Podcast

Sword and Scale

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.

Episodes

  • +PLUS 78 - FREE PREVIEW!!!

    Oct 17 2020

    On August 2nd, 2016, 30-year-old speech pathologist Karina Vetrano left her home to go for a late-afternoon jog through Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach, Queens. When she didn’t return, a lengthy police investigation and two murder trials would follow, revealing a strange motive rooted in misdirected anger and pure rage.

  • Episode 171

    Oct 12 2020

    We all know by now that there are good cops, and there are very bad cops. On December 29th, 2009, Kevin Gregson and Eric Czapnik showed the world exactly which roles they filled. Both men wanted so desperately to become members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but the ultimate end to each of their careers was distinctly different. One man is now celebrated by the entire country of Canada, while the other is despised.

  • Episode 170

    Sep 21 2020

    The world had a conniption when news headlines announced “Kevin Bacon-Murdered!” just before the new year. As more details came out, it was clear that the victim of this murder was not the actor known for the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. The man who was murdered was a hairdresser from Swartz Creek, Michigan, and an LGBTQ+ advocate. What happened to Kevin was gruesome and shocking that it got the attention of YouTuber Jeffree Star, catapulting the story to mainstream news outlets.

  • Episode 169

    Aug 28 2020

    We take a break from the standard Sword and Scale format to chat about the current state of law enforcement with ex-police officer and judge Charles Adams from The Truth with Charles Adams on KPRC 950 AM and iHeartRadio.

  • Episode 168

    Aug 16 2020

    We often think of true-crime from the perspective of law enforcement trying valiantly to pursue the perpetrator and make them face the justice system. Have you ever considered what it would be like if you were in the hot seat? What if you were the suspect in an awful crime? What if there never really was a crime committed in the first place? William Hurt and his family were dragged through the justice system back in 2012 as part of a wild goose chase. Their journey still hasn’t concluded.

  • Episode 167

    Aug 02 2020

    The lives of Kevin and Marina Krim were forever changed on October 25th, 2012. All of New York City was suddenly rethinking their caregivers. “Is the person taking care of mom, dad, the dog, or the baby actually safe? What are the chances we could unknowingly hire a lunatic?” It could happen to anyone. The Krim family was unlucky.

  • Episode 166

    Jul 19 2020

    July of 2016 was a bad month in Bend, Oregon. Isabel Ponce Lara woke up one morning to her husband, Edwin Lara, acting very strangely. The events that would follow over the next 2 days changed her life forever. Isabel’s life would not be the only one turned upside down. 5 families in total would be absolutely traumatized by Edwin Lara’s choices.

  • Episode 165

    Jun 29 2020

    Freedom of speech and religion are two foundational parts of what this nation has to offer. They’re important to us and when we feel they’re being infringed upon, Americans speak up. What happens when freedom of religion directly causes harm to someone though? Are there limits to this freedom? Seth Welch found that there are hard limits. Not every state cracks down on how freedom of religion can put children in direct danger, but Michigan does.

  • Episode 164

    Jun 15 2020

    Orange County California has seen its fair share of bizarre crimes. When Sam Herr, a decorated combat veteran is nowhere to be found and his best friend Julie Kibuishi is discovered dead in Sam’s apartment, police are quick to begin a manhunt. As the investigation continues, more bizarre details begin to emerge, leaving the entire county stunned. The many people affected by this case have learned, if nothing else, that you never truly know who someone is, or what goes through their mind. 

  • Episode 163

    Jun 01 2020

    8-year-old Isabella Cipriano woke up in the middle of the night in April of 2012 to find that her father, mother, and brother were being attacked in the family home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. On the surface, this seemed to be a random home invasion, until Isabella saw the perpetrator. The truth behind who committed these atrocities, and why, would cause pain for the Cipriano family that may take longer to heal than their many physical scars.

  • Episode 162

    May 18 2020

    Ryan Lawrence appeared to be a caring and dutiful father, taking his 21-month-old daughter Maddox with him as he delivered pastries throughout Syracuse, New York, and holding her hand through a rare form of cancer she was diagnosed with before her first birthday. But unbeknownst to everyone, an even more terrible storm is gathering on the horizon.

  • Episode 161

    May 04 2020

    On May 6th, 2013, Sharlene Bosma watched as her husband Tim pulled away from their house on a test drive with two strange men, never to return again. Finding the mysterious kidnappers will only be part of the struggle. Finding out what happened to Tim Bosma will lead to the most gruesome discovery of all.

  • Episode 160

    Apr 23 2020

    Never before have so many of us been forcibly cooped up in our houses for this length of time. COVID-19 has shaken up our routines and our state of mind. During this quarantine, we’ve seen an increase in drug and alcohol consumption, in stress-levels and exacerbated mental illness, loneliness, hopelessness, all of the things that breed conflict. In this episode, we’re starting with a broad scope, talking about all of the attempted acts of domestic terrorism happening on the outside while we sit ...more

  • Episode 159

    Apr 20 2020

    The quiet seclusion of rural Maine gives many people a feeling of solace but sometimes the isolation can fracture a person’s psyche. The rural town of Winthrop, Maine had never seen a murder case like the one on Halloween 2016. Andrew Balcer, a minor, accused of murdering his parents… and the reason would surprise everyone even Andrew.

  • Episode 158

    Mar 26 2020

    Citizens of Bakersfield California were in for a crazy day on December 10, 2016. The public events of this day would result in a police chase, and two deaths, eventually a third.Manuel Vela was no stranger to dealing with the law, and resisting arrest almost every single time. Beating on his woman was not an unknown pastime for him. He spent his entire life in and out of juvenile homes and eventually prison, but his final crimes against his fiance would be beyond any act of violence he had commi...more

  • Episode 157

    Mar 16 2020

    Who do we blame when an innocent 8-year-old boy is brutally murdered in a stranger’s kitchen? In this particular case, fingers are pointed in every direction. The cut-and-dry cases of random abduction and murder are terrible and tragic, yet simple. The murder of Markie Mason, however, is anything but simple.

  • Episode 156

    Mar 01 2020

    The United States has experienced a slew of mass murders in recent years, but the two mass shootings that occurred within 14 hours of each other in August of 2019 have made a big impact on a society that is becoming more complacent by the day. The 24-hour news cycle consistently seems to have a negative effect on the frequency of these mass shootings as well as the continued desensitization of our society.

  • Episode 155

    Feb 15 2020

    We’re back with the riveting conclusion to the tale of Ezra McCandless and her claims of repeated sexual victimization. To understand the many facets of this case, you absolutely must go back and listen to part 1 before you listen to this episode.We ended part 1 with some final details about Ezra’s love triangle with Jason Mengel and Alex Woodworth, and all of her many rape allegations against the men in her life, but we still don’t know what happened to Alex on March 22, 2018. Ezra is the only ...more

  • Episode 154

    Feb 02 2020

    Ezra McCandless wove a web of complicated relationships for herself, getting involved romantically with many of the men in her coffee-shop clique in a hipster Wisconsin college town. Things were going well for her until they weren’t, and one person in the exclusive friend group ended up dead.

  • Episode 153

    Dec 19 2019

    A neighbor dispute turns deadly after a brain damaged war vet with PTSD finally snaps on Labor Day 2012. Did Billy Woodward plan his military style assault, or did he have no choice but to Stand His Ground?

  • Episode 152

    Dec 08 2019

    This is the exciting conclusion of the Sheila Davalloo Story. If you haven’t listened to part one go back one episode and start there.The leads in Anna Lisa Raymundo’s murder investigation were dead ends… that is until Sheila Davalloo tries to kill her husband. During the attempted murder Sheila makes a phone call, but not to 911. That phone number leads the police to a common thread in both investigations… Nelson Sessler.

  • Episode 151

    Nov 23 2019

    This is the riveting first part of a two-part story that will leave you wondering “how well do I know my significant other.”Sheila Davalloo is educated and from an affluent family. She lives among the well-to-do and works for the powers that be but her life is anything but as mundane as that. Sheila Davalloo had a secret obsession that involved mind games, spying, and eventually… murder.

  • Introducing Sword and Scale Daily

    Nov 14 2019

    Daily true-crime news and coverage of high-profile criminal cases from around the country and around the globe, five days a week.Subscribe Now:Apple Podcasts - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sword-and-scale-daily/id1487148155Google Podcasts - https://play.google.com/music/m/Ijqsr5kldi4hnoson5rwogdzijq?t=Sword_and_Scale_DailySpotify - https://open.spotify.com/show/6ZoM1t4vw6rZNJus1n2O5GStitcher - https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sword-and-scale-dailyiHeartRadio - https://www.iheart.com/pod...more

  • Episode 150

    Nov 10 2019

    Around 1 A.M. on October 15th, 2018, Barron County Sheriff’s Department receives a 911 call. What sounds to be a struggle and screaming on the other end of the line triggers deputies to drive to the home which the number was registered to. Upon arrival, deputies found 56-year-old James Closs and his wife, 46-year-old Denise deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. Quickly, they find out that the Closs’ 13-year-old daughter was missing from the house. Despite all of the searches, rumors and theorie...more

  • Episode 149

    Oct 27 2019

    In April 2018, Boca Raton Police Department were alerted of a missing person. James Scandirito II was calling to report that his father, 74-year-old James ‘Skip’ Scandirito was missing from his home and that he had not heard from his father in a few days. Concerned friends also had called in to make a report. But quickly, detectives began to keep an eye on James, as he had mad suspicious statements and acted out unusually while they were trying to conduct their investigation. As they surveilled ...more

  • Episode 148

    Oct 13 2019

    We’re taking a deep dive into the world of YouTube rant channels in the early 2000s. Tony48219 loved to sit in his computer chair and shout at the camera about evolution, geocentrism, women, and atheists. Most of his abrasive opinions were met with expected opposition online.  As unpopular as his opinions could be, nothing is as unpopular and unbelievable as what happened when he took his online anger and acted upon it in the real world.

  • Episode 147

    Sep 28 2019

    Sexual child abuse is so widespread that the numbers are astounding. We seem to forget that the threat is omnipresent and can come in the form of another troubled child with little to no parental supervision. Girls are typically more pretected, more sheltered from these sorts of dangers, but when this sort of abuse happens to a boy the repressed shame, guilt and anger can last a lifetime.Do you have a personal story to tell about your experience with sexual abuse, physical/psychol...more

  • Episode 146

    Sep 08 2019

    Domestic violence happens every day. It happens so often that as a society we’re numb to it. When Brandon Clark stabbed Bianca Devins in the throat it was just another case of domestic violence. But when Brandon posted the gory photo online taunting Bianca’s beta orbiters and then attempted suicide live on Instagram, the story Bianca’s murder took on a life of its own.

  • Episode 145

    Sep 01 2019

    The afternoon of January 13th, 2010, a Conyers Georgia police officer encounters an exasperated 16-year-old Tasmiyah Whitehead approaching his squad car in a gated community. The girl claims she and her identical twin arrived home from school to find their mother unconscious in the bathtub, the home destroyed by blood stains and broken furniture. The evidence investigators later find at this murder scene tells a sickening story.Preorder Yucca Harris' Book: The Untold Story

  • Episode 144

    Aug 18 2019

    When ‘Megan Wants A Millionaire’ is suspended from airing after only three episodes, a former Reality TV ‘star’ rises to infamy after a brutal murder, and international manhunt.

  • Episode 143

    Aug 04 2019

    Most of the time, accidents are simply just that. Accidents. Sometimes though, collisions are made with precise decision making, with little to no care in terms of the safety of human beings. We’re going to examine a few cases of wrong way drivers that have occurred over the past few years and question what may have been behind the lack of regard for the lives of others…

  • Episode 142

    Jul 21 2019

    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.

  • Episode 141

    Jul 14 2019

    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. 

  • Episode 140

    Jul 04 2019

    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.

  • Episode 139

    Jun 09 2019

    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?

  • Episode 138

    May 26 2019

    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.

  • Episode 137

    May 12 2019

    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 direct...more

  • Episode 136

    Apr 21 2019

    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.

  • Episode 135

    Apr 07 2019

    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. 

  • Episode 134

    Mar 23 2019

    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...more

  • Episode 133

    Mar 09 2019

    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 ...more

  • Episode 132

    Feb 25 2019

    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 happen...more

  • Episode 131

    Feb 11 2019

    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 begi...more

  • Episode 130

    Jan 26 2019

    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...more

  • Episode 129

    Dec 16 2018

    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 ...more

  • Episode 128

    Dec 09 2018

    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.   

  • Episode 127

    Nov 25 2018

    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…

  • Episode 126

    Nov 11 2018

    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.

  • Episode 125

    Oct 28 2018

    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...

  • Episode 124

    Oct 13 2018

    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...more

  • Episode 123

    Sep 30 2018

    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)

  • Episode 122

    Sep 16 2018

    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?

  • Episode 121

    Sep 02 2018

    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.

  • Episode 120

    Aug 19 2018

    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 Micha...more

  • Episode 119

    Aug 05 2018

    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...more

  • Episode 118

    Jul 22 2018

    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...

  • Episode 117

    Jun 17 2018

    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. 

  • Episode 116

    Jun 04 2018

    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?

  • Episode 115

    May 20 2018

    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 we...more

  • Episode 114

    May 12 2018

    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..

  • Episode 113

    Apr 29 2018

    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.  

  • Episode 112

    Apr 14 2018

    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.

  • Episode 111

    Apr 01 2018

    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.

  • Episode 110

    Mar 17 2018

    Part 2 of the Natalie Bollinger Murder...

  • Episode 109

    Mar 04 2018

    A teenage girl is stalked by a homeless man and suddenly goes missing two weeks later.

  • Episode 108

    Feb 18 2018

    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 th...more

  • Episode 107

    Feb 04 2018

    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.

  • Episode 106

    Jan 21 2018

    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...

  • Episode 105

    Dec 10 2017

    "CENTAUR... you have awoken. Don't let them kill you." The bath salts epidemic has reached new proportions in the state of Florida, as more and more shocking cases make their way to the front pages of local papers, before capturing International attention through the news wires. This is the story of a young man named Austin Harrouff who earned worldwide recognition for his actions on the night of August 15th, 2016. Could drugs explain his behavior that night, or was something else to blame?

  • Episode 104

    Nov 27 2017

    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.

  • Episode 103

    Nov 12 2017

    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 ...more

  • Episode 102

    Oct 30 2017

    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.

  • Episode 101

    Oct 15 2017

    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.

  • Episode 100

    Oct 01 2017

    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 foundscattered across a roadway, and the unbelievable tale of how the case then unfolds from there will leave you scratching your head.

  • Episode 99

    Sep 16 2017

    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 ...more

  • Episode 98

    Sep 03 2017

    "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.

  • Episode 97

    Aug 20 2017

    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.

  • Episode 96

    Aug 06 2017

    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.

  • Episode 95

    Jul 23 2017

    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 th...more

  • Episode 94

    Jul 09 2017

    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.&n...more

  • Episode 93

    Jul 02 2017

    The highly polarized political climate we're living in colors our view of the world in one way or another. Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture and true underlying human tragedy when we're too busy judging the beliefs of others. This is a story of four people who died tragically, seemingly for no reason, in a supermarket, in the middle of the night.

  • Episode 92

    Jun 19 2017

    The love of a mother is something many of us take for granted, but when it's not present during the early formative years the results can be disastrous. This is what Edmund Kemper suggests happened to him. A serial killer who enjoyed murdering coeds in the early 70's, Kemper is not your average lunatic. He has the IQ of a genius and has spent years self-analyzing his actions. We hear from his own words and delve into the extreme nature of his crimes.

  • Episode 91

    Jun 04 2017

    We kick off this week's episode with some much needed updates about what's been going on behind the scenes, fist of which is Sword and Scale Rewind, hosted by Lynette Carolla and Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, which launches on June 14th. It's the after-show for this podcast, so every episode of Rewind will cover an episode of S&S, starting with Episode 1. Make sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts so you don't miss a thing. Secondly, we get into the other big thing that's happening right now and the...more

  • Episode 90

    May 21 2017

    When Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Claudia Rowe, author of The Spider and The Fly, decided to write to a serial killer, she wasn't prepared for how it would change her life. In her quest to understand the nature of cruelty, she ended up discovering much more about herself. Kendall Francois murdered at least eight women and hid the rotting corpses in the home that he shared with his mother, father, and younger sister. A large foreboding figure who emanated a pungent odor, he demands that Ro...more

  • Episode 89

    May 07 2017

    Matthew Hahn is bright, eloquent, friendly and just generally the kind of person you like immediately. He's the kind of person that will tell you everything about his life within seconds of meeting him, but only if you ask. He's an open book which is unusual, because once you hear his story, and your jaw drops to the floor with the disbelief that what you're listening to is not is tall tale, but a reality that this person you're speaking to has lived through, there's one other fact you have to a...more

  • Episode 88

    Apr 24 2017

    When a 14 year old boy named Philip Chism goes missing in the middle of a school day, his mother thinks the worst and calls 911. Little does she know, that her son isn't the only missing person from Danvers High School that day. A 24-year-old math teacher is missing also. She is Phillip's teacher which raises some immediate questions, but after finally solving a mishap with the school's 140-camera security system, police are able to come up with a theory as to what happened that day. Another big...more

  • Episode 87

    Apr 08 2017

    Over the course of a normal school day, a mystery unravels. At first there is chaos, confusion and much worry, but soon all of that anxiety melts into a river of loss and agony as friends and family members find out the truth. This first part of a two-part story is sure to keep you riveted, at the edge of your seat, and pulling your hair out waiting for the next part.

  • Episode 86

    Mar 26 2017

    The 20 year anniversary of one of the strangest tales in modern American religious history is quickly approaching. On March 26th, March 26, 1997 Marshall Herff Applewhite led a group of 39 devoted followers to their final destination. In their minds they were headed to a spaceship following the Hale-Bopp Comet where they would be taken and transformed into perfect angelic alien beings, a state in which they would live forever. We're joined by Benjamin E. Zeller, Religious Historian and Author o...more

  • Episode 85

    Mar 12 2017

    There are few things more horrifying than the idea that your children can be taken from their beds, from their own home, while there's an adult sleeping inside, yet that's exactly what happened on the morning of Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We, as a modern society, have systems in place, technological marvels, to prevent and deter these things from happening. However, in this case, the very system that was used to try and rescue the children ended up leading to their deaths. Thi...more

  • Episode 84

    Feb 26 2017

    There is a place that humanity has created where the rules of society mean nothing. This place is a void of laws and social norms. The scariest thing, is that there is a doorway to this dark place in every home, in some cases we carry this doorway with us day after day. It's a place called The Dark Net. In this episode we're joined by Jamie Bartlett to discuss this dark and sinister place, along with the human psychology that created it and makes it particularly nefarious. We also touch on the s...more

  • Episode 83

    Feb 13 2017

    Love can be a wonderful thing. It can make the world around you seem like a magical place. But sometimes, love can go wrong. Very wrong. In this season opener we examine several cases where love failed and darkness took over culminating in various murder-suicides.

  • Episode 82

    Dec 17 2016

    When you dial those three numbers on your phone, you expect that someone will help you. However, as with all matters involving humans, sometimes things can go wrong. In this season-finale episode, we speak with 13-year emergency dispatch veteran Ricardo Martinez from the Within The Trenches Podcast. We talk about what goes into doing this job and what happens when the wrong person does it.

  • Episode 81

    Dec 01 2016

    This is the PARTAY episode! People love parties. Some people love parties so much that they're willing to do just about anything to have one. Tyler Hadley loved parties this much.

  • Episode 80

    Nov 20 2016

    The stories we like to tell the most here are those of serial killers and homicidal maniacs. Those archetypes can be somewhat predictable, if not downright boring. We like to focus instead on everyday people, just like you and me, who find themselves suddenly in the midst of a monster. A monster who looks just like them. This is part two of the two part story of Phillip Markoff, a young and handsome Med student from New England, who came to be known as The Craigslist Killer.

  • Episode 79

    Nov 05 2016

    You've been pulled over by a bevy of police cars and taken to an interrogation room. What happens next? In this two-part story, we'll first examine what it's like to be in the shoes of someone who has gotten themselves mixed up with the wrong end of the law, and next time we'll tell you what it is they did to put themselves there...

  • Episode 78

    Oct 23 2016

    Halloween is a fun time of the year when we dress up like ghosts and goblins and attempt to scare each other with haunted houses and horror films. However the scariest things don't come with candy in plastic pumpkin containers. instead, the scariest things are all around us: People, and the depravity they are capable of. On this episode we tell two stories: one of a 10+ year old case and one of a 10 year old girl. Victoria Martens and Brianna Lopez were born to the wrong parents, and their s...more

  • Episode 77

    Oct 09 2016

    The idea of leaving the hustle and bustle behind, and disappearing into the woods to live off the land, can be appealing. Yet few of us would actually attempt to give this idea any more than a fleeting thought. In this episode we examine three cases of people who dropped off the face of the planet to indulge this bizarre way of life, and each one of them was a criminal. The stories we'll discuss are Christopher Thomas Knight, Colton Harris-Moore and the most famous hermit of all Ted Kaczynski...more

  • Episode 76

    Sep 25 2016

    Finally, an update episode! This one fills in the details of what has happened with the Justin Ross-Harris, Holly Bobo and Aaron Hernandez cases, with special guest Cathy Ruson from CourtChatter.com. We also get schooled by a listener on crucial pieces we missed in the Andrea Yates story. We talk to friends of the Blancharde's who knew them best, and cap off the show with a living legend in the field of true-crime: none other than former host of Dateline's To Catch a Predator, and new host of...more

  • Episode 75

    Sep 12 2016

    This is a bizarre tale. Part gruesome murder tale, part love story. Yes, you read that right.. None of of the Gainesville Ripper story makes much sense, but it made an entire university of 30,000+ students panic and leave their studies and futures behind, for the sake of their personal safety. This story also challenges our ideas of what crime-journalism is and should be. "Guilty until proven innocent?" ...that's not a well-recognized concept these days. And the media and public are quick ...more

  • Episode 74

    Aug 28 2016

    The border town of Brownsville, Texas is one of the poorest places in the continental United States. Wracked by crime in the form of drug-use and prostitution, this small town, in the middle of nowhere, is also the home of many historical structures. One such structure was located on 805 E. Tyler Street, and it housed a horrific triple-murder which changed the community of Brownsville forever. We are joined this week by Laura Tillman, author of the book The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder an...more

  • Episode 73

    Aug 14 2016

    A subset of our audience really has an issue with episodes that feature any crimes being done to children. That's understandable, since they are the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society. But there are cases, however rare, where the "monsters" are the children themselves. In this episode we explore three cases in which children killed, seemingly for the sheer pleasure of it. Beware though, you may not ever want to have children after this episode.

  • Episode 72

    Aug 01 2016

    A recurring question in the criminal justice system is whether the death penalty is moral, right or just. Everyone seems to have a fairly strong opinion regarding it, but almost no one has any any first-hand experience with the process. The idea that such a severe punishment to be conducted in secrecy, behind closed doors, may seem archaic and somewhat medieval. In this episode we talk to a man named Dr. Bill Kimberlin, who did something few others would. He actively attempted to attend an e...more

  • Episode 71

    Jul 17 2016

    Have you ever wondered why most violent crimes are committed by men? Apparently so have several criminologists, who have conducted several studies to examine this phenomenon. Today’s show is the exception to the rule: two stories of women committing horrible acts against the one person they swore to love for the rest of their lives. The stories of what Christy Sheats and Cheryl McCafferty did to their husbands will have our male audience looking at their significant others a little differentl...more

  • Episode 70

    Jul 03 2016

    Sword and Scale isn't just a podcast. We also have a website (swordandscale.com) where we post daily stories of dark deeds done by the most evil and devious amongst us. To highlight this point, we've chosen two stories that we've previously covered in articles on our website. The first is extremely fascinating, the second is extremely violent. Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino was a popular destination for tourists in the Lake Tahoe area, until it was blown to bits by one of the most complex bombs...more

  • Episode 69

    Jun 19 2016

    As a Florida resident and native, I am disgusted by the events of the past weekend in Orlando. Thus, I decided to cover the two senseless shootings and also throw in a third recent and horrifying story that proves Florida really is a terrible place to be. In traditional Sword and Scale style, rather than just go over the details of the Christina Grimmie murder, the Orlando gay nightclub massacre, and the murder and dismemberment-by-chainsaw of Tricia Todd, we tell you these stories from a new a...more

  • Episode 68

    Jun 05 2016

    Cara Marie Holley from Roanoke Virginia was just 18 years old when she went missing from her home on July 7, 2010. Two days later her body was found in shallow grave several miles away. The killer was arrested almost immediately because he was using her credit card and driving her car around the very town where he killed her. The worst part of this story is that Cara knew her killer Carey Shane Padgett. They went to high school together and were friends, but there was something very wrong with ...more

  • Episode 67

    May 22 2016

    Something is very wrong when two children can disappear from society for two years and not a single person notices or cares. This is the tale of how violence breeds violence and the most vulnerable among us are the ones who suffer because of it. The horrors that occurred in the residence of Mitchelle Blair are ones you won't likely soon forget.

  • Episode 66

    May 08 2016

    When someone secretly means to do you harm, there's a good chance they will succeed. When you are a celebrity or public figure of some kind, you become much more vulnerable to attack because of the nature of public life. Your whereabouts are often tracked and your habits and vulnerabilities are a matter of public record. There are people out there such as Ricardo Lopez who wish to do harm, for whatever demented reasons their sick minds have constructed. Many times they do succeed, but this i...more

  • Episode 65

    Apr 23 2016

    Sometimes the monsters are not only in our homes, but they are the ones closest to us: our mother or father, brother or sister. To a young child living in an environment where a depraved individual lurks can be terrifying. In this episode we will experience that terror from the perspective of that young child who is powerless to change their situation. We speak to three survivors of domestic child abuse and child sexual abuse and hear their unfiltered stories of their terrifying experiences. Mo...more

  • Episode 64

    Apr 02 2016

    After Michelle Macneill, a healthy 50-year old mother, dies mysteriously of a heart condition in the bathtub of her Pleasant Grove, Utah home, questions begin to emerge. Her husband, Martin Macneill, begins to exhibit strange behavior even on the very day of his wife's death. Soon afterwards, a nanny is introduced into the family home and a sordid affair is revealed, along with a motive for murder.

  • Episode 63

    Mar 27 2016

    Pleasant Grove, Utah. A picturesque gated community. A perfectly manicured lawn. A lovely brick home. The perfect family. The perfect life. A bathtub. This is the story of Martin Macneill, and his late wife Michelle.

  • Episode 62

    Mar 13 2016

    A 30-year-old woman named Jenelle Potter has spent her entire life sheltered from the world. Not being allowed to get a job, drive a car, date, or even leave the house without the supervision of her mother Barbara, Jenelle turns to the Internet and social media as her only escape. However her lack of real-world social skills translate to disaster online. She starts making enemies just as fast as she makes friends and eventually the online feuds turn vicious. When her mother Barbara and her fath...more

  • Episode 61

    Feb 28 2016

    Every parent's nightmare can happen in an instant. It can happen on a day just like any other in a place you would never expect and, the fact of the matter is, you will never see it coming. Such is what happened to the family of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke. One moment everything was fine; it was a beautiful late summer day and kids were playing in the local playground. The next minute, all hell broke loose. But this tragedy wasn't exclusive to Connor and his family. The story of 12-year-old Jam...more

  • Episode 60

    Feb 14 2016

    Alternative rock superstar, host of the reality TV-show Ink Master, actor and recent filmmaker Dave Navarro joins us to talk about his film "Mourning Son" which details the events leading up to and surrounding his mother's brutal murder when he was just 15 years old. We're also joined by Cameka Crawford, Chief Communications Officer at the National Domestic Violence Hotline and steering committee member for NOMORE.org, to talk about this epidemic which affects an alarming number of people. To ...more

  • Episode 59

    Jan 31 2016

    When many of us think of true-crime, we think of cops and killers, detectives and victims. We even spend a great deal of time examining medical forensics and human decomposition. Rarely do we shift our focus to the paramedics who work tirelessly every day and night, sometimes at great personal risk to themselves, to save the lives of victims of horrific crimes. In this episode we'll do just that by speaking with former paramedic Kevin Hazzard. He wrote a phenomenal book called "A Thousand Naked...more

  • Episode 58

    Jan 17 2016

    Cathy Ruson from courtchatter.com describes Facebook Killer Derek Medina as "an odd duck." That's probably the most accurate way to describe this man, who shot his wife eight times in the kitchen of their South Florida home, while she was preparing breakfast for her 10-year-old daughter, and then posted a picture of his handiwork on Facebook for all of his friends and family to see. In this second part, to our two-part story, we get to know the strange man who for years seemed desperate for atte...more

  • Episode 57

    Jan 04 2016

    It's one thing to kill someone, it's quite another to publish your handiwork on social media for all your friends and family to see like some sort of macabre trophy. That's exactly what Facebook Killer Derek Medina did after killing his wife Jennifer Alfonso in the kitchen of their Miami condominium, while her 10-year-old daughter cowered upstairs under a red blanket. After shooting the unarmed woman eight times, in his words "emptying the clip", he went back upstairs and got dressed before taki...more

  • Episode 56

    Nov 15 2015

    Over the course of the last year we've spoken to many different people from all walks of life. We asked them one simple question: "If there was one thing you could change about the criminal justice system, what would it be." This final episode of Season 2 is a compilation of their answers. We're joined by criminal defense attorney Christopher Zervic, as well as the guys and gals from The Generation Why Podcast and the Thinking Sideways Podcast. The cast of guests includes: Jason Lucky Morrow fr...more

  • Episode 55

    Nov 01 2015

    The topic of abortion is a highly controversial one, with emotionally-charged opinions on either side. Regardless of how you feel about the topic, this story about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell illustrates the workings of a man who has lost his humanity and no longer cares who he hurts on his path to profit. The Women's Medical Society, the clinic with a grandiose name that Gosnell ran, was a pill mill by day and an illegal abortion clinic by night. It is estimated Gosnell earned well over a...more

  • Episode 54

    Oct 19 2015

    There's something about the perceived safety of an automobile's cab that makes many of us feel like we are impervious to danger, yet danger is all around us. In this episode, we examine two cases which seemingly began with a road rage incident and ended with murder. In the first case Robert Doyle shoots and kills Candelerio Gonzalez in front of his own home and then holds the victim's family at gunpoint. Case number two is the death of Tammy Myers at the hands of 19-year-old Erich Nowsche, a yo...more

  • Episode 53

    Oct 03 2015

    The stories we tell often tend to focus on the criminal act itself, rather than the investigation that follows. In this episode of Sword and Scale we'll show you how the human body often tells the tale of its final living moments in the form of forensic evidence, and what it takes to extract this information from a corpse. We're joined by the husband and wife team Dr. Judy Melinek and TJ Mitchell, who co-authored the book "Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examin...more

  • Episode 52

    Sep 20 2015

    It's one thing to talk about gun violence, it's quite another to see it up close on live television. In this episode of Sword and Scale we take you back to one of the first examples of a life being lost on live television: the suicide of Budd Dwyer, an American politician who had been convicted of bribe receiving. However, before his sentence of 55 years' imprisonment and a $300,000 fine could be imposed Dwyer chose to take his life with a blued Smith & Wesson Model 27 .357 Magnum revolver at ...more

  • Episode 51

    Sep 06 2015

    In Episode 47 we told you about the McMartin Preschool case and the Satanic Panic that overtook an entire nation under the fear that our children are not safe. This week we are joined by Keelan Balderson from WideShut to cover a case that is hauntingly familiar, but occurring in modern-day Europe. When Ella Draper met marijuana-advocate Abraham Christie her life, and the lives of her two young children, spiraled out of control. According to Mrs Justice Pauffley, the presiding judge in the case,...more

  • Episode 50

    Jul 20 2015

    On November 18, 1978, in a remote settlement of northwestern Guyana, 909 Americans lost their lives in what is considered to be the largest mass suicide of the twentieth century. This compound, informally known as Jonestown, was established by a charismatic preacher named Jim Jones who led his People's Temple to their ultimate demise. In this episode, we welcome Julia Scheeres, author of the book "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown", to tell us the story of how this story evolved in...more

  • Episode 49

    Jul 03 2015

    On June 15th, 2015 an ominous message appeared on Facebook which sent friends and family into a panic. Their worst fears were realized when police entered the home of Claudinnea "Dee Dee" Blancharde and her disabled daughter Gypsy, and found the mother dead and the daughter missing. The killer seemed to be mocking concerned loved ones online, and immediately the most important concern was to make sure the poor sickly daughter was found and that she would be unharmed. Little did they know the ...more

  • Episode 48

    Jun 21 2015

    In Episode 48 we revisit many of the stories we've previously covered on Sword and Scale and fill you in on what has happened with in each case. We start with alleged theater shooter Curtis Reeves who is accused of shooting and killing Chad Oulson after a disagreement about texting during the previews of a movie. We then move on to the story of Vince Li, a schizophrenic man who suddenly without provocation beheaded Timothy McLean on a Greyhound bus. Then we jump over to South Africa, for an upd...more

  • Episode 47

    Jun 07 2015

    The highly technological society in which we live obscures the fact the we are still a very primitive species. One which continues to fall under the spell of magical beliefs and mass hysteria. Although we'd like to think we have evolved, this story which mirrors the insanity of the Salem Witch Trials shows, that perhaps, we have not. In the early 80's a madness was brewing. The rise of heavy metal music combined with the infiltration of demonic imagery into American homes in the form of VHS and...more

  • Episode 46

    May 24 2015

    Despite being a grown man, Joseph McEnroe still exhibits the same traits he did when he was just a little boy: He bottles up his frustrations until they explode in fits of violence. He also seems to have a hint of the same Nightingale Syndrome that his mother uses to justify her abhorrent dating behaviors. Joseph follows in her footsteps by meeting a series of strange women through his online fantasy writing group and then travelling to whatever city they're in an attempt to start a relationship...more

  • Episode 45

    May 17 2015

    In this first part of a two-part story, we examine the Carnation Murders. This slaughtering of an entire family, by a seriously deranged couple, took place in 2007 in Carnation, Washington, a small rural town 25 miles east of Seattle. This story is told through the words of the man behind the trigger, as he's tries to make excuses and barter for his life. As with all unspeakable acts such as this we are interested in finding out why this occurred, so we take a closer look at Joseph McEnroe's li...more

  • Episode 44

    May 04 2015

    We live in a world where pregnant women have to fear going about their daily lives as they normally would because of the very real possibility that the unthinkable could happen to them at any time. It did to Michelle Wilkins, a mom who was trying to get some inexpensive baby clothes for her unborn daughter Aurora. Instead, what she got was a nightmare which unfolded on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Longmont, Colorado. The person who perpetrated this heinous act wasn't a serial killer, drug...more

  • Episode 43

    Apr 19 2015

    When Rodney Reed turned himself in to Bastrop Police, on what he though was a gun charge, little did he know he would be spending the next 17 years on Death Row for a crime he did not commit. However, that seems to be exactly what happened. He was charged, convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Stacey Stites who he was having an affair with at the time. Unfortunately for Rodney, Stites was engaged to a Bastrop police officer named Jimmy Fennel who allegedly didn't take to kindly to h...more

  • Episode 42

    Apr 12 2015

    The idea of ultimate justice is appealing to those of us who have strong empathy for victims in vicious and unspeakable crimes. However, the cost of implementing such an unyielding and unrepairable finality as taking someone's life, is that from time to time we'll make a mistake and get it wrong. The end result of a mistake like this is the execution of an innocent man. As a society are we so hungry for "justice" or perhaps "vengeance" that we are willing to accept the collateral damage that an ...more

  • Episode 41

    Mar 29 2015

    Luckily there aren't very many examples of the perfect storm occurring in a community where a dysfunctional family, a broken child-protection agency, and a community that makes a series of unlucky decisions end with the death of a beautiful, happy and loving 5-year-old little girl. Episode 41, however, isn't one of them. On January 8th, 2015, Phoebe Jonchuck was thrown 62 feet off the Dick Misener Bridge in Tampa, Florida. As a result, she died at the hands of her father. Her mother, on the oth...more

  • Episode 40

    Mar 15 2015

    When asked to imagine the perfect place to perform serial murder most imagine something dark and creepy, but the truth of the matter is that the perfect place to kill is actually the same place in which most of us are born and die: a hospital. This is a place where death is not only common, but expected. Many of the victims are already incapacited and there's a steady stream of them coming in each day. Not to mention the fact that the tools for killing are readily available in the form of var...more

  • Episode 39

    Mar 01 2015

    Some things are hard to fathom, like why a young boy with his entire life ahead of him would choose to destroy it by an act of unspeakable violence towards the people that love and care for him most in the world: his parents. Yet, time after time, we see these angst ridden youth lose control of their developing minds and act out in a way that cannot be taken back and will not easily be forgiven or forgotten. In this episode of Sword and Scale we cover two cases in the form of two shocking 911 c...more

  • Episode 38

    Feb 14 2015

    In 2013 an independent documentary began making its way through various film festivals. It was received with harsh criticism, outrage and even death threats by various groups, each of which was repulsed by the subject matter and the way it was presented. The name of this film was Are All Men Pedophiles? and once we heard about it we knew we had to speak to the creator of the film Jan-Willem Breure. Early on though we figured we'd need some serious help telling this story properly and responsibl...more

  • Episode 37

    Feb 08 2015

    We finally have the pleasure of speaking to Diane Fanning, author of 13 true crime books and counting. She tells us the tragic story of Wesley and Jocelyn Earnest, a tale that serves as a fable to any young woman who has recently been separated from her spouse. This couple had such a good life ahead of them, but somehow it all fell apart due to the lust, greed and hatred of one man. It seems inconceivable to most, and the tragic tale is further highlighted and enhanced once you realize what a s...more

  • Episode 36

    Jan 25 2015

    Timothy Wesley McCorquodale had a rage in him that was uncontrollable. Like a loose cannon he could go off at any minute, unleashing mayhem an any poor unsuspecting soul that happened to cross him. The horror he would subject 17-year-old Donna Marie Dixon to in 1974, is unfathomable to this day. This week, we are joined once again by Jason Lucky Morrow, author and webmaster from the popular true-crime site HistoricalCrimeDetective.com to discuss this disturbing case from the past. We also take ...more

  • Episode 35

    Jan 18 2015

    What happens when you run out of luck? You lose your job, your marriage, your home, your arms and legs, the respect of your parents, and your will to live, what happens then? If you've ever lived on planet Earth, then the answer is obvious, this is where desperation takes over and horrible things happen. This week we present the sad story of Sean Petrozzino, a mild mannered "great kid" that grew up into a world of bad luck and it ended up consuming him and making him a true monster. After killi...more

  • Episode 34

    Jan 11 2015

    Probably the most horrific murder publicly accessible though a variety of social media, the death of Lin Jun was a public execution for all to see. The culprit was a narcissistic psychopath named Luka Magnotta, and the terror he would unleash upon the world would reach out like evil tentacles across nations, cultures, and ages through the free-flowing highway of information we call the Internet. Magnotta's evil wasn't limited to humanity, he also tortured animals. The kind of animals that are s...more

  • Episode 33

    Jan 04 2015

    One of the more bizarre stories of our lifetime, the story of Luka Magnotta is wrought with remorseful refrains and awkward pauses. This is a man, who was so narcissistic that there would be nothing to stand between him and what he wanted in life... fame. Had he been "normal" his goals might have been awe-inspiring, but Luka was the worst type of person, a psychopathic narcissist, and he would flaunt it in the nose of the good people of the world. The hell he would unleash online is something ...more

  • Episode 32

    Dec 08 2014

    In this season finale of Sword and Scale, we bring back many of the guests we've spoken to over the last year and ask them a fundamental question that relates to the nature of crime: "Is humanity inherently good or evil?" The answer comes from many different perspectives. They are victims, convicts, authors, podcasters, psychologists and neurologists. Their answers open a discussion into the nature of these abstract concepts and will leave you asking what you yourself believe. Thanks to all th...more

  • Episode 31

    Nov 24 2014

    There are 2.2 million schizophrenics in the United States. You have a one in a hundred chance of encountering one on any given day. Most are non-violent people struggling with what can sometimes be a debilitating disease, but every now and then the voices in their head can lead a handful of them down a path from which there is no return. For the rest of us, no knowing if the person next to you is capable of murdering and dismembering you at any given moment can be utterly terrifying. This week ...more

  • Episode 30

    Nov 09 2014

    The story of Herman Webster Mudgett, otherwise known as H.H. Holmes, has been told numerous times: a brilliant man with so much potential but so inherently evil that his actions would require new words be created to describe the monster that he was. The depravity of someone who would construct a building solely for the purpose of torture, murder, and the "processing" of human bodies for profit, is unimaginable. Although it has inspired numerous books and movies, many people who are not avid true...more

  • Episode 29

    Oct 20 2014

    The term "bluebeard" conveys images of pirates sailing the high seas, but the actual meaning of this term is much darker and there are examples of it all around us. You see, a "bluebeard" is a man that murders his wife. The term is derived from a French folktale dating back to the 1600's, making this horrible idea not a new one. The fact that this term isn't commonly used in North America is curious, since its female counterpart "black widow" is widely known worldwide. In this episode of Sword ...more

  • Episode 28

    Sep 29 2014

    Everyone thought Joshua Gouker was a dangerous criminal. It was easy to convict him of murdering his 14-year-old step son Trey Zwicker, especially after he suddenly changed his plea to guilty and confessed. But why would a hardened criminal mastermind, who had several friends and family members at his command and lying for him, suddenly confess at trial without a plea bargain in place? The answer is that his son, who he proudly referred to as a demon child, was also on trial for the same murder,...more

  • Episode 27

    Sep 22 2014

    In this special two-parter, the brutal and inexplicable murder of a 14-year-old boy exposes a dysfunctional American family's secrets and lies. This is the story of Trey Zwicker's murder, a young boy who did everything right but never really had a chance because he grew up in the wrong place, around the wrong people. This is also the story of a father and son. Joshua Young, a bright honor-role student, and Joshua Gouker, a convicted felon who had spent most of his son's lifetime behind bars. ...more

  • Episode 26

    Aug 29 2014

    This is one of the most under-reported murders in the history of the North American Continent. A mutilation that took hours and mind that was so disturbed it relished in the extreme violence inflicted on the deceased, this story exposes the obvious deficiencies in the extremely Liberal Canadian justice system, which even many natives don't even fully understand. Dan Zupansky, author of Trophy Kill "The Shall We Dance Murder" and host of the highly-popular true-crime podcast True Murder "The Most...more

  • Episode 25

    Aug 15 2014

    Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children. Being one of these children is nightmarish enough, but if your abuser is someone you completely trust, then the event becomes all the more traumatic. Jamie Sivrais was one of these children. When he was 10 his father, who had been absent much of his early life, sexually abused him. Emboldened by his act, the abuse escalated to a point where Jamie knew he had to do somet...more

  • Episode 24

    Aug 02 2014

    With just 10,000 residents, the small town of Jennings, Louisiana has one of the highest crime rates per capita of any US town. Any vice you're looking for can be found here, including prostitution, which is just one of the things that linked all 8 victims that were found in the surrounding swamp land. Another thing linking all eight women, was their association with a man by the name of Frankie Richard. A shady character with a spotty, Richard knew all 8 women and admits to having sexual re...more

  • Episode 23

    Jul 19 2014

    What could be more horrifying, terrible, and heart-breaking than a mother intentionally taking the life of her own child. The fact that there's even a word in the English language that describes it it shocking in itself. The word is filicide and, even though you may have never heard of it, there are too many cases to cover in just one episode of Sword and Scale. We barely scratch the surface in this episode of some of the most horrifying cases of mommies killing their babies. Episode 23 cove...more

  • Episode 22

    Jul 03 2014

    A family divided, a hungry media looking for answers, and an inept police department looking for answers to explain and more importantly prove the inexplicable actions by a father of two young boys, sets a community in turmoil. Soon, the entire nation is wrapped up in the "what ifs" that emerge from the web of lies and misinformation that has been weaved by a family of deviants. In the end answers are few and far between, but there is a resolution, although not the resolution anyone would have...more

  • Episode 21

    Jun 21 2014

    Historical Crime Detective Jason Morrow joins us once again to tell the tale of a mysterious killer who took on the persona of a secret agent in the Summer of 1930. One of the first documented cases of a narcissistic killer engaging the media to taunt police, the tale of 3X captured the imagination of the nation. However after the killing stopped abruptly, this story was all but forgotten... until now. With similarities to the Zodiac Killer case, this is a story you have to hear. We also inv...more

  • Episode 20

    Jun 12 2014

    Ronald William Brown was a ventriloquist puppeteer on a television program called Joy Junction, a variety show on the Christian Television Network. Last year he received a 20-year sentence for child pornography charges, but the real story is much more disturbing. Brown along with 42 others were netted in a child porn sting that spanned two continents and perpetrators from every walk of life. Believe it or not, the worst part of the story isn't that these individuals wanted to molest children. I...more

  • Episode 19

    Jun 04 2014

    Elliot Rodger's privileged background and his family's ties to Hollywood didn't help him get accepted by those around him. Instead his awkward behavior and creepy mannerisms made girls want to ignore him and guys want to bully him. For most of his life he endured what he described as a torturous and tormented life, so on May 23rd he took his revenge on the world that had created "such an injustice", in what he called his "day of retribution". We also cover two cases in which South Florida, from...more

  • Episode 18

    May 26 2014

    How much to you trust your friends? How much do you know your friends? What would they do for you? What would you do for them? In this episode of Sword and Scale we examine a story of betrayal involving new age cults, sound healing, apocalyptic scenarios and a self-serving meth-head who has left a trail of destruction in her wake. Welcome to the story of Eric Preimesberger's unfortunate premature death, and the people responsible for killing him and hiding his body. It's also a tale about the p...more

  • Episode 17

    May 19 2014

    In this episode of Sword and Scale we recap the last month's most bizarre stories in the genre of true crime. Quite a few people in trouble have gotten in trouble with the law lately because of their poor choices and bizarre behavior. Although to them it may be no laughing matter, everyone else is left thinking "just what on earth were they thinking?" We also catch up with Cathy Russon from Court Chatter who fills us in on all the courtroom drama behind the Julie Schenecker murder case. We'll h...more

  • Episode 16

    May 12 2014

    Lauren Giddings had just graduated law school and was getting ready for a new life when she suddenly disappeared from her apartment in Macon, Georgia. As her friends and family desperately tried to find her, they were surprised to see Lauren's reclusive neighbor on the news overreacting to word that a dismembered body had been nearby. The shaggy, bearded introvert was questioned by police in one of the strangest and most infuriating interrogations ever caught on tape. In this episode of Sword...more

  • Episode 15

    May 04 2014

    A deliberate murder that took 8 years of planning and plenty of hard work to accomplish. It involved a man, his truck, and an underground bunker in the Washington mountains. Peter Keller was described as a survivalist with a distrust of authority by his family and friends, but none of them had any idea he would ever resort to what he did. Now they're left wondering how they could have missed the clues and whether there was anything they could have done to prevent the murder of his wife and daugh...more

  • Episode 14

    Apr 23 2014

    Usually we find the stories we want to talk about on Sword and Scale. This week the story found us, in the form of a cry for help from the surviving sister of Kimberly Renea Mabry, whose mutilated body turned up in a Rockford Illinois creek in 1995 and whose killer remains at large almost 20 years later. We bring you her story and ask for your help in solving this bizarre cold case that all but everyone has forgotten about. We next travel back to 1935 for a bizarre case of extortion and attem...more

  • Episode 13

    Apr 16 2014

    This week we're joined by former ex-inmate Glenn Langohr, who spent 10 years behind bars at some of California's toughest level 4 prisons, before reinventing himself as a best-selling author. His latest book, Prison Riot, takes the reader through the details of an actual prison riot he was involved in at California's Solano State Prison. We also talk to Professor Natasha A. Frost, author of the book The Punishment Imperative: The Rise and Failure of Mass Incarceration in America, about America's...more

  • Episode 12

    Mar 26 2014

    When 20-year-old Morgan Ingram tragically died in 2011, the family couldn't deal with their grief. What followed was a bizarre and prolonged Internet campaign of hate which has attempted to ruin the lives of at least a dozen people. Sword and Scale followed the rabbit hole to see where it would go, and we soon found that the pattern of behavior can be traced back to a mysterious individual named Sarah Afshar who interviewed Morgan's mom seems to have some sort of close relationship with. We dive...more

  • Episode 11

    Mar 19 2014

    What happens when a family's grief slips into malice and madness, when a mother is so hell-bent on being portrayed as a victim that she begins victimizing everyone who doesn't see her as one? Welcome to the sad story of Morgan Ingram's untimely death and the circus of insanity that followed and continues to this day. When Morgan's car was keyed in 2011, a bizarre narrative began to unfold which consisted of a maniac serial-stalker who would terrorize the Ingram family for months. This methodi...more

  • Episode 10

    Mar 12 2014

    Any untimely death is a tragedy, but when the victim is young, beautiful, and an all-around wonderful person, the whole thing seems to be much worse. Unfortunately, there are two high-profile cases in the news this week that fit this too-familiar mold. We walk you through the backstory of both of them, told by those who knew the victims best. We also speak to high profile crime experts Levi Page, host of The Levi Page Show and frequents HLN contributor and Cathy Russon from CourtChatter.com. Th...more

  • Episode 9

    Feb 26 2014

    If you had to choose a method of execution for yourself, which would you choose? What if you learned that what is considered the most "humane" method of execution is probably the most painful? We discuss the controversy behind lethal injections, and why just about any other method may be a better option. Convicted murderer Dennis McGuire found out about this the hard way, and his botched execution left onlookers stunned and horrified. We also hear a bizarre murder confession caught on tape by a...more

  • Episode 8

    Feb 19 2014

    This week the true-crime media has been abuzz reporting the verdict of the Michael Dunn "Loud Music Murder Trial." On Sword and Scale we do things a little different, so we'll let you get your fill of that case from other media outlets while we break the case of Curtis Reeves, who like Michael Dunn allegedly shot and killed someone because he didn't like what they were doing and then tried to claim self defense afterwards. Instead of loud music, it was the simple act of texting at a movie thea...more

  • Episode 7

    Feb 12 2014

    "White House Boy" Roger Dean Kiser tells us the story of his personal hell. To him, this world which anyone would consider a living hell was just normal everyday life. The way he describes this upbringing is so brutally honest and matter-of-fact, that it will chill your soul. Hundreds of other "White House Boys" have told the tale of the same experience, yet for over a century the institutional torture and sometime murder of children has been taking place right under our collective noses, and on...more

  • Episode 6

    Feb 05 2014

    This is the conclusion to a two part saga involving the organized abduction and abuse of children and ritualistic murders by satanic cults allegedly headed by the top levels of government at a mysterious all-male retreat known as Bohemian Grove. We tell the tale of what has become to be known as The Franklin Coverup and follow the trail of young Johnny Gosch and several other youngsters who were persecuted by the very system that was supposed to protect them, all for sharing their nightmare wit...more

  • Episode 5

    Jan 29 2014

    Imagine a criminal conspiracy and cover-up so so massive in scale, involving the highest levels of government and industry, that it threatens the very fabric of the American system. Now imagine that the crimes of this criminal syndicate are so horrible, so horrendous, that the mere mention of them would be frowned upon in polite society, and the very idea of such a conspiracy being possible would be laughable and downright absurd. Yet, in September of 1982, the unexplained disappearance of a 1...more

  • Episode 4

    Jan 22 2014

    On Friday, October 5th 2012, 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school. This is the story of what happened to her and how the suburban city of Westminster coped with the aftermath, including the perpetrator's chilling confession. We warn you, some of the details are quite disturbing and not intended for all audiences. We also examine how common child abductions are in the United States and cover some of the week's most eye-catching headlines.

  • Episode 3

    Jan 15 2014

    It's really true that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. This week we examine the fascinating topic of female serial killers, including the tale of Belle Gunness - a woman who makes Ted Bundy look like an amateur. Although the town of La Porte, Indiana has been made famous by the bizarre events that happened there over a hundred years ago, many have never heard of this woman or her series of cold and calculated murders on a pig farm. We're joined by Bruce R. Johnson, a local expert on th...more

  • Episode 2

    Jan 08 2014

    Psychopaths are all around us. Who are they? What are they? What makes them feel no empathy for other human beings, seeing them only as objects to manipulate and control? In Episode 2 of Sword and Scale, we examine these questions and hear from one of the world's leading neuroscientists in this field Professor James Fallon, who is not only an expert in the field of psychopathy, but also exhibits many of the traits of a psychopath himself. We also hear from actual psychopaths in their own words, ...more

  • Announcing Sword and Scale Rewind

    Jan 01 2014

    Subscribe to Sword and Scale Rewind by searching for it on your favorite podcast app:iTunes: http://bit.ly/SUBiTunesStitcher: http://bit.ly/SUBStitcherSpotify: http://bit.ly/SUBSpotifyGoogle Play: http://bit.ly/SUBGoogleTuneIn: http://bit.ly/SUBTuneIn

  • Episode 1

    Jan 01 2014

    In this debut episode of Sword and Scale, author Janice Holly Booth tells the story of Bruce Blackman's slip into the dark depths of schizophrenia and the horrible result it caused to him and his family. This tale is based on the true events that occurred in Coquitlam, British Columbia on January 18th, 1983. This story is chilling, and in the wake of events like the Aurora Movie Theater shooting, more relevant than ever. This close knit family missed all the signs of trouble brewing and it had ...more