JonBenet Ramsey was 6-years old when she was found murdered in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home on the day after Christmas. Twenty-two years later, her murder remains unsolved. The reason why there has been no conviction in this case could be attributed to mistakes made by the Boulder Police Department right from the beginning of their investigation and to what many people define as a lack of cooperation by JonBenet’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey.
There are only two possible answers to what happened that night. One is that an intruder crept into the house, killed JonBenét in a botched kidnapping attempt while the family slept, then took off, leaving behind a three-page ransom note. The other possibility is that she was killed by a family member. In going over the physical and circumstantial evidence in the case, we’ll address the mistakes in the police investigation that have hindered a conviction and allowed a child killer to remain free before we examine the theories of what actually happened in the Ramsey house that night.
The Daniels Family lived on Dasher Street in the town of Santa Claus, Georgia. Their one-story-red-brick house, with a huge chimney protruding from the front, was nestled snuggly at the end of a cul-de-sac. For Kim Daniels, it was her dream home.
Kim was a drug addict, living out of her car, when Danny Daniels helped her fight off her addiction and fell in love with her. Kim regained custody of her three biological children and she and Danny were married. Danny had a teenage daughter too, and the couple had taken in 3 foster children they planned to adopt. Kim wanted to give these children the childhood she never had.
One cool December night in 1997, The Daniels’ family was destroyed by a mass shooting that is now known as the Dasher Lane Massacre. Four family members were killed, three children were kidnapped, and two children were inexplicably spared.
The village of 300 residents that had been named for Father Christmas and displayed a sign declaring itself “the city that loves children” was rocked by this tragedy. And, when the killer was found, everyone in Santa Claus was forever changed.
Join us at the quiet end on this cool December evening for “The Santa Claus Murders.”
18-year old Heidi Allen was employed as a clerk at the D & W Convenience Store in New Haven, New York. She opened the store by herself at 5:45 a.m. on April 3, 1994 and her last transaction was recorded on the cash register at 7:42 a.m.
Several customers came and went after that, leaving cash for their purchases on the counter when they couldn’t find a clerk. Finally, a customer flagged down a sheriff's patrol car outside the store and reported that the business was open but unattended.
The investigation into Heidi’s disappearance would reveal that Heidi was likely taken against her will from the store. Her jacket, purse and car keys were left behind in the store when she vanished and her maroon station wagon was in the parking lot.
The primary suspect was the last customer known to be in the store before Heidi vanished. He told police that he had purchased two packs of cigarettes at 7:30 a.m. and left. Detectives didn’t believe him. But there may have been more to Heidi’s story than a random abduction. There was something about Heidi that most people didn’t know. Heidi was working as an informant for the police. Was Heidi the target of drug dealers who wanted to keep her quiet?
Join us at the quiet end today for Where’s Heidi: The Kidnapping of Heidi Allen.
It was a sunny July day in 2009 and 36-year old Diane Schuler was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the Taconic State Parkway in New York. Witnesses watched in horror as a minivan barreled down the parkway in the wrong direction. Blaring horns, flashing lights, and cars swerving out of her way made no difference. She appeared focused and deliberate as she continued to travel at a high speed toward oncoming traffic.
When the minivan collided head on with an oncoming car, it held five children. Diane, four children, and the three passengers in the other car were killed. The investigation that followed revealed that Diane was intoxicated. Toxicology tests revealed that she had recently ingested both alcohol and marijuana. Her husband Daniel defended his wife, denying that she drank heavily or used drugs.
Daniel believes that there must have been a medical reason for Diane’s behavior. Some believe it was an accident caused by alcohol and drug use. Others believe it was a murder/suicide. Today we’re going to take a look at the day of the crash and the events in Diane’s life leading up to that day. Diane’s life as a responsible professional and an attentive mother didn’t seem to mesh with her being an alcoholic with a death wish. So, what happened that day? Join us at the quiet end for an in-depth examination of the facts in this tragedy.
On July 5, 2012, 16-year old Skylar Neese returned to her family's West Virginia apartment after working an evening shift at Wendy's. Her apartment complex's surveillance video showed that Skylar snuck out of the apartment through her bedroom window at 12:30 A.M. on July 6 and got into an unknown vehicle. Her father said that she did not take her cell phone charger and that her bedroom window was left open as if she planned on coming home before the morning. But she was never seen again.
Skylar was an only child who her parents would describe as a good kid. But in the months leading up to her disappearance, Skylar had been hanging out with some rebellious and troubled friends, smoking pot, drinking, and joy riding around town. In the investigation that followed, Facebook posts and messages would reveal a strained relationship between Skylar and two of her best friends. Police believed this social media trail could help them find Skylar, but the truth was something that would shock everyone and break her parents’ hearts. Join us at the quiet end today for Cruel and Unusual, a discussion of a young life callously cut short by those who no one, even Skylar, would have ever suspected.
The bodies of 27-year-old Rachel and 9-month-old Lillian Entwistle were found on January 22, 2006 in the master bedroom of their Hopkinton, Massachusetts home where the Entwistles had been living for only ten days. Autopsy results would show that Rachel died of a gunshot wound to the head and baby Lillian died of a gunshot wound to the stomach.
Just hours after the deaths of his wife and daughter, Neil Entwistle purchased a one-way ticket to London and boarded a British Airways flight. On January 23rd, Hopkinton Police located Neil at the home of his parents in Nottinghamshire, England. He told a detective that he left his home at around 9:00 AM three days earlier to run an errand, and that his wife and daughter were both alive and well and in the bed in the couple's bed when he left. When he returned at around 11:00 AM, he claimed to have found both had been shot dead. He then covered the bodies of his wife and infant daughter with a blanket and left. He did not call for help.
Neil Entwistle’s behavior after his family was killed brought suspicion upon him. But what detectives discovered in their subsequent investigation was completely unexpected. For a young professional couple living an apparently charmed life, what went on behind closed doors and on the Entwistle’s computer was very disturbing. If being a shitty husband makes a man a murderer then Neil would be found guilty of these crimes. But was there legitimate evidence proving that Neil was responsible? Join us today for Cold as Ice: The Murders of Rachel and Lillian Entwistle.
In 1928, agriculture and the movie industry were booming in the Los Angeles area. But a string of child abductions and murders in nearby Wineville changed the lives and views of the locals. Someone had kidnapped, sexually abused, and murdered at least three, and possibly as many as twenty, young boys.
From 1926 to 1928, teenager Sanford Clark was kept prisoner on his uncle Stewart Northcott’s chicken farm in Wineville. He suffered unimaginable abuse and witnessed horrific acts by Northcott.
Sanford’s escape from the clutches of his abuser and his journey to live a life without violence is inspiring. His time on the farm was a living hell and the stories he shared with the police were unlike anything they had heard before.
Today we’re talking about a dark part of history that most people were in a hurry to forget. As brutal and upsetting as the crimes of Stewart Northcott were, it is the resilience and strength of Sanford Clark that makes this story something worth telling and something that can stay with us as proof that good can prevail over evil.
For several years, Dr. Paolo Macchiarini was known as a scientific pioneer, a supersurgeon and a miracle worker. He was turning the dream of regenerative medicine into a reality. While much of the scientific community was eager to believe he had made breakthroughs, not everyone was convinced.
Most of Macchiarini’s patients died within a few years of their surgeries and the experimental procedures actually made their conditions much worse. Investigations revealed that he had actually falsified his data as well as his medical credentials.
While at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Macchiarini invented his technique. Instead of stripping the cells from donor windpipes, he had plastic scaffolds made to order. He gave his “regenerating” windpipes to at least 17 patients worldwide. The results have been disastrous.
In 2014, Paolo Macchiarini was hailed as gifted medical pioneer in an NBC special produced by Benita Alexander. Paolo and Benita became romantically involved and planned to marry. But as the wedding day approached, the plans unraveled. Benita realized that Paolo had lied to her about a lot of things. For one thing, he was still married to his wife of 30 years.
Why does an intelligent and skilled surgeon create a house of cards in his personal life and perform surgeries that he knows will result in suffering and death for his patients? As one surgeon put it, he would choose to die by firing squad before experiencing a death caused by one of Macchiarini’s tracheal transplants. His experimental surgeries have been compared to the crimes of Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele. Yet he remains free. Join us at the quiet end today for a fascinating and horrifying discussion: Bad Medicine: The Downfall of Paolo Macchiarini.
When Stefanie Rabinowitz set her mind to something, there was no stopping her. She was an attorney who had married her childhood sweetheart. She was extremely hard working and an attentive mom to her one-year old girl, Haley.
After tragedy struck in the Rabinowitz home, it came to light that Stefanie’s husband Craig had been leading a secret life. Craig Rabinowitz, who had racked up huge debts and whose business apparently existed only on paper, had been spending more money than he had earned in his lifetime on a stripper who danced for him at a downtown Philadelphia club, Delilah's Den.
This is a story that was locally known as “The Main Line Murder.” A death nearly passed on as natural and unexplained, this murder revealed motivations and deception that nearly went undiscovered and would shock everyone who knew the Rabinowitz family.
Jason Corbett grew up in Limerick, Ireland. When he was just 30, his first wife, Margaret Fitzpatrick, died from an acute asthma attack. Her death left Jason alone with two young children.
Jason searched for a nanny online to help with his children after his wife’s death. 24-year old Molly Corbett lived in Knoxville Tennessee but she moved to Limerick and became their nanny. Before long, Jason and Molly began a romantic relationship. Molly was a wife and a mother of two virtually overnight.
Jason was a big, burly Irishman, always the life of the party and smiling. Molly fell in love with him and his children. The two became engaged in 2010 and married in 2011. This story should have read like a fairytale. The family moved to North Carolina when Jason was promoted at work. They lived in a beautiful 5000sq ft plus home with room for Molly’s parents to stay overnight on visits. But something went terribly wrong in the early morning hours of August 2, 2015.
Molly and her father would claim that violence erupted when Jason attacked Molly, but Jason’s sister Tracey would write a book claiming that Jason was a victim of Molly and Thomas Martens, a father and daughter bent on destroying Jason. Today, in Blindsided, we will attempt to sort out the truth of what really happened to Jason Corbett.
Sarah Steward met Ryan Widmer on a blind date. They were fixed up by her friend Dana Kist; Ryan had been her husband’s college roommate. They seemed to be just what each other needed: Ryan was a laid-back college jock and Sarah was an organized type A personality. It wasn’t long before Ryan brought his new girlfriend home to meet his mom.
In early 2008, the couple bought a four-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood and married that April. The newlyweds went to Costa Rica for their honeymoon. When they got back home to Cincinnati, they started to settle into their life as Mr. and Mrs. Widmer.
They had their whole lives ahead of them. They had recently finished building a new deck at the back of their house, they were going to adopt a puppy, and they had a trip planned to Cancun, Mexico. And then the unthinkable happened.
After just 114 days of marriage, Sarah drowned in the master bath. Ryan said she’d fallen asleep but he was soon a suspect. But did Ryan have a motive to kill his new wife? Those close to the couple said no, but police and paramedics felt that something wasn’t right at the scene.
In 1999, Isaac Grimes was a freshman at Palmer Springs High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was a quiet kid who liked to read and didn’t have many friends. But early that year, he met a charismatic high school senior named Simon Sue. They shared an interest in chess and video games, and Simon took the younger, nerdy Isaac under his wing.
Simon asked Isaac to join his club called the O.A.R.A., the Operations and Reconnaissance Agents. For a young boy desperate to fit in with others, hanging out with Simon and being invited to join his club was irresistible. But the club moved on from harmless activities, like chess, to plotting a triple murder.
Simon took Isaac and classmate Jonathan Matheny to a local range to practice shooting weapons. Then he ordered them to kill Isaac’s former best friend, Tony Dutcher, and his grandparents in cold blood.
Tony, Carl, and Joanna Dutcher were murdered on New Year’s Eve 2000. But as details emerged, the truth about the suspects and their motives were unclear. Did Simon Sue brainwash the two teenagers or were all of the boys equally responsible?
From the outside, Rob and Sabrina Limon looked like a happy couple. They had two healthy children. They were affectionate, energetic, and they had a lot of friends. Their lives were filled with parties, barbecues, and boating trips. But the Limon’s had secrets. They had an open marriage, swapping partners with some of their closest friends.
Then, Sabrina began an intense romantic relationship with a 22-year old firefighter. This was the beginning of the end. Two shots one night at a warehouse building where Rob worked ended his life. Investigators didn’t have to look far to find his killer.
In Death Before Divorce, we look into a flawed marriage, one with secrets that allowed something evil to creep in. What started with infidelity and deception led to an obsessive affair and ended with the violent death of a loving husband and father.
On February 17, 1970, a shocking crime took place in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Colette MacDonald and her two young daughters were brutally murdered. Colette’s husband, Jeffrey MacDonald, was left wounded but still very much alive. This crime has fascinated, outraged and polarized people for nearly 50 years.
Speculation in this crime has continued with strings of legal proceedings and outcomes. But at the heart of the case is the relationship of a pregnant young mother with her ambitious husband, along with the character and behavior of a man believed to be either a monster or a gentleman, depending on who you’re talking to.
Jeffrey MacDonald has a version of what happened that night. Investigators and prosecutors have another version, backed up by what they see as blatant inconsistencies in his story and in the evidence.
Today’s episode will address the relationship of Jeffrey with his wife Colette, the timeline and evidence of the case, Jeffrey MacDonald’s behavior both before and after his family was slaughtered, and the legalities of his conviction and appeals.
To most of us, the relationship between mother and child is a sacred one. We love our children, put their needs above our own, and will do anything to protect them and promote their happiness. But mother of six Theresa Knorr didn’t seem to feel any such love or devotion for her children, least of all her two daughters Sheila and Suesan.
A mother of three sons and three daughters, Theresa wounded her daughter Suesan with scissors and a gun. When she wasn't dead after a few weeks, Theresa tried to remove the bullet herself. The attempted surgery left Suesan near death. As her condition worsened, Theresa bound Suesan’s arms and legs, covered her mouth with duct tape, and ordered her sons to help her take the girl to a deserted road and burn her alive, dousing her with gasoline.
Theresa Knorr forced her other daughter Sheila into prostitution. After a few weeks, she accused Sheila of becoming pregnant and passing on a venereal disease through the family toilet seat. She beat Sheila, hogtied her, and locked her in a hot closet with no ventilation. Once Sheila’s body began to decompose, Theresa ordered her sons to dispose of her.
It took several years for Theresa to be brought to justice. During her trial, the public learned that she had been acquitted in the murder of her husband decades earlier. Her remaining youngest daughter, Terry, was the one to finally get the authorities to investigate her mother and believe what she was telling them: Theresa was a cold-blooded killer who had enlisted the help of sons in the murders of her own daughters.
As we discuss the disturbing crimes of Theresa Knorr, we will dispel the belief that a mother’s love is always selfless, always unconditional. Theresa was a dangerous and cruel mother, but the myth of all mothers putting their children first worked to silence those who had chances to stop her. Where were the good people in this story who could have saved her children? Theresa didn’t strike out of nowhere. She calculated and carried out her abuses over a period of years, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and clues that were clearly ignored.
Theresa’s abuse could have been stopped but nobody moved to stop her. It was a legal system hesitant to believe her capable of murder, along with a society intent on minding its own business, who let her get away with the murder of two of her children and the nightmarish abuses of the remaining four.
In 1999, a homeowner in Jericho, New York removed an old 55-gallon barrel from his basement. The trash men would not take it because it was too heavy. So he opened it. The smell was horrific. A woman’s shoe bobbed to the surface.
Locked away in that barrel for over thirty years was the now mummified body of a young woman and her full-term fetus. She was fully clothed with her purse and address book inside. Police would take hours extracting these remains from the barrel. The odor was so offensive that gas masks were worn by every person in the vicinity.
Investigators in this case did incredible work, examining the contents of the barrel, going over the lineage of ownership of the house, and putting together a tragic series of events that led to the violent death and decades long disposal of a young immigrant woman who put her trust in the wrong man.
In today’s discussion, A Disposable Woman, we’re talking about one of the most remarkable cold cases ever solved. What may have been a simple story of an extramarital affair and an unwanted pregnancy became an obscene affront to humanity---a case of a person being cast aside and discarded as if she were nothing.
Ejaz Ahmad was kind, handsome, and a hard-working, self-made businessman. He arrived in the United States from Pakistan to fulfill his mother’s dying wish: to become an American, to complete his education, and to have a happy life. This, of course, included having a family of his own.
After completing two master’s degree programs, Ejaz settled in the Memphis, Tennessee, area. He became the owner of several small businesses, purchased real estate, married a woman he loved, and became the father to a handsome little boy they named Jordan.
But early in their marriage, Ejaz and Jordan’s mother ran into difficulty. Their religious differences, him a Muslim and she a Christian, were too much for their love to overcome. They divorced and remained friends, parenting their son together. The divorce left a hole in Ejaz’s life. He wanted someone to share his life and success with. He wanted a wife.
Leah Ward was a prison parolee with a history of drug charges, petty crime, and a prostitution. She led a hectic, unstable life, moving from man to man and town to town. But she was a pretty girl---a girl who had been through a lot and knew how to turn on the charm. When Leah was introduced to Ejaz Ahmad, he offered her a place to live, someone to take care of her, and money to spend as she liked. Ejaz wanted to help her get through school and get off drugs. He didn’t realize how sinister and diabolical Leah could be.
What began as a partnership that Ejaz thought was true love soon became abusive and dangerous. His friends and family warned him about Leah. He was preparing to separate from her. Then, in May of 2003, family members found his mutilated, decapitated, and decomposing body in his backyard shed.
In Memphis Bridezilla, we’re learning that domestic violence can be just as viciously directed at a man as at a woman. This story of how the lives of two very different people tragically intersected and left a boy without a father is one that you won’t soon forget.
Thank you to Judith A. Yates for all of her research and her excellent book "She is Evil"
Audrey Marie Hilley killed her husband, Frank, in 1975, and attempted to kill her daughter, Carol, three years later. Her choice of victims, which probably included her mother and mother-in-law, were the people close to her. Her motive was money. What makes her case extraordinary is how she managed to elude arrest for three years while on the run as a fugitive, and then, while serving a 20-year-to-life sentence, managed to obtain a prison furlough and disappear into the woods of Alabama.
Her story begins in May 1975 when Frank Hilley visited his doctor complaining of nausea and pain in his abdomen. His doctor diagnosed a viral stomach ache. The condition persisted and Frank was admitted to a hospital for tests that indicated liver malfunction. Physicians then diagnosed infectious hepatitis.
Because the symptoms closely resembled those of hepatitis, no tests for poison were conducted. After he died, the cause of death was listed as infectious hepatitis. Frank had a life insurance policy that Audrey cashed in for $31,140 (about $150,000 in 2018 dollars).
Slightly over three years later, Audrey took out a $25,000 life insurance policy on her daughter, Carol. Within a few months, Carol began to experience nausea and was admitted to the emergency room several times. A year after insuring her daughter, Audrey gave Carol an injection that she said would help with her nausea. But her symptoms only worsened.
Audrey Marie Hilley was arrested for the murder of her husband and the attempted murder of her daughter, Carol. But what if Carol had died? Would she have continued killing family members? All signs point to yes.
Today’s quiet end discussion, Poisonous, covers the twisted life and outrageous crimes of a woman to appeared to be a normal, 1960s housewife. Audrey Marie Hilley kept a home, raised her children, and just happened to commit murder when she was short on funds.
Just before dawn on Saturday July 30, 2011, Lisa Harnum moved quietly into the marble covered bathroom of her luxury Sydney apartment, picked up the house phone and called her mother Joan in Toronto, Canada. The terrified young woman, in a controlled panic, said she was preparing to leave her fiancé, Simon Gittany, an emotionally abusive and controlling man who was lurking on the other side of the door.
She whispered that if anything was to happen to her, her mother should contact Michelle Richmond, the life coach in whom she had been confiding for the previous three weeks.
This was the last time Joan Harnum spoke to her only daughter. A little over four hours later, Simon Gittany picked up his fiancée and dropped her from the balcony of the apartment they shared on the 15th floor of Sydney’s fashionable apartment block The Hyde.
Before she even knew that Simon Gittany was monitoring her emails and text messages in the weeks before her death, Lisa had confided in the only two women in Sydney that her controlling fiancé allowed her access to outside of his family: her personal trainer, Lisa Brown, and Michelle Richmond. She told them that Simon had cut her off from her friends, dictated what she wore, where she went and to whom she spoke.
Simon Gittany’s threats during the couple’s regular explosive arguments included that he had the power to have Lisa’s visa cancelled and have her deported, destroying her dream of making a life in Australia. Her life coach told Lisa what support services were available and what her legal rights were and the safest way to leave. With the help of her personal trainer, Lisa secretly began removing some of her things from the apartment. Simon Gittany somehow found out.
But tucked into the pocket of the jeans Lisa was wearing on the morning of her murder was a crumpled note that had been torn into little pieces. When police put it together, they found a chilling message: “There are surveillance cameras inside and outside the house.”
Simon Gittany’s claim that his unstable girlfriend had committed suicide was about to unravel. Criminal records would reveal that he was a violent, vengeful man and a cocaine dealer who once spent time in prison for biting off part of a policeman's ear. It also came to light that he was the target of a police investigation into his business dealings with two convicted methylamphetamine dealers who ran a secret drug laboratory in Sydney. Of much more significance was a witness who came forward claiming to have seen Gittany drop Lisa from his apartment window.
Today, in Fallen, we are covering a case of domestic violence which ended in murder. Each time we talk about a case like this, we have to consider how the murder, which could have been predicted, could have been prevented. We’ll talk about the life of Lisa Harnum and what brought her into the relationship with the man who killed her.
29-year old Jill Meagher was going about her daily life on September 22, 2012 when a man with a lengthy criminal record took it all away from her. That night, she had gone out with some friends after work for drinks. On the short walk back to her apartment, she encountered serial rapist Adrian Bayley.
CCTV would capture Bayley approaching Jill on the street at 1:40am. She had her mobile phone in her hand. His face was obscured by the blue hoodie he was wearing. When Jill didn’t make it home that night, her husband began to search for her, eventually contacting the police. She was officially a missing person at that point, but soon the awful truth would become clear: Jill had been brutally assaulted and murdered by a repeat offender out on parole.
On top of the horror of Jill Meagher’s rape and murder at the hands of Adrian Bayley, one other disturbing fact was exposed: the state’s parole system was broken. How could a man found guilty of 20 rapes in a 23-year time span be allowed to roam the streets of Melbourne’s suburbs after smashing the jaw of another man while on parole?
At the time of Jill’s murder, Bayley was on parole after serving eight years in jail for 16 counts of rape against five women. He had already served time before for rapes committed from the time he was just 18. It made the tragedy of Jill’s murder even more senseless.
At the quiet end today, we’re talking about a beautiful person whose life was violently taken by an evil, repeat offender. Jill spent her last day doing what many of us do—working in a job she loved, enjoying a few drinks in the company of friends, and making her way home on a well-traveled street just blocks from her home. So, what went wrong?
Bonny Lee Bakley was not an ethical or particularly law-abiding woman. Not someone you would want your daughter to model her life after. She was a con artist and groupie who used sex and deception to get money from men. When she was shot to death in May 2001, her husband at the time, actor Robert Blake, was charged with the crime, but there was a long list of other people with a motive.
As a young girl, Bonny’s dreams were similar to many other girls. She wanted to be rich and famous one day. Growing up in poverty probably helped to motivate her. Her desire to leave her hometown and begin her quest for stardom began early after she was sexually abused by her father. Fame became an obsession.
After high school, Bonny moved to New York. She started calling herself Lee Bonny. She got some small modeling jobs and worked as an extra in movies. But her goal of becoming a star was not happening. So, her focus switched from becoming a star to marrying one.
Her life was a life of scams: stalking celebrities, stealing credit cards, and eventually becoming pregnant with Robert Blake’s child and marrying him. After only 4 months of marriage, she was murdered.
This murder is officially unsolved and there are many questions remaining. One thing worth considering is whether Blake would have been convicted if Bonny had been a more sympathetic victim. Does our justice system have different standards for so-called good girls than it does for someone like Bonny, a woman with an objectively shady history? And then, of course, there is the celebrity factor. Join us at the quiet end as we discuss the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, the acquittal of Robert Blake, and the actual evidence in this case.
Tracey Richter's outrageous crime-filled life could be the basis for a horror film featuring an attractive, revenge-oriented narcissist willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants and hurt anyone who gets in her way. The only problem is, no one would believe it. And that may explain why she got away with it for as long as she did.
Tracey lied to, cheated on, stole from, and physically attacked her first husband. When they finally divorced, she falsely accused him of child sexual abuse, enlisting her own son to tell horrible lies about his own father. Although she would remarry, thus finding a new man to deceive, her grudge against her first husband would never leave her. Tracey made elaborate, cold-blooded plans and went through with them, killing an innocent young neighbor to set up her ex and retain custody of her son.
As we talk about the life and crimes of Tracey Richter, aka Tracey Pitman, aka Tracey Roberts, aka Sophie Edwards, we will examine how she managed to hurt so many people for so long before she was finally brought to justice.
Does tragedy run in families? In the case of the Augustine family, they seemed to have more than their own fair share of unexpected deaths. In August, 2012, 32-year old Dallas Augustine shot and killed her wife Jessie McCaskill before turning the gun on herself. Six years earlier, Dallas’s step-father Chaz Higgs had been accused of murdering her mother Kathy Augustine with a fatal drug overdose.
Chaz was a hospital nurse involved in the care of Kathy’s sick husband Charles Augustine when Charles died. Just weeks after his death, the marriage of Kathy and Chaz raised a lot of eyebrows. Kathy’s sudden death just three years into her marriage with Chaz had police suspicious not only that Chaz had murdered Kathy but that perhaps he had had something to do with the death of her husband.
This story received a lot of publicity, partially because Kathy had been a prominent politician in Nevada and she had undergone impeachment proceedings for violating state ethics laws. Chaz would claim that her political opponents were responsible for her death. By all accounts, Kathy was not an easy person to get along with. There were plenty of people who disliked her, but did anyone have more of a reason to want her dead than Chaz did?
Join us at the quiet end today for a story of murder too strange and complex to be fiction. In Tainted Love, we’ll learn about Kathy, Chaz, and the events leading up to their love affair and Kathy’s untimely death.
In Australia, about one person goes missing every 15 minutes. The majority are found within a week. Most missing persons cases take hours, days, or even weeks before an in-depth investigation is put into action. In the case of 43-year old mother of three Allison Baden-Clay, it took mere minutes.
Constables arrived at the Baden-Clay home at 8am, took one look at Allison’s husband Gerard, and strongly suspected foul play. He was dressed for a normal work day when he walked out the front door of his suburban home and greeted the officers. Right away, they took notice of the fresh gouges running down the side of Gerard’s face. Jagged and raw, they inflamed his cheek and trailed off at the edge of his jaw.
Those scratches told a story that didn’t match the story Gerard told them. He said he had cut himself shaving. They looked at this supposed concerned husband and long-standing pillar of the community and saw a killer.
In the days after Allison’s disappearance, investigators learned that her marriage was not what it appeared. Gerard had been unfaithful and his mistress was expecting him to ask Allison for a divorce. It could have been a case of a suburban mom who needed time alone. Maybe she would come walking up the driveway any minute. Or maybe they would find her injured on a walking path waiting for help. But they didn’t think so.
A former Miss Queensland beauty queen, Allison Baden-Clay seemed to be living a charmed life. Her husband was a successful and well-known real estate agent. Their three young daughters were healthy. Their home was in Brookfield, a very desirable suburb. So, what led to Allison’s body being found in a secluded creek?
Like thousands of women who suffer from domestic violence, Allison lived with underlying misery as she worked to present herself and her family in the best light. In our quiet end talk today, we’re looking into the development and destruction of Allison and Gerard’s relationship. What went wrong and did the punishment fit the crime?
The life of John Yelenic, a young, friendly, prominent dentist who was murdered in Pennsylvania back in 2006, was intertwined with the lives of his soon to be ex-wife Michele and her live-in boyfriend, Pennsylvania State Trooper Kevin Foley. All three of these people had specific personalities and beliefs which can be traced back to their childhoods and family relationships.
In our discussion of the murder of Dr. John Yelenic we will see how three lives came together through seemingly random circumstances and culminated in a brutal homicide. No one wins in a murder. The violent loss of one life devastates many lives. To completely understand this murder case, we will go back to where the story began. John was brought up by his mother to give generously and to ask for little in return. Even after he became financially successful, he remained a kind and humble man. Some would say that his marriage to Michele was a mistake from the start. At the quiet end today, we will take a look at John’s childhood, Michele’s beginnings, and the background of her boyfriend Kevin Foley. In The Trooper’s Target, join us for the story of a ruthless murder with a psychological examination of the victim and his killer or killers.