By TPH Intern Emma Dubinsky
Anyone that knows me well knows that I am obsessed with podcasts. I listen to them every time I get in the car, whether I am driving alone to the barn or forcing my brother to listen to the tail end of one on the ride to school in the morning. Lately, one of my favorites is a podcast produced by Gimlet Media called Crimetown. It is hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. It details the crime in different cities, and Season 1 is about the nature of crime in the city of providence. The podcast begins by talking about the corrupt mayor, Buddy Cianci, and investigates his ties to the mob in providence and then continues even deeper into the way the mob weaves into the city. But the hosts do not just stop with the facts and details of the way things were, they manage to hear from many of these criminals and the some of the law enforcement agents trying to fracture the mob.
By far my favorite episode was The Doctor Broad. This episode talks about the end of the life of boss Raymond Patriarca, but what really sticks out is the parts of the episode that detail the relationship of Dr. Barbara Roberts and Louis Manocchio. Starting out as the doctor to Patriarca, who she calls Ray, she then becomes a mob mistress. And the best part is, the listeners get to hear most of this from Roberts herself. She details how she became close to him, and just how much the two men meant to her family. But the podcast doesn’t’ stop with the stories of the mob boss and the mayor- the podcast also follows many of the enforcers and their lives during and after their time in the mob, and details the rise and fall of a drug smuggler. It also investigates the lives of the children of these members of the mob, and how the lives of their fathers infected their own lives.
But the magic of this podcast doesn’t stop with the host’s incredible interviews of people relevant to the story and the incredibly thrilling information it provides- on top of all of this, the hosts have managed to put together an incredible website stocked full of pictures of the people in these stories. After watching each episode, I usually rush online to view the images pulled together of the characters from that week’s episode. Mayor Cianci was much plumper than I imagined, and I was able to put a face to the name of a highly intelligent senator from Episode 15. There are even pictures of the Providence Journal from the days of the arrests and crimes detailed in the episodes. On the website, I got to view the incriminating pictures the journal took of Chief Justice Bevilacqua that caused his downfall to office. (You will have to listen to find out just what he did- it is quite promiscuous.) I’d highly recommend this podcast- as a self-proclaimed podcast geek who is currently juggling quite a few, this one still remains at the top of the list, and I am not so quietly awaiting Season 2.