In the second part of the inaugural episode of The Black Tapes Podcast, Alex travels to San Francisco with Dr. Strand to dig further into one of his mysterious Black Tapes cases. But she soon discovers, Strand has secrets that extend far beyond The Black Tapes themselves.
The episode opens with Alex Reagan mentioning some 'interesting facts' about Dr. Richard Strand that her production team discovered while working on Episode 101. Initially they were not going to reveal them but they changed their minds. Nic Silver, Alex's producer, also expresses concern about Alex's possibly unethical method of gaining access to the black tapes. Nic and Alex both agree that what she did was not unethical.
Alex then talks to Dr. Strand about Black Tape #1, and the possibility of reopening it. Dr. Strand thinks that Robert Torres, the subject of the video, would not be amenable to reopening the case. Alex tells him that her producers got in contact with him and he's willing to reopen it. Alex and Dr. Strand travel to Cupertino, a suburb just south of San Francisco, to meet with Robert Torres.
Robert tells Dr. Strand and Alex that he began experiencing strange things shortly after he married Maria Torres-Rodriguez. He recounts an instance in which he was alone in his office late at night, and a microwave turned itself on. The janitor on duty that night also claimed to see a 'tall man' with him in his office, though he was alone. Robert said this happened often. The Torres family consulted a number of paranormal experts (including Lorraine Warren), who told them that they were being haunted by a malevolent spirit. Robert Torres was not convinced, and contacted Richard Strand.
Around the time that Dr. Strand began looking into Robert Torres' case, he stopped experiencing phenomena, and his son Sebastian began to have things happen to him instead. Things became strained between Maria and Robert, and she moved to Los Gatos with Sebastian. Robert apparently could not see the 'tall man', but Maria could, and it caused her significant distress. Robert seems to harbor some resentment towards Dr. Strand. When Robert Torres asks Strand if he's ever been married, he denies having ever been married.
Alex and Dr. Strand then go to visit Maria Rodriguez-Torres. When Alex asks to see photos or videos of Sebastian to see if the tall man is present in any of them, Maria tells her that she doesn't keep any photos or videos of Sebastian. She claims that 'it' is in all of them, and that she burned, deleted, or destroyed every photo and video of Sebastian. She also says that she sees the dark figure following Sebastian. Maria then shows Dr. Strand and Alex an image in the back of Sebastian's closet, it looks like a face drawn by a child in black charcoal. Dr. Strand says that Sebastian must have drawn it, and Maria tells him that he couldn't have. Alex turns off the mic while Maria recounts some "personal, medical information" about Sebastian that seems to have something to do with why Sebastian couldn't have drawn the face. Dr. Strand leaves to go back to Chicago shortly after their meeting.
Alex finds a copy of Sebastian's kindergarten class photo online and shows it to Maria. There is no dark figure in the photo. Maria seems distressed by the photo. Alex then gets a chance to talk to Sebastian Torres personally. During the conversation he refers to someone named 'Tall Paul', presumably the same figure that was seen in the videos and that Maria sees. He also says that 'Tall Paul' says it's ok for Sebastian to talk about him with Alex, because Alex can (allegedly) see him too.
Alex then gets in contact with the photographer who took Sebastian's class photo, in order to see the individual picture of Sebastian that was taken. The photographer tells her that she photoshopped out dark blurs from the photos that had Sebastian in them. Alex looks at the originals and sees the dark blur that was missing from the final photos. It looks like a column of dark smoke, but ends before the top of the frame.
Dr. Strand is very dismissive of Alex when she calls him to tell him about the dark smudges on the photos. Alex gets upset with him and hangs up on him. He calls her again at the end of the episode to tell her that he will be in Seattle soon, and will be bringing a new black tape with him: Black Tape #2.
Alex ends the episode with some discussion of Dr. Strand. She reveals that he had a [Strand|wife], who went missing under mysterious circumstances. She also notes that anyone who had worked on Dr. Strand's team previously was unwilling to meet her for any sort of interview.
Recurring Characters Edit
- Susan Jefferies
- Wanda Dugay
- First two tapes are researched, both of which involve Robert Torres, though it can be debated that both "cases" are one black tape.
- First mention of Coralee Strand.
- Robert Torres claims he was never after the Institute's reward money.
- Alex mentions that the Torres family contacted Lorraine Warren, a well known American paranormal investigator and the New England Society for Psychic Research. She and her husband, Edward Warren, are known for their involvement with the Amityville Horror Case.