A native of Macedonia, Shabani moved to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, only to go missing from her apartment in February 2018, just days before her 26th birthday. The new, 12-episode series dives deep into her case, uncovering new leads, shocking revelations and death threats through private investigator Jayden Brandt and Strauss' interviews with friends and family as the search unfolds in real time. The podcast promises to conclude with surprising answers and truths about Shabani’s disappearance while exposing “the dark side of Los Angeles,” Chris Corcoran, CCO of Cadence 13, teased to ET. (Warning: Googling about the cast will result in some spoilers.)
“We’ve stretched the true-crime genre even further here, detailing a criminal investigation while in progress, all in hopes of exposing the whole truth,” executive producer Donald Albright said. “Expert storytellers like Neil Strauss are essential to investigative podcasts because they stop at nothing to get the truth, but he takes it one step further. Listeners are inside of the investigation with Neil every step of the way as he’s faced with decisions that change the trajectory of the case.”
In a statement, Strauss added: “This podcast is for the victims of this story and those who love them. I hope to bring them the answers and the closure they deserve after so much pain and uncertainty. There are a lot of problems with procedure after a person goes missing. I hope this series can shed light on them, inform families in similar situations, and lead to a change in procedure, especially in the crucial first week.”
The podcast is the latest from Tenderfoot TV, which has been behind previous hits, Up and Vanished seasons one and two, Sworn and Atlanta Monster. In January, the company, which was created by Albright and filmmaker Payne Lindsey, released the iHeartRadio Original, Monster: Zodiac Killer, a re-examination of the unsolved 1968 serial killings in Northern California. “At Tenderfoot, we are committed to telling important stories from a unique perspective,” Albright said.
While To Live and Die in LA is just the latest entry in the true-crime genre, Lindsey explained why these stories are ones that he and audiences alike cannot get enough of:
“[These] real-life stories are the ones that tell me even more, because at the end of the day you're like, ‘This is really happening somewhere. This is crazy. They still don't know what happened. We can find out what happened!'" he said. “To me, it's just that simple.”