True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Crime History and the Authors That Have Written About Them

By True Murder

SHOW DESCRIPTION

Every week host Dan Zupansky will interview the authors that have written about the most shocking killers of all time.


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EPISODES LIST
11.13.2018

THE CREEP AMONG US-Anne Penn

The Creep Among Us, the true story of the next chapter. Investigations and research which entails some of what we know a little more than five months into solving who The East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker, Golden State Killer is. The story continues after the ARREST of Joseph James DeAngelo on April 24, 2018 in Sacramento, California. The trial estimated to begin in about four years will be unprecedented as several jurisdictions will try DeAngelo in Sacramento at the same time. There have been multitudes of articles and information that have come out in the five months since the arrest. DeAngelo was found from DNA left at the scenes of his many rapes and then murders over a ten year time span 1976-1986. A profile downloaded to GEDmatch as well as experts who traced his profile to his family tree were instrumental in the final arrest of a man whose DNA matched the suspect with a 100% match. Anne Penn is just one of hundreds of people involved in the story who needed to investigate the details. He truly was the creep hiding among us. The creepiest thing of all is he was living among his victims in his favorite attack areas in the East Sacramento area of Citrus Heights for most of the last 42 years. We shall see how the investigators connect all of the dots. Ms. Penn was compelled to follow this story through to justice. Her investigations into the details of who this perpetrator is and how we missed him in 1979 are something she had to ask questions about. Larry Crompton has written his thoughts after the arrest and they are included. Mark Smith discusses the ballistics involved in some of the murders. Many ran the idea that the criminal was in Law Enforcement throughout the many years. Mr. Smith discusses how we could have and should have determined that this man was a cop. THE CREEP AMONG US: Golden State Killer After The Arrest-Anne Penn

11.09.2018

MY SON, THE KILLER-The Untold Story of Luka Magnotta-Brian Whitney

In 2012, the Canadian Press ignited a firestorm of criticism by naming killer Luka Magnotta as its “Newsmaker Of The Year.” But while the recognition was questionable for its sensitivity, there’s no doubt that few people had captured the public’s attention like the young murderer and internet sensation. A male escort and sometimes model, Magnotta had earned his notoriety by videotaping himself stabbing Chinese student Lin Jun to death with an ice pick and dismembering the body, before posting the video online. After mailing Jun’s hands and feet to elementary schools, he then led Interpol on a manhunt that ended when he was arrested at an Internet café in Berlin where he was reading news stories about himself.  An international celebrity in a macabre sort of way, with a legion of fans, Magnotta was brought back to Canada, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison. During this time, Anna Yourkin, his estranged mother, troubled by Magnotta’s abused childhood and her role in that, reconnected with her killer son.  Despite his internet fame, Magnotta never agreed to any in-depth interviews. Now Magnotta has given award-winning journalist and author, Brian Whitney (RAW DEAL, THE SHAWCROSS LETTERS) an exclusive look inside the mind of this “social media” killer. Joining Whitney to tell this unique true crime story is Anna Yourkin. The book also contains exclusive photos provided by Yourkin. MY SON, THE KILLER: The Untold Story of Luka Magnotta and "1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick"-Brian Whitney.

11.07.2018

INCONVENIENCE GONE-Diane Marger Moore

Where is Brandon Sims? The four-year-old had not been seen since July 3, 1992, when he attended a birthday party with his twenty-year-old mother, Michelle Jones. Jones was employed, confident, talented, smart, assertive and involved in many community activities in Indianapolis, Indiana. In contrast, when he was last seen, Brandon Sims, an only child, was a serious, quiet, thin boy who rarely maintained eye contact with his mother. After that night, he was never seen again. His body has never been found.  For years Jones lied to her friends about Brandon, telling some that he was living with his father and others that he was staying with his grandmother in another state. When Brandon’s father, who had been in jail, came looking for Brandon, Michelle’s shocked friends confronted her. She confessed that Brandon was dead. She repeated her story of how Brandon died to a detective, after she admitted herself to the local psych unit. Days later she checked out of the unit and refused to reveal where he had hidden Brandon’s body. She was sure she had gotten away with murder. And she would have except the detective didn’t believe her story. He enlisted the help of a novice prosecutor because no experienced prosecutor would take the case. In Indiana, no one had ever been convicted of murder without a body.  That prosecutor has written a book that reads like a mystery novel instead of the real murder prosecution. Truth is stranger than fiction where Santeria curses, the law and politics are only a few of obstacles to justice. INCONVENIENCE GONE: The Short Tragic Life of Brandon Sims-Diane Marger Moore

11.01.2018
10.30.2018
10.26.2018
10.23.2018
10.16.2018
10.12.2018
10.09.2018
10.04.2018
10.02.2018
09.26.2018
09.18.2018

SAVING ANNIE-Steve jackson

In March 2009, pretty, vivacious Rhonda Casto plunged to her death from a 300-foot cliff in the Oregon woods. The only witness, Stephen Nichols, the father of her nine-month-old baby, Annie, told police investigators she slipped and fell. Yet, Nichols’ story didn’t quite mesh with the facts. And some of his other actions raised suspicions as well, including just days after her death trying to collect on a million-dollar life insurance policy he’d taken out on his unemployed, 23-year-old girlfriend four months earlier. What had begun with a 911 call to report an accident, quickly turned into a homicide investigation.  However, in part due to lackluster police work, the case grew cold. Then in 2011, Dardie Robinson, a tenacious investigator with a Portland law firm began digging into the circumstances surrounding Rhonda's death. The law firm represented Rhonda’s mother, who believed that Nichols, 34 at the time, had murdered her daughter. She wanted to prevent him from gaining custody of Annie and the life insurance money.  What Robinson discovered, including an attempt by Nichols to throw his first wife off a high-rise balcony in China, as well as sexual abuse allegations with Rhonda's underaged sister, convinced her that Rhonda’s death was no accident. So began her six-year battle to ‘save Annie’ from her own father and find justice for Rhonda. In the meantime, a parallel investigation into the case by co-authors Steve Jackson, an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author, and private investigator Tom McCallum, posed the same questions. What really happened to Rhonda Casto on that cold, rainy afternoon on the Eagle Creek trail? And what would become of her child. SAVING ANNIE:Book One--The Fall (A True Crime Series)-Steve Jackson

09.14.2018
09.13.2018
09.06.2018
08.28.2018

THE KILL JAR-J. Reuben Appelman

J. Reuben Appelman cracks open one of America’s most notorious murder sprees while simultaneously banging the gavel on his own history with violence. A deftly-crafted true crime story with grit, set amid the decaying sprawl of Detroit and its outliers. With a foreword by Catherine Broad, sister of victim Timothy King. Four children were abducted and murdered outside of Detroit during the winters of 1976 and 1977, their bodies eventually dumped in snow banks around the city. J. Reuben Appelman was six years old at the time the murders began and had evaded an abduction attempt during that same period, fueling a lifelong obsession with what became known as the Oakland County Child Killings. Autopsies showed the victims to have been fed while in captivity, reportedly held with care. And yet, with equal care, their bodies had allegedly been groomed post-mortem, scrubbed-free of evidence that might link to a killer. There were few credible leads, and equally few credible suspects. That’s what the cops had passed down to the press, and that’s what the city of Detroit, and J. Reuben Appelman, had come to believe. When the abductions mysteriously stopped, a task force operating on one of the largest manhunt budgets in history shut down without an arrest. Although no more murders occurred, Detroit and its environs remained haunted. The killer had, presumably, not been caught. Eerily overlaid upon the author’s own decades-old history with violence, The Kill Jar tells the gripping story of J. Reuben Appelman’s ten-year investigation into buried leads, apparent police cover-ups of evidence, con-men, child ography rings, and high-level corruption saturating Detroit’s most notorious serial killer case. THE KILL JAR: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit's Most Notorious Serial Killer-J. Reuben Appelman

08.24.2018
08.15.2018
08.07.2018
08.01.2018
07.26.2018

THE GOOD MOTHERS-Alex Perry

The Calabrian Mafia—known as the ’Ndrangheta—is one of the richest and most ruthless crime syndicates in the world, with branches stretching from America to Australia. It controls seventy percent of the cocaine and heroin supply in Europe, manages billion-dollar extortion rackets, brokers illegal arms deals—supplying weapons to criminals and terrorists—and plunders the treasuries of both Italy and the European Union. The ’Ndrangheta’s power derives from a macho mix of violence and silence—omertà. Yet it endures because of family ties: you are born into the syndicate, or you marry in. Loyalty is absolute. Bloodshed is revered. You go to prison or your grave and kill your own father, brother, sister, or mother in cold blood before you betray The Family. Accompanying the ’Ndrangheta’s reverence for tradition and history is a violent misogyny among its men. Women are viewed as chattel, bargaining chips for building and maintaining clan alliances and beatings—and worse—are routine. In 2009, after one abused ’Ndrangheta wife was murdered for turning state’s evidence, prosecutor Alessandra Cerreti considered a tantalizing possibility: that the ’Ndrangheta’s sexism might be its greatest flaw—and her most effective weapon. Approaching two more mafia wives, Alessandra persuaded them to testify in return for a new future for themselves and their children. A feminist saga of true crime and justice. Caught in the middle are three women fighting for their children and their lives. Not all will survive. THE GOOD MOTHERS: The True Story of the Women Who Took on the World's Most Powerful Mafia-Alex Perry

07.17.2018

HIS GARDEN-CONVERSATIONS WITH A SERIAL KILLER-Anne K. Howard

"You want to know what happened? Ask Anne."—serial killer William Devin Howell A monster was on a killing spree. In just nine months, seven people went missing; all of their bodies eventually discovered in a wooded lot behind a suburban strip mall. But the investigation that led law enforcement to their suspect, William Devin Howell, is only part of the story behind HIS GARDEN: Conversations With A Serial Killer. A practicing attorney, author Anne K. Howard first contacted Howell while he was serving a fifteen-year sentence for the murder of one of his seven victims. He was about to be charged for the remaining six murders. A unique and disturbing friendship between the two began, comprised of written correspondence, face-to-face prison visits and recorded phone calls. Howell, who had been unwilling to speak to any members of the media, came to trust Howard. In the years that follow, the suspect shared his troubled history with Howard but refused to discuss the charges against him, promising only to tell her everything when the case was over. That time has come. HIS GARDEN probes the complicated and conflicted mind of William Devin Howell--Connecticut’s most prolific serial killer. Both sacred and profane in its narrative style, the story on these pages explores the eternal question of human evil and its impact on others, including the woman he chose to hear his horrific confession. HIS GARDEN: Conversations With A Serial Killer-Anne K. Howard

07.13.2018
07.10.2018

BURNED-Frank C. Girardot Jr.

For years Lori Orr believed her Los Angeles firefighter dad was a selfless hero. When Lori’s dad was arrested and charged with four murders and countless arson fires, it was her testimony that helped keep him from being sent to Death Row. Eventually, Lori’s search for the truth lead her to the dark secrets lurking in her family’s past and to an inescapable conclusion about the remorseless killer and arsonist known as the "Pillowcase Pyro" and his reign of terror in sunny Southern California. EXCERPT: A hardware store employee saw the flames as they roared toward him down one of the overstocked aisles. A group of employees ran by and he herded them toward a nearby fire escape. The fire was sucking all of the oxygen out of the room and when they got the door open, the group of panicked shoppers and employees running for their lives were literally pushed out of the door as though they were shot from a cannon. “It was coming. Coming fast toward us. The flame, the fire, everything.” Together with award-winning journalist Frank C. Girardot Jr., Orr looks back on the journey that took her from love to fear and the search for answers about how the father she loved could also be a thrill-seeking predator. A predator brought to justice by a dogged investigator no one wanted to believe. A master manipulator who participated in the writing of this memoir in hopes that it would redeem him in the eyes of his family and others who trusted and believed in him. BURNED: Pyromania, Murder, and A Daughter's Nightmare-Frank C. Girardot Jr.

07.03.2018

THE GIRL ON THE VELVET SWING-Simon Baatz

In 1901 Evelyn Nesbit, a chorus girl in the musical Florodora, dined alone with the architect Stanford White in his townhouse on 24th Street in New York. Nesbit, just sixteen years old, had recently moved to the city. White was forty-seven and a principal in the prominent architectural firm McKim, Mead & White. As the foremost architect of his day, he was a celebrity, responsible for designing countless landmark buildings in Manhattan. That evening, after drinking champagne, Nesbit lost consciousness and awoke to find herself naked in bed with White. Telltale spots of blood on the bed sheets told her that White had raped her.   She told no one about the rape until, several years later, she confided in Harry Thaw, the millionaire playboy who would later become her husband. Thaw, thirsting for revenge, shot and killed White in 1906 before hundreds of theatergoers during a performance in Madison Square Garden, a building that White had designed.   The trial was a sensation that gripped the nation. Most Americans agreed with Thaw that he had been justified in killing White, but the district attorney expected to send him to the electric chair. Evelyn Nesbit's testimony was so explicit and shocking that Theodore Roosevelt himself called on the newspapers not to print it verbatim. The murder of White cast a long shadow: Harry Thaw later attempted suicide, and Evelyn Nesbit struggled for many years to escape an addiction to cocaine. The Girl on the Velvet Swing, a tale of glamour, excess, and danger, is an immersive, fascinating look at an America dominated by men of outsize fortunes and by the women who were their victims. THE GIRL ON THE VELVET SWING: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century-Simon Baatz

06.28.2018

FORGOTTEN SACRAMENTO MURDERS-David Kulczyk

Forgotten Sacramento Murders 1940-1976 explores the crimes by Sacramento's Greatest Generation. The murders that shocked Sacramento two generations ago are now only remembered by a handful of people, but during its time they startled Sacramento to its very core. Including... The original Boogie Man who in 1956 murdered a young boy in a downtown movie theater's men's room.The Mad Basher of 1941 who disappeared after his spree, only to reappear in 1956 to kill five moreTeenager Raymond Latshaw grew tired of his abusive father, so he killed him, his new wife, step-brother and grandparents in 1943.From 1949 to 1951, hobo Lloyd Gomez murdered eight men, in hobo camps up and down the Central Valley. His conscious caught up to him after he murdered a fellow hobo for a couple bottles of beer in Sacramento.The despicable Robert Nicolaus, the CSU-Sacramento graduate who murdered his three small children in 1964, and was astonishingly paroled in 1977. This evil man stewed in hatred for his ex-wife, murdering her in 1985. He died in prison.The unsolved double murder of grocery store clerks Philip Latimer and Michael McCandless in 1965.In 1958, Sacramento media was turned on its head after local television personality Ogden Miles was found murdered in a stubble field near Antelope. A violent same sex tryst doomed the married, father of two.  Sacramento has a long and sordid history of murder. Beginning with the murderous founder, John Sutter who thought nothing of killing Native Americans to the recently captured Joseph DeAngelo who is accused of being the Golden State Killer, Sacramento has a reputation for creepy murders. FORGOTTEN SACRAMENTO MURDERS 1940-1976-David Kulczyk

06.21.2018
06.12.2018
06.03.2018

SHADOW ON THE MOUNTAIN-Stephen and Joyce Singular

Nancy Pfister, heir to Buttermilk Mountain, the world-renowned site of the Winter X Games, was Aspen royalty, its ambassador to the world. She lived among the rich and famous: she partied with Hunter S. Thompson, dated Jack Nicholson, had a joint baby shower with Goldie Hawn, and globetrotted with Angelica Houston. She was also a philanthropist, admired for her generosity. But behind the warm façade, she could be selfish, manipulative, and careless. Pfister enjoyed bragging about her wealth and celebrity connections, but those closest to her, like Kathy Carpenter, Pfister's personal assistant, drinking companion, and on one occasion lover, knew better. In 2013, after a long fall from grace, Dr. William Styler and his wife, Nancy, relocated to Aspen to reinvent themselves. They'd lived the high life before a misguided lawsuit left them near poverty, and Nancy Pfister was their answered prayer. She took them in, gave them a place to live, and allowed them to launch their new spa business. Everything seemed perfect until Pfister turned on them, making increasingly irrational demands and threatening to throw them out on the street. When Nancy was found beaten to death in her own home, the Stylers and Carpenter were all under suspicion for the gruesome murder. But in this close-knit, wealthytown set on keeping its reputation and secrets safe from the public eye, the police struggled to solve the mystery of what really happened. SHADOW ON THE MOUNTAIN: Nancy Pfister, Dr. William Styler and the Murder of Aspen's Golden Girl-Stephen and Joyce Singular

05.29.2018
05.24.2018
05.17.2018
05.15.2018

BULLIED TO DEATH-Judith A. Yates

Do you think I’m pretty. No one likes me.  I hate my life.  I wish I had a friend. It was the mantra of fourteen-year-old Sherokee Harriman, who in September 2015 faced her alleged bullies in a small Tennessee public park and pulled out a concealed kitchen knife. She drove the knife into her stomach as the horrified teens watched. Local media focused on sensationalism rather than truth. The word “bullicide” was used, meaning bullying drove Sherokee to kill herself. The story of Sherokee’s death flew through social media, broadcast for all to see. Sherokee had shared her secrets online where privacy disappears with a slight movement of a computer mouse. A product of a family doing their best with little resources, Sherokee was passed through the mental health system as far as it would take her, shuttled through an overworked and underfunded education system supervised by government agencies with no real answers. She was sent to “Stop Bullying” school programs unprepared to assist, exasperating the problems. Sherokee Rose Harriman November 7, 2000 – September 5, 2015 A community began to question the laws and definitions regarding “bullying.” Should schoolyard bullies be held legally responsible for causing a suicide? Can a rough family history guarantee a tragedy? And just what is bullying, anyway? Perhaps Sherokee’s death was an accident … perhaps there was a sinister truth that has yet to be told. BULLIED TO DEATH: A Story of Bullying, Social Media and the Suicide of Sherokee Harriman-Judith A. Yates

05.10.2018
05.08.2018
05.03.2018
05.02.2018
05.01.2018
04.26.2018
04.19.2018
04.16.2018
04.13.2018
04.05.2018
04.03.2018
03.30.2018
03.27.2018
03.21.2018
03.15.2018
True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Crime History and the Authors That Have Written About Them Podcast

LAST EPISODE

TOXIC RAGE-A.J. Flick

11.13.2018

Brian Stidham fell in love with Tucson, Ariz., the minute he came to town. A young and talented eye surgeon, he accepted a job with an established eye surgeon to take over his pediatric patients. “It’s a beautiful place,” Stidham ...