Episode 65: Homicide City Part 1 – South Street Mystery

In 2017, the city of Philadelphia saw a 20% increase in homicide rates on top of a steady up tick in homicides between 2013 and 2017.  Police attributed arguments and disagreements as one of the factors in recent rising murder rates. In 2016 there were 278 homicides in Philadelphia, and over 300 on 2017.  These numbers probably seem staggering to someone from outside the city.  But for many of us, we remember the 80s, which exceed 500 homicides each year.  then 1990 hit, and Philly outdid itself with over 600 murders within the city.  That year our homicide rate was four times the national average.  Between 1991 and 2002 Philadelphia’s murder rate dropped almost every year.  Police divisions all over the city made more connections within the community and by 2002 the city’s homicide rate was less than half what it had been over a decade before.  Just a few years later, Philly’s murder rate was again on the rise.

That’s the subject behind Investigation Discovery’s new series Homicide City.  In it’s premiere season, Homicide City focuses on those years in the 90s and early 21st century in Philadelphia.  Partnering with veteran detectives, each episode of Homicide City tells their stories about their search for justice during some dark days in the city of Philadelphia.  In this episode we talk with Sgt. William Britt, featured in “South Street Mystery,” an episode of Homicide City premiering on Wednesday March 28 on Investigation Discovery. about the murders of Richard and Patricia Zimmerman.  Sgt. Britt also shares his experience working with Philadelphia PD for 33 years in the Narcotics and Homicide divisions.

I’d like to extend my most heartfelt thanks to Sgt. William Britt for his time and for sharing so much about his career with all of us.  Thank you to Sophia from Investigation Discovery for providing me so much information about their new series, Homicide City, and providing me the opportunity to speak with Sgt. Britt.  And thank you to Kari, co-host of White Wine True Crime podcast, for connecting me with Investigation Discovery and opening the door for this episode, and the next episode when I speak with retired Chief Oscar Vance from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, who is also featured in the series Homicide City

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TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 64: Punxsutawney Phil

There are so many elements that contribute to the legend of Groundhog Day and n this episode we’ll travel a circuitous route over a few hundred years of Pennsylvania history mixed with pagan traditions, Christian celebrations and native American folklore.

Groundhog Day is the one day each year when the residents of the Keystone state turn to a little furry underground dweller to predict the weather. This is the story of how a recognized religious holiday became an event dedicated to a rodent.  One particular rodent who lives in a part of town called Gobbler’s Knob. (I swear I did not make that up!)

This episode is G-PG.  It’s safe for the little twisters and full of family friendly fun.

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Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.)   https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 63: The Lone Survivor – Part 2

In the early morning hours on Saturday, May 11, 2007, a teenage boy made his way through the dark, across back yards in Manheim, PA, located in Lancaster County.  He wasn’t on his way home from a party, or sneaking out after curfew.  This boy was fleeing from a murder scene, where he’d killed 16 year old Kevin Haines, and Kevin’s parents, Tom and Lisa Haines.  Kevin’s older sister Maggie, just home from college for summer break, managed to escape without detection.

 

At the end of Part 1, Alec Kreider just confessed to the Haines murders.  Now in Part 2 we follow the police investigation to gather evidence and prosecute Alec, because a confession doesn’t prove someone guilty in a court of law.  How did Alec’s family cope in the aftermath of his arrest? How did Maggie Haines cope with the news her family was murdered by her little brother’s best friend? And what happened in 2010 after the PA State Supreme Court ruled life sentences for juvenile offenders are a form of cruel and unusual punishment?  Is Alec Kreider still in prison?

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Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 62: The Lone Survivor – Part 1

In the early morning hours on Saturday, May 11, 2007, a teenage boy made his way through the dark, across back yards in Manheim, PA, located in Lancaster County.  He wasn’t on his way home from a party, or sneaking out after curfew.  This boy was fleeing from a murder scene, where he’d killed 16 year old Kevin Haines, and Kevin’s parents, Tom and Lisa Haines.  Kevin’s older sister Maggie, just home from college for summer break, managed to escape without detection.

For a month Manheim Police and the Pennsylvania State Police worked tirelessly to solve the Haines murder, soliciting assistance from the FBI.  Yet their efforts yielded little results.  Until a 16 year old boy named Alec Kreider  confessed to the murders.  Alec told his parents and his therapist he killed Kevin Haines, his best friend for almost a decade, and Kevin’s parents.  Alec didn’t give a reason, although he’d struggled with depression and what he called “dark thoughts” for years.

In the Lone Survivor – Part 1 we review the Haines family murders, Alec and Kevin’s friendship, the after math of the murders on the community of Manheim, and Alec’s placement in a behavioral health facility before confessing to murder.  Part 2 will explore the events that occurred after Alec’s confession, the impacts on his family and the Haines family, especially the lone survivor of the brutal attack, Maggie Haines.

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Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 61: The Mummers Parade

If you’re not from Philadelphia, or the tri-state area, the word mummer may hold little connection for you.  But here in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, there is an event every new year’s day for which some Philadelphians prepare all year long.  The annual Mummer’s Parade.

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend and mentioned the mummer’s parade, to which said friend replied “what’s a mummer?”  Sit back, put your feet up, dig out a few of those left over Christmas cookies because today, on New Year’s Day, you’ll experience a long running Philadelphia tradition.

From it’s history in Greek mythology, European pagan and Christian celebrations, mummery has been a part of Philadelphia since the days of William Penn.  And while those fanciful costumes covered in feathers and sequins seem like a thing of joy, modern mummer history is marked with racism and intolerance.  It’s a Philly tradition that some folks wish would disappear.

Later in this episode I’m joined by  special guest Jeremy Collins from Podcasts We Listen To as we discuss the history of our home town parades, the similarities and differences.

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Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 60: ‘Twas the Murder Before Christmas – The Murder of Stephanie Kilhefner

‘Twas the murder before Christmas in Paradise, PA.  The residents of Georgetown St. prepared for Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve night, mom Stephanie Kilhefner ran some last minute errands and said good night to a neighbor.

She tucked in her little ones, left them dreaming of Santa Claus, while her husband Dustin Klopp dreamed of breaking the law.

There was a fight between them, we don’t know why.  By the glow of the Christmas tree, Stephanie would die.

On Christmas Day, Dustin took the kids to grandma’s house as if nothing were amiss.

By Christmas night, he had a change of heart. Dustin called the police to confess his part.

What motive, what reason, for a holiday tale so chilling?  I’ll tell you all about it on this episode of Twisted Philly.

Special thanks to Brianna, co-host of the Murder Dictionary Podcast, for the voice over in this episode. You can follow Murder Dictionary on Twitter @m_d_podcast.

Domestic Voilence Support:

The Pennsylvania coalition against domestic violence can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-932-4632.  Their website is www.pcadv.org there you can find resources in your community, information about shelters and other support systems.  The national domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233.)

Follow TwistedPhilly on Social Media: Facebook  the TwistedPhilly Podcast, Twitter @Twisted_Philly, Instagram TwistedPhilly

Special thanks to Emmy Cerra for the music you hear in every episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can learn more about Emmy on her website, http://www.emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes.

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 59: Holiday Happenings Round 2

Christmas in Philadelphia is my absolute most favorite time of  year to be in the city.  There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate winter, Christmas and the year end holiday season.

Last year I released an episode about some of my favorite holiday happenings in Philadelphia, the surrounding suburbs and a little farther out beyond the city.  It’s hard to find other activities besides the ones shared last year like the light festival at Franklin Square in the historic district, Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, Christmas Village whidh moved back to Love Park this year, although there are a few chalets at City Hall this year too, and the Macy’s light show.

Of course I don’t want to simply re-release last year’s episode, or tell you all about those same events I love so much.  So I dug a little deeper,  searched a little harder and ventured in and outside the city to bring you a new list of holiday happenings from city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.  And we’ll have some from the burbs too.

If you haven’t listened to Episode 16, TwistedPhilly holiday happenings, go back and listen to that episode.  It’s filled with so many fun and exciting events in and around Philadelphia, some of the obvious events that I won’t be featuring in this episode.  Once you listen to Episode 16 then you can listing to this episode of round 2.  Although I’d have no way of knowing whether or not you actually listened to episode 16 first.

So pour yourself a mug of hot coco, or some spiced mulled wine, put on your PJs, kick back and tune in to hear all about some of my new favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in TwistedPhilly!

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Special thanks to Emmy Cerra for the music you hear in every episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can learn more about Emmy on her website, http://www.emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes.

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

BONUS Episode: John David Booter from Done Disappeared

Recently I discovered a new podcast by a fellow Pennsylvania podcaster.  It’s a long form true crime podcast focused on the disappearance of a young mother back in 1987 from all the way across the state in Davistown, Pennsylvania.  From the first moment I heard this podcast I knew you would want to know more about this case, especially because its a story from the Keystone state.  As a fellow Pennsylvanian I want to do everything I can to to help this brave host who is a new voice in podcasting as he pursues answers in a story that only leads to dead ends.

John David Booter has quickly made a name for himself in the true crime genre.  He’s not a podcaster; according to John David Booter, he’s never even made a podcast.  He’s a documentary filmmaker, although he hasn’t yet made a documentary film either.  In an effort to recover from a devastating breakup with his fiancee Lisa – which was filled with betrayal and heartache – John David Booter threw himself into investigative journalism.  His mission?  To uncover what happened to 32 year old Davistown Pennsylvania resident Clara Pockets who done disappeared in 1987.

John David Booter is the host of Done Disappeared, and I’m thrilled he took time away from his quest to find Clara Pockets and share his journey with all of us.  You can follow John David Booter and the Done Disappeared podcast on Twitter @DoneDisappeared and on Facebook at Done Disappeared Hosted by Me, John David Booter.

(In case you can’t tell, this is a parody.  Yeah, figured I needed to put that out there because we all know there’s someone who won’t get it.)

 

Episode 58: Krampus – Philly Style!

I am one of those annoying people who really get into Christmas.  I know the holidays are not a festive time of year for everyone – sometimes that includes me.  When I feel a little grinchy I fall back on holiday traditions that make me think of times when I was little, or when my daughter was young, and sooner or later the Christmas spirit takes over.

My Christmas spirit is a little different.  I’m the sort of person who revels in tinsel and twinkle lights, as well as the idea of Santa coming down the chimney with a sack full of gifts or ghouls, maybe even an ax in his hands. I love holiday horror and the darker Christmas legends.  Here in Pennsylvania, the history of our state is rooted in the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions, filled with old world holiday legends that blend good and evil, light and dark.

I love Christmas horror! I love it so much I dedicated an entire episode last year to one of my favorite holiday traditions – Christmas horror movies. One of the movies I flipped over last year was A Christmas Horror Story.  I’m not going to take you through a recap of the film but I do want to mention one of the reasons I loved that movie was the epic smack down between Santa and Krampus.  It’s like a cage match, the battle of Christmas cheer versus Christmas fear.

Who is Krampus, and why is he suddenly everywhere?   What connection does he have to TwistedPhilly?  You’ll learn all that, and so much more, including a story from New Oxford, PA, about  sculptor Jeff Asper who created a larger than life size Krampus statue.  Join me on this holiday episode about Krampus – Philly style!

You can find out more about artist Jeff Asper on his website at tossedandfoundart.com and on Facebook at Tossed and Found Art.

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Special thanks to Emmy Cerra for the music you hear in every episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can learn more about Emmy on her website, http://www.emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes.

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/

Episode 57: Twisted Trip LIVE Show

About a month ago, Haley Gray, host of the Murder Road Trip podcast, and Jeremy Collins, hot of the Podcasts We Listen To podcast, were in Philadelphia for a long weekend.  So the three of us decided to host a joint live show.  Jeremy, Haley and I, along with listeners from Philly, New Jersey and Delaware, spent an evening together at the historic Center Theater in Norristown, PA, answering questions and telling tales.

Jeremy kicked things off with a Q/A for me and Haley.  Then Haley and I each shared two short stories; Haley told true crime tales, I shared a local legend and the story of the Swiss Cheese Fucker.  Yeah, you read that right.  Only n Philly!

We had an absolute blast and were joined by Rachel from We’re All A Little Mad Here podcast and Kim, co host of the Harry Potter Revisited Podcast.  I can’t wait for all of you to hear the mischief and mayhem we got up to with one another!

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Special thanks to Emmy Cerra for the music you hear in every episode of TwistedPhilly.  You can learn more about Emmy on her website, http://www.emmycerra.com and download her music on iTunes.

Support TwistedPhilly on Patreon! $2/m gets you an exclusive bonus episode, $5/m gets you two exclusive episodes plus monthly swag gifts including stickers, buttons and more!  https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4093396

Check out the TwistedPhilly merchandise shop.  Tees, bags, mugs, beach towels, multiple designs, colors and styles for the entire family (even onesies for the little twisters.  Onesies also make great dog tees.) FREE SHIPPING on orders of $45 or more through December 2017!  https://twistedphillypodcast.threadless.com/

TwistedPhilly is a member of the Dark Myths Collective and the PodFix Network.  Follow both for recommendations about other great podcasts!  Twitter @DarkMythsPods  http://darkmyths.org/ and @PodFix  https://www.podfixnetwork.com/