309 episodes

Once Upon A Crime is a weekly true crime podcast that tells “the story behind the story” of real life crime. Told in a storytelling style, host Esther Ludlow digs into the details of each case to bring listeners the facts and information they won’t hear anywhere else.

Esther calls on her background in criminal psychology and includes biographical details of both victims and perpetrators to fully explore the circumstances and motivations behind the most heinous crimes.

Once Upon a Crime Studio71

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 4.6K Ratings

Once Upon A Crime is a weekly true crime podcast that tells “the story behind the story” of real life crime. Told in a storytelling style, host Esther Ludlow digs into the details of each case to bring listeners the facts and information they won’t hear anywhere else.

Esther calls on her background in criminal psychology and includes biographical details of both victims and perpetrators to fully explore the circumstances and motivations behind the most heinous crimes.

    School’s Out…Forever: The Frontier Middle School Shooting

    School’s Out…Forever: The Frontier Middle School Shooting

    In this month’s series, I detail crimes that happened on school campuses. In 1996, a 14-year-old walked into his 8th-grade math class and opened fire.  This early school shooting would shock his community and spark a nationwide debate about violence in the media, school bullying, mental health, and gun control.  But what was the real reason Barry Loukaitis brought terror to his classroom? 

    Sources: 
    State v. Loukaitis, Appeal from the Superior Court for Grant County, Decided July 2, 1996. 
    https://casetext.com/case/state-v-loukaitis

    Teacher Tells Court Of Classroom Horror Witness Describes Negotiating With An Armed Loukaitis, Finally Subduing Him, The Spokesman-Review, Sept. 5, 1997. 
    https://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/sep/05/teacher-tells-court-of-classroom-horror-witness/

    A teacher and two students die in shooting rampage at Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake on February 2, 1996, HistoryLink.org, 2/7/2020
    https://www.historylink.org/File/20965

    Full letter from Jon Lane, the teacher who tackled Moses Lake school shooter, KIRO7.com News, 2/28/2018
    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/full-letter-from-jon-lane-teacher-whotackled-moses-lake-school-shooter/708789938/

    Scarred By Killings, Moses Lake Asks: ''What Has This Town Become?'' | The Seattle Times 

    Media Links: 
    Natural Born Killers - Trailer
    https://youtu.be/XpLKNclOtLg?si=XAJxF31AkCcRJTWN

    Natural Born Killers - Copycat crimes
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Born_Killers_copycat_crimes

    Rage by Richard Bachman/Stephen King: 
    https://archive.org/stream/standthe/Rage_djvu.txt

    Stephen King: Why the U.S. must introduce limited gun controls, Feb 7, 2013
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/feb/01/stephen-king-pulled-book-gun-controls

    Links: 
    Once Upon a Crime on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast

    Join our Patreon for bonus episodes, ad-free episodes, and members-only perks! www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

    • 44 min
    S8: Bonus Episode: OUAC LIVE at CrimeCon London with Minds of Madness

    S8: Bonus Episode: OUAC LIVE at CrimeCon London with Minds of Madness

    LIVE FROM U.K. Tune in to this special bonus episode. We're pleased to offer you this special episode in collaboration with the amazing and very popular true crime podcast Minds of Madness!  Esther and Tyler co-host this episode to unravel the mysteries surrounding this gruesome case from the U.K.

    Links: 
    https://www.truecrimepodcast.com/s7-ep287-the-long-con-the-murder-of-mee-kuen-chong/ 
    https://mindsofmadnesspodcast.com/listen/

    • 41 min
    School’s Out…Forever: The Murder of Colleen Ritzer

    School’s Out…Forever: The Murder of Colleen Ritzer

    In this month’s series, I detail crimes that happened on school campuses. In this episode, 
    A 14-year-old high school student commits a horrific act of rape and murder in a school bathroom.  Was Philip Chism mentally ill, as his defense would later claim, or was he faking it to get away with murder? 

    Sources: 

    https://allthatsinteresting.com/philip-chism
    https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2015/12/17/12-questions-about-the-philip-chism-trial-answered/
    https://www.masslive.com/politics/2013/09/gov_deval_patrick_signs_law_to.html
    https://casetext.com/case/commonwealth-v-chism-6
    https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/philip-chism-colleen-ritzer-murder-sentencing-danvers-high-school-teacher-victim-impact-statements/

    Sponsors: 
    Hello Fresh - www.hellofresh.com/50once and use code 50once for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months! 

    Nightmare Next Door, The Podcast - Listen to Nightmare Next Door wherever you listen to podcasts or at this link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nightmare-next-door/id1595963582

    Links: 
    Once Upon a Crime on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast

    Join our Patreon for bonus episodes, ad-free episodes, and members-only perks! www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

    • 34 min
    Falling Stars: Instagram Star Alexis Sharkey

    Falling Stars: Instagram Star Alexis Sharkey

    In this week’s episode, a successful, young entrepreneur gains a large following on Instagram by sharing her photos and videos of her life’s milestones over the years. Alexis Sharkey’s followers only saw the best times - fun with friends, professional achievements, and glamorous trips.  But, in 2020, her life quickly took a dark turn hidden behind the idyllic images posted on social media. 

    Sources: 
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10066217/Husband-influencer-killed-year-dead-gunshot-wound-head.html 
    https://www.newsweek.com/alexis-sharkey-husband-thomas-death-suicide-evade-houston-1636540
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/instagram-influencer-alexis-sharkey-found-dead-along-houston-road 
    https://www.khou.com/article/news/crime/alexis-sharkey-update-husband-found-dead-florida/285-2dd1fce8-6d0c-4930-8bee-7ace18141e65 
    https://abc13.com/alexis-sharkey-tom-houston-instagram-influencer-death/11100357/ - 
    Exploring the Truth About Alexis Sharkey's Final Days Before Her Death - E! Online - CA (eonline.com)
    Who was Tom Sharkey? Wiki, Biography & Facts About Alexis Sharkey's Husband (newsunzip.com)

    Links: 
    Once Upon a Crime on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/@OnceUponACrimePodcast

    Patreon: www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

    • 35 min
    Falling Stars: YouTube Star Christina Grimmie

    Falling Stars: YouTube Star Christina Grimmie

    This week, I’ll tell you about a rising singing star who began her career on YouTube before making it to Hollywood to compete on a nationally televised talent show.  Christina Grimmie had a bright future ahead of her as an entertainer in 2016 when an obsessed fan cut her career short with an unprovoked act of violence.  

    Resources: 
    The cold-blooded murder of Christina Grimmie was Orlando's most tragic and shocking crime ... for about 26 hours (orlandoweekly.com)
     Christina Grimmie Murdered At Concert - Selena, Ariana & More React To Orlando Shooting (DHR) - YouTube
    Kevin Loibl: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com
    Singer Christina Grimmie was shot to death. Now, her family supports others impacted by gun violence | The Independent

    Sponsors: 

    Lume - Get $5 off a Lume Starter Pack with code ONCE at www.LumeDeodorant.com

    Wondery/The Vanished - Listen to The Vanished on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts.  Listen early and ad-free on Wondery Plus. Join Wondery Plus in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. 

    Relatable/Who Killed Mia? - Who Killed Mia? - A game for all game lovers and citizen detectives. Get 20% off with promo code ONCE at www.relatable.com/whokilledmia.

    Links: 

    The Christina Grimmie Foundation - www.christinagrimmiefoundation.org

    Patreon - www.patreon.com/onceuponacrime

    • 36 min
    Falling Stars: TikTok Star Ali Abulaban

    Falling Stars: TikTok Star Ali Abulaban

    This month I’ll be detailing true crime cases that involved rising stars who made names for themselves in social media.

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
4.6K Ratings

4.6K Ratings

MissNoSelfControl ,

Love Love LOVE!

I love this podcast and I adore Esther (even if she’s only a voice through my phone). She puts a lot of work & research in for these episodes and it shows. I appreciate her thoroughness, a lot of podcasts only regurgitate easily found news articles. Her background in counseling/psychology is a huge bonus as it allows her to provide added insight. About some of the neg. reviews…. you can tell she’s reading from a script, duh… 99% of podcasts are scripted. Give this podcast a listen, I think you’ll find the quality of content more than makes up for the lack of inflection in her speech.

Trixiegarrett ,

I love your stories.

I love when you tell the stories. Not so much when you have guests. Your research is amazing! Lorena is amazing!!

MaryMac62 ,

July 24, 2023 Love Triangle

You had asked the question, “was there even Target Stores in 1980?”
Yes, there Target Stores in the ‘80s and even in the ‘70s!
Target was a fabulous store in its early years! Way better than it is today.

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