17 episodes

In the winter of 1960 three women were found brutally murdered in a cave at the Starved Rock State Park. After months of dead ends, a manhunt ensued that ultimately pinned the crime on a 21-year-old dishwasher at the Starved Rock State Park Lodge, Chester Weger. In spite of contradictory physical evidence and under immense pressure from the police, Chester confessed to the crime. He has spent the last 60 years in prison, maintaining his innocence to this day.
Join Andy Hale, a civil rights attorney who specializes in investigating wrongful convictions, as he dives deep into parts of the case that have been left out of previous coverage. As Chester Weger’s attorney, he is actively investigating the case and has won the right to test DNA from the crime scene for the first time in 60 years. If Chester is innocent, this will become the longest wrongful conviction case in United States history. This limited series podcast will re-examine the story you think you know, provide real-time case updates, including DNA testing, and access to documents and photos previously unreleased to the public, to uncover the truth of what really happened in Starved Rock State Park over half a century ago.

The Starved Rock Murders with Andy Hale Andy Hale

    • True Crime
    • 4.7 • 187 Ratings

In the winter of 1960 three women were found brutally murdered in a cave at the Starved Rock State Park. After months of dead ends, a manhunt ensued that ultimately pinned the crime on a 21-year-old dishwasher at the Starved Rock State Park Lodge, Chester Weger. In spite of contradictory physical evidence and under immense pressure from the police, Chester confessed to the crime. He has spent the last 60 years in prison, maintaining his innocence to this day.
Join Andy Hale, a civil rights attorney who specializes in investigating wrongful convictions, as he dives deep into parts of the case that have been left out of previous coverage. As Chester Weger’s attorney, he is actively investigating the case and has won the right to test DNA from the crime scene for the first time in 60 years. If Chester is innocent, this will become the longest wrongful conviction case in United States history. This limited series podcast will re-examine the story you think you know, provide real-time case updates, including DNA testing, and access to documents and photos previously unreleased to the public, to uncover the truth of what really happened in Starved Rock State Park over half a century ago.

    BONUS: The DNA Results

    BONUS: The DNA Results

    The long-awaited DNA results are in. In this special bonus episode we break down the results and their massive impact on the case.
    For more information, documents, photos, and other assets associated with and referenced in this episode visit andyhalepodcast.com.

    • 30 min
    BONUS: A Massive Break In The Case

    BONUS: A Massive Break In The Case

    This massive break in the case involves a woman reaching out to Andy and recounting a story she had been told by a family member about the Starved Rock Murders.
    For more information, documents, photos, and other assets associated with and referenced in this episode visit andyhalepodcast.com.

    • 43 min
    EP 14: A Conversation With Chester

    EP 14: A Conversation With Chester

    The biggest mistake anyone can make when it comes to the Starved Rock Murders is to think that this is simply a tragic episode relegated to an obscure chapter of 20th century history that no longer has any impact on any of our lives other than as intellectual fodder for a podcast. Make no mistake, this case is more relevant now than ever. Because, 62 years after the crime, the man who was sentenced to life in prison the murders is still alive.
    All the members of law enforcement who railroaded Chester are dead. All of the jurors are gone. All of the witnesses called to the stand have passed away. Chester’s wife, parents and many of his closest loved ones have been been laid to rest. But Chester Weger has endured.
    Wrap your mind around the fact that when Chester Weger’s freedom was taken from him in 1960, John F. Kennedy had just been elected President. Chester went away to prison before the Civil Rights Act was passed, before NASA put a man on the moon, before the Watergate Scandal, before Star Wars opened in theaters, before the personal computer, the internet, the cell phone, the smart phone and social media. Sixty years. Chester spent sixty years behind bars…six decades of a man’s life spent in a cell.
    And when he was finally released on parole in late February of 2020 it was into a world as alien to him as life on Mars. But within three weeks of his re-entry into the world the globe was gripped by a pandemic and Chester returned to a different form of prison…quarantine.
    Yet he has endured. And today at the age of 83 he continues to hold on to hope that his name will be cleared and justice will finally be served. So make no mistake, this case is not simply a story of historical intrigue, this is a living, breathing, active pursuit for justice. And the man at the center of all of this, Chester Weger, deserves to have his voice heard.
    In this episode I sit down with Chester, his sister Mary, and his niece Nita.
    For more information, documents, photos, and other assets associated with and referenced in episode 6’s coverage of the case, visit andyhalepodcast.com.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    EP 13: More on the Palmatier Brothers (and our Top 25 list)

    EP 13: More on the Palmatier Brothers (and our Top 25 list)

    In a criminal trial in the United States, the courts require that the jury find the accused to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the highest standard in the courts for evidence. In the case of Chester Weger, can anyone who knows the facts of the case, in good conscience, say that they believe he committed these murders beyond all reasonable doubt?
    Can any reasonable person who is presented with the fact that -- the tree branch was not the murder weapon, that the twine found on the women didn’t match the twine found in the kitchen at the Starved Rock Lodge where Chester worked, that a phone call was intercepted a week after the murders indicating other high-ranking people had knowledge of a “kid” with bloody overalls in the trunk of his car, and a thousand more details that contradict Chester Weger’s confession – possibly say that they believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Chester Weger is responsible for this brutal crime? The false narrative surrounding Chester Weger, constructed around a coerced confession, has been laid bare.
    This case, like a jigsaw puzzle, is made up of a thousand interlocking pieces. But when it comes to the State’s official case against Chester Weger, every piece is so obviously jammed into place and forced to fit. And when a piece couldn’t be forced to fit, it was fabricated to fit. The result wasn’t a puzzle solved but a grotesque mosaic, built on lies, manipulation and decades of deceit. The time has come, over sixty years later, to expose those lies and to prove, finally, the truth about the Starved Rock murders.
    In this episode we discuss the Palmatier Brothers in more detail, and give our top 25 list.
    For more information, documents, photos, and other assets associated with and referenced in episode 6’s coverage of the case, visit andyhalepodcast.com.

    • 53 min
    EP 12: Motives for Murder (and answers to questions from listener emails)

    EP 12: Motives for Murder (and answers to questions from listener emails)

    Even though the murders at Starved Rock took place over six decades ago the anger, frustrations, fear, grief and guilt experienced by all of the people involved feel as palpable today as they did in 1960. Three women lost their lives, one man went to prison for sixty years, children lost parents, parents lost their children, and countless other souls became collateral damage in a horrendous miscarriage of justice that has left generational trauma and shattered lives in its wake. The question that haunts anyone who touches this case is what motivated this brutal crime? What demons possessed whoever performed this heinous act to savagely take the lives of three innocent women? Was it money? Was it lust? Greed? What sin drove someone to want one or more of these women dead and why?
    To do justice to this case, we must peel back all of the layers of the onion, no matter how much it might sting. The victims, the accused, and the families and community members whose lives were forever altered deserve the truth.
    As we have said before on this podcast, you can bury the dead but you can’t bury the truth. The ghosts of this case have haunted the dreams of too many people for too long. The truth is out there. We owe it to the victims to not be afraid to discover that truth, no matter how painful it might be.
    In this episode we discuss motives for murder, and answers to questions from listener emails.
    For more information, documents, photos, and other assets associated with and referenced in episode 6’s coverage of the case, visit andyhalepodcast.com.

    • 39 min
    EP 11: The Trial of the Century, Part 2

    EP 11: The Trial of the Century, Part 2

    In 1961 when Chester Weger was convicted and sentenced to life in prison – the State knew that they had presented a false narrative to the jury. They knew their case was built on one false assertion after another and they proceeded anyway. The State knew that the tree limb could not have been the murder weapon. They knew from multiple reports that there had to have been more than one assailant. They knew from a lab report that a hair found at the crime scene did not match Chester Weger’s. They knew that the twine found in the Lodge’s kitchen and twine found at the crime scene were two different kinds. They knew that nothing had been stolen from the women and yet called it a botched robbery. They knew that a mysterious phone call had been intercepted by an operator who overheard two men discussing a third man’s bloody overalls in the trunk of a car that were related to the murders. They knew the identity of the two men on this phone call who were discussing a plan to burn the incriminating evidence. They knew that the official narrative was impossible.
    They knew that what they had presented to the jury wasn’t the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    And even knowing all these things and more – the State still asked for Chester Weger to be strapped to an electric chair and killed. The State asked the jury to take the life of a man based on one thing and one thing only – an implausible confession – a confession the former prosecutor later called “absolutely ridiculous” - extracted after an admitted month long plan of psychological warfare - and hours and hours of interrogation – from an exhausted and terrified 21-year old dish washer.
    This episode is a continuation of The Trial of the Century.
    For more information, documents, photos, and other assets associated with and referenced in episode 6’s coverage of the case, visit andyhalepodcast.com.

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
187 Ratings

187 Ratings

Val Roberts1129 ,

Amazing!!!

This is an incredible podcast. I started listening to it because Andy was on True crime daily. Wow wow wow I’m so addicted to this podcast. Please keep doing great work you guys. I love it.

Bigbry1469 ,

Great story

Very intriguing. Can’t stop listening

HBH88 ,

Must listen!

Amazing podcast, what a story!

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