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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 4
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.

Mar 19, 2018

Cherry Walker was a trusting, uncommonly innocent young woman with a developmental disability. When her neighbor Kim Cargill brought her son to Cherry to babysit, Cherry didn’t know enough to question her. Mentally still a child herself, Cherry played alongside the child, sharing her food and her small apartment with him. Kim took full advantage of Cherry, leaving her neglected son with Cherry for days without providing for any of his needs while she was away.
But when Cherry was asked to testify in court against his abusive mother, she was taken out of the picture. Kim knew that Cherry couldn't lie if her life depended on it—and as it turned out, her life did depend on it.
Cherry's body was found on the side of a Texas road, after being doused with lighter fluid and set aflame. Kim Cargill was soon revealed as the primary suspect in her murder.
Attractive, manipulative, and with a history of violence, mother of four Kim Cargill turned out to have plenty of dirty secrets she'd do anything to keep hidden. In The Babysitter’s Secret, our quiet end discussion takes us inside Kim Cargill's trial for the murder of Cherry Walker--and we glimpse into the mind of one of the most conniving female psychopaths in recent history.

Mar 12, 2018

High on the mountains of Southern California, an overgrown driveway leads to the burned-out piece of ground that once supported Jack Irwin’s Mt. Baldy cabin. Life has moved on, as it always does, and the forest has grown over much of this site where a horrific murder took place.
Back in 1999, Jack Irwin sold his cabin for $48,000 to two women—Marcia Johnson and Judy Gellert. He gave them very generous terms, holding the mortgage in exchange for monthly payments of $582 for ten years. He also threw in some appliances.
But by summer, Judy and Marcia moved in with Jack in his four-bedroom house down the mountain. They explained to others in town that they decided to move in to help him keep house, cook his meals, and make sure he ate well and took his medicine.
When Marcia Johnson reported Jack Irwin missing a few months later, she said that she had dropped him off at the train station so he could take a trip to Seattle to see the space needle. Marcia had only known Jack for 7 months, but she claimed that she was like a daughter to him.
When Marcia and Judy told neighbors that Jack had taken a trip, many were suspicious. Jack wasn’t a complete recluse, but he was definitely a homebody. He had never mentioned taking a trip to anyone else. Then, suddenly, the women were driving new cars and spending a lot of money. Further investigation would reveal that the women had drained Jack’s bank account.
In the summer of 2000, the cabin was robbed, then burned to the ground. Judy and Marcia collected large sums of money from State Farm Insurance. Then they left town. Jack Irwin’s missing person’s case became a murder investigation.
The murder of Jack Irwin, often referred to as A Beheading at Mt. Baldy, is our quiet end discussion today. Because Jack was a veteran and a kind-hearted man with a disability, this is one of the most heinous cases of elder abuse on record in California. The lack of remorse demonstrated by his admitted killer, along with the fact that her accomplice has gone essentially unpunished adds to the outrageous nature of the case.

Mar 2, 2018

Six-year old Sheree Beasley was a tough little cookie. She had been through a lot in her short life, but she had a love of life and an independent streak. Sheree loved her bicycle and was always happy for any excuse to take it out for a spin.
She had survived her baby brother who died of SIDs, followed by the fatal drug overdose of her step-father. Sheree’s Mom struggled in life and tried to give her the best life she could. Through it all, Sheree wore a wide, beautiful smile. She was a joyful little girl with some street smarts. But her independence and lack of supervision made her a target and she was abducted by a lurking predator.
When Sheree’s bike was found abandoned, her mother knew that Sheree had been taken. She was devastated to think she had lost a second child. It was unbearable and unfair for a mother to suffer this heartbreak twice.
Sheree’s abductor wasn’t known to her family, but he had been seen near the schools and public swimming pool, exposing himself and approaching children. His therapist was aware that he was a threat. How much his wife knew is debatable.
At the quiet end today, we’re talking about the vibrant life of Australian child Sheree Beasley, her joys and her difficulties. Her loss brings us to the topics of child safety, how we deal with child sexual predators, and the dynamics of the patient/therapist privilege. For instance, when is it appropriate for a therapist to alert police of a client who is a danger?
This episode, The Life and Loss of Sheree Beasley, is dedicated to every child who has been lost to a predator. We hope Sheree’s story will help us to share some constructive dialogue.

Feb 26, 2018

Daniel Wozniak believed his acting abilities would help him get away with anything, including the perfect crime. For him, this crime was a cold-blooded double murder with money as the sole motivation. Wozniak was engaged to be married and he killed combat vet Samuel Herr and his college tutor Julie Kibuishi because he needed money to pay for a lavish beach side wedding. These murders were equally callous and brutal. After the murders, Wozniak acted in a play with his fiancée that same night, his victim’s body just yards away. He gave a flawless performance.
The victims of these murders were kindhearted, giving people. Sam Herr lost his life going out of his way to help Daniel Wozniak. In return, he was murdered, robbed, and set up as the killer of Julie Kibuishi, before his body was dismembered and discarded like trash.
We’re discussing what led up to these heinous acts, the young lives of the victims, the level of involvement of Wozniak’s fiancée, and the many twists and turns of these cruel and unforgivable crimes in The Final Act: The Murders of Julie Kibuishi and Samuel Herr.

Feb 19, 2018

Larry McNabney lived an exciting and tumultuous life.  Haunted by tragedies in his early life, Larry drank to excess and did his fair share of pharmaceuticals.  But Larry’s biggest passions were love and money.  He loved and lost again and again with 5 marriages and countless relationships.  As a talented and hard-working attorney, he earned millions.  But Larry could spend money just as quickly as he earned it.   He enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle and took pleasure in sharing his fortunes with the ones he loved.

With all the risks Larry took in his life, it was the risk he took in marrying his 5th wife, Elisa McNabney, that did him in.  Elisa was an attractive, intelligent young woman with a very checkered past.  She was born under a different name; a high school drop out with a lengthy criminal record.  She took everything Larry had, including his life.

In Risky Business: The Murder of Larry McNabney, we follow the winding trail of two complicated lives that intersected with catastrophic results, leaving them both dead in the end.

Feb 13, 2018

Grand Junction, Colorado, is a picturesque town on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The Blagg Family, Jennifer, Mike, and little Abby, had moved there from South Carolina for Mike’s new job as operations manager at a local manufacturing plant. They set up house on an upper-middle class suburban street. Jennifer stayed home with Abby and volunteered at her school while Mike worked at his high paying white-collar career. To those who knew them or saw them in passing, they were the ideal family.
Jennifer was an active young mother with an apparently loving and strong marriage when she disappeared with her 6-year old daughter Abby on November 13, 2001. She and Mike were enthusiastic born-again Christians who doted on their daughter Abby, a healthy, blond-haired blue-eyed girl who was always smiling and sang herself to sleep at night.
It was only after Mike came home from work and called 911 to report his wife and child missing that the woven fabric of the Blagg’s carefully constructed lives would unravel publicly. Underneath the mask of a loving and faithful man, Mike Blagg was a man with dark secrets. It didn’t take long for investigators to focus on him and consider that both Jennifer and Abby were victims of a husband and father who was capable of murdering his own family.
But was Mike’s secret interest in internet porn used against him? Being a porn addict does not make a person a murderer. To find him guilty of murder, police needed forensic evidence, including a body. Their search was remarkable, bordering on heroic, as investigators and volunteers spent 16 days sorting through the foulness of a massive landfill in the June heat.
Today, in A Husband’s Malice, we tell the story of a young mom and an innocent child who became the victims of a man who was supposed to love and protect them, a husband and a father, Mike Blagg.

Jan 30, 2018

Dr. Tariq Rafay, his wife Sultana and their 20-year old daughter Basma were viciously bludgeoned to death in their Bellevue, Washington home on the evening of July 12, 1994. Atif Rafay, the son of Sultana and Tariq, found them when he returned home around 2am. Atif and his friend Sebastian Burns, both 18-years old, had gone out for dinner, a movie and a late-night snack. They found the horrific scene just after 2am. Sebastian Burns called 911 at 2:01am for help. The two teenagers then ran into the street to wait for the police.

There were reports that the police had a difficult time locating the Rafay house, which was located in an upper middle-class neighborhood. A few minutes after the 911 call, a police cruiser passed the house, unable to find the correct address. The teenagers chased after it, pounding on a window to get it to stop. Upon entering the Rafay’s suburban Seattle home, police were shocked by the horrible, bloody crime scene. Sultana was dead from fatal blows to her head. Basma was critically injured and died later at a hospital, having suffered repeated blows to her head and body. Dr. Rafay’s body was on his bed with his head completely crushed. His bedroom was covered in blood, bone, teeth and tissue from the brutal killing.

Sebastian and Atif had solid alibis which police interpreted as efforts by the teens to avoid detection as the perpetrators of this horrible, violent act.  They were cooperative as police put them up in a motel and questioned them over a three-day period, but police found their reactions to the event to be inappropriate and suspicious. In the days, weeks and months following the murders, the Bellevue police tried to put together a case, but discovered that the physical evidence pointed away from supporting that either Sebastian or Atif were involved. 

Nine months after the murders, frustrated by the lack of evidence of the guilt of Sebastian or Atif, the Bellevue police enlisted the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in an effort to obtain incriminating evidence against the two teenagers. The RCMP decided to initiate an undercover sting operation known in Canada as “Mr. Big,” in an effort to elicit a confession from one or both of them. Evidence from a Mr. Big operation is not admissible in the United States unless it is obtained outside the country.  At this point, the teens were living in Canada.

Today, at the quiet end, we discuss the vicious murders of three innocent people and a possible case of the wrongful convictions of two young men. Their confessions, given under a method that is illegal in the United States and has since been declared illegal in Canada, are what convicted them and what keep them in prison today.  In Unfortunate Sons: The Convictions of Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns, we look at the Mr. Big method of obtaining confessions, the other suspects in these murders, and the trials and appeals in the case.

Jan 23, 2018

Malcolm Webster drugged and murdered his first wife and, after getting away with it, he tried to do the same to his second wife. A third fiancé, Simone Banarjee, was saved by detectives when they warned her and showed her evidence of her intended’s lies and crimes. She was stunned to learn that the man she loved was plotting her death as they were planning their honeymoon together.
Webster was an English-born nurse who travelled the world and used drugs to sedate his victims before eliminating evidence with arson and murder. His three best known victims were women who were independently wealthy and fell for his English gentleman persona. Police believe there were many more victims.
He had set ablaze cars, offices, and homes. After gaining access to bank accounts, he embezzled money with forged signatures and fraudulent documents. Even as he spent Simone’s fortune and arranged for her death, he had a string of women he was setting up as future targets. There were many coincidences following Malcolm Webster over the years, too many for police detectives to accept. Though he took everything from the women he victimized, those who survived would say he was gentle. He killed with kindness, putting them into oblivious slumber with drugs before leaving them to fiery deaths.
The Deliberate Widower: Malcolm Webster is our topic at the quiet end today. The outrageous crimes this man inflicted over his lifetime formulate an incredible, intricate story of a con man who would stop at nothing, even murder, to get the things he wanted.

Jan 16, 2018

There is no question that Michael Dunn shot and killed 17-year old Jordan Russell Davis. Tommy Stornes, Jordan’s friend who was driving the car Jordan was in, acted quickly, backing his car away as Michael Dunn shot into the vehicle. Jordan’s murder is often referred to as the Loud Music case, because the incident began when Michael Dunn asked the teens to turn down their stereo.
According to Dunn, Jordan threatened to kill him, opening his car door and pointing a shotgun at him. Dunn had a concealed weapon permit. He retrieved his handgun from his glove compartment and fired at Davis. He shot ten times. Then he fled the scene, went to a hotel with his fiancée, and ordered pizza.
Tommy Stornes drove his SUV away to a nearby parking lot. Jordan was gasping for air. He died that night. Dunn was arrested at his home the next day.
The trial of Michael Dunn for murder brought attention to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as he claimed self-defense. If he could prove that he felt like his life was being threatened, he had no obligation to retreat. Racism was also an issue. Michael Dunn is a white man and Jordan was an African-American teen. Dunn was overheard remarking about “thug music.”
Our discussion today, <em>Trigger Happy: The Killing of Jordan Davis</em>, surrounds the events leading up to and following this shooting and the trial of  Michael Dunn, who seemed to know no remorse after he claimed self defense without any evidence of a threat. With the conviction of Michael Dunn, we know that black lives do matter, but are African American teens any safer today because of the court’s decision? Does the Stand Your Ground Law give people a license to kill?

Jan 12, 2018

When Megan McAllister met Philip Markoff she thought she had met her prince charming. Philip was attractive, in a non-threatening way, highly intelligent, and a perfect gentleman. He was a medical student at Boston University and headed for an ambitious future. Megan had her own ambitions. She was graduating college and hoped to start med school soon. When Philip proposed to Megan, she was thrilled. She took Philip to meet her parents and he won them over, golfing with her dad and complimenting her mother.
Julissa Brisman was 25-years old when she met Philip Markoff. The man she met was very different from Megan’s Philip. He beat her and shot her to death in a Boston hotel room.
Later labelled the Craigslist Killer, the real Philip Markoff was a predator. He targeted young women who placed ads for massages and escort services, robbing and hurting them to support a gambling habit and the thrill he got from dominating women.
In The Crimes of Philip Markoff, we’re learning about a man who wasn’t what he appeared to be and how he was able to live a life of complete contradiction. His victims’ stories are of survival and of one life lost, from his mislead fiancee, to women in vulnerable positions, to a young woman cut down as she struggled to better herself.

Jan 9, 2018

A young woman was found in a ditch and rushed to a hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in April of 1990. She was the apparent victim of a hit and run. She seemed to be getting better and recovering from her head injury when her husband, a much older man named Clarence Hughes, paid one last visit to her. She died soon after.
Clarence and his then wife Tonya Hughes went by a number of aliases over the years. Clarence was actually a fugitive named Franklin Delano Floyd. It would take years to uncover Tonya’s true identity. Floyd would become a suspect in Tonya’s death and in the disappearance of Tonya’s 6-year old child.
The crimes of Franklin Delano Floyd were numerous and obscene. He was a pedophile, a rapist, a kidnapper, and a murderer. His victims were vulnerable and his abuses were brutal and cruel. Tanya, known also as Sharon Marshall, had first lived as this monster’s child, and then as his wife.
What stands out as a light in this dark story is the perseverance and eternal hope of this young woman. She was an honor student, a loving mother, and a loyal friend, despite being beaten and exploited for most of her life.
Today, in Adopt a Wife: The Victims of Franklin Delano Floyd, we are discussing the lives of his victims: their strength and their pain. By looking into Floyd’s past, we will see his path into darkness as he chose not to overcome the abuses he endured as a child but to pass them on to others. This story is as disturbing as it is tragic, but, if you can work your way through it with us I think you will find yourself impressed with the tenacity of the investigators who finally brought him to justice and the resilience of the human spirit.

Jan 2, 2018

Early one Sunday morning, kayakers found the body of a woman floating in the shallow water of a river outside Emporia, Kansas. She was identified as Sandra Bird, the wife of a minister and the mother of three young children. Her station wagon appeared to have run off a gravel country road near a bridge. She had been ejected before it overturned into the river.
Initially, the death of Sandy Bird was ruled an accident. But, over the next two years, residents of the tranquil Midwest town were swept up in a twisted tale of adultery, lust, greed, and murder.
Although they were suspicious, investigators could not prove that First Lutheran Minister Tom Bird and his mistress Lorna Anderson had plotted to kill Tom's wife.
Four months later, Lorna's husband Marty would turn up dead. Lorna stood to collect over $200,000 in life insurance. Her attempt to collect the money the day after Marty's death further raised suspicions. When an ex-boyfriend of Lorna came along and told police Lorna and Tom had tried to hire him to kill Marty, all of the pieces began falling into place. The relationship of Tom Bird with his church secretary would surface as the core motive for these two untimely deaths.
At the quiet end today, we learn about the forbidden romance and cold-blooded motives of two people who chose murder over divorce, death over life, and their own desires over anything that got in the way.

Dec 26, 2017

There are vulnerable people in society who the rest of us have a moral obligation to protect and defend from those who would take advantage of them or abuse them. Of course, we often fail. But when someone dedicates their life to helping these people who society has basically cast out, it is an honorable thing. This is a person we can all admire as selfless and kind. We may admire them so much that we overlook some ominous signs of exploitation.
Dorothea Puente ran a boarding home for disabled and elderly people who had nowhere else to go. Many of them were mentally ill and incapable of caring for themselves. She came across as maternal and selfless, cooking and cleaning for her boarders without complaint. But she had a temper. And, she had a criminal history.

The crimes in Dorothea’s boarding house were shocking and heinous, so much so that she would earn the moniker “Death House Landlady.” It would take time for anyone to notice that tenants were missing and to connect the horrible, sickly sweet odor of decomposition to their disappearances.

Today, we’re finding out how Dorothea Puente progressed from being a thief to a serial killer and how she got away with murdering the people who depended on her while cashing their checks and spending their social security benefits on clothing and booze. We’re calling this episode “Death House Landlady,” because we can, and because it neatly sums up this story.

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