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Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

Serial killers. Gangsters. Gunslingers. Victorian-era murderers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Each week, the Most Notorious podcast features true-life tales of crime, criminals, tragedies and disasters throughout history. This is an interview show, spotlighting authors and historians who have studied their subjects for years, and whose stories are offered with unique insight, detail, and historical accuracy.


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1927 Texas's "Santa Claus Bank Robbery" w/ Tui Snider - A True Crime History Podcast

My guest, historian and author Tui Snider shares the wild story of the ill-fated Helms-Ratliff gang, who held up the First National Bank in Cisco, Texas on December 23rd, 1927. Eager to collect a $5000 "Dead Bank Robber Reward", townspeople converged on the bank, and during an intense gun battle the police chief, his deputy and one of the gang members were slain. Eventually Marshall Ratliff, who famously wore a Santa Claus suit to the botched robbery, would be lynched after murdering a jailer as he awaited execution. Tui Snider's book is called "Santa Claus Bank Robbery: A True Crime Saga in Texas", her website is, and she can be found on YouTube under the name "Tui Snider Exploring Historic Cemeteries".  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1950 Murder of JoAnn Dewey w/ Pat Jollota - A True Crime History Podcast

In March of 1950, a young woman named JoAnn Dewey, trying to get home, was beaten and kidnapped on a Vancouver, Washington street corner, in full view of witnesses. None lifted a finger to help. A week later her body would turn up in a river a few miles away.  My guest is Pat Jollota, author of "The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington". She joins me to share the tragic story of JoAnn's murder, and how investigators finally found her killers.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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James Jesse Strang: Con Man, Mormon Prophet and the "King of Heaven & Earth" w/ Miles Harvey - A True Crime History Podcast

1840s America produced some colorful characters, and none more so than James Jesse Strang. After declaring himself a Mormon prophet, Strang moved his small congregation to Michigan's Beaver Island, proclaimed himself king, and created a criminal enterprise, before finally meeting his death at the hands of his own followers.  My guest, bestselling author Miles Harvey, shares some astonishing stories about one of America's very first confidence men. His book is called "The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch".   More information on the author and his book can be found at his website: . Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Sensational 1937 Disappearance of Alice Parsons w/ Steven C. Drielak - A True Crime History Podcast

On the morning of June 10, 1937, New York heiress Alice Parsons disappeared off the face of the earth.  Investigators almost immediately suspected that Anna Kupryanova, the Russian housekeeper, and Alice's husband, William Parsons, knew more than they were letting on.  My guest is former NYPD detective and Hot Zone Attribution specialist Steven C. Drielak, and his book is called "Long Island?s Vanished Heiress: The Unsolved Alice Parsons Kidnapping". He shares his research and personal theories about one of New York's greatest unsolved mysteries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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1918 Arizona's Deadly Power Cabin Shootout w/ Heidi Osselaer - A True Crime History Podcast

On February 10, 1918, the Power family, holed up in their cabin in Arizona's isolated Galiuro Mountains, suddenly found themselves surrounded by a small posse. Lawmen were there to arrest two of the Power sons for draft evasion. After a few minutes of confusion, a shootout ensued, tragically ending with four casualties. Adding to the drama, the only daughter of the family had died under mysterious circumstances two months earlier.  My guest is Heidi Osselaer, retired professor and author. Her book is called "Arizona's Deadliest Gunfight: Draft Resistance & Tragedy at the Power Cabin, 1918". She was also a consultant on the award-winning documentary, Powers War. Become a Most Notorious patron! Go to Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Peaky Blinders: Fact Vs. Fiction w/ Carl Chinn - A True Crime History Podcast

My guest on this episode has a very personal connection to the subject of his many decades of research. His great-grandfather was a member of one of the Peaky Blinders gangs that terrorized the city of Birmingham in the late 1800s.  British historian Carl Chinn, author of "Peaky Blinders: The Real Story" and its sequel, "Peaky Blinders: The Legacy", joins me not only to share some of the history of the many gangs that battled each other in turn of the twentieth century England, but also to dispel many of the historical inaccuracies from the popular Peaky Blinders television series.  Become a Most Notorious patron! Go to for details. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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A Shocking New Look at the 1932 Lindbergh Kidnapping & Murder w/ Lise Pearlman - A True Crime History Podcast

Bruno Richard Hauptmann was tried, convicted and executed for the kidnapping and murder of Charlie Lindbergh, son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne. However my guest, Lise Pearlman, author of "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Suspect No. 1: The Man Who Got Away" believes that not only was Hauptmann innocent, but something far more sinister likely happened to the little boy, at the hands of someone inside the Lindbergh's New Jersey farmhouse on that fateful night of March 1st, 1932.  More information on Lise and her books can be found at her website here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1943 "Cafe Society Murder" of Patricia Burton w/ Allan Levine - A True Crime History Podcast

In October of 1943, socialite and heiress Patricia Burton Lonergan was brutally beaten with a candelabra by her estranged husband Wayne Lonergan in her New York City apartment. The case exploded onto the front pages of New York papers, in large part because of rumors that Wayne Lonergan was secretly homosexual, living a lifestyle considered highly taboo in the 1940s.  My guest is author Allan Levine, and he shares fascinating details from his newly published book, "Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Cafe Society Murder." More information about the case and his other books can be found at his website: Support Most Notorious at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Original "Co-Ed Killer", John Norman Collins w/ Gregory A. Fournier - A True Crime History Podcast

In the late 1960s, a serial killer terrorized the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Once John Norman Collins lured young women into his car or onto the back of his motorcycle, they would never be seen alive again. My guest, Gregory A. Fournier, has a personal connection to this case. Collins tried to abduct his girlfriend, right in front of him, over fifty years ago. He shares the tragic stories of the seven women brutally murdered by Collins, and how the killer was finally caught. His book is called "Terror In Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked", and his website is . Support Most Notorious at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Tammany Hall's Boss Tweed w/ Kenneth Ackerman - A True Crime History Podcast

Arguably the most corrupt politician in American history, William "Boss" Tweed bilked New York City for millions of dollars in the 1860s, before finally suffering a spectacular downfall.  Attorney and historian Kenneth D. Ackerman, author of "BOSS TWEED: The Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York" talk about this notorious and often misunderstood giant in American political history.  Kenneth Ackerman's website is Support Most Notorious at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Gunfighter-For-Hire Tom Horn's 1902 Murder Trial w/ John W. Davis - A True Crime History Podcast

In the southeastern corner of 1901 Wyoming, cattle ranchers were furious that sheep were destroying valuable range land. When Willie Nickell, the son of a local sheep rancher was found murdered near his home, legendary gunman Tom Horn was one of the first men suspected of the lowdown crime.  My guest is John W. Davis - retired Wyoming attorney, historian and author, who joins me to share stories about the arrest, trial and execution of one of the Old West's most fascinating and dangerous characters. His book is called "The Trial of Tom Horn".  Go to to support the show! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Detroit's Notorious Purple Gang w/ Gregory Fournier - A True Crime History Podcast

Through most of the 1920s the Bernstein Brothers, known more colorfully as the Purple Gang, ran Detroit's underworld with an iron fist. Partnering with Chicago's Al Capone, they were responsible for much of the liquor that came into the United States from Canada. They were involved in other shady rackets as well, and didn't hesitate to murder any rivals who stepped on their toes.   Gregory Fournier, author of "The Elusive Purple Gang: Detroit's Kosher Nostra", joins me to talk about this notorious Jewish gang, and shares some of the stories that have become legendary in Michigan true crime history lore.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1937 Hindenburg Disaster w/ Michael McCarthy - A True Crime History Podcast

"Oh the humanity!" were the famous words spoken by news reporter Herb Morrison when on May 6, 1937, the Nazi-funded airship Hindenburg burst into flames and crashed into a New Jersey airfield.  My guest is best-selling author Michael McCarthy, and his new book is called "The Hidden Hindenburg: The Untold Story of the Tragedy, the Nazi Secrets, and the Quest to Rule the Skies." He tells the fascinating story of the development of Germany's zeppelin program, headed by the colorful Hugo Eckener, shares details of the terrible disaster, and reveals the truth about what really caused the Hindenburg to catch on fire.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Was Charles Lechmere Jack the Ripper? w/ Edward Stow - A True Crime History Podcast

No historical true crime case is more hotly debated around the world than the one involving the near-mythical serial killer "Jack the Ripper". My guest, Edward Stow, believes the killer was a man named Charles Lechmere, a local East End resident who murdered in the early morning hours while on his way to his work.  Stow, creator and host of the YouTube series "The House of Lechmere", shares evidence that he believes implicates Lechmere in not only the murders of the Canonical Five, but of other women in 1880s London as well.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1906 "Potato Masher Murder" of Cecilia Ludwig w/ Gary Sosniecki - A True Crime History Podcast

My guest, Gary Sosniecki, shares the story of the horrific murder of his great-grandmother, Cecilia, at the hands of her husband Albin Ludwig in Mishawaka, Indiana in September of 1906. After beating her head with a potato masher, he put her body in their bedroom closet and then lit it on fire. At least that is what prosecutors believed happened - Albin had a very different version.  His book is called "The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1978 Murder of Hogan's Heroes Star Bob Crane w/ John Hook - A True Crime History Podcast

By June of 1978, the once massively popular television star Bob Crane (of Hogan's Heroes fame) was relegated to doing dinner theater in Scottsdale, Arizona. In between shows, he and hanger-on John Carpenter spent much of their time trying to pick up women, and Bob would use the latest video technology to film his sexual exploits. When Bob was discovered bludgeoned to death in his apartment on the morning of June 29th, Carpenter almost immediately became the police's primary murder suspect. My guest, John Hook, is an investigative reporter and award-winning Phoenix news anchor who in 2016 began a quest to have the cold case's remaining blood evidence tested for DNA. He writes about his investigation in his book "Who Killed Bob Crane? The Final Close-Up", and shares some of the details with me on this episode of Most Notorious. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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America's Most Notorious Hurricanes w/ Eric Jay Dolin - A True Crime History Podcast

Hurricane season is now upon us, and with it potential dangers to the coastal populations of the United States. But the continent has survived centuries of devastation and death, the result of some truly ferocious hurricanes.  My guest, bestselling author Eric Jay Dolin, is very familiar with both the history of America's hurricanes and the science behind them. His new book is entitled "A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes", and he joins me to share some fascinating historical stories involving these horrific natural disasters.   Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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1763 Pennsylvania's Massacre of the Conestogas w/ Jack Brubaker - A True Crime History Podcast

In 1763 Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the last surviving members of the Conestoga Indian nation, numbering less than two dozen (mostly seniors and children), were housed in the town's workhouse and under protection of local authorities. Just days after their arrival a group of Scots-Irish vigilante frontiersmen known as the "Paxton Rangers" rode into Lancaster, found them and slaughtered them all, meeting no resistance from the Indians' supposed protectors.  My guest, Jack Brubaker, a long-time Lancaster investigative journalist, columnist and historian. He shares how the brutal attacks unfolded, and explains how the complex political climate in Pennsylvania halted any justice for the murdered. His book is called "Massacre of the Conestogas: On the Trail of the Paxton Boys in Lancaster County". Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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1915 Chicago's SS Eastland Disaster w/ Michael McCarthy - A True Crime History Podcast

On July 15th, 1915, a steamship with a checkered past called the SS Eastland docked at a wharf on the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, ready to transport 2500 Western Electric employees and their families across Lake Michigan to a company picnic. Once boarding completed, however, terrible tragedy struck when the ship tilted over and into the river, killing over 800 people -mostly women and children- in a horrific, chaotic scene.  My guest is Michael McCarthy, author of the New York Times Bestseller "Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck That Shook America". He offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the ill-fated SS Eastland and recounts the story of the tragic sinking and its aftermath, including famed attorney Clarence Darrow's involvement in the trial that followed.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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1882 Florida's "Headless Miser" Murder w/ Andrew Fink - A True Crime History Podcast

When the headless and mutilated corpse of an eccentric orange farmer named Sam McMillan was discovered submerged in a Florida lake in October of 1882, suspicion pointed to a young Englishman, Archie Newton, recently forced to flee London due to a titillating scandal.  My guest is Andrew Fink, author of "Murder on the Florida Frontier: The True Story Behind Sanford's Headless Miser Legend". He utilized his unique perspective as an attorney to research and document this little known but fascinating murder case.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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American Outlaw Butch Cassidy w/ Charles Leerhsen - A True Crime History Podcast

When the name "Butch Cassidy" is mentioned, it conjures an image (for many of us) of Paul Newman, who along with Robert Redford joked their way through the classic 1969 film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". But that movie was almost entirely fictional, and as often typical, Hollywood ignored the far more interesting factual historical account of the legendary outlaw and his vast criminal resume.  Charles Leerhsen, author of "Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw", is my guest on this Most Notorious episode. He helps separate fact from fiction, and shares some fascinating stories about the life of the gentleman robber Robert Leroy Parker, aka Butch Cassidy.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1959 "In Cold Blood" Clutter Murders w/ Gary McAvoy - A True Crime History Podcast

Most of us probably know at least the basics of the 1959 Kansas Clutter family murders case, in large part because the story was dramatically detailed by Truman Capote in his best-selling 1966 non-fiction novel entitled "In Cold Blood".  But was Capote's book as factual as he claimed it was? The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says so, but my guest, Gary McAvoy does not. Gary, along with Ronald R. Nye, collaborated to write the book "And Every Word Is True", based on the personal notes and files of Ronald's father Harold Nye, lead investigator of the case. Gary joins me to share some tantalizing theories from their book, based on forgotten facts, clues and witness statements from the original investigation over sixty years ago.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Murder & Scandal in Beverly Hills w/ Barbara Schroeder & Clark Fogg - A True Crime History Podcast

Beverly Hills, California is not all glitz and glamor. The city has had more than its share of shocking true crime over the last one hundred years, often involving famous figures like Lana Turner, Lupe Vélez, Jean Harlow and Bugsy Siegel. Murder and scandal seem to follow the rich and famous, and my guests - investigative reporter Barbara Schroeder and forensic science specialist Clark Fogg - are experts at not only documenting these stories, but also occasionally writing their final chapters, using modern investigative and crime-solving techniques whenever possible. Their book is called "Beverly Hills Confidential: A Century of Stars, Scandals and Murders", and they join me to offer fascinating details on many of the most notorious solved and unsolved cases in Hollywood history. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre w/ Tim Madigan - A True Crime History Podcast

June 1st, 2020 marked the 99th anniversary of one of the most despicable acts of mass murder in American history. A mob of 10,000 white vigilantes descended on an African-American suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma - looting, burning houses and businesses, and killing men, women and children. Black business owners put up a fierce resistance, but were soon beaten back by sheer numbers and firepower. My guest, Tim Madigan, is the award-winning author of "The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921". He shares some of the firsthand accounts he was able to record from witnesses to the tragic event, and offers an explanation as to how this massacre became a "hidden history" in the United States up until recently. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1770 Boston Massacre w/ Serena Zabin - A True Crime History Podcast

The city of Boston was put to the test when occupying British soldiers opened fire into a crowd of rioters on March 5th, 1770. Known forever as the Boston Massacre, it later became a rallying cry for the American Revolution.  My guest is Carlton College's Professor Serena Zabin, author of "The Boston Massacre: A Family Affair". Her research into the pivotal event breaks some longstanding myths on the Massacre, including introducing evidence that suggests that many of the British soldiers who occupied Boston homes in the late 1760s actually assimilated smoothly into the city during their stay.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1934 Kelayres Massacre w/ Stephanie Hoover - A True Crime History Podcast

On November 5th, 1934, in the small coal mining town of Kelayres, Pennsylvania, Republican political boss Joe Bruno took an extreme and shocking step. Worried and agitated about a possible loss in the following day's elections, he and his family used his large weapons arsenal to fire into a Democratic parade.  My guest, Stephanie Hoover, author of "The Kelayres Massacre: Politics & Murder in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Country", outlines the political tensions leading up to the terrible event, give details of the shootings, and explains what happened to the killers afterwards.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1859 Washington D.C. Murder of Philip Barton Key II w/ Chris DeRose - A True Crime History Podcast

As political factions battled in pre-Civil War Washington D.C., a sensational sex and murder scandal suddenly grabbed the nation's attention. New York Congressman Daniel Sickles, having learned that his wife Teresa was in the midst of a torrid love affair with U.S. Attorney Philip Barton Key II, angrily confronted him in a park with fatal consequences.  My guest is Chris DeRose, New York Times bestselling author, historian and former law professor. He shares details from his meticulously researched book, "Star Spangled Scandal: Sex, Murder and the Trial That Changed America".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Radium Girls w/ Kate Moore - A True Crime History Podcast

In the years following World War One, thousands of young women were hired to paint radium on watch and clock dials so they would glow in the dark. As a result, many of the women would suffer the excruciating effects of radiation poisoning, which often lead to their deaths at an early age.  My guest, Kate Moore, is author of the New York Times bestselling book "Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women". She joins me to talk about this terrible tragedy (which would be covered up by the guilty corporations for decades) and the bravery of the afflicted women, who fought an uphill battle for justice.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter w/ Adam Courtenay - A True Crime History Podcast

In early 19th century Australia, escaping from a penal colony was not an easy task, mostly because there was no where to go. Six foot five William Buckley did just that, however, wandering though the wild Australian bush before being taken in by a tribe of aborigines, close to death. For the next thirty-two years he would live with the tribe, before finally meeting famed bushranger and bounty hunter John Batman.  My guest, Adam Courtenay, is an Australian author and historian, and he joins me to talk about this legendary character and his role in one of the most dangerous and tragic eras in Australia's history. His book is called "The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter." Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1931 Leavenworth Prison Break w/ Kenneth LaMaster - A True Crime History Podcast

Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas was once home to some of the most notorious criminals in America, including Carl Panzram, Robert "the Birdman" Stroud, Frank Nitti and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Part of its history includes one of the most exciting prison breaks in U.S. history, when the "Leavenworth Seven" kidnapped Warden Tom White in December of 1931 White and busted out, only to face one wild obstacle after another.  My guest, Kenneth LaMaster, is not only a Leavenworth prison historian but a former correctional officer of the institution. He offers some background history on Leavenworth, tells the tale of the breakout, and even shares stories of his own personal brushes with infamous criminals while working there. His book is called "Leavenworth Seven: The Deadly 1931 Prison Break".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Life & Mythology of Calamity Jane w/ Linda Jucovy - A True Crime History Podcast

Calamity Jane is without question one of the most iconic figures in Old West history. She's been portrayed innumerable times in film and television, most recently in the HBO series Deadwood as Wild Bill Hickock's loyal buckskin-wearing friend and sidekick. Her reputation proceeded her wherever she went, as a master bullwhacker, an excessive drinker, a riveting storyteller, and as a woman who found herself in some of the most pivotal moments in American western history. But how much of her larger-than-life personality was based on fact, and how much was exaggerated?  My guest, Linda Jucovy, helps separate fact from fiction in this episode of Most Notorious. She is the author of "Searching for Calamity: The Life and Times of Calamity Jane".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Deadly Diseases in Early 20th Century America w/ Gail Jarrow - A True Crime History Podcast

Black Death. Typhoid fever. Pellagra. In the early 1900s they invaded the United States, killing thousands. One of the most notorious historical figures associated with disease was "Typhoid Mary", who unknowingly infected untold numbers of people with typhoid fever while cooking in kitchens along the east coast.  My guest, Gail Jarrow, is the author of three books which she calls her "Deadly Diseases Trilogy". They are "Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America", "Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary", and "Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat". She discusses the history of these epidemics in America, and how early 20th century doctors tried to combat them.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1918 Influenza (Spanish Flu) Pandemic w/ John Barry - A True Crime History Podcast

Just over a hundred years ago, the world suffered through a brutal influenza pandemic, which infected up to a quarter of the world's population. It was nicknamed the Spanish Flu, and killed millions of people.  My guest, John Barry, is an historian, adjunct faculty at Tulane University, and author of the New York Times bestseller "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History". He joins me to offer some historical perspective on the disease, in an effort to shed some light on our own current battle with COVID-19.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1963 Murder of Carol Thompson w/ William Swanson - A True Crime History Podcast

While the Coen brothers refuse to confirm it, many believe that their movie "Fargo" was inspired by the Carol Thompson murder case. She was viciously killed in her comfortable Saint Paul home by a hitman hired by her eccentric husband, T. Eugene Thompson, in March of 1963, leaving behind four small children. It was an absolutely sensational case, one not only covered extensively by local press, but by national and international press as well.  Longtime journalist William Swanson covers the case with me. His book is called "Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The "American Sherlock Holmes" & Father of Forensic Science, Dr. Edward Oscar Heinrich w/ Kate Winkler Dawson - A True Crime History Podcast

Some of the most notorious cases in American history were solved by the masterful techniques of forensics expert Dr. Edward Oscar Heinrich. He was known as the "American Sherlock Holmes" for his use of science and deduction to solve what many considered unsolvable cases, including Oregon's infamous 1923 Siskiyou "train robbery"/multi-murder, and San Francisco's 1921 Fatty Arbuckle murder case.  My guest, once again, is Kate Winkler Dawson. She talks about Heinrich's pioneering crime-solving techniques, his compelling, complicated personality, and his personal troubles as well. She is the author of "American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Mysterious 1928 Death of "Furnace Girl" Elfrieda Knaak w/ Kraig Moreland - A True Crime History Podcast

In late October of 1928, authorities in the small town of Lake Bluff, Illinois discovered a grisly scene in the village hall basement. They found a young woman named Elfreida Knaak, naked, horribly burned and barely clinging to life, next to a furnace. From that point on, investigators would uncover a bizarre story, including a secret affair, mystical Christian rituals, and contradictory deathbed confessions. My guest is historian Kraig Moreland, who has researched this hometown mystery for years. His book is called "Furnace Girl: The Mysterious Case of Elfrieda Knaak". Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1873 Smuttynose Ax Murders w/ J. Dennis Robinson - A True Crime History Podcast

On March 6th, 1873, a brutal double ax murder took the lives of two Norwegian women living on the isolated Smuttynose Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. My guest is J. Dennis Robinson, a prolific writer, historian and steward of Smuttynose Island, and author of "Mystery on the Isles of Shoals: Closing the Case on the Smuttynose Ax Murders of 1873". He not only tells the story of the murders of Karen and Anethe Christensen, the harrowing escape by Karen's sister, Marin, and the capture and trial of Louis Wagner, but of the rocky and desolate island itself, and it's role in the horrific and bloody affair. He also addresses the recent conspiracy theories, fueled by a popular novel, that Marin was the actual murderer. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Oklahoma's 1920s Osage Murders w/ David Grann - A True Crime History Podcast

David Grann, author of the New York Times Bestselling "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI", is my guest on this week's episode of Most Notorious. He talks about his research into a spree of murders of oil-rich Osage Indians in 1920s Oklahoma. Dozens and dozens of people were being murdered in a crime wave that became so sensational that J Edgar Hoover and his fledgling F.B.I. were forced to intercede. A team of agents, led by famed lawman Tom White would eventually uncover a diabolical plot to slaughter an entire family. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1937 "Babes of Inglewood" Murders w/ Pamela Everett - A True Crime History Podcast

In the summer of 1937, in an idyllic neighborhood of Los Angeles called Inglewood, the unspeakable happened. Three little girls were lured from a park, assaulted and murdered. The sensational case, known as the "Babes of Inglewood" Murders, would shake Depression-era America.  My guest, Pamela Everett, is not only an attorney with the InnocenceProject and a UNR professor of criminal justice, but also the niece of two of the girls who were killed that day, Madeline and Melba Marie. She draws some very interesting conclusions from her research into the case, and shares her serious doubts about the guilt of the man convicted of the murders. A second suspect, instead, seems more likely to be the killer.  Her bestselling book is called Little Shoes: The Sensational Depression-Era Murders That Became My Family's Secret.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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1930s Gangster Alvin "Creepy" Karpis w/ Julie Thompson - A True Crime History Podcast

Alvin "Creepy" Karpis could claim many things in his life. He was not only the brains behind the Barker-Karpis Gang, but the last public enemy of the 1930s, one of J. Edgar Hoover's most hated adversaries, and the longest serving inmate in Alcatraz history.  Julie Thompson, author of "The Hunt for the Last Public Enemy in Northeastern Ohio: Alvin "Creepy" Karpis and his Road to Alcatraz" is my guest on this week's episode of Most Notorious. She reveals fascinating details about this brilliant, cunning and dangerous bankrobber-killer. She also tells the little known story of Karpis's final heist in Garrettsville, Ohio - the last successful train robbery in American history.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1692 Salem Witch Hunt w/ Mary Beth Norton - A True Crime History Podcast

In this episode, we examine the most notorious witch hunt in American history, in Salem, Massachusetts. Hundreds of women and men were accused of witchcraft by young, "afflicted" girls, and many were executed.  My guest is Mary Beth Norton, award-winning historian and professor of American history at Cornell University. She joins me to talk about her book, "In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692". Besides explaining the details on how the crisis unfolded, she dispels some of the common myths surrounding this infamous historical event.  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1946 Texarkana Phantom Serial Killer w/ James Presley - A True Crime History Podcast

In early 1946, a serial killer nicknamed "The Phantom Killer" (aka the "Moonlight Killer") terrorized the citizens of Texarkana (Arkansas and Texas). It was most sensational series of murders in post-war America.  Dr. James Presley is my guest, and the author of "The Phantom Killer - Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders: The Story of a Town In Terror". He walks us through the terrible slayings and builds a case for who he thinks the real killer was. He also tells the story of meeting the likely murderer under unusual circumstances. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Tom Dooley & the 1866 Murder of Laura Foster w/ Charlotte Corbin Barnes - A True Crime History Podcast

Most of us are probably familiar with the Kingston Trio song, "Tom Dooley", but fewer may realize that it was based on the true life murder of Laura Foster in 1866 North Carolina.  Charlotte Corbin Barnes is an unapologetic supporter of Tom Dooley's innocence, and explains the crime, the complications of the trial due to the intense political climate in North Carolina in the era of Reconstruction, and her suspicions on what might have really happened. Her book is called "The Tom Dooley Files: My Search for the Truth Behind the Legend".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The 1922 Murder of Percy Thompson & Execution of Edith Thompson w/ Laura Thompson - A True Crime History Podcast

In October 1922, a sensational murder gripped the city of London. While on a walk home after a show, Percy Thompson was stabbed by Freddy Bywaters, the lover of his wife, Edith. Passionate love letters written by her, including mentions of the desire to murder Percy, helped send not only Bywaters to the gallows, but her as well. My guest is bestselling author Laura Thompson, and she joins Most Notorious to talk about her book, "A Tale of Two Murders: Guilt, Innocence and the Execution of Edith Thompson".  Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Midnight Potboiler: The Doctor & the Devil, or the Midnight Adventures of Dr. Parkhurst

In March of 1892, a private detective named Charles Gardner was hired by the Reverend Doctor Charles Parkhurst, moral crusader and social reformer, as an escort through the seediest, vilest slums in New York City. The purpose of this slumming tour was so that Dr. Parkhurst could gather evidence to present to a grand jury to aid in their investigation of municipal corruption and neglect. Included here are allegedly truthful, highly colorful, and likely embellished excerpts from Gardner's 1894 book "The Doctor and the Devil, or the Midnight Adventures of Dr. Parkhust". I narrate chapters 4 and 5 of in this episode (which were the first two nights they hit the town together). Midnight Potboiler is my third and final possible new addition to the Most Notorious lineup, a narration of a true-crime related historical fiction and non-fiction, all in the public domain Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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True Crime Tripper: The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum

True Crime Tripper is the second of three new shows I'm trying out on Most Notorious. If launched in 2020, it would be a travel show that focused on historic sites, hotels, restaurants and museums related to true crime history. In this first pilot episode I chat with Sue Vickery, tour guide at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts. She talks about the history of the house, gives a refresher on the murders, and offers details on how someone can stay in the very same room where Lizzie's step-mother met her unfortunate end. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Aghast at the Past: December 17th, 1901

In this first trial episode of "Aghast at the Past", a possible new weekly addition to Most Notorious, I narrate true crime stories I've culled from North American newspapers dated December 17th, 1901. They include the murder of a young woman by a burglar in Pittsburgh, a bar fight gone wrong in Sioux City, Iowa, and a mysterious man nicknamed "Jack the Squeezer" who terrorized unsuspecting women with hugs and kisses in Vancouver, Canada. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The Gitchie-Manitou Murders w/ Phil Hamman - A True Crime History Podcast

On the evening of November 17th, 1973, five teenagers, enjoying a campfire at the Gitchie-Manitou State Park in Iowa, were terrorized by three sociopathic brothers, who would end up murdering the four boys in brutal fashion. The lone survivor, Sandra Cheskey, was raped and released, and not surprisingly deeply traumatized by what she'd witnessed and experienced. She would become known from that point on as the "Gitchie Girl", and shunned by classmates and her community. Ultimately she would help catch the brothers, take the witness stand and even confront one of them in prison later in her life. My guest is Phil Hammon, who along with his wife Sandy authored the fascinating national best seller, "Gitchie Girl". Phil was also best friends with one of the murder victims, Michael Hadrath, and retells the notorious events in a compelling, personal fashion. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Cowboys Vs. Gangsters w/ Samuel Dolan - A True Crime History Podcast

While much is written about Prohibition-era gangsters and bootlegging, the focus is typically in places like Chicago, Kansas City and New York City. Far less known, but very compelling, is the history of the Mexican-American border in the Southwest in the 1920s, and the battles between Old West-era lawmen and the dangerous gangsters who were intent on smuggling booze into the United States.  Samuel Dolan, author of "Cowboys and Gangsters: Stories of an Untamed Southwest" joins me to tell to explain the importance of this regional history, and some of the colorful characters who took participated in it. He also shares his experiences as an actor in the 1993 film, Tombstone.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Jack the Ripper: New Clues & Theories w/ Tom Wescott - A True Crime History Podcast

One of the world's most preeminent Ripperologists, Tom Wescott, author of "The Bank Holiday Murders" and "Ripper Confidential" is my guest on this week's episode of Most Notorious. His extensive research into Jack the Ripper/Whitechapel murders give his a unique perspective into this truly iconic true crime cold case. Focusing on some of the more intriguing peripheral players in the events, including a suspicious prostitute named "Pearly Poll", he offers a fresh take and new theories on who might have murdered the "Canonical Five" (and likely more) in Victorian-era London. Become a Most Notorious patron at: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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