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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. Money does not solve all problems, and today's podcast will feature two stories that demonstrate that. The audio from both of these stories has been pulled from our main YouTube channel and has been remastered for today's episode. The links to the original YouTube videos are in the description. The first story you'll hear is called Crocodile Tears, and it's about a family who was found murdered in their Beverly Hills mansion. And the second and final story you'll hear is called Privilege, and it's about a crime so notorious it's been dubbed the crime of the century. But the reason for its notoriety has less to do with the crime itself and more to do with who committed it. But before we get into today's stories, 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 of interest to you, please take three pigs, and on each of them, label them with a number, one, two, and four, and then release those pigs on the Amazon Music Follow Buttons property.


Okay, let's get into our first story, which is called Crocodile Tears.


Some stories were never meant to be heard. Beneath the visible world of parliament's politicians and civil servants lies an invisible state filled with secret operatives playing to very different rules. From WNDYRI, I'm Indra Vana, and this is the Spy Who. This month, we open file on Nuh Anayat Khan, the Spy Who Wouldn't Lie. When Germany invades France, Nuh and her family are forced to flee to Britain. But Nuh decides she can't just sit out the war, so she accepts one of the most dangerous spy missions of World War II, a job that will put her deep into enemy territory. Follow the Spy Who now wherever you listen to podcasts. Or you can binge the full season of The Spy Who Wouldn't Lie early and ad free with WNDYRI Plus. I'm Afwa Hirsch. I'm Peter Frankerpern. And in our podcast, Legacy, we explore the lives of some of the biggest characters in history. This season, we're going to be exploring the life of Margaret Thatcher. The first female leader of Britain. Her 11-year premiership completely overhauled British society. The political legacy of Thatcherism is both pervasive but also controversial. So who was the woman behind the policies?


Wow, what a titan of modern British history, Peter. It's intimidating, actually. We spent days, days recording this one. Just to cut it down, there is so much that happens over the course of Margaret Thatcher's life that we've had to think really hard about what we can include. And this is, of all the characters we've done so far, the one who's had most personal impact on my conscious, waking, real-time life. I mean, I lived through her. I was born under her. I'm a Thatcher baby. That's going to be set to dance music. So follow Legacy Now from where wherever you get your podcasts. Or binge entire seasons early and ad-free on WNDYRI Plus.


On August 20th, 1989, Eric and Lyle Menendez returned home to their family's mansion in Beverly Hills and knew right away something was wrong. The driveway gate was unlocked, and then they went to their front door and it was already open. They pushed the door open and cautiously walked inside and saw there was blood on the ground and looked in their TV room, and there, slouched against the couch, was their father, Jose, and their mother, Kitty. They had both been executed. Eric and Lyle are beside themselves. They call the police, and they're in total hysterics, screaming for the officers to get there that someone's killed their parents. The police show up, they go inside, and just based on the brutality of the injuries, Jose and Katie had clearly been gunned down with shotguns and multiple blasts because pieces of them were missing. They were just totally destroyed. The police, because of that, assumed, this has got to be a mob hit. There is some real aggression here. This is not an accident. This is a statement. The police immediately turned to Jose's business. He was the CEO of this very prominent media company. He had made millions and millions of dollars.


He was very well connected, and they figured that somewhere in his dealings, there must have been a bad actor that was after him. And so for the first six months of the investigation, the focus was almost exclusively on Jose's business contacts. Meanwhile, Lyle and Eric seemed to go totally crazy. They immediately inherited the $14 million family estate, and there was this huge cash payout right up front. And so the two of them go on this insane spending spree over those first six months. They bought condos on the water, they bought cars and Rolexes, they bought a chicken wing shop for $550,000. I mean, they were just buying things left and right. During their parents' funeral, Lyle was overheard talking about how he can't wait to go to the US Open, and, Look, I just bought a new Rolex. His mind was not on the fact that his parents had just been savagely murdered. It was on, What fun thing am I going to do with my money next? After the funeral, Eric decided he was going to put his energy into becoming a professional tennis player. So for $60,000, he hires a tennis player to live at his house and work with him every day on tennis, even though, realistically, Eric was not a very good tennis player.


But that was his focus. That's what he was going to work on. Lyle spent most of his time building a team of people that could help him make investments into different companies in and around New York and New Jersey. But in addition to spending tons of money on their respective career interests, the brothers were also going to therapy sessions. During one particular closed-door session, Eric would tell his therapist that me and my brother actually killed our parents. Eric clearly believed that he was able to talk to a therapist about anything and nothing would escape this room, that it was totally confidential. But what Eric wasn't planning for is the therapist's assistant was outside the doors walking by and overheard Eric say it. She would tell the police. The police would confront Eric as well as Lyle, and very quickly Eric and Lyle would confess. During their confession, they told investigators that on August 18th, they went out and purchased two shotguns, and they stored them in their home. The next day, on August 19th, the brothers and their mom and dad go out on a fishing trip together the whole day. They come back, and then on August 20th, the two brothers retrieve their shotguns while the parents are sitting in the TV room, and they walk in and fire 15 shots into their parents, obliterating them.


Afterwards, the brothers would ditch their shotguns and bloody clothes, and they would go to the movie theater, and they would watch Batman. After the movie was over, they go back to the mansion knowing exactly what they're going to find, and they go in, and they put on this big performance.


Oh, my goodness. Someone killed our parents. But it was all a lie because they killed their parents for their money.


Eric and Lyle were given life sentences and were sent to separate prisons, but actually, just recently, they were reunited in the same jail. Thirty years after their crime, a guy who collected NBA trading cards was rooting through some of his older cards, and he came across the Mark Jackson 1990 card. And he noticed in the background of the picture sitting courtside, is none other than Eric and Lyle Menendez. It was during that six-month crazy spending spree after they had murdered their parents, when they were going around buying up whatever they wanted, and they had bought courtside tickets to that particular game, and they happened to be immortalized on this playing card.


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 accents? 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 Nation'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 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 ounce 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.


Have you ever felt like a escaping to your own desert island. Well, that's exactly what Jane, Phil, and their three kids did when they traded their English home for a tropical island they bought online. But paradise has its secrets, and family life is about to take a terrifying turn.


You don't fire at people in that area without some consequence.


And he said, Yes, ma'am, he's dead. There's pure cold-blooded terror running through me. From WNDYRI, I'm Alice Levine, and this is the Price of Paradise, the real-life story of an island dream that ends in kidnap, corruption, and murder. Follow The Price of Paradise wherever you get your podcasts or binge the entire season right now on WNDYRI Plus.


The next and final story of today's episode is called Privilege.


On the evening of Wednesday, May 21st, 1924, a man named Jacob Franks walked up the steps to his mansion, and right as he went to open his door, his butler opened it up, welcomed him inside, and Jacob smiled at the butler and stepped in. Jacob had just spent a long day at his office in Chicago, Illinois, doing a big real estate deal, and now he was just happy to be home with his wife and his three kids. Jacob was an incredibly successful businessperson who had made a name for himself first in the early 1900s when he ran a bank that specialized in giving out these enormous loans to gamblers. But it wasn't until he was named the President of the Rockford Watch Company, and he expanded into real estate, that he became outrageously wealthy. His fortune in today's dollars would have been around $70 million. But now that Jacob was so well-established in the business world in Chicago, he was trying to make a more conscious effort to spend more time at home with his wife and kids. And so as soon as he walked past his butler into his mansion, he hung up his hat and his jacket, and he went to find his wife, Flora, to tell her about an idea he had for a trip for that upcoming weekend.


But when Jacob found Flora, Flora, she was not remotely interested in talking about their weekend plans because Flora was very worked up about their youngest son, Bobby. Bobby, who was 14 years old, was supposed to come home right after school, but it was now 6:00 PM, and he still hadn't shown up, and she had no idea where he was. And Jacob's reaction to this news was just to feel aggravated. Bobby was generally a really good kid. He was a student at a prestigious boys school right down the road, and his teacher was convinced that Bobby was the smartest kid in his entire grade. Bobby was a member of the school's debate team and regularly beat the older kids. And Bobby was just a natural leader and very hardworking and kind. But Bobby could also be fairly irresponsible sometimes, Specifically in terms of coming home on time. This was not the first time that Bobby had not come home by curfew. So Jacob told Flora, Don't worry about it. This is something Bobby does. He likely lost track of time. And as Jacob and Flora are having this discussion, Bobby's older brother came into the room and suggested to his dad, Jacob, that perhaps Bobby was across the street at Richard's house.


Richard was Bobby's cousin, playing tennis on their private court. Richard and Bobby were quite close, even though they were four years apart. Richard was 18, Bobby was 14, but they really bonded over tennis, and so that was something they did all the time. And so Jacob said he would go across the street and see if Bobby was there. And he also told his wife, Flora, to just continue to call around town and see anybody knew where Bobby might be. And so Jacob left his mansion and began walking across the street towards Richard's family's mansion to see if his son was there. Now, this neighborhood that Jacob lived in was one of the most exclusive neighborhoods, really in the entire country, but definitely within Chicago's city limits. It was called South Kenwood. And basically, imagine a street where every house is a huge mansion, and every mansion is home to some business tycoon or famous person, and all the families who lived in this neighborhood had a full staff of maids and butlers and drivers and fleets of private cars. I mean, these people who lived in South Kenwood were literally the richest of the rich.


And so Jacob, he gets across the street, he's standing in front of Richard's family's mansion, and he looks around the side, and he can see the private tennis court where his son and Richard would always play, but it's totally vacant. And in fact, the house is just totally quiet. No one's home. When Jacob got back to his own home, he And he found his wife pacing around in the parlor looking really concerned. And so Jacob immediately asked her, What did you learn? What's going on? And she would tell Jacob that she had spoken to one of Bobby's friends who told her that Bobby had umpired a baseball game after school and had left to walk back home at around 5:00 PM. The school and the baseball field where Bobby would have been was only about three blocks away from their home, and now it was 6:30 PM. So it's been an hour and a half since Bobby had supposedly began his walk home. And so by now, he certainly should be here, but of course, he wasn't. At this point, Jacob went from feeling aggravated with his son to being concerned for his son's safety, despite the fact that he's thinking, Okay, well, my son is likely somewhere in this neighborhood in South Kenwood, one of the safest, richest, best places in the country.


He's got to be okay, but I really want to find him. And so Jacob would call one of his very close friends who lived in this neighborhood, who also happened to be a former state senator, and he asked him to come over and basically look around the neighborhood for Bobby. When the state senator friend arrived at Jacob's house, the two men left and began walking down the street lined with mansions, making their way towards the school where Bobby supposedly had been umpiring. And when they got there, they saw there was no baseball game happening, and the school was dark and closed for the night. But Jacob and his friend decided that maybe it was possible that after umpiring this game, when Bobby had begun his walk home, maybe he had taken a detour into the school to get something, and then perhaps the doors got shut and locked on him. And so Jacob and his friend went to the school and looked for a way to basically break into the school. And sure enough, they would find an open window, they'd open it up, they would climb inside, and they would search the entire school, but Bobby was not in there.


At this point, Jacob was really starting to panic. His friend was trying to calm him down, but Jacob is now thinking something is terribly wrong with my son. And so the two men actually ran from the school back to Jacob's house. And when they went inside, Jacob immediately called out to his wife to see if maybe she had located Bobby. But when he called Flora's name, there was no response. And so Jacob and his friend, they run inside and they make their way towards the parlor, which is where they had last seen Flora before they left. And when they walked in there, they found Flora lying on the ground totally lifeless with the phone off the hook right next to her hand. And so Jacob and the senator, they run over and they begin shaking Flora, and suddenly she wakes up with a gasp, and she looks up at Jacob and just begins sobbing hysterically. And after Jacob finally calmed her down, she would tell him that after they had left to go to the school, she had received a phone call, and at first she thought it was Bobby calling to check in. But when she answered it, it wasn't Bobby.


It was a man's voice she didn't recognize who told her that Bobby had been kidnapped. He was safe for now, but if they went to police, something terrible would happen to him. This mystery man also told Flora that they would be in touch soon with more information, and then they hung up. And Flora had been so overwhelmed by what she was told that she had fainted, and that was why they found her on the ground. That night, Jacob, Flora, and the state senator friend stayed up late going over what they should do. Of course, they wanted to go to police, but this felt like a credible threat that Bobby could be harmed if they did that. And so they just went back and forth and back and forth over how to handle this horrible situation. But by 2:00 AM, they had made a decision. The state senator had some close friends and connections in the police department, and so they decided that they would go talk to the police, but they would swear them to secrecy so the kidnapper or kidnappers wouldn't know the police were investigating. And so a few hours later, when the police department opened up, Jacob and the state senator friend went to the police.


They spoke to the highest-ranking officer who was sworn to secrecy. And then that morning, the police would begin a quiet investigation into Bobby's kidnapping. At the same time this investigation was beginning on the morning of May 22nd, 1924, a man named Morton D. Ballard drove through downtown Chicago in a luxury car known as a Willis Knight. He pulled this luxury car into a parking lot right next to a rental car company, and after parking the car, Morton got out. He went inside of the shop, and he handed the keys over to the clerk behind the desk. The clerk would ask Morton, How did it go with your rental car? And Morton would say, Oh, it was perfect. Went totally fine. After that, Morton thanked the clerk. He turned around and walked outside where another luxury car was waiting for him, being driven by his good friend, Louis Mason. And once Morton had climbed inside, the two men smiled and drove off and disappeared into traffic. That same morning, Jacob and Flora received a letter from the kidnapper or kidnappers demanding $10,000 in small unmarked bills, and if they gave this money over, they would get their son back.


And immediately, Jacob went to the bank and got the money. But before he could actually deliver the money to the kidnappers at the location they had specified in this letter, the police, who were quietly investigating, discovered a clue that would break the case wide open. It would take over a week to unravel this bizarre clue, but it all started to come together when the police brought in Morton D. Ballard and Louis Mason for questioning. Here is the shocking story that detectives were finally able to piece together about what happened to Bobby Franks. On May seventh, 1924, so two weeks before Bobby went missing, Morton D. Ballard walked into a hotel in Chicago called the Morrisons and rented Room 1031. He would tell the front desk that he wanted them to hold his mail for him, and over the next couple of days, Morton would come in and he would get his mail from the front desk, but he didn't appear to ever actually go up to his room. Finally, a suspicious maid at the Morrisons Hotel who had been going into Room 1031 every day to clean it, only to discover that Morton was not in there and the room was totally untouched and clean already, she went in one morning and saw Morton was not in there, and she would actually just open up one of Morton's suitcases that he had left inside.


And instead of the suitcase containing clothes or toiletries, it just contained a bunch of random library books. As Once it happened, after this maid found this strange suitcase full of books, Morton stopped coming to the hotel. He stopped getting his mail, he did not claim his luggage, and he didn't pay the bill. He just vanished. On May ninth, So just a couple of days after Morton first booked that room at the Morris Night Hotel, Morton also opened a bank account in Chicago. He also made his first appearance at that car rental company where he asked for the Willis Knight car. The rental company he would not just let anybody take a Willis Knight car. You needed a reference to show that you were someone who could pay for this type of vehicle. And so Morton's friend, Louis Mason, would give him that reference and allow him to rent the Willis Knight car. About a week and a half later, on May 21st, so the day Bobby went missing, Morton and Louis were driving around South Kenwood in their Willis Knight car when they spotted Bobby by himself walking down the road. Now, Louis recognized Bobby, and he knew that Bobby was an incredible tennis player, and Louis had a question for Bobby about a particular tennis racket.


And so Louis, who was in the front seat of the car, told Morton, who was driving, to pull over so Louis could talk to Bobby. And so Morton pulled over, Louis rolled his window down, he called over to Bobby, Bobby came over, and before long, Louis and Bobby were talking about this tennis racket. And then when that conversation naturally wrapped up, Louis offered Bobby a ride the rest the way home because that was where Bobby was walking to when they stopped him. And so Louis climbed into the back seat, Morton stayed in the driver's seat, and Bobby climbed inside and sat in the front seat. And then once those two were situated, Morton pulled away from the curb and began driving towards Bobby's house. And as they were driving to Bobby's house, Bobby just continued talking about this tennis racket because that was the thing they were talking about. And as he was mid-sentence, Louis from the back seat, reached into his pocket, pulled out a chisel and then lunged forward and began smashing Bobby in the back of the head over and over again with this chisel. And as Bobby is screaming in pain and trying to protect himself, Louis lunges forward, grabs Bobby, drags him into the back seat, and then holds him down, pulls a rag out of his pocket, and jams it into Bobby's throat.


And then he closes Bobby's mouth and holds it shut until Bobby goes still. After that, Louis grimaced at all of Bobby's blood all over him, and he pushed Bobby down onto the floorboards below. And then Louis calmly climbed back into the front seat and sat down. And meanwhile, Morton has not remotely reacted to what's just happened. This is just business as usual. Morton and Louis did not go to Bobby's house, but instead, drove towards Indiana. And on their drive to Indiana, they would stop at a roadside restaurant and eat hot dogs and root beers with their car parked right near this restaurant, with Bobby's his body just totally exposed, laying out on the floorboards of the back seat. Morton and Louis would eventually get into Indiana, and they would head to this particular forest that Morton was familiar with because he was a bird watcher and often came out here. And when they got to this forest, they parked in this clearing. They got out, they checked on Bobby and confirmed that he was dead. So they pulled him out, they stripped all of his clothes off of him, they rolled him up in a rug, and then they dragged him over to this drainage pipe that sat underneath some railroad tracks in this swampy area, and they jammed him inside of it.


And then they got back in their car, they drove back to Chicago, at which point Morton called Bobby's mother, Flora, and informed her that her son was kidnapped but alive, even though he wasn't. And, Don't call the police. We'll be in touch soon. That night, Morton and Louis would burn all of the clothes they had stripped off of Bobby. They would also clean the interior of their Willis Knight rental car, and then they would play a game of cards together before going to bed. The next day, May 22nd, so the same day that police began their quiet investigation into Bobby's kidnapping, Morton and Louis would send that letter to Jacob and Flora, demanding $10,000 for the safe return of Bobby. But unfortunately, before Louis and Morton could claim their ransom money, Bobby's body was discovered. In fact, that day he was discovered. A walker was cutting through the woods in Indiana and saw Bobby in the pipe. And so when Morton and Louis realized that the jig is up, the family is never going to pay for their son because he's dead, they just returned their Willis Knight rental car and went back to their normal lives as if nothing had ever happened.


But unbeknownst to him, Morton had accidentally dropped his glasses right next to Bobby's body when they dumped him in the woods in Indiana. And Morton's glasses were very unique. In fact, there was only one store in the world that sold this particular glasses. And so when detectives got the call about Bobby's body being found, they would also find these glasses. And that was the big clue, because these glasses led detectives to the store where they were sold, and the owner of the store was able to say that, Yep, those particular glasses were sold to Morton. And when detectives went to Morton, Morton immediately pointed the finger at Louis, saying that Morton didn't do anything to Bobby, Louis did. But about a week later, on May 31st, both Morton and Louis would confess to police that they murdered Bobby. But far more shocking than what Morton and Louis had done was who they were, because Morton and Louis were not their real names. The two men who killed Bobby Franks were rich kids just like Bobby, who lived in South Kenwood. They created two fake names, Morton D. Ballard and Louis Mason, and then they booked Room 1031 at the Morrisons Hotel.


Now, they had no intention of actually staying at this hotel, and so they just left that suitcase full of books inside of the room to make it appear like they were staying there. But in reality, the only reason they booked that room is they needed a physical mailing address that was connected to their fake personas. And so after booking this room, they began sending mail to Morton D. Ballard and Louis Mason at the Morrisons Hotel Room 1031. And then after collecting that mail, which served as a proof of legal name and address, they were able to open a bank account in Chicago. They dumped some money into that, and then again, they used their proof of legal name and address to rent that Willis Knight car and then used money from their phony bank account to pay for it. And then once they had their luxury car, it was time to go kill. In reality, Morton was actually a 19-year-old prodigy named Nathan Leopold. He spoke five languages, he had already graduated from college, and he was a nationally respected ornithologist, which is someone who studies birds. Nathan's IQ was so high, it literally couldn't be measured.


His father was the President of a very successful steamship company, and Nathan was planning to attend Harvard University in the fall to get yet another college degree. And Louis was actually 18-year-old Richard Loeb, who was Bobby's cousin and one of his best friends. Bobby and Richard played tennis together all the time in Richard's private court, which is where Bobby's father went first to go looking for his son. Like Nathan, Richard was also a genius. He was the youngest person ever to have graduated from the University of Michigan. He graduated at 17 years old. And to celebrate the occasion, Richard's father, who in today's dollars was worth about 177 $75 million. He was a retired vice President for the major retail store Sears. He bought Richard a custom golf course. He built him his own golf course. That was his graduation present. And at the time of Bobby's murder, Richard was actually enrolled at the University of Chicago's Law School, studying to become a lawyer. Nathan and Richard would very proudly tell investigators that they didn't kill Bobby to get money out of his parents. Nathan and Richard were fabulously wealthy. The money meant nothing. Instead, they had come up with this scheme and killed Bobby because of their belief in the philosopher Nietzsche's concept of Superman, men whose superiority allows them to rise above all ordinary rules, ethics, and laws.


Basically, Nathan and Richard believed they were so much better than everybody else in the world that if they wanted to kill someone, they should be able to. And Bobby seemed like a pretty easy target. After Nathan and Richard confessed, they were put under arrest, but a chauffeur was allowed to come to the police station and drop off silk pajamas for them to wear in custody. And instead of being held in a cell, they were allowed to stay in a hotel. But ultimately, they both were sentenced to life in prison. Bobby's family never recovered from his murder, and his father, Jacob, would die just four years after his son died. As for Nathan, he would be murdered in prison in 1936 by another inmate. And as for Richard, he would serve his time and get paroled and then die of natural causes in 1971. Today, the murder of Bobby Franks is often referred to as the crime of the century.


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. Ballen 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? You can listen to Happily Never After, Dan and Nancy, early and ad-free right now by joining WNDRI Plus in the WNDRI app or on Apple podcasts.