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'.
For more information about Jaryd's case, please purchase the book & visit the facebook page:
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.
Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders. Oklahoma, 1977. Buses, loaded with young girls, leave Magic Empire Headquarters in Tulsa. They are taking them to Camp Scott. That night after dinner, three girls meet back at the tent they are sharing for the duration of their stay. They will write letters home and eventually try to get some sleep. For nearly 50 years the camp had been a safe place for friendship, adventure, & growth. Sometime during the night in 1977, though, that would all end. The body of a young girl would be discovered the next morning with two more found shortly after. It would not take long before a manhunt would begin. The authorities had a suspect, Gene Leroy Hart, but would they find justice?
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.