People are fascinated by true-crime stories. It's evident in the television programs and documentaries that are strewn across the network and on-demand landscape. The topic is especially hot right now in the podcasting realm.
South Florida's Mike Boudet has taken this fascination and turned it into an award-winning podcast that rivals podcasts like Serial and S-Town in popularity and reach.
Boudet, who's been enthralled by the justice system since youth, is the creator of Sword and Scale.
"I think it represents the purest form of human drama," Boudet said about his fascination with crime. "We wonder what motivates [criminals], what makes them tick."
Boudet, an avid fan of talk-radio, has been podcasting for more than 10 years. Previously, he produced smaller scale podcasts about aliens and UFO's before shifting into the true-crime genre.
Sword and Scale began in 2013, while Boudet worked a full-time desk job during the day and worked long nights, up to 30 hours or more per episode, in the first seasons of the podcast. For the first two years, Sword and Scale was Boudet's hobby and did not yield any profits, yet it amassed a consistent following that yearned to hear more true-crime stories. Sword and Scale preceded the huge success of the Serial podcast.
By aligning itself to the Wondery podcast network, Sword and Scale has become profitable. The support of listeners has allowed Boudet and his team to focus entirely on creating future episodes of the podcast, which require extensive screening, fact-checking, interviewing, researching and editing.
The appeal of Sword and Scale comes from Boudet's resourcefulness and unique combination of different mediums to drive the narrative forward. A combination of 9-1-1 tapes, police interrogations and courtroom audio, interviews, and detailed narration is employed to immerse the listener into the very real and gruesome underworld of true-crimes.
"It creates this 360-degree picture of what's happening," said Boudet about Sword and Scale's narrative style, "and the things that are happening are awful."
The stories featured in four seasons and more than 100 episodes include stories of rape, murder with all sorts of weapons, abduction and otherworldly criminal narratives.
Sword and Scale is published biweekly and can be streamed from a plethora of podcast-hosting sites.