasville, Georgia. It is impossible to ignore the power of such a devastating podcast — both in terms of catharsis for the many ex-pupils who testify on the record, and as a restatement of the lessons society should have learned, including the methods and motives of predators, so that such an abhorrence never occurs again.
Fake weddings, billion dollar transfers, an army of high rolling money-launderers…if you collect fun stories, then this is a veritable gold mine. At the same time, this is tempered by some shocking realities about North Korean “cyber slaves”, and the kinds of life-threatening jeopardy well co-ordinated hacks can create.
Trial podcasts are tricky. To convey some kind of absolute truth sans partiality — to reflect opposing sides of the same story absolutely equally — is an unreasonable bar, and so consequently even the best ones can sound somewhat biased. But in this case, it really is hard not to feel like we’re only being told select details about the story due to the host’s barely concealed support for the protagonist, showman attorney Frank Carson.
This is a podcast about two killers: Yaakov “Mio” Meidad, a highly accomplished operative working for the Israeli national intelligence agency, and Herbert Cukurs, aka “the Butcher of Latvia”, a savage and prolific Holocaust enforcer. But it is the former that takes on the role of chief protagonist — dare I say hero? — in Stephen Talty’s vivid retelling of Mio’s risky mission to exact vengeance on behalf of the Jewish People.
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