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Hey, prime members. You can binge eight new episodes of the Mr. Ballon podcast one month early, and all episodes ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. In February of 1983, a young police officer arrived at what looked like a normal residential home in Mobile, Alabama. However, this officer already knew there was more to this house than met the eye. Just a few minutes earlier, an emergency medical technician who was in the home had called to tell the officer that there was something inside this house that the police really needed to see. And so this police officer opened up the front door and walked into the living room where first responders were huddled around a dead man's body. Now, this body belonged to the owner of the home. He had died by suicide. But this was not what the EMT was talking about when he said police needed to see something inside this house. And this police officer obviously knew that, so he walked past the EMTs and the body, and he went straight into the homeowners bedroom. And as soon as he saw what was in there, he stopped dead in his tracks.


What he found was easily one of the strangest and most chilling things he'd ever encountered in his entire career. But even as he stood staring at this bizarre scene, he felt a sudden rush of hope because he was pretty sure he had just found the answer to one of the city's most notorious crimes. But before we get into that story, if you're a fan of the Strange, dark, and mysterious Delivered in story format, then you come to the right podcast because that's all we do, and we upload twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. So if that's It's of interest to you when the Timer runs out on the follow button's parking meter, kindly offer to refill it for them. But as soon as the follow button walks away, don't refill their meter. Instead, just call a tow truck. Okay, let's get into today's story.


From WNDYRI, I'm Raza Jeffrey, and this is The Spy Who. This series, we open the file on Ayman Deen, the spy who betrayed Bin Laden. In 1994, 16-year-old Ayman wants to die. He heads to war-torn Bosnia to join the Mujdatin and save his fellow Muslims. He hopes to become a martyr so that he can be reunited with his dead parents in paradise. Instead, he's about to be confronted by a cruel and bloody reality, a reality that will lead him to turn his back on terrorism and become the West's top spy inside Al Qaeda. Follow the Spy Who on the WNDY app or wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can binge the full season of the Spy Who, Betrayed Bin Laden early and ad-free with WNDYRI Plus. I'm Ellis James.


And I'm Colin Murray, and we're the host of Everything to Play For, the podcast that tells the greatest sports stories of all time. This season, we're covering Wayne Rooney, Englandman. Remember the name, Wayne Rooney. Yes, we're focusing in for three episodes on Wayne Rooney's career with the three lions on his chest. From a teenager, breaking into the England set up all the way through to his international retirement. Ticks in so much, Ellis. What a way to burst onto the scene as well. Euro 2004, where he was one of the absolute standout stars of that tournament. However, if you look at his international career, those tournaments ravaged by injury, disappointments, crazy things happening on and off the field. It's an awful lot to get stuck into. Cannot wait. Follow everything to play for in the WNDY app or wherever you get your podcast. You can bin Seasons early and add free right now on WNDY Plus. Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, February 20th, 1980, Katherine Foster sat on the cold metal bleachers beside her University's soccer fields. The men's team at the University of South Alabama was playing a practice game, and it was very easy for Katherine to pick out her favorite player.


He was the very tall and handsome one with dark and curly hair. His name was Tom Tom Jedon, and he'd been Catherine's boyfriend for years, ever since they went to high school together in the small city of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Catherine and Tom were young, both just 18-year-old freshmen, but they were committed to each other. When they were seniors in high school, Tom received a soccer scholarship to the University of South Alabama in Mobile, so Catherine enrolled in the same school just to be near him. Katherine had earned the second-highest grades in her entire graduating class, and so she could have gone to college anywhere. But realistically, it did not feel like a sacrifice for her to follow Tom to this school. The University of South Alabama was well known for its physical therapy program, which was Katherine's specialty. Having her boyfriend there just made college that much better. While Tom and his teammates played soccer, Katherine called out to two young women looking up at the bleachers from the grass below. One was tall and thin, this was Tish O'Sullivan, and the other was shorter and more athletic-looking, and her name was Jamie Kellam. And these two were Katherine's best friends, And when they saw Catherine calling to them, they smiled and rushed up to her and sat down on either side of her.


And for a moment, all three young women just sat there and watched Tom and the other players out on the soccer field. But then the coach blew the whistle and called all the players to the sidelines. And so suddenly there was not soccer to watch. And so the three friends stopped looking at the field, and they just looked to each other and began chatting. Katherine had known Tish since they were in elementary school. They'd gone to the same Catholic Church and the same high school in Pascagoula, but Katherine had not met Jamie until her first day of college. She and Tish had been standing in line for registration, and Jamie happened to be in front of them. They got to talking and realized Jamie was also from Pascagoula, she had just gone to a different high school. That's why they didn't know her. And so the three young women bonded over their shared background. And ever since that fateful meeting, they'd been inseparable. They all love the energy of living in a big city for the first time. And lately, the women had been keeping an eye on a brand new mall that was under construction in downtown Mobile.


Jamie leaned over and told her friends that she thought the mall was actually finally open now, and so they should go check it out the next day. Katherine and Tish loved the idea, and none of them had anything to do in the morning, so they could go shopping, have lunch, and still be back in time for afternoon classes. So they agreed to meet in the parking lot outside of Catherine's dorm building around 10:00 AM the next day. Just then, Catherine's boyfriend Tom came jogging over. He was sweating and his curly hair was sticking to his forehead, but Catherine didn't care. She gave him a big kiss on the cheek and then took his hand. Then, all four friends headed for the University dining hall for dinner before settling in for another evening of studies. The following morning, Katherine woke up before her alarm, and she immediately rolled out of bed and jumped in the shower. After that, she went to her closet and picked out a comfortable outfit for the cool morning, blue jeans, brown walking shoes, and a light sweatshirt. Then, she sat in front of her mirror and swiped on some eye shadow, mascara, and lip gloss.


She blow-dried her curly, light brown hair, thought about putting it a ponytail, but ultimately decided she liked it better down. And so Catherine was ready, early, like always. But just then, at about 9:30 AM, she heard a knock at her door, and so she went to answer it. She smiled when she saw Jamie standing there. Jamie said she knew she was early, but she figured Catherine would be ready, too, and she was right. Catherine laughed at how well they knew each other, and then the pair walked out to Jamie's car. But before they actually got to the car, Catherine stopped and said she had forgotten her purse, so she turned and ran back to her dorm to grab it while Jamie waited. Jamie leaned against the side of her vehicle and crossed her arms over her chest against the morning chill. After a few minutes, when still Catherine had not come back outside again, Jamie was so cold that she climbed inside of her car and turned it on, put on the heat, and turned on some music. And as she was sitting there waiting, it started to feel like Catherine was taking a really long time.


Jamie thought about maybe going inside to check on her, but she told herself, Catherine's fine, she'll be out in a second. But after three more songs played and still, Katherine had not come back out again, Jamie really started to get worried. But just then she looked up and noticed Tish walking across the parking lot towards her. And so Jamie rolled down the window and actually yelled Tish like, Hey, come over here. And so Tish, sensing something was wrong, she ran over. And when the two women linked up, Jamie explained that Catherine had apparently lost her purse and gone back inside, but that was like 15 minutes ago, and she still had not come back yet. Tish agreed that was weird, and it was not like Catherine to suddenly abandon her friends. And even if Catherine could not find her purse and that was the reason it was taking so long, she would have come back by now to tell them that was what was going on so they wouldn't worry. Also, remember, these were the days before cell phones, so a phone call or text message was just not an option. Tish could only think of one explanation.


Maybe Catherine had run into her boyfriend Tom and decided to go hang out with him instead. It was definitely strange that Catherine never returned to let Jamie know, but the girls knew Catherine was head over heels in love with her boyfriend, and so that did seem like something that could happen. Jamie nodded at this idea and agreed that Catherine could have dumped them for her boyfriend. But Tish had a class with Catherine later that afternoon, and so they'd be able to figure out what happened then. So Tish and Jamie, after waiting for a few more minutes and still not seeing Catherine, they decided to just go ahead with their shopping trip without Catherine. Tish got into the car, and the two young women pulled out of the parking lot and for the new mall in downtown Mobile. Later that afternoon, Tish burst into the University library. She walked quickly down the rows of books until she found Tom sitting alone at a table with his head in a textbook. Tish sat next to him and tried to keep her voice at a whisper as she asked Tom where on earth Catherine was. But Tom just stared at her and said he didn't know because he hadn't seen his girlfriend all day.


He thought she'd gone shopping with Tish and Jamie that morning, and he assumed that right now, she likely just got out of her afternoon class. Tish suddenly felt panicked. She told Tom that Catherine actually didn't go shopping with them that morning because she basically just abandoned them, and she didn't show up to class, and she wasn't in her dorm room now. Nobody had seen her since before 10:00 AM, and so now Tish and Jamie were running all around campus looking for her. Tom did look alarmed, but he told Tish there had to be a reasonable explanation here. He closed his textbook and thought for a moment. He said the only thing that could make Catherine miss class would be an emergency, which made him wonder if maybe something had happened with Catherine's family back in Pascagoula. Tom asked Tish if she had called Catherine's parents, and Tish said no, but she would right now. And sure enough, she rushed out of the library and headed towards her dorm room where she could use the phone. That evening, Sergeant Gilbert Williams was working dispatch at the Mobile Police Station. He was one of the younger cops with a dark brown mustache and a police hat that actually looked like it was two sizes too big on him.


When the phone rang, he picked it up and he heard a woman's frantic voice on the other end. She introduced herself as Joanne Foster. She said her daughter, Katherine, was a freshman at the University of South Alabama. Right away, Sergeant Williams's ears perked up. He'd actually graduated from the same University. Mrs Foster continued, saying she'd received a call from one of her daughter's closest friends, telling her that Catherine had not been seen since earlier that morning. And Mrs Foster said her daughter was not at home, so she had no idea where she was. Sergeant Williams listened, but he actually was not that concerned. He told Mrs Foster that because of partying and all these new experiences all around them, that it's pretty common for college freshmen to drop off the map for a few hours from time to time. The sergeant promised the panicked mother that she really did not need to worry, that her daughter would show up. And on the off chance that she did not show up, the Mobile police would launch an investigation, but only after 24 hours had passed. That was the department policy. 24 hours later, on Friday, February 22nd, Sergeant Williams found himself back on his old college campus.


The cement sidewalks and tall red brick buildings were familiar and made him nostalgic for his college days. It would have been a whole lot better to be back here if it were not under such bad circumstances. Katherine Foster still had not been located after almost a day and a half, so the Mobile PD had officially opened up a missing person investigation, and Sergeant Williams was in charge. Now, Sergeant Williams still believed that Katherine would show up soon on her own, but he could see that all of Katherine's friends were very worried about her. In fact, Tom, Tish, and Jamie were so worried about her that they had all individually contacted campus security about her disappearance. So Sergeant Williams decided he would begin his investigation by speaking with those three first. He started with Jamie, but really Jamie didn't know much. She explained how Katherine had left her to go get her purse that Thursday morning, but then never came back. And Jamie said, Since then, she's just been looking for Katherine like the rest of her friends. Tish knew even less than Jamie did. All she could say was that Katherine missed her afternoon class on Thursday and was absent from classes that Friday morning, which was apparently really out of character for Katherine.


Finally, Sergeant William Williams talked to Tom. Tom would say that he and Katherine spoke every single day, and so it was totally unlike her to go this long without speaking to him. Sergeant Williams appreciated the information Jamie, Tish, and Tom provided, but it really wasn't that much. And so after speaking to Tom, Sergeant Williams spent the afternoon just walking around campus, speaking to Katherine's teachers and classmates, seeing if anybody knew anything. But nobody had any information that could actually help find Katherine. And so by nightfall, Well, Catherine was still missing, and Sergeant Williams had no idea where to look for her. The following day, Saturday, February 23rd, Tisch marched arm and arm with about 50 other students, including Tom and Jamie. They joined a volunteer search party to look for Catherine under the supervision of Sergeant Williams and another officer. The search party had already scanned the entire main campus, but they'd found nothing. So around 10:00 AM, 48 hours since Catherine was last seen, the police expanded their search to forested areas surrounding the University. Tish and the other volunteers kept their arms hooked together as they made their way through the trees. The police had told them that even something as tiny as a hair clip could help them find Katherine.


So Tish kept her eyes locked on the crunchy brown grass, watching for anything out of the ordinary. Then, from far down the line of students, Tish heard someone scream out in terror. Her stomach dropped as she watched two police officers run towards the commotion. Without thinking, Tish just followed them and ran then headfirst into the most horrifying thing she'd ever seen. Her best friend, Katherine, was there, lying on her back in the grass, motionless. Everything about her looked pristine. She was wearing her favorite blue jeans, sweatshirt. Her hair was fanned out around her face her makeup wasn't even smudged. It almost looked like Katherine had just laid down for a nap, except for the puddle of blood beneath her head. Suddenly, Tish heard another student scream, and she watched Jamie drop to her knees and sob into her hands. As more people joined the crowd, Tish saw Tom running up to see what was going on. But before Tom could get a glimpse of his girlfriend, Sergeant Williams began pushing the students back and grabbed Tom by the arm. The sergeant told him this was a crime scene now, and so they had to secure the area.


Another officer quickly began wrapping yellow crime scene tape around the trees, creating a large perimeter around Catherine's body. And as this was happening, Sergeant Williams did his best to hide his shock. He had truly believed that Catherine would just show up again with a simple explanation for her absence. But now, of course, everything had changed. A student had been murdered on Sergeant Williams's former college campus, and he felt like it was now his responsibility to solve the case, especially when you consider the fact that he had brushed off Catherine's mom's concerns initially. Sergeant Williams did an initial sweep of the area immediately around Catherine, but there wasn't much to find. The dirt and grass around Catherine's body did not look disturbed. There were no footprints, drag marks, or signs of a struggle. There was no blood anywhere except right beneath Catherine's head. Sergeant Williams couldn't find any signs of a weapon either. Soon, a few other mobile police Department officers showed up along with the County Medical Examiner. Staff from the Medical Examiner's office, lifted Catherine's body up and then placed it into a body bag. Then they carried the bag to the coroner's van so her remains could be transferred to the County Morgue for an autopsy.


A few hours later, Sergeant Williams arrived at the Morgue to meet with the medical examiner about Catherine's cause of death. The two men sat down in the medical examiner's office, each holding a cup of much-needed coffee, while the medical examiner explained he had uncovered some crucial information. Katherine had died from two gunshots from a 22 caliber gun, one bullet in the back of her skull and the other in her right temple. Otherwise, her body showed no signs of assault or indications that she had been bound or beaten in any Anyway, the medical examiner also said her body showed little signs of decomposition, which made him think that Catherine had only been dead for maybe 8 to 24 hours before her body was found. Sergeant Williams thought this over. Catherine disappeared on the morning of Thursday, February 21st, but based on the medical examiner's estimation, she was not killed until at least one full day later. It sounded like Catherine might have been kidnapped and then held captive for more than 24 hours before she was killed. But it also appeared that she was never restrained and never fought against her killer. So how could she possibly have been kidnapped?


Sergeant Williams didn't really know how to make sense of these contradictory clues, but he thanked the medical examiner and headed back to the police station He knew he had a lot of work to do.


Hello, I'm Emily. And I'm Anna, and we're the hosts of Terrible Famous, the show that takes you inside the lives of our biggest celebrities. And just a warning, our latest season will feature a lot of accents. Can I just check what accent? Because... I can't tell this story without going all in. Okay, I'm scared to ask, but can you give us a clue? Why I Man. Oh, and or death? I'm afraid not. And it's not Alan Sheerer either. I am talking about a young woman, plucked from obscurity, who rose to become the Nershin's Sweetheart. A woman who's had a lot of surnames? And has ditched them all to become just Sheryl. Love it. Girls are loud fans, strap in. We're going to follow Sheryl from her Girlband glory days, getting together with Ashley Cole and the many scandals and humiliations that followed, not to mention a near-death experience. She's been through a lot. And she has needed every bounce of her northern grit to see her through. I promise you it's going to be an emotional roller coaster. Follow Terrible Famous wherever you listen to podcasts or listen early and ad-free on WNDYRI Plus on Apple Podcasts or the WNDYRI app.


Hello, I'm Hannah. And I'm Sruti. We are the hosts of Red Handed, a weekly true crime podcast. Every week on Red Handed, we get stuck into the most talked about cases. From the Idaho student killings, the Delphi murders, and our recent rundown of the Murdoch saga. Last year, we also started a second weekly show, Shorthand, which is just an excuse for us to talk about anything we find interesting because it's our show and we can do what we like. We've covered the Death of Princess Diana, an unholy Quran written in Saddam Hussein's blood, the gruesome history of European witch hunting, and the very uncomfortable phenomenon of genetic sexual attraction. Whatever the case, we want to know what pushes people to the extremes of human behavior. Like, can someone give consent to be cannibalized? What drives a child to kill? And what's the psychology of a terrorist? Listen to Red Handed wherever you get your podcasts and access our bonus shorthand episodes exclusively on Amazon Music, or by subscribing to Wondry Plus in Apple Podcasts or the WNDRI app.


The The moment Sergeant Williams walked inside the Mobile police station, another officer stopped him. The officer said they had just received a call from a female student at the University of South Alabama who lived near where the body was found. The student said she'd woken up with an asthma attack at exactly 2:38 AM on Saturday, February 23rd. She knew the precise time because she recalled sitting up and struggling to breathe and just looking over at the clock, and it was right there, 2:38. So at 2:38 AM, the student had jumped out of bed and opened her window to get some fresh air, and that's when she heard two loud popping sounds. Now, at the time, she had no idea what these noises were, but since obviously hearing the news about Catherine's death, the student wondered if those popping sounds might have been the sounds of the gunshots that killed Catherine. As he listened, Sergeant Williams felt his heartbeat speed up. 2:30 AM on Saturday was about eight hours before Catherine's body was found, and so that lined up perfectly Lastly, with Catherine's estimated time of death based on the autopsy. And so this student might very well have heard the two gunshots that killed Catherine.


Sergeant Williams ran out to his police cruiser and headed right back towards the University. A few minutes later, Sergeant Williams strode across campus with a purpose. Now, he was investigating a murder, so he had to go back to square one, which meant reinterviewing Katherine's closest friends. He needed to ask each of them where they were at 2:30 AM on Saturday, February 23rd. Now, when he spoke to them, he didn't tell them that that was the time he believed Katherine was killed. He just wanted to know if the teenagers had alibis. Jamie, Tish, and Tom were all extremely emotional over Katherine's death. It was hard for Jamie to even speak, but she did manage to tell Sergeant Williams that on Saturday night, she had been at a sleepover with a friend and a few family members, and Sergeant Williams was able to follow up and confirm that this was true. So Jamie had an alibi. Alibi. As for Tish and Tom, they didn't really have an alibi. They just said they were in their dorm room sleeping, and they knew there was no way to prove that because there were no cameras or other monitoring systems in their dorm buildings.


But they both swore they didn't go anywhere besides their dorm that night. Sergeant Williams thought Tish sounded like she was telling the truth, though he wasn't quite sure about Tom. There was just something in the sergeant's gut that made him feel suspicious of Catherine's boyfriend. But he didn't have any real evidence against Tom, so he kept his suspicions to himself for now. After speaking to the three friends, Sergeant Williams began looking at a very different theory as to what happened to Catherine. Maybe she was abducted by a stranger. And so, Sergeant Williams left campus and headed back to the police station where he could comb through the city's criminal records. Later on, Saturday evening, Sergeant Williams sat at his desk, thumbing through a thick stack of papers. He pulled out all the records regarding violent crimes on and around the University of South Alabama And now he was pouring through each one, looking for anybody that could be a potential suspect in Katherine's murder. Sergeant Williams's eyes began to glaze over from looking at so many documents, but then one of the documents caught his attention. It was a report about a crime that had taken place several months before Katherine's murder near the university campus.


A female student said she'd been walking near the woods when a truck pulled up beside her and the driver offered her a ride back to school. The young woman agreed and got into the passenger seat of the truck, and as soon as she did, said the man reached over and tried to sexually assault her. She fought him off and jumped out of the truck, but as she was running away, the man pulled out a gun and shot her. Luckily, the bullet hit her in the leg, so it didn't kill her, and so she was able to get away and call the police and press charges, including attempted rape and assault with a deadly weapon. But there was one more detail that popped out to Sergeant Williams. The man who attacked the student was currently employed at the University of South Alabama in the maintenance Department. Sergeant Williams couldn't believe it. He made arrangements to bring the maintenance worker in for questioning as soon as possible. The next morning, Sunday, February 24th, Sergeant Williams sat across from the maintenance worker inside of an interview room at the police station. The sergeant got right to the point and asked the maintenance worker where he'd been at around 2:30 AM on February 23rd.


The man said he'd been working an overnight shift in a part of the campus that was relatively far from where Katherine's body was found. To Sergeant Williams, this did not make this guy seem less suspicious. All it did is it showed this maintenance worker was fully awake and on campus at the time that Catherine was killed, probably on campus. But then, Sergeant Williams called the maintenance worker's boss who would say the worker was under his supervision the entire night, and he never disappeared. And so even though this maintenance worker actually had a pretty extensive and ugly criminal record, William just had no way to actually link him to the murder, and so he ended up telling the maintenance worker that he was free to go. However, the interview was not a total loss because the conversation got William's thinking of a new possibility. He remembered the medical examiner saying that Catherine didn't have any defensive wounds that would come from an assault. So he thought maybe she had gone into the woods where she was ultimately killed with a person who she trusted, like somebody who worked at the university, somebody in a position of authority.


Sergeant Williams followed this hunch, and later on Sunday, he was back in the police station interview room with his newest people of interest, the two University of South Alabama security guards who'd been on duty the night Katherine died. Both men had been patrolling the campus on Saturday night around 2:30 AM, and they claimed they always spent their entire shifts together when they worked overnight. The sergeant thought it was awfully convenient that each of these officers were able to provide an alibi for the other. For all Williams knew, they could just be covering for each other. But then the security guard said they did remember something out of the ordinary happening that night. A little past 2:30 AM, they heard two loud popping sounds. At first, they thought maybe the noise was coming from students shooting off fireworks, but they never confirmed that and didn't do any more follow-up. So they said it was possible those sounds could have been gunshots. Sergeant Williams was pleased. Even though these guards clearly had alibis, and so Williams had to let them go, he did now have two more witnesses who might have heard the shots that killed Catherine.


After the guards were gone, gun, Williams reviewed all the information he'd collected. So far, he had quizzed six potential suspects about their whereabouts at the time of Catherine's death, and all of them had a good alibi. And since for now, he was out of potential other suspects to go investigate, he decided he would just turn his attention towards a new goal. He wanted to find the gun that killed Catherine because obviously that could lead him to the killer. Sergeant Williams and the Mobile Police Department spent the next several days interviewing people and also scouring the campus for the gun. February 28th marked one week since Catherine had disappeared and five days since her body had been found, and they still had very little evidence to go on. That afternoon, Sergeant Williams stood outside the University library, looking on as another officer stuck his arms into a small duck pond. Sergeant Williams almost wanted to laugh because it It seemed so unlikely that a murderer would dump their murder weapon into such a tiny pond. But then this officer who was reaching into the pond suddenly shouted and held his arm up in the air. Sergeant Williams could see sunlight glinting off the object in the officer's hands.


It was a small, silver handgun. Sergeant Williams ran up to this officer to look more closely, and he realized the gun was a 22 caliber, just like the gun used to kill Katherine Foster. But Williams's excitement soon turned to disappointment when they sent this gun in for ballistics testing, and it did not match the gun that killed Katherine. The police were back at square one again. Investigators continued looking for leads, but as time went on, the tips dried up, and they were not able to make a big breakthrough. So the case went cold, and it stayed that way for the next three years. But still, this case haunted Sergeant Williams, who had a habit of cracking back open Katherine's case file at least once a week. So on February 18th of 1983, the details of Catherine's case were still very fresh in his mind. And that morning, he got a very interesting phone call. It was a call from a first responder who told Sergeant Williams that a man had been found dead of an apparent suicide inside of a house that was right near the University of South Alabama campus. And this first responder said, Anybody involved in the Katherine Foster investigation should really come here and see the inside side of this deceased guy's home.


Sergeant Williams and another officer immediately went straight to this address, and what they found inside was absolutely chilling. The man's body was still in the house, and it looked like he'd been dead for at least three to four days. But that's not what caught the sergeant's attention. It was what he found in the man's bedroom. Tacked up on the wall were news clippings about Katherine Foster's murder. There were photos of her from the local paper and copies of her autopsy report, which the man had highlighted and written on. He'd even written poems about the crime. It was like a shrine to Katherine and her murder. Then, Sergeant Williams checked inside the man's closet where he found a bunch of white button-up shirts with the logo of the company that provided security at the University of South Alabama. Sergeant Williams knew he recognized the man lying dead inside of the house. His name was Michael Maris. He was one of the campus security guards who'd been working on the night Catherine died. Sergeant Williams had interviewed him three years earlier, and he'd had an alibi for the night of the murder, or at least that's what Sergeant Williams thought.


Sergeant Williams went through every inch of Michael's home, and in the attic above the garage, he found yet another chilling scene. Sitting up there in the dark was a big cage that was actually big enough for an adult to stand up inside of and actually walk around inside of. It was made out of chicken wire and had a lock on the outside, while on the inside, there was a mattress and pillows. A gruesome picture of Catherine locked inside of this cage formed in Sergeant Williams's mind. Suddenly, everything made sense. Maybe Michael had kidnapped Catherine and held her in this cage inside of his house before ultimately taking her out to the woods and killing her. Sergeant Williams rushed back to the police station and immediately contacted the other security guard who had been working the night of Catherine's death. And this other guard swore up and down that he really had been telling the truth three years earlier. He was with Michael that entire night, and they had nothing to do with this. Sergeant Williams hung up the phone. He guessed it was possible that maybe Michael was not the killer, even though he had a creepy fixation on Katherine's murder.


But how could anyone explain that cage he had up in his attic? The sergeant contacted Michael's next of kin and asked about the bizarre chicken wire enclosed. Michael's family member said that the cage was actually where Michael often kept his grandfather who suffered from dementia and had a tendency to wander around the neighborhood. It was not meant to be cruel. It was just a measure they used to keep the grandfather safe. And just like that, Sergeant Williams's hot lead started going cold. For years after this, Sergeant Williams kept reading Katherine's case file at least once a week, hoping for a lead that just never came. And eventually, Sergeant Williams left the police force, leaving behind the murder he was obsessed with unsolved. By 2002, so 22 years after Katherine's murder, another officer named Mike Morgan had taken over the now very cold Katherine murder case. He was young, much as Sergeant Williams had been back in 1980, and he had close-cropped blonde hair, small blue eyes, and a long face. On December fourth of 2002, Officer Morgan got a surprising call at the Mobile Police Station. The man on the other end said he was a police police officer in Pascagoula, Mississippi, which was Katherine Foster's hometown.


He told Officer Morgan that a witness had come into the Pascagoula police station with information regarding Katherine's murder. Officer Morgan's heart started to race. By now, the unsolved murder was like an urban legend among college students and police officers in the area, a mystery that might never be solved. Morgan never imagined he'd actually get a break in this case. Officer Morgan told the officer in Pascagoula that he wanted to speak to this new witness in person. So he hung up the phone and rushed out the door to make the 40-minute drive to Mississippi. Less than an hour later, Officer Morgan was sitting in the Pascagoula police station with his heart still going a mile a minute. But the story that this witness ultimately told him was so incredible that Officer Morgan wasn't sure if he even believed it. It went against everything the Mobile Police Department thought they knew about Catherine's murder. Officer Morgan told this witness that he couldn't believe these wild claims unless he saw real proof. And this witness said Officer Morgan could see all the proof he could ever need if he just went to this one really specific address. So the officer got back in his police cruiser and he headed to that specific address.


Morgan pulled up in front of a totally unassuming residential home. The owner was working in the yard, and they looked up when they heard a car pull up. Officer Morgan got out of the car, approached the owner, and explained why he was there. And so the homeowner then led the officer into the house and to a set of storage lockers. The owner unlocked one, pulled out the item that Morgan was asking for, and he handed it over. And the second Morgan looked down at this thing in his hands, he knew he had just solved Katherine Foster's 22-year-old murder. Based on the investigation that was done into this item, here is a reconstruction of what police believe really happened to Katherine Foster on the morning of February 21st, 1980. Katherine's killer felt very confident. They were sitting behind the wheel of their car, and when they saw Katherine walking outside of her dorm building, they jumped into action. They pulled up alongside her and began honking the horn and waving to her. Katherine looked over and her face lit up. She recognized the driver, and she was really excited to see them. Katherine ran over and hopped into the passenger seat.


They chatted as they drove away from the university, but they didn't go very far. Katherine's killer rolled to a stop beside a wooded area just off campus and said they just remembered something. They said they needed a specific type of plant for a botany class they were taking. So they asked Katherine, would they come into the forest with them and help them find it? And Katherine said, Yeah, of course. And so the pair walked along the crunchy brown grass into the trees. And as they walked along, Catherine, who had her head down and was scanning the ground diligently for this plant, she began getting maybe a few steps ahead of her killer. And when this happened and the killer realized Catherine was distracted, the killer stopped and just stood there staring at Katherine with rage burning inside of them. Then the killer quietly slipped off their backpack and then reached inside and began feeling around. And eventually, they felt the 22 caliber pistol they had stolen from their grandmother, and they pulled it out, and without any hesitation, the killer raised that gun and aimed it right at the back of Katherine's head, and then they fired.


But amazingly, Katherine did not fall down after getting shot in the head. Instead, She slowly turned around to look at her killer. Her eyes were wide with shock and confusion, and for a second, the two just stood there in silence staring until Katherine fell to the ground. But Catherine's killer could tell Catherine was not dead. She was still breathing. So they casually raised the gun again and fired a shot into her temple to make sure she was dead. Then the killer got out of the forest as fast as they could, and when they emerged from the trees, they tossed their grandmother's pistol into the nearest dumpster. Then they got back into their car, drove away from the crime scene, and went about their day like everything was perfectly normal. They didn't speak a word about what they had done for the next 22 years. But it would turn out, trying to keep this horrible secret inside took a real toll on the killer. They began abusing drugs and alcohol, and eventually, in 2001, they joined an alcoholics anonymous group in Pascagoula in the hopes of getting sober. And as part of alcoholics anonymous, they began working through the famous 12-Step program.


Each step is designed to help people get to the root of their alcohol abuse and overcome it. And as part of step eight, Katherine's killer was instructed to make a list of everyone they had were wronged, and Katherine's name was right at the top of that list. But the killer ran into a problem. Step nine was about making amends to these people they had wronged. But Catherine was obviously dead, and so the killer didn't know how to apologize to someone who was not alive. So Catherine's killer confided in another member of their alcoholics anonymous group explaining exactly what they'd done to Catherine Foster. And this other person said the best way to make amends would be to write Catherine an apology letter and read it over her grave. And that's exactly what the killer did. In late 2002, they stood in the cemetery where Katherine was buried in Pascagoula, Mississippi, holding a handwritten letter. They looked around to make sure they were alone, and then they read their apology out loud. The letter said, Dear Katherine, after all these years, I have come to you. It is me, Jamie, the girl who took your life.


It would turn out one of Katherine's two so-called best friends Jamie Kellam, was actually her killer. The story about how Katherine had said she needed to go back into her dorm to get her purse, and then she went missing, that was all a total lie told by Jamie to cover for herself. Officer Mike Morgan had figured this out through the witness who had come into the Pascagoula police station back in December of 2002. That witness was the alcoholics anonymous group member who Jamie had confided in, the one who suggested she write the apology letter. But after hearing about what Jamie had done, the witness just could not bear to keep the secret, and so they told Officer Morgan everything. And then they also told Officer Morgan the specific address of where this letter was currently located, because that was obviously the proof Officer Morgan needed. And this address led Officer Morgan to Jamie's stepfather's house, where apparently Jamie had hidden this letter inside of a locker. And so when Morgan asked the stepfather for the letter, Jamie's stepfather replied, You mean The letter? So it sounded an awful lot like the stepfather knew what the note contained.


And the letter didn't just contain Jamie's confession about killing Katherine. It also detailed her motive for killing Katherine. Although nobody knew it back in 1980, Jamie was absolutely obsessed with Katherine's boyfriend Tom, the tall, handsome soccer player. Jamie and Tom had met long before either of them went to the University of South Alabama. They'd crossed paths at a tennis tournament during high school, and while Tom did not really remember Jamie, she never forgot him. She kept tabs on him through the gossip in their small Mississippi hometown. In 1979, she found out Tom was in a serious long-term relationship with Katherine Foster, and that both of them were heading to the University of South Alabama for college. Jamie had received tennis scholarships to multiple schools in the Southern United States, but she chose to go to the University of South Alabama, where she did not receive any scholarship money for the sole purpose of secretly following Tom. And the day that Jamie met Katherine and Tish magically in the registration line, and they all became best friends, that was not a coincidence. She intentionally inserted herself into that friend group to be closer to Tom. And then she began taking pictures of Tom and showing them to her family, claiming that he was actually her boyfriend.


She even kept a lock of Tom's hair. Now, Tom had no idea this was happening, and neither did Katherine. But as Jamie realized that breaking up the young couple was going to be harder than she thought, she got more and more desperate. She wanted to get Katherine out of the way, and she believed there was only one way to do that, to murder Katherine. So she carried out the crime, then casually went shopping with Tish at the new mall like nothing happened. And then Jamie got really lucky because the medical examiner incorrectly estimated the time of Katherine's death at 8:00 to 24 hours before the body was found, when in reality, Jamie had actually killed Katherine about 48 hours before. And Jamie had a great alibi for that window that the medical examiner had identified. She was with family and friends. And so as a result, police never really suspected Jamie at all. On November 21st of 2008, Officer Mike Morgan and another member of the Mobile Police Department pulled up outside of a blue and white colonial-style home in Jackson, Mississippi. It was a shelter house for people experiencing homelessness, and they knew Jamie had been living there for a while.


When police looked into the yard, they saw there was a middle-aged woman with long, graying hair just staring back at them. Officer Morgan got out of the car, but before he could even say anything, the woman actually yelled out to them. She said her name was Jamie, and she already knew the police were there to arrest her. Jamie got in the police cruiser without any resistance. Once they got back to the Mobile police station, she immediately confessed to killing Katherine Foster. Jamie would later try to claim she was innocent, but ultimately, a jury found her guilty of first-degree murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison. Thank you for listening to the Mr. Balin podcast. If you enjoyed today's stories and you're looking for more strange, dark, and mysterious content, be sure to check out all of our studios' podcasts. They are this one, of course, Mr. Balin podcast, and we also have Mr. Balin's Medical mysteries, we have Bedtime Stories, and also Run Full. To find those other podcasts, all you have to do is search for Balin Studios wherever you listen to your podcasts. To watch hundreds more stories just like the ones you heard today, head over to our YouTube channel, which is just called Mr.


Balin. So that's going to do it. I really appreciate your support. Until next time. See you. Hey, prime members, you can binge eight new episodes of the Mr. Balin podcast one month early, and all episodes ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. And before you go, please tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at wondry. Com/survey.


Nancy's love story could have been ripped right out of the pages of one of her own novels.


She was a romance mystery writer who happens to be married to a chef.


But this story didn't end with a happily ever after. When I stepped into the kitchen, I could see that Chef Brophy was on the ground, and I heard somebody say, Call 911. As writers, we'd written our share of murder mysteries. So when suspicion turned to Dan's wife, Nancy, we weren't that surprised.


The first person they looked at would be the spouse. We understand that's usually the way they do it.


But we began to wonder, had Nancy gotten so wrapped up in her own novels?


There are murders in all of the books.


That she was playing them out in real life? Follow Happily Never After, Dan and Nancy on the Wondery app or wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge all episodes of Happily Never After, Dan and Nancy early and ad-free right now by joining Wondery Plus.