Once Upon A Crime

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, host Esther Ludlow digs into the details of each case to bring listeners the facts and information they won’t hear anywhere else.

Recent Episodes

Episode 276: The Devil’s Luck: The Moorhouse Murders Survivor

March 14, 2023

This month I’m sharing cases of people who, against all odds, survived some of the worst killers in modern history. In this week’s story, a teenage girl is picked up by a seemingly ordinary couple and then spends two days tr…

Mass Murder/Spree Killers

Episode 275: The Devil’s Luck: The Bluebelle Massacre Survivor

March 7, 2023

In this month’s episodes I’ll tell you stories of people who were fortunate enough to survive horrifying experiences. In this episode, a family dream vacation turns into a nightmare on the sea. All seems lost when the ship s…

Episode 274: Love Monsters: Daniel and Manuela Ruda, Part 2

Feb. 21, 2023

In this second part of a two-part episode, in their quest to be transformed into vampires, Daniel and Manuela Ruda conclude that the only way to prove their loyalty to Satan is by performing a human sacrifice. Their crime wo…

Killer Duos

Episode 273: Love Monsters: Daniel and Manuela Ruda, Part 1

Feb. 14, 2023

Daniel Ruda, a 26-year-old, self-described “black vampire” immersed himself in Germany’s goth and death metal scene as an outlet for his dark proclivities. In the year 2000, he was ready to find his soulmate or, as he put it…

Episode 272: Deep Cover: Never Seen Again with Jake Halpern

Feb. 7, 2023

I’m pleased to have Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jake Halpern, back with me again to discuss a new case he investigated for his podcast “Deep Cover”. Deep Cover, a Pushkin podcast, is all about people who lead double l…

Bizarre Crimes Child Abuse/Domestic Violence

Episode 271: The Girl Who Cried Orphan - Barbora Skrlova, Part 2

Jan. 31, 2023

We continue the story of Barbora Skrlova from where we left of last week. In part two, you’ll learn all the details of the bizarre unfolding of events in the Mauerova home. I’ll conclude by telling you the unbelievable tale …

About the Hosts

Esther LudlowProfile Photo

Esther Ludlow

Producer and Host

Esther Ludlow has been interested in true crime since she was a teen and has been podcasting since 2012. She launched her true crime podcast, Once Upon a Crime in June of 2016. In only 8 months, the podcast had over 1 million listens and the audience continues to grow. Her love for storytelling combined with her interest in true crime and her background in psychology creates a unique and compelling podcast.

Esther writes, produces and edits the podcast as a solo venture. Once Upon a Crime presents true crime stories chapter by chapter. Each episode stands alone and cases are grouped by topic. Esther has covered the kidnapping cases of Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, celebrity stalkers Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley, and historical cases including Kitty Genovese, Mary Bell and Charles Starkweather.

Lorena GarciaProfile Photo

Lorena Garcia

Administrative, Research and Production Assistant

Once Upon A Crime's right hand, Lorena Garcia can be found behind the scenes. From a young age, Lorena found interest in films and literature based on true crime events. As she matured so did her passion for true crime. Aside from assisting with OUAC, Lorena is a skincare enthusiast, world traveler, and cat mom.
She says being a part of the Once Upon A Crime team is the ultimate dream job.