Sinisterhood: “The first episode we just hit record and didn’t really know we were having a podcast.”
Neighbor Heather McKinney is a self-proclaimed fraidy cat. But she thinks it makes total sense to co-host a podcast dedicated to the cults and crimes that keep her up at night.
“It helps quell the fear,” she says. “If I know as much as possible about the subject, then it can’t hurt me. If my goal is to not get killed by a serial killer, then I just have to know everything I can about them to achieve my goal.”
Serial killers, unsolved murders and conspiracy theories are just a few of the subjects McKinney explores with co-host Christie Wallace on their podcast “Sinisterhood.” The two East Dallas comedians have privately probed their fascination with the paranormal since meeting at the Dallas Comedy House about three years ago. They began sharing their passion publicly when they created their first episode in May 2018.
“Initially, we just started talking about our mutual interests,” McKinney says. “The first episode we just hit record and didn’t really know we were having a podcast. We did it for fun. Once we realized people were listening, we figured we might as well have a good product.”
Fans of the podcast include Karen Kilgariff, a comedian who co-hosts the weekly true-crime show “My Favorite Murder.” When Kilgariff promoted the podcast to her 120,000 Instagram followers, “Sinisterhood” downloads soared.
In November, “Sinisterhood” cracked iTunes’ list of top 100 podcasts and jumped to No. 9 on the top 10 podcasts for comedy, alongside Joe Rogan and Anna Farris. The show has since been downloaded 200,000 times and gained thousands of followers from the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and more.
“I started crying when we hit the top 10,” Wallace says. “We spend all week researching, and it’s really validating to know all these people were liking what we were doing.”
Although researching and recording the podcast is time consuming, the two haven’t given up their other hobbies. They’re scheduled to perform at the Dallas Comedy Festival in March. Nor have they quit their day jobs. Wallace is a stay-at-home mom, and McKinney is a lawyer.
Their goal is to make producing “Sinisterhood” a full-time job with merchandise and, perhaps, a tour. But for now, the two are focused on making each installment educational and entertaining.
Wallace is responsible for researching each of the weekly episodes, which feature topics such as the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Golden State Killer. McKinney breaks down the legal aspects of a case. That legal knowledge helps “Sinisterhood” stand out among other true-crime related entertainment, such as “My Favorite Murder” and “Last Podcast on the Left,” Wallace says.
“We get so many comments from listeners saying they appreciate someone who can finally explain something in an understandable and relatable way,” she says. “If you can learn something and laugh, that’s a good way to spend an hour.”
Sinister on Stage:
Hosts Heather McKinney and Christie Wallace will perform a live recording of their podcast at the Dallas Comedy Festival.
When: 6 p.m. March 30
Where: Dallas Comedy House, 3025 Main St.
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