‘Jared From Subway’ is unfocused, unnecessary



A screenshot from the television series “Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster.” The show turns away from looking at Fogle, choosing to look at smaller figures in the case.

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer

The latest in a seemingly never-ending procession of bombshell true-crime documentaries is “Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster.” The three-part docuseries will shock and appall its viewers but ultimately leave them feeling confused and disappointed.

Jared Fogle skyrocketed to national fame in the early 2000s when he became the spokesperson for Subway. Fogle landed this cushy job after gaining publicity for losing a large amount of weight, supposedly thanks to a strict diet of Subway sandwiches. 

America quickly fell in love with Fogle. He represented the average, everyday person — someone who was relatable to a wide range of people. For just over 15 years, Fogle was synonymous with the Subway brand. 

This all changed in 2015, however, when the Indiana State Police and the FBI raided Fogle’s home in Zionsville, Indiana. According to NBC News, “Fogle, 38, a father of two, pleaded guilty to traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and to distributing and receiving child pornography.”

The “Jared From Subway” docuseries opens with a brief exploration of Fogle’s childhood and adolescence. Former classmates described him as a lonely outcast who was frequently bullied. 

After providing a glance at Fogle’s rise to prominence, the show quickly shifts its focus to Sarasota, Florida-based radio host Rochelle Herman-Walrond. Upon meeting Fogle, she became concerned by disturbing comments he’d made to her describing his sexual attraction to young children.

From this point on, the series mostly focuses on Herman-Walrond’s unprofessional and haphazard investigation, which she initially began completely on her own and without the aid of law enforcement. 

Though she frequently refers to herself as a journalist, it becomes clear that her experience as a health and wellness radio host did not remotely prepare her to tackle such a serious and intense issue. Herman-Walrond’s unawareness of basic laws eventually resulted in the FBI telling her that none of the evidence she collected could be used, as it consisted of phone calls that had been recorded without Fogle’s consent.

What follows is an odd rollercoaster that features Herman-Walrond becoming an undercover asset for the FBI to help them catch Fogle, as well as Herman inexplicably blackmailing both the FBI and her local police department when she became unsatisfied with the speed of the investigation.

While all of this is interesting and entertaining, “Jared From Subway” focuses far too much on Herman-Walrond. The series spends a baffling amount of time delving unnecessarily deeply into her divorce and her health issues, neither of which have any relation to Fogle or his crimes. 

The only two victims whose cases were examined by the series were two young women who had been victims of voyeurism and child pornography at the hands of their stepfather Russell Taylor, a close friend and business associate of Fogle. 

While Taylor’s arrest led police to evidence that resulted in the arrest of Fogle, the series would have benefitted from shedding more light on Fogle’s own crimes, rather than his accomplices and associates. 

Aside from the heavy inclusion of the nauseatingly disturbing audio from Herman-Walrond’s secretly recorded phone calls with Fogle, there is very little information presented here that wasn’t already available in the news coverage of the arrest and trial.

“Jared From Subway” provides a jarringly uneven look at a large-scale predator spread thinly across three episodes that ultimately fail to provide any new insight into a criminal case that is now nearly ten years old.

The series is now streaming on Discovery+.