Tenderfoot TV’s Monster series have helped make a name for the podcast studio with shows like Atlanta Monster, Monster: The Zodiac Killer, and Monster: DC Sniper logging millions of downloads. Now Tenderfoot TV is launching a new iteration and as part of its effort to build an international footprint, it is teaming up with iHeartMedia to debut a series that is based in Belgium. Le Monstre will initially be released in English, with a French-language version to follow.
Le Monstre tells the story of the June 1995 disappearance of two eight-year old girls, Julie Lejeune and Mélissa Russo, who were playing in their Liège neighborhood, never to be seen alive again. However, what happened to them was not an isolated incident. During the 1980s and 1990s, a serial killer, pedophile, and kidnapper named Marc Dutroux, who later became known as “Le Monstre,” terrorized the European nation, abducting and murdering several young girls.
Beyond the shock of the killings, the story made headlines for how police handled the investigation. After Dutroux’s arrest, in protest of the government’s handling of the investigation, approximately 400,000 Belgians took to the streets, ultimately leading to the dismantling of the Gendarmerie, a Belgian federal police force, and the reform of the justice system.
Producer Matt Graves hosts Le Monstre. The Texas native, who moved to his wife’s native Belgium in 1995 as the crimes were making headlines, hosts the show as it draws on his own memories of how the crimes divided his new home. The series will dive deep into the crimes, investigation, and aftermath of these horrors, known as the “Dutroux Affair,” and will take a fresh look at Dutroux and his accomplices -- both known and unknown -- many of whom are still walking freely today.
“International growth is a priority for Tenderfoot,” says Tenderfoot TV cofounder Donald Albright. “Releasing Le Monstre as part of our existing iHeart Monster franchise, which already has over 120 million downloads, is hopefully proof of our commitment to exposing important stories no matter where they take place.”
Albright says by having a host who is bilingual – Graves speaks both English and French – they plan to release a second, French-language version of Le Monstre” in the near future.” Albright said in an interview last week that Tenderfoot wanted to make sure they made the story available to people who don’t speak English.
The first two episodes of Le Monstre premieres Tuesday, August 23 across iHeartRadio and all podcast platforms, and new episodes will launch on following Tuesdays.
Both Tenderfoot TV and iHeart have been taking steps to broaden their reach beyond the U.S. borders. Last week, Tenderfoot announced a partnership with Sonoro to produce a slate of multi-language podcasts beginning with the Ciudad Mágica series and a true crime podcast called The Estate set to launch early next year.
Meantime, iHeartMedia is working with Podimo to translate some of its shows into other languages. In May that led to the debut of a Spanish-language adaptation of Forgotten: Women of Juarez known as Olvidadas: Las Muertas de Juárez. The show has also been translated into German and Danish under a partnership announced in 2020. Earlier this year iHeart also said it has begun working with voice-cloning technology created by Veritone to recreate its shows in other languages.
Listen to a preview of Le Monstre HERE.