Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer

Smoke Screen: My Friend, the Serial Killer

Smoke Screen is an investigative documentary series on people with complex motives and morals. Follow characters on the fringes of society — con artists, cult leaders, corrupt politicians — as they seduce their marks and bend communities to their will. Join us as we unravel their stories and bring justice to the people they’ve deceived. SEASON 9: My Friend, the Serial Killer In the 1970s, Steve Fishman was an intern at his local newspaper, when one day he hitched a ride back from Boston with Robert Carr III, better known as “Red.” Red seemed trustworthy enough, but he was hiding a secret: by the time he had picked up Steve, he had already killed three people—and all of his prior victims were hitchhikers themselves. Unlock all episodes of Smoke Screen, ad-free, by subscribing to The Binge. Plus, get binge access to brand new stories dropping on the first of every month. Just click ‘Subscribe’ on the top of the Smoke Screen show page on Apple Podcasts or visit GetTheBinge.com to get access wherever you listen. SEASON 8: My Fugitive Dad Ashley’s Dad was her favorite person in the world. He drove fast cars and sold them for a living. He was a scratch golfer and the love of her Mum’s life. Ashley thought she knew him better than anyone. But at 38, she found out he wasn’t who he said he was. Inspired by his favorite movie the Thomas Crown Affair, he had pulled off a robbery in Cleveland then disappeared. It turns out he evaded the authorities for half a century, living in their sleepy Massachusetts town. His secret upended his family’s life, but another family’s too. Because from the moment this 20-year-old vault teller escaped with $215,000 in 1969, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Elliott made it his life’s mission to bring him to justice. After he retired, his son even took up his mantle. For this six episode podcast, host Jonathan Hirsch teams up with Ashley Randele to unravel the mystery of how her Dad got away with it, and ultimately, why he left behind everyone and everything to start over. SEASON 7: Betrayal on the Bayou For almost two decades, DEA Special Agent Chad Scott ruled the streets just North of New Orleans. He controlled a network of snitches by convincing people he arrested to work for him as informants. Chad would stop at nothing to put drug dealers behind bars. His successes won awards at the DEA, but his willingness to bend the rules earned him a terrifying reputation on the streets. Some called him the Golden Boy. Others called him the White Devil. But when one of guys on Chad's team is caught dealing drugs, Chad’s life is overturned. His right-hand men betray him and confess everything to the FBI. Investigators go over his career with a fine-toothed comb, asking the question: is Chad Scott the greatest DEA Agent in the South, or is he a criminal? SEASON 6: Just Say You're Sorry Texas Ranger James Holland is celebrated as the ‘serial killer whisperer’, solving dozens of murders through his legendary interrogation skills. But how far does he go to get confessions? And has he put innocent people in prison along the way? Smoke Screen: Just Say You're Sorry uses shocking police tapes to reveal the psychological drama behind one murder case, and uncovers something rotten at the heart of the justice system. SEASON 5: Deadly Cure Smoke Screen: Deadly Cure is a podcast about a family on the fringe who convinced tens of thousands of people across the globe to buy a miracle liquid made of poison, the international conspiracy they ignited, and the people who fought to take them down. Produced in collaboration with Bloomberg. SEASON 4: Puppy Kingpin SEASON 3: The Sellout SEASON 2: I Am Rama SEASON 1: Fake Priest

Episodes

July 31, 2020 2 mins
For 30 years, a man claimed to be a priest. He performed baptisms and took confession. Every time he ran into trouble, Father Ryan would move on to another small Midwestern town and start his scheme all over again. Followers who once worshiped him, now accuse him of exploitation, fraud and abuse. In season one of Smoke Screen, join Alex Schuman as he unravels this con and gets answers from this white-collar criminal himself. A N...
Mark as Played
Investigative reporter Alex Schuman hears about a guy accused of swindling millions who has travelled the Midwest for decades pretending to be a priest. Alex starts his journey talking to two people who have long tried to expose the truth. Alex is hoping to finally figure out why anyone would try to pull off such an elaborate con. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge a...
Mark as Played
August 20, 2020 38 mins
Alex tracks down Father Ryan’s son, Jonathan Brady, and discovers Father Ryan was a scammer and manipulator long before he wore a priestly robe. Turns out he had plenty of practice committing fraud before he opened his first church in Wisconsin.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great po...
Mark as Played
August 27, 2020 37 mins
Even con artists need mentors. Meet the false prophet who teaches Father Ryan how to perfect his con. Father Ryan evades criminal charges again and Alex learns about an unspoken reason prosecutors could let many criminals go free. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony...
Mark as Played
September 3, 2020 38 mins
After Father Ryan steals a follower's money, her property and even her husband's ashes, she hires a lawyer. A legal battle ensues over unpaid loans and a herd of llamas that Father Ryan leaves high and dry. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at ...
Mark as Played
September 10, 2020 39 mins
A sheriff deputy arrests Father Ryan for taking more than $70,000 from an elderly follower. It's looking like he might get 7 years in prison, but then he meets a father-daughter pair of private investigators who change everything. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony...
Mark as Played
The father-daughter investigator team discovers the cop who arrested Father Ryan may have an ulterior motive. They defend Father Ryan tooth and nail - until they get a troubling surprise of their own. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymu...
Mark as Played
September 24, 2020 33 mins
In his autobiography, Father Ryan connects himself to two priests who died suspiciously. One he accuses of molesting children. The other? He says he teamed up with to publicly shame pedophile priests. What's the truth? A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Enter...
Mark as Played
October 1, 2020 41 mins
Alex Schuman finally has his showdown with Father Ryan. But things don't go as planned because Father Ryan has something to confess about his past that sheds light on why he wanted to become a "priest" in the first place. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music En...
Mark as Played
Until now, Father Ryan has mostly escaped punishment for stealing money from followers under false pretenses. What would it take for him to face a jury of his peers? A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about y...
Mark as Played
June 8, 2021 3 mins
Rama was a spiritual teacher in the 80s and 90s who inspired many of his students while helming what many of his detractors would describe as a cult. He defied society’s archetypal vision of a New Age leader, eschewing minimalism for wealth and celebrity. He was also a man ahead of his time, encouraging his students to develop careers in computer science before that was mainstream. For some, following Rama's lead worked out spirit...
Mark as Played
June 22, 2021 40 mins
Rama was a man of many faces: teacher, tech entrepreneur, friend - and to some, a scam artist. This episode introduces Rama, examining the world from which he came, the way he shaped those who entered his orbit for better and for worse, and the mysterious circumstances around his demise.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever y...
Mark as Played
June 22, 2021 31 mins
This episode follows Frederick Lenz III from his early days and education through his introduction to spiritualism with his mentor, Sri Chinmoy, at the dawn of the New Age. Young Freddie  becomes “Atmananda,” a recruiter for his mentor, until it becomes time to strike out on his own, as Zen Master Rama.  If you want to know more about Rama’s early years, you can read more from the people who we interviewed for this episode. Liz ...
Mark as Played
June 29, 2021 32 mins
Rama’s growth as a spiritual teacher in the mid-80s starts in California but takes him and his students all over the country. Rama defines his doctrine, turning his attention to the potential of the computer industry. But for his students, it’s not always easy to keep up with their teacher, or stay in his good graces.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes ...
Mark as Played
July 6, 2021 47 mins
Will Arntz is a man of many talents, from filmmaker to laser physicist. In this episode, Will relives the time he spent studying with Rama and how it changed his life.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more abou...
Mark as Played
July 13, 2021 42 mins
A young woman follows Rama to New York, and mysteriously vanishes, leaving behind many to wonder what happened. In this episode, people who knew and loved Brenda Kerber piece her story back together.  If you have any information about the death of Brenda Kerber that wasn’t reflected in this episode, please contact the White Plains Police Department in New York at https://whiteplainspublicsafety.com/submit-a-tip/ or 914-422-6111....
Mark as Played
July 20, 2021 44 mins
Rama finds himself in the crosshairs of the Cult Awareness Network, a group dedicated to extricating people from what they consider to be cults by “deprogramming” them. But Rama’s students tell a much different story. A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entert...
Mark as Played
July 27, 2021 28 mins
Multiple women accuse Rama of sexual misconduct and emotional manipulation. Many of Rama’s students defend their teacher.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/ad...
Mark as Played
August 3, 2021 31 mins
As Rama’s image took a hit in the public sphere, his students circled the wagons around their teacher. In something of a last ditch effort to win over the media, Rama accepts an invitation to appear on Dateline.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainme...
Mark as Played
August 10, 2021 32 mins
Power trips to paradise and never-before shared knowledge -- were these golden times, or Rama’s way of saying goodbye? This episode explores the final years leading of Rama's life.  A Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment production. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at sonymusic.com/podcasts ...
Mark as Played

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