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Sword and Scale

Sword and Scale

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. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.

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swordandscale.com

Episodes

Episode 165

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.

2020-06-29
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Episode 164

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. 

2020-06-15
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Episode 163

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.

2020-06-01
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Episode 162

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.

2020-05-18
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Episode 161

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.

2020-05-04
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Episode 160 - COVID CRIMES

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.

2020-04-23
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Episode 159

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.

2020-04-20
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Episode 158

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.

2020-03-26
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Episode 157

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.

2020-03-16
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Episode 156

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.

2020-03-01
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Episode 155

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.

2020-02-15
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Episode 154

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.

2020-02-02
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Episode 153

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?

2019-12-19
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Episode 152

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.

2019-12-08
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Episode 151

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.

2019-11-23
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Sword and Scale Daily - Nov 15, 2019

A school shooting in Santa Clarita, California, leaves two students dead and five injured.

A Texas jury sentences a man to death for the double-murder of his roommate, and his roommates 17-year-old girlfriend.

Finally, law enforcement in California release new video evidence in the October kidnapping and murder of Indian-American Tech CEO, Tushar Atre.

2019-11-15
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Episode 150

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? 

2019-11-10
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Episode 149

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? 

2019-10-27
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Episode 148

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.

2019-10-13
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Episode 147

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.

2019-09-28
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Episode 146

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.

2019-09-08
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Episode 145

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

2019-09-01
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Episode 144

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.

2019-08-18
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Episode 143

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?

2019-08-04
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Episode 142

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.

2019-07-21
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Episode 141

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. 

2019-07-14
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Episode 140

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.

2019-07-04
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Episode 139

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?

2019-06-09
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Episode 138

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.

2019-05-26
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Episode 137

On October 10th, 2008, 38-year-old Johnny Altinger made his way to South Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He had set up a date with a mysterious woman on the website Plenty of Fish. He emailed friends and family about his big date, even forwarding the directions of where he was heading to. A few days later, his friends and family realize they haven?t heard from the man who?s usually always in contact. A string of bizarre emails they receive make them contact the police about his well being. The directions lead to a garage full of horrors, almost as if it was made for a movie?

2019-05-12
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Episode 136

Serious psychological issues can develop, fester, and become toxic in the cover of darkness when not addressed and treated properly. None of us are immune to the dangers or pitfalls of mental illness or where dark thoughts could lead us. On March 10th, 2017, Anjum Coffland learned this lesson the hard way when she went to her husband Randall?s residence in order to retrieve her work computer.

2019-04-21
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Episode 135

16-year-old Emma Walker broke up with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Riley Gaul because she realized it wasn?t a healthy relationship and was tired of his controlling and abusive behavior. But when she needed help after a series of strange and frightening events, Riley was there to save her? or so she thought. On the morning of Monday, November 21, 2016, Emma is found dead in her bed and Riley is the number one person of interest. 

2019-04-07
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Episode 134

Sticks and stones will break my bones... a child's nursery rhyme which contains a universal truth that is all but lost in today's day and age of safe spaces and mass censorship of "hurtful words." Respect is not only demanded in this brave new world, but some of us feel entitled to it. Chris Dorner never received the respect he felt he was entitled to. When he felt his honor was being stripped away by the very institution he swore allegiance to he had only one logical choice? go to war with the LAPD. How he chose to act then, said more about his character than any words ever could.

2019-03-23
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Episode 133

Three vicious murders in rural Northeastern Maine stun the small city of Amity?s 238 residents.  A missing truck, three innocent victims killed with surgical precision, and a crime scene just a few miles West of the US/Canadian border leave detectives with few clues.  Like a trained assassin creeping through the Maine thicket, 20-year-old Thayne Ormsby commits one of the state?s most heinous triple homicides, all apparently - by mistake.  A tale of vigilante justice gone horribly wrong when the truth is finally revealed.  

2019-03-09
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Episode 132

On July 17th, 2016, Cara Beckerle went up to the bedroom of her 19-year-old daughter, Aleah, to check on her. When she opened the door, the bed was empty, and Aleah?s wheelchair was sitting next to it.

Aleah could not have left of her own free will, as she was incapable of moving on her own due to physical disabilities, and she was nonverbal due to mental disabilities. She was also prone to seizures and had to take daily medication for them. That medication was also still in her room.

What happened to Aleah Beckerle?

2019-02-25
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Episode 131

Chris Watts is arrested and charged with murder on August 15th, 2018 in the disappearance of his pregnant wife Shanann and their two children, daughters Bella and Celeste.  The caring father and husband was the envy of those who followed their success live online for the world to see.  But behind the dramatic weight loss, the anticipated birth of their third child - a son, and Chris and Shanann?s thriving professional careers, a much darker truth remained.  Chris wanted a new beginning.  A new lease at life.  And he was willing to do anything for a fresh start with his new love.  He was a monster hiding in plain sight, and his actions horrified an entire nation, bringing new meaning to the classic marital vows, ?til death, do us part.? (Part 2 of 2) 

2019-02-11
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Episode 130

On August 13th, 2018, expectant mother Shanann Watts and her daughters Bella and Celeste were reported missing from their home in Frederick, Colorado.  As if vanishing into thin air, her vehicle was left locked in the family garage, her purse and wallet remaining on the kitchen counter.  Husband and father Christopher Watts was the last to see them alive in the early morning hours, and his claims grew increasingly more bizarre as he spoke openly to the media in the hours and days after their initial disappearance.  With every interview given, it became clear that Chris Watts was hiding much more than just their disappearance.

2019-01-26
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Episode 129

All you need, is love.  The lyrics etched on the consciousness of an entire generation.  But what happens when all you need, is lost?  36-year old former child actor Aaron Wulf details nearly thirty years of violent physical and sexual abuse in his nearly 600 page written manifesto entitled, ?My Worst Nightmare In History.?  A man who grew up in front of the camera, records his final moments behind the lens after losing his fiance unexpectedly to cancer.  His story begs the question - is every man capable of reaching his breaking point?    

2018-12-16
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Episode 128

9-year old Omaree Varela?s lifeless, bruised, and tattered body was recovered at the base of toy bouncy horse just two days after Christmas in 2013.  His mother and stepfather claimed his death was the result of a freak accident while playing with his younger sibling.  However, the marks on Omaree?s body and a horrifying 22 minute 911 call just six months earlier paint a much more sinister picture of what really happened.   

2018-12-09
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Episode 127

In 2008, Adam Baker and his daughter, Zahra, moved to the United States from Queensland, Australia with the hopes of having the perfect new life. Adam had just married his new bride, Elisa, whom Zahra was quite fond of. What they soon began to learn was that the so-called ?Evil Stepmother? was no fairytale, and what existed was a real life monster?

2018-11-25
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Episode 126

On Tuesday September 13th, 2016 a 911 call police responded to 363 Covert Court Ashland, Ohio, an abandoned house near a laundromat.  Minutes earlier, a frantic 911 call had been placed, from this location, by a woman who claimed she was being held captive and forced to perform sex acts with her captor.  The story that would emerge from this strange series of events would lead to the eventual conviction of a serial killer by the name of Shawn M. Grate.

2018-11-11
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Episode 125

Chris and Cameron Ervin felt neglected and under-loved. In a life of increasing pressures, they numbed their minds with recreational drugs and shucked all responsibility in spite of being provided every opportunity to lead a successful life. When life seemed like too much they took the one thing that stood in their way...

2018-10-28
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Episode 124

In 1997, Shannon McCrossan moved with her two daughters, 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield and 3-year-old Faith to a home on Jet Drive in Midwest City, OK. At the time, life seemed to be okay. The neighbors were friendly and there were children for the girls to play with. On May 13th, 1997, Shannon awoke to any mother?s worst nightmare. Kirsten was missing from her bedroom.

Searches were made for the 8-year-old girl, but she was never found. The trail ran cold, until 2015 when the case was reopened and re-examined, leading investigators to a suspect in the unlikeliest of places?

2018-10-13
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Episode 123

In the early morning hours of February 5th, 2015, a man wearing a mask and black tactical gear burst into the bedroom of Lisa Trubnikova. Eventually, he took the mask off to reveal a familiar face. He wanted the women to know who he was and why he was there.

For years, Lisa had not thought about this man. But he had been doing a lot of thinking about her?

Special Guest: Chris D'Elia (http://chrisdelia.com)

2018-09-30
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Episode 122

51-year-old Ruth Pyne is found beaten and stabbed to death in the garage of her home in Highland Township, Michigan. Her immediate family members become the focus of the investigation, and one of them has a questionable alibi. 

Indirect evidence begins to pile up, and a jury is left with the following question: at what point does circumstantial evidence overcome reasonable doubt?

2018-09-16
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Episode 121

On July 21st, 2006, an entire family seemingly disappeared from their home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. When police searched the residence, there were no signs of a break-in. Nothing was disturbed, and nothing of value appeared to be missing.

But there was no sign of Neil, Rachel, or Lillian Entwistle.

2018-09-02
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Episode 120

Everyone loves the idea of having the perfect family and keeping everyone close together. Go to work, come home, play with the kids, eat dinner together. Unfortunately, that isn?t always how things go. In 2015, the Bever family was the perfect example of this. The family of nine stuck close together within the four walls of their home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

But, stick a family together long enough, and eventually someone will blow their lid. On the evening of July 22nd, 2015, Robert and Michael Bever carried out a savage attack on their family, leaving most of their family dead, but their plans reached further than the closed doors of their home.

2018-08-19
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Episode 119

We all love to talk about all of the things we?re going to do to better ourselves? all of the changes we want to make. Maybe we?d like to focus more on our families, start a business, or go back to school. Whatever the case, these aspirations often remain nothing more than that? aspirations. We put them on hold for so long that we forgot about them.  

This is the story of 26-year-old Laura Ackerson, a young woman who was taking those steps.  She was determined to build a brighter future for herself and for her children. 

But just as it was starting to take shape, that future was cut short.

2018-08-05
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