Day 6: The Karen & Ellen Letters | In Sight
The Karen & Ellen Letters
The Karen & Ellen Letters are found correspondence between two teenage girls and their landlord, over a three year period, from the 1980s. This serialized podcast is the reading of those letters and a re-telling of the host’s journey to validate their authenticity.
Ali and Charlie explore true crime, unsolved mysteries, and forgotten history. With hosts on two continents and with different professional backgrounds, they bring their original perspectives to each story.
The Karen & Ellen Letters: Lists 1 & 2
Karen moves into her new apartment with a list of deductions she’s ready to make from her rent. Ellen writes Mark about her hopes and dreams for her new home. Mark realizes he may have a problem (or two) on his hands.
More episodes of note: I Think This Is Serious | The Camel’s Back | George Bush
“My not-so-guilty pleasure. If you’re a landlord, listen, and be comforted by the thought that your tenants COULD be worse. If you, like me, were at one time an idiot college student renting your first apartment, listen, and be transported to a time when you were younger, dumber, and trying desperately to rope your landlord into paying for your phone and cable installation…and your rug…and your jeans. The Karen & Ellen Letters are a true gem.”
–Wine & Crime Podcast
“Should I be listening to a podcast that could cause cognitive dissidence on my way to work? Jodi Watley plays in the background so it can’t be that bad.
These are the lists of itemized deductions that two teenage girls in 1987 (hey like me! I was a teenage girl in 1987!) want to take off their rent. Deducting a refrigerator lightbulb from the rent? Really? Ok, I guess… wait did she just say she’s deducting hangers? Landlords don’t pay for hangers. Cleaning stuff? Who is this girl Karen?
This is the story of Josh’s unusual birthday gift, a box of letters between two teenage girls and their landlord in the late 80s. One part audio drama, one part psycho analysis, many parts funny and zany, oh wait this crazy biotch wants to deduct cable installation from her rent….. I think her landlord must be on Valium. Heavy doses of Valium. If he’s not, he will be soon because of Karen and Ellen.”
“It’s not often that you love a host as much as Josh’s fans love him. The same honesty and sincerity he brought to “Our Americana” makes the INSANITY that are the “Karen and Ellen Letters” genuine as well as genuinely funny. The Letters introduce you to quite possibly the most memorable people to ever grace your earbuds. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but rest assured, you WILL binge the entire show.”
–More Gooder Than Podcast
In Sight: Jean Spangler
In this episode, Ali and Charlie discuss the 1949 disappearance of Hollywood showgirl and starlet-hopeful Jean Spangler. The only traces left were a few sightings and a purse with a mysterious note written to someone named Kirk. With abusive exes, mob ties, and alleged love affairs with powerful, married men, the suspects are plentiful, yet Jean’s case remains as mysterious today as it was in nearly 70 years ago.
More episodes of note: Marjorie West & Annandale Jane Doe| Dee Dee & Gypsy Rose
“In Sight is another one of my regular listens, though I am woefully behind in their back catalog. I am continually blown away by the sound quality of this show – Ali and Charlie make an intercontinental recording sound better than most people sitting in the same room. They have an easy chemistry but I appreciate the way they get down to business with their case profiles. I really adore Old Hollywood scandal cases and this one was wonderfully researched, and well placed in time and setting.”
–Quid Pro Quo Podcast
“Episode 43 of “In Sight” explores the 1943 disappearance of Jean Spangler—a Hollywood showgirl and aspiring star. What sets this podcast apart from other true-crime shows is the time the hosts devote to fleshing out the subject. Before getting into the disappearance itself, we’re made aware of Spangler’s hopes, her explosive, abusive marriages, her custody battle, and her ability to juggle a party lifestyle while lovingly raising her daughter. The vivid portrait they paint invests you in the story beyond what’s common for the genre.”