The eighth and final episode of the hit podcast The Clearing was released today, covering the shocking story of April Balascio, who turned in her father after learning he was a serial killer, a story featured on a 2018 cover of PEOPLE.
The final episode opens with a monologue by her father, killer Edward Wayne Edwards, who prior to his capture as a serial killer had fashioned himself as a reformed criminal who wrote a book and gave speeches about his supposed reformation. In the chilling monologue, Edwards is practicing his routine as a kindly family man who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
It’s an eerie moment: A man who fatally shot teenagers canoodling on “lover’s lane” gives an impassioned speech into a recorder about “what love means.”
But it’s also the last we hear of him on the podcast, as the show quickly shifts to April, and her trip with host and journalist Josh Dean to visit the family of one of her father’s murder victims in Wisconsin.
Dean and April believe Edwards committed far more murders than he was ever accused of, and there are moments in the podcast where it seems they’re coming close to linking him to more murders. But Edwards died on death row in 2011 at age 77, and solving murders decades later is no easy task, even when the killer’s daughter is helping.
“We talked a lot about how to the bring the show to an ending that felt satisfying,” Dean says. “That’s hard when there’s no perfect ending.”
However, Dean believes that April has stared down her dad’s past to give victims’ families “closure,” and in this she is heroic. “But I also know she’ll probably always feel like there’s more she can do,” he adds.
Listen to The Clearing, produced by Pineapple Street and Gimlet Media on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or wherever you find your podcasts.