Please note: This post may include affiliate links. Please read my disclosure page for more information.
Where are my fellow Crime Junkies? I know you’re out there with me! If you’ve been to my home, I’ve got wine glasses and more with all the little nods to true crime that you can think of. It was only fitting that I went down the street to see The Deck Investigates with Ashley Flowers when she was here for her hometown show at Indianapolis’ Old National Centre on February 16th.
Ashley Flowers is an award-winning podcast producer and author of the New York Times bestselling book All Good People Here. For the first time, she’s taken her show on the road with The Deck Investigates, where she’s bringing you the latest twists and turns of an underreported investigation in real-time. If you didn’t already know, Ashley Flowers, host of Crime Junkie and founder of audiochuck, is local to the Indianapolis area! So it was super cool to see her bring her live show to a sold-out audience in Old National Centre.
The Good & Fun Parts
The live show feature Ashley talking about the case of Darlene Hulse, who was brutally murdered in 1984. Despite the hundreds of leads and the support of investigators from both local and federal levels, the killer has not been uncovered. Added bonus for those of us in Indiana, the case happened here, and it’s still active in the hands of the Marshall County Prosecutor’s office.
It’s low-key from the beginning as there’s a live video setting the scene for us and her delivering the initial parts of the story from a couch just off center stage. As we progressed throughout the evening, there were more videos, and sound clips played to progress the details along. She’d also add pictures and writing to the whiteboards surrounding her couch to add more visual details as she was sharing them with us in the audience.
During the show, Ashley shared new details about the Darlene Hulse case that have been uncovered through her interviews with the victim’s family, as well as with law enforcement officials and the suspects.
If you’re into true crime podcasts, this is a cool concept. If podcasts aren’t your thing, I’m not sure you’d be into this type of show. This all said, much of this story is about to come out on The Deck podcast in future episodes. So, you probably didn’t miss much, as it was just fans and fellow Crime Junkies getting a sneak peek of what is to come.
One thing I did appreciate was the call to action for the family involved in the case that is presented during the show. Head to DarleneHulse.com to learn more and sign the petition. If everyone who sees the show signs the petition and shares it, I’d bet it would make a difference in the handling of the case. It’s fascinating to me that this is the type of effort it takes to draw attention to these cases when the information is out there. And I commend Ashley and her fellow investigators for creating a show with their source material and presenting it in a way that also makes it an experience – and not just a story to listen to on your phone.
The Bad Parts
There were two negative things about the whole night – Old National Centre and audience behavior.
Old National Centre was SOLD OUT for both shows happening, and there were a lot of lines and confusion. I started on one side of the building and was asked to go to the other and then sent back again. Luckily I’ve been in there enough to get where I need to go quickly, but for any newbies to the venue, there should be signs out with staff manning the lines. Seriously staff members going up and down the lines would have been amazing. Even a few sandwich boards out on the sidewalks specifying lines would have been a nice touch as well.
As far as audience behavior during the live show, I was literally stunned. MANY patrons were just downright rude the entire time. I cannot tell you how many people were texting and taking pics the whole time (even when the ushers said ‘no photo or video once the show starts’), holding up people from coming into the rows with bags of merchandise blocking the way in, and I even heard and saw a baby. There were also people around me taking phone calls – their phones rang, AND THEY ANSWERED. Someone near me got two full beers and spilled them, so they screamed aloud. I saw patrons push through big groups of other patrons to try to get to the front of lines – and then get reprimanded for trying to go out the wrong doors and for cutting. People had lost their minds, I swear to God. I even ranted about it on Instagram, and it got a wild amount of views – so maybe I’ll rant about bad audience behavior more often.