462 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!)

    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
    Episode 293: The Ripple Effect

    Episode 293: The Ripple Effect

    On June 26, 2009, a 26-year-old college graduate is attacked and stabbed multiple times inside her apartment complex in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The young woman calls 911, and law enforcement arrives on the scene while the assault is in progress. They do their best to gain access and incapacitate the assailant but tragically are unable to save the victim’s life. Her friends and family are shattered when they learn not only how she died, but the identity of the perpetrator. In a twist to the investigation, the attacker attempts to place responsibility for the death with the actions of the officers who responded. In episode 293, Jac and Alexis detail the tragic murder of young woman by her ex-boyfriend, and discuss how the emotional fallout from fatalities resulting from domestic violence ripples throughout the community in ways that forever change the lives of those whose sole mission is to protect and serve.

    • 41 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!!

Marissathompson ,

A favorite

I love listening to your podcast! Not just for the true crime but also for the conversation that I get to listen to. You were saying today that your cohost bit his tongue and it was bleeding. Well, I have a story about biting your tongue. When my brother was about two years old, we were on the swingset and he fell off and bit his tongue in half. it was bleeding so bad and hanging on by hardly anything and they had to rush him to the hospital where they surgically glued it together. And it healed really fast. I guess the tongue heals quicker than most things so by the time the glue had worn off, his tongue was back together, but he still has a scar all the way across his tongue to this day.

EsteeKieras ,

Great stories-lose the tired taglines

Great and consistent stories. Both of the hosts are good storytellers and work well together. My biggest beef are the taglines, especially “a podcast you could end up on”. It feels gross to imply your listeners could be the victims of horrible crimes.

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