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The Ballad of Billy Balls / The RFK Tapes
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The Ballad of Billy Balls / The RFK Tapes

Author: Crimetown Presents

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Crimetown Presents is an investigative anthology podcast series created by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. Every season they introduce you to a new serialized story that pushes the boundaries of storytelling, sound design and music.


Season Two, The Ballad of Billy Balls*: it’s 1982, and a man bursts into an East Village storefront apartment and shoots punk musician Billy Balls. Author and activist iO Tillett Wright and Crimetown Producer Austin Mitchell unravel a mystery of love and loss, the tender binds of family, and the stories we tell ourselves just to survive.


Season One, The RFK Tapes: Zac Stuart-Pontier and Bill Klaber take a trip down a rabbit hole surrounding the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Featuring never-before heard police recordings, The RFK Tapes starts out a murder investigation and ends up revealing the power of conspiracy theories, and why it’s human nature to believe in them.


* scroll down to see the episodes of Crimetown Presents: The Ballad of Billy Balls.
38 Episodes
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iO, Austin, and Zac sit down for a very special behind-the-scenes bonus episode.
iO and Austin pay a final visit to everyone's favorite lawslinger, Ron Kuby.
From the same team behind The Ballad of Billy Balls comes Crimetown, Season 2. This season, Crimetown heads to Detroit, Michigan. From its heyday as the Motor City to its rebirth as the Brooklyn of the Midwest, Detroit’s history reflects a series of issues that strike at the heart of American identity: race, poverty, policing, loss of industry, the war on drugs, and our universal desire for a savior. Detroit’s a tough town, and its residents are even tougher. They’ve weathered riots, a drug epidemic, political scandal, and innumerable other hardships, but they’re still here—and they have stories to tell.Learn more at www.crimetownshow.com.
iO returns some of the many compelling listener calls, while Austin checks in with old friends.
In the afterglow of the season, we play some voicemails we've received from our wonderful listeners.
As the show comes to an end, iO tries to figure out what the wisdom of it is.
The elusive character at the center of the mystery is found, and iO gets his story.
iO takes Rebecca on a trip 37 years in the making.
iO's upbringing pushes him to a life or death moment, and his path toward healing leads straight to Billy.
Rebecca's grief in the years following Billy’s death leads her to an unlikely source of comfort, and a big surprise.
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Comments (104)

Arina Fenic

idk why you're trusting a fuckin cop over Billy but ok

Aug 26th
Reply

yoyo_mama

cried. criiiied

Aug 23rd
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Saronna Alldredge Hand

Amazing job on this! Really loved it. Thanks for putting yourself out there, iO. So many of us have been in similar situations with our mothers and it was good to hear you handling your mother with grace. Great job to Austin as well!

Aug 8th
Reply

Samuel Anderson

Saronna Alldredge Hand Excellent podcasts!

Aug 9th
Reply

Michael Walters

Wow Badass, Thank You

Aug 5th
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Gabriel

Michael Walters : )

Aug 5th
Reply

Michael Walters

Soo Badass, Thank You

Aug 2nd
Reply

yoyo_mama

and also, the podcast was really really great. amazing job. well done.

Jul 21st
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Colbert Williams

yoyo_mama Excellent! Great job!

Jul 22nd
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yoyo_mama

geeeeeewwww - whelp. listening to her talk to her mother about it is...like every conversation I have with my father. about anything.

Jul 21st
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Colbert Williams

yoyo_mama Yes, I sometimes have the same feeling!

Jul 22nd
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Nicole Smith

The conversation with Brian.....surprise tear jerker.

Jul 18th
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Archie Smith

Nicole Smith yes...

Jul 19th
Reply

Yevette Baker

Billy gave your mom a security she never had. She was young and in love for the first and last time in her life. You my friend are an extraordinary human being, talented, smart and going places people only dream of going. Your work here was outstanding and it is my prayer that YOU can heal and allow yourself to go forward. You can't save what doesn't want to be saved, so SAVE yourself. AND CONTINUE knocking out socks off with your talent. ✌💜💙💛💚

Jul 12th
Reply

Yevette Baker

I can hardly imagine what our parents were going thru during the 60's. I was born in 61 and to young to feel the effects of these tragedies. But it must of felt as if the world was falling apart. This is a GREAT, well detailed, well told pod cast of an extreme TRAGEDY. Whether you which side you believe it will always remain in history as one of the most horrific decades.

Jul 10th
Reply

Jacqueline Anderson

You are chasing realities that you believe exist. But, they do not. Your mother was an emotional wreck prior to the death of William. William was just an excuse for her neglect and abuse.

Jul 5th
Reply

Adam Vb Byrne

congrats on the podcast. really enjoyed it. nosotros papaya

Jul 5th
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Tim Pearl

not sure I appreciate the saucy language.

Jun 20th
Reply

ABR

Tim Pearl You made it this far in the podcast, so... ?

Jun 21st
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William Huffaker

thank you so much for putting into words a life I lived. I spent almost the entire episode with tears in my eyes. what an incredible story and this episode spoke volumes. i can't wait to share it with my little sister.

Jun 12th
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Alexis Dolan

I love Io as well.

Jun 8th
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Myra Russell

I love the podcast and IO. ❤❤

Jun 6th
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Florentine Janine

I'm enjoying this podcast indefinitely!! Thank you for producing this gem of a true crime story. I hope you I hear that we find justice for your raw and sweet AF mom!! 💜

Jun 5th
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B

More like the Ballad of IO... The first two episodes were fine, but the rest have been narcissistic, overly dramatic, biopod of an unknown host's family. My question - who cares? Should have stuck with the police cover up and kept it moving. Wholly uninteresting except if you are a close friend or family of the host.

May 31st
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Richard Dvorak

B Agreed. I feel duped. it was sold as a murder mystery but turned out to be a biopic of IO. I like the music and production of it all but it is all fluff, no substance.

Jun 3rd
Reply

Jonas Grumbie

B I'm quickly losing interest as well. I do enjoy the attorney interactions, but I think we're finished with those.

May 31st
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Joel Thomas

this season sets a new high bar for sound design and production quality!

May 28th
Reply

Richard Meriwether II

Season 1 basically goes nowhere? I'm still on the last episode but it sounds like he concludes that there is no mind control or anything.

May 21st
Reply
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