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True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers

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Every week host Dan Zupansky will interview the true crime authors that have written about the most shocking killers of all time.
Every week host Dan Zupansky will interview the true crime authors that have written about the most shocking killers of all time. << Show Less
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22 MURDERS-Part 2-Paul Palango A shocking exposé of the deadliest killing spree in Canadian history, and how police tragically failed its victims and survivors.As news broke of a killer rampaging across the tiny community of Portapique, Nova Scotia, late on April 18, 2020, details were oddly hard to come by. Who was the killer? Why was he not apprehended? What were police doing? How many were dead? And why was the gunman still on the loose the next morning and killing again? The RCMP was largely silent then, and continued to obscure the actions of denturist Gabriel Wortman after an officer shot and killed him at a gas station during a chance encounter. Though retired as an investigative journalist and author, Paul Palango spent much of his career reporting on Canada’s troubled national police force. Watching the RCMP stumble through the Portapique massacre, only a few hours from his Nova Scotia home, Palango knew the story behind the headlines was more complicated and damning than anyone was willing to admit. With the COVID-19 lockdown sealing off the Maritimes, no journalist in the province knew the RCMP better than Palango did. Within a month, he was back in print and on the radio, peeling away the layers of this murderous episode as only he could, and unearthing the collision of failure and malfeasance that cost a quiet community 22 innocent lives. 22 MURDERS: Investigating the Massacres, Cover-up and Obstacles to Justice in Nova Scotia-Part 2-Paul Palango
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22 MURDERS-Part 2-Paul Palango A shocking exposé of the deadliest killing spree in Canadian history, and how police tragically failed its victims and survivors.As news broke of a killer rampaging across the tiny community of Portapique, Nova Scotia, late on April 18, 2020, details were oddly hard to come by. Who was the killer? Why was he not apprehended? What were police doing? How many were dead? And why was the gunman still on the loose the next morning and killing again? The RCMP was largely silent then, and continued to obscure the actions of denturist Gabriel Wortman after an officer shot and killed him at a gas station during a chance encounter. Though retired as an investigative journalist and author, Paul Palango spent much of his career reporting on Canada’s troubled national police force. Watching the RCMP stumble through the Portapique massacre, only a few hours from his Nova Scotia home, Palango knew the story behind the headlines was more complicated and damning than anyone was willing to admit. With the COVID-19 lockdown sealing off the Maritimes, no journalist in the province knew the RCMP better than Palango did. Within a month, he was back in print and on the radio, peeling away the layers of this murderous episode as only he could, and unearthing the collision of failure and malfeasance that cost a quiet community 22 innocent lives. 22 MURDERS: Investigating the Massacres, Cover-up and Obstacles to Justice in Nova Scotia-Part 2-Paul Palango
22 MURDERS-Part 1-Paul Palango A shocking exposé of the deadliest killing spree in Canadian history, and how police tragically failed its victims and survivors.As news broke of a killer rampaging across the tiny community of Portapique, Nova Scotia, late on April 18, 2020, details were oddly hard to come by. Who was the killer? Why was he not apprehended? What were police doing? How many were dead? And why was the gunman still on the loose the next morning and killing again? The RCMP was largely silent then, and continued to obscure the actions of denturist Gabriel Wortman after an officer shot and killed him at a gas station during a chance encounter. Though retired as an investigative journalist and author, Paul Palango spent much of his career reporting on Canada’s troubled national police force. Watching the RCMP stumble through the Portapique massacre, only a few hours from his Nova Scotia home, Palango knew the story behind the headlines was more complicated and damning than anyone was willing to admit. With the COVID-19 lockdown sealing off the Maritimes, no journalist in the province knew the RCMP better than Palango did. Within a month, he was back in print and on the radio, peeling away the layers of this murderous episode as only he could, and unearthing the collision of failure and malfeasance that cost a quiet community 22 innocent lives. 22 MURDERS: Investigating the Massacres, Cover-up and Obstacles to Justice in Nova Scotia-Paul Palango
THE GIRL I NEVER KNEW-LaDonna Humphrey For over two decades the identity of Melissa Witt’s murderer has been hidden among the dense trees and thorny undergrowth rooted deeply in the uneven ground of a remote mountaintop in the Ozark National Forest.Determined to find answers, LaDonna Humphrey has spent the past seven years hunting for Melissa’s killer. Her investigation, both thrilling and unpredictable, has led her on a journey like no other.The Girl I Never Knew is an edge-of-your-seat account of LaDonna Humphrey’s passionate fight for justice in the decades-old murder case of a girl she never met in person. Her unstoppable quest for the truth has gained the attention of some incredibly dangerous people, some of whom would like to keep Melissa’s murder a mystery forever. THE GIRL I NEVER KNEW: Who Killed Melissa Witt-LaDonna Humphrey
HELL'S HALF-ACRE-Susan Jonusas A suspense filled tale of murder on the American frontier—shedding new light on a family of serial killers in Kansas, whose horrifying crimes gripped the attention of a nation still reeling from war.In 1873 the people of Labette County, Kansas made a grisly discovery. Buried by a trailside cabin beneath an orchard of young apple trees were the remains of countless bodies. Below the cabin itself was a cellar stained with blood. The Benders, the family of four who once resided on the property were nowhere to be found. The discovery sent the local community and national newspapers into a frenzy that continued for decades, sparking an epic manhunt for the Benders. The idea that a family of seemingly respectable homesteaders—one among the thousands relocating farther west in search of land and opportunity after the Civil War—were capable of operating "a human slaughter pen" appalled and fascinated the nation. But who the Benders really were, why they committed such a vicious killing spree and whether justice ever caught up to them is a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. Set against the backdrop of postbellum America, Hell’s Half-Acre explores the environment capable of allowing such horrors to take place. Drawing on extensive original archival material, Susan Jonusas introduces us to a fascinating cast of characters, many of whom have been previously missing from the story. Among them are the families of the victims, the hapless detectives who lost the trail, and the fugitives that helped the murderers escape. Hell’s Half-Acre is a journey into the turbulent heart of nineteenth century America, a place where modernity stalks across the landscape, violently displacing existing populations and building new ones. It is a world where folklore can quickly become fact and an entire family of criminals can slip through a community’s fingers, only to reappear in the most unexpected of places. HELL'S HALF-ACRE: The Untold Story of the Benders, A Serial Killer Family on the American Frontier-Susan Jonusas
RIPPLE-Jim Cosgrove For nine years, South Carolina officials struggled to identify “the boy in the woods,” a young man whose body had been discovered just south of Myrtle Beach in a fishing village called Murrells Inlet.Meanwhile, 1,200 miles away in Kansas City, Missouri, Frank McGonigle's family searched for him at Grateful Dead concerts and in the face of every long-haired hitchhiker they passed. Consumed by guilt for how they'd treated him, Frank's eight siblings slowly came to understand that — like Jerry Garcia sang — he's gone and nothin's gonna bring him back.Frank McGonigle was finally found — and identified as “the boy in the woods.”Four years later, the case still unsolved, Jim Cosgrove, a McGonigle family friend and investigative journalist, picked up the trail of Frank’s cold case and began uncovering connections to a ruthless local crime boss and blunders by the threadbare sheriff’s department.When his research began to stall, a chance meeting with the soft-hearted, straight-talking “energy reader” Carol Williams provided a metaphysical spark that reignited Jim's resolve. Although his work as a journalist trained him to be skeptical, Cosgrove found himself starting to become a believer when Carol provided details about Frank’s murder that turned out to be freakishly accurate.In 2019, Cosgrove returned to Murrells Inlet with one of Frank’s brothers to dredge up some old leads and settle Frank’s case once and for all…RIPPLE: A Long Strange Search for a Killer-Jim Cosgrove
VAMPIRES, GATORS AND WACKOS-Frank Stanfield From a teen vampire cult that killed one member’s parents to naked people who tell cops, “nothing to see here,” Frank Stanfield has seen it all in thirty years as a newspaper editor and reporter, mostly in Florida.Vampires, Gators, and Whackos: A Newspaperman’s Life recalls rustlers hiding ranchers’ bodies in a bottomless pit and a Jane Doe so mauled people believed it was a bear attack. It exposes cops who bungle murder cases and praises those who are heroes. There are tales of bears, sharks, snakes, alligators, and potbellied pigs. There is the teacher who was too pretty to go to jail despite having sex with a middle-school male student. Hurricanes lash out, tornadoes spin a blender of death, and sinkholes swallow homes, roads, and people. All of this takes place while newspapers—with their own zany characters—are fighting for their survival. VAMPIRES, GATORS AND WACKOS: A Newspaperman's Life-Frank Stanfield
SEX AND THE SERIAL KILLER-William Steel In the early 1980s, William Steel's life took a turn towards the macabre when he quite literally ran into Robert Durst in midtown Manhattan. Steel was attending a school for locksmithing and security systems at the time, and Durst -- the black sheep of a family that controls billions of dollars in New York real estate -- decided he could use a man of those specific talents. Little did Steel realize that his new acquaintance was not only the prime suspect in his first wife's mysterious disappearance but quite possibly the wealthiest serial killer in American history. For the better part of a decade, Steel and Durst maintained what has been called a friendship of mutual usury, as Durst paid Steel for use of his Brooklyn home to engage in drug- and fetish-fueled sex with a variety of prostitutes. As they got to know each other better, Durst boasted to Steel of darker deeds. Were they confessions of rape, torture and cold-blooded murder, or just the twisted fantasies of a maniacal multimillionaire? Steel didn't know for sure until years later. He's now convinced that Durst is, indeed, a murderous monster, and he remains haunted by thoughts that he should have done something to stop the fiend before he claimed more innocent lives. In his gripping memoir, Sex and the Serial Killer, My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst, Steel reveals the depths of the scion's depravity, and he demands justice for Durst's victims and their shattered families. SEX AND THE SERIAL KILLER: My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst-William Steel
SHIP OF BLOOD-Charles Oldham ON AN OCTOBER NIGHT IN 1905, a horrifying scene was found on a wooden vessel off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. Onboard the Harry A. Berwind, one crewman lay dead, his blood streaming down the deck. The four officers all were gone-murdered, too, it would turn out, their bodies dumped into the sea. Only three sailors remained alive, one tied up, all telling different stories, all blaming each other. The three sailors were Black. The dead officers were white.So began a legal spectacle that would captivate much of the nation's press and fuel a sensational trial in Wilmington. It was in Wilmington, after all, that shocking racial violence had occurred not long before, and now the city remained in the clutches of white supremacists. Most observers could have predicted a quick verdict and a triple hanging . . . if not an even quicker lynching. Yet the legal drama would defy predictions, lasting seven years, reaching the Supreme Court, pulling in presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft-then even being twisted into a fanciful, big-budget movie. In the end, so many participants-from jurors to lawyers to politicians-acted against type that justice had a fighting chance. SHIP OF BLOOD: Mutiny and Slaughter Aboard the Harry A. Berwind, and the Quest for Justice-Charles Oldham
MURDER AT TEAL'S POND-David Bushman and Mark T. Givens A brilliantly researched reinvestigation into the nearly forgotten century-old murder that inspired one of the most seductive mysteries in the history of television and film. In 1908, Hazel Drew was found floating in a pond in Sand Lake, New York, beaten to death. The unsolved murder inspired rumors, speculation, ghost stories, and, almost a century later, the phenomenon of Twin Peaks. Who killed Hazel Drew? Like Laura Palmer, she was a paradox of personalities—a young, beautiful puzzle with secrets. Perhaps the even trickier question is, Who was Hazel Drew? Seeking escape from her poor country roots, Hazel found work as a domestic servant in the notoriously corrupt metropolis of Troy, New York. Fate derailed her plans for reinvention. But the investigation that followed her brutal murder was fraught with red herrings, wild-goose chases, and unreliable witnesses. Did officials really follow the leads? Or did they bury them to protect the guilty? The likely answer is revealed in an absorbing true mystery that’s ingeniously reconstructed and every bit as haunting as the cultural obsession it inspired. MURDER AT TEAL'S POND: Hazel Drew and the Mystery that Inspired Twin Peaks-David Bushman and Mark T. Givens
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