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.
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.
On August 2nd, 2016, 30-year-old speech pathologist Karina Vetrano left her home to go for a late-afternoon jog through Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach, Queens. When she didn?t return, a lengthy police investigation and two murder trials would follow, revealing a strange motive rooted in misdirected anger and pure rage.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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)
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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...