Sword & Scale remains as one of the most successful crime podcasts, queuing up 70 episodes to date. The man responsible for bringing engrossing true crime stories to our ears is Mike Boudet. Something to note is Serial was the first podcast -relating to a real life crime tale- I had ever heard. During the run of Serial’s juggernaut success, numerous articles began recommending other podcasts within the true crime genre. That’s when I first came across S&S, Criminal, Generation Why, Thinking Sideways, and a few more.
An exciting world was brought before me.
I remember the first episode I heard was a Canadian case where a teenager was beheaded by a severely mentally ill Asian man on a Greyhound bus. A few notable others cases covered by Mike include Luke Magnotta, a reality show reject and narcissistic who killed a guy during coitus, all the while live streaming the tortuous sex. Ricardo Lopez serves as another interesting mix. Taking place right here in sunny South Florida, a stalker obsessed fan of Bjork filmed 22 hours of sickening reel. He professed his deranged thoughts about his favorite singer and lonely life. The crazy part is the suicide tape. (I too used to lurk r/MorbidReality).
Besides the long list of episodes, I was stunned to learn Mike is a S.Fla native and resident like yours truly. That fact made him ten times cooler. The mention of Casey Anthony’s verdict while driving on Bird Road in the podcast hit the light bulb switch in my head.
Fast forward to the announcement of a local meetup, along with Justin from Generation Why set to appear. How could I not go?
Destination: Burlock Coast.
A fancy eatery and bar in Ft. Lauderdale beach.
I’m familiar with this city. My dad used to work there. While the restaurant is now closed, I briefly waitressed during the summer of ’09. Later the majority of rock concerts I attended took place at Revolution and Culture Room. Seeing the likes of Minus The Bear and Circa Survive always led me to carpool from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale many a high school and college nights. Basically my entire Youtube channel consists of amateur videos where I filmed scores of alternative/post-hardcore bands in these venues.
Driving through the streets of Ft. Lauderdale –especially the very touristy side– reminded me of Miami Beach, my hometown. The beach side looks a lot like Ocean Drive.
So I’m dropped off. Walk inside Burlock. The feeling of being lost sets in motion right when someone notices my presence. Immediately my attention snaps to Justin -hollering for me to join him. Seated at a dinner table is Justin, Mike and a few other men in their 30s. I felt like Lindsey Lohan in Means Girls joining the Regina George lunch table.
Oh me?? I’m flattered.
I was introduced to everyone. Mostly I just made small talk about my blog and Missing Maura Murray with Justin. He pointed out to a married couple seated nearby at a lounge because they flew from San Jose, California for this very meeting.
Dedication. I like that.
5 minutes later everyone gathered around for the meetup. I’d say around 50 people appeared. Mostly the hosts their divided attention whoever stopped by. A couple of times Mike and I personally chit chatted. We watch the same batch of true crime shows, I noticed. This heavily tattooed dude brought up True Crime Garage and Missing Maura Murray, in specific how he prefers shows where there is a resolution (MM is a certified rabbit hole). One of the things I’ve noticed about S&S is the picking and choosing of obscure cases. Mike agreed that’s why he doesn’t discuss unsolved cases. You can guess a million crazy theories before finding the truth.
I’m insanely reticent. I managed to make conversation with a couple of people: Hannah (an Indiana transplant living in Delray Beach) and Esther (the woman who flew in from Cali).
Mostly I stuck around with Esther. Soon I learned she actually hosts Once Upon A Crime. I was just yip yapping about true crime all night. O.J. Simpson, Making A Murderer, you name it. We find it to be so cool how casual and inviting podcasters are with their listeners. The podcast medium is unique. Anyone can start their own show, grab a gargantuan amount of listeners, and premiere their episodes whenever. There are no rules.
I wouldn’t be here without Serial. As I typed halfway through today’s entry, news surprised the podcast community with Adnan Syed getting a new trial. What a long way we’ve come since Serial premiered in October of 2014. Without that show, x, y, z wouldn’t have occurred. Discovering new content, befriending podcast peeps, starting this blog. I really have come across wonderful people.
Nothing tops Serial.
As the Saturday night was winding down people were leaving. I was monkey in the middle between Esther and Justin as we chatted around an hour. She was recounting how she has followed TC since the Ann Rule days. Unsolved Mysteries was my idolization. Nearby a young couple struck up a conversation with us. The male was mostly drunk but very chatty and friendly. I’d really like to hear that discussion because Esther spontaneously decided to record that exchange. I remember Richard Ramirez being brought up as a fixture in TC history, one of the reasons Justin became personally interested in the genre.
A momentary pause in the discussion led the guy to mention my pink toe nail polish; somewhere in his curious drunken state he was fascinated with that observation. Later, a premium episode of Gen Why came up about a Oregon 911 call where a helpless woman was rejected from getting protected by her abusive ex, reasons being that Josephine County cut their budget with police personnel. Here’s the episode.
As I was sitting there I understood why Justin and Mike host their shows. They’re capable of prolonging with promising content, all the while vocalizing without running out of material. There’s a reason both men were chatting up a storm with everyone. They possess opinions that scores of people are very keen in hearing.
By the time the couple left, I was chewing the same piece of gum for hours. No food in my stomach. Esther’s husband generously offered me drinks. I wasn’t sure how the night would turn out. Not eating before leaving home was a premature decision that would later cost me. Sustenance was needed even if a milkshake or buckets of ice were handed.
I joined Mike and his friends. He was recounting a hilarious massage story as I was sipping my rum. Everyone was roaring. Downing the second glass my functions became foggy but my memory was still serving me right. Mind you I’m not a regular drink. Here I am home away home. My first meetup was going well. I became impaired.
I passed out.
My bathroom break led to a welfare check. Without Esther I probably would have slept on that hotel tile. When I finally walked out everyone was gone. No goodbye hugs to the guys.
Things took an embarrassing toll. My blurry vision was in great effect. Meanwhile Esther was trying to request Uber. Thankfully my inebriated side isn’t aggressive. I’m upbeat and chatty but mostly nurturing is needed if things go south. Upchucking while slumped outside was as close to Snooki-from-Jersey Shore-drunk as I got. Mostly I’m cool.
My ride arrives. A white guy around 21 was in the Uber pool; immediately he was concerned with my visible inebriation. We shook hands. At his drop off he told the driver to text him when I arrived safely at home. That was sweet. During my drunken state my thought was there is true kindness in this world, even among strangers. Good people can look after you.
Maybe Mystery Show can dedicate an episode on the identity of this mysterious passenger.
Mike and Justin were really cool. To sum it all up, in a state where they can comfortably quit their jobs to podcast full time is a reality many wish to fulfill. If you aren’t kind to listeners, then it’s really not worth attempting this line of work. The online sleuths are here to stay. I hope to experience more meetups. The podcast peeps at the top of the list know who they are.
I’m shy greet me first.