True Crime Reporter™

True Crime Reporter™

The True Crime Reporter™ podcast takes its audience behind the yellow crime scene where few podcasters dare to go. The Dallas-based podcast takes listeners on a journey into darkness guided by Peabody Award-Winning investigative reporter Robert Riggs. Everything is bigger in Texas, and crime is no exception. The 2021 Webby Awards named the True Crime Reporter™ podcast among seven honorees, including Dateline NBC and BBC Sounds for “Best True Crime Podcast.” Hailed as the Internet’s highest honor by The New York Times, Claire Graves, Executive Director of the Webby Awards, praised Riggs’ podcast, "Honorees like Robert Riggs and the True Crime Reporter™ podcast are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet. It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the nearly 13,500 entries we received this year from 50 states and 70 countries." A leading television streaming channel is currently producing a five-episode news documentary based on Riggs’ first season about serial killer Kenneth Allen McDuff. Bill Johnston, a decorated former federal prosecutor, joined the True Crime Reporter™ podcast in 2021 as Riggs cohost. This Texas duo has been up close and personal with the worst of the worst criminals, including serial killers, mass murderers, and sexual predators. You name it, and they’ve seen it from the crime scene to the courtroom, from maximum-security prisons to death row. Their real crime stories are stranger than fiction. True Crime Reporter™ produces three types of episodes. True Crime Reporter™ Extra - features highly produce narrative storytelling about criminal cases. It blends Robert Riggs’ writing/narration with his interviews of investigators, crime victims, forensic experts, convicted criminals, music, and natural sound. True Crime Reporter™ Confidential - conducts a classic “police procedural.” Riggs and Johnston weave compelling stories during an interview-style/talk show. Think of them as the “Larry King’s” of True Crime. They interview investigators, crime victims, forensic experts, members of the judiciary, even convicted criminals about criminal cases. True Crime Reporter™ Texas Ranger Files - features unique access to the case files of one of the worlds’ most legendary law enforcement organizations. Riggs and Johnston interview Texas Rangers about their most unusual investigations. These officers work murders in the wild frontier of Texas. True Crime Reporter™ tells epic and heroic stories about the Rangers that most people have never heard. Our mission is not only to entertain but also to educate. The episodes on True Crime Reporter™ discuss means and motives. We want listeners to come away with insights about crime prevention and self-protection. The criminal justice system has recognized Riggs and Johnston for their sensitivity to crime victims. Bill Johnston received the “Victim Advocate of the Year Award” for bringing the nation’s first prosecution under the Violence Against Women’s Act. Three weeks after its enactment, Johnston utilized the new law to prosecute a man who sent a twenty-pound pipe bomb to his ex-wife in an attempted murder plot. The American Bar Association has honored Riggs with its Silver Gavel Award for investigative reports that exposed corruption in Texas’ parole and prison systems. The Dallas Crime Commission, in conjunction with the FBI, awarded Riggs its first-ever Excellence In Reporting Award for his investigation of teenage heroin deaths in Plano, Texas, and a landmark series on identity theft. The first season of True Crime Reporter™ broadcasted a 17-episode series about the corrupt release of serial killer Kenneth Allen McDuff from prison by the Texas Parole Board. Bill Johnston organized and led the successful manhunt for McDuff. Following Robert Riggs’ news investigation about parole selling, Johnston prosecuted the Texas Parole Board Chairman who had released McDuff.


May 30, 2023 31 mins

Steve January, the Chief Deputy of the McLennan County Sheriff in Waco, Texas, was a lawman cut from denim of the old west.

Hundreds of officers recently paid their last respects to January, whose life was not cut short by a bullet from his many face-offs with killers but by cancer. 

I’m Robert Riggs with a story about an officer who fought many a round seeking justice inside the crime scene tape.

Steve and I were last pictured ...

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God forbid if I ever was murdered, I would want Johnny Bonds on the case.   

His name sounds like a film noir detective. Johnny Bonds is the stuff true crime legends are made of. 

In 1972, he became the youngest officer ever assigned to the elite homicide division in Houston, Texas. 

He had a sixth sense of how to approach people or investigations.

He relentlessly hunted down killers and challenged powerful politicians who got ...

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Before, there was Osama bin Laden. Before, there was Timothy McVeigh. There was Ted Kaczynski.  The UNABOMBER. FBI codename for “UNiversity and Airline BOMBER.”

For sixteen years, Jamie Gehring grew up next door to Ted Kaczynski. She never had a clue that the man who appeared to be a harmless hermit was one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th Century. 

Hello. I’m investigative reporter Robert Riggs here to ask you a ...

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This is the third episode in my series about how new DNA technology solves previously unsolvable cold cases.  It’s called FGG -- Forensic Genetic Genealogy.

I’m investigative reporter Robert Riggs taking you inside the crime scene case into how the first use of forensic genetic genealogy in Dallas County, Texas, caught a serial rapist responsible for over 50 victims.

75-year-old David Thomas Hawkins of Fort Worth, Texas, left a t...

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The Golden State Killer got away with 12 murders, 50 rapes, and more than 100 burglaries for over forty years before being caught. 

DNA evidence from his crime scenes never matched DNA samples in the FBI’s CODIS databases because he had never been arrested for murder or rape.

Eventually, investigators uploaded the profile to genealogy sites and identified a relative on the killer’s family tree.

It led to the conviction of James ...

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Sitting across the desk from a DNA profiler, she told me that I was leaving a trail of cells in her office that would lead back to me, especially if I committed a crime there. 

The rapid advancement of science and technology makes DNA evidence a powerful investigative tool for catching killers and rapists, solving cold cases, identifying missing persons, and clearing the innocent.

I’m investigative reporter Robert Riggs here to t...

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Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were two of the most notorious outlaws in American history, forever linked to the public consciousness. 

They were young, daring, and dangerous, and they captured the imagination of a country struggling through the Great Depression. But behind the legend lay the harsh reality of their lives, a story of poverty, violence, and desperation.

They met in Dallas, Texas, and were immediately drawn to each ...

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Texas Death Row Inmates Called Them The “Macs.”

Kenneth McDuff and Jerry McFadden.  

Two violent psychopaths hated and feared by fellow death row inmates. 

Two killers with a lust for randomly abducting, raping, and murdering young people.

Two killers whose victims would still be alive if Texas had kept them behind bars. 

In this episode, investigative reporter Robert Riggs takes listeners inside the crime scene tape of one of...

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Pastor Wayne Whiteside says, “there are people that seem to be hell-bent on being held bound.”

Whiteside knows of what he preaches after ministering to prison inmates for thirty-nine years.

He spent the last 24 years talking with death row inmates in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Mississippi.

Whiteside says he has looked evil in the eye and seen nothing but empty souls.

He has come face to face with the worst of the...

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Mexican cartels aided by China are poisoning the United States with deadly fentanyl overdoses.

The death toll is the equivalent of a jumbo jet load of passengers crashing every day.

What better way to undermine a country without firing a shot? 

In this episode, I conduct a wide-ranging discussion about the consequences of the war in Iraq on U.S. security. 

This is a timely conversation because March 20th of, 2023, marks the 20t...

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Jerry and Dava Truett lived well beyond their means in the small central Texas town of Kosse. They owned a lake house and a speed boat. They drove a pair of expensive pickup trucks and numerous recreational vehicles.

Townfolk thought they were receiving oil and gas money from their farmland or had an inheritance.

The small community of 500 people confronted the cold-blooded truth about the couple's lifestyle when 52-year-old Mich...

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Homicide detectives and even killers categorize the slain four University of Idaho students as “shiny” victims. 

They were young, innocent, and attractive.  

John Moriarty, the former Inspector General of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, says such cases motivate investigators to go the extra mile to solve the crime.

“It’s the ultimate good versus evil,” said Moriarty.

Investigators used sophisticated techniques detaile...

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This episode marks Part 2 of questions posed to investigative reporter Robert Riggs by true crime fan and Texas A&M architecture major Patricia Rocha.

Hopefully, listeners can take away advice about staying safe in the wake of an arrest of a suspect in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students on November 13, 2022, at their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho.

Two other roommates upstairs slept through the brutal ...

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In a new press conference-style episode, True Crime Reporter's Robert Riggs takes questions from fans. 

True crime fan Patricia Rocha turns the table on Riggs and asks what it is like to go inside the crime scene tape.

Riggs recently met Rocha, an architecture student, and her friends at a ceremony for Outstanding Alumni from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.

Afterward, Rocha and her friends peppered him...

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What goes on inside the minds of women who commit murder and other crimes?

In my previous episode on December 13, 2022, titled A Mother’s Pursuit of Justice: The Contract Murder of Dan Markel, I reported that three women are the focus of an eight-year-long murder investigation.

Markel, a distinguished law professor at Florida State University was gunned down by hitmen at his Tallahassee home in 2014.

Katherine Maguahua (phonetic...

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Murder is a life sentence for the victim’s family and friends. Closure is a myth perpetuated by the news media. 

During three decades of investigative reporting, Robert Riggs has witnessed how the victim’s families often suffer in silence and are left out of the confusing criminal justice process.

In this episode of the True Crime Reporter® podcast, Ruth Markel shares a remarkable story of grief, resilience, and hope duri...

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Chris Hansen, the journalist who created the televised series To Catch A Predator, warns that the problem of adults preying on children for sex is growing at an alarming rate. 

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has reported that during the peak of the pandemic, inappropriate contacts between adults and children, predatory contacts, as well as the transmission of inappropriate material between adults and c...

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Cooking oil left over from french fries and fried chicken has become liquid gold. 

Organized criminal gangs are emptying storage tanks at restaurants and convenience stores across the United States.

Hello. I’m investigative reporter Robert Riggs with an unusual story from inside the crime scene tape. 

Did you know a gallon of used cooking oil is now worth more than a gallon of gasoline?

The thefts fuel a multimillion-dollar bla...

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Sitting in the maternity ward of Dallas Methodist hospital, 30-year-old Nester Oswaldo Hernandez told his girlfriend that “we are both going to die today, and whoever comes in this room is going to die with us.”

Hernandez, a violent offender out on early parole in Texas, executed a social worker and a nurse as they entered the room of his girlfriend and newborn baby, according to a Dallas police arrest warrant.

Hernandez had just...

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November 1, 2022 34 mins

In the previous episode, we showed how homicide detectives solved 50-year-old cold cases.

They analyzed old evidence by using new DNA extraction technology pioneered by Othram, a forensic genealogy lab in Texas.

Othram provided new leads by finding relatives of suspects on genealogy databases.

As revolutionary as that seems, it was just a few years ago that the FBI pioneered the use of mitochondrial DNA in a Texas murder case.


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