Murder Made Me Famous

The unnerving psychology behind murder has long been source material for television, books and movies but why do certain killers capture the attention of millions? Each episode, author and PEOPLE crime reporter Steve Helling presents dramatic recreations of the crimes using archival material and insightful commentary from those connected to the case to help unravel the twisted personalities that were thrust into the spotlight.

LATEST EPISODE

Murder Made Me Famous

Aaron Hernandez

From All-American to convicted murderer, Aaron Hernandez' early career success as tight end for the New England Patriots was shockingly overshadowed by his violent life as a killer. Hernandez' temper seemed to get the best of him in situations, and he was charged with the first-degree murder of friend Odin Lloyd and also indicted in connection with two drive-by murders in 2012. Without the possibility of parole on his life sentence, Hernandez ultimately saw no way out from it all and tragically took his own life in prison in 2017.

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:52:00 9/17/2019

Past Episodes

For three weeks in 2002, the streets of D.C. were terrorized as two men, 17 year-old Lee Boyd Malvo and 42 year-old John Muhammad, hunted random civilians in broad daylight with a rifle. The sniper attacks made national news and Americans became fearful that they could be the next victims. After training to be a marksman in the military, Muhammad recruited the help of friend Malvo to shoot 17 people from the trunk of his car. Malvo was given multiple life sentences and Muhammed was executed by lethal injection.

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:52:00 9/10/2019

Murder. Rape. Mutilation. August 1990. After 675 suspects and thousands of pieces of evidence, it all came down to one man: Danny Rolling. Three years after five brutal and disturbing murders in Gainesville, Florida, Danny Rolling is called to trial. He is accused of several counts of murder, rape, and burglary. But before Rolling can step foot into his trial he unexpectedly pleads guilty to each charge. His motive for the crimes? To become a "superstar" like Ted Bundy. Rolling was sentenced to death on each count and was later executed by lethal injection. Moments before his execution, he writes a statement in which he takes responsibility for another three murders in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:52:00 9/3/2019

Although a seemingly average husband and father of two, Dennis Rader lived a double life as a serial killer who terrorized the Wichita, Kansas area from the 1970s to the '90s. In letters to police and local news outlets that detailed his murders, Rader would sign them as the BTK Killer. The acronym stood for: "Bind, Torture, Kill". During all ten of his murders, Rader lived a normal working life and was an active member of his church until he was arrested in 2005. He is currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences.

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:50:00 8/27/2019

The original "Killer Clown," Gacy is widely thought to be the inspiration for the terrifying and nightmare inducing Stephen King character, Pennywise the Clown. Gacy's death count totals 33 young men and teen boys, most of whom he buried in the crawl space under his home. An active member of his community, Gacy often dressed up as a clown to perform for charitable events and parties. He'd lure his victims to his house with the promise of giving them alcohol. After they were drunk, he would handcuff them then viciously torture and sodomize them before ultimately strangling them to death. In May of 1994, he was executed by lethal injection. 

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

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00:52:00 8/20/2019

Responsible for killing and dismembering 17 young men between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer is arguably one of the most gruesome serial killers the world has ever seen. Mostly targeting African-American men at gay bars, Dahmer would lure his victims to his home and drug them before strangling them to death. He would then engage in sexual acts with their corpses and often keep their genitals or skills as souvenirs. Dahmer's rampage came to an end in 1992 after he was captured and given 15 life sentences. 

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:50:00 8/13/2019
With a total of 49 confirmed murders (he confessed to 71), Gary Ridgway, otherwise known as the Green River Killer, is one of the most prolific serial killer in American history. While married, Ridgway began murdering sex workers and children throughout the 1980's and 1990's. Strangling his victims and discarding their bodies around Seattle and the Washington Green River, Ridgway regularly returned to the corpses for intercourse. It wasn't until 2001 when the nefarious necrophiliac was connected by DNA evidence to the murders of four women. 

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:50:00 8/6/2019

The case is undoubtedly the most infamous murder-mystery in history. "Jack the Ripper" is the name given to the unidentified serial killer that murdered and mutilated five female prostitutes in London in 1888. While there have been over 100 theories presented on the Ripper's true identity, renowned "Ripperologist" Martin Fido suggests that a violent, anti-social man named "David Cohen" is the true killer, partly because Cohen's incarceration at an insane asylum happened to coincide with the end of the murders. Although various letters were sent to the press by the alleged killer, one with a human kidney, the case of the Ripper murders will possibly forever remain unsolved.

Like what you hear and want more true crime and mystery? Go to www.reelz.com/podcasts/ 

00:52:00 8/6/2019

Hi MMMF fans! Loved the first episode of 22 Hours: An American Nightmare? Hear the next part of the story, and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single episode! Hear the rest of the story with new episodes every Monday, here 

00:48:00 6/17/2019

Hi MMMF fans! We want to share with you the first episode of a new podcast, 22 Hours: An American Nightmare. It's the frightening story of a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper held hostage and murdered inside their burning D.C. mansion. You won't believe what happened during those 22 hours, and how they identified the killer. Did he have help? Hear the rest of the story with new episodes every Monday, here . http://bit.ly/2Mzf5Ks

00:44:35 6/9/2019
An exclusive prison interview with convicted murderess Pamela Smart, who recounts her affair with a 15 year-old student and the events that led to the brutal murder of her husband as well as a national media frenzy and the Nicole Kidman movie "To Die For."
00:55:00 9/11/2018
On one tragic afternoon in 1995, the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla, was inexplicably shot down by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, in a Corpus Christi hotel. Not only did Saldivar receive a life sentence in prison, but she was also cemented as the most hated woman in the Latin American community for taking the life of one of the most celebrated and influential Latin artists of all-time, selling over 60 million albums worldwide.
00:52:00 9/4/2018
Blinded by her obsession for a man who wasn't interested in women with children, Susan Smith did the unthinkable; pushing her car into a lake, killing her two young sons. Smith's case first garnered national attention when - for 9 days - she made public emotional pleas for the safe return of her children, claiming her vehicle had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in the car. Smith eventually plead guilty to killing her sons and was sentenced to life in prison.
00:52:00 8/28/2018
As the leader of the Branch Davidians religious cult, David Koresh became highly known for leading his "Army of God" in a 51-day standoff against the Federal Government that resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and over 80 Davidians. After stockpiling massive amounts of weapons in preparation for the apocalypse and alleged sex with minor cult members, the ATF raided their holy compound and burned down the center after their bloody standoff. Koresh was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the fire.
00:53:00 8/21/2018
With estimates that run as high as 130 murders, Rodney Alcala's ruthless spree of murder, rape, and sexual assault throughout the 1970's has been widely compared to that of Ted Bundy's. During this time, Alcala took sexually explicit photos of hundreds of young men and women as a self-proclaimed professional photographer. Alcala was a contestant on the TV show, The Dating Game in 1978 - despite being a convicted rapist, registered sex offender, and being investigated for multiple murders. After two mistrials, Alcala was sentenced to death in 2010 and 120 of his horrific photographs were later released by police to identify any additional victims.
00:53:00 8/14/2018
Known as the Teflon Don because charges against him would never stick, John Gotti was the invincible crime boss that ruled the streets of New York as head of the notorious Gambino family from 1985 to 2002. Following a four-year prison sentence for murdering a rival gang member, Gotti quickly rose to prominence in the Gambino family by leading his crew of mafia mobsters towards violent hijackings, illegal gambling, and selling drugs on the streets. Gotti was eventually hunted down by the FBI and sentenced to life in prison in 1992, but died of throat cancer ten years later.
00:55:00 8/7/2018
In the span of only two years, Richard Ramirez became known as the "Night Stalker" for breaking into the homes of over 13 people in Los Angeles and viciously raping, torturing and often times, performing Satanic rituals on many of his victims as he brutally murdered them. During his trial, the courtroom famously included female fans of the serial killer. In 1989, Ramirez received 19 death sentences and died 23 years later from sickness while on death row.
00:53:00 7/31/2018
The "Playmate Killer," Paul Snider, was the ex-husband of Playboy Model Dorothy Stratten. Snider was one of the creators of Chippendales, the male strip club chain, but he is most remembered as the killer of Stratten. Their marriage lasted barely a year. When Stratten developed a romantic relationship with acclaimed film director Peter Bogdanovich, Snider's jealousy led to murder-suicide. Stratten was killed by Snider in the Los Angeles apartment they had once shared. On the same day, Snider killed himself. Police believe he raped Stratten and sexually abused her corpse as his last twisted obsession of the Playmate of 1980.
00:55:00 7/24/2018

Jim Jones was the cult leader and founder of the People's Temple. Known for his extreme beliefs on Christianity, socialist politics, and racial equality, Jones is infamous for the mass murder-suicide he led of over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana. Urging his church's members to drink a cyanide-laced punch as a sign of loyalty, the 1978 event resulted in the greatest single loss of American lives before 9/11.

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00:55:00 7/17/2018
"The Hillside Strangler," Kenneth Bianchi, was a serial killer that terrorized Los Angeles between October 1977 and February 1978. But what cops didn't know was that he had a killing accomplice - his own cousin! During this time, Kenneth and his cousin Anthony went on a spree of kidnappings, rapes, and murders in the area and claimed the lives of 10 innocent people. Because the bodies of the victims were usually found on hillsides, the infamous "Hillside Strangler" name was born. When Kenneth was caught in 1979, he ratted out Anthony, and both cousins were sentenced to life in prison.
00:51:00 7/10/2018

"Angry Betty" Broderick is the former suburban housewife who skyrocketed to fame

  when she murdered her ex-husband and his new, much younger, wife in their bed

  in 1989. The ultimate crime-of-passion story included explicit recorded phone

  calls during her contentious divorce and dramatic courtroom testimonies that

  captivated the country. Was she a woman wronged or just a jealous ex-wife

  hell-bent on revenge?  

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00:54:00 7/3/2018

Robert Durst is the former, high-profile real estate tycoon and star of HBO's The Jinx. He first gained the media's attention with the disappearance of his wife in 1982. Although Durst was investigated, his wife's body was never found and all charges were dropped against him. In 2001, he was convicted, and later acquitted, of the dismemberment of his neighbor's body and dumping it into the Galveston bay. Deranged and still up to no good, Durst was later arrested in 2015 for the 2000 murder of friend Susan Berman. Durst is currently awaiting trial for the death of Berman.

Thank you to today's sponsors:

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00:55:00 6/26/2018

The "Craigslist Killer" also known as Philip Markoff, was 23 when he was preparing for a promising future as a doctor and a life of happiness with his fiancée, Megan McAllister. He seemed destined for greatness as one of Boston University's brightest med students, but Markoff had a dirty little secret. He would set up appointments with women offering erotic services on Craigslist to rob them, and one encounter ended in murder. His unsuspecting fiancée stood by his side until the evidence was too overwhelming.

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  • Purple Mattress = Get a free sheet set and mattress cover with your mattress purchase when you got to purple.com/famous
00:53:00 6/19/2018
The 1980 murder of Scarsdale diet doctor, Herman Tarnower, shocks the nation. His lover and headmistress of a prestigious girls' school is arrested and convicted in a sensational trial in the suburbs of New York City. Jean Harris claims the shooting was accidental when the doctor struggled for her handgun to prevent her attempt at suicide. This true story of wealth, fame and jealousy garners sympathy for Harris as a long-time girlfriend rejected by Tarnower and replaced with a younger woman.

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Purple Mattress = Get a free sheet set and mattress cover with your mattress purchase when you got to purple.com/famous

00:50:00 6/12/2018
Con man Joe Hunt forms an investment club with wealthy young men who trust him with their families' money. The Ponzi scheme leads to murder when Hunt gets involved with Ron Levin, a notorious con man, himself. Set in Beverly Hills with fancy cars and expensive designer suits, this story about upper class young men with bright futures turns into a bizarre tale of greed, deception, violence, missing bodies and eventually, life in prison.
00:50:00 6/5/2018
The partially clothed body of pretty, 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered on the Upper East Side of Manhattan's Central Park. The chief suspect is handsome 19-year-old Robert Chambers, who claims Jennifer wanted "rough sex" and blames her for her own death. The sensational 1986 tabloid story of affluent teens from New York City's private prep schools becomes known as the "preppie murder." And even the jury doesn't believe Chambers is a cold-blooded killer.
00:50:00 5/29/2018
The 2005 murder of young photographer Teresa Halbach shocks the central Wisconsin community of Manitowoc County. A grisly crime scene of her burned bones is discovered at the family auto salvage business of Steven Avery, recently released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he didn't commit. Two years earlier, DNA evidence exonerated him. But now arrested, charged and convicted of the photographer's murder, Avery's case becomes the subject of the popular documentary "Making a Murderer," on Netflix, in which defense attorneys cast doubt on Avery's guilt once again.
00:50:00 5/22/2018
In 1969, nine people are killed by a notorious cult leader with mostly female followers living in a commune. Among the brutally murdered is pregnant actress Sharon Tate. The two-night murder spree terrorizes Los Angeles and uncovers a bizarre revenge and connection to musical legend Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys and actress Doris Day's son, Terry Melcher, a producer who failed to promote the musical ambitions of Charles Manson.
00:50:00 5/15/2018
The horrific murder of 24 year-old Gregg Smart becomes a national media event when his attractive young wife is found to be having an affair with the 15 year-old killer, a case that inspired the Nicole Kidman movie "To Die For."
00:50:00 5/8/2018
When beautiful, 18 year-old Natalee Holloway vanishes while on a graduation trip to Aruba in 2005, the international media converges on young Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot, who was the last person seen with her on the Caribbean island.
00:50:00 5/1/2018
The horrific crimes of charismatic law student Ted Bundy - who killed at least 36 young women - grip the nation in the 1970s and give birth to the term "serial killer."
00:50:00 4/24/2018
A Bolingbrook, Illinois police sergeant bathes in the media limelight after he becomes a suspect in the drowning murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio and the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Cales Peterson, in 2007
00:51:00 4/17/2018