Presenting: Lost HillsRevisionist History
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- 25 Mar 2021
We're hard at work on Season 6 of Revisionist History. But in the meantime, here's an episode of a new show from Pushkin that will keep you up at night: Lost Hills. After 35-year-old scientist Tristan Beaudette is murdered in front of his two young daughters, other victims come forward telling similar tales of a sniper in Malibu who has been shooting at campers and moving cars for the past 18 months. Always in the dark of night, at 4 a.m. The cops say they can’t connect the crimes, but then they arrest a drifter: 42-year-old Anthony Rauda, who lives under a tarp behind the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. Rauda insists he's being framed. Is he the killer, or a scapegoat?
To hear the rest of the Lost Hills premiere and more episodes, go to: pushkin.fm/losthills
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Bushkin. Hello, hello, revisionist history listeners, I'm stopping by for a couple of reasons. First, the bomber maffia, the bomber Maffia is my new audio book coming out from wait, you guessed it, Pushkin Industries on April 27th. In it, I explore how a new technology, air power upended the nature of modern warfare. This is not your standard audio book.
You'll hear the agony of military leaders in their own voices. You'll hear the sounds of bombers and bombs.
This is an immersive experience and I can't wait for you to hear it. And we're having a special presale for revisionist history listeners.
Through April 9th. You can get the bomber maffia for just nine ninety nine, only at Bomber Maffia Dockum.
That's Bomber Maffia one word Dukkha. This won't be available everywhere.
Audio books are sold. So once again, I'll give you the magic address. Former Mafia Dotcom.
Next up, something for your ears while you wait for the audio book to drop, it's Lost Hills. Lost Hills is a new Pushkin's show hosted by New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear. Dana is a brilliant reporter who in twenty eighteen started investigating the case of a father shot in the head while camping with his young daughters in Malibu Creek State Park. She's been tracking it ever since the drifter accused of committing the murder, the cops who may have something to hide, and the dark truth behind Malibu's shimmering facade.
I am thrilled to welcome Dana to the kingdom of audio storytelling and to the Pushkin fold. Here's a taste of the first episode.
Here's what I know when I start all this, it's not a lot. It was before sunrise, June 22nd, twenty eighteen, and the campground at Malibu Creek State Park was packed. It's an idyllic spot. Campsites are arranged in a ring around a large meadow dotted with oak trees. Jagged peaks zigzag across the open sky. It was 4:00 in the morning, still dark. Everyone was inside their nylon tents and ARV's cozy in their sleeping bags for a couple more hours.
But someone was awake watching. Silent, undetected, slipping shadow like the sleeping campground, he had a gun and he fired it directly into one family's tent. Inside the tent was a man named Tristan Beaudet, a brilliant young research scientist, 35 years old. He was sleeping beside his two little girls. The bullet struck his forehead, killing him. And whoever did it slipped away into the darkness. It's like a story that's meant to terrify you playing on your deepest fears, a story you tell around a campfire with ghosts and murderers and things you can't explain.
Except that this story is true, and once I heard it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. How did this happen? How does anything like this happen in Malibu, of all places? But it did happen in Malibu. And as I'd come to find out, inexplicable, nightmarish things happen in Malibu all the time. Tonight, a mystery in Malibu. A driver found a man dead in a ditch along Las Vegas Canyon Road. There have also been nine additional calls for shots fired.
It was found. I just don't feel safe anymore. Breaking now, a homicide investigation.
We do have a nude body and it's still unclear exactly how it got here.
It is a suspicious death. The human bones were just a half mile from the trailhead. We could possibly see somebody screaming for help.
Detectives tonight trying to figure out who he is and who killed him. I'll tell you what, they'll be standing with pitchforks outside Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. I said to where I hollered down, Are you all right? He said, I'm just resting or something like that. When she left, she just disappeared.
After Tristam Bodsworth death, it came out that there had been a series of crimes that were kept hidden from the public. People were being targeted in and around Malibu Creek State Park, Beaudet was not the first victim. For two years before the brutal murder, there was a series of shootings, one person was injured, but no one died. These were near misses, six of them. And a thousand feet above Malibu in a helicopter with Touhy, right?
A retired sergeant detective from Lost Hill Station, that's a small outpost of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and it covers law enforcement for this whole area. It's a beautiful area, it's a wild area, it's rugged terrain, is such a beautiful out there as we head inland over the mountains following Malibu Canyon Road, this is Malibu going in here.
The highway goes along the canyon and there's Malibu Creek State Park. It's wild and pristine, volcanic rocks, oak savannas, undulating grasslands. If you remember the opening sequence to the 1970s TV show MASH, where the helicopter flies past craggy green peaks. That's Malibu Creek State Park. But Sergeant Sargentini. Right. Sees something different. He sees the killing zone. Dana, I was I'm thinking you might just keep it simple, we might start with the shootings and then move to the burglaries and then move to the capture.
Is that sound? That sounds like a great sequence.
Below us is a picnic spot, a park at the edge of Malibu Creek State Park. That's where in November 2016, a backpacker named Jimmie Rodgers was shot, hurt but not killed while sleeping in a hammock slung between two trees.
Near Miss No. One over here in this in the park, down in the campground, there is where the next two incidents occurred.
Less than a week later and about a mile away in the campground where Beaudet was later killed, a man was shot at while inside his camper.
Near myth number two, two months later, in January 2017, there was another shooting in the same campground, this time at a couple sleeping in their car near Miss Number Three, struck by the highway shootings.
Then in the summer of 2017, the target seemed to change to moving cars driving along the Canyon Road. In the span of a few weeks, first a white Porche and then a white BMW were hit with gunfire.
Near misses four and five. Sergeant Wright's theory is that a shooter lay in wait firing on approaching cars, it's a good elevated position where you have immediate cover and an immediate escape direction. The shootings in the park and on the Canyon Road were totally bizarre events rhymes with no reason. They all happened at the same time around 3:00, 4:00 a.m., each one involved a single shot. But after a near miss number five, things went quiet. Eleven months passed without another shooting.
Until June 18th, twenty eighteen, early that morning, around 4:00 a.m. in the same area, a Tesla, a white one was hit in the hood. Near Miss No.6. And four days after the Tesla was shot, Tristan Beaudet was killed in the campground. When you got the call that there had been a shooting at the campground, it wasn't out of the blue for you, I'm just putting myself in your shoes and thinking you must have had a sinking feeling because there had been a series of incidents leading up to that moment.
Yeah, that's that is true. Yeah. It's our greatest fear that this was a serial shooter and that eventually he would hit somebody and or kill them.
So Sergeant Wright is saying that privately law enforcement worried there was a potential serial killer at large.
They thought he was looking for victims and that Malibu Creek State Park and the Canyon Road or his hunting ground. In the weeks after Beaudet was killed all through that summer of twenty eighteen, I kept hearing that everyone in Malibu was panicking. The situation seemed out of control. There was a murderer at large and residents kept calling 911, reporting the sounds of gunfire in the night to somebody that was dead.
Who would be next in line. What's your emergency?
Yes, I just woke up to a gunshot outside. I just heard one gunshot. Now, I was four or five. I just heard another one lady put me on hold. OK, I'm going to be back on. Hang on. Hang up. Yeah, there was a third one. OK. Despite the panic, the sheriff's department was insisting that things were under control, they kept putting out press releases saying that the crimes were isolated and unrelated, quote, homicide detectives are advising at this time there is no evidence to suggest the past shootings are related to the June 22nd.
Twenty eighteen homicide, unquote. There was no press conference and the park remained open. Neighbors didn't think the authorities were taking their concerns seriously. Did anyone even want to solve these crimes? Finally, in August, State Senator Henry Stern called a public safety meeting the first since all this started.
We're here today because many of you, including myself, have serious concerns that, Senator Stern, we need to take our land back and we can't see these mountains to any kind of violence or fear.
We don't want to be known in this region for these kinds of incidents.
We don't want to be defined by this and we certainly don't want to live in fear, he asks a detective named Lieutenant James Royalle to speak on behalf of Lost Hills Station.
Good afternoon. Can you hear me OK?
He's been the community liaison to Malibu for years. People trust him.
Our primary objective today is to share with you as much information as possible without jeopardizing our case. What I'd like to do first is discuss the exact dates of the actual shooting events, confirmed shooting events that we've been dealing with since November 3rd of 2016 and culminating on June 22nd of twenty eighteen with the tragic death of Mr. Beaudet.
He states the department's official position. Detectives haven't established a connection between any of the near misses and the murder. And the newly reported shots may or may not be related to the near misses, the murder or to each other.
I really want to reassure you that we this investigation did not start on June 22nd. However, we still cannot confirm. That the series of events are related forensically. It just seems crazy, a specific area of the park in the Canyon Road are being targeted repeatedly. People keep hearing shots. What law enforcement saying isn't calming anybody down. It doesn't even seem true.
I just want to thank everyone who came out from the community especially to take what was going on in Malibu. Was there a potential serial killer on the loose? Why would the cops be hiding it? How did Malibu turn into the killing zone? Intrigued, you can hear the rest of this episode by searching for Lost Hills wherever you're listening right now. See you soon.