Families Who Kill: The Donut Shop Murders Dramatization, Wondery

Hosted By: James Carroll
Produced By: Wondery

Families Who Kill: The Donut Shop Murders tells the story of the McCrary family, a group of ruthless killers who terrorized the American West in the early 1970s. Led by Sherman McCrary, a psychopathic patriarch, the family robbed, kidnapped, and killed up to 20 people, most of them taken from donut shops. The podcast features the taped confessions of one of the killers, given when he was serving a life term in Colorado.

Families Who Kill: The Donut Shop Murders Podcast Host:

James Carroll is a true crime writer and journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and GQ. He is also the author of the book “The Donut Shop Murders: A True Story of Family, Greed, and Murder.”

Praise from Listeners*:

  • In-Depth Research: Listeners appreciate the extensive research James invests in every episode, providing a comprehensive and accurate account of the events that transpired.
  • Empathetic Approach: James brings a unique and empathetic perspective to each story, focusing not only on the crime but also on the human emotions and motivations that drive these family murders.
  • Interviewing Witnesses and Experts: Listeners appreciate the inclusion of firsthand accounts through interviews with witnesses, law enforcement officials, and experts, providing valuable insights into the investigations.
  • Real Courtroom Audio: The use of real courtroom audio clips adds authenticity to the podcast, allowing listeners to experience the trials and legal proceedings firsthand.

Criticisms from Listeners*:

  • Pacing Issues: Occasionally, the podcast may face criticism for its pacing, with some episodes being perceived as too slow or overly prolonged, while others are rushed and lack in-depth exploration.
  • Inadequate Source Credibility: Listeners have expressed concerns about the credibility of some sources used in the podcast, questioning the reliability of certain information presented.
  • Over-Reliance on Reenactments: While reenactments can add drama and visualization to the storytelling, some critics feel that the podcast might occasionally over-rely on them, potentially blurring the line between entertainment and factual reporting.

* 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.