7 episodes

The What Happened to Holly Bartlett podcast is a 6-episode audio series that investigates the death of Holly Bartlett, a blind woman who was found clinging to life under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge in the early hours of March 27th, 2010. Police deemed her death an accident, but her family and friends have never accepted their theory.

Investigative journalist Maggie Rahr hosts each 40-minute episode, determined to uncover what happened during Holly's final hours. Each segment, released concurrently with the television episode on AMI-TV, features in-depth interviews with Holly’s family, friends, and private investigators.

The WHTHB podcast paints a full picture of Holly Bartlett’s life and – more importantly – the uncertainty surrounding her death.

What Happened to Holly Bartlett What Happened to Holly Bartlett

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7, 137 Ratings

The What Happened to Holly Bartlett podcast is a 6-episode audio series that investigates the death of Holly Bartlett, a blind woman who was found clinging to life under Halifax’s MacKay Bridge in the early hours of March 27th, 2010. Police deemed her death an accident, but her family and friends have never accepted their theory.

Investigative journalist Maggie Rahr hosts each 40-minute episode, determined to uncover what happened during Holly's final hours. Each segment, released concurrently with the television episode on AMI-TV, features in-depth interviews with Holly’s family, friends, and private investigators.

The WHTHB podcast paints a full picture of Holly Bartlett’s life and – more importantly – the uncertainty surrounding her death.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
137 Ratings

137 Ratings

Ktuser ,

Amazingly well done podcast

My heart breaks for Holly and her family but what a wonderful life she had and how much awareness she did and still continues to bring to the blind community.

Bschora ,

Excellent program.

Hope the results of the submitted investigation get published here.

LydianalaMode ,

Reckless, misleading, and very unethical

This podcast is a deeply unethical and reckless account of what was most likely, according to what the police and medical examiner determined at the time, a tragic accident that lead to the death of a blind woman who was by all accounts a woman filled with life and promise.

This podcast is littered with cartoonish descriptions of incidents and people (imagine hearing “fiercely independent” every few seconds and phrases like steely resolve or “drunk blind girl” so many times you will scream. Also how *does* one “smile quietly?” Is there a way to smile loudly?). The music interrupts with ominous tones when the taxi driver is mentioned while a sad tinkly piano plays when Holly and her family are mentioned. If you’ve ever listened to the true crime parody podcast titled “Done Disappeared,” this is the “real” version (not the podcast that series is actually supposed to be targeting). The language is unintentionally overwrought and at times ridiculous. That is the least of this podcast’s problems.

This is the most difficult review I have ever written as it breaks my heart to write a negative review of a true crime podcast, especially given the truly tragic subject matter. However, the unethical display of arrogant tunnel-vision is not only enraging but it is also DANGEROUS.

The podcaster has a real-life villain in mind for a “crime” that according to the police and medical examiner never happened. The podcaster latches on to the tragic story of a blind woman (a fact which she mentions constantly — we hear how “fiercely independent” Holly was countless times — and I find the interactions with her family to be nearly parasitic) who fell to her death and tries ruthlessly to make a murder out of it...somehow, in some way, someone else must be responsible!

I know how difficult it is to live with a disability or severe medical issue, and I don’t find Maggie-the-podcaster’s treatment of this subject helpful. Maggie smashes into — and she does smash into — the lives of others. SHE OPENLY AND REPEATEDLY ACCUSES A MAN, WHOSE NAME IS MENTIONED REPEATEDLY, OF MURDER BASED ON ZERO EVIDENCE. For example, there was no evidence that Holly was sexually assaulted. Maggie implies otherwise, and she mentions the ME’s finding that there was no sexual assault casually — deep into the podcast. Yet she keeps hinting that something like this must have occurred. Frankly I find this disgusting.

The man in question, a cab driver, was looked at by police at the time, and he has no criminal record. He takes care of his wife who suffers from dementia, and he states that he also suffers from memory issues now as he ages (though Maggie thinks this is all faked). Maggie aggressively twists every bit of detail and every sentence this man has ever muttered to fit her murder idea, while ignoring every bit of evidence that points to an accident (and there is a lot of it).

One example is her laughably flippant dismissal of the fact that Holly was suffering from severe hypothermia when she was found clinging to life. She seems to have no understanding of how alcohol and stages of hypothermia would have drastically affected Holly’s ability to orient herself (as well as suffering from a very severe — ultimately fatal — head injury). Maggie also misleads other persons about Maggie’s blood alcohol level at the time of her death (because she wants to insist that Holly was not disoriented from her alcohol consumption) — even after an expert toxicologist explains to her that Holly’s level at the time of her death was over two and half times the legal limit. Holly was a tiny woman who did not typically consume that much alcohol. Yet Maggie keeps repeating the blood alcohol determined at the time of Holly’s recovery. This is deliberately (imho) misleading. Holly’s body would have been metabolizing the alcohol for over ten hours at that point. I also find this infuriating!

The last episode just falls apart, and the “murder” notion of events, finally spilled out in a few seconds, is filled with massive holes and has the same issues that Maggie claims render the official police judgment impossible.

This podcast is incredibly misleading, reckless, and dangerous. I find it profoundly unethical.

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