Artwork for Direct Appeal

Direct Appeal

Dr. Meghan Sacks and Dr. Amy Shlosberg
Society & CultureTrue Crime

In August 2008, Sarah Widmer, a healthy 24 year-old woman is found dead in her bathtub, just four months after marrying Ryan Widmer… the only person at home with Sarah that night. Suspicion quickly fell on Ryan, leading to his arrest and conviction for Sarah’s murder. But could this have been a tragic accident? Ryan has adamantly maintained his innocence for the last 16 years, but now, two seasoned criminologists examine the very controversial conviction of Ryan Widmer, for the murder of his wife Sarah. Is Ryan a murder or did something else happen in that bathroom? Join us to find out.


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Latest Episodes

Ep10: more

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4 months ago


4.4 out of 5 stars from 1.7k ratings
  • Season 2

    I had not heard of this case prior - and it really captured my attention! I love listening to these 2 hosts and hear them explain certain things in the legal system that I just don't know. I don't think they are being biased just truly listening to what happened and basing an opinion on that. There was absolutely tunnel vision in this case and he was not given a fair trial. I can't understand how he was convicted in 2 trials because there is so much reasonable doubt IMO! 911 calls and facial exp... more

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 months ago
  • Not unbiased

    Ugh. So I had a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to rate this. But geez - Melanie is so so guilty. This podcast isn’t unbiased. They’re basically defending a murderer. Clearly Melanie did and said certain things to clear herself (all murderers in her position would) but to think that these ladies believed that is insane. They’re supposed to be criminologists and they believed a manipulator. One of the ladies even worked at a prison and she soaked up EVERY lie that Melanie said. Wow. Wow... more

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 months ago
  • Season two is a bit biased.

    Season one was really fun because it wasn’t so cut and dry. Both of the hosts are brilliant (highly recommend their other podcasts women and crime, and Campus killings), so it was fun hearing all their thoughts/questions/concerns. This season was not as fun because it felt like they came into this season thinking he was innocent.

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 months ago
  • Enjoyed season 1 more than season 2

    I was more convinced and was more drawn to the case covered in season 1. The podcast is well researched and I love the two hosts. But the case covered in season 2 just didn’t grab me the way season 1 did.

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 months ago
  • In the US, 3 women a day are killed by their controlling and abusive partners or ex-partners

    I appreciate the thoroughness of the Widmer investigation, but think the hosts are too willing to give him a free pass. I think the evidence clearly points to him, and am always a bit disappointed when women go to such lengths to defend a man convicted of femicide. Abuse is private, of course people didn’t notice, but the red flags are there

    Apple Podcasts
    Beverly Knight
    Australia3 months ago

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Chart Rankings

Apple Podcasts
#152 Russia/True Crime
Apple Podcasts
#231 New Zealand/True Crime

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Direct Appeal launched 4 years ago and published 32 episodes to date. You can find more information about this podcast including rankings, audience demographics and engagement in our podcast database.

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