DiscoverOnce Upon A Crime | True Crime
Once Upon A Crime | True Crime

Once Upon A Crime | True Crime

Author: Esther Ludlow

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Join me as I dive into some of the most fascinating and thought provoking true crime stories told one chapter at a time. Kidnappings, murders, mysterious disappearances, serial killers, celebrity crime and more will be covered.
152 Episodes
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In a small French village, a little boy goes missing and the family receives anonymous letters from a person taking responsibility who is dubbed "The Crow".  This strange case could be considered the Jon Benet Ramsey case of France.   Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:  Articles:  The Long Shadow of the Crow by Scott Kraft for The Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1993 Gregory by Anthony Davis for CrimeMagazine.com, April 30, 2009 The Murder of Little Gregory: The unsolved case that haunted France by John Henley for The Guardian, August 28, 2017 Sponsors:  Everlywell - www.everlywell.com/ONCE and enter offer code ONCE for 15% off your test. Native Deodorants - www.nativedeodorant.com - use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first purchase.  Links:  Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime episode:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bonus-episode-lets-taco-bout-crime-junkie-plagiarism/id1452118167?i=1000447888185 
A young girl goes missing in South Carolina in 1985.  Soon after, her kidnapper would begin calling her family - but not to make demands for her safe return, but only to cruelly taunt them.  This is the first chapter in the series "Taunting Terrors".  Several resources were used in the research for this episodes including: Book: Murder in the Midlands: Larry Gene Bell and the 28 Days of Terror that Shook South Carolina by Rita Y. Shuler Articles:  South Carolina serial killer forced girl to write a farewell note and tormented his victims' families after sick spree in mid-80s by Mara Bovsun, New York Daily News, November 15, 2014 Left Behind: Survivors of Capital Crimes Don't want the Victims to be Forgotten by Becky Beane for PFM.org Court Records:  United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. Larry Gene Bell v. Parker Evatt, Commissioner, South Carolina Department of Corrections, T. Travis Medlock, Attorney General, State of South Carolina, December 18, 1995 Sponsors: Simple Health - www.SimpleHealth.com/ONCE or enter ONCE at checkout to try Simple Health for free. Italic - www.Italic.com - use offer code ONCE for $15 off your first order.  Social Media:  Twitter - @uponacrime Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime  Facebook and Instagram @onceuponacrimepod   
A horror film franchise is seemingly cursed when it experiences tragedies including hauntings, serious accidents, fatal illness and murder.   Today's sponsors: Italic - www.Italic.com - Use offer code ONCE for $15 off your purchase.  NutraThrive - www.HealthyDog4.com Westside Fairytales Podcast: www.westsidefairytales.com Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime: https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: https://www.ranker.com/list/victims-of-the-poltergeist-curse/melissa-brinks https://www.grunge.com/35883/bizarre-things-happened-set-poltergeist/ http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2015/12/22/the-shocking-history-of-the-poltergeist-curse/ http://www.iconsoffright.com/IV_Oliver.htm  https://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/24/nyregion/crash-at-la-guardia-survivors-of-mangled-plane-recall-fire-water-terror.html http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/143731%7C0/Heather-O-Rourke/ https://www.statesman.com/article/20110202/NEWS/302029646  
From 1922 to the 1940s over 40 child actors would be cast in a popular series of short films and many of them would later fall victim to strange accidents, illnesses, drug addiction, financial hardship, murder and suicide.  This is The Curse of The Little Rascals. Today's Sponsor:  NutraThrive: www.HealthyDog4.com Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:  Television Episode: E! True Hollywood Story: Curse of the Little Rascals Alfalfa's Mysterious Death - www.tvparty.com Convicted killer of "Little Rascal" dies - AP, The Monitor, McAllen, Texas, July 19, 2014  
Every manifestation of the Man of Steel - comic books, television shows and films - has been marked by bad blood, shattered careers, tragic accidents and even murder.  This is the Curse of Superman.  Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:  George Reeves Revealed: An Inside Look at the Life and Tragic Death of Television's First Superman by Ed Gross for CloserWeekly.com, Feb. 27, 2019 Who Killed Superman? TheGuardian.com, Nov. 17, 2006 Link to Listener Survey: https://survey.libsyn.com/onceuponacrime  Sponsor Links: Italic - www.italic.com - Use offer code ONCE for $15 off your first order. Native - www.nativedeodorant.com and use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first purchase    
Three child actors become stars after being cast in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes in 1978.  But, all three would go on to live troubled adult lives including drug addiction, legal troubles and untimely death.  These are the stories of Todd Bridges, Dana Plato and Gary Coleman.  Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: The Tragic Stars of Different Strokes, People Magazine, March 25, 1991 Gary Coleman dies at 42; child star of hit sitcom Diff'rent Strokes by Dennis McClellan for The Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2010.   The Overdose Death of Dana Plato by Frank Wilkins for ReelReviews.com.  Todd Bridges book: Killing Wills: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted, Simon and Schuster, 2010.  Sponsor: Away Travel - www.AwayTravel.com/ONCE20 and use ONCE20 at checkout for $20 off a suitcase.  You can listen to Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime here: https://truecrimepodcast.squarespace.com/lets-taco-bout-true-crime or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Pandora, Spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts!     
Susan Polk enters into a relationship with her therapist when she is a young girl. Years later, after 20 years of marriage, she will claim she has been abused by her husband for decades.  After he is found dead in their guest house the question would be, was this a case of self-defense or a cold-blooded murder?  Several resources were used in the research of this case including: Court record: The People, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Susan Mae Polk, Defendant and Applellant, Contra Costa County Super. Ct. No. 031668-7, December 13, 2010 Articles: A California Murder Raises Troubling Issues by Carol Pogash for The New York Times, September 18, 2005 Obituary of Dr. F. Felix Polk, SFGate.com, November 5, 2002.  Slaying rips apart a family in Orinda by Jason Dearen for Bay Area News Group, October 10, 2005.  Convicted Orinda killer Susan Polk denied parole, kicked out of hearing midway through by Nate Gartrell for Bay Area News Group, July 17, 2019.   Sponsor:  Italic - www.italic.com use offer code ONCE for $15 off your first purchase.  Patreon:  www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime   
A mother seeks help for her special needs child, but a church prayer service ends tragically.   Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: Book: True Stories of Law and Order by Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo  Articles:  Death by Exorcism by David Krajicek for the New York Daily News, October 8, 2006 Sponsor:  Native Deodorants - www.nativedeodorant.com  - Use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first purchase.  Subscribe to "Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime"  On iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-taco-bout-true-crime/id1452118167 On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7k3cQGC0unJGSMhlEZRiWG?si=dLyaqKydRDi_SA3wYkhWnw  On Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=379086  
In the second chapter of the series "Deadly Therapy" a young girl who grows up in an unstable home is placed up for adoption.  Her adoptive mother finds her behavior problematic and has her undergo a new and controversial therapy - with tragic results.   Several resources were used to research this episode including:  Her Name was Candace by Carla Crowder and Peggy Lowe for Denver Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 29, 2000    https://culteducation.com/group/1115-rebirthing/17893-her-name-was-candace.html Seeking Child’s Love, A Child’s Life is Lost by Barry Siegel for the Los Angeles Times, Feb. 4, 2001  https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-feb-04-mn-21072-story.html Links from this episode:  www.singleparentadvocate.org www.doorofhope.us www.adoptuskids.org www.togetherwerise.org https://store.23skidoovintage.com https://www.facebook.com/events/493288214744272/ Today's Sponsor:  Warby Parker - www.warbyparker.com/ONCE for a free Home Try-On kit.   
In this month's series, "Deadly Therapy", I’ll detail cases of people who sought help from experts, but rather than receiving healing and transformation, their journeys came to an abrupt and deadly end.  In this first chapter, you’ll hear how James, Arthur Ray, a self-described success coach and guru required his followers to perform increasingly more extreme mental and physical challenges all in the pursuit of “enlightenment” with deadly results.  Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:  Articles:  The Death Dealer by Matt Stroud in The Verge.  Arizona Sweat Lodge: The Inside Story of James Ray's Fatal Retreat by Miguel Sancho and Kimberley Brown for ABC News.  Blogs:  https://spiritualityisnoexcuse.wordpress.com/james-rays-first-victim-colleen-conaway/ Films: Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray (2016)  Sponsor:  Care/of - www.TakeCareOf.com - Enter promo code ONCE at checkout for 25% off your first order.   
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Comments (122)

Mono Dilemma

I knew some of the stories around the course, but I had no idea the trial was such a mockery! great episode Esther

Aug 28th
Reply

Liz Twente

Mono Dilemma im going to have to check it out

Aug 28th
Reply

Daniel Hope

is one eye open still up? the link goes nowhere and I cant find it in search

Aug 28th
Reply

Jacob

Daniel Hope 🤔

Aug 28th
Reply

ᵐʳ. ѕιиgн

🄶🅁🄴🄰🅃 🄿🄾🄳🄲🄰🅂🅃 5 🇸 ͓̽🇹 ͓̽🇦 ͓̽🇷 ͓̽🇸 ͓̽

Aug 23rd
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Daniel Hope

I knew a girl in elementary and middle school that I believe had the same rare condition, she had to wear a wig that also was very noticeable, and the big glasses, I had to double check where this girl grew up, thank god it's not the same girl. I do feel bad for the both of them because the girl I knew also was tormented by classmates for something she was born with and had absolutely no control over, it's sad how cruel kids could be, I wish I could've helped her but I couldn't even figure out how to get people to quit picking on me. I'm still at the very beginning of the show, so we'll see if I still feel bad for her when I find out what she did!

Aug 19th
Reply

Be God, Be Free

Daniel Hope real powerful words

Aug 19th
Reply

Penny Foster

Wow

Aug 3rd
Reply

Tiffany Lear

I have an autistic child and this just breaks my heart. It also reminds me why I’m an atheist.

Jul 27th
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Ryan Moran

He is such a narcissistic scum bag. I remember when this happened but I didn't follow it very closely. this is one of the most infuriating cases I have ever heard. It shows what a great story teller you are. I was screaming at my phone. haha thanks

Jul 23rd
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Heather Morrison

Ryan Moran yes, a good story!

Jul 24th
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Minnich

This one made me wanna find and torture that guy.

Jul 21st
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Colbert Williams

Minnich Yes, really annoying...

Jul 22nd
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Jennifer S

Thank you for covering this particular crime. It's important to know about so it never happens to a anyone, ever again. I thought you provided a very heartfelt and sympathetic episode.

Jul 18th
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Alex Jack Catran

as soon as you mentioned the tightening therapy my heart dropped and I realised who this was, and couldn't finish. no offence, but I wish you never covered this case.

Jul 9th
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Jessy Cavegn

I listen to many, many true crime pods and this is absolutely one of the worst cases I've ever heard. JFC. How could anyone let this happen.

Jul 9th
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Jenna Vaughn

great episode. Like most people, I've heard the story but the depth shared here really allows a view of the person she was and the real story of the events of that night.

Jul 3rd
Reply

Aiden Charlie

personality disorders are mental illnesses, that's psych 101?

Jun 11th
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Tonya Free

#

Jun 7th
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Daisy Kambandu

There is a really good documentary about the girls. I don't think it's fair to call them terrors because they were dealing with racism, bullying and a speech impediment during 1970s England. I think the girls were struggling and the only people they felt could understand was each other. They developed a dibilitating mental disorder because of the issues that they had to go through. I think they tried to survive the only way they knew how

Jun 6th
Reply

Kathy Costelloe

Daisy Kambandu it is tragic Daisy. This type of 'selective mutism has, at its core, anxiety. Imagine inhabiting a world in which you were too afraid to speak. I agree, they were doing the best they could with what they had.

Jun 6th
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Donnie Watters

crazy delusional bitches... Yikes...

Jun 3rd
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Tara Lacey

This is one of my favorite podcasts!

May 23rd
Reply

jersey2777

hope all works out for the positive Esther! love your show!

May 18th
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Misti Roberts

This story is gonna make me cry. My cousin was Raped and molested By my grandma's husband And it ruined her life too. She was murdered 2 years ago. She also ended up a drug addict and was killed by her scumbag drug dealer boyfriend

May 17th
Reply

Vivian Evans

Misti Roberts I am so sorry. (hugs)

May 18th
Reply

Ares

Misti Roberts Sure, and feel better.

May 17th
Reply

Lestyloo

Calling the two men 'sad sacks' is callous and cruel. shame on you Esther. . .

May 8th
Reply
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