724 episodes

Every week host Dan Zupansky will interview the true crime authors that have written about the most shocking killers of all time.

True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers Dan Zupansky -

    • True Crime
    • 4.2 • 308 Ratings

Every week host Dan Zupansky will interview the true crime authors that have written about the most shocking killers of all time.

    DEATH BY TALONS-Tiddy Smith

    DEATH BY TALONS-Tiddy Smith

    On December 9, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her Durham, NC home. Her scalp was laced with deep incisions, and her blood was strewn from outside to inside the house.
    The sinister truth of that night turned her murder into North Carolina's most enigmatic criminal case, capturing media attention across the globe.
    Police zeroed in on Kathleen’s husband, Michael Peterson, and charged him with murder.
    But Was It The Truth?
    A neighbor, Larry Pollard, came up with an alternative “killer;” he claimed an owl had attacked Kathleen outside her house. He said it sliced her scalp with its fierce talons and caused her to run inside, collapsing at the stairwell, and bleeding to death.
    When the media heard about his theory, Larry was mocked. And Michael was convicted.
    Now, twenty years later, author Tiddy Smith explores Pollard’s theory and questions whether law enforcement ignored, or even hid, evidence to convict Michael Peterson. And was an owl, in fact, the real killer? DEATH BY TALONS: Did An Owl 'Murder' Kathleen Peterson?-Tiddy Smith

    • 47 min
    JonBenet's SECRET SANTA, MY MURDERER-M'Linda Kula

    JonBenet's SECRET SANTA, MY MURDERER-M'Linda Kula

    M'Linda Kula is very familiar with this SECRET SANTA and the many links that tie him to JonBenet Ramsey. Each link is carefully explained within this book, to lead from one connection to the next between JonBenet and the SECRET SANTA. Follow the pieces of the puzzle to find out who this SECRET SANTA is and how this chameleon was able to evade the authorities. Included within is a pair of government generated documents for the same man under different aliases/assumed names. This alone should raise a red flag for authorities. This same individual also used a term of endearment common to the Ramsey family for JonBenet, in front of his peers and classmates at a karate school. When asked if he was "related to that girl found in a basement" he responded with "I don't know no Johnny B!" No one knew this term of endearment until it was used in the book The Death of Innocence by John Ramsey. Planned murder indicates that the killer knew the victim's schedule. Overkill is usually a message intended for someone else, other than the victim. Who was the overkill message intended for and why? DNA Phenotyping can be used to help generate an image of the killer's face, which may match up with some of the images found within this book, raising some serious questions.The true name of this SECRET SANTA is listed on Detective Lou Smit's suspect list. M'Linda has compiled the list of links to send out to the public, so that you may decide for yourselves if the information found within warrants interest and possibly an arrest. Perhaps together we can finally bring an end to this case, and justice for JonBenet Ramsey. JonBenet's SECRET SANTA, MY MURDERER?: The "True" JonBenet Ramsey Completed Puzzle-M'Linda Kula

    • 49 min
    THE ANGEL MAKERS-Patti McCracken

    THE ANGEL MAKERS-Patti McCracken

    The Angel Makers is a true-crime story like no other—a 1920s midwife who may have been the century’s most prolific killer leading a murder ring of women responsible for the deaths of at least 160 men.
    The horror occurred in a rustic farming enclave in modern-day Hungary. To look at the unlikely lineup of murderesses—village wives, mothers, and daughters—was to come to the shocking realization that this could have happened anywhere, and to anyone. At the center of it all was a sharp-minded village midwife, a “smiling Buddha” known as Auntie Suzy, who distilled arsenic from flypaper and distributed it to the women of Nagyrév. “Why are you bothering with him?” Auntie Suzy would ask, as she produced an arsenic-filled vial from her apron pocket. In the beginning, a great many used the deadly solution to finally be free of cruel and abusive spouses.But as the number of dead bodies grew without consequence, the killers grew bolder. With each vial of poison emptied, a new reason surfaced to drain yet another. Some women disposed of sickly relatives. Some used arsenic as “inheritance powder” to secure land and houses. For more than fifteen years, the unlikely murderers aided death unfettered and tended to it as if it were simply another chore—spooning doses of arsenic into soup and wine, stirring it into coffee and brandy. By the time their crimes were discovered, hundreds were feared dead. Anonymous notes brought the crimes to light in 1929. As a skillful prosecutor hungry for justice ran the investigation, newsmen from around the world—including the New York Times—poured in to cover the dramatic events as they unfolded.The Angel Makers captures in expertly researched detail the entirety of this harrowing story, from the early murders to the final hanging—the story of one of the most sensational and astonishing murder rings in all of modern history. THE ANGEL MAKERS: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History's Most Astonishing Murder Ring-Patti McCracken

    • 43 min
    SICARIUS: Sondra London

    SICARIUS: Sondra London

    From his cell on Death Row in Florida, confessed serial killer Danny Rolling started writing and illustrating this novel about the Daggerman Sicarius in 1999, seven years before his 2006 execution for the five murders he committed in 1990.
    Drawing on years of research, Rolling follows zoologist Sir Winser Ashmole to the African island of Mauritius, to assist Dr. Borgum Konoff in saving endangered species.
    But the doctor is dabbling in sinister forces, torturing the island girls in a mad quest for immortality, as an alien relic gives him the superhuman powers of a Sicarius.
    Caught in the act, Konoff escapes to Boston, where he goes on a murder rampage. Ashmole helps police track him, but the power of the relic is still protecting the elusive Sicarius.
    As the Powers That Be close in on the crazed killer, a deal with the Forces of Darkness is brokered by a witch whose name is Cath... a nod to the woman who served as Rolling's muse in real life, at the time he dreamed up the tale.
    The novel was published in 2002 by Plotdigger Publications, a corporation owned by Canadian filmmaker Ryan Nicholson, who died in 2019 without renewing the copyright, so the book was orphaned until 2022, when Sondra London gave new life to this tale that Rolling had originally asked her to publish. SICARIUS: Sondra London Presents Death Row Fiction By a Serial Killer (Serial Killers Talk to Sondra London-Sondra London


    • 1 hr
    LOU AND JONBENET-John Wesley Anderson

    LOU AND JONBENET-John Wesley Anderson

    On Christmas Night 1996, six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado. A ransom note was found in the home, but it was hours before her father, John, found her body in the basement. She had been strangled with a garrote and her skull was fractured. The media sensationalized the tragic death of the “child beauty queen” and public speculation and rumors ran rampant. What followed was one of the most notorious unsolved murder investigations in American history. Boulder police fixated on JonBenet’s parents as suspects. Needing investigative help, the Boulder DA brought in legendary homicide detective Lou Smit. However, he was soon disenchanted with law enforcement’s obsession with the Ramsey family as the primary suspects, excluding other possibilities. Smit resigned but continued to work on his own time, and at his own expense, determined to find justice for JonBenet. He determined the Ramsey family was not involved in her death but died in 2010 before he could identify the killer. Thousands of people attended his funeral service, including John Ramsey, and the detective’s lifelong friend and colleague, John Anderson. Along with a handful of retired detectives, Anderson and Smit’s family continue to pursue justice based on Smit’s work. Now, for the first time in LOU AND JONBENET, Anderson tells the story of Smit’s investigation and why the Smit family team now believes that the killer can be identified. LOU AND JONBENET: A Legendary Lawman's Quest To Solve A Beauty Queen's Murder-John Wesley Anderson

    • 58 min


    On a cold morning in December 1960, 60-year-old Laura Mutch was found strangled behind a house in downtown Erie....At a time when the Gem City was at its peak, including a triumphant run for the coveted 'All-American City' award, the murder created a pandemonium. As the investigation progressed, attacks on women in and around the city of Erie continued, sending citizens - and seasoned investigators - to the brink of total chaos. Infamous attacks such as the brutal stabbing of 72-year-old Clara Carrig, the attempted strangling and knifing of Helen Knost and the strangling murders of Mary Lynn Crotty and Eleanor Free caused women to lock their doors and avoid the streets at night. The arrest of truck driver John Howard Willman in September 1963 was not the end of the story as soon the case attracted nationwide attention - including a lawsuit by the ACLU. Just who was Erie's infamous 'Backyard Strangler?' Would a technicality by police cause the suspected murderer to roam free again to kill more victims? Author Justin Dombrowski charts the harrowing attacks, investigations and mystery surrounding Erie's 1960s reign of terror. ERIE'S BACKYARD STRANGLER: Terror in the 60's-Justin Dombrowski

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
308 Ratings

308 Ratings

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I like this podcast but sometimes feel like the guests need to be briefed on how to be in a podcast.
Bad audio, fumbling around with things on their desk, background noise..
Also, Dan, it seems like your mic has completely changed your voice?
The first time I heard the new mic I thought it was someone else doing the show.

B.MacLeod1115 ,


Loved the podcast about the castleton massacre, will be listening to more episodes in the future!

track queen101 ,

Fred Rosen

I find myself going back and re-listening to all the Fred Rosen interviews. He is such a great interview and great sense of humour. 😁

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