Killafornia Dreaming: True Crime Tales from the Golden State is a podcast that delves into the darker side of California. There are so many people, places and things to love about this beautiful state. But just like any other picturesque locale, not everything is postcard perfect. This is a show that brings you stories from the not-so-golden state. The tales are endless as you begin this journey with me while I take you on a detour into the noir…and I promise this experience will forever change the way you think about California and California Dreams….
#167 The Tale of Apartment 132A
On June 29, 1978, Hogan’s Heroes actor Bob Crane was discovered murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona apartment. He was beat about the head with a blunt object and a cord had been wrapped around his neck. Suspicion quickly fell upon his good friend, John Carpenter, a video electronics salesman. The investigation would uncover some salacious and unsavory details about Bob and his friend and their proclivities when it came to finding women they could film themselves having sex with. The case eventually grew cold as investigators had a difficult time proving who murdered the popular, lovable actor.
#166 The Tale of Hope and Murder
Hope Masters and her boyfriend were at her family’s ranch located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for a weekend getaway when something went terribly wrong. Even though Hope had been attacked and brutalized, she was uncertain of who exactly it was that harmed her and murdered her boyfriend. The man who had come by to visit them, seemed to be the one helping her…but what she didn’t know was that he was not only the killer, but he had also killed before and was a fugitive…
[Bonus] The Unsolved Murder of Josephine Spegel
WARNING: This episode contains details involving child sexual abuse as well as some graphic details involving animal cruelty and may be difficult to listen to. Some of the names have been redacted or changed in order to protect the privacy of those involved. Listener discretion is strongly advised.
The story I am sharing with you today was told to me by a listener who wishes to remain anonymous, she is not in our Facebook group, and I will refer to her as Dee Dee. She was related by marriage to a piece of human garbage named Melvin Just, a convicted child sex abuser and possible murder. A social worker and nurse named Josephine Spegel was assigned to his family and was to conduct home visits as a result of suspected abuse and neglect. She was murdered on March 10, 1969 and Just’s home was her last stop for the day. She was raped, strangled and buried in a shallow grave in Eureka, California. Her body was discovered the next day by a dog walker.
While Just was suspected by nearly all of his family, he was never really fully investigated for the crime. 9 years later, he was convicted of sexual abuse, but still, he was never connected to Josephine’s murder and her case remains unsolved to this day. This episode is an effort to get some information about where Josephine’s case today, and if there is any hope of identifying her killer using modern science, technology, and of course, DNA. We also hope to bring a measure of closure to this for Dee Dee who had long buried these haunting memories, which only recently had been brought to the surface.
Please listen to this carefully. Please take notes if you need to and write down any questions you may have for Dee Dee because I do want to follow up with an addendum to this. I have emailed the Humboldt County Sheriff’s about this case and am waiting for a reply. I also would like you to watch the documentary, AND if you happen to have lived or grew up near the “Emerald Triangle” of Northern California and have any insight to share, I would love to hear more about that from you as well. All links and email addresses are below.
Find a grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36370377/josephine-barbara-spegel
Email for Humboldt Co. Sheriff: email@example.com
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
#165 The Tale of the Kevorkian Part 2 [Vacation Series]
This is part 2 of a 2 part series. If you have not listened to part 1, pause this and go listen to episode 164 first, then come back to this. In July of 2009, Businessman, Motivational Speaker and author Jeffrey Locker was found stabbed to death slumped in the driver’s seat of his car in Harlem. A suspect was quickly identified and taken into custody, be had quite a story for detectives - this wasn’t a murder…this was a “Kevorkian”. What did he mean by that and is that even a thing? Part will bring you the conclusion of the events that lead up to that fateful night.
#164 The Tale of the Kevorkian Part 1 [Vacation Series]
In July of 2009, Businessman, Motivational Speaker and author Jeffrey Locker was found stabbed to death slumped in the driver’s seat of his car in Harlem. A suspect was quickly identified and taken into custody, be had quite a story for detectives - this wasn’t a murder…this was a “Kevorkian”. What did he mean by that and is that even a thing? Part 1 will take you into the events that lead up to that fateful night these two men crossed paths.
#163 The Tale Of Honor Roll Students Who Kill
On New Year’s Eve 1992, 17 year old honor roll student, candidate for the Ivy League upon graduation from high school, and son of a prominent Orange County, California physician, Stuart Tay left his home, telling his little sister he was off to run an errand. He never came back. In a story that shocked the nation, stunned that a group of Asian American high school students - top of the class, straight A having, future valedictorians were possibly involved in some serious criminal activity - I would argue, especially by today’s standards, that the background of these kids isn’t as shocking as one may think. Listen now to what exactly this apparently model students did when one of the plans to commit a violent crime went off the rails.