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Podcast / Sick Sad World

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Sick Sad World is a horror and true crime podcast. The hosts are Dev Ramsawakh note , a nonbinary model and freelance writer, and Jasmine Patterson, a female digital artist and gamer. There are also guest hosts from time to time.

At the start of the series, they would briefly talk about several different stories. Later, they changed the format so they could talk about two big stories in depth. They make an effort to focus on the victims of crimes, rather than just the killers themselves.

In 2019, it was announced that the show was on hiatus. Dev has since called the podcast defunct on their personal Twitter account.

The show is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. The official page for it was on Dev's blog.

This podcast contains examples of the following:

  • Asshole Victim: Child rapist Roman Polanski is listed among Ted Bundy's would-be victims. It's also mentioned Polanski cheated on his pregnant wife.
  • Author Tract: The hosts often state their political views during cases, sometimes for several minutes. They've covered legalizing sex work, capitalism, gun control, socialism, lack of trust in police, disability, and more.
  • Bed Trick: Mentioned in "Haunted Mansions"; they get to talking about American Horror Story. When the show had a woman have sex with a being she thought was her husband but was actually the ghost of her teenage neighbor, Dev started to like the series less.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: One murderer mentioned in "The Aliens Made Me Do It" claimed that many big name political figures were secretly aliens. Martin Luther King Jr. was listed among them.
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Haunted Mansion" was released shortly after "The Dangers Of Being Disabled", which was about disabled people being murdered. The hosts explicitly say this is to allow for something a little more light-hearted, though the episode does discuss slavery and the some of the horrible stuff that comes with that.
    • “2 Cruel 4 School” covers mass shootings, one of which resulted in the murder of 6-year-olds. The next episode was about the much lighter topic of horror movies and books.
  • Bury Your Disabled: In "The Dangers Of Being Disabled", the first case is about a disabled girl murdered by her father. The hosts vehemently disagree with the idea that it was a mercy kill.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • A teacher went to the police after one of his students said her father was planning to kill her. He was dismissed as stupid.
    • In another episode, drug users went to the cops to report a serial killer. They were ignored because they used drugs.
  • Content Warnings: Uses them frequently, both in the podcasts themselves and in the show notes. It's stated that these were one of the first things hosts Jasmine and Dev agreed upon before they started the podcast.
  • Creepy Child: It's mentioned when Charles Manson was in the first grade, he manipulated classmates into hurting people he didn't like. Another infamous killer, Jim Jones, held funerals for animals and likely killed some of them.
  • Creepy Doll: "Creepy Stories - It Happened To A Friend Of A Friend" starts with a story about a dancing baby toy Dev had, which Jasmine calls nightmare fuel. It's described as pale, half-naked, and having emotionless eyes. It also seemed to have moved on its own.
  • Death of a Child: “2 Cruel 4 School” talks about 6-year-olds being murdered. As Jasmine and Dev state, no one should have to wonder if sending their kid to school will end in death.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Some of the killers they cover attacked sex workers because they were unlikely to be missed or to have their deaths investigated.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: A few early episodes feature crime updates, which are just quick discussions of recent crimes. After the show got its own social media pages, the crime updates moved there.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Haunted Mansions", it's mentioned that Madam LaLaurie's treatment of people she had enslaved was considered awful by other people in her social circles. As Jasmine and Dev note, these were people who didn't have moral issues with slavery and still thought LaLaurie was needed to be stopped.
  • Fed to Pigs: This is one of the ways a serial killer in "Missing And Murdered" disposed of his victims’ corpses.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse:
    • The hosts have no sympathy for serial killer Ed Kemper when he claims his mom was awful towards him. They point out even if she was abusive, he didn't need to kill multiple women.
    • They have somewhat more sympathy for Adam Lanza, due to his pre-established mental illness, but they’re horrified that he decided to kill kids.
  • Groin Attack: Implied during the Elliot Rodger case. One of the people Rodger murdered was stabbed 94 times, half of which on his lower body. Dev remarks Rodger might have been working some things out.
  • Horror Hippies: "Cult Classics" deals with well-known murderers Charles Manson and Jim Jones. The former founded a free love-style cult and wanted to start a race war. The latter was a preacher and an outspoken supporter of civil rights who descended into power hunger and ended up killing himself and most of his following.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Subverted. When talking about the Sandy Hook shooter, Dev and Jasmine note that his mental illness alone didn’t account for the murders he committed.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • One episode talks about a man who said aliens were threatening him. This guy later got arrested for child porn and claimed not only did aliens plant it, they also erased a hard drive of his, which police suspected had some incriminating evidence. The hosts point out it doesn't make sense that the aliens would destroy evidence if they wanted him to get in trouble.
    • The same episode has a guy claiming aliens wanted him to be sentenced to death so they could save him at the last minute and prove their existence. Dev and Jasmine point out if the aliens were that powerful, they could easily find another way to prove they are real.
  • Jack the Ripoff: What the first episode, "Trendsetters", is about. It even discusses trope namer Jack the Ripper's imitators.
  • Matricide:
    • The episode "Writers Who Kill" includes a case about two friends who end up murdering one's mother.
    • "Killer Confessions" brings up Ed Kemper, whose victims included his mother.
  • Mercy Kill: Subverted. One killer framed his murder of his daughter with cerebral palsy (among other things) as this. Guest host Andrew Gurza said he had most of the same disabilities as the victim and found it scary that killing her was so easy for her dad. All the hosts found it disturbing that a lot of people agreed it was an act of compassion rather than something selfish and cruel.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Comes up a few times.
    • The first episode has the hosts unsurprised that a black serial killer didn't make the news after they find out his victims were women of color. The same episode also discusses a serial killer who targeted men, and didn't get much attention until he killed a white man rather than a Middle Eastern one.
    • "Missing And Murdered" is about indigenous women who've gone missing or been murdered. The title is shared with a larger movement bringing attention to cases of that nature.
  • Monster Clown: Talked about in "Origins Of Scary Things".
    • Jasmine developed a fear of clowns after a childhood incident where she saw an older child dressed as a scary clown.
    • The hosts mention the then-common clown pranksters, and say people who try jokes like that should be prepared for their victims to know self-defense moves.
  • Monster Misogyny:
    • Discussed in the Ed Kemper episode. He took much more pleasure in killing his mother and grandmother than he did in killing his grandfather. He also claimed he killed women because of his sexual inexperience.
    • Also comes up in the unsolved murder of Dorothy Jane Scott. A stalker of the victim spent several years calling her mom to say "I've got her" or "I killed her". The one day the murder victim's father picked up, the stalker backed down and didn't call again.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: "Killer Couples" has a case of a couple murdering their teenage roommate because they thought she flirted with one of them.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Sarcastically stated during "Fathers Who Kill".
    Dev: So his solution to his disappointing family and financial woes? Murder.
    Jasmine: That's clearly the solution. Clearly.
    Dev: The only way to handle anything is to just murder your way out of it.
    Jasmine: 'cause that always works out properly.
    • Comes up during "The Dangers Of Being Disabled". When talking about the murder of Tracy Latimer by her father Robert, guest host Andrew Gurza lists multiple routes the father could have taken that didn't require murdering one's own child.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • A couple kissed over the corpse of a girl they murdered for supposedly flirting with one of them.
    • Dev serves as a much less scary example. They've been interested in horror from a young age.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: They theorize that the reason Jack the Ripper is so legendary is that we'll never know the truth about his identity or all his victims.
  • Obviously Evil: Charles Manson's actions during his trial (carving an X in his forehead he later turned into a swastika, attacking the judge and saying "I'm gonna kill you!") made it pretty clear he did it.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • "The Dangers Of Being Disabled" has a case of a man murdering his daughter in a supposed mercy kill.
    • In the episode “Marginalized In True Crime”, Dev and guest host Kitty have a long discussion about the murder of 11 year old Riya Rajkumar by her father. They both found it hard because she could have been one of their family members. They also realized her mother would constantly be reminded of it because Riya went missing on Valentine’s Day, which was also her mom’s birthday.
  • Parental Neglect: One episode mentioned a mom who left her infant in her car while she snuck onto an inactive roller coaster.
  • Ouija Board: Dev's mother shares a story about when she, her sister, and a friend used one. A cat spirit possessed her niece, which freaked her out enough to forbid Dev from playing with a Ouija board.
  • Pater Familicide:
    • "Fathers In Crime" defines the term family annihilators (people who kill their entire families, usually in one rampage), and the episode’s two cases focus on such murderers.
    • ”Who You Gonna Call?” talks about The Amityville Horror. The evil supernatural forces supposedly started with a young man murdered his parents and siblings.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • In a few cases, the police brushed off missing people as runaways, even in places where active serials killers operated.
    • In the "Missing And Murdered" episode, the coroner's report of Della Ootoova's body was put off for so long, her killer died before it was done. They also somehow missed that her body was covered in bruises and bite marks.
    • The same episode mentions how police all too frequently brush off brown LGBT+ people going missing.
    • In "Fathers In Crime", a teenage girl told her teacher that her father was planning to kill her and the rest of the family. When the teacher reported this to police, they looked at him as if he were an idiot.
    • In "Missing And Murdered", two different drug users who went to the police to report a serial killer were dismissed because the cops thought junkies couldn't be trusted.
  • Self-Made Orphan:
    • The second case in "Fathers In Crime" is about a college-age man who killed several of his family members, including his mother. He meant to kill his father as well, but it didn't work out that way.
    • "Who You Gonna Call?" discusses a college age kid who killed his family, starting with his parents.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "Don't be a murderer."
  • Stalker with a Crush: The first case on "Mysterious and Unsolved Cases" features one of these. When said stalker's target is kidnapped and murdered, he takes up calling her mother and saying "I've got her" or "I killed her". Dev and Jasmine speculate he wasn't the killer. Instead, he kept calling because he wanted the target of his obsession found and to continue having power related to her by harassing her mom.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: It’s noted how much energy it takes to stab a person once, and one killer decided to stab a victim ninety-four times.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: In "Writers Who Kill"; one case focuses on a pair of girls who re-enforced each other's bad qualities until the two ended up committing murder.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In "Cult Classics", Dev and Jasmine remark that cult leader Jim Jones had some good ideas about religion and the Bible, but his context for them was awful.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: In "The Aliens Made Me Do It!", Jasmine and Dev advise any shapeshifting aliens arriving on earth to take the form of a cute animal that humans aren't trying to wipe out. They go on a tangent about how they find chickens and pigs cute, but still enjoy eating chicken and bacon.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • One of the reasons the Jonestown murder-suicide was so tragic was that infants were among the casualties.
    • “2 Cruel 4 School” covers a mass shooting at a school, which got multiple kids as young as six killed.