Over the course of the Grateful Dead‘s legendary 30 year career, the Deadheads became almost as much of an American institution as the band itself. Today, Deadheads sit on Capitol Hill, at the helm of Fortune 500 companies, and beyond. Others, however, weren’t able to achieve such heights as they were struck down in the prime of their lives. Just like any other subset of American society, Deadheads and the Grateful Dead touring community contained a seedy underbelly, and not everyone got out alive.
A new podcast series, Dead and Gone, seeks to profile the mysterious cases 0f several Grateful Dead fans who were killed or otherwise mysteriously disappeared in the course of following the luminary psychedelic outfit. Announced back in July via Tenderfoot TV, the podcast series released an official trailer on Friday, and announced that the first two episodes will be available on October 15th.
Hosted by Tenderfoot TV co-founder Payne Lindsey, with co-host Jake Brennan, who heads the Disgraceland podcast, the series originally began as an investigation into the bizarre elements surrounding the death and disappearances of numerous Deadheads over the band’s original 30 year career as well as through the intervening two post-Jerry Garcia decades. However, when Lindsey and Brennan received an anonymous tip from a fellow Deadhead, they set off to investigate a man who may have been wrongfully convicted in the 1985 of killing two Grateful Dead fans in Berkley, CA.
“I knew we would encounter surprises throughout this investigation because of the strange coincidences, mysterious circumstances and rock and roll at the center of it all… but I never predicted to come across such a tragic case with so many unanswered questions,” said Lindsey. “Many of these cases have not been thoroughly examined until now, and our goal is to uncover the truth about what really happened that night so justice is served.”
In August of 1986, the bodies of Mary Regina Gioia, 22, and Gregory Allen Kniffin, 18, were found beaten and shot to death in the San Francisco Bay. 31-year-old Black man Ralph International Thomas was arrested and sentenced to death for the murders. Dead and Gone will look deeper into the lack of evidence, conflicting witness testimonies, and potential new suspects to uncover whether Thomas was actually guilty of the crimes.
“I’ve studied the history and culture of the band for years, and I think people will be surprised to find that there is a darkness at the core of the Grateful Dead’s music and that darkness is present throughout the band’s history,” said Brennan. “It has manifested in song and in real life and many of the band’s fans have fallen victim to it. This darkness and the violence and mystery it’s spawned runs contrary to the good intentions of the band and the Grateful Dead’s image of peace, love, good times and music, and that contrast makes for fascinating storytelling.”
The series will also explore the case of a fan who died in a car accident and went unidentified for 20 years, another who was murdered and left in a ditch, and numerous other mysterious cases that occurred within the realm of the Grateful Dead.
Listen to the official trailer for Dead and Gone, and stream the first two episodes on October 15th via your platform of choice.
Dead and Gone – Trailer