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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: Page 3
Sep 11, 2018

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.

Aug 28, 2018

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.

Aug 21, 2018

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. 

Aug 6, 2018

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?

Jul 22, 2018

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.

Jul 17, 2018

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.

Jul 9, 2018

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.

Jul 2, 2018

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?

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. 

May 28, 2018

Gail Katz-Bierenbaum was the attractive, young wife of an up and coming surgeon when she disappeared in July of 1985. Her husband, Dr. Robert Bierenbaum, was an overachiever with a very promising future. Charming but admittedly awkward, Bob was a surgical resident who spoke several languages, piloted his own plane, and enjoyed gourmet cooking. They seemed like the perfect Manhattan couple.
Trouble in the Bierenbaum marriage began before there was a wedding. Bob was obsessive, possessive, and controlling. Gail had always been a free spirit, a creative and intelligent person. But Gail was raised with the goal of marrying a doctor. Her mother believed her financial insecurity and tendency to move from one thing to another would be cured if she became a doctor’s wife.
Before her disappearance, Gail and Bob were planning a divorce. Bob didn’t want Gail to leave him. Gail had told a friend that she had proof Bob was committing Medicaid fraud. She would threaten to expose him to get her freedom. Then, Bob called Gail’s mother looking for her.
When Gail’s mother arrived at the Bierenbaum apartment, she found Gail’s purse with her keys and cigarettes. Bob said she had left in a huff the day before. He hadn’t seen her since. His story didn’t ring true.
At the quiet end today, we’re telling the story of a couple who seemed to have life all figured out. But the reality of their lives, and Gail’s death, was far from ideal. Without a body, it would take years to put together what happened to Gail and to bring Bob Bierenbaum to trial. But did they get it right?

May 22, 2018

The story of Marybeth Tinning and her nine deceased children is one of the worst cases of Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy in the history of the disorder. Between the years of 1967 and 1985, Marybeth, a wife and mother in upstate New York, gave birth to and buried every one of her babies and young children, often within months of one another.

The eldest, Barbara Ann, was born in 1967. By 1972, both little Barbara and her two siblings had died, starting with eight-day-old Jennifer, who is the only Tinning child believed to have died of natural, medically explained causes. The rest died inexplicably, all dead before they were old enough to attend kindergarten. Most were too young to walk or talk.

Marybeth repeatedly sought the attention of medical professionals, but no one spoke up to say that her actions were suspicious. They examined each child for symptoms, found none, and sent Marybeth home, where her child would die soon after. Marybeth was always the one to find them, blue and unresponsive. By the fifth death, doctors were calling the cause of most of these deaths Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The belief began to circulate in the town of Schenectady, New York, that the Tinning family suffered from "a death gene." Marybeth was asked by concerned acquaintances and family members why she continued to bring more babies into the world since they seemed destined to die so young.  Marybeth said she was a woman and that’s what women are supposed to do.

After fourteen years of deaths, Marybeth Tinning was finally arrested for the murders of Barbara Ann, Joseph, Jennifer, Mary Francis, Timothy, Nathan, Michael, Jonathan, and Tami Lynne Tinning. The autopsy of her youngest, Tami Lynne, had shown signs of manual suffocation.  Marybeth has told varying stories about her involvement.  To this day, her husband, the father to her 9 dead children, stands by Marybeth.

Join us at the quiet end today for an unbelievable and startling story of murder, followed by a discussion of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome, Child Protective Agencies, and the criminal justice system.

I’ve asked Dick to bring in a heavy hitting beer today because this case can really be not only upsetting but incredibly frustrating.  As a mother---hell, as a human being---I just cannot understand how this woman was able to repeat these horrible acts over and over with no one intervening to protect the most innocent victims.

May 15, 2018

Jack Barron's wife, Irene, died in her bed in the spring of 1992. She was only 34 and in apparently good health. On the day of her death, Jack told some people at work that she was having headaches and hadn’t felt well for several days.
Eight months later, Jack Barron's son, Jeremy, 4, stopped breathing in his sleep. Jack began to suggest to his in-laws and neighbors that there was some genetic link. The remaining family members were given medical tests which revealed nothing.
When Jack Barron's remaining child, his daughter Ashley, died in her sleep, also at the age of 4, family and friends could not believe such tragedy could strike again. Now alone, Jack quickly sold his Sacramento house and moved in with his mother in the Bay Area town of Benicia, California. By this time, his in-laws were suspicious. Maybe his mother became suspicious too.
Within 2 months, Jack’s mother was found dead in her bed. Finally, investigators began to believe that Jack Barron was a serial killer. Further investigations would reveal links between significant dates in Jack Barron’s life and the dates of his family members' unexplained deaths.
Join us at the quiet end today for a fascinating story of a psychologically disturbed man who killed off his family, one by one, each time planting a tree in their memory. How did police overlook what seems in hindsight to be a well plotted string of murders by a man who clearly enjoyed attention and benefited financially from the deaths of those closest to him?

May 8, 2018

With her arms full of grocery bags, 33-year old Diane Whipple had just returned to her upscale apartment in San Francisco on Jan. 26 2001. As she opened the door, a neighbor’s dog—a 112-lb. female Presa Canario named Hera—rushed down the narrow hall and began barking at her, followed by 123-lb. Bane, who was on a leash but pulling his owner, Marjorie Knoller, behind him. Diane was knocked to the floor and Bane attacked her.
The mauling death of Diane Whipple was viscous and brutal. She suffered over 70 dog bites. The final bite tore open her neck, leading to fatal blood loss. A neighbor called 911 when she heard the horrible attack.
Bane and Hera’s owners would later deny any knowledge of their dogs’ propensity for violence. But nearly 30 people would come forward with stories of being lunged at or bitten by one or both of the dogs. And then secrets emerged that painted an unfavorable picture of the owners.
There is so much to talk about with this case. Responsible pet ownership. Dog breeding. Animal abuse. Adoption laws. The definition of second-degree murder. This is just a crock pot full of fascinating topics. In Unleashed: A Dog Mauling in San Francisco, we will definitely ruffle some feathers, but hopefully the discussion will serve as an opportunity to take a closer look at our values and open the door to some fascinating listener feedback.

May 8, 2018

With her arms full of grocery bags, 33-year old Diane Whipple had just returned to her upscale apartment in San Francisco on Jan. 26 2001. As she opened the door, a neighbor’s dog—a 112-lb. female Presa Canario named Hera—rushed down the narrow hall and began barking at her, followed by 123-lb. Bane, who was on a leash but pulling his owner, Marjorie Knoller, behind him. Diane was knocked to the floor and Bane attacked her.
The mauling death of Diane Whipple was viscous and brutal. She suffered over 70 dog bites. The final bite tore open her neck, leading to fatal blood loss. A neighbor called 911 when she heard the horrible attack.
Bane and Hera’s owners would later deny any knowledge of their dogs’ propensity for violence. But nearly 30 people would come forward with stories of being lunged at or bitten by one or both of the dogs. And then secrets emerged that painted an unfavorable picture of the owners.
There is so much to talk about with this case. Responsible pet ownership. Dog breeding. Animal abuse. Adoption laws. The definition of second-degree murder. This is just a crock pot full of fascinating topics. In Unleashed: A Dog Mauling in San Francisco, we will definitely ruffle some feathers, but hopefully the discussion will serve as an opportunity to take a closer look at our values and open the door to some fascinating listener feedback.

May 1, 2018

Patricia Taylor and Tom Allanson came together after each of them left failing marriages behind. At thirty, Tom was younger than Pat by six years. He had been through two short, bad marriages and she had escaped one long one where she said she had felt trapped and smothered by her military husband. Both of them had been looking for the perfect love most of their lives. Despite the odds, they seemed to have found it in each other. From the outside, though, they appeared to have nothing more in common than sex.
Tom was tall and as strong as an ox. Pat was tiny boned and fragile, like a bird. She liked to be seen as a delicate southern lady. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind was her role model.
Tom wouldn’t be the first to be taken in by Pat, a lifelong manipulator, and he wasn’t the last. Pat had ideas about what she wanted in life and nothing would get in her way. Throughout her life, Pat feigned illness, made false police reports, tore apart families, and planned multiple murders. No one was exempt from her devious schemes, even those she claimed to love.
In A Dark Heart, we examine the relationships and evil acts of Patricia Taylor Allanson. This is a woman who left behind a string of broken families and lost lives in an effort to obtain the unattainable: perfection.

Apr 19, 2018

Maria Marshall seemed to be living an enviable life. She was beautiful and wealthy, with a successful husband and three healthy sons. It wasn’t until Maria was killed that her friends, family, and neighbors saw how hard she had been working to keep up appearances and keep her family together.
On the night of September 7, 1984, Robert and Maria were traveling home from Atlantic City when, according to Robert, he pulled over at a picnic area with a flat tire. He told investigators that he was knocked unconscious by a blow to the back of his head, and about $2,000 of his casino winnings was stolen. He said he awoke to find his wife with two gunshot wounds, lying dead across the front seat of their car. Robert Marshall was arrested on December 19, 1984, three months after Maria’s murder. The prosecution theorized that he had hired two men to kill his wife.
To the affluent residents of Toms River, New Jersey, Maria’s husband had been a devoted family man and a respected member of the community. But soon after Maria’s death, his perfect image unraveled as the police investigation uncovered debt, infidelity and a $1.5 million insurance policy. This is a case which has had a lot of publicity over the years. Today, we hope to tell Maria’s story with depth and compassion, looking at how this infamous case effected Maria’s children, those close to her, and the community of Toms River.

Apr 17, 2018

When UVA student Hannah Graham disappeared from a Charlottesville mall in 2014, authorities and volunteers began a massive search to find her. Joining the search were the parents of Morgan Harrington. Morgan had disappeared five years earlier. At the time, the Harringtons didn’t realize that solving Hannah’s case would lead them to the man who had killed Morgan.
Charlottesville is a historic city and home to the prestigious University of Virginia. 18-year-old Hannah Graham was a 2nd year student when she went missing in September of 2014. Her disappearance mobilized the police and the community. She had gone out with friends to dinner and a couple of parties. At 1am, she sent a text to a friend saying she was lost. She was never seen again, except in surveillance footage, some of it with her killer walking beside her.
As the investigation into Hannah’s disappearance unfolded, it became clear that Hannah and Morgan had been killed by the same man. Other missing woman and at least one rape victim are also considered targets of the same predator.
Join us at the quiet end today for a discussion of the missing and murdered young women victimized by convicted murderer Jessie Matthew. This story cover years of searching, the unimaginable pain of the victims’ parents, the manhunt for a killer, and the efforts of Morgan Harrington’s mother, along with thousands of volunteers, to Help Save the Next Girl.

Apr 10, 2018

Oba Chandler was executed in 2011 for the killings of a mother and her two daughters off the coast of south Florida. Jo Rogers and her two teenaged daughters were enjoying a rare and well-deserved vacation when they were approached by Oba Chandler and invited to take a cruise on his boat. He seemed like a kind, harmless, middle-aged man. There was nothing threatening about him.
But Chandler had an extensive criminal history. He had been lying, stealing, and sexually assaulting women for most of his adult life. When he got his three victims out on the water where no one could hear them scream for help, he killed them all, tossing them into the water to drown.
Hal Rogers waited at home on his Ohio farm for his family to return. The news would be devastating. And it took three years to find their killer.
Investigators learned the hard way how good Chandler was at covering his tracks. In <em>Terror by Sea</em>, we follow the history of a sociopath and the investigation that finally led to justice for his victims and the people they left behind.

Apr 3, 2018

Labelled as the "rough sex killing" or the “preppy murder,” the 1986 murder of college-bound teenager Jennifer Levin at the hands of so-called preppy Robert Chambers caught the attention of the entire country. Her horrible death opened up discussions about the reckless and promiscuous world of teenagers in her crowd.
In this time of the Me-Too movement, the media’s and the defense attorney’s attempts to blame sexually-active Jennifer for her own murder seem especially relevant. This was a classic case of victim blaming. But once we look into the life of Robert Chambers, we see how he was raised to feel entitled and above the law.
Chambers had been kicked out of several schools; he burglarized apartments, sold drugs and he had once broken the arm of a girlfriend. Although he claimed that Jennifer was accidentally killed during rough sex, her body was brutalized in a way that showed it was not a consenting sex act. The nature of multiple wounds and evidence found for 25 feet around her body proved she had made attempts at escaping a brutal attack. We will talk about all of this in today’s quiet end discussion The Preppy Murder.

Mar 26, 2018

In her 10 years, Zahra Baker had gone through a lot and overcome more than most adults. She was a cancer survivor who had to have an amputation, the removal of part of her lung, and she was left hearing impaired from cancer treatments. But she was still beautiful, inside and out. A resilient spirit with a child’s pure love of the simple things in life, Zahra was a person worthy of much more than she got.
Zahra deserved better from this world. Of all the cases we’ve covered on True Crime Brewery, unfortunately many of them involving the murders of children, this may very well be the most upsetting. Researching this case really brought home to me how much our children depend on us. Children are at the mercy of the adults who are designated as their caretakers. Usually, these are adults who love them and who do everything in their power to keep them safe. But for Zahra, she had no one looking out for her.
Zahra lived with an abusive step-mother, her father either too slow or too distracted to provide the protection she needed. Elisa Baker eventually killed 10-year old Zahra. And for nearly two weeks, no one noticed.
Elisa had a history of being abusive. And there were signs that Zahra was her victim. Zahra’s death at her hands was an atrocity and a tragedy. In today’s show, Step-Monster, we’re telling Zahra’s story.

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