Aggregated reviews for The Ballad of Billy Balls / The RFK Tapes

Crimetown Presents is an investigative anthology podcast series created by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. Every season they introduce you to a new serialized story that pushes the boundaries of storytelling, sound design and music. Season Two, The Ballad of Billy Balls*: it’s 1982, and a man bursts into an East Village storefront apartment and shoots punk musician Billy Balls. Author and activist iO Tillett Wright and Crimetown Producer Austin Mitchell unravel a mystery of love and loss, the tender binds of family, and the stories we tell ourselves just to survive. Season One, The RFK Tapes: Zac Stuart-Pontier and Bill Klaber take a trip down a rabbit hole surrounding the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Featuring never-before heard police recordings, The RFK Tapes starts out a murder investigation and ends up revealing the power of conspiracy theories, and why it’s human nature to believe in them. * scroll down to see the episodes of Crimetown Presents: The Ballad of Billy Balls.

Fantastic!!!! (5/5)

This is a fantastic show. The most incredible thing about this podcast is your (iO) journey. The journey of letting go of the pass. It’s very powerful. What is your next project? I’m very excited.

Great story telling! (5/5)

I absolutely loved this podcast, iO has a gift of being able to bring words to life and is a personal story teller!

Compelling story (5/5)

I loved this podcast. It’s unlike any other I’ve listened to. I saw the episode of Catfish where IO guest hosted and loved his outlook and its continued here. A tragically, beautiful story.

Twos (4/5)

Few things days later and dc terrible

Ballad of Billy Balls is TERRIBLE (1/5)

I tried to listen to the first two episodes, but hearing the whiny heart breaking story was TERRIBLE. She’s an unreliable narrator that just drones on and on about her love for the dude, but offers nothing concrete of concern.

Unexpected (5/5)

This story goes in so many beautiful, sad and amazing directions. Just when I thought it was done, iO pulls something more out of the hat. I am a pro podcast listener and this is one of my favorites. I’m not even done yet but I had to thank you for the great work!! Makes my commute something I want to do more often 😁

Whatttt?!?!?! (5/5)

Love love love! This podcast feels down-to-earth, intelligent, raw, and so UNREAL. Very moving. I’m so thankful Billy’s legacy will live on through Amanda and his pseudo child. Your mother amazes me with her vulnerability. Her love for Billy can be felt through the airwaves. Your father is wise beyond his years…or maybe exactly because of his years. Highly recommend.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! (5/5)

Ok I’ve seen this Billy Balls podcast and just thought eeehhhh... I’ll listen to this other podcast.... and so on. So I’ve listened to a ton and finally gave this one a shot. All I have to say is Why the hell did I wait so long to listen to this???? It just gets better and better each episode. Sooooooo good!! Give it a chance!! You won’t be disappointed!! I really hope IO does another podcast!! I’ll be waiting!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

Outstanding (5/5)

I put off listening to this for a long time. It didn’t seem to fit in with what I usually listen to. So many recommendations later, I bit the bullet and starting bingeing. Two days later I’m done and just flabbergasted by how real, raw and emotional it was. The ending was so beautiful. Much love to you iO and Rebecca. I hope you find peace. You’ve made a remarkable difference in this world by sharing your story. Also, love to Austin and the incredible law slinger Ron Kuby. Hate that it’s over.

My Favorite ❤️ (5/5)

IO, I loved this WHOLE podcast. I’m missing it and your voice. I keep looking to find another podcast that I can sink my “ears” into, like I did with The Ballad of Billy Balls! Great name, by the way! I loved how so many things just came together while you were making this podcast, like in the first episode (the hook!) I’m not going to spoil it for anyone reading this! JUST LISTEN!! ITS AWESOME!! Your moms voice and her character ~ her person (who she is) is captivating to me, a West Coast girl. I admire your kindness wand way of being her daughter. You have a ton of love in your heart. I often wonder, what your other favorite podcasts are. You mentioned that’s what you love to do; listen to podcasts. So? Thank you! I’m just feeling a bit nostalgic for a new episode of TBOBB. I hope you’re enjoying your quiet life out there. Big smile!

Gripping Story - very well done (5/5)

I’ve been binging on true crime podcasts for the last 2 years and this is by far the best on so many levels. From the background music to the quality of the interviews (both content and audible sound) to the incredible job of telling the story. Fantastic team effort!! I actually listened to the epilogue episodes too. iO and Rebecca, thanks for sharing your story and best wishes forever! xoxo

So good (5/5)

My childhood was nothing like yours but so much like yours. A home where I never knew what to expect. This podcast is SUPER gripping and emotional and fantastic. Thank you. Thank you for talking about stuff that’s so hard to talk about but so important.

host is distracting and tries too hard (2/5)

The story is interesting but the host just tries to hard to sound cool- it sounds foreign and forced. Just be natural and tell te story please!

Get ready to feel some things (3/5)

This is a great story and I really enjoyed where it landed, but getting there nearly lost me. If this were condensed to fewer and more concise episodes, I’d probably recommend this podcast to lots of different people. Instead it can feel like a straggling journey to listen to, but then imagine living it!

So relatable!! (5/5)

Great podcast. Hits you in the gut. Perfect ending. Hope there are more to come from this team.

Excellent! (5/5)

Enthralling and touching!

Definitely worth listening (5/5)

This podcast is totally mesmerizing. It’s so much more than a crime solving mystery. Everything was completely enthralling from beginning to end—even the bonus features. I absolutely loved it and am trying to convince everyone I know to listen.

This story got me places. (5/5)

Loved this story. Loved the way it was put together. Had me feeling so many emotions. Both seasons were great but Billy Balls.... Rebecca has so much raw emotion in her voice. It bleeds through the speakers and pulls something out of you. The ending had me feeling empty, but a strange contentedness with that.

RFK story is excellent! (5/5)

Haven’t made it to season 2 yet, but looking forward to it. SPOILER** BTW I believe Caesar DID shoot & anyone hypnotized to forget afterwards can pass a poly. Or the specialist who conducted the poly was told to make him pass. Listen if they went through this much to cover it so far, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’d cover their tracks when it came to Caesar! You can hear the quiver in his voice & he has a very prominent nervous laugh. He’s the one that best fits the evidence, don’t believe the poly or his words. TO ZACH: I have a suggestion for you, meet with the Innocence Project & find out how many police dept ignore added evidence because they found someone to take the blame when local eyes were demanding justice! You decided to not believe the EXTREME that it was the government. Which doesn’t have to be the case at all! It could have been just a politician or an organization that hired the hit. It truly doesn’t have to be a secret service militia whole government conspiracy! You unfortunately got blinders at the end & you let your opinion hide some of the unknowns. You should’ve just left your opinion out of it & stated the many unexplained mysteries & let the listeners decide themselves ...period.

Thank You For This Podcast (5/5)

Absolutely riveting.

Awesome!!! (5/5)

This is by far the best podcast I’ve listened to so far and there are so many other awesome ones... I fell in love with IO and his mom. And the story from the cop.... OMG. IO, you are amazing and we all want to be you. Please find another subject to cover and keep doing this!!!

Who cares? (1/5)

Not interesting at all - who cares about a junkie who should have had Child Protective Services called on the way she brought up her daughter.

So good, I want more!!! (5/5)

This has been one of the greatest real life stories I’ve heard in a long time. iO did an excellent job of telling this haunting story of a trauma that has effected the lives of many people. I’m a fan now! I’m going to buy Darling Days now so I can get my iO fix!

Honestly, leave it be (3/5)

I just think this podcast hurt his daughter and his partner more than it was worth. Seemed like it she had to research this, she didn’t have to publish it and drag his loved ones through it.

One of my favorites ever. (5/5)

The storytelling in this is so beautiful. What presents at first as maybe a straight forward crime investigation takes such a deep journey into self introspection and family history. iO, I just wanted to say that listening to this helped me personally face so much of my own family junk and helped me have positive feeling so strength. Thank you for sharing.

Fantastic and soul touching (5/5)

The Ballad of Billy Balls. So good on so many levels. Every aspect of this podcast is wonderful. Witty, disturbing, touching, frustrating, heartbreaking, uplifting, edgy, beautiful, real. And a kickass soundtrack to boot. This podcast, these people, reach into your heart and stay there. ❤️

Best one (5/5)

Every time, I listen to a podcast, I think this is the best one so far. The Ballad of Billy Balls really is the best one. I use podcasts when I walk, and this made me want to walk more frequently and longer. So glad I found this.

Thrilling (5/5)

I don’t know why everyone is hating on this podcast I love it, I’m in episode 3 now and just can’t listen fast enough.

One of the worst (2/5)

Hopefully this podcast improves. I’m on the second episode and as of now, it is one of the worst I’ve ever listened to. Nothing like listening to a old strung-out junky recount the crime-infested NYC of the 1970s.

Builds (4/5)

Weird story but not always thrilling. Definitely picks up though

Billy Bull (1/5)

This is not a 'crime serial' as billed. A drug dealer gets shot by a cop. No crime. The crime is that the podcast uses poor Billy as the reason for all that has gone wrong in a speed freak's life and all that has gone wrong in the life of the speed freaks kid. All the false drama aside, this is a nonsense story.

Gripping, Honest (5/5)

iO is so wonderfully open and honest in this podcast. With a willingness to delve deep into the things in her past that shaped and defined who she is now is real. I appreciate her taking the time to look within herself to define her own truth and inspire the rest of us who are still figuring it out.

Oh Rebecca... (2/5)

Rebecca was just insufferable. I almost gave up in the second episode because she was such an obnoxious disaster. I went on and listened to the whole thing, and it ended up feeling a bit gimmicky and manipulative. I guess anyone can do a podcast about anything these days. In the end, this is a Kurt and Courtney Tale if they’d had no money. How Rebecca has remained alive all these years is a bit of a mystery. I appreciate IOs effort, but I do hope she severs her relationship with her “mother.”

Worth it for iO (4/5)

Reading Darling Days made me very frustrated and even angry with iO’s mom, so I think the patience and grace that he shows towards her this entire series just really made me a bigger iO fan than anything. I am perpetually amazed by his ability to be kind. Even though his mom’s reaction at the end frustrated me, the way he got back to the goal of this podcast and the message at the heart of all of this really was worth the listen. Thank you iO!

Not what I expected. (1/5)

Turned very boring. Turned from a crime podcast to a biography of the host. Very disappointed, waste of time.

RFK Tapes (5/5)

After listening to this podcast, I finally understood how and why the US became the country it is today. Any hope of healing, unity, equality died in the 60s. We are reaping what we sowed.

Booo (1/5)

A drug dealer who neglected his kid got killed for pulling a gun on a cop. Such a tragedy.

Insufferable (2/5)

Only on episode 2 and Rebecca is so insufferably obnoxious. The narrator seems ok but I honestly don’t think I can do a full season of Rebecca’s stupidity. Plus it’s obvious he was murdered by a drug dealer and it sounds like drugs have rotted Rebecca’s brain.

10 Stars (5/5)

If I could rate this podcast a 10 I would.

Loved This So Much!!! (5/5)

Such an incredible & touching show. Can’t recommend it enough!

Wow (5/5)

Listen to the podcast all the way through. Loved it. It felt like I was right there at ever turn in IO ‘s life. What a ride. Please make more podcasts IO.

Ballad Binge (5/5)

I binged my way through the series as I was driving from Salt Lake City Utah back to Miami. I will never forget the series or the drive. I await the next project. please make more movies for our ears.

Idiocy (1/5)

More impotent nonsense by clowns trying to earn money or call attention to themselves. Robert F Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan. That’s it. Sometimes history is just what it is.

Good stuff (5/5)

Simply put this is the best podcast I have listened to since Sh*t Town. I have gone through 6 episodes already today at work (don’t tell the boss) and I will probably finishing binging when I get home. The lead in song is stuck in my head as well, so good

Thank you (5/5)

This is the without a doubt the most beautifully transparent and deeply inspired podcast I have ever heard and I have heard a LOT of podcasts. I always go for true crime podcasts and that is what led me to this unexpected beloved ballad. Listening to this podcast changed my life, sated my skeptical mind, satisfied my senses, created cramp inducing laughter, awakened my imagination, challenged my elected avoidance of emotion, and reintroduced my head to my heart. Thank you so much iO for sharing your story, for risking rejection, and for your intimate and fearless authenticity, you are a remarkable human being and your story is a catalyst for healing and wholeness for so many, myself included.

GutWrenchinglyMarveouslyMovinglyBadass (5/5)

Consider me Rebecca From Sunnybrook Farm. I have no real experience with the type of upbringing that iO had, but this podcast was amazing. I loved all the music. The realness. Emotions. I laughed. I cried. I just want to give Rebecca, Austin, iO, The Law Slinger, and Amanda a warm hug. The psychiatrist who read iO so eloquently and immediately and profoundly! Even the calls from everyone that was shared. This podcast really blew me away with such raw emotions and I loved it. Extra hug for Amanda. She really moved me with her openness and honestly.

Billy Balls (5/5)

Hands-down the most emotionally vivid and powerful podcast I’ve ever heard. iO, Rebecca and Austin give you a piece of their heart in this work. Thank you for what you’ve done. It will resonate for years to come.

Binge worthy (5/5)

Shamefully I listened to this whole podcast in one day. It was definitely one of the best podcast I’ve heard!! It touched on every emotion❣️

Excellent (5/5)

Enjoyed how the story unfolded. Definitely worn a listen

This Ballad is the bomb! (5/5)

If you got past the cheesy subject line here are my thoughts. This has been the greatest podcast series I’ve ever listened too. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. I just held on for dear life, but I would not have missed it for the world. If you like a good story that uncovers a mystery. Dives deep into the human condition. Then you have come to the right place.

Billy Balls (5/5)

So raw and put out there!! Listened to it driving to San Francisco and back! Looked up the band to the theme song and discovered it is a woman singing it!!

Superb Storytelling (5/5)

This is hands-down one of my most favorite serial-story telling podcasts. iO you certainly have a gifted voice and a remarkable cadence in how you deliver your story, and the team you work with certainly gets great credit in the masterful way it was all put together. The music was fabulous and addictive. Superb work!

Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

Loved IO’s research and documenting of this story, her story, her mother’s story. Excellent reporting, excellent production (shoutout to Austin!) and really intriguing.

RFK (5/5)

This is an excellent story. I am very glad to be reminded of the great vision RFK had for this country and what a tragedy it was to loose him and his vision. I wish that this will help motivate people to remember that as a nation, what we need to strive towards.

So touching (5/5)

This podcast went in a totally different direction than I was expecting. What I thought would be a murder mystery turned into a tale of self discovery and a study on how we love ourselves and others. Made my cry a lot. Beautiful.

Great story on the presence of epic love in all its forms (5/5)

I really enjoyed this podcast. Rebecca is a compelling woman, who speaks in poetry and with guttural passion. When she tells her story, you can sense the presence of pain so deep that it seems to cut to the center of her self. I loved listening to her, and honestly wish that there was more time devoted to Rebecca’s incredibly descriptive memories of a moment in life that meant everything. The tragic story of Rebecca and Billy is told perfectly. Rather than distinguish the epic nature of their love from its destructive consequences for their children, the narrator instead weaves both strands together in an effort to tell a complicated tale of love in all of its forms. Io is a surprising and talented documentarian, who has cultivated an incredible sense of self awareness and understanding that seems to develop as the story unfolds. I will absolutely read Io’s book after listening to this!

Great until Episode 9: RFK Tapes (3/5)

I was very intrigued with this podcast even though I don’t always believe conspiracy theories. It was very well presented with archival audio and engaging interviews. There are 10 official episodes, and the first few deal with Sirhan Sirhan and his role in the murder of Robert F. Kennedy; these episodes lean heavily towards the idea that Sirhan may have not been the killer, or that he may have been a scapegoat. The second half of the episodes deal with exploring who might have killed RFK if Sirhan’s bullets did not do it. Episode 9 was supposed to contain an interview with a security guard (from where? Was he hotel security? Private security? Who hired him?) who walked RFK through the pantry when he was shot, and this interview, though promised in Episode 8, was somehow not part of the podcast. It seems that for some reason (legal?) it was cut from the published podcast. You have to find the transcript for the entire episode online; it is out there. It was too bad it was cut from the audio because it made for a compelling conclusion and solved a lot of issues (second gun, multiple bullets, second man, RFK shot at close range I. The back, someone who hated the Kennedys and admits it, on tape, twice, etc.). Not to spoil too much, but it’s the reason this gets 3 stars from me: Zac the narrator sort of unconvinces himself of most of the stuff he’s learned (and explained to the listener during the first 8 episodes), throws away important evidence such as the girl in the polka dot dress, convinces himself that a motorcycle cop cannot identify a bullet hole, convinces himself that the LAPD did not cover anything up but just made a lot of stupid mistakes, and wraps up with a pretty weak ending. The relationship with the co-presenter is pure silliness and would have been better left ignored. It weakened the otherwise academic presentation of known facts. That part is like listening to a spoiled brat arguing with his father. Bonus episodes are available if you can still listen to Zac after he let you down big time.

Connection at it’s most authentic level (5/5)

I love the rawness of this and the vulnerability that we all need to connect with more! Thank you for peeling back the layers and making us connect to your core. No matter what... I see you, your mom, and your fathers connection! Life is not perfect, but you certainly found and connected with the brighter side of life. Certainly a roller coaster ride, but you all grew from this experience and work towards/choose on the basis of love! Thank you for sharing this experience that rings so close to home for all of us! Xo

I remember the village (5/5)

This podcast is pretty darn good if you ask me. It's a little different from the usual "let me tell you about what happened to someone else" formulas most TC podcasts are. It's abount the podcaster and her family. I was excited, surprised, nostalgiac, sad and relieved going through the espsodes. Crimetown knows how to produce and present shows in a pretty different way. I ove the theme song too.

Amazing (5/5)

What all podcasts should be! iO is an amazing storyteller- this was so raw and honest- I was brought to tears several times over the course of the episodes. I will miss BBB but looking forward to whatever iO has in store next <3

Podcast junkie (5/5)

This is the BEST pod I’ve listened to....EVER. Amazing! Love IO and Austin, and their incredible storytelling.

Rebecca’s Voice (4/5)

I love Crimetown stories, so I’m hoping that I can muscle through listening to Rebecca talk. On only on episode two and want to ask is she high or tell her to just get the sentence out.

Billy balls (5/5)


Amazing podcast ! (5/5)

Thank you so much for telling your moms story! I am sure it touched many people, me for sure ! Keep doing what you are doing , never change you are a great person ! I hope to hear more from you !

Great short series (5/5)

Really cool How it all comes together and how vulnerable iO is throughout the show!

About as perfect as a podcast can be. (5/5)

When people go back and point out when podcasts became their own distinct art form this podcast will undoubtedly be one that is acknowledged. This form of media really allows for this story to be told properly. Just a lot of heart, it touched me deeply.

Unlike anything else out there (5/5)

Io and Austin are an unbelievable team full of dedication, humor, and heart. I wept, I laughed, I was shocked. Io choosing to share his story and his mother’s story here is hugely brave and humbling. Please do yourself a favor and listen to this work of art podcast!

Only on episode 2 (2/5)

I’m having a very hard time listening to Rebecca. Her voice and near speech impediment is killing me!

Amazing (5/5)

io is amazingly inspiring. I’m jealous of people that haven’t listened yet, I binged the entire podcast and would do it over again x a million.

Raw look into a haunting family story (5/5)

Very well produced. Many twists and turns, that are all tied together at the end. Hope this group continues to produce future stories

Annoying mother (2/5)

Decent story but every time the mother came on my ears bled

Outstanding!! (5/5)

In my top 3 very most favorite podcasts...always delighted to see a new episode posted, io is gracious and compassionate and wry and funny and honest and who we should all strive to be more like!!

Best podcast EVER! (5/5)

Seriously. I am so picky and truly appreciate a good podcast. It’s so good. This story that is unexpectedly complex. Thoughtful, psychology-minded listeners will see just how amazing and flawed the story teller is.

Ugh (1/5)

I listened to the teaser and was intrigued, but quit halfway through the first episode. I just couldn’t listen to Rebecca.

The BEST (5/5)

iO: what a gift you have given your mom and all of your listeners. Besides this exceptionally well told and researched podcast, you are a natural born story teller. You have the most unaffected, genuine voice when speaking your truth. I fell in love with the cadence and melody of your words, so much so I had to Google you and just as imagined your face is equally beautiful. THANK YOU. Can’t wait to hear more from you; in the meantime I’m off to read Darling Days.

...sooooo what happened with Billy? (1/5)

Is something I kept asking myself in the later episodes. It just turned into a story about IO. Disappointing. I kept listening in hopes it would become more than just her childhood trauma but couldn’t finish it.

Best Phuckin Story EVER! (5/5)

Every aspect of this podcast had my rapt attention. The theme song, Io's voice, the time, the setting, Io's mom's voice, the story, the investigation, Billy's voice, the surprises, the production (such great production!). I'd like to hear anything Io has to say from this point on. Thank you Io, thank you Crimetown, and RIP Billy Balls!

Lawslinger (5/5)

When’s Kuby getting a podcast?

Loved it! (5/5)

Big shout out to the whole team for being so real!!

Ballad of iO Tilley Wright (1/5)

Starts off incredibly compelling and then strays from the narrative to become incredibly self indulgent as you listen to the narrator publicly explore her childhood trauma and exploit her grieve stricken mother.

This is EPIC!!!! (5/5)

A Must listen!!! I am blown away! I am beyond sad that this is over!!! The team of iO and Austin, I mean wow! I loved it!

No thanks (1/5)

Wanted to like this, but took a really self-centered turn that completely ruined it.

Check it out (3/5)

Was ok. Felt like it could have been one 1.5 hour story. Worth a listen overall.


This is one of the best stories I have ever listened to! So many levels of being human! Thank you iO and team!

Heartbreaking & excellent (5/5)

First person investigative report on a suspicious death and a lost soul left behind. Unwinding the mystery of a young punk rocker/free spirit killed by an undercover narcotics cop in the east village, NYC.

Master Storytelling (5/5)

I have so much respect for Io for telling such a personal, complex story with such skill and grace.

Fantastic! (5/5)

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and this one is by far one of the best I’ve heard. Excellent storytelling and twists and turns. Highly recommend it!

Captivating (5/5)

Such a great story teller! Love you voice. I listen to this podcast in two days!

Addicted (5/5)

Love the hosts and can’t stop listening!

Self Indulgent and exploitive (2/5)

While this podcast is well produced and I listened to the entire series, I thought the host used her mother and Amanda for her own benefit. I found it quite cruel and distasteful.

The Ballad of iO (1/5)

As we strayed further from the topic of Billy Balls in episode 9, I just couldn’t take it anymore and abandoned the podcast. I was captivated by his story, but couldn’t make the narcissistic, self-indulgent leap to the story being all about iO. Pass.

A must listen (5/5)

So many levels of excellence.

Conclusion? (2/5)

The bonus episode is the best evidence of what this podcast was all about. It captures the listeners attention with the tapes and research, witnesses and analysis, just to end with a stand-up comedy show with people laughing at how the two main ‘investigators’ argue the details to support their arguments. The guy just agrees with the one pushing the arguments down his throat and being aggressive. Again, it will definitely catch your attention but won’t take you anywhere, there’s just no message here.

I was hooked (5/5)

iO is a magnificent storyteller. Linking human questions, curiously, emotion, & mishap with the art of relationships. I loved it. I want more.

A wild and cathartic ride (5/5)

It is a complicated tapestry and an emotional ride in all the best ways. I thank iO for sharing this story and in turn, letting us listeners find some peace with our own.

Amazing (5/5)

If you are wondering if you would like this podcast- you will! It’s entertaining, heartfelt, and a roller coaster of love, joy, and sadness. Io is an amazing storyteller.

Five stars, but hard to get there... (5/5)

A friend recommended this podcast to me, and I almost couldn’t make it through the first episode. However, I’m glad I stuck with it till the end. The reviews that are complaining that it was more about iO than Rebecca are totally missing the point. Of course it’s about iO. It’s about how the death of a man he never met affected his entire life. It was only about Rebecca in the sense that iO’s entire life has been about Rebecca, and her dysfunction, and how that made iO the person he is. Rebecca may not have gotten the closure that iO wanted for her, but iO got the closure that he didn’t even realize he needed. I hope that Billy’s daughter, Amanda, will be able to come to terms with the truth about her father as well, instead of clinging to the myth that she had created, much like Rebecca did. Thanks, iO, for taking us along on this wild ride!! Peace, and blessings to you and Austin!!

10% true crime mystery, 90% vanity project (1/5)

There’s no story here. Lots of effort to create a story, but once the simple chain of events is discovered the host pivots to a self-indulgent hard knock life narrative to sell her book. Her mother isn’t suffering from grief. She’s profoundly mentally ill and needs to be helped and not exploited for a podcast.

Juicy and Real! (5/5)

So good, so real, so human! Thank you for letting us go on this archival hunt with you and your Mom for truth about love and memory. And also, Long-live K-Balls!!! Rock on!!

Great listen (5/5)

This podcast had me feeling all kinds of emotions ... made me miss my mom... couldn’t wait for the weekly podCast ..thank you for sharing your story. It’s a great love story

Comedy and Tragedy (5/5)

Finally a podcast that spoke straight to my heart! Thank you for your humility, courage and commitment to authenticity. From the beginning to the end, I was hanging on every syllable. There’s nothing out there, on any other podcast, that even compares to the raw, human emotion between you and your Mom. It was obvious (to me) that you painstakingly chose your words when telling your Mom you’d found Billy’s gravesite. Careful not to seem insensitive even when you were bursting with the news! I felt a little bit like I was eavesdropping but it was all really beautiful, especially during those moments when you weren’t at all certain that you were doing the right thing. I happen to believe you were! Thank you again, you are all loved!

Fantastic (5/5)

I could listen to IO all day long.

Great story (5/5)

IO just got done listening to the story and I’m listening to the bonus. Thanks for sharing ur family story. It had to be hard to talk to ur mom. I hope everything went s good between u two. Best of luck

Listen to this podcast!!! (5/5)

My husband convinced me to listen to this after we had a conversation about potters field. This podcast is amazing, so happy I was turned onto it. io is amazing, the production is amazing, the theme song is amazing- I’m just so happy and feel this is required listening for everyone.

Amazing PODCAST (5/5)

Such a great listen for any type of person, highly recommend this podcast!

Amazing Story (5/5)

I’ve never had the want to actually write a review for a podcast until now. This was a beautiful well done story. The music, iO’s voice, everything. I really want to go get her book now!!

iO and the Ballad are incredible (5/5)

Binged this whole podcast in a week and was not let down by the ending. iO and her team are master storytellers. Each episode clings to your ears. Listen now. You’ll be glad you did. Great work!

Lomas2133 (5/5)

Loved this podcast

Hard and beautiful (5/5)

Not sure what I expected but i was hooked on this podcast from the beginning. IO is my hero - honest and kind and real - I was sad that it ended. Yes, it was hard to hear some of this story, but mostly io’s love for his mother mushed my heart.

The podcast that goes nowhere (1/5)

What a waste of time!!

The BEST podcast! (5/5)

I’m afraid I’ll never find another podcast that’ll move me like this one did!

Love (5/5)

Compelling, beautifully told story. Deep, raw, vulnerable. IO you’re incredible!

Unlistenable (1/5)

Why is this a podcast?

IO and her crew are beautiful people (5/5)

The gritty NYC downtown scene of the 70s-80s is meaningfully evoked by IO and her talented team in this beautifully rendered tale of love, talent, dysfunction, substance abuse, inter generational trauma, and survival. IO is a testament to the power of love as a response to anger and neglect. Her early life was far from easy and yet she broke the chain of inherited pain and sought a remedy through the deep love she has for her mother. This podcast was crafted from an unwavering love and hope for healing for her mom. Kudos to Austin who was a wonderful partner in this heartbreaking endeavor. Amanda’s story made me cry. Such neglect of a toddler was almost too hard to hear. She is a resilient and amazing individual.

The variety is crucial (5/5)

Crimetown’s first season was outstanding and a small part of me wanted them to stay in that box. But with the second season and “The Ballad of Billy Balls,” they’ve enhanced the brand. iO’s style and personal stake in Billy’s story brought an emotion that was palpable. Truly outstanding work!

Beautiful (5/5)

This podcast is the best one I’ve listened to in a very long time. It’s so much more than true crime or an investigation. It’s amazing. It’s everything.

Well done, iO!! (5/5)

I am a podcast junkie, and I subscribed but kept skipping over this podcast for some unknown reason! Then I finally started listening and WOW. I admire you iO, and your mother and father so much for sharing this story with all of us. I honor Rebecca’s love for Billy and will never forget her or him. So many parts of this whole journey have resonated with so many of us for a multitude of personal reasons...secrets and hurts and love that we may hold in our hearts, unbeknownst to those around us. Very raw emotions were involved and you handled all of it with grace and honesty. Thank You and I hope you do more podcasts with your team!

Where’s The Rest Of Me? (2/5)

A few thoughts on this series after listening to it in its entirety. Like other criticisms the story become more of a personal quest which shifted the overall narrative. At the risk of sounding priggish, I don’t see the point of the story about IO and girlfriend getting it on in the Guggenheim bathroom and it’s relation to Billy B. Granted it sounds like fun but why is this important to the story? What really struck me in the last episode was the reactions from Billy’s daughter and IO’s mom. The former was dragged back into painful memories that she did not really want revisit. Alex seemed surprised by this which to my ear is naive. As for IO’s mom, the denial and rage was predictable. Which led me to question what did IO expect? Surely this could not have been a surprise.

Addicting! (5/5)

Great podcast that touches on many different life situations.

Fantastic Story (5/5)

I don’t remember the last time a killed a podcast and felt this way. I connected with iO and Rebecca on a level that I can’t even describe. The sound was really well done, and the story was put together really well. Thanks for releasing this, I’ll be recommending to everyone I know.

Best nyc podcast (5/5)

What an amazing story and not at all what I expected after crimetown season 1. A punk rock murder turns into a brutally raw family introspective. Unique yet relatable, I found myself thinking of my own family’s history and literally binged it all in a few days. Thanks for having the courage to share. 10/10 must listen.

Loved this podcast, what a great story! (5/5)

IO did an amazing job telling her and her mom’s story in the Ballad of Billy Balls. So much insight, pain and love poured out through the story. The story was put together so well. It is one of my favorite podcasts, even though it was not what I was expecting. I hope Rebecca is able to someday accept and appreciate the love IO put into the story. What a wonderful daughter!

No story here (2/5)

Rebecca is drugged, slower, and obsessed with her own creative, the story is forced and there isn’t actually anything to report on... this could be pitched as a character study but a good story it definitely is not.

Best Pod of 2019 (5/5)

The Ballad of Billy Balls should win an award for best podcast documentary of the year. Raw. Real. Revealing.

The only redeeming thing (1/5)

Would’ve been if there were actually a story here. Unfortunately there wasn’t. Waste of time and feels like the joke’s on me for listening. I have no clue how this got more than 1-2 stars. At least Ron Kuby was interesting, albeit only to finally shut down this ridiculously misguided plight that never should’ve seen the light of day

Well Done (4/5)

This was very well done and thoughtful...I enjoyed the story and would have listened to it, I just wanted a little more like the Rhode Island Crimetown where it looked at the whole city for a podcast called Crimetown, but this was very well done

Glorifying dug abusers while trying to make villains out of authority (2/5)

First 5-6 episodes are great, until you realize you’ve been duped. A more interesting podcast would’ve been the cop telling his experiences on the note in the 70s.

Meh (3/5)

The start of this podcast was awesome and super engaging. It sort of derailed and became about the host. Kind of a let down.

Crime: Billy’s death wasn’t interesting. (2/5)

The only crime against Rebecca and iO is that Billy’s death wasn’t some conspiracy. I wanted to kill myself when iO leaves the room and gets sick after the attorney tells her it was a mundane justifiable homicide. iO plays it off like she’s upset to tell her mom, but the truth is she’s upset because Billy’s death doesn’t live up to the legend she has hyped up. Not every aspect of your life has to be interesting. You’re already a transgender New Yorker with an alternative upbringing. Scares me that some people literally get sick at the thought that there life isn’t one big Hunter Thompson story.

Great work and hopeful for more from IO (5/5)

I didn’t think much of the name of this podcast when my partner first told me about it. I was absolutely hooked with the first episode. Very well done. Compelling story, compelling interviews and spellbinding style from IO Tillet Wright. Can’t wait for her next project.

So. Good. (5/5)

IO what’s your next project?!?!

Makes you really THINK (5/5)

IO is a great narrator and keeps it real. Kept me wanting to hear the next episode! 5 stars!!!

An amazing journey! (5/5)

This podcast brought back memories of when I was a young punk rock girl hanging out in the Village in the early 80's. The narrative and production are strong and more than nostalgia. Most importantly, though, the underlying message of acceptance and love is universal. I can't recommend this podcast enough.

Season Two is incredible (5/5)

I haven’t listened to season one, but season two “The Ballad of Billy Balls” is absolutely incredible. If you’re into true crime, mysteries, amateur investigations, or simply just hearing a well produced, and well told story, then you’ll love this podcast. iO holds nothing back, bares his soul, and you’ll cry from the raw emotions on a regular basis. This podcast has what so many true crime podcasts are missing: HEART.

Awesome (5/5)

Except for those two week waits.

Captivating (5/5)

The story-telling and characters are captivating and thought-provoking. I keep coming back for more.

Loved it (5/5)

Really great podcast that you think is about one thing but is way deeper!

Love IO (5/5)

Love this podcast a lot. I love IO’s voice and the way the story unfolds. The music is amazing and the characters are so interesting. I am going to miss it! I hope this cast does another one.

Excellent Story (5/5)

This podcast is one of my all time favorites. It’s the story of murder, grief, and healing. I think most people listening will find some sort of connection to the story being told. Well worth the listen!

Got issues with your parents? Here’s a free therapy course (5/5)

One of my all-time favorite podcasts. Period.

Genuine Story-Telling (5/5)

I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts. This one us unique and honest. It has a personal touch which is refreshing. Highly recommend!

Surprises (5/5)

Io is a gift. This story rarely goes where you think it’s going. Io, Austin and crew are tremendous storytellers. More please!

Brilliant (5/5)

The research for the shows: EXCEPTIONAL. The narration: OUTSTANDING. The subject matter: COMPELLING. THIS IS A MUST LISTEN PODCAST.

Well Done and gut wrenching. (5/5)

So well done. IO is a brave voice in the face of overwhelming odds. Also a great storyteller. I didn’t want it to end. I’m hoping we hear more soon from IO And the producers of The Ballad of Billy Balls.

Great podcast (5/5)

Really spellbinding great story telling

Survival (4/5)

I’d like to thank you for sharing your story of growing up with neglect & abuse. You are not alone & that means I am not alone. When you grow up that way it’s difficult to explain to those that didn’t. There is life after & forgiveness.

Compelling (5/5)

Love this podcast!

Best in a long time (5/5)

I don’t even know how to describe this podcast. It’s raw and emotional and takes you on a ride you don’t even realize you’re on. The story is incredible. The presentation is masterful. IO’s willingness to process emotions and share that journey offers things that everyone will relate to in some way. I wish it didn’t have to end. If you haven’t started listening yet, go. Do it now.

Best podcast of 2019 (5/5)

One part true crime, one part love letter to gritty 1980s nyc, two parts journey of discovery. It’s hard to put in a box, impossible to look away from once you are hooked. Io is a force who is wonderfully vulnerable, strong, articulate and introspective. What a great story that touched me deeply and dredged up a bunch of personal stuff. Stick with it; it’s totally worth it. I started it over as soon as I finished the last episode.

Best EVER! (5/5)

Best podcast EVER! I never want it to end! Truly touching and heart wrenching. A story of addiction, true love, equality, and acceptance.

Nailed it (5/5)

Such an amazing podcast. IO doesn’t only have an art for telling a story, but connected with so many on so many levels. Looking forward to seeing what else IO brings to the world.

A great listen (5/5)

I loved this podcast it kept me riveted. I just downloaded Darling Days to read. Thank you Austin and IO. I’m sure this story wasn’t easy to tell, but what a great story. Wishing you peace.

LOVE (5/5)

Can’t get enough! The story, your mom, you and they way you speak. Please give us more!

Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

IO you are truly an amazing person! I admire your courage and strength in sharing your story and I believe you have helped many others by doing so. Thank you!

All the things (5/5)

This podcast has all the stuff I like. Punk rock, true crime, investigative journalism, and superb storytelling. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

So unexpected, so touching, so thrilling (5/5)

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this podcast, but right after episode #1 I couldn’t wait for the next episode. Io, Austin and everybody else did an amazing job in telling and investigating the story in such a detailed, objective yet personal way. So sorry the story came to an end.

Beyond Billy (5/5)

This goes beyond the story of Billy Balls. It’s such a compelling narrative and exploration of how a family was effected by a specific event. The expression and compassion that iO has for the people in life is astounding and deeply humbling. iO, you make me want to be a better, more understanding, and empathetic person! Thank you for sharing your story.

So good (5/5)

iO you mentioned some heavy stuff and somehow you did that while retelling this crazy story. Good for you. I want to leave you a message but at this point I’m sure it’s just noise. You did wonderful with this. Well done.

Intense (5/5)

What an evocative podcast. Poetic and raw. Every word Rebecca utters is drenched with her unabated, authentic self. I could feel her burning on the inside. The city noise, the music, the birdsongs juxaposed with thick mud, art. Well done and hope there is more to come. My copy of Darling Days is on the way! Thanks for the ride!!!

Complex, compassionate true crime (5/5)

This genre of podcast is really hit or miss for me - I often find the mode of telling to be salacious, irresponsible, even reckless towards the lives affected by the story being told. iO Tillett Wright approaches his family’s founding trauma with exceptional care and is never afraid to question or reevaluate his own motives and approach. Rebecca Wright makes a compelling, hypnotic, heartbreaking and at times frightening subject of her child’s investigations. I almost wish this had been released as a stand-alone podcast - calling it true crime feels like a mislabeling of a journey that is so much more delicate and thorny and holistic than your average whodunnit. Outstanding work.

Everyone needs to listen to this!! (5/5)

Superbly produced and a wonderful, real story. Touched me in so many ways - IO you are a wonderful and talented human!!

A revelation (5/5)

Far more real and human than you’d expect from a “true crime story.”

Can’t get enough (5/5)

Just listen, trust me.

Don’t do drugs kids (1/5)

I gave up around episode 5. Painful to listen to

All Crime Stories Leave Behind A Trail of Tears (5/5)

This is a poignant labor of love. iO, there were so many times I wanted to call and leave the message of my story, but I don’t have the ending, yet. Bless you for being brave enough to search for the truth and tender enough to let the fantasy suffice for such a delicate soul. Thanks for taking us on such a personal journey.

Love love love (5/5)

My heart drops every time iO says we have to wait 2 weeks for a new episode

Looked forward to every week (5/5)

This was a really well done podcast. I cried at the last episode.

So much heart (5/5)

Told with so much heart and humanity. Thanks for letting us into your world, Io.

Amazing! (5/5)

Great story telling ... and investigative reporting. Love the editing too. And iO Tillet’s voice and manner. I will listen to anything else you do.

Addicted (5/5)

I love everything about this - so sad to see it ending, I am going to miss it so much. Thank you to IO and family and the Crimetown team for sharing this story!

more iO PLEASE! (5/5)

love love loved every minute of this story. y’all killed it. there are so many aspects that SO many people can relate to. cant wait for more from this killer team.

Extraordinary truth-telling (5/5)

If you are a fan of true stories told unbelievably, heart-rippingly well, this podcast is for you. It will not only make you think, but it will make you feel just about every human emotion possible. Get this podcast in your ears ASAP.

Worth every minute (5/5)

Show started a little slow and hard to get into imo however still captivating enough. I am glad that I kept listening cause beyond episodes 1&2 it kept building and keeps you wanting more. Io is a boss.


I’m a podcast JUNKIE and this is on the top of my list. If you haven’t listened yet, what are you waiting for? This story connects with everyone at some level. Very well done.

A MUST listen (5/5)

This story grabbed my attention immediately and held it throughout each episode. I audibly gasped, laughed, and teared up numerous times during the series. I anxiously awaited new episodes and wish I could listen to it for the first time all over again. A beautiful story of love, loss, and life in its grittiest, rawest form. iO, hug your mom for me, please.

Wow, just wow! (5/5)

This really took me by surprise. I had no idea how raw and personal a story this was going to be. I found myself aching over every moment of iO’s and Rebecca’s journey together. I, too had a tumultuous relationship with my mom. This really hit the feels!!! Thanks iO and Austin for great work.

Wow (5/5)

What a journey! Thanks for taking us along.

Lots of excuses (1/5)

Season one was great. Season 2 started like a true crime podcast and turned into an NA meeting about why junkies do junkie things. Lots of excuses. Pass.

Wow (5/5)

I loved this story, really well done.

ugh, woof. (1/5)

pretty much a waste of time, i’m annoyed i spent so much of mine listening

Dumb (2/5)

What a waste of time. It was clear from the first episode what really happened. Dirt bag dope dealer pulls gun on undercover cop and gets dealt with accordingly. Then the blind with love, drug induced, brain-fried girlfriend convinced herself for 3 decades it’s all a big conspiracy...and here comes the cop hating/bashing daughter that thinks she’s going to blow the case wide open but turns out cops were just doing their job and there’s nothing special about this whole ordeal. And I won’t even start on the ridiculous of amount of time spent on ads.

Right in the feels (5/5)


Billy Balls (3/5)

Overall a compelling and well-put together story, but couldn’t help feel it was too much navel-gazing. It’s more a cautionary tale about mental illness and family dysfunction than true crime, so how much one is interested in crazy is important here. A lot of time spent trying to make a couple of burned out addicts into romantic geniuses, but in the end, io seems to understand that it’s not worth trying to rewrite history. Maybe there’s a lesson here after all.

Love (5/5)

This was an amazing podcast. Your story is so touching and moving it made me laugh and cry at times. It made me think a lot about my relationship with my parents and even helped to me learn how to deal with what I was born into. Thank you for being brave enough to share. The part where you said “ it wasn’t easy but I guess that what makes it beautiful” is spot on! ❤️

10 Stars! I love it! (5/5)

This podcast literally has me feeling chills of excitement. The storyteller is doing an amazing job! Love it!

Recommended (5/5)

Well told story and a great listen. I’m looking forward to your next one.

No thank you. (1/5)

This is the reason I stopped listening to punk rock. These people (the subjects of the podcast) have the intelligence of someone who flunked out of fifth grade. I don’t care how compelling the hosts want to make the story; I just don’t care about people that are/were this stupid.

Disappointing turn (2/5)

I am a fan of the first 8 episodes of the podcast, and would love to hear more about IO’s life in a different context but at some point the podcast started to feel more like family counseling played out. The part of episode 9 where IO’s dad started to question the relevance of the conversation was so uncomfortable, I don’t think he should have pushed him into discussing all of it. I listened to a little more of the episode but it really just became a totally different story. I believe in the butterfly effect but there has to be more accountability. You can’t always blame the past.

By far the best podcast out there!! (5/5)

So emotional & straight from the heart. Nothing is better than honest storytelling like this. I will gladly listen to any projects you do in the future. You guys are AMAZING!

Phenomenal!! (5/5)

I am on the road a lot, so I’ve listened to sooo many podcasts! I have never needed “the next episode” so bad and never been so deflated to hear IO say “this is the last episode!” This story could not have possibly been told any better and would have remained untold if not fir IO’s desperate desire to help her mother navigate life after loss! 4 stars is not enough!

LOVE (5/5)

This podcast has kept me glued to it weekly ever since the first episode. I relate to billy as my own late father and To your mother as my own mother and how I grew up. This podcast was heart filled and I loved tuning in each week!! So amazing.

100% (5/5)

iO & Austin, so sad this is over! This is truly the best podcast I’ve heard, and I’ve listened to thousands of hours. Your compassion, kindness & integrity shines all the way through!! Amazingly heartbreaking & beautiful ❤️

I didn’t want it to be over (5/5)

My cells are still vibrating to the pulsing synth of the theme song. I’m going to miss your candor, your warmth, the intensity of it all. Thank you for saying the hard things. Thank you for looking deeper.

False Advertising (1/5)

Was the narrator drafting their college admissions essay or something? I came looking for crime-drama, mystery instead got what sounds like someone trying to make their mundane life seem interesting and dramatic. “I grew up in the projects” basically. Google the narrator, father is a well-connected director and they’ve traveled the world and lived abroad. So self-indulgent. There is no story, no mystery, no suspense. I kept waiting for the plot twist... there isn’t one. It’s just a literal waste of time. Like sorry you have a complicated relationship with your mother, that doesn’t make for a crime podcast.

Much Love (5/5)

IO, much love now and in the future. You have a special gift. ~Alicia Perillo

Great ending (5/5)

What a great story. Although the ending wasn’t what I was expecting, it was exactly what it should have been. Thanks iO & Austin!

Top 5 for 2019 (5/5)

I really enjoyed this podcast. I was hooked from episode one and had so many emotions listening to it. IO and Austin do a great job narrating the episodes.

Going nowhere (2/5)

I'm five episodes into season 1 and feel like this pod has been treading water and has done nothing to make me question the official narrative of the RFK assassination.

Just never hooked me (2/5)

Story did not go very far.

Powerful and fascinating! (5/5)

IO, you are compassionate, intelligent, you exude warmth, and a fearlessness in facing truth. These are all qualities rarely seen in many people these days.

True crime with a twist (5/5)

Excellent storytelling and a fresh perspective on not just trauma but inter-generational trauma. For those of you who felt strongly enough to write a review about how you didn’t understand or felt misled, and continue to misgender the host of this story, open your minds. If you really truly listen, this is a story that everyone can relate to. This story is so important. Excited to see what comes next!

Compellingly told (5/5)

This is a stunningly, beautifully and compellingly told tale of love and loss and seeking and finding and mostly of healing. iO brings such authenticity to the narrative of searching for answers to her mothers lost love ... and how she found herself in the process. I couldn’t wait for each and every episode. This is a wonderful podcast. I’m going to have to buy the book...

This great. (5/5)

I listen to a lot, A LOT of podcasts. This has by far been my favorite. The real, raw content is captivating. I would listen to iO read anything. Please do another podcast! I’m a fan!!

Great podcast (5/5)

This is an amazing podcast that follows and enthralling story about trauma and its generational effects. IO is extremely brave as he tackles the death of his mother’s longtime lover, someone IO never met but who played a huge role in his life nevertheless.

Heartbreaking and heartening. (5/5)

There is beauty in even the most complicated, difficult love.

Fantastic story. (4/5)

This was a great podcast.

Gripping and tragic (3/5)

I give it it three stars because the storytelling is well done but it troubles me that a man who has so profoundly harmed so many women is idolized. I hope Amanda, iO and Rebecca find peace and happiness.

Wow (5/5)

This entire thing was so captivating. IO my heart just ached for you in the last episode. I respect your perseverance and simple acceptance of your mother. After all this work all of the trauma of your childhood I personally would want to SCREAM what I found out to your mom! Your bigger than that. Your amazing. Thank you. You made me laugh and cry and leave a better person. Keep doing this! Your great!

Loved it!!!! (5/5)

This podcast has really hit me hard in so many ways. I can relate to IO i don’t want to give anything away. Just listen to this podcast.

Wow. (5/5)

I’m a podcast junkie. This is really amazing. A stand out! A deep dive into another life. A life that may not seem relatable to most. I am so overwhelmed by this love letter from a daughter to her mother. Gut-wrenching and poignant. I’m sorry it’s over.

I love iO and this podcast. (5/5)

For the haters that seem to think that iO should’ve started from a place opposite of that which she grew up believing: really? And to those upset she assumed misconduct in the NYPD: really? We’re talking about the same era that brought us NYPD officers that were planting drugs and robbing dealers they were supposed to be arresting. I love when cops review podcasts, it’s always so evident. Corruption in the police force across this country is THE NORM. To believe otherwise, THAT is ignorant. Of course iO would be biased, but the story here is that she realized the truth when it was proven to her. Everyone has a journey, and iO’s is one that’s sad and painful but it is powerful. For those that reviewed this poorly, you must come from a pristine suburban background where daddy was a lawyer and mommy stayed home. Or you’re a cop, like I said before. Anyone that’s ever been through family trauma can relate to this. It’s the investigation into the truth of this family that is so riveting. iO, I hope you know that the negative reviews of this podcast are coming from the same people that love Trump. And think our justice system “works.” Anyone that doesn’t see your brilliant podcast for what it is, a work of tremendous emotional and psychological weight, is simply blind to what our world is really like. No one wants to go through trauma, but those of that really have gone through hell and emerged alit with love are just...different. Our perspective is one that you can’t gain without going there. I applaud you for this amazing story and for sharing every nook and cranny of what your life, and your mom’s, have looked like. Just be, that’s all we can do.

Masterful storytelling (5/5)

Some brave self-reflection into a truly interesting family’s life. It gets pretty heavy

If this had a different title, it would be great. (3/5)

If this podcast was touted as being about IO, I would still be intrigued by how Billy’s death shaped his life because of how it changed IO’s mother. But instead, it’s supposed to be The Ballad is Billy Balls, and we don’t get that. We get info about Billy. His death. His life. And it still revolves around IO and his feelings about the situation and then his life. I tried to stick with it. But this shouldn’t have been called the ballad of billy balls. It became too self indulgent.

Great Podcast (5/5)

This was my all time favorite podcast. The investigation and the telling of this story is heartbreaking yet beautiful. I highly recommend it.

So good! (5/5)

One of my favorite podcast. What an amazing story touching, painful, fascinating, I can’t recommend it enough!

OMG- fantastic! (5/5)

I am an incredibly avid podcast listener, and this is one of the best series I have ever listened to! In fact I rarely give written reviews, but IO you rock! If you love podcasts this should be one of the first on your list! Also Crimetown, BRAVO! You always do great work! Thank you! And IO I can’t wait for your next one, I’m sure it won’t be as personal if a journey, but that does not matter, you are a fantastic investigator and writer! Very good work! Do it again!!!!!

What Heart (5/5)

I’m literally crying because I just finished this podcast and fell so in love with iO’s ability to be human... and I don’t want it to ever end. Please, iO, keep sharing your gift of heart with us. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

What are the right words??? (5/5)

Perfectly done! IO is what we should strive to be when encountering the things that make us who we are; objective, kind & compassionate. Thank you for the best podcast I’ve heard so far! I can’t wait to hear what’s next!!

Well produced but misleading (2/5)

Downloaded because it is misrepresented as true trime. *spoiler alert* Billy Balls was a drug dealer that was killed by police in a drug deal gone wrong. Host iO is a daughter of the left behind girlfriend who can’t cope. Whole story is iO trying to make it into more than it was.

Loved it (5/5)

This story had me at the title Every week I wanted more and more and really could not wait till the next Wow it’s a great story and I’m so happy that you shared it with us

I resisted at first, but then I surrendered. (5/5)

I kept hearing ads for this podcast on other shows I was listening to, and I was interested but ambivalent. Having come up from trauma, and finding my way into the punk rock scene, I was inevitably going to listen. Partway through, I realized what the true journey was and I couldn’t stop listening. I’m traveling that same road of self discovery and forgiveness, but unlike IO, I’m on that road alone. My mom is gone, and I’m working to find a way to let the past go and be alright with things for me. Thank you for sharing this journey.

Vibrations of the Heart (5/5)

I’m a podcast and spoken word junky. This has been one of the most emotionally affecting sound production I’ve ever heard. So intimate, and yet it reaches through time and memories to touch something universal in the ways people relate to one another, and remember, and create narratives that help us to survive. I’m about the same age Billy would be, and I knew the times when he lived. Every episode broke through to my heart and helped me to weep. This is the definition of great art. Thank you io.

Drugs are bad (3/5)

I feel for IO. IO did a great job unraveling the story of Billy Balls. He and IO’s mom were junkies and dealers that hid behind his ‘music’ and when her was killed for pulling a gun, the reality of him being a junkie drug dealer carrying a gun was replaced with what an angel he was in her eyes. From the moment I started listening I knew IO was fighting a losing battle with a mom who was a drug addict that is trapped in the past on a bed of lies, untruths and misremembering of a drug addled mind. She was never going to believe the facts of the case, that her beloved Billy was not the angel she built him up to be in her mind. I feel for IO to have to live in the past with the weight of Billy’s ghost and the abuse heaped upon his shoulders by his mother.

Addiction- Codependency story (4/5)

This is a sad story of a child’s life brought up by two narcissistic, abusive addicts. It’s sad and interesting. It’s seems IO is trying to make sense of her life. However, IO continues to blame everyone else for their problems failing to self evaluate. The cops shot a strung out drug addict w a gun. I hope IO can see her codependency and stop making excuses for her mother placing the blame on everyone and everything else. Her mother isn’t crazy? It was the drug that caused psychosis. Is it not crazy to keep taking a drug that turns you into a lunatic? She was an addict before Billy was shot. This is not the fault of the cops. It is a story of mental illness. Interesting story nevertheless though of a family of disfunction, aka personality disorders mixed with drug addiction. I feel for IO as her mother is very sick.

Biased? (1/5)

Did she wish he were her father? He was a womanizer, druggy, child abandoner. Once she got paperwork she assumed the police were wrong and he was suddenly a great guy. His actions say otherwise.

Wow! (5/5)

What a ride; from the colorful, gritty NYC of the 1970’s, to conspiracies with dirty narc cops, to ultimately a story about love and meaning, this was a great story with depth and personality. Thanks iO and Austin

OMG! Io! (5/5)

This story is so similar to mine (as your mom). I’ve struggled with addiction and a few really hard to process deaths in my life and I know that my beautiful daughter has paid the price in a lot of ways. I just sobbed those last couple episodes. Still sobbing! Thank you!

Moving (5/5)

This story is incredibly multifaceted! I felt the full spectrum of emotions. Thank you iO for sharing this with the world.

Captivating (5/5)

This story pulled me in from the beginning with its honest, raw, emotion. Thank you.

Complete disappointment (1/5)

After following the original Crimetown podcast and then listening to this one, I am very disappointed.

Great Story Arc (5/5)

I have enjoyed the arc of the storytelling. Increasing depths as the truth unfolds.

Terrible people (1/5)

Wow, what you guys did to his daughter was just awful. And then listening to the mental gymnastics to justify making this all about the host was gross. You have an awful mother but you’re an adult. At this point it’s your choice to keep this dysfunction in your life. Don’t spread it around to others.

One of my favorites (5/5)

Thanks for sharing this story. One of my favorite podcasts in a long time. All the best to your family.

Billy Balls...Terrible podcast! (1/5)

Trying to get us to care about two drugged out characters who have no redeeming qualities...massive fail! Blaming the police for the death of someone who made poor choices in life! You took drugs and sold drugs!! Why was this horrible podcast included with the great RFK tapes??

How will I live without my weekly dose of Billy Balls? (5/5)

iO, you have told this story in such a beautiful way. I listened to the last drop of sound. You are so strong & articulate. Your peaceful & calming voice hypnotized me each an every episode. Thank you for sharing your story. I am excited to learn more about you and I cannot wait to read Darling Days. I’m going to miss you as this story has ended (for now.) You have done a wonderful job! Thank you! Lisa PS: I listened to the end of the credits!

The Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

This podcast pulls you in , so find a comfy spot and buckle up!! The story is narrated with authenticity ,vulnerability , and passion . Like listening to a best friend confide an incredible story. The investigation keeps revealing more unexpected info. I was awed by the limitless capacity of love here and it’s relevance for us all. Wow!! Peg

Ballad of billy balls (5/5)

A heart wrenching story told with grace and love!!

Excellent Pocast (5/5)

Terrible loss, excellent podcast in every way shape and form. I hope IO and Austen do many more. I hope Rebecca finds peace, she sounds like such a cool chick. And Billy what a legend, I’m sure he is smiling down on you IO. IO did really amazing, what an awesome selfless caring daughter.

Sad it’s over (5/5)

I’m gonna miss you IO!!

Thank you iO!!!! (5/5)

This podcast is a beautiful gift.

Awesome! (5/5)

So real and painful. Must complete every episode. Cathartic and applicable to so many complicated relationships. Thank you for sharing vulnerability and complexity of most personal journey. Wow!

The Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

I don’t think you could have been improved upon the last episode in any way, except to say it wasn’t ending. I look forward to your next work with much anticipation. Thank you for sharing such a personal growth experience in such a talented way. I believe this podcast offered learning moments for us all, as parents, children and simply a partner in any relationship. Healing ourselves emotionally and physically allows us to give of ourselves to others. To be there for others in the present. What a wonderful message to spread. Thank you iO!

Best podcast of the year (5/5)

It should win all the awards. For the first time in my life, I looked forward to Thursdays. Okay, Io and Austin—where are we going next?

Just get sober (1/5)

Sid and Nancy wannabes.

Amazing (5/5)

The Ballad of Billy Balls is amazingly heartfelt and so well done. I love the way Io reveals the layers of this story and the humanity behind it. Best podcast of the year hands down.

Excellent (5/5)

Thank you for sharing your story with the world and instilling compassion in our hearts. There is so much more to this story than Billy Balls. The relationships and connections are intriguing. The story of the unforeseen gift. A gift from a child to a mother, the means of saying goodbye to lost love is a phenomenon of the heart!! iO you are a beautiful person!! Group hugs from the audience to the cast of characters in this story of life!!!

Beautiful (5/5)

Everything about this podcast is beautiful- the way iO is able to convey the players’ emotions aurally, the seamless melding of iO’s story, Rebecca’s and Billy’s, the way the opening track works so well for each episode-all beautiful. I love listening to it!

Billy Balls—Pathetic Yet Compelling Podcast (3/5)

Sad story about a loser wannabe musician deadbeat dad drug dealer who adversely affected the lives of any female unfortunate enough to have crossed his path of been associated with him in any way, even posthumously (as is the case with the podcaster making this podcast, a person named iO.) I can’t help but think the world is better off without him. I’m sure my “take” here won’t be popular but this is how poor Billy Balls’ story is playing out for me.

Desperate to tell a story where one doesn’t exist (1/5)

I’ve tried so hard to give his podcast a fair shake but I’m throwing in the towel. Fist the language is just annoying. Does the F* bomb really need to be used with such frequency? Secondly the host seems to be desperate to tell a story where one really does not exist. By all accounts Billy was a drug dealer who was shot because of the choices he made. That doesn’t mean people didn’t love him, but he made choices and there were consequences. Just because it happened doesn’t make it share worthy, though I understand people often think it does.

Tragic and compelling story (5/5)

iO you are your moms guardian angel. All the hardships you’ve faced turned you into an amazing human being. Hope your mom will put the past to rest and start mending her heart. Love and light

The Rat (5/5)

"Natasha" was the informant who set Billy Up? Am I right? Pretty sure on that point, speculation....Her voice sounds like she might be transgendered? Maybe not, but was she the dude In the western hat?

Season’s conclusions contradict the evidence (1/5)

After half a dozen episodes that present persuasive evidence that Sirhan Sirhan did not act alone in the assassination of Senator Kennedy, the host just up and concludes out of the blue that it was probably Sirhan Sirhan acting alone. His logic is specious, and there is much that is simply glossed over in his “reporting.” For example, a threatening letter purportedly written by Sirhan is quoted as gospel without verification — despite the fact that the tone of the letter, if analyzed by linguistic experts, would likely be adjudged to have NOT been written by Sirhan Sirhan. Interesting facts about the case are half mentioned but left out; for example, reference to Frank Donneroumas, a known mobster and a person repeatedly mentioned in Sirhan’s journal, is literally half covered up by whoever was responsible for editing. I had always believed the dominant narrative that Sirhan acted alone until I listened to the first six episodes; I was tricked as a listener into following what the podcast put forward and set up for the peculiar and inexplicable turnaround presented in the last two episodes. I would never listen to any other podcast produced by Zac Stuart-Pontier or Crimetown or Cadence 13.

Production is good. (2/5)

Trying to drum up a conspiracy about a druggie getting shot while selling drugs to an undercover cop, occam's razor. Cant stand the main character, sounds like someone who abused too many drugs in her day and her misplaced sense of confidence, very delusional. The production value is pretty good though.

Beating a dead horse (3/5)

At this point I feel like you’re twisting the knife. Your mother seems traumatized enough, are all these details really going to help her?

No words. (5/5)

As a self-proclaimed podcast sucker, this is one that I CAN NOT STOP. Io is an incredible storyteller and the story is heart wrenching and empowering all at once. Don’t sleep on this....the story, the people, the passion.

Such a great story (5/5)

I am lightly obsessed with knowing the entirety of this story. Hearing how a singular incident has changed the course of so many lives and how it’s played over generations is just riveting. My only regret is that I have to wait for each installment and can’t listen to it straight through. Fantastic work done by io and her team. Fantastic.

LISTEN (5/5)

This is such a powerful and touching story. It keeps getting better and better.. I’m so invested in everyone involved. Truly compelling. Keep it up, Io!

Can’t get enough! (5/5)

Io does an amazing job of telling this story and it is absolutely captivating!

Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

This is the first time I’ve been compelled to write a review on a podcast. I really love the unedited rawness and real emotions shown by iO and her mom in telling a story from one night years ago, that basically shaped their lives forever. I also appreciate that iO is willing to look at the facts and find the unbiased truth on something that I would never blame her for having a biased feeling on. I love this story, it’s engaging, interesting, and human. I find myself excited to listen to each new episode first thing on Thursday mornings. I hope in the end, iO and Rebecca find what they are looking for, and that they find some resolve in their loss of Billy. I would love to hear more unique stories like this in the future. This Podcast is definitely one of my favorites.

Captivating!!! (5/5)

I’d pay to listen

Amazing. Period. (5/5)

This is by far the podcast I’ve discovered. The narrator, IO, is engaging from the first word spoken. There’s real story-telling that connects you to this amazingly human, flawed, and loving family in the most fundamental way. Every person is so unique, contributes in such a special and individual way, and what I love about that is that each person is simply being themselves. You couldn’t make up a story as rich and engaging as this one. And it doesn’t hurt that the theme song gets you all riled up!!

Refreshing (5/5)

I have found myself counting the days until the next episode of this podcast comes out. The openness and honesty here are so refreshing. Hate to say I get my entertainment from your grief, but good gravy, I am hooked on you guys and your awesome presentation! My heart goes out to you.

IO rocks (5/5)

Great podcast, love the story and even more so IO Tillett Wright who is a revelation as a storyteller!

Highly recommended (5/5)

I have been hooked since the first episode. iO, Thank you for taking us on this sincere, personal, and emotional journey. Each episode I hope isn’t the last. When the show does end I’ll be ready to read Darling Days!

Emotional and meaningful ride (5/5)

This is such a well executed podcast: full of love and loss, raw emotion, and plot twists. This is a story of a real family, real consequences from real life decisions and a real healing process. Truly exceptional.

Phenomenal! (5/5)

I’m sort of new to podcasts. My daughter got me hooked on My Favorite Murder. I’m not a fiction lover, I love real stories and real people. This podcast is BY FAR the BEST I have ever heard. I can’t stop thinking about every single person involved. I laughed, I cried, I FELT real emotions for Rebecca and Billy. But what I’m feeling for IO is love and admiration. I want to hug you, IO!!

Can’t get enough (5/5)

Top-notch storytelling. I flew through the first 11 eps in less than 24 hours! Eep!

Great story. (5/5)

Well produced, great story. Worth a listen.

Riveting (5/5)

IO is such a wonderful story teller. His life is unlike any other but so relatable at the same time. It is so much more than a true crime podcast. I’m recommending to all my podcast lovers!

Captivating (5/5)

Raw. Beautiful. Gritty. Io’s storytelling is masterful and vulnerable and I couldn’t be more in love with this podcast.

Amazing (5/5)

Great podcast, the most original storytelling. Gripping, captivating.

The best!! (5/5)

This is hands down my favorite podcast ever. Not only is the story amazing on so many levels, but the production is excellent. Very well done. I just finished iO’s memoir “Darling Days” as well.

Incredible. (5/5)

One of my favorite podcasts of all time. Up there w s-town, for beautiful, heartbreaking, complex story telling. Compassionate, smart, you feel every emotion. I wish I would have found this after every episode was already released, but will probably just re-listen then.

Goosebumps (5/5)

This story is super compelling and told beautifully. I’m left with goosebumps at the end of every episode! Keep up the good work iO and team! xx

So so good! (5/5)

iO! You and your team did such an amazing job with this. Loved it!

Stick with It (5/5)

Had a hard time starting out with this one. iO the host is phenomenal but the voice of his mother was unbearable. Once I got past that it was binge worthy and Rebecca’s voice was actually quite endearing. Music is also great!

Enthralling (5/5)

Intense & moving. iO, as always, amazes with his storytelling, compassion, and drive.

Oof. (5/5)

An absolutely riveting, well put together story. We all want more of this!

So much more than an investigation (5/5)

Smart, funny, heartbreaking,thrilling, an incredible dive into a family legend and the examination of the pathos left in its wake. Beautifully riveting story telling at its finest!

Quintessential to Crap (1/5)

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and The RFK Tapes was one of my favorite series. I appreciated the excellent production quality, professional hosts, and extremely interesting and gripping content. Then the creators hijacked their loyal listeners (and also their five-star ratings for RFK Tapes) with the train wreck The Ballad of Billy Balls. I couldn’t make it through the first episode. The host iO is unlistenable and pretentious. (“I’m edgy, so I’m going to swear in every single sentence I utter.”) So, the creators went from the historically-significant topic RFK to an entire series centered around the “mysterious” murder of a white drug dealer? And we’re supposed to be intrigued enough to these unintelligent, unrelatable ramblings because . . . ?

Love 🖤🖤🖤 (5/5)

Shocking, emotional and extremely addictive! What am I going to listen to when I’m done with this??? I only have 2 episodes left!! iO you and your team did an amazing job!! I can’t wait to see what you create next! 🖤

Amazing and infuriating (5/5)

I’m captivated by this podcast. iO speaks of the NY I came of age in...filthy, on drugs and smelling of piss. The neglect in her childhood is awful, and Rebecca drives me crazy. A compelling tale of a rough town/time.

Ballad of iO (5/5)

Should probably be called the ballad of iO. The focus shifts from Billy pretty quickly. But it’s great! I was home sick and listened in one day. I loved it.

I’ve shared this podcast with everyone I know (5/5)

This podcast is incredible! It’s emotional, frustrating, uplifting, infuriating and a mystery. There are so many facets to the story that it is bizarre to think IT’S A TRUE STORY! Bombshells are dropped with perfect timing and I will be DEVASTATED when it is over. It makes me want to read Io’s book Darling Days and watch SLC Punk over and over. Thank you, Io, for sharing your incredible story!

Listen to it! (5/5)

The Ballad Of Billy Balls has by far become my favorite podcast. It gives the perspective of gritty 1980’s NYC and the way of life in the EV at the time. It’s heart breaking and warming at the same time. There’s so much to be learned about resilience after tragedy and the family bonds that can eventually bloom out of darkness.

I love iO 2 (5/5)

This podcast is amazing and his memoir is amazing too! Refreshing, vulnerable, moving, powerful, queer, inspirational, warm, lyrical, and sincere. I needed it, and loved it. Thank you.

A Sneaky Perfect Ballad (5/5)

Watch out, this podcast will root itself in your heart before you know it. Layers of mystery, family, trauma, addiction, love, grief, forgiveness, & injustice, The Ballad if Billy Balls has fast become a favorite of mine. It’s real, it’s honest, and it’s messy in a perfect way.

Five stars (5/5)

iO is a vivid storyteller who clearly cares so deeply for his ma. Bravo!

Love love love! (5/5)

I cannot tell you how much I love this podcast! The leg work it takes to get all the information and all the emotions involved is crazy! It’s for sure my favorite!

Added something to my life (5/5)

This podcast is just straight up fantastic storytelling. And that is HARD to do. It’s so punk rock, and one would expect that. But what you don’t see coming are the raw heartbreaking moments and how your heart gets put right back together again. Am I overselling it? 😂 Binge it now, thank me later.

A ballad worth, must, be heard (5/5)

More than a true crime mystery. IO lets you into a world some want to forget. Go on the journey to find out who is Billy Balls and why his life mattered. His lasting ballad must be heard, because it is bigger than one person. IO, thank you! Thank you for trusting so many of us with this story.

Gut wrenching (5/5)

Eloquently written and raw. I can feel Rebecca’s pain when she talks about Billy. Io knocked this out of the park.

Love Love Love (5/5)

I listen to this Podcast over and over again until the next episode drops. Obsessed!!

Such a good story! (5/5)

iO is a great storyteller and the story is an intense and emotional one. I love how the story is actually interwoven in iO’s life and so it wraps up well with the personal and childhood parts. I haven’t been really stuck on a podcast, waiting for the next episode, until I started listening to this one, and I love the theme song too :)

Best podcast of 2019 (5/5)

This podcast has fantastic story telling, true crime edge and a surprising amount of heart. I have been hooked since episode 1.

Phenomenal (5/5)

I first saw iO on Catfish and was intrigued by his story. I was so excited when I came across this podcast and his book (currently reading). iO is such a good story teller and the element of a sort of distant family makes me crave a new episode every week!

Riveting (5/5)

Seriously I listen to podcasts all day everyday. Specifically true crime podcasts and this has to be hands down one of the best podcasts out there. The way IO takes you on this journey with her is amazing! Be prepared for this journey you will go places and feels things that you didn’t know possible! Lots of hugs for Rebecca and Io you give children of addicts hope! Sometimes I feel like everyone always focuses on all of the negative and they forget to show the human side of them. They forget to show the ones that make it through to the other side along with their parent and love their parents in spite of everything you have gone through with them. Thank you we needed that voice !

Compelling and well researched (5/5)

iO Tilley Wright is a gifted storyteller, I am really enjoying this journey.

TWO👍🏻 (5/5)

Great podcast. Different than most. Love the approach and the follow through! 💋

All the feelings!! (5/5)

One of the best podcasts around! I have felt all the feelings while listening.

So good! (5/5)

Anxiously awaiting every new episode!

Amazing (5/5)

This show is amazing. It’s everything you want in a podcast I have no idea why it’s even 4.5 stars as I write this. iO is interesting and not pretentious and his team are very talented and hard working.

IO is the best! (5/5)

This podcast has been so eye opening in so many ways. The love and care he has for his mother is truly amazing. IO your truly an inspiration. This show has made me gasp and also laugh and even cry. Keep up the amazing work!

Great!!!!! (5/5)

This podcast combines by favorite things, true crime and a love story. This podcast is truly griping and heart wrenching. I found myself ugly crying while listening to it in my car earlier this week. A must listen!!!

Amazing (5/5)

I am an avid podcast listener on my 2 hour commute. This show has everything. I can’t wait for every new episode. I commend iO and the telling of his story.

Great podcast! (5/5)

A+ !

Not gonna lie (5/5)

This kept coming up on recommended for you and I kept scrolling. Bored one day at work and was like let’s give it a try. Was instantly hooked on this and also Darling Days. Each episode brings more and more to the emotional buffet that is this podcast. If you don’t relate to at least one of issues you haven’t been living. Each episode makes you think and count down to the next episode.

My all time favorite (5/5)

I jumped on the podcast train after listening to the original Serial when it first came out. I can honestly say that The Ballad of Billy Balls has become my all time favorite. It’s raw and honest and captivating. It’s also torture waiting two weeks for new episodes! Thanks iO for telling this story.


I started listening to this with no idea how invested I would really get. I also struggled with addiction and abuse from my mother. It’s heartening that Io shares her story and still tried to find forgiveness in her mother despite the odds. Thank you for this! 💕💕💕💕💕

Podcasting at Its Finest (5/5)

Fantastic story-telling from Io Tillett Wright. It’s one thing to have a podcast about a compelling story—it only becomes art when the creators are able to use the podcast medium in a brilliant and captivating way. This one is really something special!

full body chills (5/5)

i can’t describe fully how beautiful and heartfelt this podcast is. iO is an incredible story teller and i’m constantly moved to tears.

It’s Great (5/5)

It’s a solid podcast that takes you down a road you don’t expect to go. I’m not going to spoil it but it pulled me in because I thought it was a story about a murder on the LES of NYC during the punk day. It is but it’s so much more. Give it a listen.

The truest meaning of ballad (5/5)

This podcast tells a story that’s far more than the tagline. It’s gonna hook you so hard. I listen to a lot of podcasts but this one gives your heart a squeeze that hangs on. Poignant. Emotional. Deeply engaging. And that’s just the beginning. You won’t know where this podcast will take you but if you end up wanting to learn more about iO through Darling Days there’ll be no regrets there either. A side note. When I first started listening I thought the narrator said I’m iO tell it right. Had to find out. Glad I did. Enjoy.

Incredible (5/5)

A gripping emotional journey through the life and death of Billy Balls, the turbulent effects that linger for generations, and how iO’s genius existence intertwines with it all.

So good! (5/5)

The ballad of billy balls started out as something to fill the time between other podcasts I was very invested in, but surely, it became the one I was looking forward to most! IO is an incredible person to listen to. The story telling that happens in the podcast is done so well, I was drawn in immediately! It’s a life that I have no connection to in almost any way, yet I always need the next episode! Give this podcast a try! IO, what’s next?! This can’t be the end!!!

Incredible (5/5)

Fantastic show. As a child of addicts, it’s been extremely healing to listen to. Thank you ❤️

Wow (5/5)

This podcast is amazing. At the end of each episode I’m blown away whether it was when I discovered this story was about Io’s mother’s love to the fact that he will be speaking to Billy’s killer. Just wow.

The problem with people in my generation (1/5)

The younger guy zac from the rfk tapes is exactly what is wrong with people in my age group. Go ahead, just trust the government and see how things play out... good luck bro.

Binge now (5/5)

Billy Balls is phenomenal. Stick with it for at least three episodes, and you won't want to stop. The production quality and soundtrack are excellent.

Tragically Beautiful (5/5)

This story is absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking, raw, real and enthralling. A truly fantastic listen.

Amazing podcast (5/5)

Absolutely amazing podcast. Can’t wait from week to week what’s going to happened. Love how it’s written!!

Keeps you glued (5/5)

Really well done. Suspenseful and emotional. I listen on repeat and can’t wait for each new episode.

Best podcast! (5/5)

Io story telling is incredible! Simply the best!

Love it. (5/5)

I love your podcast. I look forward to the next one every week. Well done. 😎

Thoughtful story (5/5)

Really well done!!! Enjoyed this podcast immensely. Beautiful story of grief and healing, of anger and love.

Ugh... (1/5)

I so wanted to like this podcast and hung in there for longer than I should have. It started out as an interesting mystery but lost me with the self discovery turn. Ugh. Just ugh.

2nd season goes off the rails (1/5)

The second season the host iO would rather listen to every addict around, but not a nationally known lawyer who goes after cops (so wouldn’t sugar coat their actions). Ignores the fact that Billy supposedly said the cop broke through the door firing. But there was no mention about a broken front door when iO saw the crime scene pics. Her mom refuses to talk about Billy selling drugs. The host hears a first hand account of a woman who Billy tried to stab with a fork in the face all up on speed, then just ignores it. But then she is willing to insist that the very very unlikely is most probably what happened. Not impartial at all.

Good story initially but.... (3/5)

I got bored by about 3rd to last episode. Original story was interesting and I liked the hunt. But Mom’s trippy which is fine I just got bored and tired the last few. No disrespect. Just my opinion.

A podcast with no real story (1/5)

A daughter makes a podcast about her addict mother and her boyfriend with no real story. It’s just plain bad and leads to nowhere

I ♥️ Billy Balls (5/5)

this is an engaging, edgy, suspenseful tragedy with so much heart. unbelievable how many people weighed in and that Io was able to piece things together. the childhood neglect was intense and yet we already had a lens into rebecca's sadness and pain so it let the audience be more circumspect around that.

Listen. Do it. (5/5)

Dang this is a well made podcast. The mystery in itself was enough to draw me in. But the humanity and the love this family has for one another has kept me listening. IO is such a good son. I laugh and cry every single episode.

Eeehhhh (3/5)

This podcast even smells pretentious

Loved it (5/5)

Great story telling and I love the suspense between episodes.

The Walking Dead (2/5)

Similar to my loyalty to The Walking Dead series, I was very captivated but the length of time between seasons caused me to lose interest. This is a great podcast, excellent content and story telling but waiting 2 weeks for 20 minutes of content isn’t going to keep me as a subscriber. By the time the new episode finally roles around, I’ve either lost interest or forgot where we left off. I started out as very intrigued and captivated to totally disinterested. 2 weeks is way too long with so many other great podcast to listen to.

Plot twist - and not in the good way (1/5)

I wanted to like this... the first few episodes were great. It was a fascinating murder mystery about Billy. But then it took a turn and became a “self discovery” journey about the narrator or that felt very self indulgent and masterbatory; went way off topic and into subject matter that was really not what I signed up for. I’m not judging; just not that interested in the narrator’s sex life and struggle to figure out who they were. Couldn’t even get through it. Unfortunate.

Episode 9 (3/5)

You can throw episode 9 away. It makes absolutely no sense. It just sounds like a guy bent on writing a book regardless of facts.

Learning about iO (5/5)

Absolutely love this podcast. Very engaging to listen to. I love hearing iO’s story slowly being revealed as she discovers more about herself and her emotional connection to Billy’s mysterious murder.

Meh... (3/5)

I thought the Billy Balls murder was interesting but cared much less for the autobiography aspects. Just so, so...

torn by this one (2/5)

this podcast hovers between engaging and unlistenable. the first few episodes are painful to get through. it gets better, then worse, then better again. i two-starred it because i’m still here...wondering what happens next, but it’s flawed, for certain. the end is maddening because the simplest resolution is likely the right one but the host seems so dead set on wanting this to be some bad cop conspiracy. sad.

Excellent Podcast (5/5)

I’ve been looking for a Podcast to dive into and I found the RFK Tapes. I listed to every episode and all the bonus episodes. And I listened closely. I was a teenager in the ‘60’s and I remember when JFK and MLK and RFK were assassinated and I remember the turmoil after each event but I never knew the real story behind any of them. But now I better know Robert F. Kennedy and I better know the story and history of his assassination. Thank you for these Podcast. I truest enjoyed listening to them. And as a bonus I found a new music group and style of music that I enjoy, Khruangbin.

I can’t stop listening! (5/5)

It is captivating. It is thrilling. And it’s sad that it’s these things because of a man’s death. It’s such a great podcast. A must listen for all true crime fans

True love (5/5)

The relationship between iO and Rebecca shows the meaning of true love and forgiveness.

THANK YOU!! (5/5)

Honestly this is an amazing story/pod cast and I feel so blessed to be apart of the community of investigating creative souls.. hunting for the truth... even if I’m Just listening and sharing.. thank you all for your dedication and commitment to the TRUTH!!

Amazing!!!!! (5/5)

Simply amazing. Historically accurate and edited very well with live audio surrounding what is being described from eye witness accounts, news broadcast, et cetera.

McGuffin (2/5)

The podcast started out interesting, but slowly and steadily declined into something completely different. The Billy Balls story seems to be nothing more than a McGuffin for IO to use to turn the whole thing into an autobiography. To be entirely fair, the autobiography aspects are compelling in their own right, but it's not what the podcast claimed to be.. bait-and-switch..

Your vulnerability is so powerful (5/5)

Thank you

Exploitative. Avoid. (1/5)

When it's a well-told tale about the potential police coverup of a long forgotten drug addict, it's easy to set aside your concerns as a listener. There's so many indications that this podcast could be damaging to iO's mother, a woman with severe emotional problems. iO even ponders how to and whether to relay some of her findings to her mother on her much publicized podcast. Remember - hundreds of thousands of people now know this woman's deepest and most personal secrets and have developed opinions about her, with little indication that she was a willing and coherent participant. Keep in mind - even iO's own father goes as far as to say that this stuff isn't relevant, which she counters with effectively "nah, people who wanted to listen to a true crime story definitely want to hear about when I hooked up with my girlfriend in the Guggenheim bathrooms because his death influenced my Mom and my Mom was a bad mother." The actual story of Billy Balls is interesting enough, mostly because it's a peek into a world of artists, junkies, and artists in 1970s New York City. But the promise of the show established in the beginning - that iO will find Billy's body and solve his murder - spends most of its time cataloging every ugly thing that ever happened to iO, who was born three years after Billy's death. The problem is, most of the mystery gets resolved via a FOIA request to reveal - not much of a mystery. So, if you must - stay through the point where Ron Kuby succinctly analyzes the police report. I think that's episode 8? But do skip out afterwards. Maybe come back for episode 11, which sounds to offer a little bit of resolution. Literally nothing you hear in between will be relevant, just navel-gazing filler that functions as an ad for the host's memoir.

Not much substance (1/5)

Entertaining at first until it all starts to unravel and you realize it’s a complete waste of time.

The ballad of IO (3/5)

It’s not bad but it is more centered around the narrator, IO, than the murder of Billy Balls. IO’s story IS compelling and some may argue even more interesting than Billy Balls but I wish it wasn’t framed under the guise of finding out what happened to Billy.

Must listen (5/5)

This is a fascinating story, unfolds nicely and am totally hooked. Thanks for sharing your story iO!

Never what you expect (5/5)

This podcast has taken so many twists and turns, it never quite is what you expect it to be. It ended up Giving me much more than I would ever have anticipated.

Thought it was cool at first (1/5)

I enjoyed The Punk Rock vibe at first and thought it was a true crime story until I realized it was a self-absorbed stunt lacking any real story substance. Tillet uses her mothers pain as a door to complain about how difficult her own life is for publicity and fame.

A lesson on judgment (5/5)

I am so impressed with how and in what order this podcast was laid out. At first and throughout I had a lot of judgments. Judgments of the people, the actions. Then, things began to unfold. More information offered more empathy and mercy. The last episode, “bigger than me”, was so well put together. It humbled me. I am grateful anytime I can learn a lesson on judging others. It cuts deep, it changes. Thanks for sharing your story. It evolved in a way I couldn’t have imagined and in doing so evolved me.

No (2/5)

This is not the way to present a true crime podcast. While I’m familiar and fond of IO she fails to tell a compelling story. It’s too personal and because I’m not a family member or friend I don’t think it translates well.

Nasty people (2/5)

Billy is just another dirtbag addict who pretends he's a musician. His wife who he abused is a trainwreck. People I avoid on the street, who would I want them in my ear?

Very different then my life (4/5)

I found it intriguing and different from my white, republican world. I couldn’t stop listening because there is soooo much personal drama. I was impressed that IO was so tolerant and respectful of her mother who has a noticeable drug problem. I have very little experience with people strung out on drugs and just have an automatic negative attitude toward them. This podcast has made me realize I need to listen and have more empathy and curiosity for people that may live differently then me. These lives have real daily challenges that I would find very difficult to navigate. Not a better life or worse, but much different.

a life-changing story (5/5)

The Ballad of Billy Balls is a haunting, heartbreaking and ultimately beautiful story.

Excellent (4/5)

I began not even knowing who Billy Balls was..quickly became engrossed in the entire story. I feel it was written and well produced. Do not understand the negative reviews. Part of Billy Balls story is the people that he affected both directly and indirectly. Be proud of the work you did on this podcast.

Disappointing! (1/5)

We learn her mom is a complete loser stuck in time. More about the narrator than About the story of Billy!

Although entertaining and well spoken it’s more about the creator than Billy Balls. (2/5)

Although entertaining and well spoken it’s more about the creator than Billy Balls. Which is rather heartbreaking when you really think about what this podcast was supposed to be about. This podcast started out as answers for Billy Balls murder and justice for io’s mother. However it’s more of a desperate attempt to make this podcast about io. It went from solving Billy Ball’s murder, then turned into in order to solve Billy Ball’s murder somehow we need to know about io’s entire life? Weird. He isn’t her father. He’s just her mom’s ex boyfriend, that she dated long before io even came into this world. Instead of solving a murder and justice for her mother it turned into all about io and literally degrading her mother on every level possible. Why weren’t any of the officers that were on scene after the murder that night, paramedics, Coroner, hospital staff, or anyone with actual knowledge and real information of the other side looked up and interviewed? You got information from ppl who weren’t even there but had a theory however spent zero effort into actually solving it lol

Former NYPD (5/5)

I’m so intrigued by your story and can’t stop listening. But I’ve also wanted to let you know that this story is a very common one with inner New York City kids who live in poverty. I myself was a born and raised Bronx girl who became an NYPD officer for change. I found those recording about the FOIL unit so accurate and Nostalgic. Billy Balls story is also your story since it’s effected your childhood. Keep it going and know that your story provides comfort for those who have experienced similar situations. Best, Jay

Desperate for attention (2/5)

The narrator and her mom both just come off as desperate for attention in trying any way they can to turn a junkie that pulled a gun on a cop into a movie level conspiracy. Early on anyways, then it becomes self centered around the narrator who seems like she’s been looking for any reason to talk about herself and used this as the way in. I kept waiting for the twist where their theories became believable but it’s never there.

Different and great (5/5)

If you want the same true crime podcasts that are a dime a dozen then this might not be for you. If you are looking for something different, multi-dimensional and interesting on many levels then check this out. I personally am finding it very compelling and can’t wait to see how it wraps up. If you are close minded and expecting the usual true crime podcast then move along.

Storytelling at it’s finest (5/5)

iO does an excellent job sharing Billy’s tragic story, all the while keeping us hanging on to hear what’s next. Love this podcast!

What Happen! (2/5)

The Ballad Of Billy Balls So, I loved it until episode 9. Now I’m on 10 and I’m just asking why is this now the story of IO. Such a bummer.

Better than expected (5/5)

I listen to a lot of pods but this one is different. The narrator Io makes the story so personal it’s almost uncomfortable. Issues of addiction, family dynamics, sexual identity, adolescence, mental health among many others along with Io’s thoughtful narration lend a humanity I don’t get from other pods. It’s really well done.

The battle of IO with a little bit of billy (2/5)

Worth listening to but be prepared to hear more about IO then billy.

More about the author then the subject. (2/5)

Rename it “the ballad of Io and her slightly rough childhood”. Not sure if the story fell apart as she investigated or the plan all along was to make it about herself, but it’s not what I was looking for. Still mildly entertains but was a bit of a bait and switch. Io has talent for sure, this just missed the mark for me.

An autobiography not a crime podcast (3/5)

Given the production value and work that went into creating the podcast, 3 stars seems justified. However, the podcast is mainly just iO’s story. The underlying crime isn’t really explored beyond obtaining the police file and death certificate, both of which say what you expect them to say. Even when that is revealed, the podcast focuses as much on iO’s reaction as it does the circumstances surrounding Billy’s death. For the most part, it seemed like iO just wanted to tell the story of his relationship with his mother and Billy was a creative angle to do so. I’m sure there are people that will find that story really interesting but it wasn’t really for me.

Speechless (5/5)

IO, I listen to a lot of Podcasts (on a addictive level) 😆😳anyways your podcast has left me speechless & given me chills. You’re an amazing story teller. Waiting 2 weeks for your next podcast has made me scream NOOO! You’ve had a most interesting life. I’m not much of book reader but I’m going to buy your book. I really hope once your done with Billy Ball’s story you’ll do another. Thanks again for giving us a glimpse on one part of your life that made who you are today. 😊

Captivating (5/5)

Been listening to podcasts for years, this is the first one I ever wrote a review for. I realized how in to your story I am when I cursed out loud that I have to wait for 2 more weeks to keep listening. I’m sharing this podcast with many. Fascinating hardships, love, relationships and strive. Gonna get your memoir. Cheers

Billy got lost again! (2/5)

This poor guy was initially buried in a potters field, now this podcast has buried him again in another unmarked grave. It became all about the narrator and not Billy. Should have ended it around episode 8.

Self indulgent (1/5)

This is ostensibly a true crime podcast that seems to exist as an excuse for the host to figure out their own life and personal issues. While I wish them the best, it doesn’t make for a good true crime podcast, or even anything interesting to anyone but the host. What seemed mildly compelling ends up being horribly boring and frustrating to sit through. The only mystery in this podcast is why it exists at all.

Beautiful narrative (5/5)

Io does such a beautiful job telling the story of his life through the lense of the past. The narrative is creative and smooth. Every episode has me feeling it.

Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

A riveting tale! Also loved IO’s book, Darling Days.

Kind of ridiculous (2/5)

This podcast is the story of an irrational drug dealer who was held on a pedestal he didn’t deserve. Giving this podcast 2 stars because the music and effects were well done. The story telling was good but the story was about a drug addict/dealer who was violent and irrational and they’re trying to make him sound like a real life incredible musical genius who was murdered in crazy circumstances. But the person and circumstances were out of the ordinary, they were ordinary trying to not be.

Quickly turned.... (3/5)

I began this season enthusiastically because the first season was so great. A few episodes in it became apparent that the woman narrating the story is using the tragedy of her mothers inability to move on with her life as a stepping stone to fame. It’s kind of gross to be honest......

Still not sure where this is going... (2/5)

If you can make it few the first few episodes of Rebecca and her stories, the series actually starts to get interesting. However, it seemed to peak around 7-8 and 10 was the most irrelevant and worthless episode of the series. I’m here to learn about Billy and what may/may not have happened. I honestly don’t know if this series will get back on track. I’m giving it one more episode then I’m out.

Storytelling at its best (4/5)

Io is a spectacular storyteller. I couldn’t stop listening. The family connection throughout is beautiful.

Ten Episodes In and Not Much Happening (3/5)

I give anyone three stars who puts in this kind of time, effort and care into a project but I question the thesis and motivation for this pod. With all the speculation, conjecture and police bashing about a long-ago shooting, I figured there had to be a payoff. Nope. This story/concept should have BEGAN with the autopsy findings, police report and the alleged facts of the case. Then do some reporting to see if those findings will hold up. As the murder conspiracy crumbles, the narrator takes center stage. We hear iO exiting one scene to go puke after a lawyer walks her through the (mundane) police reports and evidence. Since there is no smoking gun, we are left wondering what twist or bombshell is in the offing. The answer: None. The curtain drops on the Ballad of Billy Balls and rises with iO’s life story that delves into custody battles, hospitalizations and escapes, school expulsions, gender confusion, suicidal impulses and sexual encounters at the Guggenheim. It’s a self-involved mess, made worse by iO’s eagerness to be seen as a gritty survivor. I mean, he really seems to perk up after becoming the subject of the pod. I’d have much preferred a dead-end murder story with reactions from the principals who were around at the time. Instead, we get hard-scrabble dreck and, I’m guessing, a rehash of his memoir. Hardly Crime Town material. I will say the harsh critiques from people who listened to half an episode or gave up because they disliked iO’s voice are worthless. This pod was well produced and had a good trajectory until the bottom fell out of the story. I do like iO and (again) appreciate the effort but I hope he is completely divorced from the material next time or at least gets out of the way of the story.

Wild Ride (5/5)

You will have love this podcast and won’t be able to get enough. I bought iO’s memoir too!

Excuses (1/5)

Rebecca would have ended up how she is with or without Billy Balls. Drugs and delusions take the same toll on all people. She was violent and unpredictable long before Billy Balls. IO your moms misery is not attached to Billy or the events that caused his death.

Don’t waste your time (1/5)

Went from mildly intriguing mystery to self-important, unabashed, unsolicited personal narrative with no plot. The worst kind of podcasting.

🙄 (2/5)

Should be renamed to The Ballad of I.O

Poignant & Personal (5/5)

Not what I expected going in, but this poignant extremely personal series of interviews is has kept my attention.

Can’t wait for the next episode (5/5)

I did not hear season 1, but I love season 2. I can’t understand why anyone doesn’t like it. It has great storytelling with cliff hangers. You feel like you are along for the ride. I love hearing about the NYC punk scene in the 1970’s and early 80’s. It has lots of interviews with people who knew Billy Balls. This always makes for such an interesting story, as opposed to someone just telling me about it. I also find the main podcaster very brave, and honest. Keep up the good work! And thanks for introducing me to Light Asylum.

iO I love you too! (5/5)


Season 2 is a struggle (2/5)

A bit hard to listen to season 2. Actually more than a bit hard. I’m on episode 2 and I’m gonna keep trying but come on guys. Maybe u should’ve translated the girlfriends story rather than her dragging this on. I’ll keep trying 😕

Lost me with the exaggeration (2/5)

I lived at 11th and 3rd from 1987-1989..two blocks away from where Io lived. The neighborhood had gentrified so much so quickly that Io’s interpretation of the neighborhood she grew up in is so extreme, it’s false. I was living there in a NYU dorm. There was a Ben and Jerry’s a block away. Not intimidating/dark/dangerous at all. I think Io painted with a wide brush when she was describing her childhood. That exaggeration truly discredited her story to me. Made it all into fable. No substance- all conjecture.

C’mon.. (2/5)

Season one was probably the best pod I have ever listened to, but this? C’mon! Could only make it to epi 2 waste of time.

First episode was horrible (1/5)

Between the female host’s voice and Billy’s girlfriend’s storytelling I found myself giving up on this podcast halfway through.

Terrific Storytelling (5/5)

Heartbreaking and mesmerizing. A+

Great show (5/5)

Awesome show- really cool musical references and peeks into a legendary scene!

Eh (1/5)

Not my thing

Couldn’t stand five minutes of Rebecca (1/5)

Ugh, I had to give up a few minutes into her slurring, incoherent talking. Moving on.

Brave and hauntingly beautiful story (5/5)

This is an original and unique story and it’s clear that it has been a true labor of love. Each angle carefully thought out with just the right mix of vulnerability and self reflection on the part of I’o and her family. Its brave as hell to put yourself out there like this and try to learn more about yourself and your family through this medium. Love it.

Conspiracy and conjecture (1/5)

I don’t know what I was expecting. This podcast is a series of interviews with people who spent the time in question absolutely ripped. Ultimately, just a story of a guy destined to burn out who’s spiral down was cut short by trigger happy cop.

More human interest than true crime (5/5)

Incredible storytelling of an intriguing story. iOs voice is soothing, and his personal connection makes it even more compelling. I think most of the bad reviews come from people who expected some sort groundbreaking crime investigation— this certainly isn’t that. It’s more human interest than true crime. It’s really about telling the story of one mans life, and exploring the pain that his lost caused. It’s heartfelt and unique, and gives a great perspective on life and emotion.

Riveting (5/5)

I LOVE this podcast. As the story unfolds there are twists and turns that I NEVER saw coming. I’m totally hooked. Really great production values, too. This is a winner.

Love this podcast (5/5)

If you have any connection to NY during the late 70’s and 80’s this is all very nostalgic. There is so much more to it then the murder story line. It is about family, dysfunction, the art scene in the East Village. I just started reading IO’s book/memoir and am thoroughly enjoying it. He is a fabulous writer and story teller and the narrative is fascinating..I highly recommend reading it!!!

The Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

I feel immersed, included and enthralled. Thank you - thank you? 😬

Compelling! (5/5)

Love this story and love its honesty . Keep up the great work !

Big Potential, Bit of a Letdown (2/5)

I thought this was true crime, but it turned into more of a memoir and lost a lot of steam throughout the episodes. It felt a little too biased to really bring the story to life and the episodes often don’t have a lot of substance except personal anecdotes. It gets off track quite often without a lot of structure. If you’re looking for true crime, I would skip this one.

Drug addiction, crime, bad police work and their affects on life (5/5)

I absolutely love this podcast. Being a long time follower of iO and his work, it was eye opening to have a lens into his life. It is not a conventional true crime podcast, and isn’t climactic to us in the result of the case, but man is it human. It truly shows how things can directly affect someone’s life, and ultimately those around them. Highly recommend this podcast if you’re looking for a real, human connection.

Not good (1/5)

Not sure why they are idolizing a drug addict who neglected a child and making it seem like the cops were at fault for anything. Was hoping this would be a good podcast but very disappointed

highly recommended (5/5)

It makes me feel like i’m there. it’s intimate, gritty, intense. Rebecca’s voice takes you on a journey to a place you have seen in films, but never been to. I love Io. Definitely getting her book.

Used to like it, but now it’s not the same (1/5)

The host, IO, forgot where she came from and obviously doesn’t care about fans

Is this about Billy or iO? (1/5)

I'm not sure why I keep coming back. It should be Amanda telling Billy--her father's--story. I'm not sure why iO feels like it's hers to tell. Also, there is no story left. A drug dealer got shot by an undercover cop for making a stupid decision. The end. I agree with iO's father. Why are we delving into family dynamics not even related to Billy Balls? Because there's no other story to tell here and we have to keep the podcast going? I'm normally easily pleased on the road, but this podcast is trash and forced. I'm annoyed it even makes me give one star. Don't waste your time.

Strung out (1/5)

Why listen about someone all strung out and someone that is in a drug overdose. I listened to intro and part of first episode. Not interested

Why is this a podcast? (1/5)

This is called making something out of nothing. True crime producers are getting desperate for this to get made. The sad and of predictable story of a drug dealer that got shot by a cop. There is nothing about this story that warranted a podcast. The only redeeming factor is the lawyer spelling out the obvious to the narrators who are desperate to turn this into some sort mysterious coverup.

Just okay (3/5)

I thought I would love this podcast but it is just okay. I love the era and was hoping it would reveal something more than it did. One thing that really got to me was when iO talked about meeting Billy’s bio daughter. I feel it is important to state she was the one who suffered the biggest loss. Not your mom. Yes your mom loved him but he was a boyfriend. This woman never had the opportunity to know her father. I just feel that it was pretty disrespectful to the daughter how iO put her mothers pain above all. Perhaps her mom should have sought lots of professional help to get her through her sadness so iO wouldn’t feel like she was One of her mom’s boyfriends reincarnated.

Compelling (4/5)

I love 70’s NYC punk and got sucked in right away. If u are looking for just a True Crime podcast, there are dozens that are more conventional. This is part true crime, part family drama, and a whole lot of unraveling of a myth that stained a mother and child for decades.

Enjoyable but not Rebecca (3/5)

I’m enjoying this podcast. I like IO and Austin’s reporting. Whenever Rebecca is speaking it’s horrible and drawn out. Her words are all strung together.

Can’t stop listening (5/5)

I’ve been hooked since the start of this podcast. The story-telling and music are so engaging and thoughtful. It’s such a relatable story; so many people have a moment in their lives that changed everything. I wait impatiently for the new episode each week and don’t know what I’ll do when it’s over. I’m rooting for Rebecca and IO so hard!

It’s not bad (4/5)

It took me a bit to get into it, but I liked it after awhile. Honestly though - bit melodramatic at times. Like, what did they think was going to happen? I feel like they thought they were going to solve a major crime - expose Billy as this hero who was a victim of some weird corrupt police plot - and then - when Ron the lawyer gave it to them straight because he’s very smart and sensible and experienced it’s this MAJOR blow and I’m still sitting here puzzling as to why. I get it if you are mainly worried about your mother and her reaction but honestly, I hope they just tell her because no matter how much it hurts people deserve the truth. It’s disrespectful to keep things from them like they are children and can’t handle it. And to use a cliche: The truth usually sets people free.

Loved 2ns season (5/5)

Really enjoyed Aio sharing this journey. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I certainly enjoyed it. Thank you Aio for opening a very personal story and helping others by sharing your and your mom’s story

Addictive (5/5)

Great true crime podcast! I was sucked in immediately & listened to the first 6episodes in one evening!

Subscribe immediately! (5/5)

I loooooove this podcast and recommend it to everyone! I never want the episodes to end.

Not the best, not the worst (3/5)

People are so harsh about Rebecca, but I think she is a fantastic storyteller. Her vivid recall of their love story had my full attention (when BB steps off the elevator and they first lay eyes on each other!!). She is still heartbroken and who can blame her? It makes sense that she doesn’t remember all of the negative things, it’s self preservation. Whatever happens, I hope Rebecca can forgive and find some kind of closure. I like the podcast and don’t mind skipping through the ads. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the season!

Her hatred of cops makes this not worth listening to. Biased. (1/5)

I enjoyed this in the beginning, but it’s become very clear her hatred of law enforcement doesn’t allow her to see anything clearly. All the facts in front of her, a lawyer she respects telling her it was justified, and she still looking for ways to get the narrative she wants to make sense. We get it iO—you want the cops to be the bad guys. No point in listening anymore.

Good but I had a couple issue with it (4/5)

Drawn out, and way too many ads but very compelling story.

What is this story (1/5)

Either this is the worst pod or worst produced pod i’ve listened to. I’m in Ep 2 of Billy Balls n can’t figure out why I’m lostening. What is this story about n what is the point of a 49 yr old murder atory. The gorlfriend sounds stoned n can’t remember anything. What the hell is this pod? It gives a bad name to Crimetown which I love. This woman’s voice is so gross I can’t listen another second.

Could be 1 hour long (1/5)

Really drawn out story about a drug dealer who got shot, that’s it. Painful journalism and relies only on cliff hangers, soundtrack, and gimlets $$$ to make it polished up.

Billy Balls is a struggle but S1 is a gem (2/5)

Billy’s unremarkable story makes for an unremarkable S3. Gruff narration of an unremarkable story about a drug abuser dealing drugs who gets shot by a cop whose whose use of lethal force is justified and similarly unremarkable. IO saying “I actually just puked” was sad but amusing (“I feel it SO MUCH Guys!”) IO the production team at Crimetown felt the same way because they realized that they had a real dud, but had invested so much into it they had no choice but put it out half baked. Maybe that’s harsh but it feels weak to this end user.

Love (5/5)

For those who complain about ads- people need to stop whining so much, podcasts are mostly free, some are switching to paid only apps, adds help us get to listen for free and you can fast forward them!!! Stop complaining! It’s a business! All podcasts either advertise or spend several minutes promoting Patreon and thanking their patrons. All of which you can easily fast forward past. Seriously! I absolutely love anything about this era, and you do such a fantastic job of story telling. I could see everything in my mind and the music makes it even better. Not to mention the photos of them! Thank you for sharing your family story in such a compelling way! I am so sorry to all those who loved Billy and lost him so soon. And I’m so sorry for those like Amanda’s mom who couldn’t beat their battle with drugs. Thank you Amanda, for being willing to participate and share your story, I’m sorry for what happened to you as well. You sound as if you turned out to be an amazing woman despite the rough beginnings and abandonment. I think Billy would be so proud to call you his daughter. Good job to all involved, especially the ones who’s story this is, it’s not easy to put your story out there for everyone. Hope everyone gives this a chance!

I want to like it but (1/5)

I gave this podcast a chance and I tried convincing myself that I liked it but I have to be real with myself. This podcast is subpar to others of similar theme. Who cares about Aio (the narrator), her mom, and who gives a hoot about Billy Balls. I’m uninspired. The narrator for not have a pleasant voice. I almost feel like she is making a huge deal about nothing... she sighs... she says, “omg”... yet I still don’t give a darn. I tried. Sorry it doesn’t work out for me. I listened to all the episodes until now.

Binge Worthy (5/5)

Listening to the speeches of RFK brought tears to my eyes and are as relevant to our political discourse as ever. I binged listened to season 1 the past week and it’s been throughly engaging. Can’t wait to get through season 2.

First season awesome second season horrible (1/5)

The main witness sounds strung out after decades and decades of being a tweaker. Every police office is called a pig this witness is clearly biased even if she was sober which might have been thirty years ago To the host chef Ramsey drops the f bomb for emphasis you do it randomly with only negative results learn the difference “It was an undercover cop who shot a tweaker during a drug bust. Cops must be bad” Getting shot in the back means nothing have you got punched in the shoulder you spin a little get shot is a little more force this is pathetic So now he pulled a gun on a cop and she shocked he got shot so next school shooting tell the cops don’t shoot the suspect

5star (5/5)

Can’t stop listening!!! Great job

Meh at best! Biased story telling to create a story (1/5)

IO is (rightfully so) biased to feel and lead the listener that this is some huge police murder coverup while it seems very much like a drug-sting gone bad.

Bad podcast: over-the-top dramatized and grasping at straws (2/5)

Not a good story at the foundation of this podcast. A lot of woo-woo speculation without a lot of actual scandal. Contrasted with the intense music and sound effects, it seems even sillier. Thankfully that lawyer was a part of the podcast to provide a little perspective.

Looking for a conspiracy (3/5)

I like the production value and the creators, but due to iO's personal connection, I think they're biased and are reaching to find something deeper and more conspiratorial than what actually happened. Rebecca's persepective is obviously very skewed and shouldn't hold much weight; however, they never question her side of the story and instead focus on questioning any claims/stories that are negative against Billy, like the domestic abuse story. Rebecca wouldn't even admit he dealt drugs, which was corroborated by everyone else who was around at the time.

I want more iO and Austin!!! (5/5)

This story is intriguing, the characters draw you in, iO and Austin are articulate but somehow have this chill, friendly way of speaking. I could listen to both of them everyday. This story is so interesting but IO and Austin make it “page turning”. Great producing and editing!!!

Top notch! (5/5)

A fascinating and roller coaster ride of emotions- I love how determined and focused iO is in finding the truth for his Mother. I was captivated and addicted by the first episode and wait for the podcasts to drop. The show also gives a glimpse into life in the lower east side of Manhattan in the early 80’s which is raw and engaging.

Somewhat disappointing (2/5)

Started off strong, but ends up being pretty sad. Title should be “pull a gun on a cop and get shot”.

Awesome! (5/5)

This podcast is awesome! I love it! And cant wait for more episodes!!

Perfectly executed! (5/5)

The timing of the twist that her mother was Billy’s girlfriend was perfectly executed! She is great storyteller and thank you for telling your families story and “legacy”

Great story (5/5)

It is difficult to listen to at first, Rebecca’s lain is still so raw, one must stick with it. Incredible act of love by IO. Kudos to you! I haven’t heard it all, but I am hooked!

Great story- too many ad breaks (4/5)

Great story to listen to just be aware that there are at least 7 min of ads each episode, turning a 34 min episode into more like 25 min episodes. If there weren’t so many ads would have given 5 stars, the podcast itself is very good though

Fun, tragic, dirty, truthful. (5/5)

Great story, good pacing. A window back into some skeezy times as a backdrop to a gem of a story of someone’s search for the truth about their past.

Amazing story (5/5)

As a big fan of crimetown I will admit that I started out reluctant about the Billy Balls story. But I was very wrong. This has become one of my favorite weekly podcasts.

So much potential 😢 (2/5)

This story had sooo much potential but it just made me feel sad. I could hear the addiction and despair in her voice. I couldn’t make it through the second episode without becoming just... defeated?

Recommend this for something different (5/5)

I am thrilled to have found this podcast! I agree this might not interest everyone but I love the punk-rock era and this is so different than all other podcast so it’s refreshing. Great twist and IO has a great voice.

Ballad of Billy Balls: tedious and annoying to listen (1/5)

The Ballad is Billy Balls needs better story editing. Additionally, I couldn’t stand the audio production: it was so tedious to listen to Rebecca’s droning on and on in her annoying voice and manner of speech. Couldn’t get through three episodes, they just didn’t make me care the way they framed and presented the story.

Oh hell yea! (5/5)

Season 2, Episode 2 ending was everything. Authentic, raw, beautifully produced.

First Season=10 stars, 2nd Season = 0 stars (1/5)

I guess that there is an audience for this type of podcasts; I could not get past the first episode, the language, the story, is just not of my interest. Just go to your downtown "skitroad" and you might have a better told story! There is so much better content out there...

Rfk tapes is a waste of time (1/5)

Listened to the entire series only to find out the killer is beyond a shadow of a doubt the man who was caught red handed with the murder weapon. Whole show is a rehash of a conspiracy theory book from the nineties that has the same ending. Don’t waste your time.

Ballad of Billy Balls (5/5)

I added this to my que after hearing Georgia Hardstock recommend it... having been into punk for a chunk of my life Inwas already intrigued but once I started it I couldn’t stop! So sad to say I am at the end of my binge now, eagerly awaiting the next episode! I appreciate the easy listening style of this podcast and it’s overall execution. Can’t wait to see how this ends! Gimme gimme gimme!

Season 1: 5 stars — Season 2: 2 stars (3/5)

Really enjoyed season one, binged through the whole thing... just can’t get into season two.

Love the Balls!! (5/5)

I can’t get enough! Life was so much different before technology, there was actually a mysterious part to people. Let’s “Google” him or look him up on “Facebook” F*** That! Let’s dig deep and find out who he really is?!?! Love the podcast!

I can’t. (1/5)

This is just awful. So much unnecessary blabber for Rebecca. If her stories / recounting of these stories were shortened it might, MIGHT be tolerable. I expected more, but I’m tapping out midway through episode 2.

Meh (2/5)

Made it 5 episodes. Just didn’t find it interesting.

Well Done (5/5)

The production of this podcast is very well done. No matter what the outcome of this case, it is a very gripping story and an interesting peak back in time.

Slow and not compelling (2/5)

This podcast sounds good to the ears and follows the format of crimetown, but the story does not contain enough interesting content to fill a whole season. The “investigation” is drawn out and inconclusive, resulting in entire episodes where no concrete advances are made in the story. Bring a more interesting topic for next season, this one isn’t worth finishing with the other great crime podcasts that are available

Love this (5/5)

I had never been into pod casts but, a coworker turned me on to this story. It really bums me out to hear such negative comments especially since it’s your mother who is in so much pain. I remember seeing you on catfish! You’re awesome!

Oh dear lord... (1/5)

Couldn’t get past 10 minutes into episode 2. The girlfriend is completely insufferable and the podcast is basically a recording of an interview done with her. Awful.

Episode 7 (5/5)

Whoa and chicken skin at the reveal...can’t wait for ep 8! You are a great team, glad you are getting answers!

NOT mediocre (5/5)

The mix of 5 star and one star reviews is unprecedented in my experience. You will either find this podcast compelling and well produced or that it’s just not your cup of tea. Special shout outs: Austin is comically patient and good spirited in his records requests. Rebecca? 😘

Amazing (5/5)

If people would listen past the first episode they would hear the story start to pick up. I honestly don’t understand these harsh reviews. This podcast immediately gripped me. I find myself relating to the raw emotion of this and this quest for the truth and closure. This is one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to!!! Thank you for taking us on this ride with you, iO.

More Engaging With Each Episode (5/5)

Your willingness share this story with the general public, and the tireless effort you are putting forth in your search for truth, are very much appreciated.

Ridiculously good (5/5)

Can’t wait to listen to the new episodes as they come out. Best podcast I’ve listened to in a long time. IO and Austin do a great job of conveying the emotions of everyone involved and it feels like you are right there with them.

So Many Layers to this Sad, Crazy Story (5/5)

This isn’t just a story about the mystery involving a man’s death. It’s a story about drug and alcohol abuse, and the profound effects it has on the user and the user’s children. It’s also a story about loss and a story about love; particularly the love that the podcaster has for their mother. IO, I don’t know where we’re going with this, but I’m totally along for the ride.

Principal Ellis (5/5)

Great podcast! But I could listen to Principal Ellis all day!!! She’s a hellacious 😂

Hooked Like a Salmon (5/5)

Absolutely positively digging this podcast from the very first episode! I love how Rebecca describes a place in time—it conjures images of details that might have been missed if her story were narrated by another. It’s like you are there with her and can almost feel the undeniable love and gut-wrenching heart ache or envision each moment as it took place. Could seem like a beautiful stream of consciousness, at first. I love a good twist, too!!;) Io and Austin are brilliant!! Don’t want to give up any spoilers so will leave it at that. Am looking forward to the rest—2 weeks!!?! Gahhh

Delicious!!! (5/5)

This podcast is delicious, and I can’t get enough!! When it’s over I’ll be sad and overweight! Great job you guys!!!

Stick with it and be rewarded! (5/5)

I totally understand why a number of reviewers gave up in the first two episodes, but starting with episode 3 it just gets exponentially better every week. As the story develops, those initially frustrating episodes fade into an important backdrop to everything else. Many other great voices and perspectives begin to fill in, and the production is excellent. I’m enthralled, and it does that thing that only the best-told stories do, of truly transporting you to another place and time.

Why the useless garbage episodes (1/5)

Why include all the garbage useless episodes that are literally just filler and then to say sorry because you know what your doing. As soon as you get to actual info you say next week. Ridiculous!

Good story telling (5/5)

Some person called into the podcast and left a complaint that they should just read the police report Instead of keeping the audience in suspense. Well, the show says it only just received it. But beyond that, this is called good story telling. Maybe the caller should stick to news.

Difficult to listen (1/5)

I truly understand letting people tell their story, but you should realize that it is painful to listen cursing rambling babble. Editing is your friend......

Whoa! (5/5)

I am an old punk rocker who has read almost every biography, autobiography and historical accounts about the area that was associated with the music scene....19th Street, Chelsea Hotel, etc. This podcast is THE MOST riveting story that I have come across. Yeah, I am including Sid and Nancy. There is just something different. It’s not a junkie’s story. It is a homicide. A seemingly purposeful homicide. A murder. I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the next episode (2 weeks?!?! Ugh!). Thank you everyone.

Oh my gosh! (5/5)

Two weeks?!?! I can’t wait two weeks to hear more! I’m DYING to know what happened to Billy!!!!!!!

Love Love Love (5/5)

as an older woman who grew up in the 70s and 80s this is so true to life about the times back then. this podcast it’s so interesting I’m really surprised at how much I just wait for the next one to come out thank you very much for putting so much time and effort into this it is been absolutely fascinating

Cliffhangers! (5/5)

IO! Cmon man, you’re killing us! Great story, very well done. I’m on the edge of my seat!

Best podcast ever (5/5)

This is so authentic. Good job IO!

Enticing and Raw (5/5)

Love the second season about Billy Balls... it’s music is great! I just binged up to Ep 6. I think I’m right there with IO, where I’m in too deep to drop this story; now I NEED to know the truth. Even if it’s anticlimactic. Great work!

Difficult Listen (1/5)

Good premise but the girlfriend is awful.

Fascinating (5/5)

Fascinating story. Very well done. Waiting for the next episode!

Good work (5/5)

Season two is one of my favorites. I had to leave a review because season two is one of the best crime/murder podcasts. UAV is my favorite but depending on how season 2 ends it should be up there. Thanks for your work!

Not Good (1/5)

Season 2 is a disaster. If I wanted to hear the ramblings of some strung out piss soaked junkie I would hang out in a the subway tunnel. NEXT!

RFK Tapes (5/5)

I’m glad I found this while scrolling down. I think it is fascinating and very well done. The different vantage points, the personalities and discussions really drew me in to be hearing the perspectives with an open mind. The bonus tracks really helped to wrap it up and Zac did a wonderful job.

Incredible (5/5)

Incredible sound engineering and story telling that truly makes you feel like you are there. Haters on this podcast are a bunch of narcs living in a cozy bubble. This story is real, raw, and riveting. Well done, iO!

Great listen (5/5)

Totally binged this!!!

Slow start, but worth it (5/5)

So, I’ll admit I wasn’t super invested through the first 2 episodes. Mostly because, as others have mentioned, it’s a little hard to listen to Rebecca’s repetitive ramblings. But, if you stick it out, it gets more interesting as iO starts to investigate. Plus, the sound and narrating is quite well done. Highly recommend if you’re into investigative podcasts!

Not good (1/5)

I couldn't get past the girlfriend who sounds like she’s been perpetually trashed for the past 40 years. Her slurring of words, random tangents and foul mouth made me unsubscribe after about 20 minutes.

Honest Grit (5/5)

I love the music, the voices, the raw emotion Rebecca willingly shares with us. This podcast drew me in immediately because of that. The setting of New York in the 70’s and 80’s can’t help but fascinate. I don’t understand the harsh negative reviews. Thank you for sharing your work iO!!

A blast from the past (5/5)

Listening to iO I feel like I'm back in NY before it was hypsterized, sanitized and corporatized. Sorry to read the reviews from snowflakes shocked by the "language and grit " but this podcast is true to the NY of the seventies and eighties when I worked at Max's ( where I heard Billy Balls ) and lived in Hell's Kitchen. NY was a rough, dirty, dangerous but exciting place to live .

Awesome podcast (5/5)

Really a gritty, general assesment of what NYC was like in the 70’s and early 80’s. IO is an awesome story teller. The negative reviews amaze me, don’t know what people expect.

So real (5/5)

Hearing the story from the actors in their own words and voices gives depth and context to an already fascinating story.

Love it (5/5)

This podcast is very interesting and well done. I love the story of how passionate Rebecca loved Billy. The music is great too. Thanks to everyone on this podcast who are sharing their stories. And to the person who said they did not like Rebecca’s voice, well I love her voice! I love they way she talks and how raw and candid he is. I guess if you are looking for a fairytale this ain’t your story.

I love it (5/5)

Thank you for sharing this painful story. It’s eerily relatable and you’re telling it very well.

I just can’t (2/5)

Wanted to like this, as it sounded up my alley. But using Rebecca as the primary storyteller - rather than just for quotes here and there - made this absolutely intolerable. I would guess from listening to her that she has been perpetually high on serious hardcore drugs since 1966 or so. I can’t understand how the people who made this couldn’t recognize what a turnoff she would be to the audience. No story is compelling enough to endure that.

Top 5 fav so far (5/5)

Io is an amazing story teller! I am on the edge of my set waiting on new episodes, I definitely feel like I’m in the story. A bit of the story hits home with me and I’ve cried with half of the episodes thus far (3).

Billy Balls - ‘Rebecca Needs Rehab’ (1/5)

If you want to hear what 40+ years of active alcoholism and addiction sounds like this is the podcast for you.

Plug your ears! (1/5)

Wayyyyyyyyyyy too much cussing and the girlfriend 🤦🏻‍♀️🤭 very, very hard to listen to. I deleted before I finished the first episode 😤

compelling & different (5/5)

all the reviewers commenting on the things that are unpalatable to them about rebecca & iO are totally missing the point. this story is so compelling bc of the grime & grit; anything but undiluted, ugly honesty would be frankly kind of gross. if you want a vanilla host to whitewash this story & read from a wikipedia page, there are tons of podcasts for that.

Garbage (1/5)

This is trash. Couldn’t make it to 15 minutes. The lady was just talking nonsense.

Billy Balls (1/5)

Don’t do it. It’s definitely edgy but the voice of Rebecca is annoying. The profanity is not needed to tell the story. Sad because I cannot finish the podcast to even see what happened.

Barf (4/5)

This is like if Hot Topic made a podcast. Rebecca makes me feel like I got stuck talking to her in the kitchen at a bad party with no way out of listening to her ramble. And she’s probably bogarting the drugs.

Yikes (2/5)

I came over to listen after hearing a small piece on the podcast “To Live and Die in LA.” I don’t think I can continue listening after two episodes. Rebecca needs help. She says she can’t remember certain things because she’s blocked them out of her memory. However, I’m thinking drugs may have been the main culprit. I don’t even know I can believe half the things she says, when I understand what she says that is. The part where she was talking about threatening phone calls, but couldn’t remember what the person on the phone said was very odd.

Love (4/5)

Great podcast love the story and all of your voices. For the haters/ snow flakes , what we’re expecting a fairytale. Maybe you should listen to a Disney podcast or maybe even Logan Paul IDK 💁‍♀️.