A Different Kind of Star 
To Live and Die in LA
When a 25-year-old aspiring actress and model vanishes from outside her Hollywood apartment, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Neil Strauss finds himself at the center of the investigation. What happened to Adea Shabani?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this episode
- 00:02 - What is the premise of this podcast?
- 03:05 - What was the podcast host potentially doing while Adea Shabani went missing?
- 03:34 - What does Rolling Stone Magazine assign their journalists to do?
- 05:33 - Where was Adea Shabani last seen?
- 08:46 - How could Strauss make a difference in Shabani’s case?
- 09:31 - What’s a good sign that you’re close to the truth?
- 14:08 - What does Adea’s mother, Nora, think about the situation?
- 15:08 - What item is most notable in Adea’s apartment?
- 20:51 - Why is Strauss suspicious about Adea’s friends?
- 21:54 - What is odd about the situation?
- 22:56 - What was Adea’s strange request to a friend?
- 25:40 - What kind of information has been gathered so far?
- 26:06 - What is the call that Strauss receives?
Smash Notes summary for this episode
What is the premise of this podcast?
The next few episodes document recent events of an investigation regarding a missing 25-year-old aspiring actress named, Adea Shabani. Police are closing her case, which appears to be unfinished, and her family and friends are upset.
What was the podcast host potentially doing while Adea Shabani went missing?
5 miles away, Neil Strauss was interviewing snowboarder Shaun White about his recent Olympic win of his gold medal.
What does Rolling Stone Magazine assign their journalists to do?
They assign their journalists to ride motorcycles, go to factories, or shop with celebrities. Strauss will then write what it’s like to hang out with them. One thing he doesn’t do is invest hard news— at least, not until he received a call.
Where was Adea Shabani last seen?
It’s reported that she was last seen on surveillance in Hollywood at a coffee shop called Rise and Grind. Her last communication was with her friends. Her apartment was unlocked and there some activity was on her computer, but none detected from her phone.
How could Strauss make a difference in Shabani’s case?
By reporting on this missing investigation in an article, piece, or podcast, he believes that he can make a difference to her family after the media has died down from no leads in the investigation.
What’s a good sign that you’re close to the truth?
Strauss has been receiving death threats and warnings for him to not post the podcasts. He believes that this is a sign that he is getting closer to the truth and is choosing to put his life on the line anyway by publishing his podcast.
What does Adea’s mother, Nora, think about the situation?
She believes that Adea knows that she’s there in her apartment. She is also convinced that she is the only person that Adea wants to see right now. Strauss states how similar Nora and Adea are by their actions and appearances.
What item is most notable in Adea’s apartment?
Aside from all her posts of movies and celebrities, on her wall is a white board of phrases. Written under is three words, “Zest for life.”
Why is Strauss suspicious about Adea’s friends?
He feels that they are all holding back more than what they’re comfortable to share with him. They tell him that he should talk to her ex-boyfriend because his name is on her cell phone plan and lease, despite not living in the apartment with her.
What is odd about the situation?
Strauss states that it’s odd that Adea’s ex-boyfriend is basically the gatekeeper of her information. He had someone hack into her iCloud account to get her last messages on text and WhatsApp.
What was Adea’s strange request to a friend?
She writes in the message, “Baby, do you know where I can buy candles, red ones?” That was the last time Adea communicated with anyone before she disappeared.
What kind of information has been gathered so far?
The only suspicious person that Strauss has spoken to is her ex-boyfriend, whom we are calling Ivan to keep his identity private. He is said to have been in Europe during the time of Adea’s disappearance.