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[00:00:01]

Hey, I'm Steve Greenberg, the host of Eyharts new podcast, Speed of Sound, Speed of Sound is a music history podcast that gives you an all access pass into the songs and sounds that have become the soundtrack to our lives.

[00:00:16]

We'll take you back in time and straight through today's charts to tackle Pop's top songs and most sensational scandal filled stories. Listen and follow the speed of sound on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts. And I heart radio, we bring you the best podcasts from the Ron Burgundy show to the Breakfast Club to stuff you should know really all of today's biggest names. But each of these shows started with an idea and now we want yours.

[00:00:50]

We're looking to you for the next great podcast. Simply go to next great podcast, Dotcom, to get the details and submit your pitch will select up to 10 semifinalists and give them a thousand dollars to produce a pilot. Then listeners from across the world will vote on their favorite to decide the next great podcast. Enter today at next. Great podcast, Dotcom. That's next. Great podcast, Dotcom. Why shouldn't the next great podcast come from you?

[00:01:22]

Welcome to the Pectin Massacre, a production of I Heart Radio and CTY studios for members of the Wagner family are in prison awaiting death penalty trials for the murder of eight members of the rodent family.

[00:01:34]

Four suspects are Billy and Angela Wagner and their sons, George the Fourth. And these four individuals are now in custody for allegedly committing this heartless, ruthless, cold blooded murder. Two others have been charged with helping to cover up the grisly crime writer Joe Newcome and Fredrica Carol Wagner under house arrest, connected to the killings of eight members of the rodent family. The judge set bond at one hundred thousand dollars. But while Ohio's largest murder investigation brings the alleged killers to stand trial, it also raises some unsettling questions about the victims themselves.

[00:02:10]

There had been reports of scuffles with other people in public. There were indications that they were involved in some drug deals and drug trade enforcement. You have to say in the extensive marijuana grow operation they found is connected to the deaths.

[00:02:24]

And now, two years after the arrests, the residents of Dayton, Ohio, are conflicted about what really happened on the early morning of April 22nd, 2016.

[00:02:34]

I think there's more to it. And I don't know if we'll ever get the truth about it, to be honest with you. This is the Python massacre. Episode four alternate theories. In the last episode, we examine the motive that authorities believe lie at the center of the brutal killings of eight members of the road and family, a feud between Jake Wagner and Hannah Roden over the custody of their two and a half year old daughter, Sophia. Though it is important to remember that the Wagners are all innocent until proven guilty.

[00:03:13]

There is mounting evidence to support the custody theory. Still, nearly two years after the arrests, some residents of pieds in Ohio are conflicted about their guilt. The BCI and the state of Ohio, poor county, they're not really wanting to spend a lot of money on it. Somebody did it, but it wasn't them. It just doesn't make sense to me if they are innocent because who else would do that? I wish we knew exactly what happened.

[00:03:39]

I know people kill people over custody, but not that many people think there's more to it. It's bigger than what people think it is. And I don't know if we'll ever get the truth about it, to be honest with you.

[00:03:57]

That's exactly what we're going to explore in this episode. I'm Courtney Armstrong, a producer at Katie's studios with Stephanie Lydecker and Jeff Shane. We worked on a documentary about the case back in 2019.

[00:04:09]

One thing the three of us know for sure is that the Rodin's did not deserve this. By all accounts, they were just a loving and caring family and their loss is felt throughout the entire community. And that's really why we want to bring not only them, but the entire town of Picart justice and hopefully shine a light on the crime and help bring everyone some sense of closure. Following the Rowden murders, it was two and a half years before the Wagners were arrested, in that time, many other plausible theories were put forward and there are those who believe that some of them are credible possibilities.

[00:04:45]

When we began researching the story, we kept hearing rumblings about two of the victims. We haven't discussed much yet, the road sons, Chris Jr. and Frankie. From all accounts, 20 year old Frankie was a wonderful man. He was a devoted father and excited about his upcoming marriage to his fiancee, Hannah Guelleh. Christiania was just a few years younger than Frankie. Brittny, one of Christina's oldest friends, talk to Stephanie about her memories of him growing up.

[00:05:12]

When did you and Chris Junior meet for the first time?

[00:05:14]

How old were you guys? We were young. We were either in kindergarten or first grade and we were friends from that day forward. Yes, we actually dated first grade. He was the love of my life. What did the first grade version of you love about him? That you little Baguley. And that's how you always was like he was the guy that he's like, I know I have it all. Like he was that type of boy growing up.

[00:05:44]

One of the things that kept coming up when we talked to people around town was the Rowden Boys Love of Demolition Derby. Frankie and Chris Jr. were very passionate about demolition derby racing. They spent most of their time building and rebuilding these cars to race in derbies all across Ohio.

[00:06:01]

We spoke to journalist Jeff Winckler, who spent some time at Derby races as part of his investigation into the road and murders demolition derby, as you've seen on TV, it's it looks like chaos and to a degree it is.

[00:06:14]

But it's raining and into people. There's a lot of loud noises and there's a lot of concrete flying and there's fires and smoke and dirt and it's exciting and fun. And people who love it love it. The rodents were deeply involved in demolition derby in the area. They were very much part of that that culture. But demolition derby are really intense. You're smashing each other. I mean, emotions get high.

[00:06:36]

Jeff told us about one derby that Christiania and Frankie participated in in May of 2015 that ended in a bloody altercation based on what's been reported in court documents.

[00:06:46]

I think it's fair to say that Frankie and Chris Jr., I mean, definitely were hotheads and definitely got into fights here and there. They had an incident with a fellow named Tommy Gorman, who was a rival in the demolition derbies. They got into a bit of a sort of heated match and there was a bit of a sort of incident on the track. They got upset with each other, bad blood. And then again, it's, you know, kind of picked up speed with Facebook posts about sort of insulting each other.

[00:07:19]

And then, of course, Chris Junior, Frankie drove over to Gorman's house and proceeded to really beat on Gorman and his father. And the fights and beatings were only really broken up after the grandfather came out and pumped a few shotgun shells into the ER. According to reports, the rodents showed up with a dozen friends and proceeded to brutally assault Tommy Jr. and even knocked out his father, Tommy Senior's front teeth. In the aftermath of the fight, Frank was arrested and sentenced to less than a year's probation for the attack.

[00:07:57]

Chris Junior was a juvenile at the time of the attack and no court records are available about charges made against him. Here's our producer, Jeff Shane, speaking to Jeff Winckler and with Tommy and his family, were they ever looked at as suspects? You know, like did the sheriff ever interview them or see if they were involved?

[00:08:14]

I mean, the press had talked to the Gordon family after hearing about these fights on Facebook. But as far as I know, the the law enforcement never really approached them while the gourmands admitted to reporters that there was some bad blood between them in the rodent family.

[00:08:29]

It was not enough to retaliate and certainly not enough to kill over. In fact, the Gorman family were never suspects in the investigation, but there were more people to look into. As our investigation unfolded, so, too, to the list of people who could have wanted payback on the Rodin's take, Rusty mangled another local kid who had gotten into an altercation with Chris Jr. just two weeks before the Rodin's were murdered. Wangled had posted on Facebook that Christiania hit him with a car and in his message, you know, uses some pretty tough language.

[00:09:03]

I mean, Rusty was 19 at the time. And, you know, he's talking about on the break his fucking legs and curb stomp his ass. And I mean, just sort of sort of 19 year old bluster, really. The Rusty Mongul thing happened just two weeks before the murders.

[00:09:19]

So, I mean, I think this was pretty obvious. The investigators had to check that out. And, of course, he got pulled over and was detained and even did a DNA sample. But it was pretty clear that he had nothing to do with it.

[00:09:36]

But, you know, that kind of language is certainly going to grab the attention of authorities, especially after something like this, with the authorities finding no clear link between Rusty Mangold, the Gorman family and the Rowden murders, the feeling around Piken was still ominous. No one knew who could be responsible for the mass murder or even if the responsible parties lived next door.

[00:10:00]

Jeff Winckler fills us in on yet another incident that happened leading up to the murders, according to court documents, on February 24th, and this was two months before the murders. So two months before the murders in late February, Chris Jr. was involved in a road rage incident with three year old woman named Rebecca, allit apparent to the court records, Rebecca had slapped Chris Jr. in the face. She also made threats against him and his mother, Dana, which were recorded on a cell phone.

[00:10:33]

Here's what we know about this Dana Road and Christina's mom got involved as well. And Rebecca Allen ultimately got two years probation, 40 hours of community service and a restraining order against contacting Chris Jr. and Dana Rowden. This was on April 20th, 2016, one day before the murders took place. There were definitely some scrapes, some posturing and, yes, some social media threats. But is that really motive enough to murder eight people? Of course not. But the timing of it is interesting.

[00:11:04]

You know, as we try to understand what's happened, it's important to know everything this family was going through up until the murders because we don't know what's important until we know it's important. But going back to Rebecca Allen and the road rage incident for just one second, Leonard Manley, Dana's father, who at this point was just trying to cope with the tragedy, was quoted in the news as saying that Rebecca Allen should be looked into with regards to the massacre.

[00:11:29]

Dana Rodin's family, the Manley's, were deeply entrenched in the Rodin's day to day lives, and they were a key piece of the investigation at first. Bobbie Jo Manley, for example, she's the one who discovered the bodies and also made that first 911 call. Here's investigative reporter Jody Barr.

[00:11:47]

The day after this, the 911 calls were beginning to be produced. So then you can get a picture of what happened that morning that, you know, a family member went into the first home and found the first two dead, Gary and Chris Senior.

[00:12:03]

OK. OK, I need you to get out of the house. Did you drive over there yesterday? And what's your name? My Tommy. My brother. Let me ask you, what's his name representing? Very Condit. It looks like a dad.

[00:12:27]

That was Bobby Jo Manley. You hear about Jane's family going over to this house, finding his sister dead, his niece and nephew. So you start getting some more pieces to put together in this puzzle and then you realize, well, wait a minute, why were they there? Police want to know that, too, we found out from Lynn Manley, that's Dana Rodin's father, James Manley's father, that Bobby Jo and James were both taken down to the Pike County sheriff's office and interrogated.

[00:13:01]

So from the outset, when you look at that and you go, well, obviously they had two people in mind. These were the two people who made the initial signs of the bodies that morning and made those nine one one calls. And then we had gotten word that investigators wanted to know who paid them to murder their own family.

[00:13:23]

Over the next few weeks, Bobby Jo family has questioned several times these people are not only being looked at as murder suspects, they're going through the entire process. They're being interrogated, they're given polygraphs. I can tell you, I spoke with Bobby Joe Manley on the porch of her father's home, and she was she told me that she was given three polygraph tests and passed every one. As the suspicion surrounding Bobby Joe subsides, authorities begin taking a closer look at James family.

[00:13:54]

And it's not too long before they make a stunning discovery about who he talked to on the night of the murders, in the overnight hours at two a.m., this would have been just for all we know, minutes before the murders, 2:00 in the morning. I mean, the bodies were found at sunup, but that at 2:00 in the morning, James was texting with Jake Wagner.

[00:14:14]

Jake, obviously now charged in these murders. We didn't know the context of those texts, but we do know that happened and it's just strange suspicions. And the Jane's family took a polygraph and failed that. We're going to take a quick break here. We'll be back in a moment. Get Down to Cape Town is a podcast about the explosion of Korean culture all over the world and why it's here to stay. I'm your host, Esther Choi, founder and chief of several restaurants in New York City.

[00:14:57]

And I truly believe that food is the ultimate gateway to getting to know a culture. And that's how it all started for me. I've been using my passion for cooking to cultivate a deeper understanding into my culture. And now I can proudly say that I am an ambassador of Korean food and culture. And by using food as an entry point, we dig in deeper to the rich and fascinating culture of Korea, tune into unfiltered conversations with trailblazers and tastemakers.

[00:15:24]

This show will explore the unique facets of the Korean cultural phenomenon the Kogi Food Truck Movement with Roy Choi. How about how to do the 10 step Korean skincare routine with Chala Cho talking rap, battling as the only Korean kid in the room with yes, you guessed it, dumfounded. We talk to the people at the heart of it all who represent and shape this global movement. Real talk with real people. Listen to get down in Cape Town on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

[00:15:59]

It was May 19th, 1983, in Springfield, Oregon, in the middle of an otherwise peaceful, cool spring night, a car arrived at McKensie Willamette Hospital. Diane Downs and her three children had been shot, Cheryl's seven was dead and Danny, three, and Kristy, eight, had life threatening injuries a year later. Diane herself was found guilty for the shootings.

[00:16:25]

In the 80s, this was a shocking headline story of Fatal Attraction. Authorities believed Diane's infatuation with a married man who said he had no interest in being a father to anyone's children was the possible motive behind her shooting her three kids. One year later, at her trial, she was pregnant. That child was Becky Babcock. Four years, Becky, has tried to come to terms with who her mother is. But one mystery has haunted her. Who is her biological father?

[00:16:59]

She's what I call a jackpot match.

[00:17:01]

Did you find Becky's biological father?

[00:17:04]

Join me as we search for the answer and explore Becky's and her mother's past on this season of Happy Face to Face. Listen, Nana, I heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you find your favorite shows. Here again is Jody Barr commenting on James Manley's failed polygraph. I don't know what to make of that. You know what that means, failing a polygraph. I have no idea because we don't know what questions were asked. Without sufficient evidence to charge him, James Manley is released, but police continue to keep an eye on him.

[00:17:50]

Something to think about is that no arrests were made after this questioning or the alleged polygraph failure. So it's not like the police found some sort of smoking gun that implicated him in the crimes. Furthermore, in the state of Ohio, polygraph examinations are admitted under limited circumstances in the court of law in the state, only if all parties, including the defendant, defense attorney and the prosecutor agree in advance to the admissibility of the results. Will the court be inclined to admit them?

[00:18:17]

It's really not uncommon for immediate family members, particularly those who have discovered bodies to be considered er quote, suspects at first. It's just a natural place for most investigations to begin. All that said, I can only imagine how difficult that must have been for the Manley's.

[00:18:34]

We found out later that, you know, he was it was some respects a potential target of the investigation, because we know that investigators put a GPS device underneath James Mamluks pickup truck and for whatever reason, they felt the need to track him. And then James family finds that this GPS tracker attached to the underside of his pickup truck, he rips that off and then he's arrested for doing that. This all happens in May of twenty seventeen. Three hundred and ninety days after James Manley's sister and her family were murdered.

[00:19:12]

He's charged with two felonies, tampering with evidence and vandalism. Both counts for removing the tracking device on his car.

[00:19:19]

I can remember getting that news late, late in the day, driving straight to Ross County, Ohio, to the jail where James family was booked and, you know, being held overnight awaiting a bond hearing. But on the way there, you're trying to replay these conversations in your mind that, you know, what were the scenarios that involved James? Why is there a GPS tracker on the brother of a dead family? I mean, this was hitting really close to home.

[00:19:48]

So, again, every trip to Pike County was this cloud of suspicion and confusion. You wonder if they arrested him on those charges to try to just bring him in and hopes that they would then question him and he would admit to something murder related.

[00:20:03]

You know, that was a suspicion. You know, it's like, man, where is this going to end up? You know, because the story is horrible and horrific enough.

[00:20:14]

But six days after his arrest, the charges against James Manley are dismissed. It's another dead end for investigators.

[00:20:23]

Another leading theory at the time was the involvement with the drug cartel. The Rodin's did have marijuana growing on the property. And it was not just a few plants here and there in the window. It was a lot. A law enforcement source has confirmed that investigators found some two hundred marijuana plants on all of the properties. The same source said that the size of the operation indicates it was being grown for sale and not for personal use. And just to put that into perspective, each plant could produce around one pound of marijuana and a pound of high grade quality marijuana had a street value of around two thousand dollars at the time, meaning that the Rodin's had about forty thousand dollars worth of marijuana in their possession.

[00:21:01]

I think it's worth noting also that the unemployment rate in peaked in Ohio is one hundred and fifteen percent higher than the national average. And I share that simply to say, by all accounts, the rodents were very hardworking people. And the fact that there was this marijuana grow operation in their backyard kind of erased the entire investigation, as if the rodent family was just a bunch of drug dealers who had it coming. And based on our research, that really doesn't add up.

[00:21:28]

It should be noted that around the same time as the murders, marijuana was being legalized for medicinal use in the state of Ohio. So in theory, the rodents could have been growing the crop to be distributed for people who were prescribed marijuana legally to treat things like cancer and Alzheimer's also.

[00:21:44]

And Jeff and I were, in fact, in the last time somebody said something to us in passing. And it's always sort of stuck with me regarding the marijuana grow operation. On the one hand, if it was a small operation, how would that possibly constitute a drug cartel hit of this size, four different locations? It felt very personal. Each crime scene seemed to tell a story of sorts, not totally the M.O. of the drug cartel. And our research on the flip, if it was a large scale operation, they would have needed a lot of equipment, specialized lighting, and that lighting likely would have caused a bit of a surge in electricity that would have been noticeable by the electric company, number one.

[00:22:22]

And number two, it also would have been very bright. Where they lived was a very rural road. It's dark. There's no streetlights. How would a grow operation of that size go unnoticed?

[00:22:34]

Yeah, and based on all of our research, if it really was the drug cartel, they would have killed the dogs and the kids. They leave no one behind. I think it's OK for us to confirm that we did find marijuana in three three locations. Well, it's a grow operation.

[00:22:56]

Our producer, Jeff Shane, spoke to investigative journalist James Pilcher, who was in town just after the announcement was made that obviously fueled even more speculation that these were outside operators, possibly.

[00:23:09]

Was this a drug deal gone bad or was somebody trying to take over their turf? All kinds of rumors started to flow after that disclosure. And so this idea that like a drug cartel being a potential culprit, it does sound crazy. The small town infiltrated by, you know, international drug dealers in the middle of the Appalachian southern Ohio. You know, but if it turned out to be that, we would not have been surprised because Mexican drug cartels had done a lot of activity in southern Ohio, in the Pike County and Sierra County and in Ross County.

[00:23:42]

In fact, in August 2012, law enforcement officers found a major marijuana grow site in Pike County that it had suspected ties to a Mexican drug cartel. During that raid, officials destroyed about 200 marijuana plants and found two abandoned campsites they believe belonged to Mexican nationals. The main route from southern Ohio to Columbus, which is the next biggest city next to Cincinnati, cuts right through there. So you have those people coming in and out. Now, were the rodents involved directly in the narcotics business?

[00:24:21]

There were indications that they were involved in some drug deals and drug trade with marijuana. The Russians had attacked dogs, which again belies that all-American image, which means what did they have to hide? They had attack dogs, security cameras. There was a lot of security at that place and they wanted to protect what they had. Now, does that mean that they were doing anything wrong? Not necessarily, but it certainly raised a lot of questions.

[00:24:51]

Journalist Jody Barr, walk us through the logic of the drug cartel theory. As the months wore on, no one has been arrested, no one charged, no people named as persons of interest. You really started to wonder, you know, maybe this drug cartel thing has there was something to that. They definitely knew how to kill. People know you're looking for signs of a drug cartel and then you find Kenneth Road with what appeared to be a gunshot in the head, but that there were dollar bills or some sort of paper money spread around the body.

[00:25:29]

Was that a sign? What did that mean? You know, as a reporter, you're standing back trying to draw a conclusion or at least a lead from what this man I mean, what does that mean? There's a body lying there with money on it. So, of course, a drug cartel at that point in time, you couple with the attorney general announcing that they found commercial grow operations. It made sense. Let's stop here for another quick break.

[00:26:00]

We'll be back in a moment. My name is Langston Kerman, and I love black people. I love them short, I love them tall. I love them thick. I forgive them when their booties are small. The only thing I love more than black people are the conspiracy theories that black people come up with.

[00:26:20]

So I, along with the beautiful oppressors that I heart, radio and big money players have a brand new podcast called My Mama Told Me where each week me and a special guests will explore all of the deep and twisted conspiracies that the white man doesn't want us to know about. We'll talk silly conspiracies. We'll talk crazy conspiracies. We'll talk those conspiracies. Do you learn from your uncle who used to wear jean shorts when he went swimming at the public pool?

[00:26:48]

Anything from baby urine as an acne treatment to lotion being a tool for government mind control and sterilization? Ladies and gentlemen, I don't want to be your president, but if you want to hear where the president is hiding that AIDS vaccine, then listen to my mama told me available on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or anywhere else that pods are cast. What happens when two therapists walk into a podcast and then hold people accountable for their advice?

[00:27:23]

Hey, I'm Lori Gottlieb. I write the dear therapist advice column for The Atlantic, and I'm Guy, which I write the Dear Guy advice column for Ted. And we are the hosts of a new podcast from radio called Dear Therapist.

[00:27:37]

One of the most frustrating things for us is advice columnist is that afterward no one gets to hear how the advice worked out.

[00:27:43]

But on our show you will we guide people through a consultation and then have them come back and tell us what worked or didn't and what we can all learn from it.

[00:27:53]

I was raised in a generation where men didn't show emotion. I am not good at words, but going through it has helped me grow in that sense.

[00:28:04]

I've been dating a single dad for two years and his daughter, the six year old. She hates me one minute and loves me 10 minutes later.

[00:28:12]

I don't want to lose sight of the negative feelings that I caused her.

[00:28:15]

I just hope that at some point you can forgive me if you'd like to walk into our podcast, email us with your dilemma at Laury and Guy at, I hope Media Dotcom.

[00:28:25]

Listen to the therapists on Apple podcasts, the I Heart radio app or wherever you get your podcasts. The discovery of the Rodin's Grow operation didn't just complicate the case and who might be responsible. It forced the residents of PYKEN to reconsider their feelings for the family.

[00:28:50]

As soon as Darlyne and Reeder made that announcement of the commercial grow operations that appeared to change the entire public perception of these murders. The empathy for this family and even the monetary donations that were coming in to help bury these people, all of that stopped. There was a large reward total by Jeff Ruby, a restaurant owner in Cincinnati that was rescinded that day. The public support they were getting almost vanished that day. I mean, these were eight innocent people and it sort of flipped it on its head that, you know, these were eight people potentially involved in some large drug operation and people seemingly just instantly stopped caring.

[00:29:36]

And all that momentum the family had of the public being interested in this by trying to solve it, taking care of these kids who were left, trying to bury these eight people. I mean, that's a large expense that vanished that day and that was over as soon as that announcement was made. However, those closest to the family never believed a cartel was behind the murders, Kendra Rowden is Kenneth Rodin's daughter. Kenneth was that eighth victim. The final victim found and worked out an interview with Kendra and her mother at their home.

[00:30:09]

And through that interview, we finally got a look at how close this family really was. Kendra just going through her phone with her. She had pictures with Hannah. She had pictures with Chris Jr. She had pictures with Dana.

[00:30:22]

Her father obviously was a large part of the photos stored on her phone. I mean, they looked like a normal family. I mean, there was nothing in those pictures that would indicate that, you know, a week later, eight of these people in these pictures would no longer draw the breath of life. And you you just it was nothing to indicate that. And you're looking at these pictures and you're looking for some clue. You're looking for that sign from Kendra when you're invited into her home.

[00:30:52]

You saw none of that. I mean, is it was almost like that's why it's almost unbelievable that it even happened. Because when you look at these photographs and you talk to these people, they're just like anybody else you'd ever talk to a typical rural American family who rose to this notorious platform through the nightly news, coming out and telling the world about their darkest hour. Eight people murdered in their homes while they slept children. Speyer covered with blood.

[00:31:26]

And it's like you you try to reconcile what you saw in those photographs and the story that Kendra Rowden was telling about this family to the picture that you now have of them murdered in these homes, apparently involved in some sort of commercial drug industry. And then you try to put all that together. I mean, I don't know how the hell you figure that out. It was so confusing. So if it wasn't a drug cartel, who was it?

[00:31:56]

Let's shift our focus back to the Waggoner's for a minute. Could there be other motives aside from the custody dispute between Jake Wagner and Hannah Rowden? As we found out, from speaking to journalist Jeff Winkler, there were more connections between the Rodin's and the Wagners than just Hannah and Jake.

[00:32:12]

Obviously, the family shared a grandchild together. So it was just a lot of interaction between the families. But as the investigation went on, you know, there was a clear sort of trail between Christopher Road senior and Dale Wagner. They had been longtime acquaintances, possibly friends and also business partners. They were just, you know, some good local entrepreneurs. These are multigenerational families in the same area. So, yeah, they just again, that sort of mix of family and friends and neighbors, business partners, all sorts of blends in together.

[00:32:50]

Angela Wagner even had said to the press that her and her husband and Kristina were longtime friends like they were. The Waggoner's were presenting them as close allies. I think some of that was, of course, trying to, you know, sort of trade. The family is not adversarial to the rodent's, but they had a falling out before the murders. Attorney and legal commentator Mike Allen felt a sense back in mid April 2016. Supposedly there was a fight between Chris Senior and Billy Wagner that witnesses say ended with Billy threatening to, quote, come back and finish them all, unquote.

[00:33:37]

Nobody seems to know what the fight was about or what caused it, but these two families, from everything that I've seen, were probably not shy about taking care of business if they felt somebody abused them or their family.

[00:33:55]

So could this all have stemmed from some kind of business arrangement gone wrong, though we can't be positive? One thing we do know is that the detail of Christina's autopsy seems to indicate that his death was much different than the other seven victims. Here's James Pilcher speaking to Jeff again.

[00:34:12]

Of all the crime scenes that day, like his was known to be the worst yet. He was shot the most. First of all, he was shot nine times, possibly because he was trying to fight back or possibly because, you know, the vendetta was mostly against him or that he was the primary target, I should say. And then they positioned his body in a certain way and actually drug his body away from where he had originally fallen. So that gave investigators even more of an indication that this was personal.

[00:34:41]

An anonymous Wagner family relative told Jeff that the situation between the Wagners and the rodent's was reaching a boiling point. This was just before the Rodin's were found dead.

[00:34:50]

I knew that they were the family unharnessed the rebels. And, you know, my family, they were fighting. There was a lot of tension there, I believe there. But I never thought in a million years that they had anything to do with that.

[00:35:07]

To me, it's just it's so overwhelming. There's a feeling that is almost indescribable. It's kind of like, you know, you don't know how to react. So you're constantly at least I am at this like it feels like a tug of war with my emotions, like guilt because I love them so much and I care about them. And they are family. That's your family. So it's hard to just turn your back and be like, OK, well, you're a frickin monster.

[00:35:33]

So I want nothing to do with you. And I don't love you anymore. I don't care about you no more.

[00:35:39]

So it seems like your relationship with Angela and her family really changed and never really was the same. Yeah, it did a hundred percent. It was absolutely mind blowing. I just couldn't I couldn't picture it because I knew them from completely different people, you know what I mean? Like, I would have never pictured Angela being capable or or to believe any of that.

[00:36:09]

When we first heard about the rodent murders, we were shocked at the brutality of it all, and when we first got to Python, we couldn't believe that these murders took place in this community. But upon speaking to residents and learning more about the town, we discovered that the rodents were not the first murder victims who called pectin home. You know, if you look back through the history of PYT and there's quite a bit of things that just happened that, you know, there's no explanation for get swept under the rug, I don't know.

[00:36:41]

I think there's just more evil there than just what happened to those eight Pike County and beautiful.

[00:36:49]

It's a beautiful place, but there's a lot of dirty people here to. Or the town that we you know, the size of our town. There's been a lot of murders here that have not been solved.

[00:37:08]

More on that next week, the Python massacre is executive produced by Stephanie Lydecker and me, Courtney Armstrong, editing and sound design by executive producer Jared Asten Additional producing by Jeff Shane and Andrew Becker. The Python massacre is a production of I Heart Radio and Katie Studios from our podcast From My Heart Radio. Visit the I Heart Radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Are you zoomed out? Netflix wants to many welcome to the Carlos Watson Show, a brand new TV show for Ozzy.

[00:37:46]

We get deep and real with Andrew yet. What would you have done differently to actually have won the whole thing? Well, I would have hung out with you a little bit more.

[00:37:53]

Sean Spicer saying Black Lives Matter doesn't make anyone's life better. Hey, leave the bullshit at the doors. We bring you the conversations you need here to make sense of this crazy year. Join me, Carlos Watson on the Aussie YouTube channel or listen to the podcast version on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever else you listen.

[00:38:10]

Hi, I'm Ali Wentworth. You know, I'm not a truth sayer, a therapist or an advice columnist. I'm not even particularly sage, but I do know a thing or two about a thing or two. And I've lived those things or two or three and consequently fallen on my face and occasionally been enlightened. So join me for Go Ask Ali for this season. I'll probe all the questions about growing a teenager in a pandemic. Go ask Ali premieres Thursday, August 20th, with all new episodes releasing every other Thursday.

[00:38:37]

Listen to go ask Ali on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.