You can listen to the Podcast here.
This next podcast on my list of top 5 weekly true crime podcasts is not strictly true crime. Weekly stories also contain paranormal, cryptozoology, cults and of course a heft dose of spooky gay bullshit. It is indeed, the one, the only That’s Spooky. Hosted by Canadians Johnny Cann and Tyler Hyde. When I’m feeling a bit stressed, or need a pick me up this is always guaranteed to put a smile on my face.
I first came across That’s Spooky in an advert for the Morbid Podcasting Network, where to the camera they asked me “Do you want to talk about serial killers like you talk about your ex-boyfriends?” My answer was “Yes. Yes I do!” I really wanted this, but I didn’t even realise how much I needed this.
As with all things related to true crime there is a genuine tight rope to walk between exploring a case, and being respectful of victims and families, digging deeper to understand a case, but not allowing salacious elements to creep in. Johnny and Tyler are absolute masters at this. Their years of working in creative industries to craft entertainment which is emotionally impact full shines through in their treatment of their subject stories.
This alone would make it a good podcast but what really lifts it up to be one of the better ones out there (and there are a lot of great true crime podcasts out there) is that Johnny and Tyler in every episode profoundly model respect. Respect for victims, and those left behind, respect for each other, respect for their listeners. They model it in the best way. Not by being holliar-than-thou and demanding perfection from everyone around them, but by being humble, admitting to mistakes they make, being open to change, accepting of difference and always striving to see the person first.
This is most evident when it comes to how intersectional That’s Spooky is. They often focus on crimes where the LGBT+ community has been impacted, they’re are vocally pro-trans, are supportive of first-national people (something Canada struggles with) and they get feminism in a way many men don’t. Couple that with the community they have produced with The Secret Society That Doesn’t Suck and they have managed to make a space out there in podcast land which is truly inclusive. This is one of the reasons why I love this podcast so much, a lot of people talk about building community, but building community is hard.
Modelling respect is hard, especially when we’re all suffering under lock downs and our mental health can feel frayed. Being alive to the issues that effect others which you have not have lived experience of yourself is hard. Especially when you have no work, or too much work, or financial problems. Johnny and Tyler model that it is possible to do this, while we struggle away with our own individual challenges. Johnny and Tyler feel to me like the very definition of a safe space.