Podcasts: ‘to Live and Die in La’ Takes a Deep Dive into an Active Investigation

To Live and Die in LA was announced in February 2019. The first episode, released on February 28, 2019, opens with a recording of an emotional woman accusing someone of beating her. From there the host, Neil Strauss, begins to tell the story of Adea Shabani. The podcast was in production within weeks of Shabani’s disappearance, and what the team manages to find out leads to a tangled and disturbing double life, a web of lies and all eyes focused on a 34-year-old aspiring actor.

What is To Live and Die in LA all about?

To Live and Die in LA is all about the disappearance and death of Adea Shabani, a 25-year-old aspiring actress from Macedonia. To unravel the twisted web of crucial players, Neil Strauss, an author, is taking his first shot at narrative podcasting. While the podcast follows a familiar format, broken up into 12 episodes, this is the first time a true crime podcast is actively involved in a case that is so recent.

Adea Shabani disappeared in February 2018, and her body was discovered nearly 400 miles from her apartment the following month. By the end of March 2018, Adea’s boyfriend and the key suspect in her disappearance was dead, and police were fresh out of leads, according to Newsweek.

How is Tenderfoot approaching the investigation?

To get answers, Strauss and the Tenderfoot TV production crew are injecting themselves directly into the investigation and hunting down witnesses. Tenderfoot TV is the production company behind Up and Vanished and Monster: The Zodiac Killer, two podcasts that take aim at strange and baffling true crime cases.

While Tenderfoot is famous for helping to shine a light on long-forgotten criminal cases, this is the first time the team is entrenched in a recent, active investigation. On the onset of the investigation little is known about Shabani, but by the end, the case is likely to be blown wide open.

Who is the main suspect?

Christopher Spotz, now deceased, is the main suspect in the murder. The 34-year-old aspiring actor admitted to being with Shabani on the day of her disappearance but insisted he had nothing to do with the aspiring actress’ death. That was all before he led police on a high-speed chase before turning a gun on himself, according to The Mercury News.  

Los Angeles at Sunset

While Shabani and Spotz had a complicated relationship, in the months leading up to Shabani’s disappearance and death, the couple got engaged and even filled out an application for an apartment. While police believe Spotz is involved in the death of Shabana, the information stops there.  Police were able to uncover a twisted love triangle and a concocted story that points every finger at Chris Spotz as the murderer.