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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!

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.

Sponsors:

Feals: Get 50% off your first order of premium CBD and free shipping by going to www.feals.com/once.

HASK: Enter a weekly giveaway for a chance to win a $100 HASK hair care prize pack at www.haskbeauty.com/once

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. 

Sponsor:

Hask Hair Care - For a chance to win a $100 prize pack go to www.haskbeauty.com/once.

Links:

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

Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

 

Jun 29, 2020

The Generation Why Podcast released its first episode in 2012 and pioneered the true crime genre in the podcasting world. Two friends, Justin and Aaron, break down theories and give their opinions on unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries and conspiracies.  

Here's a link to listen to The Generation Why: www.wondery.fm/genwhy_onceupon 

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. 

Sponsors: 
Hask - Enter for a chance to win a $100 prize pack at www.haskbeauty.com/once 
RapidLash - For 30% off sitewide go to www.rapidlash.com and use code RAPID30. 

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 17, 2020

It's February 2nd 1922, and all of Hollywood is about to wake up and learn that William Desmond Taylor, the most famous film director in town, was murdered in his home last night. The investigation will shine a light on some of Hollywood's most scandalous affairs, backroom deals, and underground drug dens. This real life Murder Mystery is one of the most iconic "whodunnit" cases of the 20th century that will leave you guessing and second guessing who killed William Desmond Taylor for weeks to come.

Listen today at: http://wondery.fm/onceuponacrimeMiH

 

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. 

Sponsors: 
Hask - Enter for a chance to win a $100 prize pack at www.haskbeauty.com/once 
RapidLash - For 30% off sitewide go to www.rapidlash.com and use code RAPID30. 

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. 

Sponsor:

Hask Hair Care - Go to haskbeauty.com/ONCE for your chance to win a $100 prize pack. 

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. 

Sponsors: 

Best Fiends: Download on the Apple App Store or Google Play. 

HASK: Go to haskbeauty.com/ONCE for your chance to win a $100 prize pack. 

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

Sponsors:

Hask Hair Care - www.haskbeauty.com/once to enter to win a prize pack of Hask products. 

RapidLash - www.rapidlash.com - Use discount code RAPID30 to save 30% off sitewide.

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.

Sponsors:

HASK Hair Care - www.haskbeauty.com/once for your chance to win a $100 prize pack

The Fall Line Podcast - www.thefalllinepodcast.com

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. 

Sponsors: 

RapidLash - Visit rapidlash.com and use discount code RAPID30 to save 30% off sitewide. 

HASK Haircare - Enter the giveaway to win a $100 prize pack of HASK products at haskbeauty.com/ONCE. 

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. 

Sponsors: 

HASK Hair Care Products: To enter a giveaway for $100 in Hask shampoos, conditioners, dry shampoos and more go to www.haskbeauty.com/once 

Best Fiends: Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.  

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

Sponsors: 

Firstleaf - www.tryfirstleaf.com/once to get 6 bottles of wine for $29.95 plus free shipping.

HASK Hair Care Products - https://haskbeauty.com/once to enter a giveaway for a chance at $100 worth of HASK products

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

 

 

 

Mar 30, 2020

A gruesome crime would become a media sensation in Canada in 1946 when a beautiful young woman was accused of the grisly murder.  This is the case of the infamous Evelyn Dick and the Torso Murder of 1946.

Link to listen to the song "Evelyn Dick" by The Forgotten Rebels - https://youtu.be/OAkxFSM_rNs 

Resources: 

The Torso Murder by Brian Vallee published by Key Porter Books, Canada, 2001. 

Evelyn Dick on Murderpedia.org - http://murderpedia.org/female.D/d/dick-evelyn.htm

Sponsors: 

Keep Coming Back Podcast: Real Stories of Sobriety and Recovery - Listen at www.keepcomingbackpodcast.com 

EveryPlate - Get 3 weeks of EveryPlate meals for only $2.99 per meal at EveryPlate.com and use offer code once3

Links: 

To become a Patreon member go to:  www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 

 

Mar 23, 2020

In 1991, Kurt Cobain released a song on the album Nevermind. Titled "Polly" the song was inspired by a kidnapping and rape of a young girl in Tacoma, Washington.  This is the story of that crime.

Listen to "Polly" by Nirvana here: https://youtu.be/3H0NHHKBemg

Resources: 

"Story Behind the Song - Polly" by Hayley Selfridge on YouTube

"Nirvana's Darkest Song" by The Nerdwriter on YouTube

"Police suspect rapist in serial killings", Tri-City Herald, June 19, 1987.

Links to episodes mentioned: 

The Day the Music Died: Kurt Cobain - Episode #10 - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-010-the-day-the-music-died-kurt-cobain/id1122650415?i=1000382663745

True Crime Game Changers: Polly Klaas - Episode #21 - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-021-true-crime-game-changers-polly-klaas/id1122650415?i=1000382668498

Sponsors:

Best Fiends - Download free on the Apple App Store or Google Play

Endurance Warranty - endurancenow.com/once for $300 off an Endurance Vehicle Protection plan

 

Mar 9, 2020

A young girl is brutally murdered in New York's Central Park in 1986. Her killer, Robert Chambers, would be dubbed "The Preppy Killer" in the press and his victim's name would be dragged through the mud. This is the real story of "The Preppy Murder" you haven't heard before.  

Listen to "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" by The Killers here: https://youtu.be/1Bxx_h4vl8Y

Resources used in the research for this episode: 

"East Side Story" by Michael Stone for New York Magazine, June 27, 2008.

"Looking Back at the Preppy Killer Case, More Than 30 Years Later" by Elizabeth Angell for Town and Country Magazine, November 12, 2019. 

Sponsors

First Leaf - tryfirstleaf.com/ONCE for an exclusive introductory offer of $29.95 for your first shipment plus free shipping.

Endurance Vehicle Protection Program - endurancenow.com/once for $300 off an Endurance vehicle protection plan. 

Mar 3, 2020

The mysterious death of a young girl inspires Jon Bon Jovi to record a song dedicated to her.  This is the case of Katherine Korzilius. 

Resources used in the research for this episode: 

Unsolved Mysteries, Season 10: Episode 7 - https://unsolved.com/gallery/katherine-korzilius/

"Family Searches for Answers, Peace" by Hank Stuever for Austin American-Statesman, Aug 7, 1997. 

"Jon Bon Jovi Busy with Singing, Newfound Acting Career" by Winnie Bonelli for The Herald-New, Passaic, New Jersey, June 20, 1997. 

Sponsors: 

Endurance Warranty - endurancenow.com/once for $300 off a vehicle protection plan

Away Travel - awaytravel.com/once20 for a risk-free, 100-day trial. 

Links:

Song: "August 7th, 4:15" by Jon Bon Jovi - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoABwDxs9q8 

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

Music Credits:

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

Other music from Freesound.org - Licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License. 

 

Feb 25, 2020

In Nebraska, in 1958, a high school junior holds animosity towards his mother and takes deadly revenge.  He is caught and imprisoned and, years later, disappears for decades.  Where is Leslie Arnold today? 

Resources used in the research for this episode: 

"Whatever Happened to Leslie Arnold, the Boy who Murdered his Parents?" by John William Tuohy,  www.mywriterssite.blogspot.com 

"The Mystery of Leslie Arnold" by Henry Cordes for The Omaha World-Herald, Sept 13, 2017. 

Sponsors: 

Best Fiends - A unique and exciting puzzle game that you can play anywhere. Download it today on your favorite app store. That's Best F-I-E-N-D-S, "friends without the "R"! 

Endurance Warranty - Go to endurancenow.com/once for $300 off a vehicle protection plan. 

Music Credits:

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

Other music:  Licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License.

 

 

Feb 11, 2020

In Kansas in 1958, an 18-year-old kills both of his parents and his only sibling. Was it a case of greed, mental illness, or was Andrews just a "bad seed"?  

#parricide #InColdBlood #TheBrothersKaramazov #deathrow #familyannihilators 

Resources: 

"Lowell Lee Andrews Was 'The Nicest Boy' in Wolcott by Beth Elias for Ranker.com 

"Nicest boy in Wolcott" by David J. Krajicek for NYDailyNews.com, Feb. 21, 2010

"State vs. Andrews", Appeal Record, State of Kansas, Dec. 10, 1960. Retrieved on Justia.com

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Modern Library, Reprint Edition, 2013. 

Sponsor: 

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

Music Credits:

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

Music from https://filmmusic.io - "March of the Mind" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Other music:  https://freesound.org/s/321070/  ,  https://freesound.org/s/243435/   Licensed under the Creative Commons 0 License.

 

Feb 4, 2020

In 1975, a rebellious teen enlists her boyfriend to kill her parents in a small, Northern California town. The gruesome crime would be dubbed "The Barbecue Murders" in the press. 

Sources: 

"Kill My Parents: The story of Marlene Olive" by Denise Noe for Crime Library, June 23, 2014

"A Local Murder: Terra Linda was the setting for a real-life 1975 crime" by Jim Wood for Marin Magazine, October 21, 2008

Sponsor:

Firstleaf:  www.Firstleaf.com/ONCE for 6 bottles of wine for $29.95 plus free shipping 

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

Links:

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-taco-bout-true-crime/id1452118167 

Affirmative Murder - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/affirmative-murder/id1296864488

www.CrimeCon.com - Use offer code ONCE2020 for 10% off your registration. 

Jan 28, 2020

In this special episode I'll do an in-depth look at the infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos.  

Time stamps:

Early Life: 02:41

Teen Years: 13:25

Young Adult Life: 32:17

On the Road: 35:30

Criminal Activity: 36:12

Tyra: 47:30

The Victims: 55:57

Closing In/The Arrest: 1:36:40

The Confession: 1:44:46

Arlene Pralle/Adoption: 1:51:50

The Trial: 1:56:42

Death Sentence: 2:04:26

Execution 2:12:44

Final Thoughts: 2:14:35

Sources: 

"Lethal Intent", written by Sue Russell, Published 2002 for Pinnacle Books

http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/wuornos805.htm

"A Mother's Love" by Mike Clary for the LA Times, Dec 17 1991, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-12-17-vw-496-story.html

Sponsors:

Away Travel: www.awaytravel.com/once20

Other links: 

Deadly Misadventures Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/deadly-misadventures/id1494774552 

CrimeCon: www.crimecon.com - Use promo code ONCEUPON2020 for 10% off your standard registration. 

Music Credits: 

Aaron Michael Goldberg: https://aarongoldberg.bandcamp.com

Music from https://filmmusic.io "March of the Mind" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

 

Jan 5, 2020

On this bonus episode I share the highs and lows for 2019, list the top episodes of last year, talk about upcoming events and share the last word on the 2019 plagiarism scandal.  

Links:

Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bonus-episode-lets-taco-bout-crime-junkie-plagiarism/id1452118167?i=1000447888185 

Facebook Fan Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730325570622505/

CrimeCon 2019 - https://www.crimecon.com/cc20-orlando  - Use promo code ONCE2020 for 10% off your registration. 

 

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