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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: 2018
Jun 26, 2018

The life of John Yelenic, a young, friendly, prominent dentist who was murdered in Pennsylvania back in 2006, was intertwined with the lives of his soon to be ex-wife Michele and her live-in boyfriend, Pennsylvania State Trooper Kevin Foley. All three of these people had specific personalities and beliefs which can be traced back to their childhoods and family relationships.

In our discussion of the murder of Dr. John Yelenic we will see how three lives came together through seemingly random circumstances and culminated in a brutal homicide. No one wins in a murder. The violent loss of one life devastates many lives. To completely understand this murder case, we will go back to where the story began. John was brought up by his mother to give generously and to ask for little in return. Even after he became financially successful, he remained a kind and humble man. Some would say that his marriage to Michele was a mistake from the start.  At the quiet end today, we will take a look at John’s childhood, Michele’s beginnings, and the background of her boyfriend Kevin Foley.  In The Trooper’s Target, join us for the story of a ruthless murder with a psychological examination of the victim and his killer or killers.

Jun 19, 2018

When 17-year old Amy Billig disappeared in 1974, her mysterious absence created a life-altering void. Amy’s loved ones, especially her mother Sue, would never be the same. But Amy's story is about so much more than pain and loss. It's about the lasting qualities of courage, hope, and bravery after a mother’s biggest nightmare come true. 

Like the parents of missing children all over the world, Sue Billig was left without her daughter, left to wonder and imagine all of the terrible things that may have happened to her. After being lied to, mislead, ignored, and manipulated, her faith in humanity did not falter. After the many cruelties directed at Sue, she never gave up on Amy.  And she never decided that no one would help her find Amy, even after her money, her pride, and her good health were taken from her.

Sue Billig began investigating her daughter's case immediately after Amy disappeared. She received tips from people who claimed that Amy had been abducted by members of motorcycle gangs that traveled through the Coconut Grove area of Florida in 1974. Some people claimed that Amy was alive and others claimed she had been killed. Sue was led on a chase throughout the U. S. and even into Great Britain over the years.

Sue began receiving harassing phone calls. One caller tormented her for 21 years until 1995, when FBI agents were able to identify the man by tracking his cell phone. Before, he had always used a pay phone to harass Sue, making him impossible to find. The caller was identified as Henry Johnson Blair, who worked for the U.S. Customs Department. Blair claimed that he was an alcoholic and had an obsessive-compulsive disorder which caused him to harass Amy’s mother. He said that he never met Amy and knew nothing about her disappearance.

The addition of Blair into this case brought renewed attention on to a man Amy had described in her journal. Amy wrote that she was considering running away to South America with a man she called "Hank.” A photo developed from a roll of film in Amy's camera showed a white van which was identical in color and model to a van Blair drove in 1974. Blair's job with the Customs Department required him to relocate to South America around the time Amy had mentioned in her journal.

At the quiet end today, we are taking a look inside the hell that the families of missing persons endure by examining the case of Amy Billig and the struggles of her mother, Sue Billig.

Jun 11, 2018

In the early morning of December 3, 1995, a farmer driving along a quiet country road saw the body of a teenage girl on the ground behind a barbed-wire fence. At first, he thought he was looking at a dead animal. As he moved forward, the girl’s face was unrecognizable. One bullet hole was in her left cheek, another in her forehead. She had been hit so hard on the left side of her head that the part of the skull above her ear was caved in. She was wearing flannel shorts and a gray T-shirt. Within hours, police identified her as Adrianne Jones, a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore from the town of Mansfield, southeast of Fort Worth, Texas.

It was only that autumn that her parents had allowed Adrianne to stay out past nine o’clock on weekends. Her father had nailed her bedroom windows shut so she couldn’t sneak out of the house at night. But aside from sneaking out to have some fun with friends, Adrianne was a good girl. She took advanced honors courses, studied at least two hours a night, and was a talented athlete. She also worked twenty hours a week at a local fast-food restaurant.

Adrianne thrived on attention, especially when it came from the teenage boys around town. One of Adrianne’s closest friends, Tracy Bumpass, called her “a big flirt.” There were plenty of high school guys who wanted to meet her and lots of girls who wanted to be her friend.

It was Adrianne’s popularity that made the investigation into her murder so difficult. And it quickly became clear to the detectives that Adrianne knew her killer, or killers. There was no sign at the crime scene that she had struggled. There were no marks that her hands or legs had been restrained. Nor was there any indication that someone had broken into her house or had gone through her window to abduct her.

When David Graham and Diane Zamora were arrested for her murder in the fall of 1996, it was a shock. The high school sweethearts were high achievers with even great ambitions. Graham was a first-year cadet at the Air Force Academy with plans to become a fighter pilot. Diane, who had won an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was set on being an astronaut. They had their futures mapped out, including their wedding date for the summer of 2000.

But Diane Zamora bragged to her roommates that she and David had killed a girl back in Texas. She said anyone who got between her and David would have to die. She said the girl deserved it … everyone knew the girl was a tramp and a slut.  David had cheated on her and had sex with Adrienne Jones.  The only solution was for them to kill Adrienne to preserve their love.

The story of Adrianne Jones’ murder, often called the Texas Cadet Murder, is an incredible story of a senseless killing by two unlikely killers.

Jun 5, 2018

In 2011, at the Spreckels Mansion on the Southern California Coast, there were two unexpected deaths that have since raised many doubts and endless speculation. On July 11, 32-year old Rebecca Zahau was at the Spreckels Beach House along with her sister when her boyfriend's 6-year old son fell over a second-floor banister. Sadly, he would die in the hospital days later.

On July 12, understandably distraught, Rebecca picked up her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, from the airport and brought him back to the mansion. There were reports of loud music coming from the house that evening. A neighbor claimed to hear a woman screaming.

The next morning, Adam called 911, stating that he found Rebecca nude, hanging from a balcony, a supposed suicide.  But the scene was unusual, to say the least.  Rebecca’s ankles and wrists were bound with rope, she was gagged with a t-shirt, and she was completely nude.

That fall, Rebecca’s death was ruled a suicide and 6-year old Max’s death was ruled an accident.  Police held a press conference to announce that neither death involved foul play. But this year, Adam Shacknai was found responsible for Rebecca’s death in a civil suit filed by Rebecca’s family.  Police have not filed any charges.

Our quiet end discussion today is a mystery.  What happened at the mansion back in July 2011?  Are we talking about an accident and a suicide, an accident and a murder, a murder and a suicide, or two murders?  Let’s pour ourselves a brew and mull it over. 

In 2011, at the Spreckels Mansion on the Southern California Coast, there were two unexpected deaths that have since raised many doubts and endless speculation. On July 11, 32-year old Rebecca Zahau was at the Spreckels Beach House along with her sister when her boyfriend's 6-year old son fell over a second-floor banister. Sadly, he would die in the hospital days later.

On July 12, understandably distraught, Rebecca picked up her boyfriend's brother, Adam Shacknai, from the airport and brought him back to the mansion. There were reports of loud music coming from the house that evening. A neighbor claimed to hear a woman screaming.

The next morning, Adam called 911, stating that he found Rebecca nude, hanging from a balcony, a supposed suicide.  But the scene was unusual, to say the least.  Rebecca’s ankles and wrists were bound with rope, she was gagged with a t-shirt, and she was completely nude.

That fall, Rebecca’s death was ruled a suicide and 6-year old Max’s death was ruled an accident.  Police held a press conference to announce that neither death involved foul play. But this year, Adam Shacknai was found responsible for Rebecca’s death in a civil suit filed by Rebecca’s family.  Police have not filed any charges.

Our quiet end discussion today is a mystery.  What happened at the mansion back in July 2011?  Are we talking about an accident and a suicide, an accident and a murder, a murder and a suicide, or two murders?  Let’s pour ourselves a brew and mull it over. 

May 28, 2018

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

May 22, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 15, 2018

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

May 8, 2018

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

May 8, 2018

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

May 1, 2018

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

Apr 19, 2018

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

Apr 17, 2018

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

Apr 10, 2018

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

Apr 3, 2018

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

Mar 26, 2018

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

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.

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