9 episodes

The Toll focuses on the effects a violent crime or traumatic event has on a family and community. Season 1 focuses on a cold case from Springfield, Missouri; the 1975 murder of 9-year-old Shirley Jane Rose. Our host, award winning journalist Nancy Simpson, interviews investigators and family members, taking the listener on a journey of what ends up being not just one, but many tragedies intertwined.

The Toll The Toll Podcast

    • True Crime

The Toll focuses on the effects a violent crime or traumatic event has on a family and community. Season 1 focuses on a cold case from Springfield, Missouri; the 1975 murder of 9-year-old Shirley Jane Rose. Our host, award winning journalist Nancy Simpson, interviews investigators and family members, taking the listener on a journey of what ends up being not just one, but many tragedies intertwined.

    S01 E08 - Devil's Abacus

    S01 E08 - Devil's Abacus

    Suspect or source; Nancy speaks with a man who is well-connected to the Shirley Jane Rose murder case and listens to his story about his encounter with the community’s main suspect. Will Springfield PD solve the cold case?

    • 34 min
    S01 E07 - Déjà Vu

    S01 E07 - Déjà Vu

    In this episode, Nancy Simpson tells the story of another Springfield girl abducted from the same area four decades later. Ten-year-old Hailey Owens was snatched off the street and murdered. Listen to The Toll another child loss has on this community.

    • 33 min
    S01 E06 - Mrs. White

    S01 E06 - Mrs. White

    Nancy reaches out to the Springfield, MO community and speaks with the daughter of Shirley’s Jane’s teacher. In her interview the daughter shares stories about the nine-year-old through the eyes of her heart-broken mother.

    • 24 min
    S01 E05 - Snakeman

    S01 E05 - Snakeman

    A continuation of the paranormal investigation asks a critical question concerning Shirley Jane Rose's death. A new theory shifts us to believe the nine-year-old’s murder could be linked to a story surrounding Shirley’s mom and dangerous drug dealers.

    • 35 min
    S01 E04 - A Haunting Addition

    S01 E04 - A Haunting Addition

    The childhood home of Shirley Jane Rose is center stage as many locals believe the home to be haunted by the spirit of the murdered child. Nancy and Jay explore the home and listen to multiple ghostly claims.

    • 42 min
    S01 E03 - The Judge's Letter

    S01 E03 - The Judge's Letter

    A judge writes an open letter to the killer. In it, he outlines what he believes are the nine-year-old’s last moments on Earth and vows to watch the killer as he dies in the gas chamber. Nancy walks the path Shirley Jane Rose took on October 17th, 1975.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

PrissyPance🍰 ,

Whoa! I’m impressed!

I’m a self-proclaimed Junkie for true crime stories and this one doesn’t disappoint. Springfield is my hometown and heading all the stories, locations and names I’ve been around all my life is intense. Great job to Nancy Simpson for an incredibly professional job.

CecilFarker ,

Overall Good Effort

I was really into this series—Nancy does a great job in her narration switching between somber/formal and more familiar based on the material and her relationship to the subject. I enjoyed hearing some of the journey to making this podcast and appreciated her honesty. I thought the content around her engagement with the Springfield 3 case was especially compelling, if not totally relevant to Shirley’s story. I fell off around the “haunting” episodes. In addition to the dubious *evidence* of such a presence, it felt at best like a too-long detour into irrelevance and a cover for lack of better material and at worst disrespectful. I don’t doubt that these men and women are good people who sincerely believe in what they saw, but with this kind of scammy “science” having been disproven for almost a century, it feels like a disservice to the memory of a little girl who lived a very full, albeit brief life, and met a horrific end. I wish the time spent on the ghost material had instead been used to flesh out Shirley’s personality a little more, insomuch as it was remembered and/or explore other evidence or leads. I feel bad criticizing what is otherwise a well-produced podcast and much-needed telling of this story, I just wish more time could have been put into honest investigation and less hokey fluff.

KiKa-M ,

Loved it!

I liked everything about this podcast, the narrator‘s voice is soothing, it kept me from getting too upset when I heard the horrific happenings, it really helped me concentrate and follow the story. I also liked the narrator sharing a bit of her experiences as a child, sad stories that unfortunately repeat too often!.

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