Murder by Fire

This is John Orr, firefighter and arson investigator, who would end up being one of the most prolific serial arsonists of the 20th century.



This is the book Stacy read for this special 2-part episode, check it out on Amazon if you are interested in this case and want to know more!

As promised, here is a link to the 2002 HBO movie, “Point of Origin,” starring Kim’s favorite actress Sophia Bush.

Thomas and Meeks Griffin

Read the historical newspaper that reported on the murder of John Q. Lewis, and also described his personal life and a little bit more about his background here.  If you are anything like Stacy, you will have “fun” reading a newspaper article of the era!


Radio personality Tom Joyner discovered that his great-uncles, Thomas and Meeks Griffin, may have been wrongfully executed.  This launched him on a mission to then successfully garner their posthumous pardons of both men from the state of South Carolina.  Checkout the full clip that we played partially in our episode from PBS’ African American Lives here.

As promised, here is a snippet from the newspaper article that stated that Dave and Anna Davis were with friends on May 8th, 1913 at an “egg-cracking” when they headed off to commit the murder.  What kind of event must this have been? We hope nothing offensive, because Stacy quite honestly couldn’t figure it out!

Perhaps it is linked to this traditional game called “egg tapping”?


Of the countless racist articles pored through in the research for this episode, here is a non-racist opinion piece from the Oct 1, 1915 edition of South Carolina’s newspaper, The State, that helped Stacy realize that not everyone in the post-Civil War South was hopelessly racist!

The Murder of Raveesh Kumbra


This is millionaire and savvy businessman, Raveesh “Ravi” Kumra, who was killed in his own home in the wealthy suburb of Monte Sereno in 2012.

This is Lukis Anderson, who was essentially framed for murder by his own DNA.  The paramedics that had taken him to the hospital earlier in the evening for alcohol poisoning, had also been the ones later in the night to take away the body of Ravi Kumra, leaving Anderson’s trace DNA on the fingernails of Kumra.

And here are two of the three actual culprits: Javier Garcia and Deangelo Austin.  A third man, Mercellous Drummer, was also convicted, all 3 are currently serving life sentences.

The Golden State Killer


For over 40 years, a rapist and murderer called the Golden State Killer had never been apprehended.  But as of April 25th, authorities now have a suspect in custody, 72 year old Joseph Deangelo of Citrus Heights, California.  This is his mugshot alongside one of the many composite sketches drawn of him over the years.

As promised, here is a link to the truly terrifying phone call that police recorded of the East Area Rapist.  He is saying, “Gonna kill you. Gonna kill you. Bitch. Bitch. Whore” Stacy is even too scared to listen to this insanity, so you have been warned!

There are no photographs of the couple we discussed, Brad and Sylvia Garnett, who survived and got the best of the East Area Rapist.  But this comprehensive website has a detailed account of what they endured:

Stacy didn’t do her normal in-depth research for this one, because it’s just too big of a case.  But if you want to listen to a podcast that does fantastic in-depth coverage of each and every crime committed by this monster, you’re going to want to checkout Casefile.  Here is a link to the first in a 5 episode series.

The Rape of Jane Doe


This is the brave woman, now known as Victoria, who survived a horrific beating and gang rape in Huntington Beach, California in 1990.



These are the composite sketches that were released to the public, that would only prove helpful 18 years later when police had already caught Joseph Son and were still looking for the second assailant.

Here is Joe Son appearing in Austin Powers as the shoe-throwing villain, Random Task.

And this is Michael Graham, the convicted child molester that Joe Son killed while in jail.

The Murder of Dorothy Donovan


Here is Dorothy Donovan, killed on June 23rd, 1991 in her home in Delaware.

From her son, Charles’ description, this is the composite sketch that was released to the media of Dorothy’s killer.


And finally, after 15 years, Charles Holden’s crazy story about a random hitchhiker who killed his mother proved to be true when Gilbert Cannon’s DNA matched back to Dorothy Donovan’s crime scene. Cannon, pictured here, was a career criminal and now spends his days in prison, having been sentenced to life without parole.

A Scientology Death: Lisa McPherson


This is Lisa McPherson, who died tragically at age 36 under the care of Scientologists.

Here is the Fort Harrison Hotel, located in Clearwater, Florida, and owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.  Room 174 was where Lisa McPherson spent the harrowing last 17 days of her life.

If you want to read more in-depth details about the horrors of what happened to Lisa, this website has a ton of information and is a great resource.

The Eastburn Family Murders


This is Katie Eastburn, with her daughters Erin, Kara, and Jana, who were brutally murdered on May 9th, 1985 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.


Timothy Hennis was tried, convicted, then tried, acquitted, and then tried and convicted of the Eastburn family murders, something our criminal justice system had never seen before or since.


At Hennis’ second trial, the defense brought a surprise witness, a man who looked strikingly similar to Tim Hennis, and who had been seen walking the neighborhood at the time of the crime. This man, John Raupaugh, and his testimony that he had been walking in the neighborhood, helped raise reasonable doubt and ultimately garnered Tim Hennis an acquittal


The New Yorker did an excellent write-up about this very complex case, check it out here.

Horror in Hollywood



This is blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, Bob Lees, who was murdered and decapitated by a random stranger in his home at the age of 91.


Here is a young Dr. Morley Engelson, who was tragically killed in his home at the age of 69 as he was booking plane tickets over the phone.


After deranged killer, Keven Lee Graff left fingerprints all over the crime scenes, the LAPD held a press conference with his photo, and he was found almost immediately.

The Murder of Jayna Murray


Here is Jayna Murray, who worked at the Lululemon Athletica store in Bethesda, Maryland and was killed by her coworker when she caught her shoplifting.


This is Brittany Norwood, who killed Jayna Murray when she was accused of shoplifting.


These are the potential weapons, items found around the store, that Brittany Norwood used when she brutalized Jayna Murray.

Take a look at the surveillance footage from the adjoining Apple store during the killing here.  You’ll see the employees listening in to what they thought was just “some drama” and felt no need to call police.

The Suicide Killer


Here are Nadia Kajouji and Mark Drybrough, who took their lives in 2005 and 2008, respectively.  They were preyed upon by a man claiming to be a young nurse on an internet forum that was meant to help individuals in need.


This is the very sick and twisted man who took pleasure in convincing others to commit suicide by hanging, William Francis Melchert-Dinkel. He claimed to be a twenty-something nurse in Minnesota, and he may have convinced up to 50 vulnerable people to commit suicide.


Journalist Nadyia Labi at GQ, in 2011, did great in-depth coverage of this entire sordid story, read it here.