Lost Hills: Dead in the Water

Lost Hills: Dead in the Water

Lost Hills investigates the dark side of Malibu, California. Beneath a seductive facade, this city of billionaires, celebrities, and surf bums is hiding something menacing. Season 2 takes place in the late 70s and early ‘80s, as Malibu was changing from a low-profile beach town into a celebrity haven, full of new money and hard drugs. When a Malibu woman and her son mysteriously drowned, her husband was arrested for their murders—and ultimately convicted. But to this day, many people—including the victim's family—claim he’s innocent. And listen back to season 1, which chronicled the horrifying story of a man killed in a Malibu campground while sleeping beside his young daughters—and exposed a law-enforcement coverup. Hosted by Dana Goodyear (The New Yorker) and produced by Western Sound and Pushkin Industries. Show artwork: For a Kid, 2021, copyright Francesca Gabbiani. Follow us @losthillspod on Twitter and Instagram for a deeper dive into the stories.

Episodes

March 2, 2021 2 min

Lost Hills, reported, written and hosted by Dana Goodyear.

Coming March 16th from Western Sound and Pushkin Industries

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After Tristan Beaudette’s murder, other victims come forward telling similar tales. . . of a sniper in Malibu who has been shooting at campers and at moving cars for the past 18 months. Always in the dark of night, at 4AM.

The cops say they can’t connect the crimes, but then they arrest a drifter: 42-year-old Anthony Rauda, who lives under a tarp behind the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. Is he the killer, or a scapegoat?

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March 16, 2021 39 min

A devastating fire rips through Malibu, burning Anthony Rauda’s campsite, Malibu Creek State Park, and any evidence the cops might have missed. Rauda appears in court, and a tentative link is established between him and the murder. Meanwhile, Cece Woods, a popular Malibu blogger, casts doubt on the case against Rauda as she crusades against the Lost Hills station — why didn’t the authorities warn the public before someone died? She...

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March 23, 2021 48 min

Three months after his arrest, Anthony Rauda is charged with the murder of Tristan Beaudette, all the other shootings, as well as a series of strange burglaries involving junk food from commercial buildings around the periphery of the park. He pleads not guilty.

Erica Wu, Tristan Beaudette’s widow, opens up about her husband, and files a $90 million dollar lawsuit against the county, the state parks system, and the sheriff’s departm...

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March 30, 2021 32 min

The cops went from saying that they couldn’t connect the crimes to saying that one person, Anthony Rauda, had done them all. Is that even possible?


When officials at California State Parks refuse to answer questions, a hiker in Malibu Creek State Park reveals the location of Rauda’s camp.


And Jimmy Rogers, victim of Near MIss #1, describes being awakened just before dawn by an explosion . . . aimed at his head. He says the cops told ...

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April 6, 2021 41 min

Who is Anthony Rauda?


He’s more than a drifter. He’s an aspiring musician and a writer, with a long history of mental-health struggles and an extensive criminal record. He's a committed survivalist, attempting to live completely off the grid and without assistance. He’s been arrested repeatedly with antique firearms and gunpowder.


And he hates the Lost Hills cops.

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April 13, 2021 33 min

Lost Hills Station is embroiled in scandal. But the new captain is determined to set the story straight.

He says there were major errors in the investigation, and points a finger at two respected Lost Hills detectives: Sgt. Tui Wright and Lt. James Royal.

Ian Kincaid, a shooting victim, describes overhearing a private conversation at Lost Hills Station.

As her relationship with Sheriff Villanueva deepens, Cece Woods feels her power in...

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April 20, 2021 36 min

As the judge questions Anthony Rauda’s competency to stand trial, the prosecutor lays out her case. There’s still no weapon for the first five shootings, and no clear motive.

But a look at Rauda’s writing reveals a secret connection to the crime.

And a close examination of a photograph taken by a citizen investigator at Rauda’s camp gives rise to a stunning discovery: potentially critical evidence that law enforcement overlooked. 

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April 27, 2021 48 min

Two hikers who stumbled on Rauda’s camp before the Beaudette murder lament a missed opportunity to stop the crime before it happened.

Sgt. Wright and Lt. Royal file whistleblower lawsuits against the sheriff’s department, and Sgt. Wright shares damaging information.

Erica Wu prepares to move, and, after nearly three years, scatters some of Tristan Beaudette’s ashes.

With Anthony Rauda in custody, will peace return to Malibu?

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On the night that Tristan Beaudette was killed while camping with his daughters, the campground at Malibu Creek State Park was full of families. Just across the access road from Beaudette’s tent, Stacey Sebourn was in a tent with her eight-year-old daughter and her daughter’s best friend. Sebourn provides a harrowing first-hand account of her experience.

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June 17, 2021 22 min

Since Lost Hills debuted, two sources have come forward with new information about Anthony Rauda: a new, alleged victim and his half-sister.

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November 22, 2021 3 min

In January 1981, Verna Johnson-Roehler and her young son, Doug, drowned while boating thirty miles off the coast of Malibu. Verna’s husband, Fred Roehler, was the sole survivor and only witness. 

Initially, the deaths were ruled accidental. But a phone call from a Malibu neighbor changed everything. Was Fred a monster, masquerading as the perfect Malibu dad? Or was an innocent man convicted by his gossiping neighbors?

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December 1, 2021 36 min

Fred, Verna, and their four young children are the happiest-looking family in Malibu. It’s a Brady Bunch story, a blended family living by the beach. But when they take their 50-foot sailboat, Perseverance, to the Channel Islands, tragedy strikes, and Verna and Doug mysteriously drown. Fred’s story—that it was all a terrible accident—has a problem. And her name is Lady. 

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December 1, 2021 31 min

The Ventura County Medical Examiner determines Verna and Doug’s deaths to be accidental drownings, so Fred moves forward with funeral plans. But the cremations are halted after a family friend calls in a tip to the sheriff’s department. Fred receives some unexpected visitors. . . and they want to know what happened to his first wife.

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December 6, 2021 27 min

Fred’s first wife, Jeanne, a flight attendant for United Airlines, is glamorous, outgoing, the life of the party. But there are tensions in the marriage and they’re mounting. Jeanne tells her sister she’s had enough. She’s in love with someone else.

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December 8, 2021 32 min

It’s 1976 and Jeanne is in thrall to Lifespring, a self-improvement group, or, some would say, a cult. She is manifesting her future—without Fred. This alternative reality never arrives. Instead, Jeanne dies. And the similarities to Verna’s death are eerie.

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December 13, 2021 32 min

Shortly after Jeanne’s death, Fred starts seeing Verna, one of Jeanne’s closest friends. It’s a whirlwind romance, and soon they’re merging families. The timeline of their relationship stokes Malibu gossip, and, later, piques the interest of detectives. Was it just a coincidence that Verna’s first husband had died unexpectedly, too?

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December 15, 2021 34 min

The sheriff’s department orders a new set of autopsies on Verna and Doug, to be conducted in secret. Now, there’s enough evidence to arrest Fred. Meanwhile, detectives talk to his neighbors, coworkers, and friends. Some say he’s a charming, dedicated family man, while others whisper of a dark side and a hair-trigger temper. Also, one of Doug’s best friends remembers life in the Roehler household. 

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December 20, 2021 32 min

After Fred’s arrest, detectives start looking into his finances. How does a civilian employee of the Navy afford a beachfront home, on a gated road in Malibu, and a brand-new $150K sailboat? Also, they learn that the Roehlers owned large insurance policies. Could that be the motive the cops are looking for?

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December 22, 2021 31 min

Fred hires a high-powered defense attorney and a team of private eyes, and starts pushing back on the detectives’ narrative. He’s got an explanation for everything: his real-estate holdings, his income, and all those insurance policies. But can the detectives explain why their witnesses are walking back statements?

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