As 2020: the Movie continues to roll on, many of us are learning to roll with the punches. Punches that seem delivered from every angle. Precision punches that never seem to miss their target. This has been a strange ride.
So, last week, when I called an Uber at 4 in the morning to take me to work, I was looking forward to a mundane, ordinary commute. From my apartment to work is about five or six minutes, but those blips on time’s radar were anything but ordinary.
The driver was young and friendly. Those traits serve him well in his line of work. We joked a little about life. You know- work, rest, repeat. We chatted about 2020 being quite the learning experience. Then he inquired what I do for fun. I casually mentioned my podcast, Sinister Silhouettes, and explained that I talked about true-crime and conspiracies.
Then, this stranger did something I didn’t expect- he asked me why I liked those topics. I’ve been interested in this subject for over thirty years! He asked me if I like “love”. What the fiddlesticks? Of course I like love! “So why not talk about that?” he asked.
That made me think. It made me think about what I’m putting into the universe. It made me wonder why I intentionally inundate myself with misery and suffering and- EVIL. I tell myself that there are stories that need to be told, that there is an audience for these conversations, that I may be HELPING someone in the world. All of that is true. I don’t have any plans to quit talking about crimes and conspiracies. But, is that all I can talk about?
The answer to that is a resounding and emphatic NO!! I am an informed person by nature- I’m curious about history, politics, social issues, science, sports, movies, the universe- God, so many things really interest me.
I started a different podcast in 2018- a full year before Sinister Silhouettes. The name of it is After The Snap. On it, I discuss sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies and TV. I kind of abandoned it last year, but I’ve started it back up- in part, because of this conversation. I also am considering lending my voice to other topics that interest me- I want to be a positive inspiration to people. I want to add some happiness to the world. I want to answer questions that I didn’t ever think to ask. I want to improve someone’s day- teach them something- in the space of sixty minutes.
I’d love to say that I was on this trajectory of my own volition. That I just “decided” to inspect what I expect. The truth of the matter is, this epiphany came about because of that conversation.
As you may have noticed, things have been quiet for me over the past month. I have released a few “timely” episodes, but the truth is, I was starting to feel the burn. Talking about the underbelly of society has sometimes left me feeling “some type of way” and every now and then a sister needs a break. I haven’t been wasting this time away from the podcast. I have put a lot of effort into improving my content to reach a wider audience.
I have done a few technical things, a few aesthetic changes, and a whole lot of listening to the best podcasts out there. I am preparing to release video versions of the show along with the audio only version. I’ve got a YouTube channel- Sinister Silhouettes. My plan is to make it impossible for my show to be ignored!
At this point in history, a lot is being made of being inclusive and allowing Black and POC voices to be amplified in all mediums, including podcasting. I want to be sure that Sinister Silhouettes is the best show I’m capable of producing so I’ll get some recognition. I want my unique way of storytelling to be noticed, not only because marketers need to fill some “quota”, but because I belong in the conversation.
Being totally candid, I am not formally educated by any institution of higher learning. I write for fun, and to ensure that I am using everything I learned in K-12 to stay sharp. I listen to audiobooks, watch videos, and listen to podcasts for entertainment and to also learn things I wasn’t taught in school. I learn new words, new philosophies, new skills- all of this because I believe information is POWER. I don’t horde what I learn because everyone with a desire to improve should be able to.
I struggle with the topics I speak about at times- true crime isn’t for the feint of heart. The goal is to inform and leave my audience with something to think about. Some meaningful way they can apply what they learn from whatever sordid tale we may be discussing. Because I sometimes feel the mental load is heavy, I believe wholeheartedly that the struggle should be rewarded!
I don’t think I’m going to quit my day job or ever be able to tour the country like other well known hosts. Those are things that may be out of my reach. I do believe that I should be invited to the conferences. Representation matters, in all things. I want the piece of the pie that I pay for in research, writing, editing, and producing a piece of free, but quality, entertainment.
All that being said, I really enjoy doing this. I LOVE when the audience reaches out to tell me how episodes make them feel. I light up when my work is shared and reviewed. I’m proud to feel like I am making a difference to people all over the world. So, be prepared for level 3 of Sinister Silhouettes next week- I’ve planned 12 weeks of shows (including Saturday LIVE streams).
I hope that you enjoy the Level Up and will share my content with friends, family, associates, and enemies. I want to be amplified over the next three months. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, and watch at least one video. I hope I can count on your help and continued support. Before I get out of here, let me remind you-
Please, for the sake of the kids, stand up and take back your streets. The next huge crime weeekend is upon us: Independence Day. Last year over the Independence Day weekend, close to 70 people were shot, six of them fatally. We’re heading into July, and it’s only going to get hotter.
Before I get into this special report, I’d like to thank Indie Drop-In for sponsoring today’s episode. A special thanks to Always Angry 94, Mack Tape, and Paige 87 for your very kind reviews. If you haven’t yet, please send your five star reviews to Apple Podcasts. They really help the show get noticed.
I can remember being a kid in Gary, IN. Gary sits right outside of Chicago- a kind of unofficial suburb of the Windy City. We had a blast in the summers. We played outside the whole day and part of the evening. Hide and seek, kickball, double dutch, and my favorites- football and basketball. That was many years ago, but in my mind, it was yesterday. I watched my son make the same type of memories- hanging out with the boys who would become like brothers to him. It saddens me to think that those memories are out of reach for this generation of Chicago’s youth. It is becoming difficult for today’s children to have a sense of innocence- they are increasingly being caught in the crossfire between the feuds of young adults. They have to be hyper-vigilant about their own safety. It’s literally a matter of life and death, and it isn’t fair.
In this season of protest against the brutality many people of color face from police, it is only right to shed a light on the many victims of inner-city violence, particularly in Chicago. Please, don’t mistake my message as getting on a soapbox, spouting the “black-on-black” crime rhetoric. The truth is, I want us to care about us. Our enemy is not only the subset of law enforcement who abuse their power- but it is also the cowards who are robbing our children of a future.
The weeks continue to get more and more deadly. In fact, Chicago has surpassed the most deaths on a single day since they have kept records of this statistic. The last day of May recorded 18 homicides, the most in 5 decades. In fact, throughout May, 2020, there were over 1100 victims of gun violence. Eleven hundred in just the first five months of the year. If history is our guide, there will be an increase in homicides and shootings as the weather gets warmer.
Father Michael Pfleger, a longtime activist against gun violence, has always had his ear to the ground on the South and West sides of the city. He told the Chicago Sun Times that the word on the streets on that deadly weekend in May was that the police weren’t out patrolling. Remember, that weekend was the beginning of the George Floyd protests. Simultaneously, there were groups of crusaders marching for a worthwhile cause, and would-be murderers seeking their adversaries.
There are areas that are over-policed- usually inner cities and disadvantaged neighborhoods. I understand that a police presence may loom over these communities like a dark cloud- almost like they are just looking for a reason to pounce. There are also neighborhoods like the South and West sides of Chicago. It seems that these communities need an increased police presence because they can’t be trusted to police themselves. How many children need to die?
********Indie Drop-in******** .
I am from a place that believes in the “no snitches” rule. I can also remember when, as a teenager, a group of us were heading to the corner store to get snacks on our way to play basketball. A well-known drug dealer was in the parking lot. He basically told us to keep it moving because some shit was about to go down at the store. Without question, we continued on our way. Am I putting this thug on a pedestal for giving us a heads up? In a way, I guess I am. Those were guys who lived by a code- if they knew you weren’t about that life they didn’t aim to make you part of it. Another time, a different drug dealer came to a group of us who were hanging out under the streetlight after dark. He told us to go in the house. I wanted to argue, because we were having a great conversation, but the look on his face told me that something was about to go down in the street and I didn’t want to present for it.
I never found out why either of these men had warned us to leave the area, but I lived to play another day. These “so-called” gangsters and drug dealers today have no code. They have no scruples. They are ruining lives and destroying families with impunity. These are NOT the type of people the hood needs to protect. The hood needs to take its streets back- even if that means calling the police to your hood.
A toddler and a 10-year-old child were killed in two separate incidents of gun violence in Chicago this weekend.
The 10-year-old girl died from her injuries on Sunday after she was shot in the head by a stray bullet that came through the window of her Logan Square home Saturday night, Chicago police said. She was transported to John H. Stroger Hospital where she later died, police told CNN.
Separately, a 20-month-old boy was fatally shot in the chest and his 22-year-old mother was grazed by a bullet while the two were driving home from the laundromat Saturday afternoon, according to Chicago Police and reports from CNN affiliate WBBM.
As of June 14, there have been 268 murders in Chicago, a 22% increase from last year’s total but slightly below the murder totals of 2017 and 2016, according to Chicago Police data. Over Father’s Day weekend, 11 people were killed, including four children, and 67 others were wounded in shootings.
Brown on Saturday urged the public to offer any information they have on the shooting.
“We cannot compartmentalize the violence that is tearing families and communities apart. Someone knows something,” Brown said. “For the sake of Chicago’s children, please come forward to help bring the trigger pullers to justice.”
While we are discussing gun crime in Chicago, please be reminded that there are zero gun merchants in the city. The question on many people’s mind is: where are these guns coming from? As of 2018, 95% of the weapons used to commit crimes are not owned by the original purchaser. In fact, Illinois’ gun laws are among the toughest in the country. The state requires citizens to have a permit to buy firearms and to report stolen or lost guns. Residents who want to sell their guns privately are also required to solicit a background check from state officials and to submit documentation of the sale.
This is where lax laws in other states come into play- namely, my home state of Indiana. It is relatively easy to obtain a weapon in Indiana. Any Illinois resident can quickly go over the state line and purchase a gun illegally from gun traffickers. Gun shops also routinely get robbed- those guns are then distributed on the streets. When they are eventually used to commit crimes, the roads never lead back to the black market sellers. In most cases, the gun has changed hands several times before law enforcement gets ahold of it.
Then, finally, the criminal organizations in Chicago may have help from the inside. It is not unusual for some officers to have gang affiliations. This isn’t a conspiracy theory- it is a fact that there are some officers who serve two masters. To further compound things, the NRA and other super-PACs have tremendous sway over politicians. Our federal laws are terribly weak when it comes to gun control. Even with the ever-present threat of gunmen attacking children at school, little is done to ensure weapons don’t get into the wrong hands.
Going into the conspiracy theory realm, there are many who believe that the ATF or CIA are dropping guns off in poor neighborhoods. It’s said that they are hopeful that they can catch someone with one of these illegal weapons and make them a full time employee of the penal system. There is no evidence that this is true- unless you take into account the following case, as reported by the Chicago Sun Times:
John Thomas, a resident in his 30s resorted to setting up illegal gun sales to help provide for his daughter.
Working through an informant, the ATF enticed Thomas to set up small gun deals by offering to buy weapons for a high price. All of the guns Thomas brokered deals for were actually purchased by the ATF.
Cases like Thomas’ begs the question of whether or not the ATF is eliminating gun dealers, or creating them. Then there are the often reported claims that the CIA was supplying crack in inner cities in the 80s and 90s. The truth is, the U.S. Justice Department and its agencies were aware of the Nicaraguan Contra-linked drug trafficking operations and allegedly thwarted local police investigations and blocked the prosecution of the Contra-linked cocaine traffickers. Technically, they were complicit. And if the government can do that, is there any wonder that a) black people believe that it would indeed supply weapons to warring gangs to fill prisons and b) we don’t really trust them?
This brings us back around to Chicago- is it shameful that there are innocent lives being lost? Of course it is. It’s even worse when the president of the United States compares the city to Afghanistan. Is Chiraq the most dangerous city in the country?
Although Chicago is probably the first city that springs to mind when you think of crime in Illinois, the Windy City is actually not even the most dangerous place in the state. With a violent crime rate of 1,386 incidents per 100,000 people, Rockford stands as the most dangerous city in Illinois. The murder capital of America isn’t Chicago, but it is in Illinois for the second straight year. With nearly one murder per 1,000 residents, last year’s murder capital is East St. Louis, IL and has a murder rate 17.5 times the national average, and 4 times Chicago’s murder rate.
Of course, the murders in Chicago become big news because it is a major city- and I’m directing most of my comments to the Chi because it’s so close to home. I could easily insert other large cities every time I say Chicago- Stockton, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan- to name just a few.
I am saying this to everyone within the sound of my voice- just like we want to hold law enforcement and elected officials accountable when lives are lost because of their actions; we need to hold our neighbors and ourselves to the same standards. Our children are not only our most precious possessions, they are our future. We are letting them down.
I had to speak on this because the crime rate in Chicago is still astronomical, but with a minimal amount of research, I have found proof that there are cities in worse predicaments. I understand why the communities are frustrated and afraid to speak up. Black people, people of color, and poor people of any race have far too many examples of being let down by not only law enforcement, but the govenment on both the state and national levels. The news will lead you to believe that there is no more dangerous city in the US than Chicago when a quick Google search will shed a unique light on the city.
My challenge to you is to be a change in your community. When you see something, say something. Sometimes, the politicians and police don’t feel how dire your situation is because they don’t live there. You have to know that if your ten-year-old can’t dance in front of a window without catching a stray bullet, there is a huge problem. If a baby is shot while strapped in his car seat, that is an issue. These kids deserve hide-and-seek. They deserve to play kickball and double-dutch. They should be able to chase the ice cream truck without dodging bullets. The safety of your own community starts with you!
My hope is that while we are lamenting the deaths of so many people at the hands of police, we also plan for how we will protect the babies. When these rival factions terrorize neighborhoods with impunity, there is little incentive for them to stop. Please, for the sake of the kids, stand up and take back your streets. The next huge crime weeekend is upon us: Independence Day. Last year over the Independence Day weekend, close to 70 people were shot, six of them fatally. We’re heading into July, and it’s only going to get hotter.
I know that this message is unpopular amongst my brothers and sisters. Many feel like I’m siding with police but that’s the furthest from the truth. I am siding with the young lives that are in danger every day. I’m siding with the parents who are trying to raise children in a pressure cooker. And, yes, I’m siding with officers who take the pledge to serve and protect our community seriously. My words aren’t politically motivated because I have no political affiliation. I am speaking truth, whether or not you want to hear it.
That’s it for my open letter to the Chi- I’m going to give you two things to think about before I get out of here. Crime Stoppers is an effective national program that collects anonymous crime tips. Anyone who wants to report drug activity can contact Crime Stoppers via phone or online. A national tip line is available 24/7, and the program also operates out of local offices. Witnesses to drug crimes can make an anonymous phone call or fill out an online form. What’s more, you can rest easy knowing that all Crime Stoppers workers are trained to protect the caller’s identity and, instead of caller ID, all incoming phone calls are assigned a numerical code. 1-800-222-TIPS
Also, On June 11th, Michael Hickson, a quadriplegic black man with COVID-19 was killed by a hospital in Austin Texas.
Doctors decided he had “no quality of life” and was not worth spending the resources to save.
Now, in this scenario that I read on Twitter, the race of the patient isn’t the most appalling aspect. If true, even more appalling is that America has come to this. The plug is being pulled on some of our most vulnerable citizens based on chance of a quality life. Doctors and hospital staff are being forced to decide who is worth saving. Why? Because people refuse to be socially distant from one another and/or wear masks. The protesters have begun being diagnosed with Covid 19- so have the people who go to the beach, the bar, etc. I’m begging you on behalf of my elderly father and my best friend who suffers from COPD and congestive heart failure- wear your damn masks. Protect your neighbors!
Just dropped in to share the audio from last Saturday’s live stream. I hope you enjoy it enough to join me this Saturday (6/27). The show starts at 1pm CST. You can watch on Facebook Live or GetVokl.com.
I’m also approaching 15,000 downloads! When I reach that goal, I will be doing an ask me anything stream! I’ll let you know as I get closer so you can prepare your questions.
Last but not least- I have stickers! If you’d like me to send you a couple just DONATE to the podcast. A $2 donation will get you 2 stickers- see how that works?
This dude was so serious about his horror that he laid out the rules to surviving a scary movie. 1. Stay a virgin 2. No booze or drugs and 3. Never, EVER say, “I’ll be right back”. It’s a good thing that none of us lived through a horror movie, huh?
So- what’s your favorite scary movie? Almost everybody has one. I can say with certainty that my sister’s favorite is The Exorcist. I’ve got a shortlist that includes IT, A Nightmare on Elm Street (the first one), the first installment of Scream, and A Quiet Place. I could name more, but you get the point. Now, my sister and her friends used to “play” exorcist with one another- hence, the whole LaToya Ammons situation from Episode 21. That’s about as close to reenacting a horror film that I’ve seen anyone do.
In the movie Scream, there was a true to life film geek named Randy. This dude was so serious about his horror that he laid out the rules to surviving a scary movie. 1. Stay a virgin 2. No booze or drugs and 3. Never, EVER say, “I’ll be right back”. It’s a good thing that none of us lived through a horror movie, huh?
Unfortunately for some Pocatello, ID students, they would be the unwitting stars of one such nightmare. Today, we discuss “The Scream Murders”.
We’re jumping in the way back and heading to Pocatello. The year is 2006. That year had a few brilliant horror movies released- Slither, The Hills Have Eyes, the third installment of the Final Destination series, and Scary Movie 4. Anyway, this city is in the top 50 small cities in the US. About a third of the population is of the Mormon faith.
September 22, 2006, started like any other Friday at Pocatello High School. Kids were scurrying to classes while making plans for the weekend. Cassie Stoddart was at her locker when her friends Torrie Adamcik and Brian Draper showed up at her locker. These two were Mormons and aspiring filmmakers. Most of the time they documented the day’s events with a camcorder. Today was no different- this morning, they aimed the camera at Cassie and told her to say “Hi”.
Cassie was an exceptional student, artist, and musician. She literally was the definition of the girl next door. As a junior in high school, she had aspirations to study law in college. She was cute and friendly to everyone. She had recently begun dating Matt Beckham. They’d been together a whole 5 months! Well, to parents that’s recent. To teens in love, that’s FOREVER.
That evening, Cassie’s aunt and uncle Frank and Allison Contreras, planned to go out of town for the weekend. They trusted Cassie to house sit for them while they traveled. Cassie and Matt planned to Netflix and chill. Well, maybe Blockbuster and chill? I don’t know- it seems like Netflix has been around forever. Point is, the couple would spend the evening watching movies until Matt’s 10:00 curfew.
At 6 pm, Matt arrived at the Contreras’ dream house. The couple watched a movie- I’ve heard that it was Kill Bill. About an hour later, Torrie and Brian showed up to watch the movie with them. They stuck around for about an hour. They decided they wanted to go to the movies- film geeks.
Now, Matt and Cassie are finally alone again. Matt’s curfew was slowly creeping up on them but before they could really savor the moment- the power goes out. This seems like something straight out of a horror flick. The lights go out. Boyfriend leaves to investigate the problem. Girlfriend is slaughtered by deranged psychopath. Repeat for two hours until we get to final girl against monster.
In this situation, Matt finds the circuit breaker has tripped and resets it. He returns upstairs to find his girlfriend in one piece. Needless to say, this spooked Cassie. She tells Matt that she is now afraid to stay in the house alone. Matt calls his mom and asks if he could stay with Cassie since she was afraid. His mom probably didn’t have to think about it much before she said no. In fact, she came to pick him up shortly after that call. Call it mother’s intuition, but she knew that nothing good could come from them spending the night together.
And now Cassie was all alone in the house her aunt and uncle loved so much. She laid down on the couch and watched TV. Suddenly, the power again goes out. Cassie was afraid to move- she didn’t want to go to the basement to reset the breaker, so she closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep.
Have you ever been asleep and felt like someone was in the room with you? Like you’re being watched? Then you wake up and it’s your creepy boyfriend standing in the shadows staring at you? No? Only me?
Well, Cassie got that feeling. She jumped up off the couch and came face-to-face, not with her boyfriend, but with a shadowy figure with a ghoulish mask on. Who knows how it went down after that. It seems as if she fought for her life but was overpowered. When the ordeal was over, Cassie’s lifeless body was left on the floor. She had been stabbed 29 times- nine of those wounds would have been considered fatal.
I can’t imagine what those last moments must have been like for her. She had to be so afraid and confused. This grotesque figure had ambushed her and extinguished one of Pocatello, Idaho’s brightest stars. She would lay there, alone, until her family returned from their weekend getaway.
On Sunday, when her uncle and his family returned, their 13-year-old daughter rushed into the house to see her cousin Cassie. Instead of being greeted by Cassie’s smiling face, she was confronted with the horrific sight of Cassie’s mangled remains. Upon entering the home, her uncle couldn’t believe his eyes. He rushed to call the police. His beautiful niece was dead.
Word quickly spread about the murder. Of course, law enforcement wanted to talk to everyone who was in contact with Cassie over the weekend. Cassie’s mom had called Matt on the phone and asked what he had done to her daughter. Real-life is just like every scary movie, the boyfriend is always the first suspect. The police interviewed Matt. They wanted to know everything that had happened during his visit with Cassie, when was the last he talked to her, and where he was in the days following the murder. Matt was very cooperative and even agreed to a polygraph exam. He explained that on Friday he and Cassie watched a movie, Torrie and Brian stopped by for about an hour, and he left shortly after 10 pm. Cassie was very much alive when he left, and when he got in his mom’s car he wasn’t covered in blood. He said he had been trying to catch up with her the next day, but she didn’t answer her phone. He asked Torrie to take him over to the house, but Torrie said he didn’t have enough gas in his car. The polygraph exam determined he was telling the truth.
The next people on the list for interviews were Torrie and Brian. They were questioned separately, but both of their stories were consistent. They were with Matt and Cassie for about an hour. They realized that no one else would stop by, so they left and went to the movies. They both had the ticket stubs to prove what movie they had seen. They hadn’t spoken to Cassie again, but they hung out with Matt on Saturday. Matt wanted to go check on Cassie, but Torrie only had enough gas to get him through the school week. With no evidence to hold them on, the police cut them loose.
Just like in the movie “Scream”, the town was on edge knowing that a killer was lurking among them. Everyone had their ideas about who that murderer could be. They pointed lots of fingers at Matt. Others thought it had to be a deranged stranger just passing through. Still others thought it was Torrie or Brian. Everyone had an idea- some thought of who could have done this to Cassie. Just like in the movie Scream, they would find out that the killer is closer than you think.
After the medical examiner autopsied the body, he determined that Cassie had likely died on Friday night. Like previously stated, someone had stabbed her 29 times in what was a frenzied attack. The M.E. also determined that there were TWO weapons used in the attack. That’s right, some wounds were made with a serrated knife, the others with a smooth knife. This shows law enforcement that there is a strong possibility that there were two assailants involved in this crime.
The investigators went back to their suspects. Matt’s mother was his alibi. She would have noticed blood on his clothing when she picked him up Friday night. We would like to hope that she wouldn’t cover for her son had he done something heinous. But Torrie and Brian? Their alibis were each other. There was no one else who could confirm their whereabouts for the evening in question. The police brought them in again for another round of interviews. They, again, were questioned separately. This time, investigators about the plot of the movie they had seen. Neither of them could remember the plot. When asked about actors in the movie, neither could answer. This is highly suspicious because these two were well known film geeks.
Ask me today about a movie I was so intrigued by that I paid money to see it in a theater. Tell me to describe Avengers: Endgame to you- I’ll be able to tell you damn near frame by frame what went on in that movie and how it ties to the greater Marvel storyline. I’m passionate about sci-fi/ fantasy films. I dissect them. I relate them to the world we are living in. They are almost always representative of some current event, even if they are showing how we overcome a failure of present society. I remember the key plot points because if there is EVER a part two (and in the world we inhabit, there is ALWAYS a part two) I know that these things become more important. In fact, even the sequel to Scream built upon the rules established in the first movie.
These aspiring filmmakers couldn’t remember a film they had watched only days earlier. That’s an enormous problem. That caused the police to want to look into them a little further. And the more they dug, the more they found out about the boys. Torrie and Brian wanted to direct films, but they were very interested in a certain genre. That genre? Horror.
Other students from Pocatello High offered similar observations of the boys’ personalities. Torrie and Brian regularly depicted acts of violence as their camera rolled. They rarely picked up on the discomfort of others as they acted out scenes from their favorite scary movies. Their peers had little doubt that they were capable of murder.
Investigators believed Brian and Torrie were responsible for Cassie’s horrible death. After several interviews, they discovered how right they were.
Brian cracked first. He told the police he was present when Cassie was killed, but didn’t take part in the murder. Law enforcement, aware that there were at least two perpetrators, allowed him to keep talking. He said he and Torrie agreed to prank Cassie and Matt. While at the house earlier that evening, he unlocked a back door. After leaving to “go to the movies”, they returned to the home. Donning their disguises, they hid in the basement. They accessed the circuit breakers, shutting the power out. When Matt came downstairs to reset the breaker, they saw him. They also heard Matt leave when his mom came to pick him up. They knew Cassie was alone.
According to Brian, the plan was to scare the crap out of Cassie. He said Torrie deviated by actually attacking her. After killing her, they disposed of the evidence. Brian was willing to lead officers to the site they had buried the weapons. And so, they went on a little field trip.
Brian led the officers to a site in Black Rock Canyon. He said they’d find the weapons there, but the police found so much more. There were masks, gloves, clothes, knives, and- A VIDEO TAPE! Our film geeks just couldn’t help themselves. They recorded their thoughts before and after Cassie’s death.
After viewing these videos, investigators now had irrefutable evidence that Torrie Adamcik and Brian Draper committed murder. Not only that, but they planned the act days in advance. They chose Cassie to die in the first act of their horror movie. They intended for there to be more victims- including Matt.
Booked just five days after slaying Cassie, the villains faced first degree murder charges. In the coming months, the young men went to trial separately. During trial, Brian stated the Columbine shooters, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris inspired him and Torrie. The movie “Scream” also influenced them. In 2007, both were convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility for parole. They both appealed the decision, only to have their sentences upheld.
In 2010, the Stoddart family filed a civil lawsuit against the Idaho School District. They claimed that the school was negligent and should have known that Draper and Adamcik posed a threat to others. Both the civil court and the State Supreme Court dismissed the case, saying the actions of the killers were not foreseeable.
Over the years, a remorseful Brian has acknowledged the pain he caused and accepts his sentence. Torrie and his parents continue to downplay his involvement, despite evidence that points directly at him. In one video, even he looks surprised when his mother and father insist he is innocent.
The Supreme Court issued a ruling that mandatory life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. This requires states to re-examine hundreds of cases- including Adamcik and Draper in Idaho. For now, both are still held at the Idaho State Correctional Facility.
That there’s no motive for the would-be crime spree of two 16-year-olds is not at all surprising. In the movie “Scream”, the antagonists admit that having no motive is scarier.
In this collaborative episode, we document black history and current events with the voices of those who have lived through it.
As podcasters, we have a platform and duty to speak up and call out injustice. In light of the murder of George Floyd, we have come together in solidarity to use our platform to speak up against racial injustice and amplify the voices of black podcasters that deserve more recognition. Racism is prevalent in all industries; from the media who under-report on black victims to the justice system which routinely fails black victims. In this collaborative episode, we document black history and current events with the voices of those who have lived through it.
Written by: CrimeLapse, Morbidology, Sinister Silhouettes, Bruh Issa Murder, Handcuffed Podcast, True Crime? Never Heard of it, Blood and Firewater, Hard Truths Podcast, Noir True Crime Files and All Things Eeerie
Produced by: CrimeLapse and Morbidology
Graphics by: Death by Champagne
Thanks to: Reverie: True Crime Podcast, Evidence of a Crime, All Things Eeerie, It’s Murder Up North, The True Crime Witch, Writing About Crime, Death by Champagne, Murder She Spoke, Murder and More, Always Time for True Crime, Malice, Hometown Homicide, Brew Crime, Our True Crime Podcast
Today, Barack Obama gave us the cornerstone to affecting actual change.
If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.
We have discussed the problem ad nauseam. Today is about offering solutions. We are at a crossroads- the public has overwhelmingly signaled that WE WANT CHANGE! The old system of racism and profiling is old news. It’s one thing to desire equality and something else entirely to achieve it. Today, Barack Obama gave us the cornerstone to affecting actual change. Some of us knew this and just needed a reminder. For others, this will be the first time you hear how we move forward AFTER the protests. This will be work- nothing good ever comes easy. After seeing the national and global response to these most recent injustices, I know you are up for it. Let me know how YOU will be actively implementing change in your judiciary.