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.

Episodes

November 22, 2022 42 min

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 black m...

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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 a...

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November 1, 2022 34 min

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.

Mito...

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14-year Stephanie Anne Isaacson left her father’s apartment in North Las Vegas on the early morning of June 1, 1989.

She walked through an empty sandlot, her usual shortcut, to the Eldorado High School.

The ninth grader never made it to her 7:30 AM class at Eldorado High School.

Later that evening, officers found her body under a piece of discarded carpet in a sandlot that Isaacson used to take a shortcut to school.

Stephanie was t...

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I’m Robert Riggs and in this episode, I take you inside the crime scene tape of the once bank robbery capital of the world.

In 1997, I was in the Los Angeles office of the FBI’s bank robbery squad, reporting on an epidemic of violent take-over bank robberies. 

Veteran FBI Agent Bill Rehder pointed to a wall plastered with bank surveillance photos.

clad head to toe in black body armor and armed with assault rifles. 

Rehder focused o...

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Don Bentley’s career zigzagged from flying an Army helicopter gunship on combat missions in Afghanistan to working counterintelligence for the FBI, to now writing suspense-filled novels based on the knowledge of his previous careers.

In my last episode, former FBI agent Don Bentley took us inside the training of Special Agents at the elite FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

After the FBI, Bentley launched a successful writing caree...

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There’s a bank in Quantico, Virginia that gets robbed every day.

And I am going to take you there.

Hello. I’m Robert Riggs

In this episode of True Crime Reporter®, former FBI Agent Don Bentley takes us inside the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

New Special Agents start their career there in an intensive 20-week long training program.

Realistic training scenarios unfold in a mock town called Hogan’s Alley named after a comic st...

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In the previous episode, Inside Story Of The Deadliest Attack On Police Officers Since 9/11, the negotiator for the Dallas SWAT team revealed the inside story about the mass killer who ambushed Dallas officers during a Black Lives Matter protest five years ago.

Members of our True Crime Community have asked to learn more about the purpose of SWAT teams.

SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics.  It’s a highly trained elite unit ...

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On the evening of July 7, 2016, Black Lives Matter protesters marched in downtown Dallas and other cities across the nation.

They peacefully gathered in response to the police shootings of two black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.

A few blocks from the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, an African American man who had left the U.S. Army following disgraceful conduct got out of his SUV ready for combat...

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The True Crime Reporter® Podcast features stories and interviews from the respective careers of investigative reporter Robert Riggs and former U.S. prosecutor Bill Johnston.

Listeners have asked how both of them got involved in investigating criminal cases.

In response, the podcast featured an episode with Riggs on July 4, 2022, explaining how he first got involved digging for information during the Watergate scandal case while wor...

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Many U.S. prisons are trade schools for crime. High recidivism rates underscore the failure of the current criminal justice system.

Released and rearrested inmates pass through an expensive revolving door. 

The Texas prison used to be called the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC), but there was little evidence it was correcting bad behavior. 

In Texas, nearly one-fourth of the prisoners released return within three years. Nation...

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A growing threat of grievance- shooting is taking center stage across the world.  

Recent examples include the assassination of Japan’s popular prime minister to a patient in Tulsa, Oklahoma who gunned down two doctors and two medical personnel because he was angry about ongoing pain following his surgery.

Sasha Larkin, the Deputy Chief of the Homeland Security Division at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, describes thi...

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A 77-page report by a special committee of the Texas House of Representatives concluded that no one was able to stop the gunman from carrying out the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, in part because of “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of power.

376  law enforcement officers descended on the school in a chaotic, uncoordinated scene devoid of clear lea...

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25-year-old Anna Moriah Wilson, known as “Mo” was an up-and-coming professional cyclist in gravel racing.

Friends described her as a beacon and light and energy.

But another cyclist allegedly snuffed out that light in a hail of gunfire.

Shockwaves from the grievance killing spread from Austin, Texas where the murder occurred to news media around the world.

It is a true-crime story that is stranger than fiction.  

Two female cyclist...

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Many of you have asked how Robert became an investigative reporter.  After all, most of the stories you hear on this podcast come out of my reporter’s notebook.

Riggs' career path has zigged and zagged from when I received a degree in Architecture and Construction from Texas A&M University and upon graduation, he headed off to Capitol Hill.

In this episode, my cohost, former prosecutor Bill Johnston takes me back to the Wat...

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Katherine Schweit headed up the FBI’s active shooter program where she authored the bureau’s landmark research about mass shootings and how to best respond to save lives.

In the wake of the massacre of children and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas, school safety weighs heavily on the minds of teachers and students’ families. 

In this episode of True Crime Reporter®, investigative reporter Robert Riggs and Schweit discuss why the num...

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For many years Texas had a law and order image. 

Politicians campaigned for office about getting tough on crime.

A gubernatorial candidate’s TV ads featured actors wearing black and white overalls swinging sledgehammers in the prison yard. His voice-over pledged to teach youthful criminals “the joy of busing rocks.”

In fact, Texas ran a revolving door prison system.  

Lawmakers passed tougher laws but refused to spend money to buil...

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Was it a case of cloak and dagger among spies? Or was it a plain old case of murder driven by lust and the desire for money?

It is a mystery that lives on 50-years after a popular Czech professor vanished from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Was he a double agent or triple agent that crossed his masters in a Cold War game of spy vs. spy?

Is he living out his years on a tropical island or do his remains lie at the bottom of a...

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Matt Baker, the charismatic Baptist minister who almost got away with murdering his wife is among our most popular episodes.

On his way to the pulpit in Waco, Texas, Baker molested young women.

An investigation of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, revealed that sexual assaults by hundreds of pastors like Matt Bakers were covered up by church leaders for twenty years.

A seven-month investiga...

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Can you imagine yourself falling in love with a serial killer or murderer to the point you will give up your family, career, and even your life for them?

A veteran Alabama jail officer, Vicky White did just that in April of 2022 when she staged a getaway with a capital murder suspect.

The 56-year-old White had an unblemished record.  She was on her last day of work before retirement. Her colleagues had just voted her Corrections Em...

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