Episode 12: Uber crime, taking a ride with danger

 

Former Kalamazoo, Michigan, Uber driver Jason Dalton, 45, is charged with killing six people and wounding two others in a rampage he says was prompted by his Uber app, which had Satan’s head and told him to kill. [Yahoo News photo]
From drunken assaults to sex trafficking to an Uber app in which Satan told the driver to kill, the ride-share business has had plenty of crime during its short life. Drivers, passengers, bystanders — everyone joins the party. We discuss some of the highlights from our special perspective of being Uber drivers ourselves.

Buckle up, folks. It’s going to be a rough ride.

And on this week’s recommendations, a discussion of other things devolves into a rant on why Maureen won’t read the Harry Potter books. I know! What’s wrong with her?

Episode 11: New Hampshire cold case serial killer revealed

One of New Hampshire’s longest-standing mysteries — the discovery of the remains of a woman and three children in Bear Brook State Park — was solved (kind of) when a young woman searching for her birth parents with DNA set off a series of events that revealed a cross-country serial killer.

Bob Evans — or Gordon Jensen, Lawrence Vanner, Curtis Kimball, Gerald Mockerman or any number of aliases — killed prolifically. And he seems to have mostly killed women he was in relationships with and their children. We trace the tangle that led to New Hampshire authorities determining he was responsible for the Bear Brook four, a mystery that had endured since 1985.

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For links to stories containing the photos in our gallery, go to Tracing the Many Indentities of Bob Evans, on NH1.com; New Hampshire investigators pledge to identify Bob Evans victims, at Union Leader.com; and Face of a Serial Killer, Manchester InkLink.com

Episode 10: Jonestown, it’s about more than the Kool-Aid

Some of the more than 900 who died at Jonestown November 1978. [Dave Hume Kennerly/Getty Images]
What seemed like a good thing for people on the margins when it started out turned into one of the most horrific tragedies of the late 20th century, thanks to a narcissistic megalomaniac who had just enough charisma to convince politicians he was a godsend and to leave him alone, get a thousand people to follow him into the jungle and ultimately get many of them to kill their children then die because he convinced them it was the best thing for them.

Fond of the cliche “drink the Kool Aid”? Here’s where it came from. And it’s not pretty. Anyway, it was Flavor Ade.

We take a look at Jim Jones, Jonestown and what led to the 1978 massacre in Guyana.

Also, Matt Nichols talks about what attorney-client privilege really means in Ask a Lawyer, then we complain about 48 Hours and Dateline — aren’t there enough murders in the U.S. for them to do some fresh shows? Sheesh.

Episode 10, come and get it.

Episode 9: Special Women’s March Episode, Time for a Traffic Study America!

A special road trip episode as we talk in the car ride home from Washington DC about the Women’s March and other stuff. Fun fun fun with one million others! What’s the deal with the crowd count? The guys who were there? What was the deal with the boy in the tree? What DID he see? What we saw, did, heard. Why the hell did we go, anyway? Not a lot of crime, just a lot of stuff.

This is a departure from our usual, so if you would rather hear about crime (and stuff), check out our other episodes. We’ll talk about Jonestown and how it’s about more than just “drinking the Kool-Aid” the week of January 29, and Chandra Levy the week after that.

Time for a traffic study, America!

Here’s a small taste of us, along with sister Nicki and friends Kayla and Paige, at the Women’s March in DC!

Episode 8: Maura Murray and stuff

What happens when the details of a tragedy become the foundation of internet legend? We discuss the Massachusetts nursing student’s disappearance  on a dark New Hampshire road as the 12-year mark approaches, it’s connection with the Vermont disappearance of 17-year-old Brianna Maitland a month later, as well as the possible Boston serial killer of young mostly drunk men and a bunch of other stuff.

And we tie it together. we promise.

We also discuss the CSI Effect with lawyer Matt Nichols and then we profess our love for The Mod Squad and other cop shows of our childhood. Solid.

Episode 7: Maine’s murderers and the women who loved them

Maine has one of the lowest murder rates in the country. For the past couple of decades, there have been between 20 to 25 homicides a year in the state. In 2016, there were 16.

Yet, the types of murders Maine has are telling — murder victims are most likely to be killed by someone who professes to love them. We take a look at three of 2016’s Maine homicides on this week’s episode.

We also learn not to take presumption of innocence lightly from a fired-up Matt Nichols in Ask a Lawyer, and what do Abe Vigoda, Prince and Harper Lee all have in common? Come on, we know you know the answer. We take a last look at some of the famous people who died last year on this week’s Crime & Stuff.

Episode 6: JonBenet Ramsey documentary wars

The Ramsey house after JonBenet’s disappearance. (Kari Gehring/Liaison)

It’s been 20 years since the body of JonBenet Ramsey was found in the basement of her parents’ Boulder, Colorado home. She’d been bludgeoned to death and strangled. The case has, to quote one documentary “haunted America” ever since and, America being what it is, spawned a variety of documentaries over the past months, some good but most not so much.

We discuss some of the docs, as well as the “evidence” and evidence of the crime, including the implausible intruder story and the role of her parents, John and the late Patsy Ramsey in keeping the investigation from ever reaching a realistic result. The story has everything: sexploitation of a cute kid, rich white folks, dueling investigators, lies and videotape.

We make hay of it all.

 

Episode 5: Not-so-merry Christmases

Michael “Mucko” McDermott is led by police from Edgewater Technologies in Wakefield, Mass., December 26, 2000, after he shot seven coworkers to death. [Boston Herald photo]
On Christmas 27 years ago in California, a woman on her way home from looking at the Christmas lights was abducted, brutally raped and nearly killed, saved by her own bravery and smarts. It took nearly three decades and the imagination of a young prosecutor to bring her attackers to justice.

The day after Christmas in 2000, a disgruntled IT professional at a Massachusetts company shot to death seven coworkers. His defense that he believed he was killing Nazis to get his soul back didn’t wash, and Michael “Mucko” McDermott is serving seven life sentences for the massacre.

No, we don’t talk about JonBenet Ramsey (next week!), the Grinch, or the dipshit in the Santa suit who held up the 7-Eleven, but these two “Christmas crimes” had a lasting impact, and are the focus of a very special Christmas episode of Crime & Stuff.

Episode 4: Sarah Cheiker’s long strange trip

Sarah Cheiker and former LA neighbor Jim Caccavo in 2012. [Caccavo/LA Times photo]
Sarah Cheiker and former LA neighbor Jim Caccavo in 2012. [Caccavo/LA Times photo]
Sarah Cheiker happily lived most of her 80-plus years in her Los Angeles bungalow. That changed when three drifters befriended her. In 2008 she disappeared, turning up 3,000 miles away in Maine four years later, abandoned in a ramshackle cabin that the police officer who found her said he wouldn’t keep his dog in.

What happened to Cheiker from the time she met Nicholas and Barbara Davis in the mid-2000s to when she was found in Maine in 2011 will make your hair freeze.

We discuss her long strange trip on this week’s Crime & Stuff, and then have attorney Matt Nichols clarify some of the nuances of multi-state crime in Ask a Lawyer.

We also trash Santa Claus, moon over Dennis Lehane and discuss Tig Nataro’s “One Mississippi.”

 

Episode 3: Ayla Reynolds, still missing after five years

ayla
Ayla Reynolds (Family photo/Maine State Police)

 

On the morning of December 17, 2011, Justin DiPietro called the Waterville, Maine, police to report his 20-month-old daughter, Ayla Reynolds, missing. That was the spark to what eventually became the biggest criminal investigation in Maine’s history. Five years later, Ayla is still gone and no one has been charged in her disappearance, which police quickly termed a criminal investigation and made clear that they believed she’d been killed. Ben McCanna, a former reporter with the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, whose beat was all Ayla all the time in the months after she vanished, talks about his experience, which includes access to the toddler’s parents that no other reporter at the time had.

Matt Nichols, of Nichols & Churchill, explains, in our Ask the Lawyer segment, why charges are sometimes not brought even when “everyone knows” someone is guilty of a crime.

Want more? We also eviscerate the new Gilmore Girls.