The Sword and Scale true-crime podcast is an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Our stories delve into the worst of the worst and include murder, rape, dismemberment and cannibalism. The worst monsters are real.
When 29-year-old Natasha Waalen was found dead next to her dirt bike, police assumed it had been a terrible accident. They were wrong. Natasha had been murdered and her death was sloppily covered up to look like a motorcycle crash. Who would want this young mother, acupuncturist, and university graduate dead? Fingers soon pointed towards the father of her child and former boyfriend, Ryan Boland as the police uncovered the violent, questionable past behind Ryan?s good ol? boy facade. But the town soon questioned if he had acted alone.
On Sunday June 28th, 2015, Dr. Teresa Sievers returned home early from a family vacation only to find she was not alone in the house. In the aftermath of a brutal murder, it appeared on the surface to be a robbery?but no valuables were taken, and no clues were left behind except for a bloody, hairy hammer. Uncovering the truth would take months, and involve a conspiracy that crossed multiple states.
We sometimes get things wrong. In this exclusive interview with Kim Dixon, sister to Zachary Penna's victim from Episode 181, she joins us to tell us why.
In December of 2000, 31-year-old real estate appraiser Mike Williams went missing while duck hunting on Lake Seminole in Jackson County, Florida. The initial belief was that Mike had drowned and that alligators had eaten his body. Seventeen years would go by before Florida law enforcement could prove that something even more horrifying and nefarious happened to Mike Williams.
Zachary Penna was having a horrible day. He left work early to pick up his car but the auto shop said it wasn?t ready which ruined his evening plans. He had to walk home in the South Florida heat and when he got there he was locked out. It?s enough to piss anyone off but Zachary had a different reaction. He stripped off most of his clothes, trudged through some nearby woods, and murdered Freddy Sanchez and Wayne Dixon, two complete strangers, in their own home.
An unreal crime scene with a dead fortune teller, her dead daughter, and an otherworldly tone has police in Westminster, CA grasping at straws trying to solve the case. They consulted Warlocks, cult experts and were even approached by a dog psychic. They come up with nothing. That is, until they catch a break with a credit transaction? on the opposite coast. In a case that takes you from Little Saigon to rural North Carolina and leads you on a path of greed and destruction this episode will have you questioning your own fortune.
?This was a horrible crime and these stories need to be told. I thank you for telling them. We can have reforms but victims cannot be forgotten because evil will still be there and these stories are cautionary tales. Their lives mattered. It mattered to all of us who worked to bring them justice. And Justice, is a lifetime commitment.?
-Sonia Balleste, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Santa Barbara
Markeith Loyd was not there for his first two children, but Sade Dixon gave him another chance at being a father. With God?s guidance, Markeith believed that there was no way he could mess it up this time around. That was until his visions from heaven led him onto the U.S. Marshall?s most wanted list, after the death of four innocent people.
Holly Colino?s descent into madness took a long time. A series of unfortunate life events painted her paranoid delusions in a shade of green envy. Everywhere she looked were women that wanted to be her so badly that they would copy everything about her. Her hair, her eyebrows, her lips, her entire identity stolen. Her path for justice took her on a collision course with the mother of an 8-year-old boy that would end in tragedy.
Spawned from a long line of vicious criminals, Nikko Jenkins struck terror into Nebraskans when he callously slayed four innocent citizens in his murderous ten-day spree. It was a family adventure when his sister, cousin, and uncle all played roles in the executions. Despite announcing that he would ?wage war on society? when released from prison, his blatant warnings were ignored by all but a few.
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We?re all looking forward to retirement, when we can finally cash out all of our hard-earned savings and live off of it until we die. That?s the hope, at least. Joel Guy Senior and his wife Lisa Guy had just sold their house in Knoxville Tennessee and were preparing to move to a new home in Surgoinsville in December of 2016. They had no idea that Thanksgiving of 2016 would not only be the last holiday celebrated at their old Knoxville home, but it would be the last holiday they?d ever celebrate together.
Clark Fredericks was born with a hole in his heart. 46 years later, he was arrested for repeatedly stabbing and killing a retired police lieutenant in the small town of Stillwater, New Jersey. What led Clark to commit such a violent act, and why would he tell us that silence is our worst enemy? Believe it or not, we can all learn a thing or two from the life that confessed killer Clark Fredericks has endured.
Trouble in the Amato household began brewing in the summer of 2018, when Grant Amato, the youngest son, developed an addiction to one particular webcam model. Her name is Ady Sweet. Day and night, Grant was watching the live shows Ady streamed. These shows weren?t cheap, and Grant built an entire false persona to gain Ady?s attention. All of his lies were at the expense of his family?s finances and wellbeing. It all came to an end on January 24th, 2019.
We move people who commit crimes far away from our society so they don?t harm anyone else? but many of those criminals will eventually serve their sentences and return to civilian life. Who is worthy of our grace and mercy? And what happens when the wrong person is forgiven?
Child abuse can take many forms and most of the time isn?t obvious. In rare cases it is near impossible to detect. In the special case of Olivia Gant and her mother, Kelly Turner, the signs were there but Kelly was adept at hiding them or convincing those that suspected something that it wasn?t the case.
We all know by now that there are good cops, and there are very bad cops. On December 29th, 2009, Kevin Gregson and Eric Czapnik showed the world exactly which roles they filled. Both men wanted so desperately to become members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but the ultimate end to each of their careers was distinctly different. One man is now celebrated by the entire country of Canada, while the other is despised.
The world had a conniption when news headlines announced ?Kevin Bacon-Murdered!? just before the new year. As more details came out, it was clear that the victim of this murder was not the actor known for the ?Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? game. The man who was murdered was a hairdresser from Swartz Creek, Michigan, and an LGBTQ+ advocate. What happened to Kevin was gruesome and shocking that it got the attention of YouTuber Jeffree Star, catapulting the story to mainstream news outlets.
We take a break from the standard Sword and Scale format to chat about the current state of law enforcement with ex-police officer and judge Charles Adams from The Truth with Charles Adams on KPRC 950 AM and iHeartRadio.
We often think of true-crime from the perspective of law enforcement trying valiantly to pursue the perpetrator and make them face the justice system. Have you ever considered what it would be like if you were in the hot seat? What if you were the suspect in an awful crime? What if there never really was a crime committed in the first place? William Hurt and his family were dragged through the justice system back in 2012 as part of a wild goose chase. Their journey still hasn?t concluded.
The lives of Kevin and Marina Krim were forever changed on October 25th, 2012. All of New York City was suddenly rethinking their caregivers. ?Is the person taking care of mom, dad, the dog, or the baby actually safe? What are the chances we could unknowingly hire a lunatic?? It could happen to anyone. The Krim family was unlucky.
July of 2016 was a bad month in Bend, Oregon. Isabel Ponce Lara woke up one morning to her husband, Edwin Lara, acting very strangely. The events that would follow over the next 2 days changed her life forever. Isabel?s life would not be the only one turned upside down. 5 families in total would be absolutely traumatized by Edwin Lara?s choices.
Freedom of speech and religion are two foundational parts of what this nation has to offer. They?re important to us and when we feel they?re being infringed upon, Americans speak up. What happens when freedom of religion directly causes harm to someone though? Are there limits to this freedom? Seth Welch found that there are hard limits. Not every state cracks down on how freedom of religion can put children in direct danger, but Michigan does.
Orange County California has seen its fair share of bizarre crimes. When Sam Herr, a decorated combat veteran is nowhere to be found and his best friend Julie Kibuishi is discovered dead in Sam?s apartment, police are quick to begin a manhunt. As the investigation continues, more bizarre details begin to emerge, leaving the entire county stunned. The many people affected by this case have learned, if nothing else, that you never truly know who someone is, or what goes through their mind.
8-year-old Isabella Cipriano woke up in the middle of the night in April of 2012 to find that her father, mother, and brother were being attacked in the family home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. On the surface, this seemed to be a random home invasion, until Isabella saw the perpetrator. The truth behind who committed these atrocities, and why, would cause pain for the Cipriano family that may take longer to heal than their many physical scars.
Ryan Lawrence appeared to be a caring and dutiful father, taking his 21-month-old daughter Maddox with him as he delivered pastries throughout Syracuse, New York, and holding her hand through a rare form of cancer she was diagnosed with before her first birthday. But unbeknownst to everyone, an even more terrible storm is gathering on the horizon.
On May 6th, 2013, Sharlene Bosma watched as her husband Tim pulled away from their house on a test drive with two strange men, never to return again. Finding the mysterious kidnappers will only be part of the struggle. Finding out what happened to Tim Bosma will lead to the most gruesome discovery of all.
Never before have so many of us been forcibly cooped up in our houses for this length of time. COVID-19 has shaken up our routines and our state of mind. During this quarantine, we?ve seen an increase in drug and alcohol consumption, in stress-levels and exacerbated mental illness, loneliness, hopelessness, all of the things that breed conflict. In this episode, we?re starting with a broad scope, talking about all of the attempted acts of domestic terrorism happening on the outside while we sit at home in our own little bubbles, but also the turmoil happening inside homes right now.
We're joined by Charles Adams from the KPRC 950 AM and iHeartRadio show The Truth with Charles Adams to dissect the psychology, legal and political issues behind the recent COVID19-related crime wave.
The quiet seclusion of rural Maine gives many people a feeling of solace but sometimes the isolation can fracture a person?s psyche. The rural town of Winthrop, Maine had never seen a murder case like the one on Halloween 2016. Andrew Balcer, a minor, accused of murdering his parents? and the reason would surprise everyone even Andrew.
Citizens of Bakersfield California were in for a crazy day on December 10, 2016. The public events of this day would result in a police chase, and two deaths, eventually a third.
Manuel Vela was no stranger to dealing with the law, and resisting arrest almost every single time. Beating on his woman was not an unknown pastime for him. He spent his entire life in and out of juvenile homes and eventually prison, but his final crimes against his fiance would be beyond any act of violence he had committed before.
Who do we blame when an innocent 8-year-old boy is brutally murdered in a stranger?s kitchen? In this particular case, fingers are pointed in every direction. The cut-and-dry cases of random abduction and murder are terrible and tragic, yet simple. The murder of Markie Mason, however, is anything but simple.
The United States has experienced a slew of mass murders in recent years, but the two mass shootings that occurred within 14 hours of each other in August of 2019 have made a big impact on a society that is becoming more complacent by the day. The 24-hour news cycle consistently seems to have a negative effect on the frequency of these mass shootings as well as the continued desensitization of our society.
We?re back with the riveting conclusion to the tale of Ezra McCandless and her claims of repeated sexual victimization. To understand the many facets of this case, you absolutely must go back and listen to part 1 before you listen to this episode.
We ended part 1 with some final details about Ezra?s love triangle with Jason Mengel and Alex Woodworth, and all of her many rape allegations against the men in her life, but we still don?t know what happened to Alex on March 22, 2018. Ezra is the only person who can help the police locate him, and her missing car.
Ezra McCandless wove a web of complicated relationships for herself, getting involved romantically with many of the men in her coffee-shop clique in a hipster Wisconsin college town. Things were going well for her until they weren?t, and one person in the exclusive friend group ended up dead.
A neighbor dispute turns deadly after a brain damaged war vet with PTSD finally snaps on Labor Day 2012. Did Billy Woodward plan his military style assault, or did he have no choice but to Stand His Ground?
This is the exciting conclusion of the Sheila Davalloo Story. If you haven?t listened to part one go back one episode and start there.
The leads in Anna Lisa Raymundo?s murder investigation were dead ends? that is until Sheila Davalloo tries to kill her husband. During the attempted murder Sheila makes a phone call, but not to 911. That phone number leads the police to a common thread in both investigations? Nelson Sessler.
This is the riveting first part of a two-part story that will leave you wondering ?how well do I know my significant other.?
Sheila Davalloo is educated and from an affluent family. She lives among the well-to-do and works for the powers that be but her life is anything but as mundane as that. Sheila Davalloo had a secret obsession that involved mind games, spying, and eventually? murder.
Daily true-crime news and coverage of high-profile criminal cases from around the country and around the globe, five days a week.
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Around 1 A.M. on October 15th, 2018, Barron County Sheriff?s Department receives a 911 call. What sounds to be a struggle and screaming on the other end of the line triggers deputies to drive to the home which the number was registered to. Upon arrival, deputies found 56-year-old James Closs and his wife, 46-year-old Denise deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. Quickly, they find out that the Closs? 13-year-old daughter was missing from the house. Despite all of the searches, rumors and theories, it wouldn?t be until 88 days later when 13-year-old Jayme Closs wandered down a road 70 miles away from her home, finding a Good Samaritan who recognized the young girl and was able to notify law enforcement.
But who was it that took her? And why did they kill her parents? It was a story that shocked the nation and showed that strangers are capable of anything?
In April 2018, Boca Raton Police Department were alerted of a missing person. James Scandirito II was calling to report that his father, 74-year-old James ?Skip? Scandirito was missing from his home and that he had not heard from his father in a few days. Concerned friends also had called in to make a report. But quickly, detectives began to keep an eye on James, as he had mad suspicious statements and acted out unusually while they were trying to conduct their investigation. As they surveilled the 49-year-old man, he ended up leading them to a grisly discovery?
We?re taking a deep dive into the world of YouTube rant channels in the early 2000s. Tony48219 loved to sit in his computer chair and shout at the camera about evolution, geocentrism, women, and atheists. Most of his abrasive opinions were met with expected opposition online. As unpopular as his opinions could be, nothing is as unpopular and unbelievable as what happened when he took his online anger and acted upon it in the real world.
Sexual child abuse is so widespread that the numbers are astounding. We seem to forget that the threat is omnipresent and can come in the form of another troubled child with little to no parental supervision. Girls are typically more pretected, more sheltered from these sorts of dangers, but when this sort of abuse happens to a boy the repressed shame, guilt and anger can last a lifetime.
Do you have a personal story to tell about your experience with sexual abuse, physical/psychological abuse, or domestic violence? Tell others like you about it on SurvivingThis.com.
Domestic violence happens every day. It happens so often that as a society we?re numb to it. When Brandon Clark stabbed Bianca Devins in the throat it was just another case of domestic violence. But when Brandon posted the gory photo online taunting Bianca?s beta orbiters and then attempted suicide live on Instagram, the story Bianca?s murder took on a life of its own.
The afternoon of January 13th, 2010, a Conyers Georgia police officer encounters an exasperated 16-year-old Tasmiyah Whitehead approaching his squad car in a gated community. The girl claims she and her identical twin arrived home from school to find their mother unconscious in the bathtub, the home destroyed by blood stains and broken furniture. The evidence investigators later find at this murder scene tells a sickening story.
Preorder Yucca Harris' Book: The Untold Story
When ?Megan Wants A Millionaire? is suspended from airing after only three episodes, a former Reality TV ?star? rises to infamy after a brutal murder, and international manhunt.
Most of the time, accidents are simply just that. Accidents. Sometimes though, collisions are made with precise decision making, with little to no care in terms of the safety of human beings. We?re going to examine a few cases of wrong way drivers that have occurred over the past few years and question what may have been behind the lack of regard for the lives of others?
On July 17th, 2016, former United State Marine Gavin Long went into Baton Rouge, Louisiana to wage an all out war on the police. Many thought it was in retaliation for the tragic death of Alton Sterling in the weeks prior, but not everything is as it seems?
If the police wanted to target him for years, he was going to be their ultimate target.
When 23 year old Bonnie Haim goes missing in January of 1993, abandoning her husband and 3 year old son, all fingers point toward her husband, Michael Haim. With no body, no DNA evidence, and no proof, police couldn?t make an arrest, and couldn?t prove that Bonnie hadn?t just run off to start a new life. The case went cold for over two more decades until new evidence arose in 2014.
During the early morning hours of May 5th, 2012, Mark Duenas was awoken by what sounded like a catfight outside of his family home. He got up from his recliner and began checking the outside of the home. Walking down the hallway, he noticed the light on in his wife?s bedroom. When he opened up the door, he found her crumpled on the ground, covered in blood. No one knew who could have done such a thing. But in trying times such as these, it?s important for families to stick close.
Andrew Urdiales, a serial killer with military training, attacks and tortures women across three states for ten years. Only one woman lives to the tell her harrowing tale; but with no evidence left behind, how many years will pass until justice is served?
The process of vetting those we allow into our lives is a precarious one. When young, prospective college student Brandy Rosine met Jade Olmstead online, it seemed to be love at first Skype. Things were going smoothly for the couple, they began living together for a short while until a restless Jade abandoned the relationship for a former flame. As Jade and Brandy continued to keep in touch despite Jade?s rekindled relationship with Ashley Barber, trouble began to brew within the love triangle.