Marc Smerling hosts the highly anticipated follow-up to hit podcast Crimetown

From the Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated storyteller Marc Smerling comes the launch of Crooked City: Youngstown, OH.

The 15-episode series dives into the complicated history of a US Rust Belt town where car bombs and mob murders became so common that in 1963, The Saturday Evening Post called it, “Crimetown, U.S.A.”

Host Marc Smerling journeys back to a time when thousands of steel workers crossed the Mahoning River every day to toil in the hot and dirty steel mills of Youngstown, Ohio, then blew off steam Friday nights in mob-run gambling halls, brothels and bars.

Illegal gambling was so lucrative that Cleveland and Pittsburgh Mafia families killed to control it. Every part of the government was corrupt. Then, local football hero Jim Traficant ran for sheriff on a promise to clean up the city.

Crooked City recounts Traficant’s complex story and impact, exposing his corrupt deals with the mob, his run for Congress and his time in Washington D.C. as one by one, the steel mills closed, young people left Youngstown, and the mob became more and more desperate and brutal.

Traficant became the Mahoning Valley’s eight-term, twice-indicted Congressman, walking around Capitol Hill in cowboy boots, bell-bottoms, and skinny ties.

On the House floor, he preached a mantra of putting “America First.” He threatened to cut off foreign imports to bring the steel industry back, and even asked the military to send troops to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the southern border.

When journalists and the FBI began to take a closer look, he complained about fake news, bullied investigators, and yelled at the end of every speech, “Beam me up Scotty. There is no intelligent life down here!”

Crooked City: Youngstown, OH from and Sony Music Entertainment, is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribers to “The Binge” can listen to all fifteen episodes all at once today.

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