As if the story of the murder of a Washington, DC power couple didn’t have all the elements needed for a true-crime podcast, the series produced by all-news WTOP-FM (103.5) had its own plot twist. The investigation for the podcast led to the discovery of confidential audio recordings of the trial of the man charged in what became known as the D.C. Mansion Murders.
“The story of this heinous crime has never been told in such detail,” said WTOP reporter Megan Cloherty, who along with reporter Jack Moore, tell the story of the killings of the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper, Vera Figueroa, in May 2015.
The podcast is titled 22 Hours: An American Nightmare. It’s a nod to the hours that convicted killer Daron Wint kept his victims hostage before murdering them inside their own home. “We talk to key witnesses, who reveal more information than they could on the stand,” Cloherty said. “We learn from the family’s longtime housekeeper how she believes the killer entered the Savopoulos home before killing everyone inside, something she didn’t discuss during the trial. Plus, jurors tell us how they reached their verdict and what questions remain for them to this day.”
In addition to the after-the-trial revelations from that housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez, WTOP also secured secretly-recorded audio taken during last fall’s trial. The station has petitioned the chief judge of D.C. Superior Court to release the audio to the public.
“We’ve reconstructed the timeline, adding the nuances and details from testimony that never made it into daily news reports,” Moore said. “Our podcast is not questioning Daron Wint’s conviction. We are presenting to listeners the evidence against him, his defense team’s strategy and never-before-heard details that help provide some answers—and leave us with even more questions about how this nightmare unfolded.”
The 22 Hours podcast is the latest example of the synergy between a radio company and PodcastOne, which is co-producing the series. WTOP’s parent company, Hubbard Radio, took a 30% stake in PodcastOne in 2015 and during the last four years PodcastOne has marketed and distributed more than 100 podcasts from Hubbard stations.
PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz said it shows the power of combining the podcast company’s production skills with WTOP’s story-telling acumen. “It’s great to be working, again, with WTOP and its parent company, Hubbard Radio,” Pattiz said. “It’s no secret that true-crime podcasts are a hot space in the medium. This wonderful original content from a great creative team is a super addition to our network.”
The first episode of 22 Hours: An American Nightmare was released this week with future episodes to be published each Monday.