MysteriYES

A comedy mystery podcast in which two friends discuss a weekly mystery.

Isidor Fink

  • Isidor Fink

    • Moved to New York City from Galecia, Poland shortly after World War I.

    • He saved up his money and eventually opened a laundromat on East 132nd street.

    • He had a large ground floor apartment where he both lived and ran his business.

    • East 132nd Street wasn't a great part of town and robberies happened often.

    • Isidor was a cautious man who had multiple bolt locks on all bolts and windows.

    • He also allegedly never opened his door for anyone he didn't know.

  • Murder

    • March 9, 1929

    • Around 10 pm, Isidor returned to his apartment after making fresh laundry deliveries to several customers.

    • Shortly thereafter, his next door neighbor, Mrs. Locklan Smith, heard loud gunshots followed by a thud coming from Isidor’s apartment. Another article said just screams and no shots. Who knows.

    • She ran to her nearest Harlem police station to report what she had heard.

    • A patrolman named Albert Kattenborn was the first in the scene.

    • He found the door was locked from the inside so he tried to get in via a small window above the door, but it had been nailed shut from the inside.

    • He smashed the window, but found that it was too small for him to get in.

    • So he grabbed a small child from the crowd that had formed and shoved him through the window to unbolt the door.

    • Inside the apartment, Isidor was found dead on the floor, with two holes in his chest and one in his left wrist.

    • Because the door was locked from the inside and the windows were unbroken and nailed shut, suicide was initially believed to be the cause of death.

    • However, no gun was found in the apartment or even the surrounding area, so that basically ruled out suicide.

    • A search for fingerprints turned up only Isidor’s prints and since the door was locked from the inside and the windows were unbroken and nailed shut, murder was also considered unlikely.

    • Nothing had been stolen from the apartment, even the money from the cash register or Visitor’s pockets, which ruled out robbery as a motive. (Robberies were a common crime in that area.)

    • Police searched for hidden doors a murderer could have gotten in through or a secret contraption Isidor could have used to make his suicide look like murder, but nothing was found.

    • It was thought that perhaps he'd been shot through a window, but since they were all nailed shut and unbroken this seemed highly unlikely.

    • Also somehow they were able to tell by the wound in his wrist that he was shot at closer range than the window would have provided.

Darlie Routier

The Murder:

  • June 6, 1996

  • 6 year old Devon and 5 year old Damon were murdered with their throats slashed. Their mother Darlie Routier also had her throat slashed, but the carotid artery was not slashed (the wound came within 2 mm) and she survived

    • Her carotid artery may have been preserved because she was wearing a necklace which was embedded into her wound, getting in the way of the artery and later removed by a surgeon

  • The boys’ father was sleeping upstairs with their brother 7 month old Drake and did not hear the encounter. Neither Drake or Darin were harmed.

  • Darlie called 911

    • The press release given by the police of the incident claimed that Darin slept through the encounter, but his voice is heard in the background of the 911 call telling Darlie to get towels to aid their dying son Damon - could just be a misunderstanding

    • The 911 call recording was “enhanced” for the jury, the full original recording was not played during the trail

  • The window screen in their garage had been cut, possibly giving a point of entry

  • The police arrived on the scene 3 minutes after the 911 call

  • Several neighbors gave the same story that they did see a strange man wearing a black baseball cap in the neighborhood and provided a description of his car

  • A bloody fingerprint was also found in the home which did not belong to any of the family members

  • 2 murder weapons were used, but only one was found

    • The injuries were different depths confirming use of two weapons in addition to Devon’s blood not being found on the weapon

  • Darlie was taken to the hospital and was treated and released 2 days later

    • Her emergency surgery cost the family $12,000

 

The Arrest:

  • 8 days after the murder Darlie and family were celebrating what would have been Devon’s 7th birthday

    • They celebrated by having a solemn commemoration in honor of the deceased followed by a birthday party including silly string which Darlie sprayed on the boys’ graves

    • A video of the party was given as evidence of Darlie’s lack of grief which lead investigators to believe that she may have been involved in the deaths of her sons

  • Darlie was arrested 4 days after this birthday party for the murder of Damon only, not Devon

    • Keep in mind that Damon was still alive during the time of the 911 call and attempted aid was given by his parents

 

The Investigation/Trial

  • The motivation given for Darlie’s alleged murder was that she was a superficial woman in a great deal of debt and had a low amount of money available to her

  • The medical professionals who helped Darlie with her throat injury gave a statement to police while she was still in the hospital that her injuries could have been self-inflicted

    • The Chief Medical Examiner testified in the trial that her injuries were not consistent with a self-inflicted injury

  • Investigator Jimmy Patterson was in charge of this case, which was a possible conflict of interest because his son was a potential suspect

    • His son’s car matches the neighbors’ description and was later a defendant in a drug related drive by shooting in which he was convicted

  • The court reporter admits filling a falsified record for the purpose of hiding her mistake. There were tens of thousands of reported errors in the transcript (other than typos)

    • She sold several copies to the media

    • It is speculated that her conduct delayed Darlie’s appeal for 2 years and resulted in 6 hearings that would have otherwise been unnecessary

  • The short investigation time into the murders may have lead in major oversights in the case

    • Another similar murder occurred in the same neighborhood on the same week which is still unsolved

  • Darlie was found guilty by the jury and was sentenced to death row by lethal injection and is still waiting for her execution

  • The boys’ father Darin believes her to be innocent, but they came to a mutual divorce in 2011 to end the “limbo” of their relationship since her arrest

 

Reasons Why She May Have Been Framed:

  • Chief Investigator looking out to avoid suspicion against his own son who was arrested and later convicted of a drug related drive by shooting along with other accomplices

  • City Mayor (who was previously charged with federal crimes) was selling high priced houses and preferred arrest to be within family rather than create stigma that this is a crime area for intruders

  • First cop to arrive at scene immediately got sick at the sight of the victims and was indisposed for some time in the bathroom. He tried to hide this by changing story of what happened

    • It may have been easier to convict her than try to rifle through tampered evidence or accept consequences of interfering with crime scene evidence

The Tromp Family

Family Road trip introduction

  • Last August an Australian family Tromp of farmers

    • Mother, father, three adult children

      • 29, 25, and 22

  • Owned a berry farm where they all worked 7 days a week

    • “Pick your own fruit”

  • Left home on a spontaneous road trip

    • Left without credit cards, cell phones, or passports

    • Left home unlocked and horses

    • Cash only trip

    • Meant to be off the grid

  • Family drove from Silvan (Outside Melbourne in Victoria southern Australia)

    • 8 hours north to Bathurst in New South Wales (3 hours outside Sydney)

  • Unlike the rest of the family, Mitchell Tromp brought his cell phone

    • Mitchell was told to throw his phone out the window 19 miles out the window

      • Convinced it was being used to track them

  • Mitchell left the family around 7 the next day

  • The family then left Bathurst and went toward the jenolan caves (which look lovely)

    • At the Jenolan Caves the two girls also escaped from their family

    • Stole a car and drove to Goulburn

      • Reported their parents to the police

      • Then Split up

    • The oldest girl (29) was seen again in the back of a man’s pickup truck

      • She was catatonic and did not know her name or where she was

    • The youngest girl (22) made it back home

      • Police were already there

      • The home was unlock and messy

      • Police discovered that the Tromp’s had been going through years worth of their own financial records before leaving town

        • Several piles of documents throughout the home

        • “The piles were very ordered and they were clearly looking for something”

    • The Boy (25) made it home shortly after on a train

  • Meanwhile, The two parents drove back toward their hometown before splitting up in a town called Wangaratta

    • The wife went back north while the husband stayed in the area

  • Around that time, a couple playing Pokemon go was tailgated by a car that was the same make and model and the Tromp’s

    • When they couple slowed down, the car did too

      • When they stopped, the man in the car got out, ran toward them, then stopped in the middle of the road and stared at them

        • Then walked into the woods and disappeared

    • Police searched the woods but didn’t find anyone

      • Car still had keys in the ignition

      • A nearby hotel had a room broken into as well

        • Police believe he may have stayed there for the night

  • Mrs. Tromp went back north via public transportation

    • Tried to book a hotel in Yass

    • Someone took her to a hospital

      • Hospital staff recognized her and called the police

  • Five days later, Mr. Tromp was found wandering down a road in Wangaratta

    • Questioned by police and given a mental health assessment before being let go

    • He flipped off the media who were waiting outside

  • The two younger children publicly thanked the police for finding their father

    • Said they still didn’t know what happened

  • In May of 2018, things seemed to be pretty back to normal

    • The farm has been dialed back a bit

Theories

  • Family didn’t have any history of mental illness

    • No drug use

    • No religion or cults

  • Poisoned

    • No real evidence to support theory

  • Maybe they owed someone money

    • Family planned originally to leave the country

    • Financial record had been gone through

    • Kids were allowed to leave

    • Everything seems normal again

  • Folie A Deux (Not the Fallout Boy album)

    • Psychiatric syndrome in which a delusional belief or hallucination is passed from individual to another

    • Most commonly diagnosed when the individuals live in close proximity

      • Often with social or physical isolation

The Toxic Woman of Riverside

  • 8:15 on February 19th 1994

  • A woman named Gloria Ramirez was rushed to the hospital

    • Suffered from cervical cancer

  • Rushed to Riverside General Hospital

    • Just down the street from a Target AND a Walmart

      • Right next to each other

  • When she arrived she was extremely confused

    • Tachycardia (too fast)

    • Cheyne-Stokes respiration

      • Fast burst of breathing with breaks in between

  • Medical staff gave her diazepam, midazolam, and lorazepam to sedate her and calm her down

    • Don’t think this was incorrect

  • Gloria’s conditioned worsened

    • Responding poorly seemed to be losing her

  • Staff tried to defibrillate her heart

    • Several people saw an oily sheen covering her body

    • More noticed a fruity, garlic-y smell that seemed to be coming from her mouth

  • A registered nurse named Susan Kane tried to draw blood from Gloria’s arm and noticed an ammonia like smell

    • Passed the syringe to a resident named Julie Gorchynski

      • Noticed manila-colored particles floating in the blood

  • Kane fainted and was removed from the room

  • Gorchynski began to feel nauseous

    • She said she was lightheaded and left the trauma room to sit at a nurse’s desk

    • Someone came up to her to ask if she was okay

      • Fainted

  • Maureen Welch a respiratory therapist also passed out

  • Staff started to panic a bit

    • Ordered the evacuation of all emergency department patients to the parking lot

  • 23 people became ill and five were hospitalized

  • A few people were left behind to look after Gloria Ramirez

    • After 45 minutes of CPR and defibrillation she was pronounced dead from kidney failure at 8:50

Investigation

  • The county called in the state department of health and human services

    • Put two scientists Drs. Ana Maria Osorio and Kirsten Waller on the case

      • Osorio and The Wall

    • Interviewed 34 hospital staff members who had been working the emergency department that night

    • Used standardized questions

      • Determined that everyone who suffered major symptoms had all worked within 2 feet of Gloria Ramirez

    • Couldn’t find a cause

      • Mostly women had been affected

      • All had normal blood tests after the exposure

    • Conclusion was Mass Hysteria

  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide

    • Gorchynski denied that it had been mass hysteria

      • Spent two weeks in the ICU with breathing problems

      • Developed hepatitis and avascular necrosis in her knees

    • The Riverside coroner’s office asked the Lawrence Livermore National Labratory to investigate

    • The Livermore lab suggested that it could have been caused by dimethyl sulfoxide

      • Degreaser that is often used as a home remedy for pain

        • Reportedly has a garlic like taste

      • Sold in gels form at hardware stores

        • Could also explain skin

    • Not dangerous on its own, but could have turned into something dangerous

      • Dimethyl Sulfoxide could have built up in her body over time

        • Urinary blockage

      • Paramedics then gave her oxygen

        • Could have combined to make dimethyl sulfone

      • Dimethyl sulfone crystallizes at room temperature

        • Could explain stuff in Gloria’s blood

      • The electricity from the defibrillator could have then converted the dimethyl sulfone into dimethyl sulfate

        • Dimethyl sulfate is a highly toxic ester of sulfuric acid that could have caused some of the reported symptoms of the staff

    • This theory was published in an accredited, refereed journal and passed peer review

    • Nothing showed up on blood tests

    • Has not been proven to be possible

      • Only theorized

  • Poor hospital conditions

  • Aliens

Louis Le Prince

Louis Le Prince

  • Born August 28, 1841 in Metz, France

  • Artist who worked both in the United States and the United Kingdom as well as France.

  • He experimented primarily with motion picture technology after visiting the studio of photographic inventor Jacques Daguerre as a child.

  • He studied physics and chemistry in college, and then moved to Leeds, England, where most of his work was done.

  • On October 14, 1888, he became the first person to film a moving picture sequence.

  • During 1889 and 1890, he worked to create a projector along with a mechanic named James Longley.

  • He was successfully able to accomplish this; now he just had to show it to the world.

  • Disappearance

    • September 1890

    • Going to travel to the US for a public premiere of his work.

      • His family had been living in the US for the past three years, and his wife had prepared a theatre for the grand unveiling of his work.

    • Prior to his trip, he went to France to visit family.

    • On September 13, he took a train from Bourges to Dijon to visit his brother Albert.

    • Then on September 16 at 2:42 pm, he got on a train from Dijon to Paris.

    • From Paris he was scheduled to head to London to patent his work before going to New York.

    • His brother Albert waved farewell at the Dijon station, and that was the last that was seen of him.

    • When his train arrived in Paris, his friends found that he wasn’t aboard.

    • The train and the length of track between Dijon and Paris were searched, but there was no sign of Louis or his luggage (including his equipment).

    • No one except Albert remembered seeing him in the Dijon station.

    • No one remembered seeing Louis on the train, or any strange happenings on the train either.

    • The French police, Scotland Yard, and the family mounted monumental search efforts, but the mystery remains unsolved.

    • He was officially declared dead in 1897.

  • Theories

    • Suicide

      • Theory put forth by Louis’ great-nephew (brother’s grandson)

      • Claimed that Louis wanted to kill himself because he was on the verge of bankruptcy.

      • Theory suggests he went to painstaking lengths to make his suicide look like a disappearance into thin air.

      • His work was profitable though and he actually had no financial issues.

      • Also he was proud of his success and was about to premiere it to the world, so suicide is harder to accept (though not impossible!)

    • Forced disappearance by family

      • Some have suggested that Louis was forced to disappear by his family because of financial trouble (which probably wasn’t actually real), or for “familial conveniences”.

      • “Familial conveniences” meaning that he may have been gay and they didn’t want him around.

      • The director of the Dijon Municipal Library was quoted in 1977 as claiming that Louis died in Chicago in 1898, where he was forced to move by his family because he was gay. (How does this guy know anything about it?)

      • There just isn’t any evidence that Louis was gay.

      • Also, why make him disappear for being gay if he was about to become rich and famous? Money can make you overlook a lot!

      • Plus, the family spent a lot of time and money looking for him after he disappeared.

    • Assassination

      • Some have suggested that Louis was assassinated to stop him from patenting his work and being widely hailed as the inventor of the motion picture camera.

        • Louis’ family, especially his widow, believed this.

      • Thomas Edison, among others, were racing against Louis to invent the motion picture camera, so they would have had a motive for him to disappear.

      • After Louis disappeared, his family went to court with Thomas Edison regarding the patent for the motion picture camera.

        • Whoever won this suit would have a legacy in the history of cinematography.

      • Eventually, Edison was named the sole inventor of the motion picture camera, not Louis.

      • Two years after Louis’s son Adolphe testified in the suit, he was mysteriously found shot dead while out hunting ducks.

      • Could Edison have hired someone to take out Louis before he could patent his technology and debut it for the world, thus leaving open the opportunity for Edison to built his own legacy as the sole inventor of motion picture technology?

    • Fratricide

      • Some have suggested that it doesn’t make sense for Louis to purposely disappear by boarding a train.

        • It would have been much easier to disappear in a different manner, after all.

      • Perhaps he never boarded the train in Dijon in the first place, and was murdered by his own brother.

        • Albert was the only one who claimed to see Louis at the station, and no one claimed to see him on the train.

      • Possible motive: Louis’ mother had recently died, and so her children would be receiving quite an inheritance. Could Albert have murdered Louis to increase his share of the inheritance?

        • But why murder a brother who might get rich?

          • (My brother is rich and it’s great for me)

        • Also, the equipment was gone...surely that could have been more profitable than the inheritance?

      • OR COULD HE HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR THOMAS EDISON?!?!?!

  • Effects

    • Because Louis disappeared prior to the patent and reveal of his motion picture technology, he never really got the notoriety he deserved for his work, at least until recent years.

Bohemian Grove

  • Bohemian Grove is a 2,700 acre campground

    • Sonoma County, California

  • Owned by the Bohemian Club

    • All male

    • Founded in San Francisco in 1872

  • One of the most exclusive clubs in America

    • Waiting list is either 15 years or doesn’t actually exist

      • Limits itself to 2700

      • $25,000 initiation fee

    • Membership list includes exclusively men and exceptionally rich and powerful men

      • Associate members

        • Artists, musicians

          • Pay lesser fees

      • Honorary members

        • Pay no fees

        • Lesser privileges

          • Allowed into the “City Club” building and daytime guests at the Grove but not upper floors and not overnight

        • 4 Women

          • Margaret Bowman

          • Poet Ina Collbrith

            • California’s Poet laureate

          • Actress Elizabeth Crocker Bowers

          • Writer Sara Jane Lippincott

            • Last female member 1928

    • Each member is put into a camp

      • Hill Billies

        • Texas

        • Sader

      • Mandalay

      • Cave Man

      • Stowaway

      • Uplifters

      • Owls Nest

      • Hideaway

      • Isle of Aves

      • Lost ANgels

      • Silverado Squaters

      • Sempervirens

      • Hillside

      • Idlewild

    • University Presidents and San Francisco military commanders are often offered membership

      • Henry Ford

      • Clint Eastwood

      • Herbert Hoover

        • Man cave

      • Newt Gingrich

      • William Randolph Hearst

      • Richard Nixon

      • Ronald Reagan

      • Both Bush Presidents

        • People claim every Republican candidate but I couldn’t find records of Mccain or Romney

      • Dick Cheney

        • Reportedly

    • Sex Workers

  • Annual 16 day celebration

    • Cremation of Care

      • Owl of Bohemia

        • 40 foot hollow owl statue made of concrete

        • Fake moss

        • Real speakers

      • Effigy

        • “Dull Care”

      • People dressed as priests

      • Owl instructs priests to burn effigy with the “eternal flame of fellowship”

        • Walter Cronkite

        • Rumors of human sacrifice

      • Video of ceremony

        • Alex Jones

          • Horrible crazy person

          • Claimed occult ritual

    • Grove Plays

      • Annual large play with 300+ members

      • First performed in 1902

      • 1972 observer claimed play would have cast $20,000-$30,000

        • $136,000 today

  • Discrimination

    • Charged with discrimination in 1978 after it refused to hire women

      • Judge initially allowed discrimination so the men could be outside

      • Overturned in 1981

        • Women hired in limited rolls

    • 1984 Bohemian Club went to the Supreme Court of California

      • Argued that their freedom of association was being harmed

  • Logging

    • Applied for a logging permit in protected lands to “reduce risk of fire”

    • Critics (including professors) claimed redwoods are already fire resistant and it was obviously cover for a logging operation

  • Infiltration

    • Not really that hard

      • People just kind of walked in

    • Philip Weiss of Spy magazine

      • 1989

      • Spent 7 days in the camp

      • Wrote “Inside Bohemian Grove”

        • You know you are inside the Bohemian Grove when you come down a trail in the woods and hear piano music from amid a group of tents and then round a bend to see a man with a beer in one hand and his penis in the other, urinating into the bushes. Weiss also noticed "hundreds of cigars whose smokers had ignited them in defiance of the California Forest Service's posted warnings"

    • Alex Jones

      • Boarded a bus and got into the camp with a hidden camera

      • Record the cremation of care

        • Released awful commentary with video

        • Claimed “screams of pain” from effigy

        • Obviously a recording

      • Worked with Jon Ronson for The Secret Rulers of the World

      • Jon Ronson “My lasting impression was of an all-pervading sense of immaturity: the Elvis impersonators, the pseudo-pagan spooky rituals, the heavy drinking. These people might have reached the apex of their professions, but emotionally they seemed trapped in their college years.”

  • Satanic new world orders

    • Pagan/satanic cult that is trying to control the world

    • Features human sacrifices

      • Moloch

        • Canaanite god

    • Alex Jones made claims of homosexual orgies

      • Only there for 4 hours and didn’t get it on camera

      • Claimed he had to hide in the woods because he was being harassed

    •  
  • Meetings of world leaders

    • “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here”

    • Nixon and Reagan decided who would run first

    • Claims of Manhattan project invention

Collar Bomb Heist

  • Brian Wells

    • Worked as a delivery driver for Mama Mia’s Pizzeria in Erie Pennsylvania

    • August 28, 2003

    • Delivery to 8631 Peach Street

      • About to get off work but takes delivery anyway

  • The next time Brian Wells is seen is in a bank

    • Looks like he might be wearing a medical collar

    • Shirt that said Guess

    • Holding a cane

    • Hands teller note

      • He had a bomb

      • Demanded $250,000

      • Had a cane gun

        • Instructed to use it on anyone trying to run or not cooperating

      • Note also said Wells would be under constant surveillance

      • 15 minutes

    • Bank employees were unable to get into the vault

      • $8,702

    • Police arrived on scene quickly and found Brian Wells still close to the bank

      • Arrested him

      • Discovered bomb

      • Handcuffed him and called bomb squad

      • Wells cooperated

        • “Did you call my boss”

        • Three black men had put the bomb on him

        • This thing’s going to go off

        • Device started beeping

        • Wells started to fidget

        • Bomb exploded and killed Wells instantly

        • Caught on multiple cameras

  • Physical evidence

    • Geo Metro

      • Homemade cane gun

      • Notes addressed to “bomb hostage”

        • Instructed Wells to steal $250,000

        • Series of complex clues to delay the explosion of the bomb

          • "Exit the bank with the money and go to the McDonald's resturaunt [sic]," it read. "Get out of the car and go to the small sign reading drive thru/open 24 hr in the flower bed. By the sign, there is a rock with a note taped to the bottom. It has your next instructions."

          • That’s as far as Wells got

          • Under the rock was a 2 page note that instructed Wells to go to a wooded area several miles away where he’d find a container with orange tape

          • That clue said to go to a small road sign 2 miles south where a clue would be in a jar.

          • Jar was there but the clue was not.

            • Wooded area blue mini van

          • Investigators ultimately concluded that there was no way the tasks could have been completed in time

    • Bomb

      • Relatively simple

        • Two pipe bombs

      • Collar was much more complex

      • Wasn’t as effective as it could have been

      • Still would have required a skilled person to make it

      • Almost completely reconstructed

      • Had a lot of decoys and time wasters

      • Set off with two kitchen times that eventually completed an electrical circuit and set off the bomb

  • Pizza delivery site

    • The place Wells was supposed to deliver the pizza to was 8631 Peach St

      • Isolated radio tower in a wooded area

      • Only accessible by dirt road

      • Found Wells’ tire tracks and signs of a struggle

  • Robert Thomas Pinetti

    • Co-worker of Wells’

    • Authorities noted a change in behavior after Wells was murdered

    • Pinetti became paranoid.

    • Set up interview with Pinetti on Saturday

      • Pinetti asked to push it back because he was too busy at work

    • Robert Pinetti was found dead on Sunday from an apparent overdose

    • Never directly linked, but interesting

  • That’s where My Favorite Murder left it.

 

  • A couple weeks after the death of Brian Wells, a man named Bill Rothstein called the police

    • Told police the body of a man named James Roden was hidden in his freezer

    • Claimed that he had nothing to do with the man’s death

      • He was killed by his ex-girlfriend Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong

      • She had paid him $2,000 to get rid of the murder weapon and body

      • Claimed to call police out of fear

    • Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong

      • Already known to local law enforcement

      • Had been charged for murdering her former husband

        • Acquitted in self defense

      • Another partner had died after she claimed he hit his head on a coffee table

      • Another hung himself

      • Roden was shot twice in the back of the head with a shotgun

      • Everybody said she was both incredibly smart and manipulative

      • Also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder

      • Previously been a musical prodigy who graduated near the top of her class

    • How is this related?

      • Bill Rothstein lived directly at the dirt road entrance to 8631 Peach Street

      • Attempted to take his own life

        • Razor

        • Suicide note

          • Said he had nothing to do with murder of James Roden

          • First thing it said was it had nothing to do with the Wells case

    • Rothstein claimed that Marjorie had killed James Roden in an argument about money

    • Marjorie was arrested and claimed on camera that Rothstein was responsible for the murder of Brian Wells

    • Rothstein worked with police and agreed to testify against Marjorie

      • July of 2004 Rothstein died of lymphoma

    • Marjorie plead guilty but mentally ill to the murder of James Roden and was sentenced to 7-20 years in prison in January of 2005

    • A few months later in April, Marjorie told authorities that she had information about the Wells case and would tell them everything if she could be transferred to a minimum security prison closer to her home.

      • Bill Rothstein was the mastermind behind the plot

      • She was aware but not involved

        • Supplied the egg timers

      • Brian Wells was in on the plan

        • Something authorities already suspected

          • Two witnesses

    • Later that year a man named Kenneth Barnes was turned in by his brother in law

      • In jail already on drug charges

      • Fishing buddy of Marjorie’s

      • Talked too much to brother in law

      • Agreed to testify for reduced sentence

        • Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was mastermind

        • Needed money to pay him to kill her father

          • Thought he was spending her inheretence

        • Provided connection to Brian Wells

    • Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was charged as the mastermind of the plot

      • Also indicted Kenneth Barnes, Bill Rothstein, and Brian Wells

        • Brian Wells’ family

        • Was Wells really involved?

    • Kenneth Barnes plead guilty to conspiring to rob a bank and aiding and abetting.

      • Sentenced to 45 years in prison

    • Diehl-Armstrong plead not guilty

      • Deemed unfit to stand trial multiple times

      • Ultimately deemed capable

      • On November 1, 2010 she was convicted of armed bank robbery, conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, and use of a destructive device in a crime

        • Sentenced to life in prison

        • Appellate court affirmed her conviction and the supreme court denied her petition

      • Died April 4, 2017 of breast cancer

  • Possible that Brian Wells wasn’t involved

    • Jessica Hoopsick

Queho

Queho

  • Who really knows about Queho?

    • From researching this case, it’s clear that no one really knows anything about Queho.

    • Some people claim to know about him, but probably a lot of their stories are inaccurate or bigoted fantasies.

    • He’s either an early 20th century serial killer, a scapegoat turned Boogeyman, or something in between.

    • Basically, this story has been shrouded in racism and histeria, making the man Queho himself a mystery.

    • I’m going to try to tell the story as best I can, but keep in mind I’m probably completely butchering it.

    • Queho became a dark legend, so it’s very difficult to discern fact from fiction. But this is MysteriYES after all, so we don’t really care about discerning fact from fiction...

  • Early life

    • Little information is known about his early life as there really is no tribal record of him.

    • Born sometime in the late 1800s, perhaps 1880, most likely on a Native American reservation near Las Vegas, Nevada

    • He was of mixed birth, with his mother generally believed to be of the Cocopah tribe. She died shortly after he was born.

      • His father may have either been Mexican or perhaps born of a different tribe. Nothing is known of his father except that he was not married to Queho’s mother and he was not of the same race as her.

    • He was born with a clubfoot, or perhaps broke his leg or foot and was unable to adequately treat it, thus giving him a characteristic limp.

    • Because of his physical deformity and his mixed racial background, he was an outcast in his community.

    • Around this time, white people were starting to overwhelm the area, making arable land and game scarce for Native people and forcing them to beg for work from the white population.

    • Queho was known to have taken odd jobs in the El Dorado Canyon mines.

  • First killing

    • Allegedly, the first man he killed was his half-brother Avote, who had gone on a murder spree.

    • When Native people committed such crimes, other Natives were expected to produce the culprit or face retaliation from whites.

    • This was a case of “justifiable homicide.”

  • Crime

    • In 1910, perhaps due to the trauma of never having a place to belong, he became unjustifiably violent.

    • For whatever reason in November 1910, he shot and killed another Native American man named Bismark on the reservation.

      • There are unconfirmed reports that he killed a couple other Native Americans that day and then stole their horses to escape arrest for murder.

    • He fled to Las Vegas to stock up on supplies.

    • While there, he argued with a merchant and then beat him with a pick handle, breaking the man’s arms and fracturing his skull.

    • From there, he escaped into the El Dorado Mountains on foot.

    • Meanwhile, a posse from Las Vegas followed him into the mountain.

    • Shortly after, a local woodcutter was found dead and was allegedly killed by Queho.

      • Apparently, this was because a second posse found a distinctive footprint left at the scene of the crime, and Queho had a clubfoot.

    • They followed the tracks into the El Dorado Canyon to a place called the Gold Bug mine.

    • There they found the body of a deputy, whose badge had been stolen from his shirt.

    • The trail of Queho was followed a bit further, but he was never captured.

    • A sergeant from the Nevada State Police named Newgard took a few Native American trackers and two experienced hunters into the El Dorado Canyon to search for Queho.

      • While they would occasionally find that distinctive clubfoot track, they were never able to find Queho.

    • Over the next eight years, there were several mysterious murders in the area near the Colorado River where Queho had disappeared.

      • Naturally, he was blamed for these.

      • On the Arizona side, four adults and several children were found shot to death.

      • On the Nevada side, prospectors and shepherds would be found dead in isolated areas.

      • The victims’ shoes and food supplies were usually stolen.

    • Panic spread throughout the area and the name Queho became synonymous with “Boogeyman”.

      • If a prospector disappeared in the desert (a common enough occurance) or a miner spent too long at the bar or fell asleep on the job and didn’t come home on time, the name of Queho was mentioned.

      • Queho was also used as a threat to children who wouldn’t behave.

    • In January 1919, Maude Douglas was found murdered and her cabin ransacked in the El Dorado Canyon.

      • Police found Queho’s footprints leading away from the scene toward the Colorado river.

      • Two prospectors were found shot in the back nearby around that same time, and once more Queho’s footprints were found there.

    • A two month long manhunt ensued despite miserable winter weather.

      • They found the skeletons of two miners who had disappeared years before.

      • Queho was blamed for these murders, even though there was no evidence.

      • Throughout the search, the posse would occasionally find still-warm campfires and caves that might have been used as food caches.

        • These were assumed to have belonged to Queho, again with little proof.

      • Eventually, the weather made the whole thing too difficult and the posse gave up.

    • In March of 1919, the state of Nevada posted a $2000 reward for the capture of Queho, and Arizona chipped in an additional $500. After Clark County, Nevada and a few private individuals contributed, the total was over $3000.

    • However, by this point, the mysterious murders had stopped and Queho wasn’t ever heard from again.

  • Discovery

    • In 1940, two prospectors discovered the mummified remains of a Native American man in a cave on the Nevada side of the Colorado river.

      • The corpse had been well-preserved because of the desert climate.

      • The body was in the fetal position, suggesting it had been a painful death.

      • There was evidence of a rattlesnake bite, which may have been the cause of death.

    • Along with the body, they found a

      • Winchester Model 94 .30-30 rifle,

      • a 12-gauge Hopkins & Allen double-barreled shotgun with a rope sling,

      • cooking utensils,

      • crude bows and arrows

      • the murdered deputy’s badge.

      • shotgun shells that matched those inside the body of Maude Douglas in 1919.

    • The body was identified as Queho’s, though there was some doubt. It was identified because it had double rows of teeth, which tribal members claimed Queho had.

    • After some weird but relatively uninteresting legal stuff, his body was put on display at the Las Vegas Elks Lodge, and even rode in the back of a convertible at the annual Helldorado Days parade.

    • Awhile later, Queho histeria died out.

    • In January 1962, the mummified corpse was found in a county dump. The Elks Lodge, having lost any further use for the body, had merely thrown it away.

    • It was then buried, finally.

  • Was Queho the Boogeyman?

    • It’s undeniable that he killed people, but lots of people in that time people did.

    • “Justifiable homicide” was an accepted doctrine back then.

    • The problem with Queho was that he was a Native American, and his supposed victims were white.

      • This made it incredibly easy for him to be construed as a horrific monster, and to be blamed for murders he didn’t commit.

    • He probably didn’t commit all the murders he’s blamed for. Probably wasn’t that much different from similar white dudes of the time, except he had the audacity to be a Native American.

The World's First Conspiracy Theory

Succession in ancient empires- Persian Empire

Most of what we know is incredibly old

It is also written mostly be the Greeks who didn’t like the Persians

Also written 100 years later

Cyrus the Great

  • One of the greatest leaders to ever live

  • Founded the Achaemenid Empire or the Persian empire

    • Originally nomadic shepherds and goat herders

    • Overthrew the Median Empire or Medes

    • Expanded his territory greatly

      • Incredible politician

      • When a land was conquered he allowed them to keep their culture and religion

        • Option to join or die

        • First time this ever happened

      • Major figure in Judaism

        • Rebuilt the temple

Darius the Great

  • Expanded the empire even further

  • Mentioned in multiple Biblical books

  • Clashed with the Greeks and conquered much of Macedonia

  • Probably a distant relative?

    • Cyrus’s grandfather was Darius’s great grandfather

      • Potentially made up

What happened in between?

  • Death of Cyrus

    • Conquering lands north of modern day Afghanistan

    • Ran into a nomadic tribe called the Massagetae

      • Offered to marry their ruler empress Tomyris

      • She rejected it

    • Tried to conquer

      • Set up bridges and war boats

      • Challenged by Tomyris to engage in honorable combat

    • Massagetae didn’t know what wine was

      • Cyrus moved his best soldiers away

      • Left all of his wine and bad soldiers

      • Tomyris’s forces (led by son) raided the camp

      • Discovered wine and got drunk

      • Cyrus attacked the drunken group

    • Tomyris swore revenge and to lead troops into battle herself

      • Led a second attack

      • Herodotus referred to it as the the fiercest battle the world had ever seen

      • Cyrus was killed and the Persians lost

      • Tomyris asked for Cyrus’s body

        • Cut off head

        • Dipped in blood

  • Cyrus had 2 sons

    • Cambyses & Smerdis/Bardiya (who had like 20 different names)

    • Cambyses

    • Smerdis

      • Given his own mini-kingdom

    • Cambyses Left Persia to conquer Egypt

      • Egyptian pharaoh Amasis sent the daughter of a family Cambyses had killed

      • Took Smerdis with him

      • Left a Magi to watch his thrown

      • Sees that Smerdis is really good with a bow that an Ethiopian king gave him

        • Send him back to Persia

    • According to ancient histories, major mood swings

      • Asked to see Egypt’s sacred bull

        • Named Apis

        • Kills it

        • Plan backfires when he gets sick

      • Asked close confidant named Prexaspes what Persian people thought of him

        • Prexaspes said they spoke well

          • But he drank too much wine

        • Cambyses got really upset

          • Said “if that’s the case then I won’t be very good at shooting a bow and arrow”

          • Killed Prexaspes son

            • Who was his cupbearer

      • Ordered another adviser be killed

        • The adviser ran away

        • Order was never carried out

        • Cambyses regretted decision a few days laters

          • Was overjoyed that adviser was still alive

          • Killed everyone who didn’t follow his order

      • Had a dream

        • Smerdis would take his throne

        • Sent Prexaspes to kill Smerdis

        • Prexaspes went and killed Smerdis

  • Someone takes Cambyses’s throne

    • The news said Smerdis took his brother’s throne

      • According to ancient histories this wasn’t actually Smerdis but an imposter

      • The magi that was left in charge had put someone else on the throne

    • Cambyses returns to Persia

      • Disputed

      • Attempted to march against usurper

      • Died instead

        • Darius

          • He decided that success was impossible and took his own life

        • Greek Historians

          • Accidentally stabbed himself in the leg and died 11 days later

            • Working with wood

            • Mounting horse

        • Some modern historians

          • Assassinated

            • (Talk about later) Darius

            • Smerdis

            • Internal coup

      • Cambysis told his nobles to kill the usurper

    • Overthrowing the Smerdis imposter was easier said than done

      • The new king eliminated a lot of taxes and made exemptions for people who were required to serve in the military

      • With Cambysis dead the Smerdis imposter seemed like the rightful king

        • Only one person knew the real Smerdis was dead

          • Prexaspes wasn’t going to bring it up

  • Who was this person who now controlled the most powerful empire in the world

    • Otanes theory

      • Nobleman who suspected that this was not Smerdis the brother of Cambysis but instead someone else whose name was….. Also Smerdis

      • Apparently the imposter Smerdis had his ears cut off by Cyrus the great “for some grave reason”.

        • New king always had his ears covered

        • Otanes’ daughter Phaidyme was in the king’s harem

        • Asked daughter to expose lie

        • King had no ears

      • In order to solidify their claim, the Smerdis impersonator convinced Prexaspes to confirm him as the rightful king

        • Instead, Prexaspes climbed a tower and told a crowd that he had killed the real Smerdis

          • Threw himself off the tower

    • Izabates theory

      • Close advisor to Cambysis

      • Said Smerdis had been killed in a different way

      • Claimed Smerdis had whipped someone named Sphendadates

        • Sphendadates then went to Cambysis and told him his brother was planning to usurp him

          • Offered proof: told him to summon his brother

          • Smerdis was slow to arrive

        • When Smerdis arrived Cambysis decided to kill him but was hesitant

        • Sphendadates was like “I kind of look like him”

          • Smerdis was forced to drink bull’s blood until it killed him

        • Sphendadates took Smerdis’s role

      • When Cambysis died Sphendadates took over pretending to be Smerdis

      • Izabates gets back into town and is like “woah dude. That wasn’t part of the deal”

    • This is where the histories agree

      • After the revelation of the “false” Smerdis, seven nobleman raid the royal palace

        • Otanes, Megabyzus, Darius who arrived late

      • The group made it into the throne room with little resistance

        • Killed the Smerdis imposter

      • The group had to decide how to rule the empire

        • Otanes proposed democracy

        • Megabyzus proposed oligarchy

          • “Hey guys we could all rule it together if you want”

        • Darius proposed monarchy

          • “Darius the great”

      • Voted on: Monarchy won 4:3

      • Who would be king?

        • Decided on a contest to determine the king

        • All 7 would mount their horses and go to the outskirts of the city

          • Whoever’s horse was the first to neigh at sunrise would become the new king

        • Darius came up with a plot to win the contest

          • Went to his stable master

          • Stable master went to the mare of Darius’s horse and got some *ahem* stank on it

          • Hid hand in robes until sunrise then brought it to the horse’s nostrils

    • Revisionist version

      • Darius was with Cambysis’ army when he was in Egypt

        • Potentially killed him

      • The person on the throne really was Smerdis

      • Prexaspes hadn’t ever killed Smerdis to begin with

      • The idea that Smerdis was an imposter originated with or was taken advantage by Darius

The Gardner Museum Heist

  • Biggest art heist in the world

    • America’s biggest property crime

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    • Boston

    • Built in 1901 and houses over 15,000 pieces of art

    • Collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner

  • March 18th 1990 (day after St. Patrick’s day)

    • 13 pieces of art were stolen from the museum

      • Combined value was over $500 million

      •  
  • On March 18th the museum had 2 inexperienced guards on duty.

    • First guard on duty was Richard E. Abath

      • In a rock band

      • Music school drop out

      • Would often go to work drunk or high after performing

        • “I’d be just getting off of the stage somewhere and just wanted to slow down before I went to the most boring job in the world”

      • Abath says he was sober on the night of the robbery

  • 12:54 AM

    • Fire alarm went off on 3rd floor of the museum.

      • False alarm

  • 1:24 AM

    • Two men in police uniforms buzzed the security desk

    • Said they were responding to a disturbance call and demanded that Abath let them in.

      • St. Patrick’s day

    • Abath decided to break from museum protocol and let the officers into the building through the employee entrance.

      • Grateful Dead concert

        • Didn’t want to get arrested

    • “You look familiar. I think we have a default warrant out on you. Come out here and show us some identification”

      • Abath left booth which had only button to alert police.

      • Indicates insider knowledge

    • The two men then proceeded to tell Abath he was under arrest and handcuffed him.

      • Abath thought it was weird that he wasn’t frisked and started to suspect this was a robbery

    • Second guard arrived to work and was immediately arrested as well.

      • Asked why he was being arrested

      • Men told them this was a robbery

      • Guard said he wasn’t paid enough to try to stop them

    • Guards were tied up with duct tape

    • Motion detectors showed robbers went to the 2nd floor and split up

    • Alarm went off at one point that was supposed to alert guards that someone was too close to the art

      • Robbers found the alarm and smashed it

      • Museum was in the process of updating their security at the time of the robbery

        • Had a system that required the guard to push a button to alert the police and guards were not in a separate control room just in a kiosk

      • Didn’t have theft insurance

        • Insurance for damage

        • Theft insurance was too expensive

          • $3 million a year vs $2.8 operating budget

  • 2:28 AM

    • Robbers returned to the security desk

      • Checked on guards

      • Smashed security footage

    • Took art to car in two trips

      • Witnesses reported seeing the thieves loading something into a red hatchback

  • 13 items were taken

    • A Vermeer

      • Only 34

      • The Concert Worth over $200 million

    • 5 Degas

    • A Flink

    • A Manet

    • An ancient Chinese gu

    • 3 Rembrandts

      • Only known seascape from Rembrandt

      • Tried to take 4th

    • A bronze eagle from the top of a Napoleonic flag

      • Possibly thought it was gold

    • Left behind extremely valuable pieces

      • Michelangelo

      • Titian

      • Passed two Raphaels and a Botticelli to get to the eagle

      • Cut paintings from frames and smashed frames

  • 6:45-8:15

    • Two day guards arrive at work

      • Unable to get in

    • Called police

    • Discovered the night security guards

  • Thieves wore gloves but didn’t cover their faces

    • Abath couldn’t remember what they looked like

    • Said police sketch was wrong

    • Colonel Klink

  • April 1994

    • Museum received anonymous letter

    • Claimed to know location of the art

    • Knowledge of stolen pieces

    • Buyer in another country was about to buy them

    • $2.6 million

    • 2nd letter

      • Said not to get authorities involved

      • Angry letter

    • Said they would give clues to where the art was.

      • Never heard from again

  • Who stole?

  • Inside job

    • Knew there was only 1 button

    • Knew there weren’t more alarms

    • Abath was suspected

      • Still is

    • Abath broke protocol to let robbers in

      • Museum specifically stated not even police were to be allowed in

        • Abath said he wasn’t aware

      • Abath had broken policy before

        • New Year’s Eve

        • 2016 tape

          • Abath let unidentified man into museum night before the heist

          • Abath buzzes man into the museum twice in a few minutes

          • Man stayed for 3 minutes in the lobby

          • Returned to car and left

          • Abath claims to not remember

            • Said job was incredibly boring because not much happened

    • Abath couldn’t remember the robber’s faces despite getting good looks at them

    • Motion detectors weren’t shut off

      • Didn’t record thieves on the first floor

      • Did record Abath in the room earlier in the night

    • Police didn’t believe Abath was smart enough to pull of heist

      • Collaborators

    • Never seemed to have profited from heist

  • Brian McDevitt

    • Similar robbery in 80s

      • Hijacked a FedEx truck and drugged the driver.

      • Stole uniform

      • Planned to duct tape employees to steal art in New York and cut painting out of their frames

      • Robbery didn’t work because McDevitt got stuck in traffic and didn’t get there until the museum closed

      • Went to jail for a few months for attempted robbery

    • Lived 10 minutes away from the Gardner museum at the time of the robbery

    • Questioned by FBI and Grand Jury

      • Not charged

  • IRA

    • Arthur Brand

      • Art theft expert from Holland

        • Undercover to buy stolen art

        • Recovered $25 million

    • 1991 Brand found a photo of the art in a storage facility in Holland

    • 2010 Brand heard art was in possession of someone affiliated with Irish Republican Army

      • Stolen by small time thieves

      • Sold pieces to gang members

      • Gang members sold to IRA

        • The Boston Herald reported that an international crime lord paid 5 thieves $100,000 each for the robbery but refused to pay the full amount after the robbers botched the job and didn’t get the Titian or Botticelli

        • One of crew members was reportedly tortured and killed in 1991 after bragging about the robbery

    • 2017 said he was “100 percent sure” artwork was in Ireland

      • Talked to former members

      • Museum doesn’t think lead will pan out

        • Idea was put forth a while ago and didn’t pan out

    • Museum doubled reward for return of art to $10 million

      • Returned to $5 million in January

    • “The FBI believes with high confidence that we have identified those responsible for the theft, even though we still don’t know where the art is currently located”

    • William P. Youngworth

      • Antique dealer and convicted felon who claimed to know where paintings were in 1997

        • Claimed to have dealt with people from Ireland

      • Formed relationship with Herald reporter

      • Wanted immunity for this crime and another crime he was on trial for

        • Also wanted a man named Myles Connor released from prison

          • Escapes from prison and murder of two 20 yeard old women in 1975

      • Took Tom Mashberg to a warehouse in the NorthEast to see Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee briefly with a flashlight.

        • Provided paint samples of paint chips

          • Experts confirmed paint was Dutch 17th century but not from stolen paintings

          • Couldn’t say definitively if real or fake

          • FBI quit dealing with Youngworth

  • Bobby Donati

    • Theory put forth by Stephen Kurkjian in book Master Thieves: The Boston Gangster Who Pulled Off the WOrld’s Greatest Art Heist

      • Kurkjian worked for the Boston Globe and had 3 Pulitzers

      • Said FBI wasn’t interested

    • Boston gangster

    • Art thief Myles J. Connor Jr claimed him and Donati had planned a heist of the museum in the 80s

    • Shortly before robbery Donati was seen at a club with a paper bag

      • Paper bag ripped open and police uniforms spilled out

    • Donati worked for a boss named Vincent Ferrara

      • Ferrara was in prison serving a 20 year sentence

      • Donati said he was going to get him out

    • After robbery Ferrara reportedly asked Donati

      • “Was that you?”

      • “I told you I was going to do it. Now I go to find a way to begin negotiating to get you out.

    • Donati was murdered in 1991

  • Robert “Bobby the Cook” Gentile

    • Also investigated by Kurkjian

    • May 2012

      • Police searched home in Manchester

        • Didn’t find art

        • Found sheet of paper with value of stolen pieces

    • January 2016

      • FBI charge Gentile with gun charges to reveal location of art

        • Subsequent hearing prosecutor revealed evidence tying Gentile to the crime

          • Claimed him and partner Robert Guarente tried to reduce an associates prison sentence with two stolen pieces

            • Guarente’s wife told authorities in 2015 that her husband once owned the art and gave it to Gentile before he died in 2004

          • Gentile also told at least 3 fellow inmates that he had stolen the art

    • 2015

      • Gentile took a lie detector test

        • Denied advanced knowledge of heist or every owning any paintings

        • Test claimed there was a 0.1% chance that he was telling the truth

    • May 2 2016

      • Gentile’s home was searched again

    • February 2018

      • Gentile sentenced to 54 months in prison for gun charges

  • Art was destroyed

    • Stolen pieces are typically recovered right away or about a generation later

      • Pieces have not resurfaced

    • 2005 Boston’s US Attorney said he wouldn’t prosecute anyone who comes forward with the paintings

    • Statute of limitations not expired

    • Obviously not experts

      • Broke frames

      • Potentially damaged the painting in the heist

Anastasia Romanov

Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia

  • Born June 18, 1901 in Petersburg, Russia

  • Youngest daughter of Tsar Nikolai II and Tsarina Alexandra, the last Tsars of the Imperial age in Russia.

  • The Romanov Dynasty ruled Russia ruled for 300 years, from 1613 to 1917.

  • Nikolai had been in power since 1894 and had shortly thereafter married Alix of Hesse, who was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England.

  • Nikolai is considered to have been a weak, incompetent leader whose poor decisions ended up costing Russia greatly and led to one of the most monumental events of the 20th century ( the Bolshevik revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union).

  • When Anastasia was born, she only had three older sisters: Olga, Tatiana, and Maria.

  • Her family was super pissed when she was born because she didn’t have a penis and you weren’t allowed to rule in Russia unless you had a penis.

  • Later her younger brother and the Imperial heir, Alexei, would be born. He did have a penis, but he was a hemophiliac so his health was constantly in a precarious state and it was highly likely that he wouldn’t survive to see his own coronation.

  • Childhood

    • She was a lively, energetic, and naughty child who used to trip the servants, prank her tutors, climb trees and refuse to come down, hide rocks in snowballs, cheat at games, etc.

    • Like many people from royal families, she struggled with poor health.

    • By all accounts, she appeared to have a positive and innocent relationship with Grigori Rasputin, who was a counselor to her mother, the Tsarina. However rumors swirled that Rasputin was inappropriately involved with Anastasia, her mother, and her three sisters.

  • World War I--broke out in 1914, when she was 13 years old

    • World War I was devastating for the Romanovs, who were already on shaky ground with the Russian people for a variety of reasons that are too complicated to go into here.

    • Food became scarce, soldiers were becoming war-weary, the war was incredibly costly, and they were losing battles in devastating fashion.

    • The price of food skyrocketed became millions of men were taken away from farm work.

    • Rasputin convinced the Tsarina to go to the front lines during the war, putting her in charge with Rasputin whispering in her ear, which made people even more upset because the public hated Rasputin.

    • People became restless and began calling for social reforms and the downfall of the tsar.

  • Revolution and house arrest

    • Things got nuts as people rioted in the streets and the military shot at them, but then huge numbers of people from the military turned against the Tsar and joined the revolution.

    • In February 1917, a provisional government was set up to try to restore order and Anastasia and her family were placed under house arrest in the palace.

    • The provisional government demanded that Nikolai abdicate.

      • Because he basically had no support, his family was in danger back in Russia while he was on the front lines, and civil war would spell certain doom for Russia in World War I, Nikolai abdicated on March 15, 1917, thus ending 300 years of Romanov rule.

  • Captivity

    • The provisional government evacuated the Romanov family to Tobolsk in the Ural Mountains to be safe from advancing Bolshevik (Communist) troops until the spring of 1918 when the plan was for them to be sent to Japan.

    • While in Tobolsk, Anastasia and her sisters sewed jewels into their clothing to hide them from their captors and put on hilarious plays for those being held in captivity with them.

    • Before they could be sent to Japan, in October 1917, the Bolsheviks seized power from the provisional government and on April 30 1918, the Romanov parents and their daughter Maria were moved by the Bolsheviks to the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg.

      • Anastasia stayed in Tobolsk until May, because her brother Alexei was hemophilic and too sick to travel. Eventually, though, they joined their parents in Yekaterinburg.

    • The family experienced strict isolation while at Ipatiev House, including having to ring a bell any time they wanted to leave their rooms to use the bathroom but the toilets didn’t work.

      • Windows were whitewashed over.

      • They wore clothes of peasants.

    • During this time, the Bolsheviks (or the Red Army) were engaged in civil war with anti-Bolshevik forces known as the White Army.

    • In the summer of 1918, White Army forces were advancing toward Yekaterinburg. The Red Army feared that if the Imperial family fell into the hands of the  White Army, they would lose a very important advantage.

    • In late June/early July, Soviet officials agreed that the Romanov family should be executed, but that it should be done secretly.

    • On July 16, Red Army forces were retreating in that region, and the executions could not be delayed any longer.

      • A man named Yurovsky, who was in charge of the family’s imprisonment, set in motion his plan for the family’s execution.

  • Execution

    • That night, around midnight, Yurovsky ordered the family’s physician to awaken the sleeping Romanovs and have them get dressed, telling them that they were being moved to another, safer location as the White Army was about to arrive in Yekaterinburg.

      • The Romanovs and four of their servants were brought to a 20 feet by 16 feet basement room and a squad of secret police entered.

      • Yurovsky read this order written aloud:

        • Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you.

      • Nikolai cried out, “What?!” and then as he turned to his family, the police fired on him, and then on the remaining members of the Romanov family and their attendants.

      • The shooting was so chaotic that the room became filled with so much dust and smoke that no one could see anything or hear any orders.

      • When the dust settled, it was found that all of the Imperial children were still alive and only one had even been injured, as the bullets ricocheted off the jewels that had been sewn into their clothing.

      • The police then began to fire on the children again, and any who were still alive were bayoneted and beaten to death with the butts of their rifles.

      • The bodies were then loaded into a Fiat truck, covered in acid, and disposed of secretly in an undisclosed location.

    • On July 19 and the in the few days following, the news was announced throughout Russia that Niklaoi was dead, and that his family had been sent somewhere safe.

  • Mystery!

    • When the White Army took the city on July 25, it seemed as though the Imperial Family had simply disappeared, so the Sokolov Commission was created by the White Army to investigate what happened to the Romanovs.

    • Because of the chaos of revolution, the disinformation campaigns run by the Soviet government, and the lack of any bodies, there was some speculation that perhaps some of the Romanovs survived and escaped with the assistance of Soviet guards.

    • Romanov impersonators began popping up all over the world, claiming that they had escaped that fateful night.

      • The most famous case was that of Anna Anderson, who first surfaced between 1920 and 1922.

      • She claimed that she had faked her death among the dead bodies in the basement, and then was helped to escape by a guard who noticed that she was still breathing.

      • Her legal case lasted in German courts from 1938 to 1970 before it was decided that she had no proof that she was Anastasia.

      • Anderson died in 1984, and in 1994 her DNA tests showed that she was not biologically related to the Tsar.

      • Two other young women claimed to be Anastasia and her sister Maria, who were taken in by a priest in the Ural Mountains in 1919 until their deaths in 1964.

    • The claims that Anastasia survived were further spurred on by reports of Bolshevik soldiers and secret police raiding trains and houses in search of Anastasia Romanov.

    • Some historians have stated that it would have been possibly for some sympathetic guards to help a survivor escape, as the bodies were left largely unattended in the time after the massacre and before the disposal.

    • In the vacuum created by a lack of information and evidence, cinema filled in the gaps with embellished accounts of Anastasia’s survival

    • In 1979, the remains of most of the family were uncovered by amateurs, but they kept this a secret until the Communist government fell.

      • In July 1991, the bodies were exhumed and, using DNA, were identified as the Tsar, the Tsarina, and three of the Imperial daughters--but the bodies of Alexei and one other daughter were suspiciously missing.

      • This revived speculation that Anastasia had survived, as well as perhaps Alexei (though how long he could have survived is doubtful)

      • However, the bodies of Alexei and the missing daughter were found in 2007, thus confirming that Anastasia did not survive.

    • The mystery still lives on in some form, as recently the Russian Orthodox Church has suggested that the scientific study on the remains may have been mistaken, and that the remains may not actually be those of the Romanovs.

Top Conspiracy Theories of 2017

  • Hurricanes

This feels like it happened ages ago, but the Gulf of Mexico was hit with three historically large and devastating hurricanes in 2017, from late August through September. Harvey, Irma and Maria all caused a significant amount of damage. This, of course, led conspiracy theorists to do what they do best, fear monger.

 

There were of course doctored photos and unverified claims that either Trump or Obama were either on the seen helping people or sitting at home laughing or playing golf. Here are just a handful of false claims that I was able to find in about 5 minutes regarding Hurricane Harvey, Ben Carson, the head of the department of housing and human development told hurricane victims “homelessness is a gift from heaven”, Hurricane Harvey accidentally revealed an ammunition stash that Obama had planned to use to take over Texas, a Texas mosque refused to help Hurricane Harvey survivors saying “If we allow Christians and Jews inside, we are violating a fundamental tenet of Islam and will be punished by Allah”, fake twitter accounts posted things like #HarveyLootCrew alongside pictures of black men and Black Lives Matter hashtags, anyone who rescues an animal from danger caused by Harvey could be prosecuted for theft of an animal in Texas.

 

My person favorite a 2005 movie called “Category 7: The End of the World” had hurricanes named Harvey and Irma, this is not merely a coincidence. It is a slip up from the government who are trying to control the weather.

 

11 years and 9 months ago a movie came out called “Category 7 End of the World” and there were only two episodes called “Harvey” and “Irma”! Read that over a few times until it sinks in! These are NOT “storms”, but predictive program attacks on the American people that they told “U.S.” about in the Hollywood black magic ritual of telling their victims exactly how you intend to take their lives. The second hurricane called IRMA in the movie struck the United States on 9/11, and guess when this storm is suppose to hit “U.S.”? This is way too much of a “coincidence” for even the casual observer to ignore.

 

HAARP book by Nick Begich about governement’s plan to control the environment.

High-frequency active auroral research program. Low-frequency, no longer operated by the government. University of Alaska Anchorage Begich has been invited to open house.

Used another method

 

In the movie, a hurricane named Eduardo strikes Florida and Washington, D.C., while an unnamed Category 6 storm hits New York. Eventually the two combine, causing the movie’s eponymous Category 7 storm, which threatens a global catastrophe.

Atlantic hurricanes are named from a prescribed list of names that are rotated every six years and published in advance. So we already know the list of potential hurricane names for 2018, 2019, and every year for the foreseeable future, unless they are changed by the World Meteorological Association. There was a Hurricane Harvey, for example, in 2011 and a Tropical Storm Harvey in 2005 and 1999. Had the filmmakers named their fictional storms Harvey or Irma, they could easily have chosen them from the same publicly available list.



 

  • Las Vegas Shooting

Popular completely untrue conspiracy theories about the Las Vegas Shooting, there was a second gunman who fired at the crowd, the security guard at the Mandalay Bay Casino named Jesus Campos was an accomplice rather than an aid to police (resulting in people stalking him and camping out in front of his house), the shooter was a left wing, anti-Trump militant, a woman started screaming warning about the shooting 45 minutes before it happened, mass shootings are all a result of the side effects of psychotropic medication, everyone at the concert was a paid actor, Antifa were behind the Las Vegas shootings

 

A page named “Melbourne Antifa” seem to claim responsibility for the attack when they posted a status that said “one of our comrades from our Las Vegas branch has made these fascist Trump supporting dogs pay”. Picked up by The Daily Mail and Puppet String News with no verification or investigation. The page had been pegged as fake before the shooting took place at least by June of 2017 if not before.

 

  • Antifa

In August 2017, rumors began to spread on social media that antifa was planning extended unrest, riots, killing random citizens, or outright civil war beginning on 4 November 2017. Depending on the source, “antifa” was supposedly planning extended riots and joint violence alongside Black Lives Matter and the Black Panthers, or even a coup of the American government.

The rumors seem to have originated from a video originally published on 30 August 2017 by an individual named Jordan Peltz. Peltz was widely (and incorrectly) identified as a “U.S. Marshal” in the video, which shows him wearing what looked like an official badge that is actually simply printed on his shirt. Petlz claimed that he had insider knowledge that Antifa was planning an armed insurrection on this day.

Rumors of armed insurrection and many false claims were made including a claim that Malia Obama, the daughter of former President Barack Hussein Obama was part of a gang that beat up a 97-year old woman.

 

  • Roy Moore

Even if you don’t live in America you probably heard about Roy Moore. He was the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was dismissed for erecting a monument of the Ten Commandments in the supreme court and refusing to take it down who decided to run for Congress in Alabama. During his campaign shocking allegations came to light that claimed Roy Moore either had or attempted to have sex with numerous teenage girls.

 

This led to a number of different conspiracies and allegations including one that said that either the Washington Post (who reported the story) was lying or Moore’s accusers were. The Post was accused of offering a thousand dollars for accustion while someone started cold calling people in Alabama pretending to be a Post reporter named “Bernie Bernstein”. The person spoke in an over the top New York accent and claimed to be offering money for damaging information about Roy Moore. The email that was given to contact the report was fake and the Post claimed to have no record of a Bernie Bernstein working in their office.

 

There were false or unverified allegations that were made against Moore, however, one popular allegation was that Roy Moore was banned from a mall in the 80s for harassing young women. While there are multiple people who claim this to be true and act as if it was common knowledge, it’s not verifiable. There are no mall banning records or any way to prove that this happened. Plus, most people are just talking about a rumor that they heard.

 

There were accusations that Roy Moore authored a textbook that claimed women shouldn’t hold political office and everyone was morally obligated to vote against any woman. This was also untrue. He was involved in a study course which argued that women should not hold political office but he didn’t write the chapter that claimed it.

 

There were also outlandish claims that Roy Moore said things like, Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress, that 9/11 happened because America wasn’t Christian enough, Obama wasn’t born in the United States, that homosexual conduct should be illegal, and even referred to native americans and asian americans as “reds and yellows”. (This really did happen)

 

  • Fake Melania

Another very popular conspiracy theory was that Melania Trump had secretly been replaced by a body double. There have been a lot of theories about Melania that she wants to leave Trump or that she is being held hostage, but the idea that Melania had been replaced by a body double reached mainstream media in October 2017. The video, which shows a CNN broadcast of an interview with Trump while Melania stood in the background, was recorded by someone with their phone who claimed to have noticed some discrepancies. Quickly side by side comparison photos circulated across the internet with people speculating that Melania had either left Trump or needed additional security. While the video that was circulated certainly doesn’t look like Melania, it also doesn’t look like the original broadcast. When compared to the original CNN footage, it's obvious that whoever recorded this just needs to adjust the settings on their TV.

The Vampire of San Francisco

MysteriYES: Rachel Takes Over because Willy is too Busy to Write Edition!!

 

  • Shaking things up a bit because this week is less of an unsolved mystery, but more of a not-so-friendly reminder, to lock your gosh-darn doors.

  • This week we will be covering Richard Chase, also known as the Vampire of Sacramento. This research is sourced by Wikipedia and My Favorite Murder-- great podcast.

    • Fair warning, this is rather gruesome and has cannibalism, extreme violence, etc. I did leave out a few details (not because I got lazy, of course not) that were overly gruesome,  but this episode will still be a little graphic and unsettling, as there is animal abuse, brutal rape and murder and cannibalism.

  • Richard chase was born on May 23, 1950 in Santa Clara, California. Early on it was clear that Chase was doomed and basically destined to become a serial killer

    • By the age of 10 it was evidenced that he had signs of the Macdonald triad which include: persistent bedwetting, cruelty to animals and obsession with arson

    • If two or three factors of the factors are present in a child’s behavior, it is said to be predictive of violence later in life such as homicidal and sexually predatory behavior

    • Studies suggest that these stem from a history of parental neglect, abuse or brutality.

    • Chase claimed that his mother abused him and other sources say that his father was abusive or that both of his parents were strict and rageful.

  • During his teen years, Chase obsession with killing animals began to grow and also became an alcoholic and drug abuser.

    • Chase was said to mostly have “normal” behaviors as he entered high school, but began to dabble with marijuana and LSD

    • He also had been in a few relationships, but couldn't maintain any of them because he suffered from erectile dysfunction which doctors determined he suffered from due to “repressed anger.”

    • Additionally, around this age he began to develop hypochondria, which is being abnormally anxious about your health (maybe it had to do with all the drug use).

      • He would go to doctors saying that his heart would occasionally “stop beating” and would claim that someone had stolen his pulmonary artery (carries deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs; clearly he went down a WebMD rabbit hole or some 1970s equivalent)

      • He also believed that his cranial bones had become separated and were moving around

      • ADDITIONALLY he was convinced his mother was poisoning him.

  • Eventually, his parents moved him out and paid for him to live on his own in an apartment. It was then when he became really obsessed with animal blood

    • Chase’s roommates complained about him constantly being drunk or high, and always walking around naked, even with guests over. They wanted him to move out, but he refused, so instead all of his roommates moved out.

    • He would catch, kill and eat animals raw (birds, rabbits, etc). Chase believed that drinking their blood would help with many of his health problems, including preventing his heart from drinking.

    • Despite his alcoholism, his go-to drink was animal blood blended with coca-cola.

  • In 1976, Chase was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for injecting rabbit’s blood into his veins.

    • Prior to this, Chase was briefly in a psychiatric ward in 1973; likely for his hypochondria

    • While in the institution, staff members and other patients had nicknamed Chase “Dracula” because of his fixation with blood.

    • One day, a nurse caught him covered in blood and later dead birds were discovered outside of his windows. He had managed to catch birds and drink their blood and toss them back out the window.

    • Chase was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but it was argue that he was also dealing with drug-induced psychosis.

    • After months of treatment and being on medication, Chase was released and was deemed to no longer be a threat to himself or society.

    • His wonderful, caring mother gradually weaned him off his medications (probs to take them herself) and paid for him to move out and live in an apartment.

  • And if you thought things were bad, it’s only going to get worse from here.

    • So he’s off his meds, living alone after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

    • He became fascinated with the Hillside Strangler and believed that him and the Stranger were both victims of the Nazi/UFO conspiracy he believed he was victim of.

    • He neglected in personal health and hygiene and at 5’11”, he only weighed 145lb.m

    • Just as an appetizer to the murders, let’s talk about a fun little episode where Chase almost got arrested

      • In August 1977, Chase was found on a reservation in the Lake Tahoe area, soaked in blood, with a truck full of guns and buckets of blood.

      • Alas, do not fear, he was not arrested as it was /only/ cow’s blood. Nothing to worry about, guys.

      • Also in December of 1977, he shot into the home of a sacramento woman, but did not harm anyone. However, two days later, he would commit his first murder.

  • THE MURDERS

    • Richard Chase killed six people in the span of a month. His first victim was Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year-old engineer and father of two. Chase shot Griffin on December 29, 1977 in a drive-by shooting.

    • Two weeks later, he began to walk around, trying doors. He later said that if the doors were locked that he took that to mean he wasn’t welcome, but if they were unlocked, he was welcome and could walk on in.

      • A woman claimed to have seen him attempting to open her back door, a window and then her front door. Since all of them were locked, he moved on.

    • On January 21, 1978, Chase broke into the house of Teresa Wallin who was three months pregnant at the time. He shot her three times and then (this gets really gruesome) raped her body while stabbing her with a butcher knife. He then removed multiple organs from her body, and drank her blood. She was later found by her husband, David Wallin, after her returned home from work.

    • It honestly gets more upsetting from here, and I’m also getting tired of this research thing (Willy, Zach..I get it now).

    • On January 27th, Chase killed four more people. His other victims include Evenlyn Miroth, 38 her son Jason Miroth, 6, her nephew David Ferreria, 22-months and her friend Daniel Meredith, 52. Chase again raped Miroth’s corpse and drank her blood.

      • I am not going to go into further detail because believe it or not, this was even more violent and gruesome than the murder of Teresa Wallin

      • This crime scene led to Chase being caught as there were handprints and shoe imprints everywhere.

    • Another thing that led to Richard Chase being linked to the murders, was an encounter he had with a former classmate, Nancy Holden, on January 23rd.

      • Earlier that day, he was caught in the house of Robert and Barbara Edwards, but got away. The police determined that he was searching for the house for valuables, but it was also found that he had urinated in a drawer of baby’s clothing and defecated on the child’s bed. Not super relevant to the next part of what I”m going to share, but super weird.

      • Holden was in the Town and Country Village shopping center when Chase approached her and asked “Were you on the motorcycle when Kurt was killed?”

      • Ten years prior, Nancy was dating a boy named Kurt who was killed on a motorcycle. After asking who he was, Nancy was shocked to see how disheveled her former classmate had become.

      • After talking to him for a few minutes, Nancy was able to get out of the store while Chase was paying, but Chase followed her to her car, hoping for a ride. Nancy immediately locked her car, roll up the windows and drive away before she could be stopped (***AS YOU SHOULD, if you feel like you’re in a bad situation, go ahead and be rude; it could save your life. As the ladies from my favorite murder would say, “f*ck politeness” you never know who and what you could be dealing with***)

      • Because of this encounter, Nancy was later able to identify Chase from police sketches.

  • Things began to add up and Richard Chase was (finally) arrested.

    • While Chase was in custody, the police searched his apartment and found that blood was everywhere. The kitchen was full of bloodstained food and drinking glasses, there were small pieces of bone and body parts i the refrigerator.

    • There are more gruesome details that I’m choosing to omit, but something freaky was that a calendar had “today” written on the days of the Wallin and Miroth murders and the same word was written on 44 future dates.

    • Chase’s trial began on January 2, 1979 and he was charged with six counts of murder and there were 250 prosecution exhibits and nearly one hundred witnesses.

    • While on stand, Chase claimed that he was semi-conscious during the Wallin murder and additionally said that he believed his problems stemmed from his inability to have sex with girls as a teenager and that he was sorry for the killings.

  • FBI Interview

    • FBI profilers interviewed Richard Chase to add info on criminal psychology to their database. Here are some of the things that Chase had said

      • Chase believed that is blood was turning into powder back in 1976 and that is why he began drinking blood

        • He was convinced that if you lift the soap from a soapdish and it’s gooey, you have soap dish poisoning, but if it is dry you are safe. The poisoning turns your blood to powder and that powder then depletes your energy and eats away at your body.

      • He tormented and killed many pets (cats and dogs) leading up to his murders

      • Chase said that he first killed someone because his mom would not allow him to visit for Christmas and was “just shooting his gun out the window of his car”

      • Chase claimed that he was Jewish and had been persecuted by Nazi because he had the Star of David on his forehead (he didn’t). He said that the Nazis were connected to UFOs which had telepathically commanded him to kill to replenish his blood.

      • At the end of the interview, Chase pulled out a handful of macaroni and cheese from his pocket and asked for it to be analyzed for poison.

  • Inmates were either scared or taunted Chase and encouraged him to kill himself

  • On December 26th, 1980, Chase was found dead in his bunk. The coroner determined that he had stocked up and overdosed on his daily dose of  Sinequan for hallucinations and depression.

Travel Edition: Carrie Nation, A New War Dawns

In this very special edition of MysteriYES Zach and Willy are on the run from the NSA. We also discuss something that isn't a mystery and declare war on the podcast Small Town Murder. They know what they did.