GOSPEL ACCORDING TO…
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO… RedHanded
With RedHanded’s tour of North America starting next week, what better time to revisit our interview with our coverstars from Issue #021? What started as a passion project between friends quickly became one of the most successful true crime podcasts around. We spoke to Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala, hosts of the RedHanded podcast, about their journey to the top, their love for the genre and the podcasts they listen to when they need a break from the macabre…
PB: TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR SHOW! WHAT’S YOUR PODCAST ELEVATOR PITCH?
RH: RedHanded is the ultimate true crime podcast for people who want more than crime. We aim to cover all sorts of cases, the obvious ones like Chris Watts and Casey Anthony to ones that other true crime podcasts don’t – like the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khasgohhi and the evolution of the satanic panic into modern day QAnon. RedHanded is for people who want all the facts, along with thoughtful analysis, but delivered like they are just down the pub with their mates.
WHY PODCASTING? WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE FORMAT THAT APPEALED TO YOU INITIALLY?
The incredibly low barriers to entry! Podcasting is fantastic because it allows anyone with anything to say, a place to say it! We had no background whatsoever in broadcasting, journalism, scripting, editing – anything relevant to podcasting – and so we knew it was going to have to be grassroots. Podcasting is the ultimate format because you don’t need someone in the industry to give you the greenlight to make it work.
THE TRUE CRIME GENRE IS HUGELY POPULAR IN PODCASTING. WHY DO YOU THINK LISTENERS FIND IT SO ENGAGING?
True crime has always, and we mean always, been a hugely popular genre. The Victorians were making Penny Dreadfuls and chasing Jack the Ripper around; it’s nothing new. We have always been obsessed with the extremes of human behaviour, and what’s more extreme that murder? I think that true crime combines all of the ingredients that appeal most to us as human beings: extreme behaviour, mystery and fear.
True crime offers us the opportunity to explore – in a safe way – the very addictive emotion of fear. Fear is hardwired into us and it’s why we go on roller coasters and watch Leatherface chopping teenagers up – but with true crime, the stakes are even higher, and therefore more alluring, because it’s all real.
AS A PODCAST WITH NEARLY 250 EPISODES, HOW DO YOU KEEP ENGAGED WITH THE GENRE YOURSELVES?
We genuinely love true crime. We live, eat and breathe true crime. We both have a truly deep and obsessive curiosity about it. And thanks to our listeners we’ve had the opportunity to explore increasingly different types of cases. This helps us stay excited, curious and constantly learning – all of which means we can still put out great content week after week!
WHICH EPISODE OR EPISODES OF YOUR PODCAST HAVE YOU FOUND THE MOST REWARDING TO PRODUCE?
SURUTHI: It changes often, but for me the two parter on ISIS, Shamima Begum and the Bethnal Green Girls, was a really important story to tell. I hadn’t seen a true crime podcast cover that case and we really wanted to do it justice, which we think we did!
HANNAH: The two-parter we did on Scientology was probably the one for me. Again, we just tried to approach it in a different way to how we’d seen that story told before – as it was such a massive case to tackle we were nervous; so it was very rewarding to see peoples’ positive reactions!
YOU’VE ACHIEVED GREAT SUCCESS WITH YOUR SPIN OFF PATREON, ALLOWRING LISTENERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR BONUS CONTENT. WHAT’S THE SECRET TO BUILDING SUCH A STRONG COMMUNITY?
Content, content, content. Stay focussed on creating great content – give it your full attention and the people will reward you!
FINALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR GO TO PODCASTS WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LIGHT RELIEF FROM THE WORLD OF TRUE CRIME?
SURUTHI: I don’t think I do light relief all that well!!! I love Conflicted, which is a fantastic geopolitics podcast!
HANNAH: I’m actually currently re-listening to The Black Tapes – which if you like spooky shit is perfect, and I also love a bit of Desert Island Discs.
Listen to Redhanded on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other popular podcast apps >>
Find more interviews with your favourite podcasters in the Pod Bible Magazine >>