In this podcast spotlight, I would like to recommend my current favorite podcast, Culpable. I got the recommendation to start listening to it from Georgia Hardstark, who suggested it on her podcast, My Favorite Murder (MFM). Like MFM, Culpable is part of the highly popular genre of the true-crime podcast. Unlike MFM, Culpable is not a podcast that covers different cases in each episode but focuses on one specific case throughout.
The case is that of Christian Andreacchio, who was found dead in his apartment bathroom on February 26, 2014. Law enforcement was quick, as in, they concluded this after 45 minutes! To rule the cause of death a suicide. His family and friends knew early on that this could not have been the reason. The podcast explores the theory that Andreacchio was not only killed, but the two friends present in the apartment that day either had something to do with it or know something about the case that they are not sharing.
Culpable is a production by Black Mountain Media and Tenderfoot TV. The same creators who also produced Up and Vanished and To Live and Die in LA. It is hosted by Dennis Cooper, who is joined by several guests, including Andreacchio’s family, investigative specialists, forensic experts, and the private investigator team, who are pushing for the case to be re-opened. Right now, the podcast is limited to 15 regular and seven smaller episodes. Those include Q&A and bonus episodes that give listeners an update on the case. The team has made it clear that they are still investigating the case and that they will bring updates to listeners as they develop.
What I particularly enjoyed about this podcast is the stellar storytelling. While listening, it becomes clear that a lot of time was spent on production and dramatizing the story in an entertaining but informative way. I was explicitly moved by the second episode titled “Until We Meet Again,” which tells the story of Andreacchio’s life, but also the impact his life has had on others. Listening to this episode was emotionally draining because it gave you an insight into the life of the victim and their family, which is unlike other true crime podcasts that often only focus on the facts and discuss theories. This podcast truly felt like it wanted to do the victim’s life and the investigation of the crime equal justice.
The case itself is frustrating, to say the least. Like it is mentioned many times in several episodes, all the facts “don’t add up.” Even if you believe it was a suicide, so much of the evidence doesn’t fit that narrative. The fact that law enforcement has refused to classify and test some evidence, even though it was scientifically proven to be necessary, is disheartening in many ways. After listening to the podcast, I can say that yes, I have an overview and also detailed knowledge about the case, but I also feel like this will not get solved in the near future.
If you are looking for a true-crime podcast that is rich in storytelling, research, as well as a humane angle, I highly recommend listening to Culpable. It is available on all popular streaming services like Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, and PlayerFM. They are also present on Twitter, Instagram and their website, which I recommend checking out while listening because it has details and documents related to the episodes.