misconduct. A True Crime Podcast

misconduct. a true crime podcast

Ep33 - Velma Barfield

Nichole joins us this week as Colleen is under the weather.  We are lucky that Nichole swooped in and saved the day!  Now, onto the show…

Velma Barfield was an American serial killer living in North Carolina. She had a rough upbringing and escaped her situation by marrying young. The marriage was overall a happy one, until an operation led to a behavioral change in Velma.

The once happy couple turned bitter and argued constantly. This went on for years and one day Velma and the kids left the house and returned later to find their house burned and Velma’s husband dead.

That would be the first of multiple suspicious deaths that Velma was connected to. There would be 4 more before someone placed an anonymous tip to the police.

After the investigation was completed, questions still remained. Who was Velma? What made her decide to kill people? And are there even answers to these questions?

 

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Ep32 - The Murder of Elizabeth Short (Patreon Reward)

On patreon if you donate at the $25 dollar a month level you get to choose whatever true crime topic you would like and we will cover it on an episode.

This is our first Patreon donor episode! Jozett has been a donor from very early on in the podcast, so we are excited that we get to research and bring you this content.  Jozett wanted us to cover the murder of Elizabeth Short, who is more commonly known as the Black Dahlia.

On the morning of January 15th, 1947 a woman was walking home with her young daughter in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  As the woman walked by an empty lot in a residential neighborhood, she was taken aback by what she thought was a broken mannequin lying the grass. Upon closer look, she realized that the mannequin lying in the grass was actually the body of a young woman.

The face had obvious signs of trauma, noticeably deep cuts on the sides of her mouth. Her body had been completely cut in half and drained of blood.  The case immediately became highly publicized and has remained so as it went from an open murder investigation to a Los Angeles urban legend. Even though there was a long list of potential suspects, the case has never been solved.

We’re going to take you through what we know about Elizabeth Short, how she became the Black Dahlia, and the suspects in the case.

Link to FBI FOIA:

https://vault.fbi.gov/Black%20Dahlia%20%28E%20Short%29%20/

Link to further reading for suspects:

http://blackdahlia.web.unc.edu/suspects/

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Taunting Letter

Taunting Letter

Elizabeth and Matthew Gordon

Elizabeth and Matthew Gordon

Mug Shot

Mug Shot

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Elizabeth's Body at the Crime Scene

Elizabeth's Body at the Crime Scene

Hodel

Hodel

Dillon

Dillon

Mark Hansen

Mark Hansen

Betty Bersinger

Betty Bersinger

Then and Now

Then and Now

Mountain View Cemetary (Oakland, CA)

Mountain View Cemetary (Oakland, CA)

Ep31 - The Murder of Tanya Tarasoff

Nichole joins us again and takes us through the murder of Tanya Tarasoff; Tanya was being stalked by an acquaintance she knew from UC Berkeley. At the time, there weren't many laws or protections in place for victims of stalking. This case ends in tragedy but set in motion the creation of the duty to protect rule that mandates mental health professionals to warn potential victims that a patient has made threats against them.

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Ep30 - The Wrongful Conviction of Dusty Turner

Dusty Turner has been incarcerated for over 20 years for the 1995 murder of a woman named Jennifer Evans.  At the time, Dusty had just completed his Navy SEAL tactical training in Virginia. He was out at a bar with some friends in Virginia Beach, including his roommate and swim buddy, Billy Brown.

Due to a combination of false testimony and investigator error Dusty was sentenced to 82 years in prison for charges of first degree murder and abduction.

Tonight we discuss how a good kid from a good family, who was well on his way to becoming one of the youngest Navy SEALS to graduate from training ended up sentenced to prison for over 80 years.

We had the opportunity to talk to some of the people involved in trying to get justice for Dusty including JD, who created the documentary about Dusty’s case, Lisa, who runs the social media and website to bring awareness to his case and Linda, Dusty’s mother, who takes us through this ordeal.

Below are all the phone number, and social media links we mentioned in the show; all you need to learn and help Dusty is below:

Governor McAuliffe’s Office: 804-786-2211

Governor McAuliffe’s Twitter: @GovernorVA or @TerryMcAuliffe

Documentary (free)https://vimeo.com/143034674/21eed7bd0f 

Documentary (Amazon)https://www.amazon.com/Navy-SEAL-Murderer-Framed-Opportunity/dp/B01LZHH8D5/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485566809&sr=8-1&keywords=Target+of+opportunity

Documentary (iTunes): https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/navy-seal-murderer-framed/id937936629

Petitionhttps://www.change.org/p/tell-virginia-governor-terry-mcauliffe-it-is-time-to-free-dusty-turner 

Twitterwww.Twitter.com/FreeDustyTurner

Instagramwww.Instagram.com/FreeDustyTurner

Facebookwww.Facebook.com/VAForJustice & www.Facebook.com/FreeDustyTurner 

Websitewww.FreeDusty.org 

 

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Dusty Turner

Dusty Turner

Billy Brown

Billy Brown

Dusty and his mother Linda

Dusty and his mother Linda

Dusty and his mother LInda

Dusty and his mother LInda

Ep29 - Fish Head Beach Slayings

On August 14th 2004, 22 year old Lindsay Cutshall and her 26 year old fiancé Jason Allen were camping on Fish Head Beach near the mouth of the Russian River in Jenner, a small town in Sonoma County, California. They were on a weekend get away from the summer camp they both worked at and due to return back Sunday night. When they didn’t make it, the camp called the police and the couple’s parents. Three days later, their bodies were found on the beach.

The events over the next 13 years will take investigators from California to Canada then New Mexico, before finally ending back where it all began in Sonoma County. This week we are discussing who killed Lindsay and Jason and how they were apprehended.

 

Jason and Lindsay | San Francisco 2004

Jason and Lindsay | San Francisco 2004

Jason and Lindsay | May 2004

Jason and Lindsay | May 2004

Joseph Henry Burgess | 2009

Joseph Henry Burgess | 2009

Shaun Gallon Mugshot| 2017

Shaun Gallon Mugshot| 2017

Crime Scene 

Crime Scene 

Reward Poster & Rifle Information

Reward Poster & Rifle Information

Ep28 - The Briley Gang

In 1979 three brothers and one young accomplice terrorized Richmond, VA and the surrounding areas for 7 months; leaving in their wake 12 victims where only two survived.   Once captured and sentenced, two being sentenced to death and sent to death row, they orchestrated one of the biggest and most sophisticated prison escapes in US history.

Tonight we will take you through the lives and crimes of Linwood Briley, James Briley, Anthony Briley and Duncan Meekins also known as The Briley Gang.

Linwood, James, Anthony and Duncan Meekins

Linwood, James, Anthony and Duncan Meekins

Linwood and James Briley

Linwood and James Briley

Ep27 - Richard Evonitz

On September 9th, 1996, Sofia Silva vanished from her home in Spotsylvania Co, Virginia.  A month later her body was found in a nearby county. With her suspected killer caught, her town believed that their children were safe; until seven months later when Kristen and Kati Lisk were taken from their front yard. Serial Killer Richard Marc Evonitz eluded the authorities for another five years.  Evonitz’s crimes were discovered only when 15 -year old Kara Robinson courageously escaped his abduction.

Link to the Sofia Silva Scholarship Fund:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y8wbmlTL6Poh6dSn-WtV-8S_GBQ88yGoRpJSdivb0Vk/edit#heading=h.gjdgxs

Ep26 - Speed Freak Killers

In early 1999 two men were arrested in connection with a missing woman from Lindon, California. Law enforcement suspected the two of kidnapping and killing the woman, they just didn’t know why. What they did not expect was that they would end up with a serial killer case on their hands.

The media dubbed the two the Speed Freak Killers, because their MO was to go on a meth bender and hunt for random victims. They operated purely on crimes of opportunity, yet alluded law enforcement for over 15 years. 

Today we will discuss the two men, where they came from, their crime spree, and their ultimate undoing.

Link to interrogation of Loren Herzog:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJNFbiLYKTk 

Links to letters from Shermantine:

https://cbssacramento.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/shermantine-letter.pdf

https://cbssacramento.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/shermantine_letter2.pdf

https://cbssacramento.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/shermantine-letter-3-good.pdf

 

Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine

Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermantine

Side by side of sketch and actual photo of Loren Herzog

Side by side of sketch and actual photo of Loren Herzog

Ep25 - Toni Danieelle Clark

On the night of March 16th 1990, Toni Danieelle Clark was on her way home from her cousin’s house in Oakland, California. The car she was driving was having issues getting started but eventually she got the car running. As she was leaving her friend told her to call her when she got home, but Toni would never make that call.

The car she was driving was later rear ended on the San Francisco Bay Bridge and there was no sign of Toni. Law enforcement believes that she was at the front of her car and the impact of the crash threw her over the side of the bridge into the water. No body was ever recovered and after a couple weeks, SFPD closed her case. Doubt lingers as to what happened to Toni. Was she thrown off of the bridge? Or did she fall victim to something worse?

~Colleen & Eileen

Link to Trailer for Documentary Mentioned: http://www.survivinginternationalboulevard.com/trailer/

 

Ep24 - William Morva ***URGENT***

Tonight we are discussing the case of William Morva.  William Morva was in the Montgomery County, VA jail awaiting trial on attempted robbery charges.  He was taken to a nearby hospital to treat an injury.  William escaped custody at the hospital and fatally shot a hospital security guard and the next day he shot and killed a Sheriff’s Deputy.  He was arrested a few hours later.

William was sentenced to death and is scheduled to be executed next month on July 6.

Tonight we will cover William, his crimes and his mental health.  We will ask the question, should someone who suffers from such a severe mental illness be held accountable for his actions and suffer the most extreme of punishments; or does he deserve mercy and treatment?

The governor of Virginia is currently reviewing William’s case and deciding his fate; should William be put to death for his crimes?  After we are done telling you about William, we will ask you to contact the governor and beg for him to commute his death sentence to life in prison with treatment for his illness. 

Music by The Blank Tapes

This episode was brought to our attention by the same firm that represents Ivan Teleguz (see previous case of ours).  This was an interesting case because it’s not one of actual innocence or some sort of police/prosecutorial misconduct.  William did commit these crimes, but after review, I truly believe he did what he did because he was in fear for his life and he was in fear for his life because he is mentally ill and suffers from delusional disorder.  I do not think we should put someone to death (at all, but especially…) who cannot grasp the gravity of what they did, and in fact, in their world view, they were acting in self defense. 

I feel deeply for the family and friends of Derrick McFarland and Deputy Eric Sutphin; I cannot imagine the pain they are going through.  And while we are asking for people to advocate on behalf of William’s life, by contacting the Virginia governor and asking for him to commute his death sentence, we are not asking for him to be free. 

If you feel William deserves mercy and should not be put to death on July 6th, please email, call, write Governor McAuliffe and ask for him to commute his death sentence and transfer him to the Marion Correctional Treatment Center (prison for the mentally ill). 

Website to Sign Petition, Email, Call or Write Governor McAuliffe:

https://www.mercyformorva.com/

Governor McAuliffe’s office: 804-786-2211

William and his mother, Elizabeth

William and his mother, Elizabeth

William at his attempted robbery trial

William at his attempted robbery trial

Ep23 - The Disappearance Of Sheila Fox

Sheila Fox was 6 years old when she disappeared on her way home from school in 1944 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. She was seen leaving the school but never made it home. Because of her young age, a search immediately began. Conflicting eyewitness accounts were given to investigators, but Sheila was never seen or heard from again.

The case remained cold for 57 years. Then in 2001, the investigation became active again because law enforcement received a new tip. This was the first credible tip they had received in over half a century. Unfortunately, the tip went nowhere, but questions arose about other incidents in the area. Was Sheila an isolated incident? Or was there a serial offender responsible for multiple attacks in the area? Or were there multiple offenders operating in the area.  

Sheila Fox

Sheila Fox

Quentin Smith

Quentin Smith

Peter Griffiths

Peter Griffiths

Ep22 - The Murder of Stacy Hanna

This week we will be discussing the murder of Stacy Hanna. Stacy was an 18 year old woman who had just moved to Richmond, Virginia. She has recently relocated and had even found a group of friends. She was making a place for herself in the world and for the first time was feeling like she belonged.

It would be her own friends that would turn on her and ultimately take her life. The attack Stacy suffered was long and brutal. The crime left the community shocked at the sheer magnitude of callousness and violence that was directed at one young woman. Why did they kill her? The reason would raise more questions than it would answer.

Stacy Hanna

Stacy Hanna

Stephanie Cull

Stephanie Cull

Domica Winckler, Kelley Tibbs, Tracy Bitner

Domica Winckler, Kelley Tibbs, Tracy Bitner

Ep21 - Darren Deon Vann

On October 17th, 2014 the body of a young woman was found in a Motel 6 in Indiana. She was found in the bathtub with the shower running by her friend who had grown concerned when her repeated texts were not being returned. When her body was found, it was clear she had been strangled. 

Police quickly narrowed down a suspect based on cell phone records and security camera footage. Once arrested, the suspect confessed to the murder. Law enforcement thought they were dealing with an open-shut case. That was until the suspect confessed to 6 additional murders and told police he was willing to lead them to the bodies. 

Today we will discuss a suspected serial killer who’s killings may span multiple decades and multiple states. We will look at the circumstances that surrounded his capture and where the investigation is as of today. 

Ep20 - Elizabeth DeCaro

On the evening of Friday March 6th, 1992, Melanie Enkleman was looking for her younger sister Elizabeth. Elizabeth DeCaro was supposed to meet her for dinner at 5, but she didn’t show. Repeated calls to her house phone were going unanswered and Melanie beginning to worry.

The normally bubbly and kind 28-year-old mother of 4 has been acting differently as of late. She had been more anxious and worried and the two sisters had had conversations about the state of Elizabeth’s marriage.

But, whether or not she was going through a hard time or not, it was not like Elizabeth to skip out on dinner plans and not answer her calls. Melanie and their coworker headed over to her house in St. Charles, Missouri. They arrived around 8pm and found the side door of the garage open and lights on. Fear gripped Melanie because she felt that something was not right. Bracing themselves, the two went inside and in the kitchen they found a gruesome scene.

Elizabeth was face down on the kitchen floor, shot to death lying in a pool of her own blood. Melanie called 911, hysterical at the sight, but she did manage to tell the police clearly and firmly that the person responsible and the person the police needed to look for was Elizabeth’s husband, Rick DeCaro.

It came out later that Rick showed signs of being an abusive and controlling husband. Recognizing the signs of domestic abuse is very important. Below are some links where you can read more about recognizing warning signs and what you can do to help yourself or others.

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/fv-centers

http://www.nrcdv.org/key-initiatives/

 

Ep19 - Dolly Oesterreich (Otto in the Attic)

In 1913 Dolly Oesterreich seemed like an ordinary housewife, married to Fred. However, for a decade she kept a secret lover, Otto, hidden in her attic. The affair would only end when her lover killed Fred, and Dolly was arrested for the murder. Dolly and Otto’s unorthodox relationship shocked the people of Los Angeles during the 1920’s. Even to this day this is a case that is truly stranger than fiction.

Ep18 - Papin Sisters

This week we are discussing the Papin Sisters, two maids, who horrifically murdered the wife and daughter of their employer in 1933 in Le Mans, France. The murders caused an uproar among French people during a time when class structure was inflexible.  Were the Papin Sisters’ experiencing a Folie a Deux? Were they lovers, who were terrified of being separated? The case of the murdering sister maids has inspired books, plays, and movies. This crime is still considered to be one of the most notorious murders in France’s modern history. 

Ep17 - The Murder of Angie Zapata

This week we are discussing the case of Angie Zapata. Angie was 18 when she was murdered for being trans. The landmark case was notable because it was the first time that the hate crime statute was applied to a case involving a crime against a transgender person in Colorado. It was also the first example of a hate crime statute being successfully applied to get a conviction for the murder of a transgender person in the United States. This case is particularly heartbreaking because it involves the senseless, bigoted murder of a teenager who was very much loved by her friends and family.

If you are struggling with or questioning your gender identity or sexual orientation you should know that you aren’t alone. GLAAD’s website has a huge list of resources and information you can read more about transgender resources here and LGBTQ resources here.

Also, during my research I came across an article of several vignettes about Angie by people who knew her. I thought it was so nice to read about her from the perspective of people who loved her. You can read that article here

Ep16 - The Murder of Michelle Le

Michelle Le was a 26-year-old nursing student who disappeared on May 27th, 2011, while on duty, from the Kaiser Permanente building in the SF Bay area, specifically Hayward, CA.  Michelle had left her duty post and entered the parking garage in the middle of her shift.  She was last seen on the garage’s security camera walking towards her car and then her car is seen leaving the garage.  Michelle’s nursing instructor is seen searching for her, in the garage, about an hour later, Michelle’s car re-enters the garage, but once the nursing instructor tries to wave her down, Michelle’s car flees, rather quickly out of the garage.

Michelle’s SUV would be found the next morning but no sign of Michelle.

Four months after her disappearance, an arrest would be made for Michelle’s murder; and 10 days after that, Michelle’s remains would be found.

Tonight we will take you through the night of her disappearance, the efforts to locate Michelle and the eventual arrest and conviction of the person responsible for her murder.

Ep15 - The Murder of Jane Bautista

Jane Bautista was a 41 year old woman living with her two sons in a suburb in southern California. In January 2003, a body missing the head and hands was found at the bottom of a steep cliff off of highway 74. One week later, Jane’s oldest son confessed to her murder and both boys were taken into custody. What led two sons to kill their mother? And could something have been done to prevent it?

Thank you for listening!

~Colleen

Ep14 - Clarence Lee Brandley

This week’s case is a related to the episode we released last week about the death penalty case of Ivan Teleguz. This is not a part two, but we will be referencing last week’s episode and continuing our discussion of capital punishment in the United States. If you haven’t heard it, go ahead and pause this and go back and listen. Ivan’s case is very important to both of us.  You don’t know how much we would appreciate it if you gave the episode a listen and called Governor McAuliffe’s office and ask him to grant Ivan clemency.

Today we are discussing the trial, conviction, and eventual exoneration of Clarence Lee Brandley. In 1980 he was working as a janitor at a high school in Texas. On the morning of August 23rd 1980, Cheryl Dee Fergeson was found murdered in a loft above the auditorium where Clarence worked. Some forensic evidence was recovered from the scene but was lost or destroyed before it was tested for trial.

Eventually the evidence was tested and it was proven that it could not have come from Clarence. Even with all the issues with the evidence, Clarence, an African American, man was convicted in front of an all white jury in 1981. Eleven months later, he was sentenced to death.

The appeals process began immediately and 6 days before Clarence’s scheduled execution, a stay was granted. It came out that a lot of the evidence and testimony against Clarence was fabricated or purposefully misinterpreted to make him look like the perpetrator.

In 1990, Clarence was exonerated. After his conviction was overturned, it became clear Clarence did not receive a fair trial. It came to light that most of evidence and eye witness testimony was manipulated by the Conroe police department and the DA to frame Clarence who was their suspect from day one.

As a result, Clarence spent almost a decade in prison and was within a few days of being executed for a crime he didn’t commit. Today, Clarence’s story is another name on a list of cases investigated and tried in a county that had an extensive problem with racism.

We wanted to leave you with some facts on the death penalty so you can draw your own conclusions. We will also link further reading on our website.

·      Since 1973 over 150 people have been exonerated from death row. 10 occurred in 2013.

·      False informant testimony is the top cause of wrongful convictions.

·      At least 10 people have been executed even though there were serious doubts about their guilt leading up their execution.

o   Colleen: the first case I got involved in with trying to raise awareness was Troy Davis who was executed in 2011 in Georgia even after most of the witnesses recanted. He was executed, but serious doubt about his guilt persists to this day.

·      California, which has the largest death row in the country, has spent over $4 billion on the death penalty since 1978, while carrying out just 13 executions.

·      Death penalty cases are significantly more expensive than non-death penalty cases. The greatest costs associated with the death penalty occur prior to and during trial, not in post-conviction proceedings. Even if all post-conviction proceedings (appeals) were abolished, the death penalty would still be more expensive than alternative sentences.

    • More investigative costs are generally incurred in capital cases, particularly by the prosecution.
    • Trials in which the prosecutor is seeking a death sentence have two separate and distinct phases: conviction (guilt/innocence) and sentencing. Special motions and extra time for jury selection typically precede such trials.

·      The death penalty diverts resources from genuine crime control measures. Spending money on the death penalty system means:

    • Reducing the resources available for crime prevention, mental health treatment, education and rehabilitation, meaningful victims' services, and drug treatment programs.

·      The South has consistently had the highest murder rate while accounting for 80% of the country’s executions. The Northeast consistently had the lowest murder rate, while accounting for less than 1% of the country’s executions. So is the death penalty actually a deterrent?

·      In 2014, three executions involving experimental lethal injection protocols were botched, this caused the inmates to gasp, choke, and writhe during the executions.

·      All European countries and many American pharmaceutical companies have banned the use of their drugs in executions. This is related to what we are seeing in Arkansas.

Links below to further reading on the death penalty:

http://governor.arkansas.gov/contact-info

http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-penalty

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/FactSheet.pdf

~Colleen