The Kitchen Table Historian

The Kitchen Table Historian

Come sit and listen to all the stories that your grandma never wanted you to hear. Join author and historian John Brassard Jr. as he recounts stories of true crime, bizarre tales, and weird history from the American Midwest.

Episodes

July 22, 2022 10 min
Ever find yourself in a situation where your instincts scream at you to run? Most of us have. I know I did when I encountered the abandoned truck. 
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Quarters One has sat on Arsenal Island for 150 years. It's seen politicians, soldiers, and celebrities come and go. But some say that some of them may have never left, and they - or something else - still walk the mansion's halls.
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James Chapman and his wife, Clementine, had no idea who sent the package to them in late 1922. But when they opened it to find out, one would lose their life and the other's life would be changed forever.
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Jim Arpy was a veteran reporter who loved a great story, so when a couple approached him about their haunted house, he was intrigued. But was it truly haunted by a murdered woman's dying screams?
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When Reverend Clarence Sheatsley found his wife, Addie, in the parsonage furnace, he believed that she had committed suicide. The county prosecutor thought that it was murder. What really happened to Addie Sheatsley?
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In this short story, the assembled crowd at the Saunders, Wisconsin train depot that hot summer day of 1907 just wanted to get a train ride. What they got instead was a show that none of them had ever wanted to see - or could ever forget.
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William Engelberg was probably looking for a better life when he came to America. But his efforts were met with tragedy after two of his wives committed suicide only a few years apart.
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In 1962, Continental Airlines Boeing 707 Flight 11 crashed in Unionville, Missouri. It had been hit with enough force that a tornado was originally to blame. But was it really a tragic accident, or had something far more sinister caused the crash?
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While investigators were dealing with a devastating plane crash near the Iowa-Missouri Border, they had no idea that a man named Gayno Smith was about to commit one of the most horrific crimes in Iowa history only an hour away.
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As the Great Depression gripped the nation, two mass murders claimed Iowa families only two months apart from each other. The details are as saddening as they are horrifying.
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February 21, 2022 27 min
All Thaddeus Fancher wanted to do was have a drink. But when a group of robbers came into the bar, his night would end in death. Who had killed him, and what ties did they have to one of the most vicious killers in prohibition-era Chicago?
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February 7, 2022 32 min
In 1924, Bernice Zalimas was accused of poisoning her husband in Chicago, Illinois. But did she really, or was she the victim of vicious rumors?
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January 24, 2022 12 min
During an almost ten-year period, the Botkin family faced two awful tragedies. Today, we take a look at the horrific consequences of suicide and steam.
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In this continuation, we find that Dr. Frank Loomis has been freed, apparently innocent of murdering his wife, Grace. But with the discovery of new evidence, Frank would stand trial for first-degree murder. Was he innocent, or would he be found guilty of committing the perfect crime?
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In 1927, Detroit police were convinced that Dr. Frank Loomis had murdered his wife. Was he innocent, or had he committed what everyone had begun to call the perfect crime?
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Ever been afraid of a stranger hiding in your house? In 1927, Edna Ross might have been, but she had to deal with the one walking through her front door first.
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The mansion was a secret hidden in plain sight, overlooking the Mississippi River in Bettendorf, Iowa. Some say that something strange still walks those halls, perhaps from the mansions past of sudden death, madness, and suicide.
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In 1912, a horrific murder took place in Villisca, Iowa. Some people say the spirits of the victims still remain. After seeing the ball, I might just be a believer myself.
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September 30, 2021 8 min
In this short story that your grandma didn’t want you to hear, a campus security officer has a brush with the supernatural at a midwestern university. What happened to them on that long ago night?
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In 1947, a woman’s mutilated body was found on Credit Island, near Davenport, Iowa. Little did investigators know, the case was going to be one of the most brutal crimes in the history of the region.
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