Podcast Review: All Killa No Filla

“This isn’t hero worship, but if we’re doing this then at least we’re not writing to them in prison.”

Rachel Fairburn and Kiri Pritchard might just be a little bit sick. As the show notes say each episode they talk all things murder and macabre and have a right laugh doing it.

Every episode focuses on a different serial killer, from their background to their demise – sometimes in more detail than I’m prepared for. I’ll be honest, there are several points in which I almost switch off. I’m a queasy kind of guy. I don’t like it. I’m feeling sick.

And yet I’m now listening to a third episode.  It’s strangely addictive.

It’s a weird sensation. At first my emotional reaction was “this isn’t right. This is insensitive. These are people who have ruined lives, and you’re glorifying them in this programme.” And then I thought how is that any different to the hundreds of hours of documentaries on the very same people?

The difference here is that they temper the shocking details and horror with genuine humour. And it’s not cheap laughs, there are some great moments of comedy, like when they imagine the conversation when one of the killers bumped into an old school friend, while carrying the body of one of his victims… “Hello mate! Not seen you for ages! What you been up to?”

And though they follow the story from childhood upbringing to eventual demise, it’s by no means a linear journey – at times it’s just a vehicle for them to riff on the world around them.  It bounces along, interspersed with bits of their life like googling regional swinging clubs, dealing with right wing mothers, boyfriends, comedy failures, and childhood memories. And then suddenly we’re back into the mind, or at least actions of a killer.

Though completely tangential at times, these asides give you time to breathe and briefly escape from the grim reality of the subject matter. And in that, they’re spot on. They clearly know their subjects inside out, which is enforced when fielding questions during one of their live episodes.

There is no hero worship here. Yes it’s a morbid fascination, but thanks to the sometimes dark humour, it’s a wonderful and unique addition to the plethora of True Crime features.

There’s a lot of swearing and given the core subject matter, it’s certainly not suitable for everyone.

But then again I didn’t think it would be for me, and I love it.

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