PODCAST

BADLANDS

Double Elvis | Amazon Music

Badlands is a true crime podcast that dives deep into the real stories of the famous– at their most infamous. Hosted by Jake Brennan, each season explores the real life crimes and scandalous careers of the world’s most popular cultural figures. In an all new season, he tells the stories of A-listers whose misdeeds and career lows are as unbelievable as some of their films’ plot twists—like the story of Sharon Tate, who was caught up in a strange scene long before members of the Manson family came along. Or the story of how Judy Garland’s lifelong addiction to pills sent her over the rainbow much too soon. And the story about how Winona Ryder was connected to a child kidnapping case in her hometown. These and many more.

Listen to all 10 episodes of BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND on Amazon Music, at amazon.com/badlands.

Our Editor's Take

Join Jake Brennan in this no-holds-barred true crime docuseries as he investigates the truth behind the shocking scandals and real-life stories of some of the biggest names in sport and film. These timeless mysteries serve not only to entertain but also to shed light on the real and often traumatic events that these A-list stars had to endure.

Jake Brennan’s enviable job is to journey through their last days before deaths, trials, and convictions, leaving no journalistic stone unturned. Brennan investigates the highest-profile sordid stories in Hollywood—the ones that have given Hollywood hills their infamous reputation.

Like the series that preceded it, BADLANDS investigates what went on behind the scenes in the lives of some of TV and film’s most famous stars. The perennial question mark over Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious death—that's a headliner we'll all be familiar with—but Brennan does his best to uncover new narratives. And the Manson murders made their mark in the history books too, but what could possibly connect film legend Bruce Lee to the case? Listeners will be familiar with all the protagonists across these episodes as a hoard of household name celebrities goes under the lens.

As the second season of Badlands, Sportsland takes a similar line of questioning—with Brennan focusing on the highs and lows of some of the world’s most famous sporting legends. Do you know what happened to O.J. Simpson after he was acquitted of murdering his wife and her friend? And did figure skater Tonya Harding really plot to take out her competitor Nancy Kerrigan? Hit play on BADLANDS to learn the ins and outs of these scandalous events that remain a hot topic of discussion years later.

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Introducing BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND
May 4 2022
Introducing BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND
Which 1980's bad boy made a daring escape from prison and later had his freedom negotiated by a former Beatle? Why did the father of a Hollywood A-lister confess to the assassination of JFK? And just how did a serial killer manage to find his own 15 minutes of fame on national television while in the middle of a killing spree?Hear the wild but true stories behind these questions as the fame, fortune, and felonies of tinseltown come alive in BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND.BADLANDS is a true-crime anthology podcast from Jake Brennan, creator and host of the award-winning music and true crime podcast DISGRACELAND.This season of BADLANDS features all of these crazy-but-true tales plus the almost-too-crazy-to-be-true stories of Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Judy Garland, Robin Williams, Winona Ryder, Lindsay Lohan, Sharon Tate, Mickey Rourke, and Rodney Alcala, AKA The Dating Game Killer.Listen to all 10 episodes of BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND on-demand, beginning May 11 at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Robin Williams: A Manic Mind at Breakneck Speed, an Addiction to Laughter, and the Devil’s Dandruff
May 11 2022
Robin Williams: A Manic Mind at Breakneck Speed, an Addiction to Laughter, and the Devil’s Dandruff
Robin Williams’ manic mind moved at such a breakneck speed that cocaine had the opposite effect than it had on most other people: it slowed him down. Robin’s primary addiction, however, wasn’t cocaine. He was addicted to the dopamine rush of being on a stage, where he could let his mind run wild with free association, and be rewarded with uproarious laughter. He was addicted to proving himself as a dramatic actor, even if that meant attempting to trigger his own mental breakdown by running in place for hours. And when he died tragically at the age of 63, the cause of his death was surprisingly not what anyone suspected. It still isn’t.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including suicide. If you're thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
The Dating Game Killer: Persuasion, Charm, and a Depraved Murderer at Large
May 11 2022
The Dating Game Killer: Persuasion, Charm, and a Depraved Murderer at Large
Rodney Alcala, AKA The Dating Game Killer, was a depraved murderer who eluded authorities for years. He hid his true identity behind charm and persuasion. He worked as a summer camp counselor while on the lam for the savage assault of an eight-year-old girl. He convinced his parole officer to let him take a vacation to the other side of the country, where he proceeded to commit another of his many murders. While New Yorkers were watching their backs for the Son of Sam in the summer of ’77, he killed again. And at the height of his killing spree, he managed to star in one of the creepiest moments in Hollywood history as a contestant on a popular television game show.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and graphic descriptions of violence.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Sharon Tate Pt 2: Rape, Drugs, and Murdering New Hollywood
May 11 2022
Sharon Tate Pt 2: Rape, Drugs, and Murdering New Hollywood
Sharon Tate’s entanglement with Charles Manson and her husband, filmmaker Roman Polanski, as well as her involvement in some of the long-rumored hedonistic events at her home on Cielo Drive put her at the center of a counter-narrative that explosively disrupts the supposed motive for the Manson family murders. Was Sharon Tate blissfully ignorant of the darkness that had been bubbling beneath Hollywood’s shiny veneer for years? Or is there more to this story than we’ve been told in the past?This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including sexual assault.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Sharon Tate Pt 1: Wild Parties and Dangerous Company
May 11 2022
Sharon Tate Pt 1: Wild Parties and Dangerous Company
Sharon Tate was a sophisticated beauty who literally stopped traffic when she walked down the street. She began her movie career when America was becoming sexually liberated, and despite the ease with which she was made a sex symbol, she aspired to be respected as a serious actress. Decades later, however, she is perhaps best-remembered as one of the victims found brutally murdered at her Cielo Drive home, the one she shared with her husband, director Roman Polanski. Sharon and Roman welcomed regular guests to that home, including Sharon’s friend, Mama Cass Elliot, who was at the center of the Manson murders and whose actions may be why the motive for the murders that America has come to accept as fact is actually false.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including sexual assault and suicide. If you're thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Mickey Rourke: Organized Crime, the IRA, and Method Acting into Oblivion
May 11 2022
Mickey Rourke: Organized Crime, the IRA, and Method Acting into Oblivion
Acting came easy to Mickey Rourke. He was admitted to the prestigious Actors Studio after one audition, which is nuts when you consider that it took Jack Nicholson five auditions and six for Dustin Hoffman. But just because something came easy to Mickey Rourke didn’t mean he did things the easy way. His relationships with organizations like the Gambino crime family and the IRA became more talked about than the promising acting career he was busy tanking. He seriously considered carrying out a bloody revenge/suicide plot. And then he turned his back on the silver screen for a new life in the boxing ring. When he returned to Hollywood, his face was so pulverized and surgically altered that he was unrecognizable. So unrecognizable that he had to begin his journey all over again. And at the end of the line was either one of two things waiting for him: redemption or purgatory.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including domestic violence, suicide, and graphic descriptions of violence. If you're thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Woody Harrelson: Contract Killers, JFK Conspiracies, and Fathers & Sons
May 11 2022
Woody Harrelson: Contract Killers, JFK Conspiracies, and Fathers & Sons
One of Hollywood’s most eclectic and unpredictable actors, Woody Harrelson has played a hayseed barback, a streetball hustler, a natural born killer, a true detective, and so many more. But his most profound and difficult role might be his real-life role: the son of an infamous contract killer. Woody’s father, Charles Harrelson, was sent to prison for the assassination of a federal judge, only after he had been the subject of one of the largest federal manhunts in U.S. history – a manhunt that ended with a six-hour standoff with authorities during which he confessed to the assassination of JFK.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including domestic violence.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Judy Garland: Seconals, Benzedrine, and Dexedrine…Oh My
May 11 2022
Judy Garland: Seconals, Benzedrine, and Dexedrine…Oh My
With a few clicks of their ruby slippers, MGM made 16-year-old Judy Garland a box office giant, but their strict rules nearly killed the budding starlet in the process. The studio’s strict diet of chicken soup, uppers, and downers set up teenage Judy for a life fraught with addiction, malnutrition, extreme health complications, and regular visits to rehab. Even years after Judy severed ties with the MGM, the effects of her highly-regulated adolescence creeped into her career, literally poisoning her life — and her liver. A star was born when Judy filmed The Wizard of Oz, but by her late forties, that same star was in rapid decline.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including child abuse and eating disorders.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Sean Penn: A Prison Escape, The Night Stalker, and Madonna’s True Blue Bad Boy
May 11 2022
Sean Penn: A Prison Escape, The Night Stalker, and Madonna’s True Blue Bad Boy
In the summer of 1985, Sean Penn’s marriage to preeminent material girl Madonna was an epochal moment for ‘80s-era Hollywood. The bad boy from Bad Boys and the boy-toy pop superstar blissfully brought together the worlds of movies and music on a Malibu bluff overlooking the Pacific. But their subsequent attempt to make a movie together was anything but blissful. A wild film shoot in China would lead to even wilder things, like the time Sean dangled a photographer upside-down from a ninth-story balcony. Or the time he escaped a prison in Macau and had to have a pardon from the government negotiated by a former member of the Beatles. Or the time he spent in an American prison, where he found himself passing notes with a fellow inmate down the hall…one who happened to be one of the most notorious serial killers in history.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including domestic violence and sexual assault.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Winona Ryder: Drowning, Designer Theft, and a Deadly Kidnapping
May 11 2022
Winona Ryder: Drowning, Designer Theft, and a Deadly Kidnapping
Between beatnik parents, an LSD guru godfather, and an unconventional upbringing in Northern California, it’s not surprising that Winona Ryder became America’s endearing weirdo in the 1990s. Her noir starpower shined from an early age in movies like Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Edward Scissorhands, but her penchant for dark roles would lead her towards crime in real life. The only thing weirder than Winona’s $5,000 shoplifting spree and the kidnapping of a girl from her own hometown is how the two stories unexpectedly intertwine.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including kidnapping and child abuse.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Lindsay Lohan: Morgues, Ankle Bracelets, and an Addiction to Chaos
May 11 2022
Lindsay Lohan: Morgues, Ankle Bracelets, and an Addiction to Chaos
Lindsay Lohan’s arrest record is overcrowded with charges involving theft, cocaine, and the transportation of narcotics. The one-time Disney queen bee shattered her Mercedes and her good girl reputation with back-to-back DUIs when her career was at its peak. After appearing in court 20 times in the span of five years, Lindsay’s acting opportunities downgraded from Mean Girls-level blockbusters to meager microbudget art films, including a career-low role that paid her $100 a day to perform alongside porn stars.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Introducing BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND
May 4 2022
Introducing BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND
Which 1980's bad boy made a daring escape from prison and later had his freedom negotiated by a former Beatle? Why did the father of a Hollywood A-lister confess to the assassination of JFK? And just how did a serial killer manage to find his own 15 minutes of fame on national television while in the middle of a killing spree?Hear the wild but true stories behind these questions as the fame, fortune, and felonies of tinseltown come alive in BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND.BADLANDS is a true-crime anthology podcast from Jake Brennan, creator and host of the award-winning music and true crime podcast DISGRACELAND.This season of BADLANDS features all of these crazy-but-true tales plus the almost-too-crazy-to-be-true stories of Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Judy Garland, Robin Williams, Winona Ryder, Lindsay Lohan, Sharon Tate, Mickey Rourke, and Rodney Alcala, AKA The Dating Game Killer.Listen to all 10 episodes of BADLANDS Season 4: HOLLYWOODLAND on-demand, beginning May 11 at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Robert Downey Jr.: Running on Empty, Rock Bottom, and Ironclad Resolve
Feb 16 2022
Robert Downey Jr.: Running on Empty, Rock Bottom, and Ironclad Resolve
The man who would be Iron Man was once an uninsurable, unreliable actor who lived many years at the bottom in a haze of drugs and alcohol. His transformation into the highest-paid actor in Hollywood is truly one of the most remarkable stories in the City of Angels.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short): A Gruesome Murder, a Corrupt Police Department, and an Unsolvable Mystery
Feb 16 2022
The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short): A Gruesome Murder, a Corrupt Police Department, and an Unsolvable Mystery
In January 1947, the mutilated body of 22-year old Elizabeth Short was found, literally cut in half, in a vacant lot in Los Angeles. Even though hundreds of suspects were investigated and dozens of confessions were made, her murder remains unsolved to this day. In the years since, the case has gotten warm and cold again. Speculation into motive and method has been endless. And the deeper you look, the murkier the case becomes. It’s a case populated by drunks and junkies, syphilitic ex-cons and petty thieves, kingpins of organized crime, and the most corrupt police officers to ever wear a badge – and it still continues to this day.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including graphic descriptions of violence.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Robert Mitchum: Reefer Madness, a Daring Escape from a Chain Gang, and Not Giving a Damn
Feb 16 2022
Robert Mitchum: Reefer Madness, a Daring Escape from a Chain Gang, and Not Giving a Damn
Robert Mitchum was famously busted for marijuana in the 1940s before his career had really taken off. Not so famous is how he managed to save his legacy, and his life: with the unlikely help of one of the most powerful men in the world.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Tim Allen: Cocaine in Kalamazoo, Life in Prison, and Flipping for the Feds
Feb 16 2022
Tim Allen: Cocaine in Kalamazoo, Life in Prison, and Flipping for the Feds
Before he was headed to infinity and beyond, Tim Allen was headed to life in prison for a low-level drug deal in Michigan. This is the story about how his first career ended in a life-changing bust, and what he had to do in order to survive and find a way out.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including discussions about suicide. If you’re thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Brittany Murphy: Pills, Paranoia, and Poison
Feb 16 2022
Brittany Murphy: Pills, Paranoia, and Poison
The only thing more shocking than Brittany Murphy’s untimely death at the age of 32 was what happened next: more unexpected deaths, rumors of poisoning, and even murder.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Poltergeist Curse: Paranormal Activity, a Plane Crash, and Murder
Feb 16 2022
Poltergeist Curse: Paranormal Activity, a Plane Crash, and Murder
Four different actors from the 1980s horror franchise Poltergeist died within a 6-year span. Dominique Dunne was murdered. Julian Beck succumbed to stomach cancer. Will Sampson suffered from a degenerative disease. And Heather O’Rourke’s death at the age of 12, was deemed “distinctly unusual.” Was it an eerie coincidence...or something more sinister?This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including descriptions of domestic violence and graphic descriptions of violence.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Sal Mineo: Street Gangs, Ouija Boards, and Unabashed Pride
Feb 16 2022
Sal Mineo: Street Gangs, Ouija Boards, and Unabashed Pride
James Dean’s co-star in Rebel Without a Cause was an early trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community in Hollywood. Over the years he was harassed, heckled, and had his life threatened – just for being himself. When he was mysteriously murdered at the age of 37, the 15-month investigation exposed just how deep intolerance ran in the hearts and minds of many, despite Sal’s efforts to the contrary.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including sexual assault.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Gianni Versace: Sly Stallone, Madonna, Elton John, a Serial Killer, and the Death of the Sun King
Feb 16 2022
Gianni Versace: Sly Stallone, Madonna, Elton John, a Serial Killer, and the Death of the Sun King
Gianni Versace was a runway iconoclast who outfitted the likes of Madonna, Demi Moore, Prince, Sylvester Stallone, and Don Johnson. He lived like Louis XIV and counted Princess Di and Elton John among his friends. He was plagued by rumors of ties to the Calabrian mafia and a secret health diagnosis. Those rumors continued to persist long after he was gunned down by a serial killer who had been on the lam after murdering four other men in three states.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
Jack Nicholson: Hidden Drugs, Road Rage, and a Shocking Crime
Feb 16 2022
Jack Nicholson: Hidden Drugs, Road Rage, and a Shocking Crime
In some of Hollywood’s best-loved movies, Jack Nicholson played jokers, sailors, inmates – even the Devil himself. But he never played by the rules. He allegedly mooned a crowd of thousands at a basketball game. His bedroom kinks were laid bare in the papers. He fought the MPAA and the LAPD. And in 1994, he attempted to establish his own set of rules when he attacked an idling Mercedes-Benz with a two-iron.This episode contains themes that may be disturbing to some listeners, including sexual assault and child sexual abuse.Follow BADLANDS wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes of BADLANDS S3: HOLLYWOODLAND each Wednesday. As a bonus, Amazon Music listeners can hear all 10 episodes on-demand right now at amazon.com/badlands.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at