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What happened to billy balls?


In the fall of 1977, Rebecca meets Billy; Model meets musician; Juliet meets Romeo, and their worlds intertwine. He shows her the mean streets of New York, how to survive, and how to make it in showbiz. They’re gonna be stars.

Then one day, she comes home to their storefront in the East Village to find that Billy…has been shot. The police are turning their place upside down. Billy survives, for ten days, until suddenly, despite an optimistic recovery, he dies, and is sent to an anonymous burial ground.

How was Billy killed? Where is his body? What happened?

A tragedy that defined lives and a mystery that endures, 37 years later we are finally going to give an end to The Ballad Of Billy Balls.


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The Ballad Of Billy Balls

by Crimetown Presents with iO Tillett Wright

News & Updates




The show

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The Ballad of billy balls

Downtown New York, early summer, 1982. A man bursts into an East Village storefront apartment and shoots musician Billy Balls. The motive? Unknown. Billy’s body? It just disappears. Rebecca, Billy’s girlfriend, doesn’t know what to do and has no way to say goodbye. Now, thirty-seven years later, iO Tillett Wright wants to give Rebecca the opportunity to let go. In the second season of Crimetown Presents, The Ballad of Billy Balls unravels a mystery of love and loss, the tender binds of family, and the stories we learn to tell ourselves just to survive. In Season 1 of Crimetown Presents, The RFK Tapes, Zac Stuart-Pontier takes a deep dive into the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

The Ballad of billy balls is a collaboration between Crimetown Presents and host & Producer iO tillett wright. The show is produced by Austin Mitchell, Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc smerling. Associate producers are Kevin Shepherd and Ryan Sweikert. The Ballad of Billy Balls is made in association with Cadence13.

iO Tillett Wright

iO Tillett Wright

Host & Producer

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Austin Mitchell

Senior Producer

Austin is the senior producer of Crimetown Presents, a series of documentary podcasts. Previously, he worked at Gimlet Mediaas a producer for Crimetown, Reply All and Science Vs. His independent series Profiles:NYC was named one of 2016’s best podcasts by The Atlantic and was a 2017 Webby Award Honoree. Before radio he worked as an actor and civil engineer.

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Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc Smerling

Executive Producers

Zac Stuart-Pontier is a journalist and filmmaker. He was the editor, co-producer and writer of the Emmy– and Peabody Award–winning HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. He also edited the feature films Martha Marcy May Marlene, Catfish (the documentary) and Bleed for This.

Marc Smerling is a film producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. He was nominated for an Oscar for the documentary Capturing the Friedmans in 2003, and produced both Catfish (the documentary) and CatfishTV (the series, now in its sixth season). He wrote the movie All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, and produced, co-wrote and shot the Emmy– and Peabody Award–winning HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths Of Robert Durst.


Ryan Sweikert


Ryan got his start in audio hitchhiking across the country and interviewing the people who gave him rides. He studied radio production at the Transom Story Workshop and graduate journalism at NYU. He has produced podcasts for NPR's Radio Ambulante, Kismet, and Narratively.

Kevin Shepherd

Associate Producer

Kevin Shepherd graduated from FIT in 2018 after pursuing a degree in Film & Media. An internship at a film production company led to Kevin finding his way into the world of podcasting. He became the digitizer and intern for the first season of Crimetown Presents, The RFK Tapes. Over the course of the show Kevin became involved even further, working as an assistant producer. He now joins The Ballad of Billy Balls as an associate producer. Whether he wants the nickname or not he has become known around the office as Sweet Kevin.