Mom didn’t kill herself. It was murder. That’s what Billie Jean Letterman's daughter is out to prove. Season 1 of Burden examines the suspicious death of a young mother in Arkansas and the dangers of not holding abusers accountable. Hosted by attorney Stephanie Harris and journalist Karen Tricot Steward. Get bonus content on Patreon. Burden is a production of Power of Pod, a podcast production company that uses the power of podcasting to help us better understand our world. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


August 22, 2022 3 mins

Mom didn't kill herself. It was murder. That's what one daughter is out to prove. Burden is a podcast about the suspicious death of Billie Jean Letterman near Texarkana, Arkansas in 1991.

The story covers Billie’s tragic death, an investigation that went terribly wrong, and a family left with many hard questions.

Burden is based on extensive interviews with police, forensic experts, paramedics, Billie Jean’s family and frien...

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Billie Jean Letterman died of a gunshot wound to the head at her home in Texarkana, Arkansas in 1991. Her husband Michael said she shot herself.

When paramedics arrive at the scene, Michael is behaving suspiciously. At the hospital, medical staff also notice some concerning behavior. 

Police interview Michael to try to understand what happened to Billie Jean but are quick to appease him when he becomes nervous and c...

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October 6, 2022 25 mins

Billie Jean Letterman’s daughter Ashly was in the house the night her mother was shot in the head. Ashly is Michael Letterman's step daughter. She was only six years old when her mom died. What she saw that night has been haunting her ever since. 

Ashly’s father Topper Letterman, who is also Michael Letterman’s older brother, talks about his relationship with Michael and what he thinks happened the night Billie Jean was sho...

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October 13, 2022 24 mins

Police officers report what they saw at the scene the night Billie Jean was shot. Lead investigator Sgt. Don Nix talks about the case many years later and says he believes it was a homicide. He has trouble remembering some of the details, though, and contradicts himself numerous times.

Ashly speaks publicly about her mom’s case and is told what she is saying only proves that Michael is telling the truth.

Bonus content availab...

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October 20, 2022 30 mins

Michael’s first wife tells police about the horrible things Michael did to her when they were married. Hospital records reveal the final moments of Billie’s life. The crime lab sends its findings to lead investigator Sgt. Don Nix. And, five years after she died, the investigation into Billie’s death is reopened.

Bonus content available on Patreon.

Visit BurdenPod.com for more information on this show. Say hello on Facebook, I...

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October 27, 2022 37 mins

On this episode, stories of growing up in the Letterman household. We also hear from Billie's family and friends about times they were afraid of Michael Letterman and efforts to call police.

Ashly’s cousin David Wayne comes forward to say he has information about the night Billie Jean died that he’s never revealed.

And, a reflection on the violent past of a man elected prosecuting attorney in Miller County around the time tha...

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November 3, 2022 55 mins

After Billie Jean died, Michael Letterman married for a third time to a young woman named Ginna. This is Ginna’s story about her 15-year marriage to Michael, the man she calls a monster. We hear how she eventually got away from him and the lingering questions she has about the death of his second wife. 

Bonus content available on Patreon.

Hosted on Acast. See...

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November 10, 2022 27 mins

With all the physical evidence lost and little investigation into Billie’s case, we look to Billie’s body for clues about what happened the night she was shot. 

The 1991 autopsy of Billie Jean Letterman was performed by a controversial medical examiner named Dr. Fahmy Malak, who resigned amid accusations that he botched several autopsies. We took the autopsy results to Dr. Charles Kokes, the new chief medical examiner for t...

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November 17, 2022 91 mins

On the season finale, legal expert Erin Cassinelli weighs in on what charges could have been filed against Michael Letterman for the role he played in the shooting death of Billie Jean. Then, a conversation with Billie Jean’s daughter Ashly about the impact telling her mom’s story has had on her and her family. Ashly also talks about present-day experiences with law enforcement’s handling of domestic violence situations.

Bonus c...

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February 14, 2023 19 mins

We want to share with you a true crime podcast we think you’ll really like. It’s called Ozarks True Crime. Listen to Episode 1 of Season 2 right here. It tells the story of the Feeney family murders.

On February 25, 1995, Jon Feeney said goodbye to his wife and two young children before driving to a teacher’s conference an hour and a half away. Two days later, his wife and two young children were found brutally murdered. Th...

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