Smoke Screen is an investigative documentary series on people with complex motives and morals. Follow characters on the fringes of society — con artists, cult leaders, corrupt politicians — as they seduce their marks and bend communities to their will. Join us as we unravel their stories and bring justice to the people they’ve deceived.
SEASON 8: My Fugitive Dad
Ashley’s Dad was her favorite person in the world. He drove fast cars and sold them for a living. He was a scratch golfer and the love of her Mum’s life. Ashley thought she knew him better than anyone. But at 38, she found out he wasn’t who he said he was. Inspired by his favorite movie the Thomas Crown Affair, he had pulled off a robbery in Cleveland then disappeared. It turns out he evaded the authorities for half a century, living in their sleepy Massachusetts town.
His secret upended his family’s life, but another family’s too. Because from the moment this 20-year-old vault teller escaped with $215,000 in 1969, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Elliott made it his life’s mission to bring him to justice. After he retired, his son even took up his mantle. For this six episode podcast, host Jonathan Hirsch teams up with Ashley Randele to unravel the mystery of how her Dad got away with it, and ultimately, why he left behind everyone and everything to start over.
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SEASON 7: Betrayal on the Bayou
For almost two decades, DEA Special Agent Chad Scott ruled the streets just North of New Orleans. He controlled a network of snitches by convincing people he arrested to work for him as informants. Chad would stop at nothing to put drug dealers behind bars. His successes won awards at the DEA, but his willingness to bend the rules earned him a terrifying reputation on the streets. Some called him the Golden Boy. Others called him the White Devil. But when one of guys on Chad's team is caught dealing drugs, Chad’s life is overturned. His right-hand men betray him and confess everything to the FBI. Investigators go over his career with a fine-toothed comb, asking the question: is Chad Scott the greatest DEA Agent in the South, or is he a criminal?
SEASON 6: Just Say You're Sorry
Texas Ranger James Holland is celebrated as the ‘serial killer whisperer’, solving dozens of murders through his legendary interrogation skills. But how far does he go to get confessions? And has he put innocent people in prison along the way? Smoke Screen: Just Say You're Sorry uses shocking police tapes to reveal the psychological drama behind one murder case, and uncovers something rotten at the heart of the justice system.
SEASON 5: Deadly Cure
Smoke Screen: Deadly Cure is a podcast about a family on the fringe who convinced tens of thousands of people across the globe to buy a miracle liquid made of poison, the international conspiracy they ignited, and the people who fought to take them down. Produced in collaboration with Bloomberg.
SEASON 4: Puppy Kingpin
Americans are used to being on the lookout for a scam, but authorities are warning of a new kind of fraud. Puppy Kingpin shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies much like drug money. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing us the pets we love.
SEASON 3: The Sellout
SEASON 2: I Am Rama
SEASON 1: Fake Priest