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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: Category: true crime

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!

Oct 7, 2019

A free concert took place in northern California in December of 1969 featuring The Rolling Stones.  It would descend into chaos due to poor planning, rampant drug use and the ill-advised use of the Hells Angels as concert security.  

Resources:

Joel Selvin, Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day, (New York: Harper Collins), 2016. 

Lester Bangs, Reny Brown, John Burks, Sammy Egan, Michael Goodwin, Geoffrey Link, Greil Marcus, John Morthland, Eugene Schoenfeld, Patrick Thomas, and Langdon Winner, Rolling Stone Magazine, "The Rolling Stones Disaster at Altamont: Let It Bleed," January 21, 1970. 

Albert & David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, Gimme Shelter (1970), http://watchdocumentaries.com/rolling-stones-gimme-shelter/ 
Note: Meredith Hunter can be seen in the crowd at timestamp 1:18:50. The attack on him begins at 1:23:26. 

Sponsors: 
Hello Fresh: www.HelloFresh.com/ONCE80 and enter ONCE80 at checkout for $80 off your first month of meal kits. 

Away Travel: www.awaytravel.com/ONCE20 and use promo code ONCE20 at checkout for $20 off a suitcase. 

Native Deodorants: www.nativedeodorant.com and use promo code ONCE during checkout for 20% off your first purchase. 

Oct 1, 2019

For most of his life, Jeffrey Epstein was a mystery-- who he was, how he made his money, and how he got away with horrific crimes for so many years. The Mysterious Mr. Epstein explores how Epstein was able to use his wealth to buy status and credibility, to buy power, and ultimately to buy himself freedom from justice. From the network that brought you Dirty John. Listen now at Wondery.fm/truecrimepod

 

Sep 30, 2019

A woman begins receiving harassing phone calls and letters from a stalker.  It would take years to discover who the anonymous man was, but when he was finally identified a shocking secret would be revealed. 

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

Book: Little Girl Fly Away by Gene Stone

Articles:  

'Poet" makes life a living horror for Wichita Woman by Scott Kraft for AP in the Garden City Telegram, Jan 24, 1980

'Poet' strikes again and Wichita police still baffled by Scott Kraft for AP in Garden City Telegram, Feb 21, 1980

Harassed by an Unknown Author of Vicious Rhymes, Ruth Finley Confronts the Stranger Within Herself by Gene Stone for People Magazine, Sept. 5, 1988

Sponsors: 

Truman's - www.Trumans.com - use offer code ONCE for 50% off your cleaning product starter kit.

Solid Gold - www.SolidGoldPet.com/ONCE to get 30% off your first pet food order. 

Social Media:

Once Upon a Time Facebook Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730325570622505/ 

Patreon:  www.Patreon.com/OnceUponaCrime

 

 

Jul 29, 2019

Susan Polk enters into a relationship with her therapist when she is a young girl. Years later, after 20 years of marriage, she will claim she has been abused by her husband for decades.  After he is found dead in their guest house the question would be, was this a case of self-defense or a cold-blooded murder? 

Several resources were used in the research of this case including:

Court record: The People, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Susan Mae Polk, Defendant and Applellant, Contra Costa County Super. Ct. No. 031668-7, December 13, 2010

Articles:

A California Murder Raises Troubling Issues by Carol Pogash for The New York Times, September 18, 2005

Obituary of Dr. F. Felix Polk, SFGate.com, November 5, 2002. 

Slaying rips apart a family in Orinda by Jason Dearen for Bay Area News Group, October 10, 2005. 

Convicted Orinda killer Susan Polk denied parole, kicked out of hearing midway through by Nate Gartrell for Bay Area News Group, July 17, 2019.  

Sponsor: 

Italic - www.italic.com use offer code ONCE for $15 off your first purchase. 

Patreon:  www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

 

Jul 28, 2019

A mother seeks help for her special needs child, but a church prayer service ends tragically.  

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

Book:

True Stories of Law and Order by Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo 

Articles: 

Death by Exorcism by David Krajicek for the New York Daily News, October 8, 2006

Sponsor: 

Native Deodorants - www.nativedeodorant.com  - Use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first purchase. 

Subscribe to "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime" 

On iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-taco-bout-true-crime/id1452118167

On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7k3cQGC0unJGSMhlEZRiWG?si=dLyaqKydRDi_SA3wYkhWnw 

On Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=379086

 

Jul 8, 2019

In the second chapter of the series "Deadly Therapy" a young girl who grows up in an unstable home is placed up for adoption.  Her adoptive mother finds her behavior problematic and has her undergo a new and controversial therapy - with tragic results.  

Several resources were used to research this episode including: 

Her Name was Candace by Carla Crowder and Peggy Lowe for Denver Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 29, 2000    https://culteducation.com/group/1115-rebirthing/17893-her-name-was-candace.html

Seeking Child’s Love, A Child’s Life is Lost by Barry Siegel for the Los Angeles Times, Feb. 4, 2001  https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-feb-04-mn-21072-story.html

Links from this episode: 

www.singleparentadvocate.org

www.doorofhope.us

www.adoptuskids.org

www.togetherwerise.org

https://store.23skidoovintage.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/493288214744272/

Today's Sponsor: 

Warby Parker - www.warbyparker.com/ONCE for a free Home Try-On kit. 

 

Jul 1, 2019

In this month's series, "Deadly Therapy", I’ll detail cases of people who sought help from experts, but rather than receiving healing and transformation, their journeys came to an abrupt and deadly end.  In this first chapter, you’ll hear how James, Arthur Ray, a self-described success coach and guru required his followers to perform increasingly more extreme mental and physical challenges all in the pursuit of “enlightenment” with deadly results. 

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

Articles: 

The Death Dealer by Matt Stroud in The Verge

Arizona Sweat Lodge: The Inside Story of James Ray's Fatal Retreat by Miguel Sancho and Kimberley Brown for ABC News

Blogs: 

https://spiritualityisnoexcuse.wordpress.com/james-rays-first-victim-colleen-conaway/

Films:

Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray (2016) 

Sponsor: 

Care/of - www.TakeCareOf.com - Enter promo code ONCE at checkout for 25% off your first order. 

 

Jun 24, 2019

Identical twin sisters, Sunny and Gina Han were lifelong rivals.  One sister's jealousy would lead her to plot her twin's murder. 

 

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

Court Transcripts:

People v. Han, Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3, California, Feb. 25, 2000

Opposition of Parole letter from Orange County District Attorney's Office to Office of Governor Jerry Brown, November 20, 2017. 

Articles:

'Evil Twin' Granted Parole Despite DA's Objections by Nathan Solis for Courthousenews.com, June 21, 2018. 

 

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

www.truecrimepodcast.com

 

Jun 22, 2019

On this bonus episode I take you along with me to CrimeCon 2019 in New Orleans and my travels to New York City and Toronto for the Toronto True Crime Film Festival.  

#CrimeCon #NewOrleans #TorontoTrueCrimeFilmFestival #truecrimedocumentaries #NewYorkCity 

www.facebook.com/onceuponacrimepod 

Jun 22, 2019

In this bonus episode, I interview Jan Broberg and Skye Borgman about their documentary film "Abducted in Plain Sight" LIVE at CrimeCon 2019 in New Orleans.

#AbductedinPlainSight #truecrimedocumentary #CrimeCon2019

 

Jun 10, 2019

I continue the story of the Gibbons Sisters - twins who were locked in a battle their entire lives. Neither believed they could survive without the other, but controlled each other so completely they only spoke to or associated with one another.  When they reached adolescence, they knew they had to find some way to break out of this destructive twin bond or both would perish.  Their desperation lead them to commit increasingly antisocial and criminal acts.  This is part two of "The Silent Twins". 

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

 

Marjorie Wallace, The Silent Twins, (London, Vintage Books 1998). 

BBC: Inside Story, The Silent Twin: Without my Shadow. YouTube, Uploaded by GottaFindPants, Nov 20, 2017. https://youtu.be/98WtP1qC61s 

Links:

Website: www.truecrimepodcast.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/onceuponacrimepod

 

Jun 3, 2019

June and Jennifer Gibbons were identical twins who, from a very young age, were so bonded to one another that they created their own “twin language” to communicate speaking only to one another.  They rejected any other relationships including their own parents and siblings.  Later, they would construct a fantasy world that only they inhabited.  This lead to more serious anti-social behavior that resulted in a shocking crime spree.  

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

Marjorie Wallace, The Silent Twins, (London, Vintage Books 1998). 

BBC: Inside Story, The Silent Twin: Without my Shadow. YouTube, Uploaded by GottaFindPants, Nov 20, 2017. https://youtu.be/98WtP1qC61s 

Music credits: 

Music from https://filmmusic.io:
"Reflections" by Alexander Nakarada (https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com/)
Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

 

May 17, 2019

This bonus episode gives news and announcements for the month of May including information on Season 4. 

Website: www.truecrimepodcast.com 

Social Media:

Twitter - @uponacrime and @tacoboutcrime

Facebook and Instagram - @onceuponacrimepod

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

CrimeCon: www.crimecon.com - use discount code ONCE19 for 10% off your registration

Toronto True Crime Film Festival - www.torontotruecrimefilmfestival

 

 

 

 

May 13, 2019

A mother takes justice into her own hands in Jamestown, California in 1993 when she discovers her son has been abused by a child molester.  Some called her a hero, others denounced her actions as vigilantism.  This is Chapter 2 of "Disorder in the Court".

Sponsors:

Hask Beauty: www.haskbeauty.com or purchase in store at CVS or online at www.cvs.com.

Backblaze: www.Backblaze.com/ONCE for a fully-featured 15-day no risk free trial. 

Several resource materials were used for this episode including: 

The Nesler Family's Tragic Past - www.oprah.com 

Pushed Over Edge, Mother Chose Own Brand of Justice by Mark Arak, Times Staff Writer, April 11, 1993. 

William Nesler Still a Fugitive by Lloyd Vries for CBS News, July 29, 2004. 

Ellie Nesler's Family Buries their Hero in Angels Camp, by John Holland in The Modesto Bee, January 2, 2009. 

Links:

www.CrimeCon.com - use ONCE19 for 10% off your registration

www.TorontoTrueCrimeFilmFestival.com - June 14th & 15th

www.facebook.com/onceuponacrimepod

www.truecrimepodcast.com

 

Apr 29, 2019

A summer ball game descends into chaos when a promotional event goes seriously awry.  This is the last chapter in the series "Bad Sports" recounting the Cleveland Indians' "Ten Cent Beer Night" riot. 

Today's sponsor: 

Hask Beauty - www.haskbeauty.com .  You can also find Hask products  at www.walmart.com.

Thanks to guest voice actors Lorne and Michael from The True Crime Guys podcast.  www.truecrimeguys.com

Some of the resources used in this episode include: 

Articles: The Night Beer and Violence Bubbled Over in Cleveland by Paul Jackson on ESPN.com

Forty Years Ago, 10-cent Beer Makes Memories by Anthony Castrovince on MLB.com 

Video: Ten Cent Beer Night - Weird History on YouTube.com 

Other links: 

Our website: www.truecrimepodcast.com

Patreon:  www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

CrimeCon: www.CrimeCon.com - use discount code ONCE19 for 10% off your registration.  

 

 

Apr 15, 2019

A friendly soccer game on a dusty field in Brazil turns into a horrific act of violence. 

Resources: 

Article: A Yellow Card, Then Unfathomable Violence in Brazil by Jere Longman and Taylor Barnes for The New York Times, October 31, 2013

"Football Hooliganism" - a Wikipedia listing of instances of violence at soccer matches.  

Sponsors: 

Away Travel - www.awaytravel.com/ONCE20 and use discount code ONCE20 for $20 off a suitcase.

Espionage - A new podcast by the Parcast network.  www.parcast.com/Espionage 

Events:

CrimeCon 2019: www.crimecon.com and use discount code ONCE19 for 10% off your registration 

Toronto True Crime Film Festival: www.torontotruecrimefilmfestival - June 14th/15th, The Revue Cinema, Toronto 

Apr 8, 2019

Ray and Sally McNeil were a married couple who were both accomplished athletes in the sport of professional bodybuilding.  But, a combination of infidelity, abuse and anabolic steroid use would lead to a final, bloody confrontation on Valentine’s Day, 1995. 

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

Court Records:

McNeil v. Middleton, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Submitted April 8, 2003, Filed Sept 22, 2003.

Articles:

Sally McNeil...This is My Story by Leigh Penman for RXMuscle.com, Nov 4, 2009

The Sally-Ray McNeil Murder by Peter McGough for MuscularDevelopment.com, Feb 12, 2015. 

Once Upon a Crime website: www.truecrimepodcast.com

Sponsors: 

Hask hair care products - www.haskbeauty.com or shop online at www.ulta.com.

Harper Wilde - www.HarperWilde.com/ONCE for a free home try-on plus a free bra wash bag.  

 

Apr 1, 2019

This month I'll be sharing stories of outrageous crimes that occurred at sporting events or by sports figures.  

First up, a neighborhood ice rink, a pee-wee hockey pick-up game and some unsportsmanlike conduct leads to a confrontation between parents that ends with tragic results. 

Links and Resources:

CrimeCon 2019 - Go to www.crimecon.com and use discount code ONCE19 to get 10% off your registration.

Away Travel - www.AwayTravel.com/ONCE and use ONCE20 at checkout for $20 off a suitcase. 

BetterHelp - www.BetterHelp.com/ONCE for 10% off your first month of online counseling. 

One Eye Open Podcast - https://oneeyeopen.podbean.com 

 

Mar 25, 2019

A man starts having vivid memories of a violent crime he believes he may have committed during an alcoholic blackout. 

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

Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiiorillo, True Stories of Law & Order (New York: Berkley Boulevard Books), 74-82. 

Cox v. Miller, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Decision, retrieved from www.Justia.com, July 17, 2002. 

David Goldnamn Biography, "AA vs DA: The Case of Paul Cox," March 2003, 21. 

 

 

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime to become a patron and receive podcast merch, bonus episodes and be entered into our monthly drawing. 

Mar 18, 2019

I conclude the story about Eileen Franklin who claimed to have witnessed her friend, 8-year-old Susan Nason's murder in 1969. She would say her memory of the event was only recovered after 20 years.  Her story would begin a debate about the validity of "recovered memories" used in criminal trials.

Sponsors:

Better Help - www.BetterHelp.com/ONCE - use discount code ONCE to get 10% your first month of online counseling.

Daily Harvest - www.Daily-Harvest.com - enter promo code ONCE to get three free cups in your first box. 

******

Click here to subscribe to "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime"!

To register for CrimeCon go to www.CrimeCon.com and use discount code ONCE19 for 10% off your ticket! 

Mar 11, 2019

In this series I'll share crime stories that feature a very strange and rare phenomenon - recovered memories of murder.  Is it possible to forget about a murder?  Could a traumatic event, like witnessing a violent crime, cause a person to repress the memory so completely that they, in essence, “forget” they ever saw such a horrific event?

In this first chapter, Eileen Franklin recalls a 20-year-old murder.  She will claim that she witnessed the murder of her best friend, 8-year-old Susan Nason in 1969 and then repressed the memory for years.

Resources: 

Several articles, court records and other materials were used to research this case.  One resource was the book Once Upon a Time by Harry Maclean, published in 1993.

Sponsor:

Better Help - Go to www.betterhelp.com/once and use discount code ONCE to get 10% off your first month of online counseling. 

Feb 26, 2019

A career criminal commits multiple murders plus an attempted murder and continues to be released on parole.  This is the case of Michael Keith Moon. 

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

Michael Hemmingston, San Diego Reader, "Moon Arraigned in Escondido Cold Case," Jan 16, 2008. 

Randy Kalp, The Coast News Group, Rancho Santa Fe, "Convicted felon takes wrap for 31-year-old slaying," Dec 11, 2008. 

Pauline Repard, The San Diego Union-Tribune, "Double murderer paroled to downtown San Diego," March 15, 2015. 

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime - The Podcast - subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

 

Feb 19, 2019

In the conclusion of the story of Louise Peete, the convicted murderess is released from prison and, before long, goes on to commit another violent crime. 

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

Dead Woman Walking:Louise Peete by Joan Renner - www.derangedlacrimes.com

Black Widow, Mara Bovsun, Daily News New York, November 18, 2001

She Buried Them All by Bill Walker in Saga: The Magazine for Men, January 1962. 

Sponsor: 

BetterHelp - www.BetterHelp.com/once and use discount code ONCE for 10% off your first month. 

Feb 13, 2019

I'm pleased to announce my new podcast "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime"!  Each episode will feature me and a special guest host talking about what's new, hot, and trending in true crime - in a fun and casual format. 

First episode drops on February 19th! 

Subscribe here on Apple Podcasts or search for "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime" on your favorite podcast platform.  It's rolling out to more podcast platforms as we speak!

Dec 18, 2018

As a special holiday episode Yolanda from Not Perfect or Functional Podcast aka my little sister returns! This time we discuss the ever-debated Darlie Routier case.  

Yolanda's Podcast: www.notperfectorfunctional.com or look for it under "Not Perfect or Functional" on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Resources: 

Book: A Killer in My House: The Darlie Routier Story by David Kennedy

Link to DNA results: www.dallascounty.org/public_access.php  Choose "accept" on main page and then enter case number F9639973 to see Darlie Routier's case-related documents. 

Video: "The Wrong Man?" (says 20/20 Full Episode, but it's not that show). 

Sponsors: 

Outdoor Voices: www.OutdoorVoices.com/ONCE and enter promo code ONCE for 20% off your first order of $100 or more.

Kopari: www.KopariBeauty.com/once for $5 off your first order when you subscribe. 

Social Media: 

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

Facebook - www.facebook.com/onceuponacrimepod 

Twitter - www.twitter.com/uponacrime

Instagram - www.instagram.com/onceuponacrimepod 

 

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