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Have you ever seen a dead body? People find dead bodies everywhere, under floorboards, inside chimneys, and in their homes. They’re at crime scenes, disaster scenes and in morgues. There have been dead bodies on the red carpet, in cannibals’ dens, and even advertised in the classifieds. In this series, experienced crime and court reporter Sharnelle Vella, and veteran radio host Dee Dee Dunleavy look at where dead bodies have been found, how they got there, and most importantly, the effect on ...
 
We explore ideas and practices once believed to be true but no longer. Each dead idea is explored in all its glorious eccentricity. For example, discover miasma, the theory that plague comes from stinky air; or the medical diagnosis of hysteria, which holds that women's wombs wander around their bodies causing trouble. Join us on a fun romp through the history of ideas that didn’t quite stand the test of time.
 
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Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004), known to acquaintances as Fred Shipman, was an English general practitioner who is believed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history. On 31 January 2000, he was found guilty of the murder of 15 patients under his care; his total number of victims was approximately …
 
The body of pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett was found in her home in Missouri in 2004. Her unborn foetus had been cut from her womb. The killer, Lisa Marie Montgomery, was put to death by lethal injection in January 2021.Martin van Butchell was an eccentric British dentist who put his dead wife on display. Was it for love, to attract customers, or beca…
 
Ten-year-old Candace Newmaker was killed during a bizarre therapy session designed to help her bond with her adoptive mother. She was suffocated by so-called therapists who were trying to force her to be “reborn”. We find Sharnelle in hotel quarantine after her stint reporting from Japan. She shares what makes her embarrassed daily as her meals are…
 
How would you behave if your partner had just been stabbed multiple times, and the police came knocking on your door? We share the police bodycam footage that captured the odd behaviour of killer Owen Pellow. In a recent episode we looked at deaths on elevators and escalators. Now we’re making sure you never leave the ground floor, looking at death…
 
12-year-old Tia Sharp went shopping in August 2012 in New Addington, London, England, and it was weeks before her body was found in the roof of her grandmother’s home. Suspicion fell upon the partner of Tia’s grandmother, Stuart Hazell. We share a story from listener Brooke who found her Uncle John’s dead body.…
 
“BTK” stands for “bind, torture, kill”: Dennis Lyn Rader gave himself the title. Between 1974 and 1991, Rader killed ten people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas, and sent taunting letters to police and newspapers describing the details of his crimes. It was 2005 before he was arrested and jailed for life. In this episode we hear excerpts from his p…
 
The Sacred Band of Thebes, comprised entirely of gay male lovers, was Ancient Greece’s original response to the gays in the military question. What was that like? How did it function? And what was its lasting legacy? That’s what we’re going to find out today, just in time for Pride Month. Here to help us do it is classicist James Romm, author of Th…
 
More than 50 passengers drowned when the Loch Ard ran aground in Victoria in 1978. But those weren’t the only deaths along the same rugged Port Campbell coastline. In 1970, four dead bodies were found in a car that had gone over the cliff. The tragic death of basketballer Kobe Bryant led to the introduction of a new law, banning photos of the dead …
 
Herbert Baumeister seemed to his wife and children to be a regular businessman and they lived together on an 18-acre horse farm called Fox Hollow. But Herb had a secret, and had strangled several men and buried their dead bodies in the woods.You may have heard the expression “hanged, drawn and quartered”. But what is actually done to a person sente…
 
Richard Speck raped, tortured and murdered eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital in 1966. And he would have gotten away with it, were it not for the extraordinary bravery of Corazon Amurao who survived his brutality.Andre Daigle fell victim to two men who beat him to death with a hammer just to see if they could kill someone.…
 
Everyone is talking about the footage of Elisa Lam in the elevator in the Netflix documentary Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. We look into a number of deaths on escalators and elevatorsA listener shares a first-hand account of finding her dead uncle, weeks after his death, and the mammoth clean-up task after his body was removed.…
 
The 18-metre sailing ketch The Bluebelle was the scene of several brutal murders in November, 1961, off the Bahamas. The killer survived the sinking of the vessel, and he didn’t count on an 11-year-old witness coming forward to undo his vile scheme. Drag queen Dorian Corey died from AIDS-related complications in 1993, and a mummified body was disco…
 
A wicked scheme where tissue and bone were stripped from corpses at funeral homes and then sold them for transplants - without the permission of the families - led to the arrest of former dental surgeon Michael Mastromarino.Elizabeth Bathory has been labelled the world’s most prolific female murderer, accused of torturing and killing hundreds of yo…
 
A tiny witness led to Thomas Easby being found guilty of the murder of his family. He was hanged, and trophies that exist to this day were taken from his dead body.An unidentified body was found in 2006 in Texas. Years later, Joseph Wayne Burnette confessed to her murder, and it was 2019 before the DNA Doe Project established her real identity.…
 
Notorious Bega schoolgirl killer Leslie Camilleri was jailed for 28 years for the murder of 13-year-old Prue Bird in 1992. He was already serving two life sentences without parole for raping and murdering Bega schoolgirls Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins in 1997.Medical researchers have uncovered multiple cases of women giving birth after death, in…
 
Two schoolgirls were abducted, raped and murdered in Bega, New South Wales, Australia on 6 October 1997. Lindsay Beckett claimed that he killed the girls under the orders of Leslie Camilleri.Traigo Andretti was given a life sentence for killing and dismembering his wife, and pleaded guilty today to the murder of another woman named Myrna Letandre. …
 
Eric Edgar Cooke was known as the "Night Caller". He terrorised Perth, Western Australia in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, committing at least twenty-two violent crimes, and eight murders. Kermit Gosnell was a doctor with a secretive, illegal and horrendous practise, where he and his untrained staff carried out abortions in the most unhygenic co…
 
In 1858, Cheesman Park in Denver, Colorado, was a graveyard called Prospect Hill Cemetery. When it closed, and the moving of the bodies was left to an undertaker named E.P. McGovern things started to go terribly wrong.Glenys Heyward disappeared from her home in Mt Gambier, Victoria, in July, 2007. Almost three years later her son, Matthew Reginald …
 
July 6, 1944, as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was beginning its 2pm matinee performance, a fire started under the big top, killing 167 people and injuring more than 700. It was years before arsonist Robert Segee came forward to confess.“Be careful. My uncle's a killer. He has a dead baby.” Those words from a young girl in New Hamps…
 
December 8, 1987, in Melbourne, Australia, a gunman opened fire in the Queen Street offices of Australia Post offices. He killed eight people before throwing himself out of an 11th-floor window.Anatoly Moskvyn is serving time in a Russian psychiatric facility, for stealing 29 girls' corpses and turning them into 'dolls’. Sharnelle has an update on …
 
Dorothea Puente ran a boarding house in Sacramento, California and murdered her elderly and mentally disabled boarders, leading to her being dubbed the "Death House Landlady".Kylie Maybury went missing from her neighborhood in Preston in 1984. More than 30 years after her death, police arrested and charged Gregory Keith Davies.…
 
Melbourne millionaire Herman Rockefeller’s disappearance mystified police, until they untangled his complex life that involved a secret mistress and an underground ''swingers'' network.Wade Frankum went on a shooting rampage at a shopping mall in Strathfield, Sydney, on 17 August 1991. He killed himself, after leaving eight dead and six wounded.…
 
John Conn was found guilty of the murder of Aveline Littler and sentenced to hang at Bathurst jail in 1872. The headlines read: “Frightful Scene” after an incident occurred in his final moments.Louis "Buddy" Musso was a 59 year old mentally handicapped man from New Jersey, USA who was horribly murdered by three men and three women in Houston, Texas…
 
When children found the torso of a missing man - John Dick - in Hamilton, Ontario, they quickly focussed on his estranged wife Evelyn Dick. What they didn’t expect was to find another dead body in the attic of the home she shared with her mother.The axe murder of a woman and her infant grandson in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray in 1944 was a lit…
 
Several incidents where emergency workers have taken photos of corpses and shared them online - causing distress to grieving families - we discuss whether there should be a wholesale ban anyone taking pictures of dead bodies.Adolph Luetgert was known as The Sausage King in Chicago, Illinois. When his second wife Louisa Bicknese disappeared in 1897 …
 
A group of teenagers using the app Randonautica in Seattle found a suitcase containing human remains and posted the video on TikTok.Peter Kürten was a German serial killer who committed a series of murders and sexual assaults between February and November 1929 in the city of Düsseldorf. He became known as "The Vampire of Düsseldorf".…
 
In 2007, police in Bhagavanpur in India received multiple phone calls alerting them to a most unexpected killing spree. They would eventually arrest a most surprising murderer: eight year old Amadeep Sada.In 1954, Olaf Perkman was one of Australia’s leading scientists working at the CSIRO irrigation research station at Griffith, in New South Wales.…
 
Vicki Barton was 8 when she vanished in broad daylight from the main street of Lawson, in the New South Wales Blue Mountains. After years of searching, false leads, a big reward and a clairvoyant, police followed up a tip from a caller who rang a TV newsroom.Arnfinn Nesset was a Norwegian nurse who became one of the most notorious serial killers in…
 
*Warning: this episode contains mention of cruelty to animals. Richard Chase killed six people in the span of a month in Sacramento, California. He drank his victims' blood and cannibalized their remains.We hear from “Doug” who is convinced the spirit of a dead person is attached to him.Di Dead Bodies Podcast
 
In November, 2019, we brought you the story of the bodies of four men that were found at separate times in a similar area of the Rocky Mountains in the US. Although they didn’t know each other, the men’s deaths were related, because they were all searching for the same thing: a treasure buried by a man named Forrest Fenn. In this special bonus epis…
 
Klaus Andres killed his wife and used acid to dissolve her body and then washed her down a drain outside his home in Cairns. All that was left of her body was 10 porcelain teeth.In 2002, 29-year-old Janelle Patton was the first person to be murdered on Norfolk Island in more than 100 years. The hunt for her killer was drawn out as he had fled the i…
 
My city is on fire today. This is day four of the riots in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police. And everyone around me is saying, “I’m angry too, but why destroy your own community? It doesn’t make sense.”But is there another way to look at it? In this episode, I share first-hand reports of the riots as well as experiences…
 
Darren Clover murdered three people by setting fire to a disused factory in Melbourne's west in 2017. David Griffiths, his girlfriend Tanya Burmeister and her daughter Zoe were sleeping in the factory when it was set alightSada Abe was a Japanese geisha and prostitute, who strangled her lover and then cut off his penis and testicles and carried the…
 
Sharnelle looks at the disposal of the world’s mounting toll of bodies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemicTwo years into construction of Melbourne’s Westgate bridge, a 112-metre span collapsed and fell to the ground and water below. Thirty-five people were killed and 18 injured, and it remains Australia's worst industrial accident to this day…
 
British murderer and rapist Colin Pitchfork was the first person convicted of murder based on DNA fingerprinting evidence. He attacked and killed two girls in Narborough in 1983, and in Enderby in 1986. Vatthana Chounlamountry entered the home of his drug dealer, Thanh "Phong" Nguyen, and fatally stabbed him to death. He then barricaded himself in …
 
Tasmania’s notorious murder house at 99 Hill Street in West Hobart was sold recently. Three decades ago it was the scene of a gruesome murder. Rory Jack Thompson strangled and dismembered his wife Maureen with a hacksaw and a meat cleaver.Angelo Pat Russo was jailed for five years for the 2017 shooting manslaughter of David Calandro on a market gar…
 
Altemio Sanchez murdered and raped at least three women in and around Buffalo, New York, between from 1981 and 2006, and became known as the Bike Path Rapist.When Patricia Stallings’ baby Ryan died in September, 1989, she was suspected of having poisoned him with anti-freeze. Public sentiment around her case was probably influenced by another case …
 
A black mourning card and a bunch of radishes led to the brutal murder of a stallholder at Melbourne’s Eastern Markets in 1899 by phrenologist Emery Medor.Tracie Andrews’ fiancee Lee Raymond Dean Harvey was stabbed over 42 times after they had stopped in his car following an argument on the way to their flat in The Becks, Alvechurch, Worcestershire…
 
Tuesday, November 30 1937, a farmer found the body of a woman in his peach orchard near the entrance to Lake Parramatta reserve. There was a chaff bag over her head and shouldersJane Andrews, a former aide to the Duchess of York, was jailed for life for murdering her millionaire boyfriend Tom Cressman. She was initially released from jail in 2015, …
 
North Carolina cold case detectives have arrested the mother of a newborn who died after being tossed from a moving car 21 years ago. Deborah Riddle O'Connor was linked via DNA to “Baby Michael”by a lab that specializes in genetic genealogy testing.Rosemaria Lauria left her home in Brunswick in 2006 to go to the local shops. But she somehow ended u…
 
This episode goes out to all of you at home out there during this pandemic, but we want to dedicate it especially to listener Owyn in Toronto, Canada. He’s faced a string of tough challenges recently, and now there’s the covid challenge on top of it all, but on the bright side, Owyn: it’s your 19th birthday today! Happy Covid 19th, Owyn!Be sure to …
 
On August 28, 2003, pizza delivery man Brian Wells robbed a bank. Fifteen minutes later he was arrested in a nearby parking lot, with a collar bomb locked around his neck. Brian’s death in the bomb blast led to a tangled and twisted crime that involved several people, a body in a freezer, and an evil manipulator named Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. And …
 
Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 men between 1978 and 1991. He met them at gay bars, malls and bus stops, and lured them to his home with promises of money or sex, before strangling and dismembering them. Dahmer was captured in 1991 and sentenced to 16 life terms.A young man walking his dog in Sydney in September 1866, found the severed head of a woman. Po…
 
On 31 December 1921, the body of 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke was found in a laneway in Melbourne, Australia. She had been raped, strangled and left naked behind a popular wine saloon. The owner of the wine saloon, Colin Ross, was arrested and tried for Alma's rape and murder. It was 86 years before the final chapter was written in this tragic story.…
 
A young woman known to her friends as Jessica Pearce died being thrown from a car in an accident on the Hume Highway in New South Wales in 1987. It was 31 years before she would be correctly identified, and answers given to her family who had pined for her for decades.Body Farms are research facilities set up for the study of how our bodies decompo…
 
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