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True Crime Campfire

True Crime Campfire

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Join hosts Katie and Whitney for a different kind of true crime podcast. You can start with season 1, The Puppet Master and the Prince of Darkness, a deep dive into the most bizarre murder case you've never heard of. Or start with season 2, which covers a different stranger-than-fiction story each week. This bingeworthy show combines meticulous research with a refreshing mix of comic relief and seamless storytelling. There's plenty of room around the campfire--come help us roast murderers an ...
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It's not that unusual for people to bend the truth a little to show themselves in a good light, especially when they're young. Maybe you want to impress a crush, maybe you just want to add a bit of glamor to an otherwise normal life. It's mostly harmless...unless the lies get out of control. If someone lies with every beat of their heart, builds an…
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When you were a kid, were you ever scared to go in the swimming pool in case you might get eaten by a shark? Or just get in the bathtub? Hell, one time I even managed to freak myself out just from laying on a waterbed. This is mainly thanks to Steven Spielberg and a 25-foot mechanical shark called Bruce, but “Jaws” wasn’t made in a vacuum. Shark at…
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Leonard Cohen sang, “All I ever learned from love / Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya,” which should certainly strike a chord with followers of true crime. We’ve seen time and again how, after a bitter break-up, a person can go to extraordinary lengths to get their own back, whether the wrongs they’ve suffered are real or exist entirely in t…
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Natural conservation is something that most people can get behind. I mean, you see a baby duckling covered in oil and you can’t help but shake your fist at the oil companies that created the mess while you reach for the dish soap, right? When wildfires break out, firefighters from all over the country pack their bags and get on planes to go help. W…
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In geometry, the triangle is the strongest shape there is—any weight you put on one gets shared out equally among the three sides. A perfect 3-way harmony. But in romance, for most of us anyway, three’s a crowd. Resentments start to smolder. Secrets start to slip. Things can get dangerous. Especially when everyone involved is living a double life t…
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To paraphrase the great American hero George Costanza, “You’ve been living a lie? I’m living, like, 20.” If you’re up to no good in one way or another, there are a lot of ways you can get found out. You might get ratted out, you might unknowingly leave behind evidence of your bad deeds, or you might just get flat-out caught in the act. And if you’v…
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Some of the scariest people we’ve covered on this show were cursed with a grandiose sense of entitlement—the sense that if they see something they want, they should be allowed to just take it, whether that something is a new watch or a fellow human being. The self-centeredness is bad enough, but when you couple it with rage…especially the kind brou…
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In 2012 and 2013, two women disappeared. They didn’t have a whole lot in common: One was a teenager on the west coast, the other a midwestern mom of seven. But both would fall under the spell of a poisonous man who had become a master at manipulating the vulnerable for his own twisted ends. Sources: CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/former-wis…
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Two of the closest bonds a person can have are with a spouse and with a child. Ideally, in the first you're a loving partner, and in the second, a guide and a caregiver. Of course, real life doesn't always match the ideal, and both of those relationships can get twisted and strange. Sometimes your spouse and your child can even become the deadliest…
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Imagine growing up in a spectacular mansion, with access to the kind of wealth and connections most of us can only dream of. But although you’re surrounded by material riches, you’re in a social vacuum—eating alone in your bedroom every night, wandering the grounds of your family estate with only the wildlife as company. This was the life of John D…
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The Rolling Stones told us “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” but some people DO get what they want…just not necessarily what they need. This week’s story is about a woman with a tempestuous life who got just what she wanted—wealth, stability, and love—and then took a wrecking ball and smashed it all into pieces. This one has some strange twists…
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We all live our daily lives in our own little spheres. We have our work, our families, our friends, all the million little things that keep us moving from one day to the next. We sometimes think about the world beyond that stuff—like, haven’t we all walked down a crowded street and wondered about the strangers we passed? About their inner lives, th…
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People will do crazy things for desire. From the earliest human tales and histories to stories you can read in your newspaper today, there have been a never-ending number of crimes and betrayals committed because someone started getting hot under the collar. People will risk their relationships, their happiness, their lives for desire. Sometimes th…
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As most of you probably know, this week is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., and Katie and I both have family stuff to do—people to see, pies to bake. So we took the week off from our regularly scheduled programming. But because we love you and we didn’t want you to miss out on a new episode, we decided to pick out one of our old Patreon-e…
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How many times have we seen it—a rich and/or powerful person gets in some kind of hot water, and all it takes is a quick “Do you know who I AM?” to fix it? I don’t really get why people are so dazzled by money and pedigree, but it seems to be a constant theme throughout history—and it’s as alive today as it’s ever been. So it’s not a big surprise t…
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For most of us, it’s kinda hard to grasp the life of a professional criminal. Only a tiny percentage of it is turf wars and whackin’ dudes. Most people who make a living from crime live just like the rest of us do: They go to the grocery store, they take their kids to school, they worry about money being tight. But, unlike most of us, when things g…
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Some of y’all may be too young to remember, but in the days before email, getting a handwritten letter in the mail was fun. Somebody had taken the time to write out a message just for you and sent it through time and space. It could be from an old friend, a lost love, or a secret admirer. You couldn’t wait to get inside and discover what was so imp…
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It’s Halloween again, time to scare you all into submission. And this year, we’ve decided to bring in some reinforcements to do that. An expert in the art of the scare, with one of the best horror podcasts out there: Nina Jones from Twisted Mirror. We’ve chosen two true stories that will have you sleeping with one eye open, wondering what dark secr…
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Tristan Redman is a journalist who doesn’t believe in ghosts. But weird things happened in his teenage bedroom – weirder than normal. When, years later, he discovers subsequent occupants of his family home say they have been visited by the ghost of a faceless woman, he’s curious. It just so happens that the house Tristan grew up in is right next do…
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In the 1820s, the city of Edinburgh was shaken to its core by a series of callous murders. Behind the killings was a story of death, greed, and willful blindness that provided the coldest possible answer to the question, “What is a human life worth?” Join us for the story of Scotland's most infamous serial killers. Sources: Alanna Knight, Burke & H…
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Follow MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge the first 8 episodes, early and ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. The human body is a miracle. But when it’s not working, it can be the stuff of nightmares. On this new series from master storyteller MrBallen, we’re sharing medical horror s…
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In July of 1990, the headless, handless body of a young woman named Beverly McGowan was found in a canal near St. Lucie, Florida. As they began their investigation, detectives had no way of knowing that they were embarking on one of the strangest cases of their careers—the twisting, turning story of a consummate con woman, killer, and master of dis…
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It’s October, folks. The season of mystery. So this week, to kick off our favorite month of the year, we’ve picked two of the most iconic unsolved cases in American history: both cases where the basic fabric of everyday life was threatened. Where the things we take for granted as safe—over the counter medicine and air travel—suddenly couldn’t be tr…
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We’ve had a pretty heavy summer on TCC, haven’t we? Nazis and Norwegian black metal murders, and those last two cases were gnarly. So we thought maybe this week, you’d appreciate something a little lighter—something just for fun. So we decided to talk about hoaxes. Sometimes hoaxes are hilarious, like the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pranked five of…
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When we left you at the end of Part 1, former Mormon golden boy Taylor Helzer had decided on two disciples who would aid him in his weird scheme to bring about a planet-wide spiritual awakening through a network of self-help groups fueled by sex and drugs, a plan he called Transform America. These disciples were his quiet younger brother Justin, an…
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