Rank #1: Orchard Apartment Slayings
In our debut episode we take you back to 1979 in Houston, Texas to revisit one of the most gruesome, unsolved mysteries of our city's history. Alys Rankin, Mary Calcutta, and Doris Armstrong were all brutally attacked in their own homes, and with no leads the crimes remain unsolved to this day. B and CC explore the details and attempt to make connections... or break them. For 40 years, three families have been in pain. For 40 years, at least one person responsible has been walking our streets. Join Murder City: True Crime of Houston, Texas in our attempt at bringing these cases back into the light and get justice for the families of these three women.
Lockhart Post-Register (Lockhart, Texas) 30 Aug 1979
Rank #2: Belinda Lucas
Belinda Lucas was from a small town but had a heart and smile as big as the state of Texas. On January 11, 1999, Belinda and her unborn daughter Erin were brutally shot to death in the closet of their Katy area home. Who would want to commit such a heinous crime? Was her former football star husband David Temple involved? Listen in as B & CC discuss all the twists, turns, writs, and a retrial in Episode 17: Belinda Lucas.
Kathryn Casey's book on the Temple case, Shattered: The True Story of a Mother's Love, a Husband's Betrayal, and a Cold-Blooded Texas Murder
To send case suggestions, buy merch, or donate to the show visit: www.murdercitypod.com
Rank #3: Joan Robinson Hill
Joan Robinson Hill led a glamorous life in mid-century Houston. She was beautiful, rich, and very successful in the equestrian world. She would marry John Hill, later Dr. John Hill, and she was determined to make her third marriage last. As the Hill’s moved up in Houston society, their personal lives would suffer, eventually ending in tragedy. This infamous Houston case still resonates with residents today, leaving everyone to wonder what really happened in the house on Kirby Drive.
Have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day!
Rank #4: Kent McGowen
In Episode 21 we breakdown a case where the checks and balances failed, and failed miserably. How does a person who leaves a trail of red flags everywhere they go, continue to have opportunities to terrorize the Houston community? One August night everything would hit a breaking point and someone would pay for other's shortcomings.
Rank #5: Robert Spagenberger and Joann Huffman
For Episode 2, Houston earns its name “Murder City”. With over 500 homicides for the year Houston police are overwhelmed. On October 3, 1979 (six weeks after Episode 1) the department is tested once again, and once again fails. Robert Spagenberger and Joann Huffman were two teenagers in love with their whole lives ahead of them. What happened on that night that would make their lives a part of Houston’s lore, even now, 40 years later. Join B and CC as we break down what we know, what we think, and hear from the victim’s families as they recall these tragic events that will forever leave a dark mark on their lives.
Houston Chronicle Archives
Rank #6: Leon Jacob and Valerie McDaniel Part 1
In Episode 3, we dive into the life of the ultimate narcissist, Leon Jacob. He came from a well-off Houston area family with every opportunity to thrive, but nothing was ever enough. His controlling personality would start causing destruction to all aspects his life. Meanwhile, Valerie McDaniel was living the dream: successful veterinary clinic, West University home, beach houses, and a happy, loving family. How do these two people connect and what leads to their ultimate loss of control?
Rank #7: Rachel Delarosa and Robert Cerda
December 2017. The city of Houston is recovering from Harvey and still on a World Series high. Morale around town is positive, and it was no different for two young people in the early stages of a blooming relationship. Rachel and Robert are last seen alive, happy and bubbly, in the NW Houston area of Spring Branch. Less than an hour later Rachel would be deceased across town, and Robert was nowhere to be found. What happened to this couple in that short amount of time that would alter their families lives forever?
If you have ANY information regarding this case or ANY OTHER case we cover on this show, PLEASE do not hesitate to call HPD at 713-308-3600 OR CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS to remain completely anonymous!
Rank #8: Walter E. Shaw
Episode 10 takes you back to Houston’s younger days. In 1892, Mrs. Anna Shaw and her sister, Belle Johnson would be fatally attacked in their own home. Sheriff Ellis and his deputies would use late 19th century investigative procedures (AKA their brains) to follow leads to the murderer. Once caught, the perp would face many hurdles on his race to the gallows near Buffalo Bayou. Learn about the prisoner’s last wishes and the mystery behind his ultimate destination.
Rank #9: Cheryl Henry and Andy Atkinson
Episode 16 covers one of Houston’s most infamous double homicides and one of our most requested cases. Cheryl Henry and Andy Atkinson would meet their fate after pulling up to one of the city’s many hangouts for young people to drink, listen to music, and get away from parents. The location of their murders would quickly grow the lore and designate a nickname for the tragedy, the “Lover’s Lane Murders”. Almost 30 years later, there are still no answers to who the monster is in this case, but hopefully new technology and DNA advances can turn this cold case into peace for the Atkinson and Henry families.
As always, if you have any information on this unsolved case or any other case we feature on our show, do not hesitate to contact the HPD Cold Case Division at 713-308-3618 OR call CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
You can view pictures, maps, documents, and more are www.murdercitypod.com.
To donate and help the girls with case records, research supplies, and equipment visit: www.murdercitypod.com.
Rank #10: The Woodlands Ten
Episode 6 is a very special episode of Murder City: True Crime of Houston, Texas as we discuss gay rights and discrimination in honor of Pride month. This is the story of 10 kids from the Woodlands, and how their interaction with 3 gay males in Montrose started a local movement of the LGBT community against hate crimes in the city of Houston. Was it a hate crime or just good ol’ male bonding? Episode 6 is about differences, and how those differences united a city and paved the path for one of the largest LGBT communities in the US to shine.