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Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast

  • 344: The Casper Bennett Murder Case w/ David Miraldi

    21 MAY 2024 · On December 20th, 1963, the city of Lorain, Ohio was rocked by the tragic (and odd) death of Florence Bennett. Her husband Casper had found her dead in their bathtub, scalded in its water. He claimed it had been an accident, but police believed he had drowned her. My guest, David Miraldi, author of the acclaimed book "The Edge of Innocence: The Casper Bennett Trial" has a very personal connection to the story. His father was a civil trial attorney who defended Bennett in his sensational murder trial. More about the author and his work at his website: The author's Amazon page:
    Played 53m 35s
  • 343: Jim Tully: Father of Hard-Boiled Fiction & "The Most Hated Man in Hollywood" w/ Paul Bauer & Mark Dawidziak

    16 MAY 2024 · Many saw the dark side of the American dream, but none wrote about it like Jim Tully. Having spent six years of his childhood in a Cincinnati orphanage, Tully returned to his hometown of St. Marys, Ohio before climbing aboard a freight train in 1901. Drifting across the country as a "road kid," he spent his teens, sleeping in hobo jungles, avoiding railroad cops, and haunting public libraries. After six years on the road, he settled in Kent, Ohio where he boxed professionally and began to write. Following a move to Hollywood where he worked for Charlie Chaplin, Tully issued a stream of critically acclaimed books that serve as a dark and astonishing chronicle of the American underclass. Having established himself as a major American author, he turned his attention to Hollywood writing dozens of articles about the movies, often shocking the Hollywood establishment. Along the way, he picked up such close friends as W. C. Fields, Jack Dempsey, H. L. Mencken, and Frank Capra. He also memorably crossed paths with Jack London, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, and Langston Hughes. My guests are Mark Dawidziak and Paul Bauer, authors of "Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler". They not only share details from Tully's wild life, but also talk about two infamous Hollywood murders that he was connected to. Paul Bauer's Archer's Used and Rare Books: Mark Dawidziak's website: Jim Tully Facebook page: The Most Notorious Podcast website:
    Played 1h 10m 53s
  • 342: The Ill-Fated Voyage of the Nanina w/ Eric Jay Dolin

    8 MAY 2024 · Eric Jay Dolin, returns to the show to share details from his new book, "Left for Dead: Shipwreck, Treachery, and Survival at the Edge of the World". It's the true story of a wild and fateful encounter between an American sealing vessel, a shipwrecked British brig, and a British warship in the Falkland archipelago during the War of 1812. Fraught with misunderstandings and mistrust, the incident left three British sailors and two Americans, including the captain of the sealer, Charles H. Barnard, abandoned in the barren, windswept, and inhospitable Falklands for a year and a half. More about the author and all of his books can be found here at his website:
    Played 56m 13s
  • 341: The Mysterious Death of Zachary Smith Reynolds w/ Phil Archer

    3 MAY 2024 · Just after midnight on July 6, 1932, twenty-year-old Zachary Smith Reynolds, a renowned aviator and an heir to the R.J. Reynolds tobacco fortune, was shot in the family's summer home in what is now Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While some believed the moody young man had committed suicide, evidence suggested someone else had pulled the trigger, and eventually Reynolds' wife, Broadway actress Libby Holman, and his best friend, A.B. Walker, would be indicted for murder. I'm joined by Phil Archer, the Betsy Main Babcock Deputy Director at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. He helped create Reynolda's popular exhibition, called "Smith & Libby: Two Rings, Seven Months, One Bullet", which can now be experienced in a condensed form on the very porch where Smith died. More about the Reynolda Museum here: Watch the original exhibition trailer: Libby Holman sings the traditional folk song "House of the Rising Sun":
    Played 1h 37s
  • MoNo Encore: The Murder of Sister Janina w/ Mardi Link

    16 APR 2024 · This week we revisit one of my favorite Most Notorious episodes. In the small town of Isadore Michigan in 1907, a young nun named Janina disappeared. Ten years later, her body is discovered by a priest intent on building a new church on the foundation of the old one. Mardi Link, author of "Isadore's Secret", chats with me about the terrible circumstances surrounding the death of Sister Janina. The author's website:
    Played 55m 29s
  • 340: The Murder of Oscar Chitwood w/ Christopher Thrasher

    9 APR 2024 · On a warm August day in 1910, Sheriff Jake Houpt and his deputies attempted to arrest brothers George and Oscar Chitwood outside the Garland County Courthouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas. A gunfight soon erupted, leaving both the sheriff and George dead. And when Oscar himself was killed in December under the protection of deputies, a mob of mysterious masked men were blamed for the lynching. But evidence suggests the story of Oscar's death might have been a cover for something else. My guest is Christopher Thrasher, who along with fellow author and historian Guy Lancaster wrote the book "The Murder of Oscar Chitwood in Hot Springs, Arkansas". He summarizes this fascinating story for us on this latest episode of Most Notorious. Christopher Thrasher's Amazon author page: The book's publisher page: The Encyclopedia of Arkansas:
    Played 56m 32s
  • 339: The Killing of Boxer Tyrone Everett w/ Sean Nam

    3 APR 2024 · Six months after losing a world title fight that remains infamous as one of the last mob fixes in boxing, Tyrone “The Butterfly” Everett—a flashy, handsome lightweight southpaw on the verge of stardom—was dead. Only twenty-four years old, he was shot in the head by his girlfriend, Carolyn McKendrick, who claimed that Everett had abused her throughout their relationship. But for years, street corner talk raised doubts about what actually took place in Philadelphia at 2710 Federal Street on May 26, 1977. My guest is journalist Sean Nam, author of "Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, Fixed Fights, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing." He gives us an outline of the drama and shares theories regarding who might be responsible for the up-and-coming fighter's demise, including the possible involvement of a violent Philly organization called "The Black Mafia". The author's website: The author on Twitter/X:
    Played 1h 9m 15s
  • 338: The Death of James Dean & the "Curse of the Little Bastard" w/ Lee Raskin

    26 MAR 2024 · On September 30, 1955, 24-year-old James Dean became immortal. While his young life ended in a car crash, James Dean passed into the realm of American folklore, where his memory remains today. What exactly happened on that fateful day 60 years ago? What events led to the tragic accident that cost Dean his life? What became of the people and vehicles involved in that unguarded moment at Cholame? Is there any truth to the idea of a "curse" associated with Dean and his Porsche Spyder? My guest is James Dean historian and author Lee Raskin. He has been on a lifelong quest to not only learn everything he can about life and death of Dean, but also the journey of the car he died in. His book is called "James Dean: On the Road to Salinas". The author's website: More about him at Stance & Speed:
    Played 1h 49m 7s
  • 337: The General Slocum Disaster w/ Edward T. O'Donnell

    18 MAR 2024 · There were few experienced swimmers among over 1,300 Lower East Side residents who boarded the General Slocum on June 15, 1904. It shouldn’t have mattered, since the steamship was chartered only for a languid excursion from Manhattan to Long Island Sound. But a fire erupted minutes into the trip, forcing hundreds of terrified passengers into the water. By the time the captain found a safe shore for landing, 1,021 had perished.  "Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum" draws on firsthand accounts to examine why the death toll was so high and how the city responded. Masterfully capturing both the horror of the event and the heroism of men, women, and children who faced crumbling life jackets and inaccessible lifeboats as the inferno quickly spread, historian Edward T. O’Donnell brings to life a bygone community while honoring the victims of that forgotten day. Edward O'Donnell's website: The author on Facebook: The author on Instagram: The author on TikTok: The author on Twitter/X:
    Played 1h 4m 32s
  • 336: The Witch of Mansfield: Phebe Wise w/ Mark S. Jordan

    5 MAR 2024 · Phebe Wise was believed to be a witch by many locals in late 19th and early 20th century Mansfield, Ohio. Bucking societal norms, she lived alone on a large piece of property and would often march into town wearing her deceased mother's antique Civil War gowns. She also had her share of adversity, which included being the target of violent robbers and an obsessed stalker.  And her showdown with her stalker would lead to gunfire and death. My guest this week is Mark Sebastian Jordan, author of "The Witch of Mansfield: The Tetched Life of Phebe Wise." He shares stories from the life of this remarkable and eccentric woman.  The author's Facebook page: The author's publisher page: Buy the book on Amazon here: The author's Patreon page:
    Played 1h 1m 8s

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...

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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. Host Erik Rivenes interviews 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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