463 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 and Alexis Linkletter 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 • 9.5K 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 and Alexis Linkletter 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!)

    Episode 296: Andrew Wieman, Part 1

    Episode 296: Andrew Wieman, Part 1

    On January 4, 2001, a 20-year-old college student is found dead in his fraternity dorm room on the UC Davis campus. He has suffered 29 stab wounds, two of which are fatal. When authorities look around the room, they find evidence of a possible struggle. But there’s also a piece of paper that appears to be a suicide note. Right away, the campus police rule his death as a suicide. However, the coroner’s office finds the circumstances suspicious and orders a full investigation. Over the following months, authorities struggle to reach a consensus on the circumstances surrounding the student's death. In episode 296, Jac and Alexis break down the investigation into the death of Andrew Wieman, and his family’s fight for answers along the way.

    • 41 min
    BONUS: KILLING TIME: MOST INTELLIGENT EPISODE EVER

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: MOST INTELLIGENT EPISODE EVER

    This week the girls and the ginger are back for another half-fact-filled episode of Killing Time! In what might be our most intelligent sounding episode, we’re talking about deep ocean aliens, Einstein, space, and so much more that we know nothing about! Then! Today I Learned! We’re talking OJ, Tongues, Eclipses, and a Firstie calls in with another Roald Dahl fact!

    • 46 min
    Episode 295: Julie Lee Kelin

    Episode 295: Julie Lee Kelin

    On November 2, 2001, a 40-year-old woman is viciously bludgeoned and strangled to death inside her apartment in San Diego, California. Family, friends, and neighbors of the mother of one and passionate advocate for those living with Alagille Syndrome, are stunned and heartbroken, especially her teen daughter. While the killer is quickly apprehended, this doesn’t lessen the pain when his identity is revealed. If anything, it highlights the tragedy of the victim’s loss and only leads to more questions about the disturbing details of her death, with those left behind mourning the passing of someone who still had so much to give. In episode 295, Jac and Alexis detail the sickening murder of Julie Kelin at the hands of Gabriel John Bradway, the dangers of obsession, and why the safest place for perpetrators of such crimes who fail to respect other’s boundaries in such a malicious way is behind bars.

    • 39 min
    BONUS: KILLING TIME: DEFINITELY

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: DEFINITELY

    This week the girls and the ginger return and we’re killing time in epic fashion! Jac has some spelling struggles, Lex has safety tips, and Jer has frog facts! Today I learned returns! Then! We’re revisiting our new favorite segment “Chat in the Hat” for some topical tangents! Join us!

    • 44 min
    Episode 294: Joan Angela D'Alessandro

    Episode 294: Joan Angela D'Alessandro

    On April 19, 1973, a 7-year-old girl in Hillsdale, New Jersey, goes out selling Girl Scout cookies in her neighborhood. She knows she’s not allowed far, so when she doesn’t come home her family is instantly on high alert, as are the authorities. A widely publicized search for the youngster swings into action. But three days later, a grisly find brings the hunt to a sudden and devastating end. When the identity of the perpetrator emerges and it’s revealed how he assaulted and murdered his helpless victim, it becomes clear that the little girl didn’t even make it to the end of her street. In episode 294, Jac and Alexis detail the heartbreaking murder of Joan D’Alessandro and her family’s fight not just for justice, but for swift and meaningful legislative reform to prevent the horror they lived through from becoming a painful reality for any other family.

    Please visit http://joansjoy.org/ to learn more about Joan's story and Rosemarie's work.

    • 44 min
    BONUS: KILLING TIME: NOTHING IS EVERYTHING

    BONUS: KILLING TIME: NOTHING IS EVERYTHING

    Well well well, look who it is! The girls and the ginger return yet again for another episode of Killing Time! This week we’re bringing you more fun facts with Today I Learned, including a very special listener submission! Famous last words, a pringles coffin, extinct bananas, and… eating mummies? Join us!

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
9.5K Ratings

9.5K Ratings

Texaspisces ,

New favorite

Love the hosts, content & cases. This is top tier true crime podcast especially since the guests are one degree of separation from the crimes. Keep up the awesome work!!

Nightwing2374 ,

Episode 33 Sammie Young

I am her Uncle. Thank you first for the thoughts on my niece’s murder. Her daughter is growing into a beautiful young lady. I was made aware of this podcast because it came to light to our family and many now will listen to this episode. I do like the fact that you stayed with the facts. But are misguided when it comes to Natasha. She wasn’t some love struck young woman that went along with Marcus and was manipulated by him. They both were mentally ill and after the murder. Natasha did and said what she could to save her own hide. It is my belief she should have got the same sentence as Marcus.

DoobiesAunt ,

Not sure anymore

I’ve been a long time listener, but I’m just not sure about this podcast anymore. They seem to be going in a different direction, and I no longer find myself looking forward to new episodes dropping. Alexis’s podcasting skills, in particular, seem to be getting worse over time. Maybe it’s just me, but the intros she does have gotten very cheesy. She also takes strangely timed pauses when she talks that make it sound like she’s reading off a script she’s never seen before. I don’t mean to be overly critical, but these things distract from the story.

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