MFM Minisode 218My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
- 1,652 views
- 15 Mar 2021
This week’s hometowns include flour fire stories and funeral home tales.
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Cello and welcome to my favorite murder, the many so many Mimi Soad, it's tiny and Mamie's here. Here she's abusive to the dog, to the puppy. That's her job. And that's her job as a big sister. She's the queen cat and she got to slap some puppy teeth out of puppy's mouth.
That was the craziest thing I've ever seen. Georgia sends me a picture, a text me this picture and goes, look, Mimi just slept this tooth out of Cookie's milk and it's her palm and the tiny baby puppy to eat. What I want to say in defense of Mimi, that puppy teeth fall out. She's at that time. So sure, it's almost like the big sister who tied the string around the puppies, you know what I mean?
But it is karasyov with her. Yeah. Clopping. Yeah, uppercut. And now Cookie won't come close to herself, but she knows to keep her distance. Yeah. You got to get that three foot radius around Mimi. I think we all know that. Everyone knows that that's how it is with that cat. Are you ready to read some e-mail.
Let's do it. You want to go first. Let's do it. OK, yeah. Let's kick right off with the subject line. Flour is flammable. Karen. Hi, MFM crew. Sorry, Karen, but flour is not something you should use. All the hometowns from now on is just about how wrong we were.
Let's find I was wrong. Jim was wrong. I was wrong. You know. Are you actually Georgia. There you went. Are you sure. Like you did have a pause about it. Yeah. So look, I'm a follower, so I was like, you must be right.
It well, and also you you know, with the with the background of someone who is most definitely thirty plus years experience, I give you the benefit of the doubt.
Yeah. I gave Jim the benefit of the doubt. We always do. OK, but this is it's worth it to get this email. OK, so it says hi MFM crew. Sorry Karen Blower's. Not something you should use to put out a grease fire. It's super flammable and once blew up an entire mill in Minnesota. Hold on, Mace. Does she go on to tell the story?
Because I have yes, I have one too. Is it the same one you go with the NALGO? Yeah, got it. Right. It's not the same one. It's a totally different email about the exact same thing. No, but I mean in the same state. I think so. OK, tell me about it. Let's let's find out. OK, on May 2nd, 1878, huh. The Washburne A.M. exploded in a ball of fire around 7:00 p.m. The explosion triggered a few others.
And not only was the Washburne a.m. destroyed, but a few but several others in the waterfront area. Fourteen men working the night shift at Washburne were killed. And the city of Minneapolis, bourgeoning flower industry, which had just overtaken Buffalo and St. Louis as the leading flower producer, had been reduced to a third of its capacity. Now it took firefighters all night to put out the flames, and speculation began immediately that it was caused by an earthquake or a train load of nitroglycerin or even bad gas from the Mississippi River that sparked the blast.
The manager of the Washburn Mill claimed it was caused by flour to millstones that had become too dry, rubbed against one another and created a spark. The ever present clouds of flour, flour, dust in the mill went boom instantly and decimated. The area, the managers claim, was later proven by two University of Minnesota professors, S.F. Peckham and Louis WPEC very, very similar class near there. The Mills owner promised to rebuild and was as good or better than his word.
He rebuilt the mill in about five years with several safety innovations and greater capacity. The mill is now a museum. I've never been. I'm from Massachusetts, not Minnesota, but I had to write this in after I did it. Today's episode we're even home. Jim Thorpe. Flour might put up, put a grease fire. That shit can take down nearly a whole city. So please use baking soda. Sorry for the long winded corrections email. You guys are great and I love you all.
One of these days I'll send you my six degrees of separation hometown story. I've been sitting on that for months, but showing off my knowledge of flowers, explosive powers got me writing within an hour of listening, even though even though I'm at work with tons to do stay sexy and don't explode in a cloud of flower.
Jean, that was great minds different.
Which is so which is funny that Lily Lily I love is two different stories. Let's do I love that we have, we have. What do you call that. Battling. Battling explosive flower stories.
That's crazy though. Like who, who knew. I mean firefighters except for Jim and a lot of civilians hired for a while. He doesn't really care. He's he's the one that in the nineteen eighty nine. San Francisco earthquake, we were like, Dad, are you going to go in and he's like, No, I'm not on the schedule, it's like you're going in until they call me zero. Everyone in America, zero. All right. OK, here's here's mine.
Yeah. Hello. Fire starters. Listening to you both discuss whether you can throw flour to put out a grease fire triggered a teenage memory of a damp, dark field trip to an industrial plant that made bricks as fun as watching furnaces and slag is. The best part was when one of the workers encouraged by 13 year old boys, exploded stuff for US.
Health and safety sat differently in the 90s. He also told us the story of a woman who blew up her flat whilst making a cake. She dropped a bag of flour in her small kitchen. OK, so this is totally different. I was wrong. The concentration of the flour in the air was the right density to catch fire from the stove flame that was already lit. It turns out most things can explode if at the right concentrate in the air.
According to stuff you should know, other podcasts are available.
Flour and many other carbohydrates become explosive when they're hanging in the air. So don't drop. It's crazy. You can you tube flour explosions if you want to see it in action. Of course I decided to Google flour explosions. Ah, here we go. And found the nineteen seventy nine Roeland Mill disaster where fourteen people died and 17 people were injured. According to Wikipedia, other poorly researched information sites are available. It was the largest peacetime explosion to date.
What cable fire led to dust explosions which triggered the flour silo to set on fire.
The roof of the silo was blown off and the walls collapsed, tearing the whole building apart. Flour dust rained down across an area of thirty hectares and the fire burned for over a month. Oh, my God. The moral of the story is if you're making a cake, remember a moment on the lips. A building may be ripped. This person is clever. Yes. I have emailed you at my college murder twice before, but even I have enough self-respect not to send it a third time.
Love, Kate. OK, you're clever, Kate. Send it a third time. Do it. What is pride in quarantine in hometown.
In hometowns there is no pride. Send it and put it in the thing and the subject. Lily, this is the case. But Lily, now everyone's going. I know. Sorry, Lily. I mean, look, this is this is the best way. This is the way I like to learn. Yeah. This is why this is why I like our podcast. This is why I like podcasts, like our podcast. This is the way to learn by going, oh, wait, sorry.
This is not only is this was I wrong and giving this example, but here's how bad it right. Here's exactly how in real life the second happened.
Horrifying like change the United States school system to fucking give examples of crazy stories.
Yes, you can tell me a fact. And that's fine in science class. Yeah. Back it up with an episode of stuff you should know. Yeah. Anything that explodes, we'll learn about and contain it. I'm sure there were exploding stuff and I still could not be bothered. I think you should go to high school until you're twenty four. OK, this is hometown and family connections a little bit. This is a little bit long but I think it's worth right.
Hello Lovely's. I'm from a small rural town in southern Wisconsin and grew up in one of the two local funeral homes. My grandfather was actually the Oggi director in his small town near Green Bay. Of his four children, one became a minister and the other three went into the family business. He had four locations that were split between brothers and my parents started their own business in another town. For them, growing up in a funeral home through the sixties and seventies is exactly what you'd imagine.
The funeral director was the only person that had a vehicle to accommodate a gurney. So he ran the ambulance. Oh, and my mom has stories of cleaning that out as a child after emergencies that would make your stomach turn, honey, go out and then do your homework.
Grab that hose. Are you done with your homework? Grab the hose. There really isn't enough time in the day to tell you all of her or my stories, but I'll try to hit some fun highlights. My grandmother was from Almond, Wisconsin, which is right next to Plainfield. If that sounds familiar, it's because that's where it gained land.
Oh, my grandparents had stories about how he would give out canned meat during the holiday. Oh.
And my grandpa actually gave him a ride one time while he was walking down a long country road. Oh, my God. We hear Ted Bundy stories like close calls or whatever. This is fuckin a gania, because that's someone has tapped to their grandparents for stories totally, which is that's it's like a vintage version. My grandpa said he was a creepy guy. Go figure. I have a bunch of paranormal stories ranging from radio wars, the spirits in the embalming room, lazy TV, watching spirits and spirits, playing the piano in the chapel to a fully white, translucent young woman's spirit.
And I coming upon each other among the casket displays only to both be startled and run in the opposite directions. Oh, my. This is the others who look like she doesn't realize she's dead.
She thinks she sees a spirit. Yeah.
And she might not be. Who the fuck knows? We don't know why we're we're. We don't know. We don't know what side of the curtain we're on the right.
The however I've been bingeing your podcast to see if you've covered my hometown murder. And though I'm not all the way through, I've yet to hear it. This murder occurred in nineteen ninety four in Jefferson, Wisconsin. High school teacher aide Diane Bershad convinced three of her male students to kill her husband, Ruben. They were in the beginning of a divorce. Had this having been both their second marriages, I don't know how she convinced them exactly, but she took his and her children to his parents house for an overnight visit.
And that's when the boys broke into the home and shot Ruben. It didn't take long for one of them to crack and come clean to the police. The three boys and Diane were all sentenced to varying terms in prison. My parents did Ruben's funeral and my mom remembers it being pretty crazy. She said there were undercover cops all around because they suspected Diane of being involved and wanted to keep a close eye on her behavior. The Lifetime movie about this murder was called Seduced by Madness.
The Diane Borshoff story. Definitely remember that, right? And they wanted to film at the funeral home, but my parents wouldn't go for it. They did sign something to allow them to use the red brick building exterior. In the movie, though, there's also a snapped episode detailing this murder season eighteen Episode eleven. One of the boys had actually been our paper boy at the funeral home and he would come in to steal candy from the dish on the banister.
Having had enough, my dad waited around the stairs to catch him. I'm pretty sure he scared the shit out of the kid because he never came back. Jumping out and grabbing someone in a funeral home is a great way to end some degree. My siblings and I went through a lot of babysitters that way, actually. Oops, shrug. I love the quote quote. They say you die twice one time when you stop breathing and a second time a bit later on when somebody says your name for the last time, you ladies are giving victims life beyond their tragedy.
And that's pretty cool. SSD GM Elise Jacobs. Why Weichsel Jacobs.
That was twists and turns and that was crazy.
Yeah, I know. Right. And and what a for a second, when Elise first started describing that murder, I was thinking of that Nicole Kidman movie because it's very similar, that idea of like hiring a team of like Black Widow murderer women who hire teen boys to do the dirty work for them is a special place in hell.
It is ruining the rest even if they don't get caught like a real yeah, you're ruining their lives and everyone knows fucking teenage boys can't keep secrets.
Also, they just it's they're susceptible. It's like that. Yeah. It's why all of that is like fucking leave children and teens alone.
They don't know what the hell they're doing and they want to be like macho and they think that they're tough and they watch The Sopranos or whatever the fuck. Yes. Yes, exactly. That is egregious. So, Georgia, please leave teenagers. I'm just I can't tell you again. Gee, you're so judgmental, Karen. Sorry, sorry. I just am sick of it.
OK, hi. People in pets. You're great. I'm obsessed. Blah, blah, blah. Let's get into it. Another solid.
I moved to Manchester just over five years ago for university and when I heard you heard that you love the city as much as I do, I decided that I needed to tell you my favorite with the you story from the city.
It has everything. Yes. Hannah Beswick was born in sixteen eighty eight to rich parents, so her life is pretty good for a woman at that time. That was until the day of her brother's funeral as they were pulling down the lid of the coffin all caps, one of his eyes opened. Well, yes, he was almost buried alive. Everything that I have read says that this quote broke Hannah and gave her a pathological fear of being buried alive, which is.
And fair, in my opinion, absolutely, completely, not only not insane, the sanest reaction you could, absolutely watching it happen to your almost happen to your brother, then you're like, no, I'm afraid this is going to happen to me. Absolutely nothing wrong. And then she says, as if that were a weird reaction to her situation. Exactly. Why don't you be just a little shaken by that happening? Also, being buried alive was pretty common back then, as I found out from one of your episodes learning.
We're teaching people stuff. That's right. Sometimes it's right. Sometimes it's not to open out a grease fire. So to keep her from this fate, she added a line into her will that said she wished to remain above ground until a doctor was absolutely sure she was dead. Now, I read that as keep her above ground for a few days and keep an eye out on her family doctor. Dr. Charles White interpreted it as embalm her and display her mummified corpse.
Oh, which is what he did when she passed in seventeen fifty eight oh.
After a short stint at her family's home, her humble body was given back to Dr. White, who put it on display in a grandfather clock. Reuse, recycle, reuse, repeat the repulsive.
I'm confused like cheap. Like there's a clock up here and then down here, the embalmed woman body of a dead woman. No, I think he turned to a grandfather clock like horizontal and you know how they had the little doors and they had to see through glass. I'm just saying, is the clock part still. Oh, I have no idea. Probably not. You're standing there staring at a really creepy thing. And then there's just the tick.
And then you're like, oh, shit, I'm late for my appointment. And then gong gong.
Oh, I really hope not.
OK, later she was given to the Museum of Manchester Natural History Society, where she was named, quote, the Manchester Mummy, and she became one of their most popular attractions. In 1867, the museum decided that she was forever basically and unmistakably dead. She was finally laid to rest in 1860, eight hundred and ten years after her death. But the story isn't over. It said that before she died, Hannah buried some treasure to keep it safe from Scottish rebels in 1745.
But she never told anyone where it was and it was lost. Well, the story goes that long after she died, her ghost was seen multiple times. She's we have similar stories for each of this. I know her ghost was seen multiple times walking over to the same flagstone and disappearing. Someone who lived there pulled up that flagstone and found a massive stash of gold.
Yes, he's smart. He sold it and was given three pound. Ten's the now four hundred and fifty pounds for each piece.
Oh, I was so disappointed at that. Oh, that's a mean. No, it's good. So there you go. The story of the Manchester Mummy. Sorry it was so long and thank you for getting me through my long shifts at work. I hope you come back to the UK as soon as this whole pandemic Mularkey is done. We'd love to have you stay sexy and don't wait one hundred and ten years to pronounce someone dead. Gemmy God know it's almost like they were being sarcastic.
Like, OK, you want us to make sure. OK, young lady. Fine. Oh yes. Or maybe it was the coroner that accidentally almost buried the kid, her brother alive.
And it was like, well fuck, I'm not at fault, you're at fault or his or he was like, you think you're stressed out about this?
Now, this is my number one fear. It's my reputation. One more and I'm fired. That's that's what they said from this same family. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, God, I'm just picture it. You're at a funeral now. A family member, a funeral. Crying It's your brother. I was picturing him being young. Yeah. Yes. And then one eye flies open. Can I say something? This happened to you? Something similar.
But I know, OK, I was at my ex's my ex's grandma died of natural causes. We went to her funeral course and they were whatever religion it is that you kneel in front of the casket, I think it was light like Christian, some light Christian thing.
And I don't like, you know, like it's like fat free. No, like not super hardcore, like whatever Vinces or Episcopalian or the lightest.
That's what is released. Which is not to say they don't do great work and totally love the show.
I'm all about the like they're they're not like here's a bunch of total incense and we're going to shake a thing at. Yeah. Body of Christ. And that's what I'm saying is like it was totally as Jew I was like, all right.
All right, yeah, so I go with him, of course, support to kneel at her casket, open casket, and I were leaning over her and she looked so serene and there must I know there's like gases and stuff in the body as they and I swear to God, we both froze because she went. Oh, God, Jahjah. That's both. SAT there like wondering if the other one had heard it all on full body chills. I was like, he's not going to forget this about his poor grandma for the rest of his life.
Did you have somebody check to make sure she wasn't so proud of being dead?
She was dead. She was. When they fucking embalmed or whatever you saw, Lovelady had been embalmed.
The frustration of being embalmed, the hassle of this.
Again, those stories, ma'am, when they set up in the morgue and then the poor fucking coroners like, you know. Yes. Oh, God. Well, I've have an ancillary story, not similar, but with this one is for one of my favorite family stories is when my grandma and died, the matriarch of my dad's side of the family and a just a legendary, hilarious, badass, wonderful woman. It was so sad. And it was my grandpa died first.
And so when she died, it was like, oh, there it was really hard and sad for everybody. And of course, my dad has eight brothers and sisters, gigantic family. And so so my cousin Danny and Chris are the two youngest were at the time, the two youngest cousins. They were like the baby of the family's babies. And so I think I think it was Danny and I think he was about seven. And when he went up to look at the body, he you know, he did that by himself.
His mom let him go by himself. So later on, my Aunt Jo said, how how did you feel about seeing grandma like that? And he goes, it was OK, but her hands are really hard to pull apart.
How old is he? Seven. He was really little, like seven and.
Oh, and my aunt told us that story and she was like laughing, crying at the same time.
She was like, I tried not to react like to his face, oh my God, what was my girl? I'm just picturing you walking in on a seven year old girl gripping her hands apart.
Obviously we'll hold one. Yeah. So does he get that story every word process? I don't think so. I think it was that kind of thing. We're all going, oh, my God.
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I'm in Korean episode now because that was epic. Well, you might want to, except for it's my turn, isn't it?
Yes, yes. Because it's time for Ball Pit Stranger Danger and my mom.
Yes. Don't let's not walk away from an opportunity to go into the bathroom. Right.
Never, ever. Team speaking of how to use the ball pit that I surprised that you. I haven't used it. You gotta have it now. I got to be on video as you diving in.
Well, that's exactly why I haven't set it up, because Georgia sent it to me and then immediately went set it up and take a picture and post it and do this. Do that. Then I was just like, this goes right into the closet. I'll do none of those things. All right. So this starts. Hey, team, are we still doing well? Ball stories? Yep. What about pretending to be kidnaped? Cool mom stories.
Just whatever occurs to us. Great. This email is for you when I was a little over two years old. Twenty seven months if you're a weirdo. My mom was maybe six months pregnant, pregnant with my little sister. One day we were at Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party. She was hanging out with the other parents while I was off enjoying life. Nineteen eighty nine. Am I right? Suddenly my mom hears my little voice calling for help.
She jumps into action and follows the sound to the ball pit she looks in just in time to see my little face sinking down beneath the plastic balls. Or she likes to tell it, quote, All I could see was your face being obscured by balls, unquote. My mother and all of her pregnant glory had to jump into the ball pit to save my ass from drowning. Oh, my God bless her. Cut it. Two months later, my mom is massively pregnant with my sister and on our way to my grandmas, my mom decides to stop at the mall for one quick thing because I was generally a well-behaved child and because we only needed to go to one store.
Mom thought my mom thought it would be OK not to use the stroller and to let me walk. Dear reader, it was not OK. The moment we crossed the threshold, I took off running as fast as my little legs could carry me. I darted in and out of stores while my very pregnant mother chased after me when she finally caught up with me out of breath and nauseous. So she scooped me back up to carry me back out to the car.
I must have known I was in trouble because I just went limp in her arms and started to shout, Help, help, help.
I don't know her. How to kill no to do.
I've heard people say this. Her kids are such dicks. They're such dicks. I don't know her. This is my mommy. This is like stranger danger time.
And my mom says that she could feel everyone staring at her. Hopefully she did her best not to lose her cool or to vomit, and she calmly carried me out of the mall. Thankfully, no one stopped her year. Unfortunately seen you. There's you could argue both sides. Yeah. And we safely made it to my grandma's house. She's pretty sure that being so visibly pregnant stopped her from being accused of kidnaping. Needless to say, my perfect child reputation suffered for a while until my holy terror of a sister.
Anyway, my mom and I don't agree on much these days. Cough, Trump, cough, but I never doubt her love for me. And I know that she'd still jump into a pit to save me from drowning in plastic balls piece. Emma.
Oh, these are so beautiful and solid stories this week. Like beautifully written. Emma Yeah that was really I was really, that was, that was a wonderful blend of all the things we love. Great job. Well, well, here I've got one more great story. I'm not going to read the title. Hey, darling, dearest, I go by Molly and I'm from Boston. I've decided to share my most embarrassing memory with fellow murderer he knows as an offering of levity between all the, you know, murders.
One day of my college work study job in the library, my daydreaming is interrupted when a coworker anxiously asks, Do you hear that? He points at the wall? And I noticed it is buzzing. We we figure it might have something to do with the construction upstairs. So we call down a worker to come investigate. Sooner or later, though, pretty much every class that shares a wall with us is now in the library trying to figure out what the noise is.
Pretty soon I hear my boss say his backpack is this. He's pointing at my backpack, which is slumped against the wall, the noisy wall. When he picks it up by the grab handle, the wall stops buzzing. Then it all clicks in my head. And I remember there's a vibrator in my backpack. Oh, honey. Which must have been turned on when I tossed my backpack against the wall. As my boss begins to unzip the bag, I make up the pathetic sound dash over, snatched the bag and scurry into the women's room to turn off the vibrator when I come back.
For the rest of my shift, my middle aged boss, undergrad coworkers, the library staff, construction workers, professors, students, etc. are all giggling hopelessly.
Everyone in the library that Monday morning knew that I had a vibrator in my backpack, evidently so powerful it caused a public safety disturbance in the library.
Oh, Mike, to this day, I have unsuccessfully maintained that it was an electric toothbrush. So thank you for finally giving me an opportunity to come clean about the vibrator in my backpack at the library. Stay sexy, but not so sexy that your vibrator goes off in the school library and don't get murdered. And then, not surprisingly, there's no name.
Thank you. No name. That is cathartic. And we've all been there.
Mine wasn't at the airport being held aloft by the TSA because I forgot and it's over, you know, eight ounces and I forgot to take it out of my fucking face.
And she was cracking up. She held it aloft. No. And I was like, please don't do that. Oh, my God.
And I don't care. Obviously, I'm saying it on the podcast. So what do I listen?
People have needs. People find libraries incredibly sexy, traveling. I hate hydroplaning as hell on the body as we have learned. No shame, a lot of shame. So much shame.
But I. Yeah. What what would you do.
I just I it's such a human story like to hear that and just be like what the hell is that noise you're joining in on that. Like Yeah. What is that noise.
Because you can't thank God she had the had the like you know, she wasn't frozen then grab the backpack before he because the holding aloft part is the part that's well that's cruelty I think.
I feel like hopefully I mean we'll never know. But my idea, the middle aged man that picked up the backpack would not have held it aloft. Oh, no.
Oh, no, no. He would have been more embarrassed than she was probably.
Yes. That I would have bet on that. I think, although I don't I think I would have froze because it would just been like, you don't. No, it's over. Then you would have forfeited the backpack like, I don't know, his backpack, that is. I don't know why papers with my name on the top is in there. That's not mine. I don't know why my initials on the outside. I don't send us your I mean, we've open the floodgates, feel free to be anonymous, but you need to share these with everyone else because we've all been through them.
Probably not as bad as mine and hers, but maybe, maybe worse.
Do you have a worse embarrassment story? Yeah. You don't have to put your name on it. We'd love to hear you. We would love to hear everyone else. Love to hear it. We're going to show it to the light so maybe you can take some of that off. I feel like once once you see hear how funny it is, you're going to be like, that's all that was worth it. It's also it'll it is, I think, cathartic, like you said.
I think it is that thing of like we've all been I, I felt like I spent most of my life having that embarrassment feeling. So any time I hear a story that's like that, I love it because it makes me feel better. It totally makes me feel like it's something of like a laugh at yourself and it's who cares? Laugh at yourself, laugh at vibrators, laugh it laxatives, whatever it takes, whatever your system requires. If we're all the same.
Yeah, please, please send it to my favorite murderer at Gmail. Tell Lily we say hi. And also please stay sexy and don't get murdered. Good bye, Elvis.
Do you want a cookie? Hi.