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Adam Kaufman. November 7, 2007. Aventura, Florida. Adam Kaufman, a successful real estate developer, called 911 to report that he found his wife, Lina, slumped over in their bathroom. Paramedics are dispatched and take her to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. By all accounts the couple, who had two young children, were very happy. But a case of murder would develop against the husband after the manner of death is released a year and a half later. It was listed as manual asphyxiation which meant that she must have been strangled. Adam maintained that his wife must have died from natural causes even stating at one point that the spray tan that she had received just hours before might have been the cause. At trial, the prosecution sought to show that Adam had behaved oddly and that he had an interest in another woman while the defense illustrated just how much he loved his wife and that she hadn't been murdered. Had a crime occurred? Or was a loving husband facing a possible prison sentence because his behavior that morning and his wife's death were being misunderstood?
February 22, 2017. Olathe, Kansas. A man re-enters a bar that he was escorted out of minutes before for spouting hateful rhetoric and, armed with a gun, shoots two Indian men as well as a bar patron who attempted to stop him. On this episode we discuss two different shooting incidents, the motives behind them and the responses by survivors. Gun crimes affect many more people than those who are shot. Immigration fears, racism, and outright paranoia can encourage violence against others but what can be done about it? Two strong women are working to change the minds and hearts of those who might commit crimes against those who they perceive to be different.
West Valley City, Utah. December 7th, 2009. Josh Powell took his two sons camping at 12:30am so they could have s'mores. This wasn't a typical trip to take during a snow storm and on a Monday morning, but stranger still, no one was told about this trip. Not his employer who expected him at work. Not the daycare where his sons should have been that day. His wife, Susan, also missed work. The boys' daycare worker did her best to contact the parents of Charlie and Braden, but no one answered these calls. By the time Josh returned home in the family's sole vehicle, a minivan, police were waiting for him. His wife was nowhere to be found. As detectives attempted to locate Susan Powell, Josh's behavior and recent activities caused them to be very suspicious of him. A search of the Powell home turned up a safe deposit box key and led them to a note written by Susan herself the year before. What happened to her? In her own words she described a controlling husband who may harm her or even their children. Was Josh Powell capable of this? And what about his father? Eventually convicted for possession of child pornography and voyeurism, he had seventeen notebooks filled with his desires for Susan Powell and a large collection of photos and videos taken of her without her knowledge. Control, anger, obsession and alliances combine for a true crime case almost too crazy to be believable.
Aaron is joined by Mike Morford from Criminology Podcast to discuss the Golden State Killer who was captured on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. While much remains unknown at this point, the notorious serial killer now has a name and a face. Criminology Podcast is covering this notorious serial killer in depth in its current season. We originally covered this case on episode #155 under the title The Original Night Stalker.
Michelle McNamara's Letter to GSK:
October 16th, 1984. Lépanges-sur-Vologne, France. Christine Villemin was in her home doing housework while her 4 year old son, Gregory, played in their yard. At some point she went to check on him but he was nowhere to be found. An anonymous call to Gregory's uncle revealed the terrible truth. The caller claimed to have taken the young boy and thrown him into the river. Hours later, little Gregory was recovered from the river. An investigation into the Villemin family revealed that harassing calls and letters went on for years prior to the murder. The caller was nicknamed "The Crow" after a controversial French film from 1943 titled, 'Le Corbeau'. Why did things escalate from harassment to murder? For decades, police and prosecutors worked to solve this crime. In 2017 a major announcement changed the direction of the case. Will the mystery finally be solved? Will Gregory's killers finally be brought to justice?
Brock Turner. January 18, 2015. Stanford, California. Two Swedish PhD students riding bicycles discover a young man on top of an unconscious woman between some dumpsters. They intervene and chase him down. Police arrested Brock Turner, who claimed to have had a consensual encounter with the woman he had been seen with. But an investigation finds that she was unconscious at the time and he is prosecuted. A jury agrees and finds him guilty of sexual assault. Both Brock Turner and the judge who sentenced him faced a public backlash after Turner was given a 6 month sentence. A recall effort is currently underway to get Judge Aaron Persky removed. But Brock and the judge also have their defenders. Did the judge act within the law? Was the sentence too lenient? What should we take away from this case?
Charlie Tan. February 9th, 2015. Pittsford, New York. Jean Tan calls 911 to report that her husband is dead. From the call Jean had placed it sounded as though her husband was shot very recently and that her son had killed him. When law enforcement arrived it quickly became apparent that Jim Tan, who they found under a desk, had been dead for some time. There had been more than a dozen calls to report domestic abuse from the Tan home between 2003 and 2015. Jim Tan had abused and threatened his wife many times but was never arrested despite evidence of his crimes. Within a day, authorities felt they had enough to charge Jim's son Charlie with his murder. Between the final 911 call and Charlie stating that 'he had to do it' this seemed to be an open and shut case. Charlie must have rushed home on February 5th and used a newly purchased shotgun to end his father's life and put an end to years of abuse. Charlie Tan had a solid reputation and tremendous support from his team, his peers and his family. But at the end of the trial this case would take a surprising turn and controversy would ensue.
Leave behind the beaches, the theme parks and the tropical breezes. This is the dark side of the Sunshine State. Listen to Felonious Florida on Apple podcasts, wherever you’re listening to this or go to wondery.fm/gen
Lost Girls Of Panama. April 1, 2014. Boquete, Panama. Lisanne Froon Kris Kremers traveled to Panama in the middle of March to vacation for a couple of weeks before going to Boquete to volunteer as social workers. Despite local guides being available to assist them on any hikes, the two women set out on a hike together on April 1st. They would never be seen alive again. A search would eventually uncover their belongings and some of their remains. Images taken with their Canon Powershot camera and cellphone records have led many to speculate what caused their deaths. Why did they leave such odd clues behind? Why were so many images taken at night? Did an unforgiving jungle claim their lives? Or did someone take advantage of the unsuspecting tourists? Was this an accident? Or were the women murdered? Join us as we discuss the case of the Lost Girls Of Panama.
January 01, 1998. Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. Two friends celebrating New Year's Eve ran into trouble after the boat they had planned to get on was overcrowded. They located a water taxi still operating and got in. Sharing the ride was a man who learned that they had nowhere to sleep and offered to let them stay on his boat. As this was their only real option they accepted and the taxi took them to the man's ketch. The two friends, Olivia Hope and Ben Smart, were never seen again. The police conducted an investigation and despite a number of witnesses describing the same man and the same two masted sailing boat, they focused on a man with a smaller vessel named Scott Watson. Where this true crime case went from there has been a source of controversy ever since...
Leigh Occhi. August 27, 1992. Tupelo, Mississippi. 13 year old Leigh Occhi was left home alone for the first time while her mother went to work. Tupelo had been experiencing storms as a result of hurricane Andrew so Vicki Yarborough, Leigh's mother, decided to call and check up on her. After she couldn't reach her daughter she became concerned and headed home. Once there she discovered the garage door was up and a door to the house was unlocked. Inside their home she discovered blood outside of Leigh's room. Vicki searched desperately for Leigh but could not locate her. The Tupelo police department began an investigation which would result in two persons of interest for the crime; Vicki Yarborough and a man from their church named "Mike" Kearns who abducted and raped a 15 year old girl the year following Leigh's disappearance...
Abraham Shakespeare. November 15, 2006 - April 7, 2009. Plant City, Florida. A man discovered that his lottery ticket purchased in Frostproof, Florida on November 15, 2006 was the winning ticket for a $30 million jackpot. With a payout of about $14 million he had many who knew him wanting him to help them out. As his fortune dwindled due to his giving nature, a woman by the name of Dorice Moore offered not only to help him manage his money, but to write a book about him as well. Later, though, in April of 2009 he seemed to disappear and with Dorice giving different people different stories as to why Abraham wasn't around his family became concerned. Winning the lottery may have seemed like a dream come true, but for Abraham Shakespeare it was the beginning of the end...
October 24, 2011. Potsdam, New York. 12 year old Garrett Phillips had played some basketball with friends after school one day and then headed home after his mother, Tandy Cyrus, called to tell him that he needed to start on his homework. Neighbors heard strange noises from his apartment after he arrived home. Law enforcement would hear someone moving around inside after showing up. When they finally gained access they discovered Garrett on the floor. He had a pulse but they could tell something was wrong. As an ambulance raced to the apartment a window was found to be open. The screen pushed out where someone may have exited. Within hours the boy died. It was discovered that he had been strangled and suffocated. A short list of suspects was drawn up, but front and center was an ex-boyfriend of Garrett's mother. Nick Hillary denied responsibility and felt that discrimination was the reason why he was being investigated. But the Jamaican born soccer coach wasn't the only ex who may have had a motive. Tandy had also previously dated a sheriff's deputy who might not have been happy about losing her, either...
Carrie Culberson. August 28, 1996. Blanchester, Ohio. 22 year old Carrie Culberson arrived at her home very late in the evening after playing volleyball. Then she and her car just vanished. Or seemed to, anyway. A neighbor said that she witnessed the young woman's boyfriend, Vincent Doan, hitting her and heard him say, 'I told you if you ever tried to leave me I'd kill you'. Carrie's family tried their best to search for her, but the most promising lead developed when two dogs both alerted by a pond on the property of Lawrence Baker who was Doan's father. Detectives felt that this was significant and thought that answers to Carrie's whereabouts were about to be revealed. But before the pond could be drained and searched, someone put a stop to it and dealt a serious blow to the investigation...
Tex McIver. September 25, 2016. Atlanta, Georgia. Tex and Diane McIver are a very well to do couple who are being driven home by a friend named Dani Jo Carter after having some drinks. Diane sat up front in the passenger seat while her husband sat behind her. Dani Jo exits a backed up highway then drives the couple through a neighborhood that makes Tex a little nervous and he retrieves a gun to keep in his lap. Not too long after that the gun is fired and Diane is struck in the back and they immediately go to a hospital. Despite efforts to save her life, Diane dies. As the investigation got under way, some started to believe that this was no accident and that Claude 'Tex' McIver may have planned his wife's death and that a hidden will holds the key to his motivation...
Noura Jackson. June 5, 2005. Memphis, Tennessee. An 18 year old spends a Saturday evening partying with friends. Sometime that evening her mother calls her to say that she needs to go back home. Her mother had been upset with her regarding her drug use and concerned that she wouldn't finish her education. Noura Jackson had been told to stay home, but went out anyway. The phone call convinces her to go home. Sometime between 1am and 5am something terrible happens. Noura calls 911 at 5am to report that her mother isn't breathing and that she is bleeding. An autopsy later revealed that she had been stabbed 50 times. This was the second parent of Noura's to be murdered. In January of 2004, her father was shot and killed at his store by an unidentified individual. Months after her mother was stabbed to death, the teenager was arrested. Did she murder her mother? Or was someone else responsible?
John Edward Robinson. 1984-2000. Kansas Missouri, United States. For many years, John Edward Robinson was known as a scammer and embezzler. His crimes usually resulted in probation and he was able to lie so effectively that many gave him the benefit of the doubt. But beyond the face he presented to most everyone lurked a man who hungered for domination of others. In the early days of the internet he chose the name Slavemaster. He not only abused and attacked those who signed contracts to be his submissives, but he also targeted women who needed help. To them, he first appeared to be a savior. With promises of training and a job, he was able to lure women into his trap. To understand just what a monster Robinson was you need to follow his history from Illinois as a young Eagle scout to his scams and murders in both Kansas and Missouri where he created layers of lies to attempt to perpetrate and cover his crimes. Join us as we discuss a serial killer who you won't soon forget.
Circleville Letter Writer. Circleville, Ohio. Letters were first mailed out in 1976 accusing a bus driver of having an affair with the superintendent of schools. At first she simply ignored them. Then letters were mailed to her husband. The threats from the anonymous writer prompted the woman and her husband, as well as a few other people, to mail letters to the person they suspected of being responsible, but the letters and threats only stopped for a few weeks. In 1976, Ron Gillespie, gun in hand, rushed out of his house after receiving a phone call. His truck would be found just down the road crashed into a tree and he was dead behind the wheel. His gun had been fired once, but it could not be determined why. In 1983, his wife Mary, the bus driver, removed a sign that had a box with string attached on her route that seemed to be from the mysterious letter writer. Once home, she took it apart and discovered that it was a booby trap. A gun was set to go off if tampered with. An arrest was made soon after. Was it the letter writer?
The Murders Of Thomas Ann Farrow. March 27, 1905. London, England. Thomas Ann Farrow had been shopkeepers at Chapman's Oil and Colour Shop in Deptford for more than two decades. On the morning of March 27, 1905 they were victims of a vicious attack. Thomas was in the shop on the floor having been bludgeoned to death. Ann, barely breathing, was still in her bed having been bludgeoned as well. Police took witness statements and examined both the shop and the Farrow's flat for clues. In the early days of forensics it was not so easy to tie a crime to a person. The Farrow case would rest upon a new forensic science tool. One that would anger some who didn't believe it to be a real science. If the right people could not be convinced, this crime would go unpunished.
This bonus episode is brought to you by TNT's new original series, The Alienist. It premiers January 22nd, 2018 at 9/8C.
Charles Stuart. October 23, 1989. Boston, Massachusetts. A man and his wife pulled up to a stoplight. Just minutes earlier they had left a hospital after attending a birthing class. Things had been looking up for them. They were financially well off and expecting their first child. But, according to the husband, they were intercepted at the stoplight by a man who decided to shoot them before leaving. The husband was Charles Stuart who called police on his car phone to report the shooting. He had been shot in his side and Carol was shot in the head. As the people of Boston became aware of the crime a rage swelled. Carol Stuart, Charles' wife, died. Weeks later, her child died as well. But police had a description of the killer and they stopped at nothing in their pursuit of justice. After an arrest was made in the case there was a great sense of relief. Soon after, though, someone contacted police claiming to be involved and the whole case would take a strange turn. This is a true crime story that you won't want to miss.
The Fairbanks Four. October, 1997. Fairbanks, Alaska. A 15 year old named John Hartman was found badly beaten on a curb in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. At the hospital he was placed on life support as police worked the case and tracked down witnesses and suspects. By the next day John had died and authorities felt certain that a picture of what had happened was quickly coming into focus. But after four convictions and almost two decades the case had changed and the four who had landed in prison for murder were being released after new evidence made its way before the courts. Had the Fairbanks Four been wrongfully convicted? Or could they have committed the murder and then convinced many otherwise?
Stacey Castor. Clay, New York. August 22, 2005. A woman and her husband end up arguing during the weekend of their anniversary. He locks himself in the bedroom which eventually prompts his wife to call for help. When law enforcement broke through the door they discovered a horrific scene. David Castor, the husband, was found naked and face down on the bed and deceased. He had vomited prior to death and bottles in the room indicated that he may have ingested alcohol and antifreeze. Was this a suicide? Stacey Castor, his wife, stated that he had been depressed and that they had recently fought. After a turkey baster is discovered in the kitchen trash, investigators begin to very much doubt that David had taken his own life. As they start looking into her past they find that she may have done this before as her first husband died after an illness at age 38. Just as law enforcement thinks that they have things figured out, Stacey's daughter Ashley is rushed to the hospital after a possible suicide attempt. A letter was found, supposedly typed by the 20 year old, in which she admits to murdering both her father and her stepfather. But did she? Or was this part of some sinister plot?
Ray Gricar. April 15, 2005. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. District Attorney Ray Gricar was known as a focused, capable attorney and was nearing retirement. After serving multiple terms and finding love, he was starting to plan for his new life. With plans to visit his daughter and to visit Europe, it seemed as though life was just where he wanted it to be. But in 2005, Ray decided to take a day off work and travel to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania where he liked to visit the Street of Shops which included an antique store. After hours go by with no word from him, his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, calls the police. They are able to locate his car, but there's no sign of Ray. After months go by, his work laptop and then its hard drive are located, but both are badly damaged and reveal no answers. As detectives work the case they have difficulty choosing a likely reason for Gricar's disappearance. Was he abducted? Did he walk away to start a new life? Or did he take his own life just as his brother did nine years earlier? With a long list of suspects and possible scenarios, can we figure out what happened to Ray Gricar?
Jeffrey Dahmer. July 22, 1991. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A man flags down two Milwaukee police officers and tells them about a 'freak' who had cuffed him. The police realize that the handcuff was not police issued and accompany him back to the apartment he had come from. Inside that apartment, police discover photographs of men before and after being murdered. The man who lived at that apartment was named Jeffrey Dahmer. A search of his place revealed to investigators that Dahmer was one of the worst serial killers in recent memory. A confession by the killer gave details on the murders of 15 men and 2 boys over a 13 year period. Dahmer's crimes involved drugging his victims, strangulation, necrophilia and cannibalism. But did he only kill seventeen people? Or did Jeffrey Dahmer keep some of his killings secret?
Death of LaVena Johnson. July 19, 2005. Balad, Iraq. Nineteen years of age and recently deployed to Iraq, LaVena Johnson had everything going for her. A great education, determination, goals, and a great family. In letters and calls to home, she seemed quite candid about conditions there, both the good and the bad, but was also looking forward to being home for Christmas. On July 19th, though, a grim discovery was made. LaVena was found in a contractor's tent, dead from an apparent gunshot wound to her head. An aerosol can was used to burn printed emails from a recent boyfriend. The Army ruled her death a suicide. Upset over the recent breakup with her boyfriend she must have hit her breaking point. The first autopsy didn't really find anything to question this as a suicide. The Johnson family had her exhumed and two additional autopsies would make some startling discoveries. LaVena Johnson had suffered a broken nose, loose teeth, a black eye, and chemical burns on her genitals just to name a few. The Johnson family never believed that LaVena would take her own life and despite the questions surrounding her death, no one seems to want to go beyond saying that this case is 'inconclusive'. Join us for a difficult discussion of losing a loved one under mysterious circumstances, not getting answers from investigators, and the possible reasons for why LaVena Johnson died back in 2005 in Iraq.
Dr. Death. June 24, 1998. Hyde, Greater Manchester, England. A woman in her early 80's unexpectedly dies and after her daughter discovers a new will had been signed shortly before, an investigation is launched. The last person to see Kathleen Grundy alive was her doctor. Dr. Harold Frederick Shipman was a well-respected doctor with thousands of loyal and trusting patients. Despite this, police discover something very unsettling; many of Dr. Shipman's patients had died while under his care. After an autopsy is performed on Ms. Grundy and other former patients have been exhumed and examined, a disturbing pattern emerged. Dr. Shipman had been injecting them with overdoses of morphine to kill them and then had altered their medical records to avoid suspicion. Throughout history there have been many serial killers, but few can rival this murderer's body count. Just how did he manage to get away with this for so long and what did the British government do about it?
The Springfield Three. June 7, 1992. Springfield, Missouri. After graduating from Kickapoo High School, Suzanne Streeter and her friend Stacy McCall head out to party with various friends that night. Sometime after 2:00am they head back to Suzie's house to sleep after a number of other arrangements had fallen through. Suzie's mother, Sherrill, was already there and had been working on varnishing some furniture. Sometime between 2:20am and 8:00am the three simply vanish. The only clues left behind are that all of their belongings were left behind and outside the front door a glass light cover had been smashed. Who could have taken them? Various motives behind the crime are discussed and potential suspects are named. For the past 25 years, this true crime mystery has baffled both the public and the police. Are we any closer to finding answers?
The Scream Murder. September 22, 2006. Pocatello, Idaho. 16 year-old Cassie Jo Stoddart was asked to housesit for her aunt and uncle while they were out of town for the weekend. Her boyfriend and two other schoolmates joined her for a while before they left her alone later in the evening. On the following Sunday, her relatives returned home to find Cassie dead. She had been stabbed about thirty times. Her mother arrived soon after the homeowners did, having been concerned that her daughter had not been in contact with her that weekend. The investigation focused on the three boys that had been at the house that evening. After one suspect confesses, detectives soon learned that the killers had made recordings leading up to and after the murder and wore masks and wielded knives when they re-entered the home later in the evening. The inspiration for the killing was the film Scream by Wes Craven. But was everything as it seemed? Was Cassie really murdered for fun and for fame?
Pamela Hupp. August 16th, 2016. O'Fallon, Missouri. A woman attempts to call for help as she is pursued by a man threatening her with a knife. The incident ends when she shoots the man dead at her home. In the man's pocket were $900 in cash and a note with instructions to kidnap, retrieve money from and kill Pamela Hupp. Five years before, her best friend, Betsy Faria, had been viciously murdered with a knife. Betsy's husband, Russ Faria, had later been convicted of the crime, but a re-trial ended with his acquittal. Did Pamela Hupp lawfully defend herself? One week after she shot Louis Gumpenberger dead, she was arrested by police. Don't miss this bizarre case that will remind you that truth is stranger than fiction.
Ripper Confidential. London, England. In this bonus episode, Aaron interviewed Ripper researcher Tom Wescott about his latest book, Ripper Confidential. Before we got to the book, I wanted to ask him questions related to the History Channel series, American Ripper. For anyone unfamiliar with it, the premise is that Jack the Ripper was actually H. W. Mudgett, a.k.a. H. H. Holmes. Is there evidence to support this theory? Ripper Confidential, using the latest available research materials, gives us a clearer picture of the Ripper's attacks, possible survivors, witness statements, as well as the evidence left at the crime scenes. What was the Ripper's modus operandi? How many victims can we say that he had? Are we any closer to learning his true identity?
The Happy Face Killer. 1990-1995. United States. After a woman was beaten and strangled to death, another woman came forward to confess to having a hand in the crime. She gave authorities the name of her boyfriend as well as details on how and why the woman was murdered. The two are charged and both wind up in prison after evidence mounts of their guilt. Not long after, though, graffiti on a bathroom stall in Livingston, Montana and letters sent to a court and a journalist from someone claiming to be the actual killer appear. The first letter was signed with a happy face. As the years went by and the body count rose, even prosecutors had to wonder if the couple that were sentenced for the first crime were innocent. Luckily for them, the serial killer known as the Happy Face Killer was not about to let anyone else take credit for his brutal crimes.
July 26, 2015. Smithville, Tennessee. Lauren Taylor Agee was a 21 year-old criminal science major. In July 2015, she attended Wakefest at Center Hill Lake in Tennessee with her friend, Hannah Palmer. The weekend festivities included wakeboarding, cliff jumping, camping and all-night parties. While there they met up with Palmer's boyfriend and one of his friends. After spending time at a bar, they made their way to their campsite after 2am which required them to travel by boat then climb a steep cliff with the aid of a rope. The next day, Lauren's body was discovered face down in a cove that was hundreds of feet away from the hammock she had slept in. Law enforcement and Lauren's family do not agree on what caused the woman's death. Did she fall off the cliff by accident as the authorities concluded? Or was foul play involved?
Murder of Elizabeth DeCaro. March 6th, 1992. St. Charles County, Missouri. A parolee by the name of Daniel Anthony Basile murdered Elizabeth DeCaro in her St. Charles County home. Her family had gone on a trip while she stayed behind. Basile had waited in the home for her to return from work and shot her twice from behind. An investigation uncovered a possible motive; money. Her husband was said to have paid Basile to murder her. The couple had been experiencing marital and financial issues. Did Elizabeth's husband, Richard DeCaro, pay to have his wife killed? The details of this case are almost unbelievable, unless you happen to watch a lot of true crime shows. But even then, there are aspects to this case that will make you shake your head. After the episode there is an update on the Holly Bobo case. Zach Adams, the man at the center of the trial, was recently sentenced after being found guilty.
Ryan Widmer. August 11, 2008. Morrow, Ohio. A man called 911 to report finding his wife deceased in their bathtub. He said that she had gone upstairs to take a bath, but that she frequently fell asleep and was always worried about her drowning. Detectives would get permission to search the residence and would find apparent contradictions between the man's story and the evidence at the scene. Just hours later, his wife was pronounced dead after nearly an hour of resuscitation attempts and he was arrested. His story was picked up by Dateline and people around the country voiced their support for him after learning about the case and not believing that a crime had even occurred. Prosecutors were so certain of his guilt that they would try him three times to finally get a conviction and put him away. For Ryan Widmer and his supporters, though, the fight is not over. They say that Sarah Widmer's death was accidental and that Ryan had nothing to do with it. When it comes to controversial convictions, this true crime case is one of the most polarizing ones that we have ever discussed.
Ali Kemp. June 18, 2002. Leawood, Kansas. When a teen shows up to work at a community pool he cannot locate his older sister. She had worked the previous shift and his arrival was supposed to mean that she could head home. A call to his father brought him out to aid in the search and she was finally discovered in the pool house. She had suffered a sustained, violent attack and was barely clinging to life. Soon after arriving at the hospital, the young woman was pronounced dead. She had been beaten and strangled. The family was heartbroken, but Ali Kemp's father came up with a clever plan to bring her killer to justice. This true crime case is a local one to us and Roger Kemp's actions inspired other states to follow his lead which led to more killers getting caught around the United States in a similar fashion.
The Co-Ed Killer. Santa Cruz, California. In the early 1970's, Santa Cruz, California became the 'murder capital of the world' after several murderers left their mark on the area. One of them, a 6'9" 300lb man by the name of Edmund Kemper began his murderous career by killing his grandparents. After some time and treatment he was released only to begin killing again. This time, young college students seemed to become his targets and his obsession with decapitation and necrophilia meant that his crimes were horrific. Kemper blamed his mother for why he turned out the way that he did and eventually he set his sights on her in a final act of revenge. Was Kemper made a monster due to abuse by his mother? Or was Big Ed destined to become a serial killer no matter how he was raised?
Death of Annie McCann. November 02, 2008. Baltimore, Maryland. A 16 year-old girl from Alexandria, Virginia is found dead behind a dumpster in Baltimore, Maryland. A note left behind in her room indicates that she had considered suicide but instead opted to live by starting over somewhere else. In the note she also asks her parents not to look for her. The parents are devastated and cannot account for why their happy daughter would have run away. An autopsy is performed and the cause of death was lidocaine poisoning. The teen had brought a bottle of Bactine with her which contains lidocaine, but the amount contained in a 5oz bottle may not be enough to cause death. Her car, a white Volvo, was discovered several blocks away. A fingerprint identified inside of the car belonged to a person of interest who would admit to pulling a dead girl out of the car before using it to joyride with friends. As more details emerged the mystery deepened. In a case that is just as perplexing as the disappearance of Maura Murray, we attempt to figure out whether Annie McCann was murdered, took her own life, or accidentally poisoned herself.
Rodney Reed. April 23, 1996. Bastrop County, Texas. Nineteen year-old Stacey Stites was found dead on the side of a road. She had been engaged to a police officer named Jimmy Fennell and had been working hard at her job to pay for the upcoming wedding. After a brief investigation into Fennell, detectives would later focus their attention on a man named Rodney Reed after his dna was proven to be in and on the victim. After Reed is convicted and sentenced to death, in what appeared to be an open and shut case, a more capable attorney as well as forensic experts have revealed major issues with the investigation and its conclusions. Did Rodney Reed murder Stites? Or could she have been killed by her fiance? This controversial true crime case has divided many people across the nation.
The Acid Bath Murderer. 1944-49. United Kingdom. A man discovered that his talent for forgery could make him wealthy without having to work for a living. Funding his high class lifestyle and his love for cars was all the motivation he needed. Unfortunately for him, his crimes were reported and he did several stints in prison. Having had enough of that, he decided that all he needed to do was to make his victims disappear. No bodies, he figured, meant that there could be no convictions. From fraudster to murderer, John George Haigh murdered people, dissolved their bodies in drums of acid, and went about the process of absorbing and profiting from their assets. But John Haigh didn't fully understand the law and the law would come down on the head of The Acid Bath Murderer.
Timmothy Pitzen. May 11, 2011. Aurora, Illinois. A mother contacts her son's elementary school to say that there is a family emergency and that she is going to pick him up. After she leaves with him, they go to the zoo as well as some water parks in Illinois and Wisconsin. She embarked on this trip without the knowledge of her husband who thought that she was possibly just taking some time out as their marriage had been experiencing difficulties. After several days, though, his wife's body was discovered in a motel room in Rockford, Illinois. She had taken her own life. Also troubling was that their son, Timmothy Pitzen, was nowhere to be found. Amy Pitzen had written three notes before her death; leaving one behind in the room with her and the other two were mailed out to her mother and a friend of hers. Within these notes she indicates that Timmothy was being cared for and that "there were just too many pieces to pick up". Did she hand her son over to someone else? Or could she have done the unthinkable before ending her own life?
2012 Aurora Shooting. July 20, 2012. Aurora, Colorado. At the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, the last in a trilogy of Batman films by director Christopher Nolan, an armored man opened fire into the hundreds seated in theater 9 at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. After the shooting ended, seventy people had been injured and twelve were dead. Law enforcement responded quickly and the suspect was arrested just after he left the complex. The question of who was responsible was not really in question, but whether or not James Holmes, 24, was fit to stand trial or not was. Mental health experts and lawyers argued over Holmes' mental illness and whether or not he understood that what he was doing at the time was wrong. Murder has a devastating effect on families and communities. This is never more evident than when murder is as a result of a mass shooting.
Missing 411. North America. One man's research shows that for more than a century, people have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances across North America. Now, author David Paulides brings some of these cases, previously recounted in his series of books, to living rooms in the form of his Missing 411 documentary. Made with the help of his son, Benjamin, they profile five separate, mysterious incidents involving children. When a person goes missing there is a search effort to locate them. But national parks and even forests can make such searches difficult. Adding to these difficulties are the questions that remain long after a person's remains are located. How did a child disappear when surrounded by family? How and why did they end up 12 miles away and a half a day later with no explanation of how they could have traversed such difficult, mountainous terrain on their own? We interview David about why he got involved in researching these disappearances as well as what can be done to understand why they are happening and possibly prevent them.
Todd Kendhammer. September 16th, 2016. West Salem, Wisconsin. A man and his wife drive out early one morning so that he can take a look at a truck that had a cracked windshield. He said that he was asked to repair it. On the way, though, tragedy strikes. His wife of 25 years is gravely injured when a 53" galvanized steel pipe from a passing truck on the highway flies off and strikes her through the windshield. She will die the next day from her injuries. The husband seems helpful and assists investigators. But as they look to match his statements against the evidence they discover that Todd Kendhammer doesn't seem to be telling them the truth about what happened to his wife Barbara.
Murder Of Kelsey Smith. June 2nd, 2007. Overland Park, Kansas. A young woman walked around a department store trying to decide on a gift for her boyfriend. Also in the store was a man who started following her. He really liked her legs and youthful appearance. After paying for her items, she walked out to her car to leave. The man suddenly appeared and forced her into her own car. The woman's family mounted a campaign to locate her with the help of the public, the police, and the media. Despite their best efforts, terrible news would reach them. Kelsey Smith's body was located in a wooded area near a lake about 20 miles East of the store she had been at prior to her abduction. The investigation into her murder is aided by a married couple who lived near the suspect. As evidence mounted against Edwin Hall, many in the public wondered why he chose to kill Kelsey Smith.
The Backpacker Killer. November, 1993. New South Wales, Australia. Three more bodies are recovered from the NSW Belanglo State Forest, bringing the count to seven. Now the police had to admit that a serial killer was abducting and murdering backpackers. The killer was dubbed The Backpacker Killer. His modus operandi was to take his victims to the forest where he disabled them by severing their spinal cords then murdered them in various ways. Because of this, police considered that there may have been more than one person involved. But a man named Paul Onions would contact authorities to tell them of his abduction story. This would focus the investigation on a single person Onions identified in a video lineup; Ivan Milat. Ivan owned many firearms, was very strong, and came from a large, tight-knit family. A raid on the Milat properties in 1994 would produce 100s of items of evidence and yet he denied any involvement.
The Butcher Of Kansas City. April 2nd, 1988. Kansas City, Missouri. Police are called after a man is discovered hiding on a porch wearing nothing but a dog collar. His story struck law enforcement as fantastic. He claimed to have been captive by another man who tortured him. A visit to the home revealed the terrible truth. Pictures and diaries kept by the homeowner documented the abduction, torture and sometimes deaths of different young men. In all, nineteen young men were photographed. Unfortunately, the killer had disposed of all of his victims so investigators needed to get the answers from Robert Berdella himself. "Bob" was a sexual psychopath who took great pleasure in exercising power over his victims and putting them through the worst tortures imaginable. These included injections of bleach and drain cleaner into the eyes and voice box, wrapping hands and feet in piano wire, being beaten, raped, and given electric shocks to sensitive areas of their bodies. Before Jeffrey Dahmer made the headlines there was Robert Berdella; The Butcher of Kansas City.
Robin Abrams. October 4th, 1990. Will County, Illinois. A 28 year-old woman passes her father as she drives her '89 Dodge Daytona down Goodenow Road. They wave at each other. This is the last time he will ever see his daughter. Her disappearance is suspected to be tied to her boyfriend. They had worked together at the Will County Sheriff's Office and dated for less than six months before she learned that he was married and then she wanted to break things off. They would both claim harassment by the other which would culminate in her filing lawsuits, being fired and his having her arrested many times. While her family wanted the boyfriend, Tony Marquez, investigated, they were met with resistance. Both by law enforcement and by the court. A witness who saw two men using a tow truck to drop off the woman's car seemed to hold the key to her disappearance, but without charges being brought against the boyfriend and his stepbrother, the case could not move forward. Some said that perhaps she disappeared to get away from the situation and to spite her ex-boyfriend. But friends and family contend that Robin Abrams was murdered and that the Will County Sheriff's Office was looking out for their own. Where is Robin Abrams?
The Beltway Snipers. Washington, D.C. October, 2002. Fear grips the beltway as random people are shot dead in public by a hidden shooter. Parking lots and gas stations were no longer safe. A single gunshot would be heard and then someone would fall. Five were shot dead on October 3rd alone. The threat caused people to look around and to be on guard. Men, women, and even kids were targets for whoever was behind the attacks. For more than 20 days the attacks and even taunts from the killer continued until a call from a man alerted authorities to the location of the two responsible for the crimes. But the Beltway attacks were not the whole story. The pair had shot others before October and the reason behind the spree killings seemed to be rage. John Allen Muhammad and his teenage co-conspirator Lee Boyd Malvo wanted to terrorize the public and bring the system down. For Muhammad, losing his children in a custody battle with his ex-wife may have been the last straw.
The Boston Boy Fiend. South Boston, Massachusetts. Beginning in late 1871, a series of abductions and beatings occur that leave parents worried about what is happening to young children in the Chelsea, Massachusetts area. Later, the attacks will move to South Boston and the victims there will suffer even more brutal attacks. A suspect is identified and sentenced to the House of Reformation. In less than two years, far less than the sentence given, the young teenager is released due to his good behavior. Little did anyone suspect that young Jesse Pomeroy would quickly graduate to being a murderer. He would earn the nickname, The Boston Boy Fiend.
Dee Dee Gypsy Blancharde. Springfield, Missouri. Dee Dee Blancharde was murdered in June of 2015. Her daughter, Gypsy, had been kept in a childlike state since she was young and made to take medicine and undergo surgeries in order for Dee Dee to get gifts and money. In a bid to free herself from the isolated and abusive life her mother had created for her, Gypsy recruited her boyfriend to kill her mother Dee Dee by stabbing her to death. After our discussion, stay tuned as director Erin Lee Carr is interviewed by Justin about her new HBO documentary, Mommy Dead And Dearest, that takes a look at this bizarre case of Munchausen by proxy syndrome and murder.
The Shoemaker. January 8th, 1975. Leonia, New Jersey. A man and his young son posed as salesmen to gain entrance to a New Jersey home. They attacked the people inside. One of them, a woman who lived nearby, was taken to the basement and her throat was slit. This was the last in a series of attacks by a man who believed that he was instructed to do these things. The ultimate goal; the deaths of three billion people. With all killers a question seems to come up. Was it nature or nurture? In Joseph Kallinger's case, the answer seems to be nurture. His abusive and isolated upbringing by Stephen and Anna Kallinger may have triggered paranoid schizophrenia in a young boy who would go on to have dark fantasies that involved women and knives.
The A6 Murder. August 23rd, 1961. Bedfordshire, UK. A couple parks off road in Dorney Reach to spend time together. It is late in the evening. A man with a gun will get their attention by tapping a window with his .38 Enfield revolver. For hours the gunman, who holds a scarf over much of his face, talks with them then has them go on a drive. Finally, in a cockney accent, he says that he is tired and wants a kip (a nap). It is after the car pulls off near Deadman's Hill that things go from bad to worse. He shoots the man. Killing him. Then he rapes the woman. Just when it seems like he may be leaving, he turns, and fires off seven shots. The woman is hit with five bullets and will pretend to be dead in a bid to survive. The gunman drives away. Police will identify two suspects. The first was Peter Alphon. The second, James Hanratty. Witnesses provide two different identikits matching both men. Figuring out which of the men were responsible for this crime was no easy task. And some believe that the wrong man was hanged.
Cody Posey. July 5, 2004. Hondo, New Mexico. 14 year-old Cody Posey, armed with a .32 caliber handgun, shoots his stepmother as she is reading a book. Then he shoots his father and stepsister as they enter the home at Chavez Canyon Ranch. The owner of the ranch, newsman Sam Donaldson, will drop by and see blood on the floor. Law enforcement will find evidence of a violent attack and discover the bodies of Paul Posey (34), Tryone Posey (44), and Marilea Schmid (13). Their concern for the safety of Cody Posey dissipates once he is located. After an hour of questioning, Cody gives a confession as well as a motive. Support for the young man swelled as people learned about his father's physical and verbal abuse toward him. What would the jury think of Cody's stories?
Death of May Greineder. October 31, 1999. Wellesley, MA. Dirk and Mabel Greineder had been married for more than 30 years. Within one year of their youngest child moving out of the home, May was murdered while out for a walk one morning with her husband and their dog. Her husband, an allergist, says that he had gone on ahead after she complained about pain in her back. When he returned about ten minutes later, his wife was gone. Their dog, Zephyr, would locate her. May had been attacked with a drilling hammer and a knife. Both of which would be found in a storm drain. While the doctor says that he saw someone suspicious running away, the investigators find his statements about this and other things to be very contradictory to the evidence. Some of the evidence consisted of gloves, a knife, a drilling hammer, and plastic ziploc bags. When it came time to reveal a possible motive for the murder, prosecutors had more evidence still. Credit card transactions that revealed a secret life that the doctor had kept secret from his wife and his children.
Belcher Islands Massacre. 1941. A Christian bible, translated into the Inuit language, is being read by men in the Belcher Islands. One of these men decided that he was Jesus. He will then appoint the best hunter in the region God and together they spread the message that the hardships the Inuit were facing were nearly over. Soon their hunger would disappear. They would all be able to fly. Some, though, challenged the claims of divinity by the two men. They would pay with their lives. Violent retribution was followed by celebration as those who were opposed were labeled as Satan and then killed. Poor hunting, the onset of WWII, and a remote location meant that help was not coming soon enough for a people under the control of two men playing god.
October 22nd, 1999. Bald Head Island, North Carolina. A police officer radios dispatch to report that she has stopped three people. Soon after she is heard telling one of them that there is no reason to have a gun on the island. A loud squelch noise will be heard followed by radio silence. By the time another officer arrived on scene it was too late. Officer Jones was dead. Her death was ruled as a suicide. A single shot to the back of her head with her own service weapon had ended her life. Rumors of a coverup seem to explain why what appears to be a murder would be interpreted as a suicide by officials. But was it a murder? Could officer Jones have staged her death so that her family would receive money? Or could there be another explanation? We break this case down using the known facts and even include a piece of evidence that you may never have heard about until now.
The Night Stalker Part 2. August, 1985. Los Angeles, California. Hard work by the detectives pays off and Richard Ramirez is identified as The Night Stalker. His image is released to the public and an angry mob will chase him down. Years after his arrest, Ramirez will head to trial where he faced many charges related to The Night Stalker's crimes. Was there ever any doubt as to the verdicts the jury would render? We will discuss his movements, his identification as a serial killer, his capture, as well as information on this killer sent to us by listeners.
The Night Stalker Part 1. April, 1984. Los Angeles, California. A home intruder is raping, robbing, and killing residents in the Los Angeles area. A 79 year-old woman who lived in a Glassel Park apartment was raped and stabbed to death after her killer entered through a window. Her place was ransacked. There would be many more victims. Determined detectives would gather clues such as fingerprints and shoeprints but the investigation was complicated by the randomness of the attacks and no apparent victim type. Anyone could fall prey to this killer. While the media would give this boogeyman many nicknames, only one would stick. The man who caused sleepless nights for so many would become known as The Night Stalker. In this first episode we discuss Richard Ramirez's origins, his childhood, and his early crimes. (Part 2 will be released on April 2nd, 2017)
Patricia Esparza. April 16, 1995. Irvine, California. A body is discovered on the side of a road wrapped in strips of blue towels. It will be reported to the authorities. The man had clearly been viciously attacked with something sharp. An autopsy revealed this weapon to likely be a meat cleaver. Investigators will establish a link between the dead man and an incident from hours earlier when a man named Gonzalo Ramirez was abducted by people driving a white van. Interviews with suspects will reveal the motive for the killing. In this case, the dead man was accused of raping a young woman who later told her boyfriend about it. Prosecutors will charge the woman, respected psychology professor Patricia Esparza, many years later with murder. Did she send her boyfriend to murder her rapist? Or did prosecutors go too far in charging her with murder?
Ronnie Long. April 25, 1976. Concord, North Carolina. A man enters a home through an upstairs window and rapes the woman who lives there. Detectives work quickly to solve the case. Within 15 days of the attack, the woman will head to court after being asked to go there to see if she could recognize the man who had raped her. After an African-American man named Ronnie Long walks by where she is sitting, she positively identifies him as the one responsible. Police had discovered strong similarities between her description of the man and Ronnie Long and what they were wearing. With that, they believe they have the right man in custody. Later, a jury will agree and find him guilty of rape and burglary. He was given two concurrent 80 year sentences. Later, though, Ronnie's legal team will start to learn the truth about the evidence in the case and realize that there were serious issues with the investigation and the prosecution of Ronnie Long. Did the jury convict the right man? Or did the State prosecute an innocent person?
Harold Henthorn. September 29, 2012. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. A man surprised his wife with a meticulously planned hiking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park for their 12th wedding anniversary. The weather was calm and the views were amazing. Tragedy would strike after his wife, Toni, fell from a cliff. Due to their remote location and the lack of light, rescuers arrived too late to save her. An investigation quickly focused on the husband, Harold Henthorn. The FBI believed that this was probably no accident. Adding to his guilt was the mysterious death of Harold's first wife, Sandra. She was killed when the suv she was under fell on her. She had been out with Harold that night for a drive one evening when he said one of the tires felt mushy and needed to be changed. Also common to both wives were the life insurance policies that Harold had taken out on them. Policies worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Did Harold murder his wives for the money? Or is he just very unlucky?
Sonia Cacy. November 10, 1991. Fort Stockton, Texas. A woman moves into the home of her uncle, Bill Richardson, to care for him after his cataract surgery. A month later, multiple fires are reported on November 2nd, 1991. The woman and her uncle fear that someone is attempting to harm them. Days later, another fire would break out that claimed the life of Bill Richardson. An investigation into this fire would result in the arrest, trial, and conviction of Sonia Cacy for the murder of her uncle. Over time, arson investigators and the Innocence Project of Texas are able to establish that the fire was not due to arson. When the facts of the case are revealed it becomes obvious that some of those responsible for her conviction knew all along that she did not start the fire. Judgment, corruption, lack of empathy, and junk science all played a role in this unbelievable true crime case.
Cullen Davis. 1976-1978. Fort Worth, Texas. An oil heir from Fort Worth, Texas is estranged from his second wife. While the divorce process continues, the judge seems to be a real thorn in his side. Increasing his monthly payments to her and having him cover legal fees. Worse yet, she gets to stay in the house and all business decisions must be cleared by Judge Eidson. On August 2nd, 1976, the man's estranged wife, Priscilla, returns home with her boyfriend and they are ambushed by a man wearing a wig and carrying a gun in his hands and wrapped in black plastic. The man will shoot them both. She will somehow make it to a neighbor's house and the police will be called. Found dead at the home was her boyfriend as well as her youngest child, 12 year-old Andrea. Another man was injured with a shot to his spine who had arrived with his girlfriend shortly after. Priscilla, as well as the other two survivors, would name the attacker. They said it was Cullen Davis, who was married to Priscilla. He would be brought to trial for the murders, but these were not the only crimes that he would be charged with. He would also be caught on tape by the FBI paying a man for the murder of Judge Eidson. His divorce judge wasn't actually murdered, but Cullen was tricked into believing he was and handed over $25k. Two trials occurred with very good evidence against him in each. The results of these trials puts Cullen Davis right up there with Robert Durst and OJ Simpson.
The Last Master Outlaw. In 1971, a man boarded a plane and would demand $200k in cash. The flight crew believed that this man, whose name was given as Dan Cooper, had carried a bomb aboard the aircraft in a briefcase and the threat was taken seriously. Later, after acquiring the ransom money, he would parachute out of the plane with the money. His identity was never discovered. Many years later, a team of researchers led by Thomas J. Colbert would reveal the name of the man they discovered to be the hijacker of the Boeing 727. In 2016, a book was published with the title, 'The Last Master Outlaw' by Colbert who was also on the History Channel's documentary, 'D.B. Cooper: Case Closed?' released that same year. On this episode, Colbert explains the story behind the research that led he and his team to the most famous hijacker of all time. A man that will forever be known as D. B. Cooper.
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John Christie. March 31, 1953. 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, London. A serial killer operates under the guise of being helpful. Luring women into his place under the pretext of an intent to cure them of an illness or to perform abortions, he would render them unconscious with coal gas before raping and strangling them. Among his known eight victims was his own wife, Ethel. Despite the warning signs, he was able to do this for a decade before he made a serious error and his evil deeds began to come to light. The victims of John Christie would be found both inside and outside his home. With that, a terrible truth was revealed about a man that Christie had testified against in court a few years earlier. A man who was later put to death for murdering his daughter and suspected of killing his own wife.
Kerry Max Cook. Tyler, Texas. June 10, 1977. A young woman named Linda Jo Edwards is brutally murdered in her room. Her roommate, Paula Rudolph, will describe seeing a silver-haired man she saw standing in Linda's doorway. Despite the description, a psychologist will create a profile of the killer that steers the investigation towards a bartender named Kerry Max Cook. This started a 40+ year nightmare for him as he fought a system intent on getting him convicted despite evidence pointing towards the woman's ex-boyfriend. In any case in which both the victim and the wrongly convicted have been failed by the justice system, most would support and encourage them to make a deal that illustrates the failures of the investigation, identifies the actual murderer, and exonerates the convicted. When it comes to this case, though, such results seem unattainable. Join us as we discuss the case and ask Kerry Max Cook what it will take for justice to finally be served in this decades old case.
Jamison Family Deaths. October, 08, 2009. Red Oak, Oklahoma. Bobby and Sherilynn Jamison, along with their daughter, 6 year-old Madyson, drive out to a remote area near Red Oak, Oklahoma to look at property. They are intending to move out there from Eufaula, Oklahoma. After this, no one hears from the family again. A search involving over 100 law enforcement and civilians fails to turn up the family's whereabouts, but their truck is located. Inside the truck is their now emaciated dog and many of their personal items. It would be four more years before their remains are discovered about 2.7 miles from where their truck was found. What could have happened to this family? Rumors suggested many possibilities: possible cult involvement, drugs and gangs, as well as strange behavior by Bobby and Sherilynn in the time leading up to their disappearance.
Lester Bower. Oct 08, 1983. Sherman, Texas. Four men are discovered murdered in a hangar at the BB ranch near Sherman, Texas. An investigation will uncover a prime suspect by the name of Lester Bower. He was to meet up there with the others to purchase an ultralight aircraft not long before the killings occurred. For some time, Lester maintained that he didn't go to the hangar and wasn't buying the ultralight. A search warrant was issued and evidence was found on his property. Including the very ultralight that was offered to him for sale. A trial will result in his conviction and he will be sentenced to death. With no eyewitnesses, no murder weapon, no fingerprints and a seemingly clean record up to that point, many believe Lester Bower to be innocent of the crimes. Was there evidence that proves that he was responsible for the murders? Or was he a victim of a justice system looking to quickly close a case?
Clifford Olson. British Columbia, Canada. 1980-1981. A career criminal, Clifford Olson escalated his crimes from scams and thefts to rape and murder. From November 1980 through July 1981, he abducted, raped, murdered kids ranging in age from 9 to 18. He would be arrested in August of 1981. In a controversial move, he was offered a 'cash for bodies' deal that would pay 100k dollars into a trust fund for his wife if he gave up information on 11 murders. The families of the victims were disgusted. Olson wasn't merely content with committing his crimes. He also taunted his victims' families. We discuss how Clifford's life began, how he operated, as well as whether or not the deal the Attorney General authorized was a reasonable one. Olson was a serial killer who preceded Robert Pickton and Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. The Beast of British Columbia may have murdered many more before finally losing his freedom forever.
The Crewe Murders. June, 1970. Pukekawa, New Zealand. A successful farming couple have been married for four years and have an 18 month-old daughter. Things are going quite well for them save for some troubling occurrences. A burglary at their farmhouse is followed by arson fires at their home and their barn. Is someone out to get them? Harvey and Jeannette would go missing in June of 1970. Jeannette's father, Len Demler, would visit the home and find young Rochelle in her cot, but no sign of her parents other than bloodstains and signs that furniture had been moved. The Crewe's bound bodies would later be found in the Waikato River which helped authorities focus on a suspect. Evidence would mount and a conviction would twice be secured before Arthur Allen Thomas was pardoned. Thomas maintained his innocence while police would be forced to admit evidence may have been planted against him. Much like the Steven Avery case, questionable evidence and suggestions that an innocent man was framed popped up. Why was justice not done in this case?
Diane Schuler. July 26, 2009. Mount Pleasant, New York. The 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash resulted in eight deaths and three injuries. Half of those who died were young children. At the center of the mystery is a woman who was a successful executive and responsible mother. When toxicology reports indicate that she was driving with a blood alcohol level of 2.5 times the legal limit, many who knew her could not accept the lab results. They rarely saw her drink. They spoke about her character and her devotion to her family. Could she have been a closet alcoholic? Witnesses stated that she had been driving a red Ford Windstar aggressively in the ninety minutes or so before the crash. Could such a responsible person knowingly put so many others' lives at risk? Is there any possibility that a medical issue was behind this? Justin Aaron discuss the possible scenarios that led to the fatal collision that occurred in 2009 as well as what happened later to those left behind after the deaths of their loved ones.
Death Of Kathy Wangler. September 4th, 2006. Lima, Ohio. A man wakes up to the sound of an alarm. It's the carbon monoxide detector. He will hurry upstairs to check on his wife. She appeared to be having a seizure. He then called 911 to get her help. No one could save her, though. She was pronounced dead at the hospital after attempts to revive her had failed. While Mark moves on with his life, getting remarried 14 months after his wife Kathy's death, her family pressures police to investigate the anesthesiologist. More than three years after the death of his wife he is charged with her murder. Dr. Mark Wangler would profess his innocence. He would state that his wife's death was an accident. His two grown sons voiced their support for him as did his new wife, Esther. Kathy's family and friends did not believe him. They said Mark was verbally abusive to her and wanted to avoid a costly divorce. Was a faulty water heater to blame as Mark claims? Or did he set his wife up to die?
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Sky Metalwala. November 06, 2011. Bellevue, Washington. Just days after a mediation session grants visitation rights to her husband, a mother of two needs to take her sick two year-old child to see a doctor. On the way, though, her car stalls. She opts to walk back to a gas station with her four year-old daughter. Leaving her younger, sick child behind in the car. When she later returns, the car is empty and her child is nowhere to be found. An investigation fails to support the mother's story, though, and the boy's disappearance begins to look more like foul play. Did a stranger take Sky Metalwala from a parked car? Or is his mother, Julia Biryukova, responsible for what happened to her son?
TWA Flight 800. July 17, 1996. JFK International Airport. Trans World Airlines Flight 800 was to takeoff for Paris, France at around 7pm EST. Various issues kept it from taking off until 8:19pm. Just 12 minutes into the flight, at 8:31pm, the plane exploded. Efforts were made to rescue anyone alive in the Atlantic Ocean from the destroyed Boeing 747, but none of the 230 passengers and crew had survived. Terrorism was suspected early on as the United States was facing threats at home and abroad. As the investigation continued, though, the evidence began to point to an issue with the plane itself. Or did it?
Mothman. West Virginia. From November 1966 to December 1967, many strange sightings and occurrences were happening in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Unidentified flying objects, strange men in black suits, even a large, winged human-like creature named the Mothman. It all culminated in a tragedy known as The Silver Bridge collapse. Forty-six people died when rush hour traffic, backed up on and off the almost 40 years old structure, went down into and near the Ohio River. Some say that the Mothman was a warning. Others believe that the Mothman caused the collapse. Another theory suggests that the killing of a Shawnee Chieftan about 200 years before was the reason for the disaster. Just what was going on in West Virginia back then? John Keel's book, 'The Mothman Prophecies', is full of information on these strange goings on. Justin Aaron will break it all down for you in this tale of legends, sightings, and disasters.
The Greenbrier Ghost. Greenbrier County, West Virginia. 1897. Mary Heaster did what she could to vet the men that were interested in seeing her daughter. She didn't have much success. Her daughter would become pregnant just before one man left. She would also marry a man just a few weeks after meeting him. A drifter named Erasmus Trout Shue. When the young woman dies unexpectedly, her husband seems to be overcome with grief. So much so that he will not leave her side until after the funeral. The investigation is closed as no foul play is suspected. When Zona's mother asks the prosecutor re-open the case, she has an unlikely source for the information she has implicating her son-in-law in the crime.
Steven Cary Stayner. Merced, California. 1972. A 7 year-old boy named Steven Stayner is abducted by a pedophile. He is kept for 7 years and suffers daily abuse. In 1980, his abductor then kidnaps a 5 year-old boy named Timothy White. Concerned for the boy's safety, Steven will escape and take him to the authorities. His heroic actions earn Steven celebrity status and people everywhere want to talk to him. Two decades later, his brother Cary Stayner makes headlines as well. As a serial killer.
Ed Gein. Plainfield, Wisconsin. November, 1957. A man who did odd jobs was either pitied or teased by those who knew him. Behind the scenes, he had grown up in an abusive home. He would lose his entire family in a span of less than five years. It was the loss of his mother, though, that seemed to have a profound effect on Edward Theodore Gein. Unbeknownst to the others in the town, Ed was robbing graves of recently buried women at night from local cemeteries. In his quest to bring his mother back to life he would also resort to capturing and killing women who reminded him of his mom. In November of 1957, authorities would seek out Ed after the abduction and murder of a store owner named Bernice Worden. Her son was convinced that Ed was responsible. It wouldn't take long before Gein's nightmarish collections would be revealed. Who was Ed Gein and why did he do the things that he did?
Cropsey The Killing Season. Urban legends and unsolved serial murders. Articles, books and documentaries attempt to tell the stories of these mysteries. On this episode Justin and Aaron speak with filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills about Zeman's film Cropsey as well as their new docuseries,The Killing Season, which covers the Long Island Serial Killer, the West Mesa murders and more. The Killing Season is debuting on AE on November 12th, 2016. It takes an investigative look at the connections between five unsolved serial killer cases in the United States.
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James Keown. September 2004. Waltham, Massachusetts. He seemed to have it all; an adoring wife, a good job, a luxury car, and an acceptance letter from Harvard Business School. When he and his wife moved from Missouri to Massachusetts so that he could pursue his degree, things were looking even more promising. Soon after moving to the Boston suburb, though, his wife Julie started becoming ill. To those who knew the couple he appeared to take great care of his wife. Just months later, though, Julie would fall into a coma and die. She had been poisoned. An investigation that began during the final days of her life would start to uncover the truth about James Keown. The smooth talking, intelligent man Julie had fallen for and married was a con artist who lied about everything. Computer forensics would reveal his sinister intentions.
Holly Bobo. April 13, 2011. Parsons, Tennessee. 20 year-old Holly Bobo gets up early to prepare for the day. She is to take an exam to complete her nursing degree. Shortly after 7:30am a neighbor hears a scream. Her dog will start barking and her brother will wake up. He will look outside and spot two people kneeling by Holly's car. He believes that his sister is speaking with her boyfriend. He cannot make out the conversation but he does hear her say, "No. Why?" It sounds like they might be going through a breakup. After speaking with his mother, though, he learns that her boyfriend is off hunting turkey and that the man that is with her is a stranger. His mother implores him to grab his gun and shoot him. By the time Clint Bobo understands the danger she may be in it is too late. She and the strange man have disappeared into the woods. Holly Bobo would never be seen alive again.
Bart Whitaker. December 10, 2003. Sugar Land, Texas. A 24 year-old man and his family go out one evening to celebrate his graduation from Sam Houston State University. Upon arriving home they are ambushed by a gunman waiting inside. The mother and her 19 year-old son are killed. The father and the older son whose graduation they were celebrating are hospitalized with injuries. The investigation finds its target early on as information comes in showing that the celebration was for nothing. Bart Whitaker was not graduating college. More people would come forward and this young man who was so loved by his family was found to be hiding a dark secret.
Kevin Green. September 30, 1979. Tustin, CA. A heated argument between a husband and his wife prompts him to leave. He will drive away to cool off and get something to eat. Later, when he returns, he discovers that his wife has been bludgeoned and raped. The attack was so severe that she suffered memory loss and much of her ability to hear or smell. After medical care she will get to go home. But a short time later something will come back to her. The memory of her husband as her attacker... Kevin Green will be arrested and convicted for the crime. Many years later a DNA hit will alert authorities to a troubling fact. They convicted the wrong man. Green's former wife, though, isn't buying into his innocence.
The Girl On The Train. In theaters on October 7th.
The Keddie Murders. April 12, 1981 Keddie, California. 14 year-old Shiela Sharp returns home and discovers the bodies of her mother, 36 year-old Glenna "Sue" Sharp, her brother, 15 year-old John, and his friend 17 year-old Dana Wingate. They had been bound, stabbed, beaten, and/or strangled to death.Her 12 year-old sister Tina was missing. Three years later, Tina's skull was found near a waterfall 29 geodesic miles from the cabin. Sue was getting divorced from her husband, but he had an alibi. Who else would have murdered them and why?
Pamela Smart. May 01, 1990. Derry, New Hampshire. A 22 year-old media services director at Winnacunnett High arrives home to discover the condominium that she shared with her husband dark and quiet. Once inside she would find him dead on the floor and their place ransacked. The investigation would stall early on until a young man went to police with information. This would ultimately lead to the arrests of five people. One of whom was the very wife of the of the murdered man. The four young men would cut deals while she maintained her innocence. Billy Flynn, just a sophomore at the high school, had become her lover and said that she had coerced him into killing her husband. Did Pamela Smart conspire to kill her husband? Or was she falsely implicated by the younger people she had become involved with?
The Dixmoor 5. Chicago, Illinois. November 19, 1991. A young teenager named Cateresa Matthews leaves her grandmother's house to go home but doesn't make it there. At first she is simply missing, but on December 8th of that year her body would be discovered in a field. She had been abducted, raped, and murdered. The police acted quickly and built a case against five boys who knew her. After a successful trial it seemed as though justice had been done but, due to a dna test on evidence collected from the victim, it later became clear that they had prosecuted five innocent people. Worse still, the prosecutors and the investigators were aware of this from almost the start of this case and prosecuted them anyway. Cateresa's mother as well as the Dixmoor 5 would find that, in Chicago, justice isn't always easy to come by.
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The Mary Morris Murders. October 2000. Houston, Texas. A woman drives to work one morning before 6am. Later that day her supervisor called her house to ask where she was. At 5pm, police arrive at the scene of a burned up Chevy Lumina with the remains of a body inside. Just a few days later, another woman calls a friend to say that someone at a drugstore was making her nervous. Within 15 minutes she would make a disturbing call to 911. Then she disappeared. The next morning she would be found in her car. She had been beaten and shot in the head. The families of the two women, as well as detectives, would be baffled by the similarities between the two cases. Particularly the fact that both women were named Mary Morris...
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Baton Rouge Serial Killer. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From 1998 to 2003, a serial killer was following, stalking, and violently murdering women. There was never any visible forced entry to the victims' homes and, for quite some time, law enforcement was sure that a white male in a white pickup was their suspect. The brazen killer would eventually be discovered and once his past was exposed, a clear picture of who he was and how he operated became chillingly clear.
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Rabia Chaudry. In 2000, a young man named Adnan Syed was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years for the murder of Hae Min Lee. Years later, This American Life's Sarah Koenig would cover his case on the first season of Serial. One woman had been the driving force behind getting Adnan's case more exposure and to fight to change his fate. Rabia Chaudry was a family friend who felt a great injustice had been done to him. The co-host from Undisclosed is more than just a podcaster. Famous for her advocacy for Adnan Syed, Rabia is also a lawyer and now an author. Her book, Adnan's Story, is a book about her life and the case for Adnan's innocence. The book is now available wherever books are sold.
Murder Of Robert Wone. August 2nd, 2006. A Washington D.C. attorney is invited to stay at his friends' house. He had started a new job and would be working late so he didn't feel like traveling back home. He arrives about 10:30pm and isn't there even an hour before he is discovered on a pullout bed with several knife wounds to his chest and abdomen. Those that were in the house with him, Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, Dylan Ward, claim an intruder must have entered the home and killed him. The case appears to get even more bizarre once details of the evening and of the crime scene become known. Who murdered Robert Wone?
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Brandon Lawson. August 9, 2013. Bronte, Texas. A 26 year-old man leaves his house late at night after an argument with his common-law wife. He had planned to drive to his dad's house to stay elsewhere for the night and cool off. His truck would run out of gas and he would make a number of calls. He called his wife but her phone was charging in her car. He called his brother who drove out to help him. He also called 911. When his brother and a sheriff's deputy arrived, the truck was empty and Brandon was nowhere to be found. Hauntingly, the 911 call seems to indicate that his life was in danger. Was he running from someone? Or did something else happen to Brandon Lawson?
Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Austin, Texas. August, 1995. America's most hated woman, along with her youngest son and granddaughter, goes missing. She was the leader and founder of American Atheists. An organization meant to enforce and fight for the separation of church and state. At first, this is not exactly surprising as many suspected that she had had enough and fled. Her eldest son, with whom she had abandoned once he became a Christian, called authorities after someone in the organization moved into his mother's house. Later, they discover that the three hadn't fled after all. They had been kidnapped. What's worse, they had been taken by someone who hated Madalyn Murray O'Hair more than anyone else and was bent on revenge...
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Updates 2016. Justin and Aaron give opinions on news and updates involving Steven Avery, Adnan Syed, Freddie Gray, Oscar Pistorius, Ethan Couch, Dylann Roof, Kendrick Johnson, and George Zimmerman. It has been a busy year and we have received many emails and messages asking us for our thoughts on each and every one of these cases. Steven Avery's lawyer, Kathleen Zellner has vowed to get him released. Adnan Syed won an appeal and had his conviction in the death of Hae Min Lee vacated and awaits a new trial. Freddie Gray's death prompted Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to charge the officers involved in his arrest, but has failed to get a single conviction. Federal investigators looked into the Kendrick Johnson death at his high school and then abandoned their investigation.
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Charlie Brandt. January 3, 1971. Fort Wayne, Indiana. A 13 year-old boy walks into his parents' bathroom carrying a gun. His father is shaving and his pregnant mother is taking a bath. Their son would shoot his father then his mother despite their pleas. His 15 year-old sister was his next target but the gun merely clicked. After a physical confrontation he would give up. Later, due to his age, he would be sent for treatment at an Indianapolis mental hospital. Over the next three decades he would seemingly live a normal life until the year 2004. While he and his wife were staying with her niece his urge to kill resurfaced. When law enforcement officers arrived on the scene they found him hanging in the garage, his wife dead on the couch from multiple stab wounds, and his niece mutilated in her bedroom. It was a scene not unlike that left behind by Jack the Ripper. Charlie Brandt's secrets would start to come out.
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Sean Drenth. Oct. 18, 2010. A Phoenix police sergeant seems to have a great life. He has a great marriage and a young child. He is also well respected in his department. One night, though, changes everything. He would be discovered on the ground outside of his patrol car. His life had ended by way of a shotgun that now rested vertically, barrel up, on his chest. According to the investigation, though, there are questions about the placement of the weapon. How could a shotgun discharge and come to rest as it did? Other evidence points to murder as well, but the medical examiner finds Drenth's death to be a suicide. Many in the department disagree with this finding. Did Sgt. Sean Drenth commit suicide? Or was he murdered...and why?
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Death of Diren Dede. April 27, 2014. Missoula, Montana. When homeowners are burglarized multiple times and the police seem to be able to offer little to no support, they choose to take other measures. They set up a camera and motion sensors in their open garage and wait for another burglar. A high school student named Diren Dede enters the open garage within a few days and the homeowner, Marcus Kaarma, heads outside armed with his shotgun. Diren is shot and killed. Kaarma feels he acted within his rights as defined by Montana's 'castle law'. Police and prosecutors disagreed.
Jane Doe January. A woman is raped in her own apartment by an unknown man who had made his way into her building. Despite supportive family and law enforcement, it would be two decades before the identity of the rapist would be discovered. Bringing the man to justice would become her mission and she set about researching him and doing what she had to do to have charges brought against him. Along the way she would have to deal with challenges as well as an important question as she approached a trial date: Will her progress over all of these years diminish what he did to her? Emily Winslow speaks candidly about what happened to her and what she learned about the system, and herself, in her quest for justice.
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Martha Haney. Williamston, MI. Back in 1897, a man returns home from work to eat some lunch. He will make a gruesome discovery involving his mother. Her head has been removed and has been placed on a platter at the dinner table. She had been murdered with an axe. Her murderer would turn out to be his own wife, Martha. What would provoke such an attack? Joining us was author Rod Sadler whose book, To Hell I Must Go, provides the details on Michigan's own version of Lizzie Borden. His genealogical research brought this story to his attention as his great-great-grandfather was the sheriff in Williamston at the time and handled the case until its conclusion.
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Olivia Mabel. A Celina, Texas woman goes down a dark path after her son dies in an accident. Authorities would be alerted after receiving silent 911 calls from her home. Once inside they discovered what she had been doing for almost 3 years. A makeshift altar, a doll fashioned from a stick, and letters to her son were in front of her lifeless body. They say her grief may have prompted her to manifest an entity that turned evil. We will break this tale down and discuss why stories like this are so popular.
Alfred Wright. November 7, 2013. Sabine County, TX. A 28 year-old man is on his way to a client's house for a physical therapy appointment when his truck overheats and he is forced to pull up outside of a liquor store. He calls his wife to request a ride. Since she is home with their two sick kids, she calls her father and mother-in-law to ask them to pick him up. She calls her husband's phone again to let him know and hears heavy breathing on the other end. Her concerned questions go unanswered. When his parents arrive he is missing. Two and a half weeks later his body would be found nearby. He only had on underwear, two shoes, and a single sock. An autopsy would reveal several drugs in his system and indicated an accidental death. At the request of his family, another pathologist would take a look and she suspected homicide. Did he cause his own death or was he murdered?
The Death of Tina Watson. When a newly married couple travel to Australia for their honeymoon, they expect to have the time of their lives. While scuba diving, though, something terrible would happen. The husband would surface without his wife. His version of events would characterize her death as an accident. She had dislodged his mask and after taking care of that he discovered that she was sinking down below him and he just couldn't save her so he went up to get help. Others, such as her father and a close friend, would challenge his story and the husband would be arrested amid suspicions of foul play. Did Gabe Watson murder his wife? Or was Tina's drowning death merely an accident?
Kansas City Firefighters Case 3. Pat O'Connor, a researcher and editor, has done extensive research into the arson fires and explosions that rocked Kansas City in 1988 and took the lives of six Kansas City firemen. For him, there are many issues with this case that he cannot dismiss. From a stalled investigation to a big reward for information, this case took many years to reach a conclusion. But has this case been solved? Or were the Marlborough Five simply easy targets for a city seeking justice? This is the third episode in a four part series.
The Bain Family Murders. June 20, 1994. Dunedin, New Zealand. A 22 year-old man sets out on his newspaper route early in the morning. Sometime after returning home before 7am, he discovers some members of his immediate family have been murdered. Police would find more victims and the victims were identified as 59 year-old Robin (father), 50 year-old Margaret (mother), 19 year-old Arawa (daughter), 18 year-old Laniet (daughter), 14 year-old Stephen (son). Initially, the scene suggested a murder/suicide. A rifle was found on the floor next to Robin's body. As the investigation continued, though, all signs began to point toward the only surviving member of this home. The 22 year-old son, David Cullen Bain, who also happened to have an alibi.
Author Ron Franscell. True crime author Ron Franscell talks about forensic pathology and justice. The author's latest book, Morgue: A Life In Death, was co-written with Dr. Vincent DiMaio, who has performed more than 9000 autopsies. His expertise and experience makes him one of the leading forensic pathologists in the country. We discuss some of the cases Dr. DiMaio has been involved in as well as other related topics.
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Untold Stories of Ted Bundy. The infamous serial killer never revealed all of his secrets and questions remain about his life and his murders. Those who knew him have been interviewed by author Kevin Sullivan who has written his second book on Bundy. He joined the podcast to discuss the book and the newly revealed information about one of the most well known serial killers in history.
Texas Killing Fields. True crime author Kathryn Casey has written a book on the infamous I-45 corridor in Texas where over the span of three decades more than twenty young women were murdered by different serial killers. Her book, 'Deliver Us: Three Decades of Murder and Redemption in the Infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields', tells the stories of those who lost their lives, the families and friends who searched for them, the killers who were responsible, and the efforts of investigators in the years since who have sought to solve these cases.
The Yorkshire Ripper. In the 1970s, a serial killer would begin murdering women in places like Leeds and Bradford in the UK. The police would make assumptions and errors in judgment which would allow the killer to continue murdering far longer than otherwise may have been the case. His weapons were hammers, screwdrivers, knives. He murdered thirteen and injured another seven. What motivated Peter Sutcliffe to kill? Did a prostitute short him some money? Did God instruct him to kill these women as he has also claimed? In the end, this case had a profound effect on how the police investigate serial murderers.
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Kim Thomas. Charlotte, NC. In 1990, a kidney specialist arrives home late one night to the sound of his crying child. After retrieving the 13 month-old from his crib, he discovers the body of his wife in their living room. She had been handcuffed behind her back and killed with a knife or some other sharp instrument. It appears as though the attack began while she was sleeping. When investigators look into the murder they will end up with two very different suspects. Was this a crime of passion? Or a robbery gone wrong? Did her husband murder her to avoid a costly divorce? Or did a laborer with a history of violence and theft in that area commit the crime?
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Kansas City Firefighters Case. For our second episode in this series, we interview two retired Kansas City firefighters about the 1988 Kansas City arson case that took the lives of six of their fellow firefighters. The fires were found to be the result of arson. They describe the impact that this crime had on fire departments and tell us just how this case has changed the way firefighters respond to calls.
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Zebb Quinn. January 2nd, 2000. Asheville, NC. After work one evening, a young man named Zebb follows an acquaintance, Jason, by car to look at a vehicle he is interested in buying from an auto dealership. A call to his pager, though, would interrupt his intended drive and cause him to become very anxious. He would leave in his car to find a pay phone. When he returned to where Jason was waiting for him, he was so upset that he struck Jason's vehicle with his own. He promised Jason that he would settle up with him later, but that he had to go. About two weeks later, Zebb's car is found in a parking lot across the street from the hospital his mother works at. There was no sign of Zebb. Bob Ruff, host of Truth Justice Podcast, will join us for a discussion of the case and what each of us thinks led to the disappearance of Zebb Quinn.
Elizabeth Bathory. The infamous Hungarian countess was born in 1560. She would grow up to be a highly educated and powerful figure. By 1610, though, she would find herself accused of heinous crimes, investigated, arrested. The accusations had begun soon after the death of her husband, Ferenc Nadasdy in 1604. Her supposed crimes included the murders of hundreds of servant girls, involving torture and bloodletting to allow the countess to bathe in their blood. For much of history these allegations against her widely accepted. In more recent years, research done on her life and her supposed criminal history seems to suggest a completely different history for Elizabeth Bathory. Was she a deadly serial murderer? Or was the countess the victim of a political plot to seize power away from her?
Kansas City Firefighters Case Part 1. We revisit one of our first cases by conducting interviews and discussing the various aspects of the case. The 1988 arson fires and subsequent explosions cost the lives of six Kansas City firefighters. Five people were eventually charged and convicted. While some believe this is an open and shut case, others see many outstanding questions regarding the guilt of those five and how they were prosecuted. This is an introductory episode to familiarize listeners with the basics of the case and how we chose to cover it.
Amy Lynn Bradley. March 24, 1998. A family trip aboard a Caribbean cruise ship seemed like a great idea. Ron Iva Bradley, along with their two grown children, Amy Brad, were not able to enjoy the trip for long. Just a few days into their vacation, around 6am, Amy went missing. A frantic search by the family found no trace of her. The cruise line would offer little assistance. Adding to their worries was the discovery that photos of Amy taken by the ship's photo service went missing hours before she did. Had she been kidnapped? Was she thrown overboard? Where is Amy Lynn Bradley?
Aileen Wuornos. Author Sue Russell is interviewed about the life and crimes of Aileen Wuornos. Aileen was the subject of the award winning film, 'Monster' and played by actress Charlize Theron. The serial killer was known to have a difficult life and would go on to claim the lives of at least seven men. Russell's book is titled, 'Lethal Intent' and is as thorough as possible in it's coverage of one of the most controversial figures in true crime history. We discuss her upbringing, her relationships, what might have led her to become a serial murderer.
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Dennis Rader. January 15th, 1974. Wichita, KS. A boy opens the back door to let the family dog out and a man makes his way into the house. He is armed with a gun. The family inside consists of a husband and wife as well as two of their five children. They have no idea that the man is there to kill them. Expecting only to be robbed they are compliant at first. His pattern would be to bind them, torture them, kill them. These four were just the beginning. For 30 years he would elude the authorities. Then, in 2004, an arrest is made. His own family was shocked. In his confession, serial killer Dennis Rader detailed his crimes and revealed how he operated.
Jaryd Atadero. Allyn Atadero shares the painful story of how his 3 year-old son Jaryd went missing in the Colorado mountains. He had gone with his sister and a group of adults to visit a nearby fish hatchery. Without notifying Allyn, the group would later decide to drive to a trail to hike on that was 16 miles away. While on the trail, the adults would lose sight of Jaryd. The search for the boy encountered many obstacles and it would be almost four years before some evidence finally came to light. Many questions remain unanswered in this case. Allyn learned a lot from this experience and has used this knowledge to educate others on trail safety and to assist other parents who face similar challenges. He and his twin brother, Arlyn, wrote a book about Jaryd's story titled, 'Missing: When the Son Sets'.
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SketchCop. Our special guest for this episode was forensic facial imaging expert and author, Sergeant (Ret.) Michael W. Streed. He has a new book out titled, 'Sketchcop: Drawing A Line Against Crime'. He is quite personable and very knowledgeable about crime and investigations. Just how much impact has forensic facial imaging had on apprehending criminals? How did he become interested in such a career? What are some of the memorable cases he has personally been involved with? What does he think of allegations that Gene Kusche's Steven Avery sketch was drawn from a mugshot? SketchCop is published through WildBlue Press.
The Philadelphia Experiment. Philadelphia, PA. In 1943, the USS Eldridge is said to have been outfitted with special equipment. Tests were conducted to see if the US Navy could achieve the unbelievable. Albert Einstein's unified field theory sought to be the ultimate achievement. A theory of everything. With such knowledge the unbelievable could become possible. In the case of the Eldridge, the Navy was going for invisibility. The enemy cannot hit what they do not see. During testing, though, strange events would occur and testing would be halted. What happened to the crew aboard the destroyer? Did the destroyer actually disappear? Were some of the sailors partially buried in the metal of the ship? The Navy denies any such tests occurred. Is there any truth to the story of The Philadelphia Experiment?
Steven Avery 2. Our second episode takes a look at the evidence in the case and we also explore the innocence angle. While some say he makes for the best suspect, there are many issues with the way the investigation was handled. Furthermore, the conflict of interest by Manitowoc County in this entire situation definitely has the public doubting the conviction of both Avery Dassey. Thank you to all who provided information to us and answered our questions. This case is far from over.
Steven Avery. September 11, 2003. Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Steven Avery is released from prison after serving 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. On October 31, 2005, Auto Trader photographer, Teresa Halbach, would go missing after visiting the Avery salvage yard to photograph a van. Her disappearance would be brought to the attention of the authorities three days later. Within a week, Steven Avery would again be arrested. This time around there seemed to be plenty of evidence of his guilt. Between the investigation and his subsequent trial, questions would be raised about the evidence collection and the actions of the sheriff's department that had been wrong about him in the past. Could the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department be wrong about Avery a second time? Could they possibly have even set him up to end his pending $36 million civil suit? Or did Steven Avery really murder the missing photographer and cremate her remains on his property?
December 24, 2002. Modesto, CA. A pregnant woman disappears while supposedly walking her dog. After authorities are notified, they react quickly in the hopes of discovering her whereabouts. It will not take long before one man becomes the focus of the investigation. Her husband, Scott. Suspicious circumstantial evidence turns up, including hair in a pair of pliers consistent with his wife's as well as evidence of 5 homemade cement anchors of which only one remains. Could he have murdered her and weighted her down to hide her in the bay where he claims to have gone fishing? Months later, the bodies of Laci Peterson as well as that of her unborn son are found near the bay about a mile apart. It appears as though they had washed ashore. A jury would ultimately find Scott guilty. Some say that Scott was not given a fair trial and that his conviction was not supported by enough evidence. Was there a sufficient case made to prove his guilt? Or did his questionable lifestyle doom him from the start? A true crime episode.
H.H. Holmes. Chicago, Illinois. Some murder to satisfy dark urges. Others kill out of passion. In the late 1800's, one man may have murdered for profit. Setting up shop in Chicago, Herman Webster Mudgett purchased a drug store and was said to have built a hotel in anticipation of The World's Fair. Much of his time was spent committing fraud, but people around him were constantly disappearing. Eventually, this would lead to his capture. Once his building was investigated, it was indeed found to contain trap doors, hidden rooms, secret passages. People speculated on what the man now known as H.H. Holmes was up to for all those years. Is Erik Larson's book, The Devil In The White City, as well as the upcoming Martin Scorsese film of the same title, an accurate account? Was H.H. Holmes also Jack the Ripper? Mysterious Chicago's Adam Selzer joined us to to discuss this dangerous swindler and to separate fact from fiction.
Freddie Gray. Baltimore, Maryland. A 25 year-old man makes eye contact with a police officer and runs. He is pursued and apprehended within a minute. A search of his person revealed a knife that the officers deemed to be illegal. He is arrested and would be placed into a police van for transport to the police station. Sometime between his arrest and his arrival at the station, he is seriously injured and becomes unresponsive. Inside of a week he would undergo double surgery on his spine, go into a coma, die. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby would levy charges against six officers as a result of what occurred. Was his death an accident or murder? Or was it something else? As criticism and distrust of law enforcement grows, what can be done to restore trust in those who have vowed to protect and serve?
Personal Stories 3. The Generation Why hosts are back with another set of personal stories. Justin tells the story of a murder and kidnapping that involved a friend's mother. Aaron speaks about a ufo that he witnessed on the way home one night. This is our last podcast episode of the year. We have enjoyed bringing stories of true crime, mysteries, controversies, even the paranormal to you in 2015. Happy Holidays, everyone. We'll be back in 2016.
Samantha's Story. December 8th, 2007. Manitoba, Canada. Young love can blind us to even the most extreme red flags. Samantha had always hoped to meet a bad boy one day who could also be a loving man. Sometimes you get what you wish for, but the lifestyles some men lead can have dire consequences. Falling in love with Bekim would take her down a path of love and loss that changed the course of her life forever. For better or worse, until death do them part. Samantha spoke with Justin about this personal story of love, life, drugs, death.
The Titanic Conspiracy. In 1912, the RMS Titanic was the largest luxury liner in the world. In April of that year it would set off on its maiden voyage. Carrying over 2200 passengers crew, the ship was to ultimately travel to New York, but on April 14th disaster struck. An iceberg would damage the ship and would cause seawater to flood and sink her. Just over 700 would be rescued. Many years later, though, a man would come up with a theory. That this 'disaster' was no accident. The sister ship to the Titanic, the Olympic, had been damaged in a collision with a British cruiser, the HMS Hawke in 1911. Because it was damaged so extensively, a scheme was hatched where the two ships would be switched. The Olympic could go down and insurance claims made to recover the cost. Meanwhile, the Titanic could go on to make White Star Line money as the Olympic. Is there evidence supporting this theory? Did JP Morgan really endanger all of those people just to protect his company?
Author Stephen Williams. December 24, 1990. St. Catharines, Canada. A 15 year-old girl is enjoying the evening with her older sister and her sister's boyfriend at their parents' house. What she doesn't know is that her drink has been laced with sedatives. Later, she will be sexually assaulted by both and would die as a result of the attack. The details of what happened that night are disturbing, but this couple was far from finished. With her sister's death ruled an accident, Karla Homolka Paul Bernardo would go on to attack other young women. Joining us will be author Stephen Williams who has written two books on the case and has corresponded with Karla herself. How his life changed because of his research into this case is also beyond belief. Be sure to read Invisible Darkness Karla, his two books on the infamous couple.
Ruby Ridge. August 21, 1992. An isolated cabin in northern Idaho owned by Randy Weaver and his family is being monitored by US Marshals due to his missing a court date for a federal weapons violation charge. When the family's dog alerts them to danger, shots are fired leaving the man's son, his dog, a Marshal dead. The government's response would be strong. 400+ officers, including snipers that were under rules to shoot armed adults on the property. Before the standoff ended, two more from the cabin would be injured and one more would die. How did the situation escalate so quickly? Was the government justified in changing the rules of engagement? Ruby Ridge was intended to provide an escape from tyrannical government, but for the Weavers it had the opposite effect.
Lululemon Murder. March 11, 2011. After two women close the Bethesda Lululemon Athletica store for the evening, they go their separate ways. Shortly after, one of them, Brittany Norwood, reaches out to the other, Jayna Murray, by phone to say that she had forgotten her wallet. Jayna agrees. They would enter the yoga store and leave it unlocked behind them. Before they could leave again they would be jumped. Both women would be attacked, leaving Brittany wounded and Jayna dead. But all of these details were given by the survivor and one detective would suspect that her story wasn't true. A true crime podcast.
Kurt Cobain. April 5, 1994. Shortly after arriving at a rehab center, a musician flees and heads back home to Seattle. Unbeknownst to his friends and family, he has hit the end of his road. Struggling with a heroin addiction and the realization that he could not change his course, he had made the decision to end his life. With his heroin, syringes, and a shotgun, he made his way to his greenhouse. In this room, essentially an attic, he would inject high doses of heroin and then turn the shotgun on himself and commit suicide. A suicide note would be left to convey the Nirvana singer's final words. That is the official story, anyway. Stories persist that this wasn't a suicide at all. Rumored to be responsible was none other than his wife, Courtney Love, who they say used him to gain money and fame. Did she kill her husband? Or was Kurt Cobain simply a tortured man who wanted to end his misery?
The Original Night Stalker. In the mid to late 70's, the East Area Rapist rapist was operating around East Sacramento, California. In the dark of night he would enter their homes and wake them. With a light shone in their faces, he growled commands through gritted teeth. Their wrists and ankles would be bound tightly with a diamond knot. Always one step ahead of authorities, he could not be stopped. Eventually he began to murder those he chose to attack. He has never been captured. A true crime episode.
May 28, 1981. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A woman is discovered bound, gagged, shot. Her two sons were home with her and see a person fleeing the scene. The woman's ex-husband, a police officer, makes for a good suspect until he comes up with an alibi. A neighbor reports a plumbing issue and a wig is retrieved. The investigation would then focus on his new wife. Suspected of wearing a wig during the crime, they also decided that she must have used her husband's gun as well as a key that he had which would let her gain entry. The motive? Anger over alimony that her husband was having to pay the victim. A trial would end in a guilty verdict. Was she really guilty of this crime? Or was she wrongfully convicted? A true crime episode.
Hinterkaifeck. March 31, 1922. Groebern, Germany. Unsettling events led to horrific murders. A farmer reported to neighbors that he had seen footprints in the snow leading up to the back of his farmhouse from the woods, but not leading back out. Strange noises could be heard in the attic later, but a search revealed no evidence of an intruder. A missing key and scratches on a door lock further raised the farmer's suspicions. On March 31, each of the five Gruber and Gabriel family members, as well as a maid who had started working just that day, were murdered with a mattock. Even more mysterious, whomever had committed the horrible crimes stayed on for days after to attend to the animals on the farm and to eat and sleep there. Who could have done this and why? Was it someone they knew? Or was it just a psychotic person who stumbled across the remote farmstead? A true crime episode.
The Enfield Poltergeist. August 1977. Enfield, England. Peggy Hodgson contacts the police after furniture in her children's bedroom appears to move on its own. A series of witnesses and investigators over the next year would report seeing a child levitate, toys thrown by an unseen force, an unsettling, raspy voice coming from a young girl, as well as other strange phenomena. Things get creepier at the Enfield house when the voice seems to confirm that it belongs to a man who had died in the home prior to Peggy and her children moving in. Was a poltergeist responsible for the mischief in the house? Images and audio collected during periods of activity seem to support such a possibility. Join us as we attempt to tear the sheet off of the mystery known as the Enfield Poltergeist.
Matthew Hoffman. November 10, 2010. Howard, Ohio. Matthew Hoffman was an unemployed tree surgeon who entered a home to rob it. Or so he says. Three people ended up dead and a fourth, a 13 year-old girl, kidnapped and sexually assaulted for days before being rescued by a SWAT team. This seems like an open shut case, but questions remain. What drove Hoffman to do what he did? Was it a robbery gone wrong or had he been stalking the young girl? And why is he so obsessed with trees? A true crime case.
Satanic Panic. August 12, 1983. Judy Johnson calls the Manhattan Beach police to report that the 25 year-old son of the owner of the McMartin preschool had molested her two and a half year-old son. In October of that year, Children's Institute International began interviewing potential victims of ritual, sexual abuse by employees of the school. By March, seven in all are charged with 115 counts of child sexual abuse. In the end, just two of them would face court and seven years and $15 million dollars later the entire prosecution of the members of the daycare center would end with a whimper. Who was Judy Johnson and why did she suspect her child had been molested? What did the children say happened at the school? What evidence did investigators uncover? Did the devil do it? Joel Osteen Damien Echols are perceived as polar opposites, but just how big of a part do our perceptions play in this? How big of a role was the media and why?
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Cody Legebokoff. November 27, 2010. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer observes a truck speeding after it drives on to the highway and pulls it over. Inside the truck sat a young man with blood on his face and legs. The occupant would claim that he had poached a deer. Taking him at his word, a conservation officer was called who traced the path of the truck back to a logging road. The tire tracks would continue down to the lifeless body of a woman. The young man was no poacher. He was a killer. Joining us will be author JT Hunter who has written a book on Canada's youngest serial killer, Cody Legebokoff.
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Updates 2015. Justin Aaron discuss updates that occurred this year on cases they have discussed in the past. Amanda Knox, Hannah Overton, Brian Carrick, the Elkhart 4, Adnan Syed, Flight MH370, more.
This episode has been professionally restored. We are re-releasing it so that the audience can finally hear and understand the interview. Hauptmann’s Ladder Restored. Author Richard T Cahill Jr. joins the podcast to discuss his book, ‘Hauptmann’s Ladder’. This highly researched look into the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case may finally put an end to questions people have had over the years regarding the investigation, convicted suspect ‘Bruno’ Hauptmann, John Condon, Cemetery John, the trial, Charles Lindbergh himself. We highly recommend that interested listeners read Cahill's book. It is one of the very best true crime books you'll ever read.
Ben Padilla. May 25, 2003. A plane in Angola is being repaired after sitting idle for 14 months. A company had been leasing it, but had not been making payments on it and had accrued a massive bill just sitting at an airport. The owner of the plane had hired a man, Ben Padilla, to oversee a team of mechanics to get the 727 flight-ready. All of the seats beyond the cabin had been removed so that the plane could carry more than 5000 gallons of diesel fuel in 10 large tanks. For unknown reasons the plane would suddenly enter a runway and take off. Onboard were Padilla and a man from the Republic of Congo, John Mutantu. The plane and its occupants would not be seen again. Why was the plane stolen and where are the two men?
QA. Justin and Aaron answer questions submitted to the podcast by listeners. Questions about our lives, our hobbies, episode topics, more. If you have ever had any questions about us or our episodes they may just be answered on this special edition of The Generation Why Podcast.
Zach Witman. October 2nd, 1998. A 13 year-old arrives home after school and is ambushed just after getting through the front door. He would be attacked with a knife and stabbed more than sixty times. His older brother, home sick that day, would call for help within minutes of the attack and report finding his […]
Charles Manson Behind Bars. The most infamous person in modern U.S. history? A career criminal who became a cult leader and ordered his followers to murder innocent people is what he became known for, but he has spent much of his life incarcerated. What do we know about Charles Manson? Can he even tell us? […]
White House Farm Murders. A wealthy farmer and his wife are spending an evening with their adopted daughter and her twin sons. That night the unthinkable would happen. Their adopted son who lived just miles away phoned police to report that his father had called him saying that his sister had a gun and had […]
Amelia Earhart. In the history of aviation, one woman stands out. Dreading a mundane life spurred her on to be a pilot and to attempt flights that most wouldn’t dare at the time. An inspiration to women around the world and an ability to draw large crowds meant that she was a celebrity and an […]
Sandra Bland Commentary. On this bonus episode we speak mostly off the cuff about the Sandra Bland situation. Sandra was asked to pull off of the Texas highway she was on after she failed to signal before changing lanes. After a verbal confrontation with the officer, Sandra was told that she could exit her vehicle. […]
Billy Meier Research. Mahesh Karumudi, from India, is an independent researcher who has done extensive investigation into the Billy Meier contacts case. He discusses his initial interest in Meier and his subsequent quest for verification of his many claims. He explains his findings on Meier’s claims of space images purported to be taken from spacecraft, […]
February 21, 2002. When a 6 month-old is dropped after bathing by her mother’s boyfriend, he believes that she will be ok and later puts her down to sleep. After the mother arrives home and checks on her she finds that her daughter is turning blue and is having trouble breathing. Unfortunately, young Chloe doesn’t […]
The Deaths At Spreckels Mansion. After a young boy is gravely injured in a fall at his father’s home in California, his father his birth mother head to the hospital, hoping praying for him to recover. Just two days later, his father’s girlfriend is found hanging from an outside balcony. As she had […]
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The Strange Case of Billy Meier. At 5 years of age it is said that Eduard first met an extraterrestrial human. It would be just the start. Contact with others beyond our Earth would continue for decades. He would go on to be considered a prophet, an author, a cult figure, a space traveler, […]
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The Norway Shooter. On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik executed two attacks within his own country of Norway. He began his acts of terrorism with a car bomb in Oslo that killed 8 and wounded more than 200 and ended with a massacre of many dozens of people on the island of Utøya. He is […]
Bermuda Triangle Mystery. A triangular area, covering at least 500,000 square miles, has its vertices at Miami, FL, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the island of Bermuda. Within these boundaries it is said to have cost the lives of over 100 people and more than 1000 ships planes. Stories have been told of the […]
Charleston Shooting. June 17th, 2015. A young man entered Emanuel AME Church and sat for about an hour as a Reverend led members of the church through bible study. He later stood up and announced that he was there ‘to shoot black people’. Nine of the twelve in attendance would lose their lives. With race […]
Personal Stories 2. We both recount more recent personal stories. Justin begins with his story of going for a ride along with a Kansas City police officer. He had requested one to learn more about what police officers daily routines are like and to help him gain a better understanding of how they view and […]
JonBenet Ramsey Case. This is a lengthy discussion on the events and the evidence, that stands out to us, in one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in U.S. history. In 1996, a family would return home from a Christmas party and the youngest, aged six, would be put to bed immediately having fallen asleep […]
Natalee Holloway Disappearance. May 2005. Heading off to an island in the Caribbean with friends and classmates for her high school graduation trip ought to have been a dream come true for an 18 year-old girl from Alabama. And it was until the final day. Following a night at a bar, her tripmates made their […]
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Mary Bell. In 1968, an 11 year-old girl in England is charged with two murders. The victims were 4 and 3 years-old. She had been in trouble many times previously for her abusive behavior but nothing was ever done about it. Could her unhappy home life, an uncaring prostitute mother and a drunken father, produce […]
The Norfolk Four. In 1997, the young wife of a Navy man is sexually assaulted, stabbed, strangled to death in her apartment in Norfolk, Virginia. Over time, eight different men would be charged with the crime. Confessions were extracted from five of them and the remaining three were released as they had ironclad alibis. […]
The Zodiac Killer Hoax of 1986. Thomas Henry Horan returns after publishing two books on the Zodiac killer. Both set out to show just how this serial killer of the late 1960’s was nothing more than an imagined character. If there was no Zodiac killer then who murdered these victims? Did the police have good […]
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Edythe Klumpp. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Bill Bergen is living with another woman after separating from his wife, Louise. As time goes on he begins expressing a desire to patch things up with her. Edythe, his live-in lover, does not approve and Bill is caught between the two. When Louise’s badly burned body is later discovered, […]
No Stone Unturned. When a person disappears there may not be much to go on to aid in the search. Depending on where they were last seen, or suspected to have been taken to, specialists may be required to thoroughly investigate and locate the individual or to cross the area off completely as a site […]
Loch Ness Monster. Is there a large, unknown creature living in Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland? In 1934, a now famous photograph purports to show the world that such a creature does live there. Since then, many more sightings and additional images even videos claim to lend credence to this idea. What […]
Jeffrey MacDonald Case. In 1970, a doctor places an early morning call to report the unthinkable. His wife and children have been murdered in their home at Fort Bragg. While he is injured, he will live. An initial investigation seems to clear him of any involvement in the deaths of his family, but due to […]
Trayvon Martin. When a self-appointed neighborhood watchman pursues a suspicious young man no one could have predicted that it would end with a death, a trial, and a national debate on race profiling. The finding of the jury is well known, but was it correct? Was the shooting justified? Is this case just a […]
The Zodiac Killer. His attacks were accompanied by phone calls letters that taunted police and threatened harm on others. Just what do we really know about these killings? What evidence have investigators collected over the years? Does anyone truly know the identity of the killer as some authors have recently suggested? Is this case […]
The Warrens The Paranormal. Colin Fitzgerald joins the podcast for a discussion of the most famous paranormal investigators in modern times: The Warrens. They were long considered the experts on the paranormal and have investigated many famous hauntings such as The Amityville Horror case. Ed passed away some years ago, but Lorraine soldiers on. […]
MV Joyita. In 1931 a film director has a ship built and names it after his wife. From the time of its construction it seemed cursed. A shipbuilder would fall to his death while working on the vessel. The most tragic event, though, would happen 24 years later. After failing to arrive at its destination, […]
Robert Durst. Justin and Aaron approach this case from two different angles. One has watched HBO’s The Jinx and the other hasn’t. Is Robert Durst jinxed? Or is he a cold-blooded murderer who seems to be beyond the law? His family’s business is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and yet he seemed to have […]
Steven Truscott. In the summer of 1959, a 14 year-old boy gives a ride to a 12 year-old female classmate on his bicycle. He would be the last person seen with her before her body was discovered two days later. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Why was he with her instead of his […]
Madeleine McCann. In May of 2007, a young English girl, on holiday with her parents in Portugal, would go missing. There were no witnesses as she and her younger twin siblings had been left alone in the apartment that evening while her parents dined with friends at a restaurant nearby. A search was conducted, but […]
Peter Dupas. Maria Lewis, a journalist from Australia, speaks with us about Peter Dupas. This serial killer would not only stab, rape, and murder women, but he would also avoid serious prison time or scrutiny for many years. Was it due to his soft, unimposing appearance? How did authorities miss the warning signs? When you […]
D.B. Cooper: A Skydiver’s Analysis. David Robinson, a USPA licensed skydiver, joins the podcast to analyze D.B. Cooper’s jump and assess whether he could have survived. We discuss the parachutes, the weather, and the choices the hijacker made. If this case fascinates you then you’ll want to hear this follow-up to our recent episode on […]
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Dixie Shanahan. Author, and investigative journalist, John Ferak, joins the podcast to discuss the murder of Scott Shanahan by his wife, Dixie. The Iowan wife and mother had suffered domestic abuse for years before finally taking the law into her own hands. Once she was arrested, the question was whether or not she was justified […]
D.B. Cooper. Thanksgiving Eve, 1971. An average looking man in a suit, a tie, and an overcoat pays for a one-way ticket at the Northwest Orient counter for flight 305 out of Portland, Oregon. The flight was scheduled to depart at 2:50pm PST for Seattle. The man boarded the plane and sat down in his […]
Marjorie Caldwell. A wealthy heiress decides to adopt a young girl named Marjorie in 1934 and moves her into her mansion in the hopes of giving her a good life. Unbeknownst to her the young girl is troubled and may be a danger to all who are around her. In the summer of 1977, the […]
David Hooks. On the night of September 24, 2014, David Hooks was in bed and his wife Teresa was in her upstairs craft room. She became aware of a vehicle racing down her driveway and immediately feared that their house would be violated a second time. Just two nights before, their home had been burglarized […]
Scott Bonn. Professor of Criminology, Scott Bonn, joins us on the podcast to discuss the fascination that so many seem to have with serial killers. Why would someone want to collect items from people who have committed such atrocities? How have murderers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer become so popular in the media? Dr. […]
Oak Island Money Pit. What began in 1795 as a simple discovery of a circular depression in the ground has led, over the years, to many excavations made of the money pit on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. Coins, chests, a body, other items of interests have been claimed to have been discovered […]
Nikola Tesla. We discuss Tesla, his achievements, his rivals, the many myths that surround him. Does he deserve greater credit than history has bestowed upon him thus far? Or was he just another inventor at the time? Did he lose out to Thomas Edison? Did he invent radio? Did his ‘death beam’ ever come […]
Elisa Lam. TJ returns to the podcast to discuss the mysterious case of Elisa Lam with us. What began as a viral video of what appeared to be a disturbed or possibly haunted woman in a hotel elevator has now become a solved case as far as the LAPD are concerned. Yet, questions remain. How […]
The Elkhart 4. In October of 2012, three teenagers and an adult decided to rob a house. Another teenager in the group stayed across the street. Either as a lookout or because he lost his nerve. Finding one that appeared vacant they knocked and rang the doorbell to make sure that the house was indeed […]
In Broad Daylight. Author Harry MacLean joins the podcast to talk about Skidmore, Missouri and the man who terrorized its citizens for years unabated. At least until the town had enough of the rapes, assaults, thefts, and harassment. What happened in 1981 was like a story from the wild west. Did the town do the […]
Robert Arthur. The author of You Will Die joins us to discuss how taboos have led Americans to accept laws that fly in the face of reason. From the drug war, to prostitution, to our ever growing prison population, we have been manipulated into putting up with an unjust system. One of the most obvious […]
Death of Princess Diana. On August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, suffered traumatic injuries and later died after the Mercedes-Benz she and her entourage were traveling in struck a concrete pillar. Her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, as well as the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died instantly. Fayed’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the lone […]
What Happened To Brian Carrick? In late December of 2002, a 17 year-old heads across the street from his house to his place of employment. The grocery store, Val’s Foods, is owned by the Casciaro family. The young man is never seen or heard from again. Suspicion falls upon Mario, the owner’s son, after an […]
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Ferguson Grand Jury. Since an unarmed man was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, MO, the public has waited for a grand jury to decide whether or not the officer, Darren Wilson, should be indicted. The verdict is now in. Was the grand jury’s decision justified? Will the controversy continue? Is change […]
United Airlines Flight 629. In 1955, a four-engine prop plane carrying 39 passengers and 5 crew members exploded over Longmont, Colorado. Early into the investigation it was quite obvious that this was no accident. The plane had been sabotaged. The question was why. As the evidence mounted, a clear suspect was revealed, arrested tried. […]
Lori Erica Ruff. In 2010, a woman in Texas named Lori Ruff parked her Tahoe in the driveway of the house where her estranged husband Blake had been living since he had walked out on her after their relationship had soured. The house belonged to his parents and it was his father who discovered her […]
Dyatlov Pass Incident. In 1959, 23 year-old Igor Dyatlov led eight other men and women on a trek to a mountain. They were all experienced hikers and skiers. Equipped with cameras and journals, they documented their journey. What ought to have been a simple vacation turned to horror as all nine were found dead under […]
The Cleveland Strangler. Robert Sberna, author of House of Horrors, talks with us about Anthony Sowell, a serial killer and rapist, who is known to have murdered at least 11 women in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite reports of women being attacked by him at his home, he evaded real scrutiny until much later. Was Sowell just […]
Central Park Five. April 19, 1989 in New York City would be remembered for the multiple attacks on citizens in Central Park by rampaging youths. Among the victims was a woman known at the time as ‘The Central Park Jogger’. She was raped, beaten, nearly killed. The police moved quickly and five teenagers were […]
Lizzie Borden. In 1892, 32-year-old Lizzie Borden was living with her father, stepmother, and older sister. On the morning of August 4th of that year, her parents were brutally murdered with a hatchet while Lizzie was in the house. She was quickly suspected of being the one responsible and was later arrested and sent to […]
The War On Drugs. In the summer of 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a ‘War On Drugs’. An increase in the size and powers of federal drug control agencies and a reduction of citizens’ rights were just the start of this ‘war’ which later expanded even further under the Reagan administration. Were drugs so dangerous […]
Jack The Ripper Identified? A shawl alleged to have belonged to Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims, has been tested for DNA and the results are said to conclusively name the identity of history’s most infamous serial murderer. Has Jack the Ripper been unmasked? Did the shawl really belong to the victim? Author and […]
The Case For Amanda Knox. In late 2013, The Generation Why Podcast covered the Amanda Knox case by discussing how the court found her guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Knox, an American studying abroad in Italy, had been accused of killing her British roommate with the help of a boyfriend, Raffaelle Sollecito, and […]
Vaccination Fears. Many parents are starting to question whether or not to vaccinate their children. Despite medical advances that have saved millions of lives, these vaccinations are suspected of creating developmental behavioral issues such as autism and adhd. Are these vaccination fears warranted? Or could there be other causes for these disorders?
Kyron Horman. In June of 2010, a 7 year-old boy is enjoying a science fair that he contributed to before the start of classes for the day at Skyline Elementary in Portland, Oregon. His stepmother, Terri Horman, said that she watched him walk towards his classroom before leaving to run some errands with her 1 […]
Kendrick Johnson. In January of 2013, a young man went missing one day at school on just his second day back from Christmas break. His body was discovered the next day in a rolled up gym mat. The official investigation, as well as the initial autopsy, tells a story of an accidental fall into the […]