The Pink Moon Murders

The Pink Moon Murders

The Pink Moon Murders is an investigative, true crime podcast that delves into the slaughter of eight members of the Rhoden family in rural, Appalachian Ohio in 2016. It was a night that shocked the country with its brutality—and its mystery. Who would commit such horrible crimes? And why? Ohio native David Raterman, a longtime journalist and former author for National Geographic, spent 18 months researching this, interviewing Rhoden survivors and friends as well as hundreds of others in the small community. He even spoke with prosecutors and police officers who were officially gagged by the judge, visited the crime scenes countless times, and pored through records at courthouses throughout the region. Two and a half years after the Rhoden murders, investigators suddenly arrested six members of another family. Raterman attended more than 20 of their hearings at the small, one-room courthouse in Pike County and interviewed their neighbors and friends. What he discovered about that family, who owns the most land in the county as well as an elite horse farm, will leave listeners in utter disbelief. And what he reports overall will surprise investigators—as well as true crime listeners who think they’ve heard it all. Presented by Cavalry Audio and iHeartPodcasts


February 10, 2022 2 min

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A night of violence shakes a small Ohio town to its core when eight family members—the Rhodens—are shot to death in their sleep in 2016. Their ages range from 44 to 16 with five males and three females—including two young moms with their babies nearby. David Raterman, a journalist who grew up 90 miles away, decides to investigate what the local sheriff calls “a heinous crime that’s never been seen before.” And what he discovers is ...

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February 22, 2022 36 min

Officers from around Ohio rush in to help the small sheriff’s office, with early suspects including Rhoden in-laws as well as several men who recently fought two Rhodens. And loved ones share thoughts about the murders as well as about the victims. This includes how they valued family first and were hard workers—and how some of the males were attractive as “bad boys.” In early news reports, all were portrayed as loving. But did any...

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At a cemetery where five Rhodens are buried, a family friend and former cop shares his insight. Others close to the seven Rhodens and one Rhoden-to-be celebrate their lives and give further insight into them, including an ex-boyfriend whose child lost a mother in the shootings. Police report they’re following up on 450 tips they’ve received and have already interviewed 128 people. And then suddenly, the announcement of a large crim...

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March 8, 2022 37 min

After prosecutors announce marijuana grow operations on Rhoden properties, news outlets report the illegal crops are valued at $400,000—a fortune in the rural, Appalachian community. Journalist David Raterman learns more about drug production and use throughout the region, and he discovers connections to Mexico’s ruthless cartel leader El Chapo. Was he involved in the Rhoden murders, as many in the community believe? Also, court re...

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A year after the murders, Ohioans remain scared and frustrated that a mass murderer is still loose—despite police studying evidence and interviewing hundreds of people. Among the most important questions is how the killer got past all the dogs outside Rhoden homes. “Solve that, and you might solve the crime,” Tony Rhoden says. After another year, a family of six—the Wagners—is arrested. Four are charged with the murders, and the tw...

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Billy and Angela Wagner, husband and wife, and their sons, George and Jake, each face eight counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications. Investigators hint that the Wagners murdered to get custody of a daughter Jake and 19-year-old Hanna May Rhoden shared. Then journalist David Raterman discovers who these Wagners are—the black sheep of Pike County’s largest landowner—and who they are not, including Billy legally ...

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Because two generations of Wagners allegedly committed mass murder and a third—the two great-grandmothers—was charged with obstructing justice and perjury, and the motive was custody of a fourth generation, journalist David Raterman now wants to learn about the great-grandmothers. Angela’s mom, who has worked blue-collar jobs and been a strong family woman, seems typical for the area. But Billy’s mom is the largest landowner in Pik...

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At pretrial hearings, prosecutors ask the lead investigator about evidence they connect to the Wagner Four, including bloody footprints, shell casings, and Captain America masks. And he testifies that Jake was assaulting Hanna May Rhoden, his fiancée and baby mom, which is why she broke up with him. The special agent also testifies that Wagners hacked into Hanna May’s private messages and discovered a disturbing message from Hanna ...

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April 12, 2022 35 min

In a shocking twist, on April 22, 2021—the fifth anniversary of the murders—Jake pleads guilty to the charges against him, including unlawful sexual conduct with a minor since Hanna May was only 15 and he was 20 when they conceived their daughter. An Ohio neuropsychologist shares his thoughts for what kind of people could murder eight sleeping family members, describing “antisocial personality,” “narcissistic injury,” and similar t...

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