Episode 5: Sleepwalking & Criminal Behavior

Episode 5 of Crime Historian: the Podcast is a short episode detailing three stories about people who committed bizarre crimes/actions and then successfully used the sleepwalking defense. In 1987, a Canadian man drove to his mother-in-law’s house and killed her while he slept. In 1859, a British woman threw her baby out the window while she dreamed her apartment building was on fire. In 2005, a man was acquitted of rape after claiming he had been sleepwalking while committing the act.  Tune in to episode 5 here or on your favorite podcast app to learn more about these stories: https://soundcloud.com/user-293072616/episode-5-sleepwalking-and-criminality .

Note: It’s been over a year and a half since we released an episode. Life has settled down a bit since then, so be expecting new episodes more regularly!

Sources:

 

Episode 4: Have a Big One, Like Billy Did

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Mary Rice and William “Billy” Boyette, Source: TheProvince.com

Episode 4 of Crime Historian: the Podcast details the recent crimes of William Eugene “Billy” Boyette, Jr., the spree killer that tormented Pensacola, Florida last week. Since I live in the area, it seemed only fitting that we talk about the crimes being committed nearby.

On this episode, I invited a special guest to join me. Nathan Daniel, part-time ranchero taco taster and former editor of the Pensacola News Journal (lol jk) is a longtime good friend of mine and provides comedic relief in all the right (wrong?) places.

Come listen to us at https://soundcloud.com/user-293072616/episode-4-have-a-big-one-like or on your favorite podcast app (iTunes, etc.).

Episode 3: The Most Hated Man in Louisville

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Mel Ignatow & Brenda Sue Schaefer, Source: YouTube.com

Welcome to Episode 3 of Crime Historian: the Podcast. I worked really hard to put together a detailed episode for you that chronicles the story of then 36-year-old Brenda Sue Schaefer and her unfortunate demise in Louisville, Kentucky in 1988. Brenda was killed by ex-boyfriend, Mel Ignatow, but not before being kidnapped, raped, sodomized, and tortured by him first. Much to Louisville’s dismay, Mel was acquitted of the murder. However, after an incredible discovery six months later in October of 1992, he was proven to be the killer…only nothing could be done about it: double jeopardy saved him, and the town was infuriated.

 

Listen to Episode 3 to learn about Brenda, how she became entangled with Mel Ignatow, how the trial proceeded, and Ignatow’s own coincidental but karmaic ending by going here: https://soundcloud.com/user-293072616/episode-3-the-most-hated-man or listening on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/crime-historian/id1152728489?mt=2) or your favorite podcast app. Thanks!

Sources:

Episode 2: John Francis Wille, convicted child murderer

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Nichole Lopatta, Source: NOLA.com

Episode 2 of Crime Historian: the Podcast features John Francis Wille, born in 1964, who allegedly began committing murders when he was as young as sixteen years old. His most notorious crime, and the one was he was convicted of, was the kidnap, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Nichole Lopatta in June of 1985. Wille was 21 at the time.

He was partly convicted for this grizzly crime due to his own confession which explicitly described every act he and one his acquaintances, Billy Phillips, subjected Nichole to. His conviction also rested heavily on the confession of his girlfriend, Judith Walters, and her daughter, Sheila Walters. In total, at the time of the murder, four people other than Nichole were along for the car ride that began in Milton, Florida and ultimately stopped in LaPlace, Louisiana where Nichole’s body was dumped in the woods.

Reports differ on Sheila’s age at the time, but it is agreed that she was thirteen or fourteen years old when the crime occurred.  This is significant because, according to the confessions, Sheila actually helped the men kidnap Nichole, though it is not proven that she actually knew what she was doing. She reportedly also consoled Nichole as she cried on the car ride that eventually ended in her death. Listen to episode 2 for the entire story. And please, heed the disclaimer at the beginning.

Notes:

  • There was no possible way for me to cover everything in this case. Check out the sources below for further details.
  • At one point, I mistakenly refer to John Francis Wille as Willie. That’s because his name is spelled two different ways across the Internet. My bad!

Special thanks to these sources:

  1. http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/05/nichole_lopattas_convicted_kil_2.html
  2. http://www.leagle.com/decision/1987771514So2d257_1629/STATE%20v.%20WALTERS
  3. http://law.justia.com/cases/louisiana/supreme-court/1990/87-ka-1309-1-1.html
  4. http://www.leagle.com/decision/19901880559So2d1321_11643/STATE%20v.%20WILLE
  5. The Psychology of Interrogations and Confessions: A Handbook by Gisli H. Gudjonsson

Episode 1: Daniel Lee Siebert, the serial killer that terrorized Talladega

originalEpisode 1 of Crime Historian: the podcast features a serial killer named Daniel Siebert. During his run, he murdered between 12-13 people (he personally couldn’t remember) including two victims that were formerly attributed to Los Angeles’ South Side Slayer.

The reason this story (quite literally) hits home for me is because several of his murders occurred in a rural town, Talladega, Alabama, where I once lived and still maintain strong family ties.

Furthermore, Siebert is not a serial killer whose name is often uttered. When most of us think about serial killers, we think about Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, or John Wayne Gacy. When I began researching Siebert a couple years ago, I was surprised to learn there was in fact a serial killer I hadn’t heard of and that he had actually rented an apartment from my husband’s grandfather. It was too eerie not to look into.

When most people think about Talladega, they think about NASCAR. Unfortunately, there is a much darker past lurking in the shadows (both in regards to criminality–and, unfortunately—history). Listen to episode one if you want to hear about Daniel Siebert’s trek from L.A. to Talladega and his unfortunate victims, including 24 year old Sherri Weathers and her two young sons, Chad and Joey.

Please, listen to the first episode and then rate it on iTunes! 🙂

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/crime-historian/id1152728489

Sources:

  1. http://www.cjlf.org/files/Siebert/SiebertStTrialCtOpn.pdf
  2. http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/f10/daniel-lee-siebert-serial-killer-90840/
  3. http://www.murderpedia.org/male.S/s/siebert-daniel.htm

Crime Historian Podcast

It is coming to a podcast app near you! 😉

Hi, folks. It’s been a while since I’ve written. In fact, since the last time I wrote, I moved to a new city, started a new career, and have dabbled in podcasting with a friend of mine. I plan to continue to write about crime, but I also discovered I equally enjoy talking about it.

I hope you will listen when I start airing.

The Unremarkable Murder in Fox Chase

I’d like to introduce you to a murder. There’s nothing particularly heinous about it, and apparently, it doesn’t even stand out to officials enough to update the public on the status of the case.

I’d like to take you back to my hometown of Shepherdsville, Kentucky again. Within this suburb of Louisville, there are nice areas and there are working class areas. There are farms and there are subdivisions. I grew up in a subdivision. Fox Chase is considered a 6th class city because it has 999 residents or less; (447 as of 2010, and nearly all of them are white). In the pre-antebellum era, the land belonged to the Rogers who ran a plantation. Lillian Chase, the great granddaughter of the original plantation owner, sold it to developers in the 70s. Fox Chase was born a couple years later and flourished in the 80s with cape cods and ranches and split levels. No one there lives below the poverty line. My own family moved out of the neighborhood and across town in 2001.

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Entrance to Fox Chase, KY where I grew up.

I’ve set the scene for you. You already know that murders in Bullitt County are few and far between. Residents of Fox Chase know each other, and they wave when they see you. People don’t just get shot in Fox Chase. But that’s exactly what happened to 55-year old Donald Ash in January of 2009. And the weirdest part? His 2005 Lexus was missing from the scene.

1) Why hasn’t the police department updated the public on the status of this case? If they have, I can find no record of it online.

2) Cars don’t just disappear. Yes, they get stolen, hidden, and scrapped, but has this Lexus really not shown up in six years? Was anyone ever even looking for it?

3) Motive, anyone?

It is interesting to note that the police chief of Pioneer Village was the rookie cop I told you about in the Jessica Dishon case. The last communication I have from him to the public on the case simply says they are “making progress”. That was reported on January 16, 2009.

All I can glean about Mr. Ash from the news coverage is that he was apparently the kind of guy who didn’t wave back when his neighbors passed. Also, he had been a technician at AT&T for 30 years and was also running a small business out of his home when he was killed.

Just for creep factor’s sake, I want to show you the house I grew up in. And then I want to show you Mr. Ash’s. My childhood home is marked by the yellow dot in the bottom right hand side of the picture, just a 3 minute leisurely walk to the murder scene. I can’t remember if even numbers were on the left or the right on his street, but Mr. Ash’s house is either the one marked by the red dot or the one across from it.

Map measuring the distance from my childhood home to the crime scene where Donald Ash, 55, was found shot and killed in his home in January of 2009.

Map measuring the distance from my childhood home to the crime scene where Donald Ash, 55, was found shot and killed in his home in January of 2009.

The murder itself is unremarkable, at least insofar as it comes to murders. He was shot and found a day or so later. The police haven’t said much of anything, and the only thing of value they reported missing was Mr. Ash’s Lexus. But when you grow up down the street from a house that later becomes the scene of a murder, it’s a little unnerving.

Shit like that doesn’t go down in Bullitt County often. The fact that it happened in Fox Chase is unnerving to say the least.

Sources:

  1. http://www.bullittcountyhistory.com/cem/unnamed_cem_fox_chase.html
  2. http://www.cityoffoxchase.org/demographics/
  3. http://www.wlky.com/Police-Investigate-Potential-Link-Between-Slayings/9816524
  4. http://www.wdrb.com/story/9649515/55-year-old-man-found-dead-in-bullitt-county-home