10 episodes

"Best True Crime Podcast" Nominee, 2023 Ambies

Warsaw, Missouri, is a small, rural town of just over 2,000 people in the American Midwest. Locally it’s known as the “quiet end of the Lake of the Ozarks.” Very few realize that it’s the paddlefish capital of the world. But when a new group arrived driving flashy, imported cars and dropping hundreds of dollars on bait and tackle, the town became the setting for an undercover federal sting operation tasked with bringing down a suspected international caviar poaching ring.
 
The Paddlefish Caviar Heist is a production of Imperative Entertainment and Vespucci and is written and hosted by Helen Hollyman. For Imperative Entertainment, the Executive Producer is Jason Hoch. For Vespucci, the executive producers are Daniel Turcan and Johnny Galvin. David Gauvey Herbert is Executive Producer. Based on original script reporting by David Gauvey Herbert. The series producer is Aron Keller. The story editor is Matt Willis. Thomas Curry is the managing producer. Cover art and design by Jeana Sullivan. Audio recording by Austin Sisler at Eastside Studios. Audio mix and sound-design by Matt Peaty.

The Paddlefish Caviar Heist Imperative

    • True Crime
    • 3.9 • 159 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

"Best True Crime Podcast" Nominee, 2023 Ambies

Warsaw, Missouri, is a small, rural town of just over 2,000 people in the American Midwest. Locally it’s known as the “quiet end of the Lake of the Ozarks.” Very few realize that it’s the paddlefish capital of the world. But when a new group arrived driving flashy, imported cars and dropping hundreds of dollars on bait and tackle, the town became the setting for an undercover federal sting operation tasked with bringing down a suspected international caviar poaching ring.
 
The Paddlefish Caviar Heist is a production of Imperative Entertainment and Vespucci and is written and hosted by Helen Hollyman. For Imperative Entertainment, the Executive Producer is Jason Hoch. For Vespucci, the executive producers are Daniel Turcan and Johnny Galvin. David Gauvey Herbert is Executive Producer. Based on original script reporting by David Gauvey Herbert. The series producer is Aron Keller. The story editor is Matt Willis. Thomas Curry is the managing producer. Cover art and design by Jeana Sullivan. Audio recording by Austin Sisler at Eastside Studios. Audio mix and sound-design by Matt Peaty.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Fish Guts on the Roadside | Chapter 1

    Fish Guts on the Roadside | Chapter 1

    Journalist Helen Hollyman arrives in Warsaw, Missouri determined to solve the mystery of how a suspected international caviar poaching ring infiltrated this small midwest town to steal its most prized possession. When fish guts start appearing on the roadside, it takes a daring undercover sting — Operation Roadhouse — to catch the criminals. Could it really be true?
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    • 30 min
    Spanky DeFriese | Chapter 2

    Spanky DeFriese | Chapter 2

    Helen realizes that to get to the truth, she needs to start fishing where the fish are. Immersing herself in Warsaw’s ‘snagging’ culture, Helen discovers that this town has fallen prey to Paddlefish poachers before.
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    • 32 min
    Expensive Taste | Chapter 3

    Expensive Taste | Chapter 3

    Why would criminals travel halfway across the world to the Ozarks in search of fish eggs? To answer that question, we need to travel back in time to Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union, to understand how caviar became such a coveted and valuable delicacy. 
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    • 29 min
    Operation Roadhouse | Chapter 4

    Operation Roadhouse | Chapter 4

    Back in Missouri, Helen lands a meeting with a top conservation official. She gets the inside scoop on why Operation Roadhouse was launched and how it was executed.
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    • 27 min
    The Caviar Mafia | Chapter 5

    The Caviar Mafia | Chapter 5

    Who was pulling the paddlefish poachers’ strings? Helen zeroes in on some of Roadhouse’s biggest suspects, but is also forced to confront a troubling question from her own past. 
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    • 29 min
    Bait and Switch | Chapter 6

    Bait and Switch | Chapter 6

    An old friend helps Helen shed some light on the shady side of the caviar industry. Meanwhile, a visit to a lawyer in the Hampton’s causes Helen to question everything she’s been told about this case. 
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    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
159 Ratings

159 Ratings

chuck.e.cheese ,

NICHE & MYSTERIOUSLY MACABRE: PEAK PODCAST

when the story compliments podcasting as a medium 🤌 + it’s kinda old school, classical even, like the OG Radiolab episode about the “calamari”… ah, “rings” NOT actually from 🐙 🤡

friendofradio ,

What am I supporting?????

I liked this podcast until the ads distracted me. The overly religious ads (twice for each break sometimes?) for companies I am uncomfortable supporting turned me off. I can’t listen to this show.

MishiBurg ,

Ultimately, nothing happens

There’s a lot of buildup, without a satisfying resolution. And it is made 1000x worse by the annoying ads — some of the most obnoxious ads I’ve heard on any podcast.

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