Bless this Mess: A Southern True Crime Podcast
66.  The Disappearance of Crystal McDowell

66. The Disappearance of Crystal McDowell

May 21, 2020

Crystal McDowell was in the process of starting a new chapter in her life.  She was recently divorced and starting to date again.  She was excelling at her new career in real estate and was very happy with her two children.  Everything was going well, even her divorce seemed amicable.  But all this would come to an end when Crystal went missing the day before Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area.  With the area flooded and law enforcement stretched thin, the search for Crystal would have its challenges.  Join us while we discuss the disappearance of Crystal McDowell.

Sources: 48 Hours, Baytown Sun

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65.  The Murder of Nikia Gilbreath

65. The Murder of Nikia Gilbreath

May 5, 2020

In 1989, Joe and Nikia Gilbreath were just starting their lives together in Georgia.  They had one child and another on the way, living their dream life on a large piece of property in the country.  But August of that year would bring tragedy.  Nikia, 5 months pregnant, would go missing from their home leaving their toddler home alone. Immediately, the police were notified, there was no way Nikia would leave her daughter by herself.  Join us while we discuss the search for Nikia and her killer.

Sources: WRCB TV, On the Case with Paula Zahn, Public Court Records

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64.  The Murder of Stephanie Bennett

64. The Murder of Stephanie Bennett

April 21, 2020

In May of 2002, Stephanie Bennett was getting ready to move out of her Raleigh, North Carolina apartment to live with her long term boyfriend in Greenville, South Carolina.  She was ready for the move, a peeping tom that had been seen around her window was causing her sleepless nights.  One morning, Stephanie did not show up to work which caused her coworkers to immediately worry.  It would take years to find her killer and when they did, they would find he was hiding even more secrets.

Sources:  Forensic Files, The News and Observer, The Sampson Independent

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63.  Triple Murder in Tampa Bay

63. Triple Murder in Tampa Bay

April 7, 2020

In May of 1989, Joan and her two teenage daughters, Michelle and Christie, headed out on a road trip from Ohio to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Staying one night in Tampa would turn into a fatal decision when their three bodies floated to the shore in Tampa Bay.  With not much to go off, police would have to find out who the women came in contact with on their 1000 plus mile journey from Ohio to Florida.  

Sources:  Cold Case Files, On the Case with Paula Zahn, and The Baltimore Sun

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62.  The Murder of Janet Siclari

62. The Murder of Janet Siclari

March 25, 2020

In August of 1993, 35 year-old Janet Siclari was vacationing in North Carolina with her brother and friends.  After having such a good time, they decided to stay just one more night.  This last night would prove fatal for Janet, her brother woke to find his sisters body surrounded by police on the beach in front of their hotel.  After years of no leads, the CODIS system would finally find Janets killer through DNA.

Sources:  "Forensic Files: Surfside Homicide" and State of North Carolina vs. Berry

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61.  Arkansas Triple Murders

61. Arkansas Triple Murders

March 11, 2020

In 1997, Dominique “Nicki” Hurd was starting school at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  She was smart, beautiful, and earned a scholarship as a cheerleader for the University.  All this would come to a crashing end when she was murdered in the fall of 1998.  Her murderer was captured and convicted but this would not be the end of the devastation he would cause.  

Sources:  The Pine Bluff Commercial, KATV Channel 7, Kennth vs. Arkansas, Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Music courtesy of Blanche, find their music on iTunes!

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60.  The Murder of Julie Griffith

60. The Murder of Julie Griffith

February 25, 2020

In January of 2014, 911 operators were called to the residence of Keith and Julie Griffith in Kentucky.  The house that they had raised their two sons in was completely in flames.  After putting out the fire, investigators found 55 year old Julie inside, next to her bed along with their two dogs, Cleo and Daisy.  At first it seemed to be an accident, they thought Julie had died from smoke inhalation.  But while doing a routine autopsy, they found three bullet wounds in Julies torso.  Julie had no enemies, who would have done this to her?  

Sources:  The Paducah Sun, Dateline "Consumed"

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59.  The Murder of Kay Parsons

59. The Murder of Kay Parsons

February 11, 2020

Kay Parsons was living in Grovetown, Georgia with her husband David and their twelve year old son, Derek.  They seem to have everything going for them, a nice home, great neighbors, and busy with their sons baseball activities.  But in March of 2009, the neighborhood would be shocked when Kay was found in her home, beaten within an inch of her life.  Her home was ransacked as well as her best friends home which was just across the street.  Join us while we discuss this bizarre case and how the police caught the most unlikely of suspects. 

 

Sources:  Augusta Chronicle, Dateline "Murder on Hot Springs Drive"

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58.  The Murder of Chiquita Tate

58. The Murder of Chiquita Tate

January 25, 2020

In 2009, Chiquita Tate had it all working as a defense attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  But one night in February, she was brutally murdered.  Police work through the people in her life wondering if it could be a client of hers, she had everything going for her, who would want to hurt Chiquita?  Join us while we discuss the tragic case of Chiquita and how a promising life was cut short.

Sources:  Essence magazine, the Advocate, Dateline:  Shining Star, State v Harris

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57.  The Murder of Hope Hall

57. The Murder of Hope Hall

December 17, 2019

In 1994, Hope Hall was busy making her dreams come true.  Through hard work and focus, she landed a job as a Production Assistant at the local Richmond, Virginia TV station.  Soon, though, Hope would not be the one producing the news, she would be the news.  After being brutally murdered in her apartment, the case goes cold.  It would take developing a DNA database to finally catch the killer.

Sources:  "Johnson vs. Commonwealth" WWBT, and "Forensic Files:  Breaking News"

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