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The Jinx's Marc Smerling Unpacks Alleged Vatican Coverups, Mafia Secrets in New True Crime Podcast

A Brooklyn gangster's dying declarations about a plot to assassinate Pope John Paul I is front and center in The Confessions of Anthony Raimondi.

By Jax Miller

One of the creators behind the hit documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is hosting a true crime podcast that could only be described as “stranger than fiction.”

Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and podcaster Marc Smerling will soon deliver a nail-biting true crime audio series, The Confessions of Anthony Raimondi, premiering Tuesday, June 18, 2024, anywhere listeners tune into their favorite podcasts, Oxygen.com can exclusively announceSmerling will host eight episodes focusing on the taped confessions of self-proclaimed Brooklyn gangster Anthony Raimondi.

One expletive-filled clip from the audio trailer has Raimondi wondering aloud about his salvation.

“I’m gonna go to Heaven, and God’s gonna say, ‘Nah, f-ck you. You killed one of my popes,’” the ailing mobster told the podcast host.

What is The Confessions of Anthony Raimondi about?

Raimondi, confessing his sins as he faces imminent death, discusses his involvement in an alleged conspiracy to kill the pope.

“In 1978, Pope John Paul I was found dead in bed 33 days after he was elected,” the press release states. “The Vatican announced to the world that the pope suffered a fatal heart attack, but many people believe the pope was murdered by poison because he was planning to investigate financial corruption in the Vatican.”

Smerling takes into consideration troubling facts, including the Vatican’s alleged lies over who found the sovereign’s dead body, and the Catholic Church’s “rush” to embalm the pope without an autopsy taking place, according to the release.

Smerling investigates as Raimondi confesses to “a lot of things.”

“From killing a guy at 16 as part of a misspent youth, to his relationship with famous gangsters, to trading a long murder sentence to fight covert battles for the U.S. government in Vietnam,” the release continues. “Anthony’s most outrageous claim ends in the dark halls of Vatican City and the Papal Chamber with the poisoning of John Paul I.”

Raimondi tells the host he witnessed the pope’s alleged murder first-hand. Smerling, taking in the “dizzying confessions from a brutal mafia enforcer,” questions whether Raimondi is merely a fabulist or if there is some truth behind his claims.

“His story is stranger than fiction, but is it fiction?” Smerling wonders. “That’s what we'll find out.”

The Producers

The upcoming podcast is hosted by Marc Smerling, one of the three brainchilds behind HBO’s smashing true crime docu-series, The Jinx, which thrust convicted killer Robert Durst into the spotlight. The filmmaker is the founder of truth.media, the same television and podcast production company behind FX’s A Wilderness of Error and HBO’s Mind Over Murder.

True crime podcasts are nothing new to the filmmaker, especially since creating 2016’s Crimetown — once listed on Oxygen’s “most addicting podcasts” of the year. The podcast, which Smerling co-hosted alongside fellow Jinx creator Zac Stuart-Pontier, went on to climb up top-10 lists around the nation, including with The New York Times and The Atlantic Monthly. It also opened the door for Smerling to win iHeartRadio’s 2019 Podcast Innovator of the Year.

The Confessions of Anthony Raimondi is produced by truth.media and USG Audio, a division of the Universal Studio Group (winners of the Peabody Award and the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for You Didn’t See Nothin [sic]in association with Clockwork Films. Smerling serves as executive producer for truth.media, while Josh Bloch is E.P. for USG Audio, and Naomi Harvey and Jamie Cohen from Clockwork Films.

Where to listen to The Confessions of Anthony Raimondi:

Episodes 1 and 2 of the eight-episode series will be available anywhere audiences listen to their favorite podcasts on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. New episodes will be released weekly thereafter.

Be sure to check out more coverage by Oxygen about true crime podcasts at Oxygen.com.

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