Hello! It feels like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve been able to sit down and talk to you. So lets start with why my absence has been so long.
If you already know, this is not my full time job. My full job is being the executive producer for Good Morning Quad Cities here on News 8. In the midst of the pandemic, starting around the summer time, things were busy… busier than ever before. It was hard to pull myself off to the side to do anything really related to this.
I tried, I would sometimes get this burst of energy and I would file reports with police, and dip my toe in investigating cases. I would write here or there but all of it never felt like it was enough. Because if you’ve listened to other crime podcasts they have SCORES of people who are helping out their hosts.
They have writers, fact checkers, co-hosts, editors and so much more and I don’t really have that. I have some help but a lot of this is done by me and me alone. So I never felt like what I was doing was strong enough, or informative enough and then I would have to take a back seat on the podcast because of the pandemic once more.
Luckily now, I have my own microphone and little set up at home here. A lot of the work I do for this is in my own free time so hopefully as we move through this year I will be able to do this more. That’s my hope at least. And if you ever hear a dog in the background, or a cat or husband in any of my episodes, I’m sorry in advance!
But above all, thank you all for listening in throughout this past year. I was truly shocked to see that people were STILL listening, despite not having new content dropping every other week.
My plan now is to write up a “what you missed” episode for some of those cases I’ve covered in the past. And I got a lot of new episodes coming soon that I’m actively working on. Some new and developing cases, some old and almost forgotten ones.
And before I sign off, I wanted to bring back the Bloody Good Book Club! There have been just some amazing crime books and documentaries and docu-series over the last year that I just wanted to highlight a few!
This docu-series is about Sean Ellis being wrongfully convicted in the death of a Boston cop. Very compelling, especially since this was around the time where there were a lot of seedy cops within that department. His defense attorney later on, she’s a powerhouse of a woman. Strong and stern in her conviction to help those in need. I was impressed by her own investigation skills and of course the strength Sean had during the 23 years he was in prison.
"The Confession Killer"
A great look back on Henry Lee Lucas. The news coverage that the documentarians pulled is outstanding. I love how for the longest time a lot of people were convinced he was this horrific killer but at the end of the day there’s no way he could have committed all of those crimes. I believe he’s a narcissist, and he is a killer but not to the extent of which he played.
Another absolutely fantastic piece that just came out in December. This all happened in the UK, the Yorkshire Ripper. I think it really helps tell a story about how women are looked at, especially when they are vulnerable and the victim of a horrendous crime. I think the preconceived notion that this “clean cut guy” couldn’t have been him, even though the cops talk to him nine times at one point was extremely tragic and that ultimately led to more women dying as a result.
This latest docu-series is all about California killer Richard Ramirez. Extremely well done, the footage is brutal. But what I found shocking online is some people are saying it’s too gruesome. Listen, when it comes to all the Ted Bundy docs that have come out, they sugar coated what that man did. At least with the Night Stalker, they laid out that this man was a monster, true to its word. I will say we heard glimmers of audio from Richard himself and I would have loved to hear more from that than the cops themselves. As compelling as they were.
Some honorable mentions for Netflix:
"American Murder: The Family next door"
"Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich"
"How to fix a drug scandal"
"Fear city New York vs. the mafia"
"Murder to Mercy: the Cyntoia Brown story"
The streaming site doesn't have a lot of gems right now, BUT if you check out ABC’s 20/20 they have some great episodes. One of the latest about the Dating Game Killer. Truly a horrific story that even I didn’t know about until my tattoo artist told me about him.
The streaming site is a stretch for some but they’ve had some great stuff coming out. So if you’re in a binging mood and want to just try the trial I would recommend a few things to watch that you can totally get through in a day. And it’s not just crime it’s also cults.
"Heaven’s Gate, the Cult of Cults"
When I tell you this story is so unbelievable, especially hearing from survivors WHO STILL BELIEVE IN WHAT WAS PREACHED, shook. If you don’t know they pretty much believe aliens will save them and bring them to heaven. It’s insane but it’s so fascinating. The mindset of it all is just amazing.
All about the NXIVM cult is a great great one about how Keith Reinere really was all about helping people at first with his inner group and then just slowly began to make it about men dominating women, sex, then BRANDING PEOPLE. His closest allies would FINALLY realize something is wrong after decades of being by his side and leave. It’s a stunner I’ll leave it at that.
With cults you have to have a cult following. This docu-series about an insane investigation into that old Monopoly McDonald’s game and how one man tried to rig it and racked up millions of dollars. It leads to others within his family cashing in as well then other people who didn’t think twice about it going sideways. It’s bonkers.
Some other great mentions:
"Murder on Middle Beach"
"Crazy, not Insane" (but you really have to like psychology to get into it)
"The mystery of D.B. Cooper"
"Dear Zachary… "
Probably the saddest documentary. I watched it a few years ago but it’s about a man highlighting his friends life for that mans son, talking to all the people they knew and how this kids mom and dad fell in love and how his mom would later kill his dad. It’s messed up and I’m not lying when I say I wept to that.
"There’s something wrong with Aunt Diane"
A suspenseful documentary about how this woman killed her 3 kids and their 2 cousins by essentially crashing their car on a busy highway. The family still has no clue how it could have happened when she was fine a few hours prior after spending the weekend up at this lake house they had. It was good but obviously with no answers… you’d have to watch and see if you like it.
Sort of about Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold who was one of the shooters at Columbine. It actually is pretty close to her book she wrote a few years back that was very well done called "A Mothers Reckoning". Just her working through coping with her son being one of the most prolific school shooters in history and how it could have happened.
And going into books, because I mean… I am calling this the bloody good book club for a reason.
"A Father's Story"
Similar to Sue Klebold’s but this was written two decades prior by the father of Jeffrey Dahmer. He published it in 1994 right after his son was sentenced, so a lot of people thought he was trying to profit off the tragedies. It’s fascinating to see how hard his dad worked to try to save his son: it’s obvious from a young age that Jeff just struggled and he didn’t want that for him. Tried to find him jobs, got him into the army, places to live, the whole works and then to be thrown off guard by what he did to his victims. It’s a hard read but a good one.
"An appointment with Dr. Kavorkian"
A man on a mission I’ll tell you what: this Armenian man, wanting to help people suffering from terminal illness by assisting them in suicide. It seems like a noble cause but as you read into this, man he’s NUTS. This is the early 90’s. At first I was like why do people hate him so much... because he would get thrown injunctions, cease and desists, and even threatened with hard prison time. Yet, he’d come up with more people to help die and then spew some crazy stuff about organ donation with prisoners! It's a page turner.
"Hidden Valley Road"
This is not a crime book, but its very well done and really dives into schizophrenia and how back in the 60s and 70s some of the theories as to why it happens. This book centers around the family that really helped crack open the genetics and misconceptions of the disease. This couple had 12 kids, 10 boys and 2 girls and 6 of the boys would end up having some spectrum of the disease. There is some crime that happens in the book but it’s a very fascinating look at the nature vs. nurture complex and how so much has changed in the psychology world.
I hope you check those out until the next episode, where we are covering every aspect that we know about the disappearance of 11-year-old Breasia Terrell from Davenport, IA. Still a very active case happening, so you won’t want to miss it.