New year, new podcast, am I right? With Australia’s own The Teacher’s Pet being the big poddy obsession of 2018, the 2019 crown is up for grabs. While selfishly I hope that the mystery podcast that I co-host, PEDESTRIAN.TV‘s own All Aussie Mystery Hour, magically becomes a global sensation, I’m nothing if not supportive of other offerings.
There’s been a fair bit of hype lately about Broken Harts, which hit the top of the US podcasts chart last week. Coming from Glamour — the US women’s publication that canned its print offering last November to focus on its digital presence — and HowStuffWorks, the podcast focuses on the tragic 2018 case of Washington’s Hart family.
On March 26, 2018, German tourists spotted a family-sized SUV car upside down, seemingly driven off a 30-metre cliff in Mendocino, California. Inside were the bodies of driver Jen Hart, 38 and her wife Sarah Hart, also 38. Found near the car were the bodies of their adopted kids Markis, 19, and 14-year-olds Jeremiah and Abigail. The body of 12-year-old Sierra Hart washed ashore on April 7, while the bodies of the Harts’ other two adopted children Devonte, 15, and Hannah, 16, have never been found. It’s believed they were in the car when it plummeted off the cliff.
Investigators found that the car had been deliberately driven off the cliff by Jen Hart after pulling off the road, with Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman saying on April 6: “I’m to the point where I no longer am calling this an accident. I’m calling it a crime.” The crime, known as a “family annihilation” in law enforcement speak, shocked friends of the Harts, who had seen nothing but idyllic social media posts of this “perfect family”. But a dark history full of child abuse allegations, claims of racism and neglect soon unfolded.
Following on from Glamour‘s long-read piece on the case, very excellently written by investigative reporter Lauren Smiley (give it a read HERE), Broken Hearts looks into the backstory of the couple and the events leading up to this fateful trip, which included Child Protective Services being called by the family’s concerned neighbours.
Co-hosted by Glamour editors Justine Harman and Elisabeth Egan with help from Smiley, Broken Harts will, well, break your heart. But it will also fill that Teacher’s Pet-shaped hole in your life, so if a good mystery is what you are looking for, get around it.
For a more light-hearted deep dive into true crime, check out P.TV’s true crime podcast All Aussie Mystery Hour. Subscribe on iTunes HERE, or on Spotify HERE. Or, you can just listen / download below.