341 episodes

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.

Once Upon A Crime | True Crime Esther Ludlow

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 7 Ratings

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.

    Resorting to Murder: The Body in the Suitcase

    Resorting to Murder: The Body in the Suitcase

    In this month’s series, “Resorting to Murder,” I share cases proving that murder never takes a holiday.
    This week’s case tells the story of a rocky mother-daughter relationship, a fight over an inheritance, and a cold-blooded murder that occurred at a luxury resort.  Was the murder of socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack the desperate act of an abused child or spurred on by an entitled young woman’s greed?
     
    Sources: 
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/2015/12/09/heather-mack-accuses-slain-mom-of-cheating-her-out-of-inheritance/
    https://people.com/heather-mack-suitcase-killer-everything-to-know-7509623 
    Heather Mack discusses her relationship with mother: Exclusive (people.com)
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/american-couple-sentenced-to-prison-for-bali-suitcase-murder/ 
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/interviews-with-bali-suitcase-killers-uncovers-disturbing-details-behind-the-gruesome-murder/
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3838671/Body-Suitcase-killer-Tommy-Schaefer-claims-ex-Heather-Mack-does-drugs-drinks-sex-female-prisoners-daughter-close-speaking-time-conviction-letter-friends.html
     
    Sponsor: 
    Gabb - $25 off any device for new customers at www.GABB.com/once. 
     
    Links: 
    Once Upon a Crime on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast
     

    • 36 min
    Resorting to Murder - Bruce Beresford-Redman

    Resorting to Murder - Bruce Beresford-Redman

    In this month’s series, I’ll share cases of vacations that turned deadly.  Even in the most serene and beautiful locations, murder never takes a holiday.  
    This week, an award-winning television producer, his beautiful and successful Brazilian-born wife, and young children take a family vacation to a tropical resort.  When Monica Beresford-Redman is found murdered just yards from their hotel suite, her husband becomes the main suspect.  
    Was the circumstantial evidence all pointing to Bruce Beresford-Redman as the murderer merely a series of coincidences or proof of his guilt?  Was he a victim of terrible luck, or did he resort to murder? 
     
    Sources: 
    48 Hours: Bruce Beresford-Redman: The Verdict, Season 28, Episode 22, 2015. 
    In the Matter of the EXTRADITION OF Bruce Ainsley BERESFORD-REDMAN. United States District Court, Ninth Circuit, California, C.D. California. Dec. 2, 2010. 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Beresford-Redman
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/documents-detail-beresford-redman-death-mexico/story?id=12815694
    https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/beresford-redman-cancun-murder-tv-producer/2419136/
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7453793/Survivor-producer-jailed-wifes-death-spotted-release.html
    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/a-survivor-producer-a-dead-2-755386/
     
    Sponsors: 
    Lume - www.lumedeodorant.com - Use discount code ONCE 
     
    Links: 
    YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast
    CrimeCon UK - September 21st and 22nd in London. Get your discounted ticket by using my discount code ONCEUPON when you purchase your ticket at www.crimecon.co.uk. 

    • 26 min
    Deadly Dads: Christian Longo

    Deadly Dads: Christian Longo

    In this episode of Once Upon A Crime, we delve into the horrific story of Christian Longo, a man who portrayed himself to his family, friends, and community as a devoted husband, loving father, and successful businessman while leading a double life. He lived a life of lies and deception.  When he could no longer keep up the facade, he disposed of his old life in favor of a new one…by destroying his entire family.
     
    This is the second installment of the 'Deadly Dads' series, highlighting fathers who became nightmares for their families.
     
    00:00 Introduction
    01:32 The Discovery Of Bodies
    03:06 Investigations and Christian Longo's Lies
    06:09 Family Background and Financial Deception
    09:38 A Life of Crime and On The Run
    11:58 Final Crimes and Capture
    17:05 Trial, Sentencing, and Aftermath
     
    Sources:
    State v. Longo, Filed Nov. 9, 2006, Supreme Court of the State of Oregon
    “The Journalist and the Murderer,” Michael Finkel, Vanity Fair Magazine, June 2005. 
    “Longo Prosecutors Offer Motive,” Andrew Kramer, Associated Press, March 12, 2003
    “The Pretender: The Case of Christian Longo”, 48 Hours, CBS News, Original air date May 31, 2005. 
     
    Links: 
    Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime
    Our YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast

    • 25 min
    Deadly Dads: Ronald Gene Simmons

    Deadly Dads: Ronald Gene Simmons

    In this first episode of season 9 I’ll share the harrowing story of family annihilator, Ronald Gene Simmons. Known for his obsessive need for control and order, Simmons carried out a meticulously planned series of murders in December 1987, ultimately killing 14 of his family members and two others. This episode captures the disturbing details of his life, his manipulative and abusive behavior, and his final act of violent retaliation that led to his arrest, trial, and eventual execution in 1990. 
     
    00:00 Introduction to Family Annihilators
    00:39 Case Overview: Ronald Gene Simmons
    01:33 Early Life of Ronald Gene Simmons
    07:16 Family Life and Military Career
    22:09 Abuse and Control
    38:32 Escalation and Mass Murder
    44:05 Aftermath and Legal Proceedings
    47:08 Conclusion
    Sources: 
    “Zero at the Bone,” authors Bryce Marshall and Paul Williams, Pocket Star Books, New York, NY, 1991. https://archive.org/details/zeroatbone00mars/page/n5/mode/2up?view=theater 
    https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s1/simmons-ronald-gene.htm
    https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/ronald-gene-simmons-3731/ 
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/362847782_Defending_Ronald_Gene_Simmons_A_Question_and_Answer_Session_with_Attorney_John_Harris
     
     
    Sponsor: 
    Gabb Mobile - gabb.com/once
    Links:
    Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime 
    YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast/

    • 48 min
    Tennessee’s Family Annihilator - Michael Cummins

    Tennessee’s Family Annihilator - Michael Cummins

    We kick off the ninth season of Once Upon a Crime with an episode that dives into the chilling case of Michael Cummins, a 25-year-old from Westmoreland, Tennessee, who committed one of the state's most horrific mass murders. Cummins, who had a history of mental health issues and violent behavior, murdered eight people, including six family members, in 2019.
    00:00 Celebrating a Milestone: 8 Years of Once Upon a Crime
    00:47 Start of Season 9: Family Annihilators
    01:35 Case Overview: Michael Cummins
    02:11 Cummins' Troubled History
    02:48 Escalating Violent Behavior
    03:34 Cumulative Legal Troubles
    06:27 Mental Health Struggles
    07:37 2017-2019: Increased Violence and Arrests
    14:26 The Massacre
    19:29 Investigation and Capture
    20:29 Trial and Sentencing
    22:40 Community and Family Reactions
    25:18 Concluding Remarks 
     
    Resources: 
    https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2019/04/30/sumner-county-killings-micheal-cummins-family-victims/3622442002/
    ​​https://www.newschannel5.com/news/westmoreland-murder-suspect-armed-and-on-the-run
    https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2019/04/29/sumner-county-killings-who-suspect-michael-lee-cummins-tennessee-homicide-mass-murder/3609438002/
    https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/brain-scans-of-tennessee-man-who-admits-to-killing-eight-convince-prosecutors-to-drop-death-penalty
     
    Sponsors: 
    Lume:  new customers get 15% using promo code: ONCE. www.lumedeodorant.com
     
    Links: 
    Once Upon a Crime on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast

    • 28 min
    The Best Of Once Upon a Crime: Robert Durst - Getting Away with Murder

    The Best Of Once Upon a Crime: Robert Durst - Getting Away with Murder

    In the final episode of Season Eight of 'Once Upon A Crime,’ I delve into the case of Robert Durst, a wealthy New York real estate heir with a mysterious and criminal past. His involvement in several crimes, including the disappearance of his wife Kathie in 1982, the execution-style murder of his friend Susan Berman in 2000, and the murder and dismemberment of his neighbor Morris Black in Galveston, Texas in 2001, was famously told in the HBO documentary series “The Jinx,” in 2015. “The Jinx, Part 2” was just released as a follow-up series this month on HBO MAX and concludes this weekend. 

    In this final “Best Of” episode, we revisit my episode on Robert Durst from Season 6, in which I focused on Robert Durst’s involvement in the murder of Morris Black and examined how he was able to get away with murder. 


    00:00 Welcome to the Bonus Episode: A Season Finale Reflection
    01:57 The Intriguing Case of Robert Durst: A True Crime Deep Dive
    08:27 A More Casual Approach to Storytelling
    10:15 The Bizarre and Gruesome Tale of Robert Durst in Galveston
    18:36 Wrapping Up and Looking Ahead to Season Nine

    Links: 
    Season 6, Episode 213: Getting Away with Murder - Robert Durst, https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/videos/episode-213-getting-away-with-murder-robert-durst/

    Season 6, Episode 214: Getting Away with Murder - Doris Duke, 
    https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/s6-ep214-episode-214-getting-away-with-murder-doris-duke/

    Season 6, Episode 215: Getting Away with Murder - Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, 
    https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/s6-ep215-episode-215-getting-away-with-murder-ted-kennedy-and-chappaquiddick/

    CrimeCon 2024: https://www.crimecon.com/
    Use my discount code ONCE for 10% off your registration. 

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
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