May 5, 2022 • 1HR 31M

7. True Crimes of the Heart

Why do women fall in love with dangerous men? Nancy talks John Wayne Gacy, and Sarah goes in search of someone who will defend Amber Heard

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Two journo babes on what's burning through the culture right now
Episode details

Prison escapes, death row visits, and how to handle (and not handle) homicide. No it’s not an episode of one of those murder-as-snack podcasts, it’s Sarah and Nancy discussing serial killers, lovelorn prison guards, manipulative prisoners, and why people who make it their business to cover murder might do it with a little more delicacy. Plus the surgery Sarah cannot talk about, a wee bit of we-told-you-so over Amber Heard being revealed to have not written the 2018 domestic violence op-ed for which ex-husband Johnny Depp is now demanding $50 million in defamation dough, and Sarah plans a trip to see it all firsthand.

Por favor: In preparation for a bonus show, the Smoke ‘Em journalistsas invite you to send questions, mash notes, secret messages to

As promised, a baker’s dozen of true crime books we love:

Episode notes:

Warrant issued for missing Alabama corrections officer, escaped convict

Coconut cream (not coconut milk)

Escape from Dannemora, starring Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, Benecio del Toro

Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes

Destination Gacy, A Cross-Country Journey to Shake the Devil’s Hand,” by Nancy Rommelmann (Kindle)

Nancy reads “Destination Gacy” (come on, it’s free!)

Hit on the Head,” Sarah’s essay about New Orleans stick up

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hill

To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder, by Nancy Rommelmann

Skip Hollandsworth’s most recent Texas Monthly masterpiece, “The Notorious Mrs. Mossler

Sword and Scale” podcast that scared the crap out of Sarah

Outro song: “I’m Alive” by Electric Light Orchestra

Nancy and Gacy penpal Rick Gaez, 1994

Detective Nick and Sarah, 2019