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Murder and Mystery in the Last Frontier

True Crime Podcasts

Listen to tales of true murder and mystery in Alaska.

Listen to tales of true murder and mystery in Alaska.


United States


Listen to tales of true murder and mystery in Alaska.






The Killer Who Hibernated in Alaska

Retirees Robert and Dagmar Linton eagerly embarked on a long-planned camping trip in the Pacific Northwest, and they promised their children they would be careful. The Lintons did not express concerns about their journey, but Dagmar made sure their wills and affairs were in order before they left home. Was she just cautious, or did she have a premonition something terrible would befall them? Her son and daughter would always wonder if their mother had concerns, and they would never know what...


Who Murdered the Benolkens

Who brutally raped and murdered James and Anne Benolken in their Juneau apartment in 1982? Nearly four decades later, many questions remain unanswered. Emanuel Teller and Newton Lambert Sources Sources Starr, Douglas. 12-1-2013. Do police interrogation techniques produce false confessions? Episode 4: The Benolken Murders, the police investigation and Special Agent Malone Leo Helmar. Murder Alaska...


The Mystery of the “A” Boats

On Valentine’s Day 1983, two new, beautiful sister ships, the Americus and the Altair sank in the Bering Sea in calm water while on their way to the king crab grounds near the Pribilof Islands. Fourteen men lost their lives in the worst disaster in the history of U.S. commercial fishing. A massive investigation ensued to determine what happened to the boats and what could be done to make commercial fishing safer. Those lost: The Americus: George Nations Brent Boles Larry Littlefield Rich...


Who Murdered Joe?

The endless supply of larger-than-life characters in Alaska makes the state fertile ground for reality television shows and movies based on true stories. If you made a list of the strong, fascinating individuals in the history of this vast state, though, Joe Vogler would rank near the top. Picture a sharply dressed man, wearing a fedora, a bolo tie, and a plaid flannel shirt while he stands in front of a group of rowdy people and proclaims his controversial opinions in a booming voice. Joe...


Alaska Triangle

When doing a podcast about murder and mystery in Alaska, it is difficult to avoid the subject of "The Alaska Triangle." First named in 1972, the Alaska Triangle stretches from Anchorage in southcentral Alaska to Juneau in the southeast panhandle to Utkiagaviq (formerly Barrow) on Alaska's northern coast. Since 1988, more than 16,000 people have vanished from this area, and every year, approximately four people go missing per every 1000 Alaska residents. This rate is twice the national...


The Unhappy Wife

Sitka, Alaska We all know married couples who seem to thrive on discord. These are the people we avoid joining for dinner and the ones in whose presence we squirm as they argue, yell, and threaten. We wonder why they got married, and if they divorce, we’re certain no one else would want either one of them. Still, I’ve met couples who not only manage to survive their contentious relationships but enjoy sparring with their partners. Marriage is hard, but most of us try, at least for a while,...


Murder on Shuyak Island

On November 12th, 2015, Peter, the Island Air, mail-plane pilot, landed at Port William Wilderness Lodge on Shuyak Island. The lodge occupies an old cannery, and Peter found this stop memorable because instead of both of the lodge’s caretakers greeting him, as usual, only one caretaker, 44-year-old Steven Ridenour, met the plane. Peter wondered why the other caretaker, Steven McCaulley, 56, also did not arrive to help unload the freight. Since the tide was high, the plane could not pull up...


Abduction in Tazlina

Tazlina, Alaska, an unincorporated village located 187 miles (301 km) northeast of Anchorage, is nestled along the banks of the Copper River. In 1991, 241 people lived in Tazlina. Eleven-year-old Mandy Lemaire, her parents, and brothers had just moved to Tazlina from Anchorage a year earlier. Mandy’s parents felt Tazlina would be a safer place to raise their children and a place where their kids could learn to hunt and fish and enjoy the Alaska outdoors. Soon after moving to Tazlina, Mandy...


A Bloody Anchorage Night

It took a horrible murder for Alaska to revise its statutes for the criminally insane from some of the most lenient sentencing laws in the country to the strictest laws in the U.S. for the insanity defense. On the night of May 3, 1982, one veteran Anchorage police officer was quoted as saying, “This has got to be one of the grisliest nights I’ve ever seen.” Within an hour, seven people lost their lives. Three died in the Black Bull bar in the Muldoon section of Anchorage, and the other four...


Who Murdered Bonnie Craig?

Bonnie Craig I can’t imagine the agony of losing a child for any reason, but how does a mother cope when she learns someone murdered her daughter, and she knows terror and pain must have marked the last moments of her child’s life? The book Justice for Bonnie deals with this issue. The well-written book profiles a mother’s fight to learn the truth about what happened to her daughter. Kenneth Dion Anchorage Daily News Sources: To read more about Bonnie Craig and her mother’s fight for...


The Homicidal Trooper

John Patrick Addis Most of us like to believe we can trust the police, but not everyone goes into law enforcement for the greater good. Some enter the police academy because they crave power over others and what better job than policing offers this power? I believe most police officers are good, and a few are bullies. John Patrick Addis, though, was the worst kind of police officer. He was a monster with a badge. Sources If you would like to read more about John Patrick Addis and his...


The Search for Bethany

Talkeetna, Alaska, is considered the gateway to Mt. Denali (McKinley), the highest mountain in North America. In the summer, tourists, including mountain climbers, hikers, flight-seers, and those who just want to view the majestic mountain, flock to Talkeetna. In the winter, though, the tourists leave, and the 800 residents who remain settle down to quiet lives, watching magnificent displays of the northern lights, playing in the deep snow, raising their children, and gathering for social...


Dangerous Trails

Most people understand they face the risk of encountering wild animals when they enter the woods in Alaska. What people do not expect is to be shot and killed while hiking on a remote trail, so when a series of murders occurred in parks and on trails near Anchorage in the summer of 2016, residents demanded more information from the police. Were the murders related to each other, was a serial killer stalking the city, was it safe to go hiking after dark, and what were the police doing to...


The Seductress

As troopers investigated the death of Kent Leppink, they uncovered a complex web of lies, seduction, and betrayal, with Mechele Hughes at the center of it all. Mechele was only 23 years old when someone murdered Kent Leppink on a remote trail, but the beautiful young woman already had accumulated three fiancés who lavished her with furs, jewels, and money. Mechele Hughes Linehan Kent Leppink John Carlin III Great Alaskan Bush Co. Sources: Brennan, Tom. 2015. Dead Man’s Dancer. Epicenter...


The Horrible Misdeeds of Papa Pilgrim

Alaska’s slogan is “The Last Frontier,” and to some people, this means Alaska is the wild west, a place with less law and order, and someplace they can live as they choose. The man who called himself Papa Pilgrim believed moving his family to the wilderness of Alaska offered him the opportunity to do anything he wanted. Papa Pilgrim was the worst kind of a hypocrite because he hid his crimes behind his religious zeal. Like a charismatic cult leader, Pilgrim could appear charming and...


A Deadly Custody Battle

Muriel Pfeil Neil Mackay was ruthless in both his personal and business dealings, and associates learned not to cross him. When a car bomb instantly killed his ex-wife, Muriel Pfeil, police knew Mackay had planned her murder, but they could not find enough evidence to charge him with the crime. Muriel's brother, Bob, believed Mackay murdered his sister, and he fought Mackay for custody over Neil and Muriel's son. Mackay became enraged and obsessed with Bob Pfeil and plotted how to destroy...


Double Murder at a Kodiak Fish Site

During the summer of 1988, I remember the whispers spreading across the island, first about two missing brothers who were fishermen in Uganik Bay, and later, about the mother of those two men discovering their bodies buried in a shallow grave near their fish site. It was the first double homicide in recorded history on Kodiak Island. Uganik Bay, where the murders occurred, is only 30 air miles from where I live, but it’s fifty miles by boat, a world away on Kodiak Island. Forty-four...


The Teen Who Ordered a Hit on Her Mother

Craig, Alaska Most teenagers fight with their parents, and during a heated argument, some kids might even scream, “I hate you” at their mother or father, but such disagreements signal normal growing pains. Few teens order a hit on a parent, simply because the child feels the parent is too strict. Matricide, the killing of one’s mother, is uncommon, and matricide by a girl under the age of 18 is extremely rare. Of the few cases in recent history where a girl under the age of 18 killed her...


The Machete Killer

We’ve all seen the horror movie where a stranger towers over his unsuspecting victim while she sleeps, and she awakes just in time to see him swing the machete toward her head. Imagine if this is no horror movie but a terrible, true event, happening as you struggle to clear your mind from sleep and attempt to focus on your survival instincts. Now, what if you know the maniac wielding the machete, and he is someone close to you? Can you fathom anything so horrible? Elann Moren had no choice;...


Alaska Serial Killer Joshua Wade

Joshua Wade In my last episode, I profiled Israel Keyes, a serial killer who moved to Anchorage in 2007. Many serial-killer experts consider Keyes to be one of the most intelligent, organized serial killers of all time. He randomly chose victims who lived thousands of miles from his home, and he stashed murder kits around the country, planning to access them at some future date. It is easy to understand why Israel Keyes wasn’t captured sooner than he was. He methodically planned his crimes...