85 episodes

Southern Mysteries explores history and mysteries of the American South. Each episode features a story that originates in a southern state. The show is unique in that subject matter varies with each new episode. From true crime to folklore and mysteries to legendary figures, you’ll hear a unique take on the story and the history behind it.

Southern Mysteries Podcast Shannon Ballard

    • History
    • 4.8 • 834 Ratings

Southern Mysteries explores history and mysteries of the American South. Each episode features a story that originates in a southern state. The show is unique in that subject matter varies with each new episode. From true crime to folklore and mysteries to legendary figures, you’ll hear a unique take on the story and the history behind it.

    Episode 147 Helen Spence Arkansas Delta Folk Hero

    Episode 147 Helen Spence Arkansas Delta Folk Hero

    In 1931, 18 year old Helen Spence became a household name, and Arkansas folk hero, after she sought vengeance for the death of her father and stepmother. Over the next three years, the media followed Helen’s trial, imprisonment, second murder charge, prison escapes, and her murder at the age of 22. 
    Want more Southern Mysteries? 
    Hear the Southern Mysteries show archive of 60+ episodes along with Patron exclusive podcast, Audacious: Tales of American Crime and more when you become a patron of the show. You can immediately access exclusive content now at patreon.com/southernmysteries
    Connect
    Website: southernmysteries.comFacebook: Southern Mysteries PodcastInstagram: @explorethesouthEmail: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 
    Episode Sources
    Encyclopedia of Arkansas: Helen Spence (1912–1934)
    People’s River History Project: A Secret History of American River People 
    Denise White Parkinson: Daughter of the White River: Depression-Era Treachery and Vengeance in the Arkansas Delta
    Only In Arkansas: River of Redemption: The Helen Spence Story
    The Daily World: Decisions of the Arkansas Supreme Court, January 13, 1930
    The Shreveport Journal: Wounded Man is Thrown in River, April 24, 1930 
    Hope Star: Body of Timber Worker, Drowned in River, Found, June 5, 1930
    The Columbus Ledger: Girl Kills Accused Slayer of Father in Courtroom, January 20,1931
    The Barre Daily Times: Young Woman Didn’t Trust Jury with Trial, January 20, 1931
    Sun Herald: Courtroom Slayer Gets Five Year Term, April 2, 1931
    Reading Times: Arrest Trusty for Killing Girl Who Fled Prison, July 13, 1934
    Daily News: Tragedy of Helen Spence Eaton, July 22, 1934
    Hope Star: Martin Acquitted in Eaton Slaying, September 28, 1934
    Arkansas Times: The river people, August 17, 2006
    Fox 16 TV: River Justice: pardon sought for Delta folk hero
    Malvern Daily Record: Helen Spence: An Arkansas Folk Hero for the Ages, March 6, 2023
    Episode Music
    Impromptu, Traveler and Unanswered Questions by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
     

    • 29 min
    Episode 146 Dr. Feist and Mrs. Mangrum

    Episode 146 Dr. Feist and Mrs. Mangrum

    Dr. Jacob Herman Feist was one of Nashville’s most eligible bachelors when he was accused of murder following the disappearance of his lover, Mrs. Mangrum. Was one of the city’s most prominent citizens one of its earliest known serial killers or a womanizer who was destroyed by accusations and gossip? 
    Want more Southern Mysteries? 
    Hear the Southern Mysteries show archive of 60+ episodes along with Patron exclusive podcast, Audacious: Tales of American Crime and more when you become a patron of the show. You can immediately access exclusive content now at patreon.com/southernmysteries
    Connect
    Website: southernmysteries.comFacebook: Southern Mysteries PodcastInstagram: @explorethesouthEmail: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 
    Episode Sources
    The Tennessean Sadie Goldstein Obituary, May 11, 1903
    The Tennessean Dr. Feist’s Denial, May 16, 1903
    Grundy News Sadie Goldstein, May 21, 1903
    Feist Court Case J. Herman Feist vs. The State
    Knoxville Sentinel Saw Dr. Feist Embrace Woman, January 29, 1907
    The Journal and Tribune Morbid Crowd Fed Salacious Morsels, Jan 30, 1907
    The Tennessean May Not Go On Witness Stand, Jan 31, 1907
    Nashville Banner Dr. Feist Witnesses Last Scene of the Trial with no Visible Emotion, Feb 16, 1907
    Nashville Banner Defense Asks for Adjournment, March 26, 1907
    The Tennessean Treatment of Dr. J. H. Feist 
    The Tennessean The Feist Case, April 4, 1978
    The Baldwin Times Dr. Feist Dies at Tensaw Home, October 23, 1952
    Genealogy Trails Davidson County J. Herman Feist Bio
    Notorious Nashville Scoundrels, Rogues and Outlaws, By Brian Allison
    Find a Grave Dr. Jacob Herman Feist (1873-1952)
    Episode Music
    Impromptu and Unanswered Questions by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 34 min
    Episode 145 The Mystery of the Wagner Murders

    Episode 145 The Mystery of the Wagner Murders

    On May 4, 1931, William and Mamie Wagner were murdered at their home in northwest  Mississippi. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger called the murders of one of the most prominent couples in the area, “the most brutal tragedy that has ever happened in this section of Mississippi”.
    Want more Southern Mysteries? 
    Hear the Southern Mysteries show archive of 60+ episodes along with Patron exclusive podcast, Audacious: Tales of American Crime and more when you become a patron of the show. You can immediately access exclusive content now at patreon.com/southernmysteries
    Connect
    Website: southernmysteries.comFacebook: Southern Mysteries PodcastInstagram: @shannonballard_Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 
    Episode Sources
    The Commercial Appeal Mass Meeting on Charges Relative to Death of Rev H.P. Gibbs, May 6, 1899
    State Historical Society Archives Anti-Lynching Bill, 1921
    The Greenwood Commonwealth Water Valley Merchant and Wife Slain, May 5, 1931
    Biloxi Sun Herald Sheriff Gets Confession in Wagner Crime, May 6, 1931
    The Clarion-Ledger Atrocities in Northern Part of State Bringing Intense Police Efforts, May 7, 1931
    The Clarion-Ledger Murder Victims Are Laid to Rest, May 8, 1931
    The Clarion-Ledger Verdict Carries Dealth Penalty For Whitaker in Wagner Slayings, June 12, 1931
    North Mississippi Herald The Infamous History of Water Valley, May 14, 2008
    North Mississippi Herald Century Old Jail Is Piece Of History, April 6, 2011
    Hill Country History Water Valley (1858)
    Ancestry.com William Buford Wagner, Jr.
    Water Valley Chamber of Commerce Attractions - Carnival Info
    Episode Music
    Impromptu and Unanswered Questions by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 30 min
    Episode 144 The Disappearance of the Nelms Sisters

    Episode 144 The Disappearance of the Nelms Sisters

    The Nelms Sisters Mystery is one of the most sensational mysteries of the early 20th century, that most people have never heard of. In the summer of 1914, Eloise Nelms was in love with an attorney she planned to marry. Her sister Beatrice questioned the attorney’s motives and wanted proof that he had her sister's best interest at heart. The sisters took a train from Atlanta, headed to Texas to meet the attorney. They were never seen alive again. 
    Want more Southern Mysteries? 
    Hear the Southern Mysteries show archive of 60+ episodes along with Patron exclusive podcast, Audacious: Tales of American Crime and more when you become a patron of the show. You can immediately access exclusive content now at patreon.com/southernmysteries
    Connect
    Website: southernmysteries.comFacebook: Southern Mysteries PodcastInstagram: @shannonballard_Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 
    Episode Sources
    An Old Coot’s Essays About An Earlier Georgia and Other Topics by Eddie Rollins
    Forgotten Stories: The World’s Worst Divorce Attorney
    Atlanta West End: Historic West End
    The Atlanta Constitution: Death Claims Him, March 1, 1911
    Oakland Tribune: Mystery of Two Sisters Deepens, July 10, 1914
    Charlotte Daily Observer: Search for Women Makes No Progress, July 11, 1914
    Tampa Journal: Atlanta Quivers with Excitement in Letter Puzzle, July 12, 1914
    The Atlanta Journal: Mother, Heartbroken, Tells of Power Innes Had Over Daughter, July 12, 1914 
    San Francisco Examiner: Mrs. Nelms Bares Daughters Tragic Love, July 13, 1914
    The Atlanta Journal: Womans Clubs Urged to Aid Nelms Search, July 13,1914
    The Atlanta Journal: Evidence Sought to Hold Innes, July 16, 1914
    The Eugene Guard: Former US District Attorney Arrested in Eugene, August 19, 1914
    The Atlanta Journal: Strange Letters to Aid in Solving Nelms Mystery Case, August 21, 1914
    The Macon Telegraph: Bones Found in Connect with Nelms Mystery Are Positively Identified As Human, September 9, 1914
    The Americus Times Daily Recorder: Speculation Made in Case of INnes and wife, April 4, 1916
    The Atlanta Constitution: Finger of Death Inscribes ‘Finis’ on Final Chapter of Nelms Case, April 1, 1936
    Episode Music
    Northern Lights by Chris Hauge.  Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
    Deep Haze by Kevin McLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com
     

    • 32 min
    Episode 143 Battle of Blair Mountain

    Episode 143 Battle of Blair Mountain

    The Battle of Blair Mountain, in the summer of 1921, was one of the largest civil uprisings in American History. Violent attacks on Appalachian miners and their families, dangerous working conditions and a forced debt system in company towns contributed to the largest and bloodiest armed uprising since the Civil War.
    Want more Southern Mysteries? 
    Hear the Southern Mysteries show archive of 60+ episodes along with Patron exclusive podcast, Audacious: Tales of American Crime and more when you become a patron of the show. You can immediately access exclusive content now at patreon.com/southernmysteries
    Connect
    Website: southernmysteries.comFacebook: Southern Mysteries PodcastInstagram: @shannonballard_Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 
    Episode Sources
    The Road to Blair Mountain by Charles Keeney
    On Dark and Bloody Ground by Anne Lawrence
    National Park Service: Introduction to the West Virginia Mine Wars
    Smithsonian Magazine: What Made the Battle of Blair Mountain the Largest Labor Uprising in American History
    Zinn Education Project: The Devil Is Here in These Hills
    ReImagine Appalachia: The Battle of Blair Mountain
    West Virginia Archives & History
    United Mine Workers of America: Standing United, Living Divided: Black coal miners and their fight for justice
    West Virginia Mine Wars Museum
    JSTOR Daily: Rednecks: A Brief History. 
    Episode Music
    Out of the Mines by Ross Gentry. Used with permission of artist.
    Resolution by Kevin McLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com

    • 26 min
    Episode 142 The Mysterious Disappearance of Ruth Dorsey

    Episode 142 The Mysterious Disappearance of Ruth Dorsey

    The disappearance of 67 year old Ruth Dorsey has perplexed her family, friends and Lee County, Alabama law enforcement for half a century. In the summer of 1974 investigators launched what would become one of the most extensive searches to date in the east central part of the state. Ruth’s disappearance remains one of Alabama’s most baffling mysteries.
    Want more Southern Mysteries? 
    Hear the Southern Mysteries show archive of 60+ episodes along with Patron exclusive podcast, Audacious: Tales of American Crime and more when you become a patron of the show. You can immediately access exclusive content now at patreon.com/southernmysteries
    Connect
    Website: southernmysteries.comFacebook: Southern Mysteries PodcastInstagram: @shannonballard_Email: southernmysteriespodcast@gmail.com 
    Episode Sources
    The Charley Project: Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey
    Encyclopedia of Alabama: Opelika
    Opelika-Auburn News: Dorsey Family Needs Closure After 30 Years, April 16, 2006
    Opelika-Auburn News: Only Spooky May Know What Happened, Aug 17, 1975
    Opelika-Auburn News: Ruth Dorsey Still Missing After Seven Years, Aug 16, 1981
    Opelika-Auburn News: E.S. (Pete) Dorsey, Lee Cattleman Dies at Home, June 22, 1965
    Opelika-Auburn News: Opelika Missing After Car Found, Aug 19, 1974
    Opelika-Auburn News: Helicopter Used to Search Area for Mrs. Dorsey, Aug 27, 1974 
    Opelika-Auburn News: Aerial Search for Proves Fruitless In Search for Missing Opelikan
    Opelika-Auburn News: Ruth Dorsey’s Disappearance, Aug 21, 1977
    Opelika-Auburn News: After 3 Month Search, Dorsey Case Unsolved, Dec 3, 1974
    Opelika-Auburn News: Reward Up to $1400, Aug. 30, 1974
    RootsWeb: Dorsey Ancestry
    Episode Music
    Not Forgotten by Dan Lebowitz. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
834 Ratings

834 Ratings

JulyDot ,

Great Podcast

Excellent podcast. Interesting topics. I really enjoy this podcast.

Cmtheresa ,

One of my favorites

I have listened for a few years now. This podcast has everything you want- well researched, wonderful voice, interesting topics, learn a little something, doesn’t drag on for multiple episodes. Whenever a new one shows in my feed it is the first thing I listen to. Keep it up!

Staff123456789 ,

My new favorite 🤩

A must if you want some new crime . I have been looking for this type of podcast ! Must Listen!

Top Podcasts In History

Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC
The Rest Is History
Goalhanger Podcasts
American Scandal
Wondery
Everything Everywhere Daily
Gary Arndt | Glassbox Media
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
Dan Carlin
American History Tellers
Wondery

You Might Also Like

Southern Gothic
Southern Gothic Media
Southern Fried True Crime
Erica Kelley
Haunted American History
Bloody FM
Crimes of the Centuries
Amber Hunt
Horrifying History
Horrifying History, Bleav
Gone Cold - Texas True Crime
Gone Cold Productions