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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: 2020

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!

Dec 8, 2020

In this episode I'll share three true crime cases you may not have heard of, but should have.  My special guest host is Laurah from The Fall Line and One Strange Thing Podcasts. 

Resources: 

"Murder in a Silent Place" by David Van Biema for Time, Jun 17, 2001. 

People Magazine Investigates: The Sounds of Silence, Season 3, Episode 13, Investigation Discover Channel

"Gwen Araujo murder 14 years later: Trangender teen's killers face parole" by Malaika Fraley for The Bay Area News Group, Oct 14, 2016. 

Sponsors: 

Native Deodorant - www.nativeDEO.com/once or use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first order.

EverlyWell At-Home Lab Testing Kits - www.EverlyWell.com/once and enter promo code ONCE for 20% off your test. 

PlushCare - www.PlushCare.com/once to start your free 30-day trial. 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story (2006), Lifetime TV.

Trained in the Ways of Men (2007), directed by Michelle Prevost. 

Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation, Malinda Maynor Lowery, (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, Malinda Maynor Lowery, (University of North Carolina Press, 2018).

If you have any information regarding the Brittany Locklear case you can contact the State Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina at (919) 662-4500 or the Hoke County Sheriff's Office at (910) 875-5111. There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to a resolution of Brittany's case. 

Other links:

Once Upon a Crime Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

The Fall Line Podcast - www.thefalllinepodcast.com 

One Strange Thing Podcast - www.onestrangethingpodcast.com 

 

Nov 17, 2020

Two women thought they'd met the man of their dreams. But one of them would be found dead of mysterious circumstances and one would go missing never to be seen again. Would justice prevail to convict Drew Peterson for these crimes? 

Resources:

Marcia Clark Investigates the First 48: Drew Peterson, Investigation Discovery Channel, April 5, 2018

Justice Cafe, petersonstory.wordpress.com 

Sponsors:

EverlyWell - www.everlywell.com/once and use ONCE at checkout for 20% off your test.

SimpliSafe - www.simplisafe.com/once For 30% off your SimpliSafe system plus a free security camera. 

Links:

CrimeCon House Arrest: www.crimecon.com/housearrest

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

 

 

Nov 10, 2020

A teenager goes missing in Morgan Hill, California never to be seen again. It would take meticulous detective work to prove she'd been the victim of a murder and bring her killer to justice.

"Disappearance tests 'no-body' murder cases" by Jenna Lyons for The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 16, 2017

Statement of Facts: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Case #12-076-0868G, May 24, 2012

"Dissecting Torres' Past", Staff Writers, The Gilroy Dispatch, May 25, 2012. 

"No body, no weapon, no crime scene: How disappearance led to guilty conviction" by Elizabeth Cho for The Davis Vanguard

The State of California vs. Antolin Garcia-Torres, Indictment dated Feb 11, 2014. 

Investigation Discovery Channel: See No Evil - Season 6, Episode 17, "Come Home Sierra". 

Sponsors: 

Away Travel: www.awaytravel.com/once20

Organ: www.TryOrgain.com/once 

Links:

www.onestrangethingpodcast.com

www.crimecon.com/housearrest

 

Nov 3, 2020

This month's series features crimes that were solved...without a body. Tom Capano thought he'd pulled off the perfect murder when his ex-girlfriend disappeared. Meticulous detective work and dogged determination would be needed to solve the crime. 

Resources:

And Never Let Her Go by Ann Rule, 1996, Simon & Schuster.

The FBI Files: Deadly Obsession, Jan 18, 2020, retrieved on YouTube.com. 

Sponsors:

Brooklinen - www.brooklinen.com and use promo code ONCE for 10% off your first order plus free shipping.

Nutrafol - www.nutrafol.com and use promo code once for 25% off your first order. 

Acorn TV - www.acorn.tv and use code ONCE for your first 30 days free. 

Links:

www.crimecon.com/housearrest

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

www.truecrimepodcast.com 

Oct 19, 2020

A story about a teenage stalker who hides in his victim's homes to prey upon them becomes an urban legend.  But, the true life and crimes of Daniel J. LaPlante would be a real-life horror story. 

Resources: 

"Witness describes abduction by LaPlante", Paul Langner for The Boston Globe, Oct 21, 1988.

Commonwealth v. Daniel J. LaPlante, Sept 14 - Nov 16, 1993, Middlesex County Superior Court filing. 

"A Teen Terrorized a Family by Living in Their Walls", Laura Allan for Ranker.com, June 14, 2019. 

"Daniel LaPlante appeals sentence in 1987 murders", The Associated Press, retrieved from Telegram.com-Worcester, Massachusetts, Mar 5, 2019. 

Sponsors: 

Away Travel - www.awaytravel.com/once20 for a risk-free 100-day trial and free shipping. 

SimpliSafe - www.simplisafe.com/once for a 60-day risk-free trial and a free security camera.

Orgain - www.tryorgain.com/once for 20% off your first order plus additional savings when you subscribe. 

Oct 12, 2020

The mysterious murder of Fred William Oesterreich in Los Angeles in 1922 would be revealed years later as one of the strangest and most bizarre true crime cases in California history 

Resources: 

A Crime to Remember: Guess Who?, Season 4, Episode 6, The Investigation Discovery Channel 

"The Story of Dolly Oesterreich" by Erin Kelly for All That's Interesting, Dec 19, 2017. 

News Clipping from Sanhuber Case

Sponsor:

Everlywell - www.everlywell.com/once and use promo code ONCE for 20% your first lab test. 

Oct 5, 2020

In 1998, a 14-year-old disappeared from Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.  It would be feared she had become a victim of serial killer, Leonard Fraser, but this story would end with a shocking revelation. 

Sources: 

60 Minutes Australia - ‘The Girl in the Cupboard’”(2003) - https://youtu.be/os_K-e_qwu8 

"She had everyone fooled" in TheAge.com.au, Apr 11, 2003

"The girl who returned from death" by Greg Ansley for NZHerald.co.nz, Apr 18, 2003

"The 'dead' schoolgirl who fooled a nation" by Shannon Molloy for News.com.au, Dec 22, 2018.

Crime Investigation Australia - Predator: Leonard John Fraser - https://youtu.be/ueb8xNmxZF8

Sponsor: Stitcher True Crime Week - use offer code ONCEUPONACRIME at www.stitcher.com/premium to get your first month of Stitcher Premium free. 

Additional music: Halloween Theme 1 by Alexander Nakarada
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/4735-halloween-theme-1
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/



Sep 14, 2020

A well-respected educator in Bakersfield, California is accused of a brutal crime - the murders of five of his family members.  

Resources: 

"The Mystery of the Lost Weekend", by Keith Morrison for Dateline NBC, July 24, 2009. 

"Vincent Brothers and murdered wife had rocky relationship say witnesses" by Jessica Logan for Bakersfield.com, March 7, 2007. 

"Vice Principal is still a suspect in fatal shootings of wife, kids, mother-in-law" by Kerri Ginis for The Fresno Bee, July 10, 2003. 

"Woman Says Officials Covered Up Abuse by Murder Suspect" by John Johnson for The Los Angeles Times, Aug 11, 2004. 

Links:

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

Stitcher - www.stitcher.com/premium 

Music Credits:

Original theme music by http://AaronGoldberg.Bandcamp.com

Other music: https://freesound.org/s/131913/, https://freesound.org/s/403662/, https://freesound.org/s/147495/, https://freesound.org/s/147495/ - all licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License

 

Sep 7, 2020

In this month's series "Bad Teacher" I'll share cases of educators who committed newsworthy crimes. 

First up, a 34-year-old teacher scandalizes the nation when she is convicted of child rape with one of her 6th grade students. 

Sources:

"Strange Love: Mary Kay Letourneau", 7 News Spotlight, July 8, 2020, retrived on YouTube. 

"Mary Kay Letourneau: 15 Shocking Facts" by John Whitefoot for Crimeola.com, May 29, 2018. 

"How the Media Turned Child Rape into a 'Tryst' for Mary Kay Letourneau" by EJ Dickson for Rolling Stone, July 8, 2020. 

"Lawsuit over Letourneau affair blames police, school", HeraldNet, March 21, 2002

"Letourneau is a predator and don't forget it", Susan Paynter for Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 8, 2004. 

Video Interview: 

Mary Kay Letourneau, 7News Spotlight, July 8, 2020 - https://youtu.be/7mowKsGWuW4 

Links:

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

www.truecrimepodcast.com

Aug 31, 2020

We conclude this two-part episode with a young woman who comes forward claiming to be Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. The investigation into her claim would take decades to solve the mystery. 

Time Stamps: 

05:03 - "Miss Unknown"

22:47 - Investigating the Claim

28:06 - "Fraulein Annie" 

30:20 - Anastasia Tchaikovsky - Rescue Story

53:30 - Anna Anderson - United States

57:41 - Anna the Hoarder

01:01:00 - Mrs. Manahan

01:07:00 - What Really Happened to The Romanovs?

01:16:00 - The DNA

01:19:00 - Who Was Anna Anderson? Franziska Schanzkowska

01:34:00 - Why Was She Believed? 

Resources: 

Resurrection of The Romanovs, Greg King and Penny Wilson, Turning Publishing, 2010. 

The Woman Who Convinced the World She was Grand Duchess Anastasia, Crime Vault, Nov 8, 2018, retrieved on YouTube.

Romanovs: The Missing Bodies, National Geographic, Nov 5, 2019, retrieved on YouTube. 

 

 

 

Aug 24, 2020

On this first part of a 2-part episode, I share the fascinating story of the disappearance of the last imperial family of Russia, the Romanovs.  After their disappearance, most believed they had been executed by the Bolsheviks, but sightings of one or more of the Romanovs would continue for years.  Did some of Tsar Nicholas II's family members escape? 

Resources: 

The Resurrection of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2011. 

Romanovs: The Missing Bodies, produced by National Geographic, YouTube.com, Nov 5, 2019. 

Music Credits: 

Spring In Russia by Alexander Nakarada. Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/4845-spring-in-russia. License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Links:

Excuse Me, That's Illegal podcast - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/excuse-me-thats-illegal/id1526994548 

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

To help in the California Wildfire Relief efforts: 

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/08/21/northern-california-wildfires-how-to-help-fire-victims-and-fire-fighters/

Our website:  www.truecrimepodcast.com 

 

Aug 10, 2020

On this second part of a two-part episode we continue the story of 9-year-old Walter Collins who went missing from Los Angeles in 1928.  In part two, we discover that a serial killer, Gordon Stewart Northcott, has been preying on boys and young men in the LA area.  Was Walter Collins a victim of Northcott's? 

Sources: 

The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, retrieved online at crime museum.org. https://www.crimemuseum.org/crime-library/serial-killers/wineville-chicken-coop-murders/

The Disappearance of Walter Collins, by Gabriela Serrato for STMUhistorymedia.org.  https://stmuhistorymedia.org/author/gabriela.serrato/ 

Movie: Changeling (2008), Written, directed, and produced by Clint Eastwood for Imagine Entertainment. Starring Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan and Amy Ryan. 

Links:

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

Fruit Loops: Serial Killers of Color Podcast - https://fruitloopspod.com 

Aug 3, 2020

In this month's series I'll tell you stories about people who missing and then, months or years later, miraculously reappeared.  But, these stories all have a twist - were they who they claimed to be or were they imposters? 

In this first episode, you'll hear about a young boy who goes missing in 1928.  When he returns home, his mother will say he's an imposter, but her claims are dismissed.  Who was the boy claiming to be her missing son and what happened to the real Walter Collins? 

Resources: 

The 1920s boy who impersonated a kidnapping victim, Suzanne Raga for MentalFloss.com, Jan 20, 2016

Collins Hoax Comes to an End, The Los Angeles Times, Oct 3, 1928

The Disappearance of Walter Collins, Gabriela Serrato, STMU History Media, March 26, 2017 

Links:

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

 

Jul 27, 2020

The life and tragic death of a young socialite in the 1930s inspires an Academy Award winning movie. But, Starr Faithfull's life was far from the glamorous treatment it would receive on the big screen. 

Sources:

Ripped from the Headlines: The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movie's Most Memorable Crimes by Harold Schechter (Little A, 2020)  

The Passing of Starr Faithfull by Jonathan Goodman (Piatkus, 1990). 

Open Files: A Narrative Encyclopedia of the World's Greatest Unsolved Crimes by Jay Robert Nash (Rowman & Littlefield, 1983). 

BUtterfield 8, (1960), directed by Daniel Mann for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher, Laurence Harvey

Links:

www.haroldschechter.com

 

Jul 22, 2020

As a bonus for this month's theme "Stranger Than Fiction" I interview author Harold Schechter about his new book, Ripped from the Headlines: The Shocking True Stories Behind the Movies' Most Memorable Crimes, an anthology of forty true crime cases that inspired films.

Links:

https://haroldschechter.com

Purchase "Ripped from the Headlines" here.

 

Jul 13, 2020

Two women accused of murder in the Roaring 20s would become the inspiration for one of the best known and longest running shows in American musical theater history. This is the story of the real life Roxie and Velma from "Chicago". 

Resources: 

"1924 - Beulah Annan & Belva Gaertner". Newspaper articles compiled and posted on Chicagology.com.  

Ripped from the Headlines by Harold Schechter, Published by Little A, New York, 2020. 

"Musical Theater and Law: Chicago, The Musical" by Geraldine Davila Gonzalez, April 30, 2019. 

Music: 

"Hula Lou" - 1923 recording by Isabelle Patricola,

"Prohibition Blues", 1920 recording by The Missourians 

(Both available for use by public domain.)

 

Links:

Listener survey:

https://survey.libsyn.com/onceuponacrime

YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/2UDxhEG

 

 

Jul 6, 2020

In 1986, a beautiful young mother discovers her husband is cheating on her and files for divorce.  Soon afterward, she goes missing.  Discovering what happened to Helle Crafts would take an small army of detectives, forensic scientists, serologists, forensic anthropologists, a police diving team and other investigators to unravel this bizarre crime and would inspire an Academy-Award winning film. 

Resources: 

Forensic Files: Season 1, Episode 1 - "The Disappearance of Helle Crafts", FilmRise TV. 

"The Wood Chipper Murder Case" by Mark Gado for CrimeLibrary.com. 

"Richard Crafts, notorious wood chipper murderer, released from prison" by Christine Dempsey for The Hartford Courant, Jan 31, 2020.

Details about the film "Fargo" were found on IMDB.com.

Links: 
Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime - https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime 

"Fargo" (1996) Trailer: https://youtu.be/h2tY82z3xXU 

Jun 29, 2020

In the last chapter of "Till Death Do Us Part" a woman meets and quickly marries a man. He promises her a new life, but soon after the wedding she goes missing.  It will take years of investigative and legal work to bring her killer to justice. 

Sources: 

"Till Death Do Us Part: True Stories of Newlywed Murder Cases" by JJ Slate, RJ Parker Publishing, 2015. 

"Father's Quest for Justice Ends" by Tom Long for The Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 13, 1989. 

People v. Crew, Supreme Court of California, August 25, 2003. 

Links:

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime - https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

 

Jun 22, 2020

A bride sees many red flags in her relationship before walking down the aisle, but her fear of angering her fiancee would compel her to go through with the ceremony.  Within hours, that decision would become fatal.  

#domestic violence #coercive control

Resources:

"Murder-Suicide claims Indiana doctor, nurse on wedding night, police say", by Janet DiGiamcomo for CNN, Oct.. 9, 2014. 

"Indiana Doctor Kills His Wife and Himself on Wedding Night" by Steve Helling for People.com, Oct. 8 2014. 

Court Records, US District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Trustgard Insurance vs. Old National Wealth Management, Filed 2/24/17. 

Links:

The Council on Domestic Abuse, Terre Haute - www.codaterrehaute.org

To be connected with domestic violence and intimate partner violence organizations and resources in the U.S. you can go to thehotline.org, in the UK at womensAID.org.uk, in Australia 1800respect.org.au, and for an international directory go to hotpeachpages.net.  

Relationship Red Flags: 

Does your partner:

Yell, belittle or humiliate you?

Constantly criticize you and put you down?

Blame you for his/her own behavior?

Keep you isolated from your family and friends?

Control or limit your access to money, telephone access or a vehicle?

Follow of constantly check up on where you are, who you are with or what you are doing?

Destroy your belongings?

Force you to be intimate?
Threaten to harm you or him/herself if you leave?

Prevent you from working or having a career or your own? 

If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive relationship, help is available.  Please reach out to organizations like those listed above for help.Together with advocates that are trained to help, abuse victims can get help in putting together a plan for them and their children to leave a dangerous situation as safely as possible.

 

 

Jun 8, 2020

A new bride decides she's made a mistake in tying the knot.  The decision she makes in order to end the marriage will be a shocking act of cruelty. 

Resources: 

"A Murder in Glacier Park" by Justin Franz for The Flathead Beacon, Dec 17, 2013

"Newlywed Cliff Death" by Ryan Owens for ABC News, Sept 11, 2013

"Glacier Park Murder: Friends warned Kalispell man not to marry" by Alice Miller for The Missoulian, Sept 11, 2013

"Montana's Jordan Graham Case" by Crime Watch Daily. Uploaded by True Crime Daily on YouTube.com, March 16, 2020. 

Once Upon a Crime Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730325570622505/ 

GoodPods - Get Goodpods here. 

Search for Motive for Murder and add a question in the discussion tab. Then join me for an exclusive discussion with the host of Motive for Murder, Josh Mankiewicz on June 10th at noon PT!  You can follow me on GoodPods at @estherlu.  

Strange and Unexplained Podcast - https://feed.podbean.com/sandupodcast/feed.xml

 

 

 

Jun 1, 2020

In this series, I'll share cases of newlyweds whose lives were cut short by the person who vowed to love them forever.  

In this first case, a young bride is unaware that her new spouse married her to collect on a $1 million dollar life insurance policy.  

Resources: 

'The Other Woman' Testifies in Newlywed Murder, CBS Miami 4, March 25, 2014. 

Several articles on Wendy Trapaga murder case from CBS Miami 4 online. 

Till Death Do Us Part: A Collection of Newlywed Murder Cases by JJ Slate, RJ Parker Publishing, 2015. 

Links:

Watch MurderMurderNews here. 

GoodPods - Get Goodpods here. 

Search for Motive for Murder and add a question in the discussion tab. Then join me for an exclusive discussion with the host of Motive for Murder, Josh Mankiewicz on June 4th!  You can follow me on GoodPods at @estherlu.  

 

May 18, 2020

This is Part 2 of "The Pelley Murders".  In this episode I'll tell you about Jeff Pelley's trial, theories of the murders, and give you a strange and compelling story about who else may have been responsible for the murders of Bob Pelley and his family. 

Resources: 

The Prom Night Murders: The True Story of a Twenty Year Mystery by Carlton Smith, St. Martin’s Press, 2009

“A trail of broken promises, debt and death” by Peter Franceschina for The News-Press, Oct 6, 1991. 

“Cold case unsolved: Fort Myers developer Clarence Eric Dawson shot, found buried on Estero property 30 years ago” by Michael Braun, The News-Press, Nov 23, 2018 

"Case Study: 17-year-old murderer, 20-minute timeframe, circumstantial evidence, normal behaviour, maintains innocence...Jeff Pelley Convicted for 160 Years", on Reddit.com - r/serialpodcast.  

Links: 

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime: https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime

 

May 11, 2020

A 17-year-old is suspected in the murder of four of his family members because he was forbidden from attending his prom.  Was this a case of a homicidal teen or a rush to judgement? 

Resources: 

The Prom Night Murders: The True Story of a Twenty-Year Mystery by Carlton Smith, St. Martin's Press, 2009

"Inconsistent with the Laws of Nature" by Mark Gribben for The Malefactor's Register

Links: 

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

YouTube: https://bit.ly/2UDxhEG

Website: www.truecrimepodcast.com

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime: https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime

 

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