Sofa King Podcast
Summary: The Sofa King podcast is a twice-weekly show dedicated to influential people, popular culture, historical events, true crime and listener suggested topics the hosts find interesting. From conspiracy theories and technology to the mass media and the future, this show explores major issues in way that is simultaneously informative, critical, and humorous. The hosts have big ideas, big opinions, big mouths, and give their take on topics in a way that is both cynical and educational. Adult content, themes, and language.
This episode of the Sofa King Podcast explores the grisly killing spree of the most famous Soviet serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, aka “The Butcher of Rostov.” Between 1978 and 1990, he was thought to have killed a total of 56 people throughout the USSR, and he was responsible for one wrongful execution and several suicides. This was an especially interesting case because the investigation was hampered by the Soviet government who publicly claimed there was no such thing as a Russian serial killer and that this was a sickness only the decadent West could catch. Andrei Chikatilo fits many of the key ingredients of serial killers—he had a major illness as a child, an oppressive mother, sexual dysfunction, high intelligence, and of course a cold cunning. He grew up in Stalin’s Ukraine during the massive food shortages and famines that his regime caused, and Chikatilo also lived with the shame of a father who was captured by the Germans during WWI (it was a major taboo for them). The worst part was that his childhood hydrocephalic condition caused him to wet his bed well into his later years and kept him from being able to get an erection. The sexual frustration and humiliation of his childhood years twisted him into a monster and killer. So who were his targest? He mostly liked underage girls, but he would take anyone. He wasn’t that picky. All of his targets met the same horrible end. He would stab them at least 20 times, using the knife as a surrogate penis. He would tie them up, stuff leaves and dirt in their mouths, and ejaculate on them as their death struggle sexually excited him. He would also cut off body parts and even bite off nipples. Yes, he was really crazy and horrible. So, how did he eventually get caught if the government didn’t publicly admit he existed? What lead to him being called the “Forest Strip Killer?” How did he father children if he could never get an erection? Why would Andrei Chikatilo gouge out the eyes of his victims? What body parts would he nibble on? Listen, laugh, learn.
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the Aztec people. They were the largest empire in the history of Mesoamerica. They were famous for being amazing warriors, and they were equally famous for their religious sacrifice. You see, they thought the sun would only keep burning if it was fed blood, so sometimes they scarified 80,000 humans a year! This culture dominated their region in only fifty short years, and their advances in agriculture, art, and trade have never been rivaled. So what brought them down? How fast was their fall? Who was Montezuma, and did he really swear to get revenge? This one gets good and bloody! Listen, laugh, learn. Visit our Sources: https://www.ushistory.org/civ/11d.asp https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/unearthing-the-secrets-of-the-aztecs/ https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/aztec-civilization/ https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-americas/aztecs https://www.chimuadventures.com/blog/2016/09/aztecs-interesting-facts/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztecs
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the fiery crash of the Hindenburg. Its last moments were made famous by the grainy black and white footage and the scream, “Oh the humanity!” The ship was very interesting before that, however. It was built in Germany and was almost immediately commandeered for Nazi propaganda. It was even named after the guy who made Hitler the chancellor. After it flew around Germany to pump up the father land, it became a luxurious way for the elite to cross the Atlantic. It made ten flights to New Jersey in its first year and was ready to do more when disaster struck. It exploded on landing. Some say it was sabotage and even have a suspect. Others think it was because, you know, it was a giant cotton sack filled with explosive death gasses. We’ll let you be the judge. Visit Our Sources: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/80th-anniversary-hindenburg-disaster-mysteries-remain-180963107/ https://www.livescience.com/58959-hindenburg-crash.html https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/609624/hindenburg-disaster-facts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_129_Hindenburg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgWHbpMVQ1U https://www.airships.net/hindenburg/interiors/ Oh The Humanity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ2qP4wd4LE
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we ask a simple question. What do female genital mutilation and corn flakes have in common? The answer is Kellogg’s. The beloved breakfast giant is known for cereal and pop tarts, but the brothers who laid the foundation of the company are worth looking at. Many people have heard of W.K. Kellogg, the founder of the corporation. However, not as many have heard of his somewhat sadistic brother J.H Kellogg. He thought masturbation was the cause of most health problems and used everything from tying kids down to scarring female genitals with acid as a cure. And then he invented corn flakes. How did all of this come together, and what exactly was the Battle Creek Sanitarium? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Keith_Kellogg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/people/hall-of-fame/detail/w.-k.-kellogg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kellogg%27s https://blog.truffleshuffle.co.uk/2015/07/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about%E2%80%A6kelloggs/ https://www.forbes.com/companies/kellogg/?sh=5d16aa986de2 https://plain.recipes/recipe/127195/nuttose https://chestofbooks.com/food/recipes/Dishes/Nuttose-Recipes.html http://www.fourpoundsflour.com/history-dish-mondays-protose/
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the death of Karen Silkwood. Silkwood worked at the Kerr-McGhee fuel plant in Oklahoma. She made plutonium pellets for nuclear fuel, and she discovered safely issues with workers being irradiated. The weird thing is, she started to get positive hits for alpha radiation she wasn’t exposed to. It even followed her home making it into her bologna in the fridge! After a union meeting, while on the way to a rendezvous with a New York Times reporter, Silkwood died. She was found dead in a car crash with a stomach full of Quaaludes. Was she a sex crazed drug addict as the corporation wants people to believe? Was she murdered to silence her as many reporters believed? Why does one reporter think her assassination tied to a plutoniuum pipeline that fed the CIA, MIA, and the Mossad? How did her bologna become radioactive? So many questions… Visit Our Sources: https://time.com/3574931/karen-silkwood/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Silkwood https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/karen-silkwood-dies-in-mysterious-one-car-crash https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interact/silkwood.html https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1981/4/13/conspiracy-pbibt-is-a-bizarre-story/ https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/karen-silkwood-the-case-of-the-activists-death-52287/
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we peel back the covers of the king of pornography (and free speech), Larry Flynt. He was famous for, well, a lot of things. One of them was the Hustler brand magazine, casino, and sex shop. But he was equally famous for having several outlandish fights with the U.S. Supreme Court. There was also the time he was shot and paralyzed by a racist serial killer outside of a court house. His magazine crossed many lines, from depicting rapes as sexual fantasies to overt racism and anti-Semitism. However, he is said to have won one of the biggest victories that secured American free speech, and was an early advocate of gay marriage. His stunts are legendary, from sending copies of every issue of his smut mag to every member of Congress all the way to publishing nude photos of Jackie Onassis Kennedy. Larry Flynt, love him or hate him, helped to define our times. Visit Our Sources: https://www.vice.com/en/article/qkbzjx/larry-flynt-profile-2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Flynt https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/larry-flynts-wild-life-porn-424687/ https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/ceos/larry-flynt-net-worth/ https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1436/larry-flynt https://www.wearethemighty.com/lists/5-surprising-facts-about-army-and-navy-veteran-larry-flynt/
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the art, fame, life, and death of Bob Ross. He is known for his paintings of happy little trees and Peapod the pet pocket squirrel, but this guy led a very interesting life. From a sergeant in the army to an international media icon, Ross saw a lot in his life. His shows are still watched world-round, even though they are decades old. But of course they’re watched! His hypnotic whisper and smooth painting techniques cured depression and made people feel good about their lives. But life wasn’t all happy clouds. His wife died of cancer, and he had business partners (one of whom was a retired CIA agent) who allegedly took advantage of him and stole his name on his death bed. If you love art and afros, give this one a listen. Visit Our Sources: Netflix Documentary: Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal, and Greed https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/102372.Bob_Ross https://www.biography.com/artist/bob-ross https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ross biography.com/news/bob-ross-biography-facts https://allthatsinteresting.com/bob-ross-biography https://www.npr.org/2016/08/29/490923502/the-real-bob-ross-meet-the-meticulous-artist-behind-those-happy-trees
This episode takes a look at the ghastly life of Ed Gein, the Plainfield Butcher. Gein was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho as well as the serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. How can one man be the genesis all of these horrific film characters? Give us a listen to find out. Gein was born at the turn of the century to a wildly religious zealot of a mother and an alcoholic father who worked tanning animal skins when he wasn’t drunk (spoiler alert, the skin tanning comes in useful later in Gein’s life…). As Gein grew up, he came to idolize his domineering mother and lived with her, never having gone on so much as one a date, until her death when he was 39 years old. Gein’s mother died shortly after she had a stroke thought to be induced by the death of Gein’s older brother Harold (who died under rather mysterious circumstances). Once alone, Gein earned the reputation as “Weird Eddy” the guy who lived alone in an empty farmhouse. He drifted through town doing odd jobs and even babysitting for people, until in 1957, when he was arrested for the murder of Bernice Warden, the clerk at the general store. She was shot on the first day of hunting season, and when police investigated Gein’s home, they discovered a trove of horrors. Since his mother’s death, Gein had killed several people, robbed dozens of graves, and had a house of trophies. Horrible, horrible trophies. Warden’s body was hanging in a shed, being cut apart like a deer. What the police found in the house itself was even more mind blowing. Noses in a box, masks made from human faces, a “Woman suit” made from the skin of several women, a belt made of nipple, female genetalia tucked in pairs of man-sized panties, you name it. How many people did Gein kill? How many graves did he rob? Why did he do it? What other trophies did he keep? We try to get to the bottom of it in this episode, and you can get the bonus feature of Dave and Brent freaking out on air while Brad shows them pictures of some of Gein’s trophies—pictures they consciously decided not to Google while they were doing their research.
Whats up Holmes? Another Classic while we try not to die. See you soon. This episode of the Sofa King Podcast examines the horrible history of H.H. Holmes, the Beast of Chicago. This man is considered the first true serial killer in American history, killing people all over the country in the late 1800’s (estimates are as high as 200 victims). Born Herman Webster Mudgett, Holmes was a smart child who had a penchant for operating on animals and had a bad run in with a human skeleton and a group of bullies. He graduated high school at 16 years of age and went to University of Michigan Medical School where he earned his medical doctorate. Oh, and while he was at U of M, he also figured out a way to claim life insurance policies on the school’s cadavers and disfigure and operate on them in secret. Holmes was a conman who made the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars on insurance schemes, often getting money paid out for his own murder victims. What makes Holmes truly unique, however, is his Murder Castle. After buying a pharmacy in Chicago (after presumably killing off the previous owners who go mysteriously “missing”), he build a massive three story hotel in Chicago in time for the World’s Fair. It is such a big building that locals called it “The Castle.” While he ran his pharmacy from the ground floor and let guests stay on the second, the third story and the basement were where he was allowed to kill in horrible ways. The Castle was infamous for doors that led to nowhere, dead end stair cases, soundproof rooms, chutes to deposit bodies into the basement, ether pumped through gas pipes to various rooms, an acid pit and several kilns to dispose of bodies in the basement, and even a bank vault he would use to slowly kill people through asphyxiation. Though he preferred blond women and children, Holmes killed them all, often selling their skeletons and organs to medical schools! How did he get brought down by a horse? Who was Benjamin Pietzel, and why did Holmes have to kill three of his children? Why was he buried ten feet deep and encased in concrete after he was hanged for his crimes? Listen, laugh, learn.
Still Fucking sick! But not as sick as this Episode. Check out another Sofa King classic. On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the conspiracy theory of the Lost Cosmonauts. (Finally, a conspiracy about space that isn’t the moon landing hoax or lizard people!) Our official history says that on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first human being to ever leave the planet earth and orbit the earth. However, there are theories that this was not the truth—Gagarin was not the first person in space. In fact, the argument goes, there were several others who made it to space first, but they didn’t succeed in making it back! So, no, the theory is not that the Lost Cosmonauts are actually lost. Indeed, they are all dead or living lies to cover up Soviet failures early in the space program. Remember that the Cold War hinged upon the Space Race, and losses in the form of cosmonaut deaths would equal defeat in this war. America lost astronauts in the Apollo 1 explosion, so why couldn’t the Soviets as well? In fact, many people think they did lose people, and plenty of them. There is the case of Vladimir Ilyushin, the golden boy of the Soviet Union and the best test pilot alive at the time. Allegedly, he launched a week before Gagarin did, but he had difficulty landing and ended up being held by the Chinese for over a year, and his failure was covered up. There are also the creepy and fascinating recordings of the Judica-Cordiglia brothers in Italy. They allegedly started to hear the broadcasts of various Soviet craft in space, and then they started recording them. The records start small, build with some SOS calls from space, and end with a desperate woman who seems to burn to death re-entering the atmosphere. Is there something to this, or are the brothers just pulling a prank? Some of the Lost Cosmonauts turn out to be an art project, and lots of others seemed to have died in training but covered up. Who was Ivan Ivanovich, and why was his craft met with anger in the small Soviet Village where it crashed? Did the USSR try to launch a last minute moon shot to beat the US to the punch? Who was Valentin Bonderinko, and why did his horrible death by fire get covered up by the soviets? How many Lost Cosmonauts are there? Listen, laugh, learn. Audio of the supposed Lost Cosmonauts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sgc1I9sjfc
As always we appreciate you all being so patient when life gets in the way. Please have a listen to an oldie but goodie while we get well. Thank you This Sofa King Podcast takes a look at the phenomenon of alien implants. As we’ve discussed in earlier episodes, a percentage of the population believes they have been abducted by extraterrestrial beings. Of these people, another statistical subset claims to have implants placed in their bodies. At their craziest, they believe the implants alter people’s behavior and give psychic powers. We don’t talk about that because, well, give me a break. However, we do look at some of the most famous and more credible examples of alien implants and the doctors who deal with them. We start with a look at the earliest case of implanted technology, allegedly from a woman in 1938 who claims devices were implanted behind her ears to control her with sound (this was discussed by Ufologist John Robinson in 1957). Since then, the cases have obviously grown. Perhaps the most famous is the case of Betty Andreason—she claims to have gone through what is now thought of as the textbook abduction by gray aliens back in 1967. Her story was explored heavily by the most legitimate UFO investigator, J. Allen Hynek in 1977. From there, we look at the famous case of Whitley Strieber (author of Communion) and his claims that an MRI shows abnormal things in his temporal lobe and that things were placed in his ear by a Man (and a Woman) in Black. What did he discover after a biopsy? Good question. Give us a listen. Finally, we talk about Doctor Roger Leir, a surgeon who has allegedly removed 16 alien implants from various patients. One of them proved to stump the teams at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico Tech, and US San Diego’s metallurgical teams. What did they all say the implant was made of? Is Leir a quack, or is there some merit to his beliefs? What do the Sofa Kings think about the implants at the end of the day? And lastly, does Dave have an implant in his ankle? Listen, laugh, learn.
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we release our inner Trekkies about the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry. His story is a wild one! His show is filled with a future that explores the possibility of a utopian earth with no war, hunger, trouble, or strife. But his own life was far from that. In World War II, he learned to fly and volunteered to join 394th Bomb Squadron, flying the B-17 Flying Fortress. In his time in the Air Force and after as a commercial pilot, he survived three deadly crashes. After the final crash, he decided he wanted to be a writer and moved to LA, where he became a cop to pay the bills. After an endless Hollywood hustle of failed pilots and scripts nobody wanted, he dreamed up Star Trek. It was a futuristic look a vessel of exploration, helmed by a diverse crew. It included the first African American woman on prime time television and even featured a Russian crew member in the height of the cold war. But all was not utopia on the set either. There was Gene Roddenberry’s love triangle with cast members. Then, there was the way the writers all quit, claiming he store their ideas and constant battles with the studio. He created the world’s most fan-loved sci-fi universe, but it was not without a lot of conflict, romance, and heart break. Visit Our Sources: https://theoatmeal.com/comics/plane https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Roddenberry#Early_life_and_career https://www.startrek.com/database_article/roddenberry https://variety.com/2021/film/news/star-trek-gene-roddenberry-biopic-1235044949/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_121 https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/21-gene-roddenberry-quotes-that-inspire-a-great-future.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW8tKl_HOeo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW8tKl_HOeo https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-enduring-lessons-of-star-trek
On this 600th episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we cover one of the greatest musical acts of all times, The Beatles. I feel like anything I type in these show notes is pointless. This episode is about the Beatles. You probably love them. You might not. Either way, you know who they are, and you recognize a dozen of their songs, even if you think you don’t. We cover how they formed, their greatest album, and our own stance on Beatle Mania. You might not really know the history of this epic band, and you might not know the ups and downs. But don’t worry! We got you, so give this one a listen! Visit Our Sources: https://www.liveabout.com/before-they-were-beatles-747843 https://www.biography.com/news/how-the-beatles-formed https://www.historic-newspapers.com/blog/beatles-timeline/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles https://www.beatlesbible.com/history/ https://www.thoughtco.com/the-beatles-profile-1779500 http://www.beatlesfaq.com/2019/04/how-many-records-have-beatles-sold.html https://www.biography.com/news/michael-jackson-paul-mccartney-beatles-music-catalog https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper%27s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore the mystery of the world’s most mysterious book, the Voynich Manuscript. It was named after rare book seller named William Voynich. He bought the book during a bulk book sale from an ancient college in Rome. It was meant to go to the Vatican, but he scooped it up. He spent seven years trying to decipher the unknown language and strange drawings, but he did without success. After his death, it made it to Yale University, and it has become one of the most studied books of all time. The language is completely unknown, but modern linguistics say it is a real language. The book has been dated using multiple methods and claims to be from 1420. But who wrote it? And for what purpose? It could an encyclopedia from a dead culture, the ravings of a mad monk, or even the encrypted writings of an alchemist trying to avoid persecution. Either way, it is a beautiful book and a wonderful mystery. Follow our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/voynich-manuscript https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/the-mysterious-voynich-manuscript-has-finally-been-decoded/ Full Text of Manuscript: https://archive.org/details/TheVoynichManuscript/page/n147/mode/2up https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/has-yale-s-mysterious-voynich-manuscript-finally-been-deciphered https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NS4CbBJQ84
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the most bizarre missing person cases in Australian history. The Tromp family went missing rather suddenly on August 29th, 2016. This family of five left their passports, drivers licenses, credit cards, and cell phones behind. The children were all in their 20s, so it’s hard to figure out why they went along with this trip. One by one, the kids peeled off from the main group. First their son left. Then the daughters split off. One stole a car (like you do), and the other was found catatonic in the back of a pickup truck. Then the parents had their own series of madness as they headed further north by themselves. How did the son get home? What lead from the mom trying to book a hotel room to being hospitalized? What caused this strange behavior (it could be anything from farm chemicals to an attempt to flee from the mob)? How does Pokémon Go tie into all of this? Do we really think the Tromp family was targeted by an Australian government beam weapon? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit our Sources: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanbergara/this-is-the-story-behind-the-disappearance-of-the https://www.mamamia.com.au/tromp-family/ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-37293494 https://www.ranker.com/list/why-did-the-tromp-family-leave/jacob-shelton https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/true-stories/riana-tromp-speaks-about-bizarre-roadtrip-in-first-interview/news-story/459be05ad66da097415bf3e865ea9b4c https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/83885962/tromp-siblings-even-if-we-told-you-the-whole-story-its-still-inexplicable