Marlene Sharp is a creative and business-savvy entertainment multi-hyphenate who originally hails from New Orleans but is now a (San Fernando) Valley girl. Firmly ensconced in LA life, Marlene is top dawg at Pink Poodle Productions and Head of IP Strategy and Acquisitions for Rainshine Entertainment. Noteworthy clients and collaborators include BoredPanda.com, WeFixYourScript.com, ToonBo, Society Cabaret, Euramco Pictures, and The Center for Learning Unlimited/Brainstorm Productions. Prior to Pink Poodle and Rainshine, Marlene served as Director, Production at LEVEL-5 abby, home of YO-KAI WATCH and other Japanese hit video game-based franchises.
Dog author’s note: Hello, you doggone bitches! It’s me, Blanche and my mama Marlene. There are two of us writers for this retrospective that has a running gag of mighty number two and is the second annual of its kind. This big piece debuts on January 2, covers the year 2022, and is in two parts. Most important, there’s the literal dropping of deuces but never gratuitously. Consider yourselves duly, dutifully, and doo-doo-tily noted.
Disclaimers aside, ‘tis the season that we break from Mama’s usual cartoon and toy pontifications, and report on what really matters: canines in conflict and immersive audio experiences about them. As a duo, our favorite subject is our stories, and by ‘our stories,’ we mean the leisurely pursuit of grisly law enforcement tales (and tails) that star cat and cur . . . but mostly cur. By golly, it’s a new year, and we aim to unleash the prize-winning hounds right here!
Stakes are high to be our best 2022 true crime dog podcast. There are lots of non-fiction, flea bag soundscapes that compete for Mama’s and my attention, and only a few make the cut. You’ll see the official Best 2022 True Crime Dog Podcast episode countdown list below.
However, this year, high stakes (and in one vintage case, actual steaks) earmark our entire article, because Mama and I are angling for our own talk show, appropriately entitled DOGGONE CRIME! In the following, we chronicle the year’s sound hits, but our secret-not-so-secret subtext is to snag a sponsor for an in-development, mother-doggie daughter weekly recorded show. Our Pink Poodle Productions aspires to join the pedigree of other powerhouse dog-named, true crime audio production companies, such as AudioChuck and LunaShark. It’s healthy competition!
In terms of major media grubstakers for our eventual star vehicle, Mama and I have a plan. Mama and I believe that listeners’ queues need an authentic, edge-of-your-booster-seat, pup-and-her-pet-parent anthology true crime dog series presented under the banner of a trustworthy pet brand, such as a DNA analysis service. After all, DNA unites everyone, especially us citizen detectives! In fact, we have particular underwriters in mind! To learn their identities, one must read to the end of the following bark fest. This sentence right here is merely the hindquarter of the dog author’s note . .
Without further ado-doo, here is our list of the top 2022 true crime podcast episodes that feature unforgettable pooches as major players:
10) CRIMINAL (December 16, 2022), “Dog in the bed, cat in the bag, camel on the golf course” – Host Phoebe Judge spins several crazy dog, cat, and humpty-hump yarns in this installment. The one that takes the cake – or rather, the steak – is the 1908 newspaper account of a hero dog who resorts to kid tipping (like cow tipping, but with children) for guaranteed beefy rewards.
9) THE DAILY CRIME (August 9, 2022), “The best tool that money can buy” – Each summer, there’s an annual arson dog recertification convention in Maine. Vault Studios attends the 2022 edition, and heaps praise on the heroes at hand.
8) JURY DUTY: THE TRIAL OF ROBERT DURST(September 23, 2022), “The pack of canines,” Episode 149, Season 1 Bonus Episode 20 – This is a staged reading of a classic CrimeStory.com article about the late Robert Durst murder trial and related events. Specifically, the piece (originally published on May 1, 2020) discusses the importance of canines to various key players in the Los Angeles court proceedings. Journalist Chris Tarricone reads his take on the doomed dogs of Durst; at various points during his marriage to missing wife Kathie McCormack, Durst had a veritable pack of Alaskan Malamutes named Igor; all died under suspicious circumstances. Prosecutor John Lewin employs an anecdote about his naughty Great Dane Boomer in a lesson about circumstantial evidence. The true protagonist herein is the slain Susan Berman’s wire hair terrier Lulu who alerted Benedict Canyon neighbors to dire straits at home.
7) BADLANDS (November 2, 2022) “Michael Vick: shallow graves, dogfights, and self-destruction” – Remember that old, man’s best friend-murdering NFL player whose downfall befell him in his own Virginia backyard? Well, his name does not deserve repetition. But this episode deals with him and his heinous acts against innocent animals.
6) TRUE CRIME TO-GO (March 3, 2022) “Paparazzi” – As clever comediennes and wordsmiths, Mama and I want to retitle this episode thus: “Pup-erazzi!” Hosts Jamie and John describe the saga of Lady Gaga’s kidnapped mini bulldogs and their subsequent rescue.
5) MISSING ERICA BAKER (June 22, 2022) “When night becomes day” – In early 1999, Erica Baker, a 9-year-old girl, goes missing during a dog walk with her Shi-Tzu Jamie. Muppet, an elderly couple’s dog, is instrumental in Jamie’s recovery and the ensuing search for Erica. We pause here to mention Pod People, all-around pup lovers and excellent producers of this particular podcast and other fine programs. That brings us to . . .
The End (of Part 1)
Sit and stay for part 2 . . . . Coming soon!