In September 1985, two Muncie, Indiana, teenagers were shot and killed in their car while parked in the popular Westside Park. The murders stunned Muncie families because the victims were well-liked students at Muncie Northside High School. Kimberly Dowell and Ethan Dixon were found late at night by the police officer who was clearing out the park at closing time. Their car was still running, with one window down and the other shattered by gunfire.
Join us at the quiet end for The Westside Park Murders. From the very beginning, investigators were inundated with possible suspects, from family members to serial killers. Suggested motives ranged from a random killing, to a family dispute, to a drug deal gone wrong. Although many leads have been investigated over the years, this remains a cold case and an enduring mystery.
Muncie crime: 150 years of murders, mysteries, Star Press, by Douglas Walker, 3/20/2015
Probe Centers on Two Cars, Muncie Star, by Diana Newlin, 10/03/1985
Sketch of suspect by an uncredited police department sketch artist, Muncie Evening Press, 10/07/1985
Star Press articles, by Keith Roysdon & Douglas Walker, 2010-2015
The Westside Park Murders: Muncie’s Most Notorious Cold Case, by Keith Roysdon & Douglas Walker, 2021
The Westside Park Murders: Muncie’s Most Notorious Cold Case, Virtual Talk with Keith Roysdon, Muncie Public Library, Interview by Sara McKinley, Local History & Genealogy Supervisor, 3/25/2021
22-year old Taylor Samson left his fraternity on the night of August 15, 2015. He had only his cell phone and a large black duffle bag as he walked out the door, telling his girlfriend he would be back soon. She knew that he had been dealing drugs, but Taylor tried to keep his life with her separate from his life as a drug dealer. He was in college, studying physics, and selling drugs was supposed to be a temporary way to pay the bills until graduation.
Justin Blades and Pookiel McCabe, two other college students, were hanging out in McCabe's apartment when they heard a gunshot. 23-year old neighbor William Sandeson came to their door in a panic. Money, drugs, and blood were on his apartment floor.
Taylor Samson has never been found. Join us at the quiet end today for Blood Money. Why were two bright and promising students so deeply involved in the drug trade and what happened to Taylor Samson?
Bill and Melanie McGuire were an attractive couple in their thirties. They had two young sons, two successful careers, and they had just closed on a $500,000 home when Bill disappeared. Melanie told their friends that they had fought on the night they had closed on their new home. Bill had physically attacked her and walked out, telling her that he was done with her.
Bill didn’t seem like the type of guy who would hit his wife and leave his children behind. But Melanie insisted that he had hit her and walked out on his family. She even went to court and took out a restraining order against him.
As the days passed and no one heard from Bill, Melanie appeared to be moving on with her life without him. But Bill’s family and friends worried. Bill had been a gambler. Maybe he had pissed off the wrong people.
Then a bizarre news story got everyone’s attention. First, a Kenneth Cole suitcase was found in Virginia Beach. It contained a pair of bloodless male human legs which had been severed at the knees.
One week later, Virginia Beach police recovered a second suitcase that was part of the same Kenneth Cole set. It held a five-pound weight, black trash bags, and more human remains. This time, it was a man’s head and torso. But who this man was and when he had been killed were still unknown.
The third and last suitcase was recovered within two weeks. It contained the man’s hips and thighs. Virginia Beach police launched an intensive investigation to identify the victim and identified him as Bill McGuire.
Join us at the quiet end today for a haunting case that became known as The Suitcase Murder. Well-respected fertility nurse Melanie McGuire was accused of her husband’s murder and dismemberment and she faced life in prison. Although her attorney would argue her innocence, a complex unravelling of the facts would reveal a twisted murder plot which grew from infidelity, greed, and hate.
The disappearance of 53-year old Cheryl Lynn Hughes from her paradise-like home set off an investigation that led to the search for a serial killer in Panama in 2010. Cheryl had moved with her husband Keith to Bocas del Toro, Panama, to live out her dream on their own private island. But, after she and Keith separated, Cheryl was gone and an eccentric neighbor had taken over her property.
It turned out that Cheryl was not the only missing person in the area. Someone was killing Americans in Panama and taking possession of their property. When all was said and done, six Americans had been killed. When the killer’s home was searched, police found stolen checkbooks, ATM cards, jewelry, purses, gun ammunition, and gold dental fillings and crowns in a glass jar.
William Holbert, a North Carolina native known to his victims as Wild Bill Cortez, had become well known among the Boca ex-patriots. After an American family of three disappeared from the area, Bill and his wife had moved into their home and converted a boathouse into a private bar they called “The Jolly Roger Social Club.” The bar was decorated with a skull and crossbones flag and it was opened for partying every weekend.
But as disappearances piled up, neighbors decided that there was something wrong. The police came in and discovered bodies buried in shallow graves. But Wild Bill and his wife were already on the run. They fled through Costa Rica and were finally captured on the Nicaraguan border.
Join us at the quiet end for this stunning tale of theft, murder and real estate fraud. After being extradited to Panama, Wild Bill confessed to his crimes but showed little remorse for all of the pain he had caused. He would explain what he did and how he did it but the question of why will forever haunt the loved ones of his victims.
After middle-aged couple Wayne and Sharmon Stock were brutally killed in their Nebraska farmhouse, police decided that a family member was behind their murder. A nephew confessed and implicated his cousin as his accomplice. But they still needed some physical evidence.
Enter forensics investigator David Kofoed. Kofoed found a spot of blood underneath the steering wheel of a car. DNA testing confirmed that the blood was Wayne Stocks'. But other evidence at the scene was not adding up.
The discovery of an engraved ring in the Stock house turned the investigation in the right direction. The ring was traced to a Wisconsin couple whose truck had been stolen with the ring inside of it. Two teenagers had stolen the truck and took it for a joyride.
Join us at the quiet end today for Nebraska Joyride. This is a fascinating case involving a false confession, two cold-blooded killers, and a forensics investigator charged with planting evidence.
Gina Renee Hall experienced more pain in her 18 years than most of us do in our lifetimes. As a young child, she suffered severe burns. As a result, she went through multiple surgeries and was left with disfiguring scars.
You might think that she would have been bitter and isolated herself from the world. But Gina was a friendly, outgoing, and pretty young woman. She accepted what life had given her---dressing to hide her scars and yet always being fashionable, playing competitive sports, and attending college.
But Gina’s decision to go out dancing, and to dance with 28-year old Stephen Epperly, would lead somewhere that no one could have predicted. At least, Gina could not have predicted. Others who had known Stephen Epperly for years were aware of his violent past. He had been accused of rape more than once, but he was never convicted.
Epperly was the last person to see Gina alive. And blood was found in multiple locations where he had taken her. Her car was found abandoned with the trunk open. But Gina has never been found.
In today’s True Crime Brewery, The Search for Gina Renee Hall, we will go over the details in this nearly 40-year old case. We’ll explore Epperly’s history, his story, and the extensive circumstantial evidence used to convict him in Virginia’s first “No Body” murder conviction.
Long Island has a dark and terrible secret: the infamous Long Island Serial Killer – also known as the Gilgo Beach Killer. This still unidentified killer is responsible for the murder of over 10 women and one man, all whose remains were dumped along the Ocean Parkway.
In December of 2010, the Suffolk County Police Department was conducting a search for Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker. Shannon lived in Jersey City and she had been missing since running away from the home of a client that May. While conducting that search in the dunes of Ocean Parkway, Police Officer Mallia and his German Shephard Blue found the skeletal remains of a woman stuffed into a burlap sack. But these remains were not Shannon Gilbert’s.
The search expanded and, two days later, they uncovered three more bodies – all female – that had been dumped in the thick vegetation along the road.
The four bodies were identified within weeks. All four women were revealed to have been escorts or sex workers who had advertised their services on Craigslist. Six more sets of remains were found in March and April 2011.
As the police widened the scope of their search, they continued to find more human remains. The FBI eventually became involved and speculated that the alleged killer was someone familiar with law enforcement techniques. But finding the killer has proven been impossible. Psychologists have put together a profile and several suspects have been looked at, but the case remains unsolved.
Join us today at the quiet end for a discussion of these murders, including a heartbreaking look at the victims and what turned their lives in a direction where they became vulnerable to this serial killer.
Check out Mob Queens, a new podcast from Stitcher! Mob stories are always all about the guys. But not this one. Anna Genovese is a New York drag club maven and bad-ass mob wife. Hollywood besties Jessica Bendinger (writer, Bring It On) and Michael Seligman (writer, RuPaul’s Drag Race) are obsessed. They piece together Anna's story, racing between speakeasies, mob informants and former drag queens. But will their heroine's secrets unlock more than they want to know about Anna... and themselves? Mob Queens is out NOW - listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Mitrice Richardson was released from the Lost Hills Sheriff department in Malibu, California, in the middle of the night without her phone, money, or transportation on September 17, 2009. She had been arrested hours earlier after behaving strangely at an upscale restaurant. She was unable to pay her dinner bill and the restaurant staff were concerned that she was mentally unstable or intoxicated.
Once in police custody, Mitrice’s mother was contacted and she was assured that they would be keeping Mitrice overnight. Her mother could pick her up in the morning. But, by morning, Mitrice had been released. Her whereabouts were unknown.
No one knew why Mitrice had driven about 40 miles from her home to the oceanside Malibu neighborhood. She had made some strange Facebook posts and had demonstrated some unusual behavior that day. When she was released after midnight, she was in an area she didn’t know, without any way to contact her family. Her car had been impounded and she was unable to retrieve it.
Mitrice’s family believed that she could have been having a mental health crisis, so her release was both negligent and dangerous. And, as time passed and Mitrice was not found, her family began to feel ignored and deceived by the Sheriff’s office and the LAPD.
Join us at the quiet end today for the story of a disoriented, young African-American woman who was left to fend for herself, in the dead of night, in the rugged terrain of the Santa Monica Mountains, and was never seen or heard from again.
What happened to Mitrice Richardson? The gaps and omissions in the Sheriff’s department’s handling of her case, as well as her family’s discoveries, welcome further investigation into the events of her disappearance
Heather Strong was a 26-year old waitress and mother, trying to make ends meet, when she disappeared in 2009. Heather had lived a difficult life which had only gotten worse when she became involved with Joshua Fulgham and Emilia Carr. Joshua was in on-again off-again relationships with both Heather and Emilia. When Heather went missing, Emilia was 8-months pregnant. She claimed that Joshua was the father.
Emilia was known to be jealous of Josh and Heather’s relationship. Just one month before Heather was vanished, Emilia attacked Heather with a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.
In The Elimination of Heather Strong, we’re talking about a group of young people who lived dysfunctional lives burdened by drug use, sexual and physical abuse, violence, poverty, unplanned pregnancies, and infidelity. Their relationships ended in betrayal and tragedy, leaving one of them dead and two in prison.
Anne Marie Fahey was a beautiful, ambitious secretary to the Governor of Delaware when she disappeared in 1996. Anne Marie had been having an affair with a married man—an affair she had ended. But her ex-lover, Thomas Capano, was not a man who took no for an answer. In fact, he had been stalking Anne Marie for weeks.
Thomas Capano, a powerful attorney and father of four, denied knowing anything about Anne Marie's disappearance. But when the truth came to the surface, Anne Marie’s loved ones were devastated and Capano’s image was destroyed. He was exposed as a womanizer, a man with a temper, and ultimately, a cold-blooded murderer.
Anne Marie had defied Capano when she broke things off with him to pursue a better life with a new love interest. He wanted to keep her to himself. When Anne Marie had the confidence to leave him, he murdered her, enlisting the help of his brother to dispose of her body.
Join us at the quiet end today for Out to Sea: The Murder of Anne Marie Fahey.
Michelle and Jason Young lived in a suburb outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. They had a two-year-old daughter named Cassidy and Michelle was five months pregnant with their second child. By all accounts, theirs was not a happy marriage. Jason had several affairs and spent a lot of time on the road for business.
On the morning of November 3, 2006, Jason was out of town. He had checked into a Hampton Inn in Huntsville, Virginia 170 miles from Raleigh the night before. At nine that morning, he left a voicemail for Michelle's younger sister, Meredith Fisher, asking her to stop by his house and retrieve some papers for him. When Meredith arrived at the Young’s home, she found Michelle Young brutally murdered in the master bedroom. Little Cassidy was left unharmed.
It didn’t take long for Jason to become the primary suspect in his wife’s murder. Investigators were able to poke holes in his alibi and put together a strong circumstantial case. Join us at the quiet end today for His Alibi: The Murder of Michelle Young. This is a tragic story of a young, pregnant mother who was beaten to death in her own home. Her husband would end up getting two trials but not everyone would be satisfied with the outcome.
Jassi Kaur Sidhu was born into a family where women are second class citizens, men are in charge of family honor, and women are blamed if they do anything to tarnish it.
Her birth wasn’t officially registered by her parents until she was over a year old because her parents were much more focused on her brother. Jassi’s mother, Malkiat Kaur, and father, Bakhtaur Singh, were part of a group who moved from the Punjab’s Doaba region of India to the Canadian West Coast. They settled in the Fraser Valley and began farming.
Jassi’s uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, was the undisputed head of the family. He decided that the family would pool their resources to buy about nine acres of land and operate a blueberry farm. It was a success and they made millions of dollars.
As she grew up, Jassi’s life was simple and revolved around school, prayers and household chores. She was to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for marriage.
But Jassi fell in love with a Kabaddi player and sometime rickshaw driver. They married secretly and when the family found out, they hired hitmen.
Join us at the quiet end for the case of the honor killing of Jassi Sidhu. Her only crime was love and her punishment was a brutal death.
When 19-year old Jessica O’Grady stopped answering her phone on May 11, 2006, her friends and family worried. She had left to see her boyfriend late the night before and hadn’t been seen since.
Jessica had recently found out that she was pregnant. Her boyfriend, Chris Edwards, had another girlfriend, Michelle, who was also pregnant. Still, Jessica was optimistic. She loved Chris and wanted to have a family with him. What she didn’t know was that, to Chris, Jessica was just a fling. He planned to marry Michelle. And he didn’t have the resources or the desire to support two children from two different mothers. Besides, if Michelle found out about Jessica, she might leave him.
As we know, the leading cause of death for a pregnant woman is murder by the father of her unborn child. As time passed with no sign of her, it seemed possible that Chris had done something to Jessica. Chris denied seeing Jessica on the night of May 10th, but circumstantial evidence led investigators to Chris’ front door. What they found there was disturbing, but was it enough to prove his guilt?
Join us today at the quiet end for a missing person’s case that turned into what is known as a "no-body case": The Disappearance of Jessica O’Grady.
*We are taking July 15th off, so TCB will return on July 23rd*
Kristin Rossum and Greg de Villers were newlyweds who seemed to have a bright future ahead of them. But sometimes things are not what they seem. Beneath the surface, their relationship was poisoned by lies, addiction and betrayal.
Kristin was a toxicologist at the medical examiner’s office. She may have appeared to be professional and loyal, but she was, in truth, a methamphetamine addict involved in a long-term sexual affair with her boss. She was also in a position with unlimited access to dangerous drugs.
When Greg died of a drug overdose, his family and friends pressured the police to investigate his death as a homicide. Kristin claimed that Greg learned about her affair and killed himself. Investigators believed she killed Greg because she was afraid he was going to expose her affair and her drug use.
Kristin Rossum was an unlikely killer, but her husband’s death was suspicious. Questions about the scene and the events leading up to Greg’s death showed a long history of deceit by Kristin and revealed the possibility that she and her lover had plotted together to kill to him.
Join us at the quiet end today for Heart Stopper: The Death of Greg de Villers, the story of a complex murder plot fueled by drug addiction and a clandestine love affair.
John David Smith married his second wife, Fran, in 1990. While confined to her home recovering from a broken hip, Fran disappeared from her New Jersey home in 1991. Fran’s daughter DeDe and sister Sherrie called the house, frantically trying to reach Fran, but there was no answer. Then DeDe called John at work. He claimed that Fran had packed her bags and left him, but how could she have done that when she couldn’t even walk?
John had been lying to everyone. Fran’s family members found all of Fran’s belongings still in the house. Then they discovered that John had been married before. Back in 1970, John Smith’s first wife Janice Hartman had disappeared just days after divorcing him. Now Smith had two missing wives.
Join us at the quiet end for the story of two missing wives and a man with some very dark secrets. His secrets would only be revealed after his brother came forward with a secret from 20 years ago.
Child molester and killer Westley Allan Dodd is remembered as one of the most evil men in modern history. What I find interesting about this case is how early in his life Dodd began to have his sick urges and how his behavior progressed from exposing himself to murder- virtually unchecked.
After his murder convictions, Dodd revealed that he had been molesting young children since the age of 13. In his final interviews, he admitted that there was no treatment for him and, if set free, he would offend again. He then declined an appeal, becoming the first person to be hanged in the United States since 1965.
At the quiet end today, Doctor Dick and I will go over the childhood and crimes of this predator as we try to make sense of how this kind of human being is constructed. Also, what can we as a society do to protect children?
It has been a long-held belief that pedophiles are untreatable and must be kept away from our children, but is there a way to prevent pedophilia, or at the very least, make early diagnoses before anyone is hurt?
Suspicions turned to college student Christopher Porco soon after his parents, Peter and Joan Porco, were attacked with an ax in the middle of the night back in 2004. It seemed unimaginable. Christopher came from a stable, middle-class family. He did well in high school, scoring 1400 on his SATs. But Christopher had dark secrets.
Once Christopher was in college, he created a false image of himself as a trust fund kid, buying rounds of drinks for his friends, designer clothes, and a customized jeep. He financed this lifestyle with thefts and forged student loans.
But Christopher was failing his classes and his lies were catching up with him. Once Peter and Joan learned that Christopher had forged his father’s name on a $30,000 loan, they were shocked and angered. Both parents attempted to reason with him, but things had already gone too far. When Peter failed to show up for work one Monday in November, he was found dead of massive head injuries inside his home. Joan was still alive, but barely.
The case against Christopher Porco was circumstantial but strong. Today at the quiet end, we’re talking about a brutal murder and attempted murder planned and perpetrated by a most unlikely suspect. At the heart of this case is the love of a mother for her son and the power of denial.
When he was 19, Chuck Riley met 15-year-old Marlene Olive while dealing drugs at her high school. He developed a crush on her and they eventually became boyfriend and girlfriend. Marlene controlled their relationship and Chuck did anything to please her.
Marlene had a deeply troubled home life. Her mother, Naomi, suffered from alcoholism and mental illness. Marlene and Naomi fought constantly. Marlene rebelled at an early age with heavy drug use, delinquency, self-harming behaviors, shoplifting, and promiscuity.
As the mother-daughter relationship imploded, Marlene sought out Chuck’s help to kill Naomi. When Marlene’s parents stood together to reign in Marlene’s behavior, her father was added to her hit list.
Join us at the quiet end today for California Parricide, the story of a vicious double murder which many people should have seen coming but no one ever imagined would actually happen.
Peter Bergna picked up his wife Rinette from the airport and drove up Slide Mountain near their home to talk about their marital problems. According to Peter, the brakes on his truck malfunctioned, causing the truck to crash through a guardrail and nosedive off an 800-foot cliff. Peter was lucky. He had somehow been expelled from the driver’s side window and landed without serious injury on the upper slope of the mountain. Rinette was not so lucky. Her broken body was found inside the crushed truck hundreds of feet below.
Peter was the only one left alive who knew what had happened between the airport and the crash. Police attention turned to him first because of his odd behavior at the scene and then after a forensic analysis of the crash was done. Reports of infidelity and verbal abuse strengthened suspicions.
Our quiet end case today is Rock Bottom: The Death of Rinette Bergna. Did Peter plot the murder of his wife, and if he did, would prosecutors be able to convict him of the crime?