Podcast by Greg Peerbolte
Episode 8 - "Where Are You?"
The Spectator concludes.
Episode 7 - "A Business of Favors"
As the 1978 Joliet Herald News series reignited the Molly Zelko story, a newspaper landed on top of a rural Coal City, Illinois bar run by Dennis Enrietta. Enrietta’s immediate fascination with the case led to chance encounter with another alleged eyewitness to Molly’s burial, which established an alternate theory on her whereabouts. Enrietta would go on to spend four decades independently researching the Zelko case, untangling complex webs – “threads” as he calls them – of organized crime, labor, and politics at the local and national levels. These forces appeared to have collided at Molly Zelko’s doorstep, taking our story into its climatic final act.
Episode 6 - "Come Pleasing to the Eye."
The year is 1978, over two decades since Molly's disappearance. A fateful move brings Lynne Lichtenauer and John Whiteside together, and Molly's story back into the headlines. Joliet Herald-News Reporters Whiteside & Cain venture into unorthodox - even paranormal - means to flush out leads. Their chase for answers climaxes in an intense hypnosis session of a witness to a midnight burial on Joliet's Stryker Avenue the night Molly vanished.
Episode 5 - "Aunt Molly"
Episode 5: “Aunt Molly.” Though Molly has since become a larger than life folk hero in Joliet, she was a daughter, sister and an aunt to Jim Zelko and Arlene Reivers. Cousins Jim and Arlene share their childhood memories of Molly and the reaction of the Zelko family in the wake of her disappearance. The devastated Zelkos directly appealed directly to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who unbeknownst to them, had taken an interest in the case from its earliest hours.
Episode 4 - "Prison-wise, Street-wise, and Other-wise."
A bizarre break in the Molly Zelko occurs when it is revealed that Robert F. Kennedy traveled to Joliet to search for her after a confession was made from a syndicate hood named Jimmy Rini, aka “The Green Hornet.” Kennedy was then the chief counsel to the McClellan Committee, which was investigating links between union labor and its leadership under Jimmy Hoffa to organized crime figures in New York and Chicago. Rini recanted his confession, claiming he fabricated the story to gaslight the authorities. Rini was interviewed by Chicago journalist John Conroy years later where he recounted his life of crime and despite openly bragging about a variety of despicable criminal acts, becomes rattled when discussing his role in the Zelko case.
Episode 3 - "We Knew Them Well"
Francis “The Thin Man” Curry was the syndicate’s manager of gambling operations in Joliet and Will County. His path to leadership was a bloody one, and probably by no coincidence was closely aligned with local political forces in Joliet. Curry was documented as having a particularly close relationship with Paul Ricca, the co-chairman of the Chicago syndicate. Curry’s involvement with the outfit was an open secret in Joliet when Molly disappeared, though he appears to have been remembered as a well-respected member of the community.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Informative and fascinating
Outstanding well done. What a remarkable podcast. An incredible story and a wonderful piece of journalism.
Molly Zelko, a hero ❤️
Thank you so much for making this podcast!! My Gram had shared this story with me a few years ago. Unfortunately she passed before the podcast came out. She would have loved it too. She was a young woman at the time of Molly and The Spectator. My Gram followed the case all the way to the 70’s when it was written about again. I’ve passed this story on to others and that they should check this podcast/story/history out. Hopefully Molly will be found and laid to rest.
Perfect true crime
I loved the way they contextualized the specific disappearance within everything else that was going on at the time. Must listen for anyone interested in the mob/American history.