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Here's why A Very Fatal Murder should be your next podcast

The Onion’s first adventure into podcasting is making fun of every true crime podcast you’ve ever listened to.

THERE ARE MANY excellent true-crime podcasts out there  like Serial, Casefile, My Favourite Murder and Someone Knows Something.

PastedImage-5469 Source: Serial Podcast.org

They have enthralled listeners with case after case of twists and turns, some which get solved, some which do not.

However, a lot of these podcasts tend to follow a certain format. It starts with a case that is reasonably cold and old, around 10 years old or so. Then a podcaster comes along to revisit the case to hopefully provide a new angle or insight on the case.

Nearly always, the police have done a shoddy job or there just simply isn’t enough evidence to convict the prime suspect. The podcaster rocks up and start interviewing people, often giving their take on the people they come across and leaving the listener on tenterhooks trying to solve the case in the 8 or 10 episodes they have.

Enter A Very Fatal Murder, the first podcast from OPR (Onion Public Radio) which seeks to satirise this method (in particular, Serial) and turn the whole genre on its head.

The show follows podcaster/sleuth David Pascall as he attempts to find a murder which is ‘‘gruesome, unsolved” and comments on “the ugly underbelly of the American Dream, the decline of manufacturing, modern beauty standards, the gig economy, factory farming, deforestation, saturated fats, the fragility of love, the golden era of television and CO2 emissions”. It’s kind of like if Horatio Caine got his own podcast.


Using ETHL, the Extremely Timely Homicide Locator, Pascall investigates the murder of Hayley Price in Bluff Springs, Nebraska who was ‘a typical 17-year-old with big dreams and clear skin: a high achiever, a debate champion, a prom queen, a doting girlfriend,”.

Most importantly though she “also excelled at being murdered.” Hayley was killed in all the great true-crime ways: “Stabbed, shot three times in the head, strangled, smothered with a pillow.”

“A Very Fatal Murder” is full of jokes from Pascall’s casual observations about the people – “They’ve probably never even met a podcaster before, let alone one from New York” to getting Hayley’s mother to read out a script for their sponsor ‘Box-Box’ which fulfills all your box needs while using the promo code ‘Hayley’ to get 10% off.

It’s full of true-crime podcast tropes including how the police MUST have screwed up and honing in on one specific suspect for no apparent reason. The constant recaps and hilarious sponsors will have you struggling not to laugh out loud.

If you enjoyed Netflix’s satirical take on true crime documentaries ‘American Vandal’ then you’ll love this. You can find it here.


Fair warning, you may struggle to listen to a serious true crime podcast after this.

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About the author:

Rachel O'Neill

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