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Serial killers. Gangsters. Gunslingers. Victorian-era murderers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Each week, the Most Notorious podcast features true-life tales of crime, criminals, tragedies and disasters throughout history. This is an interview show spotlighting authors and historians who have studied their subjects for years. Their stories are offered with unique insight, detail, and historical accuracy.
 
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The Ocean Monarch, captained by James Murdock, was a disciplined and safety-conscious passenger ship that should have smoothly sailed from England to the United States in 1848. Not long after its departure, however, a devastating fire broke out on board, turning the boat into a living hell on water. Close to two hundred people would die in the ensu…
 
On the afternoon of December 2nd, 1945, a fourteen-year-old student named Thora Chamberlain walked with friends to a high school football game in Campbell, California. A man wearing a U.S. Navy uniform pulled up beside them in his sedan and told them he needed a babysitter - and would compensate generously for the help. Thora accepted, got into his…
 
In October of 1905, the schooner Harry A. Berwind was intercepted off the coast of North Carolina. On board were four Black sailors, three of them alive and one dead. The survivors told conflicting stories - blaming each other for the murder of the ship's four White officers, who had been shot and thrown into the sea. The men would be arrested and …
 
Mary Ann Cotton is considered by many to be England's first female serial killer, with allegations that she used arsenic to poison over twenty people, including her children, mother and husbands in the 1850s, 60s and 70s. But was she really a heartless killer who preyed upon those in her care for money to buy the expensive dresses she loved so much…
 
Arnie Bernstein was one my first guests on Most Notorious, way back on episode #26, and talked about the horrifying 1927 Bath Consolidated School massacre. Since the initial publication of his book "Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing" in 2009, he's conducted more first-hand survivor accounts, which he has included in the updated and expa…
 
Mildred Gillars, known to American GIs as "Axis Sally", was one of Nazi Germany's most notorious radio propagandists. Hired by German State Radio because of her American accent and seductive voice, she finally achieved her own version of stardom after years of pursuing a failed acting career in the United States. My guest is Richard Lucas, author o…
 
On Christmas Eve, 1900, 44-year-old dry goods store owner Frank Richardson was shot to death in his Savannah, Missouri home. Suspects included his wife Addie, his teenage lover Goldie Whitehead, and the man whom he suspected his wife of having an affair with, Stewart Fife. Kimberly Tilley makes her third visit to the podcast. Her book "Has it Come …
 
My conversation about the life of Eliot Ness continues with A. Brad Schwartz. After years battling The Outfit in Chicago, Ness was hired as Director of Public Safety in Cleveland, Ohio. Tasked with ridding the city of crime and corruption, he found himself confronted by a serial killer nicknamed "The Mad Butcher", aka "The Cleveland Torso Murderer,…
 
Throughout the 1920s Chicago was a cesspool of corruption and violence, due in large part to the obscene amounts of money being made through the illegal manufacture, transportation and sale of alcohol. Much of the business was being done by The Outfit, led by the charming and publicity hungry Al Capone, who viciously knocked off his competitors at …
 
In June of 1970, the body of 24-year-old Nancy Morgan was found inside a government-owned car in Madison County, North Carolina. It had been four days since anyone had heard from the bubbly, hard-working brunette who had moved to the Appalachian community less than a year prior as an organizer for Volunteers in Service to America. At the time of he…
 
On June 25th, 1973, Suzie Jaeger was abducted from her tent while camping with her family in Montana. The FBI was baffled by the mystery, until two agents began using new profiling techniques to narrow in on a local oddball named David Meirhofer. Assisting them was Suzie's brave mother, Marietta Jaeger, who over a series of phone calls with the kil…
 
Journalist Wayne Hoffman had been long intrigued by a family story, vague on details, about the murder of his great-grandmother Sarah Feinstein at the hands of a sniper in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Encouraged by his mother, he decided to search for the truth behind the tale, but his research journey became more difficult when his mother's health began to…
 
In October of 1946, a chiropractor and rancher named Willis "W.D." Broadhurst was beaten with a wrench and finished off with a shotgun on a lonely eastern Oregon road. Investigators would soon accuse his wife Gladys of plotting the doctor's murder with the help of his young cowhand and her lover, Alvin Williams. Stunning details of her deception wo…
 
In this second half of my interview with Steve Oney, he shares details of the dramatic events that unfolded after the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of thirteen-year-old factory worker Mary Phagan. Steve Oney is author of "And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank". He has spent forty years researching and …
 
In 1913, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan was found brutally murdered in the basement of the Atlanta pencil factory where she worked. The factory manager, a college-educated Jew named Leo Frank, was arrested, tried and convicted in a trial that seized national headlines. When the governor commuted his death sentence, Frank was kidnapped and lynched by…
 
On the heels of Lizzie Borden's infamous double murder, another woman named Lizzie was arrested for a series of killings, this time in New York's Catskill Mountains. Lizzie Halliday was arrested in September of 1893 for not only her husband Paul's murder (found buried under the kitchen floorboards of their home) but also for the murder of two women…
 
Pennsylvania’s Eastern State Penitentiary has a rich and fascinating history. Built in the 1820s as a place to reform criminals, it saw an increase in violence over the decades before finally closing in 1971 as a working prison. It now operates as a history museum. Among the more notorious inmates was Willie Sutton, who was involved in the most fam…
 
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