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.
159 Episodes
In this episode I’ll share two separate cases of women who became part of a very small and exclusive club - women who made the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.   Nazira Ugalde killed for financial gain and flees to South America.  A young woman in Texas, Brenda Delgado, plans the murder of her romantic rival and disappears soon after being questioned by police.   Resources:  "New details emerge about Reno 'Black Widow', Behind the Crime Tape Blog, Nov. 27, 2012 "Fugitive Black Widow wanted in ex-husband's 2008 murder arrested i Peru", by Nina Golgowski for New York Daily News, Jun 5, 2014.  "Mother of Hygenist at center of deadly love triangle sas her daughter is 'not the jealous type'", by Shekhar Bhatia for, Sep 12, 2015.  "Duo Behind Killing of Dentist in Murder-for-Hire Plot May be Linked to Drug Cartel", Chicago 5 News, Oct 23, 2015.  "Brenda Delgado: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know",, Jun 7, 2019.  "The State of Texas vs Brenda Delgado", Criminal Indictment, October 2, 2018.  Sponsors:  Onyx and Rose: and use offer code ONCE at checkout for 15% off your first purchase.  Hello Fresh: and enter ONCE9 at checkout for 9 free meals plus free shipping on your first box.  Podcast Recommendations:  Crime Machine by Jack Luna and Sam Swenson.  You can now find us on Stitcher Premium!   
A small time drug dealer kidnaps a rival's younger brother in order to settle a debt.  The unfolding series of events would become one of California's most bizarre and tragic kidnapping cases on record and would even inspire an award-winning Hollywood movie.   Resources: Jesse Katz for Los Angeles Magazine, "The Last Ride of Jesse James Hollywood", February 2002.  Colby Frazier for Daily Sound, "Hollywood tells his story", June 24, 2009.  Henry Chu and Solomon Moore for The Los Angeles Times, "Fugitive Kept Low Profile in Quiet Brazilian Beach Town", March 11, 2005.  Chris Hansen for Dateline, "The Real Story Behind 'Alpha Dog', Jan 15, 2007.  Tyler Hayden for The Santa Barbara Independent, "Meet Mrs. Jesse James Hollywood", Feb 4, 2014.  Sponsors:  Native Deodorant - - Use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first purchase. Truman's Cleaning Products - - enter promo code ONCE for 50% off your starter kit plus subscription.   Solid Gold Pet Food - for 30% off your first order.  Music Credits:  Music from "Floating Cities" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY ( "Life of Riley" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (    
In this episode I dig into my file of spooky stories to share some haunted happenings in the world of rock and roll.   #themansionatlaurelcanyon #redhotchilipeppers #slipknot #hauntedhouses #bonscott #joshuatreeinn #halloween #ghoststories  Resources:  Corey Taylor, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven (Or How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process), (Da Capo Press, 2013).  Inside the Laurel Canyon Houdini Estate,, March 30, 2012.  Funky Monks - Uncut Full Documentary (1st edit uncut w/bonus footage), YouTube, uploaded by MakingMonstersInk, April 10, 2013.  Sponsors: Bombas Socks - for 20% off your first purchase. Promo: Murder In My Family: Music credits from - License: CC BY ( "Halloween Theme 1" by Alexander Nakarada ( "Graveyard Shift" by Kevin MacLeod ( "Myst on the Moor" by Kevin MacLeod ( "Waltz of Treachery" by Kevin MacLeod ( "On My Way" by Kevin MacLeod ( "Life of Riley" by Kevin MacLeod (    
Bob Marley went from singing R&B harmonies in Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica to becoming a pioneer of reggae music, bringing his own blend of reggae, rock and ska music to a global audience. But as a popular figure in Jamaica, he was unwillingly thrust into the country’s political strife.  The situation became so dangerous for Marley that on December 3, 1976, he became a target of assassins.  Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:  Chris Salewicz, Bob Marley: The Untold Story, (New York: Faber and Faber), 2010., "Bob Marley", Vivien Goldman, The Guardian, "Dread, beat and blood", July 16, 2006.  Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Manufacturing Bob Marley", July 17, 2017 Mike Lanchin, BBC World Service, "I was there when gunmen tried to kill Bob Marley," December 4, 2016.  Kief Davidson, Remastered: Who Shot the Sheriff?, Netflix, 2015.  Sponsors:  Truman's: - use promo code ONCE at checkout for 50% off your starter kit and subscription.  Solid Gold: for 30% off your first order.  Music Credits:  Music from Sunny Rasta" by Alexander Nakarada ( License: CC BY ( "Stealth Groover" by Kevin MacLeod ( CC BY (  "Dub Feral" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (  
A free concert took place in northern California in December of 1969 featuring The Rolling Stones.  It would descend into chaos due to poor planning, rampant drug use and the ill-advised use of the Hells Angels as concert security.   Resources: Joel Selvin, Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day, (New York: Harper Collins), 2016.  Lester Bangs, Reny Brown, John Burks, Sammy Egan, Michael Goodwin, Geoffrey Link, Greil Marcus, John Morthland, Eugene Schoenfeld, Patrick Thomas, and Langdon Winner, Rolling Stone Magazine, "The Rolling Stones Disaster at Altamont: Let It Bleed," January 21, 1970.  Albert & David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, Gimme Shelter (1970),  Note: Meredith Hunter can be seen in the crowd at timestamp 1:18:50. The attack on him begins at 1:23:26.  Sponsors:  Hello Fresh: and enter ONCE80 at checkout for $80 off your first month of meal kits.  Away Travel: and use promo code ONCE20 at checkout for $20 off a suitcase.  Native Deodorants: and use promo code ONCE during checkout for 20% off your first purchase. 
A woman begins receiving harassing phone calls and letters from a stalker.  It would take years to discover who the anonymous man was, but when he was finally identified a shocking secret would be revealed.  Several resources were used in the research for this episode including: Book: Little Girl Fly Away by Gene Stone Articles:   'Poet" makes life a living horror for Wichita Woman by Scott Kraft for AP in the Garden City Telegram, Jan 24, 1980 'Poet' strikes again and Wichita police still baffled by Scott Kraft for AP in Garden City Telegram, Feb 21, 1980 Harassed by an Unknown Author of Vicious Rhymes, Ruth Finley Confronts the Stranger Within Herself by Gene Stone for People Magazine, Sept. 5, 1988 Sponsors:  Truman's - - use offer code ONCE for 50% off your cleaning product starter kit. Solid Gold - to get 30% off your first pet food order.  Social Media: Once Upon a Time Facebook Group -  Patreon:    
A 7-year-old goes missing while on a family camping trip in 1973.  Anonymous calls would be placed demanding a ransom, but, the trail would grow cold until exactly one year later when the kidnapper would call her mother to brag about taking her daughter.   Several resources were used in the research of this episodes including: Documentary: The FBI Files, "Dark Woods", Season 5, Episode 13.  Articles:  Bible Verse May Have Spurred Meirhofer, The Daily Interlake, October 4, 1974 Small Town Terror by Joseph MacNamara for The New York Daily News, December 22, 1994 The Quality of Mercy by Antoinette Martin for The Detroit Free Press, August 21, 1994 Not Another Victim by Amy Linn for The Missoula Independent, November 5, 2015 Music Credits:  Music from"Floating Cities" by Kevin MacLeod ( CC BY ( Sponsors:  Italic - - use offer code ONCE for 15% off your first order Bombas - for 20% off your first purchase.    Links: Patreon:  CrimeCon CrowdSolve -
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, 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 - and enter offer code ONCE for 15% off your test. Native Deodorants - - use promo code ONCE for 20% off your first purchase.  Links:  Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime episode: 
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 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 - or enter ONCE at checkout to try Simple Health for free. Italic - - use offer code ONCE for $15 off your first order.  Social Media:  Twitter - @uponacrime Patreon -  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 - - Use offer code ONCE for $15 off your purchase.  NutraThrive - Westside Fairytales Podcast: Let's Taco 'Bout True Crime: Several resources were used in the research for this episode including:  
Comments (130)

Maelen De Witch

I want to slap the family members as well. Outrageous! BTW I love Once Upon A Crime podcasts. Fantastic job! Regards from Scotland :)

Nov 14th



Nov 13th
Reply (1)


deodorant commercial 🤣

Nov 2nd


I'm a December baby too! Yea!!

Oct 15th
Reply (1)

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 (1)

Daniel Hope

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

Aug 28th
Reply (1)

ᵐʳ. ѕιиgн

🄶🅁🄴🄰🅃 🄿🄾🄳🄲🄰🅂🅃 5 🇸 ͓̽🇹 ͓̽🇦 ͓̽🇷 ͓̽🇸 ͓̽

Aug 23rd

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 (1)

Penny Foster


Aug 3rd

Tiffany Lear

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

Jul 27th

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
Reply (1)


This one made me wanna find and torture that guy.

Jul 21st
Reply (1)

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

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

Vera Braineater

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

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

Aiden Charlie

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

Jun 11th

Tonya Free


Jun 7th

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 (1)

Donnie Watters

crazy delusional bitches... Yikes...

Jun 3rd
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