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Panic Button

Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice

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In Season 3, Tulsa attorneys Colleen McCarty and Leslie Briggs dive deep into a cold case double homicide that happened in Bache, Oklahoma in 2016. Emily Morgan and Totinika Elix were found shot in a car under a rural carport on a hot August day with only one thing taken from the scene: Emily's phone. The Pittsburg County Sheriff's Department turned the case over almost immediately to OSBI and the case has been cold ever since. What do domestic violence, human trafficking, the Choctaw reserv ...
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On June 25th at midnight, Panic Button--the hit true-crime-advocacy podcast--is back with a gripping tale of an unsolved double homicide that happened just outside Oklahoma's biggest prison town. Emily Morgan, a Choctaw citizen, and Totinika Elix, her best friend, were found dead under a carport on August 26th, 2016. The case was given directly to …
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The music in this episode is “Let it Burn,” by Oliver / Aberson. Find the notes and documents referenced in the episode at okappleseed.org/vigilante-shit. This is the finale of Season Two – we discuss the different measures of justice each survivor got in the courts and we ask: is it enough? _________________________ TRANSCRIPT SPEAKERS Leslie Brig…
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In this episode, Colleen and Leslie interview one of Jim’s survivors who has never spoken to anyone about the incident (aside from the police and her mother) in thirty years. The music in this episode is “I Can’t Make you Love me,” by Combsy. You can find the documents and pictures that support this episode at okappleseed.org/eureka. ______________…
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The song in this week's episode is "Surefire," by Wilderado. You can access the show notes at https://okappleseed.org/wildfire S2:E9 WILDFIRE follows the story of one of Jim's survivors as she tries to hold him accountable in the court of public opinion. She was told by the Sapulpa police that they would not pursue charges. Once she learned about a…
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This week's episode is a break from the heavy story telling to ask the experts. Our expert panel features: Ashley Nix, Assistant District Attorney and Director of the Special Victim's Unit at the Tulsa County DA's Office Xavier Graves, Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Institute of Oklahoma Detective Amy Hall, Supervisor Family Violence…
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The song in this episode is Nightmares by Keyland. Documents and Resources for this episode are available here: https://panic-button-episode-7-show-notes.tiiny.co Episode 7 “Didn’t Think It Could Get Worse” follows the survivors of Jim Luman after their breakups. Nails in your driveway? DHS showing up at your house? A professional complaint filed o…
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Panic Button, Season 2 Episode 6: Plenty of Fishhooks in the Sea The music in this episode is Wicked Games by Desi and Cody. Show notes and resources are available at https://okappleseed.org/plenty-of-fishhooks. Most true crime stories are about one of two things: solving a mystery, or learning about how you can avoid being killed. Women around the…
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The song featured in this episode is Street Light by Branjae. Season 2, episode 5 of Panic Button brings us face to face with the red flags in Jim’s relationships. Bringing dates to a graveyard? Talking about leaving your fiancé in a field to get eaten by animals? Following fetish accounts on Instagram? Going through your girlfriend’s phone? These …
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Our first bonus episode this season features an interview with Forrest Smith. Forrest ran for sheriff of Pawnee County in 2010. He hired Jim Luman, the subject of this podcast, to help him with his campaign. Forrest opens up about his experiences with Jim and the aftermath of a separate assault against a woman named Brandi. Forrest also speaks abou…
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The song played in this episode is "Getaway" by Bandelier. To access pictures, maps, and other sources, click here: https://okappleseed.org/not-hard-to-fall-in-love Welcome to the newest episode of Panic Button: Operation Wildfire. This is Episode 4: Not Hard to Fall in Love. Last week, we told you about Jim's professional life and a little bit abo…
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Serial Somethin’: Jim grew up to be a serial entrepreneur, have serial marriages and engage in a serial pattern of prolific abuse. Often using our courts as a tool to carry out that abuse. Jim's professional, and personal life are part of what makes him interesting and enigmatic for the women who go on to love and then eventually leave him. He's a …
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Season two, Episode two: Mafia Meat. In this episode, we go on a quest through Jim's childhood and his hometown to see if we can learn anything from his somewhat murky early life. We want to understand what turns a man into a prolific violent abuser. And what, if anything, can stop him? The song you heard toward the end of the episode is Cleveland …
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We’re back with Season Two of Panic Button. This Season is called Operation Wildfire. If the monster who hurt you was still out there? How far would you go to warn others? And what would you do if the justice system was no longer on your side? You can find links to pictures, documents and all our sources at okappleseed.org/burning-ember. These case…
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Leslie and Colleen give a short update on April's case, the efforts in Oklahoma to bring justice to survivors, and the activities happening in Oklahoma next week to support HB 1639, a bill that will help people who were victims of domestic violence at the time of their crime get sentencing relief. ______ TRANSCRIPTION SPEAKERS Colleen McCarty, Lesl…
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On September 24th, 2022, Panic Button hosts Colleen McCarty and Leslie Briggs were featured on a live panel with domestic violence expert Molly Bryant, and #freeaprilwilkens advocate Amanda Ross. Amanda is April Wilkens's niece. The panel was moderated by local indigenous activist Apollonia Piña. The panel was hosted by the Center for Public Secret…
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On the final episode of Season 1, Panic Button hosts discuss the verdict. Listeners will hear from a juror what the focus of jury deliberations was, and how they came to decide April was guilty. Listeners will also hear what happened on appeal and where April's case stands now. If you want to follow our efforts to change the laws in Oklahoma to all…
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On the last episode, we heard about how April's expert witness at trial, Dr. John Call, was not truly an expert in Battered Womens' Syndrome. So, on this episode we wanted to hear from some real experts about domestic violence, how the research has changed since April's trial, and the biggest issues with John Call's testimony. We welcome two expert…
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This week's episode we talk through the second part of the defense's case in April Wilkens' murder trial. We look at what the prosecution had to prove to overcome April's claim of self defense, and the difference between traditional self defense and the defense of Battered Womens' Syndrome. April's attorney called an expert witness to explain to th…
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This week's episode we talk through the first part of the defense's case in April Wilkens' murder trial. April testified in her own defense for three days about how she was pushed to a breaking point after over two years of horrific abuse. Coupled with a total apathy on the part of the police, April felt the only choice she had was to defend her li…
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Before we get to the defense case, we wanted listeners to hear the story of some suppressed evidence in the case. In October of 1997, Terry's nephew lived in Kansas City and was in an on-again-off-again relationship with a girl named Anastasia. Anastasia was found shot on the morning of October 23rd, 1997 in a cemetery. When Terry heard about Anast…
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We discuss the most detrimental witnesses put on by the state in April Wilkens' murder trial. First, Officer Laura Fadem who responded to the 911 call is intentionally evasive on the stand. Then, Terry's best friend Robert Martin shows that Terry was lying to everyone in his life about his drug use and his abuse of April. Robert casts doubt that Ap…
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The State begins to present its evidence in April Wilkens' first-degree murder trial. In the Spring of 1999, April was absolutely convinced that the jury would acquit her after hearing her evidence of abuse, especially after hearing the testimony from the SANE nurse that proved she had been raped the night of the shooting. She was sure they would c…
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When April goes to trial for first-degree murder in April of 1999, over half of the potential jurors in the initial pool had suffered from--or perpetrated--domestic violence. Leslie and Colleen wade through the pool to get a feel for what the community was like that would be judging April's guilt. ____________________________________ Resources: To …
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In this episode, we hear about the confession, the arrest, the SANE exam, and the year April spent in jail in pre-trial detention. Even though she was presumed innocent, she was required to stay in jail on no bond due to the seriousness of her charge. We also hear about the politics playing out at the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office in the …
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In the ongoing nightmare of April and Terry's relationship, the event that catapults them into pure chaos starts on the night of December 6th, 1997. April has been staying away from Terry, but ends up going to his house to ask for the money he owes her. His place is wrecked and he doesn't look so good. What happens next launches Terry and April int…
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In this episode we go back in time to 1980's Kellyville, Oklahoma where April grew up. Then we follow her to the car lot where she met Terry. We will hear the tape that April recorded of a fight between she and Terry after their trip to Italy. On the trip he beat her threatened to and throw her out of their hotel room naked, only to be caught by on…
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Terry Carlton is found shot dead in his basement in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When the police arrive, his long-time on-again-off-again fiance, April Wilkens, answers the door. "I shot him, he's in the basement," she says. But this wasn't exactly an open and shut case. Terry had raped April mere hours before the shooting. It was while he was violating her th…
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