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Artist’s impression of the shit on the floor at the wedding (Photo: Supplied)
Artist’s impression of the shit on the floor at the wedding (Photo: Supplied)

Pop CultureJuly 8, 2023

Who shat on the floor at a wedding? A hit true crime podcast still wants to know

Artist’s impression of the shit on the floor at the wedding (Photo: Supplied)
Artist’s impression of the shit on the floor at the wedding (Photo: Supplied)

Three years after it was released, a New Zealander’s ‘poo-dunnit’ podcast has gone viral thanks to a single tweet.

Lauren Kilby is spending much of her time dealing with poo. “We’re getting a lot of queries about faecal matter-related incidents,” she says. “For some people, it’s happened to them at their actual wedding – someone shat on the floor. I had one where someone shat not only on the floor, but the walls and the roof and the … surrounding area of their wedding.”

Kilby’s become something of an expert on mystery poo thanks to her hit podcast investigating something that happened during the 2018 wedding reception for her best friends Karen and Helen. Nearing 10pm, on a boat moored near Amsterdam, Karen headed to the toilet and was greeted by a pile of human excrement – “just like the poo emoji” – sitting in the middle of the floor.

The Who Shat on the Floor at my Wedding? podcast team.
Karen, Helen and Lauren (sitting) have a hit ‘poo-dunnit’ podcast on their hands. (Photo: Supplied)

Instead of the vows, the food, the dancing, the dresses or the cake, that poo overshadows all memories of the couple’s special night. “It genuinely happened,” says Kilby. “I went to the wedding. I can assure you it happened.” But no one has owned up to it. As hard as they tried, they couldn’t work out who the phantom shitter was.

So, in 2020, bored during Covid lockdowns, the trio decided they were spending so much time talking about the “poo-dunnit” case they may as well record their efforts trying to find the culprit.

Kilby, a New Zealand-born, Amsterdam-based advertising producer, came on board as a mock detective and podcast host. Across 13 episodes, she buys a lie-detector test and forces wedding guests to answer her questions, and receives advice from a criminal psychologist, a forensic analyst and a lawyer in her attempt to track down the “poo-petrator”.

None of them had previous podcasting experience. Kilby wasn’t really a fan of the medium. “We were just kind of like, ‘If it flops, it’s fine. If everyone who went to the wedding’s going to listen to it, that’s 100 listens. My mum will listen to it at least 10 times. I’ve got a couple of uncles that will definitely listen.’

“We were just kind of like, ‘Let’s just do something funny.'”

The wedding crime scene where someone did a poo on the floor.
Floaters at sea: the crime scene. (Photo: Supplied)

Who Shat on the Floor at my Wedding? was released at the end of 2020, and it turns out it wasn’t as unique an experience as Kilby thought. “I’ve heard hundreds and hundreds [of stories],” she says. “Multiple people have reached out about a shit on a boat. We’ve had quite a few [involving] vomit and pee. We’ve carved out a bit of an uneasy niche for ourselves with this.”

Kilby doesn’t mind becoming the face of a poo-related true crime explosion. It’s cracked her up ever since it happened, and it’s still making her laugh. She’s on a Zoom call from  her home in Amsterdam, and she can’t stop cackling about it. “Shat,” she believes, is a deeply funny word. “If it was like, ‘Who pooed on the floor at my wedding?’ – it’s not nearly as funny,” she says.

“Shat,” she says, cracking herself up again. “It’s just so funny.”

Fans seem to agree. The trio’s podcast is a delightful hang, one that’s more about the journey than the destination. They trio have BFF-energy to burn, and being serious about something that actually happened, silly as it may be, lifts it beyond similar podcasts like RNZ’s Killjoy or mockumentaries like Netflix’s American Vandal. Its closest podcast comparison might be the British smash My Dad Wrote a Porno.

When it was first released, it caused a minor stir. Stuff interviewed them; so did The Sun. Kilby was surprised to see their streaming numbers hit 250,000 – well above the 100 they’d expected – before tapering off. Things quietened down, lockdowns eased and everyone returned to their day jobs.

Until this week, that is. On a recent morning, Kilby woke up and was shocked by the number of people who had found her social media pages, spamming her with delighted comments. Fans had tracked down her email address and sent her their own poo-related stories. The same thing was happening to her co-stars.

It was then she noticed: listenership on their podcast was spiking much higher than it did when it first released. Finally, after three years, their true poo crime had gone viral. Kilby isn’t entirely sure how, but she believes she’s tracked it down to a single tweet, which subsequently made its way onto the meme pages of Instagram. “It just took off”, she says. (The tweet, by a user in South Australia, features a screenshot from a Stuff story published in January 2021.)

In the last week alone, more than half a million listeners have tuned into Who Shat on the Floor at My Wedding? It’s set to power past the million download mark, probably over the weekend. “The surge has come and now it’s just huge,” says Kilby. “This is amazing. It’s quite overwhelming – in a good way.”

Lauren Whitby is searching for the person who did a poo on the floor at a wedding.
On the hunt: searching for the mystery poo bandit. (Photo: Supplied)

That’s not all: a production company has optioned their show, meaning plans for a TV show or movie are underway. The trio are also deep into work on a second season, the details of which Kilby is reluctant to discuss beyond confirming they won’t be taking on anything too serious. “The things that we look out for are things that the police would say no to or would laugh at,” she says. “We wouldn’t take on a murder or arson.”

In a year when podcasts are struggling, with Spotify laying off hundreds of staff, studios being shuttered and even the long-running Stitcher podcast app being discontinued, Kilby and her friends seem to have stumbled onto a genre that could point a new way forward, a real-life true-crime friendship comedy. What does she call it? “Non-crime,” she says, after a pause. “It would be my dream to win a true crime [podcast] award for such a ridiculous crime.”

Despite all the recent attention, Kilby admits they’re still trying to crack the case. Spoiler alert: three years and 13 episodes after their podcast launched, and despite narrowing the pool down to a handful of suspects, they’ve never quite manage to point the finger at a single individual. Kilby believes they’d be considered a cult hero now. “Look what you’ve done, You’ve created a global following. It’s time.”

Even if they did find the culprit, Kilby admits even that wouldn’t stop the three of them from talking about it. “We always bring it back to that one moment. Every now and then, someone will say, ‘This is all because someone shat on the floor at your wedding,'” she says. “Ultimately, it’s joy that that happened. I know that Helen and Karen, they wouldn’t change that.

“If they could go back and have a wedding without a shit on the floor, they wouldn’t.”

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