Edifi Podcast Network

The Unlovely Truth

The Unlovely Truth

Exploring the intersection of faith and true crime.

Episodes

  • Season 3, Episode 21: Where is Your God Now, Part 1: The Kidnapping Season 3, Episode 21: Where is Your God Now, Part 1: The Kidnapping Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 21: Where is Your God Now, Part 1: The Kidnapping

    Larry and Connie Van Oosten were looking forward to a quiet retirement in the small, peaceful town of Erie, Illinois. They’d worked hard and planned well. Little did they know that someone else had spent over a year and a half working hard on a plan to kidnap the Van Oostens, steal their retirement savings, and then, who knows? This week and next we’re going to dive into the book “Rescued for a Reason” by Larry and Connie themselves as told to A.L. Rogers. Lori Prather, our Unlovely Truth …

  • Season 3, Episode 20: I Will Find You: Behind the Scenes with Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda Season 3, Episode 20: I Will Find You: Behind the Scenes with Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 20: I Will Find You: Behind the Scenes with Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda

    Have you ever wondered what the most dangerous creature on earth is? According to Joe Kenda, it’s us! On the flip side, who can work together on a mission to help our communities be places where we feel safe and people who have been affected by crime know they will get the support they need? It’s us. Our book this week is “I Will Find You” by one of my favorite true crime TV personalities, Detective Joe Kenda, so you’re going to get some great information AND inspiration from this episode. I …

  • Season 3, Episode 19: I Read This Book So You Don't Have To: How Social Media has Changed the Face of Crime Season 3, Episode 19: I Read This Book So You Don't Have To: How Social Media has Changed the Face of Crime Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 19: I Read This Book So You Don't Have To: How Social Media has Changed the Face of Crime

    Can being on Facebook, or any other social media platform, make you vulnerable to being victimized? My highly specific answer to that is - it depends. You made a great choice joining me today because I’m going to show you just how you might be giving away more than you should, and what to do about it. We’ll also talk about how to use your influence on social media to make a positive impact on the world. Our book this week is True Crime Online by J.A. Hitchcock, and our guest is Dr. Jen …

  • Season 3, Episode 18: Grandma's House Season 3, Episode 18: Grandma's House Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 18: Grandma's House

    Aren’t Grandmas the best? I loved to go visit with mine at her house, and I’ve got so many good memories of time spent there. Which is why I can’t fathom who would’ve wanted to hurt the two grandmas we're going to talk about today, Grace Kennedy or Madeline Johnson. Let’s investigate their stories and see if someone who knows something will come forward. And believe me - there’s ALWAYS someone who knows something, so we’ll talk about what I think is a creative way to get cold cases in front of …

  • Season 3, Episode 17: Surviving a Murdered Childhood Season 3, Episode 17: Surviving a Murdered Childhood Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 17: Surviving a Murdered Childhood

    What happens when your childhood suddenly becomes a true crime headline? How do you go on after the trauma of losing nearly your whole family to violence? Let’s investigate how one woman did just that. I truly hope that we all learn things to help others and ourselves, and not just rubber-neck at someone else’s tragedy. As Jessica herself said, “This wasn't just a national news headline, a cold case, or a true crime show. It was my family. And my life.” Our case this week is from the book “I …

  • Season 3, Episode 16: What If She Were Your Daughter? Season 3, Episode 16: What If She Were Your Daughter? Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 16: What If She Were Your Daughter?

    It’s been a while since I told my story about why I became a private investigator - what finally moved me to action. I was feeling restless, and I wanted to make a bigger impact on the world, or at least on my little corner of it. I’ll bet you do too. True crime stories have always fascinated me, and one was unfolding right next to me. A young woman was kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered and all I could think was, “What if that was MY daughter?” Our book this week is “I Have the Right …

  • Season 3, Episode 15 - Cold Case Investigator J. Warner Wallace Talks About "Person of Interest" Season 3, Episode 15 - Cold Case Investigator J. Warner Wallace Talks About "Person of Interest" Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 15 - Cold Case Investigator J. Warner Wallace Talks About "Person of Interest"

    If you’re trying to prove a murder case without having a body to prove that your victim is dead, you’d better make sure that the rest of your evidence is rock solid. The same goes if you’re trying to prove that the execution and resurrection of Jesus really happened. My guest today has done both. Our book this week is “Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World That Rejects the Bible” and our guest is former atheist and cold case detective turned apologist, speaker, and …

  • Season 3, Episode 14: Finding Keeslyn Roberts Season 3, Episode 14: Finding Keeslyn Roberts Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 14: Finding Keeslyn Roberts

    Did you know that, according to Lauth Investigations International, on average, there are approximately 50,000 missing adults at any given time. That absolutely blows my mind and makes me wonder what lengths I would go to if one of those 50,000 was someone I loved. This week we are going to look into the 2020 disappearance of Keeslyn Noell Roberts, and briefly touch on the cases of Caleb Smith, Anna Yoder, and Clyde Merriweather. All were last seen at a truck stop - the type of place known to …

  • Season 3, Episode 13: How You Can Back the Blue: "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh Season 3, Episode 13: How You Can Back the Blue: "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 13: How You Can Back the Blue: "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh

    If I asked you to guess the percentage of murder cases that actually had physical evidence that tied a suspect to the crime, what would you say? I’ll bet you DIDN’T say just 13.5% - but that’s what research done by the Boston Globe in 2010 showed. So what solves crimes? Good investigations. Law enforcement officers often get a bad rap. Society should certainly punish those who cross the lines of acceptable behavior, but today I want to focus on the good that the vast majority of officers do …

  • Season 3, Episode 12: Bitter Jealousy: The Murder that Shocked a Small Town Church Season 3, Episode 12: Bitter Jealousy: The Murder that Shocked a Small Town Church Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 12: Bitter Jealousy: The Murder that Shocked a Small Town Church

    I’ll bet you love feeling safe, right? I know I do. And who could seem like a safer person to be around than an older lady from your church? It turns out that just about anybody would be safer if that little old church lady was Mary Jane Fonder of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Stay with me and we’ll learn why Mary Jane went from seeming safe to being savage. Our book this week is “Love Me or Else” by Colin McEvoy and Lynn Olanoff. Here to talk with us about what we can take away from this case …

  • Season 3, Episode 11: Surviving and Overcoming Trauma: Dancing with the Octopus Season 3, Episode 11: Surviving and Overcoming Trauma: Dancing with the Octopus Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 11: Surviving and Overcoming Trauma: Dancing with the Octopus

    14-year-old Debra Harding was walking home from school when she was abducted, raped, and left outside in the bitter cold to die. Almost worse was being at home during the physical and psychological abuse from her mother and watching her father allow it. Let’s find out how Deborah was able to triumph over her trauma. Our book this week is Dancing With the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime by Debra Harding. Our guest is Sara Shallenberger. Sara is a host, producer, and writer at the Life Network for …

  • Season 3, Episode 10: Murder in the Family Season 3, Episode 10: Murder in the Family Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 10: Murder in the Family

    George Bernard Shaw once said, “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” Our book this week is “Murder in the Family” by Edgar Award Winner Burl Barer, and one member of the family made it a living hell for everyone else.  My guest is Lori Wildenberg, a licensed parent-family educator, podcaster, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, national speaker, author, and parent consultant. After we talk about what the Newman family was put through by one they called their own, Lori will help us …

  • Season 3, Episode 9: The Unsolved Double Homicide of Pam Branka and Paul Jones Season 3, Episode 9: The Unsolved Double Homicide of Pam Branka and Paul Jones Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 9: The Unsolved Double Homicide of Pam Branka and Paul Jones

    It was early on a Saturday morning in 2007 when assistant manager Pam Branka, 46, and manager Paul "P.J." Jones, 50, were murdered as they opened the Burger King in Momence, IL. No cash was taken from the registers, but blood was found near the safe, so it was assumed that the workers were victims of a botched robbery. But was it? Robbers usually use guns, not knives. According to stats from the U.S. Department of Justice, knives or other sharp objects were only used in about 13% of …

  • Season 3, Episode 8: Prison Saved My Life Season 3, Episode 8: Prison Saved My Life Play in Edifi Player

    Season 3, Episode 8: Prison Saved My Life

    “Prison is a dark, often evil place. But light still shines there.” So says Louis Dooley, author of the book Prison Saved My Life: I Recommend it for Everyone. It’s easy to dismiss prison conversions as being somehow less real or genuine than those among people on the outside. But in most incarceration settings, announcing that you are now a Christian puts a target on your back because you are seen as being weak. You’re seen as someone whose beliefs won’t let you fight back. Today’s guest, …