This week I interview one of my favorite podcasts: @thevanishedpodcast !
- What is the Vanished Podcast?
“The Vanished is a podcast about people who have gone missing. We try to focus on cases that have not garnered much media attention. We think that every story deserves to be heard, not just a select few that make national headlines.”
2. What made you want to start a podcast like this?
“I have my own family mystery. My great-grandfather disappeared when my grandfather was a young child. It completely changed the trajectory of my grandfather’s life. He went into foster care and had some really negative experiences. I grew up hearing about this family mystery, which made me very interested in missing persons cases. I tried digging into it myself to find any trace of him. I never did. I even submitted my DNA to find relatives. The rumor was that he went out west to start a new life. I was looking to see if he had more children. I eventually decided that I was not making any progress with my case, and my energy could be spent elsewhere. What could I do to help others? That was when the idea for the podcast was born.”
3.Can you talk a little bit about your patreon?
“We have a Patreon, but we only release episodes early and ad-free. Since our cases are unsolved, we don’t want to put any of them behind a paywall. We want as many people to hear them as possible. So, our Patrons get our episodes ad-free on Friday. Our main release day is Monday.”
Here is the link if you would like to join the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thevanishedpodcast
4. How can someone submit a case to you for your podcast?
“We have a case submission form. It helps us keep all of the submissions organized in a spreadsheet. Here is a link: https://www.thevanishedpodcast.com/case-submission
5. Are there any particular missing cases you discuss on your podcasts that left a memorable impression? What made them so memorable for you?
“Yes, every story sticks with me for any number of reasons. The cases in which we create a series seem to stick with us the most. One example would be Ian Eckles. We covered Ian in a 3-part series in 2021. Ian seemed to have a larger-than-life personality and was loved by so many. You can’t help but wish you had a chance to meet him when you hear his loved ones discuss him. Ian went on a hunting trip in 2020. What I think sticks with me so much about what happened to Ian is that it was completely random. It is the kind of crime that haunts us all the most because of that randomness. There were no warning signs to look for, it was simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is believed that Ian was likely sleeping in his vehicle before a planned early morning hunt with a friend when he was attacked by a complete stranger. There is physical evidence to support this, like brain matter inside the vehicle. But Ian disappeared along with his vehicle. His friends and family went to the mountains to search for him, thinking he was lost or in an accident. At one point, they were riding on a mountain road when Ian’s vehicle came around the corner at them, but it was not Ian behind the wheel. They have a brief altercation with the man and try to chase him down. Law enforcement searched in the woods for this man and Ian’s vehicle. They found the vehicle and another stolen vehicle belonging to a woman who had been found dead weeks prior. Now, they knew that they had someone very dangerous on the loose. It sparked a huge manhunt in the area that lasted for weeks. Residents had to be evacuated from the area. They did capture the man, Jorge Alcantara-Gonzalez, who is currently incarcerated. Ian is still missing, and his loved ones are still searching to find him.”
6.What steps do you take in order to prepare for an upcoming podcast?
“We talk to friends, family, and request interviews with law enforcement. We also send in record requests for each case. Sometimes we are lucky enough to get large case files. Those are the cases that we can make into a series. We also dig through newspaper archives, and those can be especially helpful with very cold cases from decades ago.
This week, we covered Cynthia Constantine, who disappeared in 1969. She has one living relative, her brother, William. That made it difficult for us, but we found articles in newspaper archives that allowed us to give her mother a voice. “
7. Do you have any news or events that you would like to share?
“We don’t have any events coming up. I am actually moving from Pennsylvania to North Carolina this month. That has limited my ability to participate in any events this summer.
One big thing that I would like to share is a case that we covered earlier this year. Teresa Kennedy and her young daughter, Bethany Tiner, disappeared in 1997. We put extensive work into this case, and what we learned led us to believe that they had left and gone into hiding. Teresa believed that Bethany was being abused by her father. Speaking with family members, there were many alleged victims of this man across multiple generations. We handed over our evidence to law enforcement, and he was charged. Weeks after the podcast aired, Teresa and Bethany were found alive. They had gone into hiding under new identities. Covering that case and seeing the outcome has been an emotional roller coaster for us who work on the show. We can only imagine what it must be like for the family. We recently did an update on this case and hope to do more in the future.”
If you would like to learn more about this podcast. Here is the main website: https://linktr.ee/thevanishedpodcast