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.
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the murder of Brian Wells, also known as the Pizza Bomber. This is a strange one. It involves an innocent pizza delivery man who is held at gunpoint as he delivers his pizza. A bomb is strapped around his neck, and he’s given directions to go on a scavenger hunt to keep the bomb from boing off. One stop on the scavenger hunt? A little bank robbery using a shotgun made to look like a walking cane. Here, the cops catch Brian Wells, and the bomb goes off and kills him. But as the backstory unfolds, this turns into a tale of hardened life-time criminals, murders, a potential female serial killer, and bodies stored in freezers. Oh, and Brian Wells may have been in on it all along! Want to know more? Give this one a listen! Visit Our Sources: https://allthatsinteresting.com/brian-wells-evil-genius-marjorie-diehl-armstrong https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Brian_Wells https://pizzabomber.com/faces-from-the-case/ https://www.mcall.com/news/police/mc-pa-collar-bomb-death-04042017-20170404-story.html https://www.goerie.com/news/20180828/brian-wells-participant-and-victim https://www.goerie.com/news/20180828/15-years-later-where-are-pizza-bomber-characters-now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63tQ7yGmsmI
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life and imagination of Ian Fleming. Fleming was of course, the creator of the iconic James Bond and author of a dozen Bond books, but he was also a key figure in British Intelligence during WWII. In fact, many people say his depiction of Bond is one of the most accurate depictions of what a spy was like during the war. His own exploits involve trying to steal an Enigma Machine, training one of the most important commando-spy units in Great Britain, and even helping draft the key elements of the CIA in Washington, D.C. He was a drinker, a womanizer, an adulterer, and a spy, and the world was made better for him. He was born to a very wealthy family. His grandfather was the founder of a bank, and the family had deep pockets and strong political connections. His father died in the trenches in WWI, and he grew up a smart and inquisitive child (though not one who cared for school work). Eventually, he was sent to a boarding school in Austria where he could train to join the Foreign Office. He applied for work there, but he failed to land a job. So, his mom got him a post as a reporter, and he traveled extensively, even coming close to an interview with Joseph Stalin. When the war started, his mother got him hired as the assistant of Admiral Godfrey, head of Naval Intelligence. From there, Ian Fleming had a sterling career. He wrote a thing called the Trout Memo, came up with plans to steal an Enigma Machine, trained the 30th Commando and worked with the SOE. His men were the epitome of British Intelligence officers, trusted by the Navy, and responsible for securing plans for things like the V-2 Rocket and the Messerschmitt Me 163 fighters. He was also close with Wild Bill Donovan, who was the chief liaison between British and American Intelligence during the war. In fact, the two of them wrote the blueprints for what would become the CIA. After the war, he went back to being a journalist, but was bored to tears by it. His job allowed him three months of vacation every year, and he built a house in Jamaica, called Golden Eye, which is where he would stay. Eventually, one of his long time girlfriends/affairs, was left by her husband (she and Ian were having an affair while also having affairs on each other…). They married, and before the marriage, he was challenged to write Casino Royale, the first Bond story. So how was this book received? What did his friends think, and why did the publisher decide to print it? Where did he get the name James Bond from? What spies and events were his novels based on? How much did he smoke and drink each day? How many affairs did he have? How did the movie deals come to be, and why is JFK key for the success of James Bond? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2018-featured-story-archive/ian-fleming-the-man-behind-the-most-famous-spy.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Fleming https://www.ianfleming.com/ian-fleming/ https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/travel/09Jamaica.html https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/11/extraordinary-letters-between-ian-fleming-and-wife-to-be-sold https://www.famousauthors.org/ian-fleming https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cIcFSDa79Y https://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/bid/290676/book-collector-s-tidbits-ian-fleming-and-james-bond
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we cover the true crime roller coaster that was the trial of Amanda Knox. She and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested for the murder of Meredith Kercher. This case it had it all. Promiscuous college students, rough Italian cops, bar hopping, Americans, Brits, and an international cast of characters. The case gets crazy as they two get convicted, released, and then arrested and convicted again due to crazy loopholes in Italian law. Amanda Knox was born in Seattle and was a normal child and a good college student. Since childhood, she had a love of Italy, and she got a chance to study abroad while she was getting a degree in linguistics. She moved to Perugia, Italy, to finish her studies. Perugia is a small town known for its colleges (and college students) as well as some pretty crazy murder cases. Amanda Knox was not the only wild murder in town. There was a case there of an Italian Prime minister allegedly murdering a journalist and another case of a band of Satanic Masonic serial killers! In Perugia, Amanda found a flat with several roommates. One was Kercher. Knox got a job at a local bar and eventually started a relationship with Sollecito. She stayed the night at his place, and on the morning of November 1st 2007, Knox found Kercher’s door locked but there was blood, and she wasn’t answering her phone. The cops came, and according to Knox were immediately hostile toward her. Plus, they were postal police, which apparently is a thing in Italy, and had no real business putting together a murder case. Either way, the trial was wild. They got convicted, even though they had leads on a better suspect. Then, the case was overturned, and they were acquitted. Once Knox was back in Seattle, however, the Italian court called the case back on, and she was being tried all over again in a horrible Italian justice yoyo. So, how did the case ultimately end up? Who did they finally claim the murderer was? What happened to him? How much time did Knox spend in prison? Why did she get in a twitter war over the US presidential election? What motivated her to try to help the founder of the sex cult NXIVM to get out of jail? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/amanda-knox https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Knox https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Meredith_Kercher https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/us/amanda-knox-wedding-prison-uniform-trnd/index.html https://nypost.com/2020/11/04/amanda-knox-says-next-4-years-cant-be-as-bad-as-her-study-abroad/ https://nypost.com/2020/12/06/man-who-killed-amanda-knoxs-roommate-freed/ https://filmdaily.co/obsessions/true-crime/amanda-knox-tweets/
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the king of all swashbucklers, Sir Henry Morgan. Morgan was a privateer (paid by the crown, so not a dirty pirate) who single handedly changed the face of the Caribbean and the war between England and Spain. In the 1600s, he was known for his cunning tactics (such as using the nuns and priests as a human shield), and he’d fight on land or at sea. He was one of the leaders of Jamaica, beloved by the people of England, and the scourge of the Spanish fleet. Yes, he helped England, but often at the end of a cutlass, with his men torturing their captives, taking slaves, and burning entire towns to the ground. Nothing could stop him. Born to a humble farmer, Henry Morgan longed for adventure. Two of his uncles served in the British Navy, and he wanted to as well. At a young age, he worked his way to the Caribbean and Jamaica, though nobody is exactly sure how he got there. It was very expensive and dangerous to make the voyage, and many versions of this tale exist. What is known is that within a short time, he was not just serving in the navy, but was given his own ship and a group of fellow privateers and buccaneers. Their mandate was to cause as much trouble for Spain as possible. They sank ships and sacked towns as long as England and Spain were at war. Which was always. As he grew in wealth, stature, and infamy, so did his navy. He was eventually named an Admiral and started to sack major towns along the Spanish Main. Some of his exploits made more money than the entire export of Jamaica. Others didn’t make much. But his amazing mind for tactics and his ruthlessness on the battle field and in the cities he sacked made him a legend. He was so feared by the Spanish, entire armies would sometimes abandon their posts if he was coming. He was so beloved by England than even when he broke the law and illegally attacked a city, he was knighted and made Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. This is like Pirates of the Caribbean but rated R and on steroids. And yes, the Captain Morgan rum guy was based on this awesome buccaneer. Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.thoughtco.com/captain-morgan-greatest-of-the-privateers-2136378 http://www.thewayofthepirates.com/famous-buccaneers/henry-morgan/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Morgan https://www.historynet.com/henry-morgan-the-pirate-who-invaded-panama-in-1671.htm https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/Sir-Henry-Morgan/ https://pirates.fandom.com/wiki/Henry_Morgan http://www.thewayofthepirates.com/types-of-pirates/buccaneers/
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look into one of the most famous cases of a haunting to come out of the UK, the Enfield Poltergeist. This is the story of a single mother living in government housing trying to support four kids when some very strange things started to happen in their house. One night in 1977, she went upstairs because her kids were freaking out, and she saw the chest of drawers move several times amidst knocking inside the walls. What came next was a series of hauntings that ran for 18 months--or a series of hoaxes if you think the daughters were up to no good! So on the night of August 31, 1977, Peggy Hodgson saw the chest of drawers move and ran next door with all of her kids. The neighbor went to investigate the now empty house and heard bizarre knocking in the walls follow him around. He went back home and called the cops. They investigated, and the officer saw a chair move on its own. She tried to find out how but could see no logical explanation. Since nobody was in danger and there was no crime, the cops left. The family called the local reporters, and that’s where the investigations started. Graham Morris of the Daily Mirror investigated with an eye for skepticism and was convinced something strange was happening in the house. So too were members of the Society for Psychical Research, Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair. These three investigators as well as a BBC reporter experienced thousands of unexplained phenomenon, and they even caught the girls faking it a few times. Their ultimate conclusions, however, was that something very strange was happening in this house. What is the story of the girl named Janet levitating in her bedroom? What made grown men think that the gruff voice coming out of the girl’s throat was genuinely not her own? What facts about previous home owner did the children seem to know? What was strange enough to make natural skeptics still believe, even when they saw a few instances of fraud? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/01/the-enfield-poltergeist-a-skeptic-speaks https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4GjC93L35KcswfsR13Gvj8F/what-it-s-like-to-meet-a-poltergeist https://people.com/movies/inside-the-real-story-that-inspired-the-conjuring-2/ https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6023279/enfield-poltergeist/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfield_poltergeist https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054842/Enfield-Poltergeist-The-amazing-story-11-year-old-North-London-girl-levitated-bed.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvraq3KfP6w&t=6s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist Voice Recordings: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p063w9vj https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p063w9py
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the worst natural disasters of our lifetimes, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Responsible for the death of at least 230,000 people, this massive wave gave no warning in most areas, and the level of destruction was unprecedented. Some native peoples in the area knew it was coming due to old folk lore their people followed for thousands of years (and turned out true), but for most, it was a day of horror. First off, before you even listed to this episode, you should make sure you watch some clips on YouTube. The terror of the black wave, the people swept away to nothing, cars filled with people as they get swept aside as if by the hands of giants. It is truly terrifying. The tsunami was spawned by an underwater earth quake that hit on December 26th, 2004. It was said to be the second strongest quake ever recorded and lasted a total of ten minutes of shaking in some areas. The wave was generating from the quake, and due to the holiday, tourists were vacationing everywhere from Indonesia to Sumatra and Thailand, the hardest hit areas of the tsunami. In some places, the tell-tale sign of the water receding and then rushing back saved lives. In others, that never happened, and there was no warning at all. On this episode, we talk about the power of the quake, the height of the waves, and tell stories of survivors who were there. What did they see? What did they do to survive? How many loved ones did they lose? Who thinks this was Satan punishing westerners for drinking wine? Who are the Moken people, and why did none of them die in the devastation? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/tsunami-devastates-indian-ocean-coast https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/2004-indian-ocean-earthquake-tsunami-facts https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30537152 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_and_tsunami https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/23/world/tsunami-of-2004-fast-facts/index.html https://www.history.com/news/deadliest-tsunami-2004-indian-ocean https://www.efe.com/efe/english/life/miracle-boat-saved-dozens-of-lives-during-2004-tsunami/50000263-3476804 https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/dec/10/indian-ocean-tsunami-moken-sea-nomads-thailand https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sea-gypsies-saw-signs-in-the-waves/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_ZIPrBm3V0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apung_1
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we indulge in some true crime and talk about one of the worst monsters we’ve run up against, Pee Wee Gaskins. Born Donald Gaskins, he was always small (hence the nickname). His childhood ticked all the boxes: absent father, step fathers who beat him, a mother who didn’t care, drinking kerosene, and never even learning his own name. By the age 11, he had dropped out of school and ran with the “Trouble Trio,” where he robbed and gang raped prostitutes. This behavior never stopped, and with a life in and out of prison for endless crimes, he finally found his true calling once he started to kill and discovered his “Bothersome Feeling.” Once Pee Wee was busted for the horrible things he did with the Trouble Trio, he was sent to a reform school. All he learned there was how to be gang raped, and he finally had to sell his sexual services to the “Big Boy” for protection. He finally escaped and joined a carnival, like you do, and eventually he was too old to serve his juvenile sentence. From there, his life was an endless revolving door in and out of prison. He’d rob someone, steal something, or hit someone with a hammer and go to jail. He’d serve time or escape and then be out. He tended to work in garages, tobacco plantations, and carnivals while his low level crime spree kept on spreeing. Eventually, while committing a murder, he discovered his Bothersome Feeling that was only alleviated by killing. Well, killing, raping, torturing, eating the flesh of victims, the whole deal. So how did he finally get busted? What mob boss did he get to know? How many times was he hired to kill? How many victims do experts think Pee Wee Gaskins killed? What happened with the baby, and why is it so utterly awful? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: crimemuseum.org/crime-library/serial-killers/donald-pee-wee-gaskins/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Henry_Gaskins https://www.thoughtco.com/donald-pee-wee-gaskins-973165 https://sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/research/news_and_pubs/caravel/archive/2014/2014-caravel-pee-wee.php https://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/donald-pee-wee-gaskins https://murderpedia.org/male.G/g1/gaskins-donald-henry-photos.htm
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast we tell the story of Robert Durst. This is true crime at its best. Durst was born to a wealthy real estate family in New York, and after watching his mom fall from a roof and die, everything went sideways. He had a rivalry at work with his brother that made them keep lead pipes handy in case of fighting, and then the bodies started to pile up. Or, at least vanish. His ex-wife, his close friend, and a neighbor he met in Galveston. You know the place where he lived in disguise as a woman to escape officials? So, where did this all start? In New York. Durst was born to real estate investor Seymour Durst, and after a tumultuous childhood, he went to UCLA for college. While there, he did scream therapy with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and moved back east to start a health food shop in the early 1970s. Eventually, he met his first wife there and finally went to work for the real estate business. His brother was put in charge, and a rivalry started that got bad enough that peed in his uncles trash can at work. Like you do. From there, he was let go, and a series of mayhem followed the guy. Kathie McCormack, his first wife went missing. Or, he killed her. She had bruises on her face a few weeks before the vanishing, and she showed up in sweat pants and out of sorts at a friend’s house the night before she vanished. Then, there was Susan Berman, the daughter of a mobster who used to run the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas. They were close friends, and a few days after Durst visited her, she was found dead in her house, bullet to the head. Police got a letter that had her name and address and simply said “Cadaver.” While on the run from this one, he killed a man named Morris Black. His body was found in bags floating in Galveston Bay. Durst finally got arrested for this one, and he got a relatively light sentence because it was ruled as self-defense (they couldn’t find a head to prove if it was). From there, he got extradited to LA, where he is still awaiting trial, delayed thanks to Covid. But that’s not all. The HBO documentary The Jinx covered the story and did interviews with Durst, even though his wife and lawyer said not to. In it, a lot of evidence comes to light that no legal team had assembled. In fact, some of the evidence was used in later trials. So what did handwriting experts say about the Cadaver letter? Why do they think he killed several other people on top of these three cases? What name did he go under as he dressed like a woman in Texas? Most importantly, what did he say on the documentary when he was in the bathroom, and his microphone was still hot? Why did it incriminate him even more? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Durst https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/us/robert-durst-jinx-murder-trial/index.html https://www.biography.com/news/robert-durst-biography-facts https://www.nytimes.com/article/robert-durst-trial.html https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/drumoorhouse/robert-durst-dogs-igor-murder-trial https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/04/robert-durst-murder-trial HBO Documentary: The Jinx.
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the first tech giant in American history, the one and only Thomas Edison. Edison was credited for almost 1100 patents in his life (400 of them from just a short 8 year period!). He is known for inventing the light bulb (it already existed, but he perfected it), and he rolled out the phonograph, motion pictures, car batteries, chemicals, medical devices and anything you could think of. He’s also famous for having a huge ego and for going to war with Nikola Tesla about electricity. He was born to a typical family in Ohio, and was a very smart child. He learned the best on his own, so he was home schooled, even though it kind of meant just sitting back and watching him learn. He read constantly and even did science experiments in his own house. When he was 12, he was was allowed to sell newspapers on the train route, but he was too clever for that. He got the scoop on what was happening from train passengers and telegraph operators and started printing his own newspaper, which was often more up to date than the city’s main paper. From there, his life as an idea man started. A 15 year old Thomas Edison saved a kid from being crushed by a train, and his parents befriended him and taught him to use Morse Code. Within the year, he was a telegraph operator. He traveled the county taking different jobs with the telegraph. He went back home to find his parents and family financially ruined, and he started working to make them money. He created an improved stock ticker which he sold for $40,000, and his career as an inventor was born. He built a telegraph machine that could send a signal down both sides of the wire, and it made him enough money to open his famous Menlo Park research facility. From there, he hit his stride and his own golden age of invention. He became rich, he became famous, and he changed the face of the nation and the world. HE battled other companies and was a bit of an egomaniac. He famously had a war between DC and AC electrical current between Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse. But aside from his inventions, what made him unique was his presence. The world would watch with baited breath as he would do another tech demo, the Steve Jobs of the steam age, the master of branding and building. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/inventor/thomas-edison https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/thomas-edison https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/thomas-edison https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/7-epic-fails-brought-to-you-by-the-genius-mind-of-thomas-edison-180947786/ https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/theymadeamerica/whomade/edison_lo.html https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/thomas-edison.html https://www.edisonmuckers.org/fun-facts-about-tom/ https://www.energy.gov/articles/top-8-things-you-didn-t-know-about-thomas-alva-edison https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2012/05/18/nikola-tesla-wasnt-god-and-thomas-edison-wasnt-the-devil/?sh=570924f31a21
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one of the greatest failures and cons by any tech startup in Silicon Valley, the lies and deceit of Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes started the tech firm Theranos from Paulo Alto, California, home to all the tech giants. She idolized Steve Jobs so much, that she even wore his same black turtle neck and posed for photos that he himself had already been in. Her big idea was the Edison blood test, a test that would use the power of the internet to scan just a pinprick of blood live time instead of taking vials and sending them to a lab. But it didn’t exists. She was a liar and a fake who cost investors hundreds of millions of dollars and the suffering of patients. Elizabeth Holmes grew up in a wealthy family in Texas (son of an Enron exec) and eventually got accepted to Stanford. After a short time, she dropped out since they couldn’t teach her anything anymore, and she used her college fund to create her company, Theranos. Her goal was to make a world changing blood testing tool, and she brought a whole helluva lot of people along on her ride. Her first investor big was her boyfriend (soon to be number two at her company and nineteen years her elder), Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani. They got her set up with other investors and eventually had hundreds of millions of dollars from Rupert Murdoch, the Walton Family, The Devoss Family, and even the Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim. She assembled a major board of directors including prominent members of the government. In no time, her company was valued in the billions, and she was a media darling. She was on the morning show circuit, doing Ted Talks, on the cover of Forbes, you name it. Problem is, her tech was a lie. She made deals with various hospitals, government organizations, and even Walgreens and Safe Way that were worth hundreds of millions of dollars. More lies. In fact, once a reporter named John Carreyrou scratched the surface based on a whistle blower, everything just fell apart. It turns out that their labs just used the same tech as everyone else, from other companies. Their miracles were frauds. So, how did she convince so many people to invest in her big idea? Is fake it till you make it really this powerful? Did Elizabeth Holmes actually think her inventions would someday work? What legal battles face her, and what is she worth now? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.wsj.com/articles/theranos-has-struggled-with-blood-tests-1444881901 https://www.businessinsider.com/theranos-founder-ceo-elizabeth-holmes-life-story-bio-2018-4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Holmes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87SWZ0Pna8k&list=PLLRsCVyaQ3o_17XMdxutVIJdPJvCk41Rl&index=5 https://www.forbes.com/profile/elizabeth-holmes/?sh=7c9da63447a7 https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/inside-elizabeth-holmess-final-months-at-theranos https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02/inside-elizabeth-holmess-final-months-at-theranos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theranos
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at a strange case of a missing child from Texas and the Frenchman who assumed his identity. This is the story of Frederic Bourdin. When this professional imposter was on the run from INTERPOL in Spain, he learned of a missing boy in Texas named Nicholas Barclay. Though he was much older, he took on the persona and moved in with the boy’s family. This story gets crazy and involves a TV crew, a private investigator who is on to him, and a possible case of murder! Even after this one gets cleared up, Bourdin takes on more personas, even passing himself as a 15 years old Jr. High student while he was 31 years old! Born to a single mother who wanted nothing to do with him, he was raised by his grandparents. There were claims of him being sexually molested by a neighbor, and he started acting up, drawing disturbing cartoons, lying to people, and stealing from neighbors. His bad behavior got him locked up as a child, and he moved from group home to group home. Eventually, he ran away and perfected how to become a “child in need” and get taken in by complete strangers. He’d be taken in by hospitals, foster homes, orphanages, families, it didn’t matter. Bourdin would con his way into a place where he’d find attention, hot meals, and maybe even love and then bail when the façade started to crumble. Eventually, he got busted by the media for acting like a mute adolescent, and he was now on the wrong side of the law. This was when he learned of Nicholas Barclay in Texas. But that wasn’t all. He also acted as Francisco Fernandez, victims of terrorist bombings, and any number of other identities. He claims over 500 false personas over the years. So, why does he do it? What happened in Texas that go him busted? How did he convince a Texan family that their blond haired blue eyed boy was a dark haired dark eyed Frenchman? Why do people think there was a murder in Texas? What is wrong with Australian 60 Minutes? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://allthatsinteresting.com/nicholas-barclay-frederic-bourdin https://www.history101.com/disturbing-true-story-nicholas-barcla/ https://medium.com/@brenmar71/justice-for-nicholas-barclay-19ea332bd309 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pUiHjg_thc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bourdin https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/08/11/the-chameleon-annals-of-crime-david-grann
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Part art, part graffiti, part philosophy, part political statement, part crazy, these tiles have been appearing in the blacktop of Philadelphia (and eventually, many states and South America) since the 1980s. The classic tile reads "TOYNBEE IDEA IN MOViE `2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPITER." The tiles express the creator's desire to terraform Jupiter and fill it with recreated molecular copies of all humans who ever died through the history of the earth. For starters. This American street art is as interesting as its creator is mysterious. Much of the research done on these tiles were done by Justin Duerr, an artist and the maker of the documentary called Resurrect Dead. He does a deep dive on the subject and comes to his own theories of who this person is and what the message means. Most people break the message down to be a statement that involves the great British historian Arnold Toynbee, and a connection to the story arc of Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and maybe a connection to a Ray Bradbury story called “The Toynbee Convector.” Whatever it is, it is shrouded in mystery. Some people think a man calling himself James Morasco was behind the tiles due to a series of phone calls he’d make to late night radio shows that included the odd statements on the typical tile. Others think this is an alias for a man named Severino "Sevy" Verna. Whoever was behind them, there are now copy cats such as the more sexually explicit House of Hades who started to appear in 2006. So, what are the tiles made of? How were they placed in busy streets in major cities with nobody seeing them? How were they made to stick to the asphalt and last for years with traffic driving directly over them? What is their connection with South America? What does it all have to do with pirate radio and TV signals? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/toynbee-tiles http://www.toynbeeidea.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toynbee_tiles https://www.wesa.fm/post/look-down-how-toynbee-tiles-invaded-and-disappeared-pittsburgh-streets https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6112129 https://gothamist.com/arts-entertainment/the-reappearance-of-the-toynbee-tiles-what-does-it-mean https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee Film: Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we do a true crime dive and look at the case of a missing paper boy named John Gosch. This one starts a simple missing person case and then gets pretty strange, delving into child sex trafficking, a mysterious man named Sam Soda, and a possible connection to the infamous Franklin Child Prostitution Ring. It gets even more strange when an adult John Gosch shows up for a brief visit with his mother, all the while waiting for permission to speak from the man who accompanied him. The basics of this one are, well, basic, but the details added by his mother Noreen really make it a next level case. On September 5, 1982, twelve year old John Gosch got up early and started his paper route at 5:45 in the morning. He always went with his father, and asked his dad if he could go alone that morning, and he was told he could not. Either way, John woke up, got his trusty dachshund to go with him, and did the route solo. His father John Sr. and his mother Noreen were woken up to multiple phone calls from customers who never got their papers delivered. John’s dad walked the neighborhood and found his son’s wagon, full of papers and abandoned. They called the cops, who wouldn’t start it as a missing person case for 72 hours, and in the meantime clues rolled in. Neighbors and other paper boys saw a creepy man in a blue car talking to John and asking around for directions. The paperboys said John was scared of him and planned to go home. But he never made it. The family assembled a 20 person search team to look through the woods, but the police showed up and dispersed the crowd claiming there was no missing person. Cut to a couple of years later, and a private Detective named Sam Soda contacted Noreen. He said another paperboy was going to be abducted in August, and he was right. On August 12, Eugene Martin went missing on his paper route. Sam Soda also got a pedophile busted and fired from the local newspaper. And then there sighting of kinds in other cities claiming they were John Gosh, a dollar bill with his name written on it, and strange writing on a wall in Colorado. The case takes a strange turn years later, when Noreen claims a 27 year old adult John finally made his way home, talks to her for a while, and leaves to never see her again. Oh, and then there is Paul Bonacci who showed up and claimed he himself was an abducted child turned sex worker who knew John. He was the one who initiated the famous Franklin Child Abduction case involving a credit union and a sex ring. So, if you like true crime, mystery, and conspiracy, you’re in the right place! Welcome to the Sofa King Podcast! Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Johnny_Gosch https://medium.com/the-true-crime-times/the-twisted-unsolved-tale-of-the-johnny-gosch-disappearance-part-1-a52496d1887f http://charleyproject.org/case/john-david-gosch https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/The-Tragedy-Of-Johnny-Gosch https://www.ranker.com/list/what-happened-to-johnny-gosch/anna-lindwasser https://www.upi.com/Archives/1984/10/16/Fired-newspaper-worker-They-said-dont-talk/6783466747200/
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the infamous Moscow theater hostage crisis. Also known as the Nord-Ost Siege, this horrible event saw a Russian rescue attempt become far more lethal than the terrorist hostage-takers. The terrorists were Chechnyan and were there to get Russia to cease hostilities in the war against their country. It was around 50 people, men holding assault rifles, women strapped down with body bombs. When Russian special forces arrived, the final assault involved a mystery gas that killed around 120 hostages and vast majority of terrorists. In the second act of a popular musical that was put on in a theater close to the Kremlin, a bus filled with Chechnyan terrorists parked and emptied. They ran into the theater firing guns and took the entire place hostage. Some actors escaped out the back window and called the cops, but the rest were there for the duration, roughly 850 of them. It was four crazy days. There were negotiations between the terrorists and media personalities as well as government officials. Some hostages were let go, mostly foreigners and pregnant women. A couple of times, big headed Russians snuck past the police barriers to either try to get the hostages to rebel or to look for relatives who were in the theater. Those didn’t end well. Eventually, the Spetznaz and local and federal Russian police decided to storm the building. But the choke point getting in was a murder zone, and the terrorists had explosives and booby traps. Someone decided the best way to assault was to first pump gas into the theater. A mystery gas was released (later discovered to be a more potent version of fentanyl), and people collapsed asleep (or dead) as the invasion took place. As the gunfight died down, the media and the world watched in horror as the bodies of the living and the dead were piled in the street and then crammed onto city busses to get them away from cameras. So, what was Putin’s reaction to this event? What did they get as end up being, and who found out? Who was to blame for the deaths of the hostages? How many hostages were killed by the Russian government instead of the terrorists? Why did so many die after the gas, during the evacuation? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/moscow-theater-hostage-crisis?mediatype=photography&phrase=moscow%20theater%20hostage%20crisis&sort=mostpopular https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_theater_hostage_crisis https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hostage-crisis-in-moscow-theater https://www.history.com/news/opioid-chemical-weapons-moscow-theater-hostage-crisis https://apnews.com/article/256605b7679d4a61bde9a8eac8906ea9 https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/yearbook-of-international-humanitarian-law/article/moscow-hostage-crisis-in-the-light-of-the-armed-conflict-in-chechnya1/3572BDBF09EC73BEDE4EBB8317625296 https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/the-dubrovka-theater-siege-in-moscow-a-decade-later/263931/
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the man named the greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, the one and only Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was a virtuoso by any measure. His first album almost toppled Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club from the charts, and his four studio albums forever changed rock and roll as well as thoughts on what you could do with a guitar. And this was all by the age of 27! Jimi was an interesting and complex man, a drug addict to be sure, and a violent drunk. But when he died due to drug use in 1970, he left the music industry a different place than he found it. Born to a 17 year old mom and a G.I. serving in WWII, Jimi had a rough upbringing. He was often raised by relatives and his grandmother, and when he was born, they had to lock his father up in the brig, so he wouldn’t go AWOL to try and get to the birth. His mom and dad eventually divorced, some saying his mom abandoned them. His father worked hard to put food on the table and eventually helped Jimi buy his first electric guitar. (This after he walked around his school with a broom, pretending it to be a guitar all year…) Once he got his guitars, he started obsessing and self-learning. He had small gigs almost immediately, but his music career was detoured by a (court mandated?) enlistment in the Army as a paratrooper. He was by all accounts a bad soldier known to sleep on duty and ignore orders. He was honorably discharged, but only after meeting Billy Cox, who would go on to play with him for years to come. Jimi toured the south in what was then called the Chitterlin’ Circuit, and he eventually started to get noticed. He toured with some bands and did studio work for everyone from Tina and Ike Turner to Little Richard, B.B. King, Sam Cooke and the Isley Brothers. But his showboating and tendency to take center stage made them not want to work with him. Eventually, he moved to New York and met Keith Richard’s girlfriend. From there, he made enough contacts to head to London and form his seminal band, The Jimmi Hendrix Experience. His first album was a runaway success in the UK, and eventually, he was a star in the US and globally. He infamously lit his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Music Festival, played the Star Spangled Banner in the rain at Woodstock, and was a pioneer of psychedelic music. He defined the 1960s in ways nobody else could. So, how exactly did he die? What did he do that made Paul McCartney think was the biggest honor of his life? What happened the time he got kidnapped? Why do they say he was a mean drunk? Was “excuse me while I kiss this guy” on purpose? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/musician/jimi-hendrix https://www.jimihendrix.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Hendrix https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jimi-hendrix-mn0000354105 https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/09/how-jimi-hendrix-london-years-changed-music/616399/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/517664/10-fast-facts-about-jimi-hendrix https://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/how-much-was-jimi-hendrix-worth-when-he-died/#:~:text=New%20recordings%20released%20over%20the,and%20died%2049%20years%20ago.