Podcast of the Week: Man in the Window

A chilling profile of the Golden State Killer…

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I love podcasts dearly and I also love stuff about murder – sick puppy that I am – but the market has become so saturated in recent years that it is impossible to know whether what you are listening to is a worthwhile study into a warped mind or just some chancer exploiting the misery of others. I have had my fingers burned recently with Up and Vanished and Teacher’s Pet. Two true crime podcasts that started off well but soon diminished in quality as their output increased. It was the fact that Man in the Window is from the same minds as Dirty John, coupled with the chilling character supposedly at the heart of the podcast that made me plunge in head first. The water was only lukewarm.

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. stands accused of a series of murders and hundreds of rapes in a horrifyingly prolific period from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s. Man in the Window explores some of his more high profile crimes with a focus on the victims rather than the man himself.

This approach is probably morally laudable but it also serves to bury the lede somewhat. Of course the victims should be remembered and treated respectfully but, in all honesty, I’m here for the maniac. The victims may have been extraordinary in their own way, but in isolation their lives are pretty unremarkable. I understand why the LA Times has gone down this road but it does make Man in the Window a little repetitive and dreary at times.

That being said, the story itself is fascinating and the production values and quality of journalism make Man in the Window a compelling listen if not a vital one. At only six episodes it is easily congested and is certainly a lot more worthwhile than loads of other third rate true crime podcasts currently flooding the market.

Man in the Window is more than just another true crime podcast but given the pedigree of the people involved and the terrifying nature of the subject matter, the final product feels a little underwhelming.

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