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True Crime Brewery

True Crime Brewery is a true crime podcast unlike any other! Husband and wife, Jill and Dick, use their medical knowledge and life experiences to take a deep dive into some of the most fascinating crimes from all over the world. Just for fun, Dick uses his expertise as a craft beer lover to review and/or recommend beers from the regions where each crime occurred. Meet them at the quiet end of the bar for a craft brew and a no-holds-barred true crime discussion.
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Now displaying: June, 2018
Jun 26, 2018

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.

Jun 19, 2018

When 17-year old Amy Billig disappeared in 1974, her mysterious absence created a life-altering void. Amy’s loved ones, especially her mother Sue, would never be the same. But Amy's story is about so much more than pain and loss. It's about the lasting qualities of courage, hope, and bravery after a mother’s biggest nightmare come true. 

Like the parents of missing children all over the world, Sue Billig was left without her daughter, left to wonder and imagine all of the terrible things that may have happened to her. After being lied to, mislead, ignored, and manipulated, her faith in humanity did not falter. After the many cruelties directed at Sue, she never gave up on Amy.  And she never decided that no one would help her find Amy, even after her money, her pride, and her good health were taken from her.

Sue Billig began investigating her daughter's case immediately after Amy disappeared. She received tips from people who claimed that Amy had been abducted by members of motorcycle gangs that traveled through the Coconut Grove area of Florida in 1974. Some people claimed that Amy was alive and others claimed she had been killed. Sue was led on a chase throughout the U. S. and even into Great Britain over the years.

Sue began receiving harassing phone calls. One caller tormented her for 21 years until 1995, when FBI agents were able to identify the man by tracking his cell phone. Before, he had always used a pay phone to harass Sue, making him impossible to find. The caller was identified as Henry Johnson Blair, who worked for the U.S. Customs Department. Blair claimed that he was an alcoholic and had an obsessive-compulsive disorder which caused him to harass Amy’s mother. He said that he never met Amy and knew nothing about her disappearance.

The addition of Blair into this case brought renewed attention on to a man Amy had described in her journal. Amy wrote that she was considering running away to South America with a man she called "Hank.” A photo developed from a roll of film in Amy's camera showed a white van which was identical in color and model to a van Blair drove in 1974. Blair's job with the Customs Department required him to relocate to South America around the time Amy had mentioned in her journal.

At the quiet end today, we are taking a look inside the hell that the families of missing persons endure by examining the case of Amy Billig and the struggles of her mother, Sue Billig.

Jun 11, 2018

In the early morning of December 3, 1995, a farmer driving along a quiet country road saw the body of a teenage girl on the ground behind a barbed-wire fence. At first, he thought he was looking at a dead animal. As he moved forward, the girl’s face was unrecognizable. One bullet hole was in her left cheek, another in her forehead. She had been hit so hard on the left side of her head that the part of the skull above her ear was caved in. She was wearing flannel shorts and a gray T-shirt. Within hours, police identified her as Adrianne Jones, a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore from the town of Mansfield, southeast of Fort Worth, Texas.

It was only that autumn that her parents had allowed Adrianne to stay out past nine o’clock on weekends. Her father had nailed her bedroom windows shut so she couldn’t sneak out of the house at night. But aside from sneaking out to have some fun with friends, Adrianne was a good girl. She took advanced honors courses, studied at least two hours a night, and was a talented athlete. She also worked twenty hours a week at a local fast-food restaurant.

Adrianne thrived on attention, especially when it came from the teenage boys around town. One of Adrianne’s closest friends, Tracy Bumpass, called her “a big flirt.” There were plenty of high school guys who wanted to meet her and lots of girls who wanted to be her friend.

It was Adrianne’s popularity that made the investigation into her murder so difficult. And it quickly became clear to the detectives that Adrianne knew her killer, or killers. There was no sign at the crime scene that she had struggled. There were no marks that her hands or legs had been restrained. Nor was there any indication that someone had broken into her house or had gone through her window to abduct her.

When David Graham and Diane Zamora were arrested for her murder in the fall of 1996, it was a shock. The high school sweethearts were high achievers with even great ambitions. Graham was a first-year cadet at the Air Force Academy with plans to become a fighter pilot. Diane, who had won an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was set on being an astronaut. They had their futures mapped out, including their wedding date for the summer of 2000.

But Diane Zamora bragged to her roommates that she and David had killed a girl back in Texas. She said anyone who got between her and David would have to die. She said the girl deserved it … everyone knew the girl was a tramp and a slut.  David had cheated on her and had sex with Adrienne Jones.  The only solution was for them to kill Adrienne to preserve their love.

The story of Adrianne Jones’ murder, often called the Texas Cadet Murder, is an incredible story of a senseless killing by two unlikely killers.

Jun 5, 2018

In 2011, at the Spreckels Mansion on the Southern California Coast, there were two unexpected deaths that have since raised many doubts and endless speculation. On July 11, 32-year old Rebecca Zahau was at the Spreckels Beach House along with her sister when her boyfriend's 6-year old son fell over a second-floor banister. Sadly, he would die in the hospital days later.

On July 12, understandably distraught, Rebecca picked up her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, from the airport and brought him back to the mansion. There were reports of loud music coming from the house that evening. A neighbor claimed to hear a woman screaming.

The next morning, Adam called 911, stating that he found Rebecca nude, hanging from a balcony, a supposed suicide.  But the scene was unusual, to say the least.  Rebecca’s ankles and wrists were bound with rope, she was gagged with a t-shirt, and she was completely nude.

That fall, Rebecca’s death was ruled a suicide and 6-year old Max’s death was ruled an accident.  Police held a press conference to announce that neither death involved foul play. But this year, Adam Shacknai was found responsible for Rebecca’s death in a civil suit filed by Rebecca’s family.  Police have not filed any charges.

Our quiet end discussion today is a mystery.  What happened at the mansion back in July 2011?  Are we talking about an accident and a suicide, an accident and a murder, a murder and a suicide, or two murders?  Let’s pour ourselves a brew and mull it over. 

In 2011, at the Spreckels Mansion on the Southern California Coast, there were two unexpected deaths that have since raised many doubts and endless speculation. On July 11, 32-year old Rebecca Zahau was at the Spreckels Beach House along with her sister when her boyfriend's 6-year old son fell over a second-floor banister. Sadly, he would die in the hospital days later.

On July 12, understandably distraught, Rebecca picked up her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, from the airport and brought him back to the mansion. There were reports of loud music coming from the house that evening. A neighbor claimed to hear a woman screaming.

The next morning, Adam called 911, stating that he found Rebecca nude, hanging from a balcony, a supposed suicide.  But the scene was unusual, to say the least.  Rebecca’s ankles and wrists were bound with rope, she was gagged with a t-shirt, and she was completely nude.

That fall, Rebecca’s death was ruled a suicide and 6-year old Max’s death was ruled an accident.  Police held a press conference to announce that neither death involved foul play. But this year, Adam Shacknai was found responsible for Rebecca’s death in a civil suit filed by Rebecca’s family.  Police have not filed any charges.

Our quiet end discussion today is a mystery.  What happened at the mansion back in July 2011?  Are we talking about an accident and a suicide, an accident and a murder, a murder and a suicide, or two murders?  Let’s pour ourselves a brew and mull it over. 

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