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Episode 6: Shawna Ford

Chris: Welcome to Coward’s Fury. I'm Chris. I'm here with Charles, and we're about to get into episode six. All right, folks. What a long, strange trip to murder Shawna Ford. It's a ride, Shauna, many last names, but ended with Ford was born December 6th, 1967 in Everett, Washington. Shauna's childhood was not exactly ideal. She was the seventh of nine children by five different fathers, and by most accounts, including her birth mothers, she was abused physically and sexually at different times in her childhood. She was put up for adoption around the age of 18 months by Rena Coddle her birth mother to Rena's brother. Rena's brother, then put Shauna up for adoption again, the adopting parents whose names I, I couldn't find in my research, allegedly abused Shauna. Terribly. After that, Shauna somehow ended up back in her uncle's care. Rena was told where Shauna was. So she took her back into her home, which Rena now shared with her husband Ken, and then welcoming a new daughter. When Shauna's little sister was just three months old, Rena caught her holding a pillow over the baby's face, and the baby was struggling, not knowing what to do. Re Rena decided to adopt Shauna out again to Jeep and Patty Brighten, according to Shauna Jeep, brighten, would regularly molest her while Patty worked in a bowling alley. Although charges were never brought against Jeep.

Charles: This whole thing is disturbingly

Chris: Awful out of the gate. And this dude's name is Jeep.

Charles: I'm confused. I've gotta Ford and a Jeep.

Chris: Yes. Yes.

Charles: I'm, I've gotta get these things straight.

Chris: Yes. Well, her name isn't Ford at this point. She has to get married a whole bunch of times  before her name eventually becomes Ford.

Charles: She's had a rough go. Yeah.

Chris: Already it is not good. Right. Outta the gate, that's for sure. Yeah. So Shauna's first arrest came at the tender age of 11 after breaking into her school to burglarize and vandalize the place. Lot of kids, she didn't like school. I don't know what to say. Yeah. She got in trouble for burglary, theft and sex work on the regular,

Charles: I think it's called prostitution. Yeah.

Chris: I knew that was coming back. She also abused drugs like cocaine, darvocet, and, Nope. Who abuses marijuana.

Charles: And they, she abused marijuana.

Chris: Okay. She held demeanor.

Charles: It's like the, it's like, like the fat principle is like

Chris: The fat principle abuses marijuana.

Charles: No, no, no. Oh, sorry. Like giving down the, like, the, like the demerit. You know, your, your, your daughter is a severe abuser of marijuana.

Chris: Oh, yeah. And cocaine and other things too.

Charles: She broke in the school, smoked a little weed, and threw up some spray paint, because she was, oh, I don't know, really? Had a crappy life and was 11.

Chris: She did. Although the cocaine is a little heavier, but, well,

Charles: I think, I think you're probably right on that. Yeah.

Chris: So as she grew, she kind of held a myriad of jobs, including a cosmetologist, a youth counselor, a worker at the Everett Aircraft Factory was another one of her jobs. At one point, she claimed to be a grunge band promoter.

Charles: Can you imagine like, this lady is a cosmetologist?

Chris: No. Can you imagine her as a I'll cut

Charles: Your counselor. I'll cut your hair. Yeah. I want her with a straight razor around me. That's great.

Chris: Or around children.

Charles: Oh, yeah. Because she tried to like smother her, like sister, half sister. Yes. Yes. When she was three. Yes.

Chris: There's, yeah. This is not a good story.

Charles: So when did she start getting married?

Chris: Get

Charles: Into that, you said?

Chris: Yes, she did. So she married Jack Darling in 1986.

Charles: How old was she? Like 15. How old was she?

Chris: Well, let's see. So she was born in 1967. So she was so 19, they moved to Alaska and sh All right. Yeah. And she Alaska.

Charles: Yeah.

Chris: Yes.

Charles: Sarah Palin's there. She's like shooting moose.

Chris: Yes. And letting her emails get hacked into Yeah. Why not? Why not?

Charles: Remember password? Good job,

Chris: Palin. I know, right? So, Shauna claimed that Jack was abusive towards her. They had a child who died from sids. I don't, I, I'm going out on a limb and I'm stretching it here, but I feel like the baby didn't die from Sids. I, I'm not even gonna say what I think happened, but I'm just gonna leave it there.

Charles: There's a history. She started at three smothering babies, right? Yeah. Shauna. That's terrible.

Chris: Okay. She claimed she was so distraught over the child's passing that she attempted suicide from a drug

Charles: Overdose. No, that's just coke. A lot of coke.

Chris: Well, she's been doing coke since like 11 years old.

Charles: It's only like, can you imagine what it, it's only eight years for her. Can

Chris: You imagine what that must do? The developing brain, like Swiss cheese. Anyway, they divorced. We know that because her second marriage was to Gustav Acevedo, a Nigerian national. That marriage was commenced so that Gustavo could stay in the us But at the time, she was technically still married to darling.

Charles: Yeah. Technicality.

Chris: Well, Shauna didn't really care much for technicalities or laws. Then in 1989, Shauna attacked her boyfriend, not her pretend husband, Anthony Eddie, with

Charles: Hey, Gustav isn't all right, dude. He's making his way from Nigeria. Yeah,

Chris: He is. He is. He just was like, I just want to come over here. And she's like, cool, let's get married. So anyway, so she attacked her boyfriend, Anthony Eddie, with a knife, but then turned the knife on herself. Eddie asked for a protection order. However, they were then married and had two children, a boy, Devin, and a girl. I, I couldn't find the girl's name. So, so she attacks him. He wants out files, a protection order, but then they get back together and they have kids way to go. Shauna's half-brother Merrill Mesk. I think that's how it's pronounced. I apologize if it's not said. She taught them, her children both how to shoplift. Shauna also used them to distract people when she shoplifted.

Charles: She's so

Chris: Creative. A class a mother right there.

Charles: She's resourceful and creative. Yeah. Yeah. Couple boyfriends, couple husbands. One dude from Nigeria.

Chris: Fake husband.

Charles: Well,

Chris: So Devin was her son was jailed at, in 2007, at the age of 17 for assaulting a beauty salon owner with a baseball bat. That's ouch. Charming. Wow.

Charles: Ouch.

Chris: I know Shauna and Eddie divorced in 1993.

Charles: Lasted a long time.

Chris: Well, you know, she's got some more men to get through. Oh, yep. She then marries James Duffy, which again ended in divorce in 1999. Her fourth legitimate and final marriage was to John Ford in 2000. They split in July, 2008, but she retained his name during that time. She received training and caused a lot of mahe to be a beautician, and had numerous jobs at different salons. At one point, she was accused of stealing from the safe of one of the salons.

Charles: Yeah. You think

Chris: I She probably stole a lot of other things

Charles: Too. She had some, she had some sticky fingers. This

Chris: One, she did five finger discount that she was her motto. That same year John Ford was shot in a home invasion, and Shauna reported that she had been shot and raped by quote unquote Mexican criminal criminals. Yeah. Yeah. She's not racist at all. She said the reason they attacked her was because of her anti-Mexican immigrant beliefs, which were very outspoken. Police never had enough evidence to prosecute anyone in either case. Many believes Shauna made up the rape allegations.

Charles: I'd say that's right. Probably. I think she perhaps was willing here. Yes.

Chris: Shahana. Well, I don't, I don't think there was any sex at all by someone other than whoever she wanted to have sex

Charles: With. Right. She had sex. Okay, let me elaborate. She had sex with the person or people who shot her husband.

Chris: I don't think, I think he was shot. I don't think she was. Sh I think, I think sh pretty much the whole thing, other than him getting shot was made up.

Charles: That's what I'm saying.

Chris: Yeah. I agree with you. We're on the same page saying it differently, but we're on the same page. So Shauna apparently felt compelled to become even more outspoken about her anti-immigration beliefs. Shauna became involved in the Minute Man movement of 2006.

Charles: I have never heard of that. Yeah,

Chris: We, we actually might cover them. They were called the Minute Man Civil Defense Corps at some point, cuz there's some pretty dark history surrounding the founder. His name was Chris Simco. Spoiler alert, he is a child molester.

Charles: So lovely.

Chris: We might get back to him at a different episode. But back to Shauna. She self-declared herself the Minuteman spokesman. She just made it up for herself. Yeah, I know. For the Washington State chapter. She even appeared on television claiming to represent the minimum. Shauna came up with more radical ideas, including harassment of both immigrants and the companies for whom they worked. Many members of the mc DC did not like Shauna for her ideas. And she was asked to leave in 2007. Like,

Charles: She, that's tough.

Chris: She can't even join and like, be successful in a outlaw club.

Charles: This is like the fire, this is, it's really hard to, you know, fire an intern cuz they're not really paid.

Chris: I Right, I know,

Charles: I know. So they, they had to let her go. First of all, there is some, some crazy cult that has these ideas. I don't even know. I have no, I have no idea even what this is about. They seem pretty, pretty offbeat though. Yeah,

Chris: They're like a militia.

Charles: Okay. So they're so, so whatever. So we've got some militia. That's fine. Yeah. They're around and sh she's so nuts. They're like, yeah, you're out. We're gonna let you go. And, and, and I, I can see the conversation. Well, I'll just have sex with you then. Well, okay. But we're still gonna let you go because Nah, but, and then she says, but I, I never, I was never really working in the first place. You never paid me. Right.

Chris: It's hard to let somebody go when they're not actually working

Charles: For you. Right. And, and that was the toughest part.

Chris: Yeah.

Charles: So this, did she marry some of them too?

Chris: No. Oh no. All right. So Chris Simco, the child molesting founder and just asshole, he said, we knew that Shauna Ford was not just an unsavory character, but pretty unbalanced as well. Takes one to no one. I guess that same year, Shauna formed her own vigilante border patrol group. It was called the Minutemen American Defense. Mad, I think the moniker mad is already taken.

Charles: You're mad. Okay. All right.

Chris: They had 14 members. Wow. And yeah, I know. Wow. And used increasingly militant tactics. Shauna called their operations Delta One Operations. Ooh. That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Jason ud, Eugene Gunny

Charles: Gunny

Chris: Bush, Bush maybe. Is he think he's related to the Bushes? I don't know. Anyway, he joined Mike Gunny Bush joined Shauna as the director of operations. I

Charles: Love these, these titles.

Chris: I know, they're great. So Shauna gushed about Gunnys military medals and his six tours overseas, hence making him the perfect man for the job. However, good old gunny boy never actually served in the military at all. At one point, Shauna claimed that the group had 13,000 secret members. They were se they were secret. So their work in security couldn't be breached.

Charles: I like the stories. That's really creative though. Yeah. Oh, really? She was pretty creative.

Chris: She was creative and full of crap.

Charles: Yeah. But I, I'm given creativity there.

Chris: Okay. Okay. Part of Shauna's plan was to purchase a 40 acre compound

Charles: For all 13,000 secret members. Yeah.

Chris: Okay. Yeah. Why not?

Charles: It's tight. That's tight. But it can work. It

Chris: Could work. Compound in the southern part of Arizona, but land costs dollars. So Shauna had a plan for that too.

Charles: She's gonna rob

Chris: People. This is great. She's gonna rob low level drug dealers and smugglers in their home and like raid their

Charles: Stores. She did not like, you know, Mexican American? No. Or Mexican or Spanish people. No,

Chris: No. And

Charles: South Americans, she

Chris: Even said like, if they were Latino, all the better. Right, right.

Charles: Oh, wow. She did say that. So, yeah. So something's going on there. Some, some dislike. She,

Chris: Yeah. Okay. At some point, Albert, I can't pronounce his last name, so we'll call him. Albert became friends with Shauna as a local drug dealer. He could give her information about other drug dealers. That sounds savory. Especially those who had money on their property. So they struck a deal with other drug

Charles: Dealers. Think all drug dealers have money on their property.

Chris: Yeah. But not the kind of money she needs to purchase 40 acres.

Charles: What year is this? Like 2010?

Chris: No. Yeah.

Charles: She needs some cash. She

Chris: Needs some cash. Ola. And that's not the way you

Charles: Get, it's like recession time.

Chris: Hmm. I, yeah, it's not, it's not good.

Charles: All right. She's trying to time the market. Everybody.

Chris: That's a good way to look at it. I think she maybe was trying to time the market, I don't

Charles: Know, with mad cash. Get it from the mad organization.

Chris: She's mad.

Charles: Mad.

Chris: Not in like an angry way.

Charles: Like Mad Libs. Yes. Yeah.

Chris: I think she did. Mad Libs maybe in the car when she rode around to help recruit people, which she did. She were, she went to Colorado to recruit other men. Men in assisting with the home invasions that she envisioned. So

Charles: I can see the interviews for that.

Chris: Oh boy. Yeah. We should do a little mock interview. It'd be fun at a recruitment meeting at a truck stop. In Denver, Shauna drew prospective clients accrued handmade map of Arivaca, Arizona, where one of the home invasions was to occur. Remember this map for later cuz it becomes the center of a controversial event. As part of this sort of hair brainin strategy, Shauna and Albert hatched a plan to invade the home of Raul. Jr. Flores, an owner of a local art gallery named Dejavu and a local pot dealer. He fucking dealt pot. He's not gonna have a bajillion dollars to buy 40 acres

Charles: With. Hey, he had a couple bucks and she needed it. Oh,

Chris: So dumb. She claimed to her vigilante group that he had $3 million, 3 million.

Charles: All 13,000 of them were all like three of them.

Chris: She claimed he had $3 million in drug money in his home. No. Additionally, Albert and Raul had a small feud between them as Albert had stolen some drugs from Raul in the past. This gave Albert a way to get at, at Raul

Charles: Albert's smart Albert's like, I'll use this, this lady to eliminate all of my competition. Yes.

Chris: She got played into a horrific end as part of the plan to invade Raul Flores's home. Owen Oak Star, and I'm not sure I pronounced it right. Another drug dealer was also going to help when Shauna and Albert went to pick owing up for, for the raid, Oak owing was too drunk to participate. They're so unreliable. Those drug dealers.

Charles: That's excessive use of alcohol.

Chris: Right. Oak Star later said that he had gotten drunk intentionally because he had a bad feeling about how the raid was gonna go. Yeah.

Charles: Look at the makeup. Yeah. Thank,

Chris: I'm so sure.

Charles: Good. Good call on that. Good

Chris: Job.

Charles: I mean, kind. It kind of was a good job.

Chris: Yeah. It kind of was. I guess on May 30th, 2009, Raul Flores answered a knock at the door. Albert and Gunny Bush

Charles: Gunny the gunny Gunnys back. Yeah.

Chris: He's back. He's making another appearance. Said they were border enforcement looking for criminals on the run and Raul was suspected of aiding them because, oh my goodness. Like this is phone fraud. Basically. Only in person. Hi, I'm the government and you owe me something. Give me all your personal details only. This was even worse. When Raul opened the door, the men rushed in Gunny Bush said to Raul Flores, don't take this personnel, but this bullet has your name on it. Did you like that? No, it was

Charles: Good. It was terrible.

Chris: It was good. I will get a, I'll get a good one one of these days.

Charles: That was a

Chris: Great one. Unfortunately. He then shot Flores several times, killing him. Then proceeding further into the home, they shot Raul's wife, Gina Gonzalez in the leg and shoulder. Gina was very smart and she played dead, which ended up actually saving her life. The noise woke their little daughter Brennia from her slumber. She was crying and said, why did you shoot my dad? Why did you shoot my mom? Then gunny that corroded battery acid of a soul jerk. Shot little nine year old Brennia Flores at close range killing her. The, the Mormon entered the home, ransacking it. Once they left Sweden. Brave Gina called 9 1 1 and has heard saying, oh my God, I can't believe they killed my family during this 9 1 1 call. Those bumbling idiots actually returned and a gunfight was captured on tape on the 9 1 1 call, and you can search this up into a, you'll find it. Gina once again was able to fight off her attackers shooting gunny in the leg. Wow. She told the nine one op one operator that she heard my child crying before she was shot. Bad, bad, bad news. Well,

Charles: But to be fair, this was a drug house.

Chris: I don't know that I would call it that. I mean, maybe he was dealing a little marijuana on the side, but come on. There was no way he had $3 million in that house for being a quote unquote low level marijuana dealer. I don't think so. Ina described her attackers as a tall man with his face painted black. The other man was tall and Mexican and she described the, the woman with them as a shorter fat woman who was

Charles: White. I wonder who that was.

Chris: I couldn't have been Shauna.

Charles: No way.

Chris: No way. Only hours after the invasion. Shauna contacted her mother, Rena Coddle, and said, you won't believe what's going on down here. The mafia. They're kicking down doors and they're shooting people and they're looking for

Charles: Me. This is the Mexican mafia. Knowing her,

Chris: That was pretty good mafia. I mean, Gina, no. Wow. Shauna voice.

Chris: I liked it. No. Okay, that's okay. I'll work on it. The hunt was on Police began to look for Shauna whom they suspected might be involved Really. And they began tracking her down. Shauna and Gunny had gone to California to rob the house of Shauna's neighbor in Cottonwood on June 3rd. Ford knew the woman kept $12,000 in the home. Gunny used a US marshal badge to gain entry, which was then later found on his person at the time of his arrest. The woman who robbed, who the woman he robbed, was able to identify him later as well. Shauna and Gunny also robbed a safe from Shauna's brother also in the Cottonwood area.

Charles: Wow. It like sucks to be a neighbor or relative of this whack job.

Chris: Yes, definitely. They then went to Tucson and met up with Albert and his girlfriend. Cuz let's bring more idiot people into it. They were staying at America's best value in

Charles: Who doesn't?

Chris: Right.

Charles: Okay. Pro. Well, I I actually don't

Chris: N no. Me either. Two of the people who had attended one of Shauna's recruiting events in Colorado heard about the murders and contacted the FBI about Shauna's plans, which she had been open about during the recruiting event on June 12th. Police stopped Shauna as she was driving and arrested her. All of these criminals could stop drive. Ted Bundy was stopped driving. Like, let's just run a stop sign. And so I can get caught. Shauna had a belt buckle with a g

Charles: I think. I think all of these, these

Chris: Serial criminals,

Charles: Serial criminals just aren't good drivers. They must speed and tailgate. Yeah. And they always have a taillight out.

Chris: They do. Or they get aggressive or they, you know, they don't pay.

Charles: One of the headlights is that, Hey, serial criminals out there, check your headlights and taillights.

Chris: Don't give them clues.

Charles: All right.

Chris: Anyway, Shauna had a belt buckle on with a G on it, like for Gina, cuz Shauna doesn't start with a G. And then she also had some of Gina's jewelry in her purse, including Gina's wedding ring, which was with her in the car when she was arrested. Yep. We love a dumb criminal.

Charles: Right on.

Chris: Yep. Gina told the police that she had seen a teal astrovan close to her house on the day of the murders. The three idiots had cased the joint before invading it. And the same van they were, they were using the same van they were gonna use to rob the place to case it. Brilliant. The,

Charles: So, so you don't ca they case the All right. I I'm not giving tips to criminals, but why would you case anything with a teal vehicle? They stand out like a sore throat. That's like a pink Cadillac. It's

Chris: Cool. I know, and like an astrovan was a very unique vehicle in that timeframe. So a teal astrovan don't,

Charles: I don't, there was a lot of them on the road. Look, there was a lot on the road. I think they weren't, I don't They were big

Chris: And they had the pointy nose at the front.

Charles: But teal,

Chris: The nl teal, it's a real color issue.

Charles: That's a big deal.

Chris: It is so

Charles: Big. That's no erase that.

Chris: Okay. Not a big deal.

Charles: That which part is a big miscalculation on their part.

Chris: Agreed. So the police found the van, the teal astro at Albert's house, and it still had blood stains on it. Another brilliant move. They also found Gunnys camo clothes with an army name page on it that read Bush.

Charles: Like he likes Bush.

Chris: No, gunny Bush. That

Charles: Was his last name's Bush. Yeah. Did I not pick up on that earlier? Have you, did you say that?

Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Charles: Oh my God. Yeah. That's like gunny bush,

Chris: Right?

Charles: That's ta he, he probably had a tattoo that said like, what was the tagline? Nothing like a wet bush on a hot summer day. He probably just had that, like, he had that tattooed like

Chris: Right, like a tramp stamp.

Charles: Yes, he did.

Chris: I would totally believe that.

Charles: Sweet guys. Awesome. And like, and like this, this this Ford lady had, and I, I, I just looked this up. I don't have this memorized, but refreshingly smooth taste that's crisp and cold as a mountain stream.

Chris: Wow. There was nothing

Charles: She had that on, like,

Chris: Refreshing about her

Charles: On her chest.

Chris: Oh,

Charles: Gross. Well, I just vomited in my mouth a little bit, but bush. Ew. It's, it's such a fitting name. What is it? The names in this entire story, they like fit. They're

Chris: A little fun

Charles: Actually. They work.

Chris: Yeah. Kind of do.

Charles: Kind of. Yeah.

Chris: All right. Anyway, so police also found several messages from Shauna to Albert referencing items about the shootings. Shauna claimed when she was captured that she and Gunny were three hours away from Ara Vaka, where the murders had taken place. But when DNA evidence linked gunny to the scene of the crime, he totally flipped on her stating that Shauna had planned the entire operation.

Charles: Honest. A gunny, a guy you can count on in a crunch.

Chris: No,

Charles: Not at all. Yeah, yeah. No.

Chris: Interesting.

Charles: I I also, hold on. I love the fact that the recruits just like flipped. They like, no, no, actually she was planning this all along. I was a recruit, but here's all the information.

Chris: Well, yeah, they actually didn't,

Charles: No loyalty.

Chris: She was No, she was unsuccessful at recruiting them.

Charles: Hmm. They had their, this comes back to bad marketing. It does. I got it. It

Chris: Does. Okay. So interestingly, Oak Star, you know the guy who got drunk cuz he was clairvoyant enough to know that these people were in trouble. So he couldn't go with them

Charles: Or he just drank a lot.

Chris: Okay. Both.

Charles: He was Okay, we'll give him that. Yeah,

Chris: Both. So he was the first person that police had looked at for the murders. Although he ini initially did not cooperate with the police, given he had some firearms charges that

Charles: Were, he pled it down.

Chris: Well, he gave them the information that actually led to Shauna, Albert and Gunny.

Charles: He'd give him anything. Give him his like left pinky if he could get outta something.

Chris: Well, maybe, but he, he did testify for the prosecution. All right. And what he said was, I, this is, I don't know, interesting. In a dark way, endangering a fam a man's family was against some kind of weird like drug dealer

Charles: Code. Yeah. You don't do that.

Chris: You don't, don't shoot kids.

Charles: I don't know if that's true or not, but I'm going with It's true.

Chris: Yeah. I I would like to believe

Charles: That it's true. I wanna believe it. Yeah. So, we'll, yeah, we'll go there. We'll just go there. Coward's, fury, everybody. We believe that.

Chris: Yes. So Shauna had, she had her supporters on the far right cuz she remembers this is all stemmed from anti-immigration and stuff.

Charles: Right? Right. It was Mexicans,

Chris: But in the end she was actually convicted of first degree murder and she was found guilty on eight counts total. Oops. She received the death penalty. Yeah.

Charles: She should have.

Chris: Yeah. Her buddies were also convicted with Albert receiving a sentence of life and Gunny also receiving the death

Charles: Penalty. Gunny penalty Bush.

Chris: Yep.

Charles: Forget about that tattoo. His Playboy days are over.

Chris: Definitely. The defense argued against the death penalty as Shauna had suffered abuse from her husbands, her many husbands. I

Charles: Like how that's like plural. It's

Chris: A lot of husbands, her

Charles: Husbands

Chris: And she had mental,

Charles: It's only like nine or 10, a few.

Chris: She had mental health problems supposedly from a stroke.

Charles: Oh, just from being abused?

Chris: N no, from having a

Charles: Stroke from

Chris: A child. I don't know why she had the stroke, but she,

Charles: Because she got beat up all the time. Could be. Which, which, which, which I, I'll I'll say is I'm sorry happened, but I don't, I don't, I don't think that excuses killing people. It sure doesn't. Nah.

Chris: When the jury handed down the death penalty, Shauna had very little reaction. Her reasoning was, and I quote, you can't freak out with the whole world watching you

Charles: Scholarly. Yeah,

Chris: Yeah. She really

Charles: Was genuine. Not

Chris: Shauna's sentence was,

Charles: Nah, that's so much. Yeah, it was upheld, huh?

Chris: It was, it was upheld in 2018 and she currently sits on death row today. She continues to claim her innocence.

Charles: Like everybody. Oh

Chris: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Charles: Absolutely. I didn't do it

Chris: Like Shawshank. 90% of everybody in jail says they didn't do it,

Charles: Didn't do

Chris: It. I promise you the, the number's not that high.

Charles: No, it's not.

Chris: In a jailhouse interview with the Daily Beasts. Terry Green shot

Charles: The Daily Beasts. That's a, what is that?

Chris: It's a, like a true crime and news online article. Oh yeah.

Charles: Never heard of that in

Chris: The interview. She continues to claim her innocence in a jail house interview with the Daily Beasts, Terry Green, Shauna States quote. I wish I could say I was sorry it happened. I'm not sorry on my behalf because I didn't do it

Charles: Clearly. Just she wears her heart on her sleeve.

Chris: I don't think she has a heart.

Charles: Oh, well that means it's not on our sleeve. No, that I was wrong. I misspoke.

Chris: It's okay. That maybe that's why she kills people so she can take their hearts cuz she doesn't have

Charles: One. Listen, you must not have read the quote or even absorbed it. Clearly she wishes she could say sorry, but it didn't happen. So I'm not sorry. I might be half

Chris: Kind of awkward. That's very awkwardly stated. That's

Charles: That, that was, that was rough.

Chris: It was So do you remember the hand drawn map that I had told you about way earlier when Shauna was doing the, the recruiting and

Charles: Paper? Yeah, I was thinking like stick figures and X marks the spot with like Goonies, like, like little, like

Chris: I love

Charles: Goonies. Like Yeah.

Chris: So I remember. Yeah. Yeah. So the two of the guys that Shauna had been trying to recruit, so this is who we were just referring to a little ago. Ron Guido and Robert Copley. They did not go with Shauna. They were not recruited, but they did hold onto the map that she had drawn. They turned it over to the fbi, they turned it over to FBI agents, Chris Anderson, Anderson, turn it over to the FBI in Phoenix.

Charles: What did they, these FBI guys, they just transfer shit all over the place. Right. And you know what else they do? They probably just hang out and do sit-ups and drink smoothies.

Chris: I think they Kale smoothies. Yeah. Yeah. So what did Mr. Chris Anderson, it reminds me of Mr. Anderson. Oh man. He didn't like that one. That's okay. He did nothing with it. So he could actually, he could have prevented the deaths of Raul and, and Vernia if he'd followed up on that lead that his own informants gave him.

Charles: He did stuff.

Chris: No, he didn't. He

Charles: We'd covered this already.

Chris: Okay. Let me tell you what

Charles: He did. He did sit-ups

Chris: And drank hale smoothies. But you know what he also did? He destroyed the map. So he,

Charles: He, do you know what he did? What he had to do?

Chris: No, he didn't do what he should have done. What?

Charles: Why would he destroy the map? I, I guess I have no idea. I

Chris: Don't understand. I don't understand that. I don't understand. Because, because he destroyed the, that map, those two people, including that little girl died. Okay.

Charles: It's,

Chris: Yeah. Yeah. It sucks. So Gina Gonzalez attempted to file a lawsuit against the FBI for failure to follow their own rules by letting the local authority know about an impending attack. So the FBI is supposed to let local authorities know that that's happening. Right? Yeah. The Justice Department said, Nope. Under federal, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the federal government can't be sued over the exercise or performance or the near fi or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty. In other words, it's a

Charles: Free ticket. I love that law. That's like, I can do whatever I want.

Chris: It's a free ticket to fuck

Charles: Up. Is this discretionary? You can't sue me. No,

Chris: That's right. That's right. It's a, it's a license to screw it up. Yeah. And us district Judge Jennifer Zips

Charles: Agreed. I love that name. Zips. Zips, zips. Yeah. Well, she, I Can you say that the zips I need a, I need, I need, I need a a, a recess. Yeah. I can't say, I can't say that with a straight face. Right. Yeah.

Chris: So she actually agreed, she threw the lawsuit out.

Charles: Well, you know, I do have a little trepidation over a Dr. I, no, I'm okay with the kid getting shot. I don't wanna be clear. But you a drug dealer just can't sue the fbi. I don't think she, she was the drug dealer when you sell drugs. She was selling, she was selling weed all over the place. You know, she, she was in a house with like guns. She sued, she sell drugs.

Chris: Oh, well, even if she did though, she doesn't deserve to have her family shot. No. And the fbi, she does not blow her off.

Charles: But you can't sue the fbi. You're not doing their job and you're just breaking the rules all over the place. Don't break. Hey, you know what? Don't break the law and then maybe think about suing the fbi. Zips agrees with me. I'm just putting it out there. Jennifer. Zip Judge. Jennifer zips, she agrees with me.

Chris: Well, I'm gonna agree to disagree.

Charles: I like that.

Chris: Okay.

Charles: That sound very legal. And you know what, this is almost like a law cla for anyone out there. This is like a law class. If anyone's gonna law school or you just learn, you heard it here on Cowers Fury, the Federal Tort Claims Act. What does it mean? You can do whatever the hell you want if you're an FBI agent.

Chris: Yeah, that's

Charles: True. I like it. Yeah. I mean, I don't like it. Well,

Chris: I started to read it, then I got tired.

Charles: I like that. I learned about it.

Chris: Very good. Well, Shauna Ford and our cohorts, I'm, I'm not okay with you.

Charles: Nope.

Chris: Check you later. Thanks for listening to Coward Fury, episode six. Check out our webpage and our Instagram for more information. See you next time.


Episode 5: Rodney Alcala - The Dating Game Killer

Charles: Hello and good evening. Tonight we will be covering Rodney Alala, the Dating Game Killer.

Chris: Thank you. Rodney Alcala's birth name was actually Rodrigo Jacque. Alka Bour. He was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 23rd, 1943 to Raul. Alka Paco.

Charles: Raul

Chris: Raul and Anna Maria Gutierrez. Al's father moved his family to Mexico when Rodney was around eight years old. But So why would you go with Rodney when your name is Rod Rico? Rodrigo's. So much cooler.

Charles: Rodney's tough. Just ask him. But

Chris: Rodrigo sounds cooler.

Charles: And why would you move to Mexico?

Chris: Ask his dad. Yeah. Yeah. Because

Charles: Who bail. Who Wait. He bailed. Who bailed? Yeah. Yep, he's out.

Chris: He did. He bailed and the mother moved Alala and his two sisters and brother. So that's four kids to Los Angeles when he was about 11 years old.

Charles: Back to La

Chris: La Yep. At 17 years of age, Alala joined the Armed Forces as a

Charles: Clerk. What is the clerk?

Chris: I think that's like below enlisted.

Charles: So it's just like a really shitty

Chris: Position. I don't know. But I mean, you

Charles: Know, I'm a clerk. Hey, are a private Hey, salute me. I'm salute me clerk. So the clerk salute all the privates.

Chris: Maybe I, yeah, let's just go there and say that while he was in the Armed forces, his mental health kind of became an issue.

Charles: Yeah. It starts Al, look at this already. Yeah. His right away. Yeah. Here we go. He's 17. He's a clerk. Yeah. So he's got mental issues.

Chris: In June of 1963, Alala had a weekend pass to Nashville, Tennessee, but stole a car, robbed another person for their credit card and drove to New York City because why not? That

Charles: Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Yep. But it gets better, doesn't it? It

Chris: It always does. With these cases. While in New York City, he spotted a young lady, he followed her and struck her with a coke bottle.

Charles: So he, that was, that was even before like the new Coke.

Chris: Yeah. Yes. He used classic Coke

Charles: T and this is when they were like, like glass bottles.

Chris: They were, yeah. Those sort of hourglassy shaped

Charles: Glass bottles. Yeah. So it was like a really, they were like little mini baseball

Chris: Bats. They kind of were, they're heavy.

Charles: So the dudes, a clerk in the army rips off a car, goes to New York, finds some lady, hits her in the head of the Coke bottle. Yeah. He's got mental issues.

Chris: She escaped though. And then Ocala traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was arrested there and charged by military authority for being awol absent without leave. While they were char changing trains in Atlanta, Georgia to take Ocala back to Fort Campbell. He

Charles: Escaped this guy. He's just running away.

Chris: This is the best part though. He hitchhiked to his mother's house.

Charles: They're never gonna look for him there. Right. Never

Chris: Gonna find him there. Yeah. His mother and sisters told him to turn himself in, cuz he probably should. While he was there, Callis said that he exposed himself to his younger sister, who quote unquote became hysterical.

Charles: Oh my God. God. I just choked. So he, he just exposes himself to his younger sister. Yes.

Chris: And she became hysterical. I wonder why.

Charles: Yes,

Chris: Yes. The report said private Alcala stated He

Charles: Did not. Oh, he was, look, he was promoted.

Chris: I don't know if he was a private,

Charles: I don't think. Oh, he made it up.

Chris: They might be at the same level. Oh, okay. He said private Alala stated he did not know if he wanted to have sexual relations with her. Her being his sister Alcala pleaded guilty to the charges and paid a fine his, how does your rank get reduced? From private,

Charles: He's back to clerk. So his rank was reduced. That's all we know from

Chris: Private. But get this, he was honorably just discharged in 1964 on medical grounds with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. No surprise there.

Charles: I'm diagnosing him with just creep who whips it out in front of his younger sister. But you know, at least he's an honest creep. I don't know if I wanted to have sexual relations with her. Not sure. Creep

Chris: Hepatitis. After his discharged, Ocala attended California State University later transferring to ucla, it's reported that Ocala had an IQ of 1 35. That's nothing to

Charles: Sneeze at. So is that that's that's really high.

Chris: It's a high iq,

Charles: But yet he waxed people in the head with Coke bottles and whips it out in front of his family. Like what? Him? Yeah.

Chris: Cuz there's this like two sides of his mind. And like, I'm no psychologist, but like one's battling with the other. You got the smart brain battling with the messed up brain. I don't know. He's

Charles: Just a creep,

Chris: Creep hepatitis. In 1968, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in fine arts. That same year, Ocala committed his first sort of recorded crime apart from the crime that he committed while he was in the armed forces. Alala Lord, eight year old Tally Shapiro into his Hollywood apartment. Of course, the problem for Alala was that a passing motorist saw the abduction and called the police. So for a guy who's got an IQ that high, maybe not the most like street smarts,

Charles: Why couldn't he like lure an 18 year old girl? Well, for not, not luring isn't Okay, how about he could just like go on a date.

Chris: Right?

Charles: A date dating like the dating game. Well,

Chris: We'll get to that. Tell. So he recognized the police were coming. He fled through the back while the police discovered the girl she had been raped and beaten with a steel bar, like within an inch of her life. In the apartment? Yeah. Who Fucking

Charles: Gross. Yeah. It's messed up. It

Chris: Is. He ended up at New York University where he took a class from Roman Polanski, who's the film director of Rosemary's Baby and the pianist. He's also the husband of murdered pregnant movie stars. Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family in 1969.

Charles: Super old. These are like old movie stars and old cases.

Chris: Yep. He enrolled under the name John Berger, spelled b e r g e r. He was also able to land a job. This kills me as a children's art camp counselor.

Charles: Oh gosh. Yep. Was

Chris: Yeah. He used a similar

Charles: Creepy to that

Chris: Role is so creepy. He used a similar name. John Berg spelled b u r g e

Charles: R. It's Stealthy iq. A 1 35. Just I know

Chris: What's not getting him very far. Is it He's

Charles: He's he's bringing out all the stops. Yeah. He's changing his fake name By by one vowel.

Chris: I know.

Charles: So two by a vowel. By a vowel. Give a u, gimme an e.

Chris: Get it, get it. Van Two of the girls at the camp happened to notice al call's picture on a most wanted poster and notified the camp director. So there was a poster had his picture on it. They were like, that's our counselor. So the police came and they arrested him and extradited him back to California. As they should. However, since the initial attack, tally Shapiro's parents moved the family to Mexico and refused to allow her to testify. And

Charles: Yeah, she was just like a little kid. She's a

Chris: Little kid. So without her, their primary witness police had to allow Alala to plead to a lesser crime, allowing him to parole after only 34 months. Oh

Charles: Man. This, how did these sick bastards get all these breaks?

Chris: I know this was because California had a program at the time in 1974 called the Indiscriminate Sentencing Program, whereby parole boards could release a convicted felon as soon as the inmate showed evidence of rehabilitation. I

Charles: Love the evidence of really, we, we are like over capacity. Right. And I, I see evidence

Chris: Of

Charles: Like, can you imagine the, so the sheer power of the parole board is just terrifyingly scary. Yeah. Or, and I'm sure they, they're, they're trying to do their best,

Chris: But I think for the most part they do. But, and you know, it's not like he'd been in massive trouble with the law before. So it's not like he had this long rap. She

Charles: Who cares? He beat up a little girl with I agree with he still pulling, we forget he raped an eight year old. I

Chris: Agree. There's nothing You can't,

Charles: You're never getting. You better hope I'm not on the parole board. Eight year old rapists. Yeah. I think, I think pretty much everyone can agree. It's like, no, no, no mercy on that. That's

Chris: Not No, no, no, no, no. Alka was then arrested two months later for attempting to sell marijuana to a 13 year old girl.

Charles: He's moving up in the world. He's selling, selling, selling. The, that's from eight

Chris: To 13. Good job. Alala. Yeah. She, she

Charles: Said a little bit of that leaf.

Chris: Yeah. She said that she'd been abducted by Ocala. He served two years under the same indiscriminate sentencing program. So as soon as he started to

Charles: Show Yeah. He's in and out signs

Chris: Of how can you show signs of rehabilitation. Literally two years after you showed signs of rehabilitation from your last rape.

Charles: If you're asking the answer's. Simple. He didn't do anything for two, he didn't rape anyone for two years cuz there were no eight or 13 year little girls in prison with him.

Chris: Yeah,

Charles: Well, so see, he's, he was squeaky clean for two years.

Chris: Oh, I, that's one way to

Charles: Put, but I'm sure Hold, I'm sure he got out and did something else stupid. Oh, he,

Chris: Yeah. Let's just, let's get

Charles: In back.

Chris: Here it is. Let's get into it. Shall we

Charles: Back to

Chris: New York? Oh yeah. Back to New York. I don't know why authorities let him leave California. They were probably like, get him

Charles: Outta here. What do you mean? Why they let, they told Yeah, you should go to Byebye. You should go to New York.

Chris: Yeah, let's go terrorize in whole other group

Charles: Of people. There's a lot of people up there. Go to New York.

Chris: While he was there, he murdered Elaine Hoover. Within a week of arriving, that

Charles: Dude just couldn't handle, he just, he just went and killed somebody. So get

Chris: This, Hoover was the daughter of a popular nightclub owner and goddaughter of both Sammy Davis Jr. And Dean Martin.

Charles: Those are like big names back then.

Chris: Big names, yeah. 1 35. Remember that IQ number? Yeah. Cuz it doesn't really work so well for this idiot. Incidentally, in March of 1978, Alala was a potential subject, sorry, suspect for the Hillside Strangler murders given his past sexual assault conviction. But he was cleared of those and he obviously was not the Hillside strangler. There were several serial killers operating at this timeframe. So it's kind of a scary timeframe really. Ocala after his parole, was able to get a job as a type setter with the LA Times, despite the fact that he had a criminal record and was registered as a sex offender.

Charles: What's a type setter? I mean, what kind of crappy job is that? Well,

Chris: He actually set the type and the it prints on the paper. So, so it's

Charles: Like a press

Chris: Operator kind of? Yeah, but he sets the little type for all the words, like the little type things. The little blocks. That interesting imprint on the paper. Okay. This was during a time when the media were covering the Hillside Strangler murders, which are Kevin, sorry, Kenneth Bianchi and Angela Bono. During this time, Al Calla would pose as a fashion photographer and take pictures for his quote unquote portfolio of dozens of young women and boys.

Charles: Not the kind of photographer.

Chris: No, it's

Charles: Gross. There is something about balloon guys and photographers. It's creepy.

Chris: You have a thing with the balloon guys?

Charles: It's there. I haven't met many that are normal. Yeah. Any that are normal. I

Chris: Don't know that

Charles: I've met any, like photographers. I, there's some fine, it's, there's good, but like the photographers that it seems like there's a creep factor here. I don't know.

Chris: Well, yes. Especially when you're a man who's committed sexual violence. Well, and then you claim to be a photographer. Absolutely. So you can take weird pictures. So remember this is the late seventies. So the country saw things like the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement, the Cold War Roe versus Wade that's recently come into the news. Ted Bundy. Remember I mentioned other serial killers? This was the Ted Bundy time. Beatles broke up. Elvis Presley died. Lots of other notables. There weren't video games, cell phones, iPads, all the stuff we have today. Right. TV was king at this time. And families really love to watch game shows. Like Three's company or like, or sitcoms, three's company. Jack Tripper. Like three's company. Yeah. Jack Tripper, the Jefferson's Liver and Shirley Mash. My mother's personal favorite and game shows. Right. The prices right.

Charles: Bob Barker. I love that guy. Is he still alive? He's he's dead, right? No, I think he's dead. He was like 300 years old when I was a kid. Yeah, he was. Which was a long time ago.

Chris: Yeah. And and the dating game. The

Charles: Dating game.

Chris: The dating game.

Charles: What, like what like, let's give, let's give everyone a little background on what that is, like what it was about. So again, there's no internet.

Chris: No There's no internet. So the dating game was a little bit like a,

Charles: Like the

Chris: Bachelorette kind of like the

Charles: Bachelorette without any like, it was kind of a really,

Chris: Without all the drama,

Charles: Fast paced. No drama.

Chris: It was a half an hour single show.

Charles: Half an hour. There's like some shitty tarp thrown down. So you can't see the other contestants. What's like a

Chris: Cardboard wall?

Charles: It's a card. Shitty cardboard wall. And, and at the end of the day, it's like you couldn't see the person. You got like a bio of them, like

Chris: Right. And then they answered questions in sort of these very seventies sexually, it

Charles: Was pro provocative. Like

Chris: Provocative. Yeah.

Charles: Meet Bill. Bill has a mustache and wavy hair. Wavy hair has a motorcycle and likes Bush.

Chris: Right.

Charles: Okay. If you were to pick Bill, would you pick him? Because a bill knows how to cook a microwave dinner or Bill knows how to ride a bike hard or Bill knows how to peel a banana and not get it on his mustache. Like that's how the show went down. We'll get to And you're like, and it's like, and these dudes, I mean it's, it's all the, the clothing and the creepy mustaches and it's like, oh God, I just threw up in my mouth watching this crap. Oh, we'll get to, but people were all into this show. They were. And we'll get So this, this, this Alka prick. Yeah. This, this, this douche bag that's killing people. He gets on the show.

Chris: So, right. Yes. So specifically about the dating game on September 13th, 1978, he got a spot on the show. Yeah. At the time of his appearance, he had already killed at least two women. Jim Lang, who was the host of the ga dating game at the time, dis described Alala as quote, a successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the dark room at the age of 13. Fully developed between takes. You might find him skydiving or motorcycling.

Charles: Yeah. So let, yeah, that's, that, that's how it went. And it's like, whoa. Oh right.

Chris: Yeah. So he did win a date with Cheryl Bradshaw.

Charles: Right. So the was

Chris: The

Charles: Bachelorette, the bachelorette picks like one of three guys. She did, she picked him based on the description and then a, a few questions and the questions that the guys answer

Chris: Yes. That she asks them. So she told him to imagine that he was a dish served for dinner. So this is what she said. What are you, so he's a dish for dinner. What are you called? And what do you look like? And Al Calla said, I'm called a banana and I look good. Peel me. That's

Charles: So awful. It's

Chris: Awful. It's so bad.

Charles: I just barfed in my mouth.

Chris: So at the end of the, the show, she did pick him and she decided she really didn't want to go with him cuz she said, said that he was creepy. And

Charles: I love it. Smart girl.

Chris: I love this. This is smart

Charles: Woman. Best

Chris: Quote. Yeah. He had quote unquote weird vibes that are coming off of him.

Charles: Yeah. Called, it's called Killing People and raping little girls. She didn't Good call. Whatever this What's her, what's the bachelor's name? Cheryl. Cheryl Bradshaw. Good call. Cheryl.

Chris: She didn't know how right. She was one of the other contestants actor Jed Mills said Alala was a very strange guy.

Charles: The guy that lost Jed, by the way, lost to this creep. So, so I, who knows what kind of guy this, this guy was, but, but he said he was a strange guy

Chris: With bazaar opinions. Right. But this is where Alala eventually received his final moniker, the dating Game Killer. Yeah. Or call it from the very beginning of The's,

Charles: Right episode. That's right. The dating game killer. The

Chris: Dating game Killer on June 20th, 1979, 12 year old Robin Samo of Huntington Beach, California disappeared.

Charles: Mm, man. Yeah. I hate, I hate it's dis I hate all of it. I

Chris: Know, but it's something else when it's, it's disturbing kids. She was somewhere between her ballet class and the beach when she was last seen. So sadly her body was found 12 days later in the foothills of la rapidly decomposing police would later find her earrings in a locker rented by Al Cala.

Charles: Right. So people used to rent lockers way back when they did. Like I apparently it was normal. Like was it a standard thing? I I read a damn locker.

Chris: Like they would have lockers on the boardwalk and stuff. So you could sew your store, your stuff and go like roller skating on the boardwalk

Charles: Before roller blades.

Chris: Yes. Before roller blade in line skating. So 19 in 79 would also be the year Alka finally gets caught. Alala invited Leanne, Liam to his apartment to do a photo shoot

Charles: With her. Was she like nine?

Chris: No, she was not. She probably was a teenager. I couldn't find her age. Oh. But she was definitely older than, you know, 12 or 13. So it's, it's not understood why she did not become his next victim. But she got to walk away from the photo shoot completely unscathed, but not without some information. She went on later to tell the police when they questioned her, that Ocala had showed his portfolio, which in addition to shots of women, it included spread after spread of naked teenage boys. Ah.

Charles: Like

Chris: Had, if he couldn't get any ickier. Yeah,

Charles: Yeah.

Chris: But it would be some actual real police work. I know we make fun of the LAPD sometimes, but they, they did some work in this case.

Charles: They did it up on Ocala.

Chris: They did Samson's friends were interviewed and police would put a, get a sketch artist and put together a composite sketch. Al's former parole officer recognized his

Charles: Face. Guess he wasn't, you know, rehabilitated. No dumb ass parole officer. And Yeah, you know what the lapd Well

Chris: What was the parole officer's fault? It was the parole board's fault.

Charles: Right, right, right. I'm sorry. Good job. Parole board. Maybe you should take notes from the parole officer. Yeah. And by the way no, no, no. Police officer likes a a, a creep like this guy.

Chris: No, no.

Charles: I don't think he so good. I'm glad. I'm glad they got on it. Yeah. Got it. Did search, they got it done. They knew they had to kill, right?

Chris: Yeah. Well they executed a search warrant on his Seattle storage locker. So his storage locker like was in Seattle. They found Samson's earrings inside. So they were pretty confident that they had their killer. What happens next is kind of shocking. Ocala was eventually convicted twice of Robin sa Robin Samson's murder. He was sentenced to death twice. His conviction was overturned twice. Ah right. The first conviction was overturned in 1980 by the California Supreme Court because the county prosecutor in Orange County allowed the jury to hear about Tally Shapiro and the other kidnapping and rape charges, thus prejudicing the jury. The second conviction was overturned in 1986. So six years later, this is

Charles: Where the legal system doesn't work. Well everybody I know, okay.

Chris: Because a witness for the defense was not allowed to tell the jury that the park ranger, that was the park ranger who had found Sam So's body, was hypnotized by investigators. It took a long time for prosecutors to prepare for the third and final trial. In 2003, authorities learned that AL'S dna, cuz now there's dna there wasn't back in the late seventies, early eighties.

Charles: He did it anyway and they knew it.

Chris: So his DNA matched two different rape and murder scenes in la

Charles: Oh yeah. They always get more on these, these bastards when they like start taking dna, it's like, oh yeah, you could like 80, 80 other people. Right.

Chris: Al's DNA was collected under a new state law. Ocala objected to donating his material. Well cuz he knew he was guilty, but he didn't have a choice. Additionally, that pair of earrings that we talked about was also contained DNA N from from Samo due to the dna. Additional evidence was found linking Ocala to the murders of, of Jill Barcom. She was 18 and she was killed in 1977. Jill was originally thought to have been a victim of the Hillside Strangler, but she was actually a victim of Al Callis, Georgia Wickstead 27. She was bludgeoned to death in 1977 in her own Malibu apartment. This

Charles: Guy's going crazy. 1977. It's,

Chris: He had a lot happening in the late seventies. Yeah. Charlotte Lamb, she was 31 killed in El Segundo. She had been raped and strangled and Jill Pero 21 killed in 1979 in her Burbank apartment. Prosecutors wanted to join the charges in the Samo case to the four new cases. They filed a motion and the California Supreme Court agreed with the prosecutor. So he's gonna be tried for all of them together in 2009. This is way later. This stupid, our callister

Charles: Trial, this legal system broken. Come on. Yep. Guys, what'd you overturn it in 1980?

Chris: So, yeah. And again, he decided to stand as his own attorney

Charles: 30 years. Just put the dude in the chair, whatever you do in, in, in California, right where

Chris: We are. He, yeah. He thought he was smart enough. He was his own attorney. He was offering very rambling and monotone. He drove on for five hours and he sort of did this bizarre little play acting where he acting as his defense attorney would call himself Mr. O Cala in like this deep voice and then answering in his own natural voice. It was very weird. He claimed that Alala claimed that he was at Knottsberry firm at the time of Santo's. What

Charles: Is Knottsberry firm? What is, what is, no one even knows what that is.

Chris: It's like an amusement park. Oh, I've been There

Charles:. Everyone knows what that is now. Thank you.

Chris: So

Charles: He claims he is at a, I was riding roller coasters man.

Chris: Yeah, I was on the flume. I couldn't have kidnapped samso

Charles: Mr. Acuta. But he actually, where were you? Yeah, he came man, I was on the flume. I was

Chris: On the flume. He gave no alibi though. And he had no defense, right,

Charles: Because he wasn't there.

Chris: No, well and he had no defense in the other women's cases. He kept saying he wasn't guilty of Samos, but he really never denied being guilty of the other four.

Charles: Yeah, it's cuz he was his own attorney.

Chris: Al's odd behavior continued when, as part of his closing argument, he played ar Arlo Guthrie's song, Alice's Restaurant. The part where the protagonist of the song says to the psychologist that he wants to quote unquote kill.

Charles: What a great closing argument. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah. I don't think that was the best move to make. Just before the trial had begun, orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney. That's a big long title. Senior Deputy district attorney.

Charles: So some lawyer Yeah.

Chris: Who wanted Matt more words in his title.

Charles: Matt Murphy.

Chris: Matt Murphy.

Charles: He like, has a tattoo. It's like Mm

Chris: Mm because

Charles: He is all, he's all proud of himself cuz he's got that long title. Yep.

Chris: Well he gave an interview to the LA Times and he said, quote, the seventies in California was insane as far as treatment of sexual offenders. Yeah,

Charles: I agree with this. Matt Murphy fella.

Chris: Rodney Ocala is a poster boy for this. It is a total comedy of outrageous stupidity. Hey,

Charles: You know

Chris: What? He got it right.

Charles: Outrage, stupidity. Damn right. Matt Murphy.

Chris: Yep. Only two other witnesses were called for the defense other than Alala himself. Psychologist Richard Rapaport told the jury

Charles: That that name Rappaport

Chris: Rappaport, it's a great name. He told the jury that Alala

Charles: Is listen's. A Richard. Yeah. Dick Rappaport. Dick

Chris: Rappaport. He told the jury that al's quote unquote memory loss when referencing the killings of the other women. See, he never denied it. He just said he didn't, couldn't remember

Charles: Memory loss.

Chris: He said that could be due to al's borderline personality disorder. Now remember we said earlier he had been diagnosed with antisocial border or antisocial personality disorder. Borderline is a slightly different diagnosis. The o the only other person who testified on his behalf was Beth Kellerher, whom he was dating. How did he land a girlfriend?

Charles: I don't know.

Chris: This goes back to what I said before. In other episodes, these guys always seem to manage to get a girlfriend.

Charles: I like the psychologist dick. Why is it that he has memory loss? Well, because, because he's got he's got poor line person disorder. Dick move,

Chris: Dick move.

Charles: So the girlfriend then testifies and no one's buying it?

Chris: No, not really. And so the jury didn't buy it in 2010. So

Charles: He's 67 years old then

Chris: 31 years after the murder of Samo, he was convicted in all five cases.

Charles: Good. Yeah. A little slow on the take their legal system.

Chris: Definitely. Definitely. As part of the penalty phase of the trial, guess who showed back up to say something not so favorable about Alala? Our gal, tally Shapiro.

Charles: I thought you're gonna be like our friend. Karma.

Chris: No, tally

Charles: Tally Shapiro was eight years old.

Chris: Eight years old.

Charles: She's She's 50. She's 50 right now. In, in, in in in 2010. She is. Yeah. You know. Wow. Good. I

Chris: Brave.

Charles: Yeah. Brave. Brave.

Chris: I don't care how old you

Charles: Are. Glad she came back. She's 50. She's like, I'm done. You know, that affect you. I'm putting, I'm putting this in it. So she, she comes, she puts she puts it down, she throws down the gauntlet. She's like, this is what's up. Yeah, good job. Yeah, yeah. So during, and this Matt Murphy guy. He's all right too. He's

Chris: All right. Yeah. Emma, during this time, Al Callow wrote a book called You the Jury.

Charles: I hope All 'em proceeds went to all the victims

Chris: In 1994 where he asserts his innocence and offers of the possibility of a different suspect. So I've read portions of the book. It's frankly really difficult to read. There are kind of some areas of loosen thought, like where you can kind of, kind of, sort of follow what he is saying. But a lot of it is very sort of nonsensical and it feels more like a trail down, sort of a non-existent rabbit hole. Like when he goes on and, and on about the quote unquote curly-haired photographer is not Rodney Alala. And there's like a whole bunch of paragraphs that are named that. It's really bizarre. Anyway, I finally gave up on it cuz honestly he's not worth my time. He also filed lawsuits against the California penal system for a slip and fall claim, as well as not providing him with a low-fat diet.

Charles: So he porked up in prison.

Chris: He actually didn't pork up the, like I, there's I'll pose pictures. If you look at him in his later years, he sort of looks like an an old weird al Yankovic. It was, it's,

Charles: Yeah, he's got some crazy hair. He does have some, like a slip and fall claim.

Chris: He's got some fun hair. Right.

Charles: He's suing the California penal system

Chris: In 2013. So three years after the previous five convictions, Al Callo was convicted of the CES zeroes, nightclub ariss murder of Ellen Jane Hoover who referenced earlier.

Charles: Yeah. You know, is that like Sammy Davis Jr.

Chris: Yeah. His goddaughter. Yes.

Charles: He, he is he easiest he Was he alive then? Yeah. So he probably came in and was like, bitch,

Chris: I'm sure he is mad.

Charles: Oh, he came in and he did something. He bitch slept this guy. Yeah, I love that. Sammy Davis Jr. Guy.

Chris: So he was

Charles: Also convicted. He did something.

Chris: He did, yeah. He did a lot of somethings in in, he was also, Alala was also convicted of killing twa flight attendant Cornelia Curley in 1971. Alala was in New York at the time of their murders. And enough evidence was found for the conviction. The part that is sad, not sad is Alka dies of natural causes while on death row in July of 2021 at the age of 77. Legal system

Charles: Just

Chris: Failed. It did. And the reason I say it's sad, not sad is because it's not sad cuz who gives a shit? He should have, he should be dead. But it's sad because there's other, I, I'll get into it in just a minute, but as Tally Shapiro said upon his death quote, the planet's a better place without him. That's for sure. It's a long time coming, but he's got his karma.

Charles: Good job Tally. I agree with you.

Chris: Great. Here's why it's sad. So remember the photographer reference from the dating game and the photos of the women and the boys,

Charles: Right. References about the curly-haired photographer that

Chris: He wrote. That's right. No, no, no, no, no. The actual, when they

Charles: The point is, is yeah. So there's a lot of talk about being a photographer.

Chris: So when they looked into his locker and his residence

Charles: And they found his little stash of pictures

Chris: They did, they were over 900 of them.

Charles: Different people.

Chris: Yes. Yeah. Well, I mean, yeah, there were some multiples of people, but there were a lot of different people. So he really kind of took the whole role of fashion photographer to kind of another level. But police feared that some of these women and maybe boys had also become victims of his crimes. So in April of 2010, police Rele released 120 of the photos that Ocala had, hoping that people might be able to identify them to determine if there were additional victims. 21 women came forward to identify themselves, but many more photos remain unidentified. One of those women was Christine Thornton, who is recognized by her family Christine. Christine had disappeared in 1977 and was six months pregnant.

Charles: And this is when he was killing all sorts of people.

Chris: Yeah. Her remains were found in Wyoming in 1982. Additional murders linked to Ocala include Pamela Jean Lampson. She was 19 years old from San Francisco. She was found in 1977. Joyce Gaunt and Antoinette Whitaker from Washington. So I've posted a link to the photos in the show notes, and if people go out there and take a look at them, if you're able to provide any information about the photos, call the Huntington Beach Police Department at 7 1 4 5 3 6 5 9 7 1. Yeah.

Charles: This is like legit cold case.

Chris: It is. So

Charles: That stuff going on, check it out. That's

Chris: Why, that's why this is sad because the true number of AL'S victims remains unknown.

Charles: Who knows? Someone could listen to this and be like, this is a family member or someone I've seen or whatev. Yeah. Check it out.

Chris: Could be.

Charles: And that's, that's, that's kind of wild. The true number of AL'S victims remain unknown, proving no closure or sense of justice to those who are still missing their loved ones. And with Ocala death, the hurtful mystery remains.

Chris: That's facts. That concludes episode five. Thanks for listening and we'll see you next time on Coward's Fury.

Episode 4: Herbert Baumeister

Charles: Good evening for today's case. We will be covering the I 70 Strangler Herb, also known as Herbert Balmeister, the Pisser

Chris: Perfect intro. Herbert Richard, or Herb Balmeister was born April 7th, 1947 in Indianapolis, Indiana, in

Charles: The middle of a cornfield

Chris: Hoosier, and was the oldest of four children. His early childhood was pretty normal. Herb's. Father Herbert Sr. Was an anesthesiologist, and his mother, Elizabeth, was a homemaker.

Charles: He didn't really get born on a cornfield

Chris: No. By his teens, herb's behavior had begun to change from sort of typical childhood behavior to things that were maybe a little more out of the ordinary.

Charles: Like most serial killers. Is he a serial killer?

Chris: Yeah. Okay. Change. So Herb actually became obsessed with dead animals and decaying things. He was known to leave dead animals on his teacher's desks and on one account, that's tough's tough. Yeah, that's, it's tough to be a teacher these days or those days.

Charles: This was like 1955.

Chris: Oh my gosh. He actually urinated on one of his teacher's desks.

Charles: The pisser. The

Chris: Pisser herb would wonder aloud, basically like what would urine taste like? And then he would chase other boys asking for a drink. Right. That's a little

Charles: Disturbing. I got, oh my God. That's cr

Chris: Yeah, herb

Charles: We're hitting. Okay. The he. So yeah, from now on I'm calling, I mean, I'm calling him the pisser. Yep. And

Chris: We're hitting it right outta the

Charles: Gate. And he's, he's, this is, this is what makes ab Yes. It's abnormal. Abnormal, asking boys to taste the urine.

Chris: Yeah. He also gained arousal by squeezing dead animals so he could feel his hands crush the bones inside. That's

Charles: Fine. If it didn't get any creepier after the pissing. Right. Like I, I pee on teacher's desks and ask for samples

Chris: And squeezed dead animals. Now

Charles: He squeezed dead animals. Yeah. And the crunch really arouses me.

Chris: Yes.

Charles: Oh man. This dude, so this, so it's fair to say this guy was super messed up.

Chris: Yeah. Pretty much of his own accord though, right? Right away. Yeah. It wasn't anything necessarily that his parents are.

Charles: His mom was on some weird drugs, but

Chris: I don't think so.

Charles: Sure. Yeah. She was probably on a bunch of like sleeping medication and drinking like martinis. It was the fifties, eh, maybe, I don't know, forties, whatever. 1947. Anyway, doesn't matter.

Chris: Herb's, teachers brought all of this behavior, this really disturbing behavior to his parents.

Charles: Can you imagine? Can you imagine that? Like, I'm sorry to tell you this, but Billy pissed on my desk today. It's a little abnormal. Perhaps we could have a conference

Chris: That's one heck of a parenting

Charles: Conference. Can you? Oh. And it was like 19, like really? It was the 1950s.

Chris: Yeah. I'm not

Charles: Even sure. Like I was milking the cows this morning and then I found pissed on my desk.

Chris: I'm not sure they even addressed stuff. Well, I mean they did in this case cuz it got to be too much. But his parents were also noticing his strange behavior. So they, they actually did take him to a psychiatrist for an evaluation at the time he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. And the DSM five doesn't actually recco recognize multiple personality disorder anymore. But that's just what it was called at the time. However, his parents didn't actually seek, nor did her receive any treatment for either disorder. So they just wanted to go find out what was wrong with him.

Charles: He is pissing on desks. Hey doc, he's pissing on desks. What's wrong with the kid?

Chris: Right. But so all of that being said, though, treatment for schizophrenia in the sixties largely compromise of electroconvulsive therapy or E EC T and the game, the IM wasn't really to cure the patient, but to make them more docile and therefore easier to deal with. E C T was at a time of an evolving practice in the fifties and sixties, doctors added a muscle relaxant to stop the convulsions and an an anesthetic to aid in patient comfort. So like, I'm not abdi advocating for any treatment here. I'm just saying that things were at the ti how things were at the time regarding e ec T treatment. How

Charles: Barbaric. It's so different.

Chris: It's very different. It's, it's very, and and they still use e ec T treatment today to treat cases of severe depression. But it's not like this. Right. It's, it's done very different way.

Charles: Listen, stop pissing on the desks. We're gonna give you E C T. Yeah,

Chris: That

Charles: Would be, it doesn't go down today. But

Chris: I don't know that that would scare somebody like Herb. It doesn't matter. He didn't get the treatment,

Charles: The pisser. Okay.

Chris: Right. However, despite this herb was actually able to graduate from high school and he attended a total of two whole semesters at Indiana University.

Charles: I Hoosiers.

Chris: Yep. Dropping out once between semesters, returning after his father is urging him to return, but then dropping out again and not to return.

Charles: So eventually he just kind of,

Chris: That was it.

Charles: Yeah. You know the thing about Indiana, I, yeah, I'm gonna say it. They don't like when people piss on faculty members' desks

Chris: That I think that would be true of anywhere. And they

Charles: Don't like dead animals on their desks. So they're like, yeah, thanks for coming by the open office hours.

Chris: Yeah. Check later

Charles: Herb.

Chris: Yeah. But there was a bit of goodness that came out of that time. So Herb met Juliana or Julie Seder. They both had interests in the Republican party in cars and both wanted to run their own businesses one day. Not

Charles: The band.

Chris: That's very wholesome. Not the band. No.

Charles: Or was it the band?

Chris: No, no, no, no. It was cars. Like regular. Just cars. Got it. Right. Julie was a high school teacher and a part-time student at IU at the time. They married in November of 1971. But herb's, mental problems are, his health problems were, they're not over because they just aren't. Around May of 1972, about six months after Herb was married, his father had him committed to a mental institution.

Charles: It's tough. Tough on any relationship. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah. It wasn't clear. Like I couldn't find in my research what, like if there was a specific in incident that happened that would've caused herb's father to, to act that way and

Charles: Crushing animals. Well that's not, that's an

Chris: Incident. I don't know. But he did have some severe depression and that seems to really have been the impetus for institutionalizing him. In any case, Julie waited, waited patiently for two months for her husband to come home and she stood by his side kind of through thick and thin. And that is a theme you'll see throughout this case. Sounds

Charles: Like a with her, a solid person.

Chris: Yes. She tried to do right

Charles: By her husband, Mrs. Herb. Julie.

Chris: Yep. Julie, given that Herb had not finished his college career, his job prospects at the time were pretty lackluster. Yeah. His father was able to get him a job at the Indianapolis Star as a copy boy.

Charles: He beats Teslas horn. Yeah,

Chris: But it wasn't long before,

Charles: Or

Chris: Was it before his coworkers became irritated with him. He like really threw himself into the work. But he constantly needed praise from his bosses. And when he didn't get that praise, he became really moody and irritable. And that just really further drove people away from him. He was done at that point. He quit cuz he was tired of not getting all the accolades and he was able to get a job.

Charles: Hey, hey listen, copy boy. He did a really good job copying those images, but Right. But one was smudge.

Chris: It's, this is great. Where he ended

Charles: Up at across. Now where'd he end up

Chris: At? The Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Charles: The mv. Yep. A perfect fit,

Chris: I think. Yes. A perfect fit.

Charles: Poor service. Yep. So angry employees.

Chris: Yeah. His work ethic worked really

Charles: Well for the Bmb bad customer service. Talk about irritable. That's Oh yeah. It's great.

Chris: He became

Charles: Star employee.

Chris: He became the program director. He

Charles: Hell yeah.

Chris: Yeah. That should tell you something about how

Charles: He, why these people here to get licenses. Right. I don't know.

Chris: Tell you something.

Charles: Tell Me

Chris: How low the bar is set for the bmv. Yeah. Yeah. He was known to be volatile and his coworkers yet again did not like him. Imagine that he would have outbursts over small, just seemingly really insignificant things. So his coworkers mostly avoided him and they considered him odd and uncomfortable to be around. Maybe

Charles: He, you know, I'm stuck on it, but maybe he had just like a, a weak bladder. No,

Chris: No.

Charles: He needed the pens.

Chris: He had some mental health issues. Big time. Depends.

Charles: He throws those things on. He could just piss everywhere and just keep working

Chris: Every time he wants. Right? Yeah.

Charles: Right. But you know what, why didn't anyone think

Chris: Of that? I, you know, I agree with you. And you know, back in the,

Charles: He just kept working at the, being angry at the bmv. He'd have been the star employee and he could have pissed all over the place. Right. Like in his, depends

Chris: Where are some baggy pants? Nobody notices. It'll be fine.

Charles: Nobody cares.

Chris: Anyways, so during this time, the time that he was employed by the bmv, Julie gave birth to three children. Marni in 1979. Eric in 1981 and Emily in 1984, herb was eventually fired from the BMV because he urinated on a letter addressed to then governor of Indiana.

Charles: I'd bless him, Robert. Or there he goes. There it is. I don't, you know, I didn't even know that

Chris: At the

Charles: Beginning. I stand by the whole dependence statement earlier.

Chris: Oh, I thought you were talking about you stand by your nickname for him. Bet

Charles: Too. I didn't know. Yeah, the pisser. Okay, sorry. So, so he loses his job.

Chris: Yeah, he loses his job. He started to have some trouble with the law. He was arrested for a hit and run accident while he was drinking and driving.

Charles: He was just holding it. He's like, don't

Chris: Drink and drive people.

Charles: I gotta pee somewhere. Just not in a normal place. I gotta get there. Right. And he hits a, he's drinking and driving. He gets in an accident.

Chris: He had a pee plan. He

Charles: Had a pee plan.

Chris: Yeah. He was also arrested for stealing a friend's car in 1986.

Charles: Don't be his friend.

Chris: Nothing stuck. And he never spent any time in jail or anything. So it became, it also became clear that it was gonna be difficult for Herb to find another job.

Charles: This is a dude, this flash. For any listeners out there, if you get canned from the bmv, you're not getting another job. A lot of press. It's not happening. That's as low as it goes everybody. Right.

Chris: So he became a stay-at-home dad and Julie returned to work as a teacher. Herb seemed to really like being a dad. He was patient and really loving with his kids. Eventually Herb did get another job at a thrift store. But he felt like the work was beneath him and he kind of really threw himself into learning everything he could about the business. It was also during this time that Herb's father passed away. And that's a pretty big thing. The effects of Herb seniors passing on Herb were kind of unclear. Like it's really difficult to determine how it affected him. But after three years after that, in 1988, herb and Julie opened up their own thrift store called Save-A-Lot. So

Charles: You like used all the old man's money?

Chris: Maybe I, so I've seen a couple of different accounts of the amount that he borrowed because he borrowed money from his mom. Some accounts say he borrowed $4,000, which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me cuz he opened a store. Other accounts say it was 350,000, I'm gonna go with a 350,000. Cuz that makes more sense to me. But at any rate, the store was actually a success after only a year. They opened a second location, herb and Julie had finally achieved their dream of owning and running their own business. Remember? That was what they wanted to do when they were in

Charles: College. I mean, can you just imagine it's, you walk in this store and you can piss anywhere you want,

Chris: I suppose. But they actually even shared their success. They donated a percentage of their store's profit around $50,000 to the Children's Bureau of of Indianapolis. And they did that annually.

Charles: Seems pretty, pretty solid.

Chris: Yeah. Then they purchased a property called Fox Hollow Farm in 1991. Julie was so excited. She called it utopia. Julie said that the kids could roller blade without having to worry

Charles: About cars. Who roller What is roller blade? For anyone that doesn't know what roller blade is, it's like a ice skate

Chris: Wheels inline skates in and they're not at not,

Charles: Do you think anyone knows what those are anymore? Yeah,

Chris: They do. They still have 'em.

Charles: My kids can roller their blade without worrying about cars. Thanks Karen. She was a Karen before. You know what she was, she was a Becky. A Becky. By the way, everyone out there, Becky is bef is, what is it, pre Karen.

Chris: Becky's the precursor to Karen, huh? Yeah,

Charles: That's right. All right. So this,

Chris: So this was a five bedroom.

Charles: So they did well with the strip store. They did. Yeah, they did. Her herb guy had it. They got it done. They did.

Chris: So th this was a five bedroom, 18 acre estate that came with everything, including a stable and indoor pool. And everything was awesome sauce. Except maybe it wasn't, herb continued to be difficult to work with. He never treated Julie as an equal, but more like his own employee. So Julie tolerated this cuz she wanted to avoid confrontation with her husband. And that's, you know, not abnormal. But you know, not surprisingly their marriage, it began to suffer. Julie began to take the kids to herb's mother's condo in Lake Wawasee over the summer to avoid being around him. And Herb was perfectly happy to, you know, quote unquote look after the stores. But he was, he was decompensating and it was very noticeable. So herb's behavior at work, when he actually did show up was erratic and neglectful. He was rude. His employees began to quit. Cuz who wants to be around that?

Charles: I bet he brought like animals in and just was like squishing them. He brought like a rabbit in. Wouldn't

Chris: That be weird though if he walked in? He

Charles: Had like, like squeezing it

Chris: If he had like a mouse in his pocket and he just was like

Charles: Squeezing me. And he made like stupid lies. They're like, well, what is that? It's my lucky rabbit's foot. It's like, dude, it's, it's a rabbit. Like it's a whole rabbit. That's probably what happened. Could be just isn't documented. Right? I'm going with That's what went down. Cool. This guy was off the, he was whack. It was crazy is he had this like successful business and he is still a whack job.

Chris: That is true.

Charles: So, yeah. So he is all erratic. He's all over the place. Yeah.

Chris: Nobody wants to work with

Charles: Him. You know? So the

Chris: Store's success began to shift in a downward trend, which yeah. You know, that's not, again, not surprising. Also during this time, things in Indianapolis were actually getting a bit scary as well. Young gay men, all white ranging in ages from 20 to 46 were disappearing. Maybe this is a coincidence. Let's find out around that same time, in 1994, herb's son Eric, who was 13, found something pretty startling. Eric was playing around Fox Hollow, that's their farm, have found a human skull, which he promptly showed his mother. She told Eric to take her to the spot where he found the skull. She found a pile of bones, which looked as though it could be an entire skeleton. That would be a little shocking, I think for any wife. Julie wanted answers and she wanted them from Herb, but she didn't press further. When Herb concocted an odd story that the skeleton was an anatomical skeleton, that his father, remember his father was a, a physician that he had used, nor did she press when Herb gave her no explanation for why he would bury an anatomical skeleton in their yard. Maybe this was to avoid further confrontation with her irritable husband. But she just accepted this story and moved on.

Charles: What a stupid lie. And what's worse is, oh, okay.

Chris: She's naive

Charles: You. No, she's gu she just won't argue. She's like the standard school teacher. Like, oh God, no confrontation. I don't want any trouble.

Chris: Maybe it's

Charles: Crazy.

Chris: Well, whatever her motivations

Charles: Were, it's like, oh yeah, that's dad's old skeleton. Skeleton from like med school in the, in the, in the forties. Yeah. Don't worry about it. Well, why, why'd you bury it? Because I did. Oh, oh, oh, oh, okay.

Chris: It was pretty long.

Charles: Can you imagine that conversation? No. That's so weak. That's weak. Look at the kids like walking around with a skull. Okay. But that's pretty nice. Good job, herb.

Chris: I don't know. Skull's pretty cool. The

Charles: Kids walking around with a murdered victim.

Chris: No, that part's not cool, right? The skull's cool. The murder victim part's not cool. Anyway, unbeknownst to Herb, someone was looking into the disappearances. Virgil Vandergriff,

Charles: What a terrible name. If your last name's Vandergriff, don't name your kid Virgil, right? Initials Vivi Vivi. So is that like a w then? Oh, come on. So really, van Van Degraf family. Right? So, so sorry about, this is a victim, right?

Chris: V No, vib a private investigator.

Charles: Oh, I can, I can talk shit about that. Yeah. Okay. Terrible name. It's okay. Super stupid name.

Chris: Virgil.

Charles: Virgil Van Degraf. I was

Chris: Never gonna get through this.

Charles: The hell. Is that like, like a Hogwarts name? Like is it a wizard?

Chris: He's a, actually that would be

Charles: Cool. Virgil Van DeGraff, the Wizard.

Chris: So Virgil Vandergriff, who was a private detective and former Marion County sheriff,

Charles: Sorry if you're listening to Virgil, but it's a messed up name man.

Chris: He was contacted by the mother of Alan Brard victim, who was reported as missing in June of 1994. And he was 28 years old. He had last been seen leaving a gay bar in Indianapolis. He was also con, Virgil was also contacted by the mother of Roger Goodlett. Roger was also seen leaving a gay bar in downtown Indianapolis and was reported missing in July of 1994. Roger was 32. During Vander Griff's investigation, he discovered that there were more missing men. What

Charles: Are, what are we talking about here? How many more?

Chris: Several. Mm Let's get into it. You wanna get into it? Yeah. All right. Vandergriff spent weeks at the same gay bars as the two missing men had visited and found that there were likely almost a dozen missing men. Vandergriff suspected a serial criminal. He took his investigation and suspicions to the police. But in the nineties, police didn't really seem to care that much about Yeah,

Charles: They

Chris: Didn't like gay men. Yeah,

Charles: They had trouble with gay people.

Chris: Yeah,

Charles: They did. And, and, and I, you know, whatever. I'm, I'm, I don't care about that. But maybe Vander liked the bar.

Chris: Look, they're still people. They,

Charles: I didn't say that. Yeah. You're taking it the wrong way. I I have no issue. It's messed up. And you're right. In the nineties, the cops didn't care. No,

Chris: They didn't. They didn't, they didn't take the disappearances seriously at all. And they just assumed the men had gone elsewhere to live their chosen quote unquote gay lifestyles. But then a lead popped up, a friend of one of the missing men, Roger Goodlett surfaced during Vander Gross's investigation. This friend of Rogers will call him Tony. I don't,

Charles: Tony Baloney.

Chris: Yeah. That's not his real name. Oh, Tony met a man who called himself Brian Smart at a gay bar that he frequented

Charles: If he was like porn names.

Chris: Well, you,

Charles: Yeah. Yeah. What's your name? Brian. Smart.

Chris: Well, it's, yes, it's a stage name, I guess you could say.

Charles: So that's what I'm saying.

Chris: Yeah. Tony and Brian Smart spent the evening together drinking and talking. Brian asked Tony to come back to his, his employer's house with him. He said he'd been staying there during some construction work that he was hired to do. So Tony agreed to go with Brian. They drove in Brian's car with, that, had Ohio plates on it for about a half an hour. The man wasn't sure where, since he was a little intoxicated. But Brian led Tony to the pool house. But he said it was odd. There were, the pool had mannequins all around the pool, and they were set up in different positions, which, okay, I'm sorry, but if I walk into a pool house with mannequins all over, I'm hightailing at the hell out of there. Sorry.

Charles: If you were lured to a pool house with mannequins,

Chris: I'd be like, no, you,

Charles: You've got some bad judgment. No things going on. No, we're

Chris: Not gonna victim

Charles: Shooting here. I'm, I'm

Chris: Just saying, I'm just saying like,

Charles: If you're going to that place, you already got bad judgment. I'm characteristics as an individual. And mannequins are just plain creepy.

Chris: Yeah, they are creepy. Yeah. So Tony became uncomfortable.

Charles: Just Tony Balone. Yeah.

Chris: He should be uncomfortable. But Brian assured him as one of his employers quirks, he didn't like to be alone. Hence the mannequins. I, no, I could never buy something like that. Like the story. So then Brian wanted to know if the man had ever practiced erotic asphyxiation. I'm gonna assume you know what that means. The man said he had not, but he agreed to try it. You walk into a pool house with mannequins all over, and then the guy who brought you there says, can I choke you till I jack off? N no, you don't say yes. Let's give it a go. I,

Charles: Well, Bryan smart did. Or was that

Chris: Tony below? Tony said, okay.

Charles: Ah,

Chris: Tony. I know. So Tony said that Brian was pretty excited about it. Yeah. And

Charles: That he had a, he had a green light.

Chris: It was like he'd been on cocaine or something. Like, he was super excited. So first the man strangled Brian with a hose. Well, Brian masturbated, and then it was time to switch positions. So this is smart. So in case you haven't guessed, Brian is actually Herb Bowman. So Herb got Tony to be comfortable by allowing Tony to strangle him first with a hose while he masturbated. Right. So he's like, see, I'm safe. It's all good. The, I will tell you that there are different sources out there, and I found, and, and some of them go a couple of different directions based on whose story you're listening to, from whose perspective. So Alman is to describe both of them. So you can de decide for yourself how you think things went. You can let me know what you think happened. Right?

Charles: That's fucking weird. That's what happened.

Chris: Okay. So during the sexual activity, when it was Tony's turn to be choked, Brian slipped the hose around Tony's neck, but then the pressure mounted and Brian wasn't letting up. Brian is actually Herb, in a moment of clarity, Tony, the, he pretended to pass out and Brian loosened his grip. The hose came away from Tony's neck. Brian had assumed he'd killed Tony, but he was surprised when Tony opened. His eyes annoyed Brian wanted to get Tony out of there. So he drove Tony back to Indianapolis. They agreed to meet the following week, but Brian didn't show up. I find that whole thing very confusing. But here's an alternate account for you. After the auto erotic asphyxiation ensued, Brian appeared to truly enjoy it. He told Tony how much, much he loved taking men to the brink of death and loved watching their lips crack and eyes bulge as oxygen was depleted.

Chris: Tony, who had posted flyers all over town of a missing man named Roger Goodlett, was certain that Brian was his killer. In fact, when he first saw Brian at a gay bar, he felt certain, like a kind of certain way about Brian. Brian sat at the bar licking his lips as he stared at one of the missing posters. I don't know, that seems a little out there to me, but we'll go with it. Tony was scared to go talk to Brian, but approached him nonetheless. After chatting, Brian managed to get Tony to agree to leave with him to go to Fox Hollow. After Tony's experience with Brian, he told Brian he knew that Brian was a killer and killed his friend. Roger. Roger. Tony said he was going to the police, but Brian laughed it off and told Tony that no one would believe him. And he'd gotten away with it before, after the incident, Tony did contact the police, but the police could not find the property that Tony had described. Brian continued to contact Tony via cell phone or payphone, which was not traceable in the eighties, according to Tony. Anyway, Brian would drop hints that he had killed many.

Charles: Well, your question to me was what?

Chris: So there's two really different stories that I just described around that auto erotic asphyxiation Right, right. Circumstance. My feeling personally is that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Charles: Yeah. Both of 'em are bogus.

Chris: Totally bogus.

Charles: There's truths to each one.

Chris: Okay. What do you think is the

Charles: Truth? Yeah, there's there, there there's truth. Lies somewhere in the middle.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, I think that her lured Tony back to the place, I think they did whatever they did.

Charles: Clearly they talked, they connected. Yeah.

Chris: But I, I seriously doubt that Tony confronted him and said, I know you killed my friend. Why? Why would he think that'd be an okay thing to do? Herb would just kill him right there and then. Right? I mean, he did go to the police. I think that part's true. So I guess I'm saying there's bits and parts of both of these versions that are true and some that maybe are fabricated. Yep. The stories converge again at this point. And, and the, the accounts mostly agree about the following. So after telling Vandergriff of his encounter, Vandergriff was convinced that this Brian was the culprit that he sought in these missing persons. So the two teamed up. So this is Tony and Vandergriff. The two teamed up for over a year and they worked to find Brian, but they couldn't find him. But as the summer of 1995 rolled around, the man, this friend of Rogers, the one that, that was one of the missing men, ran into Brian at a gay bar. He went outside to find Brian's car and record the license plate. Smart Vandergriff ran the plate and it belonged to Herb. Herb, right? Not Brian Smart,

Charles: His stage name. Yep.

Chris: His stage name. Vandergriff shared this information with police. And in November of 1995, police came to Fox Hollow and asked to search the property. Guess what? Herb said, no, you're not gonna do that. And when the police reached out to Julie, so they, let's can't get it from dad, get it from mom. Right. They reached out to Julie at the Save-A-Lot store. She also refused entry. She, when she came home, she questioned her about it, but he assured her it had nothing to do with what they were accusing him of. And guess what? She took her. But his word, she stuck by him. She keeps sticking by him. That's not exactly true, but cuz her faith in her husband was not gonna last. So about seven months later, in June of 1996, Julie approached Detective Mary Wilson and she just like showed up at her desk. Right. Detective Wilson specialized in missing persons. She was also a friend of Vandergriff vv and had been involved with the missing persons cases thus far. Julie told Detective Wilson that her husband's behavior had taken a really bad turn just now. It had taken a bad turn. I feel like his behavior has not been great for a while.

Charles: Forget about like he was, he was, he was committed to like some psych ward. The first six months they were married

Chris: And he peed on a lot of stuff.

Charles: He, yeah, he had, he he just had Depends.

Chris: I Right. It

Charles: Depends. And, but, but you know, really like, and no one would know. Like, like, oh, he just took a bad turn. Detective Wilson. No, Julie, he's always been a nut job. Yep. Up. Which we're gonna learn more about.

Chris: So she maybe suggested that he was having a nervous breakdown. No, he's psychotic. So Julie told the detective how their business was failing and that she was filing for a divorce. She could not get the skeleton that Eric had found out of her head for two years. And as we've said before, it's never too late to do the right thing. So now it was time for somebody else to know about it. So she gave Detective Wilson permission to search their home. In June of 1996, while Herb was on vacation, detective Wilson with three officers executed the search warrant with Julie's permission while inspecting the property. Wilson and the others noticed something odd about the gravel that ro that ran along the grass in the backyard once tested their assumption proved correct. It was charred, crushed up bone and it wasn't gravel at all.

Charles: That's a hell of a driveway.

Chris: That's macab. So the site was excavated. What was found was nothing short of shocking, terrifying, and sad. Police found over 5,000 bone fragments and teeth belonging to 11 men. Only eight were ac were ultimately able to be identified and I'll list them. Wow. Roger Goodlett. So he's, his search was the one that really kind of kicked all of this off. He was 34. Steven Hale was 26. 20 year old Roger or Richard Hamilton, 31 year old Manuel Resendez, Mike Kieren, age 46. Johnny Bayer, age 20. Alan Brard 28. And Jeff Jones, 31 Police then issued a warrant for herb's arrest, which is what they should do. Herb had taken his son, Eric, with him to the lake house, which was, I think that was his mother's house and emptied his joint bank account that he shared with Julie. Julie was scared for Eric's life. So before the farm's morbid contents hit the news, she didn't, Julie didn't want Herb to know that she'd had the, the property searched.

Chris: Julie served Herb with custody papers. Herb assumed it was just legal maneuvering and gave Eric over to the authorities. The local police could have at least detained Herb at this point, but they did not saying that They were unsure of what they had come upon. They came upon a bunch of fricking dead bodies like detained the guy. Right. Anyway, once Herb heard of the search and the discovery of the bodies from the search warrant Herb, he was fleeing from his mother's home where he'd been staying and he entered Canada cuz that's where most killers go is Canada. I don't know why. Anyway, on July 3rd, 1996, some hikers made a gruesome discovery. So Herb's body was found in Pine Provincial Park in Ontario with a single bullet wound to his forehead. Some sources say he was found in his car. Others say he was next to his car.

Chris: A 3 57 Magnum lay next to him. He left a three page suicide note. So we'll talk a little bit about his suicide note. Herb talked about his failing business, the bankruptcy and divorce that were imminent. He stated those were the reasons for his suicide. He concluded the note with, I'm going to eat a peanut butter sandwich and go to sleep. He made no mention of the men's lives that he callously took or the horrifying ways in which he disposed of their bodies. After herbs, suicide investigators looked into a string of killings along the I 70 corridor between Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. Each of the men found there were nine had similar characteristics to the men found on the Fox Hollow Farm property. The murders were attributed to the I 70 Strangler until 1998. In February of that year, a witness surfaced. He said he'd seen a photo of Herb and recognized the man. As someone who had left an Indianapolis pub with Michael Riley. In 1983, Riley's body was found in a stream off of I 70. Bodies stopped being dumped along I 70. Right about the same time Herb purchased the Fox Hollow Farm. Cuz now he had plenty of space to dispose of the body. So no need to dump

Charles: A whole bunch of acres and woods. Yeah.

Chris: You don't have to dump 'em along the interstate now. So Herb's, suicide really robbed the families of any kind of real justice cuz he was a complete freaking coward. And that's why this podcast is called Cowards Fury. So these men were just living their lives and doing their thing. And Herbs stole their futures from them. And he the lives of his wife and his children. He's a gross dude.

Charles: Yeah. Yeah. Wow. I don't even have a whole lot of words for this other than it would a, would a, a sick like the arranged, I mean, it just started off obvious. Like he, we talk about like a first, very first part of this podcast. Like yeah. He started off with queing animals and peeing all over the place like that. That just, that just identifies how crazy he was. And then he, he had the, he, you know, was, was killing, decided to go kill guys. Yeah. People. He, he was humans, you know, he, he was killing humans. And

Chris: There were people who cared about these people and who sought out that Vandergriff dude and said, Hey, help me find my missing son. Help me find this person I care about and love.

Charles: I hope, I hope they buried the pisser face down cuz he, he's like, he's going straight to hell.

Chris: He is. He's a sick, twisted closeted Maggot Crunch sandwich of a person. And that's it for episode four. We'll catch you next time on Cowards Fury.


Episode 3: Michael Madison

Chris: Welcome back to Cowards Fury. I'm Chris: here with Charles:, and we're gonna get into a new case today. So, today's case involves a man that's probably not super widely known, but he was definitely dangerous nonetheless. Is he excited? Yeah. I can see by the look in your eye.

Charles: I'm Excited.

Chris: Okay. Michael Madison. So Michael Madison was born October 15th, 1977 in East Cleveland, Ohio. His parents were Diane Madison and John Baldwin.

Charles: No relation to the Baldwin brothers.

Chris: Probably not. Probably

Charles: Not. Or Billy Madison

Chris: N definitely not Billy Madison, but that's a good call. I'm just making sad say I'm No, I appreciate the clarification. Okay. It's important. Madison was an unwanted pregnancy, and right out of the gate his father denied he was Madison's father at all. And he would have nothing to do with him. That makes me sad. Diane Madison is not likely to win any, you know, mother of the Year awards either. She had her own troubled youth and eventually became a heroin addict. And a sex worker.

Charles: Sex worker, you mean a prostitute?

Chris: Yes. The more appropriate term is sex worker nowadays. I mean, politically corrected.

Charles: I'm going with prostitute, but I respect the sex worker comment.

Chris: Excellent. Prostitute. So she did not allow Madison to have friends over to their house or to go over to other friend's houses, or even to celebrate holidays or birthdays.

Charles: Wait, was she a Jehovah's Witness or a sex worker? Sorry, prostitute. Wait,

Chris: I don't know all

Charles: Of me. So she's a prostituting Jehovah's Witness.

Chris: You know, I think it sounds like that. All right. It

Charles: Could be. I'm just putting, I'm wrapping my right around this whole thing. Yeah,

Chris: Well, I mean, either way, regardless of which of those, it must have been pretty isolating and frustrating for him. His only real relationship while he was growing up was with his mother and his half-brother, and the multitude of boyfriends that she tred in and out of their lives

Charles: Like customers.

Chris: They, some of them could have been Got it. But they were also boyfriends, sorry, and things like that too.

Charles: They're called John's, or is that wrong?

Chris: No, no, that's, I think the proper term sex worker, solicitor,

Charles: Prostitute and John. Okay.

Chris: When Michael was just two years old, his mother forced him to eat until he vomited. She then threw in the, into a scalding bath to clean him off to get the vomit off of him. And he started to scream cuz you would, if you were a toddler in a skulling hot

Charles: Bath. Not cool. Nope.

Chris: To punish him for screaming, she took him out and beat him with an extension cord. Later that same year, Michael had to be taken to the hospital for large bruise and injury to his forehead. When Michael was three, one of his mother's boyfriends beat him mercilessly with a belt to the point where the boy vomited and required hospitalization. He even lost hearing in one of his ears. At one point, child Protective Services, who were not strangers to the Madison household, found contusions, abrasions, and swelling on his penis.

Charles: Ugh. Not mother of the year. No, I I think you were right on that one. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah. They took him from his mother and placed him with his grandmother for a time until his mother received counseling. I think his mother maybe needed more than just counseling. Just a thought. But the abuse didn't stop. Unsurprisingly, again, in 1982, Michael was hospitalized this time for dehydration.

Charles: So he was back with his mother.

Chris: Yeah, they put him back with his mother.

Charles: So Cleveland dropped the ball. Cleveland social workers dropped the ball on this. Yeah. Right here. They did. We already know this is about not a good person that's murdering people and doing things. It's true crime. Yeah.

Chris: It's, it's, it's, you know,

Charles: You could have stopped right there.

Chris: I, you know, when I read about these people who do bad things and I hear about their, his, their histories and their past, like, you can feel bad for them as a child, but they still grew up to do shitty things.

Charles: Yes. I'll just say, I feel bad for Mike and the prostitute mom, and, and I'm, I'm not loving Cleveland social worker people right now. I'm sure You'all are overworked if you're listening, but, mm. Dropped it. Dropped the, but not cool.

Chris: Remember this was in the early eighties,

Charles: Still not cool.

Chris: So things were, were a little different, but, okay. At any rate, the, the kid just continued to be a frequent flyer at Madison Mount Sinai Hospital. Right. So Madison doesn't seem to recall the full extent of his abuse. And I'm no psychiatrist or psychologist, but psychological experts say that disassociating from abuse during childhood is not unusual. But it also put Madison and Madison's mind in a place that where he could control things. A place maybe where he hated women. His mother neglected him and abused him and refused to nurture him. And this could have resulted in Madison's dis disdain for women. A former girlfriend would repeat report that Michael would say to her that he quote unquote hates the female species.

Charles: All right. It's already happening. He hates the female species. Yes. I think we know, I think we know where this is going. You're not gotta say the extension cord thing. I never, I never knew about that until I was a kid. And like I had a friend and was like, he, he, he, he just was like the, the ex, he, we call it the extension cord cuz his mama called I'm, I'm gonna grab the s extension cord. And I, I didn't understand, like, I didn't know.

Chris: So she beat him with an extension

Charles: Cord. Well, I mean, in that case, like when you like, or

Chris: Like just whooped him.

Charles: Well, yeah, because he would always do things that were bad and he maybe ended up in jail. But look, he was a good guy. He didn't do this kind of stuff. My point is, the stension cord's real and it hurts and is not, it's not, okay. So not for a two year old, it's, it, it kind of sticks with you like, or anybody?

Chris: Probably no, but not especially like a little tiny,

Charles: What's wrong with your old willow tree thing? Get a switch from the willow tree?

Chris: I don't know. I'm not really about capital punishment or

Charles: What's like, like a

Chris: Corporal punishment. Myself, I look, I was spanked as

Charles: A kid, but no stension

Chris: Cords, no extension cords. All right. So by age 16, Madison was essentially homeless, just really sleeping wherever he could. By the age of 17, Madison was charged with inappropriately touching a classmate and delinquency. Pretty sure the first part is the worst part, but they just like threw the delinquency on there. At the age of 20, he was sentenced for drugs, and a few years after that, he was convicted of rape.

Charles: There we go.

Chris: Yeah, it escalated

Charles: Mike. Big Mike.

Chris: Yep. Not a nice young man.

Charles: I, I mean, I'm, I'm gonna just call him Big Mike moving on myself. Okay. Because like, I'm thinking like bm like bowel movement, like a piece of shit. Yeah. All right. Anyway,

Chris: I I'm there with you. In October of 2001, Madison snagged an 18 year old woman and dragged her behind a house and tried to rape her. A police officer good on him happened to pull up and Madison ran. He was later arrested and pleaded guilty to attempted rape. He was ordered to complete treatment for sex offenders, which he did. And after which he was released and placed on the sex offender list, he listed his address as his mother's house. Not the sort of beat up pile of crap where he was actually living on Hayden Avenue in East Cleveland.

Charles: All right. For anyone that's like thinking like, I visualize things when I'm, when I'm listening to stories and reading stories. This is not like the Cleveland, I did like a street view on this. It's not like a Chris:tmas story. That's where like, it was shot in Cleveland. So like, it's not this great. Like,

Chris: So there was no electric sex lamp in the window. Wait,

Charles: Okay. There she was a prostitute there. May oh, oh, what's her name? She, she may have had it had one of those and Big Mike might have one, but with an extension cord wrapped around it or something. But at the end of the day, like this is not that picturesque like, neighborhood in Cleveland. You might maybe be, perhaps be thinking of it's Yeah. A little cop beat up pile of crap. Is that what you said? I did.

Chris: Yeah.

Charles: I'd say that's pretty accurate. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: So,

Charles: And I like, hold on. I like the

Chris: Cop. Yeah.

Charles: Like he's just hanging out. Yeah, that's what

Chris: I said. Good

Charles: On him. This guy's drinking some Irish coffee in the morning and he's with a donut.

Chris: I

Charles: Don't, I'm not judging. I'm just saying he's gotta get through the day and he is like, oh, is this guy doing this thing? All right, I'm gonna break this up. So, alright. Hats off to that. Yep. Good job. Cleveland cops. Yep. At least this, this, this round,

Chris: At least this time, Madison continued to be involved in drugs and other crimes. In May of 2013, Britney Derby, a girlfriend of Madison's was in his gross place and asked Madison about the gross smell that was coming from a closet in his apartment.

Charles: Should I say this is gross right now.

Chris: It's gonna

Charles: Get, it's a lot of grossness. It's pretty gross.

Chris: Gross. There's a lot of grossness. It's gross. He told her that two raccoons had died back in there. Just like left,

Charles: Left there. Hey, hey. Yo, two raccoons died in that closet, right? It's like what it's called. It's called a dead body. Yeah. Well is it, I I mean it's, let's face it, it's a dead body. It's

Chris: A dead body. Yeah. When she pressed him

Charles: Foot Big Mike.

Chris: Yeah, big Mike. When she pressed him further, Madison said, Crossley, you don't wanna see that. My, my mic voice isn't as good as yours, by the way. My big mic

Charles: Voice. We don't even know what the guy sounds like, but he says you don't want

Chris: To do that. That was better.

Charles: The murdering, murdering like Big Mike, so, right. You don't wanna see that.

Chris: Something like that.

Charles: Got two dead raccoons back there. Well, he's not like Mr. T.

Chris: No, Mr T is

Charles: Cool. Yeah, he is cool. He's more like, I don't know, there's two raccoons

Chris: Maybe.

Charles: Yeah. Your girlfriend, a little girlfriend, like pure. Good job. Britney. Could, you know what, Britney could have stopped it right there too.

Chris: She, she could, but I maybe, I don't know if I could think

Charles: About that.

Chris: He was kind of be a guy to be like afraid of though. So

Charles: Along the way, like there's a lot of, lot of times you can do the right thing. Everybody. It's

Chris: True. Later that week Darby could still smell the stench and she questioned Madison again, but he just sort of gruffly confirmed that it was dead raccoons a few

Charles: Days later. So I just wanna point out that all your research is legit and accurate, but I'll just make things up, up. I try. I I really try. I think he grabbed the stench and cord and was like, you got a question about my raccoons? And she's like, no, no sir. Oh yeah. Anyway,

Chris: A few days later, two different girlfriends. Cuz somehow a guy like this gets a lot of girls.

Charles: How does Big Mike have multiple girlfriends? I don't know how many guys out there are like, I'd like to have more than one. I mean, a lot

Chris: Of guys are like, I just want one. You

Charles: Know what, Mike probably didn't have the best quality girl. Anyone out there that's feeling that way low quality.

Chris: Well, he may not have been all that high quality himself.

Charles: That's what I'm saying.

Chris: Yeah. Well,

Charles: Yeah, we we're in agreement.

Chris: Yeah. So these two girlfriends happened to notice that Madison had some deep scratches and a foul odor in his apartment from from the

Charles: Damn raccoons.

Chris: Yeah. Yes. He brushed off their questions by saying he got into a fight with a girl that jumped him and she scratched him and that the foul odor was likely just a dead animal. Two

Charles: Raccoons,

Chris: Two raccoons to be precise.

Charles: And by the way, everybody out there, I bet everybody listening has never been jumped by a girl and scratched the girls that I think might potentially jump me are like, I mean, they're tough. They've got like brass knuckles and they'd steal tow shoes and or stilettos or something. I, I'm just saying,

Chris: You know, girls like

Charles: That. I, in my mind, a girl that would jump me

Chris: I understand

Charles: Would not just scratch me.

Chris: There'd be more, there'd be worse. It'd be worse.

Charles: I get the, I get

Chris: Be your, your ass would be

Charles: Kicked. Oh, I get, I get bitch slapped. Yeah. Okay. I, I get it would be,

Chris: I'm glad we were clear on that. I

Charles: Will, I probably would not come out the victor and said scuffle.

Chris: Okay. Oh, you're

Charles: Pretty tough. Not compared to the girls. That might jump me. Yeah. All right. Fair enough. Fair enough. All I'm trying to say is Big Mike, his lies are weak.

Chris: Yes, they are. Well, on July 19th, 2013, police officers responded to calls of a foul smell, shockingly in the area around where Madison was living. Cable company workers who worked for a cable company, which the cable company was below where Madison was living. So it was like under his living quarters. So business on the bottom, residential on the top, they noticed a smell from behind the building. So they called the police a garage that Madison and some others

Charles: The smell of death. Yeah.

Chris: Yes. And in that garage that, that Madison as well as other people used, they discovered the decaying body of a woman.

Charles: What a dip. Shit, I'm gonna put the body in the garage.

Chris: I'm not sure he's gonna win any awards for being the sharpest tool in the shed, but

Charles: I'm

Chris: Like just saying,

Charles: I mean, I guess the garage is better than the closet. Right? He was getting sniffed up by all the girls. Well, in the closet. All the girlfriends were like, I smell, I smells things. Oh, it's a dead raccoon. So he just genius, I'm gonna move that shit right to the garage. Right. Okay. That's

Chris: Shared. And the next day they discovered two more bodies. One in the backyard under a brush pile and one in the basement of an abandoned building. About 15 to 20 yards from the brush pile.

Charles: Can you guys see this like, on some really crappy show on tv? Like a brush pile? I'm gonna drag a body under a brush pile.

Chris: I know it's like,

Charles: Like it was at leaves and random like sticks

Chris: Probably.

Charles: Yeah. Ingenious.

Chris: Yeah, ingenious.

Charles: I mean, at least, so there's some statistics about landfills, right? Like in any given landfill there's a percentage of bodies. Like that's a fact, right?

Chris: I, yeah. Do you know what? I don't know what that number is. Do you? Oh, did did you

Charles: Look it up? I totally have no idea. But the point is, is there is a number We will look it up. Okay.

Chris: I'm gonna

Charles: Look it up right now. I'm gonna look it up right now. The point is put in the damn trash can and hope that it makes it to the landfill.

Chris: Yeah. Well, okay, so we'll look that up later, but lemme back up. The bodies were found wrapped in garbage bags and sealed with tape. Hmm. Upon opening those up, the women, it was found that the women had been tortured, mutilated and strangled. The women's bodies had then been folded in half and wrapped in electrical cords. One with a belt still wrapped tightly around her throat.

Charles: Wait, distension cord, he used it.

Chris: Yes. For an even more nefarious purpose than beating a child. Wow.

Charles: Yeah. So mom's crazy abuse went down and multiplied

Chris: Into

Charles: To Big Mike. Yep. Like a, and then demon. He Oh, wow. Yeah. Extension cord times two. Like 2.0

Chris: Definitely. Damn. Police found Madison at his mother's home and after a short standoff, why would

Charles: You go back to the mom's home, Mike?

Chris: He's not, he's not winning any awards for smartness here, but they, he was arrested at without further

Charles: Incident. Yeah, well, she a standoff, so

Chris: The, the women found were Angela Kins, Shaha, Sheely, SHTA, Helen, Terry, Terry and Kins had been strangled to death with a belt. Terry had also had severe vaginal and anal lacerations, inflicted premortem, which is just disturbing way. Angela Kins, the first to be identified, was a quiet woman. She was 38 years old. She liked to wear blue jeans who doesn't black skirt or black shirts. And she had glasses she had been missing since June 7th, 2013, but was reported as officially missing. Not until July 1st. It wasn't the first time she had gone missing. She was also reported missing in 2009, which could be why her family didn't report her. Right. Report her missing right away. She and Madison actually attended the same high school, Euclid High School in 1994. She listed herself as a quote unquote self-employed in customer service on her Facebook

Charles: Page. Hold on. It's called the Metaverse.

Chris: Okay.

Charles: Shit.

Chris: Metaverse,

Charles: I think, I don't know. Got it. Meta

Chris: Something. I'm pretty sure back then it was not called that.

Charles: I didn't know there was Facebook in 1994. Oh, you're saying in 2009? Yeah. Or 2013.

Chris: 2013. Okay. Yeah. Shati shisha, Tisha. Oh wow. Shisha. She, there's a lot of s shs.

Charles: Hold on. She

Chris: Shetisha

Charles: Spelled she Tisha. Yeah.

Chris: Shelly.

Charles: She what?

Chris: Shatha.

Charles: Shelly. Gotcha. Shisha. All

Chris: Right. She's a little bit of a tongue twister of a name.

Charles: Yeah. Like Sally. Sally sell sea shells by the seashore.

Chris: Right. But that's not a name, that's a phrase. Anyway,

Charles: Shisha. Sheely could be a phrase. Could be Sha shisha. Sheely sells seashells by

Chris: The seashell. That's even harder. It's a pretty name though. Yeah. So Sheely was a troubled and vulnerable woman. She lived alone. She was not employed. She'd had some trouble with the

Charles: Loblaws. Who hasn't Who hasn't.

Chris: Yeah. She wasn't considered a habitual offender. She was 28 in September of 2012. Sheely was going to stop by her mother's house. Her mother's name is Kim to borrow some money, but she never showed up. This wasn't unusual for Sheely, but three months later when Sheely's brother was shot to death, how sad. Sheely didn't show up to his funeral. And that's when Kim became really worried and look and reported her

Charles: Daughter missing. This is like East Cleveland. This is, this is legit. I mean, her brother's dying. Yeah.

Chris: And we gotta get some less squeaky chairs in here too.

Charles: I like my chair. I got, I I can't afford a new one. I'm good. Okay, carry on.

Chris: So, Sheda Helen Terry, she was only 18. She was last seen leaving her summer job at a Cleveland Elementary school. How? That's very wholesome. Her

Charles: Grand. Yeah, it is.

Chris: Her grandmother said of her, she was a good girl. She was a hugger. We used to tease her that we were gonna put her on a hug diet. Oh

Charles: Damn.

Chris: I know. Her family put up missing posters and handed out flyers. She was last seen on July 10th, 2013. She had met Madison at some point and be had begun texting with him. He told her that he was 25 years old and had no children, when in reality he was 35 and had two children.

Charles: This is like honest Tinder talk. Yeah. Okay. I'm not married. I, I'm 10 years younger than I am and you know,

Chris: I have no kids. Yeah, right. Yeah. The

Charles: Last text, wait, the dude's got ki big Mike's got kids. Yeah.

Chris: Big Mike has two kids.

Charles: That's bad.

Chris: The last text exchange between the two was Madison asking Terry if she was on her way to him and she replied, yes, I'm Claire now. Claire being a street name. All

Charles: Right. Life lesson. Don't trust people on Tinder. I don't know,

Chris: I That's probably not a bad,

Charles: You know, like random people looking to hook up.

Chris: Just saying, just verify. Just verify.

Charles: Verify. Yeah. Again, I'm back to that like how can you, like I would, how could this has stopped along the

Chris: Way. On July 19th, 2013, Madison was arre arrested and questioned for several days. On July 21st, he had a four page confession written for authorities in it. He admitted that he had choked a woman to death in October of 2012. This was likely Tisha Sheely. He just left her in his apartment while he went out for a few drinks. Cuz that's casual.

Charles: Who doesn't do that.

Chris: Yeah. And after that, he, and these are his words, quote unquote folded her

Charles: Up with a Did he, did he stay like with Stension cords?

Chris: No, he just said folded her up.

Charles: No, he was like, he said stuff. He said stuff. He, he, I folded her up. I, I went out drinking and I folded that bitch up when he said disturbing things. He did,

Chris: He did. He literally said folded her up,

Charles: Man. Okay. I mean, not then that's not okay. That's

Chris: No it's not. There's nothing

Charles: Messed up that this is not Yeah, that's not okay.

Chris: Then he put her in some trash bags and moved her to the garage. Eventually he moved her behind the garage. He said he didn't recall killing Terry or Deskin Dekin.

Charles: I call, I call Cap on that shit.

Chris: I know, but that he did remember inviting Terry over and said that he was really drunk and high and remembers waking up next to a dead body.

Charles: Who doesn't act like,

Chris: Who doesn't? That's normal.

Charles: That's my life. Call the cops. I get really drunk and high and, oh no, I don't remember waking up to dead bodies. Okay. Right. Anybody listening? Okay. Have you ever

Chris: Woken up next to a dead body? Right. No. No. I can't say that. I have

Charles: Drinking very high. Fine. These things happen in life occasionally, maybe once, once in a while.

Chris: No dead bodies.

Charles: No. It's like normal. Not normal.

Chris: Definitely not normal. Damn. I know. Anyway, at that point, he did the same thing that he had done before and folded her up and put her in trash bags.

Charles: Folded her up. I folded

Chris: Her up in a search of Madison's apartment. Police found quite a bit of physical evidence, including bloodstains, a matching pillow case to the sheet that Terry was wrapped in, as well as a few personal effects from his victims. All in all, on May 5th, 2016, Michael Madison was found guilty in all three murders. Probably cuz he confessed because

Charles: He did it because he did it because he is not healthy.

Chris: No he's

Charles: Not. Because his mom, the prostitute,

Chris: The sex worker

Charles: And

Chris: Prostitute beat him with cords.

Charles: Yeah, yeah. Because she was not, not a good mom.

Chris: No, no. He was sentenced to death on May 20th

Charles: And that Baldwin dude could have stepped up. All right.

Chris: Moving on. Well, yeah, he could have, but he didn't have, he denied. He should've. He was even his kid should've. Yeah, he should've, should've would've, could have. Yeah. So during his sentencing, he smiled as he listened to the tearful victim impact statement from C'S

Charles: Father. That's a dick move, by the way. Yeah,

Chris: Well, Shea's father got pissed. He launched across the courtroom.

Charles: Yeah, right. I I go. Yep. Oh, I don't know what's that guy's name? I don't know. I'm gonna call him like, good job. Like good job man. Yeah.

Chris: Honestly, give that man five minutes in a room with, with that Madison dude. Well,

Charles: Yeah, sure. Yeah. I mean that's like the Yeah, but like, so

Chris: He, well he, he launched across the room with his hands reaching for Madison's neck cuz good on him.

Charles: Couldn't the cops just been like, oh, I'll respond in a like a minute, a

Chris: Minute or two. Yeah, no, he was quickly restrained.

Charles: No, they do their job. They did you know the core people?

Chris: Yeah. On Friday. Oh no. So sorry. Finally on July 22nd, 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court partially reversed portions of Madison's guilty verdicts, but upheld the death sentence for Madison in all three deaths. He's currently on death row at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility awaiting his execution.

Charles: Death row.

Chris: Yeah. And so his family was just sort of destined for tragedy cuz that's not the end of tragedy for Destiny.

Charles: No. It's kind of a broken family. Like it was.

Chris: Yeah. You So his mother was actually killed by her 18 year old grandson. Jalen Plum.

Charles: Is that, is that like Big Mike's kid?

Chris: No, it's a

Charles: Different kid. Yeah. So

Chris: What, what He had a half brother.

Charles: Oh, half brother's kid killed, killed grandma. The prostitute.

Chris: His name was Jalen Plumer. And that happened in June of 2019

Charles: Probably. Cuz she did not nice shit to him.

Chris: Yeah, well he stabbed, you know

Charles: What? He stabbed? She wasn't a nice person.

Chris: No. He stabbed her to

Charles: Death. Probably not Okay either.

Chris: Well, no, but it's awful. So he also stabbed his brother who was 12. Whoa. His sister who was 10. All and his cousin who was

Charles: 10. You know what, Jaylen not cool either, dude. No.

Chris: They were all staying, you know, with Madison's mother. Mm. The children were asleep at the time of the attack. Now fortunately the children all survived.

Charles: All right. That is all right. Yeah. Like I hope, I hope they're okay and you know,

Chris: I hope so too cuz the whole thing is just a tragedy.

Charles: Actually. I hope Jay, I don't know there's something going on there. I hope that's all okay too.

Chris: Yeah. So obviously I'll post our sources in the show notes and there are pictures of I of Sheda, shisha and Angela. There's a picture of the house and I've got two.

Charles: The house is not a Chris:tmas story

Chris: House. It's not. Definitely not.

Charles: I'm just putting that

Chris: Out there. And I've got two pictures of Terry's father in the courtroom.

Charles: A much respect for Terry's father in

Chris: This launching, launching his hands and doing his Madison's neck. Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

Charles: No, seriously.

Chris: So he wouldn't do that. Yep. That's the very sad story of Michael Madison and his three victims. You

Charles: Know, it's, this is Cleveland, Ohio and like Cleveland. I like Cleveland. I like, I like a lot of things about Cleveland. I don't even, I wouldn't even waste everybody's time about Cleveland and why I like it. But like Charles: Manson is from Cleveland and everyone knows about Charles: Manson. Everybody knows about that Crazy, crazy mofo right? Like a crazy He was a dick. Like

Chris: A sick bastard.

Charles: Sick bastard. Yeah. Thank you. I needed words cuz there's a lot of words, but no one has heard about Big Mike.

Chris: Well, I think some true crime enthusiasts would've, but a lot of people maybe who are just starting out in true crime or

Charles: Mike, what is his name? Mike. Michael

Chris: Madison.

Charles: Mike Madison. Not related to Billy Madison.

Chris: No. Billy Madison's a fictional

Charles: Character in my mind. He's real.

Chris: Okay. I mean, you know, it's a fun

Charles: Movie. I like Billy and you know what? But I can't help to think like, why, why doesn't anyone know about Mike? And I think it's, you know, I don't know why, why is

Chris: That? I don't know. I think white serial killers are more popular for people to study black.

Charles: Right? Like Charles: Manson was like, like this.

Chris: He's so

Charles: Creepy. Yeah, he's crazy. But he's got these like, I don't know. He is in some ways, like, I feel like the media's like Charles: Manson. We're gonna talk about him. Cause I do, I feel that way. Like Charles: Manson's, this dude who's white and then Big Mike's, this dude who's black, both from Cleveland, but like, yeah. So there like no one's heard of Mike. I'm, I hope everyone learns something about Mike and don't fuck around with Stension cords when you have kids.

Chris: There's one pretty fairly

Charles: Right lessons

Chris: Well-known Black serial Killers name's Craig Price. I, I, I think we should cover,

Charles: I call him the pricer.

Chris: The pricer. We should cover him at one point. Yeah.

Charles: Pricer. Yeah, the pricer. We will someday. We'll, we'll cover him. But this is, this isn't about him, isn't it? The pricer? Or this isn't about Manson.

Chris: Oh, big Mike

Charles: Again, I'm

Chris: Gonna say

Charles: Goodbye to Big Mike. All D bags, big Mike, you know what, we're gonna drop the mic on that.

Chris: And that's it for episode three, cowards Fury. And we'll see you next time. Bye.


Episode 2: Snook Hook (part 2 of 2)

 Hi everybody and welcome back to Cowards Fury. This is Chris. I'm here with Charles, and we're about to start part two of the Snook Hook episode. Just to give you a quick reminder of where we are, James Snook has just been taken to police headquarters for questioning, and his car has been impounded and his wife is about to get a little surprise.

Join us now for part two. Let's get into it. Also not known to snook his wife Helen.  was served with a search warrant. Hell yeah. Well, at least they used a warrant for something. It was legit. Part of respectful. Yeah. As part of their efforts, police collected ashes from the furnace. It was a warm day. Why were they burning things like, okay.

I guess, uh, it's like 1909. He burned shit all the time. I guess that's just normal. Two suits that had recently been cleaned. A stained shirt, a stained fedora, a pocket knife with a smudge. We were all collected. They also obtained a pair of men's gloves. Fedora? Yeah, a fedora. Like legit fedora, because like blood had to have gone everywhere.

I mean, there was a lot of blood, but they also got a pair. I think he have used a snow hook rather than a hammer. That would've been poetic. Lee. Awesome. Not awesome. Somebody died. Okay. That's bad. I mean, for this it would've been really metal. Yes. Yeah. So they also took a pair of men's gloves, hairpins, and a light.

hair strands, a bapen hammer and a woman's umbrella from Snooks car. Like, dude, you have to clearly be smart. Why wouldn't you get rid of all of that shit? Like, get it outta your car. I'll tell you. Do you want, you wanna know the answer? You, you asked me a question, so I'm gonna give you an answer. He only had the half Nelson.

Mm-hmm. . There you go. If he had the full Nelson, that hammer would've been gone. Yep. That I knew that was coming back. What the half Nelson? Half Nelson.  and then there's a Nelson guy. There's things happening in this story  that I didn't even see until now. At the same time, Myers was also questioned. Who's Myers?

The boy, ex-boyfriend, ex-fiance. Uh, poor bastard. He's just trying to grow corn, right? Yeah. Yeah. The corn. Can you just call him corn guy? Yeah. Okay. For now, I'm just call him. During questioning, Snook stated that he knew both Hicks and corn guy. He said Hicks was going to work on some typing for him, and he'd taken her on a car ride to explain the details of the project, cuz that's how you explain the details of a typing project.

on a car ride. Yeah. That's what I do. Mm-hmm. , I mean, that's what I would, that's, yeah. What I know Snook cleaned the typing project. Yeah, the typing project. Snook claimed that on the night of the murder, he was working in his office at the veterinary clinic at osu. And that the night Watchman could confirm that.

Yeah, man. He was shooting birds. Yeah. He said that he then went to the Sci Country Club to retrieve a pair of shooting glasses. See, that's what I thought. Sci Country Club. It it, yes, it made it into the story, but that. Oh, anyway, that's not where they, doesn't matter. It doesn't, he, that's not where he shot the LA hit the lady in the face.

Right. Okay. So he had to get a pair of shooting glasses that he left there and he returned home by nine 30. Which, uh, his wife would confirm that she saw him eating a sandwich at nine 30. She had gotten up from bed to close a window in the kitchen due to rain, which is why she saw him. Police held both men snook and corny without specific charges or bond.

They were leaning towards corn, guy being the culprit. Um, and both men at that point. That's So, wait, lawyered up, like. Jimmy Snook. The Snook Snook hook. Yep. He's like, uh, all worried about eating. His wife's like, yeah, he ate a sandwich at nine 30. He likes his meal. She, she confirmed that he ate a sandwich.

Yeah, he likes there, you guys, but that damn. So in the meantime, still would a cla alibi while these two guys are being held without. Charges or bond. Um, other people came forward with information, uh, because of what they'd seen in the paper. Mrs. Margaret m Smalley was one of those people. She rented out rooms in her three-story br brick rooming house on Hubbard Avenue.

That sounds like the ghetto right now. Sorry if anyone's listening on Hubbard, but it sounds like, uh, legit. Yeah. I, I don't know if I'd probably hang out at Hubbard. I think Hubbard was a little different back in the early 19 hundreds. I don't know. Someone's writing out three, three stories of brick roommate.

That's what they. , they rent. That's what they did in the NI early 19 hundreds. Back in  back in February, she had rented a room to Snook for $4 a week. Cash only he had told her It is for my wife and me. Both of us demonstrate salt. Both of us had to read that like twice. Both of us demonstrate salts and will not be in the room much.

I don't know what that means. I think that means they like sold salts. . I'm not into bath salts. I don't know if that's what that was. Demonstrating salt. You know what? I like sea salt. All right. This snook, dude, I'm just gonna say it. He's fucking weird. I mean, at the end of the day, this is, this is just getting better and better, but the dude is, I sell salts.

See, this is why you can't tell weird lies. Like you gotta stick as close to the truth as possible. Anyway, so Smalley the room renter lady, okay. Said that she didn't see much of the couple.  and, um, only had one short moment with quote unquote Mrs. Snook, which who she later identified actually as Thera Police brought Molly to the jail where Snook was being held.

She said hello to him. He responded back. At that point, Snook admitted to the police that he rented the room to rendezvous with Theora. The papers dubbed it, the quote unquote, love Nest. What do I love Nest, love nest. What I. It was, it was an illicit affair. Okay. All right. Okay. Oh, I was, you were working up this, it's like this hot affair that's going on.

Yes, yes. But hold on. How old is this guy? And how old's this la Like, this is just like a kid, right? She's like, what? She's like 22, 20. Yeah. And this dude's like 40. Yeah. At least. Mrs. Frida Brown also contacted the police. Dirty old bastard. I know. Yeah. She told them, she got a quote unquote rush clean order from Snook, and they discovered what looked like bloodstains on the lining of both the jacket and the pants that they took.

You were the suits they took from the Snook house. The suit was turned over to police for a closer look of course, after it was already cleaned. Another man, Charles Lane came forward. He was the night watchman at the Y W C A on South fourth Street. Theora had stayed there for a time. He remembered Snook, um, as the man who would often drop Thera off between midnight and 2:00 AM.

Theora had asked him to keep quiet about her late hours and Snook tipped him 25 cents for his discretion. That's where it's at. Yeah. You go, you know, you tip Lang 25 cents. You gotta tip the people who are keeping your secrets. That's right. 25 cents. Mm-hmm. . Police began to see that their original assertion of the corn guy might be wrong.

Damn right. Right. It was looking more likes. That's Myers, right, is their man. Yep. Meyers is the corn guy. That corn guy, it was looking more like Snook was their man. Only he knew both Thera and where the outdoor shooting range was and corn guy did not. Uh, they took Snook out to the firing range for a closer.

By Monday afternoon, the president of the Ohio State University, Dr. George w w Reitmeyer, dismissed Snook from the faculty for lack of moral judgment. That dude's solid man. Yeah, that would never happen today. Well, no. They'd be like, ah, it's okay. Right.  Wright Myer wrote to Dr. And Mrs. Hicks quote, no employee of the university will be shielded for one moment when facts showing his moral delinquency are established.

Yeah, listen up. Ohio State people in charge. Maybe you should think about what Wright Myer used to do. There you go. You know, and not like people do bad shit. They do. Detectives took Snook to his former office to clean it out and collect potential evidence there. They found the. The Art of Love, which Snook purchased because Theor wanted him to it.

Uh, it was a scandalous read even during the, you know, roaring twenties with talk of orgasms, titillating, the breasts, et cetera. They also found titillating, the breasts . Yes. Yes. Okay. I gotta find this book. I'm sorry. Their sales just went up. Buy one this year, , cause I'm gonna purchase it. . They also found obscene poetry and other erotic literature, as well as a love letter from another woman with whom he'd had an affair.

Imagine what these, uh, so creeps would've done with the internet back then. Snook was a man about the town. The Eroica add additional items of Eroica were found in his country club. Are you reading my script? No, I, I, I thought that was in the book. No. Wow. Did you. Veronica d. During this time, police wanted to be sure that that corn guy was not their man.

They took the corn Boer expert to the funeral home to view Tiara's body at midnight cuz that's appropriate. When the man became visibly upset by what he saw, police and the psychiatrist that accompanied them were convinced he was not the murderer. A day later he was released. Now that is some. Find police work.

Wow. Seriously, I got nothing. I know it's cpd, getting it done. So on Tuesday, Mrs. Snook was interviewed for almost five hours. They grilled the woman. She became so upset that she fainted after some time. Helen revised her original story, which had supported what her husband had told police. It turned out that it was more like 10:00 PM when Helen heard the screen door slam.

She assumed was her husband. The rest was true. She came down to close the kitchen window and saw her husband quietly eating a sandwich. See the sandwich is back. Nice sandwich is back. She maintained that. She knew nothing of her husband's. , but a former border of theirs. Dwight Palmer told police that he had heard the Snooks arguing about a divorce back in April, two months before the murder reporters were eating.

Snooks tails up, though the way he ate his sandwich. Yep. Mm-hmm. . Dr. Snook told them that Theora liked to go on car rides. He'd said that he warned her against taking rides with strangers, but perhaps despite his warnings, she'd accepted a ride and been killed by. Chic motorist, you know, there it is. Snook.

He was trying to look out for what is a chic motorist, well, the kind that kills her with a hammer and snook hook, or whatever he did. Well, let's find out. He told the press that his relationship with theor was quote a damn fool. Silly love affair. A damn fool. Yeah, silly love affair. But that there had been no, there had not been talk of marriage.

He said theor would not marry him under any circumstances. Imagine that. Hmm. Then the autopsy include,  as Snook was enjoying his time in the limelight, the aura had died from a hemorrhage that happened after her throat was cut. She was also beaten on the head 17 times. And finally after 22 hours of questioning, only two or three, but 17.

Yep. You know, here's the thing though. Snook may have hit her 17 times, but it only took Murphy like 17 seconds to pop that nose right back into place. Oh, yes. You're really obsessed with the whole nose. , I'm, it's, it's in my mind very graphic. Yeah, that's very graphic. I'm, but so is beating in the face 17 times?

Yes. Yeah. I don't know if I'm obsessed with it. It's um, who writes that? Who reads that? You read that? Well, I mean, it's just fact. Facts. Facts. Okay. So, uh, after about 22 hours of questioning, um, I, I wonder how many sandwiches he ate during that though. I don't know. Like, he was like, can I just have another sandwich?

Well, they must have fed him well enough cuz he did. . Oh yeah. They kept feeding him or they didn't feed him? No, no. You know, they ply people. It's a good cop, bad cop. Like, I'll give you a sandwich here. Now tell me the truth. Did Murphy have a warrant and after 22 hours, that's gotta be exhausting, but that's not the end of the drama.

Okay? Okay. Okay. Snooks attorneys would have him, psych, uh, psychiatrically examined. In fact, no less than. . Eight psych psychiatric doctors would examine snook snooks lawyers, contended that his confession had been coerced. After 22 hours straight of interviewing, the police had hurled insults and curse words at him.

Oh, not curse words. They hurled curse words. Words, curse words at him. They had even punched him in the face. She bastard. Right. Exactly what they said. They punched him in the, jeez. Busted. So they, uh, the defense would try to show the court that there had not really been a confession, given the circumstances that they could not use the coerced confession in a court of.

So off to trial, they went, the murder Arrestin trial would make this crime a national sensation. People would wait for hours just to get a seat in the courtroom, even just for jury selection in like 90 degree heat. Wait, wait, is that cuz they didn't have air conditioning? No air conditioning? No, no, no.

Damn. Yeah. I'm glad I wasn't alive then. You know what? I'm just gonna say right now, I like air conditioning. I do too. Okay. Defense attorneys received death threats. Helen. Yeah, it's awful. So Helen Snook would.  inundated with strangers and questions at her door. The general public was enthralled with the scintillating details of the affair between snook and hicks and the subsequent murder.

All through the trial, snook would remain cool, calm, and like detached at one point. Right? Because he shot birds for fun. Yep. Like the, because he's a killer. Yeah, he's, he was detached cuz he didn't give a shit at one point. He suffered some kind of malady. Um.  and the, uh, the court ordered a spinal tap to check for syphilis.

I wonder why. Well, cuz that can enter your, enter, alter your mental space because, because he had syphilis. Cuz his, you know, he felt neurologically worse after that. Imagine that. And after a spinal tap hoo. And the physician told the court that he needed to be reclined like in a chair. So they brought , they brought him in like a really like garish beach chair on which to.

And it had this side effect of like lowering him to the point where all the people who were trying to look at him couldn't even see anything except like the top of his balding house. So he was like bald. He's this old bald guy with round glasses. Yeah. Yeah. Prosecutors and defense attorneys would fight and yell at each other, like, children look, people literally hit.

That's so different than now. I know people literally hitchhiked from other states to try to get a seat in the courtroom. This is the best part. People would say they were going to. To go snook when trying to get a seat in the courtroom. Yeah. I'm going Snook. Hey. Hey. What are you, what are you doing this weekend?

Ooking? Are you going? Snook, . I'm going snook, but it wouldn't be this weekend. Titillating tits. What was that like? Titillating. Like titillating breasts. I'm God. He remembered that. I, I just wanted to hear you say that. Thank you. . Titillating breasts. I'm going Snook to learn about titillating breasts. This is a lot.

This is a lot. This is. During the, okay. Okay, so during the trial, Snook was called to testify on his own behalf. Lemme just say, this guy's a faculty member at the Ohio State University. He, he has, he's, he's, he's, he's a veterinarian, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . He's a patented castration type device thing?

Well, no, it's for female cats and dogs, so it'd be a spay. Okay. It does stuff not Okay. So during the trial, Snook was called to testify. Snook Point painted a picture of Hicks that was less than flattering. Of course, he made her out to be a controlling and violent woman. Yeah, God. Explaining how one time she had hit him so hard in his ps.

Nay. Do you know what that is? What What? No, what does that even mean? So A is the little single eyeglass that like, The dude had a single eyeglass. Yeah, he was like the Planter's Peanut guy. Yes. That's what a PNA is. Damn. Anyway, his p who? The dude's a bald planter's peanut guy. Yeah. His pk. And maybe I'm not saying that right.

So if I'm not, forgive me, but I flew across the room. Damn. He told the court, uh, gosh, crazy of the love of the quote unquote love nest, that he and Hicks would hook up two or three times a weekend. Snook said that she also dated, um, Marion Myers. That was the. Corn guy and that he and Myers were acquainted.

But that Hicks stopped seeing Myers when he became engaged to another woman. Snook turned into a real kiss and tell kind of guy. He told the court about her performing fellatio on him, which at the time was considered to be, um, a quote unquote unnatural sexual act. What year is this? Like 19 now? This is 19.

1920s. 20, yeah. 30, 19, 29. No one did that then. It's unnatural, dude. Everybody gave everybody fellatio. They just didn't talk about it. That's why it was considered unnatural. I hope E everybody gave everybody No, dude, everybody that gave everybody Felicio. I mean, they were doing Felicio men on guy Out guy back in Socrates time.

Oh, you're going back there? Yeah. Yeah, that's, I can't do that right now. Okay. We're in the twenties, right? Right. 1920s. Let's, let's stick with that, but the real jaw dropper came when the prosecuting attorney, John j Chester, Jr. As Snook, John j John j Chester Jr. It's a little Jay's. This is kind of hard to say.

Yeah. As Snook, did you ever perform a vasectomy? So it was such a new concept that the attorney didn't even know the word. What he meant to ask was, did you ever perform a vasectomy? To which Snook answered, what a dumb ass Chester. Yes. Did you ever perform a bi ectomy? It's a vasectomy. And he answered, yes.

Oh, Jesus. That's normal. Oh, wait, wait, wait. Better? Did he use a snook hook? Wait. Upon so pushing the line of questioning, the prosecutor replied upon yourself, and Snook answered, yes, sir. So I'm gonna let that sink. He performed a vasectomy on himself. That's right. Snow Snook said that he did so because he had one testicle that was smaller than the other and it would rub on his trousers causing pain.

And since a vasectomy could cause testicular shrinkage, he hoped it would make the small ball even smaller. We're leaving the irritation. All right. You don't even have to be a guy to get this. Hold on. Who wants their balls to be smaller? I cut my own balls. Because they rubbed and I wanted the other one.

Wait, wait. I cut my own ball out cuz I wanted to the other one to get smaller. It doesn't make a lot of sense. Wow. What and who does it? Wait, he cut his own. Wait. Yes. Seriously guys. Seriously. Wow. So, but, but in his legs, he had his own vasectomy. Yes. But yes. Okay. But in his letters to his, did he have that little, that little eyeglass thing in?

Like, you know, he's like, he's like squinting with little eyeglass. I don't, can you even bend that way? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. What did he use mirrors? He was in that plumb hall. Seriously? That's right. By the College of Veterinary Medicine too. It's interesting. Hmm. He knew about Plum Hall.

I'm sure he did in his letters to Hicks later read to the court, he seemed to have performed the act mostly to prevent Hicks from becoming pregnant. Oh. Who do you think, uh, Snook continued to describe what happened the day Thera Hicks's murder? He said he and Hicks were looking for a spot to get cozy.

She liked to experiment and sometimes liked things a little rough. They, Hey, bdsm, whatever. It's all good. Live your best life. Yeah, maybe. Mm. They went to the shooting range because it was rather secluded and at 8:00 PM at night, no one would be around. They stopped his dark blue coop and got a little amorous.

They tried to do it in the car, but it was so cramped that Snook, um, said it didn't satisfy him. He couldn't come to an orgasm. Um, although he believed that she did, cuz that matters. This story, the prosecutor went into excruciating detail about the act, cuz who wouldn't, uh, where were Hicks' leg was, SNS Snooks, left foot in the car and the right foot out of the car, et cetera, et cetera.

Snook said that when they were done, Hicks wouldn't let him drive off. She told him that she, or that he was not going to see his mother that weekend of Father's Day. Weekends were his time with her and that he, uh, he would not be allowed to go. They had these types of arguments before on various occasions where Snook could not meet his obligations to satisfy Hick's desire to have him when she wanted him.

But this time Snook said she threatened his wife, his little daughter, and him. A while back, Snook had given Hicks a 48 Derringer pistol for protection and she often kept the gun with her in her purse. And Sno Snook of course, would know that after they argued about the weekend, Hicks reached over Snook and, um, unbuttoning his trousers, his pants, cuz they didn't have zippers at the time.

They had buttons so long ago, they didn't even have zippers. No zippers weren't vented. Uh, Nice. Nope. This was a really long time ago. Everybody. Yeah. And she started having oral sex with him. He said it was painful because he was flacid. It's so hard. It's so painful. She was rough and well, he What a baby.

He wasn't hard and grabbing his testicles, so I mean, wait, what? So hard that he lost his breath. Okay. So how is it that she can grab his testicles so hard that he loses his breath, but he can give himself a partial vasectomy without having any. You know it's a lie. There's not testicles. It's testicle. No, there's, he didn't snip off his testicle.

They said he took one out. No. Well, something's amiss. That's not a va what a vasectomy is. That's true. Well, itk to nothing. No, it didn't shrink nothing. Anyway, she started biting him and pinching and grabbing. That would hurt if that's true. He said, uh, it hurt terribly and tried to get her off of him. He said he tried to choke her, but given the angle he couldn't, so he pulled her head in close to him rather than pulling away to try to relieve the pain.

He demanded that she stopped, but she wouldn't, so he grabbed a ball pee.  and, um, that had been in the backseat in his toolbox, and he hit her with it, forcing her to let go. She screamed, damn you, I'm going to kill you now. Um, that sounds not right. Reaching for her purse. Uh, she, uh, snook hit her again. She slid out of the car and hit.

Her head hit the running board and maybe the door snook hit her repeatedly during the struggle. Snook claimed he couldn't remember what happened next because his scrotum hurt so badly and he had bruises on his arms and leg from the scuffle. He claims he called out to her, but she didn't move or respond.

He got scared and drove away. He stopped to get his nightly paper at nine 30. He just murdered a woman with extreme violence.  and stopped to get his paper at nine 30. She was biting. God, didn't you? Didn't you read that? Yeah. Well then he also, and you know what I'll also note, he got a sandwich. He picked up, the dude liked the sandwiches.

He picked up his items to make his sandwich. He went home, he ate the sandwich and then he went dead. He had subways then. That dude would've so many rewards. He said he did not remember Slitting, theor, Hicks's throat. No, cuz he had a sandwich. I. But Snook did not deny killing Theora Hicks. Rather, he said it was self-defense.

He was scared that she was going to kill his wife and daughter and then him, uh, the, with the very gun that he had given her. He only ever denied murdering her, knowing that at the time a first degree murder conviction was going to send him to the electric chair. Old Sparky Ohio's, uh, he used to be called Old Sparky.

Many others testified in his trial, several painted snook, as always calm, seemed like he enjoyed the interrogation from the police and prosecutors. He, he had no friends cause he killed them all. Remember from the beginning, I remember was the only person he killed. He had nofo. Oh, please. He had no foe. I didn't write it.

No foes. He had no foes mofo. That means he killed all his foes. No, he didn't. And the night riders, the dude was nuts. Other people stated that Snook was an affable and peaceable man. Quite likable. Yeah. He killed birds too. Bird lovers. Hello. The love letters between Snook and Hicks certainly made Snook look to be very controlling.

Smith Cook. Look possessive. I, yes. This dude's in hell right now cuz he is a sick bastard. You know what's. Big Bird is haunting the shit out of him right now in hell. Why Big bird? Because he shot a lot of birds. Oh, the beak, the bird, the nose. Yeah. I get you. Things are happening. Big bird In the end, closing arguments went on for hours.

One of the jurors was stricken ill, and an alternate had to come in the prosecution pointing and saying to Snook.  of Hicks. If she was a sex pervert. You made her that? Yeah. Wow. Yeah, man, they, uh, they play acted the scuffle between Snook and Hicks. Oh my gosh. I, that had to be, I, I mean, how can you even actually take it seriously when they were playacting, that's why you went snuck because there was nothing else to do.

Ridiculous. Right. They're bored. How could that drama, sorry, so they play, acted in? Yeah, the scuffle between Snook and. Starting with the prosecutor on his knees. So Snook could demonstrate how he had twisted Hicks's arm and how she slid out of the coop. Right? Because it was only clue, you imagine being the prosecutor, having to pretend you're the Aura Hicks after sex.

Wow, that's great. Prosecutors demonstrated the murder itself, finishing with one of them lying face down on the floor as. , uh, his as it was the Hicks' dead body. Throughout the trial, multiple people would faint from the heat and humidity and being cramped into a room with over 200 people. High drama all the way to the end.

Ultimately, there were 2,700 or 49 pages of testimony, 94 witnesses and exhibits, including Thor's clothing, the hammer, a pistol, the pocket knife, et cetera. It was a lot for the jury to take in as they began deliberations. On August 14th, Helen Snooks stood by her husband, can't figure that one out the entire time, as did Snooks.

In the deliberation room, the jury prayed for 16 minutes, quote unquote, deliberated for 12 minutes, then took an initial paper ballot. They had a verdict. It was recorded as the second fastest verdict in Franklin County. Ohio's history with the guilty verdict of Stanley Forbes, a gun slinger who killed a police officer.

Coming in at a shorter time, the courtroom erupt. Guilty of first degree murder. No mercy. No mercy. No mercy. No mercy. Nope. That meant the death penalty. The old Sparky. Mm-hmm. , Snook. Snook took up residence on death row. 6 0 5, 6 6. No, no, no, no, no. What hit at the Ohio Penitentiary as number six? 0 656. Six zero.

6 56 folks. Yep, that's right. The prison was actually in downtown.  what is now known as the Arena District. There was like a guard tower up there. It's super cool, but now it's just like a, just there. On April 21st, 1930, the biggest prison fire in US history broke out in the Ohio penitentiary. 322 inmates were killed.

But death by prison fire would not be Snooks fate. He made it. He did. All his appeals were exhausted, including up to the Supreme Court. Mrs. Snook even appealed to the governor for, uh, executive clemency. No such gift would be given, right? I'll tell you why. Cause the Ohio State p. He like. He was like, get the hell outta here.

Exactly. And the governor's like, yeah, yeah, no, like that doesn't happen. Now there's all like, oh, it didn't happen. I know. Well, people knew how the board of trustees got appointed. They know that it's the governor that appoints them. Mm-hmm. . On February 28th, 1930, James Howard Sno was put to death by Old Sparky for the murder of Theor.

Kathleen Hicks, 260 days after her. It's like record fast compared to the way things are now today. I know, right? Yeah. Today takes years, right? He's buried in Green Lawn Cemetery with a simple gravestone that reads James Howard Seattle had like slipping Jimmy. Well, they do that because they wanna avoid, um, Jimmy Vandalism.

He and Helen's grave sites by request of the family remained a heavily guarded secret until 2005. That's a long time, but of course that's not quite the end. Snook spent time talking to the warden quite a bit. He would go on to tell the warden whom he swore to secrecy until either his case changed, his fate, or he died, that his entire defense was a lie.

First, he said that Helen knew about the affair. Hicks would often call the house demanding to speak to Snook. She simply accepted it because his sexual proclivity was different from hers. It was just his way. Also, he admitted that Theora had not attacked him or threatened him on the night of the murder as he'd.

He said that over time her behavior became sporadic, demanding, and violent. He had an ever harder time calming her down when she raged, and he wouldn't dare leave her until she was back in a good place. She would threaten to expose their affair, ruining him personally and professionally. He had made his mind up to kill her well before performing the act, including how he would do it.

On the night of the murder. Hicks told Snook she didn't want to go to the love nest. She wanted to be outdoors. That sealed. That gave Snook the opportunity to take her to the shooting range and kill her. He beat her with a hammer after slitting her throat, attempting to make the killing look frenzied and like a mad man had done it.

He said he felt relief, I think. I think I just, I think a mad man did do it. Oh yes, because you know he's not normal. Nope. He said he felt relief when the deed was done, that it was over, and he need not worry about it anymore. Snook said that he was surprised when the police wanted to talk to him. He felt that he'd done a pretty good job covering his tracks.

What? Yep. He, he left a hammer in his car. Oh. This is the best part. It's like shit like, like all his close love blood on them. Yeah. Like he did a great job. Yeah. This is the best part. He already did. He ate his sandwich. That's the only thing he did. The his, he thought that his status as a professor would help him look like he could never do.

Of, of that ilk. Right. Cuz professors never do bad things. Yep. Right after Snooks Steph, right? No. Yeah, they do. Yeah. Yeah. His widow changed her name back to her Mar her maiden name Marble, as well as changing her daughter's last name. I wonder why. Yeah. They lived in a relatively quiet and happy life, um, and in the same 10th Avenue home where they had lived with Snook.

So she never moved out. Hmm. Helen passed away October 11th, 1978. She was old, she was 80. . Wow. Yeah. Helen. And that is the story. Helen Snook of the Snook Cook. The Snook cook. The Snook Cook. Mm-hmm. . Yep. And we'll post all of, um, our sources. What is sick? Ba so, so Slip And Jimmy here. Mm-hmm. . He, he shoots all day long.

He has no foe. No foe. He develops this castration type device thing. Mm. It's not castration fine, whatever. He, this, this thing that does anatomy things to, to animals and it's still used today. Normal. It's still used today. And then he does his ve Vasst Mizes himself. Yep. I don't think Vasst mizes is a word.

It is now. Okay. Wow. Mm-hmm.  Wild Ride a and he was, he was, he was in the Olympics, right? He was, yes. An Olympic gold medal winner. Yeah. Hmm. He did not have your typical like killer background. I gotta tell you, there's a real opportunity that was. Is he totally, you know, what was around, you know, it was around back then, white Castle.

The dude ate sandwiches. He could, I don't think White Castle. White Castle started in Columbus, Ohio. Yeah, but I don't think it started in the 1920s. I'm thinking it did. You know what? Here's the deal. Let's just, we're gonna, we're checking that right now. Oh my God. You're right. See, I'm fucking right. I'm right.

1921 in Wichita Hand. Yeah. I came to Columbus, Ohio real quick. Don't even go there. I know about this. Wichita, the world headquarters is here in Columbus, Ohio. Wichita hand, Billy Ingram started it. I know this. So listen, Columbus, Ohio Snook could have been the sandwich guy for White Castle. He really fucked.

that, and he did not Nice things to like, you know, young girls. A yeah, yeah. Young. What a jerk. What a jerk. Yeah. What a jerk. Is that the right way to end this? Absolutely. All right. All right. Well, thanks for joining us for part two in the ending of James Snook and the Snook Hook. We'll see you next time.

Episode 1: Snook Hook (part 1 of 2)

 Welcome to Cowards Fury. I'm Chris. And I'm Charles. And this is our inaugural episode. Lucky You and Lucky us. This is a True Crime podcast for anyone who well likes True Crime. So we're gonna get into it. Just note, like any other podcast, ours will get better over time. Sometimes the sound quality might not be awesome.

Sometimes the commentary might not be awesome, but we're gonna get. And you're gonna be awesome with us. Thanks for joining. This first episode is actually gonna be a two-parter. Normally we won't do that. They'll normally just be one, but today, just roll with it. Today's subject is an Olympic athlete and college professor who is now buried in a partially anonymous grave site.

Today we're focusing on James Howard Snook. So James Howard Snook was born September 17th, 1879 in West Lebanon, Ohio, to a family,  that's of well off farmers. He's the only son of Albert, Albert l and Mary Keever Snook. He had a younger sister, Bertha, who would go on to Mary Arthur or Hamilton.

Hamilton would serve as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, the Snooks, also had a distant, I think, third cousin relationship to John d Rockefeller, who was the founder of Standard Oil. So definitely some money in the family. Jimmy, as he was called in his younger life, was a good student and a bit of a loner, maybe not a typical future murderer.

He loved to ride horseback and practice shooting pretty much all the time, 

so, Hold on. He's a bit of a loner and practice shooting much of the time. All of the time. All the time. Yeah. That, I don't know. That makes for, I, I, that seems to me to be a pretty good 

formula for No, because you'll see it's, his shooting actually helps him out.


okay. I'm just noting, duly noted to all of our fans that he's a loner and into shooting. Okay. Uh, so with that duly noted, Snook. Snook, yeah. The shooter. Yeah. 

The Snook family owned 220 acres and we're seen as well to do. That's a nice 18 hundreds phrase. Some would say that Sno, the Snook home was with its large, spacious wraparound porch and pretty plantings was the finest home in town in New Lebanon, Ohio.


anyone even know where the hell that is? I mean, we should one of many towns in Ohio that, I'm sorry to anyone listening in New Lebanon. , it's an important place. Totally 

right. So the SNS even had a racetrack on the property, which helped to spark young Jimmy's love and interest in. , which would also serve him well in the future.

So, uh, it would become his lifelong career. So first Snook would obtain a two year commercial business degree at Nelson's Business College in Cincinnati. Do 

they have No, that should be the half Nelson, the half Nelson. , like the full, Nelson's the full degree. That's the half Nelson, but Okay. Okay. So, so Jimmy, Jimmy got, got a half Nelson, 

he got a half Nelson.

He got the half Nelson degree? Yes. Okay. Yes. Got it. After that, Snook would go on to graduate from veterinary. At the Ohio State University. He actually helped found Alpha Si fraternity while there, the 1908 yearbook, notes of Snook quote. His friends, they're many, his foes. Are there any, 

there's no foes cuz they're all dead.

This, I don't even know anything about this guy. Well, I know a little bit about him. I. , um, cuz he's a loner and he is into shooting and he doesn't have any foes. And his parents were rich. 

Well, let me tell you more about him. All right, can I? Sure. Great. So Snoop was also part of the Ohio National Guard Troop B as in boy.

His troop was called to duty to squash the efforts of the quote unquote night riders know A don't mean David, David Hasselhoff. They were groups of people who would destroy tobacco fields and warehouses trying to break up the American Tobacco company. Mono monopoly. Troop B was what? 

So wait, there was actually people.

Called the night writers. Yeah. Before Michael Knight. Yeah. I, I'm, I'm questioning some research here, but I'm just gonna go with it. And that being said, actually Okay, fine. I believe you. Okay. And, and so, so he, so he fought the night writers? 

Yes. Okay. Yes, he did. In fact, he was successful in beating back these night writers by 1921.

Snook worked his way through the, uh, faculty ranks at, uh, the Ohio State University, obtaining his full professorship. So he, his professor sh Yes. While doing night writing or beating the night 

riders. So he was a loner. He shot things all the time. He got a half ounce, well, he practiced 

shooting. That's different.

That too didn't have any foes cuz he killed them all or what?  and then he fought the night writers. Yeah. This is totally making, I'm seeing his, I think I see who this guy is already. This is good. 

So while he was there, while he was a full professor at Ohio State, uh, he invented a tool for spaying female cats and dogs.

It was dubbed the snow cook and it's still used 

today. So a little creepy. So that's definitely creepy. The other dude's into like castrate or, uh, yeah. Okay. Wow. It gets better. Okay. No, it gets better. This guy's special. 

Yep. Jimmy. Jimmy. So during that time, uh, in fact, September 11th, 1922, Snook married, sixth grade school teacher, Helen Marle of Newark.

They married at the King Avenue. King Avenue United Methodist Church, which is still there today. Yeah. It's actually a beautiful church. Mm-hmm. . They had one child, Mary Jill s. Did she 

go by like, Jane? Lemme show up By Jill. Jill. Jill. Jill. Jill. 

Jill. Just Jill. Jill. During his time as a student at osu, he continued his interest in handguns in 1911.

That's normal. Wait. Snook had a world record. He won national championships. He solidified his position as one of the nation's premier shooters. He also had a first love fly fishing. He obtained an appointment as the gun and ammunition editor of a popular monthly. . He used a pen name when he wrote, but it always included the word quote unquote king.

Like King Fisher, Kingman. And Wesley King. And King 

Jimmy In. King Jimmy. He also, I made that up. I know, but I think he had that in. I like that. Yeah. It's a strange place. So he's a shooter. Got it. 

Yeah. He also taught rifle and small arms shooting to Army recruits at the military Aeronautics School on OSU campus during World War.

while he was a student. His love of shooting was all around him. He had small, a small pistol made from, uh, spouting tin, which I think is aluminum. I tried to look it up and I, I, I think it's aluminum, so maybe if somebody knows, they could email us@cowardsfurygmail.com. Uh, he would use that to shoot rubber bands at flies.

He also kept a real gun in his desk and would shoot birds out of the surrounding. 

Just for shits and giggles. So wait, shits and giggles. Yeah. So let me get this. So the dude, this is at Ohio State, right? Yeah. So if, if anyone isn't familiar with Ohio State, it's like any other large campus, um, it's so, it's totally normal to have a gun in your drawer and shoot birds for fun.

Well, I would say it's not like any normal campus. It's because he worked there. No, because it's the largest urban campus in the country. Right. Which is 

different. Makes it okay to 

shoot birds. No, I think it makes it less. Okay. Oh, let, yeah, he would even practice shooting. Why not? Well, he would even get together with the police force and practice shooting with the police force like the birds and he No, no, he wouldn't shoot the.

The police would shoot birds with him. I don't know. Maybe they would, but he didn't. He, 

this was, you know, in the 19 hundreds, this was early 19 hundreds. 

This was normal. This was normal, yeah. Maybe. And he, he actually trained the police in rapid fire shooting. Did he 

smoke like a pipe? Probably. Uh, I'm thinking he's a pipe 


Probably. I have pictures 

I'll post. Okay. Let's find that out. That's important. I think for me. Yes. 

I think it's important for everybody. For everyone. Okay. In 19, uh, so 1929 was a landmark year in the history of the. And the world. February witnessed the St. Valentine's Day massacre that ended the lives of seven of Al Capone's rival Gangsters May brought us the very first Oscar's award, 1929, also brought an end to the roaring twenties with the stock market crash in October, ushering in the Great Depression.

In November, the Museum of Modern Art Opens, and in June of that year, Vatican City gains its independence from. You 

know, but you might, you might think these are important, but something that bird researchers noticed is we saw a strong decline in the bird population in Columbus, Ohio that year. Oh my goodness.

So, uh, carry on. Okay. 

That was not researched. Um, it happened, but June, 1929 also saw a terrible murder right in the heart of it all Ohio. Just for people who don't know, that's Ohio's tagline. In the heart of it all, I thought we were first in flight. Well, we were that too. Okay. On June 14th, 1920 9, 2 16 year old young men were out to get some shooting practice, see more shooters and an outdoor shooting range when they stumbled upon a gr.


But they weren't shooting from their faculty desk for fun. 

Okay. But they were out shooting. All right. But they made a gruesome discovery. Oh, Paul, I love this guy's name. Crummy, crummy, crummy, crum laugh, and Milton Miller, like seriously crummy 

And Milton. Who names their kid? Milton, if their last name is Miller.

Right. We got there are those, the Millers ? 

All those Millers 

out there. Sorry, we're gonna get, don't name your kid in Milton. No, it's, anyway, they were about, listen, you could name, even name your kid Matt. Just don't name him Miller. Like, anyway, they 

were about to get their rifles out of the car when they noticed a farmer about 200 yards away, not wanting to put the man in danger from a potential ricochet.

They decided, see, they were gonna pull out young men. They decided, they, uh, better warn the man that they were there and about to do some target practice. 

That's how crummy rolled, right. He was like, I'm gonna shoot shit. And, but, but you know, if, if you could, if you could just get outta my way right. Jimmy who just shot birds randomly.

There's like students walking to class and the dude like just whips out a gun and starts shooting. I, I'm sorry. That's in my mind. He was having fun, 

snuck the snuck hook. So, but before they actually reached the farmer to warm, warn him that that would be crummy. And Milton, they, uh, they, they found her, they found a body.

They hopped into Miller's whip it for sedan to get the. , but that would take 90 minutes. What's a whipped for 

sedan? I don't know. Like, this is crazy. 

You're the car guy around here. You should 

know that. This is like in the twenties. Look, look it up. It a Milton and, and, and crummy and jimmy and a, a shooting birds from the desk.

And, and now we got a, a whip it. Okay. This is. This, my head's gonna explode. It's fun. This is 

nuts. Yeah. In the meantime, people crowded around to see the body. Franklin County Coroner, Dr. Joseph A. Murphy and police photographer, Homer c Richter were called Murphy. 

See, that's a good Irish guy, Murphy. He's the Irish.

It's a cop. That guy, that's a cop, that guy, that guy's like he's, he wasn't, he was the coroner. He, yeah, but he's drinking. He's drinking, yeah. His Irish coffee in the morning and his. In between doing the corner work. Maybe Murphy's a good guy. I can tell. I can just tell just by his 

name. But before the coroner could get there, a crowd of Joe Murphy over a crowd of more than 20 people had formed and officers on the scene had started their own investigation.

One Officer John Guy. Notice, uh, noticed a man's watch on the body's wrist that had stopped when he picked up her arm. The watch started again once 

that, that's great. Detective work like, oh, totally. You know, I can see the scene. Sorry. No, they, they screwed this up completely. It's like, did the whole scene, like the Yes.

They messed it up completely. Crumms, like, you know, like throwing cigarettes on the thi on the, you know, the body and the other kids. Like he, he'd probably peed himself. I think Milton peed himself, kind of like that kid in the Simpsons, like straight up. They really screwed this up. Yeah. And then the cops were like, oh, look at this.

There's a watch on this, this, this, this arm. And then they just like falls. They peak it. Yeah. Oh, they, he like flicked it and it started working. Good work. CP D. Well done. Yeah. , by the way, I'm a big, uh, fan of the cpd. I just, um, maybe in the twenties they just needed a little polishing. They needed some help.

Yeah. Well, not shooting birds apparently. Anyway, sorry. Carry on. So it's, 

it's. So, um, once Dr. Murphy arrived, he turned the body over and witnessed the brutality of the wounds. M Murphy 

put it in all that shit. He's like, nah, I'm doing my job now. Cause I'm a good cop. I mean, he is a corner. I'm a good coroner.

So, , her nose had been squashed into her face. It's normal. The doctor grabbed her nose with his thumb and thumb and forefinger and jiggle it until it came back to its correct spot. See, Murphy's respectful. I don't think Murphy's all that respectful. 

Okay, so I'm, I'm, I'm moving. I'm, I'm changing my mind.

Murphy's not that great anymore, but he's okay. 

So the body was sent off to Glen El Myers's mortuary for examination. , they had to figure out who she was and who killed her. Well, he jiggled her nose back. So it helped, you know, that's important. That'll help identify her. During their examination of the body, police and medical examiners turned up very little evidence.

She had a set of 12 keys, including a safety deposit box key. They felt, uh, this was important cuz usually safe deposit box keys are, but the crime scene became a complete zoo. 

Yeah. With Milton and, and, and crummy. And more than a 

jiggle in the nose. Yeah. More than a thousand Looky. Came to What's a lookie lou?

Where did you, you get what? A, I was trying to keep it a lookie Lou times. Yeah, actually. That's very creative. Thank you. Thank you. Nice 

work. Thank you. Came to the scene to get their, uh, gander at the spot where gander, where the woman was killed. Lookie Lou, they trampled the grass and any evidence for 150 feet around the scene, they knocked loose stones from Stonewall and stole evidence.

Wait, where, where 

did this, where did this happen? Like what am I. In Columbus Island in the 

middle of a farm. Oh yeah. Columbus was really small back then. That just happened 

at like, uh, like a, a country club. I thought I 

read Yes. Outside of a, like, outside of a country club, like 

say at a country club, it's like, no, not there.

No, not that one. No. Which one? I don't know. Well, we, we need to find that out. Okay. It's gonna be on the website everybody. 

Right. The day after the body was found, two sisters contacted the police. Alice and Beatrice Buston told authorities that there were, oh my God. With 

the names Beatrice Buston. Holy shit.

No, hold on. Oh, carry on. I'm sorry. This is CR, if your last Really Beatrice bust. Yeah. 

Mm-hmm. , they told authorities that their roommate, thera k Hicks, had not returned home from a date the night before. Thera and one of the sisters, Alice were both pre-med students sharing a one bedroom apartment. They described Thera and were told to go down to the Glen Myers undertaking to see if the woman found was their,

Oh, can you imagine? They were not prepared for what they saw? Well, the nose was fixed. Yeah, I don't think so. The face was smashed in almost beyond recognition Murphy. They identified theor stuff based upon the clothes they'd seen her lay out the night she went missing. The busts said that Theor worked as a typist.

For the head of the graduate school at OSU and after work, she had come home, bathed and sat out her clothes for her date. She was in a good mood. They remembered her joking about her pursing, I've gotta empty this thing before long. It's chock full of a lot of letters and papers of absolutely no account.

They also noticed that this purse was not with Tiara's body or her belongings collected from the scene. Alice recalled that Theora had received a call from a woman who said she'd had a lunch date with Theora on Friday at Pauline Hall, but Theora hadn't showed, you know, they just redid Pauline Hall. I don't even know what is.

Pauline Hall is Palmer Hall. It's on OSU campus. It was the one that had the creepy old inground swimming pool that they stored stuff in. It's gone. , they redid the whole hall. There's still, 

it's 2022. There's still a building that has a dirt floor in the classroom, so you know, go box. That's wild, right? No, seriously, it's Plum Hall.

No joke. What? Mm-hmm.  a dirt floor. I know. Yeah. Okay. Maybe we need some donors to help with that. Anyone got any concrete out there? 

Ha uh, anyway, that, that, that person that she was gonna have lunch with turned out to be Peggy Edwards, secretary to Esther Alan Ga, Dean of the Women.  at the university asked her, but she said that Hicks never talked to her about her social life or her friends.

And that hicks didn't really associate with anyone or even flirt. 

She was, yeah, she was a cl Uh, yes. No flirting. 

Straight up. Good girl. You're not gonna think that when we're done though. Oh, a taxi driver told police that he had picked up Hicks on Thursday. She was very nervous chain smoking three cigarettes, which she'd bummed from him and telling him.

Quote, go the back way, cut through the quarries because the party I'm looking for comes in the back way and his coop as they back way, way the back is, is great. As they drove to the hilltop on the west side of Columbus, which is still called the Hilltop, Earl Nichols, the taxi driver said that when they were close to the state hospital for the insane, she had him stop.

She got out and waited f and uh, he waited for her for about 10 minutes. Then he drove her back to the university area and dropped her off at Neil Avenue. At first it was thought that, uh, Nichols was the last one to see Theora alive. But after additional investigation, it became known that Theora was training as a relief telephone operator for the university hospital.

Does this 

girl stop? She's got letters. She doesn't flirt and she's training. Wait, she's in med school. She's young and she's training to be a relief telephone operator at the hospital, you know? 

Yeah. Yeah. So she, she was there Thursday evening around six 30 for about an hour. She told her Trina, Bertha,  that she had to leave to keep a date, but would be back around nine 30 or 10 cuz that's how people do jobs.

Nowaday Then, back then Dylan remarked that Hicks was quiet and nervous. Another connection to the university was through the office of William McPherson, Dean of the Graduate School. She worked as a stenographer for his office, although McPherson claimed at first not to have known her after Hicks's body was found.

Oddly, McPherson refused to answer questions from the police until he stuck his head out of his second story window. Pajama cla.  and claimed to the police waiting below not to know the woman. He would later change that statement. Wait, 

she was hooking up with McPherson? 

I don't know, but he was in his office.


professors, I'll tell you, in his pajamas, they're all given good grades. Yeah. And they complain. Talk about a curve. 

Yeah. Others associated with the university that were interviewed said they'd seen theora on multiple occasions with an older man in a navy blue coop on Friday evening. Tiara's parents, doctor, and Mrs.

Melvin Hicks living in Bradenton, Florida were notified that their daughter had been murdered. Theora. Katherine Hicks was born August 10th, 1904 in Flushing New York. She was the only child of Dr. And Mrs. Melvin Hicks, who were married 20 years before Tiara's arrival. Dr. Hicks taught music.  at the Hos Man School in New York.

The family lived frugally but comfortably. They were a typical Victorian age raised couple. They were able to pay for Theora college, but not medical school. Dr. Hicks also taught Latin and Greek, which influenced the name they gave their child. Theora means quote unquote, God-given Dr. Hicks liked to call Theora fee for short cuz it's cute.

Thor's childhood was typical. She was smart, pretty and popular for her senior year of high school. She attended the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in Massachusetts. The 

seminary, it sounds like an institution, like a kind, it sounds like a prison. Actually. I went to the cemetery, wait, seminary. The Cemetery seminar.

The Seminary Cemetery. Seminary Seminary,  

Seminary. Upon graduation theorist teacher said of her that she had an quote unquote amount of impeccable.  Theora became the trusted chaperone in her house, in her dorm, at school. After graduation, Theora attended business school in New York City, becoming a stenographer and typist.

You know, she didn't get, because that's what women did back then. She, when they went to quote unquote business school, it was to be a stenographer or a typist. She didn't get the 

half Nelson. She went all the way through. Unlike Jimmy. Yep. Who shot birds? Who shot birds? I don't know why I'm hating on Jimmy this other douche, this McPherson guy.

Well, he seems like a dirty ba. 

We'll get there. Okay. She spent some time in Florida caring for her mother in the fall of 1923 before entering Ohio State. In the spring of 1924, she lived with her aunt Harriet Holmes. Was she related to 

Joan Holmes? 

No. All right. Who lived two blocks from campus for a short time until she found student housing and 

they're all from Ohio.

Really? That's interesting. Yeah. I think there's a 

relation, I don't know, maybe the's father remembers warning her quote. Look out for the flattery of men. My daughter. Look out for the flattery of men. My daughter. That's right. 

I bet that's how he said it too. I mean, I, I, I definitely said that to, you know, our daughter when she went to college.

Okay. I, I didn't say that. I'm going to say that in text right now. Okay. Maybe when we're done. Okay. Okay, good. She's gonna wonder what's going on with you. Delete, I can tell you it's gonna be, be, be sent and deleted. . It's not gonna be opened. I think delete, honestly, I think, I think she has. 3000 texts from me that have never even been open.

So's good. I bet she reads some's good. Mm. Sometimes it's interesting. 

I don't know. Yeah. Anyway, like So he worried for his only child? Yeah. He was, he was a wor 

Well, you know, right. So because he was a faculty member, bang another, like girls. So he's like, yeah, you know, I, I know how this works as a faculty member.

Well, you know, according to him, she, even though she had a reputation for being quiet, she also kind of seemed to know no. She worked hard to put herself through medical school, and at the time of her murder was just days away from taking her second year medical school examinations. That's 

sad. Well, how many years did a medical school take in 1901 or whenever?

This was probably four, like 10, four. Oh, probably four. So she was only like a quarter of the way there. Half the 

way there she could. Well, doctor and Mrs. Hicks. Okay. So proud of Thor's accomplishments. Almost overnight, the co-eds murder became national news. The Columbus Evening dispatch urged readers to contact police if they knew someone who was quote.

Heavily built wears horn-rimmed glasses is about 40 years old and drives a Model T forward as a man fitting. The description was now a suspect. By Saturday, the suspect published a photograph of two suspects, one of them being Marion t Myers, whom Thera had dated.  and had, he had even proposed marriage to her.

But Theor wanted to finish her education first. But according to Thor's roommates, she hadn't seen him for months. Myers was a 36 year old head of the Ohio Corn Boar Research Bureau. Corn bore research. Yes. Say that 10 times fast. He that, what is that? It is a moth that infests and damages corn crops. You know, I had enough of these moths.

It's corn bore. It's emerald Ash Bo. Except, except it's the corn 

bore. Yeah, it's a. Are Emerald dashboards, moths, they 

turn into moths. I 

think it's freaking moth. You know what, this guy was solid. She should have stuck with him. I Myers was all right. Right. Never happened to that guy. I know. You know what?

I'll tell you what happened. He did his job because I'm eating corn this time. I had 

cornbread tonight. Well, what happened to him is, thanks to this guy, he, he got engaged to another woman from Worcester, Ohio. Yeah. Well, she probably like corn. Upon hearing of Thor's murder, Meyer actually did come to Columbus.

Uh, he was taken into CU custody. That's lovely. Uhhuh, . After Thor's autopsy, autopsy was taken, the 

cops, they're like, Hey, what are you doing? Oh man, you know, I, I really am worried, you know, he's, my heart's broken. My ex-girlfriend or whatever. She murdered, like busted, like, you're coming with us. And he's like, I'm just trying to find the mos and the murderer.

What's up, Mavs and murders. Nice. Yeah, sounds. , that could be one of our, that's the title of this, uh, this podcast. Patreon And The Snow Cook? No. 

Snow Cook, but it could be a Patreon. Okay. That could be our $5 level Patreon. Yeah. I like that. Mobs and Murder. I like it. Five bucks. Uh, yeah. That's good. Yeah. Okay.

So, uh, after Thor's autopsy was completed, the doctor performed the autopsy stated that quote, her throat was cut in such a manner that the jugular vein and another vein were. Indicating that someone had wielded the knife, who knew just what veins should be slit in order that the wound would be fatal.

She had also been brutally beaten with a hammer cuz overkill McPherson, by Saturday 

morning. No, I think we know it snuck right? Yeah. Okay. It snuck. I knew that it snuck God 

by Saturday morning. Following the murder police were also knocking on James Snooks door. Detective Larry f Von Scape asked. . Do you know Ms.

Hicks? To which Snook answered for quite some time. For quite some time. Vaughn 


Vaughn Ska. Yeah. Von Ska wanted Snook. Snook. Snook. Snook. Snook. Snook took accompany him downtown for questioning, like in the movies. Like, you're coming with me downtown for 

questioning? Yeah. This guy was serious. Yeah, he was.

He was almost as good as Murphy. He hearing his voice, right? He was like jiggling 

nose. Okay. Snook was more concerned with his stomach. He wanted to know if he could finish his breakfast. Yeah, man. First, well, Vance cake. Vance cake was like, sure thing. If you want me to tell your wife why, I want you to come talk to me.

So Snook felt it best to leave with Vance cake because he's like, I'm gonna tell your wife if you don't come with me now. I love that. It's like two little kids. So Snook went with Vons cake, um, and got breakfast downtown instead. So he still got breakfast. Everyone gotta to eat. Everybody gotta to eat. It did not escape Vons cakes.

Notice that Snook had his right hand bandaged and in a sling. Ah, dude. So busted. When asked about it, Snook said, He'd heard it working on his car. Yeah, man. The Model T. Yep. Model T Snook was rather annoyed at the inconvenience, but the detective let him drive his own car to the station. How nice. With another detective alongside Snook had planned to go see his 73 year old mother as Sunday was Father's Day after arriving at police headquarters and unbeknownst to Snook.

Smoke's vehicle was impounded. That's what I'm talking you. They can't do that anymore. That's, you know what? 

We're hurting the police from doing their jobs subpoena or something. I like that. They just did their job. No, they're like, yeah. Hey, hey, hey. Just come on down. We gotta talk to you. No, and they just took the car.

They just took it. Good job cop. Good job. C P D. Yeah, that's what I'm talking. You know what, Murphy probably orchestrated 

that he was not, he was. . 

Um, he's a coroner. Yes, but he was a good guy. Oh my gosh. 

Okay. We're gonna have to call it for today, and we will have part two next week. And again, most of these will just be one episode.

This one was just, Too great to have it. Try cram it all into one episode. So it's two. So we'll see you next time on Cowards Fury. Bye.