Natalie Levy and Michael Costa tell true crime stories in the local area of Washington DC and the surrounding cities about killers, and violent acts. Their stories usually end up with the victims getting justice, but some go unsolved. Humorous notes for the show include Michael's complete confusion and fascination with housekeeping and his shock and awe of the stories Natalie researches. Then, of course, there are two adorable dogs that get mentioned or heard on the podcast as well.
Detective Society is a sponsor of The Articles of Antiquity so get to know them a little more below!
Who are you and what is the Podcast called?
We are Natalie Levy and Michael Costa, newlyweds living in Washington, DC. And our podcast is called Detective Society, it focuses on true crime in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland areas.
How long have you been running the podcast?
We just launched in November of 2016, but we've been talking about recording a podcast together for much longer.
Natalie: I always really believed that Michael has a gift for engaging with people, and a way to speaking to them and about them that is really endearing, so I spent the past 2 years talking about launching a podcast and trying to get him to agree to cohost with me!
Michael: We listen to a lot of podcasts, and then one day we said why don't we start our own? Then through Natalie's drive and determination we got this show off the ground. I keep saying we but really it's her, she puts in the work.
Why are you doing this podcast/ what got you interested in the subject matter?
It probably started because we both listen to so many podcasts. We love them and listen to them all time. Eventually, you begin to say to yourself, "this is really accessible, and I want to be part of it".
Natalie: As far as the subject matter, I'm not sure that both of us totally love it. I have always been weirdly fascinated with true crime and murder. I think it might be genetic, because my parents are both equally obsessed. My dad was possibly too lenient with us, letting me stay up and watch 60 Minutes or Cold Case Files with him, even though I was waaaay too young for that kind of stuff. That's probably why I'm so normal and well-adjusted.
Michael, on the other hand, mostly cohosts just to placate me. I think he enjoys the podcasting, but not so much the subjects. After all, the stories we tell can be horribly dark, and they never have a happy ending. There's something about exploring the really terrible things that people do to each other that comes easier to women than men. Sometimes I think it's because we are so much more likely to be victimized. It makes me feel more secure and less anxious to know the details of what a predator might do, while I think it just stresses Mike out!
Michael: I am very much along for the ride, true crime isn't really my thing which I think adds a nice dynamic to our recordings. We both approach the shows topic from very different vantages.
What are your hopes for the podcast in terms of future episodes?
Natalie: A more consistent schedule. I love making the show, but my day job is really very demanding. I would love to be able to do one show per week, but that's so ambitious for us right now.
Michael: Spring can be very busy around our house. So I think maybe finding time for more research, and there has been talk about doing a reverse detective society where I host and do the research and read the story to Natalie.
Most intriguing podcast episode thus far?
Natalie: Dontee Stokes! Our very first mini-episode was the ultimate revenge story! Dontee Stokes was a young man living in Baltimore who was victimized by a community leader. I don't want to ruin it, in case people want to go back and listen, but if you're a fan of vigilante justice stories, you should give it a try. I will say this, a man is abused by a priest as a child, so if that's a trigger for you, approach with caution. Though, to be fair, we try not to get too gratuitous with the details.
Mike: So Natalie already called Dontee, so maybe intriguing is the wrong word but the one that has stuck with me, that I still think about because I found it so disturbing was the Banita Jacks case. She was a mother of three, her husband dies and she starts to lose it. She locks her three teenage daughters in the house until the demons possessing them leave, she let all three of them die in that house.
Any fun hate mail/fan mail stories yet?
Natalie: We got our first one-star review recently, it just reads "annoying af". At least he got right to the point, we can respect that.
Mike: We one time got an email from a local cop with an episode suggestion, I thought that was really cool, its this legendary DC mystery that I know Natalie has been dying to get too.
If you were stranded on an island what 5 things would you need?
Natalie: I am more obsessed with survival techniques than I care to admit, but I'm thinking you don't want to hear about matches and food supplies I'm assuming I can't bring Michael with me, so if I were stranded on an island I would need
- Our dog Billie
- Our dog Rusty (if I have to suffer through this order, I might as well have 2 amazing pups to keep me company)
- Sun glasses, I can't be worrying about crow's feet all day
- A continuously re-readable book, 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman is probably my top choice
- Tweezers, because when I am eventually rescued, the first thing my family sees cannot be my ridiculous unibrow.
- A boat
- A radio
- A map
- A compass
- My 90's dance mix
If you could do a podcast on any crime scene mystery what would you want to do?
Natalie: OOOHHH this is SUCH a good one. I'm having so much trouble pinning down just one. There is one that has been on my list for a while, The Freeway Phantom. Those murders were the reason I began this podcast. In the seventies, young black girls were being snatch off the street and then forced to call their parents before being brutalized and murdered. They never solved the case, and those girls never got justice. It's a story that stays with you.
Mike: Freeway Phantom was the one I referenced earlier that the cop emailed about. I keep trying to push Natalie to do more political murders and assassinations. When are we doing Lincoln?
What kind of podcasts are you listening to?
Natalie: I listen to a pretty broad range. Even though I'm most excited about other true crime podcasts, I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, I really love 'My Brother, My Brother, and Me' and the iconic ' Doug Loves Movies'. I also really enjoy listening to hosts whose voices I find soothing, Roman Mars of '99 Percent Invisible' and Pheobe Judge of 'Criminal' are my current favorites.
Mike: So I really nerd out for history podcasts, like Revolutions podcast and Hardcore History. I also have gotten into The Bugle with Andy Zaltzman, it is real zany news satire, that in these uncertain times I find relaxing. Oh I also listen to The Dollop, maybe too much.
If you could go back into time where would you go?
Natalie: This is very selfish, but I would go back in time to when I was a kid so I could just give myself a pep-talk. Growing up, I was (and continue to be) completely riddled with anxiety. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and talk to that little girl, just let her know everything is going to be (relatively) okay, tell her you're going to meet the man of your dreams, and he will actually totally like you back, then you're going to have amazing adventures together, you'll kind of figure out what you're doing with your life, and you're going to be happy one day. Is that totally lame? I'd probably leave the Donald Trump presidency out of it, though.
Mike: November 5th 1955 (I really like Back to the Future)