95 episodes

Smoke Screen is an investigative documentary series on people with complex motives and morals. Follow characters on the fringes of society — con artists, cult leaders, corrupt politicians — as they seduce their marks and bend communities to their will. Join us as we unravel their stories and bring justice to the people they’ve deceived.

SEASON 9: My Friend, the Serial Killer
In the 1970s, Steve Fishman was an intern at his local newspaper, when one day he hitched a ride back from Boston with Robert Carr III, better known as “Red.” Red seemed trustworthy enough, but he was hiding a secret: by the time he had picked up Steve, he had already killed three people—and all of his prior victims were hitchhikers themselves.

Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen, ad-free, by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month. Just click ‘Subscribe’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you listen.

SEASON 8: My Fugitive Dad
Ashley’s Dad was her favorite person in the world. He drove fast cars and sold them for a living. He was a scratch golfer and the love of her Mum’s life. Ashley thought she knew him better than anyone. But at 38, she found out he wasn’t who he said he was. Inspired by his favorite movie the Thomas Crown Affair, he had pulled off a robbery in Cleveland then disappeared. It turns out he evaded the authorities for half a century, living in their sleepy Massachusetts town.

His secret upended his family’s life, but another family’s too. Because from the moment this 20-year-old vault teller escaped with $215,000 in 1969, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Elliott made it his life’s mission to bring him to justice. After he retired, his son even took up his mantle. For this six episode podcast, host Jonathan Hirsch teams up with Ashley Randele to unravel the mystery of how her Dad got away with it, and ultimately, why he left behind everyone and everything to start over.

SEASON 7: Betrayal on the Bayou
For almost two decades, DEA Special Agent Chad Scott ruled the streets just North of New Orleans. He controlled a network of snitches by convincing people he arrested to work for him as informants. Chad would stop at nothing to put drug dealers behind bars. His successes won awards at the DEA, but his willingness to bend the rules earned him a terrifying reputation on the streets. Some called him the Golden Boy. Others called him the White Devil. But when one of guys on Chad's team is caught dealing drugs, Chad’s life is overturned. His right-hand men betray him and confess everything to the FBI. Investigators go over his career with a fine-toothed comb, asking the question: is Chad Scott the greatest DEA Agent in the South, or is he a criminal? 

SEASON 6: Just Say You're Sorry
Texas Ranger James Holland is celebrated as the ‘serial killer whisperer’, solving dozens of murders through his legendary interrogation skills. But how far does he go to get confessions? And has he put innocent people in prison along the way? Smoke Screen: Just Say You're Sorry uses shocking police tapes to reveal the psychological drama behind one murder case, and uncovers something rotten at the heart of the justice system.

SEASON 5: Deadly Cure
Smoke Screen: Deadly Cure is a podcast about a family on the fringe who convinced tens of thousands of people across the globe to buy a miracle liquid made of poison, the international conspiracy they ignited, and the people who fought to take them down. Produced in collaboration with Bloomberg.

SEASON 4: Puppy Kingpin
SEASON 3: The Sellout
SEASON 2: I Am Rama
SEASON 1: Fake Priest

Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer The Binge

    • True Crime
    • 4.0 • 2.5K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Smoke Screen is an investigative documentary series on people with complex motives and morals. Follow characters on the fringes of society — con artists, cult leaders, corrupt politicians — as they seduce their marks and bend communities to their will. Join us as we unravel their stories and bring justice to the people they’ve deceived.

SEASON 9: My Friend, the Serial Killer
In the 1970s, Steve Fishman was an intern at his local newspaper, when one day he hitched a ride back from Boston with Robert Carr III, better known as “Red.” Red seemed trustworthy enough, but he was hiding a secret: by the time he had picked up Steve, he had already killed three people—and all of his prior victims were hitchhikers themselves.

Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen, ad-free, by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month. Just click ‘Subscribe’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you listen.

SEASON 8: My Fugitive Dad
Ashley’s Dad was her favorite person in the world. He drove fast cars and sold them for a living. He was a scratch golfer and the love of her Mum’s life. Ashley thought she knew him better than anyone. But at 38, she found out he wasn’t who he said he was. Inspired by his favorite movie the Thomas Crown Affair, he had pulled off a robbery in Cleveland then disappeared. It turns out he evaded the authorities for half a century, living in their sleepy Massachusetts town.

His secret upended his family’s life, but another family’s too. Because from the moment this 20-year-old vault teller escaped with $215,000 in 1969, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Elliott made it his life’s mission to bring him to justice. After he retired, his son even took up his mantle. For this six episode podcast, host Jonathan Hirsch teams up with Ashley Randele to unravel the mystery of how her Dad got away with it, and ultimately, why he left behind everyone and everything to start over.

SEASON 7: Betrayal on the Bayou
For almost two decades, DEA Special Agent Chad Scott ruled the streets just North of New Orleans. He controlled a network of snitches by convincing people he arrested to work for him as informants. Chad would stop at nothing to put drug dealers behind bars. His successes won awards at the DEA, but his willingness to bend the rules earned him a terrifying reputation on the streets. Some called him the Golden Boy. Others called him the White Devil. But when one of guys on Chad's team is caught dealing drugs, Chad’s life is overturned. His right-hand men betray him and confess everything to the FBI. Investigators go over his career with a fine-toothed comb, asking the question: is Chad Scott the greatest DEA Agent in the South, or is he a criminal? 

SEASON 6: Just Say You're Sorry
Texas Ranger James Holland is celebrated as the ‘serial killer whisperer’, solving dozens of murders through his legendary interrogation skills. But how far does he go to get confessions? And has he put innocent people in prison along the way? Smoke Screen: Just Say You're Sorry uses shocking police tapes to reveal the psychological drama behind one murder case, and uncovers something rotten at the heart of the justice system.

SEASON 5: Deadly Cure
Smoke Screen: Deadly Cure is a podcast about a family on the fringe who convinced tens of thousands of people across the globe to buy a miracle liquid made of poison, the international conspiracy they ignited, and the people who fought to take them down. Produced in collaboration with Bloomberg.

SEASON 4: Puppy Kingpin
SEASON 3: The Sellout
SEASON 2: I Am Rama
SEASON 1: Fake Priest

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 1. Local Man

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 1. Local Man

    Steve Fishman is an intern at his local Connecticut newspaper and a regular hitchhiker. When one of his hitched rides comes to an unnerving conclusion, Steve shrugs it off—until weeks later, when the news breaks that the driver he rode with has confessed to being a serial killer who preys on hitchhikers. Steve sees the chance to get the scoop of a lifetime: a killer’s story, Who better to tell it than someone who almost became one of his victims?

    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer, ad-free, right now by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month  thats all episodes, all at once, all ad-free.

    Just click Subscribe on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.

    An Orbit Media & Sony Music Entertainment production in association with Rhyme Media.

    Find out more about The Binge and other podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts and follow us @sonypodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 35 min
    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 2. Confessions

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 2. Confessions

    Steve dives deeper into the details of the killer’s life, reaching out to his wife and daughter in an attempt to secure an exclusive interview with the killer in prison. Meanwhile, the Florida police dig into the grisly details of the killer’s crimes… but if they want to hold the killer accountable, they are going to need evidence.  



    This episode will be released for free on June 10th.   



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer, ad-free, right now by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month  thats all episodes, all at once, all ad-free.  



    Just click Subscribe on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.  



    An Orbit Media & Sony Music Entertainment production in association with Rhyme Media.  



    Find out more about The Binge and other podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts and follow us @sonypodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 32 min
    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 3. Take Us To The Bodies

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 3. Take Us To The Bodies

    On the strangest road trip ever, the confessed killer leads detectives, a prosecutor, and a medical examiner on a grim quest to unearth the bodies he claims to have buried in remote parts Louisiana and Mississippi.  



    This episode will be released for free on June 17th.  



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer, ad-free, right now by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month  thats all episodes, all at once, all ad-free.  



    Just click Subscribe on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.  



    An Orbit Media & Sony Music Entertainment production in association with Rhyme Media.  F



    ind out more about The Binge and other podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts and follow us @sonypodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 32 min
    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 4. The Exclusive

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 4. The Exclusive

    Steve secures his exclusive interview with the killer, who reveals what he considers the “real reasons” his victims died. While digging into this investigative lead, Steve tracks down a former social worker, who has a stunning revelation for Steve that will completely change his understanding of the case.  



    This episode will be released for free on June 24th.  



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer, ad-free, right now by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month  thats all episodes, all at once, all ad-free.  



    Just click Subscribe on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.  



    An Orbit Media & Sony Music Entertainment production in association with Rhyme Media.  Find out more about The Binge and other podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts and follow us @sonypodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 40 min
    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 5. Donna

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 5. Donna

    In the present day, Steve tracks down Donna, the killer’s daughter, who he first met when she was 12. Nearly fifty years later, Donna describes the harsh reality of growing up the daughter of a serial killer who she loved.  



    This episode will be released for free on July 1st.  



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer, ad-free, right now by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month  thats all episodes, all at once, all ad-free.  



    Just click Subscribe on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.  



    An Orbit Media & Sony Music Entertainment production in association with Rhyme Media.  



    Find out more about The Binge and other podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts and follow us @sonypodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 45 min
    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 6. Unfinished Business

    My Friend, the Serial Killer | 6. Unfinished Business

    Despite promises made by the police, the killer faces the death penalty for his crimes. Donna confesses that she is terrified her father will find a way to avoid the death penalty, get out of prison, and come after her. As time goes on, Donna and Steve reckon with the aftershocks of her father’s crimes, the mistakes Steve made as a young journalist, and the damage the killer inflicted on his victims… both living and dead.  



    This episode will be released for free on July 8th.  



    Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer, ad-free, right now by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month  thats all episodes, all at once, all ad-free.  Just click Subscribe on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you get your podcasts.  



    An Orbit Media & Sony Music Entertainment production in association with Rhyme Media.  



    Find out more about The Binge and other podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts and follow us @sonypodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
2.5K Ratings

2.5K Ratings

Brooke276 ,

Good but we need help!

Interesting story and well done but man…those conversation tapes were clear as mud many times throughout. I would have liked if the author clarified what Carr said because I missed at least 30%. AND THAT MEDICAL EXAMINER IS SUS. That guy has bodies of his own out there.

trmoor ,

Missed question

Why wouldn’t he ask if he had planned to kill him and if so why did he change his mind????

Rare Diva 53 ,

Excellent!

I have only listened to season 9 but definitely plan to listen to the other 8 seasons.
The writing was excellent. The balance of the narrator, investigators, victims and the serial killer himself had a very natural flow unlike many crime broadcasts.
The killer’s daughter was a large part of the story and her explanations of her childhood, discovering who her father truly was and the many ways that changed her life and the mixed emotions and feelings that followed her throughout her life were so sensible. Of course, she dealt with many experiences and emotions through no fault of her own. Though she did hold on to undeserved blame simply because he was her father, it seemed she was as mentally stable and able to live life as well as anyone could under those circumstances. I believe this was due to her obvious intelligence.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this series, is that obviously it was a story of a serial killer, a monster as is made clear in the title. Yet, there were no gory or bloody details even in the descriptions, mostly in his own words, some of which were actual tapes of him and some an actor using his words. There was no need for gory details and I attribute that to the brilliance of the writer.
I have to say one of the most fascinating things about the entire story which I believe was in part due to the writing and in part due to who this man was apart from a monster. He was polite even when detailing his crimes. He was polite, gently spoken and dealt with his victims almost with a reasonable kindness, until of course he began the assault.
This results in you almost liking him. Even some of the investigators involved attested to this which of course is both brilliant and a bit confusing. Obviously, the story brings you to the point where you are rooting for the ultimate punishment as he is a monster. Yet, the fact that he is likable, though this goes against human nature, really adds to the uniqueness of this story.
If you like smart true crime especially without having to hear the actual violence and gore, I highly recommend this podcast!

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