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Court Junkie

193 episodes - English - Latest episode: 14 days ago - ★★★★★ - 6.6K ratings

Imagine being wrongfully convicted for a crime you didn't commit, or imagine your child's killer is still on the loose even though there's enough evidence for an arrest. I want to help shine light on the injustices of our judicial system. I delve into court documents, attend trials, and interview those close to the case to help me tell their stories.

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Episodes

Ep 28: Charleston Church Shooting and the Trial of Dylan Roof

June 25, 2017 18:40 - 1 hour - 188 MB

On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof walked into the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and joined the weekly Bible Study. The 12 church members welcomed the newcomer, completely unaware of his evil intentions.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music ...

Ep 27: The Conspiracy and Murder of Lisa Knoefel

June 19, 2017 14:59 - 1 hour - 162 MB

In November 2012, a horrific murder occurred in a charming single family home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. But everything wasn't as it seemed... Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music in this episode by: Laberynth Mind by Marcos H. Bolanos - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Mar...

Case Update: War Machine Sentencing and Christy Mack Update

June 12, 2017 14:38 - 33 minutes - 76.3 MB

In this Case Update, hear what went on in the sentencing of War Machine, the former MMA fighter who was convicted of beating his former girlfriend, Christy Mack, and her friend, Corey Thomas.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music in this episode by: Never Asked by Unheard Mu...

Ep 26: A Teacher and Her Students

June 04, 2017 17:07 - 1 hour - 181 MB

In October 2011, a 32-year-old Ohio teacher went on trial for sexual battery, accused of having inappropriate relations with 5 of her students. Her plea? Not guilty by reason of insanity. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music in this episode by: Someday I'll like you but befo...

Ep 25: The Hazing Deaths of Robert Champion, Michael Deng & Tim Piazza

May 29, 2017 15:33 - 1 hour - 165 MB

Hazing is unfortunately a common practice that can often turn deadly. In this episode, I cover the unfortunate deaths of three college students - 26-year-old Robert Champion, 19-year-old Michael Deng, and 19-year-old Tim Piazza. Thank you to Emily Pualwan from HazingPrevention.org, and Doug Fierberg from tfnlgroup.com and schoolviolencelaw.com. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and ge...

Ep 24: The Death of NFL Star Will Smith

May 21, 2017 19:13 - 1 hour - 184 MB

On April 9, 2016, a road rage shooting took place in New Orleans, Louisiana that would claim the life of former NFL star Will Smith. With conflicting stories from both sides, what would happen during the trial of the man accused of killing him? Incident Video #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6jWeIfPoU8 Incident Video #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4iSPfn3Rm4    Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court ...

Ep 23: Charles Erickson and The Murder of Kent Heitholt

May 15, 2017 04:59 - 1 hour - 191 MB

It's a story that has been told numerous times before - On Halloween night in 2001, Kent Heitholt, a 48-year-old sports editor, was brutally murdered in the Columbia Tribune parking lot as he was leaving work.  Ryan Ferguson and Charles Erickson were arrested years later and charged with murder, although none of the forensic evidence at the scene matched either of the men. The case would slowly fall apart, amid witness recantations, and accusations of corruption. Ryan would eventually be re...

Ep 22: Attack on the Blooming Grove Barracks (Eric Frein Trial)

May 07, 2017 16:34 - 1 hour - 165 MB

In September 2014, the Blooming Grove Barracks in Pike County, Pennsylvania came under attack by a sniper, hiding in the woods.  What followed was a tragedy, a manhunt, and a death penalty trial. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music in this episode by: Timeless by Lee Roseve...

Ep 21: The Final Trial For Aaron Hernandez (The Murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado)

April 30, 2017 16:58 - 2 hours - 276 MB

In March 2017, former NFL star and already-convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez went on trial for the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Daniel and Safiro were murdered in July 2012, after a possible encounter with Aaron Hernandez at a Boston nightclub. Five days after his trial was over, an unexpected turn of events would change Aaron's criminal record forever.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court ...

Ep 20: Lisa Harnum’s Fall

April 23, 2017 16:39 - 1 hour - 179 MB

On July 30, 2011, 30-year-old Lisa Cecilia Harnum died, after falling from her 15th floor balcony. Her fiancé, Simon Gittany, was arrested and charged with murder. Thank you to Melissa for suggesting this case, and a special thank you to Andrea Alden and Amy Dale, for helping me out with this episode. Follow Amy Dale on Twitter: @amydale_tweets Check out Amy Dale's book about the case, The Fall: https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Amy-Dale/dp/1459687906 Please consider supporting Court Junkie w...

Ep 19: Charlie Tan and the Murder of His Father

April 16, 2017 16:43 - 1 hour - 146 MB

On Thursday, February 5, 2015, 19-year-old Cornell University student Charlie Tan suddenly left campus to return to his hometown, over 100 miles away. Four days later, his mother would place a 911 call that would change their lives forever. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Musi...

Ep 18: Kenia Monge and "The Good Samaritan"

April 09, 2017 13:44 - 1 hour - 140 MB

19-year-old Kenia Monge disappeared after a night out with friends on April 1, 2011. As her family launched a desperate campaign to find her, her father met with the man who last saw her - a man who said he had tried giving her a ride home the night she went missing. From then on, her father knew they would never find her alive. A special thank you to Tony and Maria Lee, Kenia's parents, for speaking with me about their daughter's case.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as lit...

Ep 17: Confronting Her Attacker – Christy Mack and War Machine

March 27, 2017 16:43 - 1 hour - 246 MB

In August 2014, 22-year-old Christy Mack and her friend Corey Thomas were abruptly awoken in the middle of the night by Christy's ex-boyfriend, an MMA fighter named War Machine.   What followed was a brutal attack that would land both of them in the hospital with severe injuries, and cause War Machine to go on the run. War Machine was captured and went on trial in March 2017. Christy had to face her attacker in court and recount brutal details from not only that night, but from throughout th...

Court Junkie Brief: Guilty Pleas, From a Prosecutor's Perspective

March 19, 2017 16:55 - 48 minutes - 111 MB

In this Court Junkie Brief, I interview Dave Wenger, a prosector from Pennsylvania. We talk about the process of a plea deal, what factors go into the decision to offer one, and I ask him to defend some arguments against the idea of guilty pleas. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie.

Ep 16: The Case & Trial of One of Canada’s Youngest Serial Killers

March 12, 2017 16:44 - 1 hour - 180 MB

In November 2010, 20-year-old Cody Legebokoff was pulled over by an RCMP officer while speeding away from a dark abandoned road. Little did the officer realize that his actions that night would be stopping a serial killer in his tracks. This episode covers the case and trial of Cody Legebokoff, one of Canada's youngest serial killers. Thank you to Mark Nielsen for helping me cover this story. You can find Mark's full coverage of the Cody Legebokoff case from the Prince George Citizen here, ...

Ep 15 Part 2: Justice in Bali?

March 01, 2017 15:46 - 42 minutes - 96.4 MB

In Part 2 of this episode, you'll hear about the third arrest in the murder of 62-year-old Sheila Von Weise-Mack. And with this arrest, comes some additional shocking evidence against Heather and Tommy, in the form of their own words. You'll also hear how Heather and Tommy are coping at the Kerobokan Prison in Bali, and what's next in the investigation. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month...

Ep 15 Part 1: A Mother’s Murder in Bali

February 23, 2017 16:50 - 38 minutes - 88.4 MB

In this episode, I explore the case of Sheila Von Weise-Mack, a Chicago mother who was murdered while on vacation in Bali with her 19-year-old daughter. After wheeling a suspicious-looking suitcase out into the lobby upon checkout from their resort, Sheila's daughter, Heather Mack, and Heather's boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, flee the scene.  Investigators are horrified to find Sheila's body inside the suitcase.  Justice in Bali is a lot different than justice in other parts of the world. In Pa...

Ep 14: The Vaughn Family Tragedy

February 06, 2017 16:54 - 54 minutes - 125 MB

In the early morning hours of June 14, 2007, a 32-year-old man is found walking down the side of a frontage road off I-55 in Channahon, Illinois. He's bleeding and seemingly in shock. A passerby calls 911 and investigators arrive at the scene. They find the man's wife and three children, dead in the family's SUV.  In this episode, I cover the trial of Christopher Vaughn, a husband and father accused of killing his wife and three children.  A special thank you to Jon Seidel, a reporter with ...

Ep 13: Aaron Hernandez - From NFL Star to Convicted Murderer

January 26, 2017 08:10 - 54 minutes - 126 MB

In this episode, I cover former NFL player Aaron Hernandez's harsh fall from grace. In 2015, Aaron was convicted of the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. As he sits in prison, he is now preparing for yet another trial, scheduled to begin next month. I speak with Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) from the New York Daily News about Aaron's arrest, trial, and upcoming trial. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court ...

EP 12: Kelsey Smith - Abducted In Broad Daylight

January 16, 2017 17:41 - 35 minutes - 80.9 MB

Kelsey Smith was just 18 years old when she was abducted from a Target parking lot in Overland Park, Kansas in June 2007. Finding her would take a battle with a cellular phone company and heartbreaking surveillance video from Target, that shows that no one is ever really safe, even if you're running a simple errand in broad daylight. A special thank you to Kelsey's mom, Missey Smith, for speaking with me for this episode. To learn more about the Kelsey Smith Foundation and the Kelsey Smith ...

Court Junkie Brief: Shaken Baby Syndrome

January 08, 2017 17:32 - 29 minutes - 67.2 MB

You've probably heard of Shaken Baby Syndrome but what you may not know is how controversial it's becoming. Hundreds of people are prosecuted each year in the US after being accused of shaking a baby. But with the emergence of shaken baby syndrome skeptics, many convictions are being overturned. In this episode, I speak with Susan Goldsmith, the writer and producer of the documentary, The Syndrome. The Syndrome focuses on the science (or lack thereof) behind Shaken Baby Syndrome and the poten...

Behind The Scenes and Updates On Each Case

January 01, 2017 18:18 - 47 minutes - 110 MB

In this episode, I take you behind-the-scenes of each case I covered in the Court Junkie podcast, as well as go over the latest updates. You'll also hear from Pravin Varughese's mom and family friend, as well as other Court Junkies.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music featu...

My Top Cases of 2016

December 25, 2016 20:23 - 32 minutes - 75.2 MB

We all have cases that we follow and that stick with us, whether it's on a personal level or because we're oddly fascinated with them. In this episode, I count down the top cases that affected me the most this year.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie. Music featured in this episo...

Ep 11: Mercy or Murder? The John & Barbara Wise Story

December 18, 2016 20:23 - 29 minutes - 53.6 MB

In August 2012, 66-year-old John Wise went to the Akron General Medical Center to visit his ailing wife of 45 years. He would leave there in handcuffs. It's a case that isn't as it seems and the twists and turns may leave you with more questions than answers. It's a case that begs the question, does the act outweigh the intent? Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus m...

Court Junkie Brief: Expert Witnesses

December 12, 2016 07:59 - 26 minutes - 49.5 MB

In this Brief, I speak with Russ Richelsoph, a criminal defense attorney from Tempe, Arizona. Russ talks about how he chooses his expert witnesses, what sort of credentials expert witnesses need to have (the answer might surprise you), and what it's like to cross examine an expert witness. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter...

Ep 10 Part 2: Kristine Bunch’s Struggle For Freedom

December 04, 2016 19:44 - 34 minutes - 63.4 MB

In Part 2 of this episode, Kristine and her newly-formed defense team fight to win back her freedom. Armed with advances in fire science, a potential Brady violation, and some shocking revelations about the State's evidence at trial, Kristine and her team fight till the very end. A special thank you to Kristine Bunch for helping me tell her story. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and...

Ep 10 Part 1: Kristine Bunch’s Nightmare

November 27, 2016 20:24 - 32 minutes - 14.4 MB

In part 1 of this episode, you'll hear about one woman's nightmare come true. In 1995, 21-year-old Kristine Bunch was abruptly awoken in the early morning hours to discover that her house was on fire. After escaping the flames, she watched in horror as firefighters were unable to save her 3-year-old son who was still trapped inside. Within hours of being released from the hospital, she discovered that detectives had a theory about the fire - someone had started the fire on purpose, and their ...

Court Junkie Brief: False Confessions

November 21, 2016 07:02 - 24 minutes - 44.5 MB

In this Court Junkie Brief, I speak with Alan Hirsch,  a professor and chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Alan has also testified as a false confessions expert in over 25 different trials across 16 different states. We talk about why people falsely confess to crimes they didn't commit, the different techniques law enforcement uses in their interrogations and cases involving false confessions. Visit Alan's website - http://www.trut...

Ep 9: Ryan Poston Murder / Shayna Hubers Trial

November 13, 2016 08:48 - 39 minutes - 72.9 MB

Ryan Poston and Shayna Hubers had been dating on and off for about a year when one night in October 2012, a 911 call was placed from Ryan's condo. When officers arrived, they found Ryan dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Shayna claimed it was self-defense even though Ryan had been shot 6 times. I'll go over Shayna's bizarre behavior, the details from the trial, and tell you about a shocking new development that just might change everything. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as ...

Ep 8 Part 2: The Murder of Sherri Rae Rasmussen

October 30, 2016 21:07 - 39 minutes - 72.7 MB

On February 24, 1986, John Ruetten came home from work to find his newlywed wife on their living room floor, dead from 3 bullet wounds to the chest. Investigators concluded it was a burglary gone wrong, but the case went unsolved for decades. 23 years later, DNA testing that hadn't been available before was conducted and who the new evidence pointed to was shocking.  In Part 2, you'll hear the conclusion of Stephanie's interrogation, the evidence presented at trial, and the final outcome of t...

Ep 8 Part 1: The Murder of Sherri Rae Rasmussen

October 28, 2016 11:41 - 39 minutes - 72.2 MB

On February 24, 1986, John Ruetten came home from work to find his newlywed wife on their living room floor, dead from 3 bullet wounds to the chest. Investigators concluded it was a burglary gone wrong, but the case went unsolved for decades. 23 years later, DNA testing that hadn't been available before was conducted and who the new evidence pointed to was shocking. In Part 1, you'll hear the details of the crime, how the investigation progressed over the years, and audio from a very interest...

Court Junkie Brief: No Body Murder Cases

October 25, 2016 21:05 - 21 minutes - 39.5 MB

Trying someone for murder without knowing the location of the victim's body happens a lot more than you might think. The phrase "no body, no crime" just isn't true. I spoke with Tad DiBiase, a former federal homicide prosecutor and expert on no body murder cases, about the first no body case he tried, what the stats on these types of cases are, and how these cases can affect jury selection.  Court Junkie Briefs are additional episodes I've created that focus on a singular courtoom-related iss...

Announcing Court Junkie Briefs

October 20, 2016 15:02 - 4 minutes - 4.4 MB

I'm excited to announce that I'll be releasing an additional episode series called Court Junkie Briefs. These episodes will focus on a singular courtroom related issue, such as inadmissible evidence and how it can affect a case, murder without a body cases, sunshine laws, and more. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJu...

Ep 7: The Abduction of Alexis Murphy and the Trial of Randy Taylor

October 16, 2016 15:41 - 39 minutes - 36.7 MB

17-year-old Alexis Murphy was a popular teenager from Shipman, Virginia with her whole life ahead of her. In August 2013, she was looking forward to her senior year of high school when she had an encounter with a man at a local gas station that would change everything. Although Alexis is still missing, the Commonwealth of Virginia went after her accused abductor and charged him with murder. Can the Commonwealth prove their case without a body? If you have any information about the where...

Case Update: Melissa Calusinski’s Post-Conviction Relief Ruling

October 07, 2016 13:53 - 24 minutes - 22.8 MB

Judge Shanes made his decision last Friday on Melissa's request for a new trial. I attended the hearing and will go over the ruling as well as what's next for Melissa and her team. Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @CourtJunkiePod or Instagram at CourtJunkie.

Case Update - Erica Parsons’ Body Found

October 05, 2016 12:10 - 14 minutes - 13.2 MB

Just days after releasing my original episode about Erica Parsons, there was a major breakthrough in the case. In an expected yet tragic ending to the Erica Parsons case, Rowan County investigators announced on Friday that they found Erica's body.  The Rowan County Sheriff said in the press conference that Erica loved angels and so they are accepting donations from the public to erect an angel monument in her honor. Donations can be mailed to:  Prevent Child Abuse Rowan County 130 Woodson S...

Ep 6: Richardson Family Murders - The Story of A 12-Year-Old Killer

September 29, 2016 10:22 - 37 minutes - 34.1 MB

In April 2006, the small city of Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada, was shocked by an unthinkable murder no one ever saw coming - A 12-year-old girl convinces her 23-year-old boyfriend to murder her entire family. I speak with the first investigator on the scene and talk to him about the crime itself as well as the latest developments - which might shock you too.  Warning: this episode contains some disturbing details, but they're important to understanding the severity and complexity of the ...

Ep 5: Erica Parsons - Teen Reported Missing 2 Years After Disappearance

September 22, 2016 06:46 - 35 minutes - 32.9 MB

Could a jailhouse conversation be the key to finding out what happened to Erica Parsons? Erica Parsons had been missing from her home in Salisbury, North Carolina for two years before she was finally reported missing to police by her adoptive brother. Erica's adoptive mother told police she went to live with her biological grandma - someone police say does not exist. I talk to Brooklyn Parsons, Erica's adoptive sister,  who has recently visited her father, Sandy Parsons, in prison. What he ...

Case Update: Melissa Calusinski - Did Someone Tamper With The Evidence?

September 19, 2016 21:01 - 17 minutes - 15.8 MB

I attended day 3 of Melissa Calusinski's evidentiary hearing. Her attorney, Kathleen Zellner, had filed a Post Conviction Relief Petition, based on possible new evidence. Day 3 of the hearing included testimony from an imaging expert who makes some shocking clams about the x-ray images.  Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a month and get access to bonus monthly episodes. Follow me on Twitter @C...

Ep 4: Questions Surrounding Pravin Varughese’s Death

September 08, 2016 09:11 - 47 minutes - 66.1 MB

19-year-old Pravin Varughese was a college student at Southern Illinois University when he was mysteriously found dead in the woods after leaving a party. Investigators believe he died from hypothermia but a second autopsy reveals he may have died from blunt force trauma. A 22-year-old man came forward to say he got into a fight with Pravin the night he died. Will Pravin's family finally get the answers they're looking for? A special thank you goes out to Pravin's mom, Lovely Varughese, and...

Ep 3: The Mysterious Disappearance of Gabriel Johnson

August 30, 2016 13:19 - 26 minutes - 24.1 MB

This is the story of Gabriel Johnson, an 8-month-old boy who has been missing from Tempe, Arizona since 2009. After a custody battle with her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel's mother Elizabeth took him and fled to San Antonio, Texas. She first claims she killed the little boy but then changes her story and says she gave him away to a random couple at a park. To this day, no one knows where Gabriel is or if he's even alive... Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via P...

Ep 2: Melissa Calusinski's Bombshell Hearings

August 24, 2016 07:00 - 24.1 MB

Melissa Calusinski has been in prison since 2009 after being convicted of murdering a 16-month-old boy. New evidence shows that there might not have been a homicide after all. I went to Melissa’s recent evidentiary hearings for a new trial and learned some bombshell information that highlights the need for a retrial. https://www.facebook.com/Justice4Kent/ Please consider supporting Court Junkie with as little as $3 a month via Patreon.com/CourtJunkie. Help support Court Junkie with $6 a mon...

Ep 1: Melissa Calusinski - A Shot At Freedom

August 15, 2016 07:00 - 26 MB

It was January 14, 2009. A 16-month-old toddler named Benjamin Kingan died at a Lake County, Illinois daycare center from a mysterious head injury. Melissa Calusinski, a 22-year-old Teacher’s Assistant at the daycare, was charged and ultimately convicted of his murder. Years later, new evidence has been discovered that shows Ben's cause of death may not be what it seems, and that it may not have been a homicide after all. SOURCES: Appellate Court of Illinois Second District Ruling YouTube I...

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