Broken Harts Investigative

Hosted By: Lauren Smiley
Podcast Network: HowStuffWorks

We all know someone who shows the perfect family on social media. But what happens when that perfection is shattered in a way that stuns a nation? Meet the Harts. Made up of Markis, Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Jeremiah, and Sierra Hart — six black children ranging in age from 12 to 19 —  that were all adopted by Sarah and Jennifer Hart, both white.

To those around them, everything was perfect, with Jen’s Facebook page showing exactly that. However, on March 26, 2018, the family’s GMC Yukon was found belly-up on the rocks below California’s Highway 1 in what was reported to be a murder-suicide. As the shocking news made national headlines, many found themselves wondering how this could have happened. How could a family who showed no sign of distress have come to such a devastating end?

In this podcast, you’ll go behind the scenes through the family’s journey from South Dakota through Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, and finally to that 100-foot cliff in California and make your own conclusion.

Meet the Harts Podcast Host:

Lauren Smiley, an accomplished journalist and writer, is the host and narrator of Broken Harts. She brings her investigative skills and empathetic storytelling to unravel the layers of this gripping and heartbreaking case. Smiley’s expertise in covering true crime and her ability to humanize the individuals involved make her a compelling guide throughout the podcast.

Praise from Listeners*:

  • Attention to Detail: Listeners appreciate the thoroughness with which the podcast delves into the case. The host, Lauren Smiley, is known for her investigative journalism skills, and her dedication to researching and presenting accurate information shines through in the podcast.

  • Tackling Broader Social Issues: The podcast explores the broader implications of the case, touching on social issues such as adoption, racial dynamics, and family relationships, prompting listeners to reflect on the larger societal contexts.

Criticisms from Listeners*:

  • Perceived Bias: Some listeners have expressed concerns that the podcast may have a preconceived narrative or bias, potentially influencing the way the events are presented. They believe that a more comprehensive examination of all possible angles would have strengthened the podcast’s credibility and provided a more holistic understanding of the events.

  • Speculation: A few listeners have noted instances in which Broken Harts delves into speculative theories or possibilities that may distract from the main narrative. These speculations, at times, can undermine the overall credibility and focus of the podcast, leaving some listeners wanting a more grounded and evidence-based approach.

* The True Crime Connection teams aims to keep this as an unbiased search database. In order to do this, we curate what people love the most and the least about a podcast by analysing ApplePodcast reviews.

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Both show and individual episode descriptions for listings on the TCC website have been submitted directly from the podcast featured or found online. We do our best to make sure all information is accurate, however; if there are any corrections to be made, please let us know here.