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Sword and Scale

The Sword and Scale true-crime podcast is an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Our stories delve into the worst of the worst and include murder, rape, dismemberment and cannibalism. The worst monsters are real.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Episode 161

On May 6th, 2013, Sharlene Bosma watched as her husband Tim pulled away from their house on a test drive with two strange men, never to return again. Finding the mysterious kidnappers will only be part of the struggle. Finding out what happened to Tim Bosma will lead to the most gruesome discovery of all.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 1min

4 May 2020

Rank #1

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Episode 153

A neighbor dispute turns deadly after a brain damaged war vet with PTSD finally snaps on Labor Day 2012. Did Billy Woodward plan his military style assault, or did he have no choice but to Stand His Ground?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 20mins

19 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Episode 120

Everyone loves the idea of having the perfect family and keeping everyone close together. Go to work, come home, play with the kids, eat dinner together. Unfortunately, that isn’t always how things go. In 2015, the Bever family was the perfect example of this. The family of nine stuck close together within the four walls of their home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.But, stick a family together long enough, and eventually someone will blow their lid. On the evening of July 22nd, 2015, Robert and Michael Bever carried out a savage attack on their family, leaving most of their family dead, but their plans reached further than the closed doors of their home.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

58mins

19 Aug 2018

Rank #3

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Episode 154

Ezra McCandless wove a web of complicated relationships for herself, getting involved romantically with many of the men in her coffee-shop clique in a hipster Wisconsin college town. Things were going well for her until they weren’t, and one person in the exclusive friend group ended up dead.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 4mins

2 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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Episode 140

During the early morning hours of May 5th, 2012, Mark Duenas was awoken by what sounded like a catfight outside of his family home. He got up from his recliner and began checking the outside of the home. Walking down the hallway, he noticed the light on in his wife’s bedroom. When he opened up the door, he found her crumpled on the ground, covered in blood. No one knew who could have done such a thing. But in trying times such as these, it’s important for families to stick close.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 2mins

4 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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Episode 158

Citizens of Bakersfield California were in for a crazy day on December 10, 2016. The public events of this day would result in a police chase, and two deaths, eventually a third.Manuel Vela was no stranger to dealing with the law, and resisting arrest almost every single time. Beating on his woman was not an unknown pastime for him. He spent his entire life in and out of juvenile homes and eventually prison, but his final crimes against his fiance would be beyond any act of violence he had committed before.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 5mins

26 Mar 2020

Rank #6

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Episode 162

Ryan Lawrence appeared to be a caring and dutiful father, taking his 21-month-old daughter Maddox with him as he delivered pastries throughout Syracuse, New York, and holding her hand through a rare form of cancer she was diagnosed with before her first birthday. But unbeknownst to everyone, an even more terrible storm is gathering on the horizon.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

57mins

18 May 2020

Rank #7

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Episode 100

For our landmark hundredth episode we cover a story that has all the elements our listeners love to hear. A graphic and gory case of body parts being foundscattered across a roadway, and the unbelievable tale of how the case then unfolds from there will leave you scratching your head.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

51mins

1 Oct 2017

Rank #8

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Episode 155

We’re back with the riveting conclusion to the tale of Ezra McCandless and her claims of repeated sexual victimization. To understand the many facets of this case, you absolutely must go back and listen to part 1 before you listen to this episode.We ended part 1 with some final details about Ezra’s love triangle with Jason Mengel and Alex Woodworth, and all of her many rape allegations against the men in her life, but we still don’t know what happened to Alex on March 22, 2018. Ezra is the only person who can help the police locate him, and her missing car.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

59mins

15 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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Episode 160

Never before have so many of us been forcibly cooped up in our houses for this length of time. COVID-19 has shaken up our routines and our state of mind. During this quarantine, we’ve seen an increase in drug and alcohol consumption, in stress-levels and exacerbated mental illness, loneliness, hopelessness, all of the things that breed conflict. In this episode, we’re starting with a broad scope, talking about all of the attempted acts of domestic terrorism happening on the outside while we sit at home in our own little bubbles, but also the turmoil happening inside homes right now.We're joined by Charles Adams from the KPRC 950 AM and iHeartRadio show The Truth with Charles Adams to dissect the psychology, legal and political issues behind the recent COVID19-related crime wave.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 17mins

23 Apr 2020

Rank #10

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Episode 87

Over the course of a normal school day, a mystery unravels. At first there is chaos, confusion and much worry, but soon all of that anxiety melts into a river of loss and agony as friends and family members find out the truth. This first part of a two-part story is sure to keep you riveted, at the edge of your seat, and pulling your hair out waiting for the next part. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

59mins

8 Apr 2017

Rank #11

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Episode 92

The love of a mother is something many of us take for granted, but when it's not present during the early formative years the results can be disastrous. This is what Edmund Kemper suggests happened to him. A serial killer who enjoyed murdering coeds in the early 70's, Kemper is not your average lunatic. He has the IQ of a genius and has spent years self-analyzing his actions. We hear from his own words and delve into the extreme nature of his crimes.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 5mins

19 Jun 2017

Rank #12

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Episode 88

When a 14 year old boy named Philip Chism goes missing in the middle of a school day, his mother thinks the worst and calls 911. Little does she know, that her son isn't the only missing person from Danvers High School that day. A 24-year-old math teacher is missing also. She is Phillip's teacher which raises some immediate questions, but after finally solving a mishap with the school's 140-camera security system, police are able to come up with a theory as to what happened that day. Another big clue, of course, is the body in the woods. Colleen E. Ritzer was a 24-year-old math teacher at Danvers High School. She had a warm smile and love of teaching. Some of her friends would later say that she was "born to do this job." However, no one could have imaged the darkness that would shroud the school on that particular day, and when all is said and done we are all left with the nagging question of "why?"See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

55mins

24 Apr 2017

Rank #13

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Episode 117

During the early morning hours of September 22nd, 2010, 13-year-old Alexis Mitchell awoke to the sight of her father looming over her and wearing a Halloween mask. His hands were around her neck, but he let up after she elbowed and bit him. Either having passed out or fallen asleep again thinking it was all a dream, Alexis eventually woke again up to the sound of screaming. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 6mins

17 Jun 2018

Rank #14

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Episode 57

It's one thing to kill someone, it's quite another to publish your handiwork on social media for all your friends and family to see like some sort of macabre trophy. That's exactly what Facebook Killer Derek Medina did after killing his wife Jennifer Alfonso in the kitchen of their Miami condominium, while her 10-year-old daughter cowered upstairs under a red blanket. After shooting the unarmed woman eight times, in his words "emptying the clip", he went back upstairs and got dressed before taking a picture of the body, posting it on Facebook, and leaving the residence with the 10-year-old girl still upstairs. Horrified friends and family could do nothing but wait for news of what had transpired, meanwhile the picture of Jennifer's corpse remained posted on Facebook for hours before it was finally taken down.In this two-part story we will cover the trial of this cold-blooded killer with special guest Cathy Russon from courtchatter.com, and get to know the man behind this horror show.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

57mins

4 Jan 2016

Rank #15

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Episode 152

This is the exciting conclusion of the Sheila Davalloo Story. If you haven’t listened to part one go back one episode and start there.The leads in Anna Lisa Raymundo’s murder investigation were dead ends… that is until Sheila Davalloo tries to kill her husband. During the attempted murder Sheila makes a phone call, but not to 911. That phone number leads the police to a common thread in both investigations… Nelson Sessler.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 2mins

8 Dec 2019

Rank #16

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Episode 98

"We lock our doors at night to keep the outside world, to keep evil out, right? ...but what happens when evil has a key?" Those were the words spoken by Nation Hahn, a man who knows first hand how evil can deceptively find its way into your home without warning.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 2mins

3 Sep 2017

Rank #17

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Episode 80

The stories we like to tell the most here are those of serial killers and homicidal maniacs. Those archetypes can be somewhat predictable, if not downright boring. We like to focus instead on everyday people, just like you and me, who find themselves suddenly in the midst of a monster. A monster who looks just like them.This is part two of the two part story of Phillip Markoff, a young and handsome Med student from New England, who came to be known as The Craigslist Killer.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 3mins

20 Nov 2016

Rank #18