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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, and whose stories are offered with unique insight, detail, and historical accuracy.
 
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In November of 1912, a young woman named Ella Barham journeyed home, on her horse, to her family farm in Boone County, Arkansas, but never arrived. After her body was discovered, murdered and dismembered, suspicions quickly centered on a neighbor, Odus Davidson, who was rumored to have been in love with Ella, a love never returned. My guest, Nita G…
 
Imprisoned in a Turkish war camp during WW1, two British officers pull off an unbelievable con against their captors involving a Ouija board, an angry ghost and feigned madness - leading to a truly astonishing escape. My guest is bestselling author Margalit Fox, author of "Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Esca…
 
Albert Johnson is famous in Canadian crime history for leading Mounties on a sensational and deadly chase through the Yukon and Northwest Territories during the winter of 1931-32. How he managed to elude police over hundreds of kilometers in subzero temperatures through a mountainous wilderness is as much a mystery as his real identity. To this day…
 
Most of us are familiar with the critically acclaimed film called Catch Me If You Can, based on the autobiography of legendary confidence man Frank Abagnale. It's the story of a brazen teenage imposter who through charm and intellect was able to pass as an attorney, a doctor, a pilot and a university professor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. My …
 
In 1897 a Belgian named Adrien de Gerlache, in command of a ship called the Belgica, sailed to Antarctica with the intent to be the first to reach the south magnetic pole. On the expedition was Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who would later become one of the world's most famous explorers, and Doctor Frederick Cook, who would become one of America's grea…
 
J. Frank Norris rose to fame as the controversial fundamentalist pastor of America's first megachurch, the First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He used his pulpit, his newspaper and his radio station to battle his enemies in unscrupulous ways, and when one angry local businessman named Dexter Chipps marched into his office in July of 1926 to …
 
One of the more enduring mysteries in true crime history involves Vincenzo Capone, Al Capone's eldest brother, who abruptly left his struggling family in New York City one day, eventually resurfacing as a lawman with a new identity: Richard Hart. His rise to fame - becoming one of the most famous Prohibition agents of the 1920s - coincided with his…
 
Almost a decade before Bonnie and Clyde blasted their way into our collective public consciousness, Richard and Margaret Whittemore, aka "The Candy Kid" and "Tiger Girl" made national news, not only for their participation in deadly robberies in 1920s New York, but also for their romantic love story, played out through newspaper articles and photog…
 
The late 1960s and early 1970s were witness to some of the worst serial killers in American history. Ranking at the top was Gerard John Schaefer, a cop who used his charisma to lure unsuspecting females into his car before torturing and murdering them in brutal fashion. My guest is Patrick Kendrick, who has spent the past 35 years gathering informa…
 
Holmes County, Ohio is one of the largest Amish communities in America. It was here, in the summer of 1957, that an Amish man named Paul Coblentz was murdered by two ex-cons in his family's rural farmhouse. My guests are David Meyers and Elise Meyers Walker, authors of the book "A Murder in Amish Ohio: The Martyrdom of Paul Coblentz". They not only…
 
Sophie Lyons was arguably the most successful (and colorful) female criminal of 19th-century America. She was a trained by her abusive parents at an early age in the art of thievery and scam artistry, and by the end of her life had accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars through her ill-gotten means. And in her wake, she had left a trail of fo…
 
One of the great historical Hollywood mysteries, still unsolved, revolves around the death of silver screen comedienne Thelma Todd. She was found dead in her car on December 16th, 1935, killed by carbon monoxide poisoning according to the Los Angeles coroner. But rumors have circulated for decades that she was murdered, with suspects that have incl…
 
My guest, Russell Shorto, has a unique connection to the subject of his latest book, "Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob". He is the namesake of his grandfather, a gangster who ran an Italian-American outfit in the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the 1940s and 50s. The organization would eventually crumble after the murder of a local bo…
 
Murder, Inc. was arguably the most ruthless and successful hit squad in American history, killing hundreds of people throughout the 1930s. It was led by a brutal Brooklyn gangster named Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, who under orders from mob bosses like Lucky Luciano, Lepke Buchalter and Albert Anastasia, dispatched his hitmen across the country to kill a…
 
My guest, Ben Montgomery, tells the story of George Dinning, a former slave who was visited one night in 1897 by a mob, hellbent on driving him and his family off of their Kentucky farm. In an exchange of gunfire, Dinning killed a wealthy white man. Dinning then had to elude lynchers while fighting for his life in court. Unlikely allies would come …
 
In the autumn of 1920, two couples pulled into a campsite in Central Park, Montana, but only one left alive. Seth and Iva Danner would eventually turn on each other with their own versions of how John and Florence Sprouse were murdered, but only Seth would be tried, convicted, and put to death. And questions still linger - about whether justice was…
 
Somehow Jane Toppan managed to skirt through the first half of her life murdering people at will, before finally being caught and committed to an insane asylum in 1901. Her nursing background made her an expert with drugs, and she used that expertise to kill over thirty people, often torturing them by purposely prolonging their suffering. My guest …
 
In late August of 1876, an eighty-two-year-old Methodist minister, William England, his wife Selena, and two of their children were slaughtered on their North Texas farm. Selena, on her deathbed, insisted that one of the murderers was their neighbor, Ben Krebs, with whom they had suffered some ongoing troubles. But was he the actual killer, or did …
 
In late 1960s a serial murder stalked the city of London, Ontario, killing at will and baffling police. My guest is author, bookstore owner and historian Vanessa Brown. She has spent countless hours researching these horrific murders and looking for the killer, and joins us to share details and theories from her book, "The Forest City Killer: A Ser…
 
Francis Tumblety was one America's greatest 19th century charlatans. A medical quack who became rich peddling cure-all herbal remedies, his larger-than-life character and questionable morals put him into some sticky situations - including being arrested as a suspect in the Lincoln assassination. But his most notorious claim to fame was as a Scotlan…
 
In the first few months of 1931, Francis "Two Gun" Crowley, an illiterate, psychopathic nineteen-year-old kid, went on a violent New York crime spree, which included murdering a Nassau county cop named Fred Hirsch. Things culminated in an intense gun-battle against between Crowley and over two hundred police officers, who had surrounded his Manhatt…
 
Enjoy this sneak-peak of Aghast at the Past: 1892, a brand-new podcast from the creator of Most Notorious. Ghastly true-crime stories culled from newspapers published in the dark heart of America's Gilded-Age and the golden era of yellow journalism. Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to ensure immediate delivery of new episodes! Learn …
 
In February of 1903, wealthy businessman Ed Burdick was beaten to death in the den of his Buffalo, New York mansion. Investigators were faced with a strange crime scene and a multitude of suspects. Among them was his own wife Alice and her lover, a close family friend named Arthur Pennell. My guest, Kimberly Tilley, author of "Cold Heart: The Great…
 
My guest, historian and author Tui Snider shares the wild story of the ill-fated Helms-Ratliff gang, who held up the First National Bank in Cisco, Texas on December 23rd, 1927. Eager to collect a $5000 "Dead Bank Robber Reward", townspeople converged on the bank, and during an intense gun battle the police chief, his deputy and one of the gang memb…
 
In March of 1950, a young woman named JoAnn Dewey, trying to get home, was beaten and kidnapped on a Vancouver, Washington street corner, in full view of witnesses. None lifted a finger to help. A week later her body would turn up in a river a few miles away. My guest is Pat Jollota, author of "The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington". S…
 
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