SEASON 2: La Luz del Mundo
Sacred Scandal, named one of Podtrac’s Best New Podcasts of 2022, embarks on its second season, focusing on Mexico-based megachurch La Luz del Mundo (Light of the World). It tells the story of Naasón Joaquín García, a self-proclaimed apostle, who is currently behind bars after pleading guilty in June 2022 of sexually abusing girls from his congregation. Naasón is currently serving a nearly 17-year sentence, but maintains his innocence.
Host and investigative journalist Roberta Garza explores Naasón's control over a multitude of devotees, some of whom now describe their experiences in the church as "pure evil." In this true-crime series, survivors share stories about this powerful religious leader and the alleged sexual abuse that followed, many relating to minors.
Two decades ago on a calm, dark Miami night, a nun was stabbed nearly 100 times on the grounds of a prestigious private academy and monastery, by student Mykhaylo Kofel. As investigators started asking questions around this Byzantine Catholic School and the gruesome murder, they found more than just her killer. In a search for answers that stretches into some of the most remote villages of Eastern Europe, they uncovered allegations of sexual abuse, secret letters to the Vatican and other mysteries of faith. Sacred Scandal unravels the fuller picture that came to light in the wake of this crime. Led by a former student, told by those who lived through the aftermath, and Kofel himself, the show pieces together a complicated narrative that, twenty years later, still has those closest to it questioning what they truly believe… including a man who’s spent half his life in prison for the crime: “It’s so unbelievable. It definitely wasn’t me. I’m not a killer. No way. That’s not me.” — Mykhaylo Kofel, 2021
Crime can happen in even the most unexpected of places. My Cultura Network's Sacred Scandal explores shocking offenses committed within the religious community. From disturbing murders to startling secrets, this true crime podcast uncovers the details.
Each season of Sacred Scandal focuses on one high-profile case. In Season one, the audience joined Paula Barros and Melanie Bartley as they examined the Kendale Lakes Convent Murder. This case focuses on the murder of sister Michelle Lewis, a nun from the Holy Cross Academy in Miami, Florida. Barros and Bartley speak with Mykhaylo Kofel, Lewis' killer, to reveal his side of events. The story behind this Catholic school crime contains details that may shock listeners.
The second season explores the story of La Luz del Mundo in Mexico. This case, which was also the subject of HBO's Unveiled, focuses on the crimes of Naasón Joaquín García. The police arrested García in 2019 for sexual abuse. What followed was a four-year trial exposing the surprising details behind his church. Roberta Garza serves as the host of the season. She uses her abilities as a journalist to tell the story in an insightful and intriguing way.
Sacred Scandal provides perspectives on these true crime stories that are distinctive. Not only do listeners hear from witnesses, but they also have hosts suited for each case. For instance, Paula Barros attended Holy Cross Academy during Michelle Lewis' murder. This history with the school inspired Barros and Melanie Bartley to investigate and share their findings. Such a personal connection is what gives the show its voice. It is a podcast that goes beyond a simple retelling to reveal how these events affect the lives of others.
Fans of true crime may find Sacred Scandal to be a fascinating listen. This podcast focuses on exposing the facts. By the end of each season, listeners may gain insights and a unique perspective on each new case explored.