Podcast Review: ‘Crime Weekly’ does not sensationalize crime

Weekly podcast focuses on victim rather than perpetrator



YouTuber Stephanie Harlowe and retired detective Derrick Levasseur collaborate on “Crime Weekly,” a true crime podcast that seems to fix everything wrong with true crime content.

TESS DURAND, Evergreen copy chief

True crime is as popular as ever right now. But with that comes a weird and uncomfortable phenomenon — the sensationalization of egregious crimes.

“Ted Bundy is my favorite serial killer!” 

Perhaps this is not an appropriate thing to say. After all, he did brutally murder numerous women.

Far too many true crime platforms talk about murder cases for pure entertainment value. Instead of viewing these crimes as tragic things that happened to real people, they are merely stories — the more brutal the crime, the better the story. 

While there is nothing wrong with indulging in true crime — I dabble myself — we have to remember the victims of these crimes and their families do not deserve to have their tragedies aired out solely for our consumption. 

That is why I have enjoyed the podcast “Crime Weekly.” 

“Crime Weekly” is hosted by Stephanie Harlowe, true crime YouTube creator, and Derrick Levasseur, retired police detective and private investigator. Together, they make a top-notch duo.

The amount of research Harlowe puts into each case surpasses what I have seen from any other true crime content creator. In many cases, she has even gone as far as working with the victim’s family or contacting local authorities to gain more information.

“True Crime is not a passing fancy for Stephanie, it is a lifestyle, through which she feels she can affect real change in the world,” according to the “Crime Weekly” website.

She also has her own YouTube channel where she covers even more cases.

One of my favorite things about this podcast is that they do not center the perpetrator of the crime. Instead, the main focus is on the victim and their story. I find this refreshing because true crime tends to focus so heavily on the perpetrator that the victims are pushed to the side.

Each episode starts with Harlowe giving the background of the victim: who they were, what they accomplished and what they looked forward to in the future. This really humanizes the victim and reminds listeners that this is not just a story; this was a real person who was more than just what happened to them in the last moments of their life.

As Harlowe goes through the details of the case, Levasseur gives his professional perspective on the investigatory aspects. Having an ex-detective on the podcast allows listeners to gain deeper insight into how a case is solved.

Whatever your stance on the police is, Levasseur no doubt has high ethical conduct and looks at each case objectively. He just wants the victim and their family to receive justice.

Harlowe and Levasseur deeply care about the cases they cover. The time and effort they put into each case and the respect they give the victim are evident in every episode.

When they cover cases about crimes that have been solved, they use the episode as an opportunity to give listeners tips on how to stay safe and aware of their surroundings (without victim-blaming). For cold cases, they use the episode to spread awareness in hopes that someone out there has vital information to solve the case.

If you are looking to hear the SparkNotes version of each case, this is not the podcast for you.

“Crime Weekly” delves into each case, usually, in multiple-part episodes. In fact, their series on Caylee Anthony is eight episodes, totaling just over 15 hours of content. The majority of cases they cover tend to be only two or three parts, with episodes ranging from one to two hours.

Another thing I respect about the podcast is when they occasionally get details of a case wrong, they are transparent and correct themselves as soon as it comes to their attention. I think this gives them great credibility and shows they are willing to learn from and fix any mistakes.

As you may have inferred from the name, “Crime Weekly,” episodes are made weekly. New episodes are released every Friday on podcast platforms and uploaded to YouTube on Sundays.

“Crime Weekly” is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Podcasts, Google Podcasts and YouTube. Personally, I prefer to watch it on YouTube because they will often show visuals of things relevant to the case.

So, if you have a long drive coming up or simply need something new to binge, I implore you to give “Crime Weekly” a chance.