Student Podcast Captivates While Rehashing Aftermath of Austin Serial Bombings

February 7, 2022 | Insights

By Paul C. Watler

The next big true-crime podcast series that you can’t turn off may come your way from The Drag in Austin.

Named for the famous thoroughfare abutting The University of Texas and its Moody College of Communication, the Drag Audio Production House affords student journalists the opportunity to showcase their talents through podcasting.

The Drag recently released its spell-binding season two series, “Darkness.”

Senior journalism major Ashley Miznazi, producer and host, takes listeners back to the spring of 2018 as Austin is swept up with the annual South-By-Southwest Festival of film, music, and tech. While thousands of industry insiders and fans gather at the many South-By performance venues, a troubled young man embarks on a shocking crime spree.

As Miznazi recounts for listeners, a bomber strikes – and strikes again – taking lives and plunging the city into weeks of deadly terror. Austin police and federal agents swiftly but methodically follow every lead and clue. Law enforcement ultimately corners the serial bomber, who takes his own life in a final detonation.

In his last hours, the bomber recorded a “confession” on his mobile phone. Austin police made the controversial decision to withhold the recording from the news media and public. Miznazi and Katey Outka, executive producer on the staff of The Drag, invited me to discuss the First Amendment and freedom of information implications of police denying public access to the bomber’s recording. That discussion resulted in a bonus episode on “Darkness.”

True crime enthusiasts, lovers of podcasts, and those who appreciate the best of digital news gathering and storytelling will find their time well-spent downloading and listening to the six-part series. And while you are at it, check out that bonus episode.

Meet Paul

Paul C. Watler is a board-certified civil trial lawyer who is widely recognized for “Bet-the-Company” cases, commercial litigation, First Amendment and media law.

To listen to Paul’s interview on The Drag podcast, visit “Bonus: The bomber’s confession tape | Austin Bomber.” For related insights from Paul, view the following articles:

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.