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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!

Mar 15, 2021

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay enters London's Brixton Prison in 2012 in an attempt to teach a group of inmates to run a successful bakery. Would he succeed or would the men return to a life of crime once the cameras stopped rolling? 

Resources: 

"Mad for It" by Lynn Barber for The Guardian, May 13, 2001.

"From criminal to trainee cook: 'I owe Gordon Ramsay a lot'" by Erwin James for The Guardian, Aug 14, 2013. 

"Gordon Ramsay's Embarrassing Arrest Inspired Him to Set Up a Prison Bakery for London Inmates" by Sabrina Smith for Showbiz CheatSheet, Feb 19, 2021. 

Gordon Behind Bars: Season 1 (2012), Helen Simpson, Director, FilmRise Network.  

Sponsors: 

AcornTV - www.Acorn.TV - use promo code ONCE to get your first 30 days free.

Prose - www.Prose.com/once for your free in-depth hair quiz and 15% off your first order. 

Ana Luisa - www.analuisa.com/once and use promo code ONCE for 10% off your entire jewelry purchase. 

Plum Deluxe Teas - www.plumdeluxe.com/once and enter code ONCE at checkout for 10% off your purchase. Or join the tea club to get a 20% off code on additional teas and accessories. 

Links: 

Once Upon a Crime webpage: www.truecrimepodcast.com - click on the red microphone in the corner of the homepage to record your question. 

Podcasts We Listen to Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PodcastsWeListenTo/

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

Mar 9, 2021

In this series we'll take a look at the restaurant industry to ask "What happens when good cooks go bad?".  In this episode, a restaurateur in Southern California is suspected of murder when his wife disappears. What detectives discover would shock and horrify the community.

Resources: 

"Witness: Cliff Jumper Threatened to Kill Wife", Nicole Mooradian for The Patch, Sept 14, 2012. 

"Did California Chef David Viens Kill, Then Cook Wife?", 48 Hours, May 13, 2013. 

"Los Angeles jury finds chef guilty of killing wife", The Associated Press, printed in The Florida Times-Union, September 28, 2012. 

Sponsors: 

Plum Deluxe Teas - www.plumdeluxe.com/once enter code ONCE at checkout for 10% off your purchase. Or join the tea club for 20% off on additional teas and accessories.

Ana Luisa Jewelry - www.analuisa.com/once to get 10% off your purchase.

Skout's Honor - www.skoutshonor.com/once for 20% off your order of preventative grooming solutions for pets. 

Apostrophe - www.apostrophe.com/once and use code ONCE for $15 dollars off your dermatology visit. 

Links: 

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

Patreon - www.patreoncom/onceuponacrime

Stitcher Premium - https://www.stitcher.com/premium - use discount code ONCEUPONACRIME for one month of Stitcher Premium for free.  

Feb 16, 2021

Two women meet a man on Match.com. After they end the relationship, Wade Ridley vows deadly revenge. 

Resources:

20/20: In an Instant - "Match Made in Hell", ABC Television, aired July 1, 2017

Dating App Horrors: The Untold Story, A&E Network, aired May 2, 2019. 

"Mary Kay Beckman Sues Match.com", The Huffington Post, Jan 24, 2013

Sponsors:

Prose - www.prose.com/once for 15% off

Apostrophe - www.apostrophe.com/once - use discount code ONCE, click "Begin Visit", then use code ONCE at sign up to get $15 off your dermatology visit.

The New Yorker - www.newyorker.com/once - Get 12 weeks for just $6 plus a free tote bag.

 

Jan 19, 2021

In part two of this miniseries the bravery of an 8-year-old girl unmasks a serial predator named Curtis Dean Anderson. He would be linked to the disappearance of Xiana Fairchild. 

Resources:

"Portrait of 'an absolute monster'", by Kevin Fagan for The San Francisco Chronicle, July 7, 2009. 

"Midsi Sanchez finds purpose, peace 20 years after being kidnapped in Vallejo", by Amy Maginnis-Honey for The Daily Republic - Solano County, July 2020. 

Letters from a Serial Killer, Kristi Belcamino and Stephanie Kahalekulu, Publisher - Kristi Belcamino, 2018. 

Sponsors: 

Munk Pack - www.munkpack.com - enter discount code ONCE at checkout to save 20% off your purchase. 

The New Yorker - www.newyorker.com/once and use promo code ONCE to get 12 weeks of The New Yorker for just $6 plus a free tote bag. 

Links:

www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

 

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 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. 

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

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 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

 

May 4, 2020

In this series, "Last Dance", I share stories of crimes that happened on prom night.  In the first episode, a teenager commits an act of parricide then attends his prom and holds a party at the crime scene. 

Resources: 

Adam Sapikowski - crime and trial reported by WRAL.com over several articles - https://www.wral.com/news/local/asset_gallery/1066030/

"Adam Sapikowski Sentenced" - ABC 11 News, Feb 8, 2008.

 

Links: 

Facebook Fan Page: https://bit.ly/2VuSgtM

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

 

 

Apr 27, 2020

An abusive stepfather gets his comeuppance when his stepsons turn on him resulting in a grisly murder. 

Resources:

"Joshua and Jerome Ellis guilty of stepfather killing", BBC News, Feb 26, 2014. 

"Kids Who Kill: Responsible Child inspired by the true story of two young brothers who stabbed their stepfather", Graeme Culliford for The Sun, Dec 17, 2019. 

Links: 

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

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! https://bit.ly/2UDxhEG 

Once Upon a Crime Facebook Fan Page: https://bit.ly/2VuSgtM 

Apr 20, 2020

A child, unwanted from birth and neglected by her birth parents, is hopeful that her new stepmother will love her like a daughter. It is not to be and her story will become a cautionary tale in the U.K. of how the child protective system spectacularly failed Lauren Wright. 

Resources: 

"Tragic tale of a child unwanted from the day of her birth" by Terri Judd for The Independent, Oct 2, 2001. 

"A Life of Abuse and Neglect" by Paul Kelso for The Guardian, Oct 1, 2001. 

A series of articles in BBC News - "Doctor examine girl before death", Sept 5, 2001; "Stepmother 'loved Lauren'", Sept 20, 'Mum punched Lauren' says son", Sept 25; "Lauren inquiry demanded", "A lifetime of abuse" - all Oct 1, 2001.  

Links:

To listen and subscribe to "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime" : https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime

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

 

 

Apr 6, 2020

In our new series, “StepMonsters,” I’ll share stories of bad stepparents whose actions became true crime news.  In this first episode I'll share the story of a young boy who went missing and was found in a very unlikely place.  Was he the victim of abuse as he would claim and, if so, who was the person most responsible - his stepmother, his own father or both?  

Resources: 

"Charlie Bothuell V, Boy Found in Basement, Says His Home was a 'Terrible Place'", by Tara Fowler for People Magazine, April 29, 2015.

"Dad of Boy Found in Basement Wants Trial" by Holly Fournier for The Detroit News, January 5, 2016. 

Audio Clip: "Nancy Grace tells dad missing son found alive", retrieved from HLN on YouTube, https://youtu.be/TAQTR6_FTyI

Links:

CrimeCon: www.crimecon.com - use discount code ONCEUPON2020 for 10% off your registration

Once Upon a Crime's YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/2UDxhEG

Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

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

 

 

 

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