Audiochuck creates podcasts and presents stories each week not just to entertain, but to try to make a true difference in the cases that we cover and the real people who have been affected by these stories; we do this through responsible, respectful story telling, advocacy, and listener support.
The premise for the podcast The Deck is an idea that host and audiochuck's founder Ashley Flowers had for years. Every episode features a person whose murder or mysterious disappearance has gone unsolved for years. These cold cases are so cold that law enforcement around the country have put them on decks of playing cards and have passed them out in jails and prisons in hopes of generating new leads from inmates. These decks that replace traditional face cards with photos of murdered and missing victims are known as cold case playing card decks.
Since the initial creation of the first cold case deck, agencies all around the world have adopted this idea, and on The Deck, our team of reporters interviews them about their cases, along with victims' family members, so that we can deal listeners in with the belief that not only incarcerated people have the information that is needed to solve these cases- the public can help too.
The mission of The Deck is to shine a new light on these cases that will hopefully help detectives to close these cases and to bring long awaited justice to victims and their loved ones.
Executing our strategy to bring cold cases to light began far before the first episodes of The Deck were released. We started by activating existing audiochuck fans who we knew would care about these cases with us through audio, social, mailers, and an interactive giveaway. Beyond partnering with our listeners, we also partnered with other amazing groups including a female owned ride share service to bring the mission of The Deck to passengers in Austin, TX and Nashville, TN.
We teased the launch of The Deck through billboards strategically placed in areas with heavy foot traffic, and we included QR codes on these billboards that led to The Deck’s feed. Billboards continued to be a method that we utilized as the show launched when we worked with law enforcement to place advocacy focused billboards in locations believed to be the most impactful to generate new leads for the cases covered in the first two episodes of The Deck.
The launch was accompanied both by a New York Times article about the new show and its advocacy focus, and compelling original theme music composed by record producer Ryan Lewis.
Now as The Deck has hit its one year anniversary, we continue to look for new and innovative ways to share these stories and to help seek justice in these cases, and one way we are doing this is through The Deck Investigates, a live documentary experience. With the permission and participation of the daughters of a victim whose case out team spent over a year investigating, Ashley Flowers took The Deck on the road for an 11 city tour so that they could hear about this case in a new way as they received a clear call to action on how they can make a true difference.
For this tour and for each episode of The Deck, listeners hear from investigators, family members and community advocates who have gone on record hoping to see justice served and who have never given up hope that these cases can be solved.
Within hours of release, The Deck, which now has millions of downloads, was #1 in both all categories and true crime, and the show continues to chart in both categories. The additional accolades The Deck received started early on with Good Housekeeping naming The Deck one of the Best Podcasts of 2022, and have continued up to recent, with recognitions including The Deck being named one of Amazon Music's Most Popular Podcast in 2022 and the #1 New Show of 2022 on Apple Podcasts.
However, the work and the results that we are most proud of are the ones that make a real difference in the cases that we cover and for the people impacted. Over the past year, we have been able to shed light on 53 cases featured on cold case decks across the country by partnering with investigators, community advocates, and family members. Our listeners engage in results driven action as well, as they recommend cases for us to cover, call in tips to investigating agencies, and take action such as participating in the letter writing campaign we did for Owachige Osceola that convinced the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office to reexamine her case.
Additionally, through the non profit Season of Justice, a grant was set up to offer help to those seeking to solve cases. So far, Season of Justice has been able to fund over $850,000 for DNA testing, billboards, and 14,500 decks of cold cases playing cards across 10 states.