When a Podcast Solves a Crime

Something I have always found interesting is the phenomenon of true crime podcasts. There’s an entire community of podcast listeners who specifically listen to podcasts about crime, and spooky unexplainable encounters. There are crime podcasts for all kinds of true crime addicts. You could always check out the classic: Serial. If you like to keep it serious at all times, you’d probably like Sword and Scale. If you like your heavy subjects with a little humor, you’d likely love listening to My Favorite Murder or Last Podcast on the Left.

Most of these are retellings with great detail on crimes of the past, but none can compare to the fascinating tale of Up and Vanished, a podcast that lead to the arrests of two men in a missing persons case that went cold for 11 years, that was declared a murder investigation.

Tara Grinstead, A history teacher and beauty pageant enthusiast who’s missing persons case inspired the Up and Vanished Podcast
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpQOR2gBCoz/

I first discovered Up and Vanished in 2016 while searching Spotify for a true crime podcast to listen to. It sounded captivating, and it had about 9 episodes at that point, and I listened weekly. The host, Payne Lindsay, posted episodes every 2 to 3 weeks, but between the regular investigation episodes, he would do side episodes with case updates, and Q&A’s with listener calls. As a listener, I could just feel that Payne Lindsay along with his private investigator, Maurice Godwin, were onto something with this case. I listened diligently for the updates, when one day in early 2017, I got the listen of a lifetime when they posted an episode stating there were two arrests made in the Tara Grinstead case.

The cover of Up and Vanished season 1

The state of Georgia ultimately put a gag order on the case, so nobody involved in the case was allowed to speak to the media at all, but the podcast continued, and kept up with the case details, the suspects who were arrested, and the motive behind the case.

The most interesting part about the Up and Vanished podcast is that it originally started as an investigation into a missing person that lead to traction and increased interest in a case that went cold for 11 years. Payne Lindsay even admits in an episode after the suspects are named that he had heard from multiple Ocilla townsfolk that he needed to look into the two men who eventually were convicted with the crime, meaning that Up and Vanished might not have solved the crime single-handedly, but they were hard on the heels of the discovering the convicted suspects on their own. Their passion for solving this mysterious case ended up leading to the arrests and eventually, the recorded confessions to the crime.

For more information on the case, and a link to episodes, head to https://season1.upandvanished.com/

Up and Vanished is also available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

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