True Crime Florida Style
Dick Crandall is not your average 78-year-old Florida retiree unless the retirees you know roll around trailer parks with fat pockets of prescription pills for sale. Add onto that pretty picture a drug-addicted younger girlfriend and her drug-addicted son both shacking up with Dick and you have got yourself some good old fashion chaos brewing up in the small coastal town of Brevard County in Florida.
To further lend to the insanity of this story and to prove true life is far more bonkers than any Hollywood script, Dick’s ex-girlfriend happens to be his current girlfriend’s sister and the two sisters along with the addict son are all thick as thieves.
All of this Florida born madness can only mean one thing and that is the true crime podcast series Murder On The Space Coast is back for season number 4. This time around they got another doozy on their hands.
A Platform For Justice
John Albert Torres from Florida Today, part of the USA Today network, looks to once again dutifully maintain his podcasting ethos of fighting for justice by pulling at all the investigative strings stemming from the story all the while keeping us highly entertained.
There are plenty of true crime podcasts that revel in blood, guts, and gore but there are few that investigate and advocate for justice quite like Murder On The Space Coast does. They bring cases that were seemingly left out in the cold back to the foreground of public scrutiny. These are cases where corruption and or bad policing potentially ruined lives. Torres, through the vehicle of the podcast, is able to shine an investigative light once again.
Do not get me wrong, Murder On The Space Coast spares no queazy detail and at times leaves you breathless from the recounting of the havoc and mayhem that humans can unleash on one another. But at the end of the day, the show stands on their investigative principles as a true crime podcast and serves to give voice to the voiceless while entertaining the masses.
The Wrong Man?
In season number 4, we are introduced to a man serving life in prison for the murder of our aforementioned prescription pill wielding retiree. This story of a potential wrongful conviction, like several stories documented on seasons past of Murder On The Space Coast, is heartbreaking.
The gut-wrenching details of Jeff Abramowski being potentially wrongfully jailed for life are further compounded in sadness when we hear how his life got upended into opiate drug addiction through a significant injury suffered through a freak car accident.
Jeff Abramowski does not have the makeup and backstory of a vicious murderer. He served admirably in the coast guard for years, worked multiple jobs to be an earner for his family, and was wholeheartedly committed to parenting his daughter in an unconditional and loving manner that was never afforded to him when growing up.
Jeff’s story of becoming drug-addled with prescription pills by attempting to manage pain on the heels of significant physical trauma to his body is not an uncommon phenomenon in our world and it is a damn shame.
It feels like the medical community has failed countless individuals who are in need of a true method of managing pain but instead doctors allow these patients to trade their souls for the temporary relief of discomfort through a highly addictive substance like opiates.
I am not unveiling a major series twist nor is any spoiler alert required when I share that the traveling three-ring circus of Dick’s girlfriend, her son, and her sister, are revealed to be rather significant players in the circumstances surrounding Dick’s murder.
The three of them could be a podcast series unto themselves and it truly makes you wonder about the lives some people are out there living in this world.
Beyond The Narration
Investigative journalist, series producer, and host, John Albert Torres, continues to do a masterful job of weaving elements into the production like interviews, actual police interrogation audio, as well as his much-needed color commentary and scorecard keeping of the various figures and timelines that populate this entire tragic situation.
Torres walks the fine line of sharing his perspective and gut reaction to the story as it unfolds but always lets the facts from the case and his investigative ethics be the driving force behind the narration.
Torres follows the clues and leads where they take him and stays dispassionate in chasing down the many twists and turns but also never shies away from calling out potential impropriety or potential criminal wrongdoing by the police and prosecutors.
Anyone who is a diehard fan from past seasons of Murder On The Space Coast is all too familiar with the recurring themes of shoddy police work and even more disheartening conspiratorial practices by prosecutors like trumping up jailhouse snitches to give false testimony. Those themes and disturbing practices rear their ugly heads once again here in season 4.
Respect For The Mission
I have such respect for John Albert Torres and Florida Today for their approach in producing true crime genre podcast episodes. Many creators out there could leave listeners aghast with gory details and shocking revelations but few could go to the investigative lengths that Torres has in shining a much-needed light on corruption and sloppy police work.
If Murder On The Space Coast was not producing and publishing these shows who would be bringing these cases out and into the public eye? Who would be advocating we take a second look at some of the lives that are being wasted away in jail cells over potentially mishandled or even worse corrupted casework?
For the tragic stories that reside in a small coastal town in Florida, we have Murder On The Space Coast fighting for the side of truth and justice. Thankfully, we podcast obsessed listeners get to strap in and go along for the ride.
Do check out Season 4 of Murder On The Space Coast and get immersed in yet another true crime story that is way further out there than any tale Hollywood could dream up.