True Crime Campfire

True Crime Campfire

Join hosts Katie and Whitney for a different kind of true crime podcast. You can start with season 1, The Puppet Master and the Prince of Darkness, a deep dive into the most bizarre murder case you've never heard of. Or start with season 2, which covers a different stranger-than-fiction story each week. This bingeworthy show combines meticulous research with a refreshing mix of comic relief and seamless storytelling. There's plenty of room around the campfire--come help us roast murderers and marshmallows!

Episodes

May 20, 2022 46 min
It was a cold one out there the day she walked into his life—gray, like the color of her eyes. She showed up like a shiny silver dollar in the path of a starving man—exactly what he needed, at exactly the right time. Blonde. Young. Full of big ideas. She was a small-town dame in the big city, ready to take the place by storm. She was a perfect pearl. And he knew she’d believe whatever he told her. He was about to teach the girl a h...
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In the story of Pinocchio, a wooden puppet dreams of becoming a real boy—a real son to his maker, Geppetto. He’s a bit of a mess—always getting into mischief, lying and hanging around with the wrong crowd. But when he learns how to really care about people, the good fairy finally grants his wish, making him fully human. It’s a pretty powerful lesson: That what makes us whole, a lot of the time, is learning how to care for other peo...
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Elle Newmark wrote, “Unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded.” Most of us have felt that special kind of pain that comes from pining after somebody who’s not pining after you. Most of us manage to take the hit and move on. But a few take…another path. This is the story of Jonna Henningsson, a bright, outgoing young woman who loved animals and caring for others. Jonna ...
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April 29, 2022 42 min
John Adams once wrote that genius is sorrow’s child. A couple years ago, The Economist published an article called “The Curse of Genius” about the tumultuous lives of child prodigies. And how many times has Mensa come up on this show by now? About half a dozen, at least? Genius, it seems, is a double-edged sword. Some people are able to harness it to make spectacular leaps forward in art or science or technology. But for some, the ...
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In the Bible, First Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” It’s actually a pretty good definition of love—the kind most of us h...
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There’s an old saying that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get ya. For one brilliant yet troubled mind, living in fear was pretty much the norm for most of his adult life. His friends had come to take his worries with a grain of salt. Some of them seemed like the kind of bizarre fantasies you’d find in an episode of the X-Files. Nobody really took them seriously. That is, until their paranoid friend wen...
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So, this might seem like a weird question, but hear me out. Does authenticity matter? Let me be more specific. Does art need to be authentic? What if you found out, for example, that your favorite writer—somebody whose traumatic life story you related to, somebody whose identity was a living, breathing part of the power of the stories they told—was a fake? Not the person they presented themselves to be at all? Would you be fine wit...
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The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed—only transferred from one form to another. For example, dynamite explodes when chemical energy is converted to kinetic energy. It’s an interesting metaphor for a kind of killer we see a lot on True Crime Campfire: the smart, dynamic charmer with everything going for them, who throws it all away by putting their energy into all the wrong stuff: R...
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Becky Sears and Kay Parsons were not only next door neighbors, but best friends, too. Their sons were in Little League together, and their husbands liked to join them both for dinner, drinks, and games of mixed doubles tennis. But secrets and lies would soon rip their friendship apart, and the consequences would reverberate throughout their small Georgia community for years to come. Join us for one of the twisty-turniest murder cas...
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Lying is an essential human activity—everybody does it sometimes. And there are a few different reasons people do it. Sometimes it’s an innocent attempt to spare somebody’s feelings: Y’know, “It’s not you, it’s me,” or “Oh no, Gramma, I loved that sweater you made me! It’s just um…it was stolen. Yeah, stolen!” Sometimes it’s to avoid accountability. “I didn’t kill that guy,” or “That vase was shattered when I got here.” Sometimes i...
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T.S. Eliot ends his poem “The Hollow Men” with the line “This is the way the world ends…not with a bang, but a whimper.” Spree criminals are always after the bang. Many see themselves going out in a blaze of glory, taking as many people with them as they can. Going down in history as some kind of dark antihero, shaking up the way we think, making us question our most basic values—leaving a big, smoking crater in the earth on their ...
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March 8, 2022 4 min
In the series premiere, radio DJ Fred Heckman (Jon Hamm) receives an unexpected call from a listener that turns his life upside down.

Follow American Hostage on Amazon Music, to hear all 8 episodes right now: wondery.fm/TCC_AmericanHostage
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In the old Hans Christian Anderson tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, the emperor was the kind of clothes horse who’d make Anna Wintour look like a frump in a burlap sack. This guy was all about the fashion, and the more extravagant the better. So one day, a couple of con men came blazin’ into town, pretending to be the best tailors in the biz. They swept into the emperor’s castle, bragging about the spectacular wardrobe they could...
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February 25, 2022 47 min
When we left you at the end of part 1, we had just learned one of Bart Corbin’s best-kept secrets: that, 14 years before the murder of Jennifer Corbin, his ex-girlfriend Dolly Hearn had died from a gunshot wound to the head. A gunshot wound eerily similar to Jenn’s—and a death that had been ruled a suicide, to the disbelief of the people closest to the victim. Now, Dolly’s parents were determined to make contact with the investigat...
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February 18, 2022 51 min
A little mystery can be fun in a relationship. It keeps things interesting. You don’t have to share every thought that passes through your head, or tell all your best stories on the first or second date. Keeping your partner guessing about a few things can add a little spice. You shouldn’t feel like you have to make your life an open book. But if you end up with someone who won’t even let you take a peek at the very first page, tha...
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February 11, 2022 53 min
I always loved the old “Twilight Zone” series. In most of the stories, ordinary people would wake up one morning and find themselves in a world that had changed in some crucial, baffling way. Everybody else would be in on the change, going around like nothing had happened, and the hero would have to figure out how to navigate this scary new reality. It’s fun to watch, when it’s fiction. But what if you woke up one morning and reali...
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February 4, 2022 55 min
We’ve said it before on True Crime Campfire: We’re nerds. And so are most of our friends. Nerds can be the very best people. All most of us want to do is to read our comics or cosplay our favorite characters from Final Fantasy VII, or learn to speak Klingon. We’re harmless. Most of us. But every category of person has its dark element. And for some people, fantasy is anything but harmless. For them, it can fuel a sense of superiori...
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Love, hate and obsession have always been pretty close relatives. Anybody who’s ever picked up a Harlequin romance novel or watched a ridiculous rom-com knows that we don’t really get the best guidance from society on how to manage our love lives. Some of us just kinda wing it until we figure it out. Some of us go from train wreck to train wreck, and some decide we’d rather skip the whole thing and focus on hobbies and pets and lea...
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January 21, 2022 39 min
“Stranger than fiction” is one of our guiding forces here at True Crime Campfire. We always try to find the kind of stories that will live rent-free in your head for the rest of your life. But of all the weird stories we’ve encountered in our decades of true crime obsession, there are a few that stand out far above the crowd. In our first case, a quirky professor known for his unorthodox views on fast food comes home from a confere...
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When we left you at the end of part 1, Omaha homicide detectives had just put a new suspect on their radar for the brutal murders of Tom Hunter, Shirlee Sherman, and Roger and Mary Brumback: Dr. Anthony Garcia, a former resident in the pathology department at Creighton University Hospital. Garcia had been terminated from his residency after a series of bad evaluations. Now, years later, the doctors who fired him were in the crossha...
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