324 episodes

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be friends with a murderer? Or escape a kidnapping? Or have a father who was a serial killer? Join Jac Vanek, Alexis Linkletter, and Billy Jensen on a chilling ride into the darkest corners of your worst nightmares. Murders, cults, kidnappings, and conspiracies—all told through the eyes of a guest who is one degree of separation from the story itself. From infamous serial killers to the unbelievable unknown murder in your own backyard, The First Degree delivers a new perspective to the already fascinating true crime landscape. And who knows... you may be our next guest. (Plus, join them every Thursday for Killing Time, the light-hearted, true crime-adjacent aftershow!)

The First Degree Alexis Linkletter, Jac Vanek, Billy Jensen

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 9.1K Ratings

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be friends with a murderer? Or escape a kidnapping? Or have a father who was a serial killer? Join Jac Vanek, Alexis Linkletter, and Billy Jensen on a chilling ride into the darkest corners of your worst nightmares. Murders, cults, kidnappings, and conspiracies—all told through the eyes of a guest who is one degree of separation from the story itself. From infamous serial killers to the unbelievable unknown murder in your own backyard, The First Degree delivers a new perspective to the already fascinating true crime landscape. And who knows... you may be our next guest. (Plus, join them every Thursday for Killing Time, the light-hearted, true crime-adjacent aftershow!)

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: HOLLY MADISON

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: HOLLY MADISON

    This week, the girls are joined again by the one and only Holly Madison for a Killing Time of epic proportions! Turns out, Holly brought her own On The Stand, so we’re putting on the stand compact car spaces, Playboy bunny tanning stickers, and body glitter! Then for this week’s true crime rewind, we’re taking a deep dive into the sometimes dark and always intriguing inner workings of the Playboy lifestyle!
    Also - Don't miss Holly's new show "The Playboy Murders" airing on Discovery ID and streaming on D+. Premiering 1/23 and airing Mondays at 8/9 central.

    • 55 min
    Episode 232: Stacy Arthur with Holly Madison

    Episode 232: Stacy Arthur with Holly Madison

    Playboy is an internationally recognized brand and household name. Whether you were a fan of E!’s hit reality show Girls’ Next Door or whether your brother had a stack of playboys under his mattress- you’ve been exposed to Playboy. Considering the indulgences that the Playboy brand represents-- sex, money, women, and power-- it should be no surprise how many crimes are connected to the institution. And today, with the help of the incomparable Holly Madison, we're going to take you through one of them: the case of January 1991 issue's playmate, Stacy Arthur.

    Also- Don't miss Holly's new show "The Playboy Murders" airing on Discovery ID and streaming on D+. Premiering 1/23 and airing Mondays at 8/9 central.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    BONUS: KILLING TIME: EDGAR ALLAN POEM

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: EDGAR ALLAN POEM

    This week the girls and the ginger are waxing poetic as they learn some perplexing and polarizing facts about Poe. That’s right, Edgar Allen Poe. Did you know the dude was a lightweight? Anyways. On the stand this week: bathroom door disturbances, self-quoting poets, and sweet gherkins! PLUS! A firstie worstie with some poorly timed bad news! Get ready to snap those fingers, it’s a poem party!

    • 43 min
    Episode 231: Marcell Eads Jr.

    Episode 231: Marcell Eads Jr.

    On June 29, 2001, the badly beaten body of a 58 year old Native American man is pulled from his burning home in Wichita, Kansas. The victim has been robbed and left for dead before his attackers set the house ablaze. Within hours, police learn that an 18 year old man and a 16 year old teen may know something about the murder. As police talk to associates of the young men, and the victim’s own family, it becomes apparent that the perpetrators have committed a hate crime - they claim the victim, who was gay, made unwanted advances. When the evidence piles up against the offenders, it seems as though justice will be served. However, this is just the start of a long and painful road for the victim’s family. In episode 231, Jac and Alexis detail the heartbreaking murder of Marcell Eads Jr at the hands of Zachary Steward and his friend Brandon Boone.

    • 57 min
    Episode 230: Bennie William Schuck

    Episode 230: Bennie William Schuck

    In the early 2000s, the US Army opens a misconduct investigation on Bennie William Schuck II. Bennie’s teenage daughter is accusing him of sexually molesting her seven years ago when she was only five years old. But, when the Criminal Investigation Division struggles to secure an interview with the daughter, they close the investigation. Eleven years later, Bennie retires from the US Army as a respected Sergeant First Class. During his military tenure, Bennie was deployed twice, received multiple medals for excellent service, and was an esteemed expert among his peers. His record was spotless. But on August 8th, 2019, 45-year-old Bennie William Schuck II is arrested for creating and distributing child pornography with his girlfriend, 35-year-old Amber K. Talley. One of their victims is Amber’s 9-year-old daughter. In episode 230, Jac and Alexis discover the shocking truth behind why Bennie William Schuck II was able to escape justice for so long while working for the US Army.

    • 55 min
    BONUS: KILLING TIME: THE MOSCOW MURDERS

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: THE MOSCOW MURDERS

    This week, we're releasing our Killing Time episode early to discuss the Idaho Murders. Jac and Lex will be discussing the strange details surrounding the case, and what we know so far after the release of an affadavit on Thursday.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
9.1K Ratings

9.1K Ratings

Jedasi ,

One of my Top 5!

One of the best true crime podcast! Love how they bring in the perspective of someone connected. I love how they don’t the same ole same ole all the time. They keep parts light without being annoying or disrespectful, and they know when to keep it serious. Their banter and chemistry is 💯 love them! Insta: @jennifersircy

Where's update? ,

What happened?

Used to be a great pod but now I can barely get through an episode. They’re so insufferable. We get it, you are the most wokest and inclusive and tolerable in all the land.

Bellamammal ,

Propaganda

I guess it’s understandable that most people don’t recognize propaganda when they witness it…but you two know exactly what you’re doing. Inexcusable.

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