On the night of April 21, 2016 in rural Piketon, Ohio - eight members of the Rhoden family were viciously murdered execution style in their homes. Two years later in 2018, their neighbors, the Wagners, were arrested and charged with committing the largest massacre in Ohio’s history. Shocked by the arrests, this once close-knit and religious community remains divided and unable to cope. Was a respected and reputable Piketon family responsible for this unimaginable murder spree? Our team will examine the deep ties that connected both families. We’ll examine the evidence and possible motives for the crimes. For the first time we’ll speak with townspeople, psychological experts, respected investigators, friends and members of both families. Are the Wagners responsible for the murders, and if convicted, will they be executed? Or is it possible that there is still a murderer at large waiting to kill again?
With the Wagner family awaiting their day in court, the residents of Piketon are left to wonder how the largest criminal investigation in Ohio’s history will end. In episode nine, we explore unheard topics such as how the community reacted to the newfound attention and how our team began producing the podcast. We’ll also answer questions submitted by listeners that pertain to the case.
With Fredericka Wagner and Rita Jo Newcomb spared jail time in connection with the Rhoden murders, we turn our focus to the four other family members awaiting their days in court. In episode eight, we look at what life in prison is like for Billy, Angela, George and Jake Wagner, the four accused “trigger pullers” in the Rhoden murders. George has requested solitary confinement and Angela’s phone and mail privileges have been revoked. How does this affect their upcoming trials and overall quality of life? We’ll also examine both the prosecution and defenses’ arguments, the turns the case has taken since their imprisonment and how the outcome will shape the legacy of Ohio’s largest mass murder.
With the Wagner family attempting to start a new life in Alaska, the investigation into the Rhoden murders in Piketon, Ohio moves forward. Episode seven tracks authorities’ moves as they narrow in on their suspects. We'll also explore another surprising move made by the Wagner family and the discovery of a key piece of evidence that leads to their arrests.
Ohio law enforcement officials spent over two years investigating the Rhoden murders. During that time, they received over 1,100 tips, conducted over 500 interviews and served nearly 200 search warrants. Episode six explores this exhaustive investigation, how authorities honed in on the Wagners, and how they think the family allegedly pulled off the gruesome massacre. We’ll also look at the Wagner’s moves in the two years following the Rhoden murders, including a shocking decision the family made at the height of the investigation.
In the aftermath of the arrest of six members of the Wagner family in connection with the Rhoden murders, many people across the country were shocked by the brutality of the massacre. But, for the Piketon, Ohio area, this grisly crime wasn’t exactly an anomaly. In episode five, we take a dive into the dark history of the Piketon, Ohio community. We investigate a wave of murders that were eerily similar to the Rhoden case, a spate of unsolved violent crimes and take a look into the underhanded tactics of one prominent, law enforcement official entrusted to bring the killers of the Rhoden family to justice.