DiscoverUp and VanishedSworn : The Lake Oconee Murders (Part 1)

Sworn : The Lake Oconee Murders (Part 1)

Update: 2017-06-156


Up and Vanished presents 'Sworn.' A new podcast series hosted by Philip Holloway. Episode 2 of Sworn is available right now on the Sworn podcast channel. If you like it, subscribe and listen.

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hey guys you listening to Episode one of our new podcast series called sworn foe survival hallway episode two of sworn is also available right now exclusively on this one podcast channel so if you like which year search for sworn on your podcast out and listen to Episode two of sworn this was done and the the time and peed on me the line were sworn the this is sworn in I'm your host Philip Holloway sworn is brought you buy a zipper Creator do you know where to post your job to find the best candidates with zipper Creator you can post your job to one hundred plus job sites just with one click then their powerful technology efficiently matches the right people to your job better than anybody else unlike other job sites zipper doesn't depend on the candidates define you it finds them in fact over eighty percent of jobs Postal zip recruiter get qualified candidates in just twenty four hours is no juggling or calls to your office simply screen rate and manage candidates all in one place was if recruiters easy to use dashboard found out today was a recruiter has been used by businesses of all sizes to found the most qualified job candidates with immediate results and right now my listeners can post jobs own zip recruiter for free that's right it's free just go to zipper critter dot com slash sworn that the zipper critter dot com slash sworn one more time try for free go to zip recruiter dot com slash sworn the Georgia Supreme Court said many years ago that the office of share carries with it the duty to share with the duty to protect this to me and the the the the the the I spent most of my life inside the criminal justice in one capacity or another along the way I've learned some truths in this podcast will take you inside boxes to bring the streets look bad and yes even the uncomfortable truths practically everybody insistence worn once or not I've lost count of all the earth I've taken and things I've been sworn to imagine your share elect Sharon Schwartz not only uphold the wall to get justice justice in its interest for your community justice for victims but despite your very best efforts just elude orchard Luke this episode we explore this issue in context of the lake and Cody Martin eleven Atlanta I remember very well to date back in May twenty four team with some really bad news for an elderly retired couple Russell Shirley German had been murder the details that were on enough of this couple live in this gated community a wealthy couple with no pair detainees or anything that been brutally murdered and then once more into it and found out more details came or more of a mystery the people were just mystified how this happen at any one even get inside the community you know who would want to kill them the the the and they were a retired couple eighties I think there was a lot of speculation going on amongst neighbors in the town this small community such a bizarre crime that people's minds kind of water to the extreme as far as trying to figure out what caused this Christian being a reporter for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution for the past three years Christian has covered this case held keeping it in the public's eye as much as he possibly could inevitably with no new leads to follow the case has grown cold and its media coverage has become scarce but to Christian this case has never really left is mine sorry shout to him because I wanted to know how this case compared in terms of its unusual to all the other studies cover over the years because there's no you know there seems to be no explanation for it in the just so many things about the actual murder that don't add up we're trying to find an explanation or a motive to keep it a dead end Because was a robbery nothing was stolen you know in this the cleanliness of the murder least parts of it is a professional it seems that way there's other parts of it would seem haphazard it seems like someone send a message but to whom and for what reason is is what we still don't know what else is very exclusive community it's a lot of retirees love people and money to live there but for Nestle into a small town of Eaton is kind of surrounded or others nearby it's very quietly few very little crime there barely any crime at all of this crime have a lot of murders are certainly in a lot of other crime I mean a lot of times you will cover these things will have a good idea what happened really some sense of who is respected in this when there was no window would start as part of this is a place to the fact that no one knew what happened to me there was no ransom note like that and that little of me I can extract word love people were justifiably scared to see these people rocks and loose what are they after what was their motive here with these random thrill killers are they you know something else this case was different in that share our skills about its media friendly as you can get like he throws it all out they'll tell you if I don't have anything I don't have the thing he's unique in that aspect the problem is a sort of hard to advance the story because really the coverage has been going on after us about the first six months has been anniversary stories it's been three years don't know what happened I mean I've written a few with there's been some you know something that was a crime in New York that was similar this is to be some connection made but reporting a substantial lead to or or anything that know in advance the story events the definition itself it's really hard somebody knows something somebody saw something they may not know what they saw but you also have human teen there are lot of crimes go unsolved and the more time passes the less likely this is to get salt to be in the public's attention as much as you can is where the best bet to finally get an answer the Putnam County Sheriff's Office is trying to find a missing woman whose husband was found murdered this morning trying to locate eighty seven year old Shirley Burman they believe that she might be the victim of a kidnapping investigators were called to the Great Waters Community Lake County and Putnam County this morning caught after brands a check on the Germans found eighty eight year old Russell German debt surely German is five feet two inches tall and one hundred and forty pounds with gray hair blue eyes they believe that she was possibly abducted they think of the crime happened between Friday and Sunday you've got any information you can call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at seven o six four six twenty fourteen eighty eight year old Russell Berman was found beheaded in the garage of his home on Lake Cook only Russell Berman head was nowhere to be found and his wife eighty seven year old Shirley German she also was nowhere to be found a massive search for Shirley Germans under way operating under the pretense that she may have been abducted hope dwindled for surely safe return as the days when on and on May the sixteenth of twenty fourteen ten days after police discovered Russell Berman is decapitated body in the garage of his own home two fishermen found the body of surely German floating in the water of Lake County about six miles away from the Germans residents fishermen reportedly found the body in Lake O County several miles from our home in the Great Waters Community law enforcement was now officially working a double homicide case this was not your ordinary double homicide case this was an act of savagery the Germans lived in the upscale community of great waters only cook only in central Georgia about seventy miles east of Atlanta the surrounding area contains a unique blend of indigenous residents ranging from lower to middle class and affluent population of retirees and vacation homes for the wealthy like a Coney spans nearly thirty miles across three different counties with three hundred and seventy four miles of shoreline and the surface area of over eighteen thousand acres the lake was built originally by Georgia Power in nineteen seventy nine in the lake now serves as a popular getaway destination for tourists the lake has nearly a dozen marinas and several high end golf courses the Germans lived in Putnam County quiet and reserved community of only about twenty thousand residents in such a remote place in what's regarded as a safe and relatively affluent area how does a wealthy retired couple become the victims of brutal and Savage double murder that's a question that Putnam County Sheriff Howard sills really liked the Howard sills was and still is in charge of this case he's worked tirelessly for the past three years since the day they received in on one call the The The Sheriff sills has a track record that's well more than impressive he solved every homicide case he's worked on in the past thirty years except this one you've gotta wonder what does it feel like the have such a successful career in wall for fall the crimes for your community and then to become part of one of the biggest unsolved murder cases in the history of the entire state of Georgia called up sheriff still asking that very question the disaster found out after a quick word from our sponsor deal of home cooked food just as much as I do but you find that at the end of the busy day just not enough time I got the perfect solution for you in a skull hello fresh hella fresh is the meal kit delivery service that makes cooking more fun so you can focus on the whole experience and not just the final play each week hello fresh creates new delicious recipes with step by step instructions designed to take about thirty minutes each so that everybody from a novice like me to the season home cook has just short on time and have fun and get it done right and the best part it's less than ten dollars a meal when we got our first shipment of Holloway House Aus amazed at how convenient and easy the service really is so for thirty dollars off your first week of hell a fresh simply visit hella fresh dot com and enter promo code sworn thirty again hello fresh cum promo code sworn thirty for thirty dollars off your first week of hell and fresh whew our view here are still filled hallway from the warm heart and thank you very much for talking was going to go here for if we can just start talking about you how in the share of their uncanny that humorously twenty years in or move doing much yet this is still small community of only one of our fullest version of Always journal tag the person with an Ashley that I mean I've directed the investigation or sell them all but yes still do that or we're still small enough that I can do that from ragtime true soldier for the years to well I am sure that if there's a case that you are unsuccessful with that have to thank you personally to the most troubling case of of marker or her law career of the car candle is kind of embarrassing they have the question here you know financial question myself all was not the owner or the doer all over saying who she is really the only homicide case of a lawful there were such just like any fellow down the Germans the German he did not know the Germans and you're all probably know more people than any other individual retired here after having a successful chain of food restoration of metro Atlanta on her terms Year two thousand and four and built a home in great waters sian Reynolds plantation plantation is in both Greene and Putnam counties were reports of strong growth or rush and had retired oh and has lived here quite decently for the accuracy of Washburn which this term lease of three adult children want her to Nash who will reach the national walked around a dollar once on the same or near Panama City Florida the son of the rational order what exactly is your office respond to that morning in May of twenty four T or call the bodies were originally a Roman Rite bodies of the multiple bodies had been found in the house of glory order I actually was such a view known scene was lurking in the first Georgian Bay and the ordered happened the Kentucky Derby with only before that we think the crimes occurred and the liberals were supposed to go to the Kentucky Derby party or are there with me and of running stream of injury or so taller friends is nourishment and be there and they didn't show up on the weather was warm the Joker on Sunday and Monday for him to call the phone finally on Tuesday morning on so there for him moreover this is not an extreme measure but with integrated water whilst the lecturers English day of fun and every milestone immediately after walking through the house while they discovered the term body in the garage and the hooch the have been decapitated and the obviously this warm them to police where was Mr. German as we know that this ticket with her claim to down there to write about the collar area mean the surgical it was very clean very clean cut world and I fall short of the Jewish lot about the color feature a bone tissue or scholar of meanness letters of the girlish lose her composure in the body which Wyoming for in the back of the Roger the frail body to open the door to the Raj from the vantage point you can actually the body slip slipping lately all we saw at the home the resumption of nature you should help with the assertion of the few stands in the kitchen wash the bed was on native and veteran of the Immaculate condition or like stage or wirelessly was actually the son's referral absolutely no signs of forced victory at all of your system was functional but obviously we're not alone in the worm is erm was for only fifteen days each person was German not being there even though their ages and around our school is like that that would not have indicated that Ms Berman would've been a perpetrator or we didn't rule out that she possibly involve the murder we also because of all the factors are Asians live there we initially were the case saying that she'd been abducted but her body her first about a half mile away barely croak only near the fishermen follow it we would have found that he will still have their views and patrol boats patrolling the lake we're still looking for the possibility of connecting with the body for her turn with two more towns in the head with a blonde roots of some sort of traitor school two times at least maybe more than two of the ban hammer could not stay could've been something like that and Mr. John Berman that of the world to hear about about that one of the shaman arterial wound you just may serve arteries unfortunately if you ever been the situation more or occasion of Italy's lot of blood a lot of different places that did not exist but you could tell by the wound itself whether a person which they were when you die your heart not pumping anymore but blood doesn't flow of blood that was frozen Raj blood that jury of correction this is proper term it was for the pathologist as usual to examine body can tell you actually were certainly was there when it was cool to have any other one The Cathay flight wound one of the area probably the more we have little trouble here and there in this case or much of the TV man has forty eight hours of having worked many many many murders are saying or four hours virtually any of We are a relatively short and they were killed on Saturday and we know for fact we did it all to far more that's one factor we absolutely no witnesses that saw anything the media storm over orders of and Asia Luther and the culture there was no house in another shot on the torturous than that I don't want the percentage of our fervor of the homes in the leisure of million dollar homes players like forever for the phone from the fortress decapitation murder or kill their non fiction this country a year and the last three years old and one more that it was sunny side of this and the least of the best of our investigative abilities of what we've learned to listen we thank Papa for clothes were saturated in itself so new man in us all that this was going to be a different case that hangs on life and I took it as a trophy the work professionally and can articulate this point don't think so but I don't think that's what happened I think that we're super emotional for me cz it lah I love the slaves applications and what the masses their position on the body that won the case to just run away and there were dropped in they did not wanted by the body for while the second sheet towels instead of Mosul dam to keep blood from one of the phone with a grudge or whether we're seeing from the outside edge so they will obviously they are this person with all that we would never found her that takes away from the professional aspect which the body of professional killer Brazilian professional killer was living there for one moment one of the job than they come what is it possible that the head contained evidence in the nature of maybe a bullet flew to contain the end and some for a scuffle with nature's been what many believe this lie before like on the TV is somewhat in your hand usually just cut your world may end up only to receive grants to twelve years for somebody my the color of the people the truth of another or for flourishes were involved in the investigation that everybody in the world the understanding that these people that they arrested morning over a door initially and I think that's what I'm going have to have your car for the more one person involved in this role on the To me the same telephone from the er the issue to the new Sleep Number three sixty smart bed just like my friends is sleep number have recently introduced me to it this is one amazing bed and I can't tell you how easy the in store experience was just like all their sleep number beds the Sleep Number three sixty lets you choose what your ideal firmness and support is on each side of the bed the bed senses your every move throughout the night and it automatically adjusts to you so that you stay sleeping comfortable throughout the night of course it's easy to understand one percent of owners recommend Sleep Number beds cost about the same as a traditional mattress and they last twice as long or less just smart I can't wait to find out what my sleep number said he's going to be and I can't wait to find out how much more my sleep number I Q's going to go up visit sleep Number dot com Of course you can also go to any one of the five hundred and fifty sleep number stores nationwide but he got a sleep number come you can found a store near you go in ask about the Sleep Number three sixty smart bed but about forty eight month financing and be sure to tell them that I sent you Philip Ali from sworn the the the those of you who follow our sister podcast up and vanished in the case of Terry Branstad know that in every cold case Tom is your worst enemy as the years go by no new information surfaces the likelihood of ever solving the case becomes more and more swim everyday but share of self as all it takes is that one phone call that one piece to this puzzle that could completely change the trajectory of the investigation somebody out there knows something they know what happened to the terms and one phone call just warn could lead to the rest potentially conviction of the person or persons responsible for this act of savagery to get that phone call that one piece of valuable information often times you've got to shake the tree and you've got to keep the case from going any colder and keep it aloud so what can he do to get this case moving again well caught up with an old friend of mine John Dawes John investigate cold cases for a living and he's been doing it for very long time and this is just so happens he's very familiar with the Lake of coding been involved in Cold Case work even in my active career with the Cobb County Police Department I had been there for a long time and started pulling out cold cases in two thousand and nine and Ashley brought one to dress pretty quick and then when I retired from the cop Police Department in two thousand and thirteen was contacted by the current District Attorney Vic Reynolds hit an idea to start a cold case unit that would work out of the District Attorney's Office little bit different from your average cold case unit were not met we can actually assist all seven agencies inside Cobb County so he asked me if I would consider running for him my tone I would be glad to do that so I started doin' cold case solely in February two thousand and fourteen the case becomes cold when it set for twelve months that's the typical definition for cold cases is twelve months with no activity no forward movement toward the goal of identifying a suspect and bring it to prosecution but the first thing that I want to look at is the evidence to make sure that still held and it's been properly protected and there's a good chain of custody on it and I want to see what's available because of new technology grows daily and we found we can do a lot of things with evidence that's been sitting for years and years that couldn't be tested the other things that you can do it is old school detective work maybe not so much in a year but over the course of some years witnesses parties to the incident itself sometimes have a change of heart and change minds change their lifestyle little bit and they're to talk truth about the case than they were when it occurred to us a little bit about what an investigator who finds himself or the day n might feel when they feel like they just can't bring justice to the victim's family and they can provide answers to the community it's literally sickening first of all if you're in what I call real homicide detective you live that case you eat you breathe you sleep it's you become a family member in your contacted by the family I have three cases from my active law enforcement pre retirement days that were unsolved and is is now
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Sworn : The Lake Oconee Murders (Part 1)