torn by this one
this podcast hovers between engaging and unlistenable. the first few episodes are painful to get through. it gets better, then worse, then better again. i two-starred it because i’m still here...wondering what happens next, but it’s flawed, for certain. the end is maddening because the simplest resolution is likely the right one but the host seems so dead set on wanting this to be some bad cop conspiracy. sad.
I’ve been looking for a Podcast to dive into and I found the RFK Tapes. I listed to every episode and all the bonus episodes. And I listened closely. I was a teenager in the ‘60’s and I remember when JFK and MLK and RFK were assassinated and I remember the turmoil after each event but I never knew the real story behind any of them. But now I better know Robert F. Kennedy and I better know the story and history of his assassination. Thank you for these Podcast. I truest enjoyed listening to them. And as a bonus I found a new music group and style of music that I enjoy, Khruangbin.
I can’t stop listening!
It is captivating. It is thrilling. And it’s sad that it’s these things because of a man’s death. It’s such a great podcast. A must listen for all true crime fans
The relationship between iO and Rebecca shows the meaning of true love and forgiveness.
Honestly this is an amazing story/pod cast and I feel so blessed to be apart of the community of investigating creative souls.. hunting for the truth... even if I’m Just listening and sharing.. thank you all for your dedication and commitment to the TRUTH!!
Simply amazing. Historically accurate and edited very well with live audio surrounding what is being described from eye witness accounts, news broadcast, et cetera.
The podcast started out interesting, but slowly and steadily declined into something completely different. The Billy Balls story seems to be nothing more than a McGuffin for IO to use to turn the whole thing into an autobiography. To be entirely fair, the autobiography aspects are compelling in their own right, but it's not what the podcast claimed to be.. bait-and-switch..
Your vulnerability is so powerful
John W. Smith
When it's a well-told tale about the potential police coverup of a long forgotten drug addict, it's easy to set aside your concerns as a listener. There's so many indications that this podcast could be damaging to iO's mother, a woman with severe emotional problems. iO even ponders how to and whether to relay some of her findings to her mother on her much publicized podcast. Remember - hundreds of thousands of people now know this woman's deepest and most personal secrets and have developed opinions about her, with little indication that she was a willing and coherent participant.
Keep in mind - even iO's own father goes as far as to say that this stuff isn't relevant, which she counters with effectively "nah, people who wanted to listen to a true crime story definitely want to hear about when I hooked up with my girlfriend in the Guggenheim bathrooms because his death influenced my Mom and my Mom was a bad mother."
The actual story of Billy Balls is interesting enough, mostly because it's a peek into a world of artists, junkies, and artists in 1970s New York City. But the promise of the show established in the beginning - that iO will find Billy's body and solve his murder - spends most of its time cataloging every ugly thing that ever happened to iO, who was born three years after Billy's death. The problem is, most of the mystery gets resolved via a FOIA request to reveal - not much of a mystery.
So, if you must - stay through the point where Ron Kuby succinctly analyzes the police report. I think that's episode 8? But do skip out afterwards. Maybe come back for episode 11, which sounds to offer a little bit of resolution. Literally nothing you hear in between will be relevant, just navel-gazing filler that functions as an ad for the host's memoir.
Not much substance
Entertaining at first until it all starts to unravel and you realize it’s a complete waste of time.
The ballad of IO
It’s not bad but it is more centered around the narrator, IO, than the murder of Billy Balls. IO’s story IS compelling and some may argue even more interesting than Billy Balls but I wish it wasn’t framed under the guise of finding out what happened to Billy.
This is a fascinating story, unfolds nicely and am totally hooked. Thanks for sharing your story iO!
Never what you expect
This podcast has taken so many twists and turns, it never quite is what you expect it to be. It ended up Giving me much more than I would ever have anticipated.
Thought it was cool at first
I enjoyed The Punk Rock vibe at first and thought it was a true crime story until I realized it was a self-absorbed stunt lacking any real story substance. Tillet uses her mothers pain as a door to complain about how difficult her own life is for publicity and fame.
A lesson on judgment
I am so impressed with how and in what order this podcast was laid out. At first and throughout I had a lot of judgments. Judgments of the people, the actions. Then, things began to unfold. More information offered more empathy and mercy. The last episode, “bigger than me”, was so well put together. It humbled me. I am grateful anytime I can learn a lesson on judging others. It cuts deep, it changes. Thanks for sharing your story. It evolved in a way I couldn’t have imagined and in doing so evolved me.
This is not the way to present a true crime podcast. While I’m familiar and fond of IO she fails to tell a compelling story. It’s too personal and because I’m not a family member or friend
I don’t think it translates well.
hank the cowdog
Billy is just another dirtbag addict who pretends he's a musician. His wife who he abused is a trainwreck. People I avoid on the street, who would I want them in my ear?
Very different then my life
I found it intriguing and different from my white, republican world. I couldn’t stop listening because there is soooo much personal drama. I was impressed that IO was so tolerant and respectful of her mother who has a noticeable drug problem. I have very little experience with people strung out on drugs and just have an automatic negative attitude toward them. This podcast has made me realize I need to listen and have more empathy and curiosity for people that may live differently then me. These lives have real daily challenges that I would find very difficult to navigate. Not a better life or worse, but much different.
a life-changing story
The Ballad of Billy Balls is a haunting, heartbreaking and ultimately beautiful story.
Charlie horse Jack
I began not even knowing who Billy Balls was..quickly became engrossed in the entire story. I feel it was written and well produced. Do not understand the negative reviews. Part of Billy Balls story is the people that he affected both directly and indirectly. Be proud of the work you did on this podcast.
5 1/2 years
We learn her mom is a complete loser stuck in time. More about the narrator than About the story of Billy!
Although entertaining and well spoken it’s more about the creator than Billy Balls.
Although entertaining and well spoken it’s more about the creator than Billy Balls. Which is rather heartbreaking when you really think about what this podcast was supposed to be about. This podcast started out as answers for Billy Balls murder and justice for io’s mother. However it’s more of a desperate attempt to make this podcast about io. It went from solving Billy Ball’s murder, then turned into in order to solve Billy Ball’s murder somehow we need to know about io’s entire life? Weird. He isn’t her father. He’s just her mom’s ex boyfriend, that she dated long before io even came into this world. Instead of solving a murder and justice for her mother it turned into all about io and literally degrading her mother on every level possible. Why weren’t any of the officers that were on scene after the murder that night, paramedics, Coroner, hospital staff, or anyone with actual knowledge and real information of the other side looked up and interviewed? You got information from ppl who weren’t even there but had a theory however spent zero effort into actually solving it lol
I’m so intrigued by your story and can’t stop listening. But I’ve also wanted to let you know that this story is a very common one with inner New York City kids who live in poverty. I myself was a born and raised Bronx girl who became an NYPD officer for change. I found those recording about the FOIL unit so accurate and Nostalgic. Billy Balls story is also your story since it’s effected your childhood. Keep it going and know that your story provides comfort for those who have experienced similar situations.
Desperate for attention
The narrator and her mom both just come off as desperate for attention in trying any way they can to turn a junkie that pulled a gun on a cop into a movie level conspiracy. Early on anyways, then it becomes self centered around the narrator who seems like she’s been looking for any reason to talk about herself and used this as the way in. I kept waiting for the twist where their theories became believable but it’s never there.
Different and great
If you want the same true crime podcasts that are a dime a dozen then this might not be for you. If you are looking for something different, multi-dimensional and interesting on many levels then check this out. I personally am finding it very compelling and can’t wait to see how it wraps up. If you are close minded and expecting the usual true crime podcast then move along.
Storytelling at it’s finest
iO does an excellent job sharing Billy’s tragic story, all the while keeping us hanging on to hear what’s next. Love this podcast!
The Ballad Of Billy Balls
So, I loved it until episode 9. Now I’m on 10 and I’m just asking why is this now the story of IO. Such a bummer.
Better than expected
I listen to a lot of pods but this one is different. The narrator Io makes the story so personal it’s almost uncomfortable. Issues of addiction, family dynamics, sexual identity, adolescence, mental health among many others along with Io’s thoughtful narration lend a humanity I don’t get from other pods. It’s really well done.
The battle of IO with a little bit of billy
Worth listening to but be prepared to hear more about IO then billy.
More about the author then the subject.
Rename it “the ballad of Io and her slightly rough childhood”. Not sure if the story fell apart as she investigated or the plan all along was to make it about herself, but it’s not what I was looking for. Still mildly entertains but was a bit of a bait and switch. Io has talent for sure, this just missed the mark for me.
An autobiography not a crime podcast
Given the production value and work that went into creating the podcast, 3 stars seems justified. However, the podcast is mainly just iO’s story. The underlying crime isn’t really explored beyond obtaining the police file and death certificate, both of which say what you expect them to say. Even when that is revealed, the podcast focuses as much on iO’s reaction as it does the circumstances surrounding Billy’s death. For the most part, it seemed like iO just wanted to tell the story of his relationship with his mother and Billy was a creative angle to do so. I’m sure there are people that will find that story really interesting but it wasn’t really for me.
IO, I listen to a lot of Podcasts (on a addictive level) 😆😳anyways your podcast has left me speechless & given me chills. You’re an amazing story teller. Waiting 2 weeks for your next podcast has made me scream NOOO! You’ve had a most interesting life. I’m not much of book reader but I’m going to buy your book. I really hope once your done with Billy Ball’s story you’ll do another. Thanks again for giving us a glimpse on one part of your life that made who you are today. 😊
Been listening to podcasts for years, this is the first one I ever wrote a review for. I realized how in to your story I am when I cursed out loud that I have to wait for 2 more weeks to keep listening. I’m sharing this podcast with many. Fascinating hardships, love, relationships and strive. Gonna get your memoir. Cheers
Billy got lost again!
This poor guy was initially buried in a potters field, now this podcast has buried him again in another unmarked grave. It became all about the narrator and not Billy. Should have ended it around episode 8.
This is ostensibly a true crime podcast that seems to exist as an excuse for the host to figure out their own life and personal issues. While I wish them the best, it doesn’t make for a good true crime podcast, or even anything interesting to anyone but the host. What seemed mildly compelling ends up being horribly boring and frustrating to sit through. The only mystery in this podcast is why it exists at all.
Io does such a beautiful job telling the story of his life through the lense of the past. The narrative is creative and smooth. Every episode has me feeling it.
Ballad of Billy Balls
Ani ohev ata
A riveting tale! Also loved IO’s book, Darling Days.
Kind of ridiculous
This podcast is the story of an irrational drug dealer who was held on a pedestal he didn’t deserve.
Giving this podcast 2 stars because the music and effects were well done. The story telling was good but the story was about a drug addict/dealer who was violent and irrational and they’re trying to make him sound like a real life incredible musical genius who was murdered in crazy circumstances. But the person and circumstances were out of the ordinary, they were ordinary trying to not be.
I began this season enthusiastically because the first season was so great. A few episodes in it became apparent that the woman narrating the story is using the tragedy of her mothers inability to move on with her life as a stepping stone to fame. It’s kind of gross to be honest......
Still not sure where this is going...
If you can make it few the first few episodes of Rebecca and her stories, the series actually starts to get interesting. However, it seemed to peak around 7-8 and 10 was the most irrelevant and worthless episode of the series. I’m here to learn about Billy and what may/may not have happened. I honestly don’t know if this series will get back on track. I’m giving it one more episode then I’m out.
Storytelling at its best
Io is a spectacular storyteller. I couldn’t stop listening. The family connection throughout is beautiful.
Ten Episodes In and Not Much Happening
Tim in the 19130
I give anyone three stars who puts in this kind of time, effort and care into a project but I question the thesis and motivation for this pod.
With all the speculation, conjecture and police bashing about a long-ago shooting, I figured there had to be a payoff.
This story/concept should have BEGAN with the autopsy findings, police report and the alleged facts of the case. Then do some reporting to see if those findings will hold up.
As the murder conspiracy crumbles, the narrator takes center stage.
We hear iO exiting one scene to go puke after a lawyer walks her through the (mundane) police reports and evidence.
Since there is no smoking gun, we are left wondering what twist or bombshell is in the offing.
The answer: None.
The curtain drops on the Ballad of Billy Balls and rises with iO’s life story that delves into custody battles, hospitalizations and escapes, school expulsions, gender confusion, suicidal impulses and sexual encounters at the Guggenheim.
It’s a self-involved mess, made worse by iO’s eagerness to be seen as a gritty survivor. I mean, he really seems to perk up after becoming the subject of the pod.
I’d have much preferred a dead-end murder story with reactions from the principals who were around at the time.
Instead, we get hard-scrabble dreck and, I’m guessing, a rehash of his memoir.
Hardly Crime Town material.
I will say the harsh critiques from people who listened to half an episode or gave up because they disliked iO’s voice are worthless.
This pod was well produced and had a good trajectory until the bottom fell out of the story.
I do like iO and (again) appreciate the effort but I hope he is completely divorced from the material next time or at least gets out of the way of the story.
You will have love this podcast and won’t be able to get enough. I bought iO’s memoir too!
Addiction- Codependency story
This is a sad story of a child’s life brought up by two narcissistic, abusive addicts. It’s sad and interesting. It’s seems IO is trying to make sense of her life. However, IO continues to blame everyone else for their problems failing to self evaluate. The cops shot a strung out drug addict w a gun. I hope IO can see her codependency and stop making excuses for her mother placing the blame on everyone and everything else. Her mother isn’t crazy? It was the drug that caused psychosis. Is it not crazy to keep taking a drug that turns you into a lunatic? She was an addict before Billy was shot. This is not the fault of the cops. It is a story of mental illness. Interesting story nevertheless though of a family of disfunction, aka personality disorders mixed with drug addiction.
Rebecca would have ended up how she is with or without Billy Balls. Drugs and delusions take the same toll on all people. She was violent and unpredictable long before Billy Balls. IO your moms misery is not attached to Billy or the events that caused his death.
If this had a different title, it would be great.
If this podcast was touted as being about IO, I would still be intrigued by how Billy’s death shaped his life because of how it changed IO’s mother. But instead, it’s supposed to be The Ballad is Billy Balls, and we don’t get that. We get info about Billy. His death. His life. And it still revolves around IO and his feelings about the situation and then his life. I tried to stick with it. But this should have been titled/advertised differently or written differently.
Don’t waste your time
Went from mildly intriguing mystery to self-important, unabashed, unsolicited personal narrative with no plot. The worst kind of podcasting.
Should be renamed to The Ballad of I.O
Poignant & Personal
Not what I expected going in, but this poignant extremely personal series of interviews is has kept my attention.
Can’t wait for the next episode
I did not hear season 1, but I love season 2. I can’t understand why anyone doesn’t like it. It has great storytelling with cliff hangers. You feel like you are along for the ride. I love hearing about the NYC punk scene in the 1970’s and early 80’s. It has lots of interviews with people who knew Billy Balls. This always makes for such an interesting story, as opposed to someone just telling me about it. I also find the main podcaster very brave, and honest. Keep up the good work! And thanks for introducing me to Light Asylum.