Listen to the first episode of this new true crime podcast from Pineapple Street Media and Gimlet.
When April Balascio was 40 years old, something she’d feared for decades was finally proven true. Her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, really was a murderer. The Clearing is about what came after April called a detective in 2009 to tell him about her suspicions — a call that led to her father’s arrest and eventual conviction on multiple murders — and tracks the emotional journey as she and host Josh Dean dig back into her childhood, unravel the truth of her father’s life, and overturn a viral online narrative that had turned Edward Wayne Edwards into a kind of serial killer caricature.
When John Quinney was ten years old, he took the stand to testify against his own father. He had come to believe that his dad Melvin was the murderous leader of a satanic cult. It would be decades before John would learn that his family was just one of many swept up in a panic that gripped America in the 1980s—one in which hundreds of people were accused of taking part in underground satanic cults that sacrificed infants and sexually abused children. By the time the panic had subsided, scores of people were in prison, convicted on little to no evidence—people like John's father. Conviction: American Panic takes you inside one of the darkest and most bizarre chapters of American history. This series contains descriptions of adult subject matter, including details of sexual abuse and trauma. It may not be suitable for everyone, discretion is advised.