This podcast is amazing, I love the the Don episode. It really resonates with the healing possibilities, no matter the traumas. The dissection of trauma in Melissa and Don ‘leroy’ was honestly very enlightening. To hear these people who have just gone through so much and we’re the psychological play things, but still were able to find their own peace. Amazing.
Just absolutely amazing.
Loved this podcast. I read a lot of the reviews and think the point of the podcast was missed by many. My take is that this podcast was less about the Happy Face serial killer but more about his daughter. We get lots of info about him, hear him, details about the murders, etc but all of that is secondary to his daughter’s journey. I just loved it.
Really interesting podcast. This is one serial killer I wasn’t familiar with. Melissa’s voice and memories are captivating and heartbreaking.
Lost one star for the constant distracting music. The music is beautiful, just too much of it..
Annoying music every 30 sec
Why? It’s just annoying and makes the story drag on and on and take forever to get through a single point.
I’m deeply wowed.
I listen to pretty much every true crime podcast available & this one was too much. I think hearing from the children & the ex wife about terror & abuse so matter of factly was stomach churning. Also to listen to the killer talk about his incredible abusive childhood & lack of remorse at murdering women, is overwhelming. I had it on autoplay & woke up to a grown man sobbing over his mother’s horrific killing. The whole tone was invasive & cruel. I wish I could unhear it.
It could have been a good podcast but I can’t follow it. The music breaking in every five seconds is distracting and I couldn’t keep up with the discombobulated timeline.
Self Importance Anyone ?
8 women were murdered but this podcast is all about Melissa. Granted it is interesting in that you don’t get to hear the story of a serial killers child very often, but you get the impression that the victims pale in comparison to Melissa’s relationship problems and her other challenges.
I thought it was a great podcast overall. And I actually quite enjoyed the music it set the tone. Terribly sad story. Hopefully the victims can Rest In Peace.
Very interesting and love the first person account!!!
So good yet so wrong..
This is one of the most engaging and gripping true crime podcasts I’ve listened too and I’ve listened to a lot of them. I can typically handle some pretty brutal stuff but the things Keith Jesperson describes in this podcast are graphic and incredibly upsetting.. LISTEN WITH CAUTION! Not for sensitive ears!
I still question what in the world would make Melissa want to visit that non human in prison, and then allow your children to see IT.
Next, are you profiting from any of Keith’s life stories and , if so, are you donating all the funds to a victims relief fund?
About so much more than true crime
This is beautiful. Melissa was so vulnerable and honest. Lauren and the full team handled everything about this story beautifully. The victims (including the family of the murderer) were front and center and it was so much less about the sensational and horrific crimes.
Fascinating but irritating music
Fascinating story. The music, however, is irritating, especially when it’s woven directly into someone’s talking.
Interesting story and well produced. Narrator is very good. Could have used less of the hysterics of Jesperson’s daughter. She’s hard to listen to - unstable and just constantly whining. Music is horrible also. But the amount of research and interviews is impressive.
This was a good story. However the music interludes were really distracting, it was too much and unnecessary. The story felt all over the place and the music in between added to the chaos. This story and the first hand accounts were so good but the delivery was disappointing i hope this is retold elsewhere.
True crime just not great execution
I think this is an okay podcast but the reason why I knocked it down are for a few reasons. One, it is kind of hard at times to follow who is talking because the producer and the narrator are similar voices. There are long drawn out musical weird epilogues that just began to annoy me after the third episode and finally some of the episodes are just spinning tires that don’t really go anywhere and you have just listened to people crying.
Compelling but problematic
By and large I really like this podcast - it’s intense and insightful and compelling. But it also feels exploitative - of Melissa and other living victims - and glorifying of Keith. Obviously I’m listening to I’m part of the the audience for this sort of content. And for the most part I think it’s done well. The episodes with Melissa and Leroy/Don are moving and healing and important. But by the time I got to “Ghosts & Letters” I found myself both annoyed with how many times I had to hear Melissa say “I’m worried I’m just like him” and horrified that she was reading this disgusting, violent, subhuman man’s letters to her when she knew they would only be vicious and damning. At a certain point when are you telling a dark story about the human condition and when are you just tearing at people’s wounds again and again?
Terrifying, chilling, emotional
“Men are afraid of women laughing at them. Women are afraid of men killing them.” Let that sink in.
It’s hard to understand (creeps me out actually) how people even noticed the music with content as deep and engaging as this.
This rates as one of the best true crime podcasts in my opinion.
Intriguing yet maddening
I’ll be back to put a more finite point on my feelings on this but for now, I’m going to leave it at infuriatingly frustrating.
An emotional investment that pays off
I heard about this series as a fan of the delightful Movie Crush podcast, of which Noel (the supervising producer) is a regular contributor. The sincerity of his recommendation on that show piqued my interest, but I waited months before I actual started listening. I didn’t feel up to the challenge of listening to something that I was sure would be emotionally draining, however valuable it was. For whatever reason, I finally felt the need to test the first episode last night and, my god, what a story it is. While I wouldn’t recommended it for anyone trying to fall asleep at night, not just because it’s obviously grim but also too engaging, I am so in awe of the subjects of this podcast. The most beautiful take on the true crime genre that I have seen. Brave and vulnerable interviews and exquisitely produced.
The best investigative podcasts
I’ve listened to so many of these wonderful documentary/ investigative/ true crime podcast. There are so many I’ve finished with some fulfillment, but I was waiting for a second one. For me, one season of this podcast was enough in the most perfect way. Through the whole story I felt so many emotions and they hit me from many different directions. Melissa you mean so much to me. You inspire me with your strength.
All of you on this podcast team are awesome too!!! Your journalism/ presentation is super appealing/ organized to me and all my office mates as well:)
Ps I love the music:)
The story is really interesting but the podcast was not put together well at all. Short episodes that don't go anywhere, long drawn out musical sequences, long sobbing discussions that don’t really add to the story, and the narrator sounds very similar to the daughter so it was hard to tell who was talking sometimes until there was a reference.
Interesting deep dive into psychosis and Family tragedy
I rarely write reviews however I felt compelled in this case to respond to the negative comments by people about the music. I have literally listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts in this genre and found the music appropriately interesting and well timed.
In the meantime the story of one woman’s journey from childhood to daughter of a serial killer and beyond was compelling, thoughtfully told and chilling.
Great material but enough with the dramatic interludes
This is a great story and well narrated. But what’s going on with the frequent pauses filled with dark folksy music and eerie tones? The material is dark already and these elements are not only gratuitous but distracting too. Just get on with the story. It’s a podcast; not an art installation.
Could’ve been great..
Highly interesting podcast ruined by musical intermissions and excessive advertisements in such a short time frame.
Mind blowing, Chilling, Couldn’t stop listening
Great listen. The stories from this killers own mouth are EXTREMELY chilling. Being able to listen to how he became a killer and why he did what he did is so hard to hear but I couldn’t stop listening. And the perspective from his daughter in the podcast and how she lives with knowing the horror her dad brought to so many individuals and the work she is doing now for the victim’s families is so admirable.
Why the music
I’m into the story literally only 10 minutes into the first podcast and I want to stick around and see where the story leads but my goodness the mystic needs to chill, like go sit down and don’t get back up. Please tell me this isn’t a theme for the season.
Sounds fake and scripted.
I know the Leroy/don guy has gone through some trauma losing his mother, but his narrative is so annoying and phony. By his own admission his mother had left when he was young because she was on her own “journey” and had a different “lifestyle,” yet he seems to know “for a fact” what she did and how she felt and what she said.
He’s angry and has clearly come up with a story that has allowed him to make sense of what happened. The fact is, he doesn’t know anything. He’s in serious denial and needs to get some therapy. I couldn’t listen to it any further after being subjected to his fake crying and dramatic hostile tone.
I could have done without the music.
It’d be better without the music.
Loving the story. It’s very compelling!
Captivating journey punctuated by the most beautiful soundtrack
This podcast is so much more than JUST a riveting true crime story about a serial killer. It's a journey delving deep into the fabric of humanity, woven from broken strands of emotion, intellect, psychology, ideology, revelation, betrayal and trust. And despite the fact that the thread holding it all together was so dark and damaged, the tapestry that we see in the end is far stronger and brighter than the sum of its parts.
I can't begin to give appropriate accolade to the responsible party (parties) for setting the most perfectly heart wrenching tone by way of Hope for Agoldensummer. The Campbell sisters weren't previously even on my radar, however now thanks to this hauntingly perfect pairing, they have become my latest obsession. They simply breathe catharsis to me, which I believe is the great takeaway theme of this podcast.
Too much repetition
I will admit that I am only on episode 7 but I am getting very very sick of it. There did not need to be two episodes with Leroy/Don. I recognize his importance in the story and I am very glad they were able to get his insights, but they keep repeating themselves over and over and over. AND THE MUSIC! I am so glad I’m not the only one who hates the music.
I hope they add perspectives from her siblings and what their experiences were like during this time. That might redeem the show a little bit...
Also agree that music was just unnecessary and distracting.
Really enjoyed the clinical info in episode 11, can we get Trump tested to see his level of Psycopathy!!??
An amazing podcast!
I hope Melissa can finally and for once and for all can get out from under her father's legacy of terror and death.
She is and will never be anything like him!
I'm sorry Melissa had to do a podcast about such horror, but I hope it was cathartic.
Never stop finding your space in the world that's nothing to do with your father!
I tried, and got a few episodes in. The story is decent, but oh my god, the music. Brutal!
Hard to listen to
Episodes 6/7 with Don/LeRoy are the best episodes. Don/LeRoy has suffered an unbelievable amount of trauma (I’m imagining even some unsaid from his childhood by not being raised by his mother.) and pulled through to the other side of forgiveness and healing. It’s hard to listen to the rest of the podcast. Melissa is clearly traumatized by her childhood. I feel terrible for the Sam and her children who are clearly her victims. Hard to listen to her reasons for divorcing Sam and breaking up the family.
The daughter is nauseating
It is sick how self righteous the killer’s daughter is. Her very immoral actions are justified as right, and her passive aggression is sickening. Guess what, cupcake, you’re also a killer. AND STOP PROFITING FROM YOUR FATHER’S CRIMES!!! Me, me, me. You are sick. I found it unlistenable. Skip it.
Way too many commercials and they seem to be inserted at awkward times in the narrative.
Too many episodes (I started to zone out around 6 and half listened to the next 2 before stopping).
A lot of vague psychological theorizing that started to get frustrating and then boring.
I didn’t hate the music the way other people did but I do feel like they used it too much.
The podcast is good. The music is awful.
I’m rating this 2.5 stars because the podcast is really interesting. The choice of music and how they used it here was bad. Why they thought it was a good idea to have these musicians singing and playing throughout the entire episodes is beyond me. They’re terrible and abrasive to listen to, especially during the Jack Olsen excerpts. If they ever decide to update this I’ll revise my rating but the music at times makes it unbearable.
Want to hear the story-
Hi Desert Rose
Annoying singing and music. Story keeps getting interruptions.
A let down!
The music, sound effects, and commercials were too frequent and distracting. I found the content to be hyper focused on shallow dialogue sandwiched between overly dramatic guitar instrumentals and mournful folk singing. Yargh—a huge disappointment.
I just heard about this podcast on my favorite true crime podcast (Fruit Loops), and am so glad I did. I binged the first six episodes over the weekend, and I’m hooked.
Some reviewers mentioned issues with the music, but I love it. The show uses a Leadbelly cover, and some other roots/Americana music. The songs are a great accompaniment to the interviews.
Compelling Podcast, I felt their pain
Compelling, truly painful recount from a survivor’s unique perspective. Its so clear Melissa is suffering (PTSD or something). I hope she gets counseling, if she isn’t already.
Too many commercials
The story is interesting if you push through it, but there are so many commercials it interrupts the mood and throws off the whole thing!
Music is awful
So far the podcast is pretty good but the music is awful and annoying. I can’t express this enough. Does anyone else listening to this podcast find the singers as cringeworthy as I do? It’s almost as if the two singers are friends with the producer or friends with the podcast team and want to showcase their music because they literally sing all throughout the podcast at incremental times. Any other podcast I’ve listened to the podcast will have an opening theme song or maybe a closing theme song. Not this one. Let’s have these two singers repeatedly pluck the low E string (for mood) on their guitar and try to harmonize with the over-the-top sorrowful angst we get the pleasure of listening to with their voices 4 times throughout each episode.
The idea of the story is good but the music is awful and distracting. I’m not sure why it is included. Also, the reading of the book about the killer was over the top and made me cringe. It is far too long. I couldn’t make it past episode 6. Don’t bother.
I really enjoy this podcast but 2 minutes of commercials at the beginning, ending, and every 10 minutes... I mean wow. Don’t know if I can finish it.
Shame on you, the Tacky Reviewers!!!
I loved this podcast. It was interesting and right on point for what it said in the description. For the life of me, I don't understand the bad reviews saying Melissa is tacky and obnoxious and trying to make a buck. Grow up. This was a great podcast, delivering exactly what they said they would. My hearts hurts not only for Melissa and family, but the victims families and of course the victims themselves. I pray they are all in a great place and resting in peace. God will punish "him" in His own way and time. Peace to everyone else. And thank you for this emotional podcast..good luck to you Melissa.
Typical “my dad was a killer” podcast
Interesting story, but just like the other podcasts of this fashion, they didn’t actually do any investigation or research. They basically sit around and tell stories about him and do a lot of conjecture. Lots of long musical breaks. Not really worth your time.