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Fur & Loathing

Author: Brazen

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It’s early December 2014, and at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, an unusual gathering is taking place. It’s the final night of Midwest Furfest, the world’s largest convention for a subculture known as Furries.

The party is in full swing when, just after midnight, attendees suddenly find themselves struggling to breathe. Something terrible has happened: poisonous levels of chlorine gas are sweeping through the hotel corridors.

Nineteen people are hospitalized and hundreds are evacuated into the freezing cold, many still wearing their colorful anthropomorphic animal costumes, or fursuits. Hazmat teams trace the gas to a stairwell, where they find the remains of a chemical bomb. This was an intentional attack.

But almost a decade later, the identity of the perpetrator remains a mystery. In Fur and Loathing, investigative reporter Nicky Woolf takes on the unsolved case, working closely with Furries to find answers. It’s a journey that will bring him face-to-face with the challenges this vibrant, often misunderstood subculture faces – including the far-right extremists looking to wreck the community from within.


9 Episodes
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This is Fur and Loathing, coming soon from Brazen. It’s early December 2014, and at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, an unusual gathering is taking place. It’s the final night of Midwest Furfest, the world’s largest convention for a subculture known as Furries. The party is in full swing when, just after midnight, attendees suddenly find themselves struggling to breathe. Something terrible has happened: poisonous levels of chlorine gas are sweeping through the hotel corridors. Nineteen people are hospitalized and hundreds are evacuated into the freezing cold, many still wearing their colorful anthropomorphic animal costumes, or fursuits. Hazmat teams trace the gas to a stairwell, where they find the remains of a chemical bomb. This was an intentional attack. But almost a decade later, the identity of the perpetrator remains a mystery. In Fur & Loathing, investigative reporter Nicky Woolf takes on the unsolved case, working closely with Furries to find answers. It’s a journey that will bring him face-to-face with the challenges this vibrant, often misunderstood subculture faces – including the far-right extremists looking to wreck the community from within. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 1 of Fur & Loathing will be released on Monday. Don't miss it – follow the feed now.  Many journalists have that one story they just can't let drop. For Nicky Woolf, it was this one. In December 2014, at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, horror unfolded at the final night of Midwest Furfest, the world’s largest convention for Furries. There's an attack. Poisonous levels of chlorine gas sweep through the hotel corridors, nineteen people are hospitalized and hundreds are evacuated. Hazmat teams trace the gas to a stairwell, where they find the remains of a chemical bomb. But almost a decade later, the identity of the perpetrator remains a mystery. Ahead of the launch of the investigative podcast, Brazen co-founder Bradley Hope talks to Nicky Woolf about his determination to unravel this unsolved case, exploring not just the criminal elements but the vibrant subculture affected by this mystery.  Fur & Loathing is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 1: Broken Glass

Episode 1: Broken Glass

2024-05-0627:591

To this day, no one knows what happened at the Hyatt Hotel and Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois on December 7th, 2014. All we do know is that it could have been one of the deadliest domestic terror attacks in US history.  So why is the case unsolved? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 2: The Stairwell

Episode 2: The Stairwell

2024-05-1331:071

Nicky Woolf goes to Midwest FurFest 2023 to see the scene of the crime. How did this attack unfold 10 years ago? How deadly could it have been? What sort of impact has it had on the furry community? And most importantly – who could have done it? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 3: Pawstikas

Episode 3: Pawstikas

2024-05-2032:051

After Nicky's trip to Midwest Fur Fest, he comes to understand just how bad the attack could have been. With the help of Patch O’Furr, Nicky begins honing in on who they believe to be a prime suspect  – a Furry who goes by the Fursona Magnus Diridian. To understand Magnus, Nicky takes us into a dark fringe group of the Furry Fandom, alt-right and Neo Nazi Furry groups. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
While the investigation from Nicky and Patch strongly points to one individual...Magnus Diridian, there's a sudden surprise. The Brazen team gets documents returned from a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act). Those documents give just enough information for us to piece together what exactly the FBI was doing during the months and years after the attack. And suddenly a new name appears. A name no-one has heard before. Caleb Kinkade. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Our investigation is live and moving fast! With a bunch of updates and new leads, Nicky sits down with furry journalist Patch O’Furr to bring him up to speed in this special bonus episode. Together, they discuss behind-the-scenes details of the investigation so far, and how fresh leads could bring us even closer to knowing what really happened. Nicky also takes listeners’ questions on everything from meeting suspects to being stonewalled by the FBI, as well as his first FurFest experience last year. Episode five of Fur & Loathing comes out on Monday 10 June — don’t miss it!  If you’d like find out more about Patch and his work, you can visit his website: https://dogpatch.press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 5: Magnus

Episode 5: Magnus

2024-06-1038:021

Having found and interviewed Caleb, our theory of the case is developing – and we think the FBI and police were wrong. As we close in on our last remaining suspect, we hear from people from his past. They paint a deeply disturbing picture. But will we be able to track him down? Will he agree to speak to us? And will we be able to find the answers we seek? Who is Magnus Diridian – and is he the perpetrator of the attack? It’s time to find and confront our suspect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Episode 6: Chimera

Episode 6: Chimera

2024-06-1744:342

Wrapping up with Magnus brings us as close as we can get to an answer. That’s because, somewhere along the way, the police and FBI seem to have mismanaged and lost key evidence, followed dodgy leads, and screwed up the investigation – meaning we may never know for sure. What the hell happened? The answer may lie with Rosemont itself – a place that, it turns out, is riddled with corruption. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Comments (1)

Cassandra M

I can't believe this is what the world has come to...

Jun 4th
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