The Akron Spree Murders

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By Mike Ferguson and Emash Digital. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

From August to December 1987, a series of murders were committed in the Akron, Ohio area that stumped the authorities. Four women, Janice Christensen, Joann Bartholomew, Marcia Piotter, and Barbara Blatnik were murdered. Janice, Joann, and Marcia were in their 30s or 40s and married, while Barbara was only 17-years-old and still in high school. Police struggled to figure out if the four murders were connected.

Join Mike and Gibby as they discuss the details of these brutal murders. Valuable evidence, including DNA, was collected at the scenes. But, police were unable to solve the murders and the cases all went cold. A cold case team revisited Barbara Balatnik's case in 2019, trying to find her killer through the use of forensic genealogy. This resulted in the May 2020 arrest of a man named James Zastawnik. But, many questions remain. Will a jury convict Zastawnik of Barbara's murder and will police be able to tie him to any of the other three murders that they've felt for so many years are related.

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211 episodes