Episodes

  • Nearly a hundred years ago, two wealthy and privileged teenagers―Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb―were charged and convicted in a gruesome crime that would lead to the original “Trial of the Century”. Even in Jazz Age Chicago, the murder was uniquely shocking for the motive of the killers: well-to-do Jewish scions, full of promise, had killed fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks for the thrill of it. The trial was made even more sensational by the revelation of a love affair between the defendants and by defense attorney Clarence Darrow, who delivered one of the most famous defense summations of all time to save the boys from the death penalty. The story of their mad folie à deux, with Loeb portrayed as the psychopathic mastermind and Leopold as his infatuated disciple, has been endlessly repeated and accepted by history as fact. And none of it is true.
    Using twenty-first century investigative tools, forensics, and a modern understanding of the psychology of these infamous killers, Nothing but the Night turns history on its head. While Loeb has long been viewed as the architect behind the murders, King and Wilson’s new research points to Leopold as the dominant partner in the deadly relationship, uncovering a dark obsession with violence and sex. Nothing but the Night pulls readers into the troubled world of Leopold and Loeb, revealing a more horrifying tale of passion, obsession, and betrayal than history ever imagined. NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT: Leopold & Loeb and the Truth Behind the Murder That Rocked 1920's America-Greg King and Penny Wilson.

  • Boston had its Strangler. California had the Zodiac Killer. And in the depths of the Great Depression, Cleveland had the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run.
    On September 5th, 1934, a young beachcomber made a gruesome discovery on the shores of Cleveland’s Lake Erie: the lower half of a female torso, neatly severed at the waist. The victim, dubbed “The Lady of the Lake,” was only the first of a butcher’s dozen. Over the next four years, twelve more bodies would be scattered across the city. The bodies were dismembered with surgical precision and drained of blood. Some were beheaded while still alive.
    Terror gripped the city. Amid the growing uproar, Cleveland’s besieged mayor turned to his newly-appointed director of public safety: Eliot Ness. Ness had come to Cleveland fresh from his headline-grabbing exploits in Chicago, where he and his band of “Untouchables” led the frontline assault on Al Capone’s bootlegging empire. Now he would confront a case that would redefine his storied career.
    Award-winning author Daniel Stashower shines a fresh light on one of the most notorious puzzles in the annals of crime, and uncovers the gripping story of Ness’s hunt for a sadistic killer who was as brilliant as he was cool and composed, a mastermind who was able to hide in plain sight. American Demon reconstructs this ultimate battle of wits between a hero and a madman. AMERICAN DEMON: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America's Jack The Ripper-Daniel Stashower

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  • On September 16, 1922, the bodies of Reverend Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills were found beneath a crabapple tree on an abandoned farm outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The killer had arranged the bodies in a pose conveying intimacy. The murder of Hall, a prominent clergyman whose wife, Frances Hall, was a proud heiress with illustrious ancestors and ties to the Johnson & Johnson dynasty, would have made headlines on its own. But when authorities identified Eleanor Mills as a choir singer from his church married to the church sexton, the story shocked locals and sent the scandal ricocheting around the country, fueling the nascent tabloid industry. This provincial double murder on a lonely lover’s lane would soon become one of the most famous killings in American history—a veritable crime of the century. The bumbling local authorities failed to secure any indictments, however, and it took a swashbuckling crusade by the editor of a circulation-hungry Hearst tabloid to revive the case and bring it to trial at last.Blood & Ink freshly chronicles what remains one of the most electrifying but forgotten murder mysteries in U.S. history. It also traces the birth of American tabloid journalism, pandering to the masses with sordid tales of love, sex, money, and murder. BLOOD & INK: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder that Hooked America on True Crime-Joe Pompeo

  • During an eight-month period in 1977 and 1978, the city of Columbus, Georgia, was terrorized by a mysterious serial killer who raped and ritualistically strangled seven elderly women in one of the community's finer neighborhoods. Despite intensive efforts on the part of police the Stocking Strangler, as he came to be known, managed to elude capture. After the last murder in April 1978, the case went cold. In the spring of 1984, a series of fortuitous events connected to an unrelated murder and a stolen pistol led to the capture of Carlton Gary, who had recently escaped from a South Carolina prison. Following a dramatic trial in 1986, Gary was convicted of three of the seven Columbus murders and sentenced to death, a penalty that would not be carried out until 2018. This convoluted tale of crime and punishment is punctuated by dramatic twists and turns including issues of race, alleged conspiracy and misconduct on the part of the police and the judiciary, and errors in DNA analysis. THE COLUMBUS STOCKING STRANGLER-William Rawlings

  • On August 31, 1972, Hellen Hanks, a pretty thirty-four-year-old mother of three disappeared from her place of employment at Wilcox Advertising in Valdosta, Georgia. After a brief investigation by local and state authorities, the case went cold. In the fall of 1980, a farmer clearing a field south of town discovered a buried object, a box containing the dismembered remains of the missing woman. After several months of investigation, police arrested "Foxy" Wilcox, his son Keller Wilcox, and two long-term African American employees of Wilcox Advertising. Keller was charged with Hanks's murder, and the others with concealing a death. The Wilcoxes were members of a prominent and wealthy Valdosta family. To defend their case, they hired famed defense attorney Bobby Lee Cook. Keller Wilcox's murder trial in January 1982 pitted Cook against a local prosecution team led by district attorney Lamar Cole. The case against Wilcox was entirely circumstantial, making the outcome uncertain. After a trial marked by controversy and conflicting testimony, Wilcox was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, all the while proclaiming his innocence. In 1985 he was freed by a federal judge based primarily on the harsh interrogation of the black witnesses. The true story of this horrific murder has all the elements of a work of suspense fiction: money, power, sex, race, and the haves vs. the have-nots. Multiple lives were forever changed. The outcome would have been totally different if the box had been buried only six inches deeper. SIX INCHES DEEPER: The Disappearance of Hellen Hanks-William Rawlings

  • Our family members are not always who we think. When Eleonore Richland exposed her father’s dark legacy, she vowed to clean up the family business – and hired her half-brother, Santino Reyes, to help her do it. But old habits die hard. In the shocking new third season, Eleonore reckons with what her father always taught her growing up: medicine is a bloody business.
    From Wondery, the makers of “The Shrink Next Door” and “Dr. Death,” Blood Ties stars Gillian Jacobs (Community, Love), Christian Navarro (13 Reasons Why), and Peter Stormare.
    Listen to Blood Ties: wondery.fm/TM_BTS3

  • Every serial killer is a “nice guy”—until he’s found out. The shocking, true account of a Southern charmer who left a trail of victims in his wake.
    Jerry Marcus fooled them all. He was “a nice guy,” always helped at home, did well in school, an athlete, and always employed. When things went wrong, he was the first to help clean up the mess. He was the last person anyone suspected of being a serial killer.
    After Marcus was caught and sentenced to life in prison in the late ’70s, author Linda Lou Long spent years corresponding with him. The Tuskegee Strangler gives an inside look into the workings of a man who is not your typical serial killer. THE TUSKEGEE STRANGLER: The Nicest Serial Killer They Ever Met-Linda Lou Long

  • Paris, 1889: Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a marriage to a failed artist twenty years her senior, she knows her options are limited.

    Determined to fashion herself into a new woman, Meg orchestrates a scandalous plan with her most powerful resource: her body. Amid the dazzling glamor, art, and romance of bourgeois Paris, she takes elite men as her lovers, charming her way into the good graces of the rich and powerful. Her ambitions, though, go far beyond becoming the most desirable woman in Paris; at her core, she is a woman determined to conquer French high society. But the game she plays is a perilous one: navigating misogynistic double-standards, public scrutiny, and political intrigue, she is soon vaulted into infamy in the most dangerous way possible.A real-life femme fatale, Meg influences government positions and resorts to blackmail―and maybe even poisoning―to get her way. Leaving a trail of death and disaster in her wake, she earns the name the "Red Widow" for mysteriously surviving a home invasion that leaves both her husband and mother dead. With the police baffled and the public enraged, Meg breaks every rule in the bourgeois handbook and becomes the most notorious woman in Paris. THE RED WIDOW: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind It All-Sarah Horowitz

  • By the late 1970s, the fishermen of the Texas Gulf Coast were struggling. The bays that had sustained generations of shrimpers and crabbers before them were being poisoned by nearby petrochemical plants, oil spills, pesticides, and concrete. But as their nets came up light, the white shrimpers could only see one culprit: the small but growing number of newly resettled Vietnamese refugees who had recently started fishing.
    Turf was claimed. Guns were flashed. Threats were made. After a white crabber was killed by a young Vietnamese refugee in self-defense, the situation became a tinderbox primed to explode, and the Grand Dragon of the Texas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan saw an opportunity to stoke the fishermen’s rage and prejudices. At a massive Klan rally near Galveston Bay one night in 1981, he strode over to an old boat graffitied with the words U.S.S. VIET CONG, torch in hand, and issued a ninety-day deadline for the refugees to leave or else “it’s going to be a helluva lot more violent than Vietnam!” The white fishermen roared as the boat burned, convinced that if they could drive these newcomers from the coast, everything would return to normal.
    A shocking campaign of violence ensued, marked by burning crosses, conspiracy theories, death threats, torched boats, and heavily armed Klansmen patrolling Galveston Bay. The Vietnamese were on the brink of fleeing, until a charismatic leader in their community, a highly decorated colonel, convinced them to stand their ground by entrusting their fate with the Constitution.
    Drawing upon a trove of never-before-published material, including FBI and ATF records, unprecedented access to case files, and scores of first-hand interviews with Klansmen, shrimpers, law enforcement, environmental activists, lawyers, perpetrators and victims, Johnson uncovers secrets and secures confessions to crimes that went unsolved for more than forty years. This explosive investigation of a forgotten story, years in the making, ultimately leads Johnson to the doorstep of the one woman who could see clearly enough to recognize the true threat to the bays—and who now represents the fishermen’s last hope. THE FISHERMEN AND THE DRAGON: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast-Kirk Wallace Johnson

  • As Adolph Hitler rose to power in 1930s Germany, a growing wave of fascism began to take root on American soil. Nazi activists started to gather in major American cities, and by 1933, there were more than one-hundred anti-Semitic groups operating openly in the United States. Few Americans dared to speak out or fight back—until an organized resistance of notorious mobsters waged their own personal war against the Nazis in their midst. Gangland-style. . . .
    In this thrilling blow-by-blow account, acclaimed crime writer Michael Benson uncovers the shocking truth about the insidious rise of Nazism in America—and the Jewish mobsters who stomped it out. Learn about:
    * Nazi Town, USA:
    * Meyer Lansky and Murder Inc.:
    * Fritz Kuhn, “The Vest-Pocket Hitler”:.
    * Newark Nazis vs The Minutemen:
    * Hitler in Hollywoodland:
    Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob’s most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism—inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight. The book culminates in one of the most infamous events of the pre-war era—the 1939 Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden—in which law-abiding citizens stood alongside hardened criminals to fight for the soul of a nation. This is the story of the mob that’s rarely told—one of the most fascinating chapters in American history and American organized crime. GANGSTERS vs. NAZIS: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in WW2 Era America-Michael Benson

  • An incredible four-decade account of murder, power, and corruption in one of the country’s largest police departments
    In 1979, the gruesome slaying of a thirteen-year-old boy riveted the suburbs of Suffolk County, New York. As the county hustled to bring the case to a dubious resolution, a wayward local teenager emerged with a convenient story to tell. For his cooperation, Jimmy Burke was rewarded with a job as a cop.
    Thus began Burke’s unlikely ascent to the top of one of the country’s largest law enforcement jurisdictions. He and a crew of like minded allies utilized vengeance, gangster tactics, and political leverage to become the most powerful and feared figures in their suburban empire.
    Until a pilfered bag of sex toys brought it all crashing down.
    Jimmy the King is the story of the rise, reign, and paranoiac fall of a corrupt cop and his regime—a crime family with badges and guaranteed pensions. Novelistic in detail and piercing in its political insight, this book will leave you questioning who modern policing serves, who it protects, and who it preys upon and abandons. JIMMY THE KING: Murder, Vice, and the Reign of a Dirty Cop-Gus Garcia-Roberts

  • A compelling look at violence and trauma from the psychiatrist who treated mass shooter James Holmes, perpetrator of the infamous movie theater massacre.
    As an expert and speaker on mass shootings and gun violence, Dr. Lynn Fenton knew it was impossible to “spot a killer.” But when she met her new patient, troubled grad student James Holmes, the hair on her arms stood up. She feared he was going to kill. Yet she could find no way to thwart him.
    A few months later, Holmes struck: he entered a packed movie theater and opened fire, killing twelve people and wounding seventy; some were left brain damaged, several were paralyzed for life. Immediately the familiar debates reignited: The crisis of mental health access. More restrictive gun laws vs more “good guys with guns.” The morality of the death penalty. The legitimacy of the insanity defense.
    But what about the victims and bystanders whose lives would never be the same? Dr. Fenton’s memoir is a voice for them. Her inability to thwart Holmes’s mass murder made her a scapegoat and elicited innumerable death threats. Her chilling account provides an intimate look at her life before and after the Aurora massacre, as well as alarming insight into the sinister patient who called himself “fear incarnate.” With unprecedented access to thousands of pages of documents, audio and video recordings, trial transcripts, medical records, and notes, Aurora attempts to answer the question Holmes himself posed in his infamous notebook: “Why? Why? Why?” AURORA: The Psychiatrist that Treated the Movie Theater Killer Tells Her Story-Dr. Lynne Fenton

  • A former United Church minister massacres his family. What led to this act of femicide, and why were his victims forgotten?
    On May 2, 1963, Robert Killins, a former United Church minister, slaughtered every woman in his family but one. She (and her brother) lived to tell the story of what motivated a talented man who had been widely admired, a scholar and graduate from Queen’s University, to stalk and terrorize the women in his family for almost twenty years and then murder them.
    Through extensive oral histories, Cook and Carson painstakingly trace the causes of a femicide in which four women and two unborn babies were murdered over the course of one bloody evening. While they situate this murderous rampage in the literature on domestic abuse and mass murders, they also explore how the two traumatized child survivors found their way back to health and happiness. Told through vivid first-person accounts, this family memoir explores how a murderer was created. THE CASTLETON MASSACRE: Survivors' Stories of the Killins Femicide-Sharon Anne Cook and Margaret Carson

  • It was a brisk April morning in 1990 when a woman walking her dog stopped cold in her tracks. She reeled back from something strange and disturbing blocking the drainage tile: a human skull. Forensic examination showed that it was the remains of Joan Webster, the 25-year-old Harvard graduate student whose disappearance had rattled the community and stumped investigators for the past eight and a half years. The prosecutors had a suspect, Leonard Paradiso, who was tried and convicted for the murder of another local woman. The only similarity between the entangled crimes was that both victims had long dark hair. Assistant District Attorney Tim Burke was obsessed with proving Paradiso guilty of both murders. However, between the lack of evidence and ever-changing stories, the circumstances of Joan Webster’s death remains a mystery to this day.
    Hope is not lost as Joan’s sister-in-law, Eve Carson, continues to fight for justice. Simple, Safe & Secret divulges the diabolical details and dysfunctional system that has denied and obstructed justice in solving Joan Webster’s murder case. The messy truth of the botched investigation and a wrongful conviction may be darker than the story of Joan’s murder itself. SIMPLE, SAFE & SECRET: The 1981 Murder of Joan L. Webster-Eve Carson

  • Before Charles Manson, there was Tony Costa—the serial killer of Cape Cod

    1969: The hippie scene is vibrant in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Long-haired teenagers roam the streets, strumming guitars and preaching about peace and love... and Tony Costa is at the center of it all. To a certain group of smitten young women, he is known as Sire—the leader of their counter-culture movement, the charming man who speaks eloquently and hands out hallucinogenic drugs like candy. But beneath his benign persona lies a twisted and uncontrollable rage that threatens to break loose at any moment. Tony Costa is the most dangerous man on Cape Cod, and no one who crosses his path is safe.
    When young women begin to disappear, Costa's natural charisma and good looks initially protect him from suspicion. But as the bodies are discovered, the police close in on him as the key suspect. Meanwhile, local writers Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer are locked in a desperate race to secure their legacies as great literary icons—and they both set their sights on Tony Costa and the drug-soaked hippie culture that he embodies as their next promising subject, launching independent investigations that stoke the competitive fires between two of the greatest American writers.
    Immersive, unflinching, and shocking, Helltown is a landmark true crime narrative that transports us back to the turbulent late 1960s, reveals the secrets of a notorious serial killer, and unspools the threads connecting Costa, Vonnegut, and Mailer in the seaside city that played host to horrors unlike any ever seen before. HELLTOWN: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod-Casey Sherman

  • In 1944 Brooklyn, newborn Michael J. Hardy is rejected by his mother so she can run with gangster Bugsy Siegel, Hardy's godfather. Shirley Rook quickly rose to the top of the criminal ranks. As the Queen of New York City crime, she laundered Mob money, ran the city's largest bookmaking operation, and handed payouts to dirty cops, politicians, and judges.
    To win his mother's love and respect, Hardy became a fearless gangster. Throughout his career as a criminal, he robbed banks and drug dealers alike, ran a finger of an international stolen car ring, kidnapped drug lords, and even became a hired gun. At his lowest, he ended up doing time for his mother's counterfeiting operation in Mexico's most dangerous prison.
    Hardy's criminal code of conduct combines elements of tough Ukrainian Jew and warm Southern Baptist, whether dealing with family and friends or fellow inmates during a combined twenty-six years spent in prisons and jails. He maintained this characteristic gregarious strength throughout his astonishing life in which Hardy was shot eleven times, committed fourteen hits for the Mob, twice wore wires for Rudy Giuliani to nab dirty cops, wrote a letter to JFK to get out of military prison, choked the Hillside Strangler, shared prison time with notorious criminals, and even spent ten years in Hollywood working as muscle for a B-studio, where he was even cast in non-speaking roles. THE LAST JEWISH GANGSTER: The Early Years-David Larson

  • For Tony Reid, this case began as a claim of innocence in the murder of Donna Jo Richmond in 1975. While the errors in the original investigation and a flawed trial resulted in a guilty verdict, the reassessment confirmed that the defendant was framed but the question became: by whom? Working with a new team of investigators, which included two of the original detectives, the probe uncovered a startling new possibility: Was the real culprit a serial offender?

    Turning to the public for information, Mr. Reid created the 12/26/75 podcast. Based on primary evidence and new interviews surrounding the murder of Donna Jo on that date in Exeter, California, the team re-examined every possibility. The investigators soon found something more than a terribly failed verdict. They discovered connections to the unsolved murders of Jennifer Armour and Claude Snelling—and links to The East Area Rapist. They uncovered shocking corruption by the original lead investigator who illegally destroyed trial evidence and looked into the unexplained death of the original defense attorney. This pursuit led them right back to Exeter, where a new suspect in these murders emerged: Joseph DeAngelo, who was then a full-time sergeant with the local police department, the officer in charge of violent crimes and burglary investigations.

    This book is more than an adaptation of the 12/26/75 podcast. It shares new insight formed during the investigation and provides a first-hand look at the Tulare crimes, as well as exposing the faulty evidence used to obtain and maintain the false conviction. More than anything else, 12/26/75 demonstrates the enormous consequences of letting a serial killer go free, made worse when combined with the painful mistakes, in-fighting, and finger-pointing by certain jurisdictions. The catastrophic results are undeniable. Now that the mystery of how it all unfolded is revealed, we can also begin to examine the reforms necessary to prevent this tragedy from happening again. 12/26/75-Tony Reid

  • Under a Cold Moon is the extraordinary true story of a man that devastated two worlds. A killer that used the chump card as his cover for two brutal murders. His first victim lay under the rocks for fifteen nights. His second lay under the dirt for sixty-one. Two women. Two murders. One spurned slayer.

    In this cold tale, the author exposes the dark secrets of a man that stalked older women. Latham weaves this story from an insider’s window. A writer that was in the thick of things and interviewed the man behind these two cataclysmic homicides. UNDER A COLD MOON: A Chronicle of an Unrequited Killer-Tony H. Latham

  • WHEN THE MOON TURNS TO BLOOD examines the culture of end times paranoia and a trail of mysterious deaths surrounding former beauty queen Lori Vallow and her husband, grave digger turned doomsday novelist, Chad Daybell.
    When police in Rexburg, Idaho perform a wellness check on seven J.J. Vallow and his sister, sixteen-year-old Tylee Ryan, both children are nowhere to be found. Their mother, Lori Vallow, gives a phony explanation, and when officers return the following day with a search warrant, she, too, is gone. As the police begin to close in, a larger web of mystery, murder, fanaticism and deceit begins to unravel.
    Vallow’s case is sinuously complex. As investigators prod further, they find the accused Black Widow has an unusual number of bodies piling up around her.
    WHEN THE MOON TURNS TO BLOOD tells a gripping story of extreme beliefs, snake oil prophets, and explores the question: if it feels like the world is ending, how are people supposed to act? WHEN THE MOON TURNS TO BLOOD: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and a story of Murder, Wild faith, and End Times-Leah Sottile

  • On May 4, 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley was found fatally shot in a car on a dark North Hollywood street. The prime suspect was her husband, famed actor Robert Blake. But Bonny, a longtime con artist, had plenty of enemies. She left behind a trail of men she’d scammed, and she had a volatile relationship with Christian Brando, the troubled son of movie star Marlon Brando.
    Not since the O.J. Simpson case had the eyes of the nation been so fixated on a homicide. The search for Bonny’s killer took detectives on an eleven-month odyssey across the country and through Hollywood's underbelly of hustlers, drug addicts, and would-be hitmen. It would be the most expensive murder investigation in LAPD history to date.
    This is the story of Robert and Bonny’s toxic relationship, her shocking murder, and his chaotic trial. Did actor Robert Blake kill his wife? Or was the murder someone else's vendetta?
    From Wondery, and the team behind the hit series Hollywood & Crime (The Dating Game Killer, The Wonderland Murders, Death of Starlet) comes a six-part series about love, obsession and fame gone wrong. Co-hosted by Tracy Pattin and Josh Lucas. wondery.fm/TM_TEOBLB