Another true crime podcast has gripped listeners across the nation and this one is truly a tale of tragedy. It centers on the disappearance and murder of aspiring actress Adea Shabani, and the investigators' attention on her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Chris Spotz, as a suspect, according to Newsweek. He was also an aspiring actor, so you may be wondering what Chris Spotz has acted in before he was featured in To Live and Die in LA.
It’s important to know that Spotz died by suicide in 2018, according to the newspaper from the town he grew up in, the Fort Morgan Times, after leading police officers on a chase. So even if he were proven to be responsible for Shabani’s death, there would be no justice for her family.
Before he died, Spotz was working to prove himself in the grueling acting and modeling world, and had appeared in several short films. According to his IMDb page, his credits include Pickman’s Model, In Solitude With Me, Statues, Devil In The White City, Julia Conner’s Murder, and the documentary Silent and Forgotten.
To Live and Die In LA was created by the same people behind the incredibly popular podcast Up and Vanished, Tenderfoot TV. It’s hosted by journalist Neil Strauss, a New York Times best-selling author who was contacted by Shabani’s family after her disappearance, according to HelloGiggles. The family hoped that Strauss would be able to bring some attention to the investigation, and hopefully solve the case.
Spotz was born in Colorado and his parents divorced when he was young, Newsweek reported. As a young man, Spotz attended the University of Northern Colorado, studying psychology, before moving to L.A. to try acting, and he later met Shabani at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting, People reported. Despite being engaged to another woman at the time, according to Metro, Spotz began dating Shabani.
Spotz had a small YouTube channel and about six weeks before Shabani disappeared, he uploaded a monologue that some speculate could be a clue in her murder. In it, he intones: “If I picked up the gun, and made the sacrifice, my life would be given back to me. Absolution. My love would be given back. And she would never know what I did to get it back.”
The day Shabani disappeared, she and Spotz were seen on the CCTV of her apartment building’s elevator with luggage, as if they were leaving, according to the Fort Morgan Times. Several hours later, Spotz arrived at his father’s house in northern California, alone, seemingly normal, according to Newsweek. According to The Press Democrat, he later told a friend that he and Shabani had fought in the car on the way up the coast and he had dropped her off in Santa Clarita.
Spotz and his fiancé left to go see his family in Fort Morgan when police located him, according to the Denver Post, ultimately leading officers on a chase before fatally shooting himself.
It’s a tragic story and one that doesn’t seem like it will have resolution anytime soon. But you can listen for yourself and draw your own conclusions. To Live and Die In LA is available on streaming services and at its website now.