Sword and Scale (Podcast)

Started by Jeremy Blackman, November 25, 2014, 04:24:45 PM

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Jeremy Blackman

Sword and Scale is my new podcast obsession. The problem I'm having with it right now is it's so engaging and well-produced and utterly fascinating that I can't stop listening, but I want to stop listening, because things can get quite unsettling.

http://swordandscale.com/

It's a true crime podcast that mostly tells the stories of murderers and serial killers. The interviews he manages to get, the audio he's somehow able to obtain, and the sensitivity and thoughtfulness with which everything is put together... those are what make Sword and Scale great.

Episode 1 is the ideal introduction to the podcast.

Edit: Jump to THIS POST for recommendations for less disturbing episodes.

Episode 15, specifically the second part, is probably the one that's affected me the most. It's basically real-life Fargo. It even happened in small-town Minnesota. There is some audio of the murder which I was definitely not prepared for, but if you can handle that, give it a listen.

Episodes 27 & 28, an epic two-parter, is also fairly amazing. And a little more palatable.

I've been jumping around a lot. Will probably start to go through them in order. Slowly, if I can.
Living life big time

©brad

I don't know if I have room in my life for another podcast but I trust your judgement JB. How does it compare to Serial?

Reelist

holy shit, I might never listen to anything else!

Reelist

I take it back, this is DARK. Be warned that this show does not lightly tiptoe around graphic depictions of the most depraved violence imaginable. To hear the perpetrators go into detail about their crimes or intentions to commit them is not easy to shake off. However, I appreciate this in depth coverage because too often these horrific headlines show up in the news and I forget about them as soon as the next one pops up. This show treats the events with the respect of a documentary and instead of barraging the listener with shock value, gives us a context to digest these unspeakable acts as difficult as that may still be...

Jeremy Blackman

Yeah, pretty much that. Which episodes are you thinking about specifically? I've had to skip a couple. And I had to take a break for a few days.

Quote from: Reelist on November 28, 2014, 02:11:32 PMHowever, I appreciate this in depth coverage because too often these horrific headlines show up in the news and I forget about them as soon as the next one pops up. This show treats the events with the respect of a documentary and instead of barraging the listener with shock value, gives us a context to digest these unspeakable acts as difficult as that may still be...

Yes, exactly. The depth is amazing and also makes these stories unforgettable.

Anyway I should reiterate to people, not all of the episodes are super dark/graphic. If you're worried, there are warnings in the podcast... just take those warnings seriously.
Living life big time

Reelist

I started with episode 25, and there was no warning in the description or disclaimer about what I was going to hear. That first 2 minutes nearly ruined my day. They should've put that later in the episode to show how far the abuse escalated, hearing it with no introduction really made me sick to my stomach. Why does it have to be front and center? Surprisingly, that's the worst the episode gets. I'm telling you right now, DON'T LISTEN TO IT! If you do, just know that it's gonna put some unwelcome images in your head that you won't be able to get rid of for a long time.

Pedro

I have mixed feelings.  I find the host incredibly irritating.  His delivery is like John Walsh from America's Most Wanted. 

Quote from: Reelist on November 28, 2014, 02:11:32 PM
This show treats the events with the respect of a documentary and instead of barraging the listener with shock value, gives us a context to digest these unspeakable acts as difficult as that may still be...

Yes and no.  Again, my problem stems from the host and the writing.  It delves into the details of disturbing crimes, but there's always some narration about "pure evil" or something like that.  (I'm thinking in particular about episode 15).  It's a very awkward mix of detailed reporting and sensationalism.  I'm not trying to justify these horrible crimes, but I just wish the host was less, well, excited about outing these "monsters."   

Quote from: ©brad on November 25, 2014, 07:10:48 PM
How does it compare to Serial?

It's very different and not nearly as good.  Judging from what I've heard it seems primarily interested in studying horrific crimes.  I haven't encountered anything as twisty and illuminating as Serial so far.  I'm still listening, though. 

Jeremy Blackman

Hmm Reelist I haven't heard that one. That's disappointing that he didn't give a warning. I guess I would say read the description of the episode before you listen and assume the worst. And maybe skip all of the ones where child victims are involved.

Pedro I can see where you're coming from. But I don't view his editorializing as sensationalism at all. Those interjections seem to function as moments of grounding... He expresses his disgust almost to recenter the listener, to remind you that you live in a world of real human values, and to prevent you from falling under the spell of whatever psychopath is speaking. That's how it works for me I guess.

Some episodes are in fact more about deep dives into convoluted mysteries, but yeah, overall it's not like Serial.
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

Okay yeah, I'm definitely skipping the ones that involve children. And I don't feel like I'll be missing much, since those are more about the horror of the situation and probably can't offer as much in terms of explanation or illumination anyway.

Once I've listened to more episodes, I should make a list of the lighter & less disturbing ones. The one I'm listening to now is a good example, Episode 8, about the theater texting shooter. Tons of editorializing in this one, but it's easy to agree with him.
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

I guess I'm starting this early. I'll fill it out when I'm all caught up, which hopefully won't be soon. There looks to be at least 4 or 5 other listenable ones that I haven't heard.

Relatively Safe & Palatable, Less Disturbing Episodes
In Approximate Order of Excellence

Episode 22 — Listen to this one spoiler-free.
Episode 01 — Schizophrenic Bruce Blackman
Episode 27/28 — Trey Zwicker murder
Episode 30 — H.H. Holmes
Episode 18 — Eric Preimesberger murder
Episode 16 — Lauren Giddings murder
Episode 08 — Movie theater texting shooter
Episode 29 — Bluebeards
Episode 24 — Jennings, Louisiana
Episode 03 — Belle Gunness
Episode 02 — About Psychopaths
Living life big time

swordandscale

Don't ever listen to Episode 20.  Ever.

Jeremy Blackman

Living life big time

polkablues

And now I'm downloading episode 20. Goddamn reverse psychology!
My house, my rules, my coffee

Reelist

I listened to 25 minutes, if you don't heed Mike's advice it's your own fault

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