57 episodes

It’s the dead of summer, 1989, in the heart of the Ozarks. An 18-year-old woman goes missing from Bella Vista, Arkansas. As the search moves forward, several suspects emerge. Then… a body is found not far from the Missouri border, and a homicide investigation begins. Soon, a second body is discovered nearby. What was a mystery transforms into the hunt for a possible serial killer stalking young women throughout the Ozarks. M. William Phelps digs in nearly 35 years later and begins to understand that things aren’t always what they seem. 

Paper Ghosts: The Ozarks iHeart True Crime

    • True Crime
    • 4.0 • 3 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

It’s the dead of summer, 1989, in the heart of the Ozarks. An 18-year-old woman goes missing from Bella Vista, Arkansas. As the search moves forward, several suspects emerge. Then… a body is found not far from the Missouri border, and a homicide investigation begins. Soon, a second body is discovered nearby. What was a mystery transforms into the hunt for a possible serial killer stalking young women throughout the Ozarks. M. William Phelps digs in nearly 35 years later and begins to understand that things aren’t always what they seem. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Episode 1: “Forever Pain”

    Episode 1: “Forever Pain”

    In the heat of the Ozarks summer, 1989, an 18-year-old woman goes missing.  Dana Stidham vanishes in the middle of the day, from the parking lot of a local supermarket. Everyone in the small town of Bella Vista, Arkansas, is seemingly searching for her. Law enforcement receives scores of sightings and potential leads. Dana’s family is frantic, concerned, but also hopeful… that is, until her car and clothing are found, several early suspects emerge, and a mystery 34 years in the making begins.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    Episode 2: “The Evidence of Things Not Seen”

    Episode 2: “The Evidence of Things Not Seen”

    As the search for Dana Stidham continues, her sudden disappearance baffles family, friends, and police, as everyone grows increasingly alarmed that Dana has met with foul play. Then, a break in the case comes as Paper Ghosts executive producer, host and investigative journalist M. William Phelps heads to Bella Vista to meet with a source who helps him unravel several potential new threads—including, perhaps, a secret life Dana lived that no one knew about.  New suspects emerge.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 47 min
    Episode 3: “The Skull in the Creek Bed”

    Episode 3: “The Skull in the Creek Bed”

    As the 1989 holiday season looms, Dana Stidham’s body is discovered by a local hunter in a Bella Vista creek bed. Law enforcement shifts its focus from missing person to murder… and begins to zero in on a suspect after he is arrested for a bizarre theft. Phelps’s contemporary, real-time investigation branches out and he questions whether the evidence against the chief suspect supports law enforcement’s push to arrest him – and whether Dana’s case is part of a more widespread series of murders by a serial killer targeting victims throughout the Ozarks during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 47 min
    Episode 4: “The Cave”

    Episode 4: “The Cave”

    The investigation by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office heats up in Dana Stidham’s gruesome murder, zeroing in on one particular suspect.  Phelps digs deeper, speaking to the suspect and wonders if law enforcement has been chasing the wrong man. Just over the Missouri border, not far from the Dana Stidham crime scene, a second young woman’s body is discovered. Are the cases linked? Phelps uncovers several exclusive, recorded interviews never-before-heard, speaks to several sources who claim that not only are the cases the work of one killer, but the suspect has been hiding in plain sight, taunting police, all along.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Episode 5: “Grace Doe: Shauna Garber”

    Episode 5: “Grace Doe: Shauna Garber”

    With the discovery of a second young female murder victim just over the Missouri border, 20 minutes away from where Dana Stidham’s body was found, a new suspect seems to be playing cat-and-mouse with law enforcement. Phelps drills down and compares the similarities in the cases—as infamous serial killer Dennis “BTK” Rader enters the narrative as a major suspect in both homicides.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 48 min
    Episode 6: “Spawn of Hell”

    Episode 6: “Spawn of Hell”

    The second female victim, known only as “Grace Doe” for nearly 30 years, is identified as Shauna Garber. Phelps’s investigation turns toward a new suspect in the murder of Dana Stidham (and possibly Shauna), while uncovering a revealing, lost recording of a new suspect - unheard until now. Phelps teams up with the detectives investigating the Shauna Garber case, evaluating similarities between her and Dana Stidham’s death. All of it leads Phelps to the doorstep of a potential killer walking the streets a free man, confronting the man some think is a prolific serial killer who has eluded law enforcement for some 34 years.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

EleneeB ,

Advertising Galore

So. Many. Advertisements. Keep your finger on the skip ahead button. The podcast itself is pretty standard true crime; dude likes to tell you his name about eight times per episode.

Top Podcasts In True Crime

Jäljillä
Jäljillä
Paha syntyi Pohjolassa
Lilli
Hiljaisia huutoja
Janita
Happily Never After: Dan and Nancy
Wondery
Haudattu
True crime podcast
Johtolankoja
Johtolankoja

You Might Also Like

Up and Vanished
Tenderfoot TV
Three
Wavland
Crossing the Line with M. William Phelps
M. William Phelps
Hell and Gone
iHeartPodcasts
What Happened to Libby Caswell
iHeartPodcasts
Beyond All Repair
WBUR

More by iHeartRadio

Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
Behind the Bastards
Cool Zone Media and iHeartPodcasts
Ridiculous History
iHeartPodcasts
Noble Blood
iHeartPodcasts and Grim & Mild
Bridgerton: The Official Podcast
Shondaland Audio and iHeartPodcasts
Stuff To Blow Your Mind
iHeartPodcasts