Minus one star for the misleading (and arguably offensive) title and subtitle. The only way “Ladies’ Man” applies is if you are looking at the “Charmer” as an incel pickup artist. Which may be the point–I don’t know. He’s a scam artist, a profligate user of young women, and a rapist/murderer. So perhaps the title and subtitle are in supremely bad taste, or just ironic. I know that if the man in question had raped or used me, or murdered someone I love, I would not be pleased with such irony. This guy is a fast-talking charmer in the fact that he got his own ways for so long–but still. As the victim of sexual and domestic violence myself, it just sticks in my craw. I’m usually not so sensitive to such things, so when something like this really does bother me, I pay attention.
Poe was handsome. Some of the drawings of him are mockery, exaggerated by rivals. Some of the photographs, from which the drawings are taken, were made near the end of his life when he was ill. Exhibit A right here, Poe the looker.
Audible suggestion for this episode: a true crime book about another young person who was suddenly, briefly famous…then not, and it also did not go well: One Breath Away: The Hiccup Girl–From Media Darling To Convicted Killer by M. William Phelps (audio version, Kindle, paperback)
Books listed in episode that reference Kasper Hauser, or have Hauser as a character
If you have any information in the case of Alicia Showalter Reynolds, please call Virginia State Police at (540) 829-7400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any information about the cases of Julianne Williams and Laura Winans, please call Virginia State Police at (540) 829-7400.
If you have any information in the case of Samantha Clarke, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 540-672-1200.
Anyone with information in the case of Sage Smith is asked to call Detective Wright Settle at (434) 970-3274 or Virginia Crimestoppers at (434) 977-4000.
If you have any information about the location of Alexis Murphy, so that she may be brought home, please contact the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at (434) 263-7050.
If you knew these young women, any of them, and want to share something about who they were as people on the podcast, please contact me at email@example.com. I would love to speak with you.
In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate, Shayna Weiss, make a cross-country bike trip. They pitch a tent in the desert of central Oregon. As they are sleeping, a man in a pickup truck deliberately runs over the tent. He then attacks them with an ax. The horrific crime is reported in newspapers across the country. No one is ever arrested. Both women survive, but Shayna suffers from amnesia, while Terri is left alone with memories of the attack. Their friendship is shattered.
Fifteen years later, Terri returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered, on the first of many visits she will make “to solve the crime that would solve me.” And she makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Slowly, her extensive interviews with the townspeople yield a terrifying revelation: many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst. Terri then sets out to discover the truth about the crime and its aftermath, and to come to terms with the wounds that broke her life into a before and an after. Ultimately she finds herself face-to-face with the alleged axman.
Powerful, eloquent, and paced like the most riveting of thrillers, Strange Piece of Paradise is the electrifying account of Terri’s investigation into the mystery of her near murder. A startling profile of a psychopath, a sweeping reflection on violence and the myth of American individualism, and a moving record of a brave inner journey from violence to hope, this searing, unforgettable work is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
This is the video I used to introduce you to Alison throughout the episode; now you can watch it and see how vibrant she was:
Another: WDBJ Remembers Alison Parker and Adam Ward–on this video you will get to briefly see and hear Adam’s reporting
Here’s Highway 66’s map. Given its exit list, and the fact that he had more Glock magazines and disguises in his car, leads me to believe he was headed for Washington, D.C. For what specific purpose I do not know. I can guess.
Chris Hurst’s video for Alison, made when he returned to work–you heard the audio in the episode. He is wearing the tie she gave him for Valentine’s Day.
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
—Macbeth, William Shakespeare
podcast bookshelf at Goodreads, to which I’ve added Macbeth and The Name of the Rose, quoted in this episode; and added the suggested reading of The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. No one is to blame for another’s violent actions, but de Becker’s refreshing message is to forgo social niceties, politeness, all we’ve been taught in order to keep the peace. We do not have to be kind if we are uncomfortable, we do not have to let the creepy guy at work slide because maybe we’re too sensitive, we do not need to let the “helpful” stranger assist us if we don’t need help. Again, the person at fault here is the shooter, period. But I am a survivor of violent crime myself, and this book was as refreshing to me as a splash of cold water on my face–I am an introverted, shy person who was a people-pleaser. No more pleasing in iffy situations.
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Along with my usual fare of literature, storytelling, and things that go boo, in the next few weeks and months I am going to be telling some local true crime stories, but in my own unique way, naturally. All will have happened (or be happening) either here, in Virginia, or my home state, North Carolina, and I am sticking to cases that I experienced as a citizen.
To launch this loose series, I give you the first national PSA of Help Save the Next Girl, the amazing educational and empowerment nonprofit founded by Gil Harrington, Morgan Harrington’s mother. I will post this video with its full information and links to Help Save the Next Girl on the website momentarily. Please check HSNG out: they have amazing safety tips that don’t just apply to Virginians or to Americans, and you can start up your own branch–even in your middle school! They have materials designed for different developmental levels, designed not to frighten but to empower.
I posted this information on the Facebook page, along with Help Save the Next Girl’s very first national PSA. Here I’ll post their 2017 PSA, along with their links. Be safe, and keep each other safe.
Remember, if you purchase using my links, or purchase anything by clicking through one of my links first, you help me out a smidge without costing yourself extra–and you make me feel loved. Win-win. Thank you in advance!
Also, if you like my writing, let me know, so I’ll know to read more for you.
And please, don’t forget to listen to the four-parter that moved this episode from the brainstorm list to number 2: True Crime Garage’s project on Casey Anthony, episodes 101-104: available to stream or download on all platforms via Podbean: 101, 102, 103, 104