One day Adam Braseel got a phone call from his mother. She said that a man in Grundy County, Tennessee had been murdered, and the police thought Adam had something to do with it.
In the summer of 1922, in a town in southern Illinois, 23 people were murdered over two days. Men, women, and children came out of their houses to watch, and in some cases, to take part in the violence.
Debbie Schum waited a long time to receive the cremated ashes of her friend, LoraLee Johnson. When she did, she felt relieved to finally take them home with her. But then, she got a call from the FBI.
Crime Blotter: “The Learning Center on Hanson Street reports a man across the way stands at his window for hours watching the center, making parents nervous. Police ID the subject as a cardboard cutout of Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Today, we're looking at mistakes.
We are trying something different.
In 1995, two men filmed an episode of daytime talk show, The Jenny Jones Show. A few days later, one of the men was dead. The shooter later claimed he’d committed the murder “in a panic that he was being falsely accused or identified as a gay person.”
World-class biathlete Kari Swenson was on an afternoon trail run in the mountains near Big Sky, Montana in July 1984 when two men blocked her path.
In 1977, a man named Robert Burns went to a funeral and shot someone, in the head, in front of 300 people. He didn’t deny it, and his lawyer didn’t deny it. Burns told a police officer: “I had to do it. And if I had to do it over, I’d do it again.”
In 1930, a Cuban woman named Elena de Hoyos went to the hospital in Key West, Florida. She had a bad cough, and her family was afraid she had Tuberculosis. She met a German x-ray technician who called himself ”Count Von Cosel” and who claimed he could save her, using unusual methods he'd invented himself. But on October 25, 1931, Elena de Hoyos died. Count Von Cosel wrote that a strange new kind of life began for him.
Three years ago, we spoke with Axton Betz-Hamilton about discovering that her identity had been stolen as a child. When she found out who had stolen it, everything changed. We spoke with Axton again a couple of weeks ago. She said that since our last conversation she’s been conducting an investigation, going back to the very beginning of her own life, and reconsidering every memory.
After a crime occurs, or when someone dies, the police aren’t responsible for cleaning up. That’s not their job. The coroner takes the body, the police conduct their investigation, and then everyone leaves. But the blood, and the rubber gloves, and the uneaten food in the refrigerator are all left behind. Sandra Pankhurst didn’t like imagining that. So she decided to clean it up.
When 18-year-old Ruth Cruger disappeared in 1917, newspapers reported that she probably ran off with a boyfriend. New York police said that there were no clues to go on. But an investigator named Grace Humiston decided that she would do whatever it took to find her. She became known as "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes."
John Buettner-Janusch was one of the first Americans to study lemurs. He held prestigious faculty positions at Yale, Duke and NYU, before surprising everyone with a series of increasingly bizarre crimes.
“I never did anything wrong. I never had a speeding ticket. I think I just saved all my stuff up for just one thing.” This week, we speak with Toby Dorr - better known as the Dog Lady of Lansing Prison.
In the late 1800s, North Carolina was trying to build a railway system through the Western part of the state. In December of 1882, something went wrong. The Raleigh News and Observer called it “too horrible to chronicle without a shudder.”
Dan Stevenson has lived in Oakland’s Eastlake neighborhood for 40 years. He says crime has been an issue for as long as he can remember, but he isn’t one to call the police. He’s a pretty “live and let live” kind of guy. Or he was. Before he finally got fed up and took matters into his own hands.
We update a favorite episode with news and additional interviews.