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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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Mar 5, 2019

Between the ages of 17 and 24, Keli Lane had two abortions and gave birth to three babies, all without the knowledge of her mother Sandra or her police officer father Robert. Not only that, but her five pregnancies occurred while Keli was playing water polo at a national level and spent most of her time in a swim suit.

Keli’s 4th child, Tegan Lane, born in 1996, went home with Keli two days after her birth.  Keli was at a friend’s wedding that evening and not a word was spoken about her newborn daughter.  Tegan was never seen again.

Investigators believe that Keli killed Tegan, disposing of her body before her family and friends could learn of the infant’s existence.  Keli claims that she gave Tegan to her biological father and he disappeared with the baby.  Keli’s supporters appear to believe her story, but what is the likelihood that this man and Tegan would not be found?  More mysterious, perhaps, are the reasons for Keli’s multiple hidden pregnancies and overall strange behavior.

Today’s story is one of the oddest we have covered.  There are gaping holes in Keli Lane’s story, but also, there is no physical evidence that Tegan is dead. Join us today for a true mystery from Australia, Where is Tegan Lane?

Feb 26, 2019

In 1971, 13-year old Charlie Brandt shot his pregnant mother to death before turning the gun on his father and sister.  In the years that followed, he seemed to move forward and live a normal life with college, marriage, and a career.  Charlie and his wife Teri were a close, fun-loving couple--the kind of couple others envy.

Then, in 2004, a hidden life was revealed. Charlie was not who he appeared to be.  There was a darkness no one had seen. But there had been signs.

Charlie loved to fish and he was known to his fellow fishermen as an expert with a knife.  But Charlie’s expertise went beyond the world of filleting fish.  After his death, Charlie would be investigated as a prolific serial killer, victimizing women along the Florida coast.  He had a sexual obsession with his niece that would end with her brutal murder.

Join us at the quiet end for a fascinating story of a killer undercover: The Hidden Life of Charlie Brandt.

Feb 19, 2019

The case we’re talking about today, more than any in recent history, illustrates that we don’t always know the people close to us as well as we think we do.  We’re talking about the case of a family annihilator: Chris Watts.

In August of 2018, Chris murdered his pregnant wife and his two preschool-aged daughters.  Then he loaded their lifeless bodies into his truck and dumped them at a work site.  He was seen later that morning by co-workers and all of them would report that Chris acted normal, as if nothing abnormal had happened.

Investigators believe that Chris’s motivation for the murders was his desire to start a new life with his mistress.  This seems true enough, but it’s difficult to believe that this was the sole motive for the crimes. As we delve into the lives of Chris and Shanann Watts, deeper issues are exposed that most likely played a role in the murders.  There were serious financial problems and there was friction between Shanann and her in-laws.  Aspects of the couple’s relationship reveal that Chris may have been full of rage and resentment for Shanann.

Join us at the quiet end today for Portrait of a Family Annihilator: The Watts Family Murders. 

Feb 12, 2019

Julie Miller met Dennis Bulloch through a newspaper ad and fell hard for him. He seemed like the answer to all of her problems. As a successful executive approaching her 30th birthday, Julie was ready to get married. Dennis seemed like the all-American guy—good-looking and described as soft-hearted and sensitive by former girlfriends.

Just four months into their marriage, emergency responders were called out to a fire at the Bulloch’s home. Amid the charred debris, they found a body duct-taped to a rocking chair, the face burned beyond recognition.

This is a case that took place before Match.com or Tinder.  Julie was attractive and successful in her career but she was socially immature.  And she was lonely.  She wanted someone to spend her life with and to perhaps start a family of her own.

Dennis Bulloch seemed to check all the boxes for her, but he had a dark side she didn’t see.  If there were signs or clues to a darker side of Dennis, Julie may have overlooked them, because, more than anything, she wanted to be married. We’ll talk about this, as well as the histories of Julie and Dennis, in Happily Never After: The Murder of Julie Miller Bulloch.

 

Feb 5, 2019

Mick Philpott lived off of welfare benefits.  He had been unfaithful and violent towards women throughout his adult life. His reckless and selfish plan to frame an ex-girlfriend for leaving him would result in the death of six innocent children.

A father of 17 children, Philpott lived with two women and once appeared on a daytime talk show to demand a bigger government house for his oversized family.

But beyond the caricature of a welfare parasite, Philpott exposed a much more dangerous stereotype: a control freak whose violence toward women went on for more than thirty years. For Philpott, women were his domestic, sexual, and childbearing slaves and his children were evidence of his virility. This was a man who knew no shame and used everyone, even his own children, to get what he wanted.  Join us today for Shameless: Mick Philpott.

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Jan 30, 2019

Cherica Adams was joyful and magnetic. She was a beautiful 24-year-old who had worked as an exotic dancer and was establishing a career in real estate. She had done some acting, too, and appeared briefly in the movie House Party 3. Cherica became pregnant and appeared to have accepted that she would be a single mother. The father of her baby, professional football player Rae Carruth, was not happy about the baby to be and wanted her to get an abortion. With Cherica, as with his first child’s mother, Carruth did not embrace his role as a parent.


Carruth’s aversion to having children was no secret. In fact, he was very vocal about it. He reportedly joked about killing his children so he wouldn’t have to pay the mothers any money for their support.

 

The moments following the shooting that took Cherica’s life are immortalized in her 911 call. She’d been shot four times. She was crying, struggling to speak with the 911 operator, with her life leaving her body as she bled from her wounds.

 

The facts are shocking. This was a murder for hire, a plan by a cold-blooded man to kill his girlfriend and his unborn son. Cherica would speak for herself in court, through the 911 call recording and notes she wrote in the hospital. But justice in this case came with more difficulty than you might expect.

 

Jan 29, 2019

On February 14, 2007, stay at home dad Stephen Grant called the Macomb County Sheriff's office in Michigan to report that his wife, Tara Lynn Grant, had been missing for five days. In his story to the police, Stephen claimed that this was not the first time Tara had taken off, which was why he hadn’t reported her missing sooner. Stephen said that on the evening of February 9, he and Tara had argued. He then overheard Tara talking with someone on the phone, telling them, "I'll meet you at the end of the driveway". He said he saw her get into a dark-colored car a few minutes later and he had not seen or heard from her since.

Over the next two weeks, Stephen Grant made several TV appearances pleading for Tara to return. According to police, Stephen Grant was not cooperative with them throughout their investigation. And they began to question his relationship with the family’s 19-year old au pair. 

Investigators would ultimately discover that Stephen’s story of a missing wife was untrue and was, in fact, an elaborate attempt to sidetrack the police. According to later confessions, Stephen killed his wife during an argument after she had slapped and belittled him.  But insights into the couples’ relationship and evidence uncovered by the investigation have made this one of the most shocking and disturbing crimes in Michigan’s recent history. Join us at the quiet end today for our discussion of the life and gruesome murder of Tara Lynn Grant, in Blood on His Hands: The Murder of Tara Lynn Grant.

Madison Reed

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Jan 15, 2019

When you think of a mass shooter, you don’t envision someone like Amy Bishop.  Forty-five years old, female, Harvard-educated, Biology professor, and mother of four, Amy Bishop would seem an unlikely killer. 

It was 3pm on February 12, 2010, and thirteen professors and staff members from the University of Alabama Biology Department met in a third-floor conference room.  Plant biologist Gopi Podila passed out the printed agenda and sat beside Amy Bishop. Amy had a handgun in her purse.

Amy was normally quite vocal in these meetings, but that day she was silent and brooding.  She shot six of her co-workers, killing three, before she washed up and called her husband for a ride home.  The police arrived before he did.

But Amy’s homicidal rampage did not come out of nowhere.  Investigations into her background would reveal a troubled person with a history of violence and a probable cover up in her hometown in Massachusetts.

Today, in A Shooting in Alabama, we’ll delve into the life of a killer, atypical but just as devious and dangerous as any other.  At how many points in her life could she had been thwarted---and why wasn’t she?

Madison Reed

Note: Jill and Dick will be taking next week off. TCB will return on January 29th!

If you can't wait, you can sign up for members-only episodes at https://www.tiegrabber.com or by becoming a Patron at https://www.patreon.com/tiegrabber

 

Jan 8, 2019

Jana Eastburn was the sole survivor, just 22 months old, when her mother, Kathryn Eastburn, and siblings – 5-year-old Kara and 3-year-old Erin – were stabbed to death on May 9, 1985, in their Fayetteville, NC home. 

Jana had been abandoned in her crib for three days before police responded to the concerns of neighbors and entered the home. She was dehydrated and crying hysterically with her arms outstretched, alone within the carnage of the brutal triple murders of her mother and sisters.

Jana’s father, Air Force Captain Gary Eastburn, was away doing training in Alabama when his wife and daughters were killed.  Kathryn had placed an ad to rehome their dog because the family was planning to relocate to England.  The man who came to the house and took the dog, Sergeant Tim Hennis, became the primary suspect.

This case, including eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, and three trials, captured the attention of people across the country and continues to garner speculation. Join us at the quiet end today for our discussion of this complicated and fascinating case: The Eastburn Family Murders.

Madison Reed

 

Jan 1, 2019

Just before 9 p.m. on Sept. 24, 1973, 18-year-old Becky Thomson left to buy groceries and asked her 11-year-old half-sister, Amy Burridge, if she wanted to ride along with her. The two girls went in Becky’s station wagon to a Thriftway store in Casper, Wyoming.
But when Becky and Amy came out of the store, one of the car’s tires was flat. The sisters didn't know it at the time, but they were being set up for an abduction. Two men, Jerry Jenkins and Ronald Kennedy, pulled into the parking spot next to them and parked. The men offered to help, but they were responsible for slashing the tire. That night was the night when Becky’s worst nightmare came true. Her little sister would be murdered and her life would never be the same. The cruelty and brutality of Jenkins and Kennedy would haunt Becky until the day she died, leaving a family and a community in shock.

Join us at the quiet end today for the heartbreaking story of the abduction and deaths of two sisters. This story confirms that it is not only the victim of a murder who suffers. Murder is a crime with pain that ripples outward, hurting everyone in its path.

 

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Dec 25, 2018

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.

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Madison Reed

Sabre

Dec 18, 2018

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.”

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Sabre

 

Dec 11, 2018

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.

Sabre

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Dec 4, 2018

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.

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Sabre

Nov 27, 2018

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.

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Sabre

Nov 20, 2018

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.

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Sabre

Nov 13, 2018

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.

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Madison Reed

Nov 6, 2018

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.

Oct 30, 2018

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.

Madison Reed

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Oct 23, 2018

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.

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Oct 16, 2018

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.

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Madison Reed

Oct 9, 2018

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?

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Oct 2, 2018

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.

Sep 25, 2018

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.

Sep 18, 2018

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.

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