My Favorite Murder has grown from a podcast in which hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark chat casually about their favorite crime stories to the flagship series in the Exactly Right media network of podcasts. This comedy podcast about murder and mayhem has a devoted following of “Murderinos” (as the fan cult self-identifies) from all over the world. Last weekend, the Murderinos descended on Santa Barbara for the My Favorite Weekend fan convention extravaganza that included the taping of live Exactly Right podcasts, including The Purrrcast and Murder Squad: Jensen & Holes, at the Arlington Theatre.
Kilgariff and Hardstark’s live MFM episodes have a format: Each host tells the story of a (usually local) murder, and then they invite members of the audience to share their “hometown murder” stories of area crime. The show at the Arlington ran a bit off the normal course, since the theater wasn’t filled with Santa Barbarans but fans from all over the country. In terms of local lore, audiences were treated to the story of Thor Nis Christiansen, a late ’70s serial killer from Solvang who murdered, among others, female UCSB students.
The highlight of the evening was an interview with guest Carol Daly, a detective who worked the East Area Rapist (also known as the Golden State Killer) case in Sacramento in the 1970s. MFM’s identity has been refined over hundreds of episodes, and the broadcast’s tone has a strong feminist component — especially when it comes to celebrating women crime-fighters. Daly’s experience as a detective on this major rape and murder spree gave a fascinating and intimate look to one of history’s heroines who were breaking glass ceilings in law enforcement while chasing down dangerous predators.