MFM Minisode 215My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
- 1,545 views
- 22 Feb 2021
This week’s hometowns include a local Canadian murder and a badass survivor story.
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Do we know? They know how it goes. Read your e-mails.
You sent them in to us. You want us to read them? We agree. Yeah, we got a relationship. That's how relationships work. Give and take. We ask you give. Thank you. Thank you.
You know, first this week, just for fun.
I mean, I love love, too. It's all I've ever wanted.
This one is just hometown story. Hi, Karen and George. Exclamation mark. I was listening to episode two sixty one where you mentioned Letterkenny. Oh yeah. The wonderful TV show. I'm from Listowel. I bet that's not how you. Listowel. Listowel is it. Listowel. It's definitely not Listowel. Your top ten favorite towel's of all time. Number ten is really scratchie hotel ones that are OK.
Hey number nine, the ones that your aunt has that don't absorb anything at the end of the. Oh that's number eight.
My favorite thing when I go to estate sales is opening the like fabric closet. That's not what it's called. You know, the like we're not the pantry.
It's not the linen pants. Linen closet. Thank you. Because it's like it's always, you know, older people and it's just decades of no, we've never thrown away. And my grandma had one, too. So like, I love it and I love the smell. But we've never thrown away sheets or towels, towels through the years. It's a we used to have my aunt Kathleen in the mid eighties turned my mom onto bath sheets. She was like, no, no.
Bath sheets are like twice as big as a regular bath towel. Yeah. So hard to handle.
When you get out of the shower, you can wrap yourself like entirely. It's almost like a blanket, but a towel. This number three on the top ten list list.
Now back to Listowel, Canada. Here we go from Listowel, the town that Letterkenny was based off of, from which the creator Jerry KeIso hails, friend of the friend of the family, friend of the family against his will, probably has more of the actual friend, I believe.
OK, let me tell you, it's an embarrassingly accurate depiction of our tiny town right down to the name of the bar, Mo Dean's Roadhouse, and that's at Modiin at Moe Dean's Roadhouse, which I adore, which is basically our only bar in town and closed down a few years ago. Someone even made a replica of the Letterkenny logo and replaced our town, sign with it for a while. And again, shout out to our friend Neil Mahoney, who was obsessed with the show and even had a Letterkenny themed birthday party.
That's right. Anyways, that's not what I want to talk about. Are you sure? I want to tell you about perhaps our most infamous crime, the murder of Jesse Keith. I remember hearing the story as a kid and thinking my older sister was just trying to scare me. But when she took me to visit Jesse Keith's grave, I realized it was true. I booted up our old Dell Computer and waited for the dial up to connect before doing some more research.
Probably some five hours later, I had found all the information I needed. Jesse Keith was just 13 years old when on October 18 ninety for her throat was slit, her body stripped her her corpse mutilated. Oh, I know. The scene was so horrific that townsfolk thought Jack the Ripper had come to Canada and was on the loose in Ontario adrift. It's so crazy that that's how un fucking believable a crime like that was that it's like, yeah, you're just trying to like you can't wrap your head around.
It totally can't be anyone in your town.
Exactly what a drifter known as El Moeed Chatel was accused shortly thereafter as he had been spotted around the train tracks near her house. That de Almeida was apprehended five days after Keith's murder and was found carrying a valise containing female undergarments. He confessed to the crime, but later recanted his statement. Nonetheless, he was found guilty and hanged on May 31st, 1895, making him the first man to be hanged in Perth County. Strangely, in 2011, while reconstructing the old jailhouse, his remains, along with those of the second man to be hanged in Perth County, were found under the foundation.
I guess they just left their bodies there and paved them over. After her death, Jessie's family had a large statue of a young girl with Ruby eyes erected over her grave in our local cemetery. To this day, it remains the largest and in my opinion, the most beautiful headstone in our cemetery. Although the rubies were stolen years ago, the story of. Keith has become something of a folklore in our little town, used to scare kids into staying away from strangers and visiting her grave has become a dare that angsty teenagers do for fun on Halloween, hoping to catch a glimpse of Jesse's ghost dancing around her headstone, I hope sharing this with you all will bring her ancestors some peace in knowing that her tale is not forgotten.
Stay sexy and pitter patter. Let's get at her, Sam. Which must be there, which must be 12 pounds. The fucking battle cry. No, no, no.
That's from Letterkenny. No. Great. But maybe same thing. Kind of same. Same. But they're saying, wow, the when you first said that a statue of a girl with Ruby eyes seem like something that would be a quite haunting if it was still around, but especially in a cemetery.
Yeah, but I love that Sam was like I hope her ancestors find some solace. That's that's sweet. OK, here's my first one. This is the subject line is bad, a survivor story. And it starts just like this. It doesn't matter. I know. You know, I wish everyone well, I, I, I sent this in a few months ago, but it was about 30 pages long, so I'm not surprised it wasn't read and smart.
However, it's a pretty amazing story. So here's the abridged version. I got sent home from campus in the fall due to covid parentheses. I was fine. They were just a lot of cases. One night at the dinner table, my mom was telling stories to cheer me up and she casually mentioned in between bites that someone was murdered in the house I grew up in, mom. Anyway, of course, I immediately looked it up after dinner and I realized she got something wrong.
It wasn't a murder story. It was a survivor story. Susan Schoneman, a Schneeman, was 19 years old in nineteen eighty five studying cosmetology while living in Savannah, Georgia, from a payphone a few blocks from our house. Susan called a bar. She thought her sister Christa, who was visiting from Savannah, would be in. The bartender handed the phone to Christa and at some point they got into an argument. During the call, a man asked Susan for directions to Bolton Street.
In fact, politeness, fashion. She said, I don't know and continued with the call. However, the man came back with a gun and forced Susan to come with him. Since they were in an argument, Christa just thought she hung up the phone. Oh, they made their way down West Greenwich Street and ended up behind a gray clapboard row house. The house I would eventually grow up in. He punched her, shot her, raped her and left her naked in a crawlspace of the house.
But Susan wasn't going to give up that easy. She mustered up enough strength to crawl out from under the house, climb over a four foot wall, and then walk up three flights of stairs to a neighboring apartment for help. After two and a half weeks in the hospital, she was released to make an extremely long and extremely sad story short, there were no leads, so the investigation was closed administratively. Susan eventually went back to cosmetology school in Savannah, and by 2001 she was a professional hairstylist, married with two children.
The day before, she and her husband were going to sign a contract on a house in Atlanta. Her mother called her crying. There was a serial rapist loose in the area. She begged them not to move their mom. Do you not get it? She responded. There are rapes occurring every single day. I'm not going to allow another rapist to keep me from doing what I feel I'm supposed to do. On the 30th anniversary of the attack, a community newspaper published an open letter that Susan wrote to her attacker.
Quote, I have often wondered if I ever cross your mind if you ever knew that I lived survived your wrath that fateful night, whether you do or not, I write this to inform you that not only did I physically survive you, I have overcome the hell and utter destruction you caused by the grace of God. I lived to tell, unquote. Oh. Susan is now the director of the Piedmont Rape Crisis Center, where she answers several hundred calls a year from local women.
Stay sexy. And if you're going to grow up in a crime scene, make sure it's one with a badass survivor. That's from Sheldon. Whose pronouns are she her? That is incredible. It's not unbelievable. So empowering and beautiful. And it's very cool that that on the 30th anniversary that that paper published that open letter. It's really amazing. I think that's what a cool thing to have people be able to, like, make a statement like that or, you know, kind of make that show of empowerment very, very cool.
Very I'm not going to read you the title because it gives it all away. High Queen's. And Stephen, fuck, yeah, let's get into it. You all have asked for stories on cocaine bathtubs and burning down the house before and this story has it all. Wow. Long story short, my dad is one of my best friends, but he has undiagnosed add and gets distracted easily. He was cooking one afternoon about 20 years ago and got distracted by a movie on TV.
Unfortunately, the stir fry oil ended up catching on fire and burning down our kitchen with the smoke going into the vents. But luckily no one was hurt. But my dad ended up putting out putting it out with buckets of pool water, which is not recommended.
But we had to move into a rented house while our kitchen was being rebuilt and smoke cleared from the vents. My dad was in charge of finding the renovation crews. My dad found this sketchy European man. We'll call Tony to do the countertop granite for an exceedingly reasonable price, always a red flag.
Anyways, one day Tony broke a large piece of granite and my mom and him got into several phone arguments for a few days. The next week, my mom got a call under her supervisor's office. Did I mention my mom is one of the first female FBI agents? Oh, well, she is. And her supervisor wanted to know why she was making so many calls to one of the top cocaine smugglers from Europe.
That's right. You see, Chinese phones were tapped. And the reason the granite was so cheap is because that was clearly his side hustle since he used the granite and marble to smuggle in the cocaine.
Needless to say, that contract was quickly terminated. I can't believe my parents didn't get a divorce that year, but they're still together. Thirty five years later. Thanks again for being so open about mental health and women empowerment. Also, my mom and I have a complicated relationship because she's a big Trump supporter. But I like telling these stories of her past to remind me of how much of a badass she is. I sent in previous stories about her, so hope they get read one day best see.
Well, I just like that. That person who's like has the the marble dealer who I guess that's the front front of his business or front, whatever you call that, that's what he fronts with that. He's doing business with FBI agents and doesn't know. Yeah. Yeah. How, how good could he be. A great point. I didn't think of that. Do a little research and then arguing with them about broken marble, don't argue with an FBI agent, just replace replace the marble or just casually ask when you're hanging out in the kitchen one day like, hey, what do you do?
You know, just get like do a little recon. Yeah. OK, I'm not going to read you the subject line of this one and just starts. Hello, my favorite people. I hail from Monroe County, Michigan, which is a bunch of nothing in between Detroit and Toledo. There's a small city of Monroe at the center, but the rest of the county is quite rural. I was listening to Karen tell the horrible story of Flight 17 seventy one and suddenly remembered that a plane crash definitely happened around here.
When I was very young, I headed straight to the Internet and got really sucked in and found out a bunch of stuff I never knew before. So here's the tragic story. Comair Flight thirty two seventy two was headed from Cincinnati to Detroit on January 9th. Nineteen ninety seven. This is typically a short, easy flight, probably around forty five minutes. Aboard the flight were three crew members and twenty six passengers. The pilots were beginning to receive pre landing instructions when the plane suddenly rolled one hundred and forty five degrees to the left, then violently rolled back to the right and then nose dived straight down into a rural field located between Monroe and the nearby town of Dundies.
This crash site was a mere 18 miles from the Detroit Metro Airport, a.k.a. Litoral, minutes from the flight's destination. The whole plane was obliterated by the impact. Much like seventeen seventy one was in your story. All twenty nine people on board died. I don't want to attempt to get technical, but basically weather conditions had caused ice to build up on the plane, which caused the engines to abruptly, abruptly stall mid-flight. Apparently there was a deicing mechanism, but these pilots had been wrongly instructed to wait until some ice built up before activating it.
This next piece of information really blew my mind. Although only two of the passengers had actually been from here. All of the unidentified remains were buried at a memorial site in Monroe County's own Roselawn Cemetery. Finding this out was pretty crazy for me because this very cemetery literally bordered the property I grew up on and is where both of my parents are buried. I even found a local article from a few years ago about how fellow Comair pilots had traveled to Monroe to visit the memorial for the 20th anniversary of the crash and.
People leave roses at the memorial every single year on January 9th. Oh, and one last thing that made a show Karen talked about totally did an episode on this, but I couldn't figure out a way to watch it. Sorry if this was too long. Never stopped doing everything you do. You're amazing. Stay sexy and don't be afraid to fly. It's much safer now. PHILLIP Wow. Phillip Yeah, that's I mean, also, it's just really crazy because I think having it's so awful, obviously, to have it happen.
But to be in the town, just like thinking of the of the other side of it, where it's like a plane crashes in your town or outside of your town. And it's one of those things where, like, you get out, you get on a quick flight and it feels you feel invincible. It's forty five minutes. It's not a big deal. And but you get on the long flights and you feel like it's scary and it's just like you hate hearing those stories.
Yeah. Yeah. Well and they're not that common. I think that yeah. That's the other reason that people, you know, want to tell a story like that is because they're they happen so rarely compared to how many flights happen. Totally. Hey, Karen, yes, I'm wondering if you're looking for a gift that sparkles. It's none of your business at Blue Nile Dotcom, you can celebrate all of life's special moments from creating the customer engagement ring of your dreams to gifting a once in a lifetime piece all at prices that you won't find at a traditional jeweler pick from a vast selection of preset diamond jewelry, Blue Nile offers endless options of carrots, metals and settings ready to ship the same day.
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And these are like the kind of you know, it's basically that kind of jewelry where you want to you want to have pieces that you wear all the time and you want the convenience of not having to constantly take them and put them off, treat them in any way.
So this is like it's rugged jewelry. It's actually very beautiful. And their websites really fun to use, too, because I think that when people buy stuff like this online, they're worried about, you know, will this look good on me? And they show you exactly what it's going to look like on you.
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Goodbye. All right, for my last story, remember how she whose dad burned down the kitchen and hired a cocaine importer to renovate it, which was the title of the last one set? I also sent him some stories of my mom, who was the first FBI agent. Well, I looked it up and found one of those stories she had sent in in the past. Great show now. Perfect. All right.
So this one's from a while before and it says, Hi, Karen, Georgia. Steven, beloved animals and fellow murderousness. My name is Celeste. So Celeste and I just started listening to my favorite murder this year. I'm so obsessed. I'm going back and catching up on all the past episodes. So if this is red, it may take some may take me some time to hear it. I'm a head and neck surgeon that specializes in facial plastics and reconstruction.
I listen to this podcast on drives and while wearing headphones walking into the hospital, I often think that if the other doctors or patients knew what I was listening to, they'd be super freaked out. I have tons of crazy fucked up trauma stories, but that's for another time. Anyways, I wanted to write you about my bad ass mom. Her family is Lebanese that immigrated through Mexico, then to Texas, just so she speaks English, Spanish and Arabic.
She started working for the FBI as a clerk in the early 70s to put herself through college for a criminal justice degree. When she graduated in the late 70s, they just started allowing females to become FBI agents.
Wow. Since my mom had worked there for several years and spoke those languages, she was recruited. I attached a photo of her training at Quantico, which we have. And Steven, let's put it in the Instagram post when she has a few glasses of wine.
The murder in me loves to get some of her stories sampled below.
She told me about the time in the early eighties she was in Puerto Rico doing helicopter surveillance on HLN, a Puerto Rican terrorist group that had made several bombing attacks on the US in the late seventies to mid eighties and attach a link. But I know you all don't like those. We like them if you've told the story, but you can't use the link to tell the story, right?
Yeah. Link links aren't don't help in an email that we're reading. Right.
Like I'm not lying. Here's a link. She and her fellow agents had made an arrest in the morning. Sure. Totally normal. When they were done, she and the pilot decided to tour around the island in the helicopter and she put on regular clothes while in the air. They heard on the radio that there was a raid and a shootout. So the pilot quickly turned around to join the fray. And my mom in her tank top and shorts pulled on a bulletproof vest and ended up jumping out of the helicopter and tackling one of the assailants to the ground like a freaking spider monkey.
Another time she told me about a drug bust in Miami. I like to think of her as undercover in the movie Blow when she found one of the drug lords in the ventilation system in only his underwear. He had he had all that insulation and fiberglass sticking to his skin and was writhing around in the back seat of his squad car because he was itching so bad. I also remember that the one time when I was in second grade, I missed the school bus and she had to take me and her undercover car, though I wasn't supposed to ever go in it.
There was a giant shotgun attached to the inner roof of her car. Again, totally normal. A few years later, she was in a car chase when she got t boned by another car, she pulled the guy over and draw her weapon to get him out. But he turned out just to be a drunk, which she was naturally pissed about, though she did more terrorist and drug cartel work. She was there when the Behavioral Science Unit was really getting started at the FBI and remembers taking classes at Quantico about profiling serial killers.
She loves mine hunters, but watching it for her is like me watching Gray's Anatomy. That thing of like I do this for a living and that's not how it works. And in the right, you know, you just want to ah, you just argue the whole thing.
Anyways, that's a sampling of tales I wanted to share with you all. I also wanted to say that my relationship with my mom is complicated and could be strained. I want to thank you both for taking for talking about your complex relationships with your mothers. I know how much my mom has done for me, but she's insanely stubborn and I'm learning that I don't need to feel guilty for being frustrated or angry with her. For example, she's a Trump supporter.
This podcast, my own therapy and our mutual love of true crime, has helped us bond because I ask her to tell me stories to write to you all, which she loves, rather than getting into more political arguments over the holidays. Stay sexy and don't get murder. But do give your mom wine to spill her secrets. XO, XO, Celeste. All right, Celeste, well done. Here's my last story. All right, I want to read you the subject line.
Hey, guys, on a recent many so you you guys said submission boxes never close. So I'm bringing my submission four times. Your parents almost killed you back up to the top of your inbox. I would like to preface the story by saying my parents are incredible people.
You don't have to do that. They always are when they almost kill you. Yeah, guess what? It's not going to matter when people judge them after whatever we're about to do. My parents are incredible people and child neglect was never an issue growing up. That being said, here we go. So this incident happened when I was only one years old. So I've only heard it retold. But it gets retold every three to five years. One year on family vacation, we vacation near Lake Erie.
And on one of the days we took a boat to Kelleys Island, who was in charge of what kids? Who was in charge of what? Kids on this day is still pretty hotly debated. Nobody was in charge of anybody. I fucking Fabrício. Everyone was like real casual agreements the night before, during on the eighth beer, or it was like kids will take care of each other. Don't worry about it. But this story, I believe the most.
My dad was supposedly in charge of all the older kids toddler age, but my mom was in charge of me who was only one a one year old baby at the time. Group split up that day and my dad had the little ones and went to do, quote, age appropriate activities. And my mom and her sisters found a winery on the island to get there to get their drink on. Yeah, they did in parentheses, baby me along for the ride.
The day went as planned and the groups met back up at the end of the day to catch the boat back to good old Ohio. On the walk back to the boat, someone parentheses still unclear who initially said it said Where's Aaron back.
And then in parentheses it says, Baby me. My mom describes this moment almost in slow motion. She claims everything stopped as she looked around the group for me and realized I was nowhere to be found. And this is in all caps. She drunkenly left me at the winery. Oh, my God. Oh, my mom then, quote, ran faster than she has ever ran in her life. I can better go back to the winery.
And which is hard to believe since she was plastered and found me sitting all caps outside the winery in a puddle of mud, like apparently and apparently no drunk vacationers on the island that day found me worthy of kidnaping.
To this day, my parents still argue on who left me and also argue about who noticed I was missing, not the parents.
I personally believe that my seven year old brother at the time was the one that pointed out my absence. But who's to say anyway, hope you found the story. As funny as I still do, stay sexy and don't leave your one year old at a winery. Aaron, since this original email, my parents recently took a trip back to the island. They drunkenly took selfies next to some dirt outside the winery and sent them to me saying, this is where we almost lost you forever.
Oh, my God.
I feel like that winery was like another baby. It was like that can't have been the first time. And here's where we ask for submissions of people who own and run wineries. What's the craziest thing you've ever seen? Well, because also wineries are a great way for alcoholics to pretend like they're doing a they're doing an activity that isn't alcohol because it's about the winery and the tour and the details of loving wine. But it doesn't matter because like having grown up in wine country.
Right. That's all. When relatives come to visit, that's all we used to do. And when I still drink by the end of the afternoon, you'd start drinking like at 1:00 and you would be fucking shit. No one spits that shit out.
No remorse, not like not that long ago after we had a show in San Francisco and it was our last show at the tour. And so Vince and I like we're like, let's just go in like Napa. Yeah. For a couple days. And we went into this one like wine tasting. It wasn't even a winery. And the chick we were trying wine and the chick was like she turned her back and gave us a taste, turned her back, turned around.
I was like, wow, you guys are really drinking. Like, she commented that we were fucking overdoing it. It like, oh, fuck, she knew we were there for the wine.
I mean, there's those phonies, I'm sure, especially in Napa, who pretend like take little sips and smell it and do it in the town. Look, we're not here for that.
We've all watched sideways. We know with our friend Paul Giamatti, friend of the family. This friend of the family, a close friend of the family, Paul Giamatti, and if you don't believe a stellar performance, have you listen to the Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered audiobook? He lends his beautiful voice.
Yes, you can. If you like Sideways, you'll love our book.
Thank you for sending in those stories.
That was an amazing bet. You guys really know how to do it. Keep it going. Yeah. Thank you so much. Yeah. If you want to send your story and you can write, write us my favorite murder at Gmail. It's right. You can or I don't know why you submitted it on the website rather than Gmail, but you can if you want.
If you don't have sit on the you're supposed to go to the website. No, no. There's also like a submission because usually your line I don't do it. I don't ever say this line. Steven is there.
Well, I think it gets directly like it gets forwarded from at least my understanding is it gets forwarded from the website to the email. Right.
So if you're like in Antarctica in a fuckin like bunker and you can't for some reason don't have access to to email, you can just go to our website. My favorite murder at Gmail. Please send your stories in, please. Let's end it on a somber note. Look, if you are in Antarctica, we're sorry. We are clearly you did something that we hope you're OK. Did you get sent there? If you are you are you on the CB radio talk?
Are you studying aliens? You can't tell anybody about it.
You can send us an anonymous email that say don't read this on the podcast and just tell us the truth about aliens like we have drilled down down to the polar core or whatever it would be. Call it sounds right. I have drilled down to cause unfrozen. Clears throat No, they would still be frozen or super frozen permafrost. Permafrost. We drilled through the permafrost. We found the aliens. Don't worry about it. Everything's fine. Yeah, that's actually the only email I want to have.
Please stay sexy and don't get murdered by Elvis.
Do you want a cookie? I.