Watch the video on YouTube https://bit.ly/bess-sheppard-murder
Bessie Sheppard lived a hard life in perilous times. That life was snatched from her after 17 years by a vagrant ex-soldier called Charles Rotherham. The crime horrified the community. So much so that they raised a memorial stone at the spot where Rotherham battered Bessie to death. The year was 1817. And as Simon Ford explains, Bessie's murder is the beginning of a story spanning more than two centuries.
Legend has it evil stalks the backwoods of West Virginia — a blood-thirsty psychopath dressed in a rabbit suit. Generations of parents in Fairfax County have warned their children: 'Be good, or the Bunnyman'll get you!'
So who was this murderous character who became part of American horror folklore? Was Bunnyman a real serial killer or a figment of someone's imagination? And is he still out there — somewhere?
We went looking for answers. And you'll be surprised by what we found.
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Travel back in time to the London of Jack the Ripper and meet one of his psycho peers – Walter Chadwick. Following in the footsteps of renowned crime writer Jan Bondeson, the Psycho Killer team probes the backstreets and alleys of a city teetering on the edge of lawlessness. We go in search of answers – and what we find will shock you!
Doctors promise to do no harm. Dr Buck Ruxton did the opposite. The crimes of this Lancashire physician justified the sensational headlines. The case marked a watershed in the acceptance of forensic science as we know it today.
'Who's Been Polishing The Sun?' performance by Ambrose and His Orchestra, Decca Records, 1935.
'Lovely To Look At' performed by Eddy Duchin (vocals by Lew Sherwood), Victor Records, 1935.
Dorothea Waddingham was a wicked woman. She poisoned an elderly widow and her disabled daughter for money. A jury found the Nottingham care-home owner guilty and she was hanged for murder. That was in 1936. But why was this mother sent to the gallows, leaving five young children to fend for themselves? Was the death penalty necessary? Why wasn't her sentence commuted to life imprisonment? And does the backstory cast doubt on the safety of Dorthea Waddingham's conviction? The Psycho Killer experts go in search of answers.
The way police forces in England investigate unexplained deaths is to change in response to a "large number of very serious and very basic investigative failings" during the investigation into the serial killer Stephen Port.
Four new categories are to be made "to provide absolute clarity to officers", the Metropolitan Police and the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) have said.
Journalist Simon Ford and ex-serious crime detective Jacques Morrell, discuss the implications.
Mahatma Gandhi said: 'the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members'. In this case, the murders of a mother and daughter in Nottingham represent a damning indictment of British society in the 1930s. Nursing homes were unregulated, doctors played God, and their decisions went unchallenged. It was a toxic soup that nourished the likes of Dorothea Waddingham and Ronald Sullivan, as former homicide detective Jacques Morrell explains.
A detective's powers of investigation. A journalist's nose for a story. Put them together and what have you got? The most authentic true-crime podcast out there!
Psycho killers come in all shapes and sizes. This fellow fancied himself as a poet. His rage and resentment built up over the years. Then, in a carefully-planned murderous rampage, he set about annihilating his neighbours. Ex-homicide detective, Jacques Morrell, and journalist Simon Ford investigate Kosei Homi, Japan's 'Haiku Killer'.
Featuring special guest Pippa Phillips: @IpsaHerself https://ko-fi.com/pheagan
Acknowledgement: ABC News Australia
Dr Sam Shepphard had it all – a brilliant career, a beautiful wife, a young family, and a gorgeous house overlooking Lake Eerie. Then, on Independence Day 1954, his dream life came tumbling down.
A bushy-haired burglar broke into the Sheppard residence and beat pregnant Marilyn Sheppard to death while she slept. At least, that was Dr Sheppard's story, and he stuck to it.
But the police and the courts were dubious – and the events of that summer night in Bay View, Ohio, would echo down the decades. The Psycho Killer team has been taking a fresh look at the evidence.
Acknowledgement: 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', ITV/Granada Television, 1984-94
He was suave, sophisticated, and a psycho killer through and through. Arthur Warren Waite's get-rich-quick plan involved the systematic murders of his parents-in-law, his wife, and any of her relatives who got in the way.
Waite was as audacious as he was ruthless. But could his jaw-dropping legal defence save him from the high-voltage embrace of Ol' Sparky? Step back in time to New York in its heyday – and the dastardly deeds of the Deadly Dentist!
Why did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot JFK? We’ll never know. Jack Ruby saw to that. But we do know why Sirhan Bishara Sirhan assassinated Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Sirhan was captured. And over the course of his life sentence, he’s gone on record about what motivated him.
Patrick Magee, the Brighton bomber, is less talkative. Magee tried to blow up Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet in 1984 – and he almost succeeded. Magee was a terrorist, a member of the Irish Republican Army. But was he a psychopath? And was Sirhan? We’ve been looking for answers.
The Metropolitan Police is without a Commissioner following the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick as London's police chief. A recent report about racist and sexist officers was one of many controversies she faced. Among the cases covered by Psycho Killer are:
- The murder of Sarah Everard by Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer (https://bit.ly/sarah-everard-wayne-couzens)
- The murder of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman by Danyal Hussein (https://bit.ly/danyal-hussein)
- The investigation into Stephen Port, the Gridr Killer (https://bit.ly/grindr-killer)
Former West Yorkshire DCS Bob Taylor is a critic of Dame Cressida. In an interview with Simon Ford recorded in October 2021, he held her responsible for the Met's failings. Simon Ford asked DCS (Ret) Taylor: what would he do to put the Met's house in order?
Advisory: injury detail
Not much is known about William Sheward, a Victorian tailor-turned-pawnbroker. He loved the company of women – except, it seems, his wife. Did he marry her for love, or for money? Was William climbing the social ladder, or cooking up a get-rich-quick scheme?
The couple had a fiery relationship that flared up when they hit hard times. Their fall from grace preceded possibly the most gruesome crime ever committed in Norfolk — the Norwich Tabernacle Street Murder.
Featuring Graham Lewis from Anglia News as the voice of H. Woodcock.
The March Of The Women, by Ethel Smythe, is performed by the Rainbow Chorus.
English Folk Music (live performance) recorded by David Ward and the Gibraltar Pub in Harpenden, Herts, and available on YouTube.
In the fortnight before Christmas 2006, the bodies of five missing women were discovered at locations near Ipswich in Suffolk. There was a serial killer on the loose and the police had to act fast. God only knew what he'd do if he wasn't stopped – and stopped quickly.
This podcast goes behind the scenes of the hunt for the psycho killer Steve Wright, with insight and analysis from our resident homicide investigator, Jacques Morrell. And we remember the women whose lives Wright cruelly cut short: Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls, and Paula Clennell.
It started with the unexplained deaths of four young, gay men, whose bodies were found in Barking, East London. It led to the conviction of Stephen Port, whose warped fantasies drove him to administer lethal doses of the date-rape drug, GHB.
But the case of the Grindr Killer is far from over, with calls for a Public Enquiry into allegations of
institutionalised homophobia at the Metropolitan Police.
But why did the 'catalogue of errors' come about? How were crucial errors made? Were processes, not people, to blame?
In this podcast, former major crime detective, Jacques Morrell, and journalist, Simon Ford, examine the evidence.
Part 3 of 3
Question: you've just killed someone; what's the quickest way to dispose of the body? If you live in northern Queensland, Australia, a simple answer presents itself. Dump the corpse in a crocodile-infested river. The "salties", as Australians call them, will do the rest.
That was Matthew White's plan after he murdered Donna Steele in Cooktown. But the plan backfired spectacularly thanks to advances in forensic science and a one-in-a-million DNA match.
The third and final part of our series about familial DNA looks at the 2017 murder of Donna Louise Steele and how familial DNA helped crack the case.
Part 2 of 3
16-year-old Colette Aram had her whole life in front of her. But on Halloween 1986 she encountered Paul Stewart Hutchinson as he cruised her home village in Nottinghamshire in a stolen car. Hutchinson abducted Colette, raped and murdered her. Then he simply disappeared.
25 years later, police reopened the investigation. In this podcast, we go behind the scenes of the Colette Aram cold case with Psycho Killer's Jacques Morrell. He was part of the team that collared Hutchinson thanks to advances in DNA testing — and an incredible coincidence.
Part 1 of 3
This psycho killer made Jack the Ripper look like a choirboy. Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. committed at least 13 murders, 50 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California between 1974 and 1986.
Born on 8 November 1945, DeAngelo served in the US Navy during the Vietnam war. Afterwards, he joined the police but was fired for gross misconduct.
Before he was unmasked, DeAngelo was known as the Night Stalker, the Original Night Stalker, the Visalia Ransacker, and the East Area Rapist. But the name that stuck was the Golden State Killer.
DeAngelo committed his last rape/murder in 1986 and disappeared into the shadows. But the FBI reopened the case in 2016. Two years later, DeAngelo, then aged 72, was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder, based on DNA evidence.
This podcast tells the story of the Golden State Killer in the context of advances in forensic science – in particular, the use of familial DNA to solve cold cases.
Advisory: violence, strong language.
When three young men disappeared in a small Yorkshire town, the finger of suspicion pointed to the local troublemaker. Paul Anthony Hobson was the president of the West Riding chapter of the Hell's Angels. He and his rag-tag gang of impressionable followers were behind most of the antisocial behaviour in Garforth, near Leeds. But was loud-mouthed Tony Hobson a killer? Even hardened detectives were shocked by what they found.