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Rank #1 in Social Sciences category

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Sword and Scale

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #1 in Social Sciences category

News & Politics
Science & Medicine
Society & Culture
Investing
Social Sciences
Personal Journals
Read more

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. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.

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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. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.

iTunes Ratings

32390 Ratings
Average Ratings
22931
2252
1085
996
5126

Still my favorite

By n3ssv - Jun 17 2019
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I love the podcast! even though I do miss mike I think the new lady is doing a great job!

This guy has a lot to work through off Pod

By EricaB2023 - Jun 17 2019
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I don’t know what is going on, but all this guy does is reference all the things he’s bitter about in his personal life as opposed to covering crimes. And when he does relay the crime he uses this very creepy, unnerving voice that really doesn’t match a podcast that should just discuss true crime, not glorify it. It’s honestly just bad and disjointed. I heard it was worth a try and am confused why anyone would think that!

iTunes Ratings

32390 Ratings
Average Ratings
22931
2252
1085
996
5126

Still my favorite

By n3ssv - Jun 17 2019
Read more
I love the podcast! even though I do miss mike I think the new lady is doing a great job!

This guy has a lot to work through off Pod

By EricaB2023 - Jun 17 2019
Read more
I don’t know what is going on, but all this guy does is reference all the things he’s bitter about in his personal life as opposed to covering crimes. And when he does relay the crime he uses this very creepy, unnerving voice that really doesn’t match a podcast that should just discuss true crime, not glorify it. It’s honestly just bad and disjointed. I heard it was worth a try and am confused why anyone would think that!
Cover image of Sword and Scale

Sword and Scale

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #1 in Social Sciences category

Read more

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. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.

Rank #1: Episode 131

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Chris Watts is arrested and charged with murder on August 15th, 2018 in the disappearance of his pregnant wife Shanann and their two children, daughters Bella and Celeste.  The caring father and husband was the envy of those who followed their success live online for the world to see.  But behind the dramatic weight loss, the anticipated birth of their third child - a son, and Chris and Shanann’s thriving professional careers, a much darker truth remained.  Chris wanted a new beginning.  A new lease at life.  And he was willing to do anything for a fresh start with his new love.  He was a monster hiding in plain sight, and his actions horrified an entire nation, bringing new meaning to the classic marital vows, “til death, do us part.” (Part 2 of 2) 

Feb 11 2019
1 hour 19 mins
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Rank #2: Episode 130

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On August 13th, 2018, expectant mother Shanann Watts and her daughters Bella and Celeste were reported missing from their home in Frederick, Colorado.  As if vanishing into thin air, her vehicle was left locked in the family garage, her purse and wallet remaining on the kitchen counter.  Husband and father Christopher Watts was the last to see them alive in the early morning hours, and his claims grew increasingly more bizarre as he spoke openly to the media in the hours and days after their initial disappearance.  With every interview given, it became clear that Chris Watts was hiding much more than just their disappearance.

Jan 26 2019
1 hour 8 mins
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Rank #3: Episode 3

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It's really true that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. This week we examine the fascinating topic of female serial killers, including the tale of Belle Gunness - a woman who makes Ted Bundy look like an amateur. Although the town of La Porte, Indiana has been made famous by the bizarre events that happened there over a hundred years ago, many have never heard of this woman or her series of cold and calculated murders on a pig farm.

We're joined by Bruce R. Johnson, a local expert on the Belle Gunness story, along with Director/Producer of Belle Gunness: The Movie and The Gunness Mystery, Stephen Ruminski. We also chat with local librarian Mary Hedge about La Porte's unusual relationship with the Gunness case.

Sword and Scale highly encourages you to support our guests. If you're a fan of Sword and Scale, we're certain you'll enjoy The Gunness Mystery on DVD. To order it, please visit http://www.thegunnessmystery.com/. Also, be sure to check out the La Porte County Historical Society's website for all the wicked little details surrounding this story, and if you want to dig deeper there's always our new friend Mary Hedge at The La Porte County Public Library. Also, if you're into that sort of thing, a horrifying collection of photos related to the Belle Gunness case is available at Murderpedia.

If you're interested in the Belle Gunness Story, check out Sword and Scale Staff Writer's profile: Did Belle Get Away With Murder?
Jan 15 2014
1 hour 1 min
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Rank #4: Episode 57

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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.
Jan 04 2016
57 mins
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Rank #5: Episode 33

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One of the more bizarre stories of our lifetime, the story of Luka Magnotta is wrought with remorseful refrains and awkward pauses. This is a man, who was so narcissistic that there would be nothing to stand between him and what he wanted in life... fame. Had he been "normal" his goals might have been awe-inspiring, but Luka was the worst type of person, a psychopathic narcissist, and he would flaunt it in the nose of the good people of the world.

The hell he would unleash online is something that would bring many to tears. He would find a way to reach fame, or infamy, one way or another. Whether it be adult films or the slaughter of animals, Luka was destined for stardom. Unfortunately for the Chinese International Student Jun Lin, who would eventually become a victim of his madness, Magnotta would find the International spotlight he was looking for. His crime, would be one so brutal and so bizarre that it would prompt Canada's largest International manhunt, but would they ever catch this killer, who was a virtual phantom, before it was too late?
Jan 04 2015
1 hour 3 mins
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Rank #6: Episode 5

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Imagine a criminal conspiracy and cover-up so so massive in scale, involving the highest levels of government and industry, that it threatens the very fabric of the American system. Now imagine that the crimes of this criminal syndicate are so horrible, so horrendous, that the mere mention of them would be frowned upon in polite society, and the very idea of such a conspiracy being possible would be laughable and downright absurd. Yet, in September of 1982, the unexplained disappearance of a 12-year-old boy named Johnny Gosch, set a series of events into motion that would have earth-shattering ramifications to this day.

In this episode of Sword and Scale, we'll delve into Part 1 of a series titled The Massive Cover-Up one of the strangest and most outrageous criminal conspiracy theories ever told, including audio from many of those who witnessed the story unfolding firsthand. We're also delve into all the bizarre side-stories that spin off like fractals into their own mysterious endings.

The show concludes with a viral video that made headlines last week. In keeping with the theme, it is that of a sexual abuse victim named Jamie that decided that if the law wasn't going to help her, perhaps YouTube and the outrage of millions could. You won't want to miss this clip.
Jan 29 2014
54 mins
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Rank #7: Episode 87

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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.

Apr 08 2017
59 mins
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Rank #8: Episode 133

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Three vicious murders in rural Northeastern Maine stun the small city of Amity’s 238 residents.  A missing truck, three innocent victims killed with surgical precision, and a crime scene just a few miles West of the US/Canadian border leave detectives with few clues.  Like a trained assassin creeping through the Maine thicket, 20-year-old Thayne Ormsby commits one of the state’s most heinous triple homicides, all apparently - by mistake.  A tale of vigilante justice gone horribly wrong when the truth is finally revealed.  

Mar 09 2019
1 hour 20 mins
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Rank #9: Episode 4

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On Friday, October 5th 2012, 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school. This is the story of what happened to her and how the suburban city of Westminster coped with the aftermath, including the perpetrator's chilling confession. We warn you, some of the details are quite disturbing and not intended for all audiences.

We also examine how common child abductions are in the United States and cover some of the week's most eye-catching headlines.
Jan 22 2014
53 mins
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Rank #10: Episode 64

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After Michelle Macneill, a healthy 50-year old mother, dies mysteriously of a heart condition in the bathtub of her Pleasant Grove, Utah home, questions begin to emerge. Her husband, Martin Macneill, begins to exhibit strange behavior even on the very day of his wife's death. Soon afterwards, a nanny is introduced into the family home and a sordid affair is revealed, along with a motive for murder.
Apr 02 2016
1 hour 5 mins
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Rank #11: Episode 80

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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.
Nov 20 2016
1 hour 3 mins
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Rank #12: Episode 34

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Probably the most horrific murder publicly accessible though a variety of social media, the death of Lin Jun was a public execution for all to see. The culprit was a narcissistic psychopath named Luka Magnotta, and the terror he would unleash upon the world would reach out like evil tentacles across nations, cultures, and ages through the free-flowing highway of information we call the Internet.

Magnotta's evil wasn't limited to humanity, he also tortured animals. The kind of animals that are so adorable, innocent, and unable to defend themselves that it literablly makes you sink to even think about it. But Magnotta wanted fame, so he wasn't content with having you think about it. He wanted you to see it, as many did, including young children who will undoubtedly be scarred for the rest of their lives.
Jan 11 2015
58 mins
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Rank #13: Episode 62

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A 30-year-old woman named Jenelle Potter has spent her entire life sheltered from the world. Not being allowed to get a job, drive a car, date, or even leave the house without the supervision of her mother Barbara, Jenelle turns to the Internet and social media as her only escape. However her lack of real-world social skills translate to disaster online. She starts making enemies just as fast as she makes friends and eventually the online feuds turn vicious.

When her mother Barbara and her father Buddy, and ex-WW2 POW, get involved the online attacks turn deadly. Jenelle uses a fake identity to coerce her own father into killing innocent people, simply because of her jealousy and bitterness to the outside world.

We're joined this week by Assistant District Attorney Dennis Brooks, author of the book Too Pretty To Live: The Catfishing Murders of East Tennessee.
Mar 13 2016
57 mins
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Rank #14: Episode 132

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On July 17th, 2016, Cara Beckerle went up to the bedroom of her 19-year-old daughter, Aleah, to check on her. When she opened the door, the bed was empty, and Aleah’s wheelchair was sitting next to it.

Aleah could not have left of her own free will, as she was incapable of moving on her own due to physical disabilities, and she was nonverbal due to mental disabilities. She was also prone to seizures and had to take daily medication for them. That medication was also still in her room.

What happened to Aleah Beckerle?

Feb 25 2019
59 mins
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Rank #15: Episode 100

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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 found

scattered across a roadway, and the unbelievable tale of how the case then unfolds from there will leave you scratching your head.

Oct 01 2017
51 mins
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Rank #16: Episode 75

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This is a bizarre tale. Part gruesome murder tale, part love story. Yes, you read that right..

None of of the Gainesville Ripper story makes much sense, but it made an entire university of 30,000+ students panic and leave their studies and futures behind, for the sake of their personal safety.

This story also challenges our ideas of what crime-journalism is and should be. "Guilty until proven innocent?" ...that's not a well-recognized concept these days. And the media and public are quick to judge those on the periphery of the story as well. Sometimes their judgements are right, but sometimes they can equally be misguided.
Sep 12 2016
58 mins
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Rank #17: Episode 49

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On June 15th, 2015 an ominous message appeared on Facebook which sent friends and family into a panic. Their worst fears were realized when police entered the home of Claudinnea "Dee Dee" Blancharde and her disabled daughter Gypsy, and found the mother dead and the daughter missing. The killer seemed to be mocking concerned loved ones online, and immediately the most important concern was to make sure the poor sickly daughter was found and that she would be unharmed. Little did they know the web of lies and deceit they would expose, dating back decades, and making victims out of dozens of concerned neighbors, friends, family and even various charitable organizations.
Jul 03 2015
1 hour 14 mins
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Rank #18: Episode 63

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Pleasant Grove, Utah. A picturesque gated community. A perfectly manicured lawn. A lovely brick home. The perfect family. The perfect life. A bathtub.

This is the story of Martin Macneill, and his late wife Michelle.
Mar 27 2016
50 mins
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Rank #19: Episode 45

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In this first part of a two-part story, we examine the Carnation Murders. This slaughtering of an entire family, by a seriously deranged couple, took place in 2007 in Carnation, Washington, a small rural town 25 miles east of Seattle. This story is told through the words of the man behind the trigger, as he's tries to make excuses and barter for his life.

As with all unspeakable acts such as this we are interested in finding out why this occurred, so we take a closer look at Joseph McEnroe's life and family. Somewhere along the way, despite this hateable man's atrocity, we end up finding out he was actually a human being that and pity begins to take the place of hate. A product of the horrible home life due to a mother who was desperate for male companionship and unfit to care for her 4 illegitimate children, McEnroe ended up having to pick up the slack and take on most of the household responsibilities while he was still just a child. This along with his social awkwardness and speech impediment are all ingredients that made up the disaster he would become as an adult.
May 17 2015
1 hour 4 mins
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Rank #20: Episode 88

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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?"

Apr 24 2017
55 mins
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