Hosted by Laura Beil (Dr. Death, Bad Batch), Sympathy Pains is a six-part series from Neon Hum Media and iHeartRadio. For 20 years, Sarah Delashmit told people around her that she had cancer, muscular dystrophy, and other illnesses. She used a wheelchair and posted selfies from a hospital bed. She told friends and coworkers she was trapped in abusive relationships, or that she was the mother of children who had died. It was all a con. Sympathy was both her great need and her powerful weapon. But unlike most scams, she didn’t want people’s money. She was after something far...
Mara Davis • Paste Magazine • Dec 19, 2022
"It’s a bonkers situation that makes you wonder what drives someone to manipulate others this way. Host Laura Beil (Dr. Death, Vaping Fix) attempts to figure out why."
Kat Rooney • PodcastReview.org • May 19, 2022
"A Fascinating Story That Lacks Charm. Though there’s a certain shock value to learning the details of Delashmit’s actions, the podcast is at its best when investigating the psychology of her behavior and the tricky business of balancing fair punishment with compassionate mental health care. It’s a weighty observation about human nature in our increasingly atomized society that prizes individualism, and it offers useful context for Sarah’s story –– I only wish it had been incorporated sooner and more often."
Jessica Best • The Urban List • May 2, 2022
"Look, if you loved Dr. Death, you’ll absolutely love the new podcast from its host, Laura Biel. ...absurd real-life story that’s truly hard to believe. Insane. "
Nicholas Quah • Vulture • Apr 21, 2022
"...which sits in the nexus of scams, emotional manipulation, and medical chicanery. I’m finding it, uh, extremely stressful."