The Vanished (podcast)

The Vanished is a weekly podcast that focuses on the stories and circumstances of missing people, hosted by Marissa Jones. Most episodes feature interviews with the friends and family of the missing person, and sometimes the local law enforcement.[1]

The Vanished Podcast
Hosted byMarissa Jones
GenreTrue crime
Created byMarissa Jones
Written byMarissa Jones (with Erika Gwynn or Anna Priestland for some episodes)
Narrated byMarissa Jones
ProductionMarissa Jones
Audio formatpodcast
No. of episodes278 as of April 2021
Original releaseFebruary 2016 – present

Since its launch in February 2016, The Vanished has received over 51 million downloads,[2] and is currently part of the Wondery network.[3][4] The show attempts to focus on people whose cases have been ignored by the media, such as people who are drug users or sex workers.[5][6][7] Jones told the Daily Press, "A lot of our cases are not the ones that make the national headlines . . . So to have the chance to give these families a voice is very rewarding.”[8]

Its tagline is "Covering missing persons, one episode at a time."[9] Jones also has described the show as "Stories of the missing from those who knew them best."[10]


Jones is the founder, producer, creator, and host.[11] Erika Gwynn, of the podcast Apex and the Abyss, co-writes some of the episodes.[12][13][14] Anna Priestland has also written some.[15][16][17][18]

Jones started the show in 2016 as a hobby,[19] then in 2017, left her job as a paralegal to work on the show full-time.[20][1] She was partly inspired to start the podcast because of her great-grandfather, who disappeared in Philadelphia in 1928.[21][1][22][10]

Families' involvementEdit

Of her strategy creating the show, Jones said, "I have a case-submission form on my website and anybody can fill that out. It’s really mostly aimed at family and friends to fill it out because the show’s interview based. So what I do is I go out and talk to people, I request case files from the police department… I go in and I try to research any avenue I can get to bring new information to the public."[23]

On social media, Jones said, "The whole point of the show is to give a voice to those who are searching for a missing loved one. I can't narrate their grief and pain. That is why interviews are so impactful."[24]

Notable casesEdit

Some notable cases the podcast has covered include those of Evelyn Hartley, Annie McCarrick, and Jessica Heeringa.


A number of the featured people have been found deceased in the months and years following the airing of their episodes. Some of these people include Ebby Steppach,[25] David Gipson Smith,[26][27] Paige Johnson,[28][29] Marty Teague,[30][31] Holly Cantrell,[32][33] Savannah Spurlock,[34][35][36] Paul Miller,[37][38][39] Jacob Hilkin,[40][41][42][43] Eric Pracht,[44][45] Emily Noble,[46][47][48] Randy Cuddy,[49][50] Carolyn Riggin,[51][52] and Zachary Kennedy.[53][54][55]


Buzzfeed called the show "haunting, mini melodramas of loss."[3]

Hillary Nelson, writing for Vulture, said, "The Vanished is absolutely heartbreaking. But the missing-persons series is an incredible service that allows listeners to submit their own stories, thus humanizing the worst moment in someone’s life. Bring your tissues."[56] In another review, Nelson called it "possibly one of the best podcasts on reporting missing people out there."[6]

Zoe Donaldson, writing for Oprah Magazine, called Jones "an empathetic ally."[57]

Stephanie Osmanski from included it on a list of "32 True Crime Podcasts Worthy of an Immediate Binge-Listen."[58]

Marc Hoover, writing for the Clermont Sun, called the show "educational. It goes into great depth about sex trafficking and drug addiction. Unfortunately, many people on the podcast either have arrest records or past drug addictions. Regardless, just because a person has a drug addiction or criminal record, it doesn’t mean their case is any less deserving in receiving media coverage."[19]

Writing for the National Post, Chris Selley said, "Often [Jones] just lets missing people’s families and friends talk, unedited, at great length, about the person they’re missing, and it’s incredibly compelling. These are people from all walks of life, from all over North America. Time and again I’m astonished at how eloquent they are, even in describing unimaginable agony. I feel weirdly connected to total strangers."[59]

In April 2020, GQ included it on a list of the best podcasts to listen to while self-isolating, saying, "The Vanished is an unnerving but addictive listen; each episode is dedicated to someone who seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Nearly all of the cases they’ve explored remain unsolved, but host Marissa Jones has a gift of taking you inside the hidden lives of missing persons. For an example, check out the four-part series on the disappearance of Amos Mortier, where Jones lands exclusive interviews from family, friends, and law enforcement to piece together a case from 2004."[60]

In August 2020, Marie Claire included it on a list of 50 best true crime podcasts, and called it "extremely gripping."[61]

In September 2020, Denise Hamilton, writing for Alta, noted that The Vanished "provides a valuable public space where relatives and strangers alike can gather, mourn, rage, hypothesize, and hope."[62]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Cooper, Gael Fashingbauer. "The podcast that gives a voice to people who disappear without a trace". CNET. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  2. ^ "Tri-state cold case of missing girl gets national attention on 'The Vanished'". Fox 19 Now. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  3. ^ a b "7 Great True Crime Podcasts To Get Your Mind Off The Coronavirus". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  4. ^ "The Vanished Podcast". Wondery - Feel The Story. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  5. ^ "The Best True Crime Podcasts To Listen To While You're Stuck Indoors". Oxygen Official Site. 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  6. ^ a b Editors, Vulture (2018-12-06). "This Week in True-Crime Podcasts: Broken Harts, Cold, and More". Vulture. Retrieved 2020-04-04.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Irish Examiner". Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  8. ^ Baker, Paola. "Family of Randy Cuddy hopes 'Vanished' podcast leads to clues of his whereabouts". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  9. ^ "The Vanished Podcast". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  10. ^ a b Gent, James (2018-02-09). "Podcast of the Week: The Vanished » We Are Cult". We Are Cult. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  11. ^ cristin (2018-11-14). "TNW26: The Vanished Podcast with Marissa Jones". The Notable Woman. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  12. ^ "The Vanished Podcast". ART19. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  13. ^ "Dale Williams from The Vanished Podcast". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  14. ^ "Lisa Prescott from The Vanished Podcast". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  15. ^ Wells, Peter (2019-09-04). "Anna Priestland had an idea, so she emailed her favourite podcasters". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  16. ^ "EPISODE 178: Eric Pracht". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  17. ^ "EPISODE 132: Kimberly Moreau". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  18. ^ "EPISODE 131: Ronald Sallee". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  19. ^ a b Hoover, Marc (2018-12-20). "'The Vanished' true crime podcast". The Clermont Sun. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  20. ^ "Vanished podcast marissa jones — Mysterious Stories Blog". Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  21. ^ "Comp Time with Marissa Jones | The Feral Scribe". Free Online Training Course For Freelance Technical Writer. 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  22. ^ "The Vanished | Articles on Podchaser". Podchaser. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  23. ^ "The Vanished | Articles on Podchaser". Podchaser. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  24. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-07-10. External link in |title= (help)
  25. ^ "EPISODE 69: Ebby Steppach". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  26. ^ "Remains found in Maryland woods identified as missing New Jersey man". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  27. ^ "EPISODE 99: David Gipson Smith". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  28. ^ "Paige Johnson's remains found: What we know about the case of the NKY teen who went missing in 2010". WCPO. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  29. ^ "EPISODE 210: Paige Johnson". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  30. ^ Kiefer, Ross. "Family, police confirm Marty Teague's body has been found". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  31. ^ "EPISODE 195: Marty Dean Teague". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  32. ^ Griffin, David. "Homicide Investigation Opens After Remains Identified As McAlester Woman Missing Since 2017". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  33. ^ "EPISODE 135: Holly Cantrell". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  34. ^ "EPISODE 188: Savannah Spurlock". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  35. ^ Kobin, Billy. "What's the latest in the Savannah Spurlock murder case? Another delay". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  36. ^ Ratterman, Lexie. "Family marks grim anniversary of Savannah Spurlock's disappearance". WDRB. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  37. ^ Barkas, Sherry. "'It has been a tough journey,' widow of Canadian Paul Miller says after remains found in Joshua Tree ID'd". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  38. ^ "EPISODE 198: Paul Miller". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  39. ^ "Paul Miller - Strange disappearances from U.S. national Parks". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  40. ^ "EPISODE 117: Jacob Hilkin". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  41. ^ "EPISODE 137: Jacob Hilkin Part 2". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  42. ^ "Skeletal remains found in Marysville, Washington believed to be Jacob Hilkin missing since 2018". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  43. ^ Hutton, Caleb (2020-02-13). "Dental records confirm identity of remains found in Tulalip". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  44. ^ "Remains found near Green Mountain in Lakewood identified as paramedic missing since 2016". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  45. ^ "EPISODE 178: Eric Pracht". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  46. ^ "EPISODE 246: Emily Noble". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  47. ^ "Emily Noble's sister-in-law calls finding of body 'absolutely suspicious'". Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  48. ^ Gunderson, Jarrod Clay, Kalea (2020-09-22). "Police believe body found in Westerville is Emily Noble". WSYX. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  49. ^ Estacio, Martin. "Family 'OK with moving on' after remains of missing Apple Valley man found in Victorville". Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  50. ^ "EPISODE 170: Randy Cuddy". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  51. ^ "One Month Following Tragic Discovery, Family of Missing Grandmother Desperate for Answers". NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  52. ^ "EPISODE 255: Carolyn Riggins". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  53. ^ "EPISODE 108: Zachary Kennedy". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  54. ^ "EPISODE 257: Case Update- Zachary Kennedy". The Vanished Podcast. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  55. ^ "Man Arrested for Alleged Murder of Missing Long Beach Man". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-12-05.
  56. ^ Nelson, Hillary (2018-07-30). "52 Great True-Crime Podcasts". Vulture. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  57. ^ Donaldson, Zoe (2018-07-15). "5 True-Crime Podcasts You'll Be Addicted to Immediately". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  58. ^ Osmanski, Stephanie (2020-07-09). "32 True Crime Podcasts Worthy of an Immediate Binge-Listen". Parade. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  59. ^ "Chris Selley: Mocking reaction to 'we're on meth' campaign is the problem it's trying to combat". National Post. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  60. ^ Groundwater, Colin. "The Best Podcasts to Listen to in Self-Isolation". GQ. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  61. ^ Rodriguez, Bianca; Roberts, Kayleigh (2020-08-27). "The True Crime Podcasts We've Been Addicted to This Year". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  62. ^ Hamilton, Denise (2020-09-29). "The Rise of the True-Crime Podcast". Alta Online. Retrieved 2020-10-23.

External linksEdit