Appalachian Mysteria
Appalachian Mysteria
Jam Street Media
Welcome to Appalachian Mysteria, a true-crime podcast series focused on crimes committed in the hills and hollers of Appalachia. Hosted by Kendall Parkinson and Sarah James McLaughlin. Check out past seasons: Mared and Karen WVU Coed Murders, Big Savage The Death Of Alexander Stevens, Outlandish, and our new season dedicated to stories brought to us by our listeners.
Hell’s Square Mile, Part 3
In the last of this 3-part series, we examine Mabel’s top suspects in the murder of Walter Curnutte. Years later, Tim and Becky discover an entirely new motive connected to a forged document, a federal racketeering case, South American cocaine, and, potentially, the West Virginia mafia.    1:30 – Mabel’s top suspects 15:54 – Modern day rumors 18:41 – The Spadafore Conspiracy 24:05 – The Puerto Rican doctor 28:30 – A landing strip? 33:23 – The mob Thank you to our sponsor June’s Journey! Discover your inner detective when you download June’s Journey for free on iOS and Android.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 5
53 min
Hell’s Square Mile, Part 2
After Walter Curnutte’s murder, his sister Mabel takes on the case, recording interviews, writing letters to powerful officials, and hiring a private detective. The community’s war on Walter comes to light – from protests to arson to civil disobedience. We look back at the strange month preceding Walter’s death – including his hiring of Herb Willie, the man tried for his murder. Was Herb a drunken liar, a murderer, or both? A state trooper who investigated the case has an opinion. Tim and Becky beg to differ. 1:55 – Mabel’s obsession 5:30 – Mining and dumping 12:35 – Walter’s last month alive 17:15 – Trooper Wick 26:00 – Herb Willie’s Confessions & Trial Thank you to our sponsor June’s Journey! Discover your inner detective when you download June’s Journey for free on iOS and Android.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 15
48 min
Yelling in my Car: A Specialist Critique of Big Savage (Season 2)
After the Mysteria crew receives a concerned email from a professional working on sexual assault issues, we invite her on the show to critique Season 2, Big Savage. What follows is a discussion of Megan Shaffer’s poor defense, the biological response to trauma, how the absence of expert testimony may have worked against her, and some ways that language affects how we perceive issues surrounding rape.   Thank you to our sponsor June’s Journey! Discover your inner detective when you download June’s Journey for free on iOS and Android.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 8
29 min
Hell’s Square Mile, Part 1
This is the beginning of a 3-part story about one square mile of the West Virginia mountains. The story winds its way through a savage war between Indians and settlers, a poor boy adopted into wealth for his ruthlessness, more than one murder trial, the infamous black hand mafia, environmental protests, and international cocaine smuggling. In Part 1, the descendants of West Virginia’s first white settlers find themselves at war with Indian tribes, eventually building a home that will become the center of a web of controversy, violence and crime. 1:40 - In the beginning 3:24 - Introducing Tim & Becky 5:12 - Warring with Indians 10:37 - The Morgan house 12:27 - Walter Curnutte’s youth 14:20 - Watler’s first brush with murder 20:15 - The murder of Walter Curnutte 27:53 - Walter’s life and controversies 36:00 - Mabel’s quest begins Thank you to our sponsor June’s Journey! Discover your inner detective when you download June’s Journey for free on iOS and Android.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 1
42 min
Burning Questions
A WVU alum working for the state prosecutor’s office suddenly finds herself on the scene of a very personal tragedy that could be much more sinister. Much to her dismay, her forensic investigation training is not being employed by authorities in the real world. Meanwhile, the victim’s sister is conducting her own investigation, releasing all of her findings to the public. Was the death of Amber Whitelaw a case of accidental fire or murder? Welcome to the first episode of Season 4! The full season launches in April. Justice for Amber Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/justiceforamber2.18.18 1:35 – Highland County & Amber Whitelaw 4:36 – Wearing a Wire? 11:04 – One and One on the Side 13:00 – Night of the Incident 15:17 – The 911 Call 25:02 – 8 Red Flags 41:25 – Not Having Closure Thank you to our sponsor Seeker's Notes! Keep Your Mind Sharp! Download Seekers Notes Now! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 28
52 min
Unattended Death Part 2
This episode contains detective interviews with three students who headed out on the town with Arthur the night he died. After speaking to each of them, a Morgantown detective feels confident that Arthur’s death was primarily due to his intoxication. Two months later, Arthur’s phone turns on. After tracking the GPS coordinates, police arrive at the home of a bouncer who threw Arthur out of a club just before his death. While the detective tries to figure out whether this was a coincidence, Harriet decides she is unsatisfied with the work being done by police, and hires a private investigator. The investigator has questions about the five people who walk by the police station surveillance camera just before Arthur. One of them appears to be carrying the backpack full of meth-making equipment found under the bridge, but the detective and prosecutor don’t agree. We delve into the details of all these issues in this hour-long episode of Unattended Death. Resources and Links: Appalachian Mysteria Facebook Page -- Here you can find the video and images that accompany this episode, including the backpack comparison photo made by Larry Peters, and the police surveillance camera footage of Arthur (and the group of people with the backpack) the night he died. “Strange Creatures” – The book/zine by Larry Peters about his unusual experiences decades ago. Thank you to our sponsor Factor75! Use code mysteria50 for 50% off ready to eat fresh meals! Thank you to our sponsor Brilliant Earth! Check out all of their beautiful pieces on their website! Thank you to our sponsor Seeker's Notes! Keep Your Mind Sharp! Download Seekers Notes Now! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 2, 2023
58 min
Unattended Death Part 1
This two-part special introduces the life and death of Arthur Bagenda, an international student at WVU who drowned in a ditch within sight of the Morgantown Police station. In this first episode, we visit the Walnut Street bridge, where a long-time local explains her problems with hard drug users at the site of Arthur's death. We review forensic photographs from the scene, hear from Arthur’s mother about the 19-year-old son she lost, and explain the first 72 hours following the discovery of his body. Over the course of two episodes, Unattended Death will examine police reports, drone footage, forensic photographs, surveillance video, audio of police questioning, and interviews with those involved to craft a previously-untold West Virginia story. ### We have been trying to report this story for a long time. After covid interrupted our interview process, we decided to focus on other work, but three years later we’re finally ready to share the case of Arthur Bagenda.   Unattended Death is the third Morgantown-centered story produced by Appalachian Mysteria (WVU Coed Murders / Cradle Will Rock). The last known sighting of Arthur Bagenda was made by a video surveillance camera mounted in front of the Morgantown police station. He would be found drowned alongside Morgantown’s recreational Rail Trail – within sight of the MPD building – a few hours later. The group of people who appear on camera seconds before Arthur seem to be carrying items found at the scene of his death, but were they involved? A private investigator hired by Arthur’s mother thinks so, but police have ruled out foul play. Like all the stories we cover, a definitive truth seems just out of reach. [00:03:14] A WVU student's death. [00:07:19] Under the Walnut Street Bridge. [00:08:15] Arthur's body found beside pipe. [00:14:01] Homelessness and drug addiction. [00:18:00] A suspicious backpack. [00:21:33] Crime scene photographs. [00:23:28] The pain of losing a son. [00:27:13] Meth-making materials found. [00:32:28] Cause of death was drowning. Thank you to our sponsor Factor75! Use code mysteria50 for 50% off ready to eat fresh meals! Thank you to our sponsor Brilliant Earth! Check out all of their beautiful pieces on their website! Thank you to our sponsor Seeker's Notes! Keep Your Mind Sharp! Download Seekers Notes Now! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 3, 2023
40 min
Bonus- Cradle Will Rock
A child's grave explodes after 63 years underground. As Morgantown police and reporters gather around the coffin, they are shocked to find that his corpse is strangely well-preserved. Cradle Will Rock is the story of the life, death, and disinterment of four-year-old Harry Spitz and his family, as uncovered by co-producer Jordan Carter. This stand-alone episode has been missing from our podcast catalog for two years, and we're finally making it available again. [00:00:00] Cradle Will Rock was originally released in 2018 and went missing from our catalog in 2019. It was produced and co-narrated by Jordan Carter. This story begins in 1975, one year before Clawson confessed to the murders. Later this month, we hope to release another standalone Morgantown story. [00:04:06] On July 2, 175, a caretaker noticed broken rumpled earth atop an unmarked grave. Inside the coffin was a second engraved plaque and the remains of Harry E. Spitz. Too many factors in determining what sort of state Harry's body should have been in. [00:16:18] In 1916, four years after his son's death, Henry Spitz died from tuberculosis and was buried. Speculation abounded in the days and months after Harry's vault worked its way out of the earth. Some speculate perhaps the vault had split due to a heat buildup inside. [00:23:44] Mrs. Spitz was still alive when Harry's vault burst open in 1975. Two years earlier, in Ailing health, she had been transferred from the Moninglia General Hospital. Psychic claims Mrs. Spitzer refused to let go and that had held his spirit in the grave. She died in 1978 and was buried next to Harry. [00:30:19] In Roman Catholicism, a body considered incorruptible is generally seen as a sign that the individual is a saint. But the Spitzes were not Catholic, and for this reason, Harry was never sainted. Thank you to our sponsor Shopify! Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at Shopify.com/mysteria. Thank you to our sponsor Love & Pies! Free to download in the App Store or Google Play. Thank you to our sponsor Credit Sage! Go to CreditSage.com/mysteria or call (844) 925-0258 to get $50 off your credit repair service! Thank you to our sponsor Factor75! Use code mysteria50 for 50% off ready to eat fresh meals! Thank you to our sponsor Brilliant Earth! Check out all of their beautiful pieces on their website! Thank you to our sponsor Seeker's Notes! Keep Your Mind Sharp! Download Seekers Notes Now! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 15, 2023
42 min
Outlandish Extra: Oubliette
In this episode, we take a step back in time to the week Cathy Thomas and Becky Dowski were murdered in the first of several Colonial Parkway murders. As the crime scene tape still hangs from Becky Dowski’s doorway at William & Mary College, another headline hits the student paper: Three men are being charged in the campus gang rape of another student.   Our guest for this episode was directly involved in that incident, and she helps us use it as a lens through which we can examine some failures of response to sexual assault -- some of which are still problems today. We also examine an astounding survey of college students published the year before the incidents at William & Mary, which suggested more than 25% of college women have experience rape or attempted rape since the age of 14. Description/Notes: To best understand the context of this episode, be sure to listen to Season 3 Episode 4, Exploring Substantial Similarities.  In that episode, we speak with Bill Thomas, leading authority on the Colonial Parkway murders and brother of Cathy Thomas.  If you decide to go down the Colonial Parkway rabbit hole, make sure to check out Bill's podcast covering every aspect of the cases, Mind Over Murder. You can also check out the Oxygen series titled "The Lover's Lane Murders", for which Bill served as a consulting producer. If you're interested in learning more about sexual assault on campus, you can check out the RAINN statistics page on campus sexual violence. The website also has an anonymous live chat and a help line number if you need to talk with someone. Thank you to our sponsor HelloFresh! Go to HelloFresh.com/mysteria60 and use code mysteria60 for 60% off plus free shipping! Thank you to our sponsor Seeker's Notes! Keep Your Mind Sharp! Download Seekers Notes Now! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 13, 2023
37 min
Family Affair (Season 1 Update: Part III)
This episode is the last of a three-part update on Appalachian Mysteria Season 1 — Mared & Karen: The WVU Coed Murders. Without a doubt, these three episodes will be the most important updates since the season finished airing in 2018. In this episode, Devona Coffey — formerly Devona Daft — finds out about the existence of Geoff and Sarah’s book, and one paragraph in particular makes her blood boil. The passage leads to an emotional confrontation in the holler, and eventually to Devona contacting the Mysteria crew to share a long-buried family secret. The terminally ill aunt who took care of Devona after her father’s death confides in her about the night Mared & Karen went missing, and a growing chorus of voices in the family echo the story. But is it all true, or a story contrived to create a dangerous mystique around career criminals? The WVU Coed Murders: Who Killed Mared & Karen? — Geoff & Sarah’s book, now available at Amazon. The book goes into much greater detail about the entire case than the podcast could allow for, and is the first mention of the Dafts. (Chapter 15) Thank you to our sponsor Ritual! Visit ritual.com/MYSTERIA today and get 10% off your first 3 orders. Thank you to our sponsor HelloFresh! Go to HelloFresh.com/mysteria60 and use code mysteria60 for 60% off plus free shipping! Thank you to our sponsor Shopify! Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at Shopify.com/mysteria. Thank you to our sponsor Love & Pies! Free to download in the App Store or Google Play. Thank you to our sponsor Credit Sage! Go to CreditSage.com/mysteria or call (844) 925-0258 to get $50 off your credit repair service! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 14, 2022
41 min
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