To Live and Die in LA is a true crime investigation podcast. The story covers the disappearance and death of Adea Shabani, covering her life, her friends, and all the questions surrounding the end of her life.
The “true crime” genre of podcasts has some genuine hits, but some solid misses as well. Thankfully, Live and Die in LA is solidly in the hit category. Journalist Neil Strauss investigates the disappearance and death of Adea Shabani – an aspiring actress in LA of Albanian and Macedonian decent. Strauss starts by covering the story as known by the police, and then goes on a journey spanning weeks and multiple states.
This is genuinely the kind of storytelling that is best suited to the format of a podcast – this would be unbelievably over complicated to read in an article or a book, but is a pleasure to listen to as an episodic audio tale. The stories, as told by the individual interviews and the investigations Strauss conducts, draw you in and the time just flies by. The depth of the investigation is impressive, and perhaps even a bit frightening in how thorough it was. It is genuinely inspiring to see the depths of detail that Strauss can discover through his investigations, and a bit educational when you think of the footprints (real or metaphorical) that we all leave in the world around us.
Throughout the process of this investigation, Strauss never fails to treat the individuals involved as humans – he tells their stories (or lets them tell their own stories) in a way that makes them undeniably real. It’s a sad story, but a sad story that is well told can still be a pleasure to listen to. If you’re into the true crime investigation genre of podcasts (similar to Serial and others of the sort) this is definitely worth a listen.
Alex Conde works in content marketing and has a deep love for good stories and good food. He also believes that every dog deserves a home – check out Redemption Paws