Unravelled is a new true crime podcast where Alexis Linkletter and Billy Jensen take on five different true crime story over five seasons and using their journalistic skills and tenacity dig deeper into each of them to uncover more. I would like to say that we get to uncover the truth, but having listened to the first two season Linkletter and Jensen have enough integrity to admit that some things are conjecture, and there are some questions for which we will never have a definitive answer – such is the frustrations and attractions of true crime.
In it’s first season Unravelled covered the Long Island Serial Killer (LISK), a case which most readers will know from a recent netflix drama Lost Girls. Linkletter and Jensen both grew up in the area but chose not to only look at who may or may not be LISK. While it is obviously important to bring LISK to justice, what is also important is their documentation of a mind boggling level of corruption in the local police department, which would make a politician in the pocket of the arms trade shudder, and undoubtable has contributed to the fact LISK has never been arrested. You know that there is good quality journalism going on when someone has the ability to find new ways to look at an old story, and while Linkletter and Jensen set out their stall in looking at thinks differently in their first season, the promise really starts coming to fruition in their second.
Once you’ve been consuming true crime for a while things can get, well, a bit boring. It is possible to hear the same cases again, and again, all researched from the same Wikipedia article, and as humans we crave novelty. However as a genre which has to do more than any other in terms of ethical naval gazing the search for novelty is something that has to be finely and carefully balanced with what is both legal and moral. It is this difficult high wire act where Unravelled is placing itself.
The second season “The Stalkers Web,” ensues the murder obsession of true crime and instead looks at a case of serial stalking. However this in not just one man stalking one woman, it is one man stalking countless numbers of people, and not just stalking, harassing, getting them fired, ending relationships, friendships, and careers over decades. One couple moved continent to get away from them. This stalker is truly terrifying in his addiction to ruining people who he perceives as slighting him, not only romantic partners. It is thought he started the stalking and harassment in 1995, when the internet was in such an infant stage no one even knew all the ways it could be manipulated by those with nefarious intent. Police especially did not, and often when victims came forward with complaints they were told there was nothing that could be done or they were ignored. The Stalkers Web is a portrait of when a deeply disturbed psyche meets the right time and the right place – and it is one of the cases that confirms to be that true crime, often is mislabelled and is really true horror. This season was so terrifying in exposing the relentless horrific creativity of this individual I don’t even want to name them, which is normally reserved for the fantasy worlds on M Night Shyamalam and JK Rowling.
Having listened to what Unravelled promises to be investigating in upcoming seasons it feels like we can expect more of it’s unusual angle to true crime combined with the investigative chops of Linkletter and Jensen – which for me means that Unravelled definitely has my subscription, because I don’t want to miss an episode.