Yes, at Parisian Phoenix we publish books. But, a good story can be told in many ways. Firebug recently caught my eye on Spotify, and I binged the podcast during two shifts at the day job.
I thought documentarian who organized the series did a fantastic job of linking interviews with arson investigators, fire victims, people connected to the arsonist and the arsonist himself in such a way that the story layered in this intricate way that even when you thought you knew the outcome, there was more discovery to come.
The key piece of evidence in conviction the arsonist came from a novel manuscript. That manuscript chronicled the fires from the arsonist’s perspective, and the author claimed it was fiction. The court later claimed it was not, and the detail that convinced the jury was the kind of minutia that makes a story feel real, and in this case, it was.
It’s hard to explain how lovely this podcast is. We go with the arson investigators from fire to fire and see the same fire from multiple perspectives and multiple law enforcement agencies. The person behind the microphone did his homework and interviewed everyone. Perhaps one of the most breath-taking experiences was the twin teenagers who had to save their baby triplet siblings when a brush fire set by the arsonist consumed their house. Their first hand tale is in the series.
It’s an ever-evolving series of layers. First, the fires. Then, the technical background. It keeps growing in this spiral to include more and more of the community until we meet the convicted arsonist’s ex-wife.
And eventually we see how each fire intersected with the arsonist’s life and then we find out if the journalist believes the convicted arsonist who says he is innocent or the jury that assigned his guilt.
And it all hinged on a novel.