Of all the pain and struggles that are left in the aftermath of a murder, it may be the senselessness that haunts us the most. On February 9th, 2010, 17-year-old Mackenzie Cowell said she’d only be gone for 15 minutes when she left the Academy of Hair Design in Wenatchee, Washington. Four days later, police discovered Mackenzie dead and mutilated along the banks of the Columbia River. She still wore her beauty school uniform.
Mackenzie was a happy girl with a bright future ahead of her. Losing her was devastating to her family and friends. The viscous nature of her death was almost more than they could bear.
Chris Wilson, a classmate of Mackenzie, is in prison now after taking a plea deal in her murder. Mackenzie’s family feels like he got off easy while supporters of Chris Wilson say he is innocent and should not be in prison at all. Everyone agrees that her death was senseless.
Join us at the quiet end today as we review the last day of Mackenzie’s life and the investigation which led to Chris Wilson’s conviction in this episode of True Crime Brewery: The Beauty Shop Murder.
Dick shares Fremont Brewing's The Rusty Nail
At what age are we responsible for our actions? Laws and opinions differ, but there are certain acts that seem to transcend age in their brutality and lack of conscience. When 12-year old Jasmine Richardson attacked and participated in the murder of her entire family, a community and those of us looking on were shocked. Was she innately vicious or was she influenced and led into these crimes by her emotionally disturbed adult boyfriend?
An interesting outshoot of this is the impossible position Jasmine’s parents found themselves in as their daughter rebelled and moved into a world of drugs, underage sex, and depravity. Their options were somewhat limited. Also, there was no way for them to predict the horror that happened back in 2006.
Join us at the quiet end of the bar today as we tell the story of Jasmine Richardson’s family and discuss the issues involved in the prosecution of a child for a crime so outrageous that experienced detectives were traumatized by the crime scene. in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Runaway Devil
People do crazy things for love. Some people kill for love. Sometimes people die for love and their loved ones are left to somehow go on without them. To ponder the whys and what ifs. When Rusty Sneiderman was shot dead after dropping his 3-year-old son at daycare on November 18, 2010, police speculated that it was a professional hit. He had been executed with multiple gunshot wounds by an unknown assailant who fled the scene in a rented minivan.
But this was no professional hit. This was a calculated but passion-fueled act, a strategy to allow Rusty's wife Andrea the freedom to spend the rest of her life with another man and inherit millions of dollars.
At the quiet end today, we're telling you about a crime of passion and insanity, a family's loss, and a woman who may have gotten away with murder. You can be the judge in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Crazy Love.
The story of Lisa Irwin, who went missing when she was just 10 months old, has riveted the nation and left behind unanswered questions. How does a 10-month old infant disappear from her crib, never to be seen again? The police have focused on Lisa’s mother, Deborah, although there was plenty of evidence pointing to an abduction.
Deborah drank heavily the night Lisa disappeared and changed her story with police, increasing suspicions. During the subsequent investigation, two witnesses were discovered who claimed to have seen a man walking down the street with a baby. Police were able to find and question a man matching the description of one witness, but the other witness claimed that his photo does not match the man they saw.
So, what is the current status of the investigation into Lisa’s disappearance? Join us at the quiet end as we review Lisa’s story, the evidence, and the investigation. If you’re thirsty, don’t worry, Dick has brought the beer.
The Lillelid family van drove on through the twilight in Greenville, Tennessee, in April of 1997. Gravel crunched beneath its wheels as quiet sobs echoed inside. The sun had set, and dusk gave way to nightfall. When the van stopped, the doors opened to an unusual congregation. One by one, the occupants climbed out. A run down car pulled up the road behind them and came to a stop beside them.
Six young adults from Kentucky know what happened that Sunday evening. The Lillelid family, including two small children, were shot and left for dead.
Join us at the quiet end as we go into the background of the victims and perpetrators of the Lillelid killings, revisit the cold-blooded crime, and learn about the trial and punishments that resulted.
Dick's beer of the week is Noble Cuvee Dry Hop Saison from Blackberry Farm
Sheila Bellush's 13-year-old daughter Stevie came home from school on November 7th, 1997, and found her 23-month-old quadruplet siblings crying and spotted with blood. Sheila was on the laundry room floor, dead from a gunshot wound to her face and a large gash to her throat. It was clear that there had been a struggle. Blood covered the floor and smeared the walls.
The babies had witnessed the brutal crime and remained alone with their deceased mother for hours.
The family had recently moved to Sarasota,Florida, to escape the harassment and threats of Sheila's ex-husband. They had begun a new life, revealing their location to only a few close relatives. But now, investigators believed that there was a complicated plot, conceived by Sheila's wealthy ex, for a brutal murder for hire.
This is a story of two divergent lives coming together and pulling apart, resulting in obsession, rage, and a cruel murder carried out in front of four innocent eyewitnesses: Sheila's babies.
On the morning of July 18th, 2014, Ross Harris was expected to bring his 22-month-old son Cooper to daycare on his way to work. Ross and Cooper ate breakfast at a Chick-fil-A restaurant less than one mile from Ross’ office. After breakfast, Ross drove his SUV to the Home Depot office where he worked. Cooper was strapped in a rear-facing car seat in the back. Ross went into his office at 9:25am, leaving Cooper in his car seat.
At about 12:30, Ross got lunch with 2 co-workers at a nearby Publix. Then he purchased light bulbs from a nearby Home Depot store. When Ross returned to his office building, he opened his driver’s side door and put the light bulbs in the front seat. He would claim that he didn’t notice Cooper was still there.
It was past 4pm, after Ross left work, when he said that he discovered Cooper’s lifeless body and he stopped at a nearby shopping center and called for help. Witnesses and first responders found Ross’ behavior to be strange and suspicious.
Ultimately, a secret life and murder plot would be revealed. The cruelty of this crime, by a father against his young son, was unimaginable.
On this episode of True Crime Brewery, A Devil Down in Georgia: The Murder of Cooper Harris, Dick and I are discussing the sad and unthinkable death of Cooper Harris. What we find out about Ross Harris’ secret life and motivations is a lesson in selfishness and callousness. Dick also shares with us his medical expertise on hyperthermia, the suffering endured by Cooper Harris, and the 30 plus accidental hot car deaths occurring each year in the United States.
The beer? Cosmik Debris!
Murder is stupid. If you have any doubt, this case will fully convince you. Buckle up for a twisted tale of love, murder and deceit that will cause you to shake your head. You may even lose a few hours of sleep,contemplating the unpredictable and cold behavior of some of our fellow human beings.
When waitress Dee Casteel fell in love with the homosexual lover of her boss at the International House of Pancakes, no one could have predicted how far she would go to please him. Not even Dee herself. Join us at the quiet end and hold on tight.
Dick reviews Funky Buddha, an American Porter.
On a Saturday morning in June 1998, no one could find mother and daughter Vicki and Valessa Richardson. The night before, single mother Vicki had dined with her boyfriend while Valessa hung out with her boyfriend and another friend. Everyone was aware that Vicki had been having difficulty getting Valessa to follow her rules. Her older and criminal boyfriend, Adam Davis, was trouble. Valessa had lost interest in school and church. She was shoplifting, taking drugs, and having unprotected sex. Had Valessa run off with Adam? If so, where was Vicki? Concerns grew and the police were called. What was revealed about the events of that Friday night would shock the community of Tampa and horrify everyone who followed the story.
This episode is brought to you by Audible: Start a 30-day trial and your first Audible book is free. Learn more at Audible.com/brewery!
Friends and housemates hadn't heard from Travis Alexander for 5 days when they let themselves into his house to check on him. What they found was shocking. And they knew who was responsible: Travis's ex-girlfriend Jodi Arias.
Petite and pretty, Jodi had an average childhood. But something went very wrong after she fell in love with Travis Alexander. The relationship became toxic, leaving Travis eager to move on and Jodi enraged. Did hurt feelings and stalking behaviors evolve into inconceivable violence? The evidence was overwhelming.
In this episode of True Crime Brewery, we tackle the sensational and infamous case of Jodi Arias and remember Travis Alexander, a young man whose life was painfully cut short.
Blake Layman made a very bad decision when he was 16. That decision set off a series of circumstances that culminated with his arrest and conviction for felony murder. But Blake didn’t kill anyone. He broke into a house unarmed. The homeowner, who was armed, shot at him and his friend. His friend was killed. By Indiana’s Felony Murder Rule, Blake is now officially a murderer.
The felony murder rule, which comes from all the way back in old English law, treats people who are guilty of lesser crimes as murderers if they are with murderers when a murder occurs during the commission of a felony.
Almost every state in the United States has a felony murder rule, even though there are strong legal arguments to be made that it is probably unconstitutional. Critics also believe that the felony murder rule is contrary to the fundamental principle in our legal system that separates the criminals from their culpable mindset. In other words, the rule sets the same amount of blame to someone without the intent to kill as to someone who has a premeditated intent to kill.
Join Dick & Jill at the quiet end as we look at cases where the felony murder rule was applied and discuss the fairness and constitutionality of this law.
Felony IPA is reviewed of course
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Ted Bundy moved from Seattle, Washington to the University of Utah in 1974 after committing a series of brutal murders of young women. Police weren't yet aware that he was a serial killer. To those who knew him, he was a polite, handsome and well-educated young man.
Rhonda Stapley was a student at the University of Utah. At 21-years-old, Rhonda was innocent. She grew up as a good Mormon girl. When Rhonda met Ted Bundy, she believed the image he portrayed: a fellow student, attractive, helpful and safe. When the mask of Ted was lifted, she would experience first hand the terror and agony he unleashed on his victims.
In this episode of True Crime Brewery, we discuss the life and crimes of Theodore Robert Bundy. As we learn about his victims, we speak with Rhonda, a survivor whose life was forever changed by what he did to her.
The interior of the Diane Down's car was spattered with blood from three small bodies. Six-year-old Cheryl lay crumpled on the floor by the front passenger door. Danny and Christie, aged four and eight, were slumped at odd angles in the back seat.
As surgeons struggled to save the children, their mother Diane Downs sipped tea while her arm was treated for a bullet wound. Considering the nightmare she had just endured, nurses and doctors were amazed at Diane's composure. They assumed she was in shock.
What investigators would uncover over the next few days would bring suspicion against Diane. Why would a young mother shoot her children? Was it really possible that Diane tried to kill her children so she could be with her lover? With shades of the Susan Smith case which wouldn't occur for another 10 years, the case of Diane Downs is a story of narcissism and cruelty that will not soon be forgotten. With Diane's parole hearing coming up in 2020, join us at the quiet end for an in depth look at a mother who chose her desire for a man above the lives of her own children.
On a high, jagged cliff overlooking the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Green River, Wyoming, a young mother and her 5 year-old son plunged to their deaths, their bodies crashing from rock to rock until they landed splayed and bleeding in the dust. Bob Duke's accounting of his family's death was heartbreaking. He described a sudden scream. He had raced to the edge of the cliff to the sight of the twisted bodies of his wife and child below. He spoke of the agony of hearing his son's last breath as he tried desperately to reach him. The rescuers wept as the 23 year-old husband and father stood in silence.
This had to be a tragic accident. You see, Bob Duke was an upstanding young man. He was well respected and successful. Any secrets in his past were well behind him. He was free to move forward and create a new life. And that would have been the end of it. Except it wasn't. Bob Duke had acquired a taste, a taste for something evil that would lead to his own downfall.
Our beer donated by podcast commissioner Roselee is Melvin IPA
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In the middle of the night, as thunderstorms engulfed the remote tents of Camp Scott in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, 3 girl scouts were snatched from their sleeping bags. Their ravaged young bodies wouldn't be found until morning. The discovery was shocking, but there had been warnings: Warnings that were ignored by camp counselors and not revealed to parents.
Join us at the quiet end as we sip Prairie Bomb and discuss this disturbing crime and the mystery that surrounds it to this day.
Young and eager nurse Beverly Allitt was trusted by the parents of her young patients. But after a series of unexplained deaths on the children's ward at Grantham Hospital, all eyes turned to her. Investigators wondered why Beverly was always the one at the bedside when a child took seriously ill. Could she be behind the unexplained tragic events on this small pediatric unit in a tiny English village? Come with us to the quiet end. You will be shocked and dismayed by what you hear as Jill & Dick discuss the murders, the possible motives, and the steps we need to take to avoid such tragedies in the future. A bottle of Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo is shared.
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Sugar Land is a peaceful, upper-class suburb southwest of Houston, Texas. But one quiet evening in December 2003, the community was shattered when a family of four was ambushed by an armed intruder as they entered their home. Tricia Whitaker and her son Kevin were murdered. Now, son and brother of the deceased, Bart Whitaker, is on death row, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to lethal injection for masterminding a plot to murder his parents and brother. His father has forgiven him and visits him often. But does Bart deserve his father's forgiveness? Does he feel any remorse? Join us at the quiet end for a discussion of the crime and the punishment of Bart Whitaker on this episode of True Crime Brewery--- Bad Seed: The Whitaker Family Murders.
Young couple Frances and Darren Jenkinson of Glasgow, Scotland, were happy and attentive parents of 8 week-week old baby boy Aaron when tragedy struck. After 3 bouts of difficulty breathing, their baby boy had irreversible brain damage and was taken off life support. This loss was especially difficult for Frances who was only 18 years old. After taking time to grieve and heal, the couple had a second child in 1999: Jacob. But at only 3 weeks of age, Jacob met the same fate as Aaron had. His death brought suspicion. Further investigation would reveal the unimaginable.
Join us at the quiet end of the bar for a revealing discussion on the suspicious deaths of Aaron and Jacob Jenkinson.
Today's beer is McEwans Scotch Ale
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Hann and Bich Ha Pan had high expectations for their daughter Jennifer. She lived a sheltered life filled with piano lessons, figure-skating competitions, and several hours of studying each day. This type of parenting is commonly called "tiger parenting." But as Jennifer approached adulthood, she began a life of deceit. Forging report cards and college acceptance letters, Jennifer went to great lengths to avoid disappointing her parents and maintain a forbidden relationship.
After a home invasion that took the life of her mother, Jennifer's lies and deception would be revealed, shocking the community as well as those who thought they knew her.
In this episode, we speak with Jeremy Grimaldi, author of the new book "A Daughter's Deadly Deception" and a journalist who sat through Jennifer's sensational trial. The facts in this case are shocking and Jeremy's insight was fascinating. Thank you for joining us at the quiet end!
Dick took a trip down memory lane for his beer review in this episode---waxing nostalgic on Molson Canadian.
On October 5th, 2012, Sarah Ridgeway called 911 to report her 10 year-old daughter, Jessica, missing. Jessica had left her home at 8:25am that morning to walk to school. At 10:11am, the school left a message on Sarah Ridgeway's cell phone to tell her that Jessica never arrived. But Sarah, who worked the overnight shift, didn't hear the voicemail until 4pm. The town of Westminster, Colorado, looked for Jessica for 18 days until the mother of a local teen called police to turn in her 17 year-old son for the murder of Jessica. What we would find out about the kidnapping and murder of Jessica would shock and disturb everyone who heard about it. Join us at the quiet end as we explore the mind of a monster whose depraved actions could never have been predicted...or could they?
The beer Dick reviews in this episode is "Tweak" from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado.
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In the 1980s and 1990s, at least 70 women were killed in the Seattle and Tacoma Washington area by the Green River Killer. The victims were mainly prostitutes and runaways who were picked up along the Pacific Highway South. The women were strangled and most of their bodies dumped into wooded areas around the Green River. The bodies were often in clusters, sometimes posed, and nude. The involvement of the victims in prostitution complicate the case. Runaways and prostitutes were often not in close contact with their families, making it less likely for them to be reported missing. In this episode of True Crime Brewery, we will try to bring to light the victims of the Green River Killer as we learn about the horrible, gruesome crimes of the most prolific serial killer in history.
Join us at the quiet end for Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company in Olympia,Washington.
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Bill Kissel raised his two boys, Andrew and Robert, to be winners. There was an expectation for exceptional success from childhood. Success seemed to come easily to Robert, who also worked hard and followed the rules. To Andrew, it was more of a struggle. He began to to take shortcuts in life which may have contributed to his death.
Robert's murder would shock the world. Bludgeoned to death by his petite, pretty wife in a luxury Hong Kong apartment, Robert's bloody and decomposing corpse was discovered in a rug in the family's storage room. So, when Andrew was found murdered 3 years later, there was much speculation.
This is the first True Crime Brewery commissioned podcast!
Thank you to Todd Feitl---a listener so fascinated by true crime (and beer!) that he paid us to do a TCB episode on the Son of Sam murders.
The Son of Sam shootings back in the 1970s terrorized citizens of New York and its Burroughs. After 8 attacks, a 24 year old loner named David Berkowitz was arrested. Berkowitz confessed, but were these cases really solved? Since his incarceration, Berkowitz has changed his story with no interest in being set free. And some very intelligent, knowledgeable people have questioned the theory of Berkowitz as a lone gunman. For one thing, eyewitness descriptions at the shootings did not always match Berkowitz. And then there are the conspiracy theories which put a nationwide satanic cult at the core of these and other crimes. Join us at the quiet end as we relive the Son of Sam murders and examine multiple theories. This round is on Todd!
Dick reviews 2 beers in this episode:
James E. Pepper 1776 American Brown Ale & Brooklyn Black OPS