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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Malcolm Webster drugged and murdered his first wife and, after getting away with it, he tried to do the same to his second wife. A third fiancé, Simone Banarjee, was saved by detectives when they warned her and showed her evidence of her intended’s lies and crimes. She was stunned to learn that the man she loved was plotting her death as they were planning their honeymoon together.
Webster was an English-born nurse who travelled the world and used drugs to sedate his victims before eliminating evidence with arson and murder. His three best known victims were women who were independently wealthy and fell for his English gentleman persona. Police believe there were many more victims.
He had set ablaze cars, offices, and homes. After gaining access to bank accounts, he embezzled money with forged signatures and fraudulent documents. Even as he spent Simone’s fortune and arranged for her death, he had a string of women he was setting up as future targets. There were many coincidences following Malcolm Webster over the years, too many for police detectives to accept. Though he took everything from the women he victimized, those who survived would say he was gentle. He killed with kindness, putting them into oblivious slumber with drugs before leaving them to fiery deaths.
The Deliberate Widower: Malcolm Webster is our topic at the quiet end today. The outrageous crimes this man inflicted over his lifetime formulate an incredible, intricate story of a con man who would stop at nothing, even murder, to get the things he wanted.
A young woman was found in a ditch and rushed to a hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in April of 1990. She was the apparent victim of a hit and run. She seemed to be getting better and recovering from her head injury when her husband, a much older man named Clarence Hughes, paid one last visit to her. She died soon after.
Clarence and his then wife Tonya Hughes went by a number of aliases over the years. Clarence was actually a fugitive named Franklin Delano Floyd. It would take years to uncover Tonya’s true identity. Floyd would become a suspect in Tonya’s death and in the disappearance of Tonya’s 6-year old child.
The crimes of Franklin Delano Floyd were numerous and obscene. He was a pedophile, a rapist, a kidnapper, and a murderer. His victims were vulnerable and his abuses were brutal and cruel. Tanya, known also as Sharon Marshall, had first lived as this monster’s child, and then as his wife.
What stands out as a light in this dark story is the perseverance and eternal hope of this young woman. She was an honor student, a loving mother, and a loyal friend, despite being beaten and exploited for most of her life.
Today, in Adopt a Wife: The Victims of Franklin Delano Floyd, we are discussing the lives of his victims: their strength and their pain. By looking into Floyd’s past, we will see his path into darkness as he chose not to overcome the abuses he endured as a child but to pass them on to others. This story is as disturbing as it is tragic, but, if you can work your way through it with us I think you will find yourself impressed with the tenacity of the investigators who finally brought him to justice and the resilience of the human spirit.
Early one Sunday morning, kayakers found the body of a woman floating in the shallow water of a river outside Emporia, Kansas. She was identified as Sandra Bird, the wife of a minister and the mother of three young children. Her station wagon appeared to have run off a gravel country road near a bridge. She had been ejected before it overturned into the river.
Initially, the death of Sandy Bird was ruled an accident. But, over the next two years, residents of the tranquil Midwest town were swept up in a twisted tale of adultery, lust, greed, and murder.
Although they were suspicious, investigators could not prove that First Lutheran Minister Tom Bird and his mistress Lorna Anderson had plotted to kill Tom's wife.
Four months later, Lorna's husband Marty would turn up dead. Lorna stood to collect over $200,000 in life insurance. Her attempt to collect the money the day after Marty's death further raised suspicions. When an ex-boyfriend of Lorna came along and told police Lorna and Tom had tried to hire him to kill Marty, all of the pieces began falling into place. The relationship of Tom Bird with his church secretary would surface as the core motive for these two untimely deaths.
At the quiet end today, we learn about the forbidden romance and cold-blooded motives of two people who chose murder over divorce, death over life, and their own desires over anything that got in the way.
There are vulnerable people in society who the rest of us have a moral obligation to protect and defend from those who would take advantage of them or abuse them. Of course, we often fail. But when someone dedicates their life to helping these people who society has basically cast out, it is an honorable thing. This is a person we can all admire as selfless and kind. We may admire them so much that we overlook some ominous signs of exploitation.
Dorothea Puente ran a boarding home for disabled and elderly people who had nowhere else to go. Many of them were mentally ill and incapable of caring for themselves. She came across as maternal and selfless, cooking and cleaning for her boarders without complaint. But she had a temper. And, she had a criminal history.
The crimes in Dorothea’s boarding house were shocking and heinous, so much so that she would earn the moniker “Death House Landlady.” It would take time for anyone to notice that tenants were missing and to connect the horrible, sickly sweet odor of decomposition to their disappearances.
Today, we’re finding out how Dorothea Puente progressed from being a thief to a serial killer and how she got away with murdering the people who depended on her while cashing their checks and spending their social security benefits on clothing and booze. We’re calling this episode “Death House Landlady,” because we can, and because it neatly sums up this story.
Full-time mom Candy Montgomery always did what was expected of her. She married, had two kids, and taught Sunday school at her church. Her husband Pat loved her and she loved him. But something was missing from Candy’s life: excitement. She took creative writing classes in order to express herself. She made close women friends to whom she could confide even her wildest desires. Still, something was lacking. Maybe an extramarital affair was the answer. Just some sexual exploration while Pat was away at work---nothing that would hurt anyone. She wasn’t the type to hurt anyone.
Betty Gore didn’t share Candy’s urges to find pleasure outside of her marriage. She adored her husband Allen, who made a good living and worked hard to keep her happy. Keeping Betty happy wasn’t an easy task. She suffered from depression and hypochondria. She was insecure. She cried when he had to travel for work, even if it was just a day or two. She didn’t do well on her own. Betty invested time and effort into her marriage, signing them up for the church’s Marriage Encounter program. And it was working. They were closer than ever.
How did the lives of these suburban moms intersect with a shocking and brutal ax murder in the middle of an otherwise normal morning? Join us at the quiet end for an extraordinary story of love, lust, and violence in the suburbs: Unleashed Rage: The Murder of Betty Gore.
When Cheryl Keeton was found dead in the middle of the highway in 1986, she was a talented, well-respected lawyer and the mother of three young boys. After her death was determined not to be an accident, her husband Bradley Cunningham became the prime suspect. Cheryl was Bradley’s 4th wife. They had been involved in a long and bitter divorce and custody battle. What investigators would learn from Bradley’s first 3 wives would solidify their suspicions. Then, Bradley’s 5th wife would find out what it was like to be on Bradley’s bad side.
Join us at the quiet end today as we examine the twisted mind of Bradley Cunningham and the events that led up to and followed the murder of Cheryl, in Murder Foretold: The Cheryl Keeton Story
Members of the Heaven’s Gate cult donned black outfits, new Nike sneakers, and purple shrouds on the day of their deaths. They each had a $5 bill and 3 quarters in their pockets. It was March 1997 and 39 cult members ritually ended their lives in waves. Each cleaned up after the last until all 39 were dead inside a San Diego mansion.
To us on the outside, this was a mass suicide. To families of some of the victims, it was 38 murders and 1 suicide. To the 39 people in the Heaven’s Gate cult, this was their destiny. Marshall Applewhite, their leader, had told his followers that there was a UFO in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet. This comet orbited the earth once every 2,000 years. He told them this was their signal to board the space ship which would take them into eternity. In order to catch this ride, they would have to die.
This tragedy was the culmination of more than two decades of the religious and social development of a religious group that had taken different names over the years. The deaths were the result of years of behavior modification.
At the quiet end today, we’re talking about the origins of the Heaven’s Gate cult, the beliefs of its leaders, and how it appealed to its followers with a religion that fused Christianity, New Age practices, and science fiction. At the time of their deaths, did any of the members have second thoughts or resist in anyway? We’ll talk about the death scene in the Heaven’s Gate mansion and consider the reasons for the dressing and positioning of the bodies.
The story of Gypsy Rose Blancharde, a victim of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and a convicted killer, has gained international attention and invited speculation from lay people and professionals in the medical community. On the night of June 14, 2015, deputy sheriffs in Greene County, Missouri, found the body of Dee Dee Blanchard face down in the bedroom of her house. She was lying on her bed in a pool of blood from stab wounds that had killed her days earlier. There was no sign of her daughter, Gypsy Rose, who was believed to have suffered from leukemia, asthma, muscular dystrophy, mental retardation, and other chronic conditions.
The neighbors, who notified the police after reading alarming Facebook posts earlier that evening, suggested Dee Dee may have fallen victim to foul play. They were also fearful that Gypsy Rose, whose wheelchair and medications were still in the house, may have been abducted.
Police found Gypsy Rose the next day in Wisconsin, where she had traveled with a boyfriend she had met online. There was public outrage that someone had taken advantage of this severely disabled girl and killed her mother, until it was revealed that Gypsy was not sick at all but, in fact, a victim of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
Further investigation found that many of the doctors who had examined Gypsy Rose did not find any evidence of the illness. Dee Dee had lied about her daughter’s condition and benefited from charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Dee Dee had been making her daughter pass herself off as younger, disabled and chronically ill. Throughout her childhood she had been subjecting Gypsy to unnecessary surgery and medication, controlling her as she aged through physical and psychological abuse.
This case brings up many questions about how this happened. How did Dee Dee manipulate doctors and everyone around her to keep Gypsy as her captive and how much can we blame Gypsy for being willing to kill for her freedom?
In-home daycare settings allow caretakers to work from home while offering working mothers an alternative to traditional day care settings. Parents weigh the benefits and drawbacks of their daycare options and most are satisfied with the care their children receive. When a tragedy occurs, as it did with the death of one-year old Maria Harris, the situation is reassessed in hindsight and unimaginable grief.
Maria was the adored child of her teenaged mother, Esther, both of them living in the supportive environment of her grandparents. It was Esther's determination to provide a better life for her daughter that led her to place Maria in Stephanie Spurgeon's in-home day care.
On August 21st, 2008, Maria's grandmother Patricia Harris picked up Maria from her first day in Stephanie's home. She left with Maria in her arms and a foreboding sense that something wasn't right. Maria was in too deep a sleep, heavy and limp like a sack of sand. She didn't rouse as she was buckled into her car seat. Her eyes did not open and her head lulled to one side. Maria would never regain consciousness.
One week later, Maria was removed from life support and several of her tiny organs were donated to children who needed them. The Harris family was living a nightmare and Stephanie Spurgeon would face a trial for the murder of Maria Harris.
At the quiet end today, Dick and I are talking about the injuries that caused Maria Harris' death as well as the law applied to her case. Shaken baby syndrome, also known as abusive head trauma, is a topic spurring debate and strong emotion. In "Death in a Home Daycare" we hope to shed some light on recent controversies and provide insight on prevention.
Read Too Brief a Candle: A True Crime in a Home Daycare
At 7:36 pm on the first Tuesday in July 2008, Carol Kennedy made her nightly call to her mother. Ruth Kennedy lived across the country in Nashville, Tennessee. She was 83-years old at the time and Carol worried about her living on her own. She had called her mother almost every night since her father died in 2006. Despite her advanced age, Ruth was not immune to worrying about her daughter, who was recently divorced and also on her own. Carol reassured Ruth that she had locked her doors and was in for the night.
It was 7:59pm when Ruth heard her daughter say two last words: “Oh no.” The tone of the words was surprise, not fear, and then there was no sound at all. She didn’t hear the phone drop or any voices. Now the line was dead.
This episode of True Crime Brewery, An Inconvenient Woman, is the story of an apparently loving and long-lasting relationship. When one person ended up brutally beaten to death; the other would be the primary suspect.
We have no way of knowing what happens behind closed doors, in a marriage. When a marriage ends in a violent murder, some of their secrets come to light while others remain in the shadows. When a relationship turns from companionship to malice, from malice to murder, all we can do is find justice for the victim, seek punishment for the killer, and attempt to learn something about human behavior.
We all have someone in our family who is a little unstable. An eccentric aunt or a brother preparing for the zombie apocalypse maybe. But what happens when a family member sinks deeply into true madness, becoming a danger to himself and others? This is when interventions are needed or lives fall apart.
Susie Sharp was born to a prominent southern family. She was meant for greatness. Her cousin, Fritz Klenner, was the son of a physician, expected to take over his father’s practice. After a bitter divorce, Susie became volatile and paranoid. She was lonely. Her cousin Fritz was there for her. She became involved with Fritz, a college failure who was practicing medicine illegally. Fritz also had a frightening fascination with guns. He claimed to work for the CIA.
A child custody dispute over Susie’s children became bitter as Susie and Fritz isolated themselves from the outside world and did everything they could to keep the two young boys from their father. Then relatives began turning up dead. Five of them in all. Even as Fritz and Susie were suspected, her children were left in the control of two dangerous people.
Follow us through this tale of family destruction beyond what anyone could have predicted. This episode of True Crime Brewery is a stranger than fiction family tragedy: Love and Madness: Murder in a Southern Family.
It only took minutes to tear apart the family of Darren Galsworthy, a blended family that had been through hardships and illnesses to finally find some happiness and equanimity. Darren and his wife Anjie had each been through difficult relationships before they fell in love and merged their two families into one cohesive group. Things were not perfect, but they were in love and Darren felt proud that their children had a solid home.
Becky Watts was 16-years old and living with her father Darren and her step-mother Anjie when she was reported missing in 2015. Her phone and laptop were gone from her bedroom but her clothing and make-up were left behind. It was initially believed that Becky left her home on the morning of February 19th, but it was later discovered that her step-brother and his girlfriend had lied to mislead police.
The search for Becky involved family, police, and volunteers as well as a social media campaign using the hashtag #FindBecky. As parents, it’s hard to imagine what Becky’s parents went through as days passed and there was no sign of her. Tragically, finding Becky would not bring relief but would only create deep, long-lasting wounds her family would struggle with forever.
This story of strength and loss, A Killer in the Family, edifies as it devastates, bringing to light a sad truth: even those closest to us can destroy us.
Pregnant mother Belinda Temple, 30, was found dead in her bedroom closet on January 11, 1999, shot in the back of the head with a shotgun. Her husband David, a Houston-area high school football coach and former local football star, was the focus of the investigation, but authorities did not have enough evidence to arrest him until several years later.
David Temple was convicted of his wife's murder in 2007 and sentenced to life in prison. In 2016, he was released on appeal and is likely to face another trial. He still maintains his innocence today--alleging that Belinda was killed by burglars during a botched robbery while he was out shopping with their then-3-year-old son.
This is a complicated case that we have examined from all angles. From David’s entitled childhood, to dating abuse, affairs, life insurance, and questionable forensic evidence, we’re letting you decide whether or not David Temple killed Belinda and their unborn daughter. Did a life of being told how special he was lead David Temple to think he was above the law? If that was the case, his family was probably behind him after Belinda’s murder, reassuring him that he was loved and supported, just as they always had whenever he got in trouble at school or in relationships. But there are other possible suspects. We’ll talk about those as well. Come with us to the quiet end.
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