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Part 2: The Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” Scandal

Episode 112 NOTE: If you have not yet listened to part 1, pause this episode and listen to part 1 first. Judge Mark Ciavarella sent thousands of children from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, to juvenile detention centers for infractions that in many cases might have landed them in after school detention. But even the school districts … Continue reading "Part 2: The Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” Scandal"


Part 1: The Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” Scandal

Episode 111 In January 1996, attorney Mark Ciavarella was appointed a Luzerne County judge in Wilkes Barre, PA. Less than a year later he was made a juvenile judge, a position which according to the Pennsylvania State Juvenile Judge’s Bench Book gave him responsibility for presiding over juvenile cases and overseeing the entire juvenile delinquency … Continue reading "Part 1: The Luzerne County “Kids for Cash” Scandal"


Cinema in the Cemetery: Young Frankenstein

Episode 110 This is a special feature from my second show: Educating Jeremy, a movie podcast I co-host with Jeremy Collins, host of the Podcasts We Listen To podcast. Jeremy and I watch movies I love, yet he’s never seen, then we talk about the films, what he liked (or didn’t like,) and talk a … Continue reading "Cinema in the Cemetery: Young Frankenstein"


Twisted Road Trip: The Old St. John’s County Jail

Episode 109 Last week I was on the road for business, not far from St. Augustine, Florida. On my last evening in town I found myself standing outside the Old St. John’s County Jail, or the old jail as it’s called by many today. The old jail is just shy of 130 years old. It … Continue reading "Twisted Road Trip: The Old St. John’s County Jail"


Juneteenth in the City of Brotherly Love

Episode 108 Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the end of the Civil War. In honor of this period in American history, I want to share with you a few stories of abolitionist history from Philadelphia. The … Continue reading "Juneteenth in the City of Brotherly Love"


Pride in the City of Brotherly Love

Episode 107 On Sunday, June 9, 2019, the city of Philadelphia celebrated pride month with our annual Pride Parade and Festival hosted by Philly Pride Presents. If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen some of the photos of that amazing event. This annual celebration takes considerable effort on the part of so many … Continue reading "Pride in the City of Brotherly Love"


Special Re-Release: Beyond the Bell Tours First Birthday!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a first birthday party for Beyond the Bell Tours. Founded by Haverford College graduates Rebecca and Joey, Beyond the Bell tours is “committed to putting the people back into people’s history” by sharing less well known stories from Philadelphia history which highlight people of color, women, LGBTQ+ … Continue reading "Special Re-Release: Beyond the Bell Tours First Birthday!"


Ghosts of Germantown: Part 2 – Cliveden

Episode 106 The Germantown section of Philadelphia is filled with historic homes, many dating back to the 1700s, and the homestead of one is even older. If you wander a little further along Germantown Avenue, past Grumblethorpe, you’ll come to rather imposing Georgian home called Cliveden Mansion, built by Pennsylvania Chief Justice Benjamin Chew in … Continue reading "Ghosts of Germantown: Part 2 – Cliveden"


Ghosts of Germantown: Part 1 – Grumblethorpe

Episode 105 Germantown is a section of Philadelphia bordering the northwest suburbs of the city. Within Germantown is tiny little area called Wister. That’s a name you’ll hear quite a bit as we spend our time together today because of a very famous old house along Germantown Avenue, built by German immigrant John Wister in … Continue reading "Ghosts of Germantown: Part 1 – Grumblethorpe"


Springtime in Philly

Episode 104 I love putting together tourism episodes! They’re among some of the least twisted episodes in the catalog, and that’s OK because even those of us who love the more strange or unusual side of life enjoy basking in the sunshine and smelling the flowers now and again. There are so many places and … Continue reading "Springtime in Philly"


Return to Pennhurst: An Interview w/Pennhurst Operations Manager

Episode 103 On April 13, 2019, I had the opportunity to visit Pennhurst State School and Hospital to interview the Operations Manager, Jim. Jim and I walked the grounds for a time before sitting down to record together. During our tour Jim shared his thoughts with me about Pennhurst’s history, details about a few of … Continue reading "Return to Pennhurst: An Interview w/Pennhurst Operations Manager"


Little Eddie Polec

Episode 102 On Friday night, November 11, 1994, 16 year old Eddie Polec and his younger brother Billy planned on spending a typical evening with their friends in the Fox Chase neighborhood in Philadelphia; hanging out at a local park, hopping between the nearby McDonald’s and Pizza hut, and getting home in time for their … Continue reading "Little Eddie Polec"


Pennhurst State School and Hospital Part 2: Pennhurst Paranormal with a Little Help from my Friends

Episode 101 In Part 2 of our series about Pennhurst State School and Hospital I’m joined by my good friends Jerry and Tracy Paulley, hosts of the Hillbilly Horror Stories podcast, to discuss paranormal activity at Pennhurst. Jerry and Tracy listen as I share tales of paranormal investigations at Pennhurst, my visit to Pennhurst in … Continue reading "Pennhurst State School and Hospital Part 2: Pennhurst Paranormal with a Little Help from my Friends"


The Shame of Pennsylvania: Pennhurst State School and Hospital Part 1

Episode 100 Pennhurst State School and Hospital was once called the Shame of Pennsylvania. It sat only about 25 miles outside of Philadelphia yet it may have been a world away considering how few people knew about the decline of the institution, and how that decline impacted the residents. In 1903, the state of Pennsylvania … Continue reading "The Shame of Pennsylvania: Pennhurst State School and Hospital Part 1"


Special Re-release: The Disappearance of Ashley Morris Mullis

About two years ago I met a couple named Don and Leandra Morris while Attending CrimeCon in Indianapolis, IN. Don and Leandra were hoping to get into the convention to increase awareness about their daughter, Ashley Morris Mullis, who disappeared in 2013. I interviewed Don a few weeks later and shared Ashley’s story in an … Continue reading "Special Re-release: The Disappearance of Ashley Morris Mullis"


The Frankford Slasher

Episode 99 Between the summer of 1985 and fall 1990, eight women were brutally murdered in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Police already had their hands full between Gary Heidnik and his house of horrors and Marty Graham, whom the press dubbed the Corpse Collector. Philadelphia had three serial killers operating at almost the same … Continue reading "The Frankford Slasher"


A Murder for Valentine’s Day

Episode 98 On Monday afternoon, February 14th in 2011, Lexus Ivery walked up the 5400 block of Rutland Street in Northeast Philadelphia, not far from Oxford Circle, headed toward’s the home she shared with her sister Marcedes and her mother Kim. Before Lexus reached the front door, neighbors called out to her and told her … Continue reading "A Murder for Valentine’s Day"


Love, Philadelphia Style

Episode 97 Love is in the air! What better city to celebrate a day dedicated to love than the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection? Philadelphia is a city that celebrates love, from our famous LOVE sculpture created by Robert Indiana which sits at J. F. Kennedy plaza, also known as Love Park, to the Rodin … Continue reading "Love, Philadelphia Style"


Special Re-Release: Punxsutawney Phil

At 7:30 AM on Saturday, February 2, 2019, in a little burrow nestled in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a ground hog named Phil did NOT see his shadow! The Keystone state rejoiced because this means we will NOT have six more weeks of winter, although as I watched Phil live from Gobblers Knob, its 9 degrees this … Continue reading "Special Re-Release: Punxsutawney Phil"


Unapologetically Herself – The Trial for the Murder of Jenna Burleigh

In September 2017, I shared a story on Patreon about Temple University student Jenna Burleigh. Jenna was a transfer student from suburban Philadelphia. She’d just started her junior year at temple in North Philadelphia, majoring in film and media arts studies, commuting from her home in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. The semester had barely begun when Jenna … Continue reading "Unapologetically Herself – The Trial for the Murder of Jenna Burleigh"