It’s 1928 and you’re a child growing up in the Roaring Twenties when all of a sudden your father goes missing. He is never found and you spend the rest of your formative years in foster care with nothing more than the story of his disappearance to pass on to your family. They haven’t stopped wondering what happened several generations later. Which is why Marissa Jones, the great-granddaughter of that lost man, is telling the stories of other lost people on her podcast, The Vanished.
So I grew up with this family mystery, and I think that’s where my specific focus in the genre, which is very missing-persons focused… I was always intrigued by the mystery aspect of things. I used to do a lot of spending my free time researching different cases that interest me, and they were the ones that you weren’t hearing about.
Marissa asked some of her favorite podcasts to cover those cases, but when no one would she decided to do it herself. Her podcast covers the cases that easily get overlooked and tell her listeners the story primarily through interviews and case files.
I have a case-submission form on my website and anybody can fill that out. It’s really mostly aimed at family and friends to fill it out because the show’s interview based. So what I do is I go out and talk to people, I request case files from the police department… I go in and I try to research any avenue I can get to bring new information to the public.
Marissa is filling in the gaps of these missing people’s stories, potentially providing the opportunity for new tips and leads. She is also active in sharing her show on social media and creating conversations about the cases she researches with those in the community.
The Vanished has gotten to see new leads and follow cases that have been reopened due to new information and Marissa has been right there to watch it all, but she isn’t there just for the drama.
The most difficult part is I feel very protective of the families I get to know. For me, it’s very very hard. On social media a lot of times people say things without thinking about how it’s going to affect someone else. For me, these people are already victims and they’ve already been traumatized… I cringe because these families are on there reading these comments.
Marissa believes that everyone deserves to have their stories told, and she doesn’t agree with certain listeners who may blame the missing person for their victimhood. The Vanished is built on the idea that no one deserves to be forced to disappear and every word of the show is carefully scripted to be considerate of those who are being discussed as well as their loved ones.
Marissa is excited to continue connecting with her listeners, meeting some incredibly strong people, telling the stories of the overlooked, and making a more and more interesting show for her audience. So, if you’re fascinated by disappearances and the people who are left behind, check out Marissa’s work on The Vanished and don’t forget to rate and review it to let us know what you think.
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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