Multiple Views on a Gripping Story
Strong piece of research into a captivating and eerie topic. The depth of uncertainty in the cases paints a picture of the tragedy for families in Atlanta from ‘79-‘81, but also opens the discrimination and racist policies during the time, to the light of day. Unfortunately, these policies still are present today.
Listened to it once. Then after learning more tried to listen again...got 5 min into “Wayne’s World” and had to bail. But I was already incredulous the previous episode and barely made it through that. I think it’s incredibly sad the black community chooses to ignore evidence, albeit circumstantial, bc the suspect/killer is black. How can one possibly believe a white man/men were picking up young black boys with NO ONE noticing. That’s ridiculous. And the woman who postulates it could have been a white man posing as a black man is even more ridiculous. What? A fro wig with black face and a Huggy-Bear strut? It truly saddens me the black community will give a killer a free pass based on race. Whites would not do that. At least not those of us with half a brain and a HS education.
Interesting But Unlistenable
Really interesting content and thought provoking but the background “music” that persists throughout the episodes made it unlistenable to for me. Makes it a bit melodramatic and not really on par with the first series of shows. Pity. Form over substance.
No more “introducing...” podcasts
I have enjoyed all the I heart radio podcasts I subscribe too. But I am going through and giving all I heart radio podcasts a one star review because I am sick of hearing the same “introducing” on every podcast. I hear the same thing over and over and over. So I have unsubscribed from all my I heart radio podcasts because I am sick of episodes labeled “introducing”
Lacks Focus on the Facts
I’m a huge fan of the way Payne creates these podcasts. They’re absolutely addicting, and I often find it impossible to stop listening to them. I love the way he puts his podcasts together, and how he keeps his listeners hooked. That being said (*spoilers ahead*) Season 1 lacks significant focus on the facts. The facts show that Williams’ behavior falls exactly in line with the deaths of the two adults who were the outliers of the Atlanta Child Murders, and there is evidence that traces a significant portion of the child murders to him and his home as well. Some of this evidence is: his being the only car at the bridge that night; him changing his story about whether or not he dumped anything into the bridge and what it was; the fact that the bodies of the two adults were found just days after this incident; his connection with children in his line of “work;” the cable, gloves, and other incriminating evidence found in his car; his failing the polygraph test (I know polygraphs are not admissible as a basis for prosecution in a court of law, but it still does speak to his deception); the fibers from his bed that were consistent with fibers found on 18 of the victims; the dog hairs found in his home that were consistent with evidence found on 9 of the victims; the carpet fibers from his home found on 13 of his victims; and most notably, the fact that the murders ended after Williams was sentenced to two lifetimes in prison. These facts are irrefutable, and the fact that Season 1 chases fiction (or conspiracy theories) as it’s main source of ‘evidence’ that Williams did not commit these murders is unfounded and frankly hard to listen to. Not many people are likely to admit that they committed almost 30 murders (that we know of), especially when people continue to pursue the idea that this particular individual could be innocent despite the fact that all of the evidence points to the contrary. True crime should be about the facts, and Season 1 trails far from fact and much closer to fiction.
We’ve reached peak true crime
Excellent sound design, mostly well researched, written and produced. Sadly, every season devolves near the latter episodes into an awkward, unfounded conspiracy theory crock of crap that spoils an otherwise pretty good deep dive into two of the 20th century’s most notorious crimes.
Is this meant to be satire
Seriously the first season may be one of the worst things I’ve tried to listen to. Just a bunch of paranoid idiots who refuse to admit some psycho killed a bunch of people
Payne and Donald - exceptional
Y’all have done another great job! Your podcasts dive into the story, let us formulate our own opinions and presented the material in such a manner that keeps me listening.
Can hardly wait for the next podcast project!!!
Where is season 3? *she asks with baited breath*
Atlanta Monster was EVERYTHING!
Ashley Slay Girl Slay
The second season was good but start with season 1 Atlanta Monster. The production, music, content was absolutely everything. Thanks for sharing this story the way that you did. It is such an eye opener!
I barely made it through 4 episodes. So boring, so poorly done. Couldn’t stick with it
Season 2 sounds as if it were written, researched, recorded, and edited like a high school report on the Zodiac Killer.
At its best, it’s a missed opportunity. At its worst, it’s an unorganized train-wreck.
I expected a lot more from a company with the resources of iHeart Radio. A more compelling host, higher quality journalism and interviews, and better editing are just a few of the things wrong with this podcast.
To the team at iHeart Radio - please listen to literally any podcast from NPR, Wondery, or any other successful production company and take lots of notes.
Season 2, Nothing New
The Carwash Boy
Season 1 is interesting. To my memory the case has never been covered by a true crime podcast, at least not to this extent. Season 2 is super disappointing. Kind of like Up and Vanished Season 2. And it’s not because Monster Season 1 set such a high standard for the show. It’s because Season 2 adds *literally* nothing new. Zodiac has been done many different ways many different times. If there are no new developments in the case and you don’t have any other new information to contribute to it, don’t cover it! Such a let down.
I Loved Both Seasons
I came to the podcast through Up and Vanished and this one did not disappoint. Atlanta Monster was insane to me because I had never head the story, at least not in detail, and the way race reflects that is astonishing. Zodiac was even more intense because even though I knew more about the story it takes place very close to where I live so hearing locations near me were this happened was chilling. Hopefully the show comes back with more episodes or a new case.
Season 1 better production
Season 1 was masterly put together and great at showing all perspectives from people who were children at time to adults. Season 2 was slower but still good compilation of info on Zodiac.
Good, but Season 2 is Lacking
Season one is great and gives the listener something that is intriguing and engaging. Season 2, however, is very speculative and there are too many ads to be as engaging. Also I think because the Zodiac has been covered for over 50 years in many forms, that this season is overdone and doesn’t add anything. I would prefer more like Season One, less covered serial killers with intriguing details.
Stop with the ads
Listened to both seasons of this now, and though the storytelling can be a bit meandering at times, it does allow you to get some interesting details that you wouldn’t get from other versions. I would give 5 stars except i wasted so much of my life on the ads in the second season. I understand ads are a part of podcasts but when i have to hear the exact same ad (insomniac) at the beginning and end of every episode and sometimes in the middle, it grates on my ears after a while. There were only two other ads that were rotated through as well. Please consider not spamming me with ads for your other shows, it really doesn’t make me want to listen!
Season 1 started out good but quickly eroded into rumor and speculation. If you like conspiracy theories and fairy tales, this is your podcast.
Should have ended at episode 10
This should have been a 10 part series at most. After that it is basically 5 episodes of people’s BS stories.
please stop with the music
It is difficult to hear what people are saying, especially with static lines. The music is annoying and just makes it harder to hear. Get rid of the music and I would’ve gotten many more stars.
Thanks to all. Good work
Couldn’t stop listening to the Zodiac. So intriguing and kept me wanting more. Very well produced. Please do more!
Talked in circles
Kept waiting for the podcast to get to the twists and turns it was alluding to but it just kept going in circles. Felt like I kept hearing the same things over and over again, and the phone interviews went way too long after the point was made.
Also, sound production is pretty bad. I kept having to adjust volume because it would be super loud and then super quiet.
Gave up after episode 7. I’ll just watch season 2 of Netflix’s Mindhunter instead.
I Never Knew!
So many details about the investigation and suspects. Really informative and a great podcast!
I enjoyed this one on the whole
Season 1 is perfect! Season 2, not so much.
Atlanta monster is one of the best podcast I’ve ever heard! But, zodiac, season two, is not as good. Season one has better research,Better form, better everything. I found myself tuning out most of season two and having to re-listen to stuff.
More About Conspiracy Theories Than True Crime
Got through episode three of season one and gave up. It pulled a 180° from detailing established facts and evidence in the first two episodes to straight up crazy conspiracy theories. I can’t believe how highly this was recommended to me, because it’s trash.
Loved season 1 "Atlanta Monster" and now I love season 2 "Zodiac Killer". Always informative and fast paced but mostly very entertaining. Looking forward to, hopefully, season 3.
It’s Not Too Bad
I liked listening to this at first because this story takes place from where I was raised. It’s not the greatest but it’s worth a listen.
Enjoyed it thoroughly
Mid-way through season one.....
The content is good. I learned about the Atlanta Child Murderer a while back. I am stunned at the fact people believe he is innocent. Dude is a complete narcissist, sociopath and psychopath......it hurts to listen to him speak.
Could have been great
Interesting premise but the podcast can’t get out of its own way. Tell the story from A to Z! Chopping it up into arbitrary segments doesn’t do anything to build suspense if that is the intent. And the “music” is too much - distracting techno noise. Like another reviewer said - do it like Serial. Straightforward with no awful background music.
So much promise
I wanted to like it, it had so much potential, but it was overproduced. I felt like I heard the same clips over and over and over. The pre and post stuff took to much time.
Both seasons have covered interesting cases and have great production value.
Payne Lindsey Knows How to Podcast
Excellently researched with pleasant narration. There are so many unknowns about the Zodiac, but a good portion of the information in this podcast I had never heard. It was a refreshing take on the Zodiac case, the people and families he affected, and the continued search for the killer. There is also sound advice therein which warns listeners and “fans” of murders and crimes to remember that these are humans, in real life, who have been irrevocably changed by the Zodiac’s actions.
Gotta give a shout to the music production in this podcast,,, love it——- granted I’m a synth head, but kudos music guy!!!
Kept me sitting on the edge of my seat.
I first started with the Atlanta monster season 1..I started with that season because I was born in Cobb County Ga in 1972. I can remember my parents talking about it when it started in the later 1970’s. I enjoyed listening to this podcast because of all the conversations, evidence, and views. I am in the middle of listening to the second season about the zodiac killer, my wife and her family all lived in the Bay Area during his rain of terror. Infact my wife can remember her mother hiding under a bed with my wife as a infant. Keep up the good work. I hope you do a season of the BTK murderer.
The Lagacy episode is what made this PC stand out to me. While the story telling of the series is strong, with good pacing, and thoughtful, insightful participants- the most thought-provoking episode to me was the last. There, the writers ask compelling questions about how the killer fits into true crime and what the fascination with true crime means to society. Bravo to the creators for producing a complex and captivating experience while being tactful and sensitive.
Zodiac 5 Stars - Atlanta 0 Stars
The Zodiac was superbly presented and a podcast of exceptional story telling. I listened to the Zodiac on the edge of my seat for all the podcasts. Atlanta/ Wayne Williams was extremely irritating to listen to. That’s several hours of my life I will never get back.
Great podcast but way to many ads
Overall solid content and nicely delivered. My biggest complaint is how much information is repeated each episode. Each episode is 26 to 29 minutes long. This is made up of approximately 2 minutes of promotions for other podcasts and probably 5 minutes in total at the beginning and end of each episode that is repeated. One preparing such a podcast should follow the Serial model. Straight to the point and they rarely repeat information. However, when they do there is an explanation provided (they explain it will be addressed in later episode or explain why they are bringing up again). The Serial podcast assumes the listener has listens to previous podcasts, as they should. Novels do not have a page or two at the beginning of each chapter rehashing what has happened thus far.
Additionally, there is about 5 minutes each episode of nonsense. Either in interviews/snip its from third parties or the host rambling on and on about nothing.
Don’t waste listeners time. If you only have 10 to 15 minutes of content that is ok, embrace it. Shorten each podcast or combine them.
Absolutely love it. The writing and the music is so professional, the interviews are great and it’s awesome to hear from Law Enforcement’s perspective on cases like this as well, because they are people too and they are working these difficult cases. Well done absolutely love it.
Overpromises and underdelivers. At around the halfway point into the Zodiac season, they just abandon any pretense of journalism. They dismiss established theories with dubious suspicion and little or no countervailing evidence. Yet they entertain fantastical theories of ghoullish "Zodiologists", none of which could stand under any serious scrutiny. And it has a horrific bed of music.
Starts interesting- then the authors are so eager to make it fit their theories, it loses credibility.
The first two episodes were rich with production value and story telling. Then it turned into conspiracy theory rabbit hole interviews.
Very informative and interesting the ads are the worst part of it but it was great overall...
Too many ads and teasers
Paul from California
Way too many repetitive ads and replays/teasers
A bloated, biased account of the Atlanta child murders. Ignores evidence that weakens the position the creator takes. An incredibly superficial analysis of the impact of racial context on this case and the impact of this case on Atlanta. Little focus on victims, exorbitant attention on Wayne Williams’s claims. Definitely not concerned with what I personally find intriguing and under-investigated in this case, and beyond that a repetitive and poorly paced presentation.
No real investigation and bad music
Firstly, I found the knock off Stranger Things soundtrack tasteless and oppressive. This isn’t a scary movie or a Netflix tv show, these are real stories of murdered kids in the city of Atlanta. It doesn’t need to be hammed up with electronic music. Secondly, if you want to listen for information, facts about the case, etc., that is, for an actual investigation, you will be sorely disappointed with this podcast. What you get instead is a pieced together and disorganized mass of conjecture, anecdotal evidence, hearsay, etc., without much context or discussion. Simply put, they do a poor job of organizing the information and the information is not very good.
They like to play commercials and replay the intro
Maxim The Max
1st season was ok. 2nd starts off good but they play the intro and commercials just as you start getting into the story so a 30 min episode has 3-5 breaks... I’m coming from Case File, Dr Death, Cold, Wonderland, so I think my standard is pretty high up there. Fix that and I would give it 5 stars