On a Saturday morning in June 1998, no one could find mother and daughter Vicki and Valessa Richardson. The night before, single mother Vicki had dined with her boyfriend while Valessa hung out with her boyfriend and another friend. Everyone was aware that Vicki had been having difficulty getting Valessa to follow her rules. Her older and criminal boyfriend, Adam Davis, was trouble. Valessa had lost interest in school and church. She was shoplifting, taking drugs, and having unprotected sex. Had Valessa run off with Adam? If so, where was Vicki? Concerns grew and the police were called. What was revealed about the events of that Friday night would shock the community of Tampa and horrify everyone who followed the story.
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Friends and housemates hadn't heard from Travis Alexander for 5 days when they let themselves into his house to check on him. What they found was shocking. And they knew who was responsible: Travis's ex-girlfriend Jodi Arias.
Petite and pretty, Jodi had an average childhood. But something went very wrong after she fell in love with Travis Alexander. The relationship became toxic, leaving Travis eager to move on and Jodi enraged. Did hurt feelings and stalking behaviors evolve into inconceivable violence? The evidence was overwhelming.
In this episode of True Crime Brewery, we tackle the sensational and infamous case of Jodi Arias and remember Travis Alexander, a young man whose life was painfully cut short.
Blake Layman made a very bad decision when he was 16. That decision set off a series of circumstances that culminated with his arrest and conviction for felony murder. But Blake didn’t kill anyone. He broke into a house unarmed. The homeowner, who was armed, shot at him and his friend. His friend was killed. By Indiana’s Felony Murder Rule, Blake is now officially a murderer.
The felony murder rule, which comes from all the way back in old English law, treats people who are guilty of lesser crimes as murderers if they are with murderers when a murder occurs during the commission of a felony.
Almost every state in the United States has a felony murder rule, even though there are strong legal arguments to be made that it is probably unconstitutional. Critics also believe that the felony murder rule is contrary to the fundamental principle in our legal system that separates the criminals from their culpable mindset. In other words, the rule sets the same amount of blame to someone without the intent to kill as to someone who has a premeditated intent to kill.
Join Dick & Jill at the quiet end as we look at cases where the felony murder rule was applied and discuss the fairness and constitutionality of this law.
Felony IPA is reviewed of course
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Ted Bundy moved from Seattle, Washington to the University of Utah in 1974 after committing a series of brutal murders of young women. Police weren't yet aware that he was a serial killer. To those who knew him, he was a polite, handsome and well-educated young man.
Rhonda Stapley was a student at the University of Utah. At 21-years-old, Rhonda was innocent. She grew up as a good Mormon girl. When Rhonda met Ted Bundy, she believed the image he portrayed: a fellow student, attractive, helpful and safe. When the mask of Ted was lifted, she would experience first hand the terror and agony he unleashed on his victims.
In this episode of True Crime Brewery, we discuss the life and crimes of Theodore Robert Bundy. As we learn about his victims, we speak with Rhonda, a survivor whose life was forever changed by what he did to her.
The interior of the Diane Down's car was spattered with blood from three small bodies. Six-year-old Cheryl lay crumpled on the floor by the front passenger door. Danny and Christie, aged four and eight, were slumped at odd angles in the back seat.
As surgeons struggled to save the children, their mother Diane Downs sipped tea while her arm was treated for a bullet wound. Considering the nightmare she had just endured, nurses and doctors were amazed at Diane's composure. They assumed she was in shock.
What investigators would uncover over the next few days would bring suspicion against Diane. Why would a young mother shoot her children? Was it really possible that Diane tried to kill her children so she could be with her lover? With shades of the Susan Smith case which wouldn't occur for another 10 years, the case of Diane Downs is a story of narcissism and cruelty that will not soon be forgotten. With Diane's parole hearing coming up in 2020, join us at the quiet end for an in depth look at a mother who chose her desire for a man above the lives of her own children.
On a high, jagged cliff overlooking the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Green River, Wyoming, a young mother and her 5 year-old son plunged to their deaths, their bodies crashing from rock to rock until they landed splayed and bleeding in the dust. Bob Duke's accounting of his family's death was heartbreaking. He described a sudden scream. He had raced to the edge of the cliff to the sight of the twisted bodies of his wife and child below. He spoke of the agony of hearing his son's last breath as he tried desperately to reach him. The rescuers wept as the 23 year-old husband and father stood in silence.
This had to be a tragic accident. You see, Bob Duke was an upstanding young man. He was well respected and successful. Any secrets in his past were well behind him. He was free to move forward and create a new life. And that would have been the end of it. Except it wasn't. Bob Duke had acquired a taste, a taste for something evil that would lead to his own downfall.
Our beer donated by podcast commissioner Roselee is Melvin IPA
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In the middle of the night, as thunderstorms engulfed the remote tents of Camp Scott in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, 3 girl scouts were snatched from their sleeping bags. Their ravaged young bodies wouldn't be found until morning. The discovery was shocking, but there had been warnings: Warnings that were ignored by camp counselors and not revealed to parents.
Join us at the quiet end as we sip Prairie Bomb and discuss this disturbing crime and the mystery that surrounds it to this day.
Young and eager nurse Beverly Allitt was trusted by the parents of her young patients. But after a series of unexplained deaths on the children's ward at Grantham Hospital, all eyes turned to her. Investigators wondered why Beverly was always the one at the bedside when a child took seriously ill. Could she be behind the unexplained tragic events on this small pediatric unit in a tiny English village? Come with us to the quiet end. You will be shocked and dismayed by what you hear as Jill & Dick discuss the murders, the possible motives, and the steps we need to take to avoid such tragedies in the future. A bottle of Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo is shared.
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Sugar Land is a peaceful, upper-class suburb southwest of Houston, Texas. But one quiet evening in December 2003, the community was shattered when a family of four was ambushed by an armed intruder as they entered their home. Tricia Whitaker and her son Kevin were murdered. Now, son and brother of the deceased, Bart Whitaker, is on death row, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to lethal injection for masterminding a plot to murder his parents and brother. His father has forgiven him and visits him often. But does Bart deserve his father's forgiveness? Does he feel any remorse? Join us at the quiet end for a discussion of the crime and the punishment of Bart Whitaker on this episode of True Crime Brewery--- Bad Seed: The Whitaker Family Murders.
Young couple Frances and Darren Jenkinson of Glasgow, Scotland, were happy and attentive parents of 8 week-week old baby boy Aaron when tragedy struck. After 3 bouts of difficulty breathing, their baby boy had irreversible brain damage and was taken off life support. This loss was especially difficult for Frances who was only 18 years old. After taking time to grieve and heal, the couple had a second child in 1999: Jacob. But at only 3 weeks of age, Jacob met the same fate as Aaron had. His death brought suspicion. Further investigation would reveal the unimaginable.
Join us at the quiet end of the bar for a revealing discussion on the suspicious deaths of Aaron and Jacob Jenkinson.
Today's beer is McEwans Scotch Ale
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Hann and Bich Ha Pan had high expectations for their daughter Jennifer. She lived a sheltered life filled with piano lessons, figure-skating competitions, and several hours of studying each day. This type of parenting is commonly called "tiger parenting." But as Jennifer approached adulthood, she began a life of deceit. Forging report cards and college acceptance letters, Jennifer went to great lengths to avoid disappointing her parents and maintain a forbidden relationship.
After a home invasion that took the life of her mother, Jennifer's lies and deception would be revealed, shocking the community as well as those who thought they knew her.
In this episode, we speak with Jeremy Grimaldi, author of the new book "A Daughter's Deadly Deception" and a journalist who sat through Jennifer's sensational trial. The facts in this case are shocking and Jeremy's insight was fascinating. Thank you for joining us at the quiet end!
Dick took a trip down memory lane for his beer review in this episode---waxing nostalgic on Molson Canadian.
On October 5th, 2012, Sarah Ridgeway called 911 to report her 10 year-old daughter, Jessica, missing. Jessica had left her home at 8:25am that morning to walk to school. At 10:11am, the school left a message on Sarah Ridgeway's cell phone to tell her that Jessica never arrived. But Sarah, who worked the overnight shift, didn't hear the voicemail until 4pm. The town of Westminster, Colorado, looked for Jessica for 18 days until the mother of a local teen called police to turn in her 17 year-old son for the murder of Jessica. What we would find out about the kidnapping and murder of Jessica would shock and disturb everyone who heard about it. Join us at the quiet end as we explore the mind of a monster whose depraved actions could never have been predicted...or could they?
The beer Dick reviews in this episode is "Tweak" from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado.
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In the 1980s and 1990s, at least 70 women were killed in the Seattle and Tacoma Washington area by the Green River Killer. The victims were mainly prostitutes and runaways who were picked up along the Pacific Highway South. The women were strangled and most of their bodies dumped into wooded areas around the Green River. The bodies were often in clusters, sometimes posed, and nude. The involvement of the victims in prostitution complicate the case. Runaways and prostitutes were often not in close contact with their families, making it less likely for them to be reported missing. In this episode of True Crime Brewery, we will try to bring to light the victims of the Green River Killer as we learn about the horrible, gruesome crimes of the most prolific serial killer in history.
Join us at the quiet end for Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company in Olympia,Washington.
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Bill Kissel raised his two boys, Andrew and Robert, to be winners. There was an expectation for exceptional success from childhood. Success seemed to come easily to Robert, who also worked hard and followed the rules. To Andrew, it was more of a struggle. He began to to take shortcuts in life which may have contributed to his death.
Robert's murder would shock the world. Bludgeoned to death by his petite, pretty wife in a luxury Hong Kong apartment, Robert's bloody and decomposing corpse was discovered in a rug in the family's storage room. So, when Andrew was found murdered 3 years later, there was much speculation.
This is the first True Crime Brewery commissioned podcast!
Thank you to Todd Feitl---a listener so fascinated by true crime (and beer!) that he paid us to do a TCB episode on the Son of Sam murders.
The Son of Sam shootings back in the 1970s terrorized citizens of New York and its Burroughs. After 8 attacks, a 24 year old loner named David Berkowitz was arrested. Berkowitz confessed, but were these cases really solved? Since his incarceration, Berkowitz has changed his story with no interest in being set free. And some very intelligent, knowledgeable people have questioned the theory of Berkowitz as a lone gunman. For one thing, eyewitness descriptions at the shootings did not always match Berkowitz. And then there are the conspiracy theories which put a nationwide satanic cult at the core of these and other crimes. Join us at the quiet end as we relive the Son of Sam murders and examine multiple theories. This round is on Todd!
Dick reviews 2 beers in this episode:
James E. Pepper 1776 American Brown Ale & Brooklyn Black OPS
29 year old Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius on Valentine's Day 2013. He would claim that he thought there was an intruder locked in his bathroom and he shot through the door 4 times out of fear. Prosecutors in South Africa didn't find his story believable. There was evidence that pointed to domestic violence ending in murder. The thing is, Reeva was an activist against domestic violence. Could she have been caught up in an abusive relationship? The fame of Oscar Pistorius "The Blade Runner" made this a highly publicized crime. But, more important than fame is the precious life lost in this senseless, incredibly violent murder. Reeva was a young woman who possessed more than physical beauty and who left behind two devastated parents and a world of possibilities. Join us at the quiet end as we talk about Reeva's life, the trial of her killer, and the all too common threads of domestic and gun violence.
Dick gives us his review of Castle 1895 Draught from South African Breweries
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Mother of two Sara Tokars was just learning about her husband's shady business dealings when she was killed---executed with a gunshot to the head in front of her young children. When the truth came out, everyone who knew the couple was shocked and devastated. Sara's life was over and her children were left motherless. This is a tragic, complex tale of love, lies, and murder which took place in the upper class suburbs of Atlanta.
Dick has a Georgia beer for us as we explore the criminal world of Fredric Tokars and the long lasting effects of Sara's tragic murder.
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One of the most horrific and memorable true crime stories in recent history is the murder of 16 year old Sylvia Likens. There have been murders with more victims, murders committed by serial killers and hardened criminals. But most murders are carried out within a time span of hours or minutes.
Sylvia's torturous death took months. A teenager left to the care of a violent abuser has led to death in other cases, but in Sylvia's case she was not abused by only one person.
Sylvia was systematically tortured by her caregiver, by her caregiver's children, and by other children in the neighborhood. Other adults saw Sylvia's condition but no one helped her. Join us for a discussion of an inconceivable murder that occurred in the 1960s. But be forewarned: this is a case that will haunt you for some time to come.
27 year-old Laura Ackerson was last seen on July 13, 2011, after stopping by the home of her ex-partner Grant Hayes and his wife Amanda Hayes. She was reported missing two days later when she failed to show up for work. On July 20, Ackerson’s Ford Focus was found abandoned near the 5400 block of Summer Manor Lane in Raleigh. Her dismembered remains were found in three separate locations near Richmond, Texas, about 30 miles southwest of Houston. The remains were found near Amanda Hayes’ sister’s home.
After a long and bitter custody battle over her two young children, Grant and Amanda Hayes plotted and carried out the cold-blooded murder of Laura. It is believed that the couple wanted Laura out of the way so they could raise the two boys on their own. Perhaps even more shocking than the murder itself was the horrific mutilation and disposal of Laura's remains. In court, Grant and Amanda would each plead their innocence, placing the blame on one another.
Join us for a discussion of a young woman, Laura Ackerson, who chose the wrong man and paid the ultimate price.
The beer review is The Event Horizon from Old Hickory Brewing Company.
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A young mother who was well liked in her small Irish community, Rachel O'Reilly loved life. She loved her children, her home, her friends, and her husband Joe. As her marriage began to deteriorate, Rachel was determined to make it work. Joe not so much. Joe had fallen in love with another woman. Would he go so far as to kill Rachel to maintain custody of their children and create a new life with his lover? Where did his rage begin and why was it aimed at Rachel---the one who loved him more than anyone? Join us at the quiet end for a thoughtful discussion of love, lies, rage and murder.
Dick's review is a classic: Guinness!
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Baby Gabriel Johnson has not been seen since 2009. And the only person who knows what happened to him isn't talking: His mother. Elizabeth Johnson took Gabriel out of state and away from his father when he was only 7 months old. She has confessed to killing him but has retracted her confessions and told stories of giving him away to strangers. So why isn't she behind bars? Join us at the quiet end for this disturbing case of an unfit mother who is incredibly selfish and heartless.
Dick's beer is Hop Top from Two Brothers Brewing in Scottsdale, Arizona
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On Thanksgiving day 2012, two teens were shot to death while in the act of burglarizing a home in Little Falls, Minnesota. Initially believed to be a case of justified homicides, circumstances in this case brought that into question. Was this cold-blooded murder? Was the homeowner lying in wait? Join us at the quiet end with a delicious Minnesota beer: Todd the Axe Man by Surly Brewing Company