Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

Follow Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast
Share on
Copy link to clipboard

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 and tragedies throughout history. Host Erik Rivenes interviews authors and historians who have studied their s…

Blue Ewe Media

    • May 31, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 4m AVG DURATION
    • 306 EPISODES

    4.7 from 2,246 ratings Listeners of Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast that love the show mention: historical true crime, notorious, erik asks, thank you erik, crime books, crime history, history and true crime, gangsters, host erik, guest authors, true crime authors, several of the books, purchased several, breathy, historical crimes, history and crime, interviewing authors, erik is a great, love history and true, subject matter is always.

    Search for episodes from Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast with a specific topic:

    Latest episodes from Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

    296: The Atlanta Ripper w/ Jeffrey Wells - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2023 78:04

    In the years following the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, a wave of terror rocked the city. Over twenty black women were brutally murdered, often in a fashion that mimicked the infamous Jack the Ripper murders twenty years earlier.My guest is Dr. Jeffery Wells, author of "The Atlanta Ripper: The Unsolved Case of the Gate City's Most Infamous Murders". He talks about the racially-charged atmosphere of Atlanta in the 1910s, the likelihood that the rash of murders were committed by multiple people and the connection between the Atlanta Ripper killings and the sensational Mary Phagan murder case.More about the author and his book here: Wells' Georgia history blog: a list of victims attributed to the Atlanta Murderer or Murderers, click here. This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at

    true crime ripper murderers history podcasts crime history mary phagan atlanta ripper jeffrey wells
    295: Murder & Lynching in Early 1900s Tennessee w/ Kimberly Tilley

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2023 85:46

    Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1906. When a young white woman is assaulted in a dark cemetery, the town erupts. Despite questionable evidence and a flawed trial, a black man named Ed Johnson is convicted of the crime and sentenced to death. Before he can be executed, the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes. Despite their order, a bloodthirsty mob attacks the county jail, and lynches Johnson.The infuriated high court is determined Ed Johnson's murder will not go unpunished, and they charge Joseph Shipp, the county sheriff, with contempt. Desperate to save his political career and fearful of the reckoning he faces, the ambitious sheriff deteriorates under the strain of the case against him.After failing to solve another shocking crime, Shipp does the unthinkable. He gambles on the ability of Dave Edwards, a notoriously violent inmate in his jail, to solve the high-profile cold case. Despite a pending trial for first-degree murder, the sheriff releases Edwards. It's not long until Dave's madness manifests itself, with dreadful consequences.My guest is Kimberly Tilley, back for the fourth time to Most Notorious, this time to talk about her fascinating new book called "Grievous Deeds: The True Story of Four Years of Fury in Chattanooga, Tennessee".More about Kimberly's historical research and writing here: is also a co-founder of Pivot Discovery Career Services. If you're thinking about making changes to your work life, connect with Kimberly here: "The Poisoned Glass" interview from 9/5/19.Our "Cold Heart" interview from 12/9/20.Our "Has It Come to This?" interview from 4/3/22.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at

    294: The Ill-Fated Voyage of HMS Wager w/ David Grann - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2023 60:18

    My guest this week is award-winning writer David Grann, whose new book, "The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder", is currently number one on the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Sellers list. It's the tale of HMS Wager, a British warship that gets separated from the rest of its squadron while in pursuit of a treasure-filled Spanish galleon. The ship wrecks off the coast of Chile and the surviving crew members face off against each other amidst disease, cold and starvation - with deadly results.The author's website: previous interview about his book "Killers of the Flower Moon": here to download the Zocdoc app for free to find a top-rated doctor (and support the show)

    293: The Star Route Scandal w/ Shawn Francis Peters - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2023 53:01

    In the 1870s and 80s the nation was embroiled in a sensational scandal. Corrupt politicians, post office officials and others conspired to defraud the United States Post Office out of millions of dollars. It was only under the watchful eye of newly elected President James Garfield that an in-depth investigation began.My guest is Shawn Francis Peters, author of "When Bad Men Combine: The Star Route Scandal and the Twilight of Gilded Age Politics." He not only explains the graft and its consequences, but also shares his thoughts about the theory that Garfield's assassination was in fact connected to the scandal.More about the book here: you haven't done so already, listen to my prior conversation with Shawn about Gilded-Age murderer Harry Hayward at Minnesota's Most Notorious: Where Blood Runs Cold.

    292: Confidence Men, Corruption & the Klan in 1920s Denver w/ Alan Prendergast

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2023 56:44

    Philip Van Cise faced a double threat when he became Denver's district attorney in 1921. He quickly discovered that a massive bunco ring was operating unimpeded in downtown Denver, fleecing unsuspecting rubes out of enormous amounts of money. In addition, the Ku Klux Klan was gaining popularity across the state - winning key elections as it encouraged vigilantism and threatened many Denver citizens.My guest, Alan Prendergast, tells Van Cise's story in his new book, "Gangbuster: One Man's Battle Against Crime, Corruption, and the Klan". The author's website:

    corruption ku klux klan klan 1920s confidence men alan prendergast
    291: Anastasia: Mystery & Myth w/ Greg King & Penny Wilson

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2023 84:33

    For decades following the horrific 1918 execution of the Romanov family, many hoped against hope that one or more of the children had escaped the bullets and bayonets of the Bolsheviks. And when a young woman came forward with an incredible story - that she was the real Grand Duchess Anastasia and had in fact survived the massacre - it sent shock waves around the world.My returning guests are Penny Wilson and Greg King, co-authors of "The Resurrection of the Romanovs: Anastasia, Anna Anderson, and the World's Greatest Royal Mystery". They present to us the evidence that proves that Anna Anderson was one of history's greatest imposters.Their Facebook page: them on Twitter: about their book on Amazon here:

    290: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse & the Battle of the Little Bighorn w/ Mark Lee Gardner

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2023 94:39

    On June 25, 1876, in the valley of the Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the warriors who were inspired to follow them, fought the last stand of the Sioux, a fierce and proud nation that had ruled the Great Plains for decades. It was their greatest victory, but it was also the beginning of the end for their treasured and sacred way of life. And in the years to come, both Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, defiant to the end, would meet violent—and eerily similar—fates. Award-winning historian and author Mark Lee Gardner joins me once again, and it's been a while! He is the author of "The Earth Is All That Lasts: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the Last Stand of the Great Sioux Nation", which True West Magazine declared the best non-fiction book of 2022. It is both a dual biography of two iconic Lakota leaders and also a detailed account of arguably the most famous battle in the history of the American West. Mark's website:

    289: What Happened to the Princes in the Tower? A New Suspect w/ M.J. Trow

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2023 79:19

    In the summer of 1483 Edward and Richard, sons of the deceased King Edward IV, disappeared from the Tower of London, where they were being held by the recently crowned Richard III. There are countless theories about their fate. Some believe that were secretly whisked away and survived into adulthood. Some are convinced that Richard III had them murdered, a theory perpetuated by Sir Thomas More and William Shakespeare. But other suspects linger in the background as well.My guest, M.J. Trow, believes he knows who killed the Princes in the Tower, and he shares his thoughts on this week's episode of Most Notorious. His book is called "The Killer of the Princes in the Tower: A New Suspect Revealed".For more on M.J. Trow's books, visit his Amazon page here.

    288: The Angel Makers of Nagyrév w/ Patti McCracken - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2023 53:22

    From World War I through the 1920s a midwife known as Auntie Suzy readily supplied arsenic to women in a small Hungarian village. The women, who would become known as "the Angel Makers", used the poison to murder their husbands and other relatives. As the years passed and no punishment followed the killers became more emboldened, leaving hundreds of victims in their wake before they were finally caught and their crimes brought to light in 1929. My guest is award-winning journalist Patti McCracken, author of "The Angel Makers: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History's Most Astonishing Murder Ring." The author's website:

    287: The Mysterious Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar w/ Tal McThenia

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2023 87:10

    In 1912, four-year-old Bobby Dunbar went missing in the Louisiana swamps. After an eight-month search that electrified the country and destroyed Bobby's parents, the boy was found, filthy and hardly recogniz­able. A wandering piano tuner was arrested and charged with kidnapping— a crime then punishable by death.But when a destitute single mother came forward from North Carolina to claim the boy as her son, not the lost Bobby Dunbar, the case became a high-pitched battle over custody—and identity—that divided the South.My guest, Tal McThenia,first introduced listeners of NPR's This American Life to this case in 2008. A few years later he co-wrote, along with Margaret Dunbar Cutright (the granddaughter of Bobby Dunbar) the definitive book about this historical whodunnit, called "A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation". The author's website: to This American Life's "The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar" here: author's recent Audubon article:

    286: George Hearst w/ Matthew Bernstein - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2023 63:18

    In the third season of the acclaimed HBO series Deadwood, one of the most villainous characters in a show full of villains was introduced. Ruthless mining magnate George Hearst arrived, eager to seize control of the richest mine in town - no matter what the cost. But was he really as rotten as the show suggested he was? My guest is Matthew Bernstein, author of "George Hearst: Silver King of the Gilded Age". He talks about the rise and fall and rise again of a man who made millions sniffing out gold, silver and copper mines across the country, and who fathered one of the most controversial characters of his era, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.More about the author and his book here: here to download the Zocdoc app for free to find a top-rated doctor (and support the show)

    285: The Last Voyage of the Karluk w/ Buddy Levy - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2023 80:46

    In the summer of 1913, the wooden-hulled brigantine Karluk departed Canada for the Arctic Ocean. At the helm was Captain Bob Bartlett, considered the world's greatest living ice navigator. The expedition's visionary leader was a flamboyant impresario named Vilhjalmur Stefansson hungry for fame.Just six weeks after the Karluk departed, giant ice floes closed in around her. As the ship became icebound, Stefansson disembarked with five companions and struck out on what he claimed was a 10-day caribou hunting trip. Most on board would never see him again.Twenty-two men and an Inuit woman with two small daughters now stood on a mile-square ice floe, their ship and their original leader gone. Under Bartlett's leadership they built make-shift shelters, surviving the freezing darkness of Polar night. Captain Bartlett now made a difficult and courageous decision. He would take one of the young Inuit hunters and attempt a 1000-mile journey to save the shipwrecked survivors. It was their only hope.My guest, is Buddy Levy, the award-winning bestselling author of "Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk". He joins me to talk about this remarkable story of disaster, death and survival in a frigid and desolate polar landscape.Buddy's website: here to download the Zocdoc app for free to find a top-rated doctor (and support the show)

    The Murder of Bobby Franks (Leopold & Loeb Revisited) w/ Penny Wilson & Greg King

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2023 85:00

    On the afternoon of March 21st, 1924 a horrific crime shook the city of Chicago (and the entire country). Bobbie Franks, on his way home from school, was kidnapped and murdered by two teenage boy geniuses named Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. It has long been believed that Loeb was the mastermind behind the plan, while Leopold, in love with him, followed his orders. But my guests believe otherwise.Greg King and Penny Wilson, authors of "Nothing but the Night: Leopold & Loeb and the Truth Behind the Murder That Rocked 1920s America" reveal some of the fascinating information they uncovered while researching this case, including details of other murders Leopold and Loeb might have committed before they killed Bobby.Their Facebook page: them on Twitter: about the book on Amazon:

    america amazon chicago murder truth behind leopold loeb greg king richard loeb nathan leopold bobby franks penny wilson
    283: The Murder of Maggie Sheffield w/ Kelly Sullivan & the Homestead Strike w/ Paul Kahan

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2023 72:42

    I've combined two of my shorter interviews into one episode this week. First up, Kelly Sullivan, author of "Murder at Rocky Point Park: Tragedy in Rhode Island's Summer Paradise" joins me to talk about the 1893 murder of little Maggie Sheffield by her father at a Rhode Island amusement park.Then, Paul Kahan returns to give a rousing summary of the notorious Homestead Strike. In July of 1892 Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick hired Pinkerton agents to occupy the Homestead steel mill near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but striking workers rushed to prevent their arrival and a violent battle ensued. His book is called "The Homestead Strike: Labor, Violence, and American Industry."More about Kelly Sullivan here: about Paul Kahan here: in seeing how many historical true crimes, disasters or tragedies have been covered by your state or country on Most Notorious? Check it out here.

    murder pennsylvania violence pittsburgh strike rhode island sheffield homestead pinkerton andrew carnegie american industry kelly sullivan paul kahan henry clay frick most notorious
    282: The Life & Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe w/ Mark Dawidziak

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2023 114:45

    Edgar Allan Poe is, of course, one of America's most iconic writers. Many credit him with inventing or popularizing multiple literary genres, including mystery, horror and detective fiction. But the real Poe has become distorted over the years - transformed by fans into a dark and tortured soul obsessed with alcohol and death.My guest is author Mark Dawidziak, and his new book is called "A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe". He not only shares with us what Poe was really like, but also walks us through some of the many theories surrounding Poe's agonizing death in a Baltimore hospital in October of 1849. He also talks about possible explanations for Poe's mysterious three missing days - just before he was discovered, delirious and in another man's clothes, at a Baltimore polling-place.More about the author's prolific work at his website, here: with the author through Facebook:

    281: The Murder of William Desmond Taylor w/ William J Mann - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2023 59:34

    In early 1922, Hollywood was in damage control. The recent "Fatty" Arbuckle manslaughter and rape case had brought unwanted scandal to the motion picture industry, so when Paramount Pictures director William Desmond Taylor was found murdered in his home on February 1st, the studio tried its best to cover it up. Despite this, the murder case became a national sensation with attention falling on multiple suspects, including a valet who had been blackmailing Taylor, comedy star Mabel Normand and film ingenue Mary Miles Minter.My guest is William J. Mann, New York Times bestselling author of Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood". He shares details from the book that won the 2015 Edgar Award and offers his own theory on who murdered the famous director.The author's website:

    280: The Murder of Sally Cochran w/ Leslie Lambert Rounds - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 31, 2023 61:21

    On a cold winter night in January of 1833, a teenage farmhand named Abraham Prescott crept into the bedroom of his employers, Chauncey and Sally Cochran, and smashed their heads with an ax. Their neighbors in the town of Pembroke, New Hampshire was astonished when the boy explained that he had been sleepwalking and hadn't purposely attacked them. They were even more shocked when the Cochrans, who had both miraculously recovered, allowed him to continue to work for them. A few months later however, that decision would come back to haunt the family. After inviting Sally Cochran out to pick strawberries with him in a secluded area behind their farm, Prescott murdered her with a fence post. Again, he told Chauncey that only done it after he'd fallen asleep. Soon he would face trial and his attorneys would attempt to defend him both with a sleepwalking claim and an insanity plea.My guest is Leslie Lambert Rounds, executive director of the Dyer Library and the Saco Museum in Saco, Maine and author of "I Have Struck Mrs. Cochran with a Stake: Sleepwalking, Insanity, and the Trial of Abraham Prescott". She not only walks us through the story of the murder and its aftermath, but also explains the difficulties authorities in 1830s New Hampshire faced when dealing with criminals who suffered from mental illness.More about the author at Kent State University Press. If you'd like to reach out to her directly, you can do so here:

    279: Was Kit Marlowe Murdered? w/ M.J. Trow - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 75:39

    Christopher "Kit" Marlowe is considered one of the greatest playwrights of the Elizabethan era, but was also known as a hothead, a scoundrel and a member of the secretive School of Night. When he was stabbed through the eye at the age of twenty-nine in 1593, those who had it in for him were no doubt relieved to hear of his death. He had worked as an agent under Queen Elizabeth's legendary spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham and had very likely taken some reputation-destroying secrets to his grave. Many, however, believed that he was murdered, and theories swirl around his demise to this day. Did the man who stabbed Marlowe do it in self-defense, or was it really to get rid of him? Or did Marlowe actually fake his own death and go on to ghost write for William Shakespeare?My guest is M.J. Trow, and his book is called "Who Killed Kit Marlowe?: A Contract to Murder in Elizabethan England". He shares the story of this complex figure and offers his own theory on who he believes was behind Marlowe's unfortunate end. Amazon's M. J. Trow page is here.

    278: The Murder of Journalist Don Mellett w/ Thomas Crowl - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2023 73:51

    The July 1926 murder of the editor of the Canton, Ohio, Daily News, Don R. Mellett, was one of the most publicized crimes in the 1920s. For less than a year, Mellett was the editor of the Daily News, owned by former Ohio governor and Democrat presidential candidate James Cox. Having promised Cox he would turn the unprofitable News into a success, Mellett combined personal conviction with marketing savvy and in 1925 embarked on an antivice, anticorruption editorial campaign. The following year, the Daily News and Mellett, posthumously, received the Pulitzer Prize for his columns.His editorials were often aimed at the Canton police chief, S. A. Lengel, making the News law and order crusade personal. An unholy alliance of bootleggers and corrupt police, angered at Mellett's interference with business as usual, hired an ex-con from Pennsylvania, Patrick McDermott, to attack and scare the editor. When the intended assault spiraled out of control and Mellett was murdered, the national press became outraged and saw this situation as an attack on the First Amendment, demanding justice in editorials appearing on the front pages of newspapers throughout the country.My guest is Thomas Crowl, author of "Murder of a Journalist: The True Story of the Death of Donald Ring Mellett. He shares this largely forgotten but very important case with us on this latest episode ofMost Notorious.More about the author and his work can be found here:

    277: The True Crime Case That Inspired Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man" w/ Jason Isralowitz

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2023 88:37

    In January 1953, a New York City musician named Christopher “ Manny” Balestrero was wrongly arrested for armed robbery, misidentified by eye witnesses. What followed was a nightmarish ordeal that completely devastated him and his family. Alfred Hitchcock was so moved by the miscarriage of justice that he made the case the focus of his underrated, classic 1956 film "The Wrong Man".My guest is Jason Isralowitz, author of "Nothing To Fear: Alfred Hitchcock And The Wrong Men". He shares details of the true crime case that revealed some concerning flaws in the American criminal justice system.The author's website: episode is sponsored by Talkspace! As a listener of this podcast, you'll get $100 off of your first month with Talkspace. To match with a licensed therapist today, go to . Make sure to use the code MONO to get $100 off of your first month and show your support for the show. That's MONO and

    276: What Happened to Louis Le Prince? w/ Paul Fischer - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2022 83:06

    In the late 19th century, inventors were rushing to perfect and patent motion picture devices, and leading the race was a Frenchman named Louis Le Prince. In September of 1890 Le Prince said farewell to his brother in Dijon and boarded a train bound for Paris. His final destination would be the United States, where he planned to unveil his movie camera and projector to the world. Unfortunately he was never seen again.There are many theories regarding Le Prince's disappearance. Did he run away with a mistress, or was he murdered? If murdered, then by who? Was it his brother, who he shared an inheritance with? Was it a stranger in a dark Paris alley? Or was Thomas Edison behind it, the famed American inventor who announced the creation of his own motion picture camera just months after Le Prince disappeared?My guest is Paul Fischer, author of "The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies". He tells the story of Louis Le Prince, his quest to invent and patent the first movie camera and projector, and the tragedy that followed. More about the author and his work can be found at his website: Most Notorious website: a Most Notorious patron:

    275: The Mysterious Disappearance of Joan Risch w/ Stephen Ahern - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 121:13

    On October 24th, 1961, one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in Massachusetts history began when housewife and mother Joan Risch vanished from her home. Investigators were perplexed by a kitchen floor smeared with blood, a telephone receiver ripped from the wall and placed gently on the edge of a trash basket, and a bloodhound who traced her scent to the middle of her driveway. Later, drivers would report seeing someone resembling Joan stumbling along local highways, apparently dazed and injured.My guest, Stephen Ahern, is author of "A Kitchen Painted in Blood: The Unsolved Disappearance of Joan Risch". He teamed up with a retired FBI profiler and a cold case detective to try and piece together a possible explanation of what happened to Joan that fateful day.More about the author and his book here: Buy it through Amazon: a Most Notorious Patron: the Most Notorious website:

    274: California's McGlincy Murders w/ Tobin Gilman - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2022 48:19

    On the morning of May 27, 1896, the peaceful township of Campbell awoke to shocking news. Six people were brutally murdered at the home of Colonel Richard P. McGlincy, one of the town's most respected citizens. The suspect, James Dunham—the colonel's son-in-law—fled the scene and disappeared into the hills of Mount Hamilton overlooking Santa Clara County. This heinous crime triggered a massive, nationwide manhunt while investigators pieced together the details. My guest is Tobin Gilman, author of "The McGlincy Killings in Campbell, California: An 1896 Unsolved Mystery". He not only summarizes the case for us, but offers his theory on what might have happened to Dunham once he fled the bloody crime scene. For more information on books by Tobin Gilman, visit order a signed copy by author, email Visit the Most Notorious website at

    273: Chicago's Iroquois Theater Fire w/ Troy Taylor - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2022 63:15

    On December 30th, 1903, over two thousand people were packed into Chicago's brand new Iroquois Theater for a matinee performance of Mr. Bluebeard, starring comedian Eddie Foy. Little did theatergoers know, however, that the owners of the theater cut corners in fire safety measures in an effort to open as quickly as possible. Despite billing itself as "absolutely fireproof" there were no sprinklers or fire alarms installed, the fire escapes weren't finished and some of the exit doors had been locked during the performance. When fire struck on stage in the second act, the interior of the theater became a hellish death trap, killing close to six hundred people.My guest is Troy Taylor, author of the book, "One Afternoon at the Iroquois: America's Deadliest Theater Fire". He is a podcaster, historian, tour operator and an expert on the paranormal. Troy's website: http://americanhauntings.netA link to his podcast page (the American Hauntings Podcast): http://americanhauntingspodcast.comBecome a Most Notorious patron: Notorious on Facebook: Notorious on TikTok: Notorious on YouTube: Notorious website:

    chicago tiktok true crime history podcasts bluebeard neta troy taylor crime history iroquois theater most notorious american hauntings podcast
    272: Did Lee Harvey Oswald Assassinate JFK Alone? w/ Gerald Posner

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 80:05

    For almost sixty years, the Kennedy assassination has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans. Hundreds of books have been written about the fateful day at Dealey Plaza in November of 1963, often offering elaborate and convoluted conspiracy theories about government plots, the Mafia, Cuba and the KGB.My guest is investigative journalist and bestselling author Gerald Posner. He believes that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in murdering President Kennedy. His critically acclaimed book, "Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK" was a 1994 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for History. Gerald Posner's website:

    271: The Acid Bath Murderer w/ Gordon Lowe - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 82:58

    In the years following World War II, serial killer John George Haigh committed five perfect murders, using sulphuric acid to dissolve his victims into soup. His sixth murder, however, was hastily done, and led to his arrest, a trial and eventual execution. The case captivated the United Kingdom, especially when Haigh claimed he had drunk a glass of each victim's blood before disposing of their bodies. My guest is Gordon Lowe, author of "The Acid Bath Murders: The Trials and Liquidations of John George Haigh". He walks us through Lowe's murderous life and eventual death at the hands of one of Britain's most famous executioners. More about the author can be discovered at his website:

    270: The Wild West's "Bandit Queen" Pearl Hart w/ John Boessenecker

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 97:23

    On May 30, 1899, history was made when Pearl Hart, disguised as a man, held up a stagecoach in Arizona and robbed the passengers at gunpoint. A manhunt ensued as word of her heist spread, and Pearl Hart went on to become a media sensation and the most notorious female outlaw on the Western frontier. Hailed by many as “The Bandit Queen,” her epic life of crime and legacy as a female trailblazer provide a crucial lens into the lives of the rare women who made their mark in the American West.My guest, New York Times bestselling author and Old West historian John Boessenecker shares incredible stories from the life of Lily Davy (aka Pearl Hart) and her equally fascinating sister Katy Davy. His book is called "Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West's Most Notorious Woman Bandit". More information can be found on John Boessenecker's author's page: Become a Most Notorious patron: Notorious on Facebook: Notorious on TikTok: Notorious on YouTube: Notorious website:

    269: Return to Uluru w/ Mark McKenna - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 63:48

    In 1934 South Australian policeman Bill McKinnon is sent to investigate a murder and make arrests in the so-called "dead heart" of the country. After some of his Aboriginal prisoners escape, he tracks one of the unarmed men to a sacred rock formation called Uluru, traps him in a cave, and shoots and kills him. My guest is University of Sydney history professor Mark McKenna, author of "Return to Uluru: The Hidden History of a Murder in Outback Australia". He discusses not only the specifics of the case, but the history of colonization of the Australian outback, and the impact it has had on this eighty-five-year-old tragedy. More about the book here: episode is sponsored by Wondery's new podcast SUSPECT: Vanished in the Snow. Download the app in the Amazon Music App today.

    268: Vengeance, Tragedy & Murder on the Arkansas Delta w/ Denise White Parkinson

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 75:22

    In 1931 a young woman named Helen Spence, part of a houseboat community along Arkansas' White River, shocked everyone when she stood up in a local courtroom and shot to death the man on trial for murdering her father and step-mother. What followed for Helen would be a nightmare journey of incarceration, torture and more murder. My guest, Denise White Parkinson, has made it her mission to tell Helen Spence's story, and she shares details of it this week on Most Notorious. Her book is called "Daughter of the White River: Depression-Era Treachery and Vengeance in the Arkansas Delta". The author's website here: Facebook page: audio book version of her story here: teaser trailer for her documentary: episode is sponsored by the Generation Why Podcast. Go to Amazon Music or listen early and ad-free by joining Wondery Plus on Apple Podcasts, or the Wondery app.

    267: The Murder of Athalia Ponsell Lindsley w/ Elizabeth Randall

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 60:01

    In the winter of 1974 Athalia Ponsell Lindsley was in the midst of a bitter feud with her neighbor, Alan Stanford. The feud ended in brutal fashion on January 23rd when she was murdered in broad daylight on the front doorstep of her St. Augustine, Florida mansion with a machete. Suspects included both Stanford and her husband, James "Jinx" Lindsley. Elizabeth Randall, author of the book "Murder in St. Augustine: The Mysterious Death of Athalia Ponsell Lindsley" is my guest this week. She walks us through the evidence against Stanford and theorizes on why the case has never been resolved. More information about the author and her work can be found here: episode is sponsored by Talkspace. Make sure to use the code MONO to get $100 off of your first month (and show your support for the show).

    266: The Murder of Betsy Aardsma w/ David DeKok - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022 66:23

    On Nov. 28, 1969, Betsy Aardsma, a 22-year-old Penn State graduate student, was stabbed to death in the stacks of Pattee Library. The case remains officially unsolved, but my guest David DeKok thinks that he knows who murdered Betsy. He believes it was a troubled and hot-tempered fellow grad student named Richard Haefner, and lays out the evidence to make his argument. His book is called "Murder in the Stacks: Penn State, Betsy Aardsma, and the Killer Who Got Away". More information on the author and the book can be found at his website: from the publisher: episode is sponsored by Green Chef. Go to for $135 off across five boxes, and your first box ships free!

    murder true crime penn state history podcasts green chef betsy aardsma crime history pattee library david dekok
    265: The Murder of Olga Duncan w/ Deborah Holt Larkin - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2022 63:50

    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, Elizabeth was arrested, along with two hired hitmen, for murder. My guest Deborah Holt Larkin is the author of "A Lovely Girl: The Tragedy of Olga Duncan and the Trial of One of California's Most Notorious Killers". She has a personal connection to the case - her father was a court reporter who covered Elizabeth Duncan's trial - and she followed the case closely as a girl as it all unfolded. The author's website:

    264: The 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast w/ A. Brad Schwartz

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 99:48

    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' science fiction novel, which tells the story of an invasion of Earth by tentacled aliens. The broadcast was delivered in a news story style so realistic that those who weren't aware it was a Mercury Theater production panicked. The extent and nature of the panic, however, is disputed, and my guest sets the record straight (as best as primary sources allow) about what really happened. His book is called "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News", and more information about his work can be found here:

    263: Murder & Manhunt in WW2 w/ Brendan Koerner - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 65:08

    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 eventually turned to opium and marijuana to escape from reality. On one fateful day, in the midst of an emotional collapse, Perry murdered an unarmed white lieutenant trying to apprehend him for dereliction of duty. Perry then fled into the jungle, where he became a fugitive in an intense manhunt.My guest is Brendan Koerner, author of “Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier's Flight from the Greatest Manhunt of World War II”. He talks about the poor conditions faced by black soldiers in a segregated army and shares details of Herman Perry's wild escape into the wilderness, where he assimilated into a local tribe to avoid capture.Connect with the author via Twitter here: the book through the publisher's website here:

    262: The Hall-Mills Murders w/ Joe Pompeo - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 94:58

    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 and ties to the Johnson & Johnson dynasty, would have made headlines on its own. But when authorities identified Eleanor Mills as a choir singer from his church married to the church sexton, the story shocked locals and sent the scandal ricocheting around the country, fueling the nascent tabloid industry. This provincial double murder on a lonely lover's lane would soon become one of the most famous killings in American history—a veritable crime of the century.My guest is Joe Pompeo, author of "Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime". He walks us through this titillating murder case, including a clumsy police investigation that produced a number of suspects but ultimately no convictions. Buy the book through the publisher's website here: author's website: The author's Twitter account: bonus content and updates from the author by subscribing here:

    261: The Red Widow: Marguerite “Meg” Steinheil w/ Sarah Horowitz - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2022 72:30

    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 dazzling glamor, art, and romance of bourgeois Paris, she takes elite men as her lovers, charming her way into the good graces of the rich and powerful. Her ambitions, though, go far beyond becoming the most desirable woman in Paris; at her core, she is a woman determined to conquer French high society. But the game she plays is a perilous one: navigating misogynistic double-standards, public scrutiny, and political intrigue, she is soon vaulted into infamy in the most dangerous way possible.A real-life femme fatale, Meg influences government positions and resorts to blackmail―and maybe even poisoning―to get her way. Leaving a trail of death and disaster in her wake, she earns the name the "Red Widow" for mysteriously surviving a home invasion that leaves both her husband and mother dead. With the police baffled and the public enraged, Meg breaks every rule in the bourgeois handbook and becomes the most notorious woman in Paris.My guest is Sarah E. Horowitz, professor of history at Washington and Lee University. Her book is called: "The Red Widow: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind it All". More about the author and her work here:"The Red Widow" can be purchased here: wedding video mentioned in the interview: sponsor this week is The End Up Podcast. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

    260: The 1889 Hamilton Scandal w/ Bill Shaffer - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 62:24

    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 nursemaid in a violent argument. Soon famed New York City police detective Thomas Byrnes would dig up tawdry details on Eva's plot to con her husband out of his fortune. My guest is Bill Shaffer, author of "The Scandalous Hamiltons: A Gilded Age Grifter, a Founding Father's Disgraced Descendant, and a Trial at the Dawn of Tabloid Journalism". He shares some of the twists and turns in this truly unbelievable Gilded Age tale of baby farms and fraudsters. More information about the author and his work can be found at his website here: the book here:

    259: America's First Recorded Mass Shooting w/ Ellen J. Green - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2022 49:56

    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 Ellen J. Green, author of "Murder in the Neighborhood: The true story of America's first recorded mass shooting". She walks us through Unruh's murderous rampage and reveals possible reasons why he did what he did that terrible day. More information can be found at the author's website here: sponsor this week is The End Up Podcast. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

    258: The Murder of Helen Clevenger w/ Anne Chesky Smith - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 85:28

    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 porch, but eyewitnesses reported seeing a white man flee the scene of the crime, and questions of police coercion linger to this day.My guest is Anne Chesky Smith, author of “Murder at Asheville's Battery Park Hotel: The Search for Helen Clevenger's Killer”. She walks us through the details of the case, clouded by politics in the era of Jim Crow. Photos and more about the story can be found at the Western North Carolina Historical Association's website: book is available to purchase here:

    257: Texas Ranger Company F Vs. The Conner Family w/ Joe Pappalardo

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 74:29

    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 Morning: The Epic True Story of Texas Ranger Company F". He not only shares details of the events leading to the showdown between the Rangers and the Conners, but talks about one of the most vaunted members of Company F, James Brooks, and a fatal gunfight that got him indicted for murder. More about the book and the author can be discovered here:

    256: The 1916 Shark Attacks w/ Dr. Richard Fernicola - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 76:17

    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 attacks unfolded, but explains why they might have happened. His book is called "Twelve Days of Terror: Inside the Shocking 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks". His book can be purchased here: episode is sponsored by Talkspace. Use the promo code MONO for $100 off of your first month at

    255: The Murder of Florence Small w/ Janice S. C. Petrie - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 72:23

    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 was known to have abused Florence on a number of occasions. He seemed to have a rock solid alibi, however. He'd been in Boston, selling insurance, when the fire had started. My guest is author Janice S. C. Petrie. She has a personal connection to the story, which has driven her research into the case for decades. Her book is called "Perfection To A Fault: A Small Murder in Ossipee, New Hampshire, 1916". More information about the author and her work can be found at her website: purchase her book through Amazon, click here:

    254: Lizzie Borden Revisited w/ Cara Robertson - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 78:29

    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 with fascinated spectators and reporters. My guest is Cara Robertson, author of "The Trial of Lizzie Borden: A True Story". She summarizes this sensational Gilded Age true crime story with a unique legal perspective. More about the author and her work can be found here: episode is sponsored by Talkspace. Use the promo code MONO for $100 off of your first month at

    253: Tombstone, the Earp Brothers and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral w/ Tom Clavin

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 69:36

    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 Tombstone alley, forever known as the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral", which left three cowboys dead. But the animosity didn't end there. The cowboys would get their revenge on the Earp family, and Wyatt and Doc Holliday in turn would seek vengeance on remaining members of the gang. My guest is New York Times Bestselling author Tom Clavin. He returns to the show to talk about his epic book "Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell". More about the author, including his books about Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok can be found here: episode is sponsored by Talkspace. Use the promo code MONO for $100 off of your first month at

    252: The Ceely Rose Murders w/ Mark Sebastian Jordan - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2022 73:19

    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, with much of the focus on her sanity and mental capacity. My guest is Mark Sebastian Jordan, author of "The Ceely Rose Murders at Malabar Farm". He's been fascinated with this story since childhood, and not only shares details of his decades long research into the murders, but also explains how the case has reached folkloric status over the years. The author's Facebook page: author's publisher page: it on Amazon here: author's Patreon page: episode is sponsored by Get $100 off the first month by using promo code MONO at

    251: The Shooting of Chicago Cubs Shortstop Billy Jurges w/ Jack Bales - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 59:48

    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 without their star shortstop, Chicago made it to the World Series, only to be on the wrong end of Babe Ruth's legendary Called Shot.My guest is Jack Bales, author of "The Chicago Cub Shot For Love: A Showgirl's Crime of Passion and the 1932 World Series". He shares details from his book, just in time for the 70th anniversary of this infamous intersection of baseball and true crime (which happened on July 6th, 1932). The author's website: author's publisher page: can also buy the book on Amazon, here: episode is sponsored by and the promo code MONO to get $100 off of your first month at

    250: The Murder of Cecil Wells w/ James T. Bartlett - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 95:44

    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 bombshell" Diane Wells was nicknamed "the most beautiful woman in Alaska", and Cecil (twenty years her senior) was a wealthy and well-known Fairbanks businessman. There were suspicions, however, that Diane was lying. It was soon learned that she was having an affair with a local musician and also being comforted by a dance instructor who worked downstairs.My guest is James T. Bartlett, author of "The Alaskan Blonde: Sex, Secrets, and the Hollywood Story that Shocked America. He shares details from his research into the almost 70 year old cold case, including an account of Diane's own tragic end. More information about the author can be found at these links: https://www.thealaskanblonde.com episode is sponsored by and the promo code MONO to get $100 off of your first month at

    249: The Whitman Massacre w/ Blaine Harden - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2022 61:52

    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 to believe Dr. Whitman was purposely poisoning them. This (along with other reasons) drove tensions so high that on November 29th, 1847, the Cayuse murdered the Whitmans and eleven others living at the mission. My guest is New York Times bestselling author Blaine Harden, and his book is called "Murder at the Mission: A Frontier Killing, Its Legacy of Lies, and the Taking of the American West". He explains the volatile situation that led to the massacre, and how the murders created a ripple effect that led to an explosion of white migration into the Pacific Northwest. He also dismantles a lie created by the Reverend Henry Spaulding that recast fellow missionary Marcus Whitman as the hero who "saved Oregon". More can be found at the author's website here: episode is sponsored by and the promo code MONO to get $100 off of your first month at

    Introducing: Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 8:33

    Americans are used to being on the lookout for a scam, but authorities are warning of a new kind of fraud. Puppy Kingpin shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies like drug money. Over the course of 7 episodes, investigative reporter and host Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing us the pets we love. From Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment subscribe to Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.

    248: The Murder of Pearl Bryan w/ Robert Wilhelm - A True Crime History Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 61:28

    In February of 1896 the decapitated corpse of a young woman, who would later be identified as Pearl Bryan, was discovered in the woods of Northern Kentucky. Evidence would lead investigators to two dental students in Cincinnati, Ohio named Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling.My guest is Robert Wilhelm, creator of Murder by Gaslight, an online compendium of notable 19th century American murders. He is the author of "So Far From Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder", and joins me to discuss the case in detail. More information about the murder can be found at his website, Murder By Gaslight: episode is sponsored by Huuge Casino and

    247: The Villisca Axe Murders: The Reverend Lyn George Kelly w/ Edgar Epperly

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 71:14

    In this third and final part of my interview with Dr. Edgar Epperly, the "little minister" Lyn George Jacklin Kelly is examined as a primary suspect in the 1912 Villisca Axe Murders. Although Kelly spoke obsessively about the case and even confessed to the murders, many believed that the confession was the result of mental illness and police coercion. Dr. Epperly also offers his thoughts on whether the murders might be the work of a serial killer named Paul Mueller (aka The Man From the Train). Dr. Epperly's book, the result of almost seventy years of research, is called "Fiend Incarnate: Villisca Axe Murders of 1912". Listener discretion is advised on this episode, as it contains adult themes and language. Dr. Epperly's website: about the documentary "Villisca: Living with a Mystery" here: Epperly's Villisca Axe Murders Blog:

    mystery train reverend villisca axe murders epperly george kelly paul mueller

    Claim Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

    In order to claim this podcast we'll send an email to with a verification link. Simply click the link and you will be able to edit tags, request a refresh, and other features to take control of your podcast page!

    Claim Cancel