Chris Lambert
Source: ABC

Podcaster Chris Lambert Played a Huge Role in Solving the Disappearance of Kristin Smart

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Oct. 29 2021, Published 3:13 p.m. ET

Some people just have all the talent and Chris Lambert is one of them. He's a singer-songwriter who can play a few different instruments, and he also hosts a true-crime podcast. Although the podcast was started back in 2019, it's gotten a lot of attention for its focus on the disappearance of college student Kristin Smart, which took place decades ago.

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Meet Chris Lambert, the podcaster who renewed interest in Kristin Smart's 1996 disappearance.

According to The Santa Maria Sun, Chris has been working with music almost all of his life. Raised in Santa Maria, Calif., Chris started playing acoustic guitar at just 9 years old. He expanded his talents into writing music when he was 13. "I write really fast," he said. He then revealed that he had up to 20 unreleased full-length albums. Music isn't his only talent, though. He has also hosted different podcasts over the years.

From 2016 to 2019, he hosted Are We Okay?, a weekly conversation about "creativity, positivity, and purposeful living." He also edits the 805 Living Eats Podcast about food on the central coast of California.

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Chris Lambert also makes music.

Chris has been making music most of his life, and he has a unique approach to making it. When it comes to making albums, he makes the entire thing in one go instead of going song by song. He told The Santa Maria Sun that this is because he likes "concept albums" or albums that tell a singular story when played in full. He used this approach when writing his album "The Great Dipso Drought."

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This album tells the story of a kid named Julian, who was abandoned by his parents, both of whom have a drinking problem. Unfortunately, he ends up becoming an alcoholic himself. Then, one day, Julian believes he sees God, who tells Julian to pour out his bottles if he doesn't want to end up like his parents.

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Although Chris is passionate about his music career, his true-crime podcast is his most recent claim to fame. In September of 2019, Chris started his true-crime podcast Your Own Backyard. It focuses on the disappearance of former Napa student Kristin Smart, who went missing on May 25, 1996. Her disappearance had remained a mystery for decades, so Chris naturally thought it'd be a fascinating topic for a true-crime podcast. He had no idea what would happen next.

What happened to Kristin Smart?

At the time of her disappearance, Smart was 19 years old. According to The Napa Valley Register, she attended school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and lived on campus. She was last seen walking back to her dorm from an off-campus party with fellow student Paul Flores.

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Initially, authorities thought Smart had gone on an unannounced vacation. There were several official searches for her over the course of the next decade, but they were unsuccessful. Smart's disappearance remained a mystery for more than two decades — and then Chris started his podcast. Suddenly, interest in the case was renewed, and new information came to light that led authorities to Paul Flores, the student who had claimed he'd walked Smart home all those years ago.

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Both Paul and his father Ruben were arrested in connection to her disappearance. Paul is suspected of killing Smart, while his father is accused of helping his son dispose of her body. Their trial is currently set for April 25, 2022, according to Chris' podcast.

The Oct. 29, 2021 episode of Deadline, entitled The Vanishing of Kristin Smart, covers Smart's disappearance and features an interview with Chris as well as one with Kristin's brother, Matt.

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