The Sword and Scale true-crime podcast is an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Our stories delve into the worst of the worst and include murder, rape, dismemberment and cannibalism. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.
On July 17th, 2016, former United State Marine Gavin Long went into Baton Rouge, Louisiana to wage an all out war on the police. Many thought it was in retaliation for the tragic death of Alton Sterling in the weeks prior, but not everything is as it seems?
If the police wanted to target him for years, he was going to be their ultimate target.
When 23 year old Bonnie Haim goes missing in January of 1993, abandoning her husband and 3 year old son, all fingers point toward her husband, Michael Haim. With no body, no DNA evidence, and no proof, police couldn?t make an arrest, and couldn?t prove that Bonnie hadn?t just run off to start a new life. The case went cold for over two more decades until new evidence arose in 2014.
During the early morning hours of May 5th, 2012, Mark Duenas was awoken by what sounded like a catfight outside of his family home. He got up from his recliner and began checking the outside of the home. Walking down the hallway, he noticed the light on in his wife?s bedroom. When he opened up the door, he found her crumpled on the ground, covered in blood. No one knew who could have done such a thing. But in trying times such as these, it?s important for families to stick close.
Andrew Urdiales, a serial killer with military training, attacks and tortures women across three states for ten years. Only one woman lives to the tell her harrowing tale; but with no evidence left behind, how many years will pass until justice is served?
The process of vetting those we allow into our lives is a precarious one. When young, prospective college student Brandy Rosine met Jade Olmstead online, it seemed to be love at first Skype. Things were going smoothly for the couple, they began living together for a short while until a restless Jade abandoned the relationship for a former flame. As Jade and Brandy continued to keep in touch despite Jade?s rekindled relationship with Ashley Barber, trouble began to brew within the love triangle.
On October 10th, 2008, 38-year-old Johnny Altinger made his way to South Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He had set up a date with a mysterious woman on the website Plenty of Fish. He emailed friends and family about his big date, even forwarding the directions of where he was heading to. A few days later, his friends and family realize they haven?t heard from the man who?s usually always in contact. A string of bizarre emails they receive make them contact the police about his well being. The directions lead to a garage full of horrors, almost as if it was made for a movie?
Serious psychological issues can develop, fester, and become toxic in the cover of darkness when not addressed and treated properly. None of us are immune to the dangers or pitfalls of mental illness or where dark thoughts could lead us. On March 10th, 2017, Anjum Coffland learned this lesson the hard way when she went to her husband Randall?s residence in order to retrieve her work computer.
16-year-old Emma Walker broke up with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Riley Gaul because she realized it wasn?t a healthy relationship and was tired of his controlling and abusive behavior. But when she needed help after a series of strange and frightening events, Riley was there to save her? or so she thought. On the morning of Monday, November 21, 2016, Emma is found dead in her bed and Riley is the number one person of interest.
Sticks and stones will break my bones... a child's nursery rhyme which contains a universal truth that is all but lost in today's day and age of safe spaces and mass censorship of "hurtful words." Respect is not only demanded in this brave new world, but some of us feel entitled to it. Chris Dorner never received the respect he felt he was entitled to. When he felt his honor was being stripped away by the very institution he swore allegiance to he had only one logical choice? go to war with the LAPD. How he chose to act then, said more about his character than any words ever could.
Three vicious murders in rural Northeastern Maine stun the small city of Amity?s 238 residents. A missing truck, three innocent victims killed with surgical precision, and a crime scene just a few miles West of the US/Canadian border leave detectives with few clues. Like a trained assassin creeping through the Maine thicket, 20-year-old Thayne Ormsby commits one of the state?s most heinous triple homicides, all apparently - by mistake. A tale of vigilante justice gone horribly wrong when the truth is finally revealed.
On July 17th, 2016, Cara Beckerle went up to the bedroom of her 19-year-old daughter, Aleah, to check on her. When she opened the door, the bed was empty, and Aleah?s wheelchair was sitting next to it.
Aleah could not have left of her own free will, as she was incapable of moving on her own due to physical disabilities, and she was nonverbal due to mental disabilities. She was also prone to seizures and had to take daily medication for them. That medication was also still in her room.
What happened to Aleah Beckerle?
Chris Watts is arrested and charged with murder on August 15th, 2018 in the disappearance of his pregnant wife Shanann and their two children, daughters Bella and Celeste. The caring father and husband was the envy of those who followed their success live online for the world to see. But behind the dramatic weight loss, the anticipated birth of their third child - a son, and Chris and Shanann?s thriving professional careers, a much darker truth remained. Chris wanted a new beginning. A new lease at life. And he was willing to do anything for a fresh start with his new love. He was a monster hiding in plain sight, and his actions horrified an entire nation, bringing new meaning to the classic marital vows, ?til death, do us part.? (Part 2 of 2)
On August 13th, 2018, expectant mother Shanann Watts and her daughters Bella and Celeste were reported missing from their home in Frederick, Colorado. As if vanishing into thin air, her vehicle was left locked in the family garage, her purse and wallet remaining on the kitchen counter. Husband and father Christopher Watts was the last to see them alive in the early morning hours, and his claims grew increasingly more bizarre as he spoke openly to the media in the hours and days after their initial disappearance. With every interview given, it became clear that Chris Watts was hiding much more than just their disappearance.
Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/monstruo/id1440306805
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/A016
All you need, is love. The lyrics etched on the consciousness of an entire generation. But what happens when all you need, is lost? 36-year old former child actor Aaron Wulf details nearly thirty years of violent physical and sexual abuse in his nearly 600 page written manifesto entitled, ?My Worst Nightmare In History.? A man who grew up in front of the camera, records his final moments behind the lens after losing his fiance unexpectedly to cancer. His story begs the question - is every man capable of reaching his breaking point?
9-year old Omaree Varela?s lifeless, bruised, and tattered body was recovered at the base of toy bouncy horse just two days after Christmas in 2013. His mother and stepfather claimed his death was the result of a freak accident while playing with his younger sibling. However, the marks on Omaree?s body and a horrifying 22 minute 911 call just six months earlier paint a much more sinister picture of what really happened.
In 2008, Adam Baker and his daughter, Zahra, moved to the United States from Queensland, Australia with the hopes of having the perfect new life. Adam had just married his new bride, Elisa, whom Zahra was quite fond of. What they soon began to learn was that the so-called ?Evil Stepmother? was no fairytale, and what existed was a real life monster?
On Tuesday September 13th, 2016 a 911 call police responded to 363 Covert Court Ashland, Ohio, an abandoned house near a laundromat. Minutes earlier, a frantic 911 call had been placed, from this location, by a woman who claimed she was being held captive and forced to perform sex acts with her captor. The story that would emerge from this strange series of events would lead to the eventual conviction of a serial killer by the name of Shawn M. Grate.
Chris and Cameron Ervin felt neglected and under-loved. In a life of increasing pressures, they numbed their minds with recreational drugs and shucked all responsibility in spite of being provided every opportunity to lead a successful life. When life seemed like too much they took the one thing that stood in their way...
In 1997, Shannon McCrossan moved with her two daughters, 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield and 3-year-old Faith to a home on Jet Drive in Midwest City, OK. At the time, life seemed to be okay. The neighbors were friendly and there were children for the girls to play with. On May 13th, 1997, Shannon awoke to any mother?s worst nightmare. Kirsten was missing from her bedroom.
Searches were made for the 8-year-old girl, but she was never found. The trail ran cold, until 2015 when the case was reopened and re-examined, leading investigators to a suspect in the unlikeliest of places?
In the early morning hours of February 5th, 2015, a man wearing a mask and black tactical gear burst into the bedroom of Lisa Trubnikova. Eventually, he took the mask off to reveal a familiar face. He wanted the women to know who he was and why he was there.
For years, Lisa had not thought about this man. But he had been doing a lot of thinking about her?
Special Guest: Chris D'Elia (http://chrisdelia.com)
51-year-old Ruth Pyne is found beaten and stabbed to death in the garage of her home in Highland Township, Michigan. Her immediate family members become the focus of the investigation, and one of them has a questionable alibi.
Indirect evidence begins to pile up, and a jury is left with the following question: at what point does circumstantial evidence overcome reasonable doubt?
On July 21st, 2006, an entire family seemingly disappeared from their home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. When police searched the residence, there were no signs of a break-in. Nothing was disturbed, and nothing of value appeared to be missing.
But there was no sign of Neil, Rachel, or Lillian Entwistle.
Everyone loves the idea of having the perfect family and keeping everyone close together. Go to work, come home, play with the kids, eat dinner together. Unfortunately, that isn?t always how things go. In 2015, the Bever family was the perfect example of this. The family of nine stuck close together within the four walls of their home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
But, stick a family together long enough, and eventually someone will blow their lid. On the evening of July 22nd, 2015, Robert and Michael Bever carried out a savage attack on their family, leaving most of their family dead, but their plans reached further than the closed doors of their home.
We all love to talk about all of the things we?re going to do to better ourselves? all of the changes we want to make. Maybe we?d like to focus more on our families, start a business, or go back to school. Whatever the case, these aspirations often remain nothing more than that? aspirations. We put them on hold for so long that we forgot about them.
This is the story of 26-year-old Laura Ackerson, a young woman who was taking those steps. She was determined to build a brighter future for herself and for her children.
But just as it was starting to take shape, that future was cut short.
When you have a problem, you hire someone to fix it. That's what you do. Sometimes you don't have the benefit of Yelp reviews though...
During the early morning hours of September 22nd, 2010, 13-year-old Alexis Mitchell awoke to the sight of her father looming over her and wearing a Halloween mask. His hands were around her neck, but he let up after she elbowed and bit him. Either having passed out or fallen asleep again thinking it was all a dream, Alexis eventually woke again up to the sound of screaming.
On Sunday, October 4th 2009, Milford Police Sgt. Kevin Furlong was dispatched by 911 to 4 Trow Road in Mont Vernon. There had been a home invasion. Inside he found Jaimie Cates with multiple stab wounds and injuries and the body of her mom Kimberly Cates with numerous slashing and stab marks. Who would have done such a thing to this poor family?
31-year-old Nicole VanderHeyden was substitute teacher and mother of three. She lived with her boyfriend and father of her infant son, Doug Detrie, in Bellevue, Brown County, WI. The Green Bay metro area. Her body was found naked and strangled in a farm field on May 21, 2016. Her skull was fractured and she suffered blunt force trauma to the left side of her head breaking and dislocating her jaw as well as injuries to her esophagus, trachea, and neck consistent with strangulation. Her clothes were found off the side of a highway on-ramp. Doug reports her missing that same morning. Police arrest him a couple days later after Nicole?s blood is found on the pavement and the murder weapon, a ?black cord,? outside his home.
Some crimes are so extreme that they defy the laws of nature. Ending the life of your very own mother, for example, is so unfathomable to most that it may be the most vile crime imaginable. The story we tell you here goes well beyond that. Strap in..
This will be, BY FAR, the most frustrating podcast you listen to (perhaps ever). We here, at Sword and Scale, have had some pretty frustrating interactions with emergency operators, but nothing can prepare you for this audio gem.
We also tangentially cover the brutal and completely senseless killing of an entire family. They were the Van Breda's and they lived near 10 Allemann Street.
Some tales of human depravity are just unimaginable. Are they the actions of a monster, or simply a monstrous act? Sometimes the lines are not quite so clear, and perhaps monsters are not only real, but existing all around us, and hidden in plain site.
This is the story of a young boy named Joshua Earl Patrick Phillips, an even younger girl named Maddie Clifton, and a waterbed.
What exactly is "God's Plan?" Do you know? Some people think they do. Jonathan Hearn and Sabrina Limon thought "God's Plan" included having an illicit affair and killing Sabrina's husband.
A teenage girl is stalked by a homeless man and suddenly goes missing two weeks later.
When Jane Bashara was found strangled to death in the back of her SUV nobody knew what to make of it. Things like this simply didn't happen in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, a wealthy community of million-dollar homes.
The Bashara's, now empty nesters in their mid 50's, also were not the type of people who were found murdered in a parking lot. They were the type of people who volunteered for charity when they weren't hanging out at the country club.
No one suspected that there were deep dark secrets between them that would end in murder.
The human mind can go to such depths of depravity that, for the average well-adjusted person, it?s hard to even imagine. Kevin Ray Underwood?s mind was so far gone that his sexual fantasies started to include cannibalism.
When 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin went missing, both of her parents lives were utterly destroyed. Little did they know that Jamie was literally just a few doors away in the same apartment building, and they were likely sitting there the moment she was killed.
So many leaves...
It doesn't happen often, but the intersection of Psychosis and Psychopathy is a scary place. A place where all things that are good, break down and all that's left is pure darkness.
Matthew Hoffman lived in such a place...
CENTAUR... you have awoken. Don't let them kill you.
Final episode of 2017 and Season 4. Enjoy...
Love is often expressed with gifts such as flowers and chocolates, but those same gifts can be used to manipulate, control and threaten in the hands of a stalker.
That is a lesson that Alice Ruggles learned the hard way from her obsessed ex-boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon who couldn't handle her rejection.
Nothing quite says fear like a machete. In this episode we bring you to distinct stories of some of the most barbaric and utterly inexplicable attacks with a blade to poor souls who did nothing to deserve such brutality.
The first story comes from Apex, North Carolina, where an 18-year-old girl named Priyanka Kumari is savagely attacked on her way home from school. The second comes from South Florida of course, where 17-year-old Jose Amaya-Guardado is ganged up on and killed by his classmates at a live-in trade school for troubled youth. They then have sex near Jose's corpse because nothing quite says romance like hacking up a kid to pieces.
The death of a little girl named Jodi Parrack send a small town into a spiral of shock and disbelief. Everyone goes looking, but when a reserve police officer named Raymond McCann suggests looking in the cemetery all eyes turn on him as the primary suspect.
We conclude with Part 2 of the Scrivo Murder Case, a story which deals with elements of mental illness, grief and the relationship between a mother and a son.
For our landmark hundredth episode we cover a story that has all the elements our listeners love to hear. A graphic and gory case of body parts being found
scattered across a roadway, and the unbelievable tale of how the case then unfolds from there will leave you scratching your head.
Underreported and underdiscussed, male sexual child abuse is a topic that is often brushed under the rug due to social norms and the child's fears of being labelled a homosexual or future perpetrator. Data from various studies indicates that the problem is much more widespread than initially thought, but because such a small percentage of victims ever come forward, the data is skewed. In this episode we delve into this topic and discuss it freely and openly.
If you want to tell us your story, please call us at +1-954-889-6854 and leave your story on our voicemail.
"We lock our doors at night to keep the outside world, to keep evil out, right? ...but what happens when evil has a key?" Those were the words spoken by Nation Hahn, a man who knows first hand how evil can deceptively find its way into your home without warning.
Becoming a parent can be one of the most joy-filled experiences in one's life. It has been a long-standing tradition for friends, family and neighbors to all gather to celebrate this special experience with a baby shower. In the last decade or so, a new trend called "gender-reveal parties" has emerged for expectant parents to have another opportunity to celebrate. But when the celebration of a new life is suddenly visited by death, a new bundle of questions emerge.
There's a lot that can go wrong in this organ we call the human brain, which we don't fully understand. It's important for all of us to be much more aware of the red flags so that we can prevent tragedies like this one from happening.
We examine this phenomenon of "Gangstalking" and "Targeted Individuals" and the case of a young lawyer named Myron May. We're joined by graduate professor of forensic psychology Dr. Vanessa Holtgrave.
Escapism is something most of us are guilty of. We retire to our TV shows, video games, podcasts... One would not assume that even the most esoteric escapes could be dangerous, but for two gay men in the mid 80's living in rural Northern Georgia, that would be a dangerous assumption.
This is the story of a place called Corpsewood. The handbuilt manor castle in the remote woods was meant to be a solitary retreat for Dr. Charles Scudder and Joseph Odem, but instead it would become their final resting place in which a carnival-like media atmosphere of victim-blaming would descend.
Randy Stair secretly identified as a female for years. She ditched her given name for the pseudonym Andrew Blaze and also ditched the YouTube channel she had worked on for a large part of her life to pursue animation. The cartoons she created were dark, angst-ridden creations derived from an existing Nickelodeon character that she was infatuated with and believed existed in some otherworldly plain which she planned to be welcomed into after murdering three of her coworkers.