On November 13, 2010, while on their honeymoon in South Africa, newlywed couple Shrien and Anni Dewani, from Bristol, England, were kidnapped at gunpoint. Shrien was released unharmed about 20 minutes later. He found someone on the street and called for help. The next morning, Anni was found dead inside the back of the carjacked vehicle. She had been killed with a single gunshot to her neck.
Honeymoons are a time of celebration and a time for a newly married couple to spend time alone, undistracted from the burdens of everyday life. And Anni’s honeymoon started off that way. Shrien was wealthy, handsome, and fun-loving. Following an elaborate traditional wedding in India, the couple was staying at the 5-star Cape Grace Hotel.
Anni’s killers, including the couple’s tour guide, were arrested for her murder. The couple had been robbed, which was consistent with a random carjacking, but other questions arose. It was unusual that Shrien had been released and Anni had been killed, with the car left behind. And the neighborhood they were travelling in was suspect. When her killers pointed to Anni’s fiancé as the mastermind of a plot to murder Anni, an extended legal battle ensued.
Today at the quiet end we’re talking about a beautiful life cut short, possibly by the man who promised to love and honor her:
Carjacked: The Honeymoon Murder of Anni Dewani
We’ve all done stupid things due to peer pressure. It can be harmless, such as influencing the way we dress or the way we wear our hair. Sometimes it involves drinking or other high-risk behavior. It often plays a part in bullying, with a teen or group of teens encouraging abusive behavior against a peer. Today, we are talking about an extreme case of peer pressure which led to the torture and murder of a 12-year old girl by 4 teenage girls.
12-year old Shanda Sharer was a cute and friendly girl, living in Madison, Indiana, in 1992, when her murder attracted international attention. Her killers were unlikely criminals. Shanda had left her house willingly with them.
So, how did a typical teenage adventure lead to such horrific violence and murder? The role of peer pressure or mob mentality was definitely a factor. But there were other factors that influenced what happened that night, including the abusive histories and dysfunctional childhood environments of some of the perpetrators. We’ll talk about the crime of torture and murder against Shanda and examine the influences, including the home lives of the girls involved in the crime.
In this episode of True Crime Brewery: Mean Girls
Our intermission song is Perfect by Alanis Morissette
In 1966, three children, Jane, Arnna, and Grant Beaumont, went to the beach to celebrate Australia Day. Many people there saw the siblings having a great time, but they never returned home. They vanished without a trace. While a widespread investigation was launched, it turned up very little. To this day, we’re still unsure of what happened, but the case is still felt very deeply, effecting the way investigators search for missing children and the amount of freedom parents allow their children. Many see the disappearance as the end of an era when Australians felt that their kids were generally safe and the start of the modern era of “stranger danger,” and the suspicion that anyone could secretly pose a threat.
It was on January 26, 1966, that Jane, Arnna, and Grant Beaumont, aged 9, 7, and 4 respectively, set out from their house, headed for the beach to participate in the Australia Day festivities. Their parents Jim and Nancy trusted 9-year-old Jane to look after her siblings. But something happened that day that prevented Jane from keeping herself and her younger siblings safe. What happened to the Beaumont Children? How do parents cope after losing all of their children in one tragic event?
Join us at the quiet end for And Then There Were None: The Disappearance of the Beaumont Children
David Brown, a man who masterminded the 1985 murder of his wife, died of natural causes in a prison hospital in 2014. He was 61. Brown was in a protective housing unit because of his notoriety for the killing of his fifth wife, Linda Brown. He was accused of persuading two teenagers —one his daughter, the other his sister-in-law and lover— to kill his wife. He went on to collect $835,000 from the victim’s insurance, including several policies started just months before her death. Brown paid $350,000 in cash for a new house within five months of the killing. Shortly after, he took a sixth wife.
Our story today would be unbelievable if it weren’t true. David Brown was the very incarnate of evil, a sociopath with a sweet tooth and a weak stomach, with an insatiable desire for cash, cigarettes, junk food, and adolescent girls. He spent his life manipulating people and scamming in spite of the fact that he had a great income and he was surrounded by people who adored him. But the only life he valued was his own. Join us at the quiet end for Sugar & Spice: The Murder of Linda Brown.
26-year old George Smith disappeared from the cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas in July 2005 under suspicious circumstances. It should have been a fun, carefree evening. George and his wife Jennifer were on their honeymoon, having married just 11 days earlier. Sometime in the hours before dawn George Smith vanished, presumably fallen overboard into the dark Aegean sea. All that was found the next day was a disturbing, large bloodstain on a life-raft canopy beneath his balcony—just the first detail in a confusing set of clues, witnesses, and possible suspects. Was it an accident or murder?
Most believe that George Smith was the victim of foul play. The longer the case remains unsolved, the darker its undertones grow. Allegations of a Royal Caribbean “cover-up” was examined by journalists and public awareness was raised about the dangers lurking aboard cruise ships.
Another fact that raised some eyebrows was that Jennifer wasn’t with her new husband that night. She had been seen with another man and wound up passed out in another part of the ship.
Join us at the quiet end as we discuss the lives of George and Jennifer Smith, the events leading up to George’s disappearance, and the investigation. This is a true mystery: Overboard: The Disappearance of George Smith
Darren Burgess had married the wrong woman. Clinging to a dying relationship for the sake of his children, he turned to alcohol. Through 1998 and 1999, he drank heavily “just to numb the pain.” He started taking risks. In March of 2000, after a work meeting, he was arrested for drunk driving. He feared he would lose his job and his home, so he went to his boss, Kevin Matthews, for help.
Darren kept his job. His license was suspended for 6 months. Darren believes that it was during this time period that his wife Michelle and his boss began communicating via text messages. Flirtations progressed to a full-on love affair.This wasn’t the first time that Michelle had been unfaithful to Darren. She was actually known for her brazen infidelities. And Kevin wasn’t exactly husband of the year to his wife Carolyn. The intensity of their relationship quickly made it public knowledge, but neither Kevin nor Michelle seemed to care.
What they did care about was money. When their marriages began to dissolve, their minds turned to murder.
This episode of True Crime Brewery is about lust, betrayal, greed, and a murder for hire scheme that destroyed two families. Come to the quiet end with us for our discussion: Dead by Friday: The Plot to Kill Carolyn Matthews.
A young mother is shot to death while she clutches her 7-month old baby. Her husband lies executed in the next room. This isn’t the story of a Hollywood drama, but the tragic end to an average Tennessee working class family. Billie Jean Hayworth and her husband Billy Payne were going about their normal weekday morning routine when they were senselessly and violently murdered. The events that led to that morning are inexplicable, fueled by the petty ignorance of a woman who used social media to manipulate and hurt people.
We’re taking a look at the catfishing murders of East Tennessee in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Unfriended. Settle in for a twisted tale of senseless murder, jealousy, and cruelty beyond what most of us could ever imagine.
Dick reviews <em>Homestyle</em>, an American IPA from Bearded Iris Brewing
It has been 8 and a half years since anyone has seen Haleigh Cummings alive. When she was last seen on February 9, 2009, she was 5-years old. She would now be 13.
Haleigh's 17-year old babysitter, Misty Croslin, the girlfriend of her 25-year old father, Ron Cummings, called police at 3:30am on February 10th 2009. She had waited until Ron came home from work to make the call.
Misty claimed that she was asleep and woke up at 3am to find Haleigh missing. There was an open door, held open with a cinder block.
Over the years, Misty’s story has undergone intense scrutiny. The troubled, drug-riddled lives of the adults in Haleigh’s life have led to endless speculation and theories, but the case remains unsolved.
In this episode of True Crime Brewery, The Lost Girl, we are talking about one of the most notorious missing child cases in the United States. No one has been held responsible for the abduction or murder of Haleigh, but she is assumed dead. Who is responsible, and will justice ever be served? What does it say about our society when a 5-year old girl can disappear and the people charged with her care and well-being go unpunished for it?
As you may or may not now, we have a second podcast. It's called Watching ID. This is a brief introduction and 3 minute sample of our most recent episode: Grave Mysteries' Murder in the Chat Room. If you like what you hear, you can hear the full episode on iTunes or on your favorite podcast app. Thank you for giving it a try!
Killers don’t wear nametags telling us who they are. They look like everybody else. They are fathers, brothers, neighbors, carpenters, doctors, men, or women. On an upper class suburban street in Kansas City, at 7517 Canterbury Court, Dr. Debora Green and her husband, Dr. Michael Farrar, lived with their 3 children. It was a beautiful home where the children were provided with every advantage. Michael made a generous salary as a Cardiologist, Debora was a full-time mother. This was the image of the perfect family.
When the family’s home became engulfed in flames on October 23, 1995, Debora was barely able to escape the fire. Tragically, two of her children perished in the fire. When the fire was determined to be caused by arson, police were looking for a murderer. But they were searching for a murderer from a pool of people who seemed very unlikely to be murderers and it seemed unimaginable that anyone would have wanted to kill 2 innocent children. What was uncovered in the investigation that followed would shock the community and invite speculation from all over the world.
Join us at the quiet end today as we relive the lives of an outwardly successful couple, following the twists and turns marked by love, fraud, addiction, infidelity, madness, attempted murder, and, finally, murder. In this episode of True Crime Brewery: First, Do No Harm.
Alma Sipple, a single mother in Tennessee, could not afford medical care for her ten-month-old daughter Irma when a knock on the door changed her life: there stood a woman with close-cropped grey hair, round wireless glasses and a broad, stern face.
The older woman exuded authority as she explained she was the director of a local orphanage. She had come to help. Alma was relieved and excitedly rushed to show the lady her sickly child.
Examining the baby, the woman offered to pass her off as her own at the local hospital in order to obtain free treatment. She warned Alma not to accompany her, explaining: "If the nurses know you're the mother, they'll charge you."
Lifting the child from her bed, the woman turned and disappeared. Two days later, Alma was told her baby had died.
In reality, Irma had been flown to an adoptive home in Ohio. Alma would not see her daughter again for 45 years.
Far from being the kind savior that Alma thought she was, the woman who had taken Irma was a baby thief.
For 30 years, Georgia Tann made millions of dollars selling children. A network of scouts, corrupt judges and politicians helped her steal babies. She targeted youngsters on their way home from school, promising them ice cream and tempting them away from their homes. Legal papers would be signed saying they were abandoned - most would never see their families again.
Come with us to the quiet end as we discuss the cruelty suffered by children and families at the hands a woman considered by many to have been the most prolific child abuser and killer in a century.
This is Part 3 in our series on the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
If you haven’t heard Part 1, Prelude to Murder, and Part 2, Murders in Brentwood, we recommend that you go back and listen to the episodes in order.
We begin this episode after OJ Simpson has been arrested for the murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown. He had his motorcade. Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian are on his side. The entire country has heard the 911 domestic violence calls made by Nicole. Now, because the prosecution had released these 911 calls to the public, they were not able to get a grand jury together who hadn’t heard these tapes. The grand jury was dismissed on the grounds that the grand jury could not be objective. So, in place of a grand jury, the court ordered a preliminary hearing. In the preliminary hearing, a judge would review the evidence and decide if the case should go to trial. This worked against the prosecution because they had to put out their case before they were ready. This was a tactical victory for the defense because they had access to all of the prosecution’s evidence early on.
Join us at the quiet end as we discuss legal techniques, clashes, and the verdict that rocked the nation.
How well do we really know the people in our daily lives? Our co-workers, our boss, the clerk at the grocery store, our neighbors, our friends, or even our spouse? Many people thought they knew Colonel David Russell Williams. He was a decorated air force pilot and commander at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) at Trenton, Ontario, and a respected member of his community when he was arrested in 2010, and charged with the murders of two women, and numerous other sexually related crimes. The realization that he was a sexual predator and a murderer shocked the military and the country and quickly became an international story.
What were the signs that this was a truly deviant individual? There had to be some. There had to be moments in his professional or personal life where the cracks showed. Many people, quite reasonably, believe that his wife must have known.
Join us at the quiet end today as we go back to the childhood of Russell Williams, through his college years and the escalation of his abhorrent behavior from stealing panties to sexual assault to murder. Also, his victims shouldn’t be ignored. These crimes left many people traumatized and took two young women from the people who loved them, snuffing out their bright and boundless futures.
We remember the victims and examine the secret life of a predator in this episode of True Crime Brewery:
An Officer and a Psychopath
Of all the pain and struggles that are left in the aftermath of a murder, it may be the senselessness that haunts us the most. On February 9th, 2010, 17-year-old Mackenzie Cowell said she’d only be gone for 15 minutes when she left the Academy of Hair Design in Wenatchee, Washington. Four days later, police discovered Mackenzie dead and mutilated along the banks of the Columbia River. She still wore her beauty school uniform.
Mackenzie was a happy girl with a bright future ahead of her. Losing her was devastating to her family and friends. The viscous nature of her death was almost more than they could bear.
Chris Wilson, a classmate of Mackenzie, is in prison now after taking a plea deal in her murder. Mackenzie’s family feels like he got off easy while supporters of Chris Wilson say he is innocent and should not be in prison at all. Everyone agrees that her death was senseless.
Join us at the quiet end today as we review the last day of Mackenzie’s life and the investigation which led to Chris Wilson’s conviction in this episode of True Crime Brewery: The Beauty Shop Murder.
Dick shares Fremont Brewing's The Rusty Nail
At what age are we responsible for our actions? Laws and opinions differ, but there are certain acts that seem to transcend age in their brutality and lack of conscience. When 12-year old Jasmine Richardson attacked and participated in the murder of her entire family, a community and those of us looking on were shocked. Was she innately vicious or was she influenced and led into these crimes by her emotionally disturbed adult boyfriend?
An interesting outshoot of this is the impossible position Jasmine’s parents found themselves in as their daughter rebelled and moved into a world of drugs, underage sex, and depravity. Their options were somewhat limited. Also, there was no way for them to predict the horror that happened back in 2006.
Join us at the quiet end of the bar today as we tell the story of Jasmine Richardson’s family and discuss the issues involved in the prosecution of a child for a crime so outrageous that experienced detectives were traumatized by the crime scene. in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Runaway Devil
People do crazy things for love. Some people kill for love. Sometimes people die for love and their loved ones are left to somehow go on without them. To ponder the whys and what ifs. When Rusty Sneiderman was shot dead after dropping his 3-year-old son at daycare on November 18, 2010, police speculated that it was a professional hit. He had been executed with multiple gunshot wounds by an unknown assailant who fled the scene in a rented minivan.
But this was no professional hit. This was a calculated but passion-fueled act, a strategy to allow Rusty's wife Andrea the freedom to spend the rest of her life with another man and inherit millions of dollars.
At the quiet end today, we're telling you about a crime of passion and insanity, a family's loss, and a woman who may have gotten away with murder. You can be the judge in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Crazy Love.
The story of Lisa Irwin, who went missing when she was just 10 months old, has riveted the nation and left behind unanswered questions. How does a 10-month old infant disappear from her crib, never to be seen again? The police have focused on Lisa’s mother, Deborah, although there was plenty of evidence pointing to an abduction.
Deborah drank heavily the night Lisa disappeared and changed her story with police, increasing suspicions. During the subsequent investigation, two witnesses were discovered who claimed to have seen a man walking down the street with a baby. Police were able to find and question a man matching the description of one witness, but the other witness claimed that his photo does not match the man they saw.
So, what is the current status of the investigation into Lisa’s disappearance? Join us at the quiet end as we review Lisa’s story, the evidence, and the investigation. If you’re thirsty, don’t worry, Dick has brought the beer.
The Lillelid family van drove on through the twilight in Greenville, Tennessee, in April of 1997. Gravel crunched beneath its wheels as quiet sobs echoed inside. The sun had set, and dusk gave way to nightfall. When the van stopped, the doors opened to an unusual congregation. One by one, the occupants climbed out. A run down car pulled up the road behind them and came to a stop beside them.
Six young adults from Kentucky know what happened that Sunday evening. The Lillelid family, including two small children, were shot and left for dead.
Join us at the quiet end as we go into the background of the victims and perpetrators of the Lillelid killings, revisit the cold-blooded crime, and learn about the trial and punishments that resulted.
Dick's beer of the week is Noble Cuvee Dry Hop Saison from Blackberry Farm
Sheila Bellush's 13-year-old daughter Stevie came home from school on November 7th, 1997, and found her 23-month-old quadruplet siblings crying and spotted with blood. Sheila was on the laundry room floor, dead from a gunshot wound to her face and a large gash to her throat. It was clear that there had been a struggle. Blood covered the floor and smeared the walls.
The babies had witnessed the brutal crime and remained alone with their deceased mother for hours.
The family had recently moved to Sarasota,Florida, to escape the harassment and threats of Sheila's ex-husband. They had begun a new life, revealing their location to only a few close relatives. But now, investigators believed that there was a complicated plot, conceived by Sheila's wealthy ex, for a brutal murder for hire.
This is a story of two divergent lives coming together and pulling apart, resulting in obsession, rage, and a cruel murder carried out in front of four innocent eyewitnesses: Sheila's babies.
On the morning of July 18th, 2014, Ross Harris was expected to bring his 22-month-old son Cooper to daycare on his way to work. Ross and Cooper ate breakfast at a Chick-fil-A restaurant less than one mile from Ross’ office. After breakfast, Ross drove his SUV to the Home Depot office where he worked. Cooper was strapped in a rear-facing car seat in the back. Ross went into his office at 9:25am, leaving Cooper in his car seat.
At about 12:30, Ross got lunch with 2 co-workers at a nearby Publix. Then he purchased light bulbs from a nearby Home Depot store. When Ross returned to his office building, he opened his driver’s side door and put the light bulbs in the front seat. He would claim that he didn’t notice Cooper was still there.
It was past 4pm, after Ross left work, when he said that he discovered Cooper’s lifeless body and he stopped at a nearby shopping center and called for help. Witnesses and first responders found Ross’ behavior to be strange and suspicious.
Ultimately, a secret life and murder plot would be revealed. The cruelty of this crime, by a father against his young son, was unimaginable.
On this episode of True Crime Brewery, A Devil Down in Georgia: The Murder of Cooper Harris, Dick and I are discussing the sad and unthinkable death of Cooper Harris. What we find out about Ross Harris’ secret life and motivations is a lesson in selfishness and callousness. Dick also shares with us his medical expertise on hyperthermia, the suffering endured by Cooper Harris, and the 30 plus accidental hot car deaths occurring each year in the United States.
The beer? Cosmik Debris!
The body of a 2-year-old child was found on the shore of Deer Island in Boston, Massachusetts on June 25, 2015. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reconstructed her face to provide the public with an estimation of the victim's appearance during her life. After the reconstruction was released and news coverage began nationwide, an estimated 56 million people viewed reports on the case. Half of these occurred within the first week after her body was found. The publicity generated many tips with possible leads, one of which led to her identity. Bella Bond was identified on September 18, 2015. Her mother Rachelle Bond and her mother's boyfriend were arrested. Both were heroin addicts. Bella's mother had lost custody of her two older children years ago.
Rachelle Bond was offered a plea agreement which she accepted and Michael McCarthy, her boyfriend, went on trial for murder. At trial, the prosecution blamed McCarthy for killing Bella while the defense said Rachelle herself had murdered Bella and was accusing McCarthy to save herself. Join us at the quiet end as we discuss the sad case of little Bella Bond. She was clearly failed by her mother, but was she failed by the state and by society as well?
Dick reviews Tree House Brewing Company's Good Morning, a Double Imperial Stout.
Murder is stupid. If you have any doubt, this case will fully convince you. Buckle up for a twisted tale of love, murder and deceit that will cause you to shake your head. You may even lose a few hours of sleep,contemplating the unpredictable and cold behavior of some of our fellow human beings.
When waitress Dee Casteel fell in love with the homosexual lover of her boss at the International House of Pancakes, no one could have predicted how far she would go to please him. Not even Dee herself. Join us at the quiet end and hold on tight.
Dick reviews Funky Buddha, an American Porter.