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Serial killers. Gangsters. Gunslingers. Victorian-era murderers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Each week, the Most Notorious podcast features true-life tales of crime, criminals, tragedies and disasters throughout history. This is an interview show spotlighting authors and historians who have studied their subjects for years. Their stories are offered with unique insight, detail, and historical accuracy.
 
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In November of 1958 a pregnant nurse named Olga Duncan disappeared from her suburban California apartment. Police quickly suspected Olga's mother in-law Elizabeth Duncan, a domineering and manipulative woman who was incensed that her son Frank had married Olga without her approval. When Olga's badly beaten body was found buried in a shallow grave, …
 
A. Brad Schwartz, who entertained us with Eliot Ness stories in back-to-back episodes earlier this year, returns to talk about the notorious October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, directed by Orson Wells. The young and up-and-coming Orson Wells shocked and frightened listeners who tuned in late to his radio adaptation of H.G. Wells'…
 
In 1944 a battalion of African-American soldiers were tasked with the horrific job of building a road through the heart of the Indo-Burmese jungle during World War II. One of the men, a private named Herman Perry, had been having an especially difficult time of it. He’d suffered abuse while serving a stint in the local military prison, and eventual…
 
On September 16, 1922, the bodies of Reverend Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills were found beneath a crabapple tree on an abandoned farm outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The killer had arranged the bodies in a pose conveying intimacy. The murder of Hall, a prominent clergyman whose wife, Frances Hall, was a proud heiress with illustrious ancestors…
 
Paris, 1889: Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a marriage to a failed artist twenty years her senior, she knows her options are limited. Determined to fashion herself into a new woman, Meg orchestrates a scandalous plan with her most powerful resource: her body. Amid the da…
 
Robert Ray Hamilton, great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton, was a successful man in the late 1880s. Powered by family money and fame, he spent his time developing real estate and serving in the New York State Assembly. But his life came crashing down on him in 1889 when his wife Eva (whom he'd met at a brothel) was arrested for stabbing their baby's…
 
On the morning of September 6th, 1949, a twenty-eight-year-old WWII veteran and loner named Howard Unruh stepped out of his East Camden, New Jersey apartment and shot and killed thirteen people in less than twelve minutes. It was a story that absolutely shocked America, which hadn't seen a spree killing like this in its history before. My guest is …
 
On the morning of July 16, 1936, the crumpled body of nineteen-year-old college student Helen Clevenger was found by her uncle in her room at Asheville, North Carolina’s Battery Park Hotel. She’d been shot in the chest and her face had been cut. A black bell hop named Martin Moore would ultimately confess after the murder weapon was found under his…
 
The Texas Rangers in the late 1880s were a tough and colorful lot, especially the members of Company F. And while they made their livings hunting down outlaws, none proved more cunning than Willis Conner and his sons, a fugitive family accused of murdering two neighbors in a business dispute over pigs. My guest is Joe Pappalardo, author of "Red Sky…
 
Between July 1st and 12th, 1916, a sensational series of shark attacks terrorized seaside resorts and communities along the Jersey Shore. Four people would ultimately die before the shark thought responsible was found and killed. My guest, Dr. Richard Fernicola, is the world's foremost expert on the subject. He not only tells the story of how the a…
 
In September of 1916 a mysterious fire consumed a cottage nestled on Ossipee Lake in New Hampshire, and when local law enforcement searched the wreckage they made a horrifying discovery. The smoldering body of Florence Small was pulled out of the basement, partially preserved by rainwater. The immediate suspect was her husband, Frederick Small, who…
 
In August of 1892, one of the most famous double murders in American history was committed in brutal fashion. Andrew and Abby Borden were hacked to death in their Fall River house, and their daughter Lizzie, home at the time, became the number one suspect. What followed was a spectacular trial, fought by brilliant attorneys, in a courtroom packed w…
 
Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and their wives united in Tombstone, Arizona in 1879 with the intent to make their fortunes, but along the way crossed paths with a gang of lawless cowboys that included Ike Clanton, Curly Bill Brocius and Johnny Ringo. In October of 1881, tensions between the Earps and their adversaries climaxed with a shootout in a T…
 
The tranquility of Ohio's Pleasant Valley was forever scarred in June of 1896 when tragedy struck the Rose family. Twenty-three-year-old Ceely Rose was infatuated with neighbor boy Guy Berry. When he did not reciprocate her feelings, her family ordered her to stop following him, and she in turn used rat poison to murder them. A trial would follow, …
 
In the summer of 1932, with the Cubs in the thick of the pennant race, Billy Jurges broke off his relationship with Violet Popovich to focus on baseball. The famously beautiful showgirl took it poorly, marching into his hotel room with a revolver in her purse. Both were wounded in the ensuing struggle, but Jurges refused to press charges. Even with…
 
In the early morning hours of October 17, 1953, a frightened, battered woman named Diane Wells told a horrific tale to police. She said intruders had broken into the top-floor penthouse apartment she shared with her husband Cecil, murdered him, beat her, and then made their escape. It was an especially sensational story because 31-year-old "blonde …
 
In 1835 Marcus and Narcissa Whitman arrived to the Pacific Northwest, building a mission on Cayuse land near the present day Washington/Oregon border with hopes of converting members of the Cayuse tribe to Christianity. However when a deadly measles outbreak devastated the area, it disproportionally killed Cayuse over whites, leading tribal leaders…
 
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