The Generation Why Podcast

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Best Episodes of The Generation Why Podcast

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June 9, 2017. Urbana, Illinois. In April 2017, Yingying Zhang came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an International Scholar from China. On June 9, 2017, she failed to return to work after lunch and a search was launched for her. Through video surveillance, investigators were able to piece together her whereabouts until she got into a black Saturn Astra. As the authorities zeroed in on the killer, the truth of what had happened was revealed by an unexpected source and the details of the crime dealt a devastating blow to all who loved Yingying.
March 3rd, 2011. Ridgely, Tennessee. Clarence & Sue Shell were brutally stabbed to death in their home. Their family was devastated. Detectives quickly got a lead and arrested a suspect. But a surprising claim was made at trial that created questions about who might have truly been involved and why.
May 20-21, 2016. Green Bay, Wisconsin. 31 year old Nicole "Nikki" VanderHeyden went out for an evening with her boyfriend, Doug, and some other friends. But after Nicole's battered nude body was discovered in a field the following afternoon, detectives were very interested in Doug Detrie in connection with the murder. As interviews were conducted, it became apparent that the couple had not been getting along. Could Doug have gone too far and murdered Nicole? Good detective work would reveal the truth of what happened to the well-liked mother of three.
August 18, 2010. Vortex Spring, Florida. Thirty year old Ben McDaniel went scuba diving at Vortex Spring. The spring features a cave that has been mapped to a length of over 1600 feet but is said to be longer than that. Ben should not have been in the cave as only divers with the necessary certification can acquire a key to get past the gate, but after he was discovered to be missing an employee admitted to letting him in. Ben did dive in with his equipment but never came out. At least, no one witnessed him leaving. His truck and some of his possessions remained in his truck that was parked in the lot nearby. Rescue attempts were made but as time went on, some began to doubt that Ben was in the cave. Did Ben fool everyone to start over somewhere else? In the two years prior, he had several substantial setbacks. Could he have taken his own life? Could there have been foul play? A real life mystery, Ben McDaniel's disappearance has everyone wondering, where did he really go?Sponsor:FabFitFun.com and use code WHY for $10 off your first seasonal box.
July 6, 2012. Star City, West Virginia. Two BFFs became three when Shelia Eddy and Skylar Neese got to know Rachel Shoaf at University High School. Skylar was always known for being responsible and taking care of her responsibilities. When she disappeared from her home and didn't show up for work, her father knew something was wrong. Once an investigation got underway, Skylar's parents were upset with where it seemed to be headed, but detectives were focused on the missing girl's best friends. As clues were found and a secret was leaked, the truth of what happened to Skylar was both shocking and incomprehensible. What happened to Skylar Neese and why? Join us as we discuss a true crime case of betrayal and heartbreak.Sponsored by:Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. Ziprecruiter.com/genwhySimpliSafe. Get a risk-free, 60-day trial with free shipping & free returns.Simplisafe.com/genwhy
Evil Genius. August 28th, 2003. Erie, Pennsylvania. A pizza delivery man robbed a bank with a bomb around his neck and a cane shotgun. He was captured soon after by police and handcuffed. The presence of a possible live bomb underneath his shirt caused the authorities to back away. The man repeatedly asked them to look for the keys to remove the bomb which were hidden in the instructions of a scavenger hunt. The elaborate heist resulted in a shocking moment that was captured by the media as police waited for the bomb squad to arrive. This is all covered in the new documentary series on Netflix by Barbara Schroeder and Trey Borzillieri. It's an unbelievable true story with many layers. Justin & I discuss it and then an interview with the directors follows. This crime is also known as the pizza bomber case.
The Fairbanks Four. October, 1997. Fairbanks, Alaska. A 15 year old named John Hartman was found badly beaten on a curb in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. At the hospital he was placed on life support as police worked the case and tracked down witnesses and suspects. By the next day John had died and authorities felt certain that a picture of what had happened was quickly coming into focus. But after four convictions and almost two decades the case had changed and the four who had landed in prison for murder were being released after new evidence made its way before the courts. Had the Fairbanks Four been wrongfully convicted? Or could they have committed the murder and then convinced many otherwise?
The A6 Murder. August 23rd, 1961. Bedfordshire, UK. A couple parks off road in Dorney Reach to spend time together. It is late in the evening. A man with a gun will get their attention by tapping a window with his .38 Enfield revolver. For hours the gunman, who holds a scarf over much of his face, talks with them then has them go on a drive. Finally, in a cockney accent, he says that he is tired and wants a kip (a nap). It is after the car pulls off near Deadman's Hill that things go from bad to worse. He shoots the man. Killing him. Then he rapes the woman. Just when it seems like he may be leaving, he turns, and fires off seven shots. The woman is hit with five bullets and will pretend to be dead in a bid to survive. The gunman drives away. Police will identify two suspects. The first was Peter Alphon. The second, James Hanratty. Witnesses provide two different identikits matching both men. Figuring out which of the men were responsible for this crime was no easy task. And some believe that the wrong man was hanged.
Ed Gein. Plainfield, Wisconsin. November, 1957. A man who did odd jobs was either pitied or teased by those who knew him. Behind the scenes, he had grown up in an abusive home. He would lose his entire family in a span of less than five years. It was the loss of his mother, though, that seemed to have a profound effect on Edward Theodore Gein. Unbeknownst to the others in the town, Ed was robbing graves of recently buried women at night from local cemeteries. In his quest to bring his mother back to life he would also resort to capturing and killing women who reminded him of his mom. In November of 1957, authorities would seek out Ed after the abduction and murder of a store owner named Bernice Worden. Her son was convinced that Ed was responsible. It wouldn't take long before Gein's nightmarish collections would be revealed. Who was Ed Gein and why did he do the things that he did? 
Zebb Quinn. January 2nd, 2000. Asheville, NC. After work one evening, a young man named Zebb follows an acquaintance, Jason, by car to look at a vehicle he is interested in buying from an auto dealership. A call to his pager, though, would interrupt his intended drive and cause him to become very anxious. He would leave in his car to find a pay phone. When he returned to where Jason was waiting for him, he was so upset that he struck Jason's vehicle with his own. He promised Jason that he would settle up with him later, but that he had to go. About two weeks later, Zebb's car is found in a parking lot across the street from the hospital his mother works at. There was no sign of Zebb. Bob Ruff, host of Truth & Justice Podcast, will join us for a discussion of the case and what each of us thinks led to the disappearance of Zebb Quinn.
Elisa Lam. TJ returns to the podcast to discuss the mysterious case of Elisa Lam with us. What began as a viral video of what appeared to be a disturbed or possibly haunted woman in a hotel elevator has now become a solved case as far as the LAPD are concerned. Yet, questions remain. How […] The post Elisa Lam – 103 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Dyatlov Pass Incident. In 1959, 23 year-old Igor Dyatlov led eight other men and women on a trek to a mountain. They were all experienced hikers and skiers. Equipped with cameras and journals, they documented their journey. What ought to have been a simple vacation turned to horror as all nine were found dead under […] The post Dyatlov Pass Incident – 92 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Abraham Shakespeare. November 15, 2006 - April 7, 2009. Plant City, Florida. A man discovered that his lottery ticket purchased in Frostproof, Florida on November 15, 2006 was the winning ticket for a $30 million jackpot. With a payout of about $14 million he had many who knew him wanting him to help them out. As his fortune dwindled due to his giving nature, a woman by the name of Dorice Moore offered not only to help him manage his money, but to write a book about him as well. Later, though, in April of 2009 he seemed to disappear and with Dorice giving different people different stories as to why Abraham wasn't around his family became concerned. Winning the lottery may have seemed like a dream come true, but for Abraham Shakespeare it was the beginning of the end...
TWA Flight 800. July 17, 1996. JFK International Airport. Trans World Airlines Flight 800 was to takeoff for Paris, France at around 7pm EST. Various issues kept it from taking off until 8:19pm. Just 12 minutes into the flight, at 8:31pm, the plane exploded. Efforts were made to rescue anyone alive in the Atlantic Ocean from the destroyed Boeing 747, but none of the 230 passengers and crew had survived. Terrorism was suspected early on as the United States was facing threats at home and abroad. As the investigation continued, though, the evidence began to point to an issue with the plane itself. Or did it?
Mothman. West Virginia. From November 1966 to December 1967, many strange sightings and occurrences were happening in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Unidentified flying objects, strange men in black suits, & even a large, winged human-like creature named the Mothman. It all culminated in a tragedy known as The Silver Bridge collapse. Forty-six people died when rush hour traffic, backed up on and off the almost 40 years old structure, went down into and near the Ohio River. Some say that the Mothman was a warning. Others believe that the Mothman caused the collapse. Another theory suggests that the killing of a Shawnee Chieftan about 200 years before was the reason for the disaster. Just what was going on in West Virginia back then? John Keel's book, 'The Mothman Prophecies', is full of information on these strange goings on. Justin & Aaron will break it all down for you in this tale of legends, sightings, and disasters.
The Greenbrier Ghost. Greenbrier County, West Virginia. 1897. Mary Heaster did what she could to vet the men that were interested in seeing her daughter. She didn't have much success. Her daughter would become pregnant just before one man left. She would also marry a man just a few weeks after meeting him. A drifter named Erasmus Trout Shue. When the young woman dies unexpectedly, her husband seems to be overcome with grief. So much so that he will not leave her side until after the funeral. The investigation is closed as no foul play is suspected. When Zona's mother asks the prosecutor re-open the case, she has an unlikely source for the information she has implicating her son-in-law in the crime. 
H.H. Holmes. Chicago, Illinois. Some murder to satisfy dark urges. Others kill out of passion. In the late 1800's, one man may have murdered for profit. Setting up shop in Chicago, Herman Webster Mudgett purchased a drug store and was said to have built a hotel in anticipation of The World's Fair. Much of his time was spent committing fraud, but people around him were constantly disappearing. Eventually, this would lead to his capture. Once his building was investigated, it was indeed found to contain trap doors, hidden rooms, & secret passages. People speculated on what the man now known as H.H. Holmes was up to for all those years. Is Erik Larson's book, The Devil In The White City, as well as the upcoming Martin Scorsese film of the same title, an accurate account? Was H.H. Holmes also Jack the Ripper? Mysterious Chicago's Adam Selzer joined us to to discuss this dangerous swindler and to separate fact from fiction.
The Titanic Conspiracy. In 1912, the RMS Titanic was the largest luxury liner in the world. In April of that year it would set off on its maiden voyage. Carrying over 2200 passengers & crew, the ship was to ultimately travel to New York, but on April 14th disaster struck. An iceberg would damage the ship and would cause seawater to flood and sink her. Just over 700 would be rescued. Many years later, though, a man would come up with a theory. That this 'disaster' was no accident. The sister ship to the Titanic, the Olympic, had been damaged in a collision with a British cruiser, the HMS Hawke in 1911. Because it was damaged so extensively, a scheme was hatched where the two ships would be switched. The Olympic could go down and insurance claims made to recover the cost. Meanwhile, the Titanic could go on to make White Star Line money as the Olympic. Is there evidence supporting this theory? Did JP Morgan really endanger all of those people just to protect his company?
Bermuda Triangle Mystery. A triangular area, covering at least 500,000 square miles, has its vertices at Miami, FL, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the island of Bermuda. Within these boundaries it is said to have cost the lives of over 100 people and more than 1000 ships & planes. Stories have been told of the […] The post Bermuda Triangle Mystery – 132 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
The Zodiac Killer Hoax of 1986. Thomas Henry Horan returns after publishing two books on the Zodiac killer. Both set out to show just how this serial killer of the late 1960’s was nothing more than an imagined character. If there was no Zodiac killer then who murdered these victims? Did the police have good […] The post The Zodiac Killer Hoax of 1986 – 125 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
The Warrens & The Paranormal. Colin Fitzgerald joins the podcast for a discussion of the most famous paranormal investigators in modern times: The Warrens. They were long considered the experts on the paranormal and have investigated many famous hauntings such as The Amityville Horror case. Ed passed away some years ago, but Lorraine soldiers on. […] The post The Warrens & The Paranormal – 117 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
The Warrens & The Paranormal. Colin Fitzgerald joins the podcast for a discussion of the most famous paranormal investigators in modern times: The Warrens. They were long considered the experts on the paranormal and have investigated many famous hauntings such as The Amityville Horror case. Ed passed away some years ago, but Lorraine soldiers on. […] The post The Warrens & The Paranormal – 117 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Nikola Tesla. We discuss Tesla, his achievements, his rivals, & the many myths that surround him. Does he deserve greater credit than history has bestowed upon him thus far? Or was he just another inventor at the time? Did he lose out to Thomas Edison? Did he invent radio? Did his ‘death beam’ ever come […] The post Nikola Tesla – 104 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
The Philadelphia Experiment. Philadelphia, PA. In 1943, the USS Eldridge is said to have been outfitted with special equipment. Tests were conducted to see if the US Navy could achieve the unbelievable. Albert Einstein's unified field theory sought to be the ultimate achievement. A theory of everything. With such knowledge the unbelievable could become possible. In the case of the Eldridge, the Navy was going for invisibility. The enemy cannot hit what they do not see. During testing, though, strange events would occur and testing would be halted. What happened to the crew aboard the destroyer? Did the destroyer actually disappear? Were some of the sailors partially buried in the metal of the ship? The Navy denies any such tests occurred. Is there any truth to the story of The Philadelphia Experiment?
In July 2018, 12 youth soccer players and their coach found themselves trapped 6 miles deep in a cave with no food or water and depleting oxygen. The rock formed maze became almost completely submerged as the water rose to levels nearly impossible for survival. There was no light and no way to communicate with the outside world. The first season of Wondery’s new original series Against the Odds takes you into the incredible events of when an adventurous group of teens found themselves fighting to save their lives, and the brave heroes that gave them their only chance at survival. With step by step recounts, experience for yourself what it was like to be in their shoes, and how they survived against the odds. Listen to Against the Odds at wondery.fm/ATO.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Wondery
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Apr 22nd, 2013
Latest Episode
Feb 23rd, 2021
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
427
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
Yes
Order
Episodic
Language
English
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