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Once Upon A Crime | True Crime

Once Upon a Crime is a true crime podcast that researches the crime, criminals and victims to discover the “why” behind some infamous crimes as well as fascinating lesser known cases. Host, Esther Ludlow presents “the story behind the story” you won’t hear anywhere else. Each month a new true crime topic is covered - kidnappings, mass murders, tragic deaths of musical icons, killer kids and deadly duos and more.
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Now displaying: 2018

Welcome to Once Upon a Crime!

THE podcast for the true crime addict.

Join me for each episode as I dive in to some of the most fascinating true crime cases told one chapter at a time.

Please subscribe to the show in iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher and tell a friend!

Jun 4, 2018

We continue the series "Infamous Locales" with another true crime story from the infamous Cecil Hotel. This time, I'll tell you about another serial killer who made the Cecil his base of operations -  Jack Unterweger, "The Vienna Woods Killer". 

#serialkillers #Austria #Vienna #ViennaWoodsKiller 

(Photo: A publicity shot of ex-con and writer, Jack Unterweger)

Resources: 

Books: Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer by John Leake

The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us by Gregg O. McCrary

 

 

May 28, 2018

The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles has been home to at least two serial killers, numerous tragic deaths, a sniper shooting and one mysterious death.  Join me for this first installment of a 2-part episode covering the Cecil Hotel's history. #serial killers #RichardRamirez #TheNightStalker #

Photo: The Exterior of the Cecil Hotel / Richard Ramirez "The Night Stalker" in court. 

 

Resources: Book: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez: The Night Stalker by Philip Carlo 

 

May 21, 2018

In this special episode I give a wrap-up of CrimeCon - all the true crime celebrity sightings, the true crime podcast rockstars I got to hang out with, and all the inside gossip and info.  I also discuss a couple of cases related to what I learned in CrimeCon sessions this year. I'll talk about the Patsy Ramsey 911 call, Ted Bundy and Jodi Arias. 

Shout outs to many, many podcasts including Southern Fried True Crime, Trace Evidence, InSight, True Crime Fan Club, The Fall Line, Minds of Madness, Misconduct, Crime and Precedents, Undisclosed, Red Wing Audio Drama, and many, many more. 

With The Manks (Josh Mankiewicz, Dateline)

Resources: 

The Netflix series I referenced is "Manhunt: Unabomber".  

The CBS special I referenced was "The Case of Jon Benet Ramsey".  You can find it at www.dailymotion.com.

Sponsors: 

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TalkSpace: www.talkspace.com/OUAC for $45 off your first month.

 

May 14, 2018

The district of Whitechapel in London, England was the location of one of the most infamous, unsolved serial murders in history - the Jack the Ripper Murders. But, there was possibly a second serial murderer operating at the same time. Journey with us to Whitechapel for some historical true crime cases.

Warning: This episode details more graphic details than normal. I give you a trigger warning before it begins in the episode if you'd like to skip ahead. 

#whitechapel #London #JacktheRipper #historicalcrime #crimehistory #TorsoMurders #ThamesTorsoMurders 

 

May 7, 2018

One intersection in Beverly Hills has been the site of many events from airplane crashes, car accidents, and murders. Could it be a coincidence or is the area cursed? 

Photo: The intersection of Sunset Blvd, North Linden and North Whittier Drive in Beverly Hills, known as "The Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle". 

#beverlyhills #bermudatriangle #howardhughes #hollywood #bugsysiegel #ronnichasen 

A.J. Benza: Fame is a Bitch - Subscribe on ITunes

 

May 3, 2018

Surprise! Here's an extra episode for you since I'm off this week.  This is as bonus episode that I would normally make available only for Patreon members, but I'll give you a little sneak peek of Patreon bonus content by sharing it with everyone.

This is the story of another murder committed by the Aum Doomsday Cult that did I did not talk about on Episode #86: Last Stop: Chapter 3: The Tokyo Subway Attack. 

To become a Patreon supporter of Once Upon a Crime go to www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime.

 

Apr 23, 2018

A woman takes revenge for hundreds of raped and murdered women in Juarez, Mexico by targeting city bus drivers.

Photo: Pink crosses spring up around Juarez with the words "Ni una mas" or "not one more" after hundreds of women are murdered beginning in 1993.

Resources:

For more information about women's organizations in Juarez:

https://hiponline.org/how-casa-amiga-helps-free-the-women-of-juarez/

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/mexico/articles/meet-the-mexican-activists-fighting-for-womens-rights/

https://web.archive.org/web/20040414134540/http://www.mujeresdejuarez.org/

Book: The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez

Paper: The Femicide Machine by Sergio Gonzalez Rodriguez, published by Semiotext (c) with support from Mexico's National Fund for Culture and the Arts 2011-2013.

 

 

 

Apr 16, 2018

On March 20, 1995 a group of men board the Tokyo Metro subway system and release deadly sarin gas.  The mass murder was ordered by Aum Supreme Truth cult leader Shoko Asahara.

#massmurder #cults #Japan #terrorism #chemicalweapons

Resources:

Books: The Cult at the End of the World by David Kaplan and Andrew Marshall

Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Mrakami

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Apr 9, 2018

A hijacking on a bus unfolds live on television in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June of 2000. 

#hijacking #hostagecrisis #Brazil 

Resources:

Documentary: Bus 174 (2002) directed by Jose Padilha

Podcast Recommendations:

Trace Evidence https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trace-evidence/id1239217007?mt=2

Not Perfect or Functional https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/not-perfect-or-functional-podcast-true-crime-sports/id1273572626?mt=2

 

Apr 2, 2018

In 1976, in the small farming community of Chowchilla, California, a school bus full of children is kidnapped for ransom. 

#kidnappings #Chowchilla #ransom #crimehistory #California

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Dan Noyes, ABC7 News, "Parole hearing reveals new details about Chowchilla kidnapping," Nov 29, 2012. 

Holly Yan, CNN, "California mass kidnapping: After being buried alive, victims relive nightmare," Dec 28, 2015. 

Robert Lindsey, The New York Times, "26 Children Found Safe After Being Kidnapped from Bus in Caliifornia," July 17, 1976. 

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Mar 26, 2018

A 16-year-old boy from a well-to-do Fort Worth family commits a quadruple vehicular homicide.  His attorneys will argue that his overprivileged upbringing resulted in him not knowing how to discern right from wrong. The term "affluenza" was coined to describe defendants like Ethan Couch - wealthy, spoiled and held unaccountable for their bad behavior. 

           

I'll also describe how this same defense was used in 1924 to defend the wealthy teenaged murderers Leopold and Loeb. 

#LeopoldandLoeb #CrimeoftheCentury #EthanCouch #Affluenza 

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Manny Fernandez, Richard Perez-Pena and Azam Ahmed, The New York Times, "Ethan Couch, 'Affluenza' Teenager, Had Last Party Before Fleeing," Dec 29, 2015. 

Michael J. Mooney, D Magazine, "The Worst Parents Ever," May 2015.  

American Experience, PBS Television, "The Perfect Crime: Leopold and Loeb". 

 

Mar 12, 2018

Supervisor Dan White murders San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. His defense would claim "diminished capacity" to keep him from being sentenced to death. The media dubbed this "The Twinkie Defense". But, what really caused Dan White to become a double murderer?

From L to R: Supervisor Harvey Milk, Mayor George Moscone, Dan White

 

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

John Geluardi, SF Weekly, "Dan White's motive more about betrayal than homophobia," Jan 30, 2008.

Carol Pogash, SFGate.com, "Myth of the 'Twinkie Defense', Nov 23, 2003. 

 

 

Mar 6, 2018

Three cases are outlined where a person commits murder and then blames the crime on sleepwalking. 

First up, Albert Tirrell murders his mistress in 1846 claiming he was in a trance-like state at the time. Kenneth Parks travels 23 km to commit a murder - all while asleep, he claimed. Finally, another man tries to use the sleepwalking defense after killing his wife in Phoenix, Arizona in 1997.

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Karen Abbott, Smithsonian.com, "The Case of the Sleepwalking Killer," April 30, 2012.

 Paul Rubin, NewTimes.com, "A Killer Sleep Disorder," Nov 19, 1998. 

True Crime Truant, "Scott Falater: Sleepwalking Killer Gets a Wakeup Call," July 20, 2017. 

Berit Brogaard and Kristian Marlow, Psychology Today, "Sleep Driving and Sleep Killing: The Kenneth Parks Case," Dec 13, 2012. 

 

Feb 27, 2018

The last chapter of this series continues with stories of the darker side of the Academy Awards.  You'll hear about missing and stolen Oscars, the tragic story of the Oscar Night Streaker and a murder committed by the son of an Oscar winning songwriter.

Note: Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and served for almost a year before his murder. I apologize for the omission. 

#Oscars #AcademyAwards #CelebrityCrimes #HollywoodCrime

Resources:

Documentary - Uncle Bob, written, produced and directed by Robert Oppel

Television Show: Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors - Season 1, Episode 1 - Power, Privilege and Passion, (Investigation Discovery Channel) - This episode details the case of the murder of Sylvie Cachay. 

 

Feb 20, 2018

A man escapes the genocide in Cambodia and becomes an Academy Award Winning Actor in the U.S. 

#genocide #Cambodia #VietnamWar #refugees #Hollywoodcrime

                Dr. Haing S. Ngor as Dith Pran in The Killing Fields & with his Oscar

Resources:

Books: A Cambodian Odyssey by Haing. S. Ngor and Roger Warner, Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing S. Ngor

Movies: The Killing Fields (1984), directed by Roland Joffe, starring Haing S. Ngor, Sam Waterston, John Malkovich

Documentary: The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor (2015), Produced, written, directed and edited by Arthur Dong (Deep Focus Productions)

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Harney & Sons Teas - www.harney.com - Use offer code ONCE to get $15 off your first order of $49 or more.

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Feb 13, 2018

Roman Polanski lives a life of hardship and tragedy before becoming an award winning director - and a fugitive from justice after being charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl. 

We'll hear from my special guest AJ Benza, the host of the podcast Fame is a Bitch about the inner workings of Hollywood and his first-hand impressions of Roman Polanski. 

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate on their wedding day in 1968. 

#hollywoodcrimes #charlesmanson #celebritycrime 

 

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "The Celebrity Defense: Sex, fame and the case of Roman Polanski," Dec 14, 2009. 

Christopher Sandford, The Telegraph UK, "Why did Roman Polanski risk it?," Oct 3, 2009. 

Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast, "Roman Polanski is a Child Rapist: It's Long Past Time for Hollywood to Cast Him Out," Oct 23, 2017. 

 

Feb 6, 2018

The Academy Awards is held annually to honor the best of Hollywood. But, there is a darker side of this star-studded ceremony. The first is the true story of the crime portrayed in the Academy Award winning film Dog Day Afternoon

#bankrobberies #johnwojtowicz #chasemanhattanbank #newyorkcrimes 

   Left: The real John Wojtowicz, Right: Al Pacino as "Sonny" in Dog Day Afternoon

Resources:

Movie: Dog Day Afternoon, Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale & Charles Durning (1975) 

Documentary: The Dog, Written, produced and directed by Alison Berg & Frank Keraudren (2014)  

Jan 30, 2018

A teenage hitchhiker is picked up by a violent rapist in Northern California in 1978. The attack upon her would horrify the public and Lawrence Singleton would serve as a terrifying warning about accepting rides from strangers. 

Mary Vincent soon after her attack by Larry Singleton.

Mary Vincent testifies at Singleton's murder trial in 1998.

 

Music on today's episode is by St. Patrick. You can purchase the music on iTunes at this link or on the website www.captainfathands.com.

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Paul Dean, The Los Angeles Times, "Mary Vincent Speaks Out: 'He Destroyed Everything About Me'," Feb 25, 1997. 

People v. Singleton, Court of Appeals Decision, Fourth District, Div I, California, Nov 20, 1980. 

Jacqui Morice Crawford, I Survived, Mary/Brooke/Sharene (2009). 

 

 

 

Jan 23, 2018

A woman leaves her abusive husband and spends months trying to get  law enforcement authorities to help her escape her abuser. In 1983, she survives one of the most brutal and vicious incidents of domestic violence I've ever encountered. She will file a civil lawsuit against the city an the police department for failing to protect her. 

Tracey Thurman Motuzick

Patricia Brennan, The Washington Post, "A Cry for Help," Oct 1, 1989. 

Thurman v. City of Torrington, Ruling on Motion to Dismiss, Retrieved from Harvard.edu, Oct 23, 1984. 

Republican-American, "She survived thirteen stab wounds, a broken neck," Jun 9, 2008. 

 

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

 

Jan 16, 2018

A young woman is offered a ride by a nice looking man in Salt Lake City in 1974. By the end of the day she would be attacked and almost killed by the infamous serial killer, Ted Budy. 

My special guest, Rhonda Stapley, is the author of "I Survived Ted Bundy: The Attack, Escape and PTSD That Changed My Life".  You can find it here on Amazon.

Rhonda can be found on Facebook here.

If you are someone you know would like help and/or information about post-traumatic stress you can go to www.ptsd.va.gov.

Jan 9, 2018

A young girl is abducted on her way home from school in Lugoff, South Carolina in 2006. 

         

14-year-old Elizabeth Shoaf masterminded her own rescue from this underground bunker hidden deep in the woods.

 

Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: 

Sarah Beckett, Investigation Discovery Channel, "Surviving Evil: Underground Terror," 2013. 

Mike Celizic, Today, "Kidnapped teen describes bunker ordeal," Mar 7, 2008. 

Twitter: @uponacrime

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

Facebook and Instagram: @onceuponacrimepod

 

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