About Mared and Karen
On January 18, 1970, two West Virginia University freshmen students—Mared Malarik and Karen Ferrell—left a screening of Oliver! at the Metropolitan Theater in downtown Morgantown. Looking to hitch a ride back to the dorms, they entered a cream-colored sedan. This was the last time they would be seen alive. In April, their decapitated and decomposing bodies were found in makeshift graves in a wooded area 10 miles south of Morgantown.
About the podcast, Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders
In 2017, Kromatic Media released its latest major project Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders. Produced in coordination with a Morgantown researcher and The New York Times bestselling author, this award-winning podcast tells the true story of two West Virginia University coeds who were beheaded in 1970.
The show relies on extensive documentation and interviews with those directly involved in the saga of Mared and Karen, including journalists, attorneys, law enforcement, and former classmates of the victims, as well as research from police reports, news articles and new evidence to support a theory of wrongful conviction in the case and propose likely suspects. The episodes feature original music provided by Morgantown musicians in the score and soundtrack.
Within a year of its release, the podcast was incorporated into regional university curriculum in forensics at West Virginia University, true crime at Marshall University, and podcasting at the University of Tennessee. In 2018, the podcast was given the Mark of Excellence Award by the Society of Professional Journalists in the category of Radio In-Depth Reporting.
The show maintains a perfect 5-star rating on iTunes and has amassed over 250,000 via Soundcloud.