No one should be surprised at what he did

Former reality-TV star and right-wing political activist Josh Duggar’s arrest on April 29, 2021, has set everyone from the national media to niche YouTubers talking. The fact that he and his family present themselves as examples of “good old fashioned, Biblical family values” only adds to the shock (or schadenfreude) of him being arrested for possessing images of child sexual abuse (formerly called “child pornography”).

Since then, a lot has been spoken and written about Josh, his arrest, and his past. However, having lived near the Duggars all my life, I have a perspective that not many others do, and…

Robert Durst is convicted of murder, Elizabeth Holmes stands trial, Alex Murdaugh is sued again, and dramatic updates in the case of Gabby Petito

Robert Durst. Image courtesy of Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Durst Convicted of Murder

On Sept. 17, real-estate heir Robert Durst, who was the subject of the 2015 HBO docu-series The Jinx, was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his long-time friend, Susan Berman.

In December 2000, Berman was found in her Los Angeles home, shot in the back of the head at point-blank range. It is believed she was about to go to police with information about how she helped cover up the killing of Durst’s wife, Kathie, by providing him with a false alibi.

Durst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, before the final episode of the series aired…

The Murdaughs were able to use their wealth and power to sweep at least two deaths (maybe more) under the rug

Maggie, Paul, and Alex Murdaugh.

In June, the US was tragically introduced to the Murdaugh family when Maggie, 52, and her son Paul, 22, were shot to death on their hunting estate in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Their murders — which, at the time of this writing, are still unsolved — shone a light on the wealthy, well connected family, often referred to as a “dynasty” in their area (notably, the poorest county in the state). Indeed, Alex Murdaugh was the latest in a generations-long line of solicitors (basically, prosecuting attorneys) for his district. Alex, however, only acted as a part-time solicitor, able to pick…

A new twist in the Alex Murdaugh case, Josh Duggar’s hands, and a suspiciously Q-like murder

Another Q Nut Murderer?

Bryan Riley. Image courtesy of Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 5, a man dressed in body armor broke into the home of a family just outside of Lakeland, Florida. Once inside, he shot up the entire family — including a grandmother, father, mother, and the baby she was holding in her arms. He also shot an 11-year-old girl multiple times, though she thankfully survived her injuries.

Polk County deputies were called to the residence the previous day, when a man — later identified as 33-year-old Bryan Riley — approached the home while Justice Gleason, who lived there, was mowing the lawn. …

Charles Albright. Image courtesy of Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

Dec. 13, 1990, Dallas, Texas: The partially nude body of a woman is found lying in the middle of the street in a run-down suburban neighborhood at the southern edge of the city. She’s splayed out, exposed, her shirt and bra shoved up so her breasts are exposed. It’s clear that the woman was killed somewhere else, then dumped here where she’d be found immediately.

One of the responding officers recognizes the woman immediately: Mary Lou Pratt, a 33-year-old sex worker from Oak Cliff.

Her cause of death is apparent: a .44-caliber gunshot wound to her head. She’s also got…

Some of the dial painters for U.S. Radium. Amelia Maggia is center.

On Labor Day (in the US, anyway), it’s important to remember the struggles of the labor movement — the men and women who braved beatings, arrests, and death in order to put an end to the horrific conditions they were forced to work under.

One group of working-class women, in particular, fought — until they were on their deathbeds — against one of the most powerful industries of the 1920s: U.S. Radium. Their fight — and their heartbreaking deaths — would mobilize the nation to enact the first worker-safety laws.

Radium (Ra) was discovered in 1898 by physics and chemistry…

A spree of violence, murder, and rape in 1984 was finally solved 34 years later.

Left: DNA-based illustration of the Hammer Killer, courtesy of Aurora Police Department. Right: Alex Ewing booking photo, courtesy of Arapahoe County Sherriff’s Department.

Jan. 16, 1984, was a snowy Monday in Aurora, Colorado, a brand-new suburb on the eastern edge of Denver. It was also Melissa Bennett’s eighth birthday. The night before, her family — her 27-year-old father, Bruce; 26-year-old mother, Debra; and 3-year-old sister, Vanessa — had hosted her grandparents for a small family gathering to celebrate.

Knowing everyone had work or school the next day, the Bennett grandparents left around 9 p.m. As they pulled away, grandmother Connie Bennett noticed that the garage door was open. Though it was unusual, she didn’t think much of it.

When Bruce and Debra —…

Rachel and Diane Staudte. Images courtesy of Greene County Jail.

April 8, 2012, Springfield, Missouri: It was Easter Sunday when Diane Staudte came home from church to find her husband, Mark, dead in his bed. She immediately called the police.

Later, the medical examiner found a ring of dried blood around Mark’s mouth, but nothing indicating a struggle or foul play. When questioned, Diane said he had been feeling weak for the last few days, eating less, and sleeping more than usual. And although he had no prior history of seizures, Diane said he had suffered several that day. …

Kaleo, Matthew, Abby, and Roxy Coleman. Image source: matthewtaylorcoleman Instagram account.

San Diego native Matthew Taylor Coleman looked like the poster child for the California lifestyle: tanned and slim, with a big, toothy smile and sun-bleached hair, he looked much younger than his 40 years. The San Diego native was, like any good Californian, devoted to surfing: he and his wife, Abby, owned Lovewater Surf School, which operated on several southern California beaches and Rosarito, Mexico. He also ran a non-profit that used surfing as a means to mentor troubled young people.

Matthew was well educated, too. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, where…

Veronica Abouchuk and Kathleen Henry

Sept. 30, 2019, Anchorage, Alaska: A woman walking along a busy downtown street spotted something on the ground: an SD card. She picked it up and saw it was labeled, “Homicide at Midtown Marriott.” Curious, the woman took it home and later, opened it. Saved on the card were dozens of photos and videos showing a woman being tortured, assaulted, and strangled. The horrified woman immediately turned the card over to the police.

As they viewed the shocking images — scenes of torture and assault so brutal, even hardened detectives were shaken — police noticed two things: the assailant, a…

DeLani R. Bartlette

AKA The Murder Nerd. Obsessed with true crime. Check out my YouTube channel:

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