In June 2016, American Joshua Holt traveled to Venezuela to get married. As part of a crackdown on crime under the government of Nicolás Maduro, he and his wife were suddenly rounded up and taken to El Helicoide, a now-infamous prison in the heart of Caracas, known for torture, physical violence and overcrowding. They would spend the next two years there. With the help of journalist Becky Bruce, Josh tells the story of how they managed to find Hope in Darkness.
In the late 1980s, Caitlin Rother wrote for the Berkshire Eagle and the Springfield Union-News in Massachusetts. She returned to California and went to work as a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News after working a year as a freelancer for the Los Angeles Times. Beginning in 1993, she worked as a metro news and investigative reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Caitlin left the paper to write non-fiction books in 2006.
Caitlin Rother became a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist, and New York Times bestselling author. Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored 13 true crime books, and several kindle eBooks. Her book Death on Ocean Boulevard is slated for release in 2021. Caitlin's true crime body of work includes Poisoned Love, Body Parts, Lost Girls, Where Hope Begins/Deadly Devotion, Dead Reckoning, Secrets, Lies and Shoelaces, I'll Take Care of You, Then No One Can Have Her, Naked Addiction, Hunting Charles Manson, Love Gone Wrong, Twisted Triangle, A Complicated Woman, Dead on Delivery and Kill Him Some More. Caitlin will discuss how she got started in true crime writing, the cases that have most effected her career, and the background behind some of the most shocking stories in true crime history. CAITLIN ROTHER TRUE CRIME RETROSPECTIVE-Caitlin Rother
“He promised to kill me when he got out. I believed him. If I wanted justice, I had to fight both him and the courts...maybe kill him first. If I didn’t do something, I was going to die.”
This is not a manufactured dialogue from a thriller but the words of attorney Sharon Muse. They came after she survived an attempted kidnapping, rape, and murder at the hands of Hank Morrison, a former client. On April 7, 2006, Muse miraculously escaped from the sociopathic Morrison, only to find that the threat to her life was just beginning. Ineptitude in the justice system threatened to release Morrison and allow him the opportunity to finish the job, which he adamantly pledged to do. Muse would have to fight at every step to ensure her safety.
Muse would act as her own advocate, investigator, legal counsel, and bodyguard in the years following the event. Kidnapped by a Client covers the brutal kidnapping, two trials, two appeals, procedural errors galore, one Supreme Court reversal, and even Muse’s intricate plan to murder Morrison before he could get to her. Muse would not ultimately execute that plan, and she would emerge victorious in the legal battle thanks to her faith and her own determination and legal acumen. But her safety is not ensured: Morrison is up for parole in 2026. Muse regularly monitors his status.
Muse recounts her stranger-than-fiction story in Kidnapped by a Client. Muse analyzes the failures of the legal system, the mistakes she made, the steps she took to protect herself, and how she has coped with trauma. Listeners will find not only a compelling narrative, but also insight into how to protect oneself and ensure one’s own safety and well-being. KIDNAPPED BY A CLIENT: The Incredible True Story of an Attorney's Fight For Justice-Sharon Muse
THE DOCTOR, THE HITMAN, AND THE MOTORCYCLE GANG: The True Story of One of New Jersey’s Most Notorious Murder for Hire Plots is the true story of the murder of April Kauffman, a beloved and vivacious local radio personality and veterans’ advocate who was found shot to death in the bedroom of her home in Linwood, the affluent town just outside Atlantic City, New Jersey, in May of 2012. In the months leading up to her death, she had uncovered a tangled web of deceit surrounding her husband. She feared he was trying to kill her and that he may harm her family.
Her daughter, Kim Pack, never doubted her stepfather Dr. James Kauffman was responsible somehow. Reporter Annie McCormick met Kim Pack on the first anniversary of Kim’s mother’s murder. Over the next five years, McCormick tracked the case even as few clues emerged. She continued to gather information, sorting through gossip, rumors and facts to uncover the doctor’s web of lies. Dr. Kauffman shunned the media and his stepdaughter, moving on with his life in the very same town. Meanwhile, investigators uncovered how the doctor worked with the outlaw motorcycle gang, the Pagans, to run a prescription pill mill out of his New Jersey Office. More illegal deeds would catch the attention of The FBI and DEA. The twists and turns of Dr. Kauffman’s lies and schemes would leave Kim Pack, her tight-knit New Jersey community, and even investigators shocked.
The murder case, which has received national attention, was the subject of a 20/20 episode on ABC in the spring of 2018. In THE DOCTOR, THE HITMAN, AND THE MOTORCYCLE GANG, McCormick details the twists and turns in the investigation that dragged on for years until investigators caught an unexpected break that sparked a string of arrests including the arrest of the doctor and several former members of The Pagans. Nearly six years later, authorities charged her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, with her murder. In 2018, a jury convicted a former leader of the Pagans Motorcycle Club with helping to carry out the murder. McCormick includes never before seen or heard details from the investigation through her years of covering the case and she documents the relentless search for justice by April’s family, friends, and her daughter. THE DOCTOR, THE HITMAN, AND THE MOTORCYCLE GANG: The True Story of One of New Jersey's Most Notorious Murder For Hire Plots-Annie McCormick
On December 21, 1978, John Wayne Gacy was arrested. Upon an initial search of the crawlspace beneath his ranch house in Norwood Park Township, Illinois, the authorities discovered the remains of several bodies. Eventually, the skeletal remains of 29 young men were unearthed on Gacy’s property. Another 4 bodies were pulled from the river where Gacy dumped them off the Smith Bridge in Channahon, Illinois, bringing the body count to 33 total. In 1978 Gacy held the title of America’s most prolific serial killer. For the first time in print, John Wayne Gacy: Hunting A Predator contains the police and other legal files covering the pursuit, arrest, and confession of Gacy. JOHN WAYNE GACY HUNTING A PREDATOR: The Pursuit, Arrest, And Confession-John Borowski
Nina, a new graduate from fashion design in college, gladly accepts the offer to have her palm read as a graduation gift. Smiling, the palm reader tells Nina that she has a long lifeline, as she traces it on her hand. As soon as the words are uttered, the palm reader’s facial expression turns to one of fear. In broken English, she whispers, “Break – very bad break in middle of life. Maybe you die.”
Nina does come close to death at age thirty-four when she and her family are involved in a serious auto accident. She assumes she has successfully cheated the death that the palm reader prophesied. Unfortunately, the sinister and tragic break in the lifeline and its deliverer are yet to be revealed. MAYBE YOU DIE: The True Story of a Couple Living the All-American Nightmare-Nancy Lee
David Parrish was in disbelief when he learned that nineteen-year-old Jon Bowie’s body had been found hanged from a backstop at the local high school’s baseball field and the death declared a suicide. David had known Jon and his twin brother since they were boys. He had coached them on the baseball field and welcomed them into his home for sleepovers with his own sons. However, when David learned how Jon’s body was found, he felt compelled to find the facts behind this incomprehensible tragedy.
Soon, David would learn of a brutal incident at a local motel where Jon and his brother had been severely beaten by police officers, the charges filed against those officers, and the months of harassment and intimidation Jon and his brother endured. Few in the utopian community of Columbia, Maryland, believed Jon could commit such a final act. Like many others, David wondered how a fateful night of teens blowing off steam could lead to such a tragic end. As law enforcement failed to find answers and seemed intent on preventing the truth from surfacing, David uncovered a system of cover-ups that could only lead to one conclusion—Jon’s death was an act of murder. LOSING JON: A Teen's Tragic Death, A Police Cover-up, A Community's Fight For Justice-David Parrish
It was a bleak November in 2012 when Cari Lea Farver vanished from Omaha, Nebraska. Cari, thirty-seven, was a devoted mother, reliable employee, and loyal friend—not the type to shirk responsibilities, abandon her son, and run off on an adventure while her dying father took his last breaths. Yet, the many texts from her phone indicated she had done just that.
It appeared that Cari had dumped her new boyfriend, quit her job, and relinquished custody of her son to her mother—all by text. While Cari’s boyfriend, Dave Kroupa, and her supervisor were bewildered by her abrupt disappearance, they accepted the texts at face value. Her mother, Nancy Raney, however, was alarmed and reported Cari missing. Police were skeptical of her claims that a cyber impostor had commandeered her daughter’s phone and online identity.
While Nancy was afraid for Cari, Dave Kroupa was growing afraid of her, for he believed Cari was stalking him. Never seen or heard, the stalker was aware of his every move and seemed obsessed with his casual girlfriend, Shanna “Liz” Golyar, often calling her “a fat whore” in the twelve thousand emails and texts he received in a disturbing three-year deluge.
How did the stalker know Dave’s phone numbers immediately after he changed them, the names of his lady friends, even what he wore as he watched TV? He and Liz reported death threats, vandalism, and burglaries, but the stalker remained at large. The threats were vicious, vile and often obscene, sent mostly via text and always in Cari’s name. There was some truth in the messages, but all of them contained one big lie. The culprit was not Cari, but had killed and planned to kill again.
With mesmerizing detail and compelling narrative skill, Leslie Rule tracks every step of the heart-pounding path to long-awaited justice—from a sociopath’s twisted past to the deadly deception and the high-tech forensics that condemned the killer to prison. A TANGLED WEB: A Cyberstalker, a Deadly Obsession, and the Twisted Path to Justice-Leslie Rule
Wondery Presents American Scandal
Join Lindsay Graham, the host of Wondery’s show American Scandal as he dives deep into the heart of the most shocking moments of fraud and deception in American history. In this six-part series “The Hare Krishna Murders” he explores an eastern religion with pure intentions that, in the hands of its western followers, became a criminal enterprise of drug running, molestation and murder. For the full episode go to: https://www.spreaker.com/show/truemurder
Terrifying things are happening to Kay Weden, a forty-something single mom and high school teacher in Salisbury, North Carolina. Despite having no known enemies, Kay’s home, car, and peace of mind are under attack throughout 1993. Most chilling of all are the senseless attacks on her only son and the shot fired in the night through a wall of her house, which narrowly misses his head as he sleeps.
Kay’s new love interest is the charming Viktor Gunnarsson. He’s a handsome Swede who left his home country to seek political asylum in the U.S. after being charged with the 1986 assassination of Sweden’s Prime Minister Palme. Viktor was briefly held in custody but subsequently released due to a lack of evidence.
The romantic connection between Kay and Viktor is immediate and intense until Viktor disappears without warning, leaving Kay baffled and sad. Kay leans on her loving, elderly mother, Catherine Miller, for solace until Catherine is brutally murdered inside her home by an unknown intruder.
With nowhere else to turn, Kay reconnects with her ex-fiancé L.C. Underwood, a seasoned police officer, particularly adept at criminal investigations. L.C. assures Kay he will get to the bottom of the incessant and tormenting occurrences.
When Viktor’s nude body is found two hours away in the snowy Appalachian Mountains, local Sheriff’s Detective Paula May is assigned to investigate his murder. What follows is an intense, hair-raising investigation that will shock you from the bitterly cold beginning to the unthinkable end. FIRST DEGREE RAGE: The True Story of 'The Assassin, An Obsession, and Murder-Paula May
At a high school dance in 1964, 17 year-old Sondra London met a bright, handsome, well mannered Catholic boy, 18 year-old Gerard John Schaefer. They hung out all the time and soon fell in love. But after a year, as young lovers will, they went their separate ways. She thought she'd never see him again.
Then in 1972 came the screaming headlines: “6 Dead, 28 May Be,” and the ghoulish stories about the smiling cop turned sadistic killer and corpse-loving fiend, hoarding mementos of his mutilated victims, and writing it all up in feverish prose. Absolutely unbelievable! She was appalled that crimes like this could be committed by anyone, much less someone she had known intimately. Remember, those were the days before the term “serial killer” existed, before Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer so irrevocably showed us what it meant. In those days, Schaefer’s type of crime was not only unnamed, it was unheard-of.
Between March and July of 1989, Schaefer sent her the stories included in two sections of Killer Fiction, “Whores” and “Starke Stories.” Selections from the stories and drawings used as evidence in his 1973 murder trial are included in the section, “Actual Fantasies.” A limited edition of the volume comprising these three sections was copyrighted and published in June of 1989.
“I’m not writing non-fiction,” explained the literary madman. “It’s killer fiction: a new genre, where the writer takes violence as an artistic medium and instead of glorifying it, makes the reader see it as the cruel and horrid act it is in reality. I don’t represent violence as good or bad, merely as it is. I let the reader conclude that violence is a socially negative force, not to be revelled in.” Thus he expounded his grim postmodern aesthetic.
The truth about his crimes did not matter to her as much as the chance to take a look into his deranged mind. Somehow she managed to overcome her revulsion to his sexually violent obsessions enough to continue documenting them. His sexism, his racism, his fury at every living being in the world, including himself… his boasts of rape, sodomy, murder, even necrophilia… these she managed to tolerate by reminding herself that this was important data.
And so she decided to set aside her own personal distaste for the ugliness of the work, and focus on presenting it in all its twisted glory and leave it to the audience to tell her what it was. KILLER FICTION: Stories That Convicted the Ex-Cop of Murder-Sondra London
The story raced across the news wires in 1966. Residents jumped in their cars and drove to Lake Summit to see the gruesome crime scene.
On a late, hot July summer night in 1966, in a small North Carolina mountain town, the days-old bodies of two local men were found on a hillside overlooking a lake south of town. Nearby was a woman's body, a tire jack shoved into her genitals.
Author Terrance Ryerson Neal discovered the crime in 2014, forty-eight years after it happened, and still unsolved. Now, the truth. Finally. THE TRUE STORY OF THE 1966 HENDERSONVILLE TRIPLE MURDERS: Volume 1: The Confessions 1966-1968-Terrance Ryerson Neal
Stephen Singular is the author of 25 non-fiction books, many of them about high-profile criminal cases. His first book in 1987 was Talked to Death: The Life & Murder of Alan Berg, which became the basis for the 1989 Oliver Stone film, “Talk Radio", and set the tone for his journalistic career. Since 1991, Denver native Joyce Jacques Singular has partnered with Stephen on eight of the true-crime books. The 1995 study of the O.J. Simpson case, Legacy of Deception, went beneath the media hysteria surrounding these murders and explored the racial underpinnings of the case. In their 1999 book, Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of ography, they conducted a similar probe for the infamous child killing in Boulder, Colorado. In 2015, The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth and in 2016 Shadow on the Mountain: Nancy Pfister, Dr. William Styler, and the Murder of Aspen’s Golden Girl. The Singulars have an intense interest in the psychological aspects of murder, which has shaped their work together as forensic journalists. A number of their books have focused on the intersection of religion and violence, including their 2006 book, Unholy Messenger: The Life & Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer; and The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and The Battle over Abortion. Also their books include A Killing in the Family; Sweet Evil and Charmed to Death. Anyone You Want Me to Be, the story of the Internet’s first known serial killer, was co-authored with John Douglas. And in 2006, When Men Become Gods: Mormon Polygamist Warren Jeffs, His Cult Of Fear, And The Women Who Fought Back. Stephen and Joyce are currently working on an anthology about national and international cult leaders to be published in the summer, 2020. STEPHEN AND JOYCE SINGULAR TRUE CRIME RETROSPECTIVE.
Joe Exotic devoted his life to raising and breeding lions, tigers, and other exotic animals at his Oklahoma zoo. He croons ballads, shoots guns, and puts it all on YouTube. But he’s also made a lot of enemies. And the biggest of all is the owner of a big cat sanctuary in Florida named Carole Baskin. The feud between Joe Exotic and Carole gets messy, vicious, and outrageous -- until both of them are pushed far beyond their limits. From Wondery, comes ‘Joe Exotic: Tiger King’, the story about two people who want to save animals and destroy each other. For the Full Episode go to:
Elliot Rodger considered himself to be intelligent, refined, handsome, fashionable and charming. He spent years trying to be cool so women would like him. He thought if he just wore expensive and fashionable clothing, had a better car, or if he were rich, then women would throw themselves at him. In fact, he thought himself to be “The Supreme Gentleman.”
Yet, women paid no attention to him. His only conclusion was that they were genetically flawed, and because of this they ignored him and threw themselves at men who were ignorant, savage brutes. In his mind, his lack of success with women had ruined his life. He began to psychologically deteriorate.
Rodger decided to get revenge. He spent months planning his “Day of Retribution,” an act where he would kill as many attractive women, and the type of men that they were drawn to, as he could in a savage attack. Then he acted on his plan, killing 6 people and wounding numerous others in what became known as the Isla Vista Massacre. The story does not end with Rodger however, as numerous other incels have since committed copycat attacks.
The “Supreme Gentleman” Killer by Brian Whitney is the story of Elliot Rodger and how he turned from a nice, quiet polite young man to the first self-identified incel (involuntarily celibate) killer. THE "SUPREME GENTLEMAN" KILLER: The True Story of an Incel Mass Murderer-Brian Whitney
As seen on ID Discovery’s The Devil You Know, Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?, and Tabloid
The shocking true story of how Barbra’s picket fence turned to prison bars, trapped in her twisted husband’s dangerous web of addiction, abuse, and world-infamous crime.
Barbra Reifel, former wife of notorious Body Snatcher Michael Mastromarino, has appeared on Oprah, Nancy Grace, ID Discovery, and Lifetime. Never before has her raw account been laid so bare. Fairytale shattered, deceit and danger beyond her wildest nightmares, betrayal, addiction, abuse, ultimate crime, and utter destruction beyond reason—her riveting story is one of so many. To survive, protect her children and family, and combat the monster who was her husband, Barbra evolved…a dreamer turned badass, playing his game to the bittersweet end. THE BODY SNATCHER'S WIFE: My Life With A Monster-Barbra Reifel
Celebrities, royals, heirs and heiresses—you may think you know them, you may think you envy them, but you have no idea what really goes on behind the scenes. Wondery’s new series Even the Rich pulls gives you a hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the stories of some of the greatest family dynasties in history. From the Murdochs to the Royals, and the Kardashians to the Kennedy’s, Even the Rich is part history, part comedy, part gossip, and all fascinating.
Listen today: wondery.fm/truemurderETR
"'No witnesses, no problems.' Thompson’s mantra was supposed to be reassuring to the smaller man, but Percy felt the shadow of his own death coming. There was one witness. Him. And he cowered, wondering when his neck would be broken, when his body would be ripped apart with bullets."
Maybe the youngest son of a violent criminal named Hoggy Thompson was born a beast. Maybe rage was beaten into him.
One thing was certain, by the time he reached manhood, Jerry Thompson was a savage killer. He had no conscience about rape, child molestation, or thrashing a dozen men in a prison fight. Once he got his hands on a gun, any target would do. He didn't leave witnesses.
When he terrorized an entire courtroom and offered to rip deputy prosecutor Larry Sells apart, people wondered if there would ever be a way to stop his viciousness.
Now from the authors of bestselling true crime, RACE TO JUSTICE, comes an even more frightening story of a monster and what it took to defeat him once and for all. BEAST OF NEW CASTLE:The Heart-Pounding Battle to Stop a Savage Killer-Larry Sells and Margie Porter
In April, 1893, John Marshall, an immigrant and successful farmer on Sumas Prairie in British Columbia, was found dead lying sprawled across the veranda of his farmhouse. The farmer's face was a mess, his nose smashed in and cracked blood covering his forehead around a jagged black hole. The shocked neighbour who discovered the body rushed to summon the authorities. An autopsy, coroner's inquest and murder investigation followed. Two days later, a handyman named Albert Stroebel was arrested for Marshall's murder. Stroebel was an unlikely killer: short and physically disabled. The young man the community knew was not capable of murder, and locals were shocked to imagine that Stroebel could have killed the man who had treated him like family. But something had gone tragically wrong on the night Marshall died. Unravelling the mystery would take nine months and two lengthy trials that seized the attention on both sides of the Canadian-American border, splitting them into pro- and anti-Stroebel factions. Newspapers devoted page after page of coverage and throngs of spectators squeezed into the courtroom galleries. The first trial in New Westminster ended with the jury hopelessly deadlocked, the second in Victoria found him guilty and set an impending date for his execution. The heaviest hitters of BC?s political and legal establishment took part including former and current premiers, an Attorney General, and a future Supreme Court justice. When the second trial ended with a guilty verdict and death sentence many in the public howled in protest, convinced that a young man had been condemned to die for a crime he did not commit. And the dramatic events would not stop there. With the condemned man sitting on death row, the case would take more twists and turns that would lead Albert Stroebel to the shadow of the gallows.THE TRIALS OF ALBERT STROEBEL: Love, Murder and Justice at the end of the Frontier-Chad Reimer
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Jim Jones convinced his 1000 followers they would all have to commit suicide since he was going to die. Shoko Asahara convinced his followers to release a weapon of mass destruction, the deadly sarin gas, on a Tokyo subway. The Order of the Solar Temple lured the rich and famous, including Princess Grace of Monaco, and convinced them to die a fiery death now on Earth to be reborn on a better planet called Sirius. Charles Manson convinced his followers to kill, in an attempt to incite an apocalyptic race war.
These are a few of the doomsday cults examined in this book by bestselling author Alan R. Warren. Its focus is on cults whose destructive behavior was due in large part to their apocalyptic beliefs or doomsday movements. It includes details surrounding the massacres and a look into how their members became so brainwashed they committed unimaginable crimes at the command of their leader.
Usually, when we hear about these cults and their massacres, we ask ourselves how it possibly happened. We could also ask ourselves, what then is the difference between a cult and a religion? We once had a small group of people who unquestionably followed a person who believed he was the son of God. Two thousand years later, that following is one of the most recognized religions in the world. This book in no way criticizes believing in God. Rather, it examines how a social movement grows into a full religion and when it does not. And what makes the conventional faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism stand above groups such as the Branch Davidians or Children of God. DOOMSDAY CULTS: The Devil's Hostage-Alan R. Warren