Hello and happy Halloween, welcome to plus seventy nine. This is sort of the scale. Well, this is the last publicly available plus episode, so if you're on the free feed, it's a good time to decide whether you're going to shit or get off the pot. For the last month, we've provided free episodes of plus the standalone show. We produce exclusively for supporters of our aptly named plus platform, if you want to hear more of these episodes.
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Plus, in any case, it starts at five dollars a month and you can choose a tier that fits your style above that. So go to sword and scale dotcom plus to get all of the details, but for right now, let's get back to the reality that nowhere is safe except maybe a dennis'. On July 2nd, 2005, during an ordinary night shift in an ordinary Idaho Denny's restaurant, Amber Dean was serving coffee and maybe a slice of pie to the usual trucker crowd.
Her body was fatigued from the long evening. She was still mentally alert, though, and had a few more hours to go. In her shift through the open door stepped a tall and lanky man with a mustache and a lot of brown curly hair on top of his head. Holding his little girl's hand tightly, he beelined for the corner booth and saw dozens of patrons in an ordinary day. So father and daughter about to enjoy a meal together was not an uncommon sight, even though it was the wee hours of the morning.
But what really set this pair apart was how dirty and disheveled the little girl was. She had long brown, tangled hair and sheepish eyes that and her bashful demeanor told Amber something just wasn't right because the girl even once asked the man if it was OK for her to use the crayons she was given the draw with. The man was entirely enthralled and focused on every move the girl made, it was clear that she was his only focus and she was under his tight grip.
Another feature struck Amber about this man, he was what I would call dead in the eyes. She said no emotion. No, nothing, the body language told me she was going through that poor little girl was slumped down. She wasn't excited about anything.
As she stood at the table pouring coffee and taking the order, she got a close look at the girl's face and tried to make conversation.
The girl was not only shy, she was clearly uncomfortable. She didn't even return a smile and kept her head down and her eyes down as well.
No sooner had Amber returned to the counter area when a different man then approached her, apparently conversing with Amber about how much the little girl looked like the one in the missing child poster hanging in the door.
Unbeknownst to Amber, the little girl had flashed the man a bold but fearful glance before heading into the restaurant. She wanted him to know. Amber agreed. She realized she recognized that little face.
She spoke to her manager, insisting she knew who the girl was and that this girl was missing from her family. Finally, she convinced Manager Linda that something should be done.
And together they called nine one one a little girl here with an issue like this.
OK, I'm not sure, you know, I just she looks like all the staff was nervously chattering in the kitchen while Amber held a laser focus on the man and the girl who were still sitting in the booth.
Fortunately, everyone was alerted to do whatever it took to keep them both in the restaurant until the officer arrived. When he burst through the door, Amber and her co-workers anxiously expected drama. Was there going to be a fight, a chase or even gunfire? But none of that happened. The officer approached the table, asked the little girl her name.
She looked to the man for approval and he nodded his head in defeat, saying, You can tell him, realizing this was in fact a missing girl. The officer asked the man to stand up and escorted him from the building while Amber sat and comforted the girl holding her, letting her know she was safe. Now, once Shasta Groene was in the vehicle of Cortile, an officer Averette, he turned his dash cam recorder and began to unfold. Some questions for little Shasta.
How did you end up here? He asked, he was going to take me home, said Shasta, why didn't he change his mind? He said he was going to change his mind because I taught him to love.
She said. What's his name as the officer, the little girl look to him and said, Jett Duncan. Never go to the second location, chances are you will die.
This was the advice given on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 90s by Sanford Strong Survival Techniques expert with the San Diego Police Department.
What do you do if you have no choice? You're taken to the next location. How do you switch your mindset from being defeated? The mindset of there's no way I'm going to live through this to being a survivor. Against all odds. Renowned psychiatrist Victor Frankl answers this question by referring to prisoners of war or even those who have survived the Holocaust, where he himself not only survived, but counseled those in the depths of despair.
The psychiatric literature in the field of psychiatry of O.W. camps shows independently from each other that psychiatrists found out that those inmates or prisoners were most likely to survive the time period. Those I see who were orientated toward a future orientated from becoming free again in the future and most importantly, oriented to a meaning that they had to fulfill the future, a past that they had to complete in the future and or to be reunited with their beloved people in the future again.
In other words, studies have shown that those who have survived as prisoners of war have overwhelmingly been those who have focused on becoming free and living out their lives, especially by having meaningful activities or people in their lives to look forward to. Jet was the name Shasta called Joseph Edward Duncan, her stalker abductor and an already registered sex offender. He lived in Fargo, North Dakota, and the targeting of Shasta Groene was just a distraction from his original prey. His sights were originally set on some children in Montana to escape the watchful eyes of his home state authorities who were already on his tail.
Montana is where this pervert had set up a campsite, complete with children's toys and a video camera tripod. He voraciously spied on numerous Montana homes and even made contact with some children in an isolated residence. His existence became a game of malicious trips with his friend, the GPS, guiding him to where children played. And his favorite spots included a rural daycare, a school bus stop, numerous homes and a hillside north of Casper, Wyoming, where Duncan left this inscription on a rock deep in my dungeon.
I welcome you here. The inscription was signed with his inmate number from Washington State Prison. He probably didn't win any spelling bees in the fifth grade, though, because he spelled Dungen Duen J. Ed Duncan later wrote a letter to a friend while in prison discussing how the police could have known his whereabouts. I'll tell you this, even though I shouldn't, my attorneys and the FBI might get jealous. Frowny face. There was a GPS unit in the jeep I was driving that was on constantly from the time I left Fargo until my arrest at Denny's.
So the police had a very detailed map of everywhere I was, or at least where the Jeep was during almost this entire time. Later in court, GPS would survey his path through numerous states before stopping on his way to Idaho, specifically to court to lean.
As he was tracking his next victim in Montana, he suddenly turned and headed to Idaho, where something about little Shasta playing in the yard in her bathing suit took him off course and held his gaze for about three days through a set of military grade night vision goggles. But he purchased for better nighttime viewing of Shasta Groene and her family. Duncan peered into her windows each night, plotting out what he would do to make her his own. He was learning every detail about the Gruene family's daily habits, routines and even getting to know their pets when they were not at home as an adult.
Shasta recalls that Duncan later told her about his methods to go back on the background.
Like before this house, we lived in the middle of nowhere, kind of like our nearest neighbors were like a mile away. I was like in our yard, you know what I mean? So we didn't have, like, a working toilet and stuff. So like at night we left our backdoor open because we would have to go outside in the world to use the bathroom and stuff like that. He knew that from watching our house. So there was, I think the night before that he had actually decided to do what he was going to do.
So he came inside and kind of watched everybody sleep and kind of learning the ins and outs of the house. I would like to point out that, like, we had a pit bull, she was very rigid with her behavior, so. Into the house that she did not know she would have attacked, and I remember him telling me that he was able to get the dog to come to him and he gave her treats and stuff and they befriended our pit bull like so that when he did come into the house to do it, he was going to do there was not that type of this.
Psychopathic pedophiles are thinkers for sure. It takes a lot of mental energy to plot by night vision goggles, learn how to use them properly and then stalk innocent children. Well, this particular psychopath was also a poet and a blogger poet is a loose term for Duncan, though. It's more like some poor me. I have demons, scrawlings from prison.
Somehow he managed, even while incarcerated, to keep a blog that he entitled The Fifth Nail, you know, the fifth nail is the one after the fourth nail that nailed Jesus Christ to the cross. And these blog posts have mysteriously appeared and disappeared from the Internet in which he rants about everything from his distaste for the term sex offender to his love of cats, his tax troubles, and even his struggles with God and demons.
And one of his blog posts, he says a friend of mine pointed out that I spend too much time dwelling on my past and she offered this blog as evidence. She said I was also very negative, likewise evidenced by this blog. Wow, she is obviously correct, and it bothers me that I haven't seen this before. Not that I'm really negative inside, I'm really not. I love my life and I love the world. And I believe genuinely that God does not make mistakes.
So there is no wrong about the way things are. I know from my ongoing personal experience that my struggle to know the truth is God's gift to me. His gift can be acknowledged and recognized, but it can never be lost or possessed. So I am a happy person on a level where being happy really counts. So thank you, pretty neighbor girl, for pointing out this sad impression I've been giving and allowing me the opportunity to amend my ways in another, less cheerful post.
The struggle was obviously intensifying for Duncan.
He says, I've been asking God to help defeat the demons. In fact, last night I was on my knees begging him, crying out loud to him to help me. He didn't answer again. The problem is I'm losing my religion. I don't accept anything at face value, not even my own thoughts. So when I start having religious convictions, I question the source. And in my current situation, I figure I am under a lot of stress and there are perfectly natural human mechanisms that account for all religious experiences.
The demons, if that's what they are, I use the term for mere convenience, have convinced me that I should at least question my religious beliefs. This makes sense. Otherwise I would believe anything. And that is how they got the key to the dungeon and trapped me inside. To be more specific, I am scared, alone and confused and my reaction is to strike out toward the perceived source of my misery society. My intent is to harm society as much as I can, then die.
As for the happy Joe jet, well, he was just a dream. The boogeyman was alive and happy long before happy Joe. It does seem that Duncan struggled with religion, along with a terrible mom from an early age.
At a court hearing, his sister stated in his defense that Duncan's mom often beat her and all the children and described her mother as a crazy woman who went to church every day. Maybe that alone sets the premise for good and evil. Duncan, who was the second youngest of the five children, apparently took the beatings passively because, as his sister put it, if you fought back, it was worse. Duncan also lacked a father figure since his dad was in the military and often deployed when his dad was gone.
Duncan's mom enjoyed berating him, and when his parents finally divorced when he was 16, Duncan became the target of his mother's torment. Duncan's career started by him having sex at the tender age of eight with his sisters. Yeah, that's plural. According to Joseph Duncan. They initiated it. Maybe they did, but that's a quick jump from sex with the sisters to molesting a five year old boy when he was just 12. Then later, the crime of torturing and raping a 14 year old boy that landed him in prison for most of his adult life, at least much of it.
Furthermore, he admitted to many, many more rapes. By the time he abducted Shasta, he was 43 and again, avoiding the charge of raping a five year old boy in Fargo where he was living long before a creepy Joe Duncan began his 14 year prison stint. Of the 20 he was sentenced with for raping and sodomizing a 14 year old boy at gunpoint, he was enjoying posting video creations on MySpace.
Remember MySpace on his MySpace page where he titled himself The Mickey Rat and had a whopping twenty nine subscribers, is a lovely video, replete with some soothing background music sung by small choir boys staged in a church or cathedral of some sort.
All the boys are wearing long, white angelic robes and are positioned in small clusters halfway through the song that starts with mostly just tiny voices, syncopated drums and other music are added, making it sound almost popi when almost expects synchronized dancing to start at this point and in some versions on YouTube, this actually happens. The song, to be specific, is Salomé by Libra, and the lyrics include phrases like. Carry me away from the dark, where I fear when the storm is near from my blinded side to a sky of light and of course the Latin words salver may mean save me so many levels of disturbed knowing who's behind this video.
The title of the video posted is Thanksgiving 2002 at Jenns and shows still pictures of presumably family members, but focusing mostly on the very small children and one young female who was in attendance. His next post featured the John Lennon song Imagine, along with a video of himself superimposed on a newspaper with the heading World Peace.
No more religion or government. He's lip synching the song while zooming in and out, and he concludes with some mere captions saying Question everything and believe in love. His final post, or at least the only one available on the site, is one in which he eerily questions reality as he appears to be at least partially naked and very intent on the question he repeats.
The. Although it's difficult to make out what he's saying, Duncan is questioning reality in this video overlaid with the whispered expletive shit and concluding by asking again, what is it that's worth letting you know that the first comment under the video responds, The reality is that you should have never been born.
So to recap the reality for this perp calling himself the Mickey Rat and Jet was that in his spare time, he was posting videos, blogging, questioning reality, and most of all, stalking small children, including Shasta Groene and her wolf lodge back home in May of 2005, four days, he was driving past the home numerous times to peer at little Shasta in her swimsuit as she enjoyed the sprinkler like the voyeuristic pedophile he was playing on the yard on any given day would also be Dylan Groene, her nine year old brother, a slight blond haired boy who was described as sweet and who loved to be outside.
The next clip you're about to hear comes from an exclusive interview of an adult, Shasta Groene, conducted by Chris from a podcast called Criminal Perspectives. What was Dylan like?
I have never met anybody in my life that was like him. He was just very shy, but he was so nice and he was just like one of those kids that you can look at. And you could tell that they were going to be somebody who was friends with the underground and mean like the kids that got picked on that type of thing. But then he was also super popular. You kind of had like an equal balance. He was my best friend, like me and him clipped up.
And then my two oldest brothers clicked up kind of. And then my brother Slade, who was just like my my mom was like, babe, you know what I mean? But it was so good.
In the home was her mother, Brenda, Brenda's long time boyfriend, Shasta's younger brother, Dylan. Thirteen year old brother Slade, along with two family dogs.
The house itself was an uncomplicated one story home, painted white and in need of a new coat. The house sat on a large yard resembling a field and sat away from the road with a long driveway.
By all accounts, Dylan and Shasta's mom and stepdad were hard working people and loving parents.
On the evening of May 16th, 2005, a neighbor man drove to the home, prepared to give 13 year old Slade the rest of the money he owed him for mowing his lawn. It seemed strange to him that the doors of the vehicles were open, that none of the three children were playing in the yard, and that only a dog could be heard barking from the inside of the home as he approached the home, his eyes fixated on the large splashes of blood on the door and doorframe.
Something was wrong, something was very wrong. At this point, he rushed home to dial nine one one a lot of the information about what happened exactly when Duncan entered the home came from Shasta herself. It was when she heard her mother call her into the living room early in the morning of May 16th. There she saw Duncan wearing dark gloves and holding a shotgun. Duncan later told police that he was thinking if that door was locked, I'm going to abort.
The door was not locked. He had calculated every move from buying shoes that were too big. So his footprints would be disguised to using a flashlight with a low visibility red bulb could ignite. County deputies arrived to discover the bloody smears on the door. There was an odor of carnage, according to officers.
They walked in to find that all family members had been bludgeoned to death, but their faces and heads beaten by a hammer to the degree that they were almost unidentifiable, bound with universally utilitarian zip ties and duct tape, mom, stepdad and teen brother Slade were all lying in massive pools of blood, and the dogs were apparently in hiding. Shasta reveals the scene she woke to in her own words.
I woke up to my mom telling me that somebody was in the house. They didn't want us there. And she was crying. And I was just confused and I didn't really know what to think. So I got up and I followed her. Me and my brother Dylan shared the same room, but she had woken up before waking me up and she let us out into the living room where Duncan was standing. He was holding a sawed off shotgun. He was dressed in all black.
For some reason. I thought that he was a cop and I thought that he was there for my older brothers. And then he told us to get down on the ground. And then he started to tie my hands and my feet and I realized the cops don't use the ties. They use handcuffs. I realized something was really wrong.
She proceeds to describe how the intruder, Duncan, gave her strict instructions on what she should do as he mercilessly killed each member of her family one by one for a brief second and seen that he had hit my dad in the head with a hammer, my mom, my stepdad.
And it was probably like five or six times that he had done that. And for some reason, like, I couldn't keep my eyes off of the situation, you know what I mean? Yeah, that I was then it was my mom.
And then my brother said the bodies seem to be arranged intentionally with the corpses placed head to toe in a U shape on the floor, face down. Upon investigating the rest of the home, officers found bloodstains virtually everywhere in every single room. This was because 13 year old Slade had survived the initial blows to the head and was staggering throughout the house, probably stunned and confused after the initial attack. Dazed and disoriented, he lunged out the front door and staggered into the yard, seemingly attempting to escape.
Duncan quickly caught up to him and delivered the final blows that would end his short life.
A few minutes later, Shasta would see her brother Slade for one last time.
I did forget to mention that when he was walking us to the truck, I looked over because we had a picnic benches in the front of the house where we were throwing bonfires and stuff like that. And my father, Slade, was actually he was sitting on top of one of the picnic benches. And then we made eye contact and while we were making eye contact, my brother was just slumped over and and his eyes were so wide open, staring in like he kind of like twitched a little bit.
And I couldn't tell if he was, like, moving or twitching or what the case was.
The officer at the scene described this as his most horrific experience.
I've seen suicides. I've seen people disfigured in auto accidents. This is kind of over the top. It really hit home. It hit my heart. You don't prepare for that in law enforcement. After deputies took in the whole scene, they realized the two youngest children, Shasta and Dylan, were missing. This wasn't just a murder scene. This was the rare culmination of a murder and abduction. By the time the initial investigation was over, it was the next day and an Amber Alert was in place.
The Amber Alert authorities, the FBI, authorities from Idaho, authorities from neighboring Washington state doing what they can, trying to find the eight year old child, Shasta Groene. She's about just under four feet tall, very slight, about 40 pounds. And Dylan Groene and he is nine years old. He's a little heavier, about 60 pounds. There's Amber Alerts all over the drive here on I-95. We saw three separate highway signs listing the information for those two children.
And tonight, the search is out across the country, concerned and frankly horrified. Neighbors and friends started looking everywhere with the assumption they would find the dead bodies of Shasta and Dylan. Investigators spent weeks with no evidence, few leads and a terrified community. The motive was the paramount question why would someone kill the family just to kidnap the children? Also, the killings were brutal. The number of violent blows to the family's heads alone indicated overkill and rage towards the victim's criminal.
Psychologists agree that when this is the case, the place to start looking is closest to home. It's around this point that a number of theories began to surface. Could the murder and abduction have been carried out by a disgruntled Steve groaning father of Shasta, Dylan and Slade? In fact, it was known that Shasta's biological parents had a volatile relationship and had recently had a blowout over the kids. It doesn't help that Steven then appeared on TV saying I had nothing to do with this when this hadn't even been defined yet.
No one knew where the children were or if they were even alive. Steve then took a polygraph test with the graph showing a positive reaction to the question, Do you know where the children are? Most experts agree, though, that polygraphs are not 100 percent reliable than phone records later placed Steve at home during the time of the murders. Attention then shifted to Brenda and Steve's two grown sons who had drug problems and run ins with the law. But both had alibis.
The family also had a barbecue just the day before they were killed. Tips also came in about a male at the picnic who owed Mark and Brenda Mackenzie two hundred dollars. He also had a criminal record and was unable to be found for questioning suspiciously. He had told a parole officer the day following the murders that he was going on a vacation, a fingerprint on the doorway where the bloodstains were also matched to his. When he finally returned home and was questioned, he denied any involvement and passed a lie detector test, next came the biker gang theory surfacing simply because the murder weapon was probably a hammer with a crosshatch face.
Yeah, apparently the roughest of biker gangs think Hells Angels have an affiliation for using everyday tools to beat and kill with during fights. This theory was also quickly disproven. Then when family blood work results came in, drugs were found in Mark and Brenda system, making investigators believe a drug gang could have committed the murders. Still no leads, and community members insisted that Mark and Brenda were excellent and dedicated parents. Weeks flew by and the last lead was a tip called in about a vehicle spotted as pulling over near the home around the time of the murders.
Cell phone activity connected to the vehicle was also detected during the same time and place. Police and now the FBI were finally closing in. Could this final tip be the clue that law enforcement had been waiting for? It feels like the holiday season sneaks up on us earlier every year. If you're not already thinking about holiday shopping, then you're behind. So I'm here to help you by letting you know about a great place to get everything you need this holiday season.
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Sign up to shop on Xzibit today at Xzibit Dotcom Rigaud. That's Xzibit dot com slash sword. Zappos.com slash sword. With multiple theories falling flat and suspect death terror suspect cleared, this case was quickly headed to that black hole of cold cases which sit in a file cabinet in some dingy records room and are never solved. Meanwhile, Shasta and Dylan Groene were taken to a remote campsite in western Montana's Lolo National Forest, a vast expanse of terrain covering two million acres.
Shasta could already sense Duncan's evil intentions. He had watched her and Dylan as they urinated and defecated just to make sure they were clear on the details of the horror they had just experienced. He also showed them the bloody hammer and described exactly how he had used it to kill each and every family member in the home that night, adding, You're never going to see them again. Shasta also said there are rules he wanted us to call him daddy, although Duncan had already sexually abused both children.
He directed his rage at Dylan, physically beating him and berating him. He pulled out a sawed off shotgun and pointed it at a tree, firing it and making a huge hole before saying to them, This will happen to you if you don't listen.
Beyond sexually abusing Shasta and Dylan, Duncan forced the children to engage in sex acts with each other. He kept with him his ever handy video recorder and taped much of the abuse, like the sicko he was. One incident later left jurors so traumatized after being required to watch it that many needed counseling and some even formed a support group that exists to this day. The incident involved taking little Dylan to a shack or barn, forcing him to stand on a bench, wrapping a wire around his neck and then kicking the bench from beneath him while masturbating as he watched Dylan struggle to breathe and nearly choked to death.
In this or another video of similar torture, Duncan yelled, The devil is here, boy, the devil himself. The demon couldn't do what the devil sent him to do. So the devil came himself.
He then took the boy down and ordered him to wake up several times. When he finally woke, Dylan screamed because he thought he had gone to heaven. The next act of evil Duncan carried out on Dylan was something Shasta remembers. Like yesterday, she recalled that Duncan was searching for a beer in a box when the shotgun went off, hitting little Dylan point blank in the stomach. Unbelievably, Duncan maintained this was an accident not only to Shasta, but later to jurors in the courtroom.
He even cried in front of Shasta, claiming that he did not mean to do it after he had shot him.
He like, ran up to me because I was I was completely petrified. I couldn't talk. I couldn't move. I couldn't I didn't I didn't know what just happened, like and I couldn't believe it. It all just seemed surreal. And I just like I felt kind of like my soul lost my body for a minute, you know what I mean? And he wrote to me and I was like to ask him was like, why? Like, why did you do that?
You know? And I couldn't cry. I couldn't I just couldn't do anything. He told me it was an accident. It was an accident. He didn't mean to like he he made it seem like he put his hand in the cooler to grab another beer and the shotgun was in the cooler. And so he told me that he accidentally bumped it and that it went off. And the second time he shot him was because he didn't want him to suffer.
He knew he was going to die, so he didn't want him to suffer. Now that I'm older and I think back on it, I think that it was because he thought of Dylan as the weaker link.
Maybe when he shot Dylan in the head, eight year old Shasta was in such close range that she described what she saw as Dylan's head exploding. She later remembers with the next few weeks were like for her for like the first week to two weeks was the hardest.
I was I was very my mental state in my just my whole being wasn't even present when he had shot my brother. Since we were in such close proximity of each other, I had pieces of his brain and like his guts in my hair, like, you know what I mean? And so for like the first week or two, I wasn't able to wash that out. So I was I, I was just sitting there with, like, my my brother, like, still on me, as if things couldn't be any more heinous.
He then forced Shasta to help him drag Dylan's body, placed it on a tarp and watch here and smell it burn in the campfire for three days. Some accounts say that she was forced to help dismember and chopped him to pieces before placing his body on the TARP. Experts decided that even though Shasta recalled seeing Dylan's guts hanging out of his body, which Duncan would dispute, saying she was exaggerating and what she saw was the ramen noodles he had eaten for dinner.
Dylan's death was no accident at all, given that it would take five pounds of pressure to pull that trigger.
When Duncan's shotgun used to kill Dylan, it was recovered. It went through a series of tests at an FBI lab back east. One expert who testified today says he tried a number of times using various methods to try to get that gun to fire accidentally. He never could do it. In fact, he says it took five pounds of pressure applied to the trigger to get that gun to fire.
The tears Duncan poured out to Shasta about the accidental death of her brother weren't real. And the most glaring tragedy was that medical experts concluded Dylan probably would not have died from his original abdominal injury.
Shasta says Duncan told her he had to then shoot Dylan in the head because there was nothing more they could do for him. A forensic pediatrician who also testified today says that isn't true. Based on Shasta's description of Dylan's first shotgun injury, it's likely Dylan could have survived had Duncan taken him to a hospital.
The doctor called it a, quote, potentially salvageable injury after staying for several weeks at the same camp where her brother was tortured, probably mutilated and burned.
Shasta was then moved by Duncan to another site because he felt there was too much evil at the first site. Imagine that at the next site. Duncan even took Shasta into public on two occasions to eat at restaurants when Duncan decides. Did not to take her with them, she was chained to a tent as he seemed to be developing some kind of relationship with Shasta. Duncan apparently expressed remorse, whether feigned or not, about killing her family members, even saying that he felt bad and it was wrong.
He revealed why he had chosen to kidnap Shasta and her brother because God was telling him to do it and he was out looking for children to kidnap. After four weeks had passed, Duncan offered Shasta a deal, at least it was compared to her brother's fate. He was going to give her the choice of whether she would like to be shot like her brother or strangled instead. He encouraged her to choose the former option because it would be quicker and she wouldn't feel the pain, rather than choose the seemingly easier option, Shasta thought quickly about which choice would buy her time.
She told him to strangle her. He placed her on the ground, wrapped a cord around her neck and began to pull. He pulled so tightly and for so long, showing obvious intent to follow through with killing her that she began to lose consciousness, reporting that she started to see black and white. Shasta, however, saved enough breath to gasp three words that would save her life. Please don't. Jett Jett was the pet name he reserved for himself and enjoyed hearing Shasta use this name because she took note of the fact that when she had used it on one or two other occasions, it seemed to soften him.
Hearing her say this, he stopped. He asked her, what did you say? And to her shock, he began crying and repeating, I can't do this. Not long after, he decided it was time that she go home with him to meet his mother on the journey to his hometown, they stopped at the core, Darlene Dennis'. Well, after midnight, the authorities believe that this may have been Shasta's idea that Shasta had now somehow gained control of the monster.
All of Shasta's attempts to humanize Joseph Duncan and reach him on a personal level seemed to be paying off. Shasta had maintained a sense of hope throughout her entire ordeal, something that most people could, frankly have never been able to do, least of all vulnerable eight year old girl. She had reached deep into her mind and soul, consciously or subconsciously developing a plan to follow Duncan's rules and be obedient, react as little as possible, and appeal to any shred of humanism or compassion this monster had.
By continuing to stay alive.
I started to befriend him. And then but then also it was a it was a conscious thing, like I need to make him think that I care. I need to make him think that I'm his friend like that I love him or that I want to be here with him so that he will love me and my brother go, you know. But my brother didn't have that thinking. He was just he was scared all the time. And he just my brother still gave up.
He gave up.
Her immediate family was now dead, murdered in ways that would burn indelible and insidious pictures into her mind for life. But she still had her biological father, Steve, groaning, two older brothers, extended family and most of all, a future. It has been reported that Americans are overpaying on car insurance by over twenty one billion dollars, but searching for a better deal can take hours and typically results in a barrage of unwanted spam calls. Until now, thanks to the zebra dotcom, the zebra dotcom is the nation's leading car insurance comparison site because it's the only place you can compare quotes side by side from over 100 providers and choose the best one for you in 90 seconds or less.
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Shasta Groene had endured trauma, torture and terror, that she was able to focus on her reasons to live reasons beyond herself that enabled her to survive, but everybody in the midst of suffering he's giving it is give me a chance to bear testimony of the human potential at its best, which is to turn a personal tragedy into a human triumph.
This is, again, Victor Frankl, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who maintains that we must all realize none of us can escape suffering. It hits us all at some time, place age in our lives and it strikes us out of the blue, knocking us down, killing us or making a stronger. Frankl developed a new philosophical theory and psychological therapy called logo therapy, which essentially means healing through meaning he discovered while incarcerated in history's worst concentration camps that anything is survivable if you have hope.
The lesson one could learn in Auschwitz and other concentration camps in the final analysis was those who were oriented toward a meaning to be fulfilled by them.
In the future, we are most likely to survive.
Of course, Shasta Groene was not aware of any psychological or philosophical tools she may have been using other than to dig into her mother's experiences and her soul and find a way for her and her brother Dylan to survive. But in doing so, she directly tapped into what Victor Frankl discusses. Her initial personal task was to survive and protect. She not only wanted to protect herself, but because her brother Dylan was absorbing the biggest blows of Duncan's rage and perverse appetite, she began protecting him.
She did this through trying to soften Duncan by trying to focus on him so he would not focus on Dylan then by encouraging Dylan that they would have a future. Strangely enough, Duncan allowed his captors to write letters home to their biological father, Steve Krone. Sadly, the first time Shasta's father saw these letters was in the court after his little boy had already been murdered. In these letters, one can see the hope these children had for living through this nightmare and being reunited with their father.
Dear Dad, I miss you very much. And me and Dylan know what happened to Mom, Mark and Slade, and we both feel very sorry for them. And we both miss you, Jessie and Vance. We might get to see you guys again. Another letter said. I have good news. We will be home soon, maybe in a week or two. And another said this. I'm sorry you had to lose a son and an ex-wife and I'm sorry we were taken from you.
We are still alive and we are OK. Little Shasta was the strong one for Dylan, often encouraging him and promising that they were going to make it out alive. That didn't happen for Dylan. But Shasta lived to make it back to her father again, sitting in the patrol car outside the Denny's on the night she was rescued from the clutches of this monster. Shasta was asked by the officer where her brother was. She told him he was now in heaven.
The officer had to clarify, thinking perhaps Shasta was talking about Slade, whose body they had found back at the house. When asked where they had been, Shasta went on to tell them that they had been at Lolo National Forest and that there may still be some evidence there. She said Duncan was going to take them home, but then changed his mind because she taught him how to love. Then she added one more chilling statement. He killed a lot more people than we know about.
Joseph Edward Duncan, the third is now on death row in federal prison after being sentenced by the state of Idaho and also federal court.
He was initially given six life sentences for the 2005 murders of the grown family members, Brenda, Mark and Slade, as well as three life sentences and three consecutive death sentences for the kidnapping of Shasta and the killing of little Dylan sometime after he was incarcerated, Shasta's words rang true. He's killed a lot more people than we know.
She knew this because Duncan revealed during her captivity that he had murdered other small children. Details and trials of other murders committed by Duncan gave him 11 consecutive sentences of life without parole for similar crimes, as well as the 1997 murder of Anthony Martinez of Beaumont, California. Additionally, Duncan has confessed to but has not been charged with the 1996 murder of two girls in Seattle. He's managed to keep a blog from his time in prison and death row. It's something of a mystery is how he does it, or more to the point, exactly who's helping him do it.
Despite the fact that Joseph Duncan is a bit of a computer genius, you don't get Internet access on death row.
And it all came down to Duncan's encrypted computer files, files that made headlines in the weeks and months following the murders. And remember, Joseph Duncan is a computer expert. In fact, he was a few credits shy of a computer science degree when he committed the murders in quarter lane. Well, today, with an FBI expert on the stand, we learn exactly how much of an expert Duncan really was. Investigators knew as soon as they arrested Duncan that his computer would be valuable.
So valuable. In fact, they immediately sent it to their expert in Salt Lake City. He said on the stand today it would typically take months for that type of evidence to get to him at the FBI. In this case, it took just two days. Still, they can only access part of Duncan's files that experts said on the stand today, three years and two months after he got that computer, they have not been able to track Duncan's password and get to those encrypted files.
This is a little something from Joseph Duncan's blog reflecting on his daily life.
I usually masturbate at least once a day at frequently two or even three times a day still, which I'm very happy and almost proud to announce at my age 57. Last I checked, I believe it is good for the body, mind and soul. I still like to imagine having sex with children, even rape and such. But more often than not, I just like the fantasy of being with my beautiful young soulmate and fiancee and satisfying her on all the levels and in all the ways one might satisfy the person they care more about in life than anyone else.
I call my girl as often as I can, though, the 15 minute time limit on all personal calls makes it impossible to have anything resembling a full conversation. We manage at least to touch base on the numerous philosophical and theological topics we discuss in depth in our letters. This helps us clarify our discussions, but it'd be really nice if we could take our time and really think more about what we are trying to say on the phone so we might actually have a chance to connect the way people like me are often accused of not being able to.
It's like they don't want prisoners to connect with their loved ones because that might go against their whole sociopathic theory or something. For the most part, I am comfortable. I have no real complaints at this point in my life. I sometimes wonder if there is still something left for me to do in life, like write a book or discover some great secret, become enlightened. But for now I am very content. If my only purpose is loving my fiancee and showing her my love in any way and every way I can.
That's far more than I could have ever hoped for on this ride that I call my life.
With numerous death sentences looming and the fact that he will likely never be able to avoid death, be it through lethal injection or just rotting away till that final day comes behind bars, one can only hope that his ride to hell is the one he remembers the most.
Shasta Groene went through and witnessed unspeakable, heinous abuse and torture.
How did she survive by having hope and finding meaning beyond her circumstances, but as we've often tragically seen in circumstances just like this one, the abused struggle and stumble after going through something like this, often for the rest of their lives. As for growing up, Shasta, she would have to face her own demons following the murders of her family. She eventually had children of her own, but at the tender age of twenty one in twenty eighteen, she was arrested for two misdemeanors involving drugs.
For years, she felt like a celebrity victim everywhere she went, and it was overwhelming. She turned to partying and eventually to hard drugs like meth, which she left in the proximity of her youngest child. She was remanded to unsupervised parole through October of 2019 after she violated parole just one month later. Her lawyer explained that even though she had not met the terms of her parole, she had acquired full time employment and had consistently clean drug tests.
In the 20/20 interview of Shasta, you heard she admits she was suffering post-partum depression at the time of her arrest. She has since married a very supportive husband and is clean and sober, reflecting on her kidnapping. She realizes she survived for a reason, remarking that she feels she is still on the planet to help other people. She would like to go to college and wants to become a counselor who focuses on trauma because she has a unique experience that other counselors don't.
She is also reported wanting to write a book to inspire other survivors when Shasta was found in Coeur d'Alene seven weeks after she was abducted in 2005. She says Duncan told her good luck. At one point during those seven weeks, Duncan had told her that her life was more important than his. Duncan's last words to Shasta as he was being taken to the police car were to ask her to promise that you'll come and see me wherever I am. Incredibly, she did promise him this as a little girl still in his grip now that she has come through and emerged a stronger person and an adult, one that wants to help others through her own experience and one who wants to focus on being a mother.
She wants to let him know that he, quote, just doesn't define my life anymore. I'm not going to be victimized by someone who has already done so much in my life. I have things that I need to focus on for my future, and he's not going to be a part of my future. Remember, this is it, no more plus episodes if you're on the free feed, so join now Swinscoe dot com slash plus.
Hi, my name's Aaron, I'm from outside of the Philadelphia area. I just wanted to call in and let you know how much I love the show. My sister and I have been listening to certain skills for I've lost count. How many years now? I've listened to every episode, every four or five times. I'm a nurse. And going through this pandemic, it's been awesome to kind of get my mind off of everything and just listen to the episodes throughout my day when I'm in between my patients.
So I just wanted to say thank you, keep up the great work and I can't wait to see what's to come.
Hey, that is I'm an avid listener. I've been opening for years now. I don't even remember when I started.
But I have to just give kudos to Mike because he makes feel and I mean that genuinely.
It's his voice, the voice, the way he tells stories, the way he is so conversational style. And it seems like you're just talking to a friend. I have to say, I really appreciate that after hearing other podcasts and people that just kind of it sounds like they're just reading things to you. I just really enjoy my personality and what he brings to sort of scale. And it's kept me coming back for years and suggesting it to friends and family because of the story.
The story telling style is just so dope. So keep doing what you're doing, guys, and keep my down here.
But I'm going to make it to your podcast. You just got better because you knew, you know, what you said was wrong. I just listened to 169 and somebody just got a little bit of blood. Or didn't you? Oh, you liberal talk. You should all you do. You just don't get it. You don't get it. You're right along with the frickin car. I know what it's really like. You got better and it makes America great again.
Have a great day.