Once Upon A Crime | True Crime-logo

Once Upon A Crime | True Crime

True Crime Podcasts

Once Upon a Crime is a weekly true crime podcast that tells “the story behind the story” of real life crime. Told in a storytelling style, listeners are presented facts and information about each case they won’t hear anywhere else.

Once Upon a Crime is a weekly true crime podcast that tells “the story behind the story” of real life crime. Told in a storytelling style, listeners are presented facts and information about each case they won’t hear anywhere else.


United States


Once Upon a Crime is a weekly true crime podcast that tells “the story behind the story” of real life crime. Told in a storytelling style, listeners are presented facts and information about each case they won’t hear anywhere else.








Episode 212: Deathbed Confessions: Diane Crawford Smith

In 1967, a double murder shocked a small town in Virginia. A suspect was quickly rounded up, but the case wasn’t truly resolved until decades later when a chance encounter led to a series of events that would ultimately bring about a deathbed confession. Resources: “Thomas Free on Bond; Hearing Slated Oct 27”, The News Leader, Oct 17, 1967. “Prosecution Rests in Thomas Hearing”, The News Leader, April 10, 1968. “Getting away with murder? Former cop has serious questions about why...


Episode 211: Deathbed Confessions: James Washington

In this series I share cases where people on their deathbeds finally confess to terrible crimes. In his episode you’ll hear about a brutal murder that went unsolved for over a dozen years when the perpetrator confessed before meeting his maker. But, this story ends with a twist when fate intervenes. Resources: State of Tennessee v. James Murray Washington, Direct Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County, July 15, 2014 The Crime Reel: A Brutal Murder and a Deathbed Confession,...


Episode 210: Deathbed Confessions: Geraldine Kelley

In this series "Deathbed Confessions" I share cases that went cold and the perpetrator was only revealed when they made a deathbed confession. In this first episode, a dying woman reveals a long-held secret to her children, leading to a shocking discovery. Resources: “Slaying Victim had Fled a Troubled Past”, The Boston Globe, November 20, 2004. http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/11/20/body_found_in_storage_tentatively_identified?pg=full “John’s in the Freezer”, What Lies...


Episode 209: Buried Truth: Dorothea Puente

In this final chapter of “Buried Truth” I share a story of one of the most rare categories of criminal - the female serial killer. Behind her grandmotherly exterior, Dorothea Puente was hiding some very dark secrets very close to home. This is the case of “The Killer Landlady”. Resources: Newspapers.com - Dorothea Puente by Julia Scheeres for TruTV.com Jailed Landlady: I Didn’t Kill Anyone - The Sacramento Bee - Nov 18, 1988 Puente Guilty of Killing 3 - The Sacramento Bee - Aug 27,...


Episode 208: Buried Truth: Christopher Denoyer

A teenage boy goes missing in 1984. Authorities would quickly decide that he was a runaway, but his family didn’t agree. Fourteen years later his fate would be learned in a shocking and unusual way. Resources: The New Detectives: Grave Secrets - Season 8, Episode 7, The Discovery Channel Articles (Jackson Vallarta/Christopher Denoyer/Dale Vallarta) from The Californian newspaper, Feb 17 1998 to Feb 10, 2000 - Clipped from Newspapers.com Sponsors: Acorn TV - www.Acorn.TV - Try Acorn TV...


Episode 207: Buried Truth: Russell Tillis and "The House of Horrors"

In this month’s series “Buried Truth” I share cases where a person goes missing never to be seen again. Just when it seemed their fate would remain a mystery, the truth would be uncovered. This time, a neighborhood menace harbors dark secrets in his own backyard. This is the case of Russell Tillis and The House of Horrors. You can now receive texts from Once Upon a Crime! Text OUAC to 408-676-1770 to...


Bonus Episode - OUAC Celebrating 5 Years in True Crime

Once Upon a Crime celebrates 5 years in true crime by summarizing the show by the numbers, sharing 5 Surprising True Crime Facts, and letting listeners in on a giveaway to win OUAC merchandise and prizes. Text OUAC to 408-676-1770 to opt-in to receive texts from Once Upon a Crime and enter our drawing! Text messaging provided by Text Sanity. Thanks so much for listening and supporting Once Upon a Crime over 5 years! OUAC episodes referenced in this bonus episode: Episode #3 - Lost and...


Episode 206: The Trailside Killer, Part 3

This is a double episode to conclude the month-long miniseries where I detail the case of serial killer David Carpenter, known as “The Trailside Killer”. Carpenter stalked and killed men and women on the hiking trails of Marin County, San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Other suspected victims would disappear from San Jose and Daly City, California. Timestamps: 00:08:28 - Point Reyes National Seashore 00:15:32 - Investigation 00:24:00 - Ad Break 00:26:48 - Kelly, Daly City 00:30:11 - David...


Episode 205: The Trailside Killer, Part 2

In Part 2 of this 3-part mini-series, I’ll continue the story about a random series of attacks that took place on hiking trails in northern California beginning in 1979, soon after David Carpenter was released from prison for an earlier violent crime spree. After three women were found murdered on Mount Tamalpais, investigators began to suspect that a serial killer was on the loose and targeting local hikers. This is the case of “The Trailside Killer”. Resources: The Sleeping Lady: The...


Episode 204: The Trailside Killer, Part 1

This month I’ll be sharing a 3-part miniseries. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Northern California was terrorized by a series of random murders that took place on hiking trails in state parks, national forests and coastal lands. The public began to suspect that a serial killer was lurking among them and the media began referring to him as “The Trailside Killer”. In this first part, I’ll detail some of the Trailside Killers earliest victims and describe how he was allowed to slip through...


Episode 203 Artful Crimes, Volume 2: The Van Gogh Museum Heist

In 2002, two paintings were stolen from The Van Gogh Museum worth $30 million dollars. The investigation into this crime would involve law enforcement in several countries. Special investigators in both art crimes and organized crime units would also be brought in to solve the case of the missing Van Goghs. Resources: Documentary: Stealing Van Gogh (2018), Julian Hendy, Director. “How 20 Stolen Van Gogh Paintings were Recovered” by Erik Shilling for Atlas Obscura, Sept. 30,...


Bonus Episode - CrimeConVersations with Mens Rea

This bonus episode is brought to you by Once Upon a Crime in partnership with CrimeCon UK. I have a CrimeConVersation with Sinead from Mens Rea Podcast about true crime, being a true crime podcaster, women and true crime and more. You can listen to Mens Rea Podcast or connect with Sinead at www.mensreapod.com. To join me at CrimeCon UK go to www.crimecon.co.uk. When you register use my offer code ONCEUPON21 to get 10% off your ticket! To listen to more CrimeConVersations you can go to...


Episode 202: Artful Crimes, Volume 2 - Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Massacre

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright begins an affair with Martha “Mamah” Borthwick. When the scandal threatens his career and reputation, he builds a home near Spring Green, Wisconsin. Called “Taliesin”, it was supposed to be a place of peace and refuge for the couple, but in 1914, it became the site of a horrifying massacre. Resources: “Soulmate Stunt Loses its Zest”, Kokomo Daily Tribune, August 3, 1910. Frank Lloyd Wright by Jan Adkins, published by Penguin Random House, 2008 “Cook...


Bonus Episode - Listener Q&A

To celebrate reaching 200 episodes we created a bonus episode to answer listener questions. Thanks everyone for submitting them! Links: www.Patreon.com/onceuponacrime To listen to our "haunted" episode go to Episode #108 - Haunted Homicides: The LaLaurie Mansion. Some hear a "ghost" at minute 20 or so. The Scott Peterson episodes with my sister, Yolanda is #71 and #72 - The 12 Crimes of Christmas - Laci Peterson, Part 1 and 2. Special thanks to Lorena Garcia for co-hosting this episode...


Episode 201: Artful Crimes, Volume 2: The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer

A contemporary artist is murdered in broad daylight in Washington D.C. Conspiracy theories about who was responsible begin to swirl after her close connection to John F. Kennedy is revealed. Resources: “The Last Painting of Mary Pinchot Meyer” by Maria Hummel for Counterpoint, June 5, 2019. https://crimereads.com/the-last-painting-of-mary-pinchot-meyer/ “The forgotten female artist who may have been murdered by the CIA” by Alina Cohen for Artsy.net, May 16,...


Episode 200: Chopped: Anjette Donovan Lyles

A young widow opens her own restaurant in Macon, Georgia in the 1950s. Suspicions arise when the people closest to her begin falling ill and dying. Was Anjette Lyles a serial killer?


Episode 199: Chopped: Anthony Kelly and Gordon Ramsay's "Bad Boys Bakery"

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay enters London's Brixton Prison in 2012 in an attempt to teach a group of inmates to run a successful bakery. Would he succeed or would the men return to a life of crime once the cameras stopped rolling?


Episode 198: Chopped: David Viens

In this series we'll take a look at the restaurant industry to ask "What happens when good cooks go bad?". In this episode, a restaurateur in Southern California is suspected of murder when his wife disappears. What detectives discover would shock and horrify the community.


Episode 197: Hookups from Hell: Takahiro Shiraishi - "The Twitter Killer"

A serial killer preys on vulnerable women in Tokyo, Japan. He will meet his victims on Twitter. (Caution: This episode contains the subject of suicide.)


Episode 196: Hookups from Hell: Wade Ridley - "The Match.com Murderer"

Two women meet a man on Match.com. After they end the relationship, he vows deadly revenge.