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August 6, 2021 29 mins

When a strange new piece of evidence appears in the 40 year old cold case of missing police officer, Thomas Bradshaw, his son Jeremy is pulled back into the mystery of his own past.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Bridgewater is a production of iHeart Radio three D audio
and Grim and Mild from Aaron Bankey. Headphones recommended for
a full exposure. Listen with headphones. Listener discretion advised. Once
we've finished circling the whole lake, I'll officially have done

(00:23):
every trail of Freetown. And why do you like doing this?
Come on, look at this place. It's gorgeous mother nature
and all our splendor. Sure, if you like that sort
of thing, trust me, it'll grow on you. I just
see endless trees. Central Park had plenty of those. I
don't need miles and miles of it. Okay, But what

(00:47):
Central Park haunted? No way, Freetown State Forest is hella haunted.
People see all sorts of weird stuff in here. I mean,
take this, like, apparently in the seventies they found blood
and strange symbols all over this rock cliff. A lot
of it has been covered over in graffiti now, but

(01:08):
if you look closely, you can still see some carvings.
And they say when it rains, the rocks get slick
with red, like they're weeping blood. See right right up there,
I think you can see some carvings. Oh yeah, there,
Look Uh, dude, where'd you go? No, seriously, you're freaking

(01:34):
me out. Okay, this isn't Bunny Daniel, damn it. You
scared me. You shouldn't mess around with this stuff. What
is it? All right? I think I found something? Okay,

(02:39):
come on in, settle down and find a seat. I
see we have some more folks in class today. It's
maybe a few seniors who remembered that they need a
history class to graduate. Perhaps, well, you're in the right place.
Folklore and Fact an exploration into unusual America a pretty

(03:00):
interesting way to get a history credit, if I do
say so myself. Now, don't worry if you're just joining us.
You didn't miss anything too important in the first class.
We just had the chance circle and the blood packed.
But if you can promise me your firstborn, I can
promise you that you'll get a passing grade. Soundfair, okay,
But in all seriousness, the reading list that I handed

(03:22):
out in the last class is online, and you can
just let me or my t a VIP and vipp
and stand up. Let us know if you have a
hard time chasing down any of the texts. Actually, don't
let me know. Let Vippen know. Okay, so folklore and fact.
Why we're all here? I see a couple of familiar

(03:42):
faces from last semester's witchcraft class. High couldn't get enough
of the occult? Huh, Well, I get it. I have
dedicated my life to this stuff because human beings, we
are fascinated by the strange and the unusual, the inexplicable.
We like to get into the dark and the cobb
corners of our world. Scary stories and urban myths and

(04:03):
folklore and all of these things. They're there because they
they help us explore the gruesome truths of humanity in
a safe environment, because stories can't hurt us. Now, some
might argue that ghosts and monsters can hurt us, but
the veracity of folklore isn't important, because, of course none

(04:26):
of it is true. And I realized that might be
a disappointment to some of you. But no, this class
is not going to be an exploration into the validity
of any supernatural claims. This is an academic class. Our
pursuit this semester is not paranormal, but anthropological. What can
legends throughout time tell us about history? About people? Why

(04:48):
did the sale of which trials happen? In that time,
and in that place, and with those people. Why is
Area fifty one such an enticing mystery for Americans in
the twentieth century and the twenty one century. Why do
people of southeastern Massachusetts believe that this area is a
magnet for supernatural activity? That's right, Our first topic this

(05:10):
semester starts right here in Bristol County. Four decades this
area has been a hotbed for paranormal sightings, everything from
Bigfoot and UFOs to cult activity and animal sacrifice. In
the nineteen seventies, there was a renowned cryptozoologist, Lauren Coleman,
who gave this other worldly corner of southeastern Massachusetts its

(05:32):
other name, the Bridgewater Triangle. I'm sure most of you
have heard of the Bermuda Triangle. It's a large patch
of the ocean where boats have gone missing and wormholes
have been reported an alien spotted. The Bridgewater Triangle is similar,
though it's much smaller in scope. It comprises about two

(05:53):
square miles. We've got towns, we've got wilderness, couple of farms,
but our triangle has a greater variety of sightings and happenings.
So if you can think of a bit of folklore
or paranormal legend. Chances are someone has reported experiencing it
in the Bridgewater Triangle. Go ahead, draw something out. What
have you got? Uh? Ghosts child's play? Of course, more

(06:17):
than that can count alien abduction. H seventies chock full
of of UFOs, which is ditto with the Satanic rituals
in the woods. Seventies were a very interesting time. Come on,
we're splashing in the shallow end here. Let's let's get
to the weird stuff. Come on, what have you got?
Give me your best shot? Basilisks? Basilisks? Now we're talking

(06:40):
not really no vasilisks, but there have been several settings
of giant snakes, some of which were actually verified as
giant snakes. What all right? What else? Fairies? Good? No,
no fairies. Strictly speaking, though, there have been plenty of
encounters with strange, small humanoid creatures luring unsuspecting hikers into

(07:01):
the woods. It sounds like the workings of the Fay
Realm to me. Now, for the next several weeks, we're
going to be looking at all of these and more.
Given the diversity of the supernatural activity and this part
of the country, we're going to be using the Bridgewater
Triangle as a framework to study specific legends and to
talk about how they made their way into this area

(07:25):
and into the fabric of the local culture. Not to
mention we live here, so it's going to be a
little bit more fun, yes, Professor Bradshaw. Yeah, Mike, Mike.
What about disappearances? Uh, Well, as with most of these places,
the paranormal activity in this area is largely just fabricated

(07:48):
and harmless. Bigfoot isn't going around murdering people, but people
have disappeared. Yes, it's a large area. All sorts of
crime have happened, disappearances, kidnappings, accidents, murders. Yeah, it's often
easier for people to blame that on ghosts or cults

(08:10):
or uh or giant snakes. But that psychological impulse, that
is something that we will be studying in depth. Your
dad went missing, right, excuse me in Freetown, State Forest.
I grew up here and my grandma never let me
go hiking because of a cop that disappeared. In the seventies,

(08:32):
Have you said that's when a lot of weird stuff
was happening. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. Every every semester always
has one local who's up on the on the family legend. Yes,
my father did go missing when I was a child,
and it was related to some cult activity. There's nothing supernatural.

(08:53):
It was just your just your run of the mill
seventies satanic group. They murdered him. Uh no, I can't
say that his body was never found. It's a cold case.
But well, forty years go by and you assume the
guy isn't coming back. Okay, thank you. Now that we've
gotten past that little bit of history, it's still a

(09:14):
cold case, even with the badge they found. I'm sorry
the cops they found a badge in the woods a
few days ago, the day before yesterday. I think, I'm okay,
I'm what what are you talking about? I read about
it on Reddit and where I read it? Yeah, there's
a whole Bridgewater Triangle subreddit. Okay, what was it saying?

(09:38):
There's someone who posts a lot whose girlfriend or boyfriend
or something works for the police, and they said they
found your dad's old police badge in the woods. They
might open up the case again. Huh. I had not
heard anything about that. What do you think happened to him?
I think that reddit is about as reliable as reports
of the UFOs, right, well, Mike, that was an interesting diversion.

(10:04):
Let's let's get back to the task at hand, shall we. Yeah, Hello, hey,

(10:42):
mom oh Jeremy, what a what a pleasant surprise? Hi? Um?
Have you gotten a call from the Freetown police? What? No? No?
Is everything? Okay? Are you? Are you okay? No? No,
I'm fine, I'm fine. It's just Um, there was a
kid in my lecture today. Oh oh, of course your
semesters to get how is it going? Um, it's fine whatever,

(11:07):
That's not why I called. One of my students said
that they found Dad's badge in the woods. Mom Um, Well,
what exactly do you mean when they closed Dad's case,
did they find anything, any evidence of a body or anything.
You know, your father is dead, right, he died forty

(11:28):
years ago, Mom, I know. But did the station ever
give you any of his personal effects. We got the
things from his locker at the station, an extra uniform,
a picture, he kept, a view and his badge wasn't
in there. No. I assumed it was on and when
he went missing, and you haven't heard anything. No one
tried to get in touch with you. It was a

(11:49):
long time ago. It doesn't change anything. I know, I
know it doesn't. I just would just be nice to have.
He'll just be a moment. Thank you. Can I get

(12:09):
you anything? Water? Coffee? Wow? Full service around here? Slow day? Right?
Mr Bradshaw? Yes, hello, are you Captain Haddock? Please call
me Martin? Right, Martin, you're Thomas Bradshaw's boy. That's right.
He was a very good man. You're dad. I've only

(12:30):
been on the Force of Gear when he went missing.
You found something? Yes, yes, we did. Come on through.
Please take a scene. Did you really find my father's badge? Yeah?
Yeah we did. Why was I not informed? Oh? We

(12:50):
had to put it through evidence and processing verify it
was his talkular witnesses. So what did happen? Who found it?
A couple of hikers? It was just under asson at ledge.
That's the one that's by the water, right, yep. What
else did they find? Nothing? Just the badge must have
washed up in the recent storm. Right. So now that

(13:11):
we've processed it, you're welcome to it. Well, uh, thank you,
thank you, Martin. No problem. I'm sorry that I don't
not more to tell you. That's okay. I wasn't actually
expecting anything. It'll be good to have a little piece
of them. Yeah, that's all right, I will see myself out.
Thank you, have a good day's son yep YouTube. What

(13:37):
the hell excuse me, Mr Bradshawn. No, I was just
in there, I know, but the Captain has just got
into a meeting. Is there something I can help you with?
What the hell is this? I'm sorry, sir, I don't
see this badge is pristine. Okay, it's forty years old
and they just found it in the woods. Once it
was processed through evidence, they cleaned it off. For you,

(14:00):
what they cleaned it off? How they clean it off
with a time machine? Look at this? That badge looks
practically brand new. If it's been in the forest for
four decades, then why is there nowhere and tear. There's
no erosion, there's no decay leather and metal, and there's
no mold, no rust. That he's odd. Yeah, I need
to talk to Captain Haddock. I'm sorry, sir, he's in

(14:21):
meetings for the rest of the day. Then can I
talk to the hikers who found the badge? We can't
give out that information, I can. I can try to
talk to Captain Haddock for you. If you leave me
your number, I'll follow up Okay, what's your name? Officer
Aboutista Sarah? Alright, thank you all for spartiste. I know
I'm sounding alarmist, but this is strange. Yeah, what's strange?

(14:48):
Look at this? Oh finish love it? Yeah? Yeah, but
it doesn't look very ventured, does it. It's badge went
missing in with my father. Oh yeah, this is the
one they found in the woods. Thomas Bradshaw always your dad.
Yeah yeah, except this doesn't look like it was found
in the woods. It looks four years old, not forty.

(15:11):
No offense. But you sound like Becca who and Becca
retired police officers. She comes in here every couple of
months with some new theory about your dad. I guess
she worked the case back in eighty and final cracked
in the head. The stories. Some of the older guys
around here though about it sounds like she was crazy
from the start, Officer McDermott, don't you have work to do? Right? Sorry,

(15:38):
I'm sorry about him. He doesn't have the brain to
mouth filter the rest of us do sorright? Uh? Well,
can you tell me about Ann Becker? Jeremy, I'm sorry,
I don't understand what you're saying. This badge it looks
like it was just in Dad's pocket. It's like it's

(15:59):
like I'm holding this evities in my hand. It still
feels warm. I mean, I can practically smell his aftershave
on it. Well, you still love dressing up in your
dad's uniform. It's a surprise. All of that is rushing back.
What if these hikers, what if they were lying. What
if they found something else with the badge, something that
was maybe covering it or protecting it from the elements

(16:20):
or something. Why would they do that? I don't know,
but I'm telling you this badge has not been out
in the wilderness since I don't know. Apparently there's a
retired police officer who was on the original case and
hasn't let it go, And I'm gonna just go try
and talk to her tonight and see what she thinks.
I don't know why you want to dredge up such

(16:41):
ancient history because his murder never got solved. I don't know.
Maybe you're okay with that, but I'm not. I thought
you made peace with it, Jeremy. I did too. I
thought I did. I just this, Mom. You know, this
is what I do when I don't understand something. I
learn everything I can about it. That's why I became
an academic. I know, I know, you know. One of

(17:04):
the officers down at the station said that this retired
cop was a bit off her rocker. But I still
think it's it's worth seeing for myself. What did you
say her name was? Again? Uh? Anne Becker? Mom? Do
do you know her? Don't talk to Anne Becker? Why

(17:25):
that woman doesn't know what she's talking about to understand.
She is unstable and a liar. And I won't have
you asking her any questions. Okay, Mom, what the hell
are you talking about? You listen to me, Jeremy. Don't
go digging up your father's grave in this way. Mom,
I'm not digging up my Please. Okay, Honey, I have
to go. Your dad just put lunch on the table.

(17:48):
My stepdad. I wish you could just move here, Jeremy,
maybe if you were close by. I can't. Mom. You
know that there's nothing for you in Free Town. Jeremy,
there's there has been, Mom, I can't. I can't just leave. Well,
we just come for a visit soon, right, Some California

(18:09):
sunshine might do you good. Okay, Okay, but I thank
you for calling. It was it was nice to hear
your voice, Jeremy. Yeah, you know you too. Oh hey, sorry,
I didn't think you'd still be in your office this late.
Should I come back? Oh hey they've been No, no,

(18:31):
you can come on in. I pulled out those records
that you asked for. Sorry, what records? The UFO ones
history of sightings in North America? Remember, yes, right, UFOs
not exactly my strong suit. Yeah, you know, I'm kind
of surprised you're actually teaching them the semester, not to
mention dedicating a whole chapter of the book to them. Yeah,

(18:52):
it's a bit different from the usual religious and regional stories.
Actually took a quick skim of all these and there's
not a unifying origin point any where. Yeah, well, I
don't I don't know. I guess UFO sightings have been
in the collective imagination for long enough that I think
the trend has become culturally significant. I mean, if you
think about it, the lack of an origin point can

(19:12):
probably tell us just as much about our society as
a whole as uh as you know, localized folklore steeped
in religious beliefs can. Plus UFOs have been sighted in
the Bridgewater Triangle, Will you go on and just say
whatever it is you're gonna say. No, I was you know,
I wasn't. I wasn't saying anything of it. Come on,

(19:34):
just spit it out, Okay, the last lecture section today? Yeah,
what was did you? I mean? Was he? Are you okay? Yeah?
I'm okay. You know how this place is the smallest
town in the world. Well, everyone knows everyone else's business,

(19:56):
and I just gotta roll with it. Yeah it No,
I get that. But it was the first time someone
knew your business before you. Yeah, I guess that was new.
And and what you left the lecture hall pretty quickly
after class. Yeah, I went to get my father's badge.

(20:18):
That student who, uh my god, what's his name? Mike? Mike? Uh,
Mike was right. Some hikers found my dad's badge in
the woods. It's um, I don't know. I guess it's
actually nice to have a little bit of him after
all these years. I'm I'm really sorry, professor. No, really

(20:39):
don't be. I'd lived my entire life without my father
at this point. Don't even know what to miss. I
don't think that's how it works. Nothing. Well, I'm glad
you got some closure or or momento. I don't know.
I guess you weren't really expecting any answers. Huh, nope,
I'm not sure I'll ever have any answers. Who are you?

(21:19):
What do you want? Mrs Becker? I won't ask you again?
Who are you? And what do you want? My name
is Jeremy Bradshaw. Oh my god? So you are have
Have we met a very very long time ago? How
old are you now? Fifty? Actually? But thanks? I was

(21:44):
never good with kids. They all look the same to me.
We met when I was a kid. You don't remember, Huh,
I don't. I'm sorry, trust me, I shouldn't be sorry.
Better off? Why Okay, So, now that I know who
you are, do you want to come in and tell
me what you want? Um? Yeah, that does look like

(22:07):
it's about to rain. Um. You worked on my dad's case.
I was on the force at the time. Yeah. When
did you retire? Nearly fifteen years ago. I did my
twenty years of service, a couple of years at the desk,
and then got out. It wasn't the friendliest career for
a woman, you know, especially in the eighties and nineties

(22:29):
and especially after. Yeah, I can imagine, but you still
go back there every couple of months. Who told you
that I was down at the station earlier today picking
up this h Where did you get this? Some hikers

(22:49):
founded in the woods. Oh and what else did they find? Nothing?
Mrs Beckers never married. That it matters. I just just
call me Anne and are you still looking into my
father's case? That case is closed? Yeah, but that's not
what I asked. What do you want from me? I

(23:12):
just want to know why you've come back to the
station recently. I just talked to Officer Batista Maria. She's
a nice girl, smart, yeah, she she told me that
you've been trying to get Captain Haddock to reopen the case.
You remember the Satana panic, don't you. Yeah? Of course,
Evangelical Christians spreading fear about Satanic rituals throughout America. It's

(23:35):
an interesting conspiracy phenomenon, actually, because well, I would think
the thing that would interest you about it is the
fact that it's what they blamed your dad's disappearance on. Yeah,
but he was investigating a Satanic cult, wasn't he that
was active in the free Time Forest. He wouldn't have
been the first person to get lost in there. And

(23:55):
it's completely plausible that the cult found him and murdered him.
But either way, blame me and on the cult. It
makes sense. There's nothing about what happened to Thomas that
makes sense. You think that you understand these words, but
I I have lived next to them for forty five years.
Strange things were happening back then, and strange things are
happening again now, and all those fools down at the

(24:18):
station they won't admit it. Okay, I see what this is?
What what are you talking about? You know? I remember
all sorts of Kok's calling and coming to our home
and trying to convince my mother that her husband was
the victim of some sort of monster in the forest. Right,

(24:39):
I gotta say I would have thought a police officer
would be above that sort of wild theorizing. But I
guess I was wrong. Uh huh. So they told you
that I was crazy, right, didn't they? The police? They
said it back then too. When I didn't buy into
the panic, when I thought maybe there was more going on,
I was dismissed. Okay, what more or do you think

(25:00):
what's going on? I mean, you know that there's never
been any substantiated evidence of Satanic ritual abuse. Like you said,
it was the Christian fundamentalists. American value has gone completely haywire.
Paranoia getting the best of us. Paranoia got the best
of the Freetown police too. There was evidence of cult

(25:22):
activity in the woods, yeah, hippie gatherings mostly. All the
actual animal mutilations came later, though. That is just the
tip of the iceberg when it comes to what goes
on around here. Cool, So what do you think happened?
Packmuch got him? Maybe a thunderbird came and took him away. Well,
I think there's a lot that we don't know about,

(25:42):
you know, monsters, wormholes, witchcraft. This is a strange place,
this part of the country. You know, just before Thomas
went missing, this area got a name for itself. Yeah,
the Bridgewater Triangle. Yeah, I teach folklore at the university. Now,

(26:02):
why would you want to go and do that after
growing up with all those cooks, turning your father's disappearance
into something so clearly wasn't okay? I should go? Thank you. Wait,
don't forget this. You might want to go to the lake.
Take a look around. I'm sure the police missed something.
Wait a second, how did you know that this was

(26:22):
found at the lake, well where else would have turned up.
I'm sorry, I don't I told you strange things are happening. Okay,
Can I just ask you what this? This doesn't look
like it's been in the woods for forty years, does it?
It sure doesn't. No, okay, Uh, I gotta go. Thanks

(26:48):
Miss Becker, and sorry, I will just here. It's my
home phone number. I still use a landline. No self
service out here. Have actually have the same tape machine
since the seventies. They don't make things like they used to.
M hmm, what's up? Oh? Well nothing, I just the

(27:09):
message light. It wasn't on when I got home, and
the phone hasn't wrung all evening. So maybe I finally
gave up the ghost after forty years. Maybe you need
to be careful, Bradshaw. Things aren't what they seem right. Well,
I will get out of your hair. Call me when
you want to know more you call? Well, sure, thanks,

(27:35):
Well it looks like you were right. It seems like
there is a storm on the way. You have one
unheard message? Yeah, what all right? And have more? Bridgewater

(28:19):
was created by Aaron Manky and written and directed by
Lauren Shippen, with executive producers Aaron Manky, Misha Collins, Matt
Frederick and Alex Williams. Supervising producer Trevor Young, Editing and
sound designed by Trevor Young and Matt Stillo, and music
by Chad Lawson, Starring Misha Collins as Jeremy Bradshaw, Melissa

(28:40):
Ponzio as Anne Becker, Karen Sony as Vipen Corona, Laurie
Allen as Nancy Collins, Cheryl Umania as Officer Bautista, Victoria
Grace as Katie, Frank's Will Wheaton as Captain Haddock, Hillary
Burton Morgan as Shelley Hoskins, Jonathan Joss as Joseph Hoskins,
sob Romy as Olivia Hoskins, Samuel Marty as Ethan Hoskins,

(29:04):
Kristin Bauer as Celeste, and Nathan Fillion as Thomas Bradshaw,
with additional voice acting by brigand Snow, Andrew Nowak, Julia Maurizawa,
Jarvis Johnson and Brielle Bresnan, Kristen de Mecurio, James Oliva,
and Leron Amil. Learn more about the show over at

(29:25):
Grimm and Mild dot com, slash Bridgewater, and find more
podcasts from I heart Radio, on the I heart Radio app,
Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows,
and as always, thanks for listening.
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