Rank #1: Introducing Generation Why
Rank #2: 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.
Rank #3: 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.
Rank #4: 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 found scattered across a roadway, and the unbelievable tale of how the case then unfolds from there will leave you scratching your head.
Rank #5: Episode 102
The death of a little girl named Jodi Parrack send a small town into a spiral of shock and disbelief. Everyone goes looking, but when a reserve police officer named Raymond McCann suggests looking in the cemetery all eyes turn on him as the primary suspect.
Rank #6: 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.
Rank #7: Episode 105
CENTAUR... you have awoken. Don't let them kill you. Final episode of 2017 and Season 4. Enjoy...
Rank #8: Episode 106
So many leaves... It doesn't happen often, but the intersection of Psychosis and Psychopathy is a scary place. A place where all things that are good, break down and all that's left is pure darkness. Matthew Hoffman lived in such a place...
Rank #9: Episode 109
A teenage girl is stalked by a homeless man and suddenly goes missing two weeks later.
Rank #10: Episode 79
You've been pulled over by a bevy of police cars and taken to an interrogation room. What happens next? In this two-part story, we'll first examine what it's like to be in the shoes of someone who has gotten themselves mixed up with the wrong end of the law, and next time we'll tell you what it is they did to put themselves there...
Rank #11: Episode 104
Love is often expressed with gifts such as flowers and chocolates, but those same gifts can be used to manipulate, control and threaten in the hands of a stalker. That is a lesson that Alice Ruggles learned the hard way from her obsessed ex-boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon who couldn't handle her rejection.
Rank #12: Episode 107
The human mind can go to such depths of depravity that, for the average well-adjusted person, it’s hard to even imagine. Kevin Ray Underwood’s mind was so far gone that his sexual fantasies started to include cannibalism. When 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin went missing, both of her parents lives were utterly destroyed. Little did they know that Jamie was literally just a few doors away in the same apartment building, and they were likely sitting there the moment she was killed.
Rank #13: 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?"
Rank #14: Episode 84
There is a place that humanity has created where the rules of society mean nothing. This place is a void of laws and social norms. The scariest thing, is that there is a doorway to this dark place in every home, in some cases we carry this doorway with us day after day. It's a place called The Dark Net. In this episode we're joined by Jamie Bartlett to discuss this dark and sinister place, along with the human psychology that created it and makes it particularly nefarious. We also touch on the stories of William Francis Melchert-Dinkel who tricked a young girl into committing suicide for his own sick sense of entertainment. Mitchell Henderson, who was a young boy constantly bullied and ended up commiting suicide, but even in death he found no solace as an endless barage of trolls relentlessly mocked him and his grieving parents. We also talk about the extraordinarily disturbing case of Peter Scully, who's business enterprise No Limits Fun created such despicable works such as DAFU Love and Daisy's Destruction.
Rank #15: Episode 75
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.
Rank #16: Episode 85
There are few things more horrifying than the idea that your children can be taken from their beds, from their own home, while there's an adult sleeping inside, yet that's exactly what happened on the morning of Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We, as a modern society, have systems in place, technological marvels, to prevent and deter these things from happening. However, in this case, the very system that was used to try and rescue the children ended up leading to their deaths. This is the bizarre story of Amber Pazstor told through her own words. We're joined by Brett Thomas from WAYN-TV Newschannel 16, who interviewed Pazstor from behind bars to find out why she chose to perform this horrible series of actions.
Rank #17: Episode 131
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)
Rank #18: Episode 101
We conclude with Part 2 of the Scrivo Murder Case, a story which deals with elements of mental illness, grief and the relationship between a mother and a son.
Rank #19: Episode 86
The 20 year anniversary of one of the strangest tales in modern American religious history is quickly approaching. On March 26th, March 26, 1997 Marshall Herff Applewhite led a group of 39 devoted followers to their final destination. In their minds they were headed to a spaceship following the Hale-Bopp Comet where they would be taken and transformed into perfect angelic alien beings, a state in which they would live forever. We're joined by Benjamin E. Zeller, Religious Historian and Author of the book "Heaven's Gate: America's UFO Religion."
Rank #20: Episode 3
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?