“History is a version of past events that people have decided to agree upon," Napoleon Bonaparte once famously said. In other words, there are many sides to every story.WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? chronicles documentarian Andrew Jenks as he examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical events, while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives. With today’s technology, access to information, the ability to communicate from all parts of the globe, and cross-reference historians, Jenks takes on his own rogue investigations. He does not go down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, nor does the show purport to solve every historical mystery. Instead, Jenks often times throws a wrench in the gears of history, getting either closer to the truth or creating more questions. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED is executive produced by Seven Bucks Productions’ Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Brian Gewirtz, Andrew Jenks and Cadence13.
In 1981, on a 9th floor building and in front of hundreds of people, Muhammad Ali talked a 21- year-old out of committing suicide. The story ran the following evening in front of 36 million people on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. But with new sources and information, Jenks questions if this was a concocted event, devised by Ali himself.
In 1876, Buffalo Calf Road Woman, also known as Brave Woman, miraculously saved her brother from death against the Americans trying to take over their land, and soon afterwards she became a war leader for her tribe. Only 15 years ago, Northern Cheyenne storytellers broke more than 100 years of silence about the battle, and they credited Buffalo Calf Road Woman with striking the blow that resulted in the death of none other, than a Civil War hero, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. A story of peace and war, heroes and villains, myths and facts, and trying to understand, what really happened? Guests: Richard DeSirey (author of "Morning Star, Let Us Make a New Way"), Dr. Herman Viola (author of "Little Bighorn Remembered: The Untold Indian Story of Custer's Last Stand"), former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, and Joseph and Rosemary Agonito (authors of "Buffalo Calf Road Woman: The Story of a Warrior of the Little Bighorn")
John Carter is one of history's biggest box office flops: $250 million... gone. But, it was directed by two-time Academy Award winner Andrew Stanton, had Disney’s marketing prowess, and was based on the book that inspired Star Wars and Avatar. What Really Happened? This episode is the anatomy of a blockbuster gone bust, a possibility even when the person in charge is brilliant. Guests: Andrew Stanton (filmmaker), Michael Sellers (author, filmmaker, former CIA officer), Germain Lussier (film critic), Robert McKee (author, lecturer, story consultant), Matt Singer (film critic), and Brooks Barnes (New York Times Media and Entertainment reporter)
Andrew Jenks was ready to sell his new movie based on the inspirational Winston Churchill, who had chronic depression but still saved the free world from Hitler and the Nazis. Like Churchill, Jenks lives with depression. But after speaking with biographer Paul Reid and Sonia Purnell, Jenks wonders if Churchill’s depression, or ‘black dog’, is really just a myth. Jenks also speaks with Dr. Paul Keedwell.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? chronicles documentarian Andrew Jenks as he examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical events, while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED is executive produced by Seven Bucks Productions’ Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Brian Gewirtz, Andrew Jenks and Cadence13. Coming October 25th.
Dec 5th • 59:57
You wouldn’t think one of the best basketball players in the world, worth well over $100 million, spends his summers in a two-bedroom apartment in San Diego, but that’s what Kawhi Leonard does. In San Antonio he opted to live with his mom, and they played Jenga at night over enchiladas. His disinterest in the spotlight, and focus on the game, made him a perfect fit for the militant, and world-champion, San Antonio Spurs, led by their revered coach Gregg Popovich. Just like the Spurs’ prior stars, Leonard was humble and loyal. But in his last year with the team, he suddenly cut himself off from everyone. He refused to return, and landed in Toronto with the Raptors. What Really Happened? Guests: Chris Mannix (Sports Illustrated, host of The NBA Crossover podcast)
Nov 28th • 56:01
Would Apple exist without if Steve Jobs had never taken acid? Jobs said repeatedly that taking LSD was one of the "two or three most important things" he ever did in his life. But was this a tale to galvanize press, or a genuine belief. What Really Happened? Guests: Daniel Kottke (college friend of Steve Jobs), Trip Hawkins (entrepreneur, founder of Electronic Arts), Maia Szalavitz (reporter and author), Dr. John Amodeo (author), and Andrew Stanton (filmmaker).
Nov 7th • 58:22
A 6-year-old boy was stuck in a hot air balloon that happened to look like a flying saucer, 7,000 feet above ground, flying over Colorado. Cable news channels had a field day. And, when the balloon landed, something didn't add up. Ultimately in this episode, a professor predicts what won't happen in years to come, an Academy-Award nominated filmmaker unravels where he's going, and a storytelling guru helps make sense of "breaking news" as Jenks sorts out... what really happened? Guests: Matt Heineman (Academy Award nominated filmmaker: The Private War, Cartel Land, and City of Ghosts), Robert McKee (author, lecturer, story consultant), and Bob Thompson (Trustee Professor of Television, Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University)
Oct 31st • 1:03:06
President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin were ready to change the world. Their epic press conferences and newly released phone transcripts reveal a sincere friendship. But, as time went on, things got complicated, and led to Vladimir Putin. Guests: Adele Lindenmeyr (Professor of History and Dean of Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), and Evelyn Farkas (former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia)
Oct 24th • 43:18
Famous musicians Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse all died at 27 years old. Some call this phenomenon "a media construct". Research shows that of the 3,463 musicians who died in the last two hundred years, there is a 40% spike at the age of 27, compared to the years surrounding it. But, recent studies on the brain help put this data into context. What really happened? Guests: Charles R. Cross (New York Times Best-Selling author of "Heavier Than Heaven"), and Dr. Roger McIntyre (Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network)
Oct 17th • 45:36
The most famous comedian in the world had just signed a $50 million contract, and had started filming the third season of his critically acclaimed show, Chappelle's Show. Then, he had a “meltdown” and “escaped” to South Africa. Now, more than ten years later, Jenks revisits what really happened, and finds Dave at a town hall meeting in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Oct 10th • 1:15:24
King John II of France is missing from the pages of history. There are no movies, no books, hardly a Wikipedia page. But, after Jenks dug in to the mystery of this seemingly forgotten king, a whole medieval world came to life. As it turns out, John II, perhaps better known as John the Good, sailed to England to turn himself in as a prisoner of war, abandoning his stunned French subjects to fend for themselves through the Dark Ages. Is he the worst king in history? Or, has he been unfairly lost to the annals of time? What Really Happened? Guests: David Green (author/historian), Michael Jones (author/historian), Michael Pye (author/historian), Neil Murphy (author/historian), and Peter Hoskins (author/historian)
Join award-winning journalist and best-selling author James Andrew Miller as he uncovers bold beginnings of success stories in the worlds of television, movies, sports, music, and business. Experience all the unpredictable moments, pivotal junctures, and strokes of luck that turn great ideas into formidable realities -- as told by the insiders who were there from the start. In Chapter Four, Jim takes a look at the Origins of Season 44 of Saturday Night Live.
Sep 26th • 1:50:02
In the last couple of years, American embassy officials in Cuba have been injured by "sonic attacks". Jenks has followed all the leads, being convinced at one point that acoustic weapons don’t even exist, and then that they do exist, and the Russians, and then the Cubans, and then, believe it or not, the Americans were responsible. At other points, he thought it was rogue factions within different countries, only to later think maybe it was environmental factors, or mass hysteria, or a wide-range of other medical conditions he'd never heard of. What Really Happened? Guests: Fulton Armstrong (former CIA officer), Carlos A. Treto (former Cuban Ambassador), Peter Kornbluh (Cuba Documentation Project), Tim Golden (Pulitzer Prize winning journalist), Steve Dorsey (CBS News journalist), Juliette Volcler (acoustics journalist, author of "Extremely Loud; Sound as a Weapon"), Ben Rhodes (US Deputy National Security Advisor for President Obama, author of "The World as It Is; A Memoir of the Obama White House"), Dr. Robert Bartholomew (Sociologist, Center for Inquiry in Buffalo, NY), Dr. Jon Stone (Professor of Neurology at the University of Edinburgh), and Dr. Christopher Muth (Associate Editor at The Journal of the American Medical Association)
Sep 19th • 1:25:34
What really happened in 2001 when Venus Williams forfeited a semi-final match against her best friend and sister, Serena Williams? Headlines charged her father, Richard Williams, with orchestrating which sister would win. Guests: James Blake, Selena Roberts, Ben Rothenberg
Sep 19th • 0:45
What Really Happened? returns on September 19th with new episodes including the backstrokes of Serena Williams, Dave Chappelle, Balloon Boy and more.
Mar 14th • 1:21:16
Jenks reacts to a surprising pattern he uncovered after recording Season 1. And, as a result, he speaks with Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a world- renowned psychologist named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Mar 7th • 1:13:18
Jenks speaks with two groundbreaking biographers that changed how the public perceived Princess Diana. New York Times best-selling author Andrew Morton (Diana; In Her Own Words) talks about secretly working with Princess Diana and publishing a book that essentially she wrote and Tina Brown (The Diana Chronicles) speaks about her own personal relationship with Diana and what the Princess would have accomplished should be alive today.
Feb 28th • 1:22:08
Jenks speaks with New York Times Best Selling author and biographer Paul Reid about the accuracy of "The Darkest Hour", inaccurate Churchill quotes tweeted by Congresspeople, and Churchill’s famous speech after Dunkirk. Jenks also speaks with a listener, Jhamie, who reached out on Twitter with her constructive criticism for Andrew about how he talked about mental health in the fifth WRH Season 1 episode, BLACK DOG, and their shared mental health experiences dealing with depression.
Feb 21st • 1:15:48
In 1993, Daniel Green was charged with the murder of James Jordan. Now 25 years later Andrew Jenks attempts to better understand the trial and investigation, visits Daniel Green in prison, and provides his take on what really happened.
Feb 7th • 1:56:17
Jenks responds to listener feedback (1:05:30), interviews critically acclaimed actress Brittany Snow (36:24), and paparazzi Daniel Ramos (3:55), who was there taking pictures when Britney Spears infamously smashed in a windshield with an umbrella. Jenks also talks with lawyer and conservatorship expert Lee Kaster (1:39:19) to better understand if Britney has in fact lost her financial freedom.
Jan 31st • 1:15:36
After listening to this episode, we'll know why Chris Christie joined ABC News as a political commentator, and why he apparently, now as a former Governor, got caught trying to cut the TSA line at Newark airport. In this reaction episode to The Lone Wolf, Jenks also talks about his phone call with David Widlstein, aka The Lone Wolf (5:46), about what Christie's future may look like (1:08:56), interviews Matt Katz author of the preeminent Christie biography (12:14), Washington Post fact checker and reporter Sal Rizzo (48:27), and talks about feedback from listeners including a caller from New Jersey (1:04:25).
Jan 24th • 1:00:45
Jenks recaps Season 1's overwhelming response and kicks off the 'Reaction Episodes', 6 episodes where he gets feedback from listeners and speaks with experts or people who had first hand accounts related to each topic. This episode includes Jenks' diagnosis of cable news, an Ali story from Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott (18:25), interviews with NY Times Best Selling author Jonathan Eig (44:29) and Ali aficionado and author Dave Hannigan, listener reaction (24:18), and Jenks' updates on his quest to find Joseph (15:12)
Nov 29th, 2017 • 57:03
In the spring and summer of 2017, network and cable TV aired endless “specials” and documentaries to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. Many of the programs claimed to have exclusive interviews or footage, and most of them focused on her finals days alive, re-igniting potential conspiracy theories. Jenks watched them all. He believes much of their focus was on inauthentic interviews and lazy storytelling oftentimes missing the larger, more important story of the change agent that Diana was and how Prince William and Prince Harry’s similar spirit, and empathy for the underserved, may prove to be her greatest legacy of all.
Nov 15th, 2017 • 1:04:20
Before he even won his second championship, Michael Jordan wasn’t just the best basketball player in the league, he also had the perfect image. But then in 1992, a book came out, ‘The Jordan Rules’, and the public and media couldn't believe it - Jordan was human. About a year later, he retired. But why did he leave the game in his prime? Was it a secret suspension? Did he really want to play minor league baseball? Could any of the conspiracy theories be true?
Nov 8th, 2017 • 52:16
Did everyone miss the true nature of Britney Spears’ ‘meltdown’? Now, 10 years later, there is growing attention being paid to a little known legal concept that Spears is under, called a ‘conservatorship’. This episode takes a look at exactly what happened to Britney Spears on February 18th, the day of her infamous head-shaving incident. And, since a series of ensuing missteps, and triumphs, over the years, Jenks will question if she’ll forever forego the right to even get a cup of coffee without permission from her father and lawyer.
Nov 1st, 2017 • 1:08:51
Is a columnist who monitored New Jersey traffic, and a lone wolf who, in high school took stats for Chris Christie’s baseball team, the respective hero and villain of the scandal which we all now know as Bridgegate?