Well, hey there, hey, Dennis Quaid is here. That's right. And guess what? I have a podcast. It's called the Dennison's. And I think you should listen. I'm having some really cool conversations with some really interesting people, like music legend, Billy Ray Cyrus, housewife in Beverly Hills, Garcelle Bouvier and many, many more.
Listen to the Denison's on the I Heart radio, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Where the bodies are buried contains graphic depictions of violence that some listeners may find disturbing discretion is advised.
Forget what you've heard about serial killers. Forget the movies, podcasts and stories in the media of infamous psychopaths like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy.
I'm going to show you what exists beyond all of that. And you will hear from the source, the killers themselves. This is where the bodies are buried.
The devil is a mess. Three. My name is Phil Charmeuse, for over thirty five years, I've dedicated my life to communicating with and studying hundreds of serial killers, teen killers, school shooters and mass murderers, I help solve cold cases, locate bodies and bring closure to hurting families of the victim. Joining me is my wife, Wendy, and my producers, Adam and Samantha. On this episode of Where the Bodies are buried, a serial killer profiler Phil Chalmers speaks with John Robert Williams, who's serving a life sentence in Mississippi for the murder of one person, though he has claimed to have killed many more on a stolen cell phone.
John Williams discusses his murderous past and alleged participation in an unsolved quadruple murder that occurred in Atlantic City. Samantha, you ready? Yep.
All right. We're rolling. One, two. All right. OK, Phil, who is John Williams? John Williams is a rapist and a serial killer is probably one of the least favorite guys I've spoken to so far. But he's a monster. And John Williams had a coconspirator. Her name was Rachel Cumberland, and she was involved in many of the murders. She helped him lure victims to his semi truck. She also went down and spent many years in prison.
But since then, she's been released from prison. She is free. Hey, John, can you hear me? Yes, I can. Very well.
You I just want to make sure, you know, we're recording this interview that OK? Yes.
So real quick, John Williams is on the phone. John is calling from Mississippi. John is calling us from a cell phone that was smuggled into the prison. I really can't say how he acquired this cell phone. We'll let you use your imagination. OK, and what are you in prison for?
The murder of Mikahil. So you're in prison for one murder. And what's your sentence?
Life without for murder and 20 years for kidnapping and four years for burglary.
You know, you're going to spend the rest of your life in prison.
Yeah. Yeah. How is John considered a serial killer if he's only convicted of killing one person?
Even though John Williams is only convicted of one murder, many of the authorities know he killed at least 10 people. They feel like he's already confessed and shared information. Only the killer would know in at least eight to ten homicides. Tell me about your upbringing, John.
Tell me about your family, your parents. How do you go from a little bouncing baby boy to where you're sitting at today?
I had a pretty good of and, you know, I had good parents. You know, my dad, he he wrote his whole life putting food on the table, keeping a roof over my mom. She was a house housewife. So she raised us. You know, they were strict. You know, they didn't let us through. I do all without regard to the older. You don't.
So hold on. John Williams grew up with a pretty normal family.
No, John Williams did not grow up in a normal family. His family was filled with sexual assault, dysfunction and murder.
So when he says normal family, does that mean that's what he thinks it is? It is.
And when you grow up in that kind of family, you don't know you're living in dysfunction and you think it's normal. And even to this day, John Williams has a very great love for his father. He misses him. He's deceased.
And it's probably the only thing that gets emotion out of John Williams as I get older and get my freedom and stay at home to stay in trouble, John, I could stay out of jail more than two or three weeks at time and family life starting. So you were in trouble a lot growing up?
Yeah, mostly, though, it's because I took the blame for other people, you know, friends and whatever, you know, I took blame for.
When was the first time you committed murder? Sixteen. Sixteen. How many people do you think you're responsible for killing?
So, John, there's over thirty victims that no one knows about this.
There's a few that they know about. They just don't. I guess you say they don't have the evidence it's required by law to convict your.
We just lost John Williams, so obviously we got disconnected, being out of contraband cell phone makes this really difficult because a lot of the prisons will scramble the cell service. One of the most incredible things about him is he has two Facebook pages while he's in prison. It's pretty rare that they actually have Facebook accounts. So he messaged me after we got disconnected on social media. Wow.
Be getting a Facebook message from a serial killer. Yes. Like we're friends on Facebook and wonder why he likes my photos. He told me the next time we talk, he wants to confess his involvement in the Atlantic City prostitute murders. The Atlantic City prostitute murders is a huge unsolved case in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where four sex workers were found deceased. Laying behind the golden key motel heads turned towards Atlantic City and it's been unsolved for many years.
Tell me about your involvement in the Atlantic City prostitute murders. Four women were murdered. I think it was at the Golden Key Motel.
Yeah, the golden key is on his own name, a little high right now, but they call it, if I'm not mistaken, if I remember rightly called estriol.
Tell me about your involvement and tell me how it went down. Pretty much. I was the one to go. There was three hours in all. We would go right around, you know, where had you got your girl or, you know, they'd bring her back to the hotel and you'd pay yourself and get a comparable. You will do whatever. You know, after about an hour I can call you. We would make our intentions clear. We right in theater and pretty much never know what the bruises were.
Did you tell the victims that they were going to die that night? No, I didn't do that until. I'm not sure what's happening here, either John Williams is hanging up on me or the calls are dropping, but check this out. We get a Facebook message from him.
Actually, my wife, Wendy, did get a message from John Williams and it was very sexually graphic. I'm OK with getting close to these serial killers, but I do have some barriers and I will not put up with people being sexually graphic with my wife. I'll let her tell you the story.
Hey, Wendy, so John Williams sent you a damn message on Facebook from prison, which in itself is insane. And I just want to know what that felt like when you saw in your private message box on social media, which in itself is such a personal way to message someone. What did he write you and what did that feel like for him to start communicating with you?
The message was so sexually explicit and raw that I just wanted to scream, really. I wanted to throw my phone. And I was really upset that he had that access to me. Right. I felt violated and I really had to let Phil know about it because I knew it was going to change his relationship with John. And in the message, John kept saying, please don't tell Phil. Phil's a good guy, Phil's my friend. But he crossed the line and really disrespected me, disrespected Phil.
Now, it's amazing to me to think that John thinks he can message you and that you wouldn't tell Phil. Did he think that this was just going to be like a secret thing between the two of you?
I think John Williams is that much of a narcissist. He's sexually charged.
And I think all of his crimes are sexually driven, that he thought that there might be a chance that I wouldn't tell Phil and what a great gig that would be.
This guy is interviewing him, but he's secretly having this weird relationship on Facebook Messenger with his wife, and that's not going to happen. So he was blocked. Right.
And he kept apologizing to Phil. And Phil really had to be professional and say, you can't talk to my wife like that and let's move on. Let's we still want to work with you. We want to get these confessions.
But you've got to be freaked out sometimes, right? Like you have access to these guys. But at the same time, like as proven with John Williams, they have access to you. Yes.
If John Williams was shackled to a table into the floor, I would not meet with him.
Now, does working with Phil and having this different perspective and knowledge of these serial killers, do you walk through life differently? Do you look at people differently?
Does it make you more aware?
I think that there are times when it makes me definitely more aware. I have a little higher sense of condition, yellow, where I'm always kind of watching behind me.
You guys know who you are. So much so that one guy with social media can actually look at your life and find you and Damu. How does that feel?
I guess there's a part of me that I feel like because they know me and for the most part, maybe except for John Williams, there's a level of respect for Phil that they don't bother me. So there's a weird protection in it. But I feel like if I was alone with Clyde Gibson or with Dummies, they would protect me once and. Wow. Yes. And I know that's strange, but I don't I'm not afraid around them. I've been with them before.
Phil and I are partners in this, although he is the I mean, he's definitely the driving force.
I'm usually always there with him and it's always Phil and Wendy. And I'm good with that because that's I mean, just part of what we do. And I always look forward to hearing, you know, what Phil's done during the day when I'm gone and who he's talked to, what killers have called of any new evidence came up. So we just really want to close those cases that are open that some of the people we're working with might have been responsible for.
And that's really our goal.
I'm not going to let John Williams behavior, the dropped calls, the inappropriate messages to my wife interfere with our conversations. He's admitted to a high profile cold case, the Atlantic City murders.
And now we need to wait for him to call to get more information. Sorry, I've got grade school questions and a million dollars to give away, are you smarter than a fifth grader? Let's go. True or false, in the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Lexington took place on the same day as the battle of. The Mercalli scale measures the intensity of what natural phenomenon tornadoes, earthquakes are tidal wave, that was scary. I didn't know that it was so hot.
I would like to drop out of school. Obviously, I'm a genius. However, I am unfortunately not smarter than a fifth grader. Get ready. One of the most popular game shows of all time is coming to audio up as a podcast. Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Listen on the radio Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. Up. John Williams is a rapist and a serial killer, and supposedly he's killed up to 30 people.
John Williams has a contraband cell phone and he actually has Facebook. So that's the way we communicate is he text me, he calls me and he Facebook messages me. Just that blows my mind. This inmate who's in prison for life has has Facebook, a fake Facebook. He has cell phones. He has everything. So we've been communicating and he claims he was involved in the Atlantic City murders, which I was very excited because there's four prostitutes that were killed behind the Gokey Hotel in Atlantic City.
It's a really big case for prostitutes were found near a ditch behind the hotel. They were they were missing some clothing. They were missing their shoes and their heads were turned towards the city.
So it is our goal now to see if we can get this recorded confession from him and see if it matches up with the evidence that law enforcement will provide me to allow you back on, John.
Yes, I'm sure know what happened again, but that's OK.
Let's get back to the Atlantic City murders we talked about so you guys would drive around, pick up some women, take them back to the hotel room, and then what would happen, like I would say, and you would get a high, you know, get a real comfortable, you know, retire, you know, you know, make a mistake.
It was them every night job you want, say, and she normally does, you know, a prostitute. So, you know, at the bar about an hour or so, you know, that's when things get serious. And you know what I mean to me, you know, Carol, what I'm saying, which is therefore what we get when stuff like that, like we wouldn't want to hear who was with you.
Who are the other guys OK with me? It was a man in I cannot for the life of me think, OK, yeah. John Williams is crazy, man, he is, he is he's one of the he's one of the craziest people I've ever talked to. So it's like trying to wrestle a bear.
It's like every minute, every day is a new day with him. So all I can do is continue to try to get him on the phone, get him talking some more and see if I can't get the confessions I'm trying to get from him. It takes time and it takes multiple connections with him.
After we got disconnected from John again, he messaged me that there is evidence buried on his family's property that will prove his involvement with the Atlantic City prostitute murders.
We are here at the former residence of John Williams, who's known as the big rig killer, and John Williams claims there are trophies buried on this property as well as a body. So today we're going to be looking for trophies and a body and we will let you know what we make of what we find. We'll let you know when we discover.
He also claims he has a box of buried trophies, pictures of victims, their underwear, murder weapons. So what we're going to do next is we're going to talk to some investigators. We need to dig a little deeper into his story. We're also going to literally dig to see if we can find any evidence to see if John Williams is actually telling us the truth. Take a little look here, John Williams home that he lived in when he was killing over 30 women all across the United States.
John Williams used to live on this property here in Mississippi.
The home has now been torn down. Someone bought the property, but he's been kind enough to let us explore and dig on this property. We are digging here with local law enforcement and we are looking for two things. We are looking for a teenage victim that he claims is buried here. We're also looking for a box of his sick trophies, female victims underwear, pictures of victims dead murder weapons and all these things. So this is what we're looking for.
So far, we have not found what we're looking for. We see the the remnants of the John Williams family, we see the remnants of his home, his garbage dump next to his home. We know he's been here. We know he's lived here, but we haven't found anything incriminating yet. I know if I find what he says is buried here, it would be one of the most incredible cases and true crime history. So with the search, you guys came up empty.
Does this prove that he's just lying about everything, you know? I hope not. I hope he's not lying. I mean, he possibly could be. Next step is to call the detectives who handled the case and see if any of this lines up because we are not finding a thing. The detective on this case wants to remain anonymous. You know what, I actually took a look at the dates after I called you, and it looks like he might have been in prison during these murders.
So do you think he's a possible candidate, do you think is a possible suspect in these four murders?
Well, we looked into into the dates of the murders of the four prostitutes in Atlantic City and the dates in which John Williams was incarcerated and Williams was incarcerated in November of 2004. And these four more murders, these four murders took place in 2006. So it's not possible that he committed these crimes.
He couldn't have done this. He was in prison in 2004. He lied again. Call me whenever you need me, buddy. Thank you so much. You are not going to believe this shit, I just talked to the investigator. He is lying about being involved or being at the murder scene in Atlantic City. He was incarcerated one year and the murders happened two years later. There's no way he was at the Atlantic City murder scene.
Does that piss you off like you've spent this time? You talk to him on the phone. You guys have this relationship established and then he's just lying to you. I can't believe he's lying. It pisses me off.
There's only one thing worse than a fucking serial killer, a lying fucking serial killer. And John Williams lied to me. So when I confronted him on this, I said, listen, you've been in prison this year and the murders happened two years later. You're full of shit.
I look like a fucking idiot. So. And this is untaxed. Yes. I can't believe you lied to me, bro. You have to be truthful with me. And he says why he was involved in the Atlantic City murders. John also said he had a falling out with his family. So now I'm going to try my best to get him back on the phone to ask him what the hell is going on there, John?
Yeah, man, where the hell you been?
Do you know?
You've been you've been quiet, man. You OK? You're been dealing with family issues, and I've been able to get hold of what happened, what's going on at the jail.
They put me back in population. I'm not in lockdown anymore. OK, does that mean you have better access to a phone? Oh, you're a lot better now down at heart, because I was in isolation for a while and couldn't get up, you know, so, so good.
What's the falling out with the family?
What's going on without a word got out that are planning on doing that? Parkis tell everything I know. Yeah. People kind of running scared right now.
Yeah. Because I wanted to told anybody about it. So tell me real quick, just just give me a you know, you obviously were not at the Atlantic City murders. How are you connected to that?
Tell me about that. How the. How can you ever escape, right? Yes. Everything was recorded to escape on their own island.
OK, and you recorded it? Yes. And how does it get into a box and buried on your property when you're in prison?
Because I was able to kind of bail out the SD card that I had to copy the mail, but oh yeah, yeah.
And worked it out. And who buried the box?
I buried Bastard, as he called it in. Is there is because in that day or did it all your daughter.
And is there really a box buried there? Yes. Is there really is there really a body buried under the shed? Yes, everything is there. The only other person who knew was that he didn't go, and that was your dad, right?
Who were who were the people at the Atlantic City crimes, can you know their names?
There are I can't remember his last name or, you know. My dad. So your dad was there on the. Was he involved in some of these crimes with you? Yeah. How many?
I'll have my hair, but for your. So he enjoyed this as well. Are. When was the first time you guys did a crime together, do you remember which one it was? Oh. It was Samantha Metalhead. So when you sometimes you and you're explaining a murder, you say we I always thought it was you and the female, but it was it could be. Could it be you and your father? You're John Williams. Who's Thomas Williams?
That's your dad, right? Yeah. OK, and then who's Earl Thornton? Who's Earl Thornton? Or is he a good friend of mine?
OK, he's he was the one that was at the Atlantic City as well. It was you you told me once it was you, Thomas Williams, Earl Thorn, and a guy named Berl who's deceased.
Is that the four? Yeah, so it's you in prison it. We just lost John Williams. Hopefully he'll call back again. Get this, you ready for this? His own father was involved in the Atlantic City murders, but also multiple other homicides. It was a father son duo, father son duo.
I literally never heard of that. I can't think of one father and son serial killer duo in the history of true crime.
Could he be lying about that, too? I don't actually think he was lying. I think it was just trying to protect his own father. He, like, worships his father. If you go to his Facebook page, he's got like multiple post worshipping his own father.
Sorry, I can't get over the fact that he has a Facebook page like hello, not accept. Right.
I mean, how do you even get one? How do you get one when you're in prison? How does a serial killer have a Facebook page? I mean, you know, that's not normal.
So Phil, a father and son who both are serial killers, is that something that's genetic? What's his family like?
My gosh, I've never seen this before. And the more I dig deep into this family, the Williams family, it is filled with murder. It is the craziest family I've ever dug into. And quite frankly, this does not surprise me. Sorry. Hi, my name is Zach Selwin, you may remember me as a host from ESPN, attack the show or even immortalized that competitive taxidermy show on AMC, we lasted one episode anyway. I like spoofing the news three times a week.
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We've been talking to John Williams, who said he was responsible for the Atlantic City prostitute murders and he had evidence on his old property while we dug, we found nothing called law enforcement and found out that he was lying about being involved with the murder. The craziest part is that he told us his father was at the murders and he was just protecting him. And John claims that he was watching on some kind of video chat. The question is how much of this is bullshit?
So we're going to get on the phone with a serial killer expert, Dr. Bill Kimberlin, and I'm going to ask him a question. Why would serial killers feel the need to lie?
I'm on the phone with Bill Kimberlin, Bill Kimberlin is an author of a book called Watch Me Die. Bill's a friend of mine and a lot of people say are serial killer experts or they're this or that. But Bill actually does spend time on death row with convicted killers all over the country. He attends their executions. He eats their last meals with them. I wanted to talk to you, Bill. How's it going? Good. Good. Thank you.
Good. I want to talk to you about do you find that some serial killers are honest and you feel some serial killers are liars? How do you feel?
You know, I would say that the majority of of all the serial killers are going to lie at some point. I'm not one of the one of those people that do this as a hobby or anything like that. So it takes a long time to build up their trust in order for them to tell you about the crime that they've actually committed and sometimes about crimes that they've never told anyone else.
So, yeah, I would say that the majority of them aren't always truthful, but there are some that are very open and honest with me.
You were explaining to me, which I think it was really cool, you kind of can tell when someone's telling the truth. Let's say what they're telling you about a murder that they committed. Bill, how do you know? You were telling me like this is kind of how I know, because if you do this kind of an act, you know, some you don't forget. Explain that to the to the audience.
So when when you're dealing with these guys, you know, they're very obviously very manipulative and a lot of times they're in control of themselves. So and it's also been my experience that they're they're pretty well versed in a lot of areas. So when when a killer tells me, you know, flat out and these are the ones that have opened up to me, that when you take a human life, no matter how you take that human life, you never forget that that's one of the things that they treasure the most.
What they hold on to the most is the details, the experience, because they get to relive it in their mind while they're sitting on death row because they know that they're no longer able to do that again.
So so, Bill, you and I have interviewed a lot of killers. We've been doing this a long time. What would you say to an inmate serial killer who's lying to you? We're dealing with an inmate who's lying to a serial killer. Yes. He's telling us he killed someone in 2006 when he was in prison in 2004. So if you're interviewing somebody like that are dealing with them, what would you say to them if you know for a fact they're lying?
What would you say?
You know, I would I would approach it in a way that, you know, I find it very interesting that you're taking credit for this murder, which, you know, it seems physically impossible that you could have been at since you were incarcerated during the time of these murders. Can you help me explain how this could be? Because the last thing you want to do is ever ask them Closed-in questions where they can just answer yes or no or one word?
You want to you want to leave all your questions open ended? The least amount of questions you ask them, the more they tell you. So when you ask all the open ended questions, they find themselves not being able to stop talking about it.
It's always good talking to you. And we'll talk soon, OK? Absolutely. Looking forward to. It's an honor. Thank you. Have a great day. Will you do.
There's something that John Williams said to you on the phone where he goes, my family's past that I'm revealing everything on a podcast.
What does that tell you?
You know, when he tells me the story about his family, he says things like, you don't want to go talk to anybody. They keep secrets. They have lots of secrets. He has said that multiple times to me that he's really afraid when he he's he's claiming that when we get the full details and when we find the evidence, he says it's going to destroy a lot of people's lives. And I know he's talking about his own family members save a lot of lives.
Yeah. Think of all his family members that are still out there committing crimes. It's a very, very dysfunctional family. And so when we look at serial killers, we say, you know, do they come from terrible homes? Well, sometimes they come from decent homes and sometimes they come from really dysfunctional home. There's really nothing that gets John Williams emotional. I've seen him emotional twice. Any time he talks about his father, who's deceased, and when his daughter died, how did his daughter die?
He claims his daughter died by falling out of a window and being impaled on a fence post. We have searched high and low to find his daughter's death. We have searched high and low to find a funeral home that had her funeral and we could not find it.
Many of the things that John Williams tells us, I really don't believe, like like I'm not even sure there's something buried on his property. I'm not even sure he claims he had a cell phone taken. Well, when he calls me on his contraband cell phone, he claims is not his, it says John Williams when he calls.
How are you doing, John? I'm doing. How are you doing? This has been a pain in the ass getting a hold of you, huh?
Yeah. I'm Larry Bird. You know, I've had my fill of. Wow.
So what's been going on there? Why is it so hard to call? They make a lot of changes here.
You can say so. Happened back in December and January. Yeah. All the news reports about the living conditions of the Michigan prison system and all of. All right. You know, there's a lot of out-of-state people here now, supervisors and everything. And it's kind of I mean, it's harder for the inmates to do anything right now, you know, because now the weather down is going on.
You know what I'll do, John, is not just random questions off until we get cut off again. OK, so, John, most of your victims are like sex workers did it, is that kind of your preferred victim? Was that the easiest victim for you?
Yeah. I guess I'm not going to say verbatim or just convenience, I guess.
Mm hmm. You had told me last time we talked that your father was involved in some cases with you. You said he didn't do some of the prostitutes in the Midwest, though. What what kind of crimes did you and your dad do together?
Well, you know, and I'm very protective of it, was when I first got, which is of the law enforcement, they kind of knew already my dad was involved. You know, there was always at least, you know, with your dad, with you, it was bad. You did not always tell the same thing. Leave my dad had to leave my dad. And, you know, I mean, yeah, he was involved in all this.
Is his involvement mostly involved, protecting against, I guess, protecting me in a way.
I mean, whatever he did, you know, crimes that he committed, he did it occur. But what I did or I you know, or you know, John Williams is a very interesting serial killer.
He is a sexual deviant. He is all about sex. His M.O. is rape. Sex. Sodomy. That's what he likes. We also found some interesting things that his family may have been involved with these murders, possibly his father. We also know he's killed a lot of people. Even the police and the detectives agree. They know he's killed a lot of victims. It would be my job to try to solve some of those cold cases with him and to continue to try to decipher whether he's telling the truth or lying.
John Williams is one of those serial killers that I know has lied to me normally. I stop working with them when they lie to me, but I know I can solve some of these cold cases. So we're going to hang on for dear life. John Williams. And hopefully bring some closure to some of the parents of these victims. Join us next week when we interviewed David Berkowitz, known as the Son of Sam, but now calls himself the Son of Hope.
Also, don't miss our recap episode where we update you on past episodes, including a new confession from John Williams and never heard before interviews. Thanks for listening.
And please take the time to write and review this podcast. This podcast is produced by Gridding Dog Entertainment and Audio Up.
If you want an up close and personal experience with serial killers that you can't get anywhere else. Visit My Friends are Monsters Fan Club Dotcom and join my fan club. Hey, Dennis Quaid here, and I want to tell you about the orange tree. Now, I have recently started a podcast network called Audio Up. And much as I prepare for movie roles, I've been researching the podcast landscape and listening to hundreds of podcasts. One in particular, stop me in my tracks, The Orange Tree.
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