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White Smoke: America's Chemsex Killer cover art

White Smoke: America's Chemsex Killer

By: Patrick Strudwick
Narrated by: Patrick Strudwick
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  • Summary

  • When the body of a young, gay, Black man, Gemmel Moore, was pulled out of the West Hollywood apartment of Ed Buck - a white, millionaire donor to the Democratic party — the coroner called it an accidental overdose. The police didn’t arrest Buck. And the media refused to report on it.

    But just 18 months later, when a second Black man, Timothy Dean, was found dead in the same apartment from the same drug, the police still didn’t arrest Buck, sparking a series of terrifying questions. Why was Buck still free when two men had died in his home surrounded by drugs? How much were his wealth and political connections protecting him? And how many more men might have been harmed in that apartment?

    In White Smoke: America’s Chemsex Killer, investigative journalist Patrick Strudwick uncovers the secret world behind this explosive Hollywood scandal. Through original reporting, we discover how a cocktail of power, racism, sexual exploitation, and drug abuse had been detonating in Buck’s apartment for years. And how it’s connected to a wider chemsex scene playing out in queer communities all around the world — one that provides the perfect hunting ground for predators.

    But those communities are fighting back. In this series, we meet the men who lived a nightmare inside Buck’s apartment, the friends of the men who died, and the activists who triggered a movement to get Buck off the streets.

    White Smoke: America's Chemsex Killer is a Whistledown Production for Audible.

    ©2023 Patrick Strudwick (P)2023 Audible Originals, LLC
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Episodes
  • Trailer
    Apr 27 2023

    When the body of a young, gay, Black man, Gemmel Moore, was pulled out of the West Hollywood apartment of Ed Buck - a white, millionaire donor to the Democratic party - the coroner called it an accidental overdose. The police didn’t arrest Buck. And the media refused to report on it.

    But just 18 months later, when a second Black man, Timothy Dean, was found dead in the same apartment from the same drug, the police still didn’t arrest Buck, sparking a series of terrifying questions. Why was Buck still free when two men had died in his home surrounded by drugs? How much were his wealth and political connections protecting him? And how many more men might have been harmed in that apartment?

    In White Smoke: America’s Chemsex Killer, investigative journalist Patrick Strudwick uncovers the secret world behind this explosive Hollywood scandal. Through original reporting, we discover how a cocktail of power, racism, sexual exploitation, and drug abuse had been detonating in Buck’s apartment for years. And how it’s connected to a wider chemsex scene playing out in queer communities all around the world - one that provides the perfect hunting ground for predators.

    But those communities are fighting back. In this series, we meet the men who lived a nightmare inside Buck’s apartment, the friends of the men who died, and the activists who triggered a movement to get Buck off the streets.

    White Smoke: America's Chemsex Killer is a Whistledown Production for Audible.

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    4 mins
  • Episode 1: Escape
    May 4 2023
    Los Angeles, 2019. When a drugged Black man escapes the home of Ed Buck — a white, gay millionaire donor to the Democratic party — his only thought is survival. But by fleeing and phoning 911, the man sets in motion a dramatic chain of events that uncovers many more victims and an entire secret world of sex, meth, and racist predators.
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    34 mins
  • Episode 2: Gemmel
    May 4 2023
    The first man to die in Ed Buck’s apartment from a meth overdose was a 26-year-old gay Black man named Gemmel Moore. But Buck was not arrested and the media didn’t pay much attention. His friends and family feared that Gemmel’s race, sexuality and class meant that no one in power would care — and that the wealth, whiteness and political influence of Buck was stopping the police from investigating. So they launched a protest movement that makes Ed Buck an international news story.
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    1 hr

What listeners say about White Smoke: America's Chemsex Killer

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    5 out of 5 stars

A hard but necessary listen

This podcasts content was shocking, upsetting and harrowing to listen to. As a white privaled Christian lady I was deeply moved by the dignity, bravery and strength of victims of these horrific crimes and I praise Patrick Strudwick and team and all involved for bringing this tragic , continuing injustice to the fore in an informative, professional and sensitive way which was not an easy task with the nature of its content..I pray it's legacy is that it helps the worldwide Black LGBTQ+ community to be aware of the dangers of chemsex and all that's associated with it and that authorities wak up to the meet for prevention and intervention! I applaud all involved in producing this brilliant piece of journalism

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6 people found this helpful

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Not for me.

A better journalist would have edited this down to at least half of what is here. I suspect he was too involved, though. He tells us that his "first love" ended up in a coma, and another friend had trouble. He talks about drug taking as if it's normal, expected. Something "we all" do at university or clubs. Promiscuity is accepted. One man says he slept with a lot (and he stresses it's a lot) of men he didn't want to because he was involved in that scene. Another man getting into prostitution as if it's the most obvious course of action is just presented as fact. Why bother commenting on it? I gave up. The same ideas were repeated ad nauseum without making any headway. I wasn't prepared to spend about 9 hours listening him meander to the point.

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3 people found this helpful

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horrible but compelling

the need for good intervention is made in the situation as is proper police action

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent investigative journalism

Not great at reviews but th9s is a brilliant in depth series. Delicately handled but ask all the questions your 9wn head raises as you progress through the story. An important story well told. Thank you to all involved for their honesty, vulnerability and story telling. Highly recommend . Thank you.

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Brilliant

A thoughtful and well balanced insight into the less known and at times more sinister parts of queer culture

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent podcast

Terrible situation, told well and very very captivating. I love podcasts and I was hooked on this one

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  • XT
  • 28-09-23

Horrifying story addressed objectively

This is a shocking and traumatic story that will stay with you long after you finish listening to it. I am horrified that some people abuse others simply because it is their “fantasy”. When are we going to take people seriously when they first report a crime? When are we going to protect them from any subsequent crime? Whether someone is gay, straight, bi, trans, queer, woman, man, non-binary, black, brown, white, mixed, any other gender, any other sexuality, any other colour shouldn’t matter. The victim, the survivor matters. Listen to them. Protect them.

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A thought provoking, compelling listen

This podcast was clearly meticulously researched with lots of in person sources which i appreciated, it was a great listen and I thought th

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Gripping and shocking

Well done - this was excellent . I
Had no knowledge of the subject matter . Very well told . Patrick Standwick was compassionate and caring . Highly recommend this podcast

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A captivating yet heartbreaking account.

At first, I decided to listen to this documentary simply because it was in the Plus Catalogue. I listened for a few minutes here and there and would switch it off: not my world and of no interest to me. Then I listened on my way to work and I noticed this was an entry into a world I never knew existed.

The journalist and presenter, Patrick Strudwick, has done a wonderful job of unpacking and explaining the nuances of the harrowing events that took place. He brings to light - with strong evidence and patient interviews - themes of racism, political influence, and the power it can bring alongside themes of serious drug addiction within a community of mainly young, black gay men that can struggle to survive day-to-day thus leaving these young men open to exploitation, ending up in horrific situations. In addition, he guides his audience with reasons as to why some information is crucial as it unlocks the key to another big branch of events.

While I'm not gay so cannot speak on their behalf, I think it's reasonable to suggest this documentary as a must listen/read for any young, gay man. As Patrick and some interviewees agree: there are Ed Bucks lurking everywhere, all around the world.

Thank you Patrick. You challenged me to open my eyes and consider what can happen when people are helpless and vulnerable.

I look forward to reading/listening to more of your work.

Sincerely,

A new fan of your work.

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