Cover art for podcast Once Upon A Crime | True Crime

Once Upon A Crime | True Crime

190 EpisodesProduced by Esther LudlowWebsite

Join me as I dive into some of the most fascinating and thought provoking true crime stories told one chapter at a time. Kidnappings, murders, mysterious disappearances, serial killers, celebrity crime and more will be covered.

190 Episodes | 2016 - 2020

Episode 178: Familiar Strangers: Walter Collins, Part 2

August 10th, 2020


On this second part of a two-part episode we continue the story of 9-year-old Walter Collins who went missing from Los Angeles in 1928.  In part two, …

Episode 177: Familiar Strangers: Walter Collins - Part 1

August 3rd, 2020


In this month's series I'll tell you stories about people who missing and then, months or years later, miraculously reappeared.  But, these stories …

Episode 176: Stranger Than Fiction: Starr Faithfull and "BUtterfield 8"

July 27th, 2020


The life and tragic death of a young socialite in the 1930s inspires an Academy Award winning movie. But, Starr Faithfull's life was far from the …

Bonus Episode: "Ripped from the Headlines" with author Harold Schechter

July 22nd, 2020


As a bonus for this month's theme "Stranger Than Fiction" I interview author Harold Schechter about his new book, Ripped from the Headlines: The …

Wondery Presents: Blood Ties - Season Two

July 15th, 2020



Blood Ties is a scripted audio drama starring Gillian Jacobs, Josh Gad, Dominic Monaghan, Amy Landecker, and Wayne Knight.

After the sudden death of Michael and Elenore …

Episode 175: Stranger Than Fiction: Belva Gaertner & Beulah Annan and Chicago

July 13th, 2020


Two women accused of murder in the Roaring 20s would become the inspiration for one of the best known and longest running shows in American musical …

Episode 174: Stranger Than Fiction: Richard Crafts and "Fargo"

July 6th, 2020


In 1986, a beautiful young mother discovers her husband is cheating on her and files for divorce.  Soon afterward, she goes missing.  Discovering …

Episode 173: Till Death Do Us Part: Nancy Andrade and Mark Crew

June 29th, 2020


In the last chapter of "Till Death Do Us Part" a woman meets and quickly marries a man. He promises her a new life, but soon after the wedding she goes missing.  It will take years of investigative and legal work to …

Episode 172: Till Death Do Us Part: Kelly Ecker and Scott Samson

June 22nd, 2020


A bride sees many red flags in her relationship before walking down the aisle, but her fear of angering her fiancee would compel her to go through …

Episode 171: Till Death Do Us Part: Jordan Graham and Cody Johnson

June 8th, 2020


A new bride decides she's made a mistake in tying the knot.  The decision she makes in order to end the marriage will be a shocking act of cruelty. 


"A Murder in Glacier Park" by Justin Franz for The …

Episode 170: Till Death Do Us Part: Wendy Trapaga and Michel Escoto

June 1st, 2020


In this series, I'll share cases of newlyweds whose lives were cut short by the person who vowed to love them forever.  

In this first case, a young …

Episode 169: Last Dance: The Pelley Murders - Part 2

May 18th, 2020


This is Part 2 of "The Pelley Murders".  In this episode I'll tell you about Jeff Pelley's trial, theories of the murders, and give you a strange and compelling story about who else may have been responsible for the …

Episode 168: Last Dance: The Pelley Murders - Part 1

May 11th, 2020


A 17-year-old is suspected in the murder of four of his family members because he was forbidden from attending his prom.  Was this a case of a …

Episode 167: Last Dance: Adam Sapikowski

May 4th, 2020


In this series, "Last Dance", I share stories of crimes that happened on prom night.  In the first episode, a teenager commits an act of parricide …

Episode 166: StepMonsters - Joshua and Jerome Ellis

April 27th, 2020


An abusive stepfather gets his comeuppance when his stepsons turn on him resulting in a grisly murder. 


"Joshua and Jerome Ellis guilty of …

Episode 165: StepMonsters: Tracey Wright

April 20th, 2020


A child, unwanted from birth and neglected by her birth parents, is hopeful that her new stepmother will love her like a daughter. It is not to be …

Episode 164: StepMonsters: The Disappearance of Charlie Bothuell

April 6th, 2020


In our new series, “StepMonsters,” I’ll share stories of bad stepparents whose actions became true crime news.  In this first episode I'll share the story of a young boy who went missing and was found in a very unlikely …

Episode 163: Swan Songs: Evelyn Dick

March 30th, 2020


A gruesome crime would become a media sensation in Canada in 1946 when a beautiful young woman was accused of the grisly murder.  This is the case of …

Episode 162: Swan Songs - Gerald Friend - "Polly"

March 23rd, 2020


In 1991, Kurt Cobain released a song on the album Nevermind. Titled "Polly" the song was inspired by a kidnapping and rape of a young girl in Tacoma, …

Episode 161: Swan Songs: Jennifer Levin

March 9th, 2020


A young girl is brutally murdered in New York's Central Park in 1986. Her killer, Robert Chambers, would be dubbed "The Preppy Killer" in the press …

Episode 160: Swan Songs: Katherine Korzilius

March 3rd, 2020


The mysterious death of a young girl inspires Jon Bon Jovi to record a song dedicated to her.  This is the case of Katherine Korzilius. 

Resources …

Episode 159: Bad Seeds: Leslie Arnold

February 25th, 2020


In Nebraska, in 1958, a high school junior holds animosity towards his mother and takes deadly revenge.  He is caught and imprisoned and, years …

Episode 158: Bad Seeds: Lowell Lee Andrews

February 11th, 2020


In Kansas in 1958, an 18-year-old kills both of his parents and his only sibling. Was it a case of greed, mental illness, or was Andrews just a "bad …

Episode 157: Bad Seeds: Marlene Olive

February 4th, 2020


In 1975, a rebellious teen enlists her boyfriend to kill her parents in a small, Northern California town. The gruesome crime would be dubbed "The …

Episode 156: Behind the Crime: Aileen Wuornos

January 28th, 2020


In this special episode I'll do an in-depth look at the infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos.  

Time stamps:

Early Life: 02:41

Teen Years: 13:25

Bonus Episode: Happy New Year from Once Upon a Crime

January 5th, 2020


On this bonus episode I share the highs and lows for 2019, list the top episodes of last year, talk about upcoming events and share the last word on the 2019 plagiarism scandal.  


Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime -

Episode 155: Analyzing the JonBenet Ramsey Case with Jack Luna

December 17th, 2019


On this special episode my guest is Jack Luna from Crime Machine Podcast.  We discuss the evidence and theories behind the JonBenet Ramsey Case.

Episode 154: The Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis w/Erica Kelly

December 10th, 2019


On this special episode, I discuss the death of Shawn Stephens Lewis. Shawn was the fifth wife of Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock and country music star.  When Shawn Lewis was found dead in Lewis's mansion on August 24, 1983, …

Episode 153: AMA and Case Updates for 2019

December 3rd, 2019


On this year-end wrap up episode, I answer listener questions and share updates on cases I've covered in past episodes. 


Detective Trapp: 

Native Deodorant: - …

Episode 152: Fugitives from Justice: Ruth Eisemann-Schier

November 26th, 2019


In this last episode about fugitives on the run from the law I tell you the story of the very first woman ever to make the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.  Ruth Eisemann-Schier, along with her boyfriend, Gary Krist, carried …

Episode 151: Fugitives from Justice: Alex Kelly

November 19th, 2019


A young man from a wealthy family is accused of committing two rapes while still in high school. Before he could be tried on these charges he'd flee …

Episode 150: Fugitives from Justice: Nazira Ugalde and Brenda Delgado

November 12th, 2019


In this episode I’ll share two separate cases of women who became part of a very small and exclusive club - women who made the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.  

Nazira Ugalde killed for financial gain and flees to South …

Episode 149: Fugitives from Justice: Jesse James Hollywood

November 5th, 2019


A small time drug dealer kidnaps a rival's younger brother in order to settle a debt.  The unfolding series of events would become one of …

Episode 148: Rocktober: Rock and Roll Haunts

October 21st, 2019


In this episode I dig into my file of spooky stories to share some haunted happenings in the world of rock and roll.  

#themansionatlaurelcanyon …

Episode 147: Rocktober: The Bob Marley Assassination Attempt

October 14th, 2019


Bob Marley went from singing R&B harmonies in Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica to becoming a pioneer of reggae music, bringing his own blend of …

Episode 146: Rocktober: Altamont, The Rolling Stone and The Hells Angels

October 7th, 2019


A free concert took place in northern California in December of 1969 featuring The Rolling Stones.  It would descend into chaos due to poor planning, …

Episode 145: Taunting Terrors: Ruth Finley and The Poet

September 30th, 2019


A woman begins receiving harassing phone calls and letters from a stalker.  It would take years to discover who the anonymous man was, but when he …

Episode 144: Taunting Terrors: Susan Jaeger

September 23rd, 2019


A 7-year-old goes missing while on a family camping trip in 1973.  Anonymous calls would be placed demanding a ransom, but, the trail would grow cold …

Episode 143: Taunting Terrors: Little Gregory and The Crow

September 16th, 2019


In a small French village, a little boy goes missing and the family receives anonymous letters from a person taking responsibility who is dubbed "The …

Episode 142: Taunting Terrors: Shari Faye Smith

September 9th, 2019


A young girl goes missing in South Carolina in 1985.  Soon after, her kidnapper would begin calling her family - but not to make demands for her safe …

Episode 141: Cursed Hollywood: The Poltergeist Curse

August 26th, 2019


A horror film franchise is seemingly cursed when it experiences tragedies including hauntings, serious accidents, fatal illness and murder.  

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime: 

Episode 140: Cursed Hollywood: The Little Rascals

August 19th, 2019


From 1922 to the 1940s over 40 child actors would be cast in a popular series of short films and many of them would later fall victim to strange …

Episode 139: Cursed Hollywood: The Curse of Superman

August 12th, 2019


Every manifestation of the Man of Steel - comic books, television shows and films - has been marked by bad blood, shattered careers, tragic accidents and even murder.  This is the Curse of Superman. 

Several resources …

Episode 138: Cursed Hollywood: Diff'rent Strokes

August 5th, 2019


Three child actors become stars after being cast in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes in 1978.  But, all three would go on to live troubled adult lives …

Episode 137: Deadly Therapy - Susan Polk

July 29th, 2019


Susan Polk enters into a relationship with her therapist when she is a young girl. Years later, after 20 years of marriage, she will claim she has …

Episode 136: Deadly Therapy: Terrance Cottrell

July 28th, 2019


A mother seeks help for her special needs child, but a church prayer service ends tragically.  

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:


True Stories of Law and Order by Kevin Dwyer …

Episode 135: Deadly Therapy - Candace Newmaker

July 8th, 2019


In the second chapter of the series "Deadly Therapy" a young girl who grows up in an unstable home is placed up for adoption.  Her adoptive mother finds her behavior problematic and has her undergo a new and …

Episode 134: Deadly Therapy: James Arthur Ray

July 1st, 2019


In this month's series, "Deadly Therapy", I’ll detail cases of people who sought help from experts, but rather than receiving healing and transformation, their journeys came to an abrupt and deadly end.  In this first …

Episode 133: Twin Terrors: Sunny and Gina Han

June 24th, 2019


Identical twin sisters, Sunny and Gina Han were lifelong rivals.  One sister's jealousy would lead her to plot her twin's murder. 


Several sources …

Bonus Episode - CrimeCon 2019 and Travel Tales

June 22nd, 2019


On this bonus episode I take you along with me to CrimeCon 2019 in New Orleans and my travels to New York City and Toronto for the Toronto True Crime Film Festival.  

#CrimeCon #NewOrleans #TorontoTrueCrimeFilmFestival …

Once Upon a Crime LIVE at CrimeCon 2019

June 22nd, 2019


In this bonus episode, I interview Jan Broberg and Skye Borgman about their documentary film "Abducted in Plain Sight" LIVE at CrimeCon 2019 in New Orleans.

#AbductedinPlainSight #truecrimedocumentary #CrimeCon2019


Episode 132: Twin Terrors: The Gibbons Sisters - Part 2

June 10th, 2019


I continue the story of the Gibbons Sisters - twins who were locked in a battle their entire lives. Neither believed they could survive without the …

Episode 131: Twin Terrors: The Gibbons Sisters - Part 1

June 3rd, 2019


June and Jennifer Gibbons were identical twins who, from a very young age, were so bonded to one another that they created their own “twin language” to communicate speaking only to one another.  They rejected any other …

Bonus Episode: Where Are They Now? - The Cleveland Kidnappings

May 24th, 2019


"Lost and Found" was the very first series of Once Upon a Crime in June, 2016.  In that series I covered the story of three young women who were held captive and abused by Ariel Castro for over a decade.  In this bonus …

May News and Announcements

May 17th, 2019


This bonus episode gives news and announcements for the month of May including information on Season 4. 


Social Media:

Twitter - @uponacrime and @tacoboutcrime

Facebook and Instagram - …

Episode 130: Disorder in the Court: Ellie Nesler

May 13th, 2019


A mother takes justice into her own hands in Jamestown, California in 1993 when she discovers her son has been abused by a child molester.  Some …

Episode 129: Disorder in the Court: The Atlanta Courthouse Killer

May 6th, 2019


In 2005, a man on trial for rape escapes custody in Atlanta's Fulton County Courthouse and goes on a violent rampage.  This is Chapter 1 of "Disorder …

Episode 128: Bad Sports: Ten Cent Beer Night

April 29th, 2019


A summer ball game descends into chaos when a promotional event goes seriously awry.  This is the last chapter in the series "Bad Sports" recounting the Cleveland Indians' "Ten Cent Beer Night" riot. 

Thanks to guest …

Episode 127: Bad Sports: Soccer Brawl in Brazil

April 15th, 2019


A friendly soccer game on a dusty field in Brazil turns into a horrific act of violence. 


Article: A Yellow Card, Then Unfathomable …

Episode 126: Bad Sports: Sally "Killer" McNeil

April 8th, 2019


Ray and Sally McNeil were a married couple who were both accomplished athletes in the sport of professional bodybuilding.  But, a combination of …

Episode 125: Bad Sports: Thomas Junta - "Hockey Dad"

April 1st, 2019


This month I'll be sharing stories of outrageous crimes that occurred at sporting events or by sports figures.  

First up, a neighborhood ice rink, a pee-wee hockey pick-up game and some unsportsmanlike conduct leads to …

Episode 124: Murder Memories: Paul Cox

March 25th, 2019


A man starts having vivid memories of a violent crime he believes he may have committed during an alcoholic blackout. 

Several resources were used in …

Episode 123: Murder Memories: Eileen Franklin - Part 2

March 18th, 2019


I conclude the story about Eileen Franklin who claimed to have witnessed her friend, 8-year-old Susan Nason's murder in 1969. She would say her …

Episode 122: Murder Memories: Eileen Franklin - Part 1

March 11th, 2019


In this series I'll share crime stories that feature a very strange and rare phenomenon - recovered memories of murder.  Is it possible to forget …

Episode 121: Three Strikes and You're Dead: Michael Keith Moon

February 26th, 2019


A career criminal commits multiple murders plus an attempted murder and continues to be released on parole.  This is the case of Michael Keith Moon. 

Episode 120: Three Strikes and You're Dead: Louise Peete - Part 2

February 19th, 2019


In the conclusion of the story of Louise Peete, the convicted murderess is released from prison and, before long, goes on to commit another violent …

Introducing - Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime!

February 13th, 2019


I'm pleased to announce my new podcast "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime"!  Each episode will feature me and a special guest host talking about what's new, hot, and trending in true crime - in a fun and casual format. 

First …

Episode 119: Three Strikes and You're Dead: Louise Peete - Part 1

February 12th, 2019


In this episode. I share a story about a particularly lethal woman who's long criminal career saw her acquitted of a murder, sentenced to life for …

Episode 118: Three Strikes and You're Dead: Kenneth Allen McDuff

February 5th, 2019


A man murders three innocent teens in 1966, is sentenced to death and later is released from prison to kill again.  This is the case of Kenneth Allen McDuff aka "The Broomstick Killer". 

Photo: Kenneth Allen McDuff at …

Episode 117: Black Widows: Black Widow Sisters

January 29th, 2019


A rare form of serial killer are Black Widows - women who kill their spouses and other family members - usually for financial gain.  Even more rare are Black Widow Sisters.  This week I'll share two stories of sisters …

Episode 116: Black Widows: Betty Lou Beets

January 15th, 2019


A woman is discovered to have murdered two of her husbands and hid their bodies in her yard.  


Book: Buried Memories: The Bloody Crimes and Execution of the Texas Black Widow by Irene Pence

Article: …

Episode 115: The Darlie Routier Case with Guest Co-Host Yolanda from Not Perfect or Functional Podcast

December 18th, 2018


As a special holiday episode Yolanda from Not Perfect or Functional Podcast aka my little sister returns! This time we discuss the ever-debated …

Episode 114: Mistletoe and Murder: Marvallous Keene - The Christmas Murder Spree

December 11th, 2018


On Christmas week 1992, a series of murders took place in Dayton, Ohio.  Some would call it a case of “thrill killing” others would point to juvenile …

Episode 113: Mistletoe and Murder: The Carnation Christmas Murders

December 4th, 2018


Three generations of one family are murdered on Christmas Eve, 2007 in Carnation, Washington.  


Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

The State of Washington v. McEnroe and Anderson,

Episode 112: Listener Suggestions: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit - Killer Couple

November 27th, 2018


A young couple play a deadly game with perfect strangers on Memorial Day weekend, 2002 in Ocean City, Maryland. 

#homicide #killercouples #thrillkillers 

Several resources were used in …

Episode 111: Listener Suggestions: Suzane von Richthofen "Evil Blonde"

November 20th, 2018


Thank you to listener Alexandre Guglielmelli from Brazil for this case suggestion! In 2002, a wealthy couple is found murdered in their home in Sao …

Episode 110: Listener Suggestions: The Texas Cadet Murder

November 13th, 2018


A young couple conspire to kill a romantic rival in Texas in 1995.  Thanks to listener Casey Graham for the suggestion of this case.  This is the case of Diane Zamora and David Graham - The Texas Cadet Murder case.

Episode 109: Listener Suggestions: Craig Price - The Warwick Slasher

November 6th, 2018


This month I'm picking cases from listener suggestions as a "thank you" to my audience.  First up is a case from Warwick, Rhode Island suggested by Mikala Fortin.

When a series of brutal murders takes place in one …

Episode 108: Haunted Homicide: The LaLaurie Mansion

October 22nd, 2018


The last chapter of "Haunted Homicide" is the story of the LaLaurie Mansion known as "the most haunted house in America".  In this episode you'll hear the TRUE story of Madame Delphine LaLaurie who is called "the …

Episode 107: Haunted Homicide: The Tower of London

October 15th, 2018


The Tower of London has a long history of torture, murder and royal intrigue.  It has also been the scene of many ghostly sightings over its 950-year history.  Travel with me to through the Tower to uncover some of its …

Episode 106: Haunted Homicide: The Amityville Horror House and Ron DeFeo

October 8th, 2018


A house with a dark history is purchased by a young couple in 1975.  They soon begin experiencing unexplained and terrifying events inside the home. …

Episode 105: Haunted Homicide: Herb Baumeister and Fox Hollow Farm

October 1st, 2018


A serial killer uses his own home as his killing grounds.  After his crimes are discovered his property, Fox Hollow Farm, will be considered one of …

Episode 103: Fast Food Felonies: The Fast Food Killer

September 17th, 2018


A series of fast food restaurant robberies take place in Nashville, Tennessee in 1997.  The accused, Paul Dennis Reid, would claim that his early …

Episode 102: Fast Food Felonies: The Taco Bell Strangler

September 10th, 2018


A series of women are found raped and strangled in their homes in Charlotte, North Carolina between 1992 and 1994.  Later it would be discovered that …

Episode 101: Written in Blood: Anne Perry - Part 2

August 27th, 2018


We continue the story of one of the most infamous murders ever committed in New Zealand. Known as the Parker-Hulme Murder it was shocking because of …

Episode 100: Written in Blood: Anne Perry - Part 1

August 20th, 2018


A brutal murder takes place in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1954.  Two teenage girls are quickly identified as the murderers.  The crime would become …

Episode 099: Written in Blood: J.J. Paulsen and Richard Klinkhamer

August 13th, 2018


In this second chapter of "Written in Blood" I detail cases of two writers who became wife killers - and then hid their crime from the public.  

Episode 098: Written in Blood: Jack Abbott and Issei Sagawa

August 6th, 2018


In this series I detail crimes committed by authors or writers.  First up, two authors who became literary celebrities despite their criminal history....or even because of it. 

#JackHenryAbbott #IsseiSagawa …

Episode 097: Wild Things: The Pacific Heights Dog Mauling Case - Part 2

July 23rd, 2018


Diane Whipple lost her life on January 26, 2001 after she was attacked by two dangerous dogs. You'll hear about the public outcry after this horrible …

Episode 096: Wild Things: The Pacific Heights Dog Mauling Case - Part 1

July 16th, 2018


A fatal dog mauling case shocked the San Francisco Bay Area and the world in early 2001.  When the details were revealed about the dogs and their …

Episode 095: Wild Things: The Murder of Dian Fossey

July 9th, 2018


Dian Fossey became the foremost expert on the mountain gorillas of the Congo.  She conducted the first long-term field study of these animals and her story was immortalized in the book and movie Gorillas in the Mist. A …

Episode 094: Wild Things: The San Francisco Zoo Tiger Attacks

July 2nd, 2018


If true crime stories teach us anything it's that man is the most dangerous animal of all. In this new series I will detail cases where human's …

Bonus Episode: "Dead North"

June 28th, 2018


On this bonus episode I discuss the 4-part documentary series "Dead North" that premiered on A&E in late May. 

My special co-host is my brother, Tony.  

Ways to watch:

Announcing Season 3 and News

June 25th, 2018


Season 3 will begin on July 2nd! Bonus episode will release this week! Get all the news, announcements and info here! 


Episode 093: Infamous Locales: The Cecil Hotel - Part 3

June 7th, 2018


A young, Canadian college students goes missing from the Cecil while visiting Los Angeles in 2013.  The hotel's surveillance camera captures bizarre …

Episode 092: Infamous Locales: The Cecil Hotel - Part 2

June 4th, 2018


We continue the series "Infamous Locales" with another true crime story from the infamous Cecil Hotel. This time, I'll tell you about another serial killer who made the Cecil his base of operations -  Jack Unterweger, …

Episode 091: Infamous Locales: The Cecil Hotel - Part 1

May 28th, 2018


The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles has been home to at least two serial killers, numerous tragic deaths, a sniper shooting and one mysterious death.  Join me for this first installment of a 2-part episode covering the Cecil …

Episode 090: Ted Bundy, Jon Benet and Jodi Arias or What I Learned at CrimeCon

May 21st, 2018


In this special episode I give a wrap-up of CrimeCon - all the true crime celebrity sightings, the true crime podcast rockstars I got to hang out with, and all the inside gossip and info.  I also discuss a couple of …

Episode 089: Infamous Locales: Whitechapel and the Jack the Ripper Murders

May 14th, 2018


The district of Whitechapel in London, England was the location of one of the most infamous, unsolved serial murders in history - the Jack the Ripper …

Episode 088: Infamous Locales: The Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle

May 7th, 2018


One intersection in Beverly Hills has been the site of many events from airplane crashes, car accidents, and murders. Could it be a coincidence or is …

Bonus Episode - Patreon Sneak Peek Bonus Story

May 3rd, 2018


Surprise! Here's an extra episode for you since I'm off this week.  This is as bonus episode that I would normally make available only for Patreon …

Episode 087: Last Stop: Diana the Hunter of Bus Drivers and the Murdered Women of Juarez

April 23rd, 2018


A woman takes revenge for hundreds of raped and murdered women in Juarez, Mexico by targeting city bus drivers.

Photo: Pink crosses spring up around Juarez with the words "Ni una mas" or "not one more" after hundreds of …

Episode 086: Last Stop: The Tokyo Subway Attack

April 16th, 2018


On March 20, 1995 a group of men board the Tokyo Metro subway system and release deadly sarin gas.  The mass murder was ordered by Aum Supreme Truth …

Episode 085: Last Stop: The Hijacking of Bus 174

April 9th, 2018


A hijacking on a bus unfolds live on television in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June of 2000. 

#hijacking #hostagecrisis #Brazil 


Episode 084: Last Stop: The Chowchilla School Bus Kidnapping

April 2nd, 2018


In 1976, in the small farming community of Chowchilla, California, a school bus full of children is kidnapped for ransom. 

#kidnappings #Chowchilla …

Episode 083: Unusual Criminal Defenses: The Affluenza Defense

March 26th, 2018


A 16-year-old boy from a well-to-do Fort Worth family commits a quadruple vehicular homicide.  His attorneys will argue that his overprivileged …

Episode 082: Unusual Criminal Defenses: The Twinkie Defense

March 12th, 2018


Supervisor Dan White murders San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. His defense would claim "diminished capacity" to …

Episode 081: Unusual Criminal Defenses: The Sleepwalking Defense

March 6th, 2018


Three cases are outlined where a person commits murder and then blames the crime on sleepwalking. 

First up, Albert Tirrell murders his mistress in 1846 claiming he was in a trance-like state at the time. Kenneth Parks …

Episode 080: Academy Award Winning Crimes: Stolen Oscars, Streakers and Deadly Deeds

February 27th, 2018


The last chapter of this series continues with stories of the darker side of the Academy Awards.  You'll hear about missing and stolen Oscars, the …

Episode 079: Academy Award Winning Crimes: Chapter 3: The Killing Fields and Dr. Haing S. Ngor

February 20th, 2018


A man escapes the genocide in Cambodia and becomes an Academy Award Winning Actor in the U.S. 

#genocide #Cambodia #VietnamWar #refugees …

Episode 078: Academy Award Winning Crimes: Roman Polanski

February 13th, 2018


Roman Polanski lives a life of hardship and tragedy before becoming an award winning director - and a fugitive from justice after being charged with …

Episode 077: Academy Award Winning Crimes: The Dog Day Afternoon Bank Heist

February 6th, 2018


The Academy Awards is held annually to honor the best of Hollywood. But, there is a darker side of this star-studded ceremony. The first is the true …

Episode 076: Survivor Stories: Mary Vincent

January 30th, 2018


A teenage hitchhiker is picked up by a violent rapist in Northern California in 1978. The attack upon her would horrify the public and Lawrence …

Episode 075: Survivor Stories: Tracey Thurman

January 23rd, 2018


A woman leaves her abusive husband and spends months trying to get  law enforcement authorities to help her escape her abuser. In 1983, she survives …

Episode 074: Survivor Stories: I Survived Ted Bundy - Rhonda Stapley

January 16th, 2018


A young woman is offered a ride by a nice looking man in Salt Lake City in 1974. By the end of the day she would be attacked and almost killed by the …

Episode 073: Survivor Stories: The Abduction of Elizabeth Shoaf

January 9th, 2018


A young girl is abducted on her way home from school in Lugoff, South Carolina in 2006. 


14-year-old Elizabeth Shoaf masterminded her own …

Episode 072: The 12 Crimes of Christmas: Laci Peterson - Part 2

December 19th, 2017


I continue my discussion of the Laci Peterson case with my co-host, Yolanda of the Not Perfect or Functional Podcast. In this episode we take a deep …

Episode 071: The 12 Crimes of Christmas: Laci Peterson: Part 1

December 19th, 2017


On Christmas Eve day, 2002, an 8-month pregnant woman went missing from her home. A large-scale search was started right away, but suspicion immediately fell upon her husband, Scott Peterson. 

This episode will be a …

Episode 070: The 12 Crimes of Christmas: Holiday Hijinx

December 12th, 2017


We're talking Black Friday Madness, Grinchy burglars, and more true crime holiday craziness on this special holiday edition episode.  

Hear holiday …

Episode 069: The 12 Crimes of Christmas: Very Bad Santas

December 5th, 2017


We kick our true crime holiday season with stores of Santas who go bad.

#Christmascrime #badsantas #historicalcrime


Episode 068: Murder in the Family: Fritz Klenner and Susie Lynch

November 28th, 2017


Two cousins from a prominent and wealthy family seek revenge on their own relatives and turn to murder.



Books: Bitter Blood: A True …

Episode 067: Murder in the Family: Sante and Kenny Kimes

November 21st, 2017


A mother-son team of grifters turns to murder to get away with their financial schemes.

Sante & Kenny Kimes on 60 Minutes.

#serialkillers #SanteKimes #KennyKimes #conartists



Episode 066: Murder in the Family: The Gonzalez Sisters

November 14th, 2017


One of the most prolific serial killer families in history was discovered in Jalisco, Mexico in 1964.  This is the story of the Gonzalez Sisters. 

Episode 065: Murder in the Family: The Briley Brothers

November 7th, 2017


Our new series "Murder in the Family" details cases where family members commit murder together. First up, the story of The Briley Brothers who went on an 8-month crime spree in Richmond Virginia.

Left to right: …

Episode 064: Halloween Tales: Volume 2

October 23rd, 2017


As a special treat I'll share a couple of creepy urban legends...with a twist. These tales are actually based on true crime stories.

Son of Sam, The Zodiac Killer, 3x Killer, The Watcher

Podcast Recommendations:

Murder …

Episode 063: Fakes, Frauds & Liars: The Warrior Eli Hoax

October 16th, 2017


A pregnant mother dies as a result of a car accident. Thousands of Facebook friends mourn her loss. Could her whole life have been fabricated online? …

Episode 062: Fakes, Frauds and Liars: Belle Gibson

October 9th, 2017


In this series I'll details cases of those who deceived others in elaborate and bizarre ways. First up, a case out of Australia and and a case of Munchausen by Internet.

To Donate Funds to Flood, Earthquake and Las …

Episode 061: With Friends Like These: Christine Paolilla

October 2nd, 2017


In our last chapter of "With Friends Like These" four young people are gunned down in Clear Lake City, Texas. A bullied girl had been taken under …

Episode 060: With Friends Like These: Doe Roberts

September 25th, 2017


A woman goes missing in a small town in Tennessee. Soon, a kidnapper calls demanding a ransom. The communication from him becomes more bizarre and …

Episode 059: With Friends Like These: Bobby Kent

September 11th, 2017


A group of teens conspire to kill a young man - the best friend of one of the conspirators - in Hollywood, Florida in 1993. 

Bobby Kent was proud of …

Episode 058: With Friends Like These: Kirsten Costas

September 4th, 2017


Our new series "With Friends Like These" I detail cases where friends turn upon friends - and become deadly. The first is a case of high school …

Episode 057: Sick and Murdered: Marie Hilley - Part 2

August 28th, 2017


Marie Hilley poisons her husband to death and attempts to kill her daughter in Alabama. When her crime is discovered she goes on the run. What she does next is one of the most bizarre tales of true crime in U.S. history.

Episode 056: Sick and Murdered: Marie Hilley - Part 1

August 21st, 2017


The story of Marie Hilley's life is one of the most strange and bizarre true crime cases I've encountered. There are so many twists and turns in this case that I've split it into two parts.

Frank and Marie Hilley early …

Episode 055: Sick and Murdered: Beverley Allitt - Britain's "Angel of Death"

August 14th, 2017


Our second chapter focuses on a case of Munchausen by Proxy - but this time the perpetrator is a health care worker preying on unsuspecting hospital patients.

Beverley Allitt was a British serial killer dubbed "The …

Episode 054: Sick and Murdered: Laurie Williamson - Munchausen by Proxy

August 7th, 2017


A rare phenomenon causes a mother to make her children ill for her own selfish gain. Chapter 1 of "Sick and Murdered".

Laurie Williamson is wheeled into court to face charges (she claimed to be paralyzed).


Episode 053: Millionaire Murders: Ted Ammon - Murder in the Hamptons - Part 2

July 31st, 2017


Part 2 of "Murder in the Hamptons" tells of the ugly and costly divorce of Ted and Generosa Ammon and how hate a resentment boiled over to murder.

Clockwise from top: Greg & Alexa Ammon, The East Hampton beach …

Episode 052: Millionaire Murders: Ted Ammon - Murder in the Hamptons - Part 1

July 24th, 2017


A love story turn into a murder when a multi-millionaire finds himself in an ugly and vicious divorce.

The Ammon family in happier times.

Thanks for …

Episode 051: Millionaire Murders: Edmond Safra - Murder in Monaco

July 17th, 2017


Edmond Safra was a billionaire banker who lived in a highly secure penthouse in Monaco. So, how did attackers get in - or was the story all a fabrication by an insecure employee? This is the strange and tragic story …

Episode 050: Millionaire Murders: Spoiled Son - Dale Ewell

July 10th, 2017


The new series details cases of the rich who were targeted for their wealth. In our first chapter a young man's greed prompts him to plot a heinous crime.

The Ewell family from L to R: Dana, Glee, Tiffany and Dale


Episode 049: Murder in Paradise: Murder on Palmyra

June 26th, 2017


Two couples collide on a deserted island in the South Seas. Only one would leave the island alive. 


Mac & Muff Graham on the Sea Wind, Duane …

Episode 048: Murder in Paradise: Missing in Aruba

June 19th, 2017


A woman goes missing on the beautiful island of Aruba in 2011 under mysterious circumstances.



Episode 047: Murder in Paradise: The Monster of Florence

June 12th, 2017


This week I'll take you the beautiful Italian countryside - where a serial killer will stalk and kill young lovers. 

  The Monster of Florence …

Episode 046: Murder in Paradise: The Yosemite Murders

June 5th, 2017


A serial killer is hunting and killing women in Yosemite National Park in 1999. His ties to another well-known true crime case would make this story …

Episode 045: A Woman Scorned: Murder by Mercedes

May 22nd, 2017


A woman finds out her husband of 10 years is having an affair and takes matters into her own hands - in a particularly gruesome way.

David, Lindsay …

Episode 044: A Woman Scorned: Jodi Arias - Part 2

May 15th, 2017


Part 2 tells about the investigation, interrogation, arrest and trial of Jodi Arias for the murder of Travis Alexander. This is Chapter 3 of "A Woman Scorned"

Jodi Arias was on the stand for 18 days during her trial.

Episode 043: A Woman Scorned: Jodi Arias - Part 1

May 9th, 2017


A young woman who felt spurned by her on-again-off again lover and realizaing she couldn’t have him for herself, decides to take deadly revenge. This …

Episode 042: A Woman Scorned: Betty Broderick

May 2nd, 2017


In 1989, Betty Broderick guns down her ex-husband and his new wife. Did her cheating husband cause her to snap or did she commit cold-blood, …

Episode 041: Monstrous Moms and Dastardly Dads: Charles Rothenberg

April 25th, 2017


A divorced dad takes revenge out on his ex-wife by attempting to murder his own son.

A 1988 television movie titled "David" detailed the terrible …

Episode 040: Monstrous Moms and Dastardly Dads: Susan Smith

April 18th, 2017


A woman reports her car stolen with her 2 young sons inside. After a 9 day search, the unthinkable would be discovered.

Michael and Alex Smith went …

Episode 039: Monstrous Moms and Dastardly Dads: John List

April 11th, 2017


An entire family is found murdered in their home in 1971. The patriarch, John List, murdered his wife, mother and children and then disappeared.

Episode 038: Monstrous Moms and Dastardly Dads: Diane Downs

April 3rd, 2017


Three children are shot on a lonely road one night in 1983. Was it the work of a violent stranger or was it even more horrifying? Could their own …

Episode 037: Murder Methods - Mass Murder: Female Mass Murderers

March 27th, 2017


In this episode I detail a rare phenomenon - female mass murderers. You'll hear three cases of women who killed several people in a single incident in the U.S., Germany and Kuwait. 

Jennifer San Marco killed 7 people in …

Episode 036: Murder Methods - Mass Murder: The San Ysidro McDonald's Massacre

March 20th, 2017


The worst case of mass murder in the U.S. at the time occurred on July 18, 1984. The shooter entered a crowded McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, …

Episode 035: Murder Methods - Mass Murder: Richard Speck and The Crime of the Century

March 14th, 2017


Eight student nurses are found dead one morning in 1966. There was only one survivor. This is the case of mass murderer Richard Speck.

Book: The Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders that Shocked a Nation …

Episode 033: Sweetheart Killers: The Lonely Hearts Killers

February 28th, 2017


A couple deceive, rob and, ultimately, kill women who place ads in "Lonely Hearts" columns in the 1940s.

Episode 032: Sweetheart Killers: Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate

February 21st, 2017


Two teens go on a killing spree in America's heartland in 1958.

Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate

Music: Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen

Spree killers, American murderers, teenage …

Episode 031: Sweetheart Killers: Alton Coleman and Debra Brown

February 13th, 2017


A couple begin a reign of terror across several states in the Midwest United States in the summer of 1984.  The FBI would be called in to find and …

Episode 030: Sweetheart Killers: Amy Fisher - The Long Island Lolita

February 7th, 2017


A young girl infatuated with an older, married man sets out to eliminate her rival - his wife of 15 years. But, the story is soon discovered to be …

Episode 029: Artful Crimes: The Gardner Museum Heist

January 31st, 2017


The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts is robbed of over a half a billion dollars of rare art in 1990.

Image: Thieves smash …

Episode 028: Artful Crimes: Andy Warhol and Valerie Solanas

January 24th, 2017


A young aspiring writer shoots pop art icon Andy Warhol in 1968.

Valerie Solanas, just after shooting Andy Warhol, June 3, 1968.




Episode 027: Artful Crimes: Caravaggio: The Bad Boy of Rome

January 17th, 2017


The great artist Caravaggio lives an unparalleled life as a painter of masterpieces and as a mercurial and violent young man who became a convicted …

Episode 026: Artful Crimes: The Death of Vincent Van Gogh

January 10th, 2017


The series "Artful Crimes" details cases of crimes committed by and against artists. In Chapter 1 we'll explore the death of Vincent Van Gogh - …

Episode 025: Holiday Homicides: Murder in Madison

December 30th, 2016


A man leads police to a body buried in a snowbank on Christmas Day, 1977. This murder in Madison, Wisconsin, would captivate the public with a tale …

Episode 024: Holiday Homicides: The Lawson Family Murders

December 20th, 2016


On Christmas Day, 1929, one of the country's worst mass murders took place in North Carolina. This is Chapter 2 of Holiday Homicides: The Lawson …

Episode 023: Holiday Homicides: The Ashland Tragedy

December 12th, 2016


In the early morning hours of Christmas Eve, 1881, a brutal attack was perpetrated on three sleeping teens in Ashland, Kentucky.

The three suspects in the Ashland murders


Poem: The Ashland Tragedy, composed as a …

Episode 022: True Crime Game Changers: Amber Hagerman and the AMBER Alert

December 5th, 2016


A 9-year-old girl is abducted in Arlington, Texas. The community and, ultimately, the country would call for changes in the way law enforcement …

Episode 021: True Crime Game Changers: Polly Klaas

November 29th, 2016


The murder of a young girls leads to sweeping changes in sentencing laws.

Polly Hannah Klaas was 12 years old when she was abducted by a stranger …

Episode 020: Bonus Episode: Holiday Schedule and Shout Outs

November 21st, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving! Just sharing some info about the holiday schedule of podcast releases and some shout outs to listeners and podcasters!

Thanks to …

Episode 019: True Crime Game Changers: Francine Hughes and The Burning Bed

November 17th, 2016


An abused woman spends years being beaten and terrorized by her husband while police and others turn a blind eye. In desperation, she takes the law …

Episode 017: Bonus Episode: Halloween Tales

October 28th, 2016


On this special bonus Halloween episode I share something a little different. Instead of the usual true crime case I'm sharing two ghost stories with you. Feel free to listen in the dark! Happy Halloween!


#Halloween …

Episode 015: Fatal Fans: John Lennon

October 11th, 2016


Mark David Chapman stalks and murders John Lennon on a New York city street in 1980. This is Chapter 3 of Fatal Fans.


John Lennon autographs his album for Mark Chapman a few hours before Chapman shoots him dead on …

Episode 016: Fatal Fans: John Hinckley

October 11th, 2016


John Hinckley, Jr. tries to impress an actress by killing President Ronald Reagan. Was he legally insane? This is the final chapter in the series "Fatal Fans". 


John Hinckley's mug shot - dated 3/30/81 - the day he …

Episode 014: Fatal Fans: Rebecca Schaeffer

October 4th, 2016


An unhinged fan has murderous plans towards young actress Rebecca Schaeffer.



Rebecca Schaeffer

Robert John Bardo in court.


"An …

Episode 013: Fatal Fans: Theresa Saldana

September 13th, 2016


A young actress is stalked by an unhinged drifter who is intent on killing her.

Facebook: OnceUponACrimePod Twitter: @UponACrime Celebrity crime, stalking victims, true crime.

Theresa Saldana arrives at the court house …

Episode 012: The Day the Music Died: Selena

September 9th, 2016


The Queen of Tejano Music is gunned down by a fan in 1995.

Resources: Music: Selena - Ones - (Greatest Hits Album)

DVD: Selena - the Movie 

Book: To Selena with Love - by Chris Perez

To connect with the show: On …

Episode 011: The Day the Music Died: Tupac and Biggie

August 28th, 2016


Two of music's biggest rap stars are cut down in their prime. But, who killed them? This week's episode - Tupac and Biggie.

Follow us on Twitter …

Episode 010: The Day the Music Died: Kurt Cobain

August 17th, 2016


The second installment in the series about the tragic endings of musical icons this time I discuss the life and death of Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain. Justin Evans from the Generation Why and The Peripheral podcasts …

Episode 009: The Day the Music Died: Marvin Gaye

August 2nd, 2016


This series tells the tragic stories of recording artists who were killed or died under mysterious circumstances. In the first chapter, Marvin Gaye, a top R&B recording artist is murdered by a family member in 1984.

Episode 008: Killer Kids: Brenda Spencer

July 26th, 2016


The first school mass shooting in the U.S. is committed by a 16-year-old year girl.

   Brenda Spencer's mugshot. January 29, 1979. Wearing her …

Episode 007: Killer Kids: Mary Bell

July 19th, 2016


An 11-year-old is accused of murdering two boys in the 1960s.

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Gitta Sereny, …

Episode 006 Bonus Episode Making a Murderer in Conversation

July 13th, 2016


A bonus episode partially recorded at The Warfield Theater in San Francisco, CA. Making a Murderer's Dean Strang and Jerry Buting on their speaking tour "A Conversation on Justice".

To subscribe to Once Upon a Crime on …

Episode 005: Killer Kids: Jesse Pomeroy

July 5th, 2016


A young serial killer terrorizes South Boston in 1872.                  










Book links: The Wilderness of Ruin: A Tale of Madness, Fire and the Hunt for America's Youngest Serial Killer by Roseanne …

Episode 004: Bonus Episode: Stockholm Syndrome and Patty Hearst

June 23rd, 2016


When kidnap victims are held for a period of time the public often wants to know "why didn't they try to escape?" This episode explains a …

Episode 003: Lost and Found: The Cleveland Kidnappings

June 9th, 2016


Three girls go missing over as many years in a Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood.  Years go by before they are ever seen again. When it was revealed who had taken them and what they were subjected to the city was stunned to …

Episode 002: Lost and Found: Elizabeth Smart

June 9th, 2016


This is our second installment in the series "Lost and Found". Elizabeth Smart was a 14-year-old girl from a loving, Mormon family living in Salt …

Episode 001: Lost and Found: - Jaycee Dugard

June 9th, 2016


This is the first installment in our series "Lost and Found". When a loved one goes missing the families are left in a terrible limbo. How long do …

Episode 000: Welcome to Once Upon A Crime!

June 9th, 2016


Welcome to Once Upon a Crime the true crime podcast that tells the story behind the story of real life crime. 

New episodes release every Monday. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Pandora or wherever …

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