Rank #1: Episode 8: Robert Chambers – Preppy Murder
A little past 6 am on the morning of August 26, 1986, an early morning cyclist noticed the partially clothed body of a young woman lying on the ground near the back of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City’s Central Park. Her clothes were around her waist and around her neck. Her mini-skirt had been pushed up past her waist and her bra and shirt were pushed above her chest. Her neck had visible bruising on both sides of her throat. There were various items of clothing strewn about the scene.
The cyclist immediately contacted police who began the investigation into the murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin that came to be known as the Preppie Murder Case. The case would become one of the most high profile, and most reported on murders of the 1980’s. The story had all the ingredients to spark a media frenzy, privileged attractive youth, New York high society, salacious sex, and unending courtroom drama.
Note: Audio was re-uploaded January 22, as there was an issue with the quality of the interviews.
Rank #2: Episode 7: Double Jeopardy
In May 1985, Kathryn “Katie” Eastburn and her two daughters, Kara, 5, and Erin, 3, were murdered in their home, on the outskirts of Fayetteville, N.C., near Fort Bragg. Police found the military wife next to her bed, raped and murdered. Two of her three daughters were also stabbed to death, their throats cut.
It would take 25 years to bring the man responsible for the grisly slayings to justice — but not for a lack of trying.
The case would see a conviction with a man on death row, followed by his acquittal. And then over 2 decades later, with the help of DNA, a rarely used exception to double jeopardy, would finally see justice served.
Rank #3: Episode 6: Hollywood Pedophile Ring
With the media spotlight firmly on the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and director James Toback, to name a few, it took courage for victims to come forward and open the flood gates of reports of abuse and rape against these industry moguls. The #metoo campaign has helped victims who may have long ago buried these memories, to gain the courage and sense of support to share their stories of abuse at the hands of these powerful agents, directors, producers and actors.
Men who felt entitled to wield their power over young vulnerable would-be stars for their own sick pleasure. It took strong women such as rose McGowan and Ashley Judd to summon the courage and name names which started this long overdue clean up of the industry. One facet of the industry that still has for the most part dodge this spotlight is paedophilia in the movie and television industry. This is the worst kept secret. There have actually been charges and convictions of a number of industry players. There has also been many accusations and innuendo leveled at some very powerful industry leaders, high powered directors and actors.
Recently, with the spotlight trained on Weinstein and spacey stories, Corey Feldman and his accusations have hit the headlines again. This is nothing new. Feldman has been accusing the industry of shielding a paedophile ring for some time. Even in his book Choreography he talks about abuse and uses pseudonyms in place of actual names. Recently he is back leveling these accusations. It is hard to take Feldman seriously which is part of the problem. His threats to name names are now attached to his Indigogo campaign to raise 10 million dollars to write, produce, and distribute a movie in which he will finally name those names. Unfortunately, his last gasp at fame taints the sincerity of his accusations. To be fair he has revealed two names recently, both of which are convicted paedophiles who worked in the industry. Feldman claims he is concerned for his safety, as some of the accused are still high powered industry players, and he requires money to protect himself and his family. But what we do know already are those that have been tried and convicted of child rape and assault, and there are plenty.
In this podcast we will take a look at some of those convicted to date and will touch on a few of those who have been accused in the past, although we’d like to make it clear that some people mentioned have been accused and sued and have had cases dropped or won in court. We do not want to imply any guilt whatsoever to those accused and not charged or those found not guilty. And then lastly, we will delve deeply into a ring of hollywood elite that preyed on up and coming young male actors, and were ultimately brought down by their accusers, although sadly none are currently in prison.
Check out the excellent documentary: AN OPEN SECRET. Official PG-13 version. on Vimeo
Rank #4: Episode 5: The Clown Killer
On May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren was finishing breakfast with her 22-year-old son, Joseph Ahrens and his friends at her home in Wellington, Florida, when a visitor arrived at the door. She lived in the Aero Club, an upscale community with a private airstrip for use by Aero Club residents.
Marlene went to answer the front door, it was just before 11am. Standing at the door was someone dressed as a clown: red bulb nose, orange wig and painted face. The clown held a bouquet of flowers and two balloons — one emblazoned with a picture of Snow White and one that said “You’re the Greatest!”
The clown held them out to Marlene Warren. And then shot her in the face. Marlene Warren fell to the ground. The clown calmly walked back to a white Chrysler LeBaron and drove away. Her teenage son found her lying in a pool of blood. Marlene Warren died two days later.
At the time, investigators said they had identified a suspect but didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction. No arrests were made and the case went cold — for nearly 30 years.
That is, until the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received a grant in 2014, used to reopen some cold cases.
A new investigation into the killer clown case was launched — and this time, new advances in DNA technology provided detectives with sufficient evidence to prove the identity of the person disguised as a clown.
Check out ABC’s 20/20 for more on this case
Rank #5: Episode 4: The Murder of Glen Davis
Philanthropist Glen Davis was born into wealth. He happily worked in the family business eventually taking the reigns of the fortune after his father’s passing. In 1983 though, Davis survived an airplane fire that claimed the lives of 23 passengers. It was this life changing event that turned Davis to philanthropy.
Glen Davis went on to donate more than $20 million over 40 years to various environmental causes. On May 18, 2007, his life was cut short by a gunman’s bullet in a Toronto parking garage.
Despite hard work by the Toronto Police, the case went cold for over a year, until they received a break from a small time hustle arrested on unrelated charges. The story he told police unraveled a story of money, betrayal, greed, and a senseless killing.
Here’s a link to the CBC Fifth Estate Episode
Here’s a link to the Toronto CrimeStoppers Video
Rank #6: Episode 3: Crossbow Killer and Fake Beard Bandit
On August 25, 2016, Toronto Police received a 911 call around 1 p.m. for a man bleeding heavily from a suspected stab wound on the residential street in Scarborough.
When officers arrived, they found the lifeless bodies of three individuals. A fourth victim was taken to hospital. They also took one person into custody.
Initially the police refused to reveal if there was any sort of relationship between those involved.
Toronto Emergency Services later confirmed two men and one woman were killed and the fourth victim suffered only minor injuries.
In the days following the killings, the public would learn that the victims suffered fatal crossbow bolt wounds. And that the victims and accused were indeed related. Who the accused was and details of his past criminal history would shock this quiet suburban community.
Rank #7: Episode 2: The Shafia Family Murders
On the morning of June 30th, 2009, four female bodies were discovered in a submerged Nissan Sentra with a broken left taillight, in the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The Shafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with their supposed “Auntie” Rona Amir Mohammed, 53, were found dead under water in front of the northernmost Kingston Mills lock.
That same morning, three people showed up at police headquarters to file a missing persons report: Mohammad Shafia, the girls’ father, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, their mother, and Hamed Shafia, their 18-year-old brother.
Police initially believed that it was a tragic accident, but the more questions the police asked the family, the stranger their story became. What police discovered over the next three weeks would lead to one of the most high-profile murder trials in Canadian history. The case would shed a light on the ancient practice of honour killing and the clash of Canadian values and the integration of immigrants in Western society.
- For more information on this case, please check out the following investigative programs:
- Preliminary Examination of so-called “Honour Killings” in Canada – The Canadian Department of Justice 2016
- Music: https://www.bensound.com
(photo credit: CP)
(Photo credit: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)
Rank #8: Episode 1: The Murder of Richard Oland
On July 7, 2011, the body of 69 year old businessman Richard Oland, previously a Vice President with Moosehead Brewery, and member of one of New Brunswick’s most iconic families, was found in his office at his investment firm Far End Corporation on Canterbury street in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Discovered by his personal assistant, Richard had been bludgeoned to death.
A pillar in the community, it was no surprise that more than 450 people, including the then New Brunswick Premier David Alward, the Lieutenant-Governor, the mayor of Saint John and a veritable who’s who of New Brunswick’s elite showed up to pay their respects at his funeral.
The death was quickly ruled a homicide, but it would take over two years before police would charge a suspect. Who that suspect was, would shock this tight knit community.
This case would eventually be the subject of the longest trial in New Brunswick’s history. It would see a guilty verdict, an appeals court reversal, two Supreme Court of Canada appeals, and a new trial scheduled for 2018.
- For more information on this case, please check out the following books on Amazon:
- Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon and Elisabeth Rodgers (2016)
- Truth and Honour: The Death of Richard Oland and the Trial of Dennis Oland by Greg Marquis (2017)
- Shadow of Doubt: The Trial of Dennis Oland by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon and Elisabeth Rodgers (2016)
(photo credit: Andrew Vaughan/CP)