Everything You Wanted to Know About Once Upon a Crime
(But Were Afraid To Ask)
How did you get interested in true crime?
I always loved to read, especially non-fiction. I picked up the book The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule while I was still in high school. It was about serial killer Ted Bundy and Ann Rule knew him personally before it was discovered that he was murdering young women. I found it fascinating - especially the background information on Bundy and the profiles of his victims. It was my very first true crime book and I was hooked!
Why did you decide to start a true crime podcast?
I had the details of so many true crime cases rattling around in my head that I knew I could tell these stories forever. I decided the best way to do it was to create a true crime podcast. At first, I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested, but just before I was getting ready to launch the podcast Serial was released and millions of people started listening to the Adnan Syden/Hae Min Lee case. Since Serial was a limited series, I figured people would be looking for more true crime podcasts and realized it was a great time to start Once Upon a Crime.
How do you pick the cases for the podcast?
There are a lot of cases I’ve been interested in for years. Since the episodes are grouped into “chapters” - or cases that relate to each other in some way - I will sometimes start with one I’m really interested and that find others that will fit into that month’s series. Sometimes I do searches online for new cases, some are sent to me by listeners. Each one has to have been resolved (no unsolved cases), be an interesting story to tell and, it’s even better if there is some kind of crazy detail or twist to the story!
What is your favorite case that you’ve covered?
That’s kind of like asking “who’s your favorite child?” - LOL! But, I must admit I’m really partial to stories where the women are the perpetrators. Several of them are really out there! Some of the best stories I’ve covered, in my opinion, are the ones about Diane Downs, Generosa Ammon, Marie Hilley, Betty Broderick and Bette Lou Beets.
What are your favorite true crime books?
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, Adnan’s Story by Rabia Chaudry, Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town by Lawrence Schiller, The Wilderness of Ruin by Roseanne Montillo, PureLand by Annette McGivney.