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Thanks for listening to the Adam Carolla Show on podcast one. Well, in the first half, we break down and Albert Brooks movie that I love and we talk true crime, which is not something I normally talk about, but this case is fascinating.
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Well, Bonzo was the best hard rock drummer ever. Hands down. I mean, no one comes within a mile of him.
And I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. If John Lennon had this wiseguy look on his face, just like me and my friends were just a bunch of wiseguy street kids, the first guitar I ever had was Spanish guitar, and I couldn't really get the hang of it. I was only 13. I had never written a song before, actually. And Jim says, Okay, everybody go home and write some songs, you know?
And so I went home and let my family join me for the Rock podcast, the only podcast that matters from podcast one or wherever you get your. And from Kirova one, the studios in Glendale, California, this is the Adam Carolla Show, Adam's guest today, two time Peabody Award winning writer and producer of 60 Minutes, IRA Rosen, and the host of American Nightmare Murder in a Safe Place, Paul Wagner with Gina Gradle News and Paul Bryan on sound effects.
And now he got his first shot today. It was a shot of Dawn. Who, Leo. Adam, caroler, yeah, get it on. Got to get it on a judge. We've got a mandate to get it on. Thanks for tuning in and thanks for telling a friend. I love that about you. Right. Gina Grande. That's right. Hand ball run ball.
Bryant is not on side effects today.
Mean that the in-laws house there's a quarter inch of rain in L.A., which means, of course, our power's out. So we luckily have Christy's parents close by. So we went there where they have Internet power, heat, all those things.
And also, speaking of L.A., it's raining out here in L.A., as Brian just mentioned.
And as I was driving in in the rainstorm, saw the sprinklers going off on the side of the freeway.
And, you know, for me, I don't need to look at every facet of a city or a town.
I can just look at little indicators, sort of like when you see someone driving in their cars en masse and there's fast food wrappers stuffed on the dash, sugar water bottles. Little crazy that that that's not an orderly person. That's not an efficient person.
I don't think I'd like to hire that person. When you drive through a city that never stops talking about droughts and water conservation and those sprinklers are just flying away. Man at ten gun salute when it's pouring rain outside, do you think?
Hmm. Maybe not the height of efficiency.
Appreciate the incongruity of the power grid going down every time there's a quarter inch of rain. Yet the sprinklers work, which are presumably powered by electricity. I mean like on a timer.
Yes, I guess they are. That could also just get one of those rain sensors on there that have been around for twenty years at Home Depot and solve the problem.
But it's also one of those things, too, where it's like we're always talking about some train or some tunnel or some something.
I feel like the power grid should be first and foremost. And then we you know, if we have time and money left over after that from the train from Mirsad to Modesto or whatever, we'll get to that after we get the power grid updated.
Was it two years ago whenever I saw maybe three years ago, whenever I lived at Wilshire in Fairfax, I get it. My street went out. It happens. You never know. The entire grove went out the same day I left my poor little cousin in a changing room at Forever 21 and the entire grove, which is a giant outdoor mall. We do need to get our shit together.
I was thinking about how I was listening to him like this. Between the rain and the heat in different parts of L.A., the power was out three or four times a year, like at least not ever.
Not like a flicker, like, oh, your day's ruined.
It's also anyone who's lived here their whole life.
Like I have it. You can count on it. It's going to get hot during the summer. It's going to be few rainy days during like there's that thing where it's like, well, we've got the rolling blackouts because it's one hundred and eleven degrees outside and everyone's turning on their air conditioning. It's like. Right. Like it was last year and the year before. And if you get one of those Farmer's Almanac, we can go all the way back to before there was electricity and you could set your watch on it.
All right. So we're living in that city. I don't know. Are we getting to the point where I think L.A. is kind of getting to the point where it's sort of like New York was in the 70s? Like at some point you just want The Great Santini to, like, show up and go fuck all this. I don't care if people's feelings get hurt. We're getting the shit together. We're working on crime. We're working on homelessness or the power grid, like traffic, like, fuck it, I don't care if I hurt feelings.
It's not a fucking popularity contest. We're not going to set aside money for whatever history museum or we're just it's all fucking nuts and bolts for five years until we can get the shit up and running. And then we'll see after that if we can get into, you know, special special training for teachers to learn about the indigenous people or whatever the fuck it is like, let's just fucking nuts and bolts it for a little while, like I had that exact same thought about L.A. or like we're like New York in the eighties, like, you know, we're falling apart and graffiti everywhere.
It's a once great town that is now just falling apart at the seams. And you always hear the old timers in New York grumbling about the Disneyfication of Times Square. That sounds great. That sounds awesome. Why wouldn't give for the Disneyfication of this city the spiritual whitewashing, not race. Right?
Clean everything up? Well, you know, the problem here's what happens is you get New York in the 70s and you hear about in the end of the eighties and all the crime and people are getting raped in Central Park and gang violence and, you know. Times Square is reflected in every movie Escape from New York over the Warriors rising hell scape. Right.
And then what happened then? And the question is, is can we revisit this? What happened then is they go, fuck it, Giuliani. You come in and you do it and he goes, all right, I'm going to instigate something called stop and frisk. And we're just going to stop and frisk anyone who looks dicey, any male between this age and of a certain color. But although that's not the prerequisite for it. But we're just going to stop these guys.
And if they have a fucking gun on them, we're going to arrest them. If not, they can go and then crime goes away, essentially goes away and he does a broken window thing and all that kind of stuff. But could we implement that? C We couldn't implement any of that shit anymore because everyone, the same people that were crying about crime would start crying like a stuck pig if we start really implementing things.
And look, there's a lot of problems that are sort of uncomfortable, you know what I mean? Like, stop. You want to stop crime? Stop and frisk is super effective. Well, what about the innocent people who get stopped? Well, this is what happens when you're trying to solve a problem. It's sort of like unaccompanied kids at the border, like, oh, so these kids should be taken away and put in these facilities, cages or whatever.
Yes. What what are what is the alternative if there's a good alternative to this other than just set them free in the country? Yeah, well, we should do that. But, you know, we're going to break a few eggs to make an omelet here, people. And that's unfortunately kind of how society works.
Well, at first when you asked are we could we achieve this, my first thought was absolutely not. Have you seen who our day is going exactly the other direction. However, are you aware of the fact that there's already a recall against him, at least a petition for a recall against George Gascon?
Yeah, yeah. He's hardly here, but everything is so, you know, I don't know who it was. Somebody I if I called in and I didn't get his name, but he made such a good point, he said, you know, I'm all for second chances, but I'm not for re victimizing the victim over and over and over again, letting the same person out, you know, letting that person off the hook when this person's not going to get their family member back.
You can't keep re victimizing the victim and the victim's family over and over again.
On a separate note, I watched Lost in America the Albert Brooks movie with my son last night. It's nice.
Interesting. How do they get old enough? It's a goddamn funny movie. It just is. Sonny was laughing the whole time. The first half is stronger than the second half, but it's still a really funny movie. And what Albert Brooks doesn't really get credit for is he takes a kind of philosophical approach to his comedy, like it's about a couple that is in the model of the middle of like remodeling a house that got a new house.
And, you know, he's up for he's up for promotion and he wants to get to vice president of the advertising firm he works for. And she's kind of climbing her. Julie Haggerty, by the way, is climbing her plane, her corporate ladder.
And at some point he doesn't get his promotion and he just comes home and he goes like, fuck it, what are we doing?
And and it's a philosophical thing, which is like they're just climbing and climbing and climbing and nothing's ever enough. I don't know why. Just love the goddamn conversation he has with Tia.
I think it's Hohns, the guy from Mercedes. I don't know if you can find that conversation.
He's on the speakerphone and hons it's like thick vinyl, like Mercedes leather. So he's like forty four thousand seven hundred dollars all in all. And that's a lot for a car. And he's like ordering his new car because he thinks he's getting a promotion. And Hohns is like that's everything.
But the leather know it's Mercedes leather like I don't know if finding those weird nuanced moments is what really makes Albert Brooks a genius.
And in my belief, but also the sort of.
Psychology of we're going to drop out, see how much we can get in other parts of the country for the money that we're spending for our houses, we can get a house with a pond, a pond in it, you know, and, you know, then they get there. Then they get the the Winnebago and they're going to go see the country. But there's a funny kind of symbolic thing, whether they're playing Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf and he's in the Winnebago and his whole life is essentially let's just do what they did in Easy Rider.
We'll just do that, you know, and and he's going along the freeway and this guy pulls up a biker like pulls up next to him on the one 110. And he looks at him and the biker like looks at him. And Albert Brooks gives him like the enthusiastic thumbs up and the biker just flips him off like it's like.
Right, right. It's it's like give us all kind of captured in that one exchange. You're not us. We're miserable, too.
And then they just go off and she she loses the nest egg and in Vegas and then they basically just go back to the corporate world begging for their jobs back. It's so funny.
Would you equate this as a comedy to defending your life? Because defending your life is one my favorite movies in the world.
But this movie stresses me out. I've seen it twice. I'm just like, it's too stressful. I don't I don't like watching this movie.
It has a lot of the same themes, you know, like what what is it all about, you know, kind of thing and what are we really doing here? And probably themes that Albert Brooks probably wrestles with or thinks about. I find them both. I find defending your life inspirational. And people should go back and watch that film now because it's really about not being scared.
And that's that is what there's been a theme for the last year in this country. I think fear's a big theme, big theme for me. So watch it. But lost in America, it's just it's just funny. And and then also I was thinking about Julie Haggerty. I like Julie.
I think I think it's a culture where a little dismissive about her. I don't I don't feel like she gets her do.
Yeah, she's poignant. She's funny in this film. Like she's good. She's she was she was a great part of airplane. Like, if you're going to be in an airplane and in Los in America and a five year span or seven year span, you've you've been in two of the funniest movies of the decade.
And and with Airplane, I don't think I think you're right. I don't think she gets her due because she's playing dumb, but she's playing it so perfectly happy to do. Exactly. She's not just I mean, that is a character she's playing and she's playing it effortlessly.
She was great in the Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris movie, Just Friends as the mom. She's fantastic. She's a great comedic actress.
Yeah. She's a great comedic actress who gets she gets a little Dolly Parton eyes, Gina, like we can't see beyond the tits and the rhinestone or something to realize it's a really talented person there.
You know, it's funny you say that because I was just about to say, you know, how Dolly Parton says it takes a lot of effort to look this cheap? Well, it takes a lot of smarts to play that dumb. Is Julia Haggerty does. Yeah, she's great.
She never she never gets mentioned in your sort of pantheon of, you know, comedic, you know, Tina Fey would get mentioned ten thousand times. Catherine O'Hara. Yeah. They'd all get mentioned before. She wouldn't even make the list. But she's really talented and she's really effective in these movies.
Chris, do you have Mercedes leather?
This is a script. I personally I've not seen this movie. So I what I know.
Could you it's it's about the it's probably about 15, 20 minutes in and he sits early and he's on a conference call with Hans from Mercedes.
But it's also funny because Albert Brooks always does something funny with Shinsei. Always. But the Mercedes leather thing is funny. And it's also funny when he's working as a crossing guard later and a guy pulls up in the Mercedes and he puts his head in and sniffs it. And it's like that's his moment of I got to get back to society.
But also, if you watched defending your life, there's a super funny exchange with him in the BMW dealership where he's showing up at the BMW thing and being sort of devastated. So there's something it's funny, has two high end German manufacturers, and he has a funny each movie has a really funny kind of scene that it doesn't need to be in any movie. I mean, it's it's not integral to the to the movie at all. There's just something he must have had some experiences buying expensive cars and and as a comedic mind, probably took note of it.
It is those. If you had a Mercedes or a Beamer, you made it, that was it, that was a status symbol. You achieved a level. Now I know, I know. Now everyone just has a Prius. You can't tell the winners from the losers anymore out on the road.
It's tough. Yeah, it's probably there's probably about 15 minutes in any. He goes into his office and he walks in and he's waiting for his big his big meeting with the guy from Ford. All right. So, Krischan, look for that. I was I had some fun because I told you guys had dinner with John Popper from Blues Traveler the other week. And so I'd been listening to some Blues Traveler and just enjoying it to really, really want to see Blues Traveler shine, watch them live like watch some footage of those guys playing live and then watch watch him.
But I thought so I told Chris last week, I said, find me 30 seconds of Bob Dylan playing the harmonica. And then finally, 30 seconds of John Popper playing the playing the harp. And then also I left a little tail on it because, Anderson, you could probably figure this out. Seems like he blows his fucking lungs out playing the harmonica, and then he goes right off the harmonica in big time belting out singing. And I don't know where he's getting his air from.
Well, playing the harmonica is both breathing in and out. So it's, you know, yeah.
He sounds like he's blowing the hell out of it as he is, but he's also sucking the hell out of it. I guess so. And so his air intake, he goes right up.
He goes right off of that thing right out and say, I'll play a 20 seconds to Bob. It's a different it's an unfair comparison, but that's different vibe.
That's what we do here. I also like that and take me disappearing. All right. And he's an icon, but he bothers me. And I always love when I talk to John Popper about Bob Dylan and he's like, oh, that guy sucks as a harmonica player.
Wow. I love this squirrel sniper man. I love this John Popper vibe.
I buy pot shots at Dylan and it's squirrels. I play, what, 20 seconds of a 30 seconds of him life. John Suckler. I think the. I think Bob Dylan could do that last three second part where he just goes in and out.
I always think about like the bass player and blues traveler, these guys met in high school. Like, how fucking stoked are you if you play the bass in high school and you run into John Popper like so much at the time, it's going to be fun.
I mean, you could be playing in a wedding band or you can get this guy. Could one wander into your life and go, fucking, hey, just stand out there with your belt of harmonicas and sing and play your ass off. And I'll just be laying down the kind of rudimentary bass left behind you that probably there were probably 13 guys in John's high school that could have played the bass in that band.
No offense if you're listening, but I mean, let's face it, a lot of guys can play the drums a little in high school and, you know, play the bass guitar and stuff like that.
But Jesus Christ, that guy wanders in and he writes songs and he sings like that, like, oh, you're wagan fuckin a..
Makes you wonder how many guys are out there in, like, garage bands or wedding bands or whatever who are just as good, if not better, a bass player or drummer or a keyboardist, whatever.
But they the guy went to high school with John Popper. I was the most gifted, you know, harmonica player, Rudman's songwriters.
I would bet that you could take most guys who are working on cruise ships and coach them up a little. Chaum the music, you know, tell them, you know, play them a couple of songs. And they could they could handle the bass. Yeah. Or even the drums or whatever. Not that they're not a tight band and they're awesome band and they play well together.
But I mean, it is the luck of the draw that you got some fat 17 year old kid who was basically he he told me that he was like in in band.
He's like in band class.
And they wanted him to play the, I don't know, the French horn or the something. And the band coach bandleader in high school is like not that we've seen better or whatever.
And then at some point he just walked in. He was like in junior band or something.
And he brought his harmonica and he said, like, let me show you what I can do with this.
And they heard him and there were like, holy shit, you're moving. We're moving you up to advance band and all.
They just immediately saw what he could do with the harmonica. Don't we all wish we had one of those moments to fuck?
Yeah, I'm still waiting. The day is young. Somebody plucks you out of the chorus. Well, you just reach in your pocket, you pull out a harmonica and you go, hey, you don't think I'm much good on the flugelhorn, huh?
OK, well, let me try this thing instead. And then you just everyone sits up and turns and looks at you and the men are fearful and the women are weeping, the lustful. And it's like fucking playing the shit out of something you've mastered.
I'm not much of a flutist, however, however. Harmonica.
Yeah. I don't know if D.J. Kalinda's ever had one of those had one of those moments. All right. So we love where is that scene, Max?
We're pulling it up. It actually doesn't exist as a stand alone scene on the Internet. So we had to get the whole movie.
Oh, that is horrible. Hey, do yourself a favor. Watch the rest of it. Yeah, I watched Chris watched the whole damn movie there.
And you know what? People really enjoy this movie. Oh, yeah. So, like that said, we have a gig. Yeah, you guys play for like 90 minutes. The movie's 90 minutes. Yeah, but just play the movie. People want to have a good time, but if we play the movie, then we put people leave the house, they want to enjoy themselves.
They get the smiling faces you'll see back. Yeah. Looking at you.
Yeah, everyone will stay. It'll be awesome. I'm a I look, I'm spit balling here. I'm just I'm spitball. I'm not telling you how to run your band.
Right. OK, all right. Now look, you got the offshoring book. Obviously that's a it's a different situation, OK?
I just think about it, that's all. OK, hold on, please. Gee, I've been holding most of the morning. Thank you, dear. OK, thank you very much. This is David Howard. How are you, David? OK, listen, I'm closing in on a decision. I think the beige is the best interior. And I think with the dark brown, that's that's the best combination. Beautiful combination on the lock. All right.
So tell me again everything. Everything, tax license out the door in my garage. But I don't know what your garage is, but it's forty four thousand four hundred and twenty nine. Wow. All right. It's a lot of money for a car, isn't it? It's not a car with its Mercedes and that's all I know it's a Mercedes, but it's just still a lot of money. Well, maybe you shouldn't buy the car then get a know, OK.
OK, now there's no extras, right? That's it. That's everything. I don't imagine at that price I have to. And now just that's old enough to have nothing else really. It doesn't come with leather. So not. That's why I told you to at it. Well what's in there is what they called Mercedes left. What would that be? Well, it's a very fine, beautiful seat. I would prefer that. So let's call it that, that beautiful six vinyl seat.
But I have a G and that something. Wouldn't you think there'd be leather in there? I'll tell you what. If you buy the car, put some shoes in, ok? OK. All right. So well. All right, sir. Thank you. Thank you. Do you one tomorrow night. Well, I don't know. I'm going to think about it. Talk about it with my wife.
It's a pretty I love this line. Now, how about Friday morning?
I don't think I can commit to any day right now. Certainly not this week. You know, I have stores coming in and looking at the car. Let me just call you back. All right. Hold on a second. I'm being told. All right. Yeah.
He has stars coming in looking at the color line. Sunny started laughing his ass off, made me laugh. Do I have stars coming in looking at the car?
I have stars.
I can look this up in a second. But would you be surprised? Because suddenly I wouldn't if Albert Brooks was playing. Hi.
I was just looking that up to see if it was played by Hans, a guy. I think. I think it's Albert. I think it's. That was my first thought.
I heard that it it maybe it is. You guys are you guys. We know where the Styx River is. We know what Cookie meant. There's a lot of revelations going on this year.
I saw in the credits Hohns was played by Hans somebody.
Now, who the fuck knows what that means? I don't know. Here would be my only argument in the credits.
I do not think the DGA or the Writers Guild or after whatever. I don't know if they would let you make up a name, you know what I'm saying? Like, they got really weird rules for credit and credit buy and whatever.
Now there's sort of movie where he went by a pseudonym. We looked it up.
Yeah. I just don't I'm curious about the credits like credited actors when they roll it at the end, if they would let you monkey around. But it's interesting.
Maybe they did. It was real. Well, it's easy because it's played by hand somebody and we could see if hand somebody was Bogner.
That's what the IMDB. Oh, Hans Wagner. Yeah.
Oh, now that does seem like rocks. Yes. And here comes the bride. Yeah. Our Flight of the Valkyries.
Right. Oh, well, maybe. Maybe Hans Viognier in one of our favorite movies out there is an example of messing with the credits when in Fargo, one of the shooting victims early in the movie, the car that turns over and they got shot by Buscemi's sidekick, Peter Strohmayr.
One of them is credited, strangely enough, as a sideways prince symbol science.
That's well, that's that's there's there's precedent for it.
Well. I don't know, we can see that Easter egg, if that's him or not, but I don't know about that scene.
I love the fact that he's ordering Brown on Brown and like, that's the most attractive.
That's the best. One of the last. The best one. The. I just like the generic stars are coming in to look at it. Not celebrities. He's got a bunch of stars. He's got stars coming by. I'll throw in a pair of shoes, leather I just love I don't know why that exchange just makes me goddamn laugh.
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Well, we'll talk some true crime with Paul Bogner. I could be Wang.
Now, what do you think if we look for Hans Wagner? I look I'm looking like you and I. No, no. I mean, he has two other credits and one's like a TV show that's not in English and it's that's just really small.
Keep in mind also, Chris, that much of IMDB is user like Wikipedia. You know, I mean, someone could make that connection, like I don't know if Hans Bogner, this made up person manages his own name.
Well, let's let's hear let's hear part of that again. Let's hear that exchange again. And this time, let's picture Albert Brooks now doing the other voice, because now I think if you put it in your head, maybe maybe you'll see it.
David, OK, listen, I'm closing in on a decision. I think the beige is the best interior and I think with the dark brown, that's that's the best combination. Beautiful combination on the lock. All right. So tell me again everything. Everything, tax license out the door in my garage when I don't know where your garage is, but it's forty four thousand four hundred and twenty dollars. Wow. All right. That's a lot of money for a car, isn't it?
It's not a car with its Mercedes. And that's the deal. I know it's a Mercedes, but it's just still a lot of money. Well, maybe you shouldn't buy the car, then get a no. OK, OK. Now there's no extras, right? That's it. That's everything. I don't imagine at that price I have to. And now just left. That's all you'd have to add. Nothing else really got. It doesn't come with leather.
No sir, it does not. That's why I told you you'd have to wear it. Well, what's in there is what they called Mercedes left. What would that be? Well, it's a very thick vinyl, beautiful seat. I would prefer that. So let's call it that. The beautiful six vinyl seat. But I have g isn't that something? Wouldn't you think there'd be leather in there? I'll tell you what. If you buy the car, put some shoes in.
OK, ok. All right. So well. All right sir. Thank you. Thank you. See you one tomorrow night. Well, I don't know. I'm going to think about it. Talk about it with my wife. It's a pretty big decision to take. Now, how about Friday morning? I don't think I can commit to any day right now. Certainly not this week. You know, I have stars coming in and looking at the car.
Let me just call you back. All right. Hold on a second. All right.
You hear it now, right? Yeah, I do. I just got stars coming in. Makes me laugh. All right.
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Good to see you, Paul. Hey, Adam, thanks for having me on. Yeah, so let's talk about this particular case that we're covering and season two here, that's well, you give us the nuts and bolts of it.
So the background is this is back in January 13th, 1998, a woman named Sherry Crandall, a nurse and administrator, was working inside a large hospital just outside Washington, D.C. when she was attacked by a man who tied her up, raped her and strangled her to death. And this was late in the evening. She was working late. And it was a complete and total shock to everyone in the hospital that someone working inside an office in this sprawling 40 acre campus could just be attacked and that this person could just slip into the hospital and then slip out because no one was caught that night.
However, what happened is police did get some DNA. They have some fingerprints. And we learned very recently that they had a very good witness as well. But here we are 23 years later, and they have still not caught this person. And the same detective who showed up at that hospital that night, a Prince George's County police detective named Bernie Nelson. He began the investigation that night and he is still on the case today. So I decided to explore this story in a podcast.
And I approached the family about a year ago and they were very much on board with it. The three children of Sheri Crandall, they wanted to see if a perhaps a podcast with the huge reach of podcasts could possibly change things, that they may be able to get some new information, get new tips, perhaps from people who may hear the details of this story in some of these podcasts that we're releasing and come forward. So that's the basics of the story that we're telling at this point.
So she was like working an overnight shift or a night shift since she was an administrator and she was just working late.
She was in what's called the Family Health Center. It was basically a doctor's office inside the Prince George's Hospital Center. And she had some new duties and she was sending out some emails. And so she was staying late. And we know now, because I've learned a lot more about this case. Once the police agreed to cooperate fully in my investigation, we've learned that two members of the cleaning crew actually saw her alive, working alone inside her office between 715 and 730 that night.
Then very recently, we learned that the police had a witness immediately thereafter, that they never disclosed. They never told the public about it. And we're revealing it in this podcast. She was a woman who had an intellectual disability. She was a housekeeper. And she said that she heard the woman screaming and that she walked in on the attack and she saw this man and she said he had on a white lab coat with a stethoscope in his pocket, but she wasn't sure what she was seeing.
She thought perhaps that this guy was helping her and she only realized later that he was hurting her. As she says, we've obtained a videotaped interview with this woman. She's now deceased. That's now featured in episode two, which is out now. So it's really surprising to hear what this woman has to say all these years later and then hear the police's explanation as to why they never told the public about this. So we now know that she saw somebody that may have had a connection to the hospital.
Now, what's happened since is or I should say right after that woman came forward with that information, the police said, well, we are going to have to check everybody who was in the hospital that night. And they began what's called a DNA dragnet. You know, you've heard of these things. They've done them in England and they've done them in other places. And they went after hundreds of men at the hospital. It was highly controversial and made national news, but they never got a match.
They never found the person, even though they asked all these men for their for their DNA. And so here we all all these years later, and they have this evidence and this is the best part of the story, is that when I started investigating this podcast, I never knew that the police were about to begin an investigation using genealogy. And that's the exciting part of this and that. I'm sure you guys are familiar with the Golden State killer.
And that's that's how they caught him. They use genealogy. They went after his relatives. They went into those ancestry databases. And so the Prince George's County police are now doing the same thing. And they went into ancestry databases. And we now know they have they've connected as close as a third. Cousin to the killer, and they're working backwards and and that's where they are right now, and so it's pretty exciting to be in the middle of this, to be telling this story at the time.
We know that a cold case is now getting a little warmer.
What is what percent? So that the ancestry databases, the genealogy family members submit to that voluntarily. I mean, they do it on their own volition to try to find out their heritage and this, that and the other, and then they can start accessing that database. What percentage of this country has a database and has submitted to those types of those tests that we know?
Well, there's millions of people that have put their their own DNA into these databases. They're the 23 and me Ancestry.com DJed Match Family Tree USA. But what I've learned is that some of those databases are not allowing law enforcement to get into them, but there are databases that are. And and so there's some private labs here in the Washington area. Both of them are in Virginia, once called Perriman National Labs. The other one's called Body Technology Group. And they have forensic genealogy units now that are doing nothing but try to help police close cold cases, cold cases and cold rape cases.
And so they're allowing these these companies are allowing the police to get into those databases. And here's a little part. This is really interesting, is that these labs can put the DNA in, get some family trees that they can hand over to the police to start working on. And then according to the laws and depending on the laws for each jurisdiction, they can then put the DNA back in, let's say, a month later. But they can't keep it in there.
So they can just put it in for a period of time, determine whether or not any new family trees are, I should say, any new DNA has come in. So, for example, they may have a family tree that they're working on with a third cousin. And then a month later or two months later, they put the killer's DNA back in and bang, all of a sudden there close is a second cousin or maybe a brother. And it's happened.
And there's four cases right here outside D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland, that they've they've closed some extremely difficult cases with this genealogy work.
This woman had three children. Yeah. She has three children, has three children. And Luca, how old were they when she was killed?
Luke was just 16. Darren was 20 and Tiffany was 22, I believe.
Oh. Database databases, like is it a matter of you have to opt in if you're a user, an unsuspecting user, if I'm just, you know, just me wanting to find my ancestry on twenty three or ancestry or whatever, or is it like read the fine print because they have the right to do with your DNA, what they whatever they want.
It's a very it's a very good question. So some of these companies now have an automatic opt out. So initially you had to tell them that you wanted your DNA tested and a result made and then you wanted their DNA, you wanted your DNA taken back out of their database. Now it's changed. These companies are saying it's an automatic opt out. So if you want to keep your DNA, then you have to put a checkmark on there and say, keep my DNA in your database.
So in effect, that is kind of a setback for law enforcement. Sure.
Gina, so you mentioned the Golden State killer. That's exactly who I was thinking of. And when I thought about that, I thought it's it's kind of given birth to the Internet sleuth, the home sleuth, some legitimacy to a lot of people who are just kind of at home and willing to do the legwork online. Is that something that you're sort of interested in or that you follow it all as well? That happens.
There's a there was a case is a very good podcast out there called Bellbrook that I've listened to. And there was a you're familiar with it. So it was a private citizen, a woman who came forward to volunteer and she knew how to work the the genealogy. She knew how to, you know, go to libraries and look through court records. And she knew how to look at birth records and census records and obituaries. And she helped out she was a private citizen that that has helped out.
And so there are people who are coming forward that have this expertize that are offering their expertize in in this case. This is in the story that we're telling. There's a woman who has this expertize who who works for the county. And she is she's helping the police with her expertize in this. So but you're right there you can be a private citizen, a sleuth, and sit down and do your own research.
Well, you think about Michelle McNamara, who, you know, I'll be gone in the dark, you know, about the Golden State killer, Patton Oswald's former wife. And you think this is a real thing? This is a legitimate thing that people do.
It's the geneology right now is is just so fascinating that, you know, the FBI has this, you know, database called CODIS. It's the National DNA Databank where they have millions of profiles of criminals. But if you put the killer's DNA into that database and you never get a hit for years and years and years, you're like, well, what's my recourse here?
And so the police are going, well, let's tap these private databases and let's let's see what we can get. And it's really been stunning the number of cases that have been closed this way.
There shouldn't be any male homicide detectives anymore. This is a female child. I don't know. First off, they're obsessed with this shit. You have to let's face it, guys, go home. That crack a beer. They watched a ballgame. Women go home, hop on the computer, take a deep dove, obsess over it, talk among each other. You know, these detective guys, like they they like solving crime, but they don't love solving crime like women do.
They don't do it in their spare time. It's like I guarantee this guy was a yeah. The guy was probably a big Redskins fan or Washington football team. He spent every Sunday with a beer on his belly watching the game and stuff. Women, they don't go off the clock when it comes to sleuthing, this kind of thing. They just go home and obsess on it. And you would you would literally. Now we're at the point where we've kind of unleashed this army of women who never leave the computer.
The guy's watching porn on the computer on a Saturday night. Women, no way. They got a cup of Sanka between their legs.
They're taking deep dives because it's really if you think about it, whatever your profession is, it's kind of the person with the obsession, you know, the passion. It's not a job. It's like it's like a way of life.
It's like it's, pardon the pun, in their DNA. So I do think there's going to be a lot more women solving a lot more of these unsolved crimes. They're very oftentimes the women are oftentimes victims. And I think there's some connection, you know, like raped and killed at work, you know, as a woman, like working Late Hospital where you think you'd be safe.
By the way, any kids listening? This is why you should never work late. Just say, no, I don't care how much it pisses off the. Well, so DNA databanks, where are we all sort of philosophically on having a DNA database for everyone who's just born like you're born, you give up a little DNA, you're in a you're in a base Dare's, they're the freak out sort of Tom Cruise movie, Orwellian kind of future vibe.
Or do we go, I got nothing to hide. This is going to get a lot of cases off the books that much faster, certainly in the future. What do you what do you guys think?
I personally, in terms of like a slippery slope, I'm not worried about somebody having my DNA and accusing me of a crime.
I'd be more worried about eugenics and things like, oh, there's some shit in that DNA. Let's try and, you know, let's try and get rid of let's try and weed them out.
Starting otherwise, one thing and ending up as another is the more risky scenario. I like I like it like it is now because criminals generally not that smart. And if you are submitting yourself to these systems and databases and like I take my DNA along with it, maybe you fit the profile.
Well, where would the smart money be that this guy was in prison somewhere? It oftentimes happens that way for obviously a different.
Well, here's here's why I don't think he's in prison, is because prisoners have to give up their DNA so they know if if he gave up his DNA, they'd have Maretti because the DNA was sitting in the national DNA databank. They also have his fingerprint and those are in national FBI databases and local databases. And so that's the most intriguing and mysterious part of this whole story, is that this they have this evidence. And as one detective that I talked to told me, he's just shocked.
They they haven't closed this case. Now, when you talk to detectives about stories like this, they'll tell you, well, either the person is dead. He never committed another crime or there's some other scenario. There is a case here in Maryland in which a man went and killed a man that owned a grocery store in Montgomery County, Maryland. And then he went on the straight and narrow. He married a D.C. police officer and he never committing a crime.
He never committed another crime. And so they had DNA all those years and they couldn't connect him to the case. And then they started using genealogy and they found him and they found him. Last February, he had married this D.C. police officer. They she was retired and they moved to Virginia Beach and he was working as a garage tech down there. And the police showed up and they said, you know, we have a warrant for your your DNA, give it up.
He gave it up. It was an exact match.
So it's possible there's a possibility that this person that killed Sherry Crandell all of a sudden had some kind of remorse and decided, I'm not going to commit any more crimes. Were my fingerprints or DNA might be taken? It's possible.
Do do you think this was utterly random? It seems so unlikely that somebody just was stumbling down the hall kind of thing and saw the light on in our office. I mean, I'm sure everyone has checked out past relationships or ex-husband or all that stuff. But you've checked out everyone who worked there. It just seems so.
It seems random to be redundant to say that it was just random, like it just happened in real time.
There were, as we tell the story, there were a number of problems with security at the hospital. The security was was lax. The security director was fired two weeks later. And in the podcast, we tell the story that someone came in to the hospital, into that office waiting room and stole a TV off the wall about two weeks before Sherri was killed.
And it took about 30 minutes for the security to show up. And when they were called and that infuriated Sherri. And so she fired off an e-mail to her bosses and said this was too close. And she said, I'm afraid that what could happen in the future here is a personal assault. So in a way, she almost predicted her own demise. And and so there were problems in the police. Have you look very closely at that? At that that's a possibility that this was a thief who came in to the hospital because we now know it was easy to get in, it was easy to get out, and that that possibly is what happened here.
But the question is, if this was a thief and this was somebody who was committing crimes, well, where's where is his trail? You know, he's a ghost.
Well, I want to say this. I'm not in the cancel culture and everyone getting fired from the. Their job, but for weird tweets you sent out in high school, but if you're the head of security at a hospital and somebody is raped and murdered on your watch, I think I won't complain that much.
If you you get your walking papers as they are.
These things, you know, we hear about murders and violent crime and a lot of it is just people running around in the street shooting each other now.
But are these kinds of crimes because of the advent of the genealogy stuff and security cameras and ring doorbell cameras? I feel like there's just a camera everywhere now.
Are these waning, these kinds of crimes? Are there less of them than there would have been in the 70s? Or I know this wasn't the 70s, but I just mean, I'm guessing the hospital wasn't outfitted with tons of security cameras.
Well, what we learned is that they had dummy cameras, Campoy. Yeah, they helped.
They had cameras that look like cameras and weren't cameras. They had a camera on the fourth floor where Sherri worked. And when they went to go look at it, they checked the VHS tape and there was no tape in there. So they could have had possibly some video from up there. But in my years reporting crime in the city, I've seen it change just absolutely exponentially in the security cameras that are just everywhere these days. And it always never ceases to amaze me that these people are willing to commit crimes in front of cameras.
It happens every day. And the D.C. police are constantly putting out video and still pictures of people who are caught, you know, committing a crime and then somebody deems them out for ten thousand dollars or whatever they call, you know, police are offering. So there's a lot of other changes, too, in that cell phones. I mean, the cell phones for police are an amazing resource. They track people. They retain all sorts of information, text messages, photographs, the GPS.
So, yeah, the fact is that this since Cherie was murdered back in 1998, even though the police have that DNA and the fingerprints, they're working with less then, of course, than what they would have had today.
Wow. It's I mean, the only thing, I guess, worse than this happening to your mom or family member, sister, whoever is just having it unsolved for all all of these years.
And I think and I don't know if this is good or bad, but in the in a different era, once you got 10 years past the crime, I think the family would turn the page. I mean, you're always devastated by. But you're not you don't have hope anymore of this thing being cracked. But there's been so many cases recently of cases that were cracked 25, 30, 35 years on that as a surviving family member, you have to kind of get up every day, even if you're twenty three years down the road and kind of go.
Maybe there's a test and a DNA thing today. Yes, right.
Not just that for the advent of of the true crime podcasts, which are huge, obviously. Now you can go to this third party and be like, hey, I've got a story. My father was killed in nineteen ninety two or whatever it was like.
Oh well that's, that's a real avenue now. Well the children were on board virtually immediately.
When I approached the oldest child, she thought, well let me talk to my two brothers. One is a police officer. He was a he was initially a little concerned about it, but he was eventually on board. And when I interviewed him, he said to them, I said to him, what would it mean to you if Detective Nelson closed this case? And he said he surprised me.
He says, think of the the best thing or the best moment you've ever had in your life and multiply that by ten. That's how badly he wants this solved. He these kids were traumatized by this at a time in their lives where they really relied on their mom. And so they would love to see it closed.
Well, I you know, I'm a big kind of private enterprise guy. And I you know, we were talking yesterday about Elon Musk and, you know, he'll get us to Mars faster and cheaper. But I. I like the deputization of the citizens. I like that there's all these people with computers and time and they're innovative and, you know, they're interested. They're interested.
And there's no they're never off the clock because they're never on the clock. You know what I mean? They you never have to punch out. You know, they're just they're just there. And it makes me hopeful that something, you know, it's probably it might not come. From inside the precinct, you know, but that some version of Patton Oswald's deceased wife, I cannot recall her name, Michelle Michelle, like there's going to there's just going to be more and more of these people.
And and it's a kind of weird privatization of law enforcement in its own own weird way, or it's I don't know what we always talk about. Maybe it is a truly a community policing, you know, that we're always talking about. But I love it. And that things like, you know, podcast and genealogy and all of none of this existed in 1999. I think it was 1998, 98 when she was deceased.
Paul, I will tell people to check out the pod. American Nightmare, Season two, murder in a safe place.
And yeah, usually when they say in a safe place, they're talking about a quiet neighborhood, but in the middle of a hospital building, for chrissake, you know, new episodes every Monday on Apple podcast, Spotify and podcast one.
Paul Wagner, thank you so much for joining us.
Hey, thanks for having me. And thanks for let me tell the story. Appreciate it.
Keep telling those stories. All right. We will do a quick sponte here and then we'll talk to IRA Rosen, writer, producer, been with 60 Minutes for, I don't know, 40 years.
Yeah, four years. And he just retired last year. So it's going to give us all the all the skinny about what went on behind the scenes. One of my favorite all time show, 60 Minutes, first to talk about Geico. Do your own do you rent your home? I bet you do. One or the other. How about you get your automotive policy and your bundle? That bad boy at Geico Geico makes it easy. He got so much to do already.
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We'll talk about one of my favorite TV shows from a guy who's been there from, well, not quite the beginning, but a damn long time. Close enough. And we'll talk to IRA Rosen right after this. Hey, Geico, do you own the rent when you do one or the other? Right. You know, it's hard work out their own rent and you want to save some money. How about your bundle? Bundle your policies at Geico.
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