Production company – Imperative Entertainment
As I mentioned in my review of Hoaxed, there seems to have been rather a glut of “satanic panic” podcasts recently. I’m not too sure why. The latest of these to make it to my review list is Deviltown. I’ll be honest, I subscribed just because of the cool name before I even read the synopsis. This series is set in small town America, a seemingly endless source for crime podcasts. The chosen, sleepy community here is Gilmer, Texas.
As I said, there are plenty of incredible true crime podcasts set in small town America. Particularly The Piketon Massacre, which I will be reviewing in due course, but that is for another day.
So what’s it about?
The series is essentially two stories. It starts with reports of the disappearance of local girl Kelly Wilson. She vanished after finishing her shift at a video store, seemingly into thin air. As the investigation kicks off, one family is singled out, an arrest is made quite quickly, and the children come forward telling tales of ritual abuse, cannibalism and dark sacrificial rites in the forest. This secret cabal includes local police and politicians. I mean, they always do, don’t they?
As news of these atrocities spreads, the details become more and more outlandish. I will spare you descriptions, not because they are horrific, but because they are ridiculous and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I guarantee though, that when you get to that point, you’ll wonder why the investigation wasn’t immediately stopped and the affected parties released.
After the allegations were revealed to be ridiculous works of fiction, and the families were allowed to try and rebuild their lives, one question remained. What exactly did happen to Kelly Wilson?
This is where the second, less fantastic story starts.
Is it any good?
It’s certainly a gripping series. Whilst my tone may be rather glib at the wild tales told by the children, there is definitely a very real case of abuse here. Unfortunately (probably the wrong word to use there), it isn’t at the hands of some mysterious group of satanists, but rather the people charged with looking after them in the care home. The way they were coerced is absolutely shocking and is the real horror story at the heart of this investigation. The damage done to that family when they should have been looking for a murderer is a real travesty.
I don’t think I will ever get bored of learning how adults in positions of authority get completely fooled by stories of devil worship. I absolutely understand that children’s confessions should be taken with total seriousness in most cases. They should however, be used to start a proper, forensic investigation where the facts can be established.
These are modern stories, not some centuries old witch hunts. The ability is there to find even tiny traces of blood in murder scenes. Nowadays (and I use that term to include the last 3 decades) surely an eyebrow would be raised at some parts of this story? Or maybe that’s why I’m not a policeman.
At this point in the blog post, I would ordinarily link to the podcast or production company website with a helpful link to the episodes. Unfortunately, Imperative entertainment and the podcast dont seem to actually have any online presence. I guess you’ll just have to hope that your podcatcher of choice has it (I’m sure it will)