James Ellroy Moves Into Podcasting With ‘Hollywood Death Trip’ Via Audio Up

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Peter White
·2 min read
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EXCLUSIVE: James Ellroy, the Demon Dog of American literature, is time-tripping back to hellacious Hollyweird in a five-part podcast series.

The L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia author has teamed up with podcast firm Audio Up – the company behind Where The Bodies Are Buried and Michael Cohen’s Mea Culpa – to produce Hollywood Death Trip, a series that will take listeners on a nocturnal tour of murder and mayhem in LA.

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The series, based on his own true crime reporting, will be narrated by Ellroy and will tell the story of a slew of memorable mid-century murders.

Episodes include Glamour Jungle, which explores the 1963 unsolved murder of Karyn Kupcinet, daughter of Irv Kupcinet, famed columnist and friend to mobsters. Stephanie tells the haunting tale of Stephanie Gorman, who met an untimely end in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1965. Clash By Night fast forwards to 1976, to the murder of Rebel Without a Cause star Sal Mineo. The series concludes with a two-part episode – Body Dumps and My Mother’s Killer, which tells the story of the 1958 murder of Ellroy’s own mother.

Each episode will feature period music, archival radio and cinematic sound design or as Ellroy calls it “mellifluous” music, “socko” sound effects and “rip- roaring radio at its boffo best”.

The podcast series is set to launch in August, coming hot on the hells of Ellroy’s latest novel, Widespread Panic, which will be published on June 15. Widespread Panic features fictionalized exploits of legendary Hollywood fixer Fred Otash, a corrupt cop-turned-private eye, shakedown artist, and strongman in 1950’s Los Angeles. Otash, who has played a supporting role in three of Ellroy’s previous novels, now takes center stage in Ellroy’s latest book.

“Summer ’21 is the soil-your-soul season of the Demon Dog,” said Ellroy. “I’m a rapacious reader of my own work, and I’m here to rip and revitalize radio – and run it raw. And that’s no shivering shit, Daddy-O.”

“Nothing moves the needle in this medium like true crime. To work with the master himself to create a first of its kind series that harkens back to the golden age of tabloid radio is a dream come true,” said Audio Up’s Chief Creative Officer Jimmy Jellinek.

“James Ellroy’s first ever podcast series is the perfect addition to our growing slate of prestige programming that will see Audio Up become an HBO for your ears in the coming months. I can’t wait to reveal what else we have in the hopper. But for now, Ellroy and true crime is a match made in heaven,” added Audio Up founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt.

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