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The Sofa King podcast is a weekly show. From conspiracy theories and technology to the mass media and the future, this show is simultaneously informative, critical, and humorous.

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Podcast Episode's:
Episode 562: Eliot Ness and The Untouchables
Born in Chicago, Eliot Ness was a smart, officious child. He dressed well and always did his homework—so much so, that his nickname in high school was Elegant Mess. His brother in law was a fed, and he inspired the young Eliot to become a federal investigator as well. Shortly after college, he joined the Treasury Department. He ultimately landed a job in the Prohibition Bureau battling mobsters and bootleggers. Once the president decided to stop Al Capone in Chicago, The US District attorney hired Eliot Ness on the spot. Many federal agents were corrupt or downright evil (such as Kinky Thompson), so they needed someone with integrity. Ness read the files of every agent and assembled his super team of The Untouchables. They resisted bribes and took the war to Capone, eventually forcing him to import liquor instead of make his own. While their lives were threatened regularly, they stayed the course and brought Capone down. After that, Ness moved to Ohio and cleaned up the 10th largest city in America, Cleveland. It had the worst traffic deaths, most drunk driving, most corrupt police force, most corrupt city officials, and a big mob problem. He turned all that around, though once the city was clean and safe, the populace seemed to turn on him for his efforts. What did he do that made the residents so mad? What was up the Torso Murders, and how did Ness deal with this serial killer? What happened to him later in life? What happened the one time he and Capone actually met face to face? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/law-figure/eliot-ness https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Ness https://www.atf.gov/our-history/eliot-ness https://www.clevelandpolicemuseum.org/collections/eliot-ness/ https://strandmag.com/10-additional-surprising-facts-about-eliot-ness/ https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/corruption-during-prohibition-of-alcohol/ https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/prohibition-bureau-bureau-of-prohibition/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_Torso_Murderer
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Episode 561: Qin Shi Huan: Game of Thrones, China Style!
On this episode of the World Famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back time and look at the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huan. His legacy is one of power, unification, reformation, and madness in the quest for eternal life. He was the one who started construction of the Great Wall of China and fought a massive series of wars to unify the 7 warring states to serve him as emperor. He drank mercury, burned books, killed just about everyone, and left behind the amazing army of terra cotta soldiers. Everything about this guy is controversial, even his birth. One account is that the was the son of a kidnapped prince and a wealthy consort. Another is that he was the son of this consort and a powerful merchant named Lu Buwei who just used the prince to give his unborn son power. Either way, Lu Buwei put this prince in power as king and then after his death, ruled the kingdom until (his son) the prince was old enough to take power. And take power, he did. Qin Shi Huan ruled over a period known as Warring States Period of China. Every single kingdom was conquered by this young king, and he even survived multiple assassination attempts (Fidel Castro’s got nothing on this kid). He completely remade China, killing all previous nobles, murdering scholars who didn’t agree with him. He also build roads, crated a canal that still serves to this day, and unified their language and coinage and culture. But, Qin Shi Huan went a little bit crazy at the end. He became obsessed with living forever, and he demanded scholars and sorcerers bring him potions. They were often made of mercury, which didn’t help things. By the time this amazing man died, he build an army of 8000 terra cotta soldiers to help him conquer heaven just as he did the earth!   Visit Our Sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin_Shi_Huang https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army https://www.thoughtco.com/qin-shi-huang-first-emperor-china-195679 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/2000-year-old-texts-reveal-first-emperor-chinas-quest-eternal-life-180967671/ https://www.livescience.com/22454-ancient-chinese-tomb-terracotta-warriors.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingqu
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Episode 560: Grim Sleeper: South Central’s Serial Killer
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we explore some true crime and look at the life and murders of Lonnie David Franklin JR, aka, The Grim Sleeper. This serial killer was considered the longest operating killer west of the Mississippi River, and it took decades to catch him. He preyed on prostitutes in South Central Los Angeles, and he was only caught due to a piece of pizza and a crazy DNA match that didn’t even connect to him. Nobody really knows much about The Grim Sleeper’s youth, except that he was born in South Central LA in 1952. He spent some time in the army, but he was dishonorably discharged for gang raping a woman in Germany where he was stationed. Back in the states, he lived a typical blue collar life. He was married with two kids, worked in sanitation and even for the LAPD for a bit (not as a cop...). But in the meantime, a string of murders originally assigned to the Southside Slayer were mounting in the worst parts of South Central. Hookers were being found shot in the chest, but there were so many dead prostitutes there that the police thought it was several people doing the killing. And it was. So, how many serial killers used the same hunting grounds as the Grim Sleeper? How did he get his nickname? How did the local LA Weekly newspaper help bring him down? How did a DNA link to his son get him arrested? What does this have to do with a pizza party? How did he kill his victims, and what grisly mementos did the cops find when they raided his house? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://murderpedia.org/male.F/f/franklin-lonnie.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grim_Sleeper https://criminalminds.fandom.com/wiki/Lonnie_David_Franklin https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/grim-sleeper-serial-killer-everything-you-need-to-know-252246/ https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/us/grim-sleeper-dies-death-row/index.html https://www.ranker.com/list/grim-sleeper-scary-facts/amandasedlakhevener  
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Episode 559: Bobby Kennedy: The Best Kennedy?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King podcast, we look at the life, power, assassination, and conspiracy theories surrounding Robert Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy was of course John F Kennedy’s younger brother. He was raised in the Kennedy shark tank by their father Joe Kennedy, and he had no real choice but to be a political powerhouse. He was behind his brother’s election as president, came up with the solution to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was a political powerhouse that most people underestimate. But he also made enemies, one who took his life. Bobby was a quiet child in a family that had no use for quiet children. His father was so powerful and ambitious that young Bobby soon became invisible to him. He also became his mother’s favorite, adopting many of her traits and interests. He served in WWII and when he got out started a career in politics. From early on, he was behind the scenes in many senate committees and worked to get his brother John elected first to lower positions and ultimately to the presidency. Though JFK originally didn’t want him for the job, their father convinced him to hire Bobby Kennedy as the Attorney General, and there he waged a war on organized crime, poverty, and injustice that America had never seen before. He worked with Martin Luther King, helped support Cesar Chavez, and took down many a mob boss. After his brother’s death, he finally ran for president himself, only to be shot after winning the California Primary. How was he involved in trying to assassinate Fidel Castro? Who shot him and why? What conspiracy theories exist surrounding his death? Was there a second gunman? Was it the CIA, and did they wipe the main assassin’s memory? Who was the woman in the polka dot dress? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/political-figure/robert-kennedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Robert_F._Kennedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_Select_Committee_on_Improper_Activities_in_Labor_and_Management https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy_assassination_conspiracy_theories https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-kennedy-conspiracy-20180527-story.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirhan_Sirhan#Motives  
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Episode 558: Underground Railroad: Light in American Darkness
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the history of the Underground Railroad. Some people estimate that this unofficial network of abolitionists helped 100,000 slaves escape to Canada. Key figures such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, and John Brown helped this movement grow and served as a beacon of hope for millions of American black slaves. The Underground Railroad was of course neither underground nor a railroad, but it did use railroad terminology to help code what they were talking about. In fact, everything from the roles people played to the religious songs that slaves would sing on the plantation served a purpose. Some songs would give directions North and others warnings to nearby slaves on the run, all in the guise of religious music. Pretty ingenious. There was no central leader or even a formal group that was the Underground Railroad. Instead, it was just a whole lot of like-minded individuals who wanted human lives to matter and parents a chance to see their children grow in safety and freedom. Some of the stories of these people are pretty amazing, ballsy, and inspirational, so you want to give this one a listen.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/underground-railroad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/sojourner-truth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_of_the_Underground_Railroad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Anti-Slavery_Standard#Editors https://www.history.com/news/underground-railroad-mexico-escaped-slaves
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Episode 557: Mount St. Helens: Horror in the Northwest
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at the largest volcanic eruption in the modern history of the United States, the eruption of Mount St. Helens. This volcano started grumbling and causing a superstring of earthquakes in March of 1980, but on May 18, the volcano erupted. Two hundred and thirty square miles of forest were destroyed instantly as the equivalent of 1500 Hiroshima level nuclear bombs went off. Even though it was being watch closely by volcanologists, photographers, and the world, it’s violent explosion surprised almost everyone. Luckily a scientist who died in the eruption convinced the government to keep people away; this action is thought to have saved as many as a thousand lives. The destruction was inconceivable, but it may be in forms you weren’t expecting. For example, much of it was a tsunami like flow of water as called a Lahar that turned 46 billion gallons of glacial melt into several rivers of cement. The ash plume circled the globe and erased all geological features. People in the Pacific Northwest remember this very vividly. After all, Mount St. Helens was completely transformed by the explosion, and dozens died in this cataclysm.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount-st-helens/1980-cataclysmic-eruption?qt-science_support_page_related_con=2#qt-science_support_page_related_con https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/us/mount-st-helens-facts-eruption-trnd/index.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_eruption_of_Mount_St._Helens https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/103/ https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard/stratoguide/helenfact.html https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/624139/mount-st-helens-facts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYla6q3is6w
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Episode 556: Patty Hearst: Victim or Vicious?
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we hit you with a little urban guerrilla true crime and look at the kidnapping, crimes, and domestic terrorism or Patty Hearst. Patricia Hearst is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst. In 1974, she was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley by a group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. While she was with them, she helped them rob a couple banks, shot up a sporting goods store, and made homemade bombs. Was she abused, drugged, and raped to become a victim-participant, or did she willingly join forces? Patty Hearst was born to a very wealthy family, obviously, but she was nowhere near granddaddy rich. She lived a normal life and eventually went to college at UC Berkeley to study art history. Meanwhile, a man named Donald DeFreeze was starting a terrorist group called the SLA. Their goal was to fight for the poor in America. Or something. After a few months, Hearst released recordings of herself saying she had joined the cause and shortly after that, she was seen on video footage in a bank robbery. The SLA killed some people, robbed some stuff, and demanded hundreds of millions of dollars to feed all the poor in American. Hearst’s dad managed to get two million, and the food delivery was a disaster. Eventually, this one got crazy. There was a Waco style shoot out between the feds and the SLA while their house burned. There was a nationwide manhunt by the FBI to find Hearst, and then when she was arrested, the trial was a circus. Was this a wild case of Stockholm Syndrome, or was it just a rich girl sowing her wild oats? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/patty-hearst https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/patty-hearst https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Hearst https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/patty-hearst-kidnapped https://www.npr.org/2016/08/03/488373982/whose-side-was-she-on-american-heiress-revisits-patty-hearst-s-kidnapping https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbionese_Liberation_Army https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/guerrilla-patricia-campbell-hearst/ Bank Robbery Video: https://youtu.be/xDPyT-6lh8E https://youtu.be/N17n8yleZKY
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Episode 555: Joseph Merrick–The Elephant Man
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the all-time fascinating medical cases, the story of Joseph Merrick--The Elephant Man. Due to a hardcore medical condition, Merrick was deformed beyond recognition as a human being, with a massive head, huge protrusions all over his body, and even skin lesions that smelled. Add a dash of Victorian superstitions, and you have a man who was destined for misery at every turn. None of us are likely to have heard of him if it wasn’t for a world famous play and then a movie called The Elephant Man, but his story is one of sorrow, perseverance, and a surprisingly happy ending. The narrative in those fictions has some truth to it, but the real story varies quite a bit. What we know about him is that he wasn’t born like this. As a young child, he started to get deformities that only increased up till the day he died. His family eventually kicked him out, and even the work he could do got taken away once he was too deformed to perform skilled labor. By then, he was destined for the freak show. For a while, he made some money at this, but as tastes changed, they ran him out of town. If not for the friendship of Doctor Frederick Treves, his life would have ended with him on the street. But instead, he died with good medical care, surrounded by those who came to love him. So, what was the actual condition that caused this? What happened to him in his freak show days? How did he make it back to London after being abandoned in Europe? How did he die? What happened when he met Princess Alexandra? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/news/elephant-man-joseph-merrick-biography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Merrick https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-48149855 https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-elephant-mans-bones-reveal-mystery-2860454 https://www.history.com/news/elephant-man-joseph-merrick-grave-discovery https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CejyfdIaCQ0
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Episode 554: Trent Reznor: From Hurt to Heresy
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we visit the dark king of techno, Trent Reznor. Many people don’t know him by name since he is the front man for Nine Inch Nails, but in a way, he IS Nine Inch Nails. The other band members come and go, but his writing, his producing, his ideas and lyrics are what the band really is. He is considered by many in the music industry to be one of the most influential artists alive. He has won Grammys and Oscars, and he has done sound tracks to some of the most popular movies of the past decade, all while taking shots at the hypocrisy and ignorance of typical American Culture. Trent Reznor was a talented child, and by high school was a master of the piano and could play just about every other instrument out there. He started college as a computer engineer, but he dropped out to try to make it with music. He got a job as a janitor at a music studio, and he was allowed to play around in the booth when they weren’t booked. Here, he taught himself to be a producer and how to layer, mix, and do all his music is famous for. He recorded all the songs on his first album, Pretty Hate Machine, and it was an instant success, even leading to a bidding war for who would release it. His next album was even bigger, and a very young age, Oliver Stone hired him to do the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers. He worked with David Lynch next and even got into video games. As his albums kept coming out, he kept creating controversy. He found Marylyn Manson. He lost Marylyn Manson. He became an addict. He became best friends with David Bowie. He got clean. He got married and created a new band with his wife. He bought the house where Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson family. He made a music studio in a funeral home in New Orleans. Through all of it, Trent Reznor became one of the best producers in the industry, mostly due to a chronic case of not caring what anyone else thought of him (and the ability to realize what his own brand was and to keep refining it). Give this one a listen, and then go binge on some NIN!   Visit Our Sources: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/trent-reznor-mn0000017580/biography nin.com https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/rock-stars/trent-reznor-net-worth/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Reznor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUCKYter60A https://www.npr.org/2013/09/04/218961237/trent-reznor-im-not-the-same-person-i-was-20-years-ago https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Inch_Nails http://antiquiet.com/misc/lists/2013/07/former-ex-members-of-nine-inch-nails-where-are-they-now-nin-2013/ https://uproxx.com/indie/trent-reznor-nine-inch-nails-members-inducted-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame/ https://exclaim.ca/music/article/five_noteworthy_facts_you_might_not_know_about_trent_reznor
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Episode 553: Quincy Fortier: The Daddy Doctor
On this episode of the World Famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about a strange bit of true crime, the case of Dr. Quincy Fortier. He was a fertility expert for four decades, and he’s known to have impregnated at least 26 women with his own sperm. Aside from dozens of unwitting children across the nation, he also molested his own children, even impregnating one with his own sperm! This monster died before any strong legal action could be brought his way, but he impacted so many lives He started as a Norman Rockwell type Americana doctor. He took interest in medicine watching the cows give birth back home on the farm, got into medicine, and then served as a field surgeon in World War Two, making it all the way to the rank of Colonel. Once back in the states, he opened his own women’s hospital, and that’s where the dirty deeds were done. One by one, he would impregnate women with his own sperm, instead of random sperm from donors. In some cases, he was supposed to use the husband’s sperm but used his own instead, and in the case of his own daughter, he impregnated her during a medical examination. His evils came to light in the film Baby God, which follows a woman named Wendy Babst. She bought herself a home DNA kit as a retirement present when she stepped down from being a police detective. What she learned changed her world, and the film maker Hannah Olson followed her investigation and journey. Listen, laugh, learn Visit Our Sources: HBOmax: Documentary, Baby God https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/12/01/hbo-fertility-doctor-fortier-babygod-documentary/ https://www.oxygen.com/true-crime-buzz/dr-quincy-fortier-of-baby-god-also-accused-of-molesting-his-kids https://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/a34814705/baby-god-hbo-dr-quincy-fortier-nevada-law/ https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/dec/01/baby-god-dna-testing-fertility-fraud-quincy-fortier-nevada https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/quincy-fortier-obituary?pid=142068964
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Episode 552: Betty White: The Goldenest of Girls
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we get our Golden Girls on and talk about the life of the one and only Betty White. While most of you known her from her role as Rose on that smash hit show, some may know her from her life in game shows or any of the endless rolls and Emmys afterward. She is the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live (was 88 at the time), and she was pioneer for both women and black actors in Hollywood. She started off wanting to be a forest ranger. Why? She loves animals and the outdoors. But turns out, back in the day, women couldn’t be rangers. So, she set her sights on acting and entertainment. After a bit of a dis, some movie execs told her she didn’t have the looks for film, so she started in Radio. She took off, landing lots of local jobs in LA, then a local TV show in LA, and then finally a national show on NBC called Life With Elizabeth. In her role as head of the show, she pissed off the south by insisting a black actor stay in the show, even though it may be what got the show cancelled. Good for her. She spent years doing game shows, most notably the Password and Matchgame. She in fact met her one true love, Allen Ludden the host of Password and married him. From there, she did numerous shows and guest spots, finally making it to Mama’s Family, a sitcom that was successful enough to make them want to cast her on Golden Girls. She was a breakout hit in that show, earning an Emmy for best actress in the first season and getting nominated every other season of the show (The first time that has happened). So, who was she supposed to play on Golden Girls originally? How old is she now? How did social media land her on SNL? How old was she when she finally became a forest ranger? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/actor/betty-white https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_White https://www.pbs.org/wnet/pioneers-of-television/pioneering-people/betty-white/ https://people.com/tv/betty-white-preps-for-99th-birthday-and-says-a-sense-of-humor-keeps-her-forever-young/ https://apnews.com/article/mary-tyler-moore-sandra-bullock-betty-white-fecd6ed6db7f9f82c5fcc4d587084d68 https://www.insider.com/betty-white-facts-career-2019-1
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Episode 551: The Road to Dystopia: Social Media and You
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we do a somewhat unique show and do a deep dive on the Netflix documentary called The Social Dilemma. What exactly is the dilemma? Well, for one it’s privacy and the way that apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all the rest use our data and manipulate us. Worse, however, is the ability to the platforms to isolate us in ocean of our own making, where our own politics, fears, prejudices, and hopes are the only thing we see. These apps distort our world view to the point where there is no more truth, just bias and a divide that keeps putting a wedge between us more and more. We talk about the three main goal of the apps—engagement, growth, and advertising. The algorithms used by these companies are far more sophisticated that we could dream, and even the creators no longer have control of what their AIs do or how they do it. More to the point, the social media apps are leading us to a dystopia where we all hate each other and only see one narrow world view. If you’ve wondered why politics have moved from divisive to destructive, this episode talks about why that is. So, what tricks to the social media apps use to get your attention and hold it? What can be done to stop them? What effect has this had on teenage mental health? What is the real commodity that is being sold by the likes of Facebook and Google? What can you do to stop yourself from being used? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: Netflix Documentary, The Social Dilemma
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Episode 550: Quincy Jones: The Ultimate Prodigy
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk one of the all-time legends of the music industry, the one and only Quincy Jones. He wasn’t just a music prodigy, he understood the business in a way nobody else ever has. He worked with some of the greatest of all time, from Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles to Dizzy Gillespie and Elvis Presley. He created the sound of Michael Jackson’s three biggest albums, and has won a whopping 28 Grammy awards. He created The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Mad TV, and worked on film with greats like Steven Spielberg. But he started with humble beginnings in Chicago. After his mother went insane, his father moved to Seattle, and he started to learn music. At 14, he met a young Ray Charles, and they broke into the music world together. He got into a prestigious music school and then transferred to another one, but ultimately left, so he could tour with legendary Lionel Hampton’s big band. From there, he met and worked with bigger and bigger stars until he was hired by Mercury records to create his own albums and produce others. Then, the film and tv started. He got his foot in the door doing scores for films, and has now done over 50 films. He produced the class film The Wiz and then did so again with The Color Purple. He created “We are the World,” the Montreux Jazz Festival, got Miles Davis to come out of retirement, and spends a lot of time and money helping the world in general. So even though, you may not know the accomplishments of this amazing man, you’ve certainly listened to them without even knowing it. Give this episode a download, and you’ll learn the secrets of the man behind everyone else’s success.   Visit our Sources: https://www.famousfix.com/topic/quincy-jones/dating https://www.biography.com/musician/quincy-jones https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones https://www.quincyjones.com/ https://www.vulture.com/2018/02/quincy-jones-in-conversation.html https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/showbiz/quincy-jones-fast-facts/index.html#:~:text=Jones%20has%2080%20Grammy%20Award,television%20shows%2C%20documentaries%20and%20shorts. pbs.org/black-culture/explore/renaissance-man-quincy-jones/ https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/producers/quincy-jones-net-worth/#:~:text=Quincy%20Jones%20Net%20Worth%3A%20Quincy,net%20worth%20of%20%24500%20million. https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/quincy-jones-claims-he-used-to-date-ivanka-trump/
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Episode 549: Night Witches: Russia’s Secret Terror
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look back at a little known group from World War Two called the Night Witches. Known as the 588th Night Bomber Regimen, this all female group of Soviet pilots were such a terror to the Nazis that any German who could shoot one down would instantly receive their prestigious Iron Cross medal. Over the course of the war, they flew around 30,000 missions. They were the most decorated unit in the entire Soviet air force. Their story is a very interesting one. At first, women couldn’t serve in the Soviet air force, but a woman named Major Marina Raskova (The Russian Amelia Earhart) convinced Stalin to let it happen. He signed in three women regiments, including the 588th. Ironically, the biggest difficulty they faced was also the biggest part of their legacy and infamy. They flew the worst planes. They were given old plywood biplanes meant for crop dusting. They had no armor, no radio, no parachute, no light. However, they were so old and slow, that they flew under the stall out speed for all German aircraft. Also, they were too small and light to be picked up on radar. Once over a target, they’d cut their engines and drift until over their target and drop their bombs. This is what made the Nazis call them the Night Witches. All they’d hear on the ground was the whoosh of what they said was a witches' broom and the cackle of the pilot's laughter before the explosions started. So, how many of these women were there? How many died in combat? How many missions would they fly in one night? Why does one historian think they are crazy? Why didn’t the Soviets include them in the victory parade at the end of the war? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/news/meet-the-night-witches-the-daring-female-pilots-who-bombed-nazis-by-night https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Witches https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/03/01/fierce-feared-female-wwii-pilots-known-night-witches/ https://www.wrightmuseum.org/2020/10/01/the-soviet-night-witches/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/night-witches-ww2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A88qXWtP6Sc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irina_Sebrova
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Episode 548: Run-DMC: Kings of Rock
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the one and only kings of rock, the immortal Run-DMC. Composed of DJ Run (Joseph Simmons), DMC (Darryl McDaniels), Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizzel), this trio set the world of Hip Hop on fire and managed to take it from streets and dance clubs to the entire world. Without Run-DMC, Russel Simmons, and their unique take on style and marketing, the rap world would be an entirely different place. The three of them met each other as teens in Hollis, Queens, New York. When Run was only 17, he worked with the legendary Kurtis Blow thanks to his promoter/producer brother Russel Simmons. Eventually, Run, DMC, and JMJ wanted to record together, but it took them some convincing to get Russel on board. He changed their name to Run-DMC, insisted they keep a street looking style, and the rest was rap history. They started release hit after hit, becoming the first rap albums to make national attention and even get played on MTV. They had a lucrative deal with Adidas since that was their signature style. They were part of the recording and touring stable of Def Jam records along with LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, and the Fat Boys. They starred in movies, rejuvenated the career of Aerosmith, and merged rock and rap in ways nobody had done sense. So why did they break up? What made Run change his stage name? What helped cure DMC of his years long depression? Why did they team up with the unlikely Aerosmith? Why was Jam Master Jay Murdered? Did it have to do with a 50 Cent beef or a massive drug deal? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run-DMC https://www.rundmc.com/ https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/run-d-m-c/ http://www.oldschoolhiphop.com/artists/emcees/rundmc.htm https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/6296910/how-run-dmc-changed-rap-game-in-1984 https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102675250 https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/02/aerosmith-run-dmc-and-story-behind-walk-way/582220/ https://www.npr.org/2020/08/17/903335189/two-men-charged-in-cold-case-murder-of-jam-master-jay https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam_Master_Jay https://www.songfacts.com/facts/run-dmc  
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Episode 547: Butch and Sundance: Life in the Wild Bunch
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time and look at two of the most famous train robbers and desperadoes from Cowboy Days, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. These two are linked through all of U.S. history, but they were really part of a much larger game called The Wild Bunch (and weren’t even that good of friends). The Wild Bunch led the most successful career of train robbery in the American West, and some scholars say they were only brought down by the hiring of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Butch Cassidy was born Robert Parker, but took his name from a mentor he met, who probably taught him how to steal and sell cattle and how to shoot a gun. Cassidy frowned upon violence, ironically, and boasted to have never killed a man. The other famous member of the gang was The Sundance Kid, aka Alonzo Longabaugh. Both of these men did various crimes from petty to preposterous and eventually joined forces in the Wild Bunch. They were joined by a cast of characters with amazing names: “Elzy Lay", The "Tall Texan", Kid Curry, News Carver, Deaf Charley Hanks, and Flat-Nose Curry. Men and women were part of the Wild Bunch. They gained fame across the nation for their gonzo train robberies and a little bit of a Robin Hood complex. So, what forced the surviving members to head south of the border? How did these wild characters die as the gang shrank? Did Butch and Sundance really go down in a blaze of glory in Bolivia? How much were their heists worth? What year did the oldest member of the Wild Bunch finally die? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/butch-cassidy https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/sundance-kid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Cassidy https://www.history.com/news/6-things-you-might-not-know-about-butch-cassidy https://www.history.com/news/butch-cassidy-sundance-kid-robberies-death https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundance_Kid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butch_Cassidy%27s_Wild_Bunch https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/78459/8-fascinating-facts-about-butch-cassidy
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Episode 546: Ariel School Encounter: UFOs in Zimbabwe
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one of the strongest cases of UFO sightings, the Ariel School Encounter in Zimbabwe. What makes this one such a good case? For one, it was in a rural area, and it had over 60 witnesses. They were in such a remote location, they were not subjected to bias from mass media and popular culture, and they came from different ethnicities and religious backgrounds. What did they see? Well, common story is that several glowing silver orbs in the sky were flashing red lights. They lowered, and then two beings came out and bounced from the earth as if they were humans walking on the moon. They were riffs on a Gray Alien, almond eyes, short, thin bodies, but these had long flowing black hair. Once they were near the children, they looked at them with “evil eyes” and apparently sent a message to their brains. We are destroying the planet, and we need to stop. An African Ufologist named Cindy Hind was there the next day to investigate and reached out to a man named John E Mack. Mack was a psychiatrist from the Harvard Medical school and Pulitzer Prize winning author. It doesn’t get better than that for a UFO investigation with repute. He and his partner interviewed the children, filmed it, and sort of became UFO rock stars. So how did Mack’s academic colleagues greet this new line of UFO work? Why was he in Africa in the first place? Why were there no teachers out there? Could this have been mass hysteria, and why does one investigator think not? What is up with Randal Nickerson and his documentary using the original footage shot by Dominique Callimanopulos? How did Mack Die? Where are the students now? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.afrikaiswoke.com/ufo-incident-in-zimbabwe-ariel-school/ https://mg.co.za/article/2014-09-04-remembering-zimbabwes-great-alien-invasion/ https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/05/americans-alien-abduction-science?verso=true https://new-cryptozoology.fandom.com/wiki/Ariel_School_Aliens https://www.news24.com/witness/archive/The-day-the-aliens-landed-20150430 https://www.bostonherald.com/2009/05/31/film-takes-closer-look-at-african-ufo-sighting/ https://mysticsciences.com/2018/03/04/the-mass-ufo-encounter-of-ariel-school/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3588562/ https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/77o49s/i_am_randall_nickerson_director_of_doc_on_ariel/ https://youtu.be/c5L6r6AazkU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5L6r6AazkU&list=PLhsvo3kvN2K7YAOyBAlWaikpzV1s-3Ypc&index=25  
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Episode 545: Anne Frank: Remember…
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one of the most revealing figures of World War Two, Anne Frank. Born to a Jewish family in 1929, her story perfectly captures the plight and flight of Jews as they tried to avoid the pure evil of the Third Reich. Though her father fought for Germany in WWI, they had to go in hiding to save themselves. During their two year stay in what came to be called the Secret Annex, Anne kept her world famous diary. It shows the mind of a very bright young woman, and it captures the fear, dread, and hope that people felt during World War Two. Who all was in the Annex with Anne Frank? What types of things did she put in the diary? What things did her father not allow to be published? What type of friction was there as Anne fell in love with Peter Van Pels, leaving her older sister out of the loop? What happened to Anne and the others? Who survived and who died? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/activist/anne-frank https://www.annefrank.org/en/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Frank https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/anne-frank-1
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Episode 544: Hulk Hogan: Wrestling Running Wild!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore the meteoric rise, scandal, and fame of the one and only Hulk Hogan. Born Terry Bollea, this six foot seven inch monster became synonymous with wrestling for several decades. It is said that nobody ever sold as many tickets to a wrestling match as Hulk Hogan. Starting in humble beginnings, Bollea was a big guy who bragged about becoming a wrestler—so much so that on day one of his training, they broke his leg on purpose and sent him home. But this didn’t stop him. For the better part of a decade, he traveled to different wrestling territories. Eventually, he ended up in New York working for Vince McMahon Sr., and this is where he got the name Hulk Hogan and started to get real fame. However, he was fired for his work in Rocky III and went elsewhere. Eventually, the WWF was bought by Vince Jr, and he instantly hired Hogan as the most popular wrestler in America. Together, they broke all the rules and lit wrestling on fire. They conquered every territory and told amazing stories in the ring. So, what happened between him and Macho Man involving his wife? Why did Hulk Hogan get fired from the WWE, even when he was on top of the world? What happened with the sex tape of him? What’s the story with him and the Andre The Giant body slam? Who tried to pay the Iron Sheik $100,000 to break Hogan’s leg? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit our Sources: The Stone Cold Steve Austin Show: SAS Classic, Hulk Hogan https://www.biography.com/personality/hulk-hogan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hulk_Hogan https://playersbio.com/hulk-hogan/ https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/hulk-hogan-1654.php https://prowrestling.fandom.com/wiki/Hulk_Hogan https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/hulk-hogan-gets-115m-verdict-876768 https://www.factinate.com/people/24-smashing-facts-hulk-hogan/ https://www.thethings.com/things-no-one-knows-about-hulk-hogan/    
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Twas The Night Before Christmas
I will just leave this right here. Merry Christmas.
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Episode 52: Origins of Christmas: Relisten Like You’ve Never Listened Before
This holiday season has hit us with some unexpected time restraints as we are visiting and spending quality time with our families.  We hope all of you are healthy and doing well in this joyous season.  Please excuse our absence as we will be back next week on our normal schedule, well as normal as we three can be. On this very merry episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we discuss Christmas. But it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t dig back the layers and come to some strange and ugly truths about the holiday that is associated with the birth of Jesus Christ. You may think this topic is a no brainer (a recent Pew Poll showed that 65% of Americans believe the Christmas story to be true), but be prepared to learn some odd truths about this beloved holiday. For one thing, the origins of the holiday and how it is celebrated date back to ancient pagan rites and were only adopted by the Catholic Church as a way to lure pagans to church membership. That’s right: gingerbread cookies, the Yule Log, a Christmas ham, Christmas trees, all of it tie back to Germanic and Norse pagans and were part of a celebration of fertility and reverence for the dead. Also, we look at Santa Claus, the truth of the real man named Saint Nicholas of Parara, how his bones were stolen by sailors and moved to start the Cult of Nicholas in the 11th century, and how Siberian shamen tripping on amanita muscaria mushrooms may be the birth of the red-suited reindeer part of the myth. You may have also heard about Krampus, Zwarte Pete, and the ancient feast of Saturnalia, but we talk about some crazy facts that you might not believe. Lastly, we discuss the birth of Jesus and the Nativity itself (something that Pope Benedict XVI largely even denounced when he was the head of the church a few years ago). So, be prepared to get your Christmas bubble burst and learn how you are actually a pagan, how Santa was an anti-Semite, and how gingerbread cookies are a way to symbolically eat human flesh to venerate the dead.
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Brewing The 99: Episode 9: Collecting Commander
This holiday season has hit us with some unexpected time restraints as we are visiting and spending quality time with our families. We hope all of you are healthy and doing well in this joyous season. Please excuse our absence as we will be back next week on our normal schedule, well as normal as we three can be. Hello and welcome to Brewing The 99 where we talk about all facets of the Magic: the Gathering’s Commander format. This episode we are giving you some ideas on how to play webmander, online live commander games.  We will also be answering a no stupid questions question asked by one of patrons.  And we bring you another week of hot picks.  Lastly, we break down our successes and failures collecting for Commander, so you can learn from our mistakes, and start your collection off right.  We hope you stick around for the show and we also hope you take something away from it as well. Follow us on Twitter! @Brewingthe99 Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brewingthe99/ Follow us on Instagram: @brewingthe99 Email us: brewingthe99@gmail.com Visit our website: http://www.brewingthe99.com We are a member of the Podbelly Podcast Network (https://instagram.com/podbelly/).  Check out our show and other great podcasts on the network by going to http://www.podbelly.com Commander/EDH Official Rules, Ban list, FAQ, and more: https://mtgcommander.net
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Mindframe Podcast: Prelude
This holiday season has hit us with some unexpected time restraints as we are visiting and spending quality time with our families. We hope all of you are healthy and doing well in this joyous season. Please excuse our absence as we will be back next week on our normal schedule, well as normal as we three can be. The old man lingered in the liminal place that presaged sleep, that space where reality had variable density and fluctuating tactile strength. Moments of clarity, of skies with a blue so sharp they caused him to ache, were interspersed with vagaries, memories, haunting scars and echoes of the psyche in which he was intruding. This episode of Mindframe is a Prelude of the whole story. It introduces you to some of the major characters as seen through the eyes of a very interesting “Old Man” who doesn’t have the best grip on reality. He travels from place to place and time to time, checking in on people who he knows. It may be trippy and seem innocent, but the key themes (such as WorldGov and the World Navy) and the most important characters are introduced in this dream like fugue state episode. Go along for the ride on this episode. And remember. The Lariat is closing…
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Episode 543: Operation Odessa: Drug Cartels and Submarines
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about a true-crime story. It is a case that feels like the plot of the next Grand Theft Auto game. The first character is a Ukrainian mobster named Tarzan who owns a strip club called Porky’s (named after the classic 80’s movie) and who used to be an enforcer for the Gambino crime family. Additionally, the second character is an elite car and power boat salesman/thief/grifter from Miami who starts to sell black market military equipment from Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. The third character? A member of the Cali Drug Cartel named, who is considered violent even among cartel members. What do they have in common? Well, for one, the rapper Vanilla Ice. Next, they love to make money and do illegal things. Additionally, they are pretty awesome. They try everything from selling Russian military helicopters to impersonating Pablo Escobar to trying to buy a Soviet era submarine to sell 40 tons of cocaine per trip. The characters are unbelievable. The story even more so! Visit Our Sources: https://www.wsj.com/articles/operation-odessa-review-soviets-subs-and-lots-of-cocaine-1522358096 https://www.thedailybeast.com/strippers-cocaine-and-murder-the-crazy-true-story-of-two-crooks-pursuit-of-a-soviet-submarine https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiller-russell-operation-odessa-chasing-down-ludwig-fainberg-juan-almeida-nelson-yester-operation-odessa/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Fainberg https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/operation-odessa-how-a-russian-mobster-tried-to-sell-a-russian-sub-to-coke-smugglers-10218893 Film: Operation Odessa.
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Episode 542: Brian Wells: The Pizza Bomber
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
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Episode 541: Ian Fleming: James Bond’s Spy Master
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
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Episode 540: Amanda Knox: Murder in Italy
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/
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Episode 539: Henry Morgan: Scourge of the Spanish Main
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/
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Episode 538: Enfield Poltergeist: Fear or Fake?
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
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Episode 537: Indian Ocean Tsunami: Quarter Million Dead in a Day
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
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Episode 536: Pee Wee Gaskins: The “Bothersome” Serial Killer
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
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Episode 535: Robert Durst: The Murder, The Missing, The Mumbles
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.  
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Episode 534: Thomas Edison: Unbridled Genius
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
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Episode 533: Elizabeth Holmes: Blood and Billions in Silicon Valley
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
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Episode 532: Frederic Bourdin: The Chameleon from Nantes
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
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Episode 531: Toynbee Tiles: Graffiti and Human Resurrection on Jupiter!
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
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Episode 530: John Gosh: Missing Child or Secret Sex Ring?
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/  
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Episode 529: Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis: Death in the Cheap Seats
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/
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Episode 528: Jimi Hendrix: Best There Ever Will Be
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.
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Episode 527: Ernest Shackleton: Life and Death at the South Pole
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the life, adventures, and death of one of the UK’s greatest explorers, Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton was on a quest to be the first person to reach the south pole starting as a teen ager. He made several of the dangerous, years-long expeditions down there until he was able to command his own ship, the expedition. What happened on that voyage is one for the record and history books. For over 497 days, he and his crew were at sea, either on their ship which was frozen in ice or on life rafts. The most amazing thing is that he managed to save all 22 crew members and then went on to serve in WWI and try to go back to Pole yet again! Ernest Shackleton was born in Ireland, and though his father wanted him to follow the family footsteps and become a physician, he didn’t. At age 16, his grades were good enough that he was able to be done with school and join the merchant marines. He skyrocket in rank due to his charisma, intelligence, and endurance. Eventually, he was placed on the ship called Discovery where he and Captain Scott traveled to the lowest latitude any human had reached. Shackleton fell ill, however, and the captain sent him home on a resupply ship, although his motivations for that are very much in question. After several years, Shackleton was able to fund his own ship, the Endurance. The South Pole had already been reached by another explorer, but Shackleton decided his new quest was to cross the land mass of Antarctica. When they got there, they had a hard time establishing a base and soon found their ship frozen in an ice floe that would keep them in their grips until the following spring. By the time spring came, however, the pressures on the hull were too great, and the ship started to sink. The men had to survive on life rafts and hopping from chunk of ice to chunk of ice for almost two years. Eventually, Shackleton was able to head out in a modified life raft and mount a rescue for everyone. He returned to England a hero, and immediately volunteered to join the Army to fight in WWI. He was sent as a diplomat instead and eventually found himself training British troops for war in Russia during the Russian Civil War. This man won every award an explorer could ever win and had a dedication to discovery that nobody could ever crush. If you want some inspiration, listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our sources: https://www.biography.com/explorer/ernest-shackleton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Shackleton https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/business/leadership-lessons-from-the-shackleton-expedition.html https://www.south-pole.com/p0000097.htm https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shackleton/1914/timeline.html https://makingscience.royalsociety.org/s/rs/people/fst00000549 https://www.chimuadventures.com/blog/2016/04/top-ten-ernest-shackleton-facts/
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Episode 526: Odin: Allfather of Gods and Master of Ecstasy
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take on some ancient Norse mythology and talk about Odin, the Allfather. The myths surrounding him are amazing; his impact on Viking culture was second to none; and his rapidly growing worship today ranges from heathens to white supremacists. This is a god of war, death, poetry, magic, and wisdom. People would sacrifice humans in his honor before battle, and he was always ready to do battle in the final war, Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods! Odin was born to a god and a giantess and became the king of a race of gods called the Aesir. This group (Thor, Loki, Baldur, Heimdall, Frigga, just to name a few) went to war with other gods call the Vanir and with the giants who would one day rise and end the world. Once mature, he and his brothers forged the earth out of the bones of a giant, and he was made king of the gods. But he wasn’t a normal god king, one who was worshipped by the masses of the Norse world. They saw him as the king of gods, but spent most of their time worshiping other gods. Instead, Odin preferred the elite, and that was who worshipped him—kings, warriors, scholar/poets, and sorcerers. Odin’s will would make or break a battle. Whichever side gave the best sacrifice would get the best results in the battle. And either way, Odin won. Because his shield maidens—the Valkyrie—would ride in and take all those slain in honorable combat. Half would go to him, and they would train for all eternity fighting and dying every night only to be reborn in the morning until Ragnarok. But Odin was also the god of knowledge. He gave up his eye for magical sight, and he hung himself in a tree as a sacrifice to learn the mystical runes. This Allfather of the gods was abandoned for Christianity around the year 1000, but he has recently made a comeback with religion of Asatru. It is a heathen worship of the old Norse gods, and it is the fastest growing religion in Iceland. However, it was co-opted by white supremacist groups who see the Vikings as pure white conquerors, and the real religion is now in a spiritual conquest against the skinheads to be the true worshippers of Odin.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.ancient.eu/odin/ https://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/the-aesir-gods-and-goddesses/odin/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin https://mythopedia.com/norse-mythology/gods/odin/ https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asatru https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/11/asatru-heathenry-racism/543864/ https://icelandmag.is/article/11-things-know-about-present-day-practice-asatru-ancient-religion-vikings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_theTA2kgM https://norse-mythology.org/tales/why-odin-is-one-eyed/ https://norse-mythology.org/tales/ragnarok/
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Episode 525: The Boston Strangler: A Serial Killer Classic
On this True Crime episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the infamous case of the serial killer known as the Boston Strangler. Between the years of 1962 and 1964, thirteen women were found killed and strangled in the Boston area. Most were over the age of 60, and no real suspects were being tracked by the police. Meanwhile, a man named Albert DeSalvo was on a spree of serial raping through the area, posing as a repair man or a man from a modeling agency. How do the two things tie together? Why does DNA evidence make officials think DeSalvo is the Boston Strangler, but many experts doubt he did it? Albert DeSalvo checks all the serial killer boxes. His father was a drunk who knocked every single one of his wife’s teeth out and bent all of her fingers back so far they broke. He’d sleep with hookers in their house and force his Albert to watch it. Needless to say, Albert grew up troubled. He tortured and killed animals and was first arrested for robbery and assault at the age of twelve. He was in and out of juvenile detention until he joined the army and things seemed to settle down for him. But, once he was an adult, he took on the persona of The Measuring Man and the Green Man. These were disguises and acts he’d put on to get into a woman’s house and sexually assault them. One source says he assaulted as many as 300 women this way. He did some jail time, got out, started again, and got arrested for it again. Meanwhile, the Boston Strangler started killing people. They were strangled with panties or silk stockings, and they were left on their beds to be discovered. The police had no reason to link DeSalvo to the murders, but in jail, he told another inmate all about it. This inmate, George Nassar, told his lawyer, and eventually DeSalvo confessed to all the crimes with a great degree of detail. However, there was no physical evidence, so he went to trial for the rapes and other charges. So, why do people think he was the Strangler if there is no actual evidence? What lead a member of Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill gang to kill him in prison back in 1973? Why does an FBI profiler doubt he was the Strangler? Why do some think the Boston Strangler was Nassar, who DeSalvo first confessed to in prison? What did DNA evidence prove about the murders? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/albert-de-salvo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Strangler https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_DeSalvo https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/us/dna-evidence-identified-in-boston-strangler-case.html https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/19/boston-stranger-dna-test-albert-desalvo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkCYM2bzBPc https://historydaily.org/boston-strangler-facts-stories-trivia
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Episode 524: Nintendo: From Yakuza to Mario
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the interesting history and massive success of the Japanese gaming giant Nintendo (and we might just look at little red plumber who jumps on psychedelic mushrooms and hides in pipes while we’re at it). Nintendo didn’t start like you think it did. Well, if you thought it started a hundred and twenty years ago by printing playing cards on tree bark for Yakuza gambling dens, then you thought right. From there, a maintenance man named Gunpei Yokoi was discovered to have created a toy to keep himself entertained at work, and the company president happened to see it. This became a massive success called the Ultra Hand and sold millions of units. Nintendo was officially in the toy biz. Yokoi developed several hit toys, including the hugely successful Game Watch, which was the engineering and spiritual successor to the Game Boy. But everything changed when a game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto created the game Donkey Kong with its popular hero Jumpman. Ultimately, renamed Mario, he went on to the best the star of the show for Nintendo, headlining every game system, creating a (horrible) 80s TV show, and becoming the first of many icons for Nintendo. Their systems ranged in ability and success from the Famicon (aka the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES) to the SNES, N64, Wii, Game Cube, and of the course different generations of the Game Boy, all culminating in the Switch. Nintendo found success by always doing exactly what other video game companies did not do. It even survived the video game crash of 1983 that destroyed world-leader Atari. They also clung to their intellectual property and used them very wisely: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Zelda, Link, Metroid, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, Animal Crossing, and more. They all have been substantial successes for this little upstart card company from Japan.     Visit Our Sources https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsKyquWWl-s https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Corporate/Nintendo-History/Nintendo-History-625945.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nintendo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/48606526 https://interestingengineering.com/the-extraordinary-and-surprising-history-of-nintendo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Miyamoto
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Episode 523: Michael Swango: Master of Medical Murder
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the murders of a man who the FBI says is one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, the little known Doctor Michael Swango. Swango killed patients under his care by poisoning them with either legit poison or prescription drugs they may have already been taking. He also poisoned landlords, girlfriends, co-workers…pretty much anyone he could. He was eventually arrested and convicted of four deaths, but some estimates place his killing as high as 60 people. This killing spree ran all over America, down to Zimbabwe, and would have landed in Saudi Arabia if he wasn’t finally arrested. So, he had a childhood that may not have had the typical serial killer abuse boxes to be ticked off. He had a loving mother, but there was no evidence of anything crazy. He had an alcoholic Vietnam Vet for a father, but who didn’t in the 70s? He was an excellent student, graduating valedictorian of his high school and getting into a college to study music. His girlfriend dumped him and broke his heart, and it seemed to utterly change the man. He quit playing music, dropped out of school, and joined the Marines. He served for a few years and finally found his way to medical school, where he almost didn’t graduate due to lying to the school. From there, he interned in a hospital where strange deaths were reported when he was on shift. Nurses knew and reported it, but they were ignored. Eventually, the deaths got bad enough that the hospital let him go, but nobody ever pursued him legally. He worked at an ambulance company where he poisoned his co-workers with evil doughnuts. They set a trap for him with a pitcher of tea, and he couldn’t help but poison it as well, and he was arrested. He did five years after the police found a treasure trove of poisons in his house. You would think that this back story would keep him from practicing medicine. But then there was the forgery. He forged papers about his prison time, his good behavior, and his standing in the medical community and got more jobs in medicine, often under false names. And he killed more people. Eventually, the American Medical Association caught on to him, and he was fired and had a permanent mark put on his record to every teaching school in the nation. So, he moved to Zimbabwe to kill more freely. Like you do. So, how many did he kill in Zimbabwe? What happened to his longtime girlfriend? How was he finally arrested, even though he fled the country? What was his sentence? How did end up in a super max prison? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Swango https://www.thoughtco.com/profile-of-joseph-michael-swango-973127 https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/swango-michael.htm https://unsolvedmysteries.fandom.com/wiki/Michael_Swango https://www.oxygen.com/license-to-kill/crime-time/michael-joseph-swango-house-horrors-murder https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1118552/
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Episode 522: Steven Spielberg: Greatest of All Time
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the life, awards, career, and films (lord, how many films!) of Steven Spielberg. And buckle up folks, this episode is a record-setting two hours long! With his very first movies being Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Arc, and ET, you can see that this man was destined for greatness in Hollywood. Many of the stars and producers who met this young 20 something genius back in the 60s said the same thing. He was the youngest director to ever get a directing contract with a major studio (just 21 years old at the time), and he has won countless awards. His films have made over $10 billion dollars total, and I’d bet good money that if you sat down and made a top ten list of your favorite films, at least one of his is on your list. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to a concert pianist and a computer engineer, and though he moved around a lot, he had a love of film even at a young age. He won a merit badge in the Boy Scouts for a short film he directed (to get his still photograph badge). He started making films as a teen with an 8MM camera, and some of them even started to win local awards and make a tiny bit of money at the box office (well, a dollar, actually). After graduating high school, he moved to LA and tried to get into USC (along with film legends like George Lucas), but he was denied due to low grades. He got in to a different school, but ultimately dropped out because he was starting to get work. He started with an unpaid editing internship at Universal, and the gave him a chance to use their equipment to make a short film. He made Amblin’ (which his production company is called to this day), and it impressed studio execs enough to give him a contract directing TV episodes. In short order, this led to him impressing the likes of Rod Sterling and others. They gave him a chance at a first big budget film, a little thing about a shark. Jaws redefined what a block buster meant, and he followed it up with Close Encounters. If you look at the film list of Spielberg, it will astound you. It’s like every four or five films are what a typical director would be known for in their entire career. But then, there is another and another, and most of them are masterpieces. From Saving Private Ryan to Ready Player One, Amistad to Schindler’s List, and rounding it all out with Jurassic Park, his genius and ability to tell stories has not diminished. If you like film, then give this one a listen. If you don’t, then in the words of Conan the Barbarian: “The hell with you!”   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/filmmaker/steven-spielberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Spielberg https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000229/ https://www.forbes.com/profile/steven-spielberg/#b58d2c3228a7 https://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/steven_spielberg https://time.com/43618/george-lucas-steven-spielberg-star-wars-bet/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firelight_(1964_film)
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Episode 521: The Great Chinese Famine: Mao Murders Millions!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and examine the largest famine in human history, The Great Chinese Famine. Known to the Chinese government as “Three Years of Difficulties,” this famine is unique since it is blamed almost entirely on human governance, not on nature. How bad did it get? Estimates are that 45 million people died in only three years. Most of this was starvation, but much of it was people being killed to keep the famine a secret. This one gets ugly. People eating bark, people eating poisonous mud, parents eating kids, kids eating parents, some villages simply killing any travelers and eating them. So what was the cause of this horrible disaster? People blame Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.” Mao wanted to propel China forward to catch up with production levels of Britain and the US, so he shifted his focus from agriculture to the manufacture of steel and goods. He even went so far as to move people off of their farms and made almost everyone mine their own minerals and smelt them in ovens they built in the backyard. Never mind they had no idea what they were doing, and made crap metal that couldn’t be used for anything. And never mind that they were no longer producing food. But that wasn’t all that caused the famine. There was a lack of accurate information coming from scared local government leaders. There was a flood of the Yellow River. There was a drought (which the Chinese say was the main factor, but virtually every scholar says this didn’t make a dent). There was a campaign to kill sparrows which led to massive swarms of insects. And there was a cover up. Everyone who talked about the famine was disappeared by secret police. People who wrote letters to government were sent to labor camps or murdered after they were tracked down. In one instance, some teenage girls asked local governors for food, and they were dragged to a lonely mountain to die of starvation. A lot of the details of the Great Chinese Famine came to us recently from a very brave journalist named Yang Jisheng who secretly wrote the book Tombstone about this famine while working for the state news service. From government cover ups to cannibalism, dead sparrows to Communist leaders eating like kings while the peasants died by the millions, this one has it all.     Visit Our Sources https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1127087/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/01/china-great-famine-book-tombstone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojOmUWLDG18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chinese_Famine https://www.npr.org/2012/11/10/164732497/a-grim-chronicle-of-chinas-great-famine https://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/pyared/papers/famines.pdf https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/2014/9/cj34n3-2.pdf
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Episode 520: Barney and Betty Hill: The Epic Alien Abduction
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we put on our tinfoil hats and talk about what might be the most important alien abduction case of all time, the story of Barney and Betty Hill. This story, straight outta 1961, has everything you want in an abduction story. Missing time? Check. Lights in the sky? Check. UFO? Check. Project Bluebook Investigation? Check. Human experimentation? Check. “Gray” aliens? Check. Missing memories and hypnosis? Check. And most importantly, anal probes? You betcha! So, this story is the tale of Barney and Betty Hill. They were a rare mixed race couple in the early 1960s, and after a year and a half of marriage, they drove to Niagara Falls and Montreal for a late honeymoon. On their way back, their world changed forever. They were racing home to beat a storm coming in, and at one point that night, they stopped for gas and food. While there, they saw lights in the sky. They checked with binoculars and ruled out normal aircraft. They got back on the road, and suddenly, the lights started to follow their car. What happens then gets pretty crazy. They remember seeing a disk-shaped vehicle filled with people in strange uniforms. Barney grabbed his gun, they both thought they were going to be captured, and they drove as fast as they could. The disk stayed above their car, and suddenly they heard a strange buzzing and zapping sound hit their trunk. They heard it a second time, and realized hours had passed, and they were 35 miles away from where they thought they were. Missing time in full effect. After they got home, they were having trouble sleeping, were filled with anxiety, and suffered psychological trauma. They finally got help after a psychiatrist suggested they go through hypnosis. Nobody thought they were abducted by aliens, but the experts did think something happened to them that caused them trauma. They met a hypnotist named Simon realized they had very similar memories of the event. They spoke with NICAP (a UFO group), and though they wanted to avoid publicity, a story leaked out of Boston, and they were suddenly famous. So, what memories were uncovered through hypnosis? What did the Air Force say with their Project Bluebook investigation? What did the aliens look like? What is the Star Map, and why do people think it points to Zeta Reticuli? What physical examinations did Barney and Betty Hill go through and what hurt worse than the anal probe? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_and_Betty_Hill https://www.history.com/news/first-alien-abduction-account-barney-betty-hill https://www.library.unh.edu/find/archives/collections/betty-and-barney-hill-papers-1961-2006 https://astronomy.com/bonus/zeta https://science.howstuffworks.com/space/aliens-ufos/hill-abduction.htm
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Episode 519: Frank Matthews: The Black Caesar
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life of the African-American drug kingpin Frank Matthews: The Black Caesar. Matthews went from stealing chickens to running a numbers game in the back of his barber shop to being the top non-Mafia drug importer in the nation, in just a couple of years. He organized small drug dealers to take on the Mob; he ran the control of cocaine and heroin to 21 states; he was the first person to tap into the South American drug cartels; he went to war with the Black Mafia. He disappeared at age 29, having already formed a drug empire that bested everyone from Al Capone to Pablo Escobar. He was born in North Carolina and raised by his aunt when his mother died. When he was only 14, he formed a gang to steal chickens from local farms and sell them locally. A farmer caught them one day, and Matthews beat him. With a brick. A year later, he was out of prison and started running numbers. Eventually, he moved to Philadelphia  and then New York and did his numbers racket out of the back of a barber shop. However, this wasn’t enough for the ambitious Frank Matthews. He wanted in on the drug trade. He tried to get friendly with some of the big Mafia families, but they all declined. So, he forged his own way. He befriended "Spanish Raymond" Márquez, who put him in touch with "El Padrino", Cuban Mafia godfather of New York. This contact allowed him to get the drugs directly from Corsica, the same supplier as the mob used. And Matthews was now an international player. He started to make so much money he would forget that he gave someone a million dollars, and he ran out of room to store his stacks of cash. He would fly to Vegas to have the casinos launder his money. He saw the potential to really move things, though, and he called a meeting in Atlanta with all big drug dealers cut out by the mob. They created a network, and the drug game changed for America thanks to Matthews. However, he got sloppy, and eventually there were federal and local warrants for his arrest. He was pinched in Vegas and extradited to New York where he silently slipped away on bail. He was never seen again. So where did Frank Matthews go? Why does one author thing this has to do with the CIA? Why did mob boss Carlo Gambino put a hit on him, and what made him retract it? Who was Major Coxson, and what did he have to do with the Black Mafia? Why was he so much more powerful than Jemeker Thompson, Crack Queen of LA? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Matthews_(drug_trafficker) https://themobmuseum.org/blog/did-frank-matthews-get-away-with-it/ https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/dn-community/article10277654.html https://ganglandgazette.com/what-happened-to-drug-lord-frank-matthews https://www.ozy.com/true-and-stories/the-black-godfather-who-rose-fell-and-vanished/82420/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_Coxson
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Episode 518: The Three Stooges: Moe, Larry, the Cheese!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we crack wise about the greatest comedy trio to have ever been put on film—The Three Stooges. Their short films were so popular that they single handedly saved the genre from dying for years and years. They poked fun at Hitler in the 1940s, and were so good at it that they made his personal death list. Though they started as a small vaudeville act in New York, they became the biggest game in comedy for multiple studios and for several decades. The keystone of the Stooges was one family—the Horowitz brothers. Shemp, Moe, and Jerome (aka Curley) Horowitz were all high school drop outs who had a love of acting and theater and quit school to pursue it. Shemp and Moe did various small roles, worked at the theaters and movie companies, and paid their dues. Curley hung out where they did, learned the business back stage, and did his own thing as well, such as studying dance. Eventually, a childhood friend named Ted Healy created a successful vaudeville show, and he needed stooges. He would play the straight man and try to sing and talk to the audience, but three bumbling stooges would come out and interrupt him. Though, it was a rotating cast, Shemp and Moe were the best at it. They hired a violin player named Larry Fine, and the rest was history. As they became more and more popular on stage and some small film roles, Shemp quit because he hated Healy. They added Curley to the act, and they blew up. Their films became so successful, that the movie companies could force theaters to take on B movies and stinkers they made or hold back the latest Three Stooges films. When they were at their peak, however, Curley had a series of health problems and strokes (that some think came from the beatings he took on set). He had to quit, and Shemp came back from a very successful solo act. It was a wild time in Hollywood. Healey was found dead, likely beaten to death by one of Lucky Luciano’s men. Larry at one point had to get paid more for fear that someone would bomb their stage acts. And their horrible producer screwed them out of millions of dollars by permanently convincing them that their movies weren’t making any money. When Shemp suddenly died of a heart attack, they considered quitting, but their evil producer held them to the final four films they had to make. So, how did this lead to fake Shemp? What was Joe, and who was Curley Joe, and why weren’t they the same person? Why did Larry live in a hotel until middle age? What were our personal experiences watching them as we grew up? Listen, laugh, and learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Stooges https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaudeville https://www.threestooges.com/ https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/three-stooges/ https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/curly-howard-grandson-three-stooges-tells-all https://www.mentalfloss.com/view?id=three-stooges-facts-mm&src=facebook https://screencrush.com/didnt-know-about-three-stooges/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moe_Howard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curly_Howard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemp_Howard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Fine
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Episode 517: Arthur Dozier School: A Curriculum of Murder
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look into the horrible history of Florida’s school for juveniles called the Arthur Dozier School. It opened in 1900 and ran until 2011. It was the subject of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winning book The Nickel Boys. The Dozier school was (in)famous for housing children who often did nothing worse than smoke a cigarette at school, be truant, or run away from home. But as punishment, they endured life in leg irons, torture, illegal restraints, beatings till they bled, rape, and even murder. Estimates are that there are a total of 98 bodies buried on the site, and one group alleges there is a cover up by the local and Florida investigation teams. So, based on a law in the late 1800s, this school found funding and opened a couple years later. It was a large 159 acre campus with several buildings. It was segregated, so half the facilities were for black inmates and half for white. It was renamed a few times, and it switched hands as far as what governmental agency ran it. It was built to house 104 boys, aged 13 to 21. But that expanded to as young as 9, and at the height of its population, there were over 500 crammed into this space. It as a place of tragedy and dark history. A fire killed several boys and staff. Almost a dozen died to the Spanish Flu. And in its first remodel, they built a structure that the boys called the White House. It was where they took you if you were going to be beaten. Or tortured. Or raped. Because apparently in the 1950s and 60s, the people who ran the place were sadistic. Hundreds of boys who call themselves the White House Boys came forward in the 2000s to report their bloody beatings (lashed hundreds of times till their underwear was interwoven in their flesh, and they passed out—at the hands of an ominous one armed man), their rape, and even dead boys they saw from time to time. The White House Boys tried to get restitution or legal justice, but the statute of limitation had run out on any abuse they suffered, so it was shot down. But there were hundreds of them, so word must have gotten out, right? It did. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement ran an investigation which said they could find no forensic proof of abuse and no witnesses who  would talk. The White House Boys think this might have been a cover up. And an article called “For Their Own Good” that came out of St. Petersburg kept it in the nation’s attention. Eventually, the Department of Justice and the and the University of South Florida each did their own investigations with rather different results. So, how many bodies did they find? What did the surviving boys recall of their tortures here? Why did nobody ever get in legal trouble? What finally got the victims a chance to legally exhume bodies of their relatives? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.npr.org/2012/10/15/162941770/floridas-dozier-school-for-boys-a-true-horror-story https://www.tampabay.com/investigations/2019/08/18/they-went-to-the-dozier-school-for-boys-damaged-they-came-out-destroyed/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_School_for_Boys https://www.abandonedfl.com/arthur-g-dozier-school-for-boys/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/08/16/boys-were-beaten-abused-florida-reform-school-now-colson-whitehead-fictionalizes-that-history/ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/a-type-of-justice-florida-reform-school-yields-evidence-of-more-graves https://dartcenter.org/content/for-their-own-good-0
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Episode 516: Roald Dahl: From Ace to Spy to Oompa Loompa
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at the very interesting life of a man named Roald Dahl. You may think you’ve never heard of him, but we promise that you have. For one, he was a world famous and beloved children’s author. He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many other stories. What you don’t know is that he was an adventure-starved, globetrotting, WWII fighter pilot ace. He survived a crash, shot down enemy aircraft, and was eventually stationed to Washington where he met Ian Fleming and did work for the spy agency MI6. Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents who were wealthy. His father died when he was young, but his mother opted to stay in the UK because that’s where the best schools were. So, he attended school there, getting kicked out of one or two and being beaten by a headmaster here and there. He was also behind the Great Mouse Plot of 1924 which involved a dead rodent and a jar of gobstoppers. He eventually got through school, and when his mom said she’d pay for him to attend Oxford and be anything he wanted, he declined. He’d rather see the world. And see the world he did. He hiked around for a while and then got a job for an oil company in the Middle east. While there, he was drafted by England to help round Germans up in the city of Dar-es-Salaam where he was stationed. After that, he joined the Royal Air Force, and soon, his country was at war. After extensive training, he was given a really bad and outdated aircraft. Once, while piloting on his own, he was given the wrong directions and crashed in the middle of the desert. He sustained major injuries and was temporarily blind, but the kept on. Eventually, he fought in several dog fights, including the Battle of Athens, but he had to quit flying because of the injuries from the crash. He was such as smooth talker, however, that he was sent to Washington DC to be a diplomat and try to get the US into the war. While there, he doubled as a spy, meeting people like Ian Fleming and doing tasks directly for MI6. During the war, his friends got him to start writing, and people loved his work. He began with short stories and a tale about his own air crash, but he soon drifted to the fantastical children’s stories he is so beloved for now. He wrote James and the Giant Peach first, and the rest was history. His books were hits. He wrote 19 in all, saw several get adapted to film, and he even wrote the scripts for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and You Only Live Twice. There isn’t much bad to say about this man. He was a war hero. A national patriot. He is beloved by children all over the world. Even Queen Elizabeth considered him one of the most influential people in British culture. Oh, but he was an anti-Semite, so there is that. Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/writer/roald-dahl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Dahl https://www.famousauthors.org/roald-dahl https://www.notablebiographies.com/Co-Da/Dahl-Roald.html#:~:text=Roald%20Dahl%20was%20born%20September,himself%20skilled%20at%20finding%20trouble. https://www.roalddahlfans.com/about-dahl/dahl-biography/ https://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahl https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/kids-club/entertainment/books/roald-dahl-facts/ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/roald-dahl-words_n_57d74c2de4b09d7a687f6b35?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAANNqHUXwNhr2kYfOLAqioxTzln2hiR0gtJSVg8E4wN2pWc677atsmGGp1F8J7guUwxDTauiMAjzHnlH4LXX7bxhUvNaQ8cyS9rsGGMx1E3HNBukSFzUiJ4glE6iFdWmjl9ihTwuf3NTLV9tT-BCrbTFg7QHYxY_l3b01AEYw6XNG https://qz.com/779365/six-of-roald-dahls-made-up-words-have-been-added-to-the-oxford-english-dictionary-to-celebrate-his-centenary/  
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Episode 515: Uruguayan Flight 571: Tragedy, Cannibalism, and Survival
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at an infamous case of Cannibalism, the crash of Uruguayan Flight 751. In October of 1972, a plane crashed carrying 40 passengers and 5 crew. As the plane bounced off the side of the mountain, it lost its wing, then it’s tail, then it’s other wing. All the while, people fill out and littered the snowy mountain side. Much like the Donner Party, after several weeks, they were out of food and lost on a glacier. Over two horrible months, they resorted to cannibalism and had no hope of rescue. The scene: October 13th, 1972. An amateur rugby club from Uruguay headed to Santiago, Chile to play a match. They rented an air force plane to take them there, and they had extra seats, so friends and family could come along. The co-pilot was put in charge of the flight, and he got lost in the fog and reported the wrong position. He crashed. While he was trying to pull up and avoid the mountain that suddenly emerged from the fog, it was too late. Uruguayan Flight 751 tore itself apart as it struck the summit of the mountain, until finally the fuselage slid down the mountain for over 2000 feet. They stacked the dead outside of the fuselage, and they sorted out the food. There was hardly any because it wasn’t a typical passenger plane, and the galley had broken off when the tail fell away. On day eleven, the search was called off. It was just them on a mountain with no vegetation or animal life. They were all starving, and people were dying every few days. There was a blizzard. An avalanche killed more of them. They finally made the horrible decision to eat human flesh even though most thought it was a sin. Eventually, Roberto Canessa and Antonio Vizintin decided to make the trek across the deadly mountain. They were hit by another blizzard and thought they weren’t going to make it. Eventually, after days of climbing and hiking with no snow gear or food, they found civilization. How many survived? How many refused to eat flesh and died of starvation? What is a muleskinner, and how did it help them get rescued? How long can one chocolate covered peanut last a man? Why didn’t they just radio for help? What did they discover the best way was to eat human flesh? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan_Air_Force_Flight_571 https://historycollection.com/how-the-uruguayan-air-force-flight-571-crash-drove-a-rugby-team-to-cannibalism/ https://www.npr.org/2019/06/09/731044367/story-of-the-1972-andes-plane-crash-in-out-of-the-silence https://historydaily.org/uruguayan-air-force-flight-571-cannibals https://america.cgtn.com/2017/12/20/survivor-roberto-canessa-relives-1972-plane-crash-in-the-andes https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/04/160403-andes-uruguay-rugby-cannibal-plane-crash-canessa-ngbooktalk/
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Episode 514: South Park: The Legend of Trey and Matt
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the creation of South Park and the many movies, awards, and plays of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. From trying to show Mohamed on TV in spite of death threats (5 times…) to going in drag on acid to the Academy Awards, these two push every boundary they can. And somehow, they manage to make a show that has become a touchstone of global popular culture. In fact, they make the show in as little as four days, usually sending it over satellite the night it is due to air. Love them or hate them, their vulgar humor somehow manages to wow critics who credit them for their intuitive ability to say exactly what needs to be said in any given moment. The creators of South Park are Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They met in college at the University of Colorado, and though Trey had already pioneered his cut out animation style on previous projects, the two of them kept using it in small pieces they rolled out on VHS. In fact, one of these, called Jesus Vs. Santa, was one of the first truly viral videos on the internet. The two of them started a production company and produced a musical about a cannibal which was eventually bought by Troma Entertainment and rebranded as Cannibal! The Musical! This was the start of their entrance into Hollywood (and the start of their love for musicals). After a couple of failed pilots they pitched at Fox, they finally landed on South Park. It took them three months to film the pilot with crude cutouts and stop motion animation. Comedy Central picked it up, and it was an overnight success. South Park made Comedy Central go from being a small time network to a major television presence. Parker and Stone had a rough couple of seasons at the start of the show, and they were signed to do more if they agreed to make a movie. They did. It almost won an Oscar. They made more shows, and they made hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandising alone. Then, one time, they decided to write a musical play. They did. It won the Tony for best play as well as 8 others. They win Emmy after Emmy and a Peabody Award (somehow) using the most crass and often offensive comedy on all of television. If you want to know more about their background, what they did before South Park, their insane process of creating episodes, or just the truth about why Chef left the show (was it Scientology?!?), give this one a listen.   Visit Our Sources: 6 Days to Air Documentary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trey_Parker https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Park https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Stone https://paleymatters.org/20-years-of-south-park-a-raunchy-retrospective-d15e555160b0 https://screenrant.com/south-park-facts-trivia/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/65262/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-south-park
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Episode 513: The 761st Tank Battalion: The Original Black Panthers
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time to World War Two and look at the outstanding story of the 761st Tank Battalion. Known as the Black Panthers (no, not those Black Panthers), they were the first ever all black tank battalion. They met with racism and even a race riot during training the states, but they won a Medal of Honor, 11 Silver Stars, and just under 300 Purple Hearts. This group was created to help get more troops in tanks, but rules at the times said that African Americans couldn’t integrate with white troops. So, the 761st was created to be led by white officers but have no white soldiers serving on the front lines with them. They trained Louisiana where the baseball legend Jackie Robinson got in trouble for refusing to get to the back of a bus while he was in the battalion. Their training went so well, and they had such high marks that General Patton wanted them as part of his fighting force. He famously gave them a very inspiring speech about the need for African American troops and how important this was for their race, but then he also famously turned around and said that blacks were too slow witted to be good in a tank. But they excelled. They helped the troops of the 101st Airborne in the Battle of the Bulge. They liberated a concentration camp. They inflicted 130,000 German casualties. The 761st had epic soldiers and tank commanders in their crew from Ruben Rivers who won the medal of honor to John Long and Roy King who helped liberate a city. And the star of the show as a man named Wayne Crecy. He won the silver star for a particular day of combat, but the group historian estimates that he killed between 300-400 Germans in their push to Berlin. So if you want to learn what earned this man the title of “the baddest man of the 761st” or just have a love of World War Two, give this one a listen.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/761st_Tank_Battalion_(United_States) https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/crecy-warren-gamaliel-harding https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/warren-crecy-baddest-man.html https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/black-panthers-761st-tank-battalion https://www.benning.army.mil/armor/earmor/content/issues/2014/Oct_Dec/GunnersSeat.html https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/41821/Crecy-Warren-Gamaliel-Harding.htm?c=aw http://www.blerdsonline.com/2017/02/black-captain-america-sgt-warren-gh.html  
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Episode 512: Robin Williams: The Restless Genius
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the comedy, drama, acting, drugs, life, and death of the one and only Robin Williams. He was said to be funny since childhood, and as he grew, so did his personality and laughs. He blew up with the once-in-a-lifetime hit Mork and Mindy in the late 1970s, and he moved on to a series of massive hit films. From Popeye to Dead Poet’s Society and Goodwill Hunting to Aladdin, his scope and range won him three Oscar nominations and endless awards. And don’t forget the standup. His insane half improved comedy routines were stuff of legend, and according to one story, they are the reason David Letterman got out of the stand-up business. He was born to an upper class family in Chicago, and his family moved around a lot. After an early retirement, they settled in Tiburon, California (where he still owned property when he died). He went to a couple of colleges to study acting, and eventually found himself at the world famous Juilliard School. After a few years, he was told he should leave the school because there was nothing left for them to teach him—not accents, not drama, not comedy, no methods. He was just that good. After college, he started doing standup in San Francisco and LA. He was discovered while on stage in LA and started doing small appearances on TV. Eventually, he was called in to play the alien Mork in a really bad episode of Happy Days, and he turned it into such comedy gold that he got his own show based on the character. It exploded as one of the most popular shows of the 70s and 80s and put him on the map. From there, he jumped to feature films with Popeye and spent decades doing amazing comedies and devastating dramas. All the while, he still did stand up and released comedy specials. Oh, and he did drugs. A lot. He quit and went back to them and quit again, but all the cocaine is said to have started his health decline later in life with heart problems. After four decades of hits, Robin Williams ended his own life on August 11, 2014. The common belief was that he battled from secret depression. His wife, however, revealed that he had Lewy Body Disease. The Lewy Body proteins in his brains were the worst his doctors had ever seen, and they made him miserable, paranoid, depressed, and anxious to the point where he could no longer function. After his death, he still released several films, so we like to think he’s actually alive and well and living on Tupac Island. Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/actor/robin-williams https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Williams https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/05/robin-williams-death-biography-dave-itzkoff-excerpt https://n.neurology.org/content/87/13/1308 https://www.investopedia.com/articles/wealth-management/010516/look-robin-williams-net-worth-and-what-happened-his-estate.asp
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Episode 511: Dean Corll: The Candyman Killer
On this episode  of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk some true crime and look at the life, murders, and death of Dean Corll. Called the Candyman or the Pied Piper, Corll had a reputation in Houston for giving candy to teenage boys from his family candy shop. He was loved by his community, and he didn’t seem to have anything in his background that was typical to trigger a serial killer. A divorce and some suppressed homosexuality were in his background, but none of the madness that usually forces one to kill. However, he became one of the most prolific killers, racking up at least 28 deaths in his time. Oh, and he had two teenage accomplices. Corll was raised by middle class parents and moved around a bit since his father was in the military. His folks divorced, remarried, divorced again. His mom eventually took the advice of a traveling pecan salesman (like you do) and started a candy company in her garage. A teenaged Corll worked there after school, and it eventually became big enough to move to a proper factory. Corll was drafted during Vietnam but served stateside as a radio repairman. He was discharged early on the grounds of family hardship since he needed to run the factory. Once home again, he put a pool table in the back of the factory and would often take batches of boys to the beach as a sort of “Scout Leader” persona. Eventually, the candy competition was too fierce, and the candy shop closed. Somehow in the year or so after this, he went from a model citizen to a maniacal sex crazed serial killer. He recruited two youths to help Dean Corll scout and bring him teenage boys for $200 a pop. They were David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley. They saw him as a father figure and thought that the sex that was happening with Corll and their recruits was consensual. At least at first. Eventually, the rape and murder started. And eventually, Henley and Brooks helped hide the bodies and got involved at every part of the killings. This one leaves a lot of unanswered questions. First off, what set Dean Corll off? He went from mild mannered to monster in merely months. Second, how did they get so many teenage boys to come over to the house? Why didn’t the police start to investigate this crazy wave of teenage murders? Was Corll part of a nation wide teenage sex trafficking ring? Why did Henley eventually shoot Corll? What pushed him too far and made him say “enough”? Where did they hide the bodies? What kind of sentences did Henley and Brooks get? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://murderpedia.org/male.C/c/corll-dean.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Corll https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmer_Wayne_Henley https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-lost-boys/ https://rare.us/rare-news/history/dean-corll-candy-houston-texas/ https://www.oxygen.com/candyman-killer-dean-corll-elmer-henley-real-killers-behind-netflix-mindhunter https://heavy.com/news/2018/01/pedophile-serial-killer-candyman-houston-sadist/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Owen_Brooks
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Episode 510: The Batavia: Maritime Mutiny and Mass Murder
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the greatest maritime disasters in history, the wreck of the Batavia. I know what you’re thinking. It’s like the Titanic but back in time. No, not at all. This one involved mutiny, hanging a young girl off the side of the boat, a shipwreck, murder, sex slaves, more murder, and a war between the survivors on small islands in the East Indies. The Batavia was the newly build flagship of the Dutch East Indies Company (not to be confused with their rival the British East India Company). It set sail on its maiden voyage with a fleet loaded with silver and gold. Their job was to make it around the world on a very dangerous 8 month voyage to buy spices in Java. It was said that only one in four sailors would make it back from such a trip, but all would be sharing in a split of the riches if they did. This particular trip started off poorly. The skipper of the ship was named Ariaen Jacobsz. He had to take his order from the fleet commander Francisco Pelsaert. But, based on pervious encounters at sea, they hated each other’s guts. Toward the end of the journey, the animosity grew so much that Jacobsz and a merchant named Jeronimus Cornelisz planned for a mutiny. They had a poor woman named Lucretia Jansz get assaulted in the night on the ship. They knew the Commander would over react, and they could use this as an excuse to mutiny. Then, they could take the gold and silver and go start a new island nation, like you do. But the dumb asses ran ashore the next day in dangerous waters and wrecked the ship. 40 passengers died in the wreck, and the rest reached shore. The Commander got a ship and some of the heartiest of the men and headed out to find water. It took them 33 days to make it back due to a series of bad luck at island after island. In the meantime Cornelisz took over and lost his marbles. He started to orchestrate murders of the healthy and those who could stop him. He consolidated power, boats, and weapons and sent those loyal to the company off to “Find water,” so he had no competition. Throats were slit, people were pushed off boats, he even planned to poison a baby. There were sex slaves and starvation, and pretty much the worst depravity you could imagine. So, how did the banished soldiers end up fighting back? What type of inter-island war started between these groups? How did the soldiers survive the fights when they had no weapons? What became of the the Batavia's Commodore, and how was he able to return at the helm of a big new ship? What happened to the mutineers and murderers? Why do they think this wreck was the first time Europeans colonized Australia? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.sea.museum/2016/06/04/barbarism-and-brutality-surviving-the-batavia-shipwreck https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/12/new-mass-grave-batavia-shipwreck-murder-australia-history/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batavia_(1628_ship) http://museum.wa.gov.au/research/research-areas/maritime-archaeology/batavia-cape-inscription/batavia https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/wreck-of-the-batavia https://listverse.com/2018/06/15/10-punishments-of-the-royal-navy-during-the-age-of-sail/#:~:text=By%20the%201800s%2C%20this%20was,death%20was%20slow%20and%20painful.    
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Episode 509: Haitian Earthquake: Devastation, Death, Deceit
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the devastation, death, deceit, and clean up surrounding the Haiti Earthquake from 2010. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, and the results were epic. Estimates are that 250,000 lives were lost and 1.5 million people were displaced. 80% of schools, 60% of government buildings, the majority of roads, the bulk of medical facilities all collapsed. In all, roughly a quarter of a million homes were destroyed. International aid gathered billions to help Haiti recover, but corrupt government and even more corrupt charities kept anything meaningful from happening to help this island that is still suffering ten years later. Before the quake hit, Haiti was one of the poorest countries in the world, with 70% of the population living under the poverty line. Most Haitians lived on about $1.25 a day, and they relied on small time agriculture which is constantly damaged due to tropical storms. To make things worse, the government has no sense of a plan for the urban centers such as Port-Au-Prince, and there are no regulations or building codes. If there is space to build a structure, you can pretty go for it and squat and throw up a house or building. All of this led to the perfect storm of devastation for Haiti. In the days after the quake, they were using dump trucks and earth movers to haul off the thousands of bodies lining the streets. Destroyed roads, docks, and airports made aid impossible to get into the island nation. But, in the aftermath, aid organizations, celebrity concerts, and social media gathered billions of dollars. However, as one group of journalists reported, the American Red Cross lost roughly $500 million in aid that never made it to the streets, and even some of the biggest celebrities who raised money were busted for graft and taking the money for themselves (we’re looking at you Wycliffe Jean). So, if you want to hear about the worst quake in modern memory, get ready to listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2020/01/12/794939899/haiti-in-ruins-a-look-back-at-the-2010-earthquake https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/2010-haiti-earthquake-facts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Haiti_earthquake https://theconversation.com/a-decade-after-the-earthquake-haiti-still-struggles-to-recover-129670 https://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/wayoflife/01/13/haiti.charity.scams/index.html https://reliefweb.int/report/haiti/independent-review-us-government-response-haiti-earthquake-final-report https://www.npr.org/2015/06/03/411524156/in-search-of-the-red-cross-500-million-in-haiti-relief https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1690716-lamika-factsheet-from-red-cross-website.html https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/wyclef-jean-faces-criminal-probe-over-haiti-charity-8209814.html https://www.lessonsfromhaiti.org/lessons-from-haiti/key-statistics/ https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/americas/haiti-dominican-republic-visual-explainer/index.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010s_Haiti_cholera_outbreak
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Episode 508: Marilyn Manson: Maestro of the Macabre
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we study the king of the grotesque, everyone’s favorite Antichrist, Marilyn Manson. He was born as Brian Hugh Warner, and he had a love of music early in life. Once he started his band in college, he decided to name every member after one serial killer and one famous super model. And it worked. His grotesque imagery and crazy stage antics and unique, distorted sound made him rise up the charts in just a matter of year. Now, he’s still producing music, acting, has become an accomplished water color artist, and even met Anton LaVey who inducted him as minister in the Church of Satan. Brian Warner was born to two fairly religious parents. He attended Christian schools, and while they taught him everything he was not supposed to do, he took it the other way and used the ideas of sin and the demonic as what he WOULD do. After hearing The Doors for the first time, he knew he wanted to pursue music. Once in college, he started a couple of bands. First was Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, Satan on Fire, and Mrs. Scabtree. It was the Manson persona that caught the eye of Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor. Reznor signed him after convincing Jimmy Iovene he needed to, produced him, and took him on tour with him, helping to launch Manson’s career. From there, his career was an explosion of popular culture. His bizarre and shocking imagery and stage behavior made him an MTV darling (remember MTV?). He was also a permanent target of the religious and was even blamed for the Columbine shooting. So much so that it damaged his career and made record sales and concert attendance seriously dip. But, his intelligence, his ability to write and give eloquent interviews, and the truth won out, and his career got back on track. Some people see him as a clown, but his persona is very intentional and ingenious. He was poised at just the right time to do just the right amount of gross. He knew the music world needed a dark prince, and he provided one with his shock rock. So, why did Trent Reznor and him have a falling out, and what brought them back together? What type of paintings does he do? What crazy things has he done on stage? What did he do on stage to get arrested, and why did some many ex members of his band sue him and claim he screwed them out of money? And, oh, what’s the deal with him and Satan? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Manson https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/the-golden-age-of-grotesque-marilyn-mansons-most-shocking-moments-155971/ https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/columbine-whose-fault-is-it-232759/ https://www.nme.com/news/music/marilyn-manson-says-hes-finished-his-masterpiece-of-a-new-album-2656329 https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Marilyn_Manson https://deadline.com/2019/09/marilyn-manson-american-gods-casting-season-three-neil-gaiman-starz-1202737047/ https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/marilyn-manson-2262.php https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/02/06/marilyn-manson_n_6625118.html https://www.famousbirthsdeaths.com/marilyn-manson-bio-net-worth-facts/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Putesky https://www.ranker.com/list/trent-reznor-marilyn-manson-friendship/jacob-shelton https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/trent-reznor-says-marilyn-manson-has-become-a-dopey-clown-73520/ https://loudwire.com/marilyn-manson-trent-reznor-mended-ways/  
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Episode 507: Maura Murray: A Disappearance Most Strange
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we explore one of the strangest missing persons cases in America: the disappearance of Maura Murray. On the evening of February 9, 2004, she had a minor car crash, and by the time the police got there, she was missing. But her behavior leading to this moment is what makes it strange. She had packed up her entire dorm room, lied to her bosses that there was a death in the family (so she could get a week off), and she had a car full of clothes, directions to rentals to stay in, and even a lot of cash from an ATM. Her entire family had no idea she had done any of this. What makes this a weird one is that she was a great student. She went to West Point and then transferred to the University of Massachusetts. She was a good student, a local track star, and otherwise a girl in her early twenties doing things right. Murray had a run in on the wrong side of the law when she stole the credit card number someone and used it at restaurants, but was otherwise an upstanding citizen. There was some indication that she was having trouble with her boyfriend. There was plenty of evidence that she planned to leave. Her dorm was packed up in boxes, and she had made several net searches for vacation rentals and even called some to find out prices. So, with a packed car and apparently the intention to bail, she crashed her car into a tree. There was spilled wine found in the car, so she could have been drunk. A man drove by and asked if she needed help as she stood beside her car. She indicated she did not and pleaded that he not call the police. She said she’d already called AAA for a tow (she had AAA but never called them). The man drove and called for help since there was no cell phone reception in the area. By the time he came back, she was gone. Eventually, the police declared it a missing persons case and sent dogs on the trail. They followed it a little ways before it just vanished along the side of the road. This indicated she most likely got in someone’s car only a few minutes after the crash. Some say she was trying to head up to a nice vacation spot to kill herself. Some say she was escaping an abusive boyfriend. Others say she was pregnant in a scandalous three way love affair with a coach from her university. Another theory is that she headed to Canada where she lives to this day in order to escape some sort of danger. Alive or dead, murder or suicide, this case is still very active, and new clues keep coming up. Come to your own conclusion and give this one a listen.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSCpSXGo5K4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Maura_Murray https://medium.com/@kympasqualini/police-search-for-maura-murray-who-vanished-february-9-2004-f78e0f7d662a https://medium.com/the-true-crime-times/the-mysterious-maura-murray-disappearance-9ea0b581923f https://www.mauramurraymissing.org/ https://www.vizaca.com/maura-murray-disappearance/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK_QYCBqV8U&feature=emb_logo https://www.boston25news.com/news/maura-murrays-38th-birthday-family-launches-new-website-missing-umass-student/JRQW77SCPFFW7J42W5BC2PRZ7A/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Brianna_Maitland
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Episode 506: Paul Ogorzow: Nazi Serial Killer!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about little known serial killer who did his thing during the reign of the Third Reich in Berlin. His name was Paul Ogorzow, and he was a Nazi serial killer. He started with sexual assault and rape, but like most serial killers he grew in desire and comfortability with his crimes. Eventually, he graduated to murder, and he had the perfect environment to do so. He committed his crimes during war-time black outs intended to keep bombing raids from finding targets. He also did it on a rail line that saw as many as 29 accidental deaths per month due to the dangers of the blackout. There isn’t a whole lot known about his childhood. He was born to a single mother who was a farm worker during World War One. He was eventually adopted by a farmer named Ogorzow and moved near Berlin. As a young man, he joined the Nazi Party and eventually became a member of the its paramilitary branch called the SA. For some reason, he never went off to war, but he was instead hired to help run the metro trains through Berlin called the S-Bahn. He excelled at his job, and he rose in ranks in the SA. He married and had two kids and was living the Nazi dream. But somewhere along the way, something broke in him. He started to use blackout conditions to scare and berate women who couldn’t identify him in the dark. Then he started to sexually assault them, and he eventually devolved to rape. With some of his rapes, he tried to kill either by bludgeon or knife or throwing them from moving trains. He left several victims for dead (which later caught up to him since they were eye witnesses). Eventually, he started to kill. He killed a total of eight women, most of them on or around the S-Bahn train line where he worked. Eventually, the head of Berlin’s homicide division (Wilhelm Lüdtke) started an investigation. But the blackouts made it hard as did media control. Goebbels wanted to keep morale high in Berlin. Therefore, the cops weren’t able to give any real info about the murders to people they questioned, and the media wasn’t allowed to print much of anything. This meant women traveled on the serial killer’s train line without fear. So, what measures did Lüdtke take to try and capture him? What finally got him caught? What was his life like with his wife and kids through all of this? What went down at the trial, and what was the time between arrest and execution? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://killerpedia.com/serial-killers/paul-ogorzow/ https://www.ranker.com/list/paul-ogorzow-facts/cat-mcauliffe https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-serial-killer-in-nazi-berlin-the-chilling-true-story-of-the-s-bahn-murderer-b-y-scott-andrew-selby/2014/02/07/1fd0b510-69a6-11e3-ae56-22de072140a2_story.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ogorzow https://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/a-serial-killer-in-nazi-berlin-the-chilling-true-story-of-the-s-bahn-murderer/ http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2016/07/18/the-horrific-true-story-of-nazi-germanys-s-bahn-killer/ Book: A Serial Killer in Berlin
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Episode 505: Titanic: Icebergs, Hubris, and Death
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the short life of the doomed ship, The RMS Titanic. The Titanic famously sank on April 15, 1912 and had a massive cultural impact, just like the Challenger or 9/11 did in more recent times. Of the 2240 people on board, only 706 survived, in spite of having three hours from the time of the iceberg collision to the total sinking of the vessel. The chaos and poor management during the crisis lead to a great many deaths, and the entire event lead to both Oscar winning films and tons of pretty cool conspiracy theories. The Titanic was built by the White Star Line, which was in a trade battle with the Cunard line. These two companies were the main passenger lines across the Atlantic, so building bigger, nice, and faster was sort of a corporate cold war at the time. The Cunard line had been winning for years, so the three Olympic class vessels built by White Star were supposed to win this war. The Titanic, obviously, was the first of these to launch. The ship was heralded for its beauty and size. Even the second class cabins were said to be nicer and bigger than first class cabins on any other ship. Third class, which was where the bulk of the passengers were (and where the bulk of the prophets were made) was also nicer than any other third class. So, the grandeur of the ship along with celebrities and tycoons such as John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim made this THE ship to be on. So, packed with staff and passengers, it set out to cross to New York. The launch went smoothly (aside from a small coal fire), but after four days of smooth sailing, they were warned of ice bergs. They didn’t listen. They hit one. People died. The ship sank. You know the drill, but we’ll go over the time line and try to paint a vivid picture of what it would have been like on the ship or in the water. And it all points to conspiracy theories because, come on, what doesn’t? Why do they say that the ship sank because it secretly said “No Pope” on the side? What is this about a mummy’s curse? Did JP Morgan have the ship sunk to kill his rivals on the creation of the Federal Reserves? Was it actually the sister ship Olympic that sank and not the Titanic at all? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-the-titanic-still-fascinates-us-98137822/ https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/titanic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/titanic/ https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/17665970 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wreck_of_the_RMS_Titanic https://www.history.com/news/titanic-sinking-conspiracy-myths-jp-morgan-olympic https://www.businessinsider.com/titanic-sinking-conspiracy-theories-2018-4 https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a26533526/olympic-titanic-conspiracy-theory/ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/james-cameron-my-titanic-obsession-304772.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wreck_of_the_Titan:_Or,_Futility https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmo_Duff-Gordon    
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Episode 504: Eminem: Drugs, Detroit, and Detox
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the life, career, addiction, and rap battles of the one and only Eminem. Call him Marshal Mathers or Slim Shady, but he’s one of the biggest selling musical artists of all time and still has the bestselling rap album of all time. He was born poor to a father who ditched him and a mother who he claimed was abusive and strung on out on pills. This critical figure in the hip hop game went from the streets of 8 Mile to the top of the charts in spite of being a white drug addict and underage father. If he can do it, so can you (if, you know, you’re one of the best rappers to ever live…). Though Detroit is his spiritual home, Marshal Mathers was born in Missouri. He had a rough childhood with an absentee father and a mother who couldn’t land steady work. They traveled a lot trying to stay with family or get a job and ultimately landed in Detroit when he was very young. Marshal hated school, repeated the 9th grade 3 times before dropping out. The one thing he did love was the English language and word play, and he came to life after hearing his first rap songs. In a matter of no time, he was one of the best underground rappers in the brutal Detroit rap battle scene. This landed him a spot in at the 1997 Rap Olympics in LA. While there, he took second in the nation, and was able to get a copy of his Slim Shady EP into the hands of Jimmy Iovene who promptly gave the tape to Dr. Dre. They signed him immediately. His Slim Shady character appealed to the violent but socially conscious music background of Dr. Dre. They released his first major album in 1999, and the rest is history. His second album, the Marshal Mathers LP sold 22 million copies and broke records. Eminem started to land Grammy Awards and get the praise he deserved as a rapper and criticism he earned for his violent, sexist, homophobic lyrics. With success came the dangers of success. While he was working 16 hour days on the set of 8 Mile, he got addicted to prescription medication. Eventually, he almost died for doing enough methadone to equal 4 bags of heroin. He went to rehab, left, fell back to drugs, and went back a second time. With the help of Elton John. It’s a strange world. Eminem’s album, Revival was a failure both critically and financially, and it got him attacked by a new generation of rappers trying to take him down. However, a few months later, he released Kamikaze, which most people claimed had him win a rap beef against an entire generation of mumble rappers. You might love him, and you have grounds to. You might hate him, and you have grounds to. But you can’t deny the success and appeal of this once in a life time musician. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/musician/eminem http://www.eminem.net/biography/ https://www.nme.com/photos/50-things-you-didn-t-know-about-eminem-1428834 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminem https://www.musicinminnesota.com/36-interesting-facts-eminem/ https://www.samaa.tv/culture/2017/10/happy-birthday-eminem-10-facts-you-should-know-about-the-rap-star/ https://www.thestreet.com/lifestyle/eminem-net-worth-15015963 https://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/eminem/biography.html  
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Episode 503: Apollo 13: Explosions, Starvation, and Duct Tape
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the infamous flight of NASA’s Apollo 13. Made famous for a new generation by the film of the same name, this was one of the most important moments in all of space flight. A critical error on the way to the moon led to the three astronauts cramped into a small lunar lander built for 2 passengers the whole way home. They were low on power, venting oxygen, couldn’t scrub the CO2 from the air, were starving (their food was frozen and dried), and one of them was sick with an infection. How did they survive? This was the 13th Apollo mission, and many said that is the number of bad luck. Well, maybe. The Apollo missions were created by John F Kenedy as a race to the moon to help win the Cold War, and after Apollo 11 landed on the moon (or didn’t, depending on your beliefs), there were still a bunch of Saturn V rockets left over. NASA used them for more missions to the moon, and Apollo 13 was to be the third mission that would land humans on the lunar surface. The crew was commanded by James Lovell and included the pilot of the lunar module Fred Haise, and pilot of the command module John Swigert. They were 200,000 miles out when they made a news broadcast for the folks back home. Nine minutes later, an alarm sounded related to a hydrogen tank. They went to mix the tank, so it wouldn’t freeze, and the ship suddenly buckled and shuttered. There had been an explosion. They lost two oxygen tanks and were venting a third, and they had to make quick, hard decisions to try and make it around the moon and back to Earth. Ground control came up with miraculous secondary uses of technology to keep them fed and breathing. But it was freezing cold since there wasn’t enough power to run a heater. They were losing weight due to lack of food and dehydration, and one of them caught a kidney infection due to lack of water (they needed to preserve the water for critical ship functions). So, how did they calculate the return burn of the engine to get them home after their equipment was destroyed? How did duct tape help save the day? What became of the astronauts? What happened to the Plutonium that was in the wreckage that made it back to earth? Why did one company require a towing bill for bringing part of the ship back from the moon? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.space.com/17250-apollo-13-facts.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_13 https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo13.html https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/ap13acc.html https://astronomy.com/magazine/news/2020/04/jim-lovell-on-apollo-13 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/apollo-13-at-50-years-looking-back-at-the-missions-lost-lunar-science/ https://www.rd.com/list/apollo-13-facts-you-didnt-know/ https://stargazersclubwa.com.au/13-facts-you-may-not-know-about-apollo-13/  
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Episode 502: George Washington: The Reluctant Warrior President
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the life, loves, war, revolution, presidency and death of George Washington. Born to a middle class family, he rose in wealth and power, until by age 20, he was the wealthiest land owner in Virginia. His story is incredible. He joined the British to stop the French from spreading onto their land. His first fight there basically started a world war because he didn’t know what he was doing. This man was a passionate farmer and whiskey distiller, but he kept getting the call to serve his nation, as a warrior, a spymaster, a politician, and ultimately president. The Washington family had been in American for three generations before George was born. His parents were of an upper middle class and bought some land, which eventually became his famous home at Mt. Vernon. His father increased his fortune, died, left it all to George’s older brother Lawrence. Then Lawrence built up more fortune, died of tuberculosis, and left it all to George. He was the wealthiest man in the colony. But he didn’t sit around counting his gold. Instead, Washington learned how to work the farm and survive in the woods. He worked with the laborers and slaves, it is said, instead of sitting in the big house. He eventually joined a dangerous surveying party and came back as the official surveyor of the surrounding area. That involvement with government made him the selection to talk to some French who had encroached on “British” territory. He did; they politely said they wouldn’t leave. Washington came back with a small military force and attacked and killed the commander, basically kicking off an war between the British and the French. His time in the French Indian War gave him experience on the battlefield. Eventually, the war ended, and he returned to his farming life at Mt. Vernon. However, the Brits were gouging the colonists to make up for the money they spent in the war. Tax after tax led to things like the Boston Tea Party, and eventually, everyone wanted an end to British Rule. The revolution had begun. Again, though he didn’t want it, Washington’s experience, wealth, and prestige, landed him the top military role in the war. Here, he suffered major victories and massive losses. He endured harsh winters, did some legendary tactics, and even survived one battle with four bullet holes in his cloak and two dead horses underneath him. Eventually, the war was won, and Washington settled down once again. And once again, duty called. The new nation of states was falling apart, many of them enacting taxes tougher than the Brits did in order to pay back the war debts. So, the founding fathers called the Constitutional Congress, rewrote the constitution, and called upon George Washington to be the first president. His time in that office set the precedence for the president. He wasn’t a king but an official. So, how long did he last as president? Did he really have wooden teeth? What was up with him and slaves? Did he have a secret lover on the side? Did he really chop down that cherry tree? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/us-president/george-washington https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/george-washington/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/george-washington-the-reluctant-president-49492/ https://www.historynet.com/george-washington https://www.si.edu/spotlight/highlights-george-washington-1732-1799 https://www.history.com/news/george-washington-little-known-facts https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/george-washington-facts https://www.britannica.com/event/Townshend-Acts  
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Episode 501: John Demjanjuk: The Hunting of a Nazi
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the crazy case of a Cleveland man named John Demjanjuk, and the decades long court battle to prove he was the evil Ivan the Terrible. Ivan the Terrible was a guard at the gas chambers in the Treblenka concentration camp. He was notorious for stabbing the prisoners with a saber, cutting their ears off on their way to a work shift, rape, killing babies, and nailing people’s ears to the walls of the death chamber. If John Demjanjuk was truly Ivan the terrible, he deserved to pay for his crimes. But the battle in various international courts were a roller coaster of evidence. Was he Ivan the Terrible? What is known about Demjanjuk is that he was born in the Soviet Union in 1920 He survived the Holodomor famine, worked on a state-owned farm, and was finally drafted into the Soviet Army in 1940. While there, he fought in the horrible Battle of Kerch Peninsula where Soviet Casualties were above 570,000 in five months. He was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. However, the Germans used their Soviet POWs in some concentration camps. Many of the Soviet prisoners hated the Jews so much, that they would become complicit in the final solution. At the end of the war, he was bounced around a bit, got married, and settled in Ohio. He became an American citizen, had four children, and worked at a Ford Plant. The American Dream. But, in 1975, a reporter brought evidence to a US Senator, and the court saga was on! His American citizenship was stripped, and he was extradited to Israel to stand trial for crimes against humanity. Through a very emotional case filled with dozens of eyewitness horror stories, Demjanjuk was found guilty and given the death penalty. But, there was an appeal. And then an appeal to an appeal, and a crazy bunch of court madness that took him Israel back to the US and then Germany to stand a second trial. Janet Reno even got involved. Once the Soviet Union Collapsed, thousands of records that may pertain to his case were declassified as the KGB vanished. And that brought a whole new batch of evidence. So, what crimes was he finally convicted of by Germany? How did he only get five years jail time? How did he die before he could ever serve his sentence? What were the full crimes of the notorious Ivan the Terrible? How bad was Treblinka? Who else might have been Ivan the Terrible if it wasn’t Demjanjuk, and what ever happened to that guy? Visit Our Sources: https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/john-demjanjuk-prosecution-of-a-nazi-collaborator https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Demjanjuk https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-01-28/demjanjuk-sobibor-nazi-holocaust-death-camp https://www.jpost.com/international/john-demjanjuk-jr-new-pictures-are-not-proof-my-father-was-a-nazi-guard-616059 https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a29698588/devil-next-door-holocaust-killer-ivan-the-terrible-john-demjanjuk-true-story/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPq0HXWRf48 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Kerch_Peninsula https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_the_Terrible_(Treblinka_guard) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treblinka_extermination_camp https://www.history.co.uk/article/ivan-the-terrible-the-infamous-treblinka-guard http://www.jeffjacoby.com/5609/the-terrible-crimes-of-ivan  
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Episode 500: Who’s Askin’?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we celebrate our 500th episode! If you’re looking for a regular episode, this ain’t it! This is a star-studded (well, us three anyway) extravaganza. We walk down memory lane of the past 500 episodes. We share stories, drink whiskey and answer questions from our lovely SKult. What questions, you may be wondering? You guys have separated yourselves from all of the other conspiracy/true crime podcasts (at least in my opinion), what do you think you guys did to get away from others and make your own signature show and culture? What is the most memorable episode you have recorded? What was the worst podcast to research because it was overly sensitive topic or just not a lot out there about the subject? What would happen if Brad actually studied for a topic? I want to start by saying I love the show so there is no shade being thrown here but I wanna know Why is there such a lack of deep research done on a lot of the main individuals lives, specifically the serial killers and cult leaders? It feels almost like I’m just reading the Wikipedia for them...but then I’ll listen to Last Podcast On The Left, who does incredible in-depth research into these peoples parents, childhood, etc...at the end you get a pretty clear idea of where their psychologically at and the events that got them to that point...again I’m not talking shit or anything...just something I noticed that can make the show better than it already is. Are there any episodes that you regret doing and conversely are there any that really inspired you? When did people start sending you whiskey/whisky and why did they start, how did it become a thing? How does it feel when you don’t know someone but they know you because of the podcast and they are excited to meet/talk to you? I assume that this is the time for introspection, and I guess that I should say thanks. I don’t do social media, so the reason I became a Patron was to say thanks Aside from the great episodes I found the early bonus episodes inspiriting. The general attitude in the UK is wanting others to fail so it is refreshing to hear the opposite. In the last few years I have set up a business and generally accepted less bullshit and become a better person. I am sure you influenced that, so thanks. So, if you’re looking for a regular episode where we research and talk about things, skip ahead or skip back. This is a celebration of us making you endure our incessant blathering and dick jokes for the past several years. Cheers, salud, mazeltov, aloha, and à votre santé!
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Episode 499: Polio: The Paralytic Pandemic
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we get all pandemic on you and talk about Polio. Famous for causing paralysis and death through the first half the century (most notably in the US and UK), this disease goes back to ancient Egypt. Two doctors created different vaccines for the disease in the 1950s and 60s and largely set the path toward the vaccine schedule that is used in modern medicine. However, with that came complications such as the Cutter Incident where the vaccine itself paralyzed kids. And what about the rumors of the vaccine causing cancer or even the new polio like disease spreading in America? Polio is a horrible disease caused by three different viruses. It spreads most notably through the brown highway, aka, the fecal-oral route. The virus does its thing in the intestines, so your poop is filled with Polio if you are infected, and if that somehow makes it into someone’s mouth, well there it is. Though it sounds gross, in areas with natural rivers as water sources, this would be a common spread. It can also spread oral to oral, but that is less likely. Polio is a trip because it can be asymptomatic to symptoms like a cold with bad body aches. Then, for the one percent, it can cause permanent paralysis of muscles and permanent muscle atrophy. It can even kill if it affects someone’s ability to breathe, swallow, or regulate mucus. But two vaccines came to the rescue. The first was invented by Jonas Salk, who created one based on dead Polio virus, and Albert Sabin who created one based on live virus that was mutated to, you know, not kill us. The Sabin style oral vaccine is what the WHO uses to this day, and it does have one side effect which is vaccine bleed. In fact, in recent years, naturally occurring polio has had fewer cases than polio caused by otherwise healthy people who bleed the Polio virus out of their bodies after they got the vaccine. There is also the case of the Cutter Incident, where one lab infected 200,000 Americans with a vaccine that gave them Polio. While Polio is often held up as the ideal disease that a vaccine can cure, many use things like the bleed and the Cutter Incident as a warning of what could go wrong with vaccines. Where do you fall? And is there any trough to the rumors that monkey cells in the early vaccine can cause cancer? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio https://www.cdc.gov/polio/what-is-polio/index.htm https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-polio-syndrome/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1383764/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutter_Laboratories#The_Cutter_incident https://sciencefeedback.co/claimreview/claim-that-virus-contaminating-polio-vaccine-between-1955-and-1963-is-cancer-causing-not-supported-by-science/ https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2011/10/more-data-needed-to-determine-if-contaminated-polio-vaccine-from-1955-1963-causes-cancer-in-adults-today https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/95/7/532/2520688 https://www.sciencehistory.org/historical-profile/jonas-salk-and-albert-bruce-sabin  
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Episode 498: Whitey Bulger: Boston’s Godfather of Crime
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we do some mobster-style true crime and talk about the kingpin of Boston, Whitey Bulger. In the 1970s and 80s, Bulger ran the Winter Hill Gang and was the head of the Irish Mob in the Boston area. This was a title he earned through several wars with the Irish, a deal with the Italians, and a whole lotta bodies. His story was so wild that Martin Scorsese based Jack Nicholson’s character from The Departed on him. Johnny Depp also played him in Black Mass. Whitey was part of MKUltra, supported the Irish Republican Army, and turned his job as an FBI informant on its ear, corrupting the local feds. He managed to escape capture by globe-trotting with his girlfriend for 16 years. Born to two immigrants from Canada, James “Whitey” Bulger was a typical Southie kid from Boston. His father was a longshoreman who lost his arm in an accident and could no longer work. While Whitey’s siblings all did well in school and walked the straight and narrow, he turned to the streets. He was in a gang called the Shamrocks by the age of 14, and in his time with them he was arrested for assault, forgery and armed robbery. Once out of jail, he spent some time in the military but spent as much time in the brig as he did serving his country. At 26 years old, he got arrested for armed robbery while jacking a truck. In prison, he volunteered for the MKUltra project once he found out he’d get paid to take drugs. It didn’t go so well as the LSD took its toll, but eventually he got out. Once free, he found himself in the middle of a war between Irish gangs. He killed the wrong guy, like you do, and escalated things until the Italian mob got involved and settled a peace. This was the birth of the Winter Hill Gang. From there, he raised in the ranks. He did it all. Extortion, theft, armed robbery, murder, anything you can think of that a mafia does, you can bet Whitey did it. Some say his mob was even responsible for the Gardner Museum Heist. Eventually, he became an FBI informant, though he prided himself on serving them weak information in return for favors. In time, he had his two FBI handlers accepting bribes and giving him tips and covering from every crime he committed. In fact, when the entire leadership of the Winter Hill Gang was arrested, Whitey was spared by the FBI and took control of the gang. He ran Boston with a strange code that he had, and he was racist, using terrorist tactics to try and stop desegregation of schools in the 1960s. Eventually, the DEA and local police figured out that the FBI was covering for him, so they build their own case. Whitey’s FBI guys tipped him off, however, and he went on the run for a whopping 16 years. At one point, he even beat Osama Bin Laden on the top 10 most wanted list. So, how did his girlfriend’s boob job help get them caught? Where were they living? How many murders did he get sentenced for? What brutal end did he face at the hands of other mobsters while an old man in jail? How did his own plans to die on the lamb lead to an abandoned mine shaft in Arizona? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitey_Bulger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9j5I6h8Q-0 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/30/obituaries/whitey-bulger-dead.html https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/bulger-timeline.html https://themobmuseum.org/notable_names/whitey-bulger/ https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/31/us/james-whitey-bulger/index.html https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/whitey-bulger-juror-regrets-conviction-after-receiving-dozens-letters-crime-n1137871
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Episode 497: Order of the Solar Temple: Murder, Suicide, and Sex
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we sift through the ashes of a pretty wicked cult that most people have near heard of: The Order of the Solar Temple. The OTS was a group that was loosely based on the beliefs of the Knights Templar with a heavy dash of the Rosicrucians, but after it met with some financial success and had a good base of followers, it was all about brain washing, sex, extortion, and transitioning to the Dog Star Sirius to escape the upcoming apocalypse. Oh, and then there was the time all of the members killed each other and themselves. That’s how you get to Sirius after all… The whole thing started in 1976 when Jo Di Mambro launched the Centre for the Preparation of the New Age. It was a small affair, but soon he had small groups coming to live with him and give him their money. He started a second franchise in Geneva, and a few years later, he met Luc Jouret. Di Mambro recognized that Jouret was even more charismatic than he was, and they partnered up. Di Mambro would be the shot caller behind the scenes, and Jouret would become the face man of the group. Eventually, the groups they had started merged to become The Order of the Solar Temple. They recruited more and more people and accrued more and more wealth. Their beliefs also grew more and more crazy. Eventually, Di Mambro became the reincarnation of Christ, and they were both forcing women to have sex with them as part of their rituals to appease the Jesus sun god. Their con game got more elaborate as they installed projectors, special effects, and holograms into their lodges to help show their miracles to the members of the different “clubs” of their cult. This went south, however. The guy who installed the devices and Di Mambro’s son told the cult about the false miracles. A lot of them bailed, but many stayed behind and doubled down in their belief. And this was when The Transit was born. The Transit was how they would use flame to cleanse their bodies and push their spirits to new reincarnations on a planet orbiting Sirius. They would live in paradise and start a new human race. This, of course, didn’t go so well. So, how many people died in their murder/suicide Transition to Sirius? What was the method of death? What happened to the three month old baby who they said was the antichrist? How man Transits were there for the Order of the Solar Temple? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Solar_Temple https://torontosun.com/news/world/solar-temple-massacre-mystery-endures-25-years-later https://people.howstuffworks.com/10-infamous-cults6.htm https://infosect.freeshell.org/infocult/phenomene/English/HTML/doc0008.htm https://filmdaily.co/news/order-of-the-solar-temple/ https://www.ranker.com/list/order-of-the-solar-temple-cult/amandasedlakhevener https://www.voxspace.in/2018/09/12/order-of-the-solar-temple/  
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Episode 496: Gardner Museum Heist: Half a Billion Dollar Mystery
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore the largest art heist in American history, the Gardner Museum Heist. In 1990, thirteen pieces of art were stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The grade total? A whopping half $600 million dollars. Just one painting was worth half of that. The FBI thinks it was done by a group of local Irish mobsters, and though the statute of limitations is past, it is still an active case as the FBI hopes to retrieve the art back. The Gardner museum was troubled. The FBI discovered a plot for Whitey Bulger’s Irish mob to rob the place with a storm of smoke bombs. After this, the museum upgraded its security. However, the museum was on hard financial times, and they were limited by the wealthy (deceased) Gardner’s wishes. The museum had to stay as is, no renovations, no exceptions, so every upgrade of security was a breach of this agreement Eventually, some motion sensors and outdoor cameras were installed, but it wasn’t enough. Because on the night of March 18th, two robbers dressed as police men came to investigate “a disturbance” and handcuffed the two night guards to pipes in the basement with tape across their faces. The robbers took their time. They were in the museum for 81 minutes. They tripped motion sensors in two rooms, but somehow, they went back and forth without activating sensors. The FBI still can’t figure that one out. They stole painting from Rembrandt, Degas, and Vermeer. In fact, Vermeer’s painting, The Concert, is considered the most expensive single item ever stolen in the world. So, what happened when a reliable contact came forward wanting to give the paintings back to the Gardner Museum in 1994? How did the FBI learn the identities of the thieves, and why was there never an arrest? What is the connection to the Irish mob? What are the theories about where the art ended up? Why did the robbers take some stuff worth next to nothing but left the most expensive painting hanging up on the third floor? Why do people think the security guard named Rick Abath was involved? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.gardnermuseum.org/about/theft https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Stewart_Gardner_Museum_theft https://news.artnet.com/art-world/gardner-heist-suspect-released-prison-1703613 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAxZSdNej-I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyNdZmrqNFE&list=PLfJ_d5dtb0oG_u6AwgAL8px7X4_LQO_Az&index=39 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyNdZmrqNFE&list=PLfJ_d5dtb0oG_u6AwgAL8px7X4_LQO_Az&index=39 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noX0jW9E6NU https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Stewart_Gardner https://news.artnet.com/art-world/isabella-stewart-gardner-heist-solved-283368  
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Episode 495: Dreaming: What’s Going on In There?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore one of the greatest mysteries of the human mind—dreaming. We all dream. Whether we remember it or not, our mind makes us dream several times a night when we get normal sleep. The average person is said to have five years of dreaming in their lifetime. But what are they, where do they come from, and what do dreams mean? Those are hard questions to answer. Experts can’t locate a specific center of the brain that is doing the dreaming. For example, parts of the brain that control imagination are entirely shut down during the dream. Also, the brain does amazing feats of recovery, such as flushing plaque off of neurons and letting the emotional center run wild while the parts that cause stress shut off. The question really becomes why do we do it? One sleep expert named Matthew Walker from Cal Berkeley, says dreams serve two major purposes. One is to give our daily experiences a place in the framework of our lives. By dreaming, our new memories are merged with who we are. Second, dreams take the emotional edge off of bad emotions or tragic events. In the morning, we can often face things with a clear mind and apply logic where only emotion was present the night before. He even talks about Lucid Dreaming (which we covered in our Parasomnia episode) and shows that is 100% a scientifically proven thing. But what about those common dreams we all have? Do your teeth fall out in your dreams? Are you chased by an animal or a person? Are you falling or perhaps flying? What about being naked at work or being late for a test? These are very common to many of us, and we talk about what the experts think these dreams archetypes mean. From recurring dreams to lucid dreams, this one has it all!   Visit Our Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBby0RJw3Dc https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dreaming https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/dreaming-overview https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/55442/12-common-dreams-and-what-they-supposedly-mean https://www.verywellmind.com/understanding-your-dreams-2795935 https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/why-do-we-dream-matthew-walker-explores-the-theories-behind-nocturnal-fantasias-a3799396.html https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/selectively-remember-dreams https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/201807/why-children-have-nightmares
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Episode 494: Kiddie Pageants: Big Hair and Big Money
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we polish our tiaras and talk about child beauty pageants. They of course made national news with the tragic death of Jonbenet Ramsey in 1996. But after that, they stayed in the forefront of popular culture. HBO’s influential documentary called Living Dolls lead to the TV show Toddlers in Tiaras and the flaming turd filled train wreck that was Honey Boo Boo. Each year, over 250,000 children participate in America alone. From underage prostitutes to 8 year olds getting motel Botox, this one has it all. You would think that beauty pageants for children came from the sick minds of the current generation, but there is in fact a long history. P.T. Barnum organized a kid’s beauty pageant in 1855 called the National Baby Show, and it gained 143 contestants and an audience of over 60,000. This spread to other similar ideas, mostly judging naked babies like cattle. By the 1920s, however, the modern adult beauty pageants was born in New Jersey (of course it was…). From there, the idea of a Little Miss America was spawned, and it hasn’t stopped since. While Jonbenet’s death may have put these horror shows on the map, they had been there all along. There are different types of pageants; some are Natural, where rules are in place about amounts of makeup and outlandish outfits. Others are a Glitz, which are the ones you’re thinking about. Fake teeth, caked makeup, hair like a televangelist prostitute, horrible dances, all the worst of the worst. To get through a big pageant, it’s gonna cost a parent at least $5000, but some may spend as much as $70,000 by the time designer dresses, makeup, travel, and all the rest is calculate. But there are large purses to be won, so it keeps on keeping on. Some say the pageants are a good thing. They breed self confidence and sportsmanship. Others argue they sexualize children and create problems ranging from body dismorphia to eating disorders and big time trust issues when every friend is a competitor likely to throw you under the bus. So, how many pageants are there a year? What types of events do they perform in order to win? How are more recent online pageants judged? What happened to the mom who was self injecting Botox in her own 8 year old daughter in the lobby of a hotel? Listen, laugh, learn.       Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_beauty_pageant https://www.thelist.com/136545/the-untold-truth-of-childhood-beauty-pageants/ https://www.bustle.com/articles/183975-whats-the-history-of-child-pageants https://www.thecut.com/2012/11/child-pageant-star.html https://www.moms.com/pageant-child-reasons-should-against/ https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=8128371  
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Episode 493: Spanish Inquisition: Torture, Death, and other Catholic Fun!
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we travel back to castle times and look at one of the worst crimes the Catholic Church ever committed: The Inquisition. While the Spanish Inquisition is the most famous, there were inquisitions in Rome, Portugal, The New World and tons of colonies in Central and South America. The Inquisition was based on a series of edicts passed by the Catholic church and enforced by local kings and queens. The purpose? To eradicate heretics, supposedly. And who were heretics? Well, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Protestants, those who committed sodomy, families that couldn’t produce children, and many more. In some areas of the world, the Inquisition was pretty mild. The point of the Inquisition was to get heretics to confess, and a few lashes later they were free to go on about their business (as long as the converted to Catholicism or got the hell out of town). But in other areas such as Spain, it got medieval. People were tortured on The Rack, The Catherine Wheel, and the Strappado. They were burned and water boarded. They were imprisoned for years with no real trial, and they were often burned at the stake. Historians vary wildly from this being a pandemic of murder to being a mild case of murder, but death was the result. (Estimates we read were between 1250 and 300,000 deaths…) Spain had it the worst. For one thing, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella just ended a civil war and needed a legal way to get rid of their enemies. Heretics! Second, they needed money to fight a crusade where they would make more money. Heretics! The Inquisition is seen by many as a power grab and last gasp of the old monarchy and papal structure trying to hold on to power. As the world changed, fear of torture and death kept everyone avoiding the change. And for the record, I’m not going to make a “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” joke here.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/topics/religion/inquisition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/spanish-inquisition.htm https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-inquisition https://www.historyrevealed.com/eras/medieval/in-a-nutshell-spanish-inquisition/ https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/the-inquisition/the-truth-about-the-spanish-inquisition.html https://historycollection.co/snap-crackle-pop-torture-methods-of-the-spanish-inquisition/  
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Episode 492: Johnny Knoxville: Stuntman, Prankster, Jackass
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the stunts, injuries, films, practical jokes, and television shows of the one and only Johnny Knoxville. Knoxville was inspired as a child by Evil Knievel, Jack Kerouac, and Hunter S. Thompson, and he went on to live a life they all would have been proud of. He was the a producer and main performer in the wildly successful Jackass television show, which went on to spawn several films (with yet more in pre-production all the time). He’s been nominated for an academy award and has injured just about every part of his body that exists. Born Philip John Clapp in Knoxville, Tennessee, he was a very smart and sickly child. At one time he had the flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia all at once; on top of his asthma, it literally almost killed him. He got straight A’s in high school and earned a free ride to a drama school, but dropped out to do his own thing. He wanted to be an actor and stunt man, so he found a way. He started by writing articles for Big Brother, a skating magazine. One day, he wanted to write an article about him testing police devices such as pepper spray and tasers. His editor at the time was Jeff Tremaine (later a producer on Jackass). He told him if he was going to write the article, he may as well film it. The rest was history. With a cadre of skateboarders who were all friends, they launched Jackass. Once the pilot was filmed (where Knoxville broke his ankle), they turned to a friend named Spike Jonze (the academy award winning director) to sell the idea. He got them a deal on MTV. After three seasons, they did several movies, each one more dangerous and ludicrous than the last one. Half of the cast became household names, from Steve-O to Pontius and Wee Man to Bam Margera. They stuff cars up their butts, almost died with crazy explosive rockets, and did things nobody could believe. And then they’d come back for more. And more. And more. Eventually, Johnny Knoxville went on to star in regular movies like Walking Tall with The Rock and Men In Black II. He kept going as the head of his own production company, writes books, and is still doing stunts and getting hurt. What was his favorite prank of them all? What was his worst injury? How did he almost with an Oscar for Bad Grandpa? Who died and made the entire stunt crew slow down? Will there be a Jackass 4? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Knoxville https://www.ladbible.com/entertainment/viral-celebrity-why-we-dont-see-much-of-johnny-knoxville-nowadays-20170310 https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/johnny-knoxville-net-worth/#:~:text=Johnny%20Knoxville%20Net%20Worth%3A%20Johnny,net%20worth%20of%20%2475%20million. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsKXq8AQTZE https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/a31114432/jackass-bam-margera-johnny-knoxville-steve-o/ https://www.thetalko.com/johnny-knoxville-15-concealed-facts-about-his-life-and-what-hes-up-to-today/ https://glamourpath.com/johnny-knoxville https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/66347/13-dangerous-facts-about-jackass Pageant Joke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=W9x0034PyD0&feature=emb_logo Terror Taxi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaYgv8likRs
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Episode 491: Alchemy: The Science of Magic
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the ultimate merger of science and magic, the ancient art of Alchemy. Everyone knows that Alchemy was an attempt to turn lead into gold using something called the Philosopher’s Stone. But it was much more than that. At the heart of Alchemy was a philosophy or religion about how the world works and how it ties to the nature of mankind. For centuries, they were considered valid scientists, but eventually, a bunch of Alchemical conmen and religious fervor persecuted them. At this point, they went underground and hid their chemical experiments in symbols and crazy works of art that are just being understood by scholars today. Alchemy is an ancient pseudo-science that dates back thousands of years. It was everywhere from India to China to the Middle East and Europe. Some of the greatest minds in science such as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle were convinced that much of Alchemy was accurate. And it was. For centuries, some of the greatest minds dedicated themselves to chemical experimentation. And yes, they wanted to create gold, but not to get rich. Their philosophy which guided their science was that everything in nature went from an infant or impure state to a more mature or enlightened state. This was the way with holy men, and it was also the way with gold. If they could figure out how to remove impurities and mature a low down metal such as lead, they’d end up with gold. This was spiritual. Because if they could transmute bland metal into gold, they could transmute their soul from sinner to divine. All of the world worked like this to the Alchemist. But, the problem was, it didn’t work like this. Lead isn’t an immature or corrupt version of gold, so their chemical experiments could only get them so far. After a while, everyone believed in it, though, and Alchemists started to promise gold to patrons. They’d get paid, skip town, and do it again. This gave them a bad name, and when real science hit the scene with advances in chemistry, the underlying philosophy of Alchemy was proven incorrect. But, there is a professor named Lawrence Principe who is doing Alchemy today. He has been translate to use old, obscure pictures of dragons eating roosters into chemical formulas. He’s made rocks glow and made golden trees sprout from the sand using these ancient recipes and old materials. So is there something to alchemy, or is it just a failed Neanderthal cousin to modern chemistry? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemy https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/alchemy-may-not-been-pseudoscience-we-thought-it-was-180949430/ https://www.livescience.com/39314-alchemy.html https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/alchemy/what-is-alchemy https://library.brown.edu/exhibit/exhibits/show/evolution-of-chemistry/the-language-of-chemistry/alchemical-symbols-as-secret-c https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/01/30/this-chemist-is-unlocking-the-secrets-of-alchemy/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher%27s_stone
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Episode 490: The Hart Clan: First Family of Wrestling
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the First Family of Wrestling, the Hart Family. Even if you’re not a fan of the WWE, this one has it all. Shocking in-ring death during a pay per view, a massive corporate screw over at a pay per view, a family of amazing wrestlers for several generations, and training in a horrible place called "The Dungeon." We focus mostly on Stu, Brett, and Owen Hart out of this crazy legacy of amazing superstars, but we touch on plenty of other wrestlers as well. The Hart legacy started with Stu Hart. He was born to humble beginnings but soon became a wrestling phenomenon. He performed for various territories until he got tired of bad writing that never saw him going anywhere. Eventually, he got married and took his own wresting territory called Stampede Wrestling, which controlled Western Canada and Montana. Stu Hart made enough money there to buy an infamous mansion. In the basement of the mansion was The Dungeon, one of the most world famous wresting gyms in the world. He trained Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, Mark Henry, Chris Benoit, Junkyard Dog, British Bulldog, Roddy Piper, Nikolai Volkov, Gorilla Monsoon, and his own sons and daughters. His training philosophy? Pure pain. From that upbringing came Brett “The Hitman” Hart. He rose to fame in the WWF and became the biggest superstar in the world of professional wrestling. He was known as the “Best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be.” Most pro-wrestlers put him in the top three best wrestlers of all time due to his skills and ability to work the crowd. At the peak of his fame, however, WWF was being beaten in the ratings, and they could no longer afford his expensive contract. Vince McMahon convinced him to get a better deal at rival WCW, and he did. On his last night with the WWF, he experience the Montreal Screwjob which resulted in Brett Hart losing his title without his knowledge, him wrecking the joint in a rage, and him knocking Vince out in the locker room. This wasn’t the only horrible thing that happened to a Hart at pay per view. In fact, we’ll get into the tragic story of Owen Hart, Brett’s youngest brother. He had ups and downs in the ring and went through a couple of different territories, but eventually, he found a place in the WWF. When he was flying in on a stunt cable for a pay per view entrance, however, something went horribly wrong. He fell nearly 80 feet and landed in the ring. He was rushed to the hospital and declared dead within a few hours. This was met with lawsuits and controversy. Why did the stunt rigging fail? Why did WWF hire riggers who wouldn’t follow safety protocols? How much did Owen’s widow sue them for, and was she successful? Why did Vince decide to let the pay per view continue, even though it was technically a crime scene? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources https://talksport.com/sport/wrestling/699850/bret-hart-vince-mcmahon-wwe-wcw-montreal-screwjob-shawn-michaels/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bret_Hart https://www.brethart.com/bio/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stu_Hart https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hart_wrestling_family https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Hart https://www.essentiallysports.com/wwe-news-the-mystery-and-controversies-behind-the-death-of-owen-hart/ https://www.cbssports.com/wwe/news/owen-harts-legacy-a-priority-as-martha-harts-wounds-have-healed-though-her-distaste-for-wwe-has-not/ https://www.si.com/wrestling/2019/05/23/wwe-owen-hart-death-20th-anniversary Film: Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows
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Episode 489: Richard Chase: The Vampire of Sacramento
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we researched some true crime for you. We hit you with the case of Richard Chase—the Vampire of Sacramento. I know that title sounds lame, but this guy was as twisted as it gets. We’re talking making smoothies out of neighbor’s pets in a bloody blender. Injecting himself with rabbit’s blood. Obsession over Nazi UFOs. Several murders, cannibalism, and even drinking a baby’s own blood through a straw made of his own penis. Yeah. That kind of twisted. So, everyone says that Richard Chase was the picture perfect pre-serial killer. He checked all the boxes on a thing called the Macdonald Triad, which supposedly predicts your penchant to be a serial killer. He was an arsonist, he wet his bed late, he tortured and killed animals. He was also abused in a financially troubled household. He was very ill, mentally. As early as 18, his therapists said there was something deeply wrong with him. He would do things such as drop a dead cat at his mom’s feet and disembowel it to start drinking the blood. She, as you do, would just walk away. There was so much writing on so many walls. He was arrested for being naked and covered in blood and carrying organs. He told a neighbor he killed his pet and ate it. The guy was sick. Then, his murders started once pets weren’t big enough. He used a .22 for most of his victims, and would shoot them only to mangle them with knives and have sex with the corpses. He’d also take organs and blood back home to eat and drink and make smoothies with. After a horrible mass killing a mother, her son, her nephew, and a baby she was baby sitting, the manhunt was on. The FBI did a crazy accurate profile of him, and a former high school acquaintance gave a tip that finally got him arrested. His house, like his crime scenes, was a thing of pure horror. I’m not going to type it all here, so if you want more, give us a download and then listen, laugh, learn (and be repulsed…). Warning: This is a bad one.   Visit Our Sources: https://murderpedia.org/male.C/c/chase-richard.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Chase https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macdonald_triad https://www.crimemuseum.org/crime-library/serial-killers/richard-trenton-chase/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/richard-chase http://maamodt.asp.radford.edu/Psyc%20405/serial%20killers/Chase,%20Richard%20-%20fall,%202005.pdf
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Episode 488: Ozzy Osbourne: Booze, Bats, and Black Sabbath
On this episode of the World Famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life, music, antics, and tv shows of the epic Ozzy Osbourne. Whether it be through his early time in the legendary Black Sabbath, through his amazing solo career, biting heads off bats (or doves), or his show The Osbournes, most people know the name Ozzy. His work in Black Sabbath created an entirely new type of metal rock and roll, and they crafted some of the greatest rock hits ever. Ozzy continued with hit after hit and drug after drug in his own solo career and lived a life worthy of discussion. He was born to a working class family in Birmingham. His birth name was John Michael Osbourne, but he took the nickname Ozzy as a child. He battled with learning disabilities and dyslexia, and he was sexually abused by other kids as a child, and this led him to hate school, rebel, and start doing drugs. After hearing the Beatles for the first time, he knew his path was going to be that of a musician. But he started in a short career in crime, getting busted for burglary and doing a brief stint in jail. When he got out, he met the other musicians that would set his destiny. He joined a band formed by bass player Terence “Geezer” Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi, and drummer Bill Ward. They called themselves Earth, but had to change the name. They settled, thankfully, on Black Sabbath. This group of musicians changed the face of rock and created the type of metal that ushered in everyone from Metallica to Guns N’ Roses. With hits like Paranoid, Iron Man, and War Pigs, they climbed the charts. And did so many drugs. Eventually, Ozzy was fired for being too wild and had to fly solo. Unlike many front men now without an act, Ozzy excelled. He kept churning out classics and hits. In this period he met Sharon and had his second batch of kids (he had a first wife and first set of kids but wasn’t ever there for them). They, of course, were chronicled in the TV show, The Osbournes. It was the highest rated show on MTV, back when MTV had high ratings. It won an Emmy, and it made a whole different generations and types of people come to love Ozzy. In fact, the show is sometimes credited for giving his darker music a more global audience since they were able to finally see him for the genius that he was after the show humanized him. So what type of drugs did Ozzie do? How many times did he quit music, and why did he always go back? How times did he quit drugs, and why did he always go back? What happened the time he tried to strangle Sharon? Did he really bite the head off a bat and a dove? What is the Ozzy Stare?Did he really dip his balls in a music executive’s champaigne glass? When was he diagnosted with Parkinsons? Is he still recording music? Listen, laugh, and learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/musician/ozzy-osbourne https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2020-02-12/ozzy-osbourne-parkinsons-disease-post-malone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozzy_Osbourne https://www.festivalsherpa.com/10-facts-ozzy-osbourne-will-make-jaws-drop/ https://www.factinate.com/people/42-wild-facts-ozzy-osbourne/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Osbournes https://www.pensandpatron.cm/lifestyle/osbourne-family/ Shot in the Dark Ozzy Stare (1:35ish into the video): https://www.facebook.com/RRROCKSTARS/videos/191770758145838/?v=191770758145838  
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Episode 487: Jesse James: Guerilla, Cowboy Style
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look back in time and explore the life, crimes, and assassination of Old West Outlaw, Jesse James. He was forged in the middle of the Civil War, and at the young age of 16, a brutal attack on his family farm made him join a confederate guerilla army along with his brother Frank. While there, they scalped, murdered, and mutilated the Northern forces. This gave them a very particular set of skills, skills which they turned to a life of crime. They joined or formed several of the most notorious gangs of the time, robbing banks, trains, and stagecoaches, murdering, warring with the Pinkertons, and living on the wrong side of the law. Jesse James was born to a wealthy preacher and plantation owner along with his brother Frank and a sister. They lived in a part of the border between North and South that was critical in the Civil War. Their county was rich with slaves, and when the war officially started, both sides committed horrible acts of savagery in this part of the nation. It was here that Frank and Jesse learned to shoot, ride, and be otherwise badass. When the days of the militia and the war wound down, they did not. They started to rob and kill everyone who was associated with the North. Northern trains and banks owned by the “enemy” were the targets. This and a very successful public relations campaign with the newspaper editor named John Newman Edwards gave Jesse James a massive reputation. He was seen by his community to be not a murderer and outlaw but a Robin Hood who was righting the wrongs of the war. But in spite of this public opinion, he did murder. He admitted to killing a little girl and shot people in the head or the back while robbing banks. Eventually, he married his cousin Zee and kept the crime train rolling. Eventually, Jesse and Frank formed the James-Younger Gang, and they became a national sensation. They became so famous that the founder of the Pinkerton Agency came after them directly. Eventually, they tried to retire, but Jesse kept going back to crime. Eventually, he formed a small gang with Charlie and Robert Ford. The Fords were offered a major bribe by the Governor to capture of kill Jesse James, and one day, Robert Ford shot Jesse in the back of the head, assassination style. So, what became of the Ford Brothers after this killing? How much money were they offered? Did Jesse know this was coming? What came of Frank James? How does the modern day car guy tie in to the Jesse James lineage? How did a bomb blow off Jesse James’s mother’s arm? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/jesse-james https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_James https://www.wbur.org/npr/212374395/what-drove-wild-wests-jesse-james-to-become-an-outlaw https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/james-jesse/ https://www.whizzpast.com/25-little-known-facts-about-the-outlaw-jesse-james/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_James_(customizer) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Capehart_O%27Kelley  
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Episode 486: Sun Gym Gang: Bungling Murder
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore some true crime and hit you with the astounding tale of the Sun Gym Gang. This was a gang of bumbling criminals who did some awful stuff to people. It was made into a Michael Bay movie called Pain and Gain starring The Rock, but it was far more dark than that comedy seemed to make it all play out. This one involves a gang of people who met in a gym and their career of kidnapping, torture, drugging their hostages, murder, Medicare fraud, and dressing as ninjas. Yes. Ninjas. So where did it all start? In Florida. A man named John Meese owned the Sun Gym, a place for serious body builders. It was losing money, so he hired a conman named Daniel Lugo who immediately convinced Meese that he should be head manager. While there, Lugo looked for victims and found others who he’d trust to help with his upcoming crimes. People such as Noel Doorbal and Jorge Delgado. They eventually struck gold once they met Marc Shiller. Delgado had bought a scam Medicare billing business off of him and claimed he was owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, the gang decided to posse up and kidnapped Shiller. Over the course of several weeks, they tortured Schiller (in his own home) until they got him to sign over a one million dollar offshore account as well as other assets. They took his cars, furniture, computers, and brought them all home to use them. Once they were done with him, they got him drunk and put him at the wheel of a car, figuring he’d wreck and die. He wrecked. He didn’t die. So, like you do, they lit him on fire with gasoline to kill him. He didn’t die and got away. Next crime. Through a stripper contact, they found a guy named Frank Griga and his girlfriend Krisztina Furton. He was wort millions through phone sex. So they abducted both of them and planned to do the same thing. But it got violent, and Griga was killed in a struggle. Furton didn’t fare much better. She was given enough of a horse tranquilizer to kill several horses in an attempt to get her to tell them the security codes of the house. She died before she would. Meanwhile, Schiller recovered, and his story was so crazy that the cops didn’t believe him. He even hired a private eye, but it came to nothing since the cops didn’t help. But, once Griga went missing, and is Lamborghini was found, they took it seriously. The names of Lugo and Doorbal came up in this investigation, and it tied to the Schiller case, and then it all fell apart for the Sun Gym Gang. What evidence did the cops find at the gang member’s houses while putting together the case? How long did they live in house of their first victim? What type of sentences did they all get? How accurate is the movie to the real situation? Why did the first victim end up doing jail time after the trial of his kidnappers? What happened when they tried to decapitate Griga’s corpse with a chainsaw? Will Home Depot take a bloody murder chainsaw back if you have a receipt? Listen, laugh, learn   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Gym_gang https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/pain-and-gain-where-the-real-life-sun-gym-gang-characters-are-now-6391577 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pain-and-gain-the-real-life-story-behind-miamis-murderous-sun-gym-gang/ https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/pain-and-gain.php https://nypost.com/2014/04/21/pain-gain-film-subject-sues-for-alleged-misrepresentation/ https://slate.com/culture/2013/04/pain-gain-true-story-fact-and-fiction-in-the-new-movie-starring-mark-wahlberg-photos.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_3NjlNqQac https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSubCyUof0A
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Episode 485: Jeff Bezos: Behind The World’s Richest Man
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the wealthiest man on earth, Jeff Bezos. Originally, a seller of books, Bezos has become our overlord. Most people in America rely on him for everything from groceries and clothing to furniture and even television shows. He runs one of the largest space exploration companies on earth, Blue Origin, and the Amazon servers are one of the largest hosting backbones on earth (even serving the CIA). From the birth of the Internet to controversy about how his workers are treated, this one has it all. Bezos was born to parents who divorced right away, and he was raised by his step father, an immigrant named Bezos. He was a smart child and did very well at school, graduating with top honors from both his high school and Princeton. When he was a teen-ager, he even started a group that was dedicated to space exploration, something he’s still focusing on to this day. He started working for various startups and landed a great job at a financial firm in New York, but in a very ballsy move, he quit and headed to Seattle to start an online bookstore. He figured that the stock market would always be there, but the start of the internet would only happen once. So, he launched out of his garage, showing the website to a group of friends for support. His parents invested a few hundred thousand dollars, and he was off and running. Within three years, Amazon went public, and it slowly grew into the juggernaut it is today. He eventually branched out from selling books to selling CDs and movies, and then went on to streaming to take Netflix on. Eventually, Amazon started to sell almost everything, and by 2018, he had over 100,000,000 Prime members paying their annual dues for free two day shipping and any number of digital services. He started to spend hundreds of millions of his earnings from Amazon (eventually a billion a year) on Blue Origin, a project designed to keep humanity alive and get them to colonize other planets. Eventually, he bought the Washington Post newspaper. Many people think it was to help control his image because at the same time, he quit driving and old car and dressing casually and started to look like a James Bond villain instead. So what is his management style like? What do people say about his personality? Why do some people think he’ll become the first trillionaire? What are the controversies around how he treats his workers? What’s up with his fashion transformation, and how much will it cost for him to send you to space? Listen, laugh, learn   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/business-figure/jeff-bezos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bezos https://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/#728b5bf1b238 https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/05/14/jeff-bezos-worlds-first-trillionaire-sparks-heated-debate/5189161002/ https://www.bloomberg.com/billionaires/profiles/jeffrey-p-bezos/ https://qz.com/1799608/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-finds-new-ways-to-spend-money/ https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/333159 https://www.workandmoney.com/s/jeff-bezos-wealth-facts-1be9a1efeb8b467a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Amazon https://nypost.com/2019/07/13/inside-the-hellish-workday-of-an-amazon-warehouse-employee/  
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Episode 484: Atari: Life Behind the Pong
On this episode of the world Famous Sofa King Podcast, we do a dive into the history of the video game and look at the rise and fall of Atari. The world of video games would not exist without the innovation of Atari. They started the video arcade with the invention of the coin operated video game, and just when that changed all of entertainment for millions of kids in the 70s and 80s, they created the at home video game console. Then there was the time they made the ET video game, considered by many to be the worst there ever was. It was so bad, they buried the unsold copies in a land fill instead of try to sell them. From rock star nerds at the birth of silicon valley to corporate sellouts, Atari had it all. The company was started by two visionaries named Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. They were computer engineers who would visit campuses like the University of Utah and MIT just to play the video games that only computer engineers could play on the only five computers in America that could run them. Eventually, they realized that making video games end up like pinball machines, where you play for a quarter, they started their quest. Their first game was developed for a company called Nutting Associates. It was a confusing thing called Computer Space. It didn’t sell well and was hard to play. Within a few years, they developed and programmed Pong, and it was a wild hit. It spread through bars and pizza parlors and arcades and made Atari some real money. As processors got cheaper, they made arcade games like Asteroids, Tempest, Missile Command, Centipede, and Paper Boy. But as they drove around collected quarters (yes, they got 50% of the take, so they had to collect in the early days), there were other computer innovations that made home computing cheap enough to afford. Thus, they created the Atari 2600. This console is still considered the most successful gaming console ever. It sold the Atari games, but more importantly, it licensed home version of games made by other companies, like the epic Space Invaders. In fact, Taito’s Space Invaders made Atari sell more sets than any of their own games The other great thing about Atari was that it revenge of the nerds. The engineers and computer programmers in the early days partied like rock stars. There was booze on site, a brigade that voted on marijuana quality, hot tub parties, women coming and going, and even Steven Spielberg wanted them. This was what led to the disaster that was ET, right during the first video game winter. Atari crashed and burned once they were purchased by Warner, but they struggled to stay relevant. Though they still exist, they are shadow of their previous greatness. If you are over 40, you remember them fondly, and if you aren’t, you should do some retro gaming and learn yourself something, young’un!   Visit Our Sources: https://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/20/ign-presents-the-history-of-atari https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2012/04/pong-atari-and-the-origins-of-the-home-video-game.html https://www.npr.org/2017/05/31/530235165/total-failure-the-worlds-worst-video-game https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_video_game_burial https://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/computer-games/16/185 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari,_Inc. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-atari-1991225 https://backtothegaming.com/2018/05/11/the-history-of-atari/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqMicrUywSY
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Episode 483: Alexander the Great: History’s Ultimate Conqueror?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the greatest military leaders in human history, Alexander the Great. Alexander was born in the Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 356 B.C. He was the son of a powerful king and queen, and after Game of Thrones type ups and downs, he took Macedonia as king after his father was assassinated. From there, Alexander conquered Greece and moved to India, Egypt, and even Persia (the Middle East). By the time he was 32, he was considered "King of Babylon, King of Asia, King of the Four Quarters of the World." Alexander was born to King Philip II and Queen Olympia. While he was a boy, his father had him trained in everything from music to military, swordsmanship to horsemanship, and even philosophy (at the hands of the one and only Aristotle). By the time he was 16, he formed a cavalry and defeated an until then undefeatable group called the Sacred Band of Thebes. At the age of 19, his father was murdered by his own body guard, and after a brief struggle for power, Alexander was declared king of Macedonia. However, his father’s biggest legacy was a body of joined states called the Corinthian League, and they didn’t bow down to Alexander. Until he made them. One by one, the Greek states fell to Alexander’s army, and even the mighty Spartans joined this new League with Alexander as its head. Once Greece was his, Alexander set his sights at the biggest military target there was—Persia. It was said to be impossible to defeat their massive army, but in just a few years, Alexander had their king Darius III on the run. He next took Egypt and India, and all of Persia, becoming the king of the known world. He established over 70 cities named Alexandria (some of which still exist today with the same name). After his 13 year run of zero defeats in battle, what finally made his army say enough and want to head back? What was his reaction when is enemy Darius III was killed by his own army? What was the story with his mighty horse Bucephalus? Was Alexander the Great truly bisexual? Was he truly a drunk? How did he undo the famed Gordian Knot? Did he conquer more than Genghis Khan did? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/political-figure/alexander-the-great https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/alexander-the-great https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great https://www.historyhit.com/facts-about-alexander-the-great/ https://www.ancienthistorylists.com/greek-history/top-10-amazing-facts-about-alexander-the-great/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Corinth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_period  
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Episode 482: Father Yod: LA’s Vegan Sex Guru
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss a cult leader (or commune founder?) and spiritual love guru named Father Yod. Yod (pronounced like “load”) was originally named James Edward Baker. James Baker was a very interesting man, if you believe the tales about his past. He was a World War II Marine who allegedly won the Silver Star at the battle Guadalcanal. He killed a man, twice, after the war. He was friends with Jack Lalane and the guy who founded Dr. Brag’s amino acid and vinegar company. All this lead to him being one of the most influential people in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s and a cult called The Source Family. James Baker left his family to move to LA and become a stunt man. It didn’t work, and he found himself hanging out with hippies and beatniks. Allegedly, he robbed two banks and made the money to open a restaurant called The Source. The Source was the first vegetarian/health food restaurant to ever open in LA. It was a massive success ($10,000 a day) and attracted movie stars and film producers. Many say it set the course of LA cuisine and made it the healthy, kale loving city it is today. Baker had studied yoga under the famous Yogi Bhajan. He started to teach at his restaurant and attracted a following of his own. Next thing you know, he’s renamed Father Yod. He starts to recruit young girls, and he makes so much money in his restaurants that he buys a mansion and starts a love commune. Or a cult. Hard to say. A documentary of footage from their own cameras paints a picture of a commune that shares and doesn’t have the typical heavy-handed cult leader. But, the group had influence on the film, so it could just be propaganda? There was sex, multiple wives, crazy beliefs, indoctrination, underage brides, and all the stuff you expect from a cult, but it never got cult dark. Whatever this thing was, Father Yod left a major impression on LA, and to this day his people love him and keep their crazy cult names.   Visit Our Sources: https://filmdaily.co/obsessions/true-crime/the-source-family/ https://gizmodo.com/how-the-source-family-turned-sex-drugs-and-rock-n-ro-1563127606 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Yod https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_Family https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xd4wv7/source-family-rises-again https://www.ranker.com/list/source-family-cult-facts/drew-grant https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/wtf/the-truly-bizarre-story-of-father-yods-cult/news-story/95e5136dd4cd65b2417064a082987c39 https://laist.com/2019/11/29/source_family_restaurant_vegetarian_dinner_gratitude_kitchen_dec_5.php http://venetic.co/ImGonna.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8MsHfReCQc  
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Episode 481: Munster Rebellion: A Castle Times Cult
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at a little known cult slash political revolt known as the Münster Rebellion. Back in Castle Times, the German city of Munster became home to a group of three men (Bernhard Rothman, Jan Matthys, and John of Leiden) who staged a coup against royalty and the Roman Catholic Church in 1535. They threw out the Bishop and the city council, and they replaced the town with their own communist, pacifists, polygamist sect known as the Anabaptists. This devolved quickly, and involved orgies, a brutal siege that lead to a siege, starvation, cannibalism, torture and beheadings. So many beheadings. The backdrop to this madness was a time in European history known as the Protestant Reformation. It was when the stranglehold of the Catholic church was broken by people like Henry VIII and Martin Luther. Once there were religious power vacuums, new ideas spread like wildfire. In fact, many historians liken the Anabaptist religion to a hydra with heads springing up everywhere. The first head belonged to a guy named Melchior Hoffmann, who advocated communal living (a huge no-no to the landed aristocracy) and religious freedom (a huge no-no to the Catholic Church). He was arrested for his crazy thoughts, but his ideas had already taken root in the fertile soil of chaos that was Europe. Cut to Münster. Here, the priest Bernhard Rothman basically took over the city by replacing everyone in power with a friendly Anabaptist. Even the Prince Bishop had to leave. In this power vacuum, a man named Jan Matthys took control. He moved to Münster because he had heard there were religious freedoms there. He quickly took over with his charisma. He banned private property, established a communal living situation, and wen tot war with the banished Bishop who put the city under siege. Now, Matthys had himself a vision that on Easter Sunday, his Lord God would make everything right, so he and a couple dozen men stormed the army waiting outside of town. They were captured, and he was beheaded and had his testicles nailed to the city gate. In this new power void a man named John of Leiden took over. He went buck wild. He forced all women to marry (which lead to polygamy since they outnumbered men three to one). He forced people to become Anabaptist or starve and get none of the communal pot. He cut heads off for laughing at him, not converting, and even killed one of his sixteen wives for telling him she didn’t want the stolen jewelry John gave her. The city starved while John and his boys partied, until eventually, the Bishop stormed the city and took it back. What horrible fate did John meet (trust me, it was worse than genitals nailed to a door)? How long did this siege last? How did the Bishop afford an army and a lengthy siege? What happened to the Anabaptists after this Munster Rebellion? Why to people compare the Muster Rebellion to formation of the Islamic State today? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.thelocal.de/20180503/muenster-theocracy-history-anabaptists https://www.thelocal.de/20140328/16th-century-mayhem-in-muenster-with-jan-van-leiden-expat-dispatches-the-local-germany https://www.danceshistoricalmiscellany.com/munster-rebellion-creation-16th-century-theocracy/ https://medium.com/interesting-histories/interesting-histories-munster-rebellion-85513768fd5c https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-islamic-state-the-mue_b_6748368 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_rebellion https://www.history.com/topics/reformation/reformation  
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Episode 480: Woodstock: Filth, Music, Love, and Drugs
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at Woodstock. Not only was it the most important music festival ever, it set the tone and soundtrack of an entire generation. It helped the nation stop thinking of hippies in so bad a light, and it created the careers of several of the largest musical acts of the era. What started as a music festival that was supposed to make people a lot of money and attract upwards of 50,000 people, became a free hippie love fest of a half a million people that bankrupted the concert planners. When four guys in the music industry decided to have a music festival in New York state, they named their new group after an area where musicians like Bob Dylan would play—an area known as Woodstock. They started looked for large areas of open land that could house their enormous dream, and they settled on Howard Mills Industrial Park in Wallkill, New York. The people of the town, however, voted against the dirty hippies and shut it down with only 6 weeks left to plan. The guys instead found a 600 acre dairy farm owned by Max Yasgur. The crew scrambled to get things ready. They decided they either had time to build a stage and a lighting tower or build a fence and ticket counters. They decided on the stage, which was a good thing. Soon, before the festival even stared, 50,000 people stormed the gates, and made Woodstock a free festival. Within days, a ten mile stretch of highway was filled with abandoned cars. The entire city nearby was shut down as half a million hippies flocked to the show. An estimated half a million more went the other way and headed back home when they encountered the traffic jam to beat all traffic jams. The acts had to be flown in by the national guard. Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, and Jimi Hendrix just to name a few! But it wasn’t the dream concert some people make it out to be. Raw sewage merged with rain water and the floor around the stage was a dung filled mud pit. It took an hour to get to the bathroom. There was hardly any food because no regular food vender would work there, and two of the three original food stalls got burned to the ground in anger when they raised hot dog prices. Security was mostly comprised of a guy named Wavy Gravy and his workers from a hog farm co-op. They enforced the law by throwing pies at people and hitting them squirts of seltzer water. Like you do. Everything was laced with drugs, and people were roofied left and right. There was dope, sex, acid, music, sex, skinny dipping, more dope, more sex, music, and mud and sex and music. If you want to get nostalgic for the 60s, turn on, tune in, drop out, listen, laugh, and learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2019/08/woodstock-50-photos-1969/596107/ https://www.woodstock.com/ https://www.history.com/topics/1960s/woodstock https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock https://www.aier.org/article/woodstock-occurred-in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/woodstock-festival-1969 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAGVGNWQ2Hc  
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Episode 479: Cursed Bread: The CIA, LSD, and Mass Hysteria
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we explore a little known mass hallucination event in a small town in France. It was August 15, 1951, in the small town of Pont-Saint-Esprit in southern France. Roughly 300 people fell ill, including 50 people sent to insane asylums and 7 deaths. Theories range from ergot poisoning to tainted bleached bread, but the best of all links it to the CIA’s MK Ultra mind control program and the use of LSD. So, what happened in Pont-Saint-Esprit? The morning of August 15, people started to fall ill, and the waiting rooms at all doctor offices were at capacity. At first, the symptoms were basic stuff like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Then the symptoms got strange—mass insomnia, and people started to smell like dead mice. Then? The whole village went plumb crazy. Journalists on the scene recorded a staggering amount of hallucinations. For example, one man shouted to his room-mates “I’m dead! My head is made of copper and I have snakes in my stomach!” A girl thought she was being attacked by tigers, and a man nearly died after jumping in a river to drown his belly full of snakes. Another guy was being chased by bandits with donkey ears. You get the picture. So, how did this happen? The French Government investigated and came up with a lot of theories such as poisoning by the ergot fungus (known in history to have caused mass hysteria such as the Salem Witch Trials). They also pointed to a chemical called Panogen used to clean wheat containers and even a tainted water supply. Interestingly, the government failed to consider the source of the grain itself, which is the first conspiracy. You see, the French government controlled the supply of grain, so they didn’t want to blame themselves. More recently, a scholar named Steven Kaplan wrote a book and concluded it was due to illegal chemical bleach poisoning by the baker who tried to make the flour as white as possible. However, the big doozy is from journalist Hank P. Albarelli Jr. He started to study the suicide of the CIA’s Doctor Frank Olson. This led him down a rabbit hole of MKULTRA and something called MKNAOMI, both of which involved the creators of LSD, a major chemical factory near the town, and typical CIA tomfoolery. If you like a good CIA cover up, this is the episode for you. Visit Our Sources: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-10996838 http://www.tootlafrance.ie/features/the-idyllic-french-village-that-went-insane https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/558020/pont-saint-esprit-france-1951-bread-poisoning-mass-hallucinations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1951_Pont-Saint-Esprit_mass_poisoning https://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/arts/24iht-blume.1.14718462.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKNAOMI https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qbw8vv/the-great-french-acid-trip-1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Gottlieb  
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Episode 478: George Carlin: The Vulgar Prophet
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life, laughs, and legacy of one of the greatest comedians of all time—George Carlin. Carlin was made most famous for his “7 Dirty Words” set. It got him arrested and made him fight the FCC all the way to the supreme court. He took on the mantle of the vulgar prophet, a man who would cut society and humanity to the quick but do it with a laugh. From cocaine heart attacks to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, George Carlin had a hell of a run. He was born in New York to a mother who left his drunken father to raise two boys by herself. He did well in school due to his sharp intellect but was kicked out due his bad attitude, and eventually dropped out before he could graduate. After a stint in the Air Force (where he was courts-martialed three times!), he took to work at the local radio station. He teamed up with Jack Burns, and they started a funny radio hour which was successful enough for them to get picked up by a bigger station in LA. From there, they made an album together, and Carlin started to hone his stand-up routine. He played a more traditional role, wearing a suit and staying clean, until he was discovered by the first shock comedian, Lenny Bruce. Bruce helped mentor Carlin, and they even got arrested together for Bruce’s vulgarity on stage. Eventually, Carlin changed his act. Instead of a suit and standard material, he wore jeans and a tee shirt with a beard and long hair. This was the 60s after all. His manager warned that he’d lose 90% of his business, and he did, but eventually he rebounded even better as his true, cut throat self. He performed the epic “7 Dirty Words” bit that go him arrested. A radio station played the bit from his record, and they had to fight all the way to the supreme court as a result. In his comedy, George Carlin was known to be anti-government, anti-religion, anti-corporation, anti-humanity, pro critical thought, pro-independence, and pro cocaine. His bits are still some of the funniest, most shocking and honest assessments of all of the human condition, and if you haven’t listened to him much, you need to do so. Right after you download this episode and listen to it first, that is… Visit Our Sources: Your Rights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gkjWxCl6zE https://www.biography.com/performer/george-carlin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Carlin https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/george-carlins-shocking-prescience-on-the-nights-before-911 https://www.motherjones.com/media/1997/03/george-carlin/ https://georgecarlin.com/ https://www.npr.org/transcripts/120502583 https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Carlin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_dirty_words
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Episode 477: Jemeker Thompson: The Crack Queen of Compton
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at a very unique crime lord, the so-called Queen Pin of crack cocaine, Jemeker Thompson. She was overlooked by the competition and the feds since women didn’t deal drugs on that scale, but she is said to have been in control of virtually all crack coming in to South Central LA in the 1980s during their crack epidemic. Jemeker was born to a poor, single mother in South Central. She had five siblings. One fateful day, they all came home to find they had been evicted from their apartment. She looked at all her worldly possession sitting on the lawn and had no place to live. This lack of money and control set her on a path of greed and cunning. By high school, she was a talented enough runner to be training for the 1984 Olympics. At her meets she met a low end pot dealer named Anthony "Daff" Mosley. They fell in love, and she started to sell his pot in her high school. Eventually, she got addicted to the money and thrill and told Duff they needed to switch to cocaine. He refused. She didn’t. And the Queen Pin was born. She eventually learned how to make crack cocaine and shifted their business to this new drug. The first day, she sold half a key from her mother’s window. The next day, a full key. Within a week, she was selling multiple kilograms a day. They got rich fast. I’m talking, they moved into Michael Jackson’s neighborhood rich. (But only after Duff cheated on Jemeker, and she shot at him. It was an apology house.). It reached a point where everyone knew that they were the key to crack in LA and eventually most parts of the nation. Someone decided to shut them down by murdering Duff at a craps game. But he wasn’t in charge, and the empire just grew. What did Jemeker do to launder her money? How come her laundering business became successful enough for her to get out of the drug game (though she didn’t)? What happened with a courier was busted with 30 keys of coke on the way to Vegas? Did the CIA help her from getting arrested? What finally brought her down, and how did she go from the queen of crack and hair extensions to a minister? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/jemeker-thompson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jemeker_Thompson https://www.sunsigns.org/famousbirthdays/d/profile/jemeker-thompson/ https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/126/1032/497938/ https://listverse.com/2014/09/12/10-of-the-richest-and-most-powerful-female-crime-lords-ever/
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Episode 476: Madeline McCann: Murder, Abduction, or Stupidity?
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at some true crime and investigate the disappearance of Madeline McCann. Madeline was a three year old British girl who was with her family on vacation in Portugal in 2007. While she slept alongside her two year old twin brother and sister, her parents ate tapas and partied at a restaurant on the other side of the pool. Several hours later, when the parents came to check on them, Madeline was famously missing. So, what happened? There is a lot of speculation about that. What is known is that the three children were asleep with the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann went to dinner and drinks. They checked on the sleeping kids from time to time. At one point, the father found them to be asleep but noticed their bedroom door wasn’t where it was when he last checked. At another point, a friend checked on them but didn’t bother going as far as the bedroom to actually look at the kids. Eventually, at 10:20 PM, Kate went in and found Madeline missing. She sounded the alarm, and the entire resort staff started searching and calling her name. The police came, and then some other ones came, and they did an investigation. But, the investigation was botched. The crime scene was left open and therefore corrupted, and basic things like locking down the town or doing a door to door search happened hours or days too late. There was a sighting called the Tanner Sighting which pointed police in a direction (which proved to be the wrong direction). What are the theories of missing Madeline? One biggie that the Portuguese police pursued was that the parents did it. They either gave Madeline a sedative to sleep through their party, and gave her too much, or they left her alone she met some accident in the apartment. They hid the body and covered it up. But then there are other disturbing theories—pedophiles took her and killed her; she was sold into slavery; or she woke up and wandered off and died. Either way, the family spent a ton of money keeping their daughter’s name and face in the press, and the investigation is still going. If you want to know what we think happened, you’ll have to download and dig it! Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Madeleine_McCann https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/madeleine-mccann-disappearance-latest-what-happened-scenarios-a8632886.html https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/madeleine-mccann https://allthatsinteresting.com/madeleine-mccann https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/madeleine-mccann-suspect-martin-ney-paedophile-police-investigation-a8900256.html  
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Episode 475: Buddhafield: Not Your Average Sex Cult
  On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at a little known cult that started in the 1980s called The Buddhafield. The Buddhafield was a group of people initially from Southern California who found a new type of family with each other, under the guidance of “The Teacher.” The Teacher, also known as Michel, Andreas, or Jaime Gonzalez, led them into some LSD type hypno therapy god hunting body trips. They loved each other; they loved him; they found peace. Until they didn’t, and Michel started to have sex with male members of the group (often against their will) and do your typical cult control over all of them. The story is mostly known thanks to a man named Will Allen who made a documentary called Holy Hell. He is an ex-member of this group, and due to his background in film, he was considered the unofficial documentarian of the group. He filmed The Teacher, the students, the spiritual retreats, and the daily lives of the Buddhafield family. In fact, he was one of Michel’s closest allies in the group (and among other tasks, he was on call 24 hours a day to give him massages). Michel held sessions with the group, such as The Shakti Retreat, in which he gave them parts of his own spiritual power. The biggie, though, was called The Knowing. It was a multiple day ceremony which was capped with him letting his followers fully, truly know god. The funny thing is, they actually believed all this stuff was true. So much so, that even when the abuse and cult weirdness started, many of them stayed because they didn’t want to have to quit the strange spiritual highs that Michel—and only Michel—was able to take them on. The Buddhafield group started as a reinvented family of people who just wanted to find meaning in life, and it turned, inevitably, to a cult. Michel started to charge them for therapy sessions, many of which ended in forced sex. He threatened that they’d die if they left and even asked members of the group to ruin the lives of defectors by getting the IRS to attack them. He forced abortions on the women if they wanted to stay, and he had many of the members living as his servants. Yet somehow, they all still loved the Buddhafield family enough to endure it. Finally, there was a breaking point, and a great defection of members, but it still exists, and the Teacher is still out there teaching. If you dig cults, this is the episode for you!       Visit Our Sources: Holy Hell Documentary: https://www.netflix.com/watch/80097438?source=35 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhafield_(cult) https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/interviews/a45261/holy-hell-buddhafield-documentary-will-allen-interview/ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/holy-hell-cult-documentary_n_5744c96ae4b055bb11708e51 https://psmag.com/news/how-to-escape-from-a-cult-in-the-21st-century https://www.npr.org/2016/05/26/479635824/cult-survivor-documents-2-decades-inside-holy-hell  
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Episode 474: John DeLorean: Cars, Corporations, and Cocaine
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at a legend of the 1980s, John DeLorean. DeLorean was a very gifted engineer and marketer who invented the category of the muscle car with the creation of the GTO. His rise through the ranks of Detroit’s Big Auto made him the top rival of Ford, and a celebrity as well. He eventually built the iconic DMC-12 made immortal by the Back to the Future movies and then blew it all in an FBI arranged 220 pound cocaine deal. Like you do. John DeLorean was born where else, but Detroit Michigan. He was the son of two immigrants (and an abusive father), and he was smart. He went to the best schools due to his grades and intellect, and eventually got multiple degrees, even though he took a pause to go fight in WWII. When he returned, he took a few jobs and eventually got work at the Packard company. He thrilled his bosses there, and when Packard merged with another company, he left and joined General Motors. It was there that his star rose. He created the Pontiac GTO and in so doing, gave birth to the muscle car. GM leaders didn’t want this car, and DeLorean had to lie and fight to get it made, but it was wildly successful. He created other big car lines and jumped higher and higher up the corporate ladder. But his Hollywood life style, casual looks, big mouth, and defiance made him unpopular. Eventually, a speech he wanted to give leaked, and he parted ways just before he would have likely become president of GM. So, off he went to design his own car and create his own car company. It took a decade to go from concept to factory floor. He lined up investors (even famous ones like Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Junior), and he had to open a plant in Ireland due to tax breaks he was afforded there, but he finally produced the DMC-12. His goal was to make the best care possible: best for safety, best for speed, best for aesthetics, best for the environment. But he didn’t. It had a small motor that couldn’t push the weight of stainless steel frame. It was prohibitively expensive. The doors jammed, and it had a lot of problems. A friend of his had a solution to fix his financial mess. Join with him and buy 220 pounds of  cocaine and sell them to get liquid cash to save the company. So DeLorean joined forces with this guy, and it turned out to be an FBI sting. The star of Detroit was now a world-renowned drug dealer with a collapsed car company. So what happened to DeLorean once he was busted? What type of legal wrangling got him away from jail time? Why do some people think he conned everyone, including the FBI in this drug deal? What happened when he tried to create a new DMC years later? What happened to the company he started? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_DeLorean https://detroithistorical.org/learn/encyclopedia-of-detroit/delorean-john https://www.forbes.com/sites/chucktannert/2019/07/26/john-delorean-reinvented-the-dream-car-then-he-totaled-it/#76b287d514ef https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-z-delorean-is-arrested-in-24-million-cocaine-deal https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/john-delorean-dmc-facts/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/54600/5-things-you-might-not-know-about-john-delorean https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a27319135/delorean-biopic/
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Episode 473: Marilyn Monroe: Bombshells and Barbiturates
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one of the ultimate sex symbols and icons of popular culture—Marilyn Monroe. She came from a horrible upbringing and through sheer force of will (and marketing savvy) rose to become of one of the greatest movie starts of all time. She married Joe DiMaggio and legendary playwright Arthur Miller, sometimes slept her way to the top, and allegedly had an affair with both John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Love her or hate her, she was pure force of will in Hollywood and totally changed the way the town, and actresses, worked. She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in a hospital in LA. She never knew who her father was, and her mother was in and out of mental institutions her entire childhood. This left young Normal Jean at the hands of the foster system. She was raped at age 11 and had a horrible upbringing with no stability or love. At the age of 16, she married a merchant marine just to be able to get out of the foster system. When he was off serving in WWII, she worked a munitions plant. One day, a photographer came by to take pictures of women in factories making a difference for the war. Her career as a model began like a rocket. Within a few years, she was on dozens of magazine covers and was allegedly having an affair with an executive at 20th Century Fox. She got a contract with them to make some movies, but she was off to a slow start. She was always late to the set, and she was too shy to really shine and impress any directors. But she had work (and divorced her husband) and kept manipulating the system PR in interesting ways to rise to the top. And rise to the top she did. Her movies made hundreds of millions, and she slowly became the face of her generation. She married sports legends and intellectuals and had sexual affairs with people in the industry who could (and did) advance her career. But she was not without controversy. She had trouble when old nude photos appeared on the scene (trouble which she turned in her favor). Eventually, she started getting more serious roles and winning awards for them. She started to shed the image of the ditzy blonde bombshell and become a legit actress. But by then, her depression had gotten bad, and she’d grown addicted to barbiturates and sleeping pills. She allegedly had affairs with one (or two) of the Kennedy brothers, and she was found dead in her room of an apparent overdose at the age of 36. Or was she? Conspiracy theories abound. Did the mob kill her for some reason? Did the Kennedy’s have her killed to keep their affairs a secret? Did she die on the way to a hospital with Robert Kennedy, who then had her body placed back in her house until he could leave town? Is there any truth to the fact that she might have had sex with Albert Einstein? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/actor/marilyn-monroe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/marilyn-monroe-is-found-dead https://www.notablebiographies.com/Mo-Ni/Monroe-Marilyn.html https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/19268/14-breathless-facts-about-marilyn-monroe https://medium.com/the-nonfiction-zone/18-fascinating-facts-about-marilyn-monroe-f074ccd76f2b https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Marilyn_Monroe https://www.sbs.com.au/guide/article/2017/07/24/4-conspiracy-theories-about-death-marilyn-monroe
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Episode 472: Killdozer: Modern Day Hero or Complete Lunatic?
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the notorious Killdozer. This homemade battle tank was created a man named Marvin Heemeyer in 2002. He used it in Granby, Colorado and went on a rampage of revenge against the big wigs in city hall and the owner of a cement factory that he tried to stop from being built. Some people celebrate June 4 as Killdozer day—the day a little guy got revenge against government can factories. Others think he was a nut job who was told by God to run rampant through town and put a lot of folks in danger. Marv was ex Air force, and he settled in Granby after he got out of the service. He found a home he loved and moved in and started work in a muffler shop. In no time, he owned his own muffler shop, and was an ideal citizen. He snowmobiled, did work for the police, and was the best welder in town. He bought some property, and in doing so, outbid a man named Cody Docheff, and this is where the trouble started. Docheff wanted to build a concrete factory right next to Marv’s property. To make things worse, city hall seemed to be overtly on Docheff’s side. They rezoned Marv’s property and forced him to connect to a sewer line. However, the sewer line was hundreds of feet away and would have cost about $80,000 to get it set up. Oh, and he would have to get permission to build under Docheff’s property, which he was denied. So as a result, the city fined him $100 a day and at one point even refused to take his check. Marv fought back legally, starting a lawsuit, and even having the fine points of the concrete plant gone over by a lawyer. Nothing he could do would stop the people who ran the town from siding with Docheff, and eventually, Marv bought a giant bulldozer from California and turned it into a bullet-proof tank. Like you do. At points, its armor was a foot thick. It had video cameras, fresh air circulation, and gun ports for things as large as his .50 caliber rifle. He went on a rampage through town, which was caught on pretty amazing video. So, how many people died at the hands of the Killdozer? Was the city really so complicit in supporting the concrete factory? How did the Killdozer finally get stopped? What happened when Marv targeted industrial sized propane tanks with his sniper rifle? Why did he think God was telling him to do all this? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Heemeyer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZbG9i1oGPA https://www.snopes.com/news/2017/06/09/killdozer-day-marvin-heemeyer/ https://www.damninteresting.com/the-wrath-of-the-killdozer/ https://sofrep.com/news/folk-hero-or-real-villain-the-complex-tale-of-colorados-killdozer/ Tread: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5807330/  
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Episode 471: Black Dog of England: Cryptid, Myth, or Hellhound?
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we explore a mysterious being that has been seen all around the world, but most prominently in England—The Black Dog. The Black Dog (commonly called the Black Shuck) is said to be a massive creature the size of a calf. It is seen at crossroads, typically with glowing red eyes. And while some people say they show up to guide people lost on sacred roads, others say that to hear their horrible howl and meet their fiery gaze is a portent. You will be dead within the year. So, where is the Black Dog myth found? Well, everywhere. But it most common in the UK and even in the Americas. It was first noted back in 1577 where it road into a church on a lightning bolt and killed several parishioners. Now that’s an entrance! After that, it has persisted enough in local legends that it is considered a mythical motif by professors of folklore. So, is this thing a pure myth that ties into some human unconscious, or is it an actual cryptid animal that has yet to be discovered? In American, a variation called the Fencerail Dog is thought to be a real creature and isn’t tied into the idea of being a ghost. In fact, many scholars think it is a hyena like cryptid called the Shunka Warak’in that is known to have killed cattle in various states. The Black Dog is allegedly something that struck terror in the heart in a way that a normal dog does not. One look at the being makes most observers say it was not a mere dog. One scholar discovered a massive seven boxes of written encounters in one area of England alone. It is a popular being, but is it a folklore or a cryptid? A ghost or a demon? If you want to find out, listen, laugh, and learn. Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_dog_(ghost) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Shuck https://modernfarmer.com/2014/06/black-shuck/ https://pinebarrensinstitute.com/cryptids/2018/11/13/cryptid-profile-the-fence-rail-dog https://pinebarrensinstitute.com/cryptids/tag/black+dog https://thoughtcatalog.com/james-b-barnes/2014/10/5-terrifying-stories-and-lore-about-the-legendary-black-dogs-to-haunt-your-walks-home/ https://truehorrorstoriesoftexas.com/category/cadejo-black-dog/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/black-shuck https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motif-Index_of_Folk-Literature
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Episode 470: Jim Carrey: Method Acting and Rhino Butts
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we discuss one of the all-time legends of comedy, Jim Carrey. From a homeless childhood to eventually becoming the highest paid actors in Hollywood, his life has been quite a journey. He’s made some of the greatest comedic movies of all time, and his new life in Television and as a painter meet with critical acclaim as well. From his politics to his stance on vaccines, he’s always controversial. Jim Carrey was born in a suburb of Toronto to a lower middle class family. His father a was a sax player who eventually had to give it up to work and support his family. Work was tough, however, and at one point the family found themselves living in the back of a VW van. He and his brother worked as night janitors to helps support the family, but at 15, he discovered comedy, and his father supported him by taking him to different comedy clubs. The day he turned 16 and could legally drop out of school he did—school, after all, was only getting in the way of the funny. He grew in notoriety as a unique stand up talent, who could riff off to top of his head and rely on his prodigious impersonation skills instead of a polished set. He impressed Rodney Dangerfield enough that he was hired to be the legend’s opening act in Vegas. Soon after, Carrey moved to the LA and started auditioning and living the life. He auditioned for Saturday Night Live, which didn’t work out, but eventually landed a role on In Living Color. From there, he made movie hit after movie hit. Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, The Truman Show, and Cable Guy (for which earned $20 million!). He went on to star in dramas such as Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind and The Man in the Moon, and his prowess as an actor spread along with a couple of Golden Globe wins. He also grew a reputation for being a hardcore method actor who would lose himself in roles and be very difficult to work with. Eventually, Hollywood took its toll, and he backed out of the limelight. He spent his time on spiritual pursuits and self-exploration. He has had some success as a painter, doing interesting and often controversial political paintings. So, which Hollywood starlets has he had relationships with? What’s up with him and the anti-vaccine movement? Why did he get heat for a bucket list comment while doing press for Sonic the Hedgehog? Did he really write himself a $10 million dollar check when he was twenty that he was able to cash years later? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/actor/jim-carrey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Carrey https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/jim-carreys-reluctant-return-hollywood-1134623 https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/fans-are-not-pleased-with-jim-carreys-predatorial-joke-against-female-journalist.html/ https://www.uselessdaily.com/news/25-amazing-facts-about-jim-carrey-list/ I Need Color: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21CEOlBq2YI Conan Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCB_gau9tIk Bucket List Comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK_xK5QMRqo  
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Episode 469: Tsavo Man Eaters: Woa-oh Here They Come!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we cover the unique and horrible tale of the Tsavo Man-Eaters. They were a pair of lions who plagued the construction of a railroad in 1898 and killed perhaps as many as 135 human beings in one year. A British military man was put in charge of the railroad, and he went on an epic hunt to stop these animals from killing even more people. The lions were far more aggressive than normal, had a taste for human flesh, and were abnormally large. In 1898, the Kenya-Uganda Railway was trying to build a bridge across the Tsavo River. The railroad officials probably should have to consulted the locals because Tsavo meant “place of slaughter” in the local dialect. (Big oopsie...) Once the camps were set up, and thousands of workers moved in to build this bridge, Lt Colonel John Henry Patterson arrived to handle the work crews. Also, within a few days of his arrival, the Lions of Tsavo started to eat people. A lot. Lions were always a threat, obviously, but it got to the point where every night, two lions would creep into the work camps and each would take a different worker. The camps would have to listen to the screams in the darkness as the lions licked the skin off the victims and pinned them down with their claws. The next morning, parts—or none—of the dead remained. Eventually, the workers quit construction. Then, they started to mutiny. They blamed Patterson since the attacks started when he got there. The lions were evil spirits summoned by the white man, they said. So, Patterson, in part to keep his railroad masters happy, and in part to keep himself from being murdered due to bad mojo, set out to hunt the lions. The first one went down somewhat easily, once he used similar techniques to how he had hunted tigers in India years before. But the second lion took three weeks. It never fell for the same trick twice. It outsmarted Patterson, and it was shot several times, always escaping, and always coming back. Eventually, they were both put down. They were discovered to be nine feet long (abnormally large for this type of lion in this region), and they were both—oddly—males who didn’t live within a typical lion pride structure. So how many people did the lions actually kill? What did Patterson do with their bodies? How did that help us perhaps unravel the mystery of why these lions killed? What does modern science think? Was it a drought or a disease or a really bad tooth ache? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/man-eaters-of-tsavo-11614317/ https://www.earthtouchnews.com/natural-world/animal-behaviour/new-evidence-in-the-long-standing-mystery-of-the-tsavo-man-eater-lions/ https://www.livescience.com/58735-man-eating-lions-analyzed.html https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/how-many-people-did-the-man-eating-lions-of-tsavo-actually-eat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_Patterson_(author)#East_African_adventures
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Episode 468: William Wallace: For Freedom!
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life of a soldier, patriot, murderer, and traitor, Scotland’s own William Wallace. During the war for Scottish independence, Wallace grew to meteoric importance and was a cunning strategist and sometimes cruel warlord. He would fight for freedom wherever there’s trouble (or was that GI Joe?), and ultimately become the highest rank of knight possible in Scotland, while simultaneously becoming the worst villain England had ever known. Not much is known about William Wallace’s childhood. Historians claim he was born around 1270, and he was born to lesser nobility. Many think (based on accounts of him in battle and his personal crest) that was an archer in a mercenary army as a young man. Either way, he settled down and married Marion Braidfute. Now during all of this, Scotland was in strife. Its king died falling from a horse (like you do), and the country was on the verge of civil war trying to determine who would take the throne. Eventually, King Edward of England decided he would, and he invaded Scotland, where many historians say he ruled with draconian methods. Wallace’s father died fighting off this invasion, and his wife was killed by a British sheriff. So Wallace said, enough! He went and burned down the sheriff’s town of Lanark with a band of 30 men. The rebellion was born, and a price was put on Wallace’s head. But, he’s William Wallace. So, instead of hiding out, he went town to town and gathered more men to fight with. Eventually, he gathered an army and scored an astounding victory at the Battle of Sterling Bridge. He was woefully outnumbered by seasoned British troops, but he out-played them and slaughtered them. This made the new king of Scotland, John Balliol, declare him a knight of the realm. William Wallace freed towns and captured castles. He motivated all of Scotland to want freedom, and he also made a belt for his sword out of the skin of an Englishman. After suffering a defeat at the Battle of Fallkirk, he left military life and tried his hand at diplomacy. He recruited the aid of France (though they later backed out of the deal) and was said to even visit the Pope to try and get help. Eventually, he returned to Scotland and returned to fighting. He tried to get another Scottish rebel named Robert the Bruce to join the fight again, and when he was going to meet up, he was double crossed and captured. So, who set the trap and why would another good Scot capture William Wallace? How was he killed? Was it as bad as it looked in the movie Braveheart, or was it worse? What were his last word’s alleged to be? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/military-figure/william-wallace https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wallace https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wallace_(poem) https://www.nationalwallacemonument.com/sir-william-wallace/ https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/William-Wallace-Robert-The-Bruce/ https://historycollection.co/excruciating-death-braveheart-execution-revealed-account-william-wallaces-final-days/ https://learnodo-newtonic.com/william-wallace-interesting-facts https://www.factinate.com/people/42-brave-facts-william-wallace/  
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Episode 467: Dalai Lama: The Thorn in China’s Side
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time, the Dalai Lama. His real name is Tenzin Gyatso, and he is the 14th Dalai Lama, supposedly the true ruler of Tibet and a beacon for Buddhism around the world. His life story is one that involves mysticism, war, conquering armies, power-hungry warlords, the CIA, and a world leader. Born in a small village, Tenzin Gyatso was an unassuming child of horse farmers. But when the 13th Dalai Lama died, the extensive mystical search for his replacement pointed to Tenzin. There are many Lamas, and several of them are supposedly reincarnations of previous iterations. In fact, two of Tenzin’s siblings are just such lesser Lamas. The search for the Dalai Lama takes years and involves the highest monks of the order. Signs such as the floating head of the previous Dalai Lama and visions near a holy lake pointed them to Tenzin. He passed the tests they gave him, and before he could become the new Dalai Lama, there was a two year struggle with a local warlord and a play to sneak him into Tibet without the Chinese government knowing. By 1939, he was finally in Lhasa, the capitol of Tibet, where he was able to rule his people. By 1950, however, the People’s Republic of China had taken over Tibet. All religious freedoms were stifled, people were killed or disappeared, and it became illegal to hang a Tibetan flag or a picture of the Dalai Lama up. In 1959, a CIA-backed coup was meant to kick the Chinese out of Tibet, but it failed. The CIA had to smuggle the Dalai Lama over the Himalayas disguised as a soldier, where they placed him and 80,000 Tibetan refugees up in India in a government in exile. To this day, the 14th Dalai Lama still lives there. The Chinese still control Tibet, but to their government, he is a dangerous man. He controls the heart and culture of a land that is critical to their country. What will happen when finally dies? Why does he think China will try to create a fake Dalai Lama that they control? How can he stop such a thing? Why did they give him a Nobel peace prize? What threats does he face when he travels abroad to talk? How might quantum physics explain reincarnation? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/reviews/story/a-simple-universal-doctor-of-the-soul-59365 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalai_Lama https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Dalai_Lama https://www.dalailama.com/ https://www.tripsavvy.com/facts-about-the-14th-dalai-lama-1458309 https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2008/03/28/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-dalai-lama https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48772175 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V45yL-rqsVo https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1989/lama/biographical/ https://freetibet.org/about/dalai-lama https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_Tibetan_program  
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Episode 466: Eddie Murphy: The Era of Eddie
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss one of the all-time greats of comedy, Eddie Murphy. This New York native had a meteoric rise to fame in the early 1980s, and it led to a legendary run on Saturday Night Live and a stream of films such as the standup classics Delirious and Raw. With classics like 48 Hours, Golden Child, Coming to America, and Beverly Hills Cop under his belt, he became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and for good reason. He started as a smart but unique child in Brooklyn. While his brother, Charlie Murphy, would be outside playing all day, Eddie would spend the time watching TV and perfecting his voices and impressions. Murphy’s parents split when he was three, and his father was murdered by his girlfriend when he was 8. In spite of it all, he was a well-adjusted, funny, confident child. In high school, he led a talent show and got huge laughs doing an impression of Al Greene, and from that moment, he knew he wanted to be a comedian. He started working comedy clubs at the tender age of 15, and honed his craft through graduation and even a brief stint in college. He lied and said he was a disciple of Richard Pryor in order to get some traction in the clubs, and it seemed to work. At only 19 years old, he got hired by Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live, and his second season, he exploded. His bits like Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood, Tyrone Greene, and James Brown made ratings soar. He soon signed to his first movie, 48 Hours, and then Trading Places. They proved very successful, and he signed for a $25 million dollar movie deal, and the era of Eddie was upon us. He released hit after hit, comedy classics someone is lucky to pull off once, let alone several in a row. His fame rose, and he won a Grammy for his comedy album, and even his music reached number two on the Billboard charts. Of course, there were ups and downs, like the time he got pulled over with a transvestite hooker in his car and having won three Razzie awards for the period in time when he was just phoning in bad movies. But with hits like Shrek and the newer work like Dreamgirls and They Call me Dolomite, his star has started to shine again. Let’s hope he does more standup, and does it soon!   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/actor/eddie-murphy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Murphy https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/eddie-murphy-gets-the-last-laugh-wins-2020-razzie-rede-1842414110 https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/10/eddie-murphy-dreamgirls-blu-ray-oscars https://www.kennedy-center.org/artists/m/mo-mz/eddie-murphy/ https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/eddie-murphy-stopped-police-transsexual-prostitute-car-040035645.html https://theglowup.theroot.com/you-want-fries-with-that-nike-fuels-the-coming-2-ameri-1841993958      
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Episode 465: Ant Hill Kids: Worst Cult Ever!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at a most disturbing Canadian cult, the Ant Hill Kids. Founded by Roch Thériault (aka Moses, aka Poppy), this group started as an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists, but soon turned to a sadistic torture house. From frozen babies and the cutting off of toes to homemade pain surgeries and lots of castration, this cult was about as bad as it gets. Thériault was born to a religiously hyper household. They were members of a group called the White Berets, a pseudo-military religion that was highly political and sold journals to make money. Thériault was bright and charismatic from a young age but finished school at 7th grade. His father was abusive, so he left home soon after and married and started a normal life. His life got flipped, turned upside down, when a surgery went bad, and the results were constant pain. He turned to alcohol to self-medicate. His wife left him for sleeping with other women and being drunk, and at his homeless lowest, Thériault found the Seventh Day Adventists. He started selling literature for them and was amazingly successful, so his pastor moved him up to start recruiting members for their church. After a short amount of time, he started to recruit for his own group instead of the church, and his cult was born. On a hike one day, he had a holy vision of a spot that God would spare when the end of the world game a few years later, in 1979. He moved his group there and had them build a new town. He said they worked like ants on a hill, hence the cult’s name. Once everything was in place, the level of pain, punishment, and depravity is hard to capture in a couple hundred words of show notes. Ant Hill Kids had toes and fingers cut off. Limbs were removed. Children were nailed to trees where other kids threw rocks at them. Babies were left to freeze to death as a mercy to avoid Thériault’s sadism. People had to break their own legs, had their teeth plucked out, were castrated, had their genitals burned, and more than one was killed by Thériault’s home surgeries. What happened to Thériault? What brought down the Ant Hill Kids? How many people died? How did Thériault avoid capture when confronted by police more than once? What did the cult do once he was arrested the first time? How about the second? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roch_Th%C3%A9riault https://www.cvltnation.com/ant-hill-kids-break-legs-sledgehammer-go-hell/ https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/crimefeed/murder/roch-theriault-the-horrifying-savagery-home-surgery-of-canadas-most-violent-cult-leader https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/chilling-insight-doomsday-cult-members-13995059 https://www.darkhistories.com/roch-theriault-the-ant-hill-kids/  
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Episode 464: Lonnie Zamora: The Ultimate UFO Encounter
On this episode of the world Famous Sofa King Podcast, we examine the Lonnie Zamora UFO Encounter. Zamora was a police officer from Socorro, New Mexico, and he had an experience on April 24, 1964. What he saw lead to an investigation by local police, civilians, the media, the FBI, and the US Air Force, including Project Blue Book. J. Allen Hynek, one of the leads of Blue Book describes it as the “Rosetta Stone” of UFO cases, and it is still considered one of the most investigated and valid UFO encounters to date. In April of 1964, Zamora was perusing some rowdy teens in a car when he suddenly heard a huge roar and saw a massive pillar of flame and dust a mile or so from his position. He turned to investigate what he thought was a local dynamite shed blowing up. He drove to the top of a steep hill where he could see what has happening, and to his surprise, he saw a strange oval craft on the ground in an arroyo, out of sight to anyone but those at high elevation. The craft was a while aluminum with an insignia on it, and nearby were two humanoids. He called them large children or small adults. They seemed surprised that Zamora saw them, and they headed back to their vehicle, which he thought was some strange car that had run into the gulch. There was a second roar and a second pillar of flame, and Zamora ran for cover on the other side of the hill. The craft was in the sky soon, no more roar, no more flame, just silently moving. And moving quickly! Estimate are that it was going at over 700 MPH with no clear sign of propulsion or noise. Zamora called it in, and another cop named Chavez came. He said Zamora looked freaked out but publicly claimed he never saw the craft. They went into the gully and found four imprints from landing legs and burned bushes from the flame. Within two hours, the FBI was one scene was were other cops, and shortly thereafter the USAF showed along with their Project Blue Book as well as investigators from NICAP. The speed with which big league investigators flooded the area was alarmingly fast. This case has it all. UFO? Check. Little “aliens?” Check. New Mexico? Check. Reliable witness? Check. However, some claim it was not real, anything from ball lightning to a college hoax, to a Scooby Doo like scam to boost tourism in the local town. But what did Project Blue Book’s report ultimately say? What did the pre-media witnesses confirm? Why is this considered such a rock solid case? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonnie_Zamora_incident https://www.socorronm.org/attractions/socorro-landing-a-ufo-story/ https://science.howstuffworks.com/space/aliens-ufos/socorro-ufo.htm http://www.nmsr.org/socorro.htm https://skepticalinquirer.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2010/03/p25.pdf https://peoplepill.com/people/lonnie-zamora-incident/ https://www.ufocasebook.com/Zamora.html https://supernaturalmagazine.com/articles/the-lonnie-zamora-incident https://www.history.com/news/ufo-sighting-1950s-questionnaire-project-blue-book
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Episode 463: Irish Potato Famine: Great Hunger or Genocide?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time to the 1840s and look at the Irish Potato Famine. Known as the Great Hunger, this was a period of years where a horrible blight caused the failure of the single most important crop in the nation—potatoes. But the problem was deeper than that. Part of it was a horribly corrupt system of land ownership which was overseen by the British. Another was massive exports of food forced out of Ireland by the land owners while the common people starved. It all combined to reduce the population of the Emerald Isle by around 25% due to famine, disease, and people getting the hell out of there. So, why did the potato cause so much damage to the nation? Well for one, the (mostly British) land owners forced farmers to grow a single type of potato because it made them the most money. When disease spread killing that crop, there was nothing else in place. It was the main food source of typical Irish farmer/tenants, so the starvation was real. It speaks to the dangers of a monocrop and what a disease can do to a food supply. However, this was just the tip of the spear. The trouble came from horrible laws that were enforced by Britain. They upheld tariffs that made the import of food difficult; this wasn’t done in a previous famine, and the open ports saved the nation. This time, nobody could bring in food. But the landlords also exported the crops that were actually growing. They owned the land and the food produced on it, and most of them lived in England, so the food was shipped away to make a profit. The combination of these factors led to somewhere around 1.5 million people dying of starvation or disease and hundreds of thousands fleeing the country for England, Canada, and America. Many people classify what the British did (and failed to do) as a genocide of the Irish people. Some call it an accidental genocide, but others say it was intentional and fueled by racism and religious hatred against Irish Catholics. Be it planned or accident, the laws and the blight were the perfect storm for the darkest days of Ireland.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/topics/immigration/irish-potato-famine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland) https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Famine-Irish-history http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/famine_01.shtml https://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/introduction.htm https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/was-the-famine-genocide-by-the-british-28954929.html https://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-26-2-the-potato-famine-and-irish-immigration-to-america.html https://learnodo-newtonic.com/irish-potato-famine-facts https://www.irishcentral.com/news/new-facts-about-great-famine-emigration-out-of-ireland-revealed-139540423-237788421
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Episode 462: Nostradamus: The Divining Doctor
We predict you are going to enjoy this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast when we talk all things Nostradamus. Born as Michel de Nostradame in France in 1503, this man was said to have predicted the future with eerie accuracy. Haters gonna hate and skeptics gonna skept, but some of his creepy quatrains do seem like they came true. Nostradamus grew up in a fairly wealthy family and had the benefits of a great education and a keen intellect. He was accepted to college at age 14, and after a few years, he was traveling Europe and battling the Bubonic Plague. He made quite a name for himself as a physician with a much higher cure rating than most other doctors. His radical remedy? Vitamin C, clean air, draining the puss, and keeping people and place clean. Of course it worked. But these novel approaches got him noticed, and he soon had a royal sponsor, a wife, and two kids. Then, he soon had a dead wife and two dead kids, because, you know, the plague… After he made a comment about a religious statue, the church sent the Inquisition his way, so Nostradamus wisely decided to travel the world and skip town for a bit. While traveling, he had a “psychic awakening” and apparently studied astrology and the occult. When he finally came back home, he was more interested in writing about the future than we was curing people. Again, he gained celebrity, but this time for his predictions. He famously foretold the death of King Henry II of France and even told the queen Catherine de Medici exactly how he would die. Turns out, he was right to an astounding degree. He wrote several volumes of predictions, which he called Centuries because there were 100 predictions in each volume. Every prediction was written as a poetic quatrain, and some were in more than one language. Nostradamus told his son that he wrote them to be intentionally vague, so that he couldn’t be persecuted for witchcraft. Modern day skeptics think he wrote them intentionally vague, so people would always be able to say he was right, and his own fame would continue to grow while he was alive. Was he a mystic? A madman? A charlatan? All of the above? From JFK to 911 and from Hitler to the Antichrist, many of his predictions seemed to come true. We've talked about other so-called prophets, from Edgar Cayce to Baba Vanga, but Nostradamus was the grandfather of them all. Be your own judge and listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/scholar/nostradamus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus https://www.gaia.com/article/8-need-know-nostradamus-prophecies https://www.sacred-texts.com/nos/index.htm https://curiosmos.com/nostradamus-2020-predictions-what-did-the-french-seer-foresee-for-the-year-2020/ https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/nostradamus.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Saw_Tomorrow  
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Episode 461: DuPont: Chems, Cancer, and Killing
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at one of the largest corporations in the world: DuPont. The chemicals it has invented in the past two centuries have changed the world, but it is a family and company that are rich with crime and scandal. In recent years, the films Foxcatcher and Dark Waters famously showed the underbelly of the DuPonts. From murder to pollution to government cover-ups, DuPont is where it’s at! It all started with a wealthy family moved to America in 1800 to avoid the French Revolution. One of them (with the easiest name to pronounce, like, ever) Éleuthère Irénée du Pont realized no gunpowder companies in American could compare to Europe, so he started a gunpowder mill near Wilmington, Delaware called the Eleutherian Mills. This became the DuPont company, and within a short time, it was the main manufacturer of gunpowder and explosives for America and then the world. The company spread to developing chemicals in the 1900s. Pierre S. du Pont even invested in the struggling auto start up called GM. He became president of the company, which led to one of many antitrust break ups of the DuPont empire. In WWII, they were vital to the war effort, and in peace time, they ushered in the golden age of chemistry. Nylon, Lycra, Mylar, Teflon, Kevlar, and many other inventions were thanks to their factories. However, as they developed these chemicals, the ignored safety regulations, refused to give findings to the government, and covered up lethality to the communities and the workers in their plants. Most famous was the cover up of the world-wide toxin known as C8, a key ingredient in Teflon. Oh, and don’t forget about the time one of the DuPont kids started a strange wrestling cult and murdered a guy. This family and this company is a long black list of scandals and corruption…just the kind of thing we love in SK! Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/john-du-pont https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_Pont_family https://theintercept.com/2015/08/11/dupont-chemistry-deception/ https://theintercept.com/2018/07/07/dupont-carneys-point-chambers-works-chemours/ https://www.forbes.com/profile/du-pont/#444f1e9a253b https://www.investopedia.com/articles/company-insights/091016/top-5-companies-owned-dupont-dd.asp https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuPont_(1802%E2%80%932017) https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/john-du-pont https://uspirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/five-things-you-should-know-about-dupont-chemical-company https://www.delawareonline.com/story/life/2014/05/11/facts-alfred-dupont/8921791/
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Episode 460: The Finders: Your Basic CIA Children Sex Cult
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we examine a strange cult that had everything from sexual abuse and Fight Club style challenges to Men in Black who live in vans and CIA involvement. They were The Finders. This group was led by a man named Marion Pettie, who started the group when he bought two pieces of property and allowed anyone to live there as long as they could teach him “something about power, money, or sex.” The start of the group, and even their beliefs, are hard to research. This is in part due to the fact that they dissolved after Pettie died in 2004. It may also be in part due to the fact that the FBI was forced to redact all of its information by the CIA and only recently declassified the documents. The only reason we know about them is from a disturbing incident on February 4, 1987. Two well-dressed men in black suits were arrested with six young children in Tallahassee, Fla. They kids were malnourished, filthy, in a state of sub-lingual shock, covered in bug bites, and non-responsive. The men and the kids had all been living in a van (down by the river?). This led to the police communicating with the DC Police who had been looking for The Finders for some time and didn’t know they were as far away as Florida. From here, major new outlets picked up the story, and it got even more strange. Marion Pettie, the “Game Leader” of the cult had branches all over the world and even used computer modems to communicate with each other (something that most people in the world didn’t have). Police found bags full of photos of naked children, kids killing goats, children’s genitals, and very high tech computer systems. They also found instructions on how to buy kids in Hong Kong and how to brainwash children. Everyone from the national reporters, local police, United States Department of Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, and the FBI were trying to find out more and take them down. But then, out of nowhere, everyone was forced to halt their investigations by the CIA. One report claimed the CIA was using The Finders as a misinformation troupe and were therefore protected, even the child sex. Was that part true? Hard to say until more documents get revealed to us, but this is a wild one.   Visit Our Sources: https://vault.fbi.gov/the-finders https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x53vg/the-finders-cult-from-the-80s-was-patient-zero-for-epstein-and-pizzagate-conspiracies https://www.swordandscale.com/the-finders/ https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/27lqws/the_finders_deep_child_abuse_groupcult/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1987/02/07/officials-describe-cult-rituals-in-child-abuse-case/11f05df1-48e0-41f7-b46d-249c0bd2bc39/ https://steemit.com/pizzagate/@rebelskum/finding-the-finders-and-how-the-cia-helped-industrialize-child-trafficking https://apnews.com/2eab7f35f730aca807f97a8a08896b32 https://www.nytimes.com/1987/02/08/us/inquiry-spreads-on-6-children-and-cult.html  
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Episode 459: The MV Wilhelm Gustloff: Hitler’s Titanic
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time to look at the worst maritime disaster of all time, the sinking of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff. It was a ship with an interesting history that was being used by the Nazis to evacuate Germans from the oncoming Red Army in Operation Barbosa. However, it was packed ridiculously tight and ignored all safety and even military protocols, the result of which was over 9000 souls lost due to torpedoes from a Russian submarine. The Wilhelm Gustloff was originally built as a luxury cruise ship by the Nazi Party to help give members of their labor union morale boost. It sailed over 50 voyages before the war got bad, and once the Spanish Civil War started, she was used to transport German troops. It served as a hospital ship at times, a troop transport, and even a floating voter platform off the coast of England for German citizens. But, when the Red Army was sweeping West, they were known for atrocities toward any Germans they found. Thus, over a million people had evacuated into Prussia and nearby regions, desperate to escape the army. In the Gulf of Danzig on January 30, 1945, the Wilhelm Gustloff was packed to the gills. The ship was designed for 2000 passengers, but after the drained the water from the pools and threw out most of the furniture, there were over 10,000 people on board. That wasn’t bad enough. The trip was cursed by endless factors that should have made anyone turn the ship around. What happened to two of the torpedo boats that should have been escorting Wilhelm Gustloff? What mechanical failure did the only remaining escort boat have? What was up with the mysterious radio transmission that made the Gustloff reveal its position to the enemy? What came of the drunken Russian captain Aleksandr Marinesko who sank the Wilhelm Gustloff, and why did he get a dishonorable discharge? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit our Sources: https://www.dw.com/en/75-years-on-little-known-about-the-wilhelm-gustloff-sinking/a-18226012 https://time.com/4198914/wilhelm-gustloff-salt-to-the-sea/ https://www.historyhit.com/the-sinking-of-the-gustloff/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/deadliest-disaster-sea-happened-75-years-ago-yet-its-barely-known-why-180974077/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Wilhelm_Gustloff https://www.marineinsight.com/maritime-history/sinking-of-mv-wilhelm-gustloff-the-deadliest-maritime-disaster/ https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2018/12/11/sinking-the-wilhelm-gustloff/ https://militaryhistorynow.com/2014/04/16/the-gustloff-incident-historys-deadliest-and-forgotten-ship-sinking/ https://unbelievable-facts.com/2016/02/wilhelm-gustloff.html https://www.deseret.com/2016/1/27/20581211/this-week-in-history-the-wilhelm-gustloff-is-sunk-by-a-soviet-submarine#the-passengers-on-board-the-german-liner-wilhelm-gustloff-acting-as-a-polling-station-for-germans-in-london-and-southern-england-enjoy-themselves-during-the-trip-to-sea-by-singing-and-dancing-as-the-ship-leaves-tilbury-essex-april-10-1938
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Episode 458: The Axeman of New Orleans: Nuff Said!
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look into the True Crime vault, back to a series of murders in New Orleans at the turn of the century. The killer? The infamous Axeman of New Orleans. This figure is still unidentified to this day. He killed six people with an axe and razor and injured six others. He may have continued killing outside of New Orleans with his axy ways, but we’ll never know for sure. What we will know is this story is as New Orleans as it gets, involving immigrants, jazz music, and an alleged devil walking the streets and taunting police offers. The backdrop is New Orleans of 1918. The city is famous for its fusion of African-American and Creole influences in the deep south. However, another culture that dominated the Crescent City was Italian immigrants. Over 20,000 had moved there, mostly from Sicily. They started as share croppers making hardly any money, but many of them saved and started selling produce at corner stores or markets. By 1918, almost half the grocers in the city were Italian, and many people didn’t like this. The traditional racist Southern White thought they were no better than blacks and called them dirty “dagoes.” And these dagoes fought back. They brought with them not only a tireless work ethic, but also the Sicilian Mob and the ideas of Black Hand Crime. So, in 1918, a series of violent crimes hit Italian grocery owners. The attacks were brutal, even killing a two year old. Various arrests were made, but none ever stuck, and the crimes kept happening. So who was this Axeman? Was he a member of the Mafia, following up on extortion rackets? Was it a demon from hell, as an infamous letter sent to the police and media suggested? Was it jealous competitors who wanted to shut down other grocers? Was it a serial killer with a particular fetish and MO? How did these murders get all of New Orleans to listen to jazz music on the same night? What happened in Los Angeles that may have let a widow of one of the Axeman’s victims may ultimately shoot and kill the actual murderer? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/axeman-new-orleans-preyed-italian-immigrants-180968037/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/axeman-new-orleans-preyed-italian-immigrants-180968037/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/axeman-new-orleans-preyed-italian-immigrants-180968037/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/axeman-new-orleans-preyed-italian-immigrants-180968037/ http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2016/05/24/does-this-1919-photograph-reveal-an-infamous-new-orleans-serial-killer/ http://www.openculture.com/2018/10/story-axeman-new-orleans-serial-killer-loved-jazz.html https://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/article/the-axeman-of-new-orleans https://medium.com/@hlemonroe/unsolved-the-axeman-murderer-of-new-orleans-2580c0fa59b https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axeman_of_New_Orleans
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Episode 457: Illegal AIDS Trials: Drugs Forced on Foster Children
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at a modern day conspiracy theory that turns out to be true—the AIDS drug trials conducted on foster children. These were a series of as many as 48 different trials spread through seven different states in the US. They were very dangerous Phase I and Phase II drug trials that were performed on children with AIDS or HIV. The really nasty part is that many of the kids didn’t have any legal advocate, and when they wanted to stop the drug trials, they weren’t allowed. Some were even force fed with feeding tubes surgically inserted into their stomachs. This story came out in 2005 thanks to reporting done by Jamie Doran of the BBC (see show notes below for the Guinea Pigs documentary link) and John Solomon from the Associate Press. While the trials were done on children in multiple locations, the worst of it was in New York City. Thanks to then Mayor Giuliani, a group called the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) was created. This monster of an organization was gifted with the power to take children away from parents for simply refusing medical treatment. And they did. In the 1990s, they started to take away infected children from biological and legal parents simply for not giving them dangerous, sometimes untested drugs. Not giving them the drugs made them “abusive” parents, so the kids were taken from them and placed in foster homes such as the Catholic church owned Incarnation Children’s Center. From the Catholic group home to prestigious research hospitals to academic institutions and the giant pharma companies, everyone was complicit. They denied children their legal rights, took them from their parents, and filled their bodies with Black Label, dangerous drugs. How many kids were involved? What percent were foster kids? What legal protections do parents have against getting their kids taken away? What happened to the kind-hearted nurse who tried to help? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: Guinea Pigs BBC Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2ScDCIDYJI http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7736157/ns/health-aids/t/government-tested-aids-drugs-foster-kids/#.Xkhg6yhKg2w http://www.natap.org/2005/newsUpdates/062005_02.htm https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4669470 https://ahrp.org/2004-a-national-scandal-aids-drug-experiments-on-children-in-foster-care/ https://ahrp.org/aids-drug-vaccine-experiments-on-foster-children/
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Episode 456: Tulsa Race Massacre: Oklahoma’s Dark Day
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at a dark (and often unknown) chapter from American history, the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. This was brought to the public’s attention in the excellent HBO Watchmen series, and many people (hosts included) thought it was just a fiction from this world of super heroes. However, it was very real and very tragic. The whole thing unfolded in perhaps the most unique and prosperous neighborhood for African Americans in the all of the US, a portion of Tulsa known as Greenwood. This area was called the Black Wall Street. It was a place where wealth black investors from Chicago and New York moved. It had movie theaters, jewelry stores, high end restaurants, everything that many black communities didn’t have. The problem was, Tulsa also had white supremacy groups such as the KKK and the Knights of Liberty. They ran lynch mobs and saw vigilante “justice” even on white criminals who they would storm out of police detention and kill. On Memorial Day weekend, a black shoe shiner named Dick Rowland had an encounter with elevator operator named Sarah Page in the elevator of the Drexler Building. She screamed. He ran out. The next day he was arrested for no particular reason. By that afternoon, a mob of 1000 people stormed the sheriff’s department, even though they concluded no crime was committed. Some black residents banded together with weapons (many were vets from WWI), and thing escalated quickly. Shots were fired, and ten whites and two black were dead in minutes. The white mob armed itself and stormed Greenwood. They burned down 35 city blocks in one night. They destroyed the businesses, torched 1200 houses, left 8000 black residents homeless, and murdered as many as 300 innocent victims. The immediate response afterward was a systematic cover up. No journalist could write about it. Tulsa police and military records went missing, and all the culpability of city leaders who stoked the flames were disappeared. There have since been memorials and calls for reparation, but even Dr. Manhattan can’t save the day this time.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/hbo-2019/the-massacre-of-black-wall-street/3217/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_race_massacre https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/tulsa-race-massacre https://www.tulsahistory.org/exhibit/1921-tulsa-race-massacre/ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/21/arts/television/watchmen-tulsa-race-riot.html https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=TU013 https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2018/10/11/we-lived-like-we-were-wall-street/ https://www.npr.org/2019/12/17/789015343/new-research-identifies-possible-mass-graves-from1921-tulsa-race-massacre https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/possible-mass-grave-1921-tulsa-race-massacre-found-researchers-n1102781 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-lost-manuscript-contains-searing-eyewitness-account-tulsa-race-massacre-1921-180959251/ https://www.theringer.com/2018/6/28/17511818/black-wall-street-oklahoma-greenwood-destruction-tulsa
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Episode 455: Taylor Swift: Feuds, Fortune, and Fame
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the queen of pop and the princess of country western, Taylor Swift! Brad celebrates her entire collection, Dave just discovered and digs her, and Brent…knows who she is. Regardless of where you fall on the T-Swift spectrum, she’s an incredibly gifted song writer with ten Grammys and endless awards. She was the wealthiest celebrity under 30. She’s had a crazy life of stardom and feuds, and her story is a testament to what hard work and talent can get you (to the tune of $400 million). She was born to an upper middle class family of stock brokers in Pennsylvania back in 1989. She spent her childhood living on a Christmas tree farm of all things, and at age nine, she discovered a love for music. By age 14, her parents moved to Tennessee, so she could be close to the country music scene in Nashville. This was not a mistake. In short order, she was discovered singing a small gig and signed. From there, she released her single “Tim McGraw” and has been experiencing an exponential growth of success ever since. As she matured, she started to reinvent herself from country to pop, and her fame and accomplishments only grew with the change. There was of course the infamous beef with Kanye West, which we talk about in some detail. She even had a beef with Katy Perry once. But love her or hate her, she stands up for what she believes in. She speaks out for women’s rights and LGBTQ issues, even at the detriment of record sales. She dipped her toe in politics to try and register more voters, and she gives back through philanthropic causes. She’s the focus of the documentary Miss Americana and one of the biggest stars on the planet. So give this one a listen, give this one a laugh, and go ahead and learn while you’re at it!   Visit Our Sources https://www.biography.com/musician/taylor-swift https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Swift https://www.singers.com/bio/6625 https://www.forbes.com/profile/taylor-swift/#1441f0f618e2 https://summary.org/taylor-swift-net-worth/ https://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/taylor-swift-facts-trivia-2264582 https://heavy.com/money/2019/08/taylor-swift-net-worth/
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Episode 454: Falcon Lake: Canada’s Roswell
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look North of the Border at “The Roswell of Canada” known as the Incident at Falcon Lake. This took place back in 1967. Most people claim it is the most documented encounter in Canada’s UFO history. It is the story of a Polish prospector who stumbled on two craft, gets burned, and has strange health problems the rest of his life. So where does this story begin? A remote lake in Manitoba. Stefan Michalak was a mechanic from Poland who did prospecting as a hobby. He found himself at Falcon Lake since the area is rich with minerals. He staked a claim there the previous year and was out looking for the goods. While there, he heard a bunch of geese (a gaggle?) honk and freak out and fly off. He went to investigate and was surprised at what he saw. There were two craft on the ground, glowing. He described them as cigarette shaped (but drew them as saucers, oddly enough). Michalak approached the craft, assuming they were American test craft, and he called to see if the pilots needed help. What he got for his trouble was a UFO door that shut in his face and a hot blast of air through a metal grate that burned his shirt off and left a grid of scars on his abdomen. Next, Michalak took a bus home to his family and was sick and stunk of ozone and chemicals. He lost weight, and doctors thought he was suffering from radiation sickness, but specialists at the Mayo Clinic said they didn’t know what was wrong with him. Months later, the US government and the RCMP found the site and did investigations. Ultimately, they found burned marks in the ground, high levels of radiation, and later on, melted metal fragments in the rocks. Michalak’s family suffered social disgrace from the incident, but his story stayed remarkably stable. The critics posed questions later about an encounter with the police as he left the site, but this is an interesting case because it came before UFO fever had gripped the world. Visit Our Sources https://alienufoblog.com/falcon-lake-incident-of-1967-ufo-sighting/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/falcon-lake-incident-book-anniversary-1.4121639 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_sightings_in_Canada#1967,_Falcon_Lake,_Manitoba_incident https://unsolvedmysteries.fandom.com/wiki/Falcon_Lake_UFO https://www.clermontsun.com/2018/10/26/falcon-lakes-mysterious%E2%80%88ufo-event/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/610260/ufo-sighting-documents-donated-to-university-of-manitoba https://www.livescience.com/canadian-ufo-collection-falcon-lake-incident.html https://www.thedailybeast.com/hunting-flying-saucers-in-the-great-white-north https://www.appalachianghostwalks.com/USUFOCenter/ufologist/booth/falconlake1.html  
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Episode 453: General George Patton: The Legend of WWII
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life of an exceptional man of war, General George S. Patton. Patton was born to a privileged family. He knew politicians and seemingly indestructible Civil War generals as a child. His family was a military family, and he was destined to be the same. After academic struggles, he entered West Point. Here, he flunked out in math but excelled in tactics and military drills. Once he graduated, he wiggled his way to the Mexican border where he worked for General Pershing and fought the Mexican outlaw, Pancho Villa. He made a name for himself here and earned promotions before his time in WWI. In the war, he saw a new type of combat, ones using battle tanks. He quickly became the nation’s (if not the world’s) expert at tank warfare and mechanized combat. After legendary exploits in WWI France, he found himself in World War II, where he was indispensable. He helped capture North Africa, Sicily, and most of Germany on his push for blood and guts. Then, there was the time he slapped two soldiers and almost got fired. Oh, and the time he killed a soldier with a shovel, but nobody seemed to care. Did I mention he was an Olympic athlete, redesigned the sabre used by the US Army, and believed in reincarnation? Love him or hate him, George Patton was a quintessential war soldier.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/military-figure/george-patton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_S._Patton https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/george-smith-patton https://www.loc.gov/collections/george-s-patton-diaries/about-this-collection/ https://www.americanheritage.com/ikes-son-remembers-george-s-patton-jr https://vault.fbi.gov/george-s.-patton https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-price-of-being-a-patton-wrestling-with-the-legacy-of-americas-most-famous-general https://www.military.com/army/lt-gen-george-s-patton-jr.html https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-george-patton
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Episode 452: Aileen Wuornos: The Tragic Life of a Monster
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life and death (sentence) of the monster Aileen Wuornos. She was a notorious female serial killer, the one that the movie Monster was based on. She only killed five, but she had a hell of a path getting there. Her father was a child molester who killed himself in prison. His mother was a teenager who abandoned Aileen and her brother. This put her under the care of her grandparents; her grandmother the alcoholic, and her grandfather the rapist. Her horrible childhood led to her having sex as a child for loose change and cigarettes just to be popular. She even had sex with her brother. After she was impregnated at 14, she became homeless and lived in the woods. The only way to survive was to sell her body, and she started a career of that. She moved to Florida, married a rich guy, abused him, and got annulled in nine weeks. She met the love of her life, a woman named Tyria Moore, and she started a decades long career of random petty crimes as a hooker. Eventually, she was assaulted by one of her customers and killed him in what she called self-defense. This led to a killing spree over the course of a year. How did she get busted? Did her girlfriend give her up? How many times was she arrested? How did her brother die? How many men did she kill, and were they all customers? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aileen_Wuornos https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/aileen-wuornos http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/wuornos805.htm https://capitalpunishmentincontext.org/cases/wuornos https://listverse.com/2020/01/04/10-tragic-facts-about-the-life-of-aileen-wuornos/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/aileen-wuornos https://murderpedia.org/female.W/w/wuornos-aileen.htm  
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Episode 451: Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Disaster at Sea
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the worst industrial catastrophes of the modern age, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This so-called island of trash is not an island at all. It is actually quite worse. The gyres in the ocean move every single bit of plastic, garbage, and fishing nets (sooooo many fishing nets) in a constant rotation. While there are areas where the larger trash congeals into solid islands, the majority of it is micro plastic that has broken up due currents and the sun. Think of it as cat litter sized plastic filling our oceans. How much? Try seven million tons that go nine feed deep and spread to an area twice the size of Texas. That’s trillions of bits of plastic, or hundreds of pieces of plastic for every person on the planet. What are the efforts to clean it up? How much will it cost? What damage does this do to the sea life? Who discovered it? What can you do to help? Who is the worst contributor globally? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/ https://www.listland.com/10-horrifying-facts-about-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/ https://eradicateplastic.com/10-interesting-facts-about-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/ https://factslegend.org/40-interesting-great-pacific-garbage-patch-facts/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HBtl4sHTqU https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/about/media/how-big-great-pacific-garbage-patch-science-vs-myth.html https://theoceancleanup.com/great-pacific-garbage-patch/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch https://psmag.com/environment/trash-islands-taking-over-oceans https://www.foxnews.com/science/plan-to-clear-great-pacific-garbage-patch-texas-sized-island-of-trash-in-ocean-draws-concerns  
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Episode 450: Bikram Choudhury: Yoga Guru or Cult-Leader Rapist?
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life and crimes of Bikram Choudhury, yoga guru and rapist. This guy ticked all the boxes of a cult leader: crazy charisma, the ability to bilk money from followers, promises of better spiritual and physical life, and lots of sex! He allegedly taught yoga to Elvis, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Quincy Jones, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Lady Gaga and David Beckham. He never called it a cult, but he had over 650 franchises of his yoga studio around the world and millions of dollars and assets provided by thousands of adoring followers. The problem was, a lot of his sex was not consensual. He was a predator who would sexually assault and rape people at his nine week long yoga seminars held at plush hotels. Eventually, he was busted by the likes of Larissa Anderson and Sarah Baughn, and he lost his empire to his ex-lawyer Minakshi Jafa-Bodden. So where is he now? Did he ever do any jail time? What countries will let him live there without extradition? Was his divorce a sham to hide money? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2019-11-22/bikram-choudhury-netflix-documentary-yoga-sexual-assault https://www.mamamia.com.au/bikram-choudhury/ https://www.oxygen.com/true-crime-buzz/did-rajashree-choudhury-divorce-yoga-guru-husband-bikram https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a29857796/where-is-bikram-choudhury-now-yoga-founder-netflix-documentary/ https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2485542/what-bikram-choudhury-thinks-about-netflix-scathing-new-yoga-documentary https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/nov/20/bikram-choudhury-yoga-founder-abuse-netflix-documentary https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bikram-choudhury-sexual-assault_n_5d4dc527e4b0fd2733f0286f?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAANNqHUXwNhr2kYfOLAqioxTzln2hiR0gtJSVg8E4wN2pWc677atsmGGp1F8J7guUwxDTauiMAjzHnlH4LXX7bxhUvNaQ8cyS9rsGGMx1E3HNBukSFzUiJ4glE6iFdWmjl9ihTwuf3NTLV9tT-BCrbTFg7QHYxY_l3b01AEYw6XNG https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bikram_Choudhury https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/dec/03/he-made-a-fortune-from-his-trademarked-bikram-yoga-but-now-his-empire-is-in-tatters https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/bikram-yogi-guru-predator-true-story-46896525 Netflix Original Documentary: Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator  
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Episode 449: The Black Death: Disease and Disaster
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at one of the worst disasters in the history of human civilization, The Black Death. The Black Death is commonly thought to be a horrible epidemic of the Bubonic Plague, though some doctors think it was a different virus entirely. Either way, it killed. A lot. Historical records are weak from the time, but modern experts estimate that somewhere between 70 and 200 million (roughly a third of Europe’s population) was killed in only three horrible years. So where did it come from? The safe money is on China. It spread from Mongol invaders and traders using the silk road. Before it hit Europe, kings had heard of its spread through China, Egypt, and other remote areas. But in 1347, twelve ships docked in Messina, Italy, and the dock workers founds scores of dead, all covered in boils and black flesh. They tried to turn the ships away, but it had already gotten ashore. The Black Death was here. It spread like ink through water—Germany, France, England, Spain. Scores dead everywhere it went. Village after village was completely killed or abandoned. Larger cities faired differently, but death was everywhere. Nobody knew how it spread. The doctors blamed evil being floating from the infected people’s eyes. They blamed bad blood. They blamed sinners. They even blamed the Jews and murdered them by scores. The Italian poet Boccaccio describes the death toll in detail, discussing the piles of bodies in every city, the paranoia, the families abandoning each other. Most modern experts agree that the major vector for this spreading dealt with fleas on rats and mice. They’d drink blood from an infected rodent and then bite a human, spreading the infection. This made it especially deadly on ships and in large, port towns. But doctors knew nothing of sanitation or how disease spread, so things like beating yourself with a leather whip or killing all the cats and dogs seemed a good way to cure it. The Black Death completely changed Europe. The way land lords used to have peasants work their farms was no longer sustainable because there weren’t’ enough peasants left to grow food. Famine came next. So, royals had to let poor people own their own land for the first time, and in some countries women were first given the ability to own land thanks to the Black Death. The plague is still with us. It pops up in India and China (and even California), and in spite of all of our best confidence in modern medicine, nobody can even agree on which disease the Black Death was. Also, if it came back, would it be resistant to antibiotics? If so, get ready for round two, and think about becoming a prepper! Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/black-death https://www.britannica.com/event/Black-Death http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm https://www.livescience.com/what-was-the-black-death.html https://www.ancient.eu/Black_Death/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/black_01.shtml https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/black-death-plague-epidemic-facts-what-caused-rats-fleas-how-many-died/ https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg17223184-000-did-bubonic-plague-really-cause-the-black-death/ https://www.genome.gov/27546229/dissecting-the-cause-of-the-black-death https://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/black-death/ https://www.factretriever.com/black-death-facts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/plague-faq https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327045.php#1    
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Episode 448: Ken and Barbie Killers: A Murderous Marriage
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we investigate a Canadian true crime and bring you the horrible tale of the Ken and Barbie Killers. Paul Bernardo and his wife Karla Homolka are household names in Canada, where the committed their crimes, but they may not be well known where you are. In short, Bernardo was a prolific rapist, and Homolka was fine with it once she became his bride. In fact, she helped scout victims, including her own sister, and eventually helped him graduate to murder. Bernardo was born to an upper middle class family, but he had a father who abused his family and raped his daughter. His mother who retreated from family life and moved to the basement. Eventually, Bernardo learned he was an illegitimate son, and he started to hate his mother and call her a whore. Maybe this is where the schism started in his brain. Bernardo began to learn how to be a good salesperson, manipulate people, and pick up women. He studied American Psycho as his bible. He went to college and eventually began a raping spree that dubbed him the Scarborough Rapist, with potentially as many as 30 victims according to some. In the middle of all this raping, he met Homolka, and she was down with his sickness. They were both blonde and lived what seemed a perfect life on the outside (hence the Ken and Barbie moniker). But they were both equally perverted and monstrous. Eventually, raping random girls wasn’t enough, so Homolka met a teenaged friend who she worked with and brought her home as a wedding gift to Bernardo. They drugged her, raped her, filmed it all. Two times. The second time, she almost died, but they revived her, and she had no memories since she was so deeply drugged. On Christmas, Homolka decided that Bernardo would get her younger sister Tammy (15 years old) as a Christmas Present. Bernardo used to sneak into her room and masturbate while she slept, so she was the perfect gift. This time, however, their drug cocktail was too strong, and Tammy died. The dressed her and put her back in bed and called the cops. It was December 23rd, just in time for family Christmas. From there, the rapes kept going, and they kept taping it all. They added another victim to their list of abducted, raped, and murdered, a 14 year old girl named Leslie Mahaffy, followed by the 15 year old Kristen French. But hey, nothing’s perfect. Eventually, Bernardo beat Homolka with a flash light, and things went sideways. Homolka told her family that the two of them were the killers, and just as police were getting close anyway, the arrests were made. Homolka famously made a plea deal that spared her 12 years of a sentence, though many argue it was a bogus deal because she didn’t really add anything and was so utterly unrepentant in the police videos So, what happened to them in jail? What type of love affair did Homolka have with two people in prison? What is her family life like now that she’s been released? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://allthatsinteresting.com/paul-bernardo-karla-homolka-ken-and-barbie-killers https://www.thecrimemag.com/revisiting-shocking-murder-scenes-ken-barbie-killers/ https://murdersmysteriesandmissing.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/murders-the-ken-and-barbie-killers/ https://listverse.com/2017/06/22/10-little-known-facts-about-the-ken-and-barbie-killers/ https://www.oxygen.com/true-crime-buzz/karla-homolka-luka-magnotta-dont-f--k-with-cats-paul-bernardo https://www.femalefirst.co.uk/features/true-crime-tuesday-ken-barbie-killers-canada-1201213.html https://www.ranker.com/list/paul-bernardo-karla-homolka-ken-and-barbie/cat-mcauliffe https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/crimefeed/murder/the-ken-barbie-killers-where-is-karla-homolka-today https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karla_Homolka https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bernardo https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=312&v=6RCn1i5CwT8&feature=emb_logo https://www.youtube.com/watch?
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Episode 447: Pinkerton Detective Agency: Thugs, Cops, or Something in the Middle?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the most corporations in American history, the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Known simply as the Pinkertons, they have were a key figure in the taming of the old west. They feuded with Jesse James, killed strikers during labor disputes, and protected the railroad as it expanded. They evolved over the years to become one of the world’s largest modern day security companies, but their legacy as corporate goon squads and private armies is still around today (and for good reason!). The group was said to be founded by Allan Pinkerton (though it was really him and his brother together). Allan was an emigre from Scotland who landed in Chicago as a barrel builder. While there, the stumbled on a counterfeit ring and helped the local sheriff bust them. From there, his life as a crime fighter and detective started. He and his brother started two different detective and security companies but eventually merged them to be the infamous Pinkertons of the old west. So what was so special about the Pinkertons? Well, for one thing, they hired straight up street thugs and armed them. Eventually, they had more members of their group than the US Army had soldiers. Secondly, they were not afraid to get their hands dirty. Their union busting efforts saw their members do everything from firebombing to shooting innocent picketers. What else did they do? They allegedly stopped Abraham Lincoln from getting assassinated on the way to his inauguration. They hired the first ever female detective in the United States. They killed people for JD Rockefeller in the Ludlow Massacre. They blew up Jesse James’ mom and little brother with a bomb. They started the first ever criminal database in the nation, and they were the equivalent of the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service in the 1800s when such things didn’t even exist yet. We cover everything from their time as Union spies during the civil war to their feud with the video game Red Dead Redemption. The Pinkertons are still around, though, so let’s hope we don’t piss them off enough to start spying on us!   Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-pinkertons https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/james-agency/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkerton_(detective_agency) https://www.pinkerton.com/ https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinkerton-detectives-still-exist-and-theyre-tired-of-being-the-bad-guys-11548097818 https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/august-25/ https://www.loc.gov/item/mm75036301/ http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/969.html https://newrepublic.com/article/147619/pinkertons-still-never-sleep https://www.legendsofamerica.com/pinkertons/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Massacre www.denverpost.com/2014/04/11/100-years-ago-ludlow-miners-and-their-families-were-massacred/
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Episode 446: Modern Day UFOs: Military Mysteries
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we explore some of the most reliable UFO cases in modern history. There are hundreds of sightings out there, so we wanted to focus on ones that had the most eye witnesses or had a lot of military backing. We settled on three cases that were pretty big and hard to dispute and were all confirmed by the US Military. They said this stuff happened, but they denied any alien involvement or explanation. First, we cover the strange case of Ludlow Air Force Base in 1975. This one involves multiple radar contacts, dozens of witnesses, unmarked helicopters, Canadian Mounties, and nuclear bombs! For two days a cigar shaped craft (or 2 different crafts) hovered over this airbase, and it was made known all the way back to the Pentagon. It’s from back in the day, but it is largely considered one of the most confirmed UFO sightings of all time. The next two were revealed to the world by the New York Times in 2017, when they uncovered a government project called AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program). It was the modern day equivalent of Project Blue Book and ran from 2007 to 2012, and it captured footage of some pretty wild aerial encounters. They call them unidentified aerial phenomena because of the negative connotation of UFO, but they tracked several. One was a video called the Tic-Tac or “Go Fast” encounter. In it, a pilot tracks a strange cigar shaped craft using advanced radar systems. It was part of the a weird encounter with the USS Nimitz group that lasted for several days. They were tracking some sort of craft, and it culminated with a video (see links below). Another AATIP encounter was with US Airforce F18 jet, and it was called the Gimbal Video. It shows a strange top-like object that spins on its axis and was seen to double the max speed of any known aircraft. Most disturbingly, a pilot on the official cockpit video says there is a whole fleet of them down there! So, download this one, look to the skies, and enjoy these tales of UFOS.     Visit Our Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html https://www.history.com/news/ufo-sightings-credible-modern Tic Tac: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=105&v=wxVRg7LLaQA&feature=emb_logo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxVRg7LLaQA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Aerospace_Threat_Identification_Program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4qIHWLSOn8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Nimitz_UFO_incident https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a29073804/navy-ufo-videos-real/ https://www.livescience.com/65585-ufo-sightings-us-pilots.html https://www.chicagotribune.com/redeye/ct-redeye-xpm-2013-03-20-37880251-story.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_O%27Hare_International_Airport_UFO_sighting https://www.narcap.org/about-narcap https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loring_Air_Force_Base#UFO_sighting https://www.ufoinsight.com/the-loring-air-force-base-ufo-encounter-a-case-study/ Loring AFB Documents: http://www.all-hazards.com/loring/legends/assort1_ufo.pdf  
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Episode 445: Dog the Bounty Hunter: Fame and Felons
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the incredibly wild and sometimes rough backstory and life of Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman. Chapman is of course famous for his reality shows, where he shows the perfect admixture of compassion and violence while he is hunting bail jumping criminals. He was so good at his job that he landed the heir to the Max Factor fortune in just 60 days, while the FBI had been looking for him for over three years! Dog’s back story shows a really rough life that should never have turned to him making his way to the right side of the law. Chapman grew up in Denver to an abusive father. He became an emancipated minor early in life due to bruises discovered on his body from home violence. At the age of 15, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona and with the help of a fake ID he made himself. He joined the Devils Disciples, a criminal motorcycle club. While here, he did all the things that a “One Percenter” biker gang member would do, and he earned his nickname Dog. He fell into a life of drug use, drug deals, burglary, and certainly things he’ll never talk about. After several years of this life, he got arrested for first degree murder. His friend shot a man while making a drug deal, and being the oddly soft hearted guy he was, Chapman went home and called 911 to make sure the victim was okay. This phone call (and frankly, his own screw up) led the cops to him. He was arrested and sentenced to five years, even though he wasn’t even in the building. In jail, he became a counselor for other prisoners, and he also landed the coveted job of cutting hair for the warden and guards. After chasing down a fellow inmate who was about to get shot by the COs, he was given the nickname Bounty Hunter. “Dog the Bounty Hunter” was born. He got out for good behavior (and a chat with the warden), and he couldn’t find any work as an ex-felon. A judge let him do a bounty to drop some past child support, and the rest was history. From there, he went straight to the post office to find the top ten fugitives list and caught one of them within days. He started collecting bounties and befriended cops and the FBI, which led to him meeting Tony Robbins and working for him during his self-improvement seminars. From here, he met various celebrities and eventually landed his own famous TV show. So, how did he catch Andrew Luster, the Max Factor heir in Mexico? Why did this get Dog arrested and make him a fugitive from the Mexican law? What happened years later when Mexico had him extradited for his crimes? How popular was his show, and how did he meet is famous wife and soul mate Beth? How and when did Beth die? How did Dog go from having a price on his head in prison to being a prison super star? Is he a racist, as the leaked phone call with his son suggests? Is he really Native American, or is that something he cashes in on and exploits? How did he meet Ozzy Osbourne, and how did that help his show? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/performer/duane-chapman https://www.travelfuntu.com/entertainment/dog-bounty-hunter/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duane_Chapman https://screenrant.com/dog-bounty-hunter-dark-secrets-trivia-facts/ https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dog-the-bounty-hunter-dead/ https://people.com/tv/dog-bounty-hunter-first-thanksgiving-after-beth-chapman-death/ https://popculture.com/reality-tv/2019/07/02/30-facts-about-beth-chapman-and-dog-the-bounty-hunter/ https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/a29874886/dog-the-bounty-hunter-duane-chapman-dead-rumors/ https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/dog-the-bounty-hunter-net-worth/ https://armchairexpertpod.com/pods/dog-the-bounty-hunter  
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Episode 444: Puckwudgie: Evil Pyromaniac Leprechauns 
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we examine a little known (but pretty freaky!) cryptid known as the Puckwudgie. Think of it as a leprechaun, but instead of hoarding gold, it likes to murder people, set things on fire, and shoot poisonous darts at fools. This supposed creature is native to North America, and it has a deep folklore in various Native American groups such as the Wampanoags, Ojibwe, and Algonquian tribes. However, the sightings and encounters continue to this day in New England. So what is a Puckwudgie? It is a short creature (maybe three feet tall) with large eyes, an oversized nose, and a bloated or rounded belly. It is said to be able to vanish in plain sight, light fires at will, and transform into some type of porcupine/humanoid half breed. If you encounter one, it is likely to follow you around and mess with you. Depending on your reaction, and the demeanor of the individual Puckwudgie, this could come in the form of tying your hair in knots. It could also lead to burning your house down, tormenting you for years at night, or even luring you off a cliff and making it look like suicide. The Native American groups thought that these little critters were once friendly with humans, but in an encounter with a mythic giant who scattered them all over the countryside, they turned on everyone and become less mischievous and more malicious. Modern tales of them often involve people walking in wooded areas in the Bridgewater Triangle, a zone of strange paranormal occurrences. They have a lot of activity in Freetown, Massachusetts, home to Lizzie Borden. They even made their way into Harry Potter’s lore as mischievous little creatures as well. On this one, we cover the ancient mythology as well as the modern day encounters and come to a decision on what we think of this freaky little deaky.   Visit Our Sources: https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-nelson/2018/08/pukwudgie/ https://the-line-up.com/pukwudgie https://www.reddit.com/r/Humanoidencounters/comments/4tefuk/pukwudgie/ http://newenglandfolklore.blogspot.com/2019/01/two-encounters-with-pukwudgies-in.html http://www.native-languages.org/pukwudgie.htm https://www.astonishinglegends.com/astonishing-legends/2018/10/22/pukwudgies https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/freak-encounters/full-episodes/pukwudgie http://www.ancientpages.com/2018/04/09/pukwudgie-the-trickster-grey-faced-humanoid-creature-in-native-american-beliefs/ http://www.paranormal-encounters.com/wp/what-exactly-is-a-puckwudgie/ http://www.historynaked.com/pukwudgie/ https://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/zz/news/20191017/4-local-cryptids-you-may-run-into-around-new-england https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pukwudgie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgewater_Triangle http://demonhunterscompendium.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-pukwudgie.html    
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Episode 443: Black Panthers: Who Watches the Watchmen?
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we go back to the 1960s and talk about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party. It was originally founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966. They were college students fed up with the new racism in the north that the Civil Rights movement wasn’t covering. Among their biggest issues was police violence against blacks in Oakland. Their solution? Carry lots of guns and follow the cops around! As the Black Panthers founded, Newton studied all the open carry gun laws in California at the time and started to sell communist books to white students in Berkeley to afford guns. They started to give all Panthers weapons and had them start to run patrols, following police cars to make sure nothing violent happened. Many members of the Black Panthers were college-educated, however, so their focus was on more than just guns and cops. They started education programs, revolutionary free medical clinics, and free breakfast programs in the poorest ghetto neighborhoods. Their schools became the best it California, and they did some real positive work to strengthen weak black communities. However, there was also violence. Lots of it. There were multiple incidents where Panthers killed police officers, and many more where police officers killed Panthers. Eventually, they gained national notoriety for bringing weapons to the California capitol to protest a new bill that would stop them from carrying guns. From here, the cause exploded and franchises popped up all over the nation. Also, J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI took notice and targeted them with their notorious COINTELPRO system, trying to frame their leaders and get all black national groups and street gangs to go to war with each other. Though it feels like a conspiracy theory, this abuse of government authority had serious results, and it even lead to the FBI staging the murder of prominent members of the Black Panther Party in Chicago. Things started to go downhill for the Panthers when their leader Huey P. Newton went a little overboard. He had killed people before (and gotten acquitted), but now he killed a hooker and beat his tailor. He fled to Cuba for six years and came back to Panther party which was run by women. He didn’t approve and had at least one woman beaten to silence her. He also allegedly got a team of assassins to murder witnesses at the trial for the hooker. None of it went well for him or the Panther party. This group is an interesting study. It is was violent against whites, then changed to be an international force against American oppression. It bolstered schools and chased cops with guns. It even sprouted the Crips street gang in LA when Newton closed down different branches of the Panthers. Love them or hate them, they did a lot to change what it meant to be black in America. Visit Our Sources: http://theblackpanthers.com/home/ https://web.stanford.edu/~ccarson/articles/am_left.htm https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-most-important-legacy-of-the-black-panthers https://www.huffpost.com/entry/27-important-facts-everyone-should-know-about-the-black-panthers_n_56c4d853e4b08ffac1276462 https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/workers/black-panthers/ https://www.history.com/topics/civil-rights-movement/black-panthers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_Party https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43587976 https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/us/black-panthers-50-years.html https://www.thedailybeast.com/whitewashing-the-black-panthers https://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/black-power/black-panthers https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/new-black-panther-party
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Episode 442: Furries: Cosplay, Community, or Confusion?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about Furries. This group is a unique type of fandom (not unlike Trekkies or avid sports fans, according to researchers) who dresses like anthropomorphic animals and create strong communities both online and in the real world. Even though the media would have you believe being a Furry is a sexual fetish, that is far from the truth. The majority of Furries are into it for the social aspects and inclusion in a welcoming group; indeed, few actually have furry sex. So when did this all start? The formal group known as Furries began in the early 1980s, thanks to a comic book called Albedo Anthropomorphics. It was a sci-fi piece about a portion of outer space in which humanoid mammals were the dominant species. This lead to a role playing game and early web chat rooms, and then Furries were born. They held their first conference, Confurence, in 1989 in California, and the movement has only grown ever since. So who are the Furries? According to research by Furscience.com, it is mostly white males in their mid-twenties. But the group is very diverse and welcoming. If fact, the group has stronger leanings toward LGTBQ than most groups, and it makes the group very inclusive. A lot goes in to being a Furry. First, there is the Fursona. This is the personal that they take on either online or in person at conferences and meet ups. Then, there is the Fursuit. This is the costume that is worn by the Furry, though many can’t afford one (they can often run between $5000 and $10,000). And though it isn’t the main point for most Furries, there is actual Furry sex going on. They call it Yiffing, and it often involves a Mursuit, which is a suit you can have sex in. So, what is the psychology of being a Furry? What do the experts think the difference is between a sports fan and a Furry?  Why is being a Furry more popular for millennials? Do Furries mostly date other Furries? What can we learn from Furries to make our own lives better, and do you want to watch Majira Strawberry eat a cherry? If so, listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://furscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Fur-Science-Final-pdf-for-Website_2017_10_18.pdf https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animals-and-us/201707/what-s-the-deal-furries https://www.vox.com/2014/12/10/7362321/9-questions-about-furries-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask https://nypost.com/2016/05/06/inside-the-life-of-a-furry/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjmq9d/how-the-furry-community-became-a-safe-space-for-youth https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/14/us/furries-culture/index.html https://furscience.com/whats-a-furry/ https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/feb/04/furry-fandom-subculture-animal-costumes https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-are-furries_n_6342184 https://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Furry https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/furry-fandom-tiktok-gen-z-midwest-furfest-924789/ https://www.huckmag.com/art-and-culture/furries-joe-strike-inside-world-of-furry-fandom/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo_Anthropomorphics Majira Strawberry Eats a Cherry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6CPPBjZ2Ek Furries Lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI4gDaPdnDY&feature=emb_logo Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 441: Great Wall of China: Man, That’s One Big Wall…
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the 7 Wonders of the World: The Great Wall of China. This incomprehensible war machine took centuries to build and maxed out at over 13,000 miles in total length. It is said that over a million Chinese conscripts died in the construction of the wall, and while it is now a place that fills Chinese people with national pride, it used to fill them with fear of forced labor and death. But it did its job of protecting the north of China from most invaders and served to help unify the country. The back story of how the wall was built really gets kind of Game of Thronesy. China was several warring sub kingdoms which had started to build massive walls as protection against other kingdoms. In 221 BCE, a man named Qin Shi Huang came along and unified the seven kingdoms into one Chinese Empire. It was the birth of the nation of China that still survives today. He was said my many historians to be a tyrant who ruled with spies and fear. He saw the North as a threat because of the Mongols and other forces, and he decided to unify all of the previous walls into one long, great wall. He gathered peasants and soldiers and forced them build his wall and protect his legacy and dynasty (all the while wearing a really dope hat!). But, as with all people, the emperor finally died, and the country fell into civil war. Eventually (after an epic battle that involves a lover, a sword dance, and a night of singing that broke the enemy morale), the nation was reunified in the Han Dynasty. Here, the wall was built even stronger (and some say through even more cruelty to the builders). As the Han Dynasty ended, the wall was built or abandoned by different emperors until the Ming Dynasty. Under the Ming Dynasty, the wall was reinforced and considered crucial. The images of the wall that survive today—the towering walls, the battlements, the brick construction—all came from the Ming rulers. The wall stood in this glorified state for a quite a while, until the invaders from the north merged with China, and the wall became pointless. Now, it is one of the greatest tourist destination in the world, and it is one that is danger. Corporate greed, soil erosion, theft, and lame tourists damage the wall every year. Over 30% has been lost to time and human interference, but the wall continues to be a symbol of China and overall stubborn emperors who aren’t afraid to break a few eggs (or a million slaves) to build an 13,000 mile omelet. Visit our Sources: https://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-other-artifacts/great-wall-china-0011155 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China https://www.chinahighlights.com/greatwall/fact/how-the-great-wall-was-built.htm https://www.chinahighlights.com/greatwall/ https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-china/great-wall-of-china https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2016/03-04/the-great-wall-of-china/ https://www.ancient.eu/Great_Wall_of_China/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/the-great-wall-of-china-is-under-siege-825452/ https://mymodernmet.com/great-wall-china-facts/ https://www.factretriever.com/great-wall-of-china-facts https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/great-wall-of-china.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=23oHqNEqRyo&feature=emb_logo Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 440: Vampires: Blood, Blade, Buffy, and Bathory!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we walk into the shadows and look at one of the most popular mythical creatures to ever exist: Vampires. The Vampire has existed in some form or another as far back as ancient Babylon and Greece, and there are versions of them that range from the classic Eastern European model to strange ones in the Japan and the Philippines. Their traits vary over time, and so do their cultural appeal. But at certain times in history, the fear of Vampires was real enough that people did very strange things to corpses to keep them from stalking the living. So what are the common traits of the Vampire? Well, the biggie is of course that the person is dead but now alive again, or undead. Another key is that they drink human blood, but from there, the traits vary. Some eras and locations say the Vamps cast no shadow or reflection; they can mesmerize people; they can change shape; they are superhumanly strong. Weaknesses vary as well: crosses repel them sometimes, some can’t enter a house; then there is garlic, scattering seeds on the ground, or even repelling them with silver. There seems to be no real single event or country that can be thought to be the start of the Vampire myth, but a big one for modern interpretations is Bram Stokers Dracula, based loosely around Vlad Tepes. Stoker wrote another story about a female vampire based on Lady Bathory as well, and these tended to create the smooth, sexy, sadistic monster that can control creatures of the night. From there, fiction took over, and Vampires were defined by Bella Lugosi, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Twilight, and the Interview with a Vampire, just to name a few. There are of course, “real world” Vampires who feel a physical compulsion to drink human blood. They do so secretly, so nobody judges them, but they number in the thousands. As late as the 1890s, there were Vampire panics in America, and somehow, this blood-sucking monster exists across all mythologies and all times, and shows no signs of going away any time soon.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.britannica.com/topic/vampire https://www.livescience.com/24374-vampires-real-history.html https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/10/vampires-europe-new-england-halloween-history/ https://www.history.com/topics/folklore/vampire-history https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/15/real-life-vampires-interview https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/strange-creatures/vampire.htm https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/english-vampire-0010927 https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/primate-diaries/a-natural-history-of-vampires/ https://aminoapps.com/c/anime/page/blog/vampires-and-japanese-mythology/Lkt8_ueXm8YjnwPqlBPkva0kmKJ7gw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_folklore_by_region Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 439: Gold Rush: California Dreaming
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the most important pieces of California’s history, the Gold Rush of 1849. While many people know about the football team called the 49ers, many don’t know that this name came from a term given to the hundreds of thousands of people who moved to California in search of gold. When the gold was first discovered, people were able to just pick it out of river beds with no mining equipment, and people were making several year’s pay in just a matter of months. When word got out, everything changed. When the Gold Rush started, California was not even a state. In fact, the US was at war with Mexico, and California was a lawless place with a very small (non-native) population. In 1848, a carpenter named James Wilson Marshall was building a mill for John Sutter, a man who was trying to build an agriculture colony where modern day Sacramento is. Marshall found gold in Sutter’s stream, and when word got out, everyone flocked to find more. Most people were at first skeptical about the abundance of gold laying around in California river beds, but an entrepreneur changed it all. He bought up all the mining equipment from several cities and set up shop in Fort Sutter. Then, he stormed San Francisco with a vial full of gold. Everyone followed him, and word spread. Eventually, people as far as Hawaii, Europe, and the East Coast all headed to California. It was a state with no laws, few cities, and nothing much to offer. The travel there was incredibly dangerous, and people sold their houses and everything they owned just to become a 49er and have a crack at the gold. This led to boom towns filled with murder, gambling, prostitutes, and gunfights. It was the epitome of the lawless old west. As more almost 300,000 people moved to the state, the gold inevitably dried up to where the only people making a fortune were those selling gear to miners. Once the surface gold was gone, the mining was turned to large scale operations that would strip mine mountains to get the gold laying beneath the surface. This process, and the racism of the white miners led to the destruction of natural habitats, indigenous people, and any hope of agriculture near the streams now filled with tons of soot. It was a crazy time. Women took on roles traditionally held by men, a true melting pot of people from all over the world descended on one state, and the idea of the California Dram was ultimately born.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/gold-rush-of-1849 https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/goldrush-california/ Letter from 49er: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/californiagoldrush.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_rush https://www.legendsofamerica.com/ca-goldrush/ https://www.historynet.com/california-gold-rush Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 438: Foo Fighters of WWII: Nazi Tech or Natural Phenomenon
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time to look at one of the earliest events of UFO history, the Foo Fighters of World War Two. Before a grunge band took the name, it was a term used by the US Army to describe unexplained phenomenon that pilots saw over various battle fronts in the war. From the Pacific to Africa, Germany to the Mediterranean, these strange lights in the sky were seen. What’s even more strange is that they were reported by not only US troops but by the Brits, Germans, Italians, and Japanese as well as others. So what did the pilots see when they reported Foo Fighters? They were typically lights that looked like multi colored fire floating in the sky near aircraft that were flying night missions (though sometimes the lights formed shapes like a T or were cigar shaped). The Foo Fighters changed course to keep apace of the airplanes. They sped up, slowed down, and at times seemed to play with the pilots. The airmen who saw these came to the conclusion that they were under intelligent control. None of the pilots thought they were alien in origin, but some sort of Axis weapon, aircraft, or surveillance device, so they took the presence of Foo Fighters seriously. Though they were spotted all through the war, the thing that made them the most famous was a string of sightings from the 415th Night Fighter Squadron in 1944. This squad gave them their name, based on an old comic strip. In fact, an embedded Associate Press reporter for the 415th is the one who made the sightings known to a larger audience when he published an article about the Foo Fighters. So what were these strange UFOs? Many theories run from them being pilot fatigue to St. Elmo’s Fire to a German device (such as the Wernher von Braun’s V2 Rocket or something called a Feuerball), but none of these quite fit the unique characteristics of the Foo Fighters and their behavior in the air. If you love yourself some World War Two, Nazi Tech, and UFOs, this is the one for you!   Visit Our Sources: https://www.history.com/news/wwii-ufos-allied-airmen-orange-lights-foo-fighters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo_fighter https://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/what-were-mysterious-foo-fighters-sighted-ww2-night-flyers-180959847/ https://science.howstuffworks.com/space/aliens-ufos/foo-fighter.htm https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/foo-fighters-learn-to-fly-ufos.html https://www.history101.com/foo-fighters/ https://www.gaia.com/article/nazi-ufo-technology-foo-fighters-exposed https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/3447508/UFO-sightings-140-years-of-UFO-pictures.html?image=4 https://www.crystalinks.com/foofighters.html http://www.project1947.com/articles/arwwr.htm http://www.uk-ufo.org/condign/histfoo1.htm Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 437: Russell Williams: A Predator Pilot in Panties
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at a quite unusual serial killer, the Canadian, Russell Williams. Why is he unusual? Well for one, he’s a serial killer, but he’s Canadian. Second, he just doesn’t fit the profile, and he didn’t start any of crimes until his late forties. Experts consider this to be anomalous. Third, he would break into places and wear little girl’s panties and take pictures of himself. Finally, he was a decorated airman who was commander of a base and had flown dignitaries from Queen Elizabeth to the Prime Minister of England and Canada on his military missions. But, in the meantime, Russell Williams killed people. He wasn’t prolific, having killed only two known victims, but his other crimes are what made him stand out. Before he started his short killing spree, he began a career of 82 breaking-and-enterings, just so he could get girls (from their twenties to as young as nine) underwear. He’d pose in it while in their rooms, masturbate in their beds, and leave with a pair of knickers or two. In short order, this wasn’t enough for him. He then started to up his game. He broke into a woman’s house, tied her up, and groped her breasts. He did a second similar crime shortly thereafter. But that didn’t last either. He had to up his game to rape and murder. He first raped and murdered a woman under his command in the air force, Marie-France Comeau. Shortly thereafter, he spotted Jessica Loyd running on a treadmill in her own home, and within 48 hours, she was raped and murdered. But he was sloppy. He parked his car at the scenes of his crimes. He left footprints and tire tracks, and within a week of the second killing, the cops arrested him. What made this case extra famous was an amazing video tape of his interrogation and ultimate confession. You can see it here. It takes Detective Sergeant Jim Smyth a little bit of time, be he uses mental ninja skills and gets Russell Williams to confess. Why did he confess? Because he wanted to spare his wife the pains of a lengthy investigation. So, if you like true crime, Canadian justice, or bad jokes about inappropriate topics, give this one a listen! Special thanks to guest host Jason Roskam. He’s co-host of All Things Star Wars, which is part of the Podbelly family of podcasts. Visit Our Sources https://murderpedia.org/male.W/w/williams-russell.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Williams_(criminal) https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/russell-williamss-wife-knew-he-was-a-predator-victim/ https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/former-queens-pilot-became-deranged-sadosexual-serial-killer/news-story/b9e3195a517e539c8be266d5e0e692cf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsLbDzkIy3A https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/colonel-russell-williams-the-making-of-a-mystery-man/article4390081/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/williams-s-murder-victims-pleaded-for-their-lives-1.919706 http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/court+hears+details+final+hours+williams+murder+victims/3694595/story.html https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/05/16/dna-tests-on-russell-williams-murder-victim-took-10-weeks.html https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2010/10/09/col_russell_williams_a_serial_killer_like_none_police_have_seen.html Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 436: George Lucas: From Greaser to Myth Maker
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the creator of a galaxy far, far away, the one and only George Lucas. He’s most famous for the creation of the Star Wars universe, but people forget he was part of the creative force behind Indiana Jones and one of the ultimate pioneers of special and visual effects in cinema. Most love him for his technical advancements, but some bemoan what he did to cinema, moving it from content to spectacle. And then, too, there was Jar Jar Binks… George Lucas was born in the small town of Modesto, California to a couple of blue collar parents who ran a small walnut ranch and sold office supplies. His biggest hobby growing up was cars and racing, and he even had plans to become a professional race car driver. This dream went up in smoke when he suffered a horrible car crash while racing, and it scared the thrill right out of him. Instead, a friend suggested he follow up with his second biggest passion, which was film. He attended a local community college and then transferred to the fledgling film studies department at USC, where he met incredible talent, from Francis Ford Copula to Steven Spielberg and countless others. He graduated from USC, got drafted, got booted due to health reasons, and went back to USC as a graduate student. Here, he and Copula had the ballsy decision to create their own indie film studio called American Zoetrope, designed to give upstart directors a chance to make films without big studio money. His first film was THX1138 which did poorly at the box office, but it was followed by the cult classic American Graffiti, which did incredibly well at the box office and was Oscar nominated. This got him a golden ticket to turn his passion project—a little science fiction serial he’d been working on—into a film. He directed the first Star Wars and released it in 1977. Nobody expected the film to do well, but it became a global phenomenon. He based the film on Joseph Campbell’s notion of the Archetypical Romantic Quest, something nobody had done in Hollywood, but something virtually everyone does today. This was the start of not just George Lucas’ impact on popular culture, but his climb to become the wealthiest entertainer on earth (which he is as of this recording). It was a fluke, really. He turned down a raise from Fox to write and direct Star Wars in order to retain rights to sequels and merchandising. Fox Studios never dreamed there would be sequels to this strange thing, and nobody made money merchandising, so they struck the deal. Within a year, Lucas was a multi-millionaire. From there, he went on to launch the Indiana Jones movies and produce more Star Wars. Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were both smashes, as were the Indiana Jones movies, and along the way, he created Industrial Light and Magic to help foster technological innovation in film. From the 80s on, if you watched a sci-fi block buster with crazy effects, odds are it was done by ILM. He also created THX sound systems—the gold standard for movie theaters even to this day—and the company Lucasarts, which created video games, novels, comics, and toys. All of this led to George Lucas being not just a household name, but a billionaire and a myth maker. He released the notorious prequels to mixed reviews, and he ultimately sold his company to Disney for just over $4 Billion dollars. Not bad for a greaser from Modesto… Special thanks to guest host Jason Roskam for sharing his knowledge of all things Lucas. He’s co-host of All Things Star Wars, which is part of the Podbelly family of podcasts.   Visit Our Sources: https://www.biography.com/filmmaker/george-lucas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lucas https://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/george_lucas https://www.forbes.com/profile/george-lucas/#3dd21c736e63 https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/george-lucas-buys-beachfront-home-in-carpinteria-california https://www.
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EPISODE 435: Australia: WWII
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at a topic that has been high on the fan-voted list: Australia in World War Two. In spite of Brad not believing they did anything to help the war, there is a lot of evidence on the contrary. The story of Australia in WWII is one that not many Americans will know about, but it is one tied in to our own war in the Pacific. It is a story of being abandoned by Britain, fighting in every single war front, transforming their entire nation, and watching for the looming threat of permanent Japanese invasion. On September 3, 1939, Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies declared war on Germany and her allies in a now famous speech to all of Australia. They were the first of the UK’s territories to declare such a war, even though it was highly unpopular, and the nation wasn’t ready for it. Australia only had a handful of old weapons from World War One, and the nation wasn’t recovered from the depression yet. But they stood by Britain and threw all in. Britain, however, did not stand by them, and Winston Churchill ultimately took all their troops and did practically nothing to help them once Japan entered the war a few years later. The United States offered them help, however, in the form of a quarter of a million troops and building bases like the infamous Pine Gap. The US needed platforms to launch their war against Japan, so it’s not like they didn’t stand to gain, but the US and Oz formed a strong pair and fought through Pacific together. Australian war fighters battled some of the worst fights in the Pacific, and they helped everywhere from Germany to Italy to the war for gasoline in the deserts of northern Africa against the likes of Rommel. The nation transformed after Japan attacked them through bombings and submarine attacks in 1942. They started to ration, men were sent off to fight, and women were given jobs previously unavailable to them. One of the hardest fights was something called the Kokoda Track Campaign. This jungle warfare against the Japanese taught the Aussies and the Yanks how to fight this particular enemy and secured Australia from being conquered. There were controversies such as a thing called the Brisbane Line (a supposed plan to abandon the northern half of the country to the Japanese) and a conspiracy-ridden story of the sinking of the ship called the Sydney. If you love WWII, you don’t think Australians are real, or just want to hear us swear about Nazis in bad Australian accents, then this one is for you. Visit our Sources: http://www.awmlondon.gov.au/australians-in-wwii https://theaussieadventuresofworldwartwo.weebly.com/reasons-for-entering-the-war.html https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-15/victory-in-the-pacific-australias-role-in-ending-wwii/6692558 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Australia_during_World_War_II https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/second-world-war https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/life-australia-world-war-two.html http://ergo.slv.vic.gov.au/explore-history/australia-wwii/home-wii/americans-australia https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/articles/15790 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane_Line http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/sydney/history-hmas-sydney-ii/conspiracies-surrounding-hmas-sydney-ii War Announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZedhB6Olvk https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/mystery-of-the-lost-hmas-sydney.html Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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EPISODE 434: Norwegian Black Metal: Satan, Arson, Murder, Suicide
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the infamous Norwegian Black Metal Scene. Musicians and fans famously went on a church arson spree in the 1990s, but that was hardly the worst that came from these truly dark and twisted bands. There were suicides (both musicians and listeners), murders, arsons, torture, satanic worship (that even called the Church of Satan weak), and white supremacy. And all this was just stage dressing to a new, black type of metal music with evil at its core. Black Metal was said to start in England with a band called Venom in 1982. From there, a wave of other Black Metal bands such as Bathory (named after the infamous Lady Bathory) and Hellhammer spread. But it wasn’t until it hit Norway in the 1990s that the genre really took off. A group known as the Black Circle met in a studio in Oslo, and from there many bands were formed. The Black Circle is said by many to be a satanic cult that music spawned from, but others just think it was a marketing ploy. With all the mayhem and violent crimes that grew from these groups, however, it seems far from marketing. What crimes? Well, where to begin…  The musician called Gorgoroth killed several goats and put their heads on spikes and bathed the audience in blood. A man called Ghaal kidnapped, tortured, and blood-let a guy…twice. Varg Vikernes famously murdered his band mate named Euronymous (who himself tried to blow up a church with a bomb some years earlier). Which leads back to the arsons. They say that Black Metal is responsible for over 50 church arsons in in a four year span in Norway alone. So, are these people truly evil Satanists, or are they so swept up in their fictional band characters that they put everything on the table for art? Listen, laugh, learn…     Visit Our Sources: https://metalinjection.net/lists/top-10-crimes-committed-black-metal-musicians https://www.nme.com/photos/black-metal-murders-a-history-1413703 https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/mar/22/before-you-know-it-its-not-a-big-deal-to-kill-a-man-norwegian-black-metals-murderous-past https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/entertainment/black-metal-church-burning-explainer/index.html https://stainedglassattitudes.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/black-metal-church-burnings-a-historical-view/ https://www.lifeinnorway.net/norwegian-black-metal/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/lords-chaos-horrifying-true-story-norways-black-metal-murders/ Black Mass Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7vw5Wydfi4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varg_Vikernes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Norwegian_black_metal_scene Scared Sh*tless: 1003 Facts that will Scare the Sh*t out of You. Author: Cary McNeal. Perigree Press, 2012.
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Episode 433: Pascagoula Alien Abduction: Madness in Mississippi
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we dig in to one of the most researched UFO abduction cases in America, the Pascagoula Alien Abduction of 1973. Though you may not have heard of it, it has been vetted, argued, and critiqued by some of the biggest UFOlogists in history. It involves aliens that don’t match any other description and comes from men who stand to gain nothing from telling their tale. As with all such cases, the truth is elusive. It is a tale of two men being abducted, police secretly recording them, and witnesses coming out to corroborate their very unique story. The tale begins in an October night in Mississippi, when Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker were out fishing as the sun went down on the banks of the Pascagoula River. They heard a strange zipping sound in the sky, akin to static electricity, and looked up to see a 30 foot long craft with a dome on top lower down to hover two feet from the ground. A hatch opened, and three beings unlike anything described in UFO literature floated out. They paralyzed Hickson and Parker and floated them on to the ship. A giant metal eyeball examined them, and they had “experiments” performed on them before they were let go. It was, ironically, a catch and release of the two fishermen. The two of them collected themselves and finally called the local air force base. The air force said no thanks and told them to go to the police. The men arrived at the police station at 10:30 PM and told them their story. The cops recall them being frantic and having a story that didn’t waver. The police gave them a polygraph and did everything they could to get the story to break or show cracks and flaws. It didn’t. In fact, the police secretly recorded the two of them alone and were shocked at what they found. (That last sentence was click bait to get you to download the episode…) Hickson (42) told everyone he could about the event, even going on the Tonight Show with Jonny Carson. Parker, only 19, was terrified and told nobody about it, even changing jobs if someone recognized him as the UFO guy. Years later, the police tapes were revealed, several other witnesses finally came forward and told interesting stories of their own from that night, and the phenomenon has been kept alive. So, what did these aliens look like? What did the other witnesses see? What was on the police tapes? What did the UFOlogists discover in their investigation, and what did debunkers and skeptics come up with? What was so compelling about the case that Mississippi put up a permanent marker on the site of the abduction? Listen, laugh, learn.     Visit our Sources:   https://skepticalinquirer.org/2012/05/famous_alien_abduction_in_pascagoula_reinvestigating_a_cold_case/ https://www.theufochronicles.com/2019/07/pascagoula-alien-abduction-multiple-new-witnesses.html https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/06/26/i-floated-inside-man-returns-site-ufo-abduction-it-gets-historical-marker/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascagoula_Abduction https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5517215/secret-police-audio-files-prove-men-who-claim-they-were-abducted-by-alien-creatures-with-lobster-like-claws-in-craziest-ufo-sighting-ever-recorded-were-telling-the-truth-researcher-claims/ https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/07/two-more-pascagoula-ufo-incident-witnesses-finally-tell-their-stories/ https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pascagoula-ufo-marker_n_5d112a4ee4b0aa375f515af1?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAANNqHUXwNhr2kYfOLAqioxTzln2hiR0gtJSVg8E4wN2pWc677atsmGGp1F8J7guUwxDTauiMAjzHnlH4LXX7bxhUvNaQ8cyS9rsGGMx1E3HNBukSFzUiJ4glE6iFdWmjl9ihTwuf3NTLV9tT-BCrbTFg7QHYxY_l3b01AEYw6XNG https://www.npr.org/2019/06/25/735638041/mississippi-officials-commemorate-pascagoula-abduction https://www.de173.com/calvinparker/ Video of the abductee talking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3O9m0xDa6U  
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Episode 432: Mark Zuckerberg: From Zucknet to Facebook
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the most influential (and richest) people on the planet, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. People tend to hate his world-changing social media platform, but they just can’t quit him and repeatedly go back to check their likes and update their profiles. Zuckerberg is a man surrounded by controversy, from the way the site started (and his alleged theft of intellectual property of the Winklevoss twins) to the ideas of fake news and foreign interference in modern day elections. He’s been called to congress and called to task, but he remains the king of social media. Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984 (the year of Big Brother, for those looking for irony) in New York state. His family was well off, with a dentist father and a psychiatrist mother. He was a prodigy with computers and programming at a very young age, and he even created a messaging program that connected his father’s dentist office to their household. It was called Zucknet. Years later, he would become better at naming things. His father hired a computer programmer to tutor his son, but in short order, he admitted that Zuckerberg knew more than he did. By the time he graduated from his prep school and went to Harvard, he had a reputation on campus as being the smartest guy in the room when it came to computers and coding. While a sophomore, he riffed off of a thing that only an Ivy League school could have--they were called face books, physical books that had photos of everyone who lived on campus, so people could figure out who to have sex with. He created a digital version called Facemash (not quite there on the naming thing…), but it was shut down by the university within a week. This creation led to him meeting the Winklevoss twins who had an idea for a social media platform to use on campus. He worked with them briefly and then set out to make his own, which he would call Facebook. Originally, it was designed to be used on the Harvard campus, but as it grew, it slowly competed with Myspace and spread to all colleges, not just Harvard. From there, it opened to the entire public; he and his three friends honed the software and improved it until it became a sensation. They worked out of dorms until they moved to Palo Alto in the heart of silicon valley and found investors. He turned down Yahoo! and MTV who both wanted to buy Facebook, all because he had a vision. His vision paid off when his IPO on the stock market became the largest in the history of all tech companies and made him one of the wealthiest men on the planet overnight. But in spite of all the likes, Zuckerberg has met with multiple controversies in recent years. First, he was sued by the Winklevoss twins for millions. Then, he was blamed for a group called Cambridge Analytica which used information from tens of millions of Facebook users to tamper with the 2016 elections. This was an event that led to his (first) meeting with congress at a public hearing about his power and whether or not he uses it properly. And though he comes off like a lizard person or a waxy skinned android, he has given away billions of dollars alongside his wife to various charities and aims to bring the internet to the poorest 1/3 of the globe who currently don’t have access to it. So give thumbs up or a thumbs down, but listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://www.biography.com/business-figure/mark-zuckerberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg https://www.facebook.com/zuck https://www.forbes.com/profile/mark-zuckerberg/#5eb9f7e83e06 https://time.com/facebook-world-plan/ https://www.theguardian.com/technology/mark-zuckerberg https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-net-worth-priscilla-chan-2017-10 https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/28-incredible-facts-about-mark-zuckerberg.html https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/287422 https://www.cnn.com/videos/media/2019/11/22/sacha-baron-cohen-a...
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Episode 431: The Dust Bowl: Oklahoma’s Epic Fail
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the biggest natural disasters in American history—The Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was a period of ten years where the perfect mixture of events combined to destroy all of agriculture in Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas. It led to millions of people fleeing the area and dust storms that raged for days and killed countless people due to malnutrition and illness. One particular storm, called Black Sunday was so bad that it caused a storm that swept up a million tons of top soil from Oklahoma and dumped them as far away as Canada, Chicago, and New York! Even though the events of the Dust Bowl predate global warming by a century, it serves as a cautionary tale of how bad things can get with a quickness when weather and humans collide for mass stupidity. So what caused the dust bowl? It was a mix of things, and of course if something is wrong US, the government was involved. In order to lure settlers out to more undesirable areas of the country, the US made offers of free land which expanded and ended up being as high as 640 free acres in some states. This lured people with no farming knowledge to head to the area and start a life working the earth. So, thousands of unskilled workers showed up and were suddenly given all the advances of the industrial age to help work the soil. This combined in the worst way to harm the topsoil after just a few years of bad crop decisions. Now, the other part of the equation was that the area was known to have heavy rains for a decade and then light rains for a decade, but none of the farmers knew about the light rains. So, with soil that was overworked and in bad condition, the drought settled in, and once-fertile soil turned into nothing but sand and dust. This spread through several states until every storm turned into a dust storm with a  blacked sky and nothing to stop the ground from being pushed away Dozens of dust storms in just a few years made the area impossible to farm, and the dust itself caused health problems. This was all during the Great Depression to make things even worse, so everyone was starving, couldn’t work their land, and had no other line of work to turn to. Hundreds of thousands of “Oakies” moved to California to find work, but there was very little to be found. The static electricity was so bad in the arid, dusty atmosphere that people would get knocked on their butts from the discharge of simply shaking hands. It was a time of rail riding hoboes, bad health, mass migration, and biblical omens like red skies, hidden suns, and plagues of rabbits and bugs. If you’re into history, or just even just hoboes, give this one a listen.   Visit our Sources https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/dust-bowl-cause.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/depwwii/dustbowl/ https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/dust-bowl https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/dust-bowl-surviving-dust-bowl/ https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/water_02.html https://www.thebalance.com/what-was-the-dust-bowl-causes-and-effects-3305689 https://drought.unl.edu/dustbowl/Home.aspx http://www.softschools.com/facts/us_history/dust_bowl_facts/814/ https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-dust-bowl https://www.phactual.com/17-interesting-facts-about-the-dust-bowl/ https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/dust-bowl-facts.php  
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Episode 430: Ilse Koch: The Bitch of Buchenwald
On this episode of the world Famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back to World War Two and tell the tale of Ilse Koch, the Bitch of Buchenwald. Everyone knows the names like Dr. Mengele and tales of SS Officers who tortured and murdered the Jews in concentration camps. But this obscure, and truly evil woman, largely escapes the lens of history. Born in Dresden, Germany, Ilse lived in the poverty that faced all of Germany in the aftermath of World War One. This very poverty was what led Hitler to power, by exploiting the desire for Germany to be great again. And Ilse Koch was exactly the type of person Hitler was aiming at. She joined the Nazi Party very early on, and by the time Hitler came to power, she and her husband Karl Koch were rewarded with promotions. Karl became the warden of a prison, and he was so sadistic that the Nazis decided to put him in charge of the construction and daily operation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp during the holocaust. Unlike a lot of German women during the Reich, Ilse was not content to simply sit at home and be a house frau. Instead, she took a job at her husband’s first prison to prepare herself for life in Buchenwald, and once there, she really went off the rails. For one thing, she took money from the Jews as they got off the trains and used it—a lot of it—to build a mansion and massive structure in which she could horseback ride on the premises. She was known to ride around the camp and whip prisoners with her riding crop for a laugh. Oh, and she was also know to do it in skimpy clothes, so if any of the men stared at her, she could have them shot. This behavior went as far as her having servants come to her mansion while she was in a nightie and then killing off any man that looked at her, or lining Jews up in the nude and having any killed who got an erection. But she was just getting started. Apparently, she liked tattoos. She liked them a lot. In fact, she would collect them. From dead Jews. And make lamps for the house and a favorite purse out of them. In fact, she figured out an evil scheme in which the doctors of Buchenwald would conduct experiments to see if people with tattoos were more likely to be criminal and have different physiology. The only way to know was to kill and dissect them. Then, she would have other prisoners skin and tan the dead Jews, so she could have her keepsakes. The things that she and her husband did in the camp were so awful that even the Nazi party said enough. They had both of them arrested and tried. What were the results of the trial? Why did Karl get a much more harsh punishment than Ilse? What did the US and the new West German government do to punish her for war crimes? What happened to all the skin she had gathered? Did she really have shrunken Jew heads  in a glass case? How did she finally die? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://biographics.org/ilse-koch-biography-the-nazi-bitch-of-buchenwald/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilse_Koch https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/06/26/ilse-koch/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/ilse-koch http://www.auschwitz.dk/Women/Koch.htm https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-witch-of-buchenwald-is-sentenced-to-prison https://www.ranker.com/list/ilse-koch-concentration-camp-guard/laura-allan http://marcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu/classes/33d//projects/naziwomen/ilse.htm https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ilse-koch https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ilse-Koch  
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Episode 428: Library of Alexandria: A Collection of The Worlds Knowledge Lost
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at one of the most important creations of the ancient world—the Library of Alexandria. This was considered to be the largest library ever built by humanity (until the Library of Congress…), and it was destroyed in a raging fire. Or, that’s what people think, anyway. So, how big was this library? It contained upwards of a million scrolls and books from all of the ancient, Western World. From Egypt to Greece to Rome and all parts nearby, if you wrote it, they had it. It housed a hundred scholars who were paid to live there and simply think and invent. In this way, it was a precursor to modern research universities by a few thousand years. The library was established by Alexander the Great who wanted a major hub of learning to be in his new capitol, so the military could always have an advantage. The head librarians and the Ptolemys who took after his death saw something much more grand in this place. It was set out to be a place to worship the Muses, but its contents and glory spread as the new rulers paid more money to make it even more grand. The head librarian had the power to seize ships that came to port and make copies of any written work they had on board (copies on finer paper would be returned, but the originals stayed in the library). They’d send curators to all nearby city states to get the original works of anything they had written—science, math, mapping, literature, history, medicine—you name it, they wanted it. The destruction of this unparalleled center for learning is a mystery for historians to this day. Some say Julius Caesar destroyed it as he set fire to the docks of Alexandria. Others think this damaged the secondary building, but not the grand Library of Alexandria itself. Another camp thinks it was Christians who lived in the city and were rioting against pagans who kept written works in the towers. And yet another camp thinks it was Muslims who destroyed anything that didn’t mesh with the Koran. It was probably a lot more complicated than any of those single things, but the rise and fall of one of the most impactful houses of thought in the history of humanity is a worthy topic for your ear holes.   Visit our Sources: https://ehistory.osu.edu/articles/burning-library-alexandria https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa-history-important-events/destruction-great-library-alexandria-001644 https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2010/06/the-perniciously-persistent-myths-of-hypatia-and-the-great-library https://www.crystalinks.com/libraryofalexandria.html https://www.geek.com/news/the-great-conspiracy-of-egypts-mythical-library-the-hall-of-records-1647814/ https://www.britannica.com/topic/Library-of-Alexandria https://www.britannica.com/topic/Library-of-Alexandria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-library-of-alexandria-is-long-gone-and-all-around-us  
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Episode 427: Carl Tanzler: The Tale of The Corpse Bride
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take a poke at some disturbing history and explore the life and love of Carl Tanzler. If you don’t know who Tanzler was, here’s a sneak peek—he lived with the corpse of the girl he obsessed over for seven years. But more on that later… Carl Tanzler was born to a wealthy family in Germany in 1877. As a young adult, he studied many differing subjects and traveled a lot. In fact, he found himself in Australia when World War I broke out, and he (like all other Germans) found himself living in a prisoner of war camp until the end of the war. He tried to escape once, but was finally released to the Netherlands at the end of the war. Eventually, Tanzler made his way to Florida to live with his sister after marrying a woman in Germany and fathering two kids. He took a job as a radiology technician in 1927 at a Marine Hospital in Key West. He lived apart from his wife and kids to do this job, but still supported them financially. Oh, and did I mention that when he was a child, he was visited by the ghost of Countess Anna Constantia von Cosel who told him one day he would find true love in a dark haired beauty? Well he did, and he did. Because a few years after taking his job, he met Elena De Hoyos, a twenty-one year old tuberculosis patient. He fell madly in love with her and did everything he could to find her a cure, all the while giving her gifts and jewelry and professing his love, which she didn’t reciprocate. To heal her, he did radical, fringe experiments that the hospital didn’t know about, took an X-Ray machine back to her house, and gave her all sorts of potions and elixirs meant to find a cure. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. She died of TB, and Carl Tanzler paid for a lavish mausoleum to be built for her. He’d skip work nights to sit near her grave and sing her dark songs, and eventually she told him through the door to take her body home. So, like you do, he did. He took her home on a red child’s wagon and reinforced her corpse for endurance and love making. He lived with her for 7 years. So what finally got Carl Tanzler caught? How did he preserve her two year old corpse once he got it home? What scheme did he have to infuse her body with cosmic radiation to bring her back to life like the bride of Frankenstein? How did he get her hair? How did he have sex with the body? Why did the city put her body on display for a dollar a pop? What did his wife think of all of this? What did he blow up with dynamite before leaving Key West? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Tanzler https://www.buzzfeed.com/agh/carl-tanzler-elena-hoyos-mummy-corpse-florida-key-west https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/10/09/carl-tanzler/ https://www.historicmysteries.com/carl-tanzler-in-love-with-the-dead/ https://mind-blowingfacts.com/carl-tanzler-corpse/ https://rare.us/people/carl-tanzler-elena-hoyos-florida/ https://allthatsinteresting.com/carl-tanzler https://www.ranker.com/list/carl-tanzler-key-west-story/cheryl-adams-richkoff
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Episode 426: The Yorkshire Ripper: Blood and Bludgeoning
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the murderous life of a British serial killer named Peter Sutcliffe, aka the Yorkshire Ripper. It was May of 1981, and he was convicted of murdering 13 women (mostly prostitutes) and trying to kill another seven. But he didn’t have typical serial killer childhood or even the control issues or sexual fantasies that many such killers had. In fact, his motivation seemed to come from the fact that he heard God’s voice tell him to kill hookers through the grave stone of a dead Polish man. You know…that old story. So, how did it all start? Sutcliffe was born to a middle class factory family and had an otherwise normal mom and childhood. He was anti social, but nothing anyone would describe as particularly out of the ordinary. His father was a macho bully who berated Peter for not being more manly, but there was no evidence of physical abuse. Eventually, after years of this treatment, he worked out until he was buff enough to best his brothers and make his family happy. He lived a seemingly normal life, working at various factories and eventually getting a job as a truck driver. He was married, but had no kids. But, he was disturbed. He worked a job as a grave digger, and people said he would do strange things with the corpses, like pose them and make fun of them. He’d tell jokes that even other grave diggers thought were pushing it, and he’d steal things from the dead. Eventually, he started to visit hookers to get revenge on his cheating girlfriend, and that’s where his transformation to the Yorkshire Ripper started. His first taste of blood was when a pimp took his money and roughed him up without letting him have sex. He went back to the neighborhood and beat the hooker with a sock that had a brick in it. He did this a total of three more times, and he had his taste of blood and bludgeoning. From there, he elevated things and started to attack hookers with ball peen hammers and slash them with a knife. The first few survived, but he dot more aggressive and eventually shifted to killing. The Yorkshire Ripper would hit hookers with the hammer several times and then slash or stab them. Like many serial killers he was caught and questioned by the police several times but always managed to talk his way out of it. So, what finally got him busted? How did he try to hide the evidence of his crimes with the cops right there? What was his reaction when accidentally killed a girl who wasn’t a prostitute? What was the deal with his V-Neck sweater that he wore upside down to let his crotch go through the neck hole? How many cops did it take to catch him, and how many interviews did they do? How was he treated in prison, and when did his wife finally leave him? Did he really have a testicle five times bigger than normal? Why did the media give him a name that hearkens back to Jack the Ripper? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/sutcliffe-peter.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sutcliffe https://allthatsinteresting.com/peter-sutcliffe-yorkshire-ripper http://www.yorkshireripper.com/the-story/ https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2431418/peter-sutcliffe-yorkshire-ripper-prison-murder-blinded/ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7567859/Yorkshire-Ripper-Peter-Sutcliffe-dumps-American-cheerleader-girlfriend-Krystal-Smith.html https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9453621/yorkshire-ripper-peter-sutcliffe-dead-weeks-victims-faces/ https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/peter-sutcliffe-34350.php  
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Episode 425: Unarius Academy of Science: Bad Cult, Awesome Films
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one of the craziest little cults you’ve never heard of, The Unarius Academy of Science. It was started in 1954 by Ernest and Ruth Norman, and they got fringe-famous for a series of over 100 odd books that detailed there cosmology and an alternate history of humanity. And then there were the videos. They made the most fantastically awesome awful films for public access television in the 1980s that are as bad as any Troma film and totally worth a watch. (Seriously. Google them or check the links below and go watch some!) Like most cults, they started with a conman who could twist people into believing odd things. Ernest Norman met his soon-to-be wife while he was a conman taking money from grieving war widows during World War II. He’d claim to put them in touch with the spirits of their dead GI husbands and take their cash in the process. He met Ruth, and within weeks they were married, and she was spending her dead husband’s considerable restaurant fortune on Ernest and the birth of the Unarian ideas. So what are their ideas? Like Heaven’s Gate, they believed that UFO space brothers would come by and rescue humanity, but they weren’t all dark and twisted about it, telling people to kill themselves. Actually, unlike most cults, they didn’t really take people’s money or have strange sex or anything especially cult like. (We think it’s because Ernest died early on, and his wife ran the joint instead, obsessing over making films and getting pictures of herself in utterly crazy outfits…) The Unarius group believes in reincarnation and that their two leaders were major people in human history like Confucius, Ben Franklin, Julius Caesar, and even Tesla. They were also connected to archangels from other planets and would one day usher in 33 space ships that would form a city ship in the skies above El Cajon, California. Like you do… So what was in these amazing videos they filmed? What did their current leader do to purge himself of sin? What happened when they let 33 doves free from a tin UFO in the high California summer heat? How much money are they worth, and how much property did Ruth Norman buy for a UFO landing strip before she died? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://vimeo.com/122138270 https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=n6dpt07UW9o Unarian Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/unarius33/featured https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unarius_Academy_of_Science https://www.unarius.org/ https://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_unarius_academy_of_science_americas_zaniest_ufo_cult https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Unarius_Academy_of_Science https://io9.gizmodo.com/meet-the-unarians-the-most-awesomely-bad-ufo-cult-ever-5675108 https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/h/heard-apocalypse.html
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Bonus Episode: Waiting for Brad…
On this Sofa King Podcast experience, we have another bonus-lite episode. Why bonus-lite? Because Brad isn't here. So, Brent and Dave turn to the Unofficial SK Ultra Fan Group to get some questions to chew the fat over. What questions you might ask? Would we ever do radio again? What were the pros and cons of the radio episodes? How open are we to trying things outside of our comfort zones? Are we truly accepting of people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations? Do we have any known biases in that regard? What is our favorite dessert? What keeps us going with the podcast even while facing life's hardships and recent struggles? Oh, and some hot mess question about "Rosikrishkins," radioactive babushkas, and honky tonk bedonkadonks... Listen for some deep thoughts and deep laughs, and if you like what you hear, don't be afraid to support us in Patreon!
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Episode 424: Freddie Mercury: The Ultimate Rock God
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore the life, love, songs, and death of the ultimate rock and roll front man, Freddie Mercury. He wasn't the typical British rock god people assume him to be. In fact, he was born in Zanzibar, not the UK. His birth name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he didn't live in England until he was 12 years old when his parents were fleeing a violent revolution in their home country. Unsurprisingly, he was a gifted musician early on, learning the piano at age 8 and being able to parrot just about any song shortly thereafter. He started singing in bands before he was even a teenager, but he only started to seriously do gigs when he moved to London with his long time fiancé Mary Austin. He sang in small bands with horrible names (Sour Milk Sea, The Hectics, Ibex, and Wreckage) before he met guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, to become lead singer of their band Smile (bass player John Deacon joined later). The released an album a couple years later, and then started to prolifically drop an album a year through the early 70s. They met with some success with the album Sheer Heart Attack in 1974, and the rest was music history. They started to tour, and Freddie Mercury's charisma sold out house after house. Freddie turned out to be a musical genius with a four octave range, and only sleeping three or four hours a night (something that Prince also did, which I guess is a sign of musical genius!). Eventually, no music venue could hold them, so they became the first band to sell out sporting arenas. Their live shows culminated in their Live Aid performance, which is largely considered to be the greatest rock and roll concert of all time. From “We Will Rock You” to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and from “Under Pressure” to “Flash Gordon,” the larger-than-life stadium glam rock hits kept coming. Through it all, there were of course parties, cocaine, and lots and lots of sex. This is what ultimately lead to Freddie Mercury’s AIDS-related death in 1991. So, was Freddie Mercury gay or bisexual? What happened between him and his female fiancé of 7 years? How did she get along with his boyfriend? Why did he keep his AIDS diagnosis a secret? To whom did he leave his fortune, and why? What was with his broken microphone stand? And why didn't he fix those teeth?!? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://www.biography.com/musician/freddie-mercury https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Mercury http://www.freddiemercury.com/ https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/j5yn37/freddie-mercury-peter-freestone-interview https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/freddie-mercury-facts-you-need-to-know/ http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20191010-who-was-the-real-freddie-mercury http://mentalfloss.com/article/22465/facts-about-freddie-mercury https://planetradio.co.uk/magic/entertainment/music/freddie-mercury/ https://www.boredpanda.com/freddie-mercury-facts-icecreammaam/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/music/1186713/Freddie-Mercury-sex-gay-boyfriend-girlfriend-Mary-Austin-interview-Bohemian-Rhapsody-fans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Cook_(songwriter)
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Bonus Episode: Stand Up or Sit Down?!
On this bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, the three mad men return to answer some questions. What types of questions? Why, the interview questions once used by 19th Century French novelist Marcel Proust of course! So, we ponder the following: What traits do you admire in a woman? What occupation would you rather do than the one you have? What occupation would you never want to do? Oh, and we talk a lot about stand up comedy. We get to the bottom of why we have never tried it. Dave talks about what it felt like to bomb on stage doing improv comedy, and Brent talks about his strangely powerful fear of public speaking and being on stage. We talk about lots of other stuff as well and get all deep and personal, but to be honest, I'm too tired to remember any of it or write it down. So let's just call it a night, okay? Don't judge me!
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Peter Freuchen: From Poo Daggers to Killing Nazis
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we cover the life of one of the world's greatest explorers, survivalists, Nazi Hunters, movie producers, and authors of the past hundred years: Peter Freuchen. Never heard of him? Well, get ready for a story full of jail breaks, fecal daggers, and peg legs! Peter Freuchen was born in 1886 to a businessman who drove him hard to excel at school. Young Peter, however, had different plans. He dropped out of a prestigious medical school and took all the money he had to go on a truly epic adventure. He met up with his friend Knud Rasmussen and took a ship that sailed as far north from Denmark as any ship would travel. Then, they took sled teams and pushed 600 miles deeper north. There, they discovered the Inuit people, and their lives changed forever. They were the first white men to learn their language and embrace their culture. They learned how to fish, hunt, and track in the extreme North. While there, Freuchen found an Inuit bride and killed polar bear. They established a base camp called Thule Trading Station, and from there launched several death defying expeditions. On the third such expedition, Freuchen was buried in an ice cave and had to dig out with a dagger made of his own poo and cut all of his toes off with a pair of clamps and a hammer. After crawling back to base camp, he had to have his frost bitten foot replaced with a peg. And he kept right on adventuring. After he lost his wife to the Spanish flu, he traveled and lectured and even made Oscar winning film adaptions of some of his memoirs. He got all political and ran a magazine in Denmark and ultimately found himself there when the Nazis invaded. He became a key figure in the resistance and talked smack any time a Nazi said anything bad about Jews, and Hitler himself ordered his capture. He was captured and sent to a camp in France to be executed, but he escaped. Did I mention the peg leg? Oh, and while he was escaping he met a fashionista from New York who worked for Vogue magazine and helped her escape as well, marrying her and moving to New York. Like you do. So, if you want to hear about the baddest of the bad, a bulletproof adventurer the likes of which even Steve Irwin would have marveled at, this is the episode for you. Visit our Sources: https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/peter-freuchen-13661.php https://culturacolectiva.com/history/peter-freuchen-biography-badass-explorer-wife https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Freuchen https://allthatsinteresting.com/peter-freuchen https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/peter-freuchen-13661.php https://thechive.com/2018/03/28/peter-freuchen-is-the-actual-most-interesting-man-in-the-world-15-photos/ https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/an-irving-penn-portrait-for-the-coldest-days-of-winter https://avauntmagazine.com/peter-freuchen/ https://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/3425/the-remarkable-life-of-peter-freuchen
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Bonus Episode: Brad’s Not Here!
This is a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. But, it is a “bonus episode: light.” Why? Because Brad’s not here! He’s smack dab in the middle of being an awesome father, so the intrepid Dave and Brent take to the microphones by themselves. In this episode, they answer the interview questions of Marcel Proust, French Novelist, and man with a mustache that was as fancy as it gets. These questions are apparently quite powerful since the guys only answered three questions, and it turned into a full blown episode. What questions did they answer? Why does one of the guys prefer Superman while the other prefers Spider Man? What does a cleft palate and being abnormally tall have to do with each other? Where does Lebowski fit in? Download and listen to learn this and much, much more! Be sure you check out our newly added merchandise and consider becoming a Patron to support the cause!
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Patreon Episode: Misunderstood
What happens, when the Sofa King Podcast sets a microphone up in front of two innocent little girls to talk about their parents and their friends? Well, for one thing, it turns in to a Patreon shout out. For another thing, a lot of sex talk that isn’t sex talk happens. For another another thing, hilarity ensues. For another another another thing, they aren’t really little girls. For another another another another thing, it isn’t safe for work what with all the dirty talk that isn’t dirty. Confused? You don’t have to be? You could just download and give it a listen. We hope this little skit conveys the genuine thanks and love we have for our Patrons. You keep us in ramen and El Yucateco hot sauce, and we appreciate every single dollar you give us. We do this thing to have fun and tie in to the odd community that has sprouted up around us, but the Patron dollars really help us out in our regular lives. If you’re not a Patron, feel free to join here! If you are a Patron, feel free to keep doing what you’re doing. https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast 
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Episode 422: Fresno Nightcrawlers: Alien Break Dance Battle?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we delve into the paranormal and look at a creature that some say is an alien and other say is a cryptid—the Fresno Nightcrawler. Now, Fresno is only about an hour and a half from the Fight Club Studios, so we were instantly interested in a creature that hails from our backyard. In this case, the creature is a strange one, or a strange two since they seem to travel as a couple. Unlike most cryptids, there is video footage of them (see the notes below). They look like a pair of lanky, strange legs with knees that don’t bend quite right. Oh, and it has no real torso or head, just a bit of a lump above the flowing, blowsy legs. The first encounter with them that was filmed was on a security camera in the backyard of a man named Jose (he keeps his last name out of it to avoid all the nonsense). In November of 2007, he heard his dogs barking in an odd, threatened way at 12:45 AM. He went to check the video camera in case it was another break in, and he saw the Fresno Nighcrawlers. They shambled and flowed across his front yard and through is wrought iron gate, on and then another. The next day, he called the police, and they obviously had no jurisdiction on alien pants creatures. They suggested the media, and he called the local Univision station. They filmed a video of his video and sent it to MUFON for investigation. MUFON sent a man named Camacho out to investigate, and after several months, he finally interviewee Jose and took the footage to a MUFON conference. That was when the video went viral. After that, another video appeared, allegedly shot north of Fresno in Yosemite. But even before all this, there was an encounter of something called the Caramel Creature, a strange being with a similar description in Indiana, an alleged ancient Yokuts Indian myth, and even a video from Poland. People try to debunk these videos. Hard. And some succeed more than others. What do the guys think of these videos? Why do they think one might be more legit than the others? How tall are these Fresno Nightcralwers, and how did they fit between an iron fence? Why was Jose so scared that he didn’t even leave his house for three weeks after the encounter? Where are the creepy wooden statues that are said to depict these creatures? Are they aliens, cryptids, beings from the spirit realm? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: First Video of Nighcrawler: https://youtu.be/fMv85lRAmuk Second Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziB35K9shuI Polish Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLcDscJoOfQ MUFON Video with Jose: https://youtu.be/a_cjmy_ehiI Break Down of Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvIPNYTzGuA https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Fresno_Nightcrawler https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Carmel_Area_Creature https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article219755195.html https://www.theodysseyonline.com/fresno-nightcrawlers https://www.ranker.com/list/fresno-nightcrawler-facts/laura-allan https://www.gaia.com/article/the-fresno-nightcrawler-an-armless-faceless-two-legged-cryptid  
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Patreon Shoutout: Palomas Feat Brentano
Show: Kings of the Sofa Season 7, Episode 9: "Fear and Loathing in Bakersfield" Genre: Situation Comedy Run Time: 22 Minutes Rating: TV-MA (Suggestive Dialogue, Coarse or Crude Language, Sexual Situations, Violence) Summary: On a very special episode of Kings of the Sofa, CJ Lazer smokes marijuana for the first time. Concerned, the guys all attempt to help in different ways. Brent holds an intervention. Brad tries to make CJ sweat it out. Dave tries to scare CJ straight. All of their tries meet with unexpected results and teach them more than they ever bargained for about drug use. Guest starring Whoopi Goldberg.
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Patreon Shoutout The Burglar: A Patron-Funded Documentary
This special episode of the Sofa King Podcast is a first-of-its-kind, True Crime podcast documentary produced by Brad, Brent, and Dave. It is a little know case of a serial criminal who committed his malfeasance from the East coast to Kansas. In this piece, we interview a survivor of these crimes, The Burglar's lover, and even the special agent from the FBI who helped bring him to justice. On top of all of that, we were granted special access to The Burglar himself and were able to include portions of his interview in the documentary. We hope this tale of a little known criminal resonates with you as much as it did with us, and we hope to use it as a launching point to conduct more podcast documentaries as a way to thank some of our dedicated patrons. To support the Sofa King Podcast, please visit is at: https://www.patreon.com/join/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 421: Amityville: Murder, Monsters, and Malarkey
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we give you a two-fer and talk both true crime and the most (in)famous haunting in America. That's right, it's the case known as the Amityville Horror. What started as a truly mysterious mass murder in the iconic house in Amityville evolved into a world-famous ghost story that spawned books, horror films, documentaries, and scarred the childhoods of countless kids growing up in the 1970s. (I'm looking at you "get ouuuuut" ghost!) So, where does this multifaceted story begin? With the murder of six members of the DeFeo family in November of 1974. It was a middle-class family living under an abusive drunk, the father Robert DeFeo Sr. Their son, Robert Jr., snapped and pulled a gun on his father to stop the beatings, and his parents rewarded him with gifts and a job at the family car lot. One day, he left work early (as he often did) and talked mad smack about his family. The next day at 6:30 AM, he burst back into the bar claiming his parents might have been shot. Witnesses followed him to find all six members of his family shot in their beds face down. This is where the mystery builds. No neighbors heard gunshots. There was no silencer, no sign of struggle, no drugs in their systems, and ultimately no motive for the killing of anyone other than the abusive dad. This case was famous, and as a result, the house wasn't worth much. Enter the Lutz family. They bought the murder scene and moved in, but sold the place only 28 days later. Why? Well, it was crazy haunted. There was a room full of flies, green ectoplasm leaking from the doors, a pig with flowing red eyes, and imaginary friend/ghost that their son could see, a demon boy photo, and a ghost who screamed "Get Out" at a priest. Their story spawned a book and cult film, and the house was never the same again. But all may not be as it seemed, and a lot of doubt has been raised about the story of the haunting? So, who said the Lutz family was making it all up? Did they concoct the story over a bottle of wine in an attempt to make some money? Why did they move in only 28 days? What did the children claim happened to them that wasn't in the movies? Was the house on an anceint indian mad house, and did George Lutz mess with occult powers in his garage? How does Drunk Brad's theory legitimately explain the strange DeFeo murders? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit our Sources: https://www.biography.com/news/the-real-amityville-horror-amityville-the-awakening-movie https://allthatsinteresting.com/amityville-murders-ronald-defeo-jr https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/27/new-evidence-raises-questions-in-decades-old-amityville-horror-murders/ https://www.topic.com/the-true-twisted-story-of-amityville-horror https://www.bustle.com/p/9-creepy-facts-about-the-amityville-horror-case-you-probably-didnt-know-67039 https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/the-amityville-horror/    
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Bonus Episode: The Philosophers Stoned
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we step away from our usual show pattern and give you a good old fashioned bonus episode. If you want a regular episode, skip this one and go one episode ahead or back. There, you’ll hear us research and topic and spit facts at you as well as horrible off topic jokes and conversational cul-de-sacs. On this one, however, we give you a bonus episode. No research. No plan, just the fellas shooting it over some whiskey. What do we talk about? All sorts of stuff. Great stuff! Crazy stuff! Stuff that is sure to delight and offend! We actually turned to the unofficial SK Facebook group, and they asked us questions about our philosophy on life. What did they ask us? What is our philosophy on cutting friends and family out of our lives? What is the relationship between passion versus commitment? What is our philosophy on credit scores and credit bureaus? We may have a contact high from being so close to episode 420, but we get deep! So, get those earholes ready for some wisdom. Oh, and if you love this Bonus Episode or our regular episodes, do us two favors. First, go and support us on Patreon!
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Cheech and Chong: Episode 420, Man…
On this 420th episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we discuss the consummate stoners of all time, Cheech and Chong. This comedy duo hit the scene in the early 1970s and were an international phenomenon within a decade. They made several smash comedy albums, half a dozen movies, and defined what it meant to be a stoner (or a chollo) for nearly four decades after. They were so successful in their characters that they fooled a several generations (including the hosts) into thinking they were kind of slow stoners who stumbled into fame. The truth couldn’t be more different, as we learned researching these two comedic geniuses and how they made such an indelible mark on popular culture. Tommy Chong was born in Canada, and was half Chinese and half Irish. He was a very talented musician who once played for a band who had Jimmy Hendrix as their guitar player! He got out of the music business after a band member gave him his first joint and a comedy record, and the world was never the same since. He took over his father’s burlesque club and started doing improv comedy there in between the naked women, and that’s where he met Cheech. Richard “Cheech” Marin was born in east LA and moved to Canada to avoid the draft to Vietnam after dropping out of college. He was delivering carpet for a living and went into Chong’s club, and the two hit it off right away. The two of them found success being an improv duo, and they honed their acts and their craft for several years. Like Richard Pryor, their acts pushed boundaries and were very risqué, but it is what put them over the top. They toured, doing over 300 shows a year on the road, and they eventually put out their first album, called Cheech and Chong in 1971. They released an album a year from there on, and their fame and following grew continuously. Five years later, they had their first movie deal for Up in Smoke, and the rest was history. They had an amazing run of movies playing the same two characters, and their performances were convincing enough to make people believe they were really stoners. Well, maybe Chong was a little, but they were professionals, and their improv skills make their movies and albums come to life in ways that only the Marx Brothers and few others could match. Though dated, their comedy still holds up as legendary. So, how did Cheech and Chong manage to get a feature film made by Paramount studios when instead of a script, they had three and a half pages of notes on a yellow legal pad? Did Cheech even smoke weed at all? Why did US prosecutors come after Tommy Chong in 2003, and what type of jail time did he serve? How did the same prosecutors harass him five years later when a DVD of their raid on his house was just about to go on sale? What made the duo split up, and when did they finally get together to tour and sell bongs? Why the hell does Stacey Keach turn into a lizard? What's up with Brent and the little bee machines? Is he really Trent on this episode? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: http://www.cheechandchong.com/ https://www.cheechandchongglass.com/ https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-features/cheech-and-chong-on-40-years-of-up-in-smoke-real-life-drove-everything-629983/ https://www.thewrap.com/heres-the-biggest-misconception-about-cheech-and-chong/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonthompson/2018/04/09/cheech-and-chong-on-up-in-smoke-and-the-biggest-deals-they-rejected/#2e2da7313a0f https://www.allmusic.com/artist/cheech-chong-mn0000106298/biography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheech_%26_Chong https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheech_Marin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Chong http://www.worldofweed.com/10-far-facts-cheech-chong/
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Bonus Episode: Borrowed Time
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we step away from our usual show pattern and give you a good old fashioned bonus episode. If you want a regular episode, skip this one and go one episode ahead or back. There, you’ll hear us research and topic and spit facts at you as well as horrible off topic jokes and conversational cul-de-sacs. On this one, however, we give you a bonus episode. No research. No plan, just the fellas shooting it over some whiskey. What do we talk about? All sorts of stuff. Great stuff! Crazy stuff! Stuff that is sure to delight and offend! We actually turned to the unofficial SK Facebook group, and they asked us questions about our philosophy on life. What did they ask us? What is our philosophy on falling down and getting back up again? What is our philosophy on happiness. We get all Depak on you and spit some enlightenment. So, get those earholes ready for some wisdom. Oh, and if you love this Bonus Episode or our regular episodes, do us two favors. First, go and support us on Patreon!
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Episode 419: Vince McMahon: The Ultimate Heel
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the ultimate heel in all of professional wrestling, the chairman of WWE, Vince McMahon. Vince is the primary owner of the company, and he is a unique corporate mogul. Yes, he’s worth billions of dollars for having an insane vision that nobody else had (kind of like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but with man flesh instead of microchips). But he has also paid his dues, putting himself through the same grueling matches as the boys. He’s a controversial figure who change the entire TV mediascape. He was born as the third generation of sports promoter with a father and grandfather who both promoted boxing and wrestling matches in their New England and New York territory. Vince McMahon didn’t know his father at all until he was 12 and moved to New York to study under him and start working the wrestling and promoting gig. By the time he finished college, he had a plan to take his family’s property national and buck the traditional unwritten law that said no wrestling promoter would wander into other people’s territory. Vince was armed with the newly famous Hulk Hogan, and they cut a deal together to take on the entire nation and make professional wrestling more than a backyard gig. Within a few years, he was the master of syndication and with Hogan and Jessie Ventura’s fame and heat in the ring, the started to take over all the other territories. He soon launched WrestleMania, and by WrestleMania III, he was the undisputed king of wrestling. The other territories dried up, and there was only Vince and his WWF. Eventually, he went to war with Ted Turner over cable wrestling dominance, and he won that as well, gobbling up ECW and WCW and changing his name to WWE after a lawsuit. But this rags to riches story comes with drama. He treats his wrestlers notoriously poorly, giving them no health benefits or pension, and using them up until they can’t be used any more. Some of the old timers had it out with him. There were feuds, lawsuits, deaths, and challenges, but Mr. McMahon (the character and the person) always came out on top. So, what happened when Jessie the Body tried to unionize the wrestlers? Why did Hulk Hogan get fired and then brought back on as the golden boy? Was the Rock the biggest of all time, or was it someone else? Why did Vince get death threats building his company, and how did he respond to his wife? How are the wrestlers treated poorly? What was the Montreal Screw Job, and how did it change the face of all professional wrestling? From Andre the Giant to Mick Foley, Vince was in the middle. So, listen, laugh, learn.   Visit Our Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_McMahon https://www.podcastone.com/episode/Shane-McMahon-CLASSIC https://www.podcastone.com/episode/Immortal-Hulk-Hogan https://www.podcastone.com/episode/Jesse-Ventura-CLASSIC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8UQ4O7UiDs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Screwjob https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XFL_(2020) https://variety.com/2019/tv/features/wwe-vince-mcmahon-interview-smackdown-raw-1203213046/ https://www.grunge.com/149456/the-untold-truth-of-vince-mcmahon/    
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The Warminster Thing: From UFOs to Creeping Clouds
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore one of the biggest paranormal cases in the history of the UK, known simply as the Warminster Thing. The Thing is hard to describe. The events surrounding it started on Christmas Morning of 1964, but they spread through 1965 and 1966 as well. What makes this case unique in UFO lore is that it had so many witnesses (practically the whole town witnessed some part of it), and The Thing happened in different forms over the years. The first encounter with the Warminster Thing was a series of strange sounds. Several witnesses on that Christmas morning heard a horrible sound. One woman said it was like someone was dragging large branches over her roof and then was followed by massive hail stones falling on the roof, though the sky was clear and dry. Over 30 soldiers at a nearby base heard The Thing as well and described it as a chimney being ripped from the wall and dropped on top of the buildings. Another woman heard the horrible sound on an early morning walk, and the sound waves pressed her to the ground. Many other witnesses experienced the same strange, loud sound in the night sky just in time to think it was an evil Santa Some time passed with no more of these strange audio moments, but then something even bigger happened. Many people reported hearing a massive explosion in the sky and felt several earth quakes after the denotation. The weird thing was what the blast did. Many witnesses claim it turned into a giant cloud of smoke, like a mushroom cloud but shaped more like a light bulb. The, the cloud lowered to the ground and rolled over the forest. It turned into a ball of smoke with a bright yellow glowing core and sent tentacles of electricity out of it as crept along the tree line. The third big encounter with The Thing was the UFOS. Eventually, people started to see a classic cigar shaped UFO with what looked like coal fires in its port holes. It was perfectly silent and slid around the sky, again, with multiple witnesses. But then there were small things, too. A bunch of rats mutilated through the town and filled with strange puncture holes. A flock of pigeons that suddenly died in unison and fell from the sky. All of these encounters led to a town meeting in Warminster, intended to calm the populace down. All it did, however, was rile them up. People compared notes, freaked out, demanded action. A reporter covering the meeting named Arthur Shuttlewood was given one of the most famous UFO photos of all time at this meeting and took the story to the Daily Mirror. He wrote several stories and a crucial book in which he interviewed the witnesses of all the strange manifestations of The Warminster Thing. So, what was it? An alien visit? A dimensional rift? An energy weapon? An experimental craft in the cold war? What do we think of the UFO  video shot on site in 2017? We have our theories, so listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: http://www.ufo-warminster.co.uk/information/thing_history.htm http://www.ufo-warminster.co.uk/timeline_top.htm https://www.ufocasebook.com/warminster1964.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=AeKBoFQsXoQ https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2017/08/latest-uk-ufo-stirs-memories-of-the-warminster-thing/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8694000/8694729.stm https://unresolved.me/the-warminster-thing    
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Suicide Forest: Death in the Trees
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at a unique and chilling place called Aokigahara—the Suicide Forest. It started as a way to have an episode about a haunted place, but this forest is so wild it took on a life of its own. The Suicide Forest is Japan, in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, and it is internationally famous as a place to go to end one’s life. As a result, it is considered one of the most haunted places on earth, but the macabre and disturbing facts about those who enter the woods alive trump the tales of those who are lingering around as undead. Though the exact number of deaths isn’t known in this forest, the last census was over 100 in one year; that was the year the Japanese government quite publishing the numbers since it just encouraged more people to go. These woods are not like normal woods. For one thing, the ground is volcanic rock from an eruption of Mt. Fuji in the 9th Century. This results in trees with roots bulging from the ground, looking like limbs in a Tim Burton film or a haunted forest in a cartoon. The ground is black, the sky can’t be seen, and the trees are twisted. On top of that, there are no birds, and the porous lava rock absorbs sound. It is eerily silent. Oh, and for some reason, compasses don’t work, GPS takes a dump, and you can’t get a cell signal. One disturbing fact of the woods is the ribbons. There are strings and ribbons all over the place. These are for people to mark their own resting places, so families can find the bodies. A walk through the Suicide Forest will have you find discarded shoes, empty tents, bottles of poison, nooses hanging from trees, and of course dead bodies. But the problem comes from the ghostly side. Japanese spirits called Yurei are angry and perturbed. They disturb the woods and are even though to possess people and make them angry, despondent, and suicidal. When a worker finds a body in the woods, they bring them back to the morgue, and there a guard has to sit with them all night to make sure the Yurei finds peace. Yeah, that’s pretty gnarly. So, what is the number one method of suicide in these troubling woods? What happened to the YouTuber who found a body while filming his vlog? Did Japanese elderly used to wander to these woods to die? What types of hauntings happen here? What do the signs say in order to get people not to take their own life? How does the Japanese mindset about suicide play into the popularity of this horrible destination? Listen, laugh, learn,   Visit our Sources: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/02/aokigahara-jukai-suicide-forest/ http://www.aokigaharaforest.com/ https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/aokigahara-suicide-forest https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/2/16840176/logan-paul-suicide-video-apology-aokigahara-forest http://www.aokigaharaforest.com/Aokigahara-the-haunted-forest.html https://itsyourjapan.com/haunted-forest-in-japan/ http://mentalfloss.com/article/73288/15-eerie-things-about-japans-suicide-forest https://allthatsinteresting.com/suicide-forest-aokigahara https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/04/paranormal-encounters-at-japans-haunted-suicide-forest/    
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Episode 416: The Weather Underground: Bombs, Commies, and Orgies
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the ultimate left-wing radical group from the 1960s, the Weather Underground. The WGO, or simply the Weathermen detonated 25 bombs in the US in only seven years. They blew up a bomb at the U.S. Senate, the Pentagon, and the New York Police headquarters. They tried to burn down the house of a member of the US Supreme Court, and they really hated one particular statue. Originally, the Weather Underground was a violent branch of a national student group called the Students for a Democratic Society. Their original goal was to help end the war in Vietnam and to bring social and economic equality to the poor and minorities. However, after a heated national meeting, the Weathermen took over the group and made it much more dangerous. They aligned themselves with groups like the Black Panthers, learned how to stage a revolution in Cuba and North Vietnam, and started to make explosives. The Weathermen declared war on the United States, and after bad politics, they went underground, severing their ties with the student groups. Within a few years, key members were on the FBI’s most wanted list, and they were rightfully branded a terrorist group. They had strange ways of recruiting their white middle class members. One was called “Jailbreaks” where they’d go into high schools (sometimes topless) and storm classes to tell the youth that the curriculum was corrupt and to peel students out of the class and into the streets. Another was drugs. Drugs and orgies. So many orgies, until the STDs started to spread, and people got weird about sexual jealousy. But in the background of all of this was a truly radical group. Where did they unleash their Days of Rage, and how many of them were arrested and shot? Why did they always go after police? What happened with the FBI illegally perusing them using COINTELPRO, and how did this affect the arrest and conviction of the Weathermen? What was the “Wargasm,” and how many of their own were killed in a failed bombing attempt? Oh, and what caused them to break Timothy Leary out of jail and smuggle him out of the country, and what might this have had to do with John Lennon? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://time.com/4549409/the-weather-underground-bad-moon-rising/ https://timeline.com/weather-underground-smash-monogamy-b109c96597ff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Days_of_Rage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_High_School_Jailbreaks
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Episode 415: Hopkinsville Goblins: Aliens, Cryptids, or Silver Monkies?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we hit you with a crazy recipe—take one part cryptid and one part UFO encounter, bake in the Kentucky summer, and you get the Hopkinsville Goblins. The case of the Hopkinsville Goblins is one of the most important in all of UFOlogy because it establishes the details that a great many UFO cases follow for years after. It is, in fact, the genesis of the term “little green men,” even though the Goblins weren’t thought to be green. So, what exactly happened in Hopkinsville that is still studied to this day? Back in August of 1955, two families were staying in a small, homemade house in the woods of Kentucky. There were a total of 11 of them (5 adults, 4 children, and 2 carnies) at the house when things went sideways. One member of the house went outside to draw some water from the pump and saw what he called a flying saucer that showed every color in the rainbow. He told everyone this, and they dismissed it as a shooting star. (A highway patrol officer reported similar lights in the sky a few hours later, unbeknownst to each other). About an hour after, everyone heard noises outside and went to investigate. Since the dog was freaking out, they took their guns and saw the Goblins. They were allegedly about 2 or 3 feet tall with large glowing eyes. They had atrophied legs but buffed upper bodies, and they walked with a strange gait that looked as if they were underwater (and some witnesses said they were floating off the ground). The two men fired at the first Goblin, hit it dead center, and reported a sound like a bullet striking metal. The Goblin fell back and retreated into the woods, and this was the start of a four hour campaign of fear and bullets. The Goblins started to claw at the roof and pop up into windows and scratch at the door. The families fired over 100 rounds at them and eventually packed it up headed into town to get the police. The cops had heard tell of the fire fight, so they weren’t taking any chances. A total of 16 officers from three police and military unit went to investigate. They confirmed in all 16 of their reports that the house was damaged as if something was trying to get in. The police also heard strange things in the trees and saw the weird lights. Eventually, the cops left, and about 45 minutes later, the Goblins were back to terrorize some more. The families left for the night, and it all hit the media. The next day, they gave their one and only interview to a local radio host, and they described the creatures. This is an odd case because it predates UFO hysteria, and the witnesses stood nothing to gain. They hated the attention it brought them and after later investigations were conducted, their story turned out to be one of the most consistent in UFO/Cryptid lore. So, what were these Goblins? Were they a great horned owl as many suggested? Was it a circus monkey painted silver (yes, that’s a theory). Were they all tripping balls on some chemical or drug? What connections do these creatures potentially have to the Mothman? Listen, laugh, learn.   Visit our Sources: https://themothman.fandom.com/wiki/Kelly%E2%80%93Hopkinsville_encounter https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Hopkinsville_Goblins https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Kelly%E2%80%93Hopkinsville_encounter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly%E2%80%93Hopkinsville_encounter https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00336/full http://www.kellyky.com/  
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Episode 414: Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs: Three Guys, One Hammer
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we focus our gaze on some Ukrainian true crime and look at some of the worst human beings to ever live—The Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs. These three 19 year olds were the culprits behind a chain of awful murders in the summer of 2007. They were made internationally famous for creating the ghoulish viral video called “3 Guys 1 Hammer” in which they bludgeon one of their victims to death and stab him with a screw driver, all while taunting him and posing for selfies as he gurgles to death. The three of them are said to have come from privileged backgrounds, with parents who were lawyers and such (one was even said to be friendly with the prime minister). They had typical upbringings, but at one point the three of them noted that they had fears and phobias, which they construed as weaknesses. One of them was a fear of heights, so they dangled from balconies for hours to “cure” him. Another had a fear of blood, so they became heartless sociopathic murderers. You know. Like you do. Their motive was said to stem for a desire to make 40 videos of 40 murders for a website. They would pick their victims at random, often targeting the young and the old. Their typical weapon was a hammer or some construction tool they could use to bludgeon. They’d often kill more than one person per day and film it. They’d also take the possessions from their kills and sell them at local pawn shops. Some murders were done in front of people, and one was right across the street from the main prosecutor’s office! These teens were heartless, soulless monsters who killed for fun. Or, maybe not even fun. Maybe out of boredom, it seems. So, what finally got the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs arrested? Why did one of them get off with a  light sentence compared to the life sentences of the other two? How many did they ultimately kill? When did they start gouging out eyes, and what did they do to the pregnant woman they killed? If this is your sort of sick episode, then listen, laugh, learn.   Check out our Sources: https://criminalminds.fandom.com/wiki/The_Dnepropetrovsk_Maniacs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnepropetrovsk_maniacs https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/suprunyuck-igor.htm https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/7827c4/til_of_the_dnepropetrovsk_maniacs_they_were_two/  
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Episode 413: Steve Irwin: The Crocodile Hunter
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go down under and talk about one of Australia’s national heroes, Steve Irwin. This topic is a fan-favorite based on the polls, so we dive deep into the life of the Crocodile Hunter himself. Steve Irwin was born into the career he excelled at. His parents were a wildlife expert and a wildlife rehabilitator who owned a small place called the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. Young Steve grew up around crocs and snakes and all the horrible, horrible things in Australia that will kill you quick-like. He was given a pet snake as a boy, which made him love reptiles even more. Irwin spent his youth feeding, training, and cleaning up after the animals, and he was so good at it that by the age 13, he was able to volunteer at the Queensland's East Coast Crocodile Management. While there, he allegedly captured over 100 crocs himself, and he brought several of them back to his parents’ park. This upbringing made him an animal lover who was always one step ahead of the reptiles. As an adult, he was still working the in park, and he met Terri Raines, who owned an animal rehab joint back in Oregon. They fell in love instantly and married; this marriage is what rocketed Steve Irwin to fame. How, do you ask? Well, instead of a honeymoon, they went out capturing crocks and filming it, and the resulting work was the genesis of what became the massive hit, the Crocodile Hunter. In no time, this single documentary led to a TV series, and within a few years, it was an international smash. Irwin spent a large portion of his wealth buying up land to act as nature preserves, and he used his fame to help educate the world about amazing, deadly, and often endangered animals. He transformed the park owned by his parents to the now massive Australia Zoo. His wild eyes and crazy dialect, along with his crack-head like enthusiasm made him a house hold name. Everyone watched as he wrestled massive deadly crocs, taunted poisonous snakes, and crawled around horrible animals that would have killed anyone else. However, this flirt with death that made him so popular eventually caught up with him. While filing for a new documentary, he and his camera man ran into a large stingray. They filmed it to get footage that Irwin could give to his daughter Bindi for her new show, but he got too close. It stung him several times in the torso, eventually piercing his heart. They took him back to the boat and rushed him to a hospital, but it was too late. Steve Irwin was made famous by and died for what he loved, and he filmed it all the way. So, give this a listen, and then you have my permission to go binge watch YouTube clips of him doing crazy, crazy things.   Check out our Sources: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/part-1-method-to-his-madn/ https://www.biography.com/personality/steve-irwin https://www.newidea.com.au/how-did-steve-irwin-die-the-truth-about-the-stingray-attack https://mentalfloss.com/article/503993/13-facts-about-steve-irwin-and-crocodile-hunter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Irwin  
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Episode 412: Trail of Tears: American Greed, American Tragedy
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at greed made manifest by the US government—the tragedy of the Trail of Tears. Most people know the Trail of Tears to be a death march in which indigenous peoples in the US were forced to relocate to lands they didn’t want, but it is a deeper tale than that. First, it wasn’t just the Cherokee as many people were taught in school. It was several groups, including the Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw (among others). It also wasn’t just a single bad march, it was a systemic, government run process of forcing people of their land for about a decade. So where did it start? Greed. In the early 1800s, gold was discovered in Georgia. Simultaneously, southern plantation owners in several states were trying to grab more land, and there were several Indian groups who owned the land they wanted. Why try to buy land at a fair price (for gold or agriculture), when you can get the government to forcibly remove people? Enter the Indian Removal Act of 1830. It was a close vote in the Congress, but the support of President Jackson won the day, and the native peoples were screwed. Money was set aside to buy land and pay for the move, but not enough. Plus which, the government had no idea how to move 100,000 people without a significant portion of them dying. In the Trail of Tears, there was greed and corruption. There was cholera and blizzards. There was a whole lot of death and a whole of people who didn’t care so much. Groups like the Choctaw made deals with the US government to sell their own farm land and set out early (but died on the trail anyway). Groups like the Cherokee held out until the end and were forced to move at military gunpoint. And, badass groups like the Seminole fought a war, killing people guerrilla style from the swamps of the Florida everglades by way of resistance. So, which native groups went willingly, and which ones fought tooth and nail? Who was the chief that caused so much trouble in Florida? Which groups of Indians owned African slaves? What did George Washington try to do decades earlier to stop this from happening? How many people were transported in the Trail of Tears and how many were thought to have died? How much more did boat owners charge the natives than the white man to travel to their destination? How many times will Dave say “supple cotton” in this episode? Listen, laugh, learn. Explore the Sources we Cite and Discuss: https://www.britannica.com/event/Trail-of-Tears https://edu.glogster.com/glog/trail-of-tears/2374kgdmewa?=glogpedia-source https://historycollection.co/10-misunderstood-facts-of-the-trail-of-tears-that-your-history-book-left-out/2/ http://www.dadiepiombo.it/pdf/seminole-sr.pdf https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears https://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears https://www.nps.gov/trte/index.htm
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Episode 411: Beaumont Children: Australia’s Wake Up Call
On this true crime episode of the world Famous Sofa Kind Podcast, we go Down There (to the land down under) and discuss one of the largest missing person cases in Australia’s history. The case of the Beaumont Children. Jane, Arnna, and Grant Beaumont famously went missing on August 26, 1966 amongst Australia Day celebrations on Glenelg Beach near Adelaide. There was a national media fury after their disappearance, and Oz was never the same again. It seems Australian Prime Ministers aren’t the only ones to go missing on the beach! On August 25th, Grant Beaumont, their father, dropped the three kids off at the beach on his way out of town, and they spent the morning frolicking and doing whatever Aussies do on a beach without any semblance of parental guidance. You know, eat pasties and not go in past your belly button. They came home, and all was good. The next morning, they took a bus back to the beach for the festivities and were supposed to return on the noon bus. By the by 2:00 PM bus, their mother Nancy was worried sick, and she started to search for her kids. By 3:00, their father came back home from his business trip, and a few hours later, the cops were called in. They scoured the beach and several other nearby. They drained canals, knocked over boats, and interviewed everyone they could find. But no trace of the kids or their possessions ever turned up. It hit the news the next day, and by day 3, the press was reporting it as a sex abduction for the Beaumont Children. Sadly, they were probably right. Police found plenty of witnesses, from beach goers to the postman and the owner of the beach bakery. They compiled a sketch of a thin, blond, athletic man who was seen with the kids. This shocked their mother once she put together the fact that her oldest daughter was taunted for having a “boyfriend” at the beach for days before the disappearance. Whoever this mystery man was, he was the one that everyone searched for. He was never found. Members of the Dutch community paid to fly in a famous psychic who said the kids were dead and then pointed to a building they were buried under. They tore out the floor and found nothing there. Then, where were the bogus letters written a few years after the disappearances saying the kids were fine and living with a nice man who protected them. Turns out, this was a teenage dickweed who was trying to get his kicks. So, who really did take the Beaumont Children? Many theories suggest two pedophiles and murders named Bevan Spencer von Einem and Arthur Brown. Both were in jail as the investigation gained momentum years later, and both were in the region during the disappearance. However, the good money is on a millionaire sicko named Harry Phipps. He raped 12 year old girl and got so horny by the touch of satin that he had to rape his own son…repeatedly. He was also a close match to the police sketch, and he even paid some local kids to dig a grave that forensics found some weirdness surrounding a few decades later. So, if you want to hear about one of the biggest cases Down There, download this episode and give yourself a tickle.   Visit some of our sources: https://www.crimetraveller.org/2019/07/disappearance-beaumont-children-murder-or-misadventure/ https://www.wikizero.com/en/Beaumont_children_disappearance https://murderpedia.org/male.V/v/von-einem-bevan.htm https://murderpedia.org/male.B/b/brown-arthur-stanley.htm https://www.reddit.com/r/RedditCrimeCommunity/comments/c06si9/the_adelaide_oval_abductions_the_beaumont/ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-02/enduring-mystery-of-adelaides-missing-beaumont-children/9352254 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_the_Beaumont_children
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Bonus Episode: Daves Not Here Man!
Dave had a lot of things going on this week.  He had to go to the grocery store. He had to get his car washed and his hair cut.  Hell he even had to take a shower.  All these things made Dave to busy to record this episode.  In summary we invite friends of the show CJ Lazer and Alan Erkenzermenheart to the show to play a game of the age ol' favorite news or bullshit with some high stakes.  Give it a listen if you feel like joining in on the game and maybe taking on the stakes for yourself go right ahead.
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Bonus Episode: Paranormal Investigation: Who Ya Gonna Call
On this very special bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we bring you an episode we recorded on the floor of the 8th annual Kansas City Paracon. Brent and Dave met up with Sam Kulper on the first night of the conference, and after hours, they were allowed in the Kansas City Masonic Temple to hunt for ghosts. This four story, massing, 110 year old building was dark, empty, and creepy as hell, and we poked around in it with nothing but a few flashlights and cell phones. We had to strip a power cord to fit ancient plugs in the Temple's library/antechamber of the Blue Lodge, and we can't promise audio perfection based on the jury rigged recording equipment. But you know what we can promise? An awesome show! On this episode, we discuss the details of that ghost hunt as well as our thoughts on Kansas City and Paranormal Convention. We met some really cool people, and there are few special drop ins such as Jason Kupzyk from the Ectoplasm Show. As an added feature, we've included the raw recordings of Dave's EVP sessions where he talks to ghosts in the Masonic Temple, hoping for replies. If you have the audio chops, feel free to tweak this and see what you can hear! So, what happened at the ghost hunt? Did we experience anything supernatural during our paranormal investigation? What is on Dave's recordings? What happened to Brad? How does the show go when Brent doesn't have a wall of whiskey to clink from? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: Today on Sofa King Podcast
Today, on a special bonus episode of the Sofa King Podcast, the gang gets into their usual high jinks! First, they have some trouble with their downstairs neighbor Mr. Bosley after Brad takes up clog dancing to impress his new boss and get the big promotion. Meanwhile, Brent builds a Trojan Reindeer in order to squat at the Christmas Tree lot, so he can stake out and preserve the perfect tree that he never had as a little boy. Things get wacky as he discovers a flying squirrel locked in with him, eating all his peanut butter! And finally, Dave embraces his heritage and tries to go full black after watching Malcolm X on repeat...to mixed results. Guest starring Ving Rhames, Alan Cumming as Mr. Bosley, and Roscoe the squirrel as himself. For a video of this episodes trailer, click HERE. For something truly awesome, click HERE!!!
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Episode 410: CERN: Physics, Conspiracies, and Other Dimensions
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look get quantum and talk about one of the world’s greatest scientific organization, CERN. CERN, of course, is famous for their Large Hadron Collider and all the experiments and conspiracy theories that are associated with it (some of which are plausible, some of which are about as far out as they get). CERN has been a major force of science in the world since the 1950s. When Europe was struggling to rebuild from WWII, the US had the wealth and luxury to invest in major scientific exploration, leaving the rest of the world behind. Twelve member nations pitched in money to compete and created the Swiss based CERN labs. They focused on particle and quantum physics, and in 1989, they even invented the software that makes the World Wide Web possible, so they could share their data with the world. In 2010, their Large Hadron Collider went online. There are other particle colliders on the planet, but this was the largest ever built and was theorized to revolutionize science. And it did. They were able to stabilize antimatter for an amazing 15 minutes (the previous record was a sixth of a second), and they ultimately proved the existence of the elusive Higgs Boson. One of their goals, by the way, is to prove that other parallel universes exist! But the fun stuff is the conspiracy theories. The more tame are ones that say the collider causes earthquakes. The theories build in strength and then claim that global warming is caused by the LHC and other colliders. Then, there the theories that the LHC is a Stargate or a portal to Hell. Many people suggest the dimension hopping theories of the Mandela Effect stem from CERN’s experiments. One theory—proposed by notable physicists—is that Nature and time itself is why the LHC has technical problems; waves of causality from the future are causing the device to fail, so certain discoveries aren’t made. This all involves a time traveling bird with a baguette. And, yes, that’s a real thing. Finally, the web (which they invented) was abuzz in 2016 with video of a so-called human sacrifice on the grounds of CERN. What we know to be true is that people who had high level access to CERN property were in robes and at least acted out the stabbing of a woman in white. What we don’t know is why. So, if you like science, Quantum Physics, Europe in general, virgin sacrifice, and time travelling quantum birds, this is the podcast for you! Ritual Sacrifice Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBBvYdBeu8s First Ever Website Posted by Cern in the 1980s: https://www.w3.org/History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
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Episode 409: Menendez Brothers: Murder Most Foul!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore one of the biggest True Crime cases from the 90s and look a the Menendez Brothers murders. In the early days of Court TV, and right when OJ’s trial was a big thing, these two handsomely smarmy wealthy brothers made national news for the monstrous killing of their parents with two 12 gauge Mossberg shotguns. The Menendez family was allegedly a troubled one. Lyle and Erik's father José Enrique Menéndez fled from Cuba in the 1960s and settled in New Jersey and New York. He married his wife Kitty, and they ended up living a life of privilege. We’re talking country clubs, Princeton, and lots of money. But the sons Lyle and Erik developed completely crazy tempers and were beyond spoiled. They all but gave up at school, and their father spent money and did their homework to keep them in good graces and keep the family name looking good. It is also worthy to report that according to the brothers, they were raped and molested by their father, and they were fondled and creeped on by their mother. Family members doubt this later on, but you never know. There were even accounts of the Menendez Brothers molesting one of their cousins and each other. So all was not well in the Menendez house. Eventually, their father landed a very lucrative job in video out in Hollywood, and the family moved out West. There, the sons kept screwing up. They got kicked out of schools, were always in trouble, and even started stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of swag from their wealthy friends. It got so bad that their mother eventually threatened to take them off of the will and cut off all their allowance. Within a month of this threat, she was dead. The details are pretty grisly, but we cover them for all you sick True Crime folks out there. Shotguns to the head, body parts broken, lungs pierced, thumbs almost cut off, the works. For years, the trial surrounding the deaths dominated the media. The trial was a hung jury, and then there was a second one that finally found the brothers guilty. So, which of their parents were killed first? Why did the brothers shoot their parent’s corpses in the knees? What made one of the brothers confess his crime to his therapist, and what came of that? Was there anything to the argument that the brothers only killed their parents because their rapist parents were going to kill them first to shut them up? How much money did the Menendez Brothers spend in the first year? Who are they married to in prison, and why was their lead detective so fabulous? Listen, laugh, learn. Visit Our Sources: https://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/menendez-brothers https://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/menendez-brothers/crimes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyle_and_Erik_Menendez https://murderpedia.org/male.M/m/menendez-brothers.htm https://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1993/10/dunne199310 https://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1994/03/dunne199403 https://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1990/10/dunne199010 Truth and Lies in Beverly Hills by David Kennedy, 2017. https://books.google.com/books?id=7T-9AQAACAAJ&dq=editions:LlCt-v5b-IAC&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjG2rbR6qnkAhUG16wKHRaNCDMQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/crimefeed/crime-history/5-things-to-know-about-erik-and-lyle-menendez-menendez-brothers https://toofab.com/2017/12/28/erik-menendez-wife-tammi-menendez-murders-ae-exclusive-clip/ https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-menendez-brothers-psychiatrist-license-20190709-story.html  
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Episode 408: Operation Valkyrie: Taking Down Hitler From Within
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time and look at Operation Valkyrie and the German plot to kill Hitler. Made famous by the Tom Cruise movie, Operation Valkyrie was not actually the plot kill Hitler, but it was all tied to it. Valkyrie was a plan that Hitler himself put in place for the replacement army to take control of the nation in case of a natural disaster, massive bombing, coup or uprising, or his own death. It was a plan to stabilize Germany in the face of something that would shake it up and keep the power from going to greedy SS Officers. However, many people who loved Germany but loathed Hitler saw it as a way to get Germany to surrender to the West and get out of the war…but only after Hitler’s death. They couldn’t pull off a coup because Nazi officers swore a blood allegiance to Hitler, and nobody wanted to break their vows. So he had to die in order to save nation and end the war. The most famous of these attempts at his life was the July 20th Bombing. However, they started years before this, and somehow Hitler always managed to escape! First, the conspirators took some new experimental plastic explosives developed by the British SOE and tried to blow up his plane as part of their Operation Spark. The bomb was loaded on the plane; the detonator went off; the bomb did not. Next, there was a suicide bomb attempt, but Hitler left the scene after being there for only two minutes, so no go on the bomb. There was an attempt to blow him up at a fashion show, a would-be gun attack, and even an attempt to blow up his Eagle’s Nest Home by planting explosives in the water tower. None of it worked, and Hitler and the Gestapo were totally ignorant to all but the water tower explosion. Eventually, the time seemed right. In July of 1944, the newest member of the conspiracy, Lieutenant Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, did his thing. The Colonel was wounded from the war, missing an eye, and only had one hand left with a couple fingers on it. He was not suspected as the guy who would kill the Fuhrer. However, he smuggled a bomb into a war conference on July 14th and again on the 15th but delayed the detonation because he wanted to kill as many high ranking SS as possible. Eventually, on the 20th, he got into the room and placed his right next to Hitler. In fact, he was cunning enough to get out of the building, fly to Berlin, and start a coup and gunfight in the streets. But the building was wrong, and someone moved the bomb. It went off, but Hitler only suffered superficial wounds. Why didn’t the bomb have the effect they suspected it would? What happened to the coup on the streets of Berlin? How many people were arrested and killed for the July 20th explosion? How did the conspirators change the orders that were to go out in Operation Valkyrie? Why is Tom Cruise so awesome? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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Episode 407: NXIVM: The Blue Light Orgasm Sex Traffic Smallville Cult
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we explore the roots of the cult slash pyramid scheme slash sex trade known as NXIVM. Pronounced Nexium, this “multi-level marketing company” was created by Keith Reneire. He may be the most persuasive man on the planet (sort of the evil Tony Robins). He started grifting and conning when he was only eight years old, blackmailing girls on the playground based on things he overheard them saying. By thirteen, he was running game on multiple girls at once, telling them they were all "the one." Shortly thereafter, he was studying Ponzi scheme, Scientology, and strange forms of hypnotism to brainwash the masses. Unlike other cults, NXIVM was created to be a cult. Some cult leaders seem to build a base and then go mad with power, but Reneire wanted the cult from childhood. Though never busted for it, when he was 24, he had a sexual affair with a 15 year old but never got in trouble because she killed herself (and we suspect he convinced her to with his strange mind powers). Once he was older, Reneire started a pyramid scheme that was broken up the city of New York and he fumbled around a bit until he met a few partners, out hypnotized a hypnotist, and created the “Executive Success Program,” which eventually got branded as NXIVM. In the role of the CEO and cult leader, he started to assemble multi-millionaires around him as he gave $7000 seminars to thousands of people. He recruited Allison Mack, AKA Chloe from Smallville to be his right hand, and she assembled a cadre of sex slaves for him. Yes, that’s real, and I typed it just now. Reneire was so persuasive that even after he was branded as a cult leader, he managed to fly the Dali Lama to New York and meet with him on stage (where the Dali Lama gave him white scarf). So, why did his sex slaves get branded by lasers? Why did members of his group wear colored belts as if it were a martial art? Who were the Luciferians? Why was one of his seminars called “Dracula and Ghouls?” Which members of his cult were reincarnated Nazis? How did he make women see blue light when they had sex with him? What finally got this madman arrested, and what crimes was he ultimately guilty of? Oh, and why, Chloe, why!?!?! Listen, laugh, learn… Thorough Article on the Women: https://time.com/5568135/nxivm-allison-mack-raniere/  
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Episode 406: Green River Killer: Preying for Prostitutes
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we close the case on Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer. Active through the 1980s and 1990s, this monster of a man was said by many to be the most prolific American serial killer of all time. He allegedly killed 71 women, though he himself has admitted he lost count. If true crime is your thing, read on. If not, go take a nice walk and don’t think about what this horrible creature did for twenty years. Gary Ridgway ticked all the boxes of serial killer youth. His dad worked in a morgue and came home to tell the very young Ridway about how his co-workers would have sex with the dead bodies. Then, when he would wet the bed, his mom—barely dressed—would give him cold showers and linger on genital area after shaming him in front of his family. Oh, and she’d come home from work and talk about how taking measurements for men’s suits made them get erections and gave details about how their crotches smelled. Needless to say, by his teen years, he had stabbed a six year old boy because he wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone, and he also had fantasies about having sex with his mom and slitting her throat to leave a horrible scar. Like you do. He was a poor student with a low IQ, and he went off to serve in Vietnam. While there he caught STDs having sex with hookers, and his first wife left him. He married again, and this time, he’d have sex with his wife near where he buried the bodies. He’d choke her and stalk her in the woods. Like you do. Ridgway was an overly religious man, and he’d weep after reading the bible. Then? He’d go out, trick a hooker into coming into his truck, and strangle them. He’d bury their bodies in clusters, and he drive by and visit their graves to feel better about himself. Annnnnnnd…he’d have sex with their maggot covered bodies and pose them nudes, sometimes with strange meats on their bodies. He slowed down his killing supposedly because his third wife kept him more balanced, but the toll was already taken. So, how many times did the cops come close to catching him? How did Gary Ridgway keep getting away when they did come close? What finally brought the cops to his door, and how long after the murders was it? What was the awful tale of the fisherman who found the first bodies in the river? What prop did he use to lure hookers into the woods? What were the details of the plea bargain that kept him from getting the death penalty, and how did Ted Bundy help to profile him? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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Episode 405: LA Riots: Race, Rodney, and Revolution
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we participate in some civil unrest and look at the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. They were often called the Rodney King Riots since they were sparked by the verdict of the Rodney King beating trial. In the course of five days, 63 people were killed, 2,383 were injured, 3600 fires were lit (destroying 1100 buildings), and over 12,000 arrests were made. To begin understanding the riots, you must understand LA at the time. It is especially important to understand South Central LA and the lives of black citizens. The LAPD at  the time was one of the most racist in the nation, led by the horrible Chief Daryl Gates. Racial profiling was at an all-time high, hundreds of formal police brutality reports were filed by blacks each year, and nothing was ever done about it. Black Los Angelinos were afraid of the cops, which is one reason NWA became some popular with people like Eazy-E living this very life and rapping about it. In the middle of a decade of police violence, one man, Rodney King was pulled over for drunk driving. He resisted arrest and tried to run, and the police finally caught him. And beat him. Badly. They think he was hit by police batons over 60 times and tazed at least three. One bystander, George Holiday, happened to catch this all on film at a time where video cameras weren’t ubiquitous, so things like this seldom got reported. Within a few days, the tape made its hands into the media, and it was a national sensation. King sustained severe injuries (but not as bad as you’d think if you watch the film HERE). The cops involved were tried for various crimes, and several months later, they pretty much all got off scot-free. That was the fuse that lit the powder keg, and LA went up in flames. The LA Riots were small groups at first, but after a controversial speech on TV about the trial, Mayor Bradley of LA made things worse. By the end of the day, there was burning and looting. By day two, people were being snatched from their trucks and being beaten to death. By day three, the police abandoned the 150 blocks that made up Korea Town, and it became a war zone. Eventually, somewhere around 16,000 troops were sent in to quell things at the end of day 4, and by day 5 order was restored. All in all, the LA riots cost an estimated billion dollars in property damage and changed the face of LA. Many people say this burst of violence was needed because it cleaned up the LAPD and made things better for blacks in South Central. Others were killed in the riots and don’t say much of anything anymore. Be it a mass movement for justice or a bunch of folks trying to come up on a new TV, this was an event that helped shape the 90s and was to presage the Black Lives Matter movement and all of the issues we face currently race relations and police actions. Great Article with Great Photos: https://www.npr.org/2017/04/26/524744989/when-la-erupted-in-anger-a-look-back-at-the-rodney-king-riots FBI Version of the Rodney King Beating Video: https://vault.fbi.gov/rodney-king/video/rodney-king-video
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Episode 404: Great Quake of 1906: San Francisco’s Deadliest Days
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we feel the earth move under our feet and look back at the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. It is considered by many to the worst natural disaster in American history, killing 3000 people and destroying 80% of what was then the 9th largest city in the US. But what made this quake so unique? For one, it was the first disaster that happened after cameras were pervasive, so there is footage of the destruction. Another thing was the fires. Of the destruction, some people estimate that 90% of the damage was done by fires. The quake itself hit on April 18th just after 5:00 AM. There was a foreshock, and then the big one. Estimates put it between 7.4 and 8.3, but nobody knows for sure since this predates the Richter Scale. Water mains burst, buildings collapsed, and gas mains erupted, causing the horrible fires. The fires raged for 4 days and 4 nights, and nobody could really stop them. There was no more running water, the fire chief died from injuries, and nobody could move fire equipment through the mountains of rubble. Estimates are that 25,000 properties burned that week. This was a city of 400,000 at the time, and an estimated 310,000 were suddenly homeless. The only way they survived was to build a tent city with the help of 4000 army troops. The army fed and sheltered them in a pre-FEMA tent city, and at times shot them for looting or lighting fires in their homes. There were dramatic rescues of 20,000 through a navy ship, and some 40,000 who were injured in the tent city were treated by a group of doctors who would go on to found UC, San Francisco. Interesting stories surface, such as the story of a small neighborhood banker who snuck his $80,000 of gold and silver past the looters by hiding it in orange crates (and later grew to be one of the largest banks in the world because of it!). It took the city 4 years to come back to life, and some of it was now built on top of the rubble of the destroyed old city. Though the city tried to force the Chinese out, they held their ground and developed the robust China Town San Francisco now knows. If you like history, disaster, triumph stories, The Bay Area, or things that jiggle, this one is for you!   National Film Registry and Library of Congress Footage from the Rubble: https://www.loc.gov/item/00694425/  
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Episode 403: John MacAfee: Viruses, Scat Sex, and Murder
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one man with a hell of a resume. He was accused of murder. He has been an international fugitive more than once. He had live-in 18 year old prostitutes stay in his mansion and give him scat sex. He ran for president. He hired gang members, doubled his fortune recently on Bitcoin, started a secret rain forest drug lab, once ran a meditation cult in the mountains, and is a tech mogul who created the most successful anti-virus program the world has ever known. His name is John MacAfee, and his story is almost too wild to be believed. He was born in the UK to a British mom and alcoholic and abusive American GI father. McAfee was a bright child, and he did well in school, even after his father's suicide. He started working on computers when there barely was such a thing. In 1967, he started as a programmer for firms such as Xerox and Lockheed. In 1987, he discovered his first computer virus (literally the first ever), and he felt his calling. He created McAfee Associates the same year, and within 5 years, 67% of all computers were covered by his software. But, John McAfee was paranoid and a bit crazy. He was too unstable to become a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs, and his company was equally bizarre. Wiccans chanted to nature gods in the lunch room. There was a sex contest in the office, and people had to Windex down random surfaces to get the sex off of them. The entire company was only 20 people, and it made a fortune. Eventually, it went public, and MacAfee was bought out since he was considered too radical, which, let's face it, he was. From there, his software became the horror show that we know today, and he moved around, settling in Belize. Once there, he started to become the island's dictator, like you do. He owned the police and the coast guard, and he paid for the experimental research of drugs derived from rainforest plants. He had 18 year old girls he turned into prostitutes live with him, and he hired known killers to patrol his property with guns. The federales tried to bust him but couldn’t make anything stick, and eventually, his island paradise was ended by a neighbor named Greg Faull. After a feud about beaches and dogs, Faull allegedly poisoned McAfee’s dogs. McAfee had to shoot them himself to put them down. A few days later, Faull was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head. So, did John MacAfee kill him, and if not, who do they think killed Faull? What do people named Cash Money and Mac Ten have to do with it? How did McAfee get out of Belize and into Guatemala? How did he convince Guatemala to deport him back to Florida? Did he rape his botanist to try and silence her? What led him to then run for president of the United states; how did he come to marry a South Beach hooker; why does he now live in Cuba, and what crimes is the US pursuing him for? Listen, laugh, learn. Interesting and recent interview: https://cointelegraph.com/news/mcafee-on-btc-exile-the-us-no-way-the-current-system-can-survive Wild and Funny MacAfee Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKgf5PaBzyg    
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Episode 402: Mr. T–I Pity the Fool!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the ultimate icon from the 1980’s, Mr. T. He was born Laurence Tero Tureaud and was the child of a preacher who abandoned him and his 11 siblings in housing projects in Chicago. But Mr. T went from welfare to army to bouncer to super star, all based on his bad attitude and his love for children. He definitely pitied some fools and inspired an entire generation to drink their milk and stay in school. Raised by a single mother, young Laurence was a superior athlete and set records in football and wrestling. He got into college on a football scholarship but was expelled for unknown reasons. He eventually joined the army and became the top cadet out of 6000. He became an MP and eventually mustered out to civilian life where he tried pro football but had to back out due to an injury. From there, he went back to the streets of Chicago as a bouncer. In just a few years, he got in over 200 fights at bars. Here, he saw a Mandingo warrior in a magazine and took their mohawk hair style. He also started to take the gold chains off of people who he had to kick out of bars, challenging them to come back and take them. They never did. And in the ultimate feat of bad attitude, he change his name from Laurence to Mr. T. This was because he wanted the respect his father and ancestors never did; he wanted everyone to call him mister. And they did. He gained fame as a bouncer and parlayed that into a career as a celebrity body guard watching professional boxers, singer, even Steve McQueen and Michael Jackson. Eventually, he landed a gig on some tough man contests on TV, and this got him discovered. He knocked a man out in 54 seconds on live TV, and Sylvester Stallone saw it and wanted him for Rocky III. Mr. T became Clubber Lane, and the line "I pity the fool" was born. From here, Mr. T’s star went super nova. He launched The A-Team which was a massive hit and starred in several other films and TV shows. He even started a children’s cartoon and launched a breakfast cereal. In spite of him being a terrifying man with a famous scowl and world class smack talk, he somehow became a champion of children. He released an album and a very strange video that told them to stay in school, take their vitamins, and say no to strangers. Eventually, he walked out of the lime light due to T-Cell Lymphoma, but once it was in  remission, he started taking smaller film and TV rolls again. He's got a few reality shows under his belt and a strange but amazing on-air friendship with Conan O'Brien. Now, he’s still a star, still has a bad attitude, and still pities the fool. Mr. T meets Gary Coleman: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x578pg8    
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Episode 401: Las Vegas Shooting: Murder from Mandalay Bay
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take on some true crime and conspiracy theories and look at the mass shooting of Las Vegas. On October 1, 2017, a gunman named Stephen Paddock allegedly opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people. He killed dozens and wounded hundreds in what was the worst mass shooting in American history. He was able to wreak such destruction because he was on the 32nd story of the Mandalay Bay and had a perfect vantage point over an open-air concert 500 yards away. Well, at least that’s the official version. So, officially, Stephen Paddock was a retired real estate guy who had become a high stakes gambler in Vegas. He specialized in video poker and was known in the casinos and got comped rooms. After a year of spending over a million and a half dollars at the casinos, he started staking out concerts he could shoot. From Lollapalooza to a smaller open air festival, he scoped out venues and made plans that he never went through with. By September of 2017, however, this nut job was crazy enough to do it. He sent his girlfriend to the Philippines and wired her $150,000 dollars and spent several days taking a small arsenal into a pair of hotel suites. On the day of the shooting, a security guard was alerted to a door being left open and went to investigate near Paddock’s room. Paddock was drilling a metal bracket on his hotel door, so nobody could kick it in, and he opened fire through the door, hitting the security guard and firing on a repair man. From there, he broke his windows with a hammer and opened fire. The devastation was horrible. People were dying in droves and couldn’t even figure out where to take cover since they couldn’t find a gunman anywhere. It even took the cops several minutes to realize he was firing form the tower. But from here, problems come in. For one, his brother seemed to have said both positive and negative things about him. Second, the casino seemed to have covered up the shooting and called a private police hotline, not 911. This delayed responses. Then, there was the odd misfire of a cop moments after they barged into Paddock’s hotel room. YouTube videos seem to have audio that indicates there may have been more than one series of gunshots. And, the most extreme case of all, a CIA agent and an ex member of the White House both claimed Paddock was working with Islamic groups to help topple the Trump White House. At the end of the day, the FBI says they could find no motive for the shooting. Some witnesses claim the guy was a conspiracy theorist based on conversation. Others claim there was a second shooter. Whatever the truth, this maniac killed a lot of innocent people, and Vegas will never be the same. Interview with the security guard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7gj1FoRIfE Detailed timeline: https://www.businessinsider.com/timeline-shows-exactly-how-the-las-vegas-massacre-unfolded-2018-9#1013-pm-police-outside-realise-where-the-shots-are-coming-from-7 Politico Conspiracy: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/16/conspiracy-theory-las-vegas-shooting-dangerous-222576
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Episode 400: D-Day: “The Beginning of the End”
On this 400th episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the largest invasion effort in all of human warfare, the "Day of Days," D-Day. On June 6th, 1944, the allied armies made a bold move to finally break Hitler’s Europe and establish a foothold on the continent as part of Operation Overlord. D-Day (also called Operation Neptune) took two years of planning, and what went into the effort is absolutely amazing. The scale of this battle, the lives lost, the missions flown, all of it boggles the modern mind since it is a type of warfare that no longer exists. Before the allies could invade, they had to do a lot of spy work to fool the Nazis into thinking that the invasion was coming somewhere else (the beaches of Pas de Calais) later in the summer (July instead of June). They did this with the help of a Spanish spy name Garbo as well as an inflatable fake American Army, and some James Bond type MI5 spy work getting rid of all the spies in London. The Brits came through again with their work code breaking at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing. Once this happened, the allies trained and also convinced the Germans they were training for totally different things. Eventually, the day arrived. There was a bout of weather so bad that Field Marshal Rommel left for Germany since nobody could attack in such a storm. But attack we did. General Eisenhower said we were a go, the next day a force of 3,000 troop transports, 2,500 small ships, and 500 major naval vessels headed across the British Channel. Roughly 160,00 troops from several nations made to Normandy beach that day, but it was far from easy. Several beaches were attacked, each with its own code name. Utah and Omaha were American, and Juno, Gold, and Sword were Canadian. Omaha was the worst, and 2000 died within hours. The invasion was ultimately a success, but a hard won success. The bombers missed a lot of their targets, making the beaches more robust than anyone thought. The storms sank a lot of US tanks before they could get to shore. The 101st Airborne was scattered all over the place, and even sea sickness hindered a lot of troops. This was the greatest day of the Greatest Generation, one reflected in song and film and TV shows. The men who died on that beach were truly heroes in a world where such things are lacking. Please take the time to watch these short videos as survivors tell their accounts of this monstrous day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP_Xdc6Oj90 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilbf0Q56pf8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCv5qCyO8uM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1HaaPRG3jk    
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Episode 399: Ivar the Boneless: The Bane of England!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back to Viking days and look at the life of one of their most important conquerors, Ivar the Boneless. Ivar was made popular by his fictional portrayal in the TV show Vikings, but he was a real guy back in the 9th century. His claim to fame? Conquering all of England with a Great Heathen Army. Oh, and spoiler alert: even though we don’t talk about the TV show directly very much (though Brad throws out a major spoiler about a death in the show), the history we discuss will ruin things about the show. So, be warned. Ivar the Boneless is an interesting figure from history, not just because he conquered all of England, but because finding the facts through the fiction is difficult. Much of what we know about him today came from Sagas, Viking epic poems whose job was entertainment more than accuracy. Sifting through the tall tales for the truth can prove difficult. Even the truth behind his name is a mystery. Some legends say he was deformed and had gristle for bones. Others say it was a curse as predicted by his mother the witch, Aslaug. Some even think he suffered from gigantism or earned the name because he had no sexual appetite. Regardless of why he's called that, what we know for sure is that he was a tactical genius. His small band of Vikings fought in battle after battle, and they won against all odds in foreign territory. His father, Ragnar Lothbrook was killed by a king in England, and many thing that Ivar’s entire war in England was simply a revenge battle. Others think he was too tempered and tactical for such a purely emotional response, but either way, the way he killed the king who supposedly murdered Ragnar was especially brutal. So, how close is the TV show to the supposed reality? What are the differences between the sagas and the facts we know? How did he a kill another British king in such an awful way that the man became a religious martyr? How long did it take Ivar the Boneless to conquer all of England, and why did he want land when all other Vikings before him only wanted loot? What happened when he finally conquered everything all the way to Scotland? How did he finally die, and why do archaeologists think he was disemboweled in spite of the historical accounts? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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Episode 398: Wild Bill Hickok: Prodigy with a Pistol
In this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the life and legend of the ultimate symbol of the Old West: Wild Bill Hickok. Born James Butler Hickok, he took the name William from his brother when he joined the army (well, one of the three times he joined an army…). He was the son of a strong abolitionist against slavery, and historians think his childhood home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Wild Bill was allegedly a prodigy with a pistol. Even as a child, everyone in town marveled at his marksmanship. When he was 18 years old, he got in fight with a guy who he thought he killed (but didn’t) and headed West to escape punishment. What he found out West was fame and a life that grew to be quite legendary. First, he took jobs. Lots and lots of jobs. So many jobs. He started as a member of a militia called the Jayhawks, where he became friends with Buffalo Bill Cody. From there, he became a homesteader, a rider on the pony express, a constable, a stagecoach driver, an actor, an entertainer, a sheriff, a marshal, a vagrant, and a gambler. Though probably not accurate, he was said to have killed 100 men. Oh, and the idea of a cowboy in the town square having a duel with pistols at noon? Wild Bill was the first to do that with a man named Davis Tutt. Wild Bill shot him through the heart at 75 yards. Hickok became famous when a shootout he was involved in made it into national papers and magazines; although he may not have killed anyone, the nation was told he killed 10 men by himself. He was a spy in the Civil War, a scout for General Custer, and he even put on a Buffalo Show in Niagara Falls before Buffalo Bill was doing such a thing. As his health and his eyesight faded, he quit being a law man and gun slinger and turned to gambling. His fame was fading, and so was his fortune, but he met Calamity Jane and his good friend Charlie Utter and settled down in the lawless town of Deadwood. There, he met his fate at the hands of a coward who shot him the back of the head because Wild Bill beat him at cards(and bought him breakfast). This was the origin of Aces and Eights being called the Dead Man’s Hand, as it still is today. So, how wild was Wild Bill? Why did he move to a new town and new job just about every year of his adult life? How many people did he gun down in his first month as a sheriff? What was the outcome when he got in a fight with a bear? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: Man-Whore Theories
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we step away from our usual show pattern and give you a good old fashioned bonus episode. If you want a regular episode, skip this one and go one episode ahead or back. There, you’ll hear us research and topic and spit facts at you as well as horrible off topic jokes and conversational cul-de-sacs. On this one, however, we give you a bonus episode. No research. No plan, just the fellas shooting it over some whiskey. What do we talk about? The multi-podcast mini-meet-up in LA last weekend and the madness that ensued there. Us eating treats mailed to us from South Africa by friend of the show Nicole Smit-Bosch. A lot of theorizing about what it would take to make Brent into a professional man-whore and how much money he could make if he took the plunge. And I mean, we talk about this a LOT. Drinking tea and why Dave hates it.(Except for Japanese Mikawaya Shoten Gyokuro Matsu Premium Konacha Green Tea,  and Lupicia's Paradise Green) Dreams about poo and jobs in which we were asked to clean up someone else’s (to various degrees of success). Oh, and if you love this Bonus Episode or our regular episodes, do us two favors. First, go and support us on Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast Second, go and get some El Yucateco Hot Sauce and show the love!
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Episode 397: Snowtown Murders: Bodies in Barrels
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do a little True Crime and talk about Australia’s Snowtown Murders. They are also called the Bodies in Barrels Murders for reasons that will become obvious. These killings all took place in the 1990s, and unlike your typical serial killer, this was a group of serial killers. The number was 3, 4, or 5 depending on who you consider a killer (and if you subtract the one that the rest of them killed…). So, why did this group of people start to murder folks? Well, they said in interviews after their arrest that they hated homosexuals and pedophiles, but in truth, they were mostly just out to get their kicks, torture folks, and cash in on their welfare checks. The leader of this group was named John Bunting. His partners in crime were Robert Wagner, Jamie Vlassakis, and Mark Hadon. Bunting was the one who ticked all the serial killer boxes, and it seemed he found some roommates who were easy to manipulate, so they all did it together. The team killed people they knew, which is sort of a serial killer no-no. People who lived nearby, ex-lovers, current wives, relatives, they were all on the table. Ironically, since they killed homosexuals, they also killed Robert Wagner’s homosexual lover but never targeted Wagner himself. Figure that one out. The typical mode of killing in the Snowtown Murders was bludgeoning to death or strangulation, but only after torture. They shocked testicles, crushed toes with pliers, and even stuck a metal sparkler up a man’s penis hole. Twice. They descended to worse and worse killings until they were eventually even trying to eat parts of the victims’ flesh. Somehow, they killed all these people they knew and kept getting away with it, until they finally killed Mark Hadon’s wife, Elizabeth Hadon. When she died, her brother started asking questions that lead the police to the trail and ended the Snowtown Murders. Where did the trail end up? An abandoned bank that Hadon rented in Snowtown. What did their trail yield? Barrels full of chopped up bodies. Why did one of the killers get away with no murder charges? What sentence did their ring leader get in the Snowtown Murders? Who was the killer in their group that they killed, and why did they kill him? How many people did they murder? Listen, laugh, learn. Youtube Video (Australian Jack Black) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeHL0bQVIfU An article about what one of the killer’s children saw: https://www.mamamia.com.au/robert-wagner-snowtown/  
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Episode 396: Operation Ajax: The CIA’s First Coup!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the first recorded incident of the CIA overthrowing a foreign government during peace time. I was called Operation Ajax (aka Operation Boot for the British side of the coup), and it helped to eliminate the rightfully elected government of Iran in the 1950s. It is said to be the single biggest factor in the ongoing instability of the Middle East, and it all points to two things—big oil and the cold war against the USSR. The background here was that a British oil magnate William D’Arcy held the full rights to the massive oil reserves and refinery that he discovered and built in Iran. For decades, he treated the local workers like slaves, kept all the profits he promised to share, and refused to train local workers to drill for their own oil as promised. This group eventually became BP, and when politics got unstable after World War One, they tightened their grip and staged a pre-coup there to put their own man, Reza Shah Pahlavi, in control of the country. A couple decades later, the financially poor Iranians were fed up with British control over their most precious resource. A man named Mohammad Mosaddegh became the prime minster and nationalized all of Iran’s oil, taking it out of British hands. There was a lot of sabre rattling and a huge embargo, but Iran held fast. However, a communist group was slowly gaining power under Mosaddegh’s rule, and the 1950s CIA said no to this, lest the Soviets would gain one of the richest oil areas in the world. So, they did their thing and flipped the government. A man named Kermit Roosevelt Jr. (yes, the president’s grandson) was sent by the CIA to fix this and head up Operation Ajax. He was guerilla style spy from WWII using SOE style tactics. He took Iran by storm. He manipulated the national media, got the Shah to make formal royal decrees on his behalf, propped a new general in position to take the country, and then paid lots of thugs to run rampant in the street, killing, looting, and destroying. How did he pull it all off? What effect did the street mobs have on the national attitude? Why did Mosaddegh finally surrender? What happened when the CIA told Roosevelt the abort Operation Ajax? What did the CIA learn from this coup that they could use later on? Listen, laugh, learn. Great Article: https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/operation-ajax Official Documents: https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB435/  
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Episode 395: 1996 Olympic Bombing: From Abortions to the Appalachians
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about one of the most famous cases of domestic terrorism in the USA: the 1996 Olympic Bombing.  The date was July 27, and the concert in the Centennial Olympic Park was going full speed. Then, just before midnight, a call came in to police saying a bomb was going to detonate in the concert in a half hour. Eighteen minutes later, the triple pipe bomb exploded. One person was killed, and over 100 were wounded. However, the damage was not as bad as it could have been in the Olympic Bombing. A security guard named Richard Jewell found the bomb, called several law enforcement agencies, and got people evacuated. They say without his swift action, many more deaths would have happened that night. He was repaid for his heroism by being the primary suspect in the FBI investigation! Meanwhile, the real bomber, Eric Rudolph got away and planed several more bombings. He blew up two abortion clinics and a lesbian bar, killing one more and injuring others. Why did he do all this? Well for one, he was a wackadoo. He was part of a "Christian Identity" movement that reinterprets the Bible in line with their white power teaching. Second, he wrote rambling letters blaming abortion, the US Government, and the homosexual agenda for ruining the world. Solution? Blow up an Olympic after party? Good call. The really interesting part of this was that after he was identified as the architect of all four bombings, he evaded law enforcement for years by living the rough Appalachian Mountains on his own in full survival mode. The FBI kept pressure on him with regular patrols because they figured it would keep it on the run and unable to bomb again. They were right. When Rudolph was busted doing a dumpster dive for food, he confessed to several caches of dynamite (250 pounds!) near where the FBI was headquartered. If you’re into true crime, survivalism, White Power lunatics, and the madness that was the 1990s, this one is for you! Oh, and did I mention that his gay brother cut off his own hand with a radial saw to prove a point to the FBI? FBI Statement on The Bomber: https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/eric-rudolph  
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Episode 394: Britain’s SOE: Set Europe Ablaze!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time to World War Two and study a pretty cool artifact of the Great Britain: the Special Operations Executive. Known as the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” and the “Baker Street Irregulars,” the SOE was an "officially unofficial" group of spies and soldiers who had two mandates against the Nazis. Mandate one was to wage guerrilla warfare inside of all occupied territories and help form internal resistance. Mandate two was to spread anti German propaganda and get the locals to hate their Nazi overlords. According to Winston Churchill himself, the SOE needed to go forth and “set Europe Ablaze!” They did all of this quite well. The SOE was formed in July of 1940, when the Minister of Economic Warfare merged three different intelligence branches into one. Once formalized, they started to recruit and train people who other groups didn’t want. They took convicts, homosexuals, people with bad conduct records in the armed forces, Communists, and people who were Anti-British. On top of that, they took women. Lots of women. They didn’t just let the women serve as nurses or something so mundane; they had women doing the most important jobs from combat missions to key intelligence broadcasts behind enemy lines. So what kind of shenanigans did the SEO get up to? How about Operation Anthropoid, where they assassinated the man responsible for the final solution against the Jewish people? Or Operation Harling, where they crippled Nazi supply lines through all of Greece and North Africa with just a handful of agents? They were instrumental on securing victory on D-Day by crippling an entire Panzer division. They destroyed the heavy water facility in the Netherlands, preventing the Nazis from ever developing the Bomb. They even crippled the largest, most dangerous ship in the entire war, the Tripitz. How did they do all this? With crazy gadgets made just for them, improvised weaponry, and no fear of death or capture. They even carried suicide pills. Whether you prefer your Matt Damon to be John Bourne or Saving Private Ryan, this one has it for you… Article on SOE Women: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2012/05/21/special-agents-the-women-of-soe/ Article about some of their missions: https://allthatsinteresting.com/special-operations-executive-missions
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Bonus Episode: The Thinks We Think
This episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast is a bonus episode. If you want our regular stuff, you know, where we research and talk about important things that you all voted for, skip ahead or go back an episode. In this one, we talk about whatever pops into our heads. To be honest, I'm really tired and can't really remember what we talked about. I remember it was awesome. It was awesome and funny. You know who else is awesome and funny? Norm McDonald. So, here are some of his jokes: --And the reason I don't like it is 'cause in the old days, they'd go, 'Hey, that old man died.' Now, they go, 'Hey, he lost his battle.' That's no way to end your life, you know? What a loser that guy was. Last thing he did was lose. --He has the disease of alcoholism. And he came to me... and he told me, and I'm the kind of guy that likes to look at the bright side of things. So I told him, I said, 'Richie, it's true that you have a disease and everything, but I think you got the best one.' --They say that if you're afraid of homosexuals, it means that deep down inside you're actually a homosexual yourself. That worries me because I'm afraid of dogs. Go support us on Patreon and get cool stuff in the mail from us. Or don't. Just listen and laugh a little bit.
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Episode 393: Pine Gap: Australia’s Area 51
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we hit the land down under and talk about the joint US/Australia secret base known as Pine Gap. It is considered the Area 51 of Australia. It is involved in everything from Cold War spying to modern big data mining and UFO sightings. Edward Snowden said it was the backbone of American information gathering for most of the planet, and it seems he was right about that one. From Europe to Asia and Russia to Africa and all of the Pacific, this base listens and snoops on everything from satellites to cell phones. Pine Gap started as a way for the US to track Soviet ballistic tests in the 1960s. Construction started on this innocuous base in 1966 and completed in the early 70s. It lies about 11 miles outside of the city of Alice Springs, a large population center. The staff is comprised of half Americans (many are CIA) and half Australians. As technology and the global threats changed, so too did the charge and charter for Pine Gap. Eventually, it went from Soviet missiles to spy satellites, and now it is a major global drone hub for the US as well a monitoring station for project Echelon. Many Australians opposed this base because it has been the spearhead of many drone strikes that have killed civilians. Others worry that it is allowing the Aussie and Yankee government to spy on the population of Australia. There were even famous “Peace Pilgrims” who snuck past perimeter fences to protest with song. Like you do. But the strangest things is, as always, the UFOS. Reports of strange sightings in the 70s and 80s gave Pine Gap a strange mystique. What went down? Well, on two separate occasions, some hunters and then some police officers reported a massive camouflaged hanger  door opening near Pine Gap and strange disks and “bathtub” like craft silently floating out and hovering above Pine Gap before streaking off at unthinkable speeds. Multiple witnesses (including some who may have worked at the facility) reported strange craft that were shining beams of light onto the grounds and then getting beams of light reflected off of their hulls, until they started to spin at rapid speeds and zipped off into the night sky. There is even a tale that involves witnesses in an aircraft being approached by kind of lame Australian Men in Black. So, whether you are interested in more terrestrial spying or ET flying, this episode is for you.
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Episode 392: The Spanish Flu: The Ultimate Pandemic
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the Spanish Flu of 1918. This 15 month pandemic was the worst in history. It killed more people than the Black Plague and AIDS. It killed more people than every war in the 20th century combined—in just over a year! Estimates say that a third of the world’s population caught this bug, and it killed upwards of 100 Million people worldwide, all in the back drop of World War One. The Spanish Flu earned its name not because it started in Spain (it simply affected the King of Spain who was neutral during WWI). In fact, most experts today think it started in a pig farm in Kansas and jumped from pig to bird to human and spread to the nearby Army base and out from there. The Flu was not the typical influenza we think of today. Indeed, within two hours, it would give someone pneumonia. A few hours later, it would make them turn blue due to lack of oxygen. A few hours after that, they’d drown in their own fluids and die. It affected healthy males ages 20-40 the most, which is the opposite of how a typical flu operates. So, how did the flu get so deadly? Mutation. It’s what happens when it jumps through various species. How did it spread in the perfect storm, globally? First, WWI. Trench warfare, ships full of soldiers locked in with each other, and the stresses of being a soldier exacerbated it. But that wasn’t all. The biggest problem came from President Woodrow Wilson. He created the Committee on Public Information and Sedition Act, which combined to make it a crime with a 20 year sentence to say anything that would undermine the morale and effectiveness of the US during war time. This made newspapers lie and say the flu was safe. Public health directors, newspaper editors, and even doctors were forced to tell people everything was fine, and their city had a typical flu. Of course these lies led to a radical spread of the Spanish Flu through America and then the rest of the world. It got so bad that railroads shut down. Families wouldn’t even visit or help each other because they were so afraid of dying just a few hours after symptoms started. Children through the nation starved to death because their parents were dead, and everyone was scared to come help and risk infection. San Francisco created a shoot on sight policy for anyone not wearing a mask in public. The Spanish Flu was about as bad as a pandemic could get. The final take away from all of our research is that every health official in the world thinks this can and will happen again, and it might even be worse next time. Give this one a listen if you want to sleep uneasily at night! Smithsonian’s Excellent Article: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/journal-plague-year-180965222/
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Episode 391: Georgia Tann: Queen of Black Market Babies
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at some true crime by delving not into a serial killer but a serial kidnapper. Her name was Georgia Tann. She ran an adoption racket in the 1920s through 1940s. She kidnapped, stole, abducted, and faked the death of over 5000 children while she ran the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. She took from the poor and gave to the rich, for a hefty price tag. She sold kids for $5000 a pop, to people like the governor of New York and the actress Joan Crawford. She even sold the baby Rick Flair of professional wresting fame to his adoptive parents. So how did Georgia Tan pull all of this off? First, she insulated herself with powerful, evil people who were in it for a buck. She used the political powerhouse E.H. “Boss” Crump who ran Memphis. She also used the juvenile court judge Camille Kelley. Between the two of them, cops were made to look the other way, suing parents were silenced by a corrupt version of the law, and Georgia Tann was never put on any investigator’s radar. Her methods were pretty sick. Sometimes, she’d take the newborn of a single mother to a hospital under the guise of being a social worker who can get free medical attention. The baby would be reported dead days later and be sold to some other family. She had doctors and nurses who would claim the baby died in the night to new mothers and fathers, and off the baby went. She’d even straight up kidnap older kids from the street and tell them their parents died and move them to her orphanage until they could be sold. She molested some of the girls under her care. Hundreds of children died from lack of health care and even malnutrition. Others were sold as slave labor to large farms, and some were little girls sold to suspected pedophiles. Eventually, Georgia Tann died of cancer (that I hope was very painful) before anyone could bring her to justice. Her legacy is one of misery, death, and destroyed families. But how did the classic TV show Unsolved Mysteries help some families? How did she meet her lesbian lover? Even though she passed the bar exam, what kept her from becoming a lawyer? What did her newspaper ads say that she used to sell the babies? What was the one positive social change that this monster accidentally brought about? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 390: Flint Water Crisis: From Poverty to Poison
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the ongoing water crisis of what is perhaps the most troubled city in America, Flint, Michigan. Flint has a productive history as the headquarters of GM. It was once called Vehicle City and was part of the boom in automobiles that made Detroit and the surrounding area known as The Motor City. Quite simply, Flint was part of Henry Ford's legacy. It was a city of high wages and sound living…until GM moved its plant. The once prosperous city fell on hard times and roughly half of the 200,000 people living there ended up bailing in order to find work. The years that followed were filled with decay, unemployment, and crime, and just when things were at their worst, they got, well, even worse! The Governor of Michigan gave a special group powers that superseded the government of Flint, and they ended up trying to do everything they could to save money and make the city solvent again. One thing they did was switch where they got the city’s water from. Instead of a plant in Detroit, they used an old and inadequate water treatment facility inside of Flint and used water from the notoriously toxic Flint River. Citizens were upset at this decision, but then when the water started flowing, things were worse than they thought. The water through the city was brown and filled with everything from lead to E.coli to Legionnaire’s Disease! The problem is, the water facility didn’t anti  corrosion chemicals. This means the PH level of the water was pulling lead and rust from the pipes of the 100 year old city, and poisoning the water. Lead levels in children doubled, all sorts of novel diseases and ailments showed up. This is all bad enough, but the way it was treated by the Flint managing government was horrible. They lied to the populace and told them the water was fine (all the while paying for bottled water for city employees). The water was so bad that GM even had to lay new pipe to get back to the Detroit water because their machinery was getting ruined by the Flint River water. So, is the water clean all these years later? How much would it have cost the city to add anti corrosive chemicals and avert this problem? Where does Nestle come in to play? What’s up with the Army’s live ammo tests in the abandoned parts of the city? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 389: Deepwater Horizon: Tragedy and Incompetence
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the largest maritime oil spill in human history, the tragedy and incompetence of the Deepwater Horizon. The Deepwater Horizon was a deep-sea oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, about forty miles from the coast of Louisiana. On April 20, 2010, an explosion rocked the platform, killing 11 and forcing an evacuation. Two days later, the rig sank. This was a bad enough tragedy, but the real horror started when nobody was able to seal the oil well, and every failsafe failed. It was the perfect storm. The normal procedures to shear off the pipe in case of dangerous pressure failed. The robots they sent down to seal it manually failed. The 250 ton concrete dome failed. Back filling it with heavy mud failed. Wishful thinking and corporate lies failed. All that was left was a well that spewed thousands of barrels of oil into the gulf every day. BP claimed it was a 1000 barrels, but some government estimates are between 60,000 to over 100,000. This spill destroyed wildlife by the thousands, grounded dolphins and whales, shut down beaches in several states, and almost killed already endangered species. What was perhaps worse than the oil itself were the chemicals they spread on the oil to make it sink to the bottom of the sea. Did this help the environment? Not at all. Did it help the companies pay less because they were able to hide the true amount of spilled oil? Absolutely! So, who was to blame? That is where it gets tricky. The rig was divided up to different companies which all did different jobs on this particular well. Transocean, British Petroleum (BP), Anadarko, Halliburton, and M-I SWACO all had their hands in the pot. They also all lied about the amount of oil being spilled and pointed fingers at each other. But in spite of all of that, who was really at fault? BP, really. Their smug CEO got fired, they lost a quarter of their earnings for the year, and they got spanked by different government agencies. But at the end of the day, they still killed people, animals, and ecosystems and lied about it with only a slap on the wrist. If you want corporate conspiracy and malfeasance in a podcast, this is the episode for you! This one even has Russia and nukes! Various Lawsuits: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/deepwater-horizon-bp-gulf-mexico-oil-spill Good Site: https://ocean.si.edu/conservation/pollution/gulf-oil-spill  
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Bonus Episode: Mouth Holes to Ear Holes
This is a special bonus episode of the World Famous Sofa King Podcast. It is not our normal episode, so don't be sad when you see that it's shorter than usual and doesn't focus on some sick serial killer or government conspiracy. What do we talk about on this episode? I honestly don't feel like discussing it, and even more honestly we recorded it several days ago, so I don't remember. So instead, I'll just post a joke from Norm McDonald. A moth goes into a podiatrist’s office, and the podiatrist’s office says, “What seems to be the problem, moth?” The moth says “What’s the problem? Where do I begin, man? I go to work for Gregory Illinivich, and all day long I work. Honestly doc, I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t even know if Gregory Illinivich knows. He only knows that he has power over me, and that seems to bring him happiness. But I don’t know, I wake up in a malaise, and I walk here and there… at night I…I sometimes wake up and I turn to some old lady in my bed that’s on my arm. A lady that I once loved, doc. I don’t know where to turn to. My youngest, Alexendria, she fell in the…in the cold of last year. The cold took her down, as it did many of us. And my other boy, and this is the hardest pill to swallow, doc. My other boy, Gregarro Ivinalititavitch… I no longer love him. As much as it pains me to say, when I look in his eyes, all I see is the same cowardice that I… that I catch when I take a glimpse of my own face in the mirror. If only I wasn’t such a coward, then perhaps…perhaps I could bring myself to reach over to that cocked and loaded gun that lays on the bedside behind me and end this hellish facade once and for all…Doc, sometimes I feel like a spider, even though I’m a moth, just barely hanging on to my web with an everlasting fire underneath me. I’m not feeling good. And so the doctor says, “Moth, man, you’re troubled. But you should be seeing a psychiatrist. Why on earth did you come here?” And the moth says, “‘Cause the light was on.”  
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Episode 388: Golden State Killer: Vengeful Cop with a Small Penis
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we dive into some True Crime, and we talk about the Golden State Killer. He was responsible for well over 100 burglaries, 50 rapes, and at least 13 murders. This guy went by a whole lotta names: The Original Night Stalker, The Visalia Ransacker, and the East Area Rapist. Until 2018 when they finally caught the guy, law enforcement wasn’t even sure these were all different people. Eventually, though, a DNA genealogy website linked them all together and pointed at one man-- Joseph DeAngelo. He started his sicko career as the Visalia Ransacker, where he stalked people, broke into their houses, took small trinkets of no value, and often made a mess and even ate their food. This escalated as he became the East Area Rapist. Here, he would do the same things, but it would culminate in raping the woman of the house. He often did the crime when the husband or boyfriend was home, and he had them bound in the other room with dishes on their chest. Like you do. But, DeAngelo eventually grew bored with just the rapes and break ins, and he shifted to murder. He started to bludgeon and knife his victims, only using a gun when it was going south, and someone got out of their bindings. Eventually, there were enough cases that they put together some pretty horrible composite drawings and a disturbing profile of the killer. They said he needed to dominate in the bedroom, even with his wife, and that he had an abnormally small penis. From the 70s through the 80s, The Golden State Killer ran through different cities in California, killing and raping. The truth about the man eventually came out once he was busted. The horrible fact is that he was a cop for several years, and he even was in charge of a burglary taskforce at one point! So, what exactly got him busted thirty years after his crime spree? How did a DNA match used in a common DNA website help to bust him? What did the community of true crime civilians do to get this perv busted? Why did he eventually get fired as a cop, and what did he do afterward? What was up with the special knot the Golden State Killer used with his victims? What did he say when he called his rape victims years later, and what’s up with his horrible poem? Listen, laugh, learn…  
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Episode 387: Coca-Cola: From Jolly Santa to Nazi Fanta
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do some corporate snooping and explore the history, pitfalls, and popularity of the most iconic brand in the world: Coca-Cola. From cocaine to Nazis, this one has it all. Coke is one of the biggest corporations on the planet, and it all started with one man who suffered one saber wound in the Civil War. That man was Colonel John Pemberton. He was slashed across his vitals and expected to die, so his doctors loaded him up on morphine. Lots and lots of morphine. They knew it was addictive, but nobody gave him a prognosis of survival. But survive he did, and he went home to Atlanta where he became a pharmacist just to feed his crazy morphine habit. After a number of years, he decided to kick the junk, and he developed some elixirs to help. The first was a wine/cocaine mix which did well until local prohibition made the wine illegal. Eventually, he settled on a syrup made from cocaine and kola, and the coke and caffeine and sugar did him good. He sold the drink as Coca-Cola, and is was off to (slow start). Eventually, one of his alleged original investors Asa Candler wanted to buy the brand from him. Pemberton said no, died, his son said no, died, and Candler eventually took over. Candler turned out to be a business genius. He had the iconic Coke logo developed, invented the American billboard, created coupons for the first time ever, and even did a massive make over on Santa Clause that really defines what the fat man looks and acts like, even to this day. Coke spread and eventually ditched the cocaine (we think? The recipe is so secret even congress can’t see it…). So, what has Coke been up since it ditched the cocaine? Well, they helped launch the German Fanta as a drink for Nazis to enjoy, but the story is a bit crazier than you might think. It involves beets. So, what was the deal with New Coke, and why did it fail? What the hell was the Magican, and why did it leave Coke fans smelling like farts? Why did a Russian general insist on drinking clear Coke? How much cocaine was in a serving of Coke, and what corporate ills has the company done? Oh, and what about their immoral marketing toward children? Listen, laugh, and learn… Some of the nasty things Coke has done :https://www.corp-research.org/coca-cola-company
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Episode 386: Project Underworld: German Uboats Versus the Italian Mob
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time to World War Two and explore the time when the US Navy got in bed with the Italian Mob through a crazy program officially called Project Underworld. It all started when about 650,000 tons of war goods per month were being sunk off the American coast by German U-boats. These were critical supplies for our European allies, and Europe was on the verge of collapsing because they couldn’t get these imperative materials. Then, a ship called the Normandie was burned on the docks in Long Island, and the Navy smelled a Nazi saboteur. However, the docks were owned by the Mob, and snitches get stitches, so nobody would give any Intel to the Navy. At this point, they decided to contact Joseph “Socks” Lanza, a made man who controlled the fisher union. They told him then needed to find out what happened to the ship and needed to learn how the Nazi U-boats were getting fuel and supplies this far from home. Lanza was on board instantly, and he and the Navy’s Commander Haffenden hatched  an incredible plot. They used the entire fishing fleet from Maine to Miami as eyes and ears, and they were able to sniff out the sympathizers who were supplying the U-boats and spot the U-boats before they could do damage. The results were far more effective than they ever dreamed. But their use of the mob spread. The team developed a group of half mob and half navy breaking and entering teams who snuck into places throughout Manhattan and found German spy rings. There were many twists and turns, and the mob was very much the mob through the whole affair. Surprisingly, the Navy was on board with racketeering, roughing people up, breaking limbs, burning down buildings, and even whacking people to keep the Nazis at bay. Eventually, they needed Project Underworld to spread, so they needed the help of Lucky Luciano, the father of the modern day mob. He was in prison, cut off from the four families, but his partner, the Jewish mobster Meyer “The Little Man” Lansky, came in to help (he hated the Nazis after all). Lansky got the government in touch with Luciano, and the Navy and the New York DA fully reinstated Luciano to be the head of the five families in exchange for his help. What did he do? Well, he wacked key Nazi spies for them. They got all of New York to be an intelligence gathering apparatus within days. He got the Jewish and Irish Mobs on board. He even helped plan the ultimate US invasion of Sicily where the beginning of the end of the war all started. Quite simply, the Mob turned the tides of the war, and people like Socks, Luciano, and Lansky were to be hailed as heroes for a moment instead of lauded as murderers and criminals. So, how effective was Project Underworld at turning the tide of U-boat attacks? What did they do to help the invasion of Sicily through Operation Husky? What did Luciano get out of his deal to help the Navy? What did the Navy higher ups think of the Mob being…well…the mob? Listen, laugh, learn. Very Thorough Discussion: https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/project-underworld-the-u-s-navys-secret-pact-with-the-mafia/
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Episode 385: Hollywood Shootout: 44 Minutes of Mayhem
In this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time all the way to February of 1997, and we talk about the infamous Hollywood Bank Robbery Shootout. It was a day that showed the world the damage a couple of well-equipped active shooters could be. It showed how easy and dangerous it was to outclass the cops. It was an event that changed how cops use tactics, what weapons they carry, and how to treat bank robbers. The two robbers, Larry Eugene Phillips Jr. the Romania Decebal Stefan Emilian "Emil" Matasareanu (say that five times fast) met at Gold’s Gym in Venice beach. They shared a love of body building and stealing things while shooting at people, so they hit it off, like, right away. Within no time, they decided to rob an armored truck and got away with it. While planning another heist, they got pulled over for speeding, and their arsenal got them each 100 days in jail plus probation. But this didn’t stop them. They robbed a few more cars and a few banks and earned the nick name of High Incident Bandits by law enforcement. They got about one and a half million dollars in short order, but they wanted more, so they planned on robbing a Bank of America in North Hollywood. This is where the Hollywood Shootout famously took place. They stormed the bank, shot the joint up, and took the money from the vault. It was supposed to be $750,000, but it was closer to $300,000, and this made the robbers lose their cool. They shot the place up some more and stormed out toward their getaway car. Unfortunately, they had been surrounded by cops who saw them enter the building. What unfolded here captured the eyes of the nation for 44 crazy minutes. The two walked around the streets shooting cops and civilians, unharmed by the weak sauce the cops were shooting at them. They injured 20 people in their shootout and only sustained minor injuries for the longest time. Eventually, the SWAT team showed up (wearing shorts…it happens), and the game changed. Finally, some firepower and training was on the ground, and soon the Hollywood Shootout changed up. SWAT shot the robbers’ guns and aimed for soft unarmored targets like their buttocks and calves, and eventually, the two shooters were down. One put a pistol under his chin and ended his own life, and the other slowly bled out on national TV from his 20 gunshot wounds. So, how did the two get their weapons? What impact did their actions have on gun legislation? Why were the SWAT team in shorts? What happened when Brad and Dave argue about gun control at the end of the episode? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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Bonus Episode: Previously On the Sofa King Podcast
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do things a little differently. What makes this episode so special? We go back and discuss some of our past episodes and see if our knowledge or opinion of them has changed over the years. However, instead of doing it in any organized manner, we simply used a random number generator to determine which ones we’d revisit. Here’s where we went: The Rockefellers Reptilians North Korea Jack The Ripper So, if you want to hear our takes and updates on these randomly classic episodes, you're in the right place with this bonus episode. And if you wan to be a Patron and support our show, our efforts, our whiskey, and our OCD, you can go here and pledge a buck (or 40!) a month. Anything helps and is an awesome thing to do: SK Patreon
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Episode 384: Pancho Villa: The Gangster Guerrilla of Mexico
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we head to the Old West and talk about the rebel, guerilla, and shaper of nations, Pancho Villa. He was born the son of a poor Mexican sharecropper in 1878. His name was originally Doroteo Arango. They lived the life of subsistence farmers, and his father died when he was only 15 years old, making him the head of the family. Shortly after that, a landowner tried to rape his sister, and Doroteo Arango shot him dead and fled on his horse. He was reborn as Poncho Villa. Pancho Villa fled to the hills and joined a group of banditos. They did small time stuf: cattle theft, worked in some mines, and even graduated to bank robberies and other crimes. In short order, Pancho was the leader of the gang and was recruiting like crazy. He was even said to be a Robin Hood figure, robbing from the land owners and giving it to the poor farmers. This is when the Mexican Game of Thrones action starts. There was a revolution against the dictator Porfirio Díaz, and the new guy recruited Pancho to run the North of Mexico in their rebellion. He excelled with his guerilla tactics and amazing charisma and founded one of the largest armies in Mexico. So the guy Pancho Villa backed in the revolution became president and was soon assassinated. Then, Villa’s one time ally got him arrested for stealing his horse and eventually made a run to become president himself. Time after time, people took power, and Pancho Villa and his one true ally Emiliano Zapata fought against them. Pancho Villa was so good at his hit and run style warfare that the US Army took note and asked Pancho to teach them a thing or two. This led to an alliance between Villa and President Woodrow Wilson which lasted until it didn’t, and Wilson wanted Villa dead. Pancho Villa sacked American cities just to prove he could, took over rail road lines, sold stolen cattle to make a fortune and pay for his army, and deposed dictator after dictator through his crazy life. He was said to have had 70 wives through Mexico, and eventually died at the hands of 7 assassins who gunned him down in his car three years after he hung up his guns. If you like twists and turns and political intrigue, this is the episode for you. If you don’t, listen to it anyway: we recorded it on Cinco de Mayo and everything!
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Episode 383: Sodder Family Disappearance: From Mafia to Mario!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about a listener-voted favorite, the mysterious disappearance of the Sodder Family. On Christmas Eve of 1945, an odd fire raged through the Sodder home, supposedly killing five of the 10 Sodder children. However, the circumstances around the fire are pretty baffling, and the lack of evidence and bodies suggest the kids weren’t actually in the house in the fire. But if that was the case, where did they go, and why did nobody ever find them? Good question! George and Jennie Sodder were both first generation Italian immigrants who came through Ellis Island and settled in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It was a town with a large Italian population, half of whom hated George Sodder for his stance against Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. He got in regular arguments with the locals about this, and it got so heated that an insurance salesman once said that his house would one day go up in smoke, and his children would be destroyed! Well, turns out that guy was right. On Christmas eve, a strange series of events took place that may or may not have put the kids in their beds up in the attic as they were supposed to be. At 12:30 AM, an odd phone call came in. At 1:00, there were noises on the roof (those ain’t reindeer!), and by 1:30 George’s office and the roof were on fire. The couple ushered four of their children out of the house, but the flames were too intense for them to return for the remaining 5. And then came the series of “No’s”. The ladder that was always against the house (and could save the kids) was gone. The water barrels were all frozen solid. The phone line was cut. The neighbors couldn’t reach anyone on the phone to get help. The trucks wouldn’t start. The Cosmic Muffin really dropped his hammer. Or did he? Investigations started to reveal mysteries and odd happenings. The phone line wasn’t dead from the fire but was cut. A burglar was caught on the premises but released for no good reason. There were no children screaming in the fire. It took the fire department 7 hours to get on the scene. And most importantly, there were no bodies or bones found after the fire died. So, were the kids inside, and if so, what happened to their bones? Why did George go against the will of the fire department and bury the Sodder house under five feet of dirt just four days after the fire? What did the guy who threatened the Sodders have to do with the findings of the fire department? Did this all have to do with the mob? How long does it take Brad, Brent, and Dave to descend into talk about the Mario Brothers? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 382: H.P. Lovecraft: The Stars are Aligned
In this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we check to see if the stars are aligned, chant Cthulhu Fhtagn, and explore the life, mind, and worlds of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft was one of the most prolific and influential horror writers of the last century. Even some guy named Stephen King thinks so. However, Lovecraft's horror is not typical, and it is often hard to follow and utterly alien, which is what makes it so amazing. If you’ve seen anything about the Old God Cthulhu, you’ve seen Lovecraft. That, and many other horrors of extra dimensions were dreamed up in his fevered mind. Howard Philip Lovecraft was born to a moneyed family Providence, Rhode Island. However, when he was only three, his father went insane and was committed to a mental hospital for the rest of his life. This brought Lovecraft in orbit of his cold mother and aunts, and this didn’t do him any favors. In fact, he himself developed mental problems that kept him from graduating high school or attending Brown University where he was accepted. Lovecraft was thought to be a writing prodigy, reciting poetry he memorized at two and reading at three. He wrote stories and studied astronomy by the age of six, and by eight or nine, he created his first alter ego, “Abdul Alhazred,” who would later become the fictional author of the nefarious Necronomicon. Eventually, his mother went mad, his grandfather died, and Lovecraft found himself in a strange marriage that his family didn’t approve of and broke, living in a bad apartment in Brooklyn. Eventually, he got involved with a national writers group where he fostered the careers of several other authors (including August Derleth). He wrote thousands of letters and dozens of short stories, but he could never find a popular audience since his themes of madness and dense prose proved inaccessible to a general audience. He died (penniless) of cancer, and his friends pitched in to get his work published, so it would survive. So, from Dagon to Nyaralathotep, the Deep Ones to the Dagon, his visions are the most unique in all of horror. What was his relationship to Harry Houdini? What drove his father mad? Why do we know he was a hardcore racist and white supremacist? How did Lovecraft say you actually pronounce Cthulhu (hint: you’re saying it WAY wrong)? Why does Brad say his rap name is Two Chins? Listen, laugh, learn.   Thorough if not ugly website: http://www.hplovecraft.com/ Good Summary of Major Works With Links: https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/23/17762378/hp-lovecraft-books-cthulhu-necronomicon-stories Lovecraft for KIDS: https://kids.kiddle.co/H._P._Lovecraft
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Easter Interuption: Previously, On the Sofa King Podcast…
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do things a little differently. (We'll pretend it's because we care about our listeners and pay attention to what they want, but it's really because it was Easter Sunday, so we couldn't research and get together to record on our normal schedule...) What makes this episode so special? We go back and discuss some of our past episodes and see if our knowledge or opinion of them has changed over the years. However, instead of doing it in any organized manner, we simply used a random number generator to determine which ones we'd revisit. Here's where we went: Nikola Tesla Roswell, New Mexico Project Odessa Michael Jackson MS 13 Also, to be honest, we may have covered one or two more. But it's late. And I'm tired. So give me a break. Oh! But we did also do a favor for some patrons. Some of them wanted to come out to friends, loved ones, and SK Family about various issues and secrets they've been living with. We discuss these people and their unique stories on the episode as a way to thank them for being Patrons. And if you wan to be a Patron and support our show, our efforts, our whiskey, and our OCD, you can go here and pledge a buck (or 40!) a month. Anything helps and is an awesome thing to do: SK Patreon
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NYC Debriefing: Our Thoughts on the Big Apple
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we hit you with something a little bit different and share details of our coast to coast meet up in New York City. Our beloved El Yucateco Hotsauce sponsored a New York meetup where the three of us flew out to the Big Apple and spent a few days with listeners. As with other meetups, friendships were made (others were tested...), and fun was had by all. So what do we talk about? How about some of this in your ear holes: We give details on the ultimate $50 Manhattan shave. We talk about Dave's awkward stint break dancing in Times Square. We talk comedy clubs. We remind Brent that his butt puckered while Brad drove us down The Old Road to avoid traffic on the I-5. We discuss the World Trade Center memorial as well as the new tower. We share Dave's vegan adventures through Manhattan. And of course, we talk about the drunks, louts, birthday girls, Long Island Crew, whiskey, studs, and vixens that were all flowing at the meet up at the Whiskey Trader. This isn't a normal episode, but we have a lot of laughs, and it must just inspire you to join us at our next meetup--wherever that may be!
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Twitch Bonus Episode: Zero Expectations
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we step away from our usual show pattern and give you a good old fashioned bonus episode. But, this is even a bigger bonus because it was originally a Twitch stream! If you want a regular episode, skip this one and go one episode ahead or back. There, you’ll hear us research and topic and spit facts at you as well as horrible off topic jokes and conversational cul-de-sacs. On this one, however, we give you a bonus episode. No research. No plan, just the fellas shooting it over some whiskey. What do we talk about? All sorts of stuff. Great stuff! Crazy stuff! Stuff that is sure to delight and offend! Stuff that I can’t really remember because it’s late, I haven’t slept, and I’m tired! Oh, and if you love this Bonus Episode or our regular episodes, do us two favors. First, go and support us on Patreon! Also, visit us on Twitch, where the future of our streaming lies.
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Twitch Bonus Episode: Adulting
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do a bonus episode. This isn't our normal research-based dig on cults, killers, and cooks. Instead, we turned to the lovely lunatics at the Unofficial Sofa King Ultra Fans page and asked for questions, advice, and philosophy on Adulting. So, we talked about all kinds of stuff. How to be successful came up a lot, but not just financially. How do we find success and work jobs that we feel have meaning instead of just a paycheck at the end of a hammer blow. If you want to hear us talk about what it means to be an adult, a parent, a "man," a succeful person, tune in. If not, what the hell. Download it anyway to help our metrics and then don't listen to it. I understand, but damn, hook a brother up. Oh, and speaking of gratuitous whoring: go visit us here and become a Patron of the show! Patreon! Also, visit us on Twitch, for the future of our streaming endeavors!  
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Episode 381: Miracle at Fatima: Miracle or Mass Hallucination?
We get all supernatural on this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, and we talk about the largest apparition in Catholic history, the Miracle of Fatima, which some 70,000 people witnessed. The place was Portugal, and the year was 1917. The children of three shepherds in the area were bringing their sheep home, and lo and behold, they ran into the Angel of Peace. He met with them several times and told him that the Virgin was going to show up on the 13th of the month for several months. When the kids told their parents, word got around, and the next thing you know, a media circus was erupting and pilgrims were coming to try and bottle a miracle. The Virgin came several times as promised, all as a precursor so the Miracle of Fatima. She told the children three secrets which were to be revealed only at the proper time, later in life. And finally, on October 13th, she came back again one last time. But this time, the three kids weren’t alone; indeed, they had tens of thousands of people with them. After revealing when World War I would end, the told the kids to look to the sky. The kids told the crowd, and then as the rains suddenly stopped, and the skies parted, the Miracle of Fatima happened. Also called the Miracle of the Sun, the crowd watched in awe as the sun did amazing things. It changed colors, it fired beams of color into the crowd, and it even loomed closer to earth, dominating the horizon and zigging around the sky. Everyone from the most devout to the most skeptic was there to bear witness. Oddly, some skeptics saw the miracle while some with faith did not. Even more odd, a bunch of psychics fro the area predicted this and published their predictions in the newspaper as proof. So what does all of this mean? What was really behind this miracle that is hard to dismiss since so many people saw it? Was it a meteorological phenomenon as some say? Was it an alien vessel? Was it truly a miracle? Was it the largest case of mass suggestion ever recorded? The children are all canonized, and the story is considered legit by the Vatican, but what really happened? Listen in and you decide.
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Episode 380: Lizzie Borden: Lesbian Revenge Murder?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time and visit the Grandmother of all true crime cases: the story of Lizzie Borden. Most people know the dark nursery rhyme, “Lizzie Borden took and axe and gave her mother forty whacks…” However, the truth isn’t anywhere as clear cut as the rhyme. Did Lizzie kill her father and step-mother? If so, why? Was there poison involved, suggesting premeditation? We do our best to find answers. Borden was born to her father Andrew Borden and her mother Sarah, who died when she Lizzie young. Andrew was raised middle class but became wealthy by the time he had Lizzie and her sister, and eventually, he married a woman named Abby. They were a religious family who lived below their means, but it seemed that underneath it all, there was some darkness. Let’s start with the pigeons. Lizzie loved her some pigeons and went all Mike Tyson on them (meaning she built them a habitat like he did with his birds, not that she bit their ears off). However, Andrew Borden killed them all with a hatchet. Also, Lizzie and Abby were allegedly not on the best of terms. Ever. Then, Lizzie Borden’s dad did some strange things giving away property to his wife’s family, and there were even brief allegations that came up later about sexual abuse. Whatever it was, they all didn’t get along. In fact, a few weeks before the murders, Lizzie and her sister went on a so-called vacation after intense fighting had broken out in the household. They returned a week before the murders, but stayed in a rental for four of those days, only returning a few nights before the deaths. In that time, Lizzie allegedly tried to buy poison from a pharmacist, and the entire household fell ill with some sort of stomach ailment. And then Lizzie Borden’s uncle arrived and stayed in the guest room, where he may have been having an affair with Abby Borden. It gets all soap opera here. So, on the day of days, Abby and Andrew Borden were both killed with what the police assumed was an axe. Forensics indicted it came from a male taller than they were, but Lizzie’s odd behavior and responses to the cops made the newspapers pin the blame on her, and the court of public opinion can be a bear. So, why did Lizzie burn a dress the day after the murders? Why couldn’t the cops find any blood or evidence Lizzie did it? Who was the Portugese laborer, and why might he have done it? Was Lizzie Borden having a secret lesbian affair with their maid? Was there motive for Lizzie to kill her folks? What happened with the District Attorney threw the skull of Lizzie’s father on the table in the court room? Listen, laugh, learn. Trial Details: https://famous-trials.com/lizzieborden/1437-home
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Episode 379: The Chinese Triad: Real Life Crazy 88’s!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we get criminal and talk about the history, crimes, structure, and initiation ritual of one of the most powerful criminal organizations on the planet—the Chinese Triads. The Triads started as secret societies bent on overthrowing and reinstating particular Chinese emperors hundreds of years ago. They were patriotic at heart and weren’t criminal gangs by any typical standard. However, with the British taking over Hong Kong and ruling opium and prostitution illegal, they morphed into the seeds of the organized crime groups they are today. After the purges of Mao and World War II, the Triads emerged in a form similar to what we see today. At their height, there were as many as 60 triads in the city of Hong Kong alone. Now, they have spread through every country with a large Chinese population, including the US, UK, Australia, South Africa, and even Canada. The Triads are unlike other big organized crime groups like the Yakuza or the Italian Mob in that they don’t require the lower level members to get permission from higher ups to commit crimes. They also don’t kick a percentage of their earnings up, either. Instead, each Triad group is comprised of dozens of smaller criminal gangs but bonded by an oath to support each other, even at risk of death. This way, though there is no money swapping between members necessarily, they have each other’s back through gang wars and any other trouble that comes their way. Their members get very interesting titles like Dragon Head, Incense Master, and White Paper Fan, and they all have code numbers that line up with the numerology in the ancient I Ching. So what crimes do they commit? For one, counterfeiting. They are said to be among the best in the world, ranging from money to purses and shoes and even DVDs and software piracy. In fact, with the support of North Korea, their massive flooding of the banks with fake US $100 bills is what lead to the redesign of the currency a few years ago. They also are the masters of the world’s opium, human trafficking (both as sex slaves and slave labor). In fact, they claim 100,000 Chinese are smuggled into the US each year to pay off debts by working in sweatshops on the West Coast. What are the four major Triads in existence today, and where do they operate? How do these four go to war, and what do they each specialize in? What are the smuggling trips inside of shipping containers like for those who come to America through Triad channels? How many members of the Triads are there in the world? Why do they typically kill with knives and swords instead of guns? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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Episode 378: Project Blue Book: Real Life X-Files
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look to the skies (or at least to those who looked to the skies), and we explore the infamous Project Blue Book. From 1952 until 1969,  Project Blue Book was the US Air Force’s official investigation into Unidentified Flying Objects. In fact, that’s where we get the term UFO! It ranged from amazingly scientific and rigorous in its search for the truth all the way to a joke of government disinformation, depending on who was in charge of it. The main man in charge was named Captain Edward Ruppelt. He was decorated airman from WWII, and after the failures of previous USAF flying saucer investigations (Project Sign and Project Grudge), he was chosen to head this thing up. His task was basic on one level: discover if UFOs were a threat to national security. However, it got more tricky when dealing with levels of red tape, command structures, and a stigma for pilots not to talk about the strange things they saw in the skies. Ruppelt fixed this by getting Project Blue Book command over ride, so they had the authority to step out of the chain of command to complete their investigations. He also used a think tank to create the largest ever UFO database full of actionable statistical data. If someone on his team was to pro or too con, he’d fire them. He aimed to have Project Blue Book be as neutral, objective, scientific, and accurate as could be. However, all good things come to an end. Eventually, he took another temporary assignment and came back to find his beloved project gutted. After that a series of other jokers were given command of the project, and they ran it into the ground, blaming everhting on swamp gas and sighting of Jupiter and weather balloons So, what brought about the end of Project Blue Book? What was the Robertson Panel, and how did it impact the government, Air Force, and Blue Book? What was Project Blue Book Special Report Number 14, and what conclusions did it come to about UFOs and aliens? Of the over 12,000 cases they investigated, how many were valid mysteries? How does Walt Disney play into this, and what did he have to do with spreading UFO disinformation for the government? Listen, laugh, learn. FBI Document on Blue Book: https://vault.fbi.gov/Project%20Blue%20Book%20%28UFO%29%20 National Archives Statement on Blue Book and the Freedom of Information Act: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/air-force/ufos.html
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Episode 377: Tony Hawk: Champion or Poser?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we bust an Alley-oop all over this mother and look at the life of the skating legend, Tony Hawk. Though many skating purists (and snobs) talk smack about Hawk, in his 17-year professional career, he won more than 70 contests, including multiple gold medals at the X Games. He parlayed twelve consecutive years of being the National Skateboard Association world champion into an massive skate line, a series of amazingly popular video games, and a fortune of $140 Million! But where did this legend start? Well, he started in his back alley, like all good skaters do. At the age of nine, Tony Hawk was given an old, beat up skate board from his brother. Three years later, he landed a sponsorship, and another two years after that, he became a professional skateboarder. He bought his own house with his royalty monies by the age of 17 and made people rethink what it meant to be a professional skater. Tony Hawk was smaller than a lot of skaters, so instead of busting power moves, he had to rely on technical skills with the board. It worked well, and many people rightly thought the young Hawk was a prodigy. However, with a huge slump in skate sales and skate culture in the early 1990s, he saw his wealth decline. Eventually, his wife had to take a job as a manicurist, just to afford gas for him to drive to new gigs (and eat his $5 a day taco bell budget). He ultimately sold his house to keep going and opened up his own skate company called Birdhouse Projects. His tenacity paid off. Right when most skaters were hanging it up to get day jobs, the winds of skating changed when the X-Games launched. This new televised sport made skating become mainstream more than ever, and Tony Hawk started killing it and winning gold. A few years later, the universe was on Tony’s side. He won more gold at the X-Games, launched his video game (Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater), and became the first person to land the otherwise impossible trick known as the 900 (a trick that supposedly only 11 people on earth have landed to this day). From there, he became a household name and now spends his time and money trying to spread skate culture through his foundation. So, what do the guys think of Tony Hawk? Is he the best that ever was or a sell out and a poser? Listen, laugh, learn. Tony Hawk at 50: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zx7fFFfPis First Ever 900: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YYTNkAdDD8  
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Episode 376: Issei Sagawa: “Sane But Evil”
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk a little true crime and discuss the murderous cannibal from Japan—Issei Sagawa. In short, Sagawa shot a woman, defiled her corpse, ate everything from her arms to her anus, and got of scott free, even becoming a celebrity in Japan for his trouble! Issei Sagawa was born to a wealthy corporate family, but he was premature to the point of it being life threatening. He never fully grew as a result, and ended up being only 4 foot 10 inches and a bit deformed and weak. Indeed, he even equated himself to a short, weak, ugly monkey. We’re not here to disagree. According to his own accounts, from as early as first grade, he saw the human body and wanted to eat it. From bestiality to wanting to eat his classmate’s thighs, he was a disturbed and disturbing child. As he grew up, he turned out to be fairly smart, getting admitted to some of the world’s most prestigious colleges. While at one such college at the age of 23, he fell for a German girl he met on the street and followed her home and snuck in through her window wearing a Frankenstein mask. Like you do. Once there, he planned to just grab some of her flesh and run for it. He didn’t want to kill anyone, just grab some takeout. He did what all prepared killers would do and came at her sleeping form with an umbrella. She whooped his butt and sent him running, where the police caught him and ultimately let him go. The real event happened when he was studying in France, and he met Renée Hartevelt, a 25 year old Norwegian. They started a causal relationship around his pretense of needing her to tutor him in foreign languages. All the while, he was having hookers come to his room every night and trying to kill them but backing out before he could shoot them. So, after some courtship and lots of tea, Issei Sagawa sniffed the seat that Renée sat in, recorded her talking, and then shot her in the neck and killed her. After he recovered from passing out, the true madness began. He started to ingest her to steal her beauty, intelligence, and strength. He ate her thighs, dug around in her fat. He had some fried, ate some raw, and went between raping her corpse and eating her corpse. This one’s bad. So, how did he get caught? What led the police back to him? What was his favorite body part? What happened when he tried to eat her anus raw, and how did cooking it affect his opinion? How come he got away with it and walked out of a mental institution back in Japan 18 months after he confessed the murder? Who ruled him “sane but evil”? How in the hell did he become a celebrity in Japan, and is his art work any good? Listen, laugh, learn. Interview of his life now: https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1372752/poetic-justice Vice Article: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7bwvvx/whos-hungry-502-v16n1
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Episode 375: Mad Trapper of Rat River: Putting the Man in Manhunt!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take off to the great white north and discuss one of the most notorious manhunts in Canada’s history—the story of the Mad Trapper of Rat River. It is a story of fur trapping gone wrong, miraculous feats of manliness, dog sleds, gun fights, and dynamite. In 1932, this mystery man led the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a lot of native Americans on a month and a half long chase over 150 miles of the most wild tundra the Yukon has to offer. In 1931, a man calling himself Albert Johnson showed up in the small town of Fort McPherson. He was muscular, quiet, had a Scandinavian accent, and spread around a lot of cash. Also, he didn’t ever get a trapper’s license, which was odd since the only way to survive where he ended up building a cabin was to trap wild game. A few months after his arrival, members of a local tribe noticed their traps were being set off and put in trees, and they blamed the only new person in the region, Albert Johnson. On New Year’s eve, two Mounties made it to his remote cabin, and he refused to speak to them, forcing them to make the incredibly long trip back. They returned a week later with a few more men and a search warrant, and The Mad Trapper fired at them through the door, hitting one officer and forcing a retreat. Well, this lead to the Mounties coming back with 9 men and lots of dynamite, and they just sort of blew up the joint. The cabin became a smoldering wreck, but The Mad Trapper was still alive inside of it and held them at bay for a 15 hour gunfight in a -40 degree blizzard! The men retreated again and came back after the storm had passed only to find The Mad Trapper had vanished into the Yukon. But these are Mounties, damnit it, so they followed. Weeks passed, and they couldn’t catch The Mad Trapper. He was seemingly supernatural, making twice the miles per day that the Mounties did with their dogsleds. Eventually, they called in the only guy as awesome as the Mad Trapper, a Canadian hero named Wop May. Wop spotted tracks in the snow that lead to them cornering the Trapper. But this was after he scaled a 7000 foot mountain with no climbing gear in a blizzard, somehow survived for weeks without shooting any game or lighting any fires, ultimately out Mountied the Mounties. So, how did this guy pull it off? What made Wop such a folk hero in Canada? Who do they think the Mad Trapper of Rat River really was? What did they learn when they exhumed his body in 2007? How many times did they have to shoot him to kill him? How many Mounties did he shoot and kill? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 374: Dungeons and Dragons: Fairy Tales to Tales of Suicide
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we bust out our dice bags, make a saving throw, channel our inner geeks, and talk about the grandfather of role playing games, Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons is considered the first ever true character-driven RPG, and the notions such as experience points and leveling up a character that are so ubiquitous in all gaming these days came from this very game. In fact, most of it came from one man—Gary Gygax. Gygax, along with is co-creator David Arneson, modified a few older games (I’m looking at you Chainmail and Blackmoor) and created the first version of D&D. They printed it locally, off of borrowed money, and were lucky to sell 1000 copies. However, by 2004, the game had spawned feature films, a Saturday morning kid’s cartoon, countless video games, New York Times Best Seller books, and over a billion dollars in sales. But this growth of the game was not without its controversies. For example, David Arneson had to sue the company he and Gygax created (TSR) to keep control of the intellectual property. He was allowed to maintain a hold on anything called Dungeons and Dragons. And then, TSR split the property and focused on the new version of the same game Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, leaving Arneson a comfortable monthly payment but no real royalties. There was also the time Gygax had somehow gotten Orson Welles to agree to be in a Hollywood  produced D&D movie until he discovered that the CEO of TSR had made the company go broke buying too many company cars and trying to raise the wreck of an old pirate ship from the bottom of the sea (like you do…). But the ups and downs of the corporation itself couldn’t compare to the great Satanic Panic that came around in the 1980s, linking the game to murder, suicide, and mental health issues—not to mention Satan himself! Televangelists attacked Gygax, TSR, and the game, and Tom Hanks even starred in the espically bad Mazes and Monsters based on the true story of a 16 year old’s suicide at the University of Michigan. So, what do Brent and Brad think of the game, and would they be willing to play it? What happened the one time that Dave spoke with Gary Gygax on the phone? What is Dave’s favorite edition of the game? What is the truth about Dungeons and Dragons and suicide rates in teens? What actors and musicians praise the game and why? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 373: Crystal Skulls: Supernatural or Superb Forgeries?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look into the realm of antiquity and the supernatural (or the world of forgeries and lies) and explore the existence of the 13 infamous Crystal Skulls. These skulls were all allegedly unearthed in the mid to late 1800s and were said to be found in areas such as Mexico. Claims were that they came form Aztec, Toltec, and Mayan cultures, and they were sold to some of the most renowned antiquity dealers and museums in the world. Their method of manufacture was far beyond anything that was possible in the ancient world (and supposedly even beyond the world of the 1800s!). While they all differ in composition and design, most of them came from the same antique dealer, a man named Eugene Boban. These skulls are said to have special powers such as healing and visions of the future and even sounds and lights emanating from them. So, what exactly are these skulls, where did the come from, and what do modern archaeologists think of them? To answer this question, it’s best to focus on the most famous of them all, The Skull of Doom. This crystal skull was allegedly discovered by F. A. Mitchell-Hedges while on an expedition to the Mayan ruins of Lubaantum. They were there to find Atlantis. Why not? But his daughter Anna Mitchell-Hedges was there on the dig, and she found this crystal skull. The stories of the Skull of Doom were that it gave her the ability to see JFK’s assassination in advance, and that ancient Mayan priests could kill people by focusing the harmony of the skull with the harmony of the victim. This skull finally made its way to an art restorer and eventually the Hewlett Packard crystal labs for study. Interesting things were discovered about it: it was forged from a single block of crystal; it was made without metal tools; and was carved against the natural axis of the quarts, which is a very difficult thing to do without shattering an object, especially on something as intricate as the crystal skull. So, while many myths of the skull were put to rest by the HP study, many others were only enhanced. This piece and one in the Smithsonian underwent very stringent scientific analysis, and at the end of the day, the experts think these are not thousand of years old, but were carved in a city in Germany in the 1800s. To what end were they carved? Did the experts get it wrong? How did this person in Germany develop techniques that still baffle many people today? What is the explanation for how the crystal skull gives you visions? How many crystal skulls are for sale in the modern world? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: Zero Expectations Volume II
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we step away from our usual show pattern and give you a good old fashioned bonus episode. If you want a regular episode, skip this one and go one episode ahead or back. There, you’ll hear us research and topic and spit facts at you as well as horrible off topic jokes and conversational cul-de-sacs. On this one, however, we give you a bonus episode. No research. No plan, just the fellas shooting it over some whiskey. What do we talk about? All sorts of stuff. Great stuff! Crazy stuff! Stuff that is sure to delight and offend! Stuff that I can't really remember because it's late, I haven't slept, and I'm tired! Oh, and if you love this Bonus Episode or our regular episodes, do us two favors. First, go and support us on Patreon!
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Episode 372: Beltway Snipers: Mass Murder In DC
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the mass killings committed by (and the conspiracy theories about) the two people known as the Beltway Snipers in Washington DC. The year was 2002, and the nation was still reeling from the horrors of 9/11 when two men named John Muhammad (41) and Lee Malvo (17) started a reign of terror in the DC area, killing 17 people out of the back of their 1990 Chevrolet Caprice. Though many people think they were just serving up a bowl full of crazy, others think it was a false flag event, and you know what, even William Shatner gets involved! So, to get to the Beltway Sniper killings, it’s important to start with the killers themselves. John Muhamad (formerly John Williams) was an army veteran with high marksman skills. He’d been married a couple times and once out of the army, ended up getting a divorce. His wife filed a restraining order based on his threats, and he went a little nutso and kidnapped their shared children. He ran to Antiqua, like you do, and he met the young Lee Malvo. Malvo was born in Jamaica and spent some years in the Caribbean with various family members. Eventually, he came to the US illegally, and after getting detained and set free, he and his mom lived in a homeless shelter where Muhammed eventually moved as well. The two Beltway Snipers became fast friends, forming a father-son bond and training for what became their killing spree. Their killings didn’t start in DC, though. They started in Washington state and cut a path of death across the nation, from Arizona to Louisiana before they got to the DC area. Once there, they started to randomly kill people who were targets of opportunity, typically people coming in or out of a store or people at a gas station. The entire area was freaked out and didn’t even want to be on the streets (Dave included—he was there researching!). Eventually, they slipped up by taunting the cops on their tip line and gave them a clue that led to their identities being revealed. From there, it was a matter of time before the cops cornered them. But there is also where the conspiracy theorists take hold. When they were arrested, some people think there was a trigger word in a hypnotic suggestion to bring the two killers in. There are connections between the head investigator and Muhammad, and the ex-wife worked for the government. So, were the Beltway Snipers two sick puppies who got off on murder and wanted revenge for a wife who left, or were they part of a false flag event that led them across the nation killing people? Listen, laugh, learn.   Conspiracy Theory Break Down: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=27984 One Word--Shatner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pQ0ZR5Jkuc  
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Episode 371: King Tut: Curses and Conspiracies
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel all the way back to Pyramid Times and explore the life, love, death, tomb, mummification, and conspiracy theory surrounding the one and only King Tut. He was born son of the pharaoh Akhenaten, who was a bit of a rogue leader. King Tut’s dad shut down the churches, moved the capitol, and stripped power from everyone who held any other than himself. He died (maybe?) when Tutankhamun was only 9 years old, so King Tut became a boy king. It was said that his power was controlled by the Vizier of Egypt and the head of the military until he was old enough to do so by himself. While in power, the young pharaoh restored Egypt to how it was before his father went all nutso everywhere, and he even negotiated peace with some of the neighboring nations. However, his life was not an easy one. He had several severe deformities from royal inbreeding, the vertebrae in his neck were fused solid, and he had a cleft foot and was ill with malaria several times. This all caught up with him (or maybe an assassin?), and he died at the ripe age of 19. Traditional history says they had to rush to get him mummified and collect his treasure within the 70 day god window, and this is why he was placed in a small, cramped tomb. Eventually, 3000 years later in 1915, George Herbert paid for Howard Carter to find this missing tomb from a most unremarkable pharaoh. After six years of failure, Carter succeeded and found the most intact tomb in all of archaeological history. Or did he? Why do some think this tomb was a fake that Carter put together? Why do others think it was the tomb or someone else entirely? Was it maybe a storehouse of items that tomb raiders piled there in Pyramid days? How did the tomb go unnoticed for all these centuries? Who would gain from faking the tomb? Was there really a curse around the tomb, and what do the statistics of dead Egyptologists prove out? Listen, laugh, learn. Video that shows the hoarder status of his tomb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULofBtBAJn4
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Bonus Episode: Behind Taco Bell
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we step away from our usual show pattern and give you a good old fashioned bonus episode. If you want a regular episode, skip this one and go one episode ahead or back. There, you’ll hear us research and topic and spit facts at you as well as horrible off topic jokes and conversational cul-de-sacs. On this one, however, we give you a bonus episode. No research. No plan, just the fellas shooting it over some whiskey. What do we talk about? Well, blindness might come into play, as well as the loss of other senses. We talk about eyesight and how it sucks when you get older. If you want a conversation about compass directions, google maps, bio hacking, VW busses, and all sorts of other shenanigans, this is the episode for you. If you want something else, go away. We don’t need you here. I don’t like you. My friend doesn’t like you either. Oh, and if you love this Bonus Episode or our regular episodes, do us two favors. First, go and support us on Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast Second, go and get some El Yucateco Hot Sauce and show the love!
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Episode 370: Westboro Baptist Church: What a Bunch of A-Holes
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at quite literally the worst church ever, the Westboro Baptist Church. Made famous for their slogan “God hates fags” (sorry for how many times we end up saying that in this episode!!!), this group is far from a traditional church with large numbers as they would have America believe. Indeed, they are a small, incestuous family community of around 80 members at their largest. They are a small, evil cult founded by the one-time Baptist preacher named Fred Waldron Phelps. Phelps basically stole a church from another church group and started to run it as a hate-fueled base for his family to make money, and he did a pretty good job at it. He raised his children to become lawyers, police, and correctional officers in prisons, and he started to keep the small church afloat by winning lawsuits against, well, everyone. All the while, he started to turn his church into what he called a picketing ministry. You see, on Oct. 12, 1998, a gay student named Matthew Shepard was killed in a brutal hate crime because he was gay. The douche bags at Westborough Baptist Church protested his funeral with the famous sign “God hates fags,” and the rest was history. (They even wanted to build a granite memorial that said he was burning in hell, but they were denied…) From there, they started to protest everything and blame every single ill in the nation on homosexuality and how much God hates gay people. Murder? God hates gay people. Soldiers killed by road side bombs? God hates gay people. 9/11? God hates gay people? They Jews? God hates gay people? Justin Bieber? God hates gay people. Seriously, they are like a Pokemon who can only speak by saying their name, but their name is God hates gay people. From their horrible song parodies against Michael Jackson, to their endless battles in court that they always seem to win, this cult of arse holes keeps on going. They lie and claim they protested over 40,000 events, but they really just post about them on their website. So, what exactly is their belief system? What ended up happening to the founder to get him kicked out of the church? What happened with his funeral? Why are so many younger members of the family defecting? Why do even the KKK hate the jack holes at Westboro Baptist? Listen, laugh, learn. Great Article: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/westboro-baptist-church
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Episode 369: East India Company: Worst Corporation Ever
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time to the 1600s and look at the birth, rise, and crazy corruption and power of the British East India Company. Initially, it was a small corporation which was one of 200 that were granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I to trade with the other countries in “The Orient.” It started as a small group of investors and led to them scoring a 500 ton shipment of pepper that made them rich and gave them bigger contracts. Almost immediately after that, they started to break the law and push the boundaries of what a corporation could (or should) get away with. The East India Company started to trade for tea in China, but there was a problem. China only accepted silver, and England used gold. So, how did they meet in the middle? Why, by illegally selling opium to buy the tea. This made them even more rich and allowed them start building a private army which eventually grew to an estimated 250,000 men—almost twice that of the British Empire’s army! With this army in place, the East India Company pretty much took control of India. After several bloody battles, this small corporation ended up being the legal body to collect taxes and govern most of India for well over a century. Meanwhile, they were also up to no good in the fledgling country of America. In fact, the infamous Tea Act of 1773 is the final straw that lead to the American Revolution. Through this law, the East India Company became the only company that could legally trade and sell tea in the Americas, and this was a problem because it was a monopoly that could fix prices against colonists, and it was the end of many prominent businessmen. So, people dressed like Indians and dumped all the tea in Boston Harbor. Like you do… How did the East India Company gain so much power unchecked? What types of atrocities did they commit against the Indian people? How many people ran this secretive cabal? What was their connection to the Rothschilds and Rockefellers? How did their actions lead to several wars? What finally brought them down? Listen, laugh, learn. Crazy Detailed History: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/04/east-india-company-original-corporate-raiders
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Bonus Episode: Make Mongolia Great Again
Just to be clear this is a bonus episode.
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Episode 368: Muhammad Ali: The Greatest of All Time!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we hit you with some information on the Greatest of all Time—Muhammad Ali! He was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. This put him at the heart of racial inequality in America, and as the grandson of freed slaves, he grew up knowing the racism that was so pervasive at that time. Living in a poor neighborhood, one day he got his bicycle stolen, and he swore to the police officer that he was going to get revenge. The cop told him he needed to learn how to fight first, and a legend was born. The cop, Joe Martin, was a boxer and trainer and started Cassius off, eventually handing him off to trainer Chuck Bodak. He trained hard and won several golden gloves and other awards and was good enough to qualify for the 1960 Olympics in Rome. There, he won the gold and came back as a national hero. He started his professional boxing career immediately after, and within a few years, he met Malcolm X and joined the Nation of Islam. Eventually, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, and he shook up the world. He was someone that everyone wanted to watch because of his gift of gab. His quotes, quips, insults, and one liners were famous and incredible. However, his skill at the sweet science of boxing was what kept him rising through the ranks. He fought some of the most legendary bouts of all time: his victory over Sonny Liston, the Rumble in the Jungle with George Foreman, and the Thrilla From Manilla with Joe Frazier. However, his fortunes turned when he found himself in legal trouble when he refused to join the army after he was drafted in Vietnam. Muhammad Ali was unable to box for three years until the legal issues were settled. His fight against the US government lead to him being dragged into a secret operation code-named "Minaret.” Also, his Fight of the Century with Joe Frazier was the cover needed to blow the lid off the FBI COINTELPRO conspiracy. Eventually, the champ slowed down to Parkinson’s Disease, and he turned his eye to philanthropy and helping others. He passed away in 2016, but he remains…the greatest of all time!
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Episode 367: Project A119: Why Not Nuke the Moon?!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at some Cold War madness and delve into America’s plan to nuke the moon—Project A119. The year was 1957. The Soviet Union had just launched Sputnik and was winning the nascent Space Race. The American military needed a win, so their plan was simply to throw a hydrogen bomb at the moon. Like you do. Why a nuke? Well, it would show technological and military dominance. In fact, the whole point was to make it visible to the naked eye, so the entire world could see it. So, the lead researcher, a man named Leonard Reiffel (who made his career working with Nazis from Operation Paper Clip) was tasked with creating a think tank in Chicago to figure out the ins and outs of the moon nuke from Project A119. He hired some up and comers like a young Carl Sagan and was off and running. They explored the psychological impact on America, the Soviets, and the rest of the world. They looked at technical limitations and what type of bomb to use. They looked at what other scientific knowledge could come from it. And, thankfully, they looked at dangers like the bomb boomeranging back into the earth’s atmosphere. Reiffel’s group wrote a total of eight different reports between their inception and when the group was put to bed in 1959, but only the first of them exists since the other seven were all destroyed in the magical 80s. They even discussed the Soviet’s own plan (which was long since confirmed) to nuke the moon as well, so Project A119 wasn’t the only game in town. Many scientists were worried that a nuke would ruin the possibility of colonizing the moon, and eventually something like Project A119 was actually ordered. In 2009, NASA hit the moon with a high velocity rocket to get a debris cloud to spread. It was all the science with none of the nuke! So, if you want to hear about our plan to annihilate the Soviet Union, why Carl Sagan committed treason in his biography, and whether or not the moon is hollow, check this one out. Cool Cold War Article: https://www.newsweek.com/2014/09/26/plan-nuke-moon-and-other-cold-war-plots-revealed-secret-documents-271088.html Black Vault Document Archive: http://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/project-a119-a-study-of-lunar-research-flights/#
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Episode 366: Tuskegee Experiment: Bad Blood in Alabama
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the worst government conspiracy theories and most egregious cases of abusing medical ethics in American history—the Tuskegee Experiment. In a nutshell, the Tuskegee Experiment was the time the American government identified hundreds of African Americans who had syphilis and gave them medical treatment. Oh, but by medical treatment, I mean refused to give them any real medicine, even once there was a cure, and instead just watched them all go blind, dumb, and mad and die from a horrible disease that they spread to their loved ones. And took notes. So what led this horror show of modern medicine? Aside from racism, it was a chance to watch a disease go unchecked. So, they recruited 600 black men based on what the doctors told them was “bad blood.” That’s right, for years, the doctors told these men they had bad blood and they were being treated for it. In reality, they were rotting away from syphilis for as long as 40 years (from 1932-1972). When a cure was finally discovered, the doctors refused to give it to the men. In fact, the doctors refused to even tell the men what their diagnosis or prognosis was aside from bad blood. They even had a nurse who would spy on the men and keep other doctors who weren’t part of the Tuskegee Experiment from treating the men. Eventually, a whistle blower who found out about this in 1966 told people up the chain about this horrible experiment, and it was immediately put to a stop. Just kidding. Nobody up the chain did anything, and the suffering of the subjects was allowed to continue for several more years. Ultimately, a writer for the New York Times got the story and blew the lid off in 1972, and the Tuskegee Experiment was shut down within the month. So, how many people in the experiment died from syphilis? How many spread the disease to their wives and children? How was this allowed to happen? What did Bill Clinton do to try and make things right? What did the victims of the experiment eventually get as a settlement for themselves and their children? What impact did the Tuskegee Experiment have on African American trust in the medical system? What did the government do in Guatemala that was even more evil? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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Episode 365: Waverly Hills Sanitarium – Haunting in Kentucky
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we get all supernatural and look into the dark history and strange happening of the Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Kentucky. Considered one of the most haunted and terrifying places in America, the Waverly Hills Sanitarium started as a schoolhouse but expanded during a horrible Tuberculosis epidemic in the late 1800s. Louisville, Kentucky had one of the highest death rates in the nation due to TB, and the hospital there was always overflowing. So, a committee formed and bought this school house to transform it to a state-of-the-art medical facility for the TB infected. Of course, the state had very little to do with art, since they mostly left patients outside to breathe fresh air or did horrible things like stick balloons in their lungs and inflate them and remove ribs (and probably kill them). TB was all but a death sentence at the time, and this place didn’t do much to keep anyone alive. In fact, the estimates (though they range wildly) could be as high as 60,000 dead in Waverly Hills Sanitarium over the years before it shut down in the 1960s. Once it did shut down, it became a geriatric sanitarium where old people went to get tortured, and the place saw more death and suffering than maybe anywhere in the south. And this leads to the haunting. After sitting empty for decades and changing hands, it finally found owners who wanted to let people tour and do supernatural investigations? Why? Because it’s spooky as hell! There are endless bumps and apparitions there, glowing orbs, shadow people in the hallways, phantom smells and sounds, lights that come on where there is no power, and all sorts of madness. The prime time ghosts are a girl named Mary who plays with investigators, a boy who bounces a ball on the roof, and an old screaming woman with bloody wrists. Of course, this all leads us to a discussion of hauntings in general and what the cause of them are. So, if you want to hear things go bump in the night, this one is for you. Check it out!
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Episode 364: Richard Pryor – Comedy, Cocaine, and Comebacks!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at arguably the best stand-up comedian who ever graced a stage, the legendary Richard Pryor. He paved the way for vulgar, race-charged jokes that nobody in the mainstream was doing. Without him, we’d have no Dave Chappell, no Chris Rock, and no Eddie Murphy. Jerry Seinfeld called Richard Pryor “the Picasso of our profession,” and it was well-deserved. His background was something out of a serial killer’s life story. His mother Gertrude was a hooker, and his father was a bouncer, boxer, pimp, and tough. A young Richard Pryor witnessed his father beat his mother almost to death on many occasions. When his mom abandoned him at five years old, he moved in with his grandmother. Oh, and his grandmother ran the brothel that Pryor’s mom worked at! From drug abuse to bathroom abortions, a young Richard Pryor saw it all, and somehow, his defense mechanism was to make jokes about it all, even late in life. Eventually, he got away from home after dropping out of high school, joined the army, and cut a guy. Like you do. He spent two years in the brig, and when he got out, he dedicated his life to entertainment. He started as an MC and piano player and was so funny that he was soon propelled to the life of a stand-up comedian, playing black clubs on the East coast. He started to gain some success and opened for Bobby Darin in Vegas, but he took a break to develop his own style (and hang out with Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers). When he returned, he was an insightful, envelope-pushing comic who pioneered the use of the N-Word. After that, he was a rocket. He released album after album, won Emmy awards for writing on various TV shows, won Grammies for his albums, and made some of the highest grossing comedies of his era. His hard life style took its toll, however, as he had a heart attack and eventually tried to kill himself (by dousing himself in Bacardi 151 while high on freebased cocaine and lighting himself on fire). It didn’t work, and even his horrible suicide attempt and drug abuse became the butt of his own jokes. Eventually, he fell ill with MS and still managed to find humor in the hard to reach places. So, what did Dean Martin have to do with his comedic transformation? What ties did he have to the mob? How much cocaine did he do? Why did they fire him from the lead role in Blazing Saddles? What did Lorne Michaels have to do in order to get him on SNL? How did he die? Why does Quincy Jones think he had sex with Marlon Brando? Listen, laugh, learn. Eddie Murphy, Cosby, Pryor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZlQaE4GDUY Mafia Joke: Great impression, best Italian mock I’ve ever seen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3D6Qc6uByo Great article on him: https://www.city-journal.org/html/richard-pryor-stand-philosopher-13173.html
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Episode 363: Belcher Island – Madness under the Meteors
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do some more True Crime, but it’s back in time True Crime as we explore the massacre at Belcher Island. Belcher Island is an incredibly remote island in Canada—so remote that white folks didn’t set foot here until as late as 1914. In the winter of 1941, though, the population of migrant hunter/fisher Inuit families faced the harshest of weather conditions and apparently went a little crazy with religious fervor. You see, the natives on Belcher Island had only recently been visited by Christian missionaries by 1941, and in the bleak, endless freeze of Northern nights, they would huddle in their igloos and read the poorly translated Bible that was given to them. Their own culture and spiritual beliefs didn’t really gel with the apocalyptic nature of the bible, so it really got into their heads. In fact, it led one man named Charley Ouyerack to proclaim he was the second coming of Jesus and that the best hunter on the island, a man named Peter Sala, was actually God Himself. Somehow, the cold and the starvation and a very ill-timed meteor shower that seemed to fit biblical prophecy convinced the other hunter families that Ouyerack was right. This would just be a case of a bad, weird winter, but when one girl stood up to oppose this, she was bludgeoned to death in the snow. And when a man stood up against her murder, he was stabbed in the face with a harpoon and shot twice. After that, most people just drank the Kool Aid, joined the cult, and thought Jesus and God were among them. More families came along, and after a few weeks of convincing them, Sala’s sister woke everyone up and drove them out of their shelters with a whip, telling them Jesus was coming down from heaven. Oh, and that he wanted to greet them all in the nude right there on Belcher Island. She and the other fanatics forced them to take their clothes off in the record breaking cold of the North, and several of them (mostly, sadly, children) froze to death. So, how did the Mounties find out about this and come to investigate? What ghetto stuff did the cops have to do to get to Belcher Island at all? How many people died? What did the judge say about the three people who seemed responsible for this madness, and what sentence did they serve? How did we finally learn about this case when the natives are so private about it all? Listen, laugh, learn. Nice Summary: http://jmortonmusings.blogspot.com/2014/03/when-god-and-satan-battled-in-barren.html
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Episode 362: Katherine Knight – Australia’s Ultimate Psycho?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do some True Crime down under and talk about the disturbing case of Katherine Knight, violent murder and overall wackadoo! We structure this episode in a way where we reveal her big crazy crime at the end of the show, so if you want to have that shock ride with us, quit reading—spoilers ahead! Katherine Knight was born to a violently dysfunctional family in Aberdeen, New South Wales in Australia (if it really exists…). Her life was tragic and horrible. Her father would rape her mother as much as ten times a day, and young Katherine herself suffered from rape at the hands of some of her brothers and step-brothers. Her mom’s response? Just “put up with it and stop complaining.” As a result of this home life, she was violent at school and a loner. Eventually, she dropped out, getting a job at a slaughter house where she would watch pigs get their throats slit while she was on lunch break—for fun. She got promotions quickly, doing the jobs nobody else wanted, and learning skills that would come in handy later in her life. From there, she had a series of marriages and courtships with different blokes. Most relationships were bad. You know, like the man had to flee to a different town for fear of his own life, and she stalked them there taking people hostage at knife point across the Australian countryside kind of bad. Katherine Knight got arrested for some of this, packed off to mental institution and sometimes left in as little as a day. Eventually, after a few arrests and several turns in mental houses, she met John Price. And this was the one. After some time of abuse (she stabbed him once, like you do), he eventually got a restraining order put on her, and the day he was in court, she planned her ultimate psycho night. In short, she had sex with him in new lingerie, then when he slept, stabbed him 37 times. After that, she skinned him, beheaded him, cooked him, took a ton of sleeping pills, and went night night next to his body. After plating up the dinner she fixed from his body, she left it on the dining room table with invitation cards for each of his kids to sit down and eat. So, how bad was Katherine Knight during her earlier relationships? What advice did her own mom give to men who were marrying her? What did she do to her own daughter that got her locked up? How did she serve John Price, and did she eat any of him? What is she like now that she’s in prison? What record breaking sentence did she get from the courts? How did she keep getting away with all of her assaults and kidnappings? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 361: Unplugged – Monkey Cat Mystery
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we hit you with some true crime and talk about an alleged serial killer…wait. No, we don’t. We intended to, but we kind of f@(#d up and researched a guy we already did a show on. His name is Wayne Bertram Williams, and he is thought by some to be the Atlanta Child Killer. But, we already did him back on episode 167, and we were out of time, so we just sort of wing it instead and have an episode that we consider unplugged. What's it like to be unplugged? Well, we talk about all kinds of stuff instead: Brent’s obsession with XXX El Yucateco. Dave’s obsession with popcorn at night. Brad’s obsession with children and the punching of them. After the dirty thirty, we visit a site that gives us random topics, and talk about the following (thanks to Brad’s dice rolling skills). Gymnastics, the Olympics, monkey cats, barbers, pipe organs, camels, and camel toes. Which of us wanted to get involved in gymnastics as a youth? Which of us loves the Olympics and why? What’s the deal with the surge in barbers lately, and what is it truly like to get a haircut at a black barber shop? Who among us has played a pipe organ, and how do they work? Why are camels such majestic creatures, and which one of us doesn’t to see camel toes? You may think it’s just an hour of dickery, and you may be right. It is us unplugged at our very best.
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Episode 360: Black Eyed Children – Don’t Let Them In!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we get all supernatural and talk about the phenomenon of Black Eyed Children. They could be a Web-based urban legend; they could be real deal spooky dookie. Either way, they have the potential to chupacabra you when you’re trying to sleep! So, what exactly are Black Eyed Children and what do they do? Well, since 1996, they have been reported on the net. You can find lots of descriptions of alleged encounters (I’m looking at you Reddit!) if you dig for them. The typical encounter has the following features. Someone is asleep late at night, typically during a storm. There is a loud knock at the door. Upon looking through the peep hole, they discover two children holding hands: one is typically around 16 and the other around 6 or 8 years old. The kids ask to come inside the house in a flat but sing-songy voice, and they often say that their parents are coming. Instead of wanting to help children in a storm in the middle of the night, people are filled with mistrust and terror—and that is all before the victims notice that kid's eyes are lightless black orbs or holes ripped in their faces. When people refuse to let them in, the Black Eyed Children either repeat themselves or get pissed off. There is often trouble with the house’s power, and dogs and cats often freak out or die over the next few days. This was first reported on a ghost hunter forum back in 1998 by a man named Brian Bethel, two years after he encountered Black Eyed Children (they were outside of his car instead of his house, but that’s a common variation). Since then, people have looked into the phenomenon, written books, made horror movies, all that you would expect. So, much like with alien abductions, the truth may be out there, but it’s hard to find. The more this spreads on the net, the greater the change for hoaxes or people who have scared themselves into thinking they had this experience. But there are a lot of stories out there, and some even end with the home owners letting them in. It’s not a good idea. Give us a listen to find out why. You have some men in black that show up along the way as well. So, are the Black Eyed Children a hoax, an urban legend, a real thing? Why is there no photographic evidence? What health problems do the allegedly cause to people they come near? Why do they want to see Mortal Kombat at the theater? What powers do they have? How are they connected to Men in Black? Why can’t they come in without you letting them? Listen, laugh, learn. Interview with Bethel: https://jimharold.com/can-we-come-in-the-lore-of-the-black-eyed-children-ryan-spragues-hidden-auditorium/ Drone Footage of  one in England: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za4nOvt99YE Vermont Case: http://weekinweird.com/2016/01/28/witness-report-i-let-the-black-eyed-children-into-my-home-and-now-im-slowly-dying/
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Episode 359: Crazy Horse – A Tale of Massacres, Visions, and Betrayal
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go to the old west and look at life, death, struggle, and battles of the Lakota Sioux warrior called Crazy Horse. Born around 1840 in what is currently Rapid Springs, South Dakota, he was called something radically less impressive when he was a kid. Due to his abnormally light skin and curly hair, he was called “Light-Haired Boy” by his mother, and the name stuck. He was a quiet, isolated child, and many think this is because of his different physical appearance. But he had a big heart and cared deeply about his people, so much so that when he was only five years old, he even gave away a few months’ worth of his family’s food in one night when his village was suffering a harsh winter. This spirit stayed with him all the way to his death—if you were on his side! Eventually, he fought in some battles and earned his father’s old nickname of Crazy Horse (and his father changed his name to Worm!). As he was nearing adulthood, Crazy Horse decided to go on a vision quest, like you do. However, he eschewed the ritualistic one performed in his society and went out onto the plains to do it by himself. While there, he received a vision that he should always dress plainly, never put more than one feather in his hair, never horde material possessions, and never wear a war bonnet. He did this his entire life, and many thought his lifestyle granted him mystical abilities to never get harmed in battle, because, boy, did he battle! When he was just a teen ager, he fought in one of his first major skirmishes, and he charged at the front of all the others along with an infamous old warrior named Hump. He saved Hump’s life doing things that only Crazy Horse would do, and the two of them were fast friends and war buddies until Hump’s death in battle sometime later. Eventually, the White Man started to settle in Lakota territory and expand. Forts, soldiers, railroads, and land grabs came with them. This lead to a horrible incident surrounding a cow, a dead chief, and a massacre of soldiers called the Grattan Massacre. This in turn led to more and more US troops heading to the area and more and more massacres, treaties, and broken treaties. The most important of these was a treaty that barred white people from the Black Hills, which General Custer broke by looking for gold. This led to a massive escalation until the Battle of Little Big Horn where Crazy Horse and Chief Sitting Bull destroyed him and his forces. So, why did Crazy Horse stay to deal with US Army oppression when even leaders like Sitting Bull high tailed it Canada? How many massacres was he a part of? Did he ever get harmed in battle? What happened with the woman he fell in love with, and why did it lead to her husband shooting Crazy Horse in the jaw? How many times did the US screw him with bad deals? How did he die, why did it deal with a white soldier protecting a Sioux? What’s up with his monument that will be the largest in the world once complete? Listen, laugh, learn. Very Thorough Bio: http://indians.org/indigenous-peoples-literature/crazy-horse-oglala.html
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Episode 358: Todd Kolhepp – Your Average American Monster
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look into some True Crime and discuss the murder spree of a man named Todd Kolhepp. Todd Kolhepp doesn’t get the infamy or big buzz of your typical serial killer, but he killed plenty of people and did some really nasty stuff. Maybe he’s too new to make the killer hall of fame (he just got sentenced last year), and maybe it was his unique choice of murder weapon (well, unique for a serial killer anyway), but this guy was sick from teenage years on and ticked all the boxes when he was a kid. So who is Todd Kolhepp? He was a Florida man, born there and raised in the south. He had a strange relationship with his mother and father, who divorced when he was a small child. His time was then split between parents and a stepfather who he didn’t care for, and he grew up violent and angry. He killed animals, like you do, and when he finally got to spend time living with his dad, he learned his father’s favorite pass time—collecting weapons and making improvised explosives! When he was 15 years old, his true colors finally shone through. He kidnapped a 14 year old girl, tied her up at gunpoint, raped her, and then walked her home telling her he’d kill her siblings if she told her parents. She told her parents. Todd Kohlepp did 14 years for that one and had to register as a sex offender. While in prison, he was deemed to be intelligent but impossible to redeem. He got a degree while on the inside and once freed in 2001, he got another degree and a real estate license that he lied to obtain. He was considered one of the most successful realtors in his area and had a large staff working under him in a seemingly normal life. He had a girlfriend for ten years, and everything was fine. Well, that is if by fine, you mean he started to murder people. One time, he was in a motorcycle shop trying to return a motorcycle he didn’t know how to ride. The staff laughed at him, and he went back the next day and shot them all dead. Then there was the time he killed to contractors working on his property and buried their bodies on site. Oh, and there was the time he bought 100 acres of land and shipping container to use as a rape house. And don’t forget when he shot a girl’s boyfriend and then chained her up and raped her twice a day for a few months until he was caught. So, why did he only kill with a pistol unlike most serial killers? Why don’t we think he’s actually a serial killer? How many other people did he kill? Was he also a bank robber? How did his girlfriend find out she was supposed to be his next victim? Where to hacking a Facebook account and writing Amazon user reviews of murder weapons come into play in his trial? Listen, laugh, learn.   Amazon Reviews: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3912382/South-Carolina-serial-killer-Todd-Kohlhepp-left-chilling-Amazon-reviews.html  
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Episode 357: Lost Colony of Roanoke: Potatoes Make The World Go Round
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we go back in time and look at one of the earliest mysteries in American history, the lost colony of Roanoke. Roanoke was supposed to be the first English colony in the new world, a base to explore and fight the dreaded Spanish Armada from. However, the place seemed to be cursed, and in spite of multiple attempts to settle it, the colony ultimately disappeared, right down to the buildings, people, bodies, and artifacts. All that remained was the mysterious word CROATOAN carved on a single remaining fence post. So what happened? In 1584, Queen Elizabeth I gave Sir Walter Raleigh permission to found her first colony. He gathered a ship and sent some advanced scouts who landed and settled on Roanoke Island off the coast of what is now known as North Carolina. They landed on July 4, 1585 but it didn’t go well. The newbies accused natives of stealing a silver cup from them, and they got pissed and burned the Aquascogoc village to the ground. Not a great start. Even with this violence (and a lack of food brought on by losing a ship and a massive drought), they left over 100 men to build a fort and get things started. Meanwhile, the explorers brought tobacco, maize, and potatoes to England and the queen, and the so a larger group was sent to help settle Roanoke. However, when they got there, the place had been burned to the ground by retaliatory natives, and all the colonists were slaughtered. So, this new force of 115 people decided to remake the colony. With no real supplies. In a drought. Cut off from England by the Spanish Armada. With pissed off locals. What could go wrong? Well, that’s the question. When the mayor left for England to get more supplies and men, it took three years before he could return. This delay was based on war, weather, and greed, but he just couldn’t get back to his daughter and granddaughter. When he did get there, the colony was simply gone. No people. No buildings. Just the singular word carved on the fence post. So, what happened? Did the colonists build a new ship and die trying to return and escape the worst drought in 800 years? Were they slaughtered by the Spanish or the natives? Did the assimilate into Croatoan culture? Was there cannibalism, space aliens, chupacabras? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 356: The Jersey Devil: Look It’s a Bat, It’s A Kangaroo, No It’s The Devil
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at a cryptid that allegedly causes more trouble in New Jersey than, well, people from New Jersey. Our topic? The Jersey Devil. This mythical (?) creature has been reported in the Pine Barrens for centuries. It looks like a wyvern or a kangaroo with claws, hooves, and wings. It gives a blood chilling scream, and by many accounts is immune to gunfire (and, yes, cannonballs). But the Jersey Devil may be two different creatures or two different myths. The first was actually called the Leeds Devil, and it was the popular version of this creature from 1735 until 1909. The legend has it that Mother Leeds (a poor woman in the Barrens with 12 children) got pregnant a 13th time and cursed the child since she had no way to feed it. A healthy son was born, and in no time, he sprouted horns and wings a forked tail, and claws, and killed the midwife before bailing out the chimney. This Leeds Devil supposedly lived in the Barrens ever sense. Or not. Historians look at the fact that the Pine Barrens were dense and scary, full of brigands and thieves, and full of other spooky myths like the ghost of the Black Doctor and the Black Dog. Also, Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac was at war with an almanac owned by the Leeds family, and he smeared Titan Leeds and called him a ghost. That coupled with the Leeds crest (which is a funky looking wyvern) mixed with the puritans of the region and created the Leeds Devil in response. However, in 1909, things took a turn. In a matter of a week, hundreds of sightings of the newly christened Jersey Devil happened. It encountered three different cops (and was shot at by all three), harassed a cab driver, and crashed parties. This happened again in 1925 and every few years since. In the olden days, mass hysteria could account for it (since there was no X-Files or internet to spread the rumors). But in the newer days there aren’t any solid photos or forensic evidence, so this one is kind of sketchy. There are even grainy Big Foot photos, but through it all, the people of the area fully have faith in the devil’s child that is the Jersey Devil.
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Episode 355: Jeffrey Alan Lash – The CIA Alien Cult Leader Con Man
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look at the case of a most mysterious man named Jeffrey Alan Lash. His case may be unknown to many, but it sensationalized the news media of Los Angeles in 2015. In July of that year, Jeffrey Alan Lash was found dead in his SUV near his home in Palisades Park. He was packed in dry ice and wrapped in blankets. He was left there, so his super-elite covert team could recover his body. When the LAPD got there, they discovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, 1200 firearms, a bullet proof car, and six tons of ammunition. Quite simply, the dead Jeffrey Alan Lash was a spy. Or a conman. Or a cult leader. Or an alien hybrid. You listen, you decide. Lash was born in Westchester and had a normal upbringing by all accounts. He dropped out of UCLA, and in the late 1980s, he started a 20 year romance with a woman named Michelle Lyons. The only problem was, when she bought a condo, he secured a room that she could never enter. And he gave her a false name. And he told her he was a spy. She said he was “the one” and stayed with him, even as he amassed an arsenal. Eventually, he told her a big operation was happening, and he had to move in with a another woman. And so it went. Eventually, Jeffrey Alan Lash moved in with Catherine Nebron (and her husband?), and befriended Nebron’s personal assistant Dawn Marie VadBunker. After only one meeting with Lash, Dawn Marie started eating raw meat and told her mother that Lash was an alien hybrid bent on saving the world. Like you do. So after years of living under the alias Bob Smith, amassing weapons and cash, and being paranoid, Lash finally succumbed to some sort of cancer. As per his instructions, they packed his body on ice, so his mercenary group could dispose of it, and VadBunker and Nebron bugged out to Oregon for a time. But, no group ever took his body, so there it rotted until the LAPD was tipped off. So, how did this Oregon move lead to a missing person’s report? Where did VadBunker end up, and how does it connect to a mystical healer code-named Tara? Why did VadBunker cut off all ties to her mother and daughters? Why did Jeffrey Alan Lash eat a diet of raw grass fed meat? How did nobody manage to get arrested by the LAPD when they found this two week old corpse rotting in a car? Was this guy a tinker, a tailor, a soldier, a spy? A conman, a grifter, a cultist, a reptoid? Listen, laugh, learn. Interview with reporter Zaron Burnett III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acQlrq76IbE   Hollywood Reporter Story: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/a-decomposing-body-10-duped-girlfriends-saga-alien-con-man-hollywoods-backyard-1037967    
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Bonus Episode: New Year’s Alphabeticals
This is a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. If you're after our normal content, a well-researched (ahem...) look at topics like serial killers, cults, and conspiracy theories with an occasional look at West Side rapper (it is, after all, the best side), look to a different episode. If you're after a quick talk about new years, ball dropping (the shiny ones, not our own), Seacrest, champagne, New Year's Resolutions, new Alphabeticals, and Impregnable Armor Against an Implacable Foe, this is the place for you. We also reveal the results of some interviews we did with some of our Patreon members and talk about their often unique holiday customs. From pickle pants to decking the Halls, you don't want to miss this.
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Bonus Episode: Ho-Ho-Hooker Canoe
Walter saw his son and daughter safely tucked into their beds. His wife, Edna, was down in the basement wrapping all the gifts. They'd both been working overtime shifts to get them exactly what they wanted. For little Joey, they saved enough money to get him Wommie, the robot Wombat. It did everything real Wombats did, according to the commercial; it had a backward pouch that avoided getting full of soil, and it ate grasses and sedges like Roomba but for the lawn. It pooped out chocolate, somehow. It was very expensive. Carla was a bit older. She wanted a lot of makeup and a new bananaPhone. The makeup was easy, but the bPhone was a tall order. Turns out, Walter's baby sitter's boyfriend worked at the Banana Store as a Plantain Genius, and he scored the last one of the season. Walter decided to pull a fast one and put it in the stocking, since they kids opened those last, just to see the baubles and trinkets. Get Calra's hopes up and down and up again. Good tactic. But what was that noise? Something on the roof. Walter laughed because for half a second, he thought it would be Santa. That magic died very hard, even as an adult. He took the bPhone and placed it in Carla's stocking with care, and damned if he didn't see a bunch of soot around the floor of the fireplace. Then, some fell down. There actually WAS something on the roof. He ran to the kitchen to get his flashlight, and he hurried back to the chimney. He laid low, so he could see up the chimney flue, but it was too dark. Suddenly, he face right next to the soot, he saw it had been disturbed. It looked like, but it couldn't be, a footprint. It was too small. It would have been, what, a size one? He laughed for a second at the notion but then shined the light on it. He saw an impression in the print. "Keds." He was here. Walter's sins were finally catching up with him. Tampering with space time had consequences, and he had heard tales of black hounds that would run through time righting the wrongs committed by those would would meddle with the nature of such things. And oh, how Walter had meddled. But this. This was much worse. There was a crunch, and he looked toward the end table. The plate with Santa's cookies was empty. Another crunch. He was eating the cookies. "Ho, ho, ho," he heard the voice say near the door the basement. Then, "What you talkin bout Walter," and the door slammed shut and was locked from the inside. Edna. He came for Edna. There was a laugh, and a scream, and spotlight shining in the windows as the military helicopters circled the house. Coleman had come, and Walter had been naughty. Oh, and we answer some questions about Christmas and stuff in this Christmas-themed bonus episode of The Sofa King Podcast.
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Episode 354: The Eggnog Riots – The Ultimate Hangover
In this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look back in time and talk about the little-known but awesome Christmas mutiny at West Point Military Academy known as the Eggnog Riots. On Christmas Eve back in 1826, roughly 90 students at this military school got loaded on spiked eggnog and caused problems. Major problems. They tore up buildings, threatened lives, shot guns at people, and even hit people with logs! What lead to this gross dereliction of military decorum? You might say whiskey (and you’d be right), but there were other ingredients as well. To begin with, West Point was a ramshackle school that let anyone in, and after a bad couple of wars, Congress funded it to become the bastion of officer training it is today. The man who did this was Sylvanus Thayer. Aside from being considered the father of West Point (and sounding very much like someone who would battle Harry Potter), he was also a harsh disciplinarian. He created draconic rules that included a zero tolerance no-alcohol and tobacco policy, and he whipped the cadets into shape by giving them virtually no freedoms. They couldn’t leave campus; they couldn’t cook food. And did I mention that they couldn’t drink? So, the year of his liquor ban, the cadets decided to have a wee party, and they paid a sentinel to look the other way while they crept across the Hudson River and bought some whiskey. Five gallons or so. On Xmas eve, they started drinking their heavily spiked Eggnog, and the Eggnog Riots were born. Much of the mayhem involves a military history instructor who kept creeping in on the parties to break them up. He arrested Jefferson Davis (yes, the guy who went on to become the president of the Confederacy), and we talk about Davis’ drunken youth quite a bit. After a lot of whiskey-fueled dickery, the professor finally started to break up the party in earnest, and the cadets decided to arm themselves with blades and pistols and kill him for ruining their fun (like you do). And the Eggnog Riots were off and running. What happened next in the Eggnog Riot was a night of madness. They hit another officer with a  log and left him unconscious in a stair well; they ran around brandishing swords and pistols. They smashed windows, tore about the dorm, and readied themselves for war against the Army soldiers they thought were coming. So, how did the participants in the Eggnog Riots try to kill the professor and what went wrong in the attempt? What kept Jefferson Davis from getting court-martialed? How many students ended up getting arrested? Why did they tear down the dorm that hosted the party, and how was the new dorm designed so this would never happened again? Listen, laugh, learn. Good Article on It: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/egg-nog-its-all-fun-and-games-until-someone-starts-a-holiday-riot-180949281/#dShz66KYUWk6APy1.99  
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Episode 353: Bill Murray – The One-Man Meme
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we get stuck in a time loop, caddy some shacks, and ain't afraid of no ghosts as we talk about the popular culture icon, comedian, and actor: Bill Murray. Bill Murray is known for his comedy roles (and more lately some pretty inspiring drama roles in indie flicks like Lost in Translation and anything by Wes Anderson), but he’s gained a meme-worthy following based on the random sightings and “Bill Murray Stories” that pop up on the internet these days. Born in the shadow of Chicago, Illinois, Murray was the fifth of nine children. Three of his brothers and one sister (who is also a nun) went into acting and/or comedy with some level of success, but it took a while to get there. Bill was feisty and rebellious as a youth and even fell on the wrong side of the law while attempting to smuggle nine pounds of marijuana out of Chicago O’Hare airport! This led him to follow his brother Brian-Doyle Murray into the famous Second City Improv group, and things were never the same after that. He excelled at comedy, and within a few short years, he was working with John Belushi for National Lampoon and eventually took the spot Chevy Chase vacated in Saturday Night Live. From there, he launched a movie career, headlining comedy giants such as Caddyshack, Ghost Busters, and Ground Hog Day. After a hiatus and then more comedy, he found a second wave of success with Lost in Translation, and this was the start of his indie film career. But none of this is as important as his stories. He now Murray-bombs regular people all over the world. He steals their fries. He covers their eyes while they piss at a urinal and whispers “no one will ever believe this.” He crashes parties, just to do people’s dirty dishes, and he drives cabbies around in their own city. His tendency to have gonzo run-ins with every day folks has given him a cult like following, and we talk about the best of the stories as well as the movie The Bill Murray Stories. We have some good laughs on this one and argue a lot about his best movies. Great Rolling Stone Article: https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/being-bill-murray-175080/ The Bill Murray Stories: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7329810/
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Episode 352: Lewis and Clark (And Sacagawea) – The Ultimate Mapquest
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we do what Brad calls “8th Grade History for Adults,” and we look at the adventures of Lewis and Clark. William Clark and Meriwether Lewis famously explored a path from St. Louis to Oregon in the early 1800s, a path no white man had ever taken before. It was sanctioned by President Jefferson (who was close personal friends with Lewis), and the entire nation was watching these men brave hostile tribes, thieves, weather, starvation, and wooly mammoths (Jefferson may have gotten that part wrong) on their travel. And of course, none of it would been possible without the 16-year-old Sacagawea, the daughter of a Shoshone chief (who was pregnant and made most of the arduous journey with a newborn on her back!). The whole expedition is tied up around the Louisiana Purchase in which America bought a substantial part of its land. However, the land hadn’t been explored by Euro folks, so someone had to find a path to the West in order to beat Spain to the punch. President Jefferson chose Lewis who knew Clark from a court martial several years back, and the team was founded. Lewis and Clark hunkered down and recruited several dozen men and loaded up three ships with thousands and thousands of pounds of supplies, weapons, and whiskey and coffee (they weren’t savages!). Along the way, they lost a member due to medical problems, fought with the Blackfoot, built a couple of forts to survive long winters, and saw hundreds of species of animals never seen by the white man before. They whipped people for sleeping on the job, lost some ships to storms, bought horses from long lost brothers, and even wrapped native babies in American flags! So, what American general and spy convinced the Spanish to capture or kill Lewis and Clark, and why didn’t it work? What did Sacagawea do that kept this party alive? What was the story with Sacagawea and her French-Canadian rapist, slave-owner husband? What did Clark’s slave named York contribute? Who gave the men venereal diseases during a long winter stay? Why do people think Lewis died by suicide instead of murder? What happened to Sacagawea’s baby? How did they all survive when the Donner Party didn't? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place! On this bonus episode, we answer some of the following questions about our high school careers: Were we loaners or the cool kid? Who inspired us? Would we be friends or enemies with our past selves? Were we straight arrows or did we ditch school? And many more! So, if you want to hear a casual bonus episode where we BS a little and have some laughs, this is the one for you. If you are an information hound or a Sofa King purist, you can go to any other episode and get your fix. Also, we do a live-stream for our $10 and above Patrons on these episodes. We really appreciate all you do to support us, and we try our best to give you unique shout outs. If you like the show or just want a fancy shout out, visit us at https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 351: Gilles de Rais: The Dracula of France!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we travel back to castle times and explore the life, myth, and legacy of a French nobleman named Gilles de Rais—the Dracula of France! This man went from celebrated war hero to ally with the infamous Joan of Arc to church owner to theater producer to demon summoner to serial killer and pedophile. Maybe. Unless it was all a plot by the church and the French nobility to discredit the guy. It’s a wild story. So it all begins in the 1400s where Gilles de Rais was born to a wealthy noble family. When he was young, he studied military tactics as well as academics, but when his parents both died in the same year, his life took a turn. He was then raised by his grandfather who tried to pimp him out on wealthy noble girls to get him to marry into even richer families, but it never quite worked out. Eventually Gilles de Rais joined the militia and made a quick name for himself as a soldier. He captured key enemy officers, was known for reckless bravery on the battlefield, and earned lands and monies throughout his young career. Eventually, he joined up with Joan of Arc in some of her most famous battles and some say he was often her right hand man. After Joan’s untimely end, Gilles retired to civilian life and opened his own church to get away from things he didn’t like about the Catholic church. He also bankrolled one of the most expensive theatrical productions of all time while trying to revisit his glory days; the two things made him burn through money, so he ended up turning to other means of making money, like you do, so he tried to summon demons. The demons didn’t ever turn up, but his staff sorcerers advised him that the body parts of children would make them come, and so, he started killing kids. Horribly. And having sex with their exposed bowels, collecting their heads, and burning the bodies. Or maybe not. In 1992, some folks decided this may have been a smear campaign since Gilles de Rais was so beloved of the people that he was a threat to the crown and the church. The demons and serial killing may have been a way to make him lose love with the FFPs and get taken down a notch. So how many did he allegedly kill? What was his preferred method of execution? Who was the demon he tried to summon, and why did Aleister Crowley think he was innocent? Listen, laugh, learn.    
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Episode 350: The Great Depression: Calamity or Conspiracy?
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we ask if a brother can spare a dime and look back at the horrible decade known as The Great Depression. This was the roughest period of global finance in the modern world, and it saw American crippled with unemployment, bank closures, farm closures, and suicides the likes of which the world has never seen before or sense. Was it a fluke of bad economics or a conspiracy by the 1% in charge of the economy? Listen and be the judge. After a period of (artificial) economic growth in American known as the Roaring Twenties, the bottom dropped out of just about everything, and the economic world took a nose dive. This was caused by several factors and culminated in the infamous Black Thursday where billions of dollars and millions of shares of stock were lost all in a day (and even more were lost the following Tuesday). This famously led to scores of suicides by investors, and it crippled the global economy. In the midst of all this turmoil, there was also ecological problems as the Dust Bowl crippled farming in the middle of America. With no money, layoffs were epidemic. In most of the nation, 25% of Americans had no work, and in some spots, it was as high as 80% or 90%. Banks collapsed since there was no money left for people to withdraw, and some estimates are that roughly half the children in the nation were left without enough food, medical care, or even a place to live thanks to the Great Depression. So, why do some people think this whole thing was a conspiracy theory? Who would stand to gain from such a horrible turn of events? What does this have to with the American federal banking system? What did President Hoover do that was so hated, and what did his replacement FDR do that was so loved? How long did it take for the economy to recover? He brother, can you spare a dime? Where do the Rothschilds, the Kennedys, and the Rockefellers come in? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: L M N O P P P Purple Panty Pamburger Patties
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place! On this bonus episode, we answer some of the following: Should boxing be banned? Should the internet be restricted? Should we go Nuclear? Patawong ping pong played in a pissing pageant? And many more! So, if you want to hear a casual bonus episode where we BS a little and have some laughs, this is the one for you. If you are an information hound or a Sofa King purist, you can go to any other episode and get your fix. Also, we do a live-stream for our $10 and above Patrons on these episodes. We really appreciate all you do to support us, and we try our best to give you unique shout outs. If you like the show or just want a fancy shout out, visit us at https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 349: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: The People’s Champ!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, know our role, shut our mouths, and smell what our topic is cookin. Our topic? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock is currently the highest paid actor in Hollywood, with a series of movies that have grossed a total of $8.1 Billion! But, he started from humble, if not auspicious beginnings. Dwayne Johnson was the son of professional wrestler Rocky Johnson and grandson of the legendary Peter "High Chief" Fanene Maivia. He grew up moving from state to state following his father’s career in the ring, back when wrestling didn’t pay much. They had financial hardships, and at points, Johnson’s mother was suicidal, but they made it through Not interested in the family business, but a very gifted athlete, he started a career in football that saw him set records at the state level, move to college ball, and eventually start in the CFL as a professional baller. After some injuries, however, he called it quits and decided to hit up Vince McMahon and start wrestling. This decision change the face of popular culture. Within a few short years, Johnson went from a character called Flex Kavana to an upstart and charismatic guy known as Rocky Maivia. As “The Rock,” he dominated the WWF. He had epic rivals with Stone Cold Steve Austin, teamed up with the legendary Hulk Hogan, and became a tag team partner to Mick Foley during what is now known as "The Attitude Era." He won the WWF/WWE championship a whopping 17 times, showing that he had the heat to stay on top. Eventually, he started getting small acting roles in action films, and that blossomed into an industry of The Rock being on top of that game as well. From his role as the Scorpion King to his box office dominance in the Fast and Furious movies, he built a movie personal like no others. He does comedy with the likes of Kevin Hart, stars as a shell shocked super star in Southland Tales, and even voices Maui in Disney’s Moana. From bestselling author to Guinness World Record Holder, The Rock is one the most important people in all of entertainment. Even if you don’t like professional wrestling, the story of The Rock’s success is pretty epic, so give this one a listen and learn the tale of The Brahma Bull, the People’s Champion, The Great One, and the Most Electrifying Man in Entertainment.   Best Of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUjla7U4Lv4   Crazy thorough timeline: http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/bios/r/the-rock/   Kevin Hart Baby Photo: https://wjla.com/news/entertainment/someone-photo-shopped-kevin-harts-face-on-the-picture-of-the-rocks-new-baby-daughter   The Rock Concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHC2o3E2HcI
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Patreon Shoutout: Brothels (A Breakers Podcast Tribute)
Dave is still gone / We will return to our normal schedule next week Show: Kings of the Sofa Season 6, Episode 1: "Mortal Wombat" Genre: Situation Comedy Run Time: 4:44 Minutes Rating: TV-MA (Suggestive Dialogue, Coarse or Crude Language, Sexual Situations, Violence) Summary: Brad holds a garage sale, and when Sherry sells his most beloved stuffed wombat, the guys are amazed at the lengths he goes to in order to get it back. Brent and Patti learn how to bake cakes, so they can surprise their significant others, but the key ingredient in the frosting causes hallucinations. Dave hates his life. Guest stars, Jackée Harry and George Wendt.
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Patreon Shoutout: Good Morning Orion: Volume One
This is not a normal Episode. The following is a Patreon shout out to hold you over while Dave is out of town. We appreciate your patience and will return to our normal schedule soon. In the meantime we have a huge back catalog to hold you over please dig back and dust off and oldie. Good morning, Orion What you got here is the virgin broadcast of Radio 1. I trust that you use Radio 1 for all your radio needs, and that's not just because we're the only station on Orion. Instead, I like to think it's because you've got the host with the most. Me. Good old Tanglewire Tom Warson. And if Tanglewire knows one thing, its he's worthy of giving a listenin to. Check out this weeks Patreon Shout out.
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Bonus Episode: How Many Eggs Go Where?
On this very special bonus episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we do things a little differently. This is our second installment of our Thanksgiving bonus mojo! So, instead of our usual research-based discussion on topics selected by our listeners, we turn to some fan generated questions about Thanksgiving. Tis the season, after all. If you wonder how we take our food, if we like gravy, how much we drink to drown our sorrows, what we are thankful for, or anything else, this is the episode for you! If you want us to research conspiracy theories, cults, serial killers, and people of interest, guess what? Suck it! Not gonna happen on this one. Go to another episode for all that jazz. This one is all about busting out the cranberries, slathering things in gravy, and letting our belts out a notch.
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Bonus Episode: It’s the Great Tofurkey, Charlie Brown!
On this very special bonus episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we do things a little differently. Instead of our usual research-based discussion on topics selected by our listeners, we turn to some fan generated questions about Thanksgiving. Tis the season, after all. If you wonder how we take our food, if we like gravy, how much we drink to drown our sorrows, what we are thankful for, or anything else, this is the episode for you! If you want us to research conspiracy theories, cults, serial killers, and people of interest, guess what? Suck it! Not gonna happen on this one. Go to another episode for all that jazz. This one is all about busting out the cranberries, slathering things in gravy, and letting our belts out a notch.
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Episode 348: Virginia Tech: Mental Health and Mass Murder
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, the Virginia Tech massacre. On April 16 of 2017, South Korea born Seung Hui Cho took two pistols on a deadly rampage across this university campus, killing 32 and wounding 17. From students to faculty, he spared no one, until he finally took his own life. So what was his motivation, and why did this event add the notion of mental health into the national debate on gun control? Cho moved to the US with his parents when he was 8 years old. His family claims he was an unnaturally quiet child, isolated and avoiding physical contact even by family. As he got older, he was diagnosed with severe depression as well as selective mutism, and just two years before the shooting, he was ordered by a judge to seek help for his mental health after a suicide threat. Quite simply, he was not well mentally. Once he started as a student at Virginia Tech, he got in some trouble for disturbing compositions in his creative writing classes (he was an English major), and he was also recorded as having stalked a few female students. With all that background, he decided to buy a pistol, and then 30 days later, buy another one. Then, it was time for him to use them. At 7:15 AM, he shot and killed two students in one of the campus dorms at Virginia Tech. Two hours later (after sending a video manifesto to the new), he stormed a lecture hall and shot up several classrooms. The accounts of the survivors show heroism and horror—from a holocaust survivor who died, so his students could get out the window to a newly recruited member of the US Airforce who died a hero trying to keep Cho from entering his classroom. But of course, since this is a mass shooting, things don’t all add up. What makes people think this one is a conspiracy theory, and how does it stack up to other mass shooting conspiracies? Was Virginia Tech complicit due to faulty security policies? What was Cho’s connection to his victims, or were they random? How did he get so many head shots with guns he had virtually no practice with? What did he say in his rambling tirade that he sent to the media? What do Matt Lauer and Jay Leno have to do with any of this? Listen, laugh, learn. Thorough Timeline: https://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/us/virginia-tech-shootings-fast-facts/index.html
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Episode 347: RMS Queen Mary: Her Haunted History
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we talk about history and hauntings of one of the greatest ships ever to sail the seas, The Queen Mary. Now docked in Long Beach, California and used as a hotel and tourist destination, the RMS Queen Mary has had an interesting past and has undergo many transformations before she became the haunted Grand Dame of the seas that she is today. Built in 1930, the construction of the ship was fraught with problems. There was a Great Depression going on, so the company went broke as she was being built. After a few years in dry dock, the Cunard Line who was building her asked the British Government for help. They did, and after forcing some corporate mergers, the Queen Mary and her sister ship were both completed. The Queen Mary was the fastest ship on the seas for several years, and was larger than the Titanic. She was a passenger and mail liner from England to the US for years, until the break of World War Two. When the war broke out, she was retrofitted from a luxury liner to a troop transport and would regularly take as many as 15,000 seamen from Australia to England to help in the war. Known as the Gray Ghost, she set a record for the most people ever moved on one cruise that she still holds to this day. The Queen Mary was so fast that Nazi U-Boats couldn’t catch her; indeed, she was so fast, she once cut another ship in half by sailing right through and cutting it in half! Once the war ended, she ran for several more years until being purchased by the city of Long Beach as a tourist attraction, which she still is today. One of the major draws to this ship now is the haunting. Time Magazine ranks The Queen Mary as one of the top ten most haunted places on earth. There are horrifying occurrences that happen in Suite B340 (which got so bad, they quit letting passengers stay there for years). There are hauntings of both pools on the ship. There is an eerie Lady in White who dances to a silent orchestra. There is the little girl with a teddy bear, the crying baby in the nursery, and the man who was cut in half by Door 13. The hauntings used to be a secret kept by the staff since their knowledge would make people not want to stay there. Now, however, it is a draw, and even though they play it up for business, the history of the ship suggests there is something to the tales of terror from within her decks.
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Episode 346: Hillsborough Disaster: Cops and Cover Ups
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we almost break one of our rules about not talking sports, and we cover the Hillsborough Disaster and Cover Up. In 1989, a horrible crush of thousands of people at a soccer (okay, football…) match killed 96 people and injured over 700. The after-effects lead to suicide and mental trauma on top of physical injuries, and the cause is still open for investigation in the UK. The biggest part of this story is that the police (like, a lot of them) lied to the media and even the inquest about the events. So what lead to the death and the cover up? Mostly, it seems to have been one man, David Duckenfield. He was the head cop on the scene and was brand new to the football arena beat. His predecessor would spend hours walking the stadium to make a plan that would combat the hooliganism of 80’s soccer fans. Duckenfield, however, did practically nothing to set things up. This means that when tens of thousands of people showed up to the small gates that he left open, there was a sudden crush of people who flooded the stadium. After several officers advised him to delay the start of the match and to open and close different gates, he ignored most of them and let things proceed as if the crowd would just manage itself. Surprise! It didn’t. In fact, the mass of people were led through bad gates, and the actions Duckenfield took just added to the Hillsborough Disaster. What made it all worse was that as the crush was happening, he refused to call it in as an emergency and kept spouting the narrative of drunken fans and hooligans, though that wasn’t the reason for the distress. This meant that no firefighters or ambulance drivers could get to the wounded to free or treat them in time. And when the death toll mounted, and the bodies were stacked, the cops lied to the media about the cause of it all and even falsified statements in the official court inquiry. The events of the Hillsborough Disaster led to changes in how soccer stadiums work, and in spite of several ongoing investigations, Duckenfield still hasn’t been held accountable yet. Listen in for our take on who was to blame and the horrors of this stadium massacre. Video of the crush as it happens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6kAtdwNJ5s
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Episode 345: Arnold Schwarzenegger: Get to the Choppa!
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we get pumped and talk about one of the all-time greats of cinema, athletics, action, cigars, and politics: Arnold Schwarzenegger. This icon was born in 1947 (yes, he’s that old now!) in Austria, and his father was a drunken, abusive police chief who was once a paramilitary Nazi who was wounded in the Battle of Stalingrad. Let that sit with you for a minute. Living in a poor, broken home, Arnold turned to the cinema as an escape and fell in love with Hercules movies. This lead to him starting to body build as a teen, and by the time he was 18 and in the army, he was already winning big body building competitions. He took second place at his first Mr. Universe, and in doing so, he met some key people in the weight lifting game and was able to move out of his house and in with a family in London. Training here, he became the youngest winner of Mr. Universe and ultimately was able to move to California, where he trained with the legendary Joe Weider at Gold’s Gym and went on to win competition after competition. This was just a stepping stone in his career path, however, since he also decided to conquer movies. He starred in a truly horrible movie called Hercules in New York. (Surprisingly, it’s about the ancient Greek demigod. In New York. Go figure.) From there, he landed a Golden Globe for a roll opposite Sally Field, and he did a string of small roles leading up to his time as Conan the Barbarian in 1982. Just two years later, he starred in The Terminator, and the rest was history. He went on to make some of the most beloved action films of the 80s and 90s, and Arnold Schwarzenegger became a global household name. So what led to Arnold Schwarzenegger entering politics? What was his relationship to the famous political Kennedy family? Why do some people think he murdered a prominent British politician named Lord Lucan in the 1970s? Did he really beat people up for the mob with a lead pipe covered in plastic wrap? How did he end up running the notoriously Democratic state of California while he is a Republican? What was the story with his affair and illegitimate child? What does this have to do with Bakersfield (home of the Fight Club Studios)? Listen, laugh, learn. Conspiracy Theory of Murder: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xdvvmn/arnold-schwarzenegger-murder-conspiracy Hercules in New York Scene. So bad it's good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMUZect_pgY
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Episode 344: Thuggee: Indian Assassination Cult
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we mix two of our listeners’ favorite topics--cults and serial killers--and we talk about the Thuggee Assassin Cults of India. This group terrorized the Indian countryside for almost five centuries, were the root of the English word “thug,” and according to some experts were responsible for the murder of an estimated 2 Million people. Their most notorious member, King Thug, was said to have killed 931, making him the most prolific serial killer in all of human history. So, what did these people believe, and why did they kill? Well, it was to avert the apocalypse. You see, they believed that the goddess Kali was going to come and bring the end to this life cycle on Earth, thereby killing all humans. They thought that by making regular sacrifices to her, they would satiate her and keep her from coming back to Earth. They were true heroes! Based on an ancient legend involving a demon whose blood would create more demons, the Thuggee cult would only kill using means that didn’t shed blood, typically strangling to death using the yellow sash they wore. After the murders, they would perform a ceremony involving sacred sugar and a holy pickaxe to bury the body. They were amazingly secretive, and even the member’s wives didn’t know they were married to Thuggee cult murderers. Often, fathers would recruit their sons (for generation aftr generation) to join and have them witness their first murder at age ten and kill a few years after. When the men got too old to kill, they became assassin training gurus or spies or even cooks, anything they could do to keep Kali at bay. So, who did their religion allow them to kill, and who was off limits? What tactics did the Thuggee use to kill and stalk their victims? What did the British Sir William Henry Sleeman do in order to finally destroy the terrifying reign of the Thuggee Cult? How were they able to travel and get support from Thugs they had never met? How did mass graves lead to their downfall, and why did society turn a blind eye to hundreds of years of mass murders? Most importantly, what does all of this have to do with Indiana Jones? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: Things That Go Bump
On this very special bonus episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we creep it real and answer questions from listeners about everyone's favorite pagan rite, Halloween. That's right, we are rolling straight outta coffin for a spooktacular, fangtastic, episode. We have some skeli-fun and get this party startled based on answering questions that you posed to us. You can't skele-run from my skele-puns. What is wrong with me? Why can't I stop? I mean, I would make a skeleton joke, but you wouldn't find it very humerus. Help me please. These puns are un-BOO-lievable. I'm laughin' so hard I'm coffin. What questions do we answer, you may be asking: What is the worst scary movie we've ever seen? How often do kids really get candy with needles in them? How do we feel about some states that fine teenagers from trick or treating? Who wins: Jason, Freddy, Myers. Settled by Superfight! What do we think about haunted house attractions at amusement parks? What is the craziest Halloween party we've ever been to? And many, many more! For the record, a lot of people asked questions about the history of Halloween and all sorts of stuff that require research and an episode that isn't a bonus episode. Surprise, peasants! We already did this a loooong time ago, back on episode 39: Halloween: Vandalism or Treat? As always, thanks to our listeners and patrons for the support and questions. If you dig the show, why not be a suporter? You can visit us at our Patreon, and for the price of a cup of coffee a month, you can stop being an FFP. For a few dollars more, you get exlusive tee shirts, live streaming, and all sorts of goodies. Come on! Do it! You know you want to? El Yucateco is our primary sponsor, but your support is really awesome and shows us that we are loved. We need that. Especially Brad. Plus, how else will we afford whiskey and keep ourselves in Boos (you thought the puns were over...).
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Episode 343: USO: Flying Saucers of the Deep
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we realize that the truth is out there, and we explore the wild stories of Unidentified Submerged Objects, or USOs. USOs are the underwater equivalent of a UFO. They are unidentified to be sure, and they typically both fly and move underwater as well. USO tales range from sketchy speculation to pretty crazy accounts involving various militaries, police, and civilians simultaneously. From orbs of light and crafts out flying jet fighters to week long military hunts and giant sea people, the USO is where it’s at. So, what accounts exist? Here’s a quick run-down: 1982 Lake Baikal in USSR: This may be our favorite. It happens in the oldest lake on Earth, and it involves a fight between Soviet naval divers and nine foot tall humanoids who leave their USO and attack with sonar weapons that give the Russians the bends! USS Nimitz Encounter: The New York Times uncovered an account of a USO butting heads with the US Navy off the shore of San Diego in 2004. It involves an air craft carrier, a gun ship, six different fighter planes, and even comes with a video of the thing flying through the night sky with pilots tripping out on what it could be. (Go here for the video and the official Naval record: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a14456936/that-time-the-us-navy-had-a-close-encounter-with-a-ufo/) Point Dume Alien Base: A strange structure on the ocean floor a few miles away from Malibu makes people think it is an alien base propped up on pillars, large enough for submarines to glide through. Baltic Sea Anomaly: This is an alleged downed USO on the ocean floor in the Baltic sea. It was discovered by professional treasure hunters, and it looks eerily like the Millennium Falcon. Feel free to Google this one. Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia: This account is from 1967, and it involves a whole area of the country side, the Canadian Navy, Canadian Mounties, the coast guard, civilian crafts, divers, and a full blown search for a downed airplane that leads to a week-long show down with two USOs and the Canadian Navy. We cover these cases, a crazy one in Norway, and even a USO that messed with Christopher Columbus. If you think aliens are among us, just look to the waters and give this one a listen.
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Episode 342: Dennis Rader: The BTK Killer
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we dive into some more files from our True Crime department and look at the career of the American serial killer, Dennis Rader, also known as BTK. The BTK Killer murdered a total of ten people in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. However, he wasn’t caught and tried until 2005. His Modus Operandi is different than many serial killers, and Brad and Dave both think he’s a punk and a poser. More on that later… Dennis Rader was born to a typical family, and he didn’t seem to tick all the boxes of serial killers, like crazy mothers and over-religious family life. He is said to have tortured and killed animals, but this was of his own admission, which can be untruthful at times. After dropping out of college, joining the Air Force, and settling down back in Kansas, he started multiple jobs and eventually gave into his desire to kill. But, he wasn’t very good at it. He needed several attempts to successfully strangle people, and he didn’t even have a kill kit or anything as sophisticated as that when he started. While most serial killers do so out of some strange suppressed rage or sexual fetish, it seems Dennis Rader killed because he idolized serial killers. He read books about them and taunted the media and police because he basically thought it was cool and wanted the attention. In other words, he was a try-hard and a poser. Eventually, in the 1990s, he was said to have mastered his desire to kill and would dress up as victims and pleasure himself to keep from killing. He had a family and kids and became a Boy Scout Leader and church mentor. But he couldn’t take it, the normal life. He had to be BTK. Eventually, in 2004, he started to send messages, riddles, dolls, crime scene photos, and other things to taunt the local media and cops. He gave himself his own nickname (in spite of what Brent always says about nicknames) using the media, and he wanted other successes as well. Why did he taunt the cops for no reason after all these years? How did this taunting get him arrested? What clues did he leave behind, and why was it his own dumbass fault? What was “Factor X,” and how did link everyone from Son of Sam to Jack the Ripper? What made Rader think he had a demon living inside him? What was the profile of his victims, and why was he allowed to write a book and sell it from inside of prison? What did BTK stand for, and why are Brad and Dave not impressed? Listen, laugh, and learn. Full Confession Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvWOje46Xp8
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Episode 341: Eazy-E: The Grandfather of Gangsta Rap
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we represent the West Side and talk about the life, beefs, death, and notorious reputation of the Grandfather of Gangsta Rap—Easy-E. Though he seems like the clown of NWA based on his raps, he was actually the face of gang life, from its fashion to its criminal background. From murderous beefs with Suge Knight to conspiracies of AIDS as a means of assassination, the story of Eazy-E is pretty epic. Born Eric Wright in Compton, California, he was raised by typical parents but in a rather atypical neighborhood. Compton, of course, was the gang capitol of Southern California, and there were a lot of illegal ways to make money. Young Eric Wright fell into one such way and started to deal drugs, following in his cousin’s footsteps. He made a lot of money, and after his cousin was shot, he got out of the game and decided to use his money to build a music label. He fell in with his partner Jerry Heller, and they created Ruthless Records. In no time, he was working with the up and coming Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Yella and MC Ren, and he ended up creating a hit record, Eazy Duz It, and joined up with the newly formed NWA. He was not a natural rapper, and it took some convincing to get him to the mic, but once there, he was a natural. He became an iconic figure of Gangsta Rap and led the charge on such hits as F*ck the Police. In fact, most insiders realize that it was his true street life that gave NWA its credibility. They rose quickly and like most bands, hit rough spots and had people leave. Unlike most bands, the break up included death threats, assaults, and any number of West Side street justice. After years of success (and sex with lots of fans), Eazy-E eventually got sick, and when he went to get it checked out, found out he had AIDS. Within a few weeks, he was dead at the age of 30. But that’s not the end of the story. Why does his family think the AIDS story was strange? Why do they think there was a cover up of how he caught it? Why do they think it may not have been AIDS in the first place? What part does Suge Knight play in all this, and what did he say in an interview that seems to indicate he may have gotten Eazy-E infected intentionally to kill him? What did his diagnosis do to change the national conversation about this disease? Listen, laugh, learn. Thorough Vibe Eazy-E Story: https://www.vibe.com/featured/vibe-eazy-e-cover-story/ Conspiracy AIDS Article: https://www.highsnobiety.com/2015/08/13/eazy-e-death-conspiracy/
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Episode 340: Rosicrucians: A Secret Society of Alchemists
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at a not-so-secret society that has been around for hundreds of years throughout all of the Western World: The Rosicrucians. They are often compared to the Freemasons and have some amazing world leaders, philosophers, and artists (I’m looking at you Gene Rodenberry) in their membership roster. However, unlike the Masons, they aren’t one unified group, but a smattering of over 30 different groups that believe similar things. So what do they believe? It’s actually hard to say since that’s the secret part. What is known is that they believe in mastering all knowledge (scientific, spiritual, mystical, alchemical) in order to improve the self and those around them. Oh, and they believe in telepathy, ESP, psychic healing, auras and all sorts of interesting fringe stuff. The Rosiscrucians aren’t quite a religion, though they adhere to some of the tenants of major world religious systems. All of their secrecy and quest for knowledge goes back to their founder, Christian Rosenkreuz. He was a German doctor who went on a quest to the Far East to master mysticism and other esoteric bodies of knowledge. When he returned, he was a changed man and established a secret order of 8 other physicians who swore to remain bachelors, vowed to cure the sick for free, and sought to learn the ways of alchemy and all things mystical and scientific. He died and was buried in a sanctum under the earth where he predicted he would be discovered 120 years later; according to Rosicrucian beliefs, that’s exactly what happened, and his body was in a perfect state and hadn’t decomposed. That said, many people claim he was never a real person but was actually an allegory of traits and information that the Rosicrucians value. Either way, this possibly-fictional person had a very real impact on Europe for centuries. Everyone from René Descartes to Francis Bacon were followers, and it was a very hip thing to be a Rosicrucian. In America, the main body of them is the AMORC organization out of California. You can turn to them to learn the mystic arts of alchemy—all through online classes. How about that. Home Study and Online Rosicrucian Lessons: https://www.rosicrucian.org/home-study-lessons Obama’s Letter to the Rosicrucians: https://678d7c627720ddde2df2-c5b158543cb4b709e42fdf5583590d2f.ssl.cf5.rackcdn.com/2015_letter_from_president_barack_obama.jpg Rosicrucian Manifesto Texts: http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/ros/index.htm  
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Episode 339: Jimmy Savile: The UK’s Ultimate Rapist
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at a guy who may be the worst Brit to ever live, Jimmy Savile. Jimmy Savile was a media personality and radio host (think Ryan Seacrest or Dick Clark in the States). He had a hit-maker radio and tv show that every musician wanted to be on. He also had a BBC television series that made the dream of ill children come true. He was knighted by the Queen of England and the Pope. That all sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, he was also a serial rapist, pedophile, and necropheliac. A year after he died in 2011, over 500 victims came forward to discuss their trauma. They ranged from 5 to 75 years old at the time of the crime. Most of them were physically or mentally ill at the time of the abuse. There were dozens of rapes. Oh, and most people think none of this ever came to light because of a cover up that may have gone as high up as the Prime Minister or the Royal family, both of whom he was close to. So how did a crappy meta-celebrity become such a monster and mega rapist? It was his “charity work.” He would hold fund raisers and give money—millions of pounds—to hospitals, children’s schools, and mental hospitals. This would ingratiate Jimmy Savile with the board of directors and give him access to the hospital at all hours as a major donor. Then, he would rape, fondle, and abuse patients, relatives of patients, and everyone he could get his hands on. He’d feel up people hours after major surgery and rape people who were too mentally ill to know any better. He’d also sneak into the morgue and give oral sex to dead bodies (something called gamaroosh…see, you learn something new every day) and pose them in sexual acts to take photos with them. And steal their glass eyes. And then, he’d brag about it to the hospital staff. How this sicko got away with such a range of heinous crimes for 50 years is hard to imagine, unless, of course, it was being covered up for him. So, was Jimmy Savile part of an international sex trafficking scheme as many people allege? Was he a lone shooter? Was he just the luckiest rapist in the UK, or did he go out of his way to hide the truth? Why did the BBC bury the story of Jimmy Savile’s sexual assault after he died? How many times were the police tipped off over the years? Who was Clair McAlpine, and how did her suicide almost bring him down in the 1970s? Listen, laugh, learn as we talk about someone who couldn’t have died soon enough. Sex Timeline: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jun/26/jimmy-savile-sexual-abuse-timeline  
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Episode 338: Winston Churchill: Legendary, Racist, British Hero!
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we take a jump across the pond and talk about one of the most important politicians who ever lived, the original British Bulldog, Winston Churchill. Many credit him with playing a major role in the victory over Nazi Germany, and others accuse him of causing the death of millions of Indians and being a drunken racist. Maybe both? You listen, you decide. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born to Lord Randolph Churchill in a very upper class family. He was said to be a scatterbrained child, always tardy and fairly bad at school, but when he was able to take up rifles, he started to excel. Eventually, he went on to a distinguished military career, even being an action hero and breaking out of a war camp and travelling 300 miles across enemy lines to find a safe border to cross. Back in England, he began a political career which came to a head as he was one of the most vocal naysayers about Hitler’s rise to power. Eventually, on the eve of World War II, King George appointed him as the prime minister, and the war was then started in earnest. Churchill is said to have been the main reason the Brits were able to rescue the 300,000 soldiers stranded at Dunkirk. He was also responsible for ruthless actions such as the sinking of the allied French fleet, so it wouldn’t fall into Nazi hands. Did Winston Churchill know about the bombing that devastated Coventry, and if he did, why did he keep it a secret? How big of a partier and drinker was he? How bad was his debt, and why did the government and other political donors have to pay his bills for him? How did he die? What did he think of Gandhi? What was up with his velvet onesies? Listen, laugh, learn. Link about the Coventry Conspiracy: https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/myths/churchill-let-coventry-burn/
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Patreon Shoutout: Voices of Angels & The Bodies of Dads
Show: Kings of the Sofa Season 2, Episode 20: "Roots, Rock, Rob-Bot" Genre: Situation Comedy Run Time: 22 Minutes Rating: TV-MA (Suggestive Dialogue, Coarse or Crude Language, Sexual Situations, Violence) Summary: Brad makes it to Nationals in his freestyle rap competition but faces unforeseen complications due to the injections he takes for a bee sting. Brent builds a Brent-Bot to help around the computer shop, but it meets with hilarious results. Dave enters a wrestling tournament to earn the money to save a puppy blood bank, but he finds himself face to face with an old childhood friend. Guest stars: Rob Van Dam and Vanilla Ice
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Patreon: I’ll Do Better Tomorrow…
Show: Kings of the Sofa Season 4, Episode 5: "Triple Terror" Genre: Situation Comedy Run Time: 22 Minutes Rating: TV-MA (Suggestive Dialogue, Coarse or Crude Language, Sexual Situations, Violence) Summary: Brad becomes obsessed with his new neighbor when he thinks he might be Saddam Hussein. Terry and Dave see a ghost. Brent enters a chilli cook off against the business next door to prove he can handle the heat, but when the peppers get swapped hilarity ensues. Guest starring Guy Fieri and Haley Joel Osment.
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Patreon Shoutout: El Padre De Palomas
Show: Kings of the Sofa Season 7, Episode 9: "Fear and Loathing in Bakersfield" Genre: Situation Comedy Run Time: 22 Minutes Rating: TV-MA (Suggestive Dialogue, Coarse or Crude Language, Sexual Situations, Violence) Summary: On a very special episode of Kings of the Sofa, CJ Lazer smokes marijuana for the first time. Concerned, the guys all attempt to help in different ways. Brent holds an intervention. Brad tries to make CJ sweat it out. Dave tries to scare CJ straight. All of their tries meet with unexpected results and teach them more than they ever bargained for about drug use. Guest starring Whoopi Goldberg.
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Patreon Shoutout: Voices of Angels and The Bodies of Dads II
Show: Kings of the Sofa Season 3, Episode 12: "Elevator Music to My Ears" Genre: Situation Comedy Run Time: 22 Minutes Rating: TV-MA (Suggestive Dialogue, Coarse or Crude Language, Sexual Situations, Violence) Summary: Brent accidentally punches a baby and needs to turn to Brad for coping advice. Brad and Dave see their accountant to settle their wacky finances, and a power outage and a pregnant police officer lead to a wild encounter in an elevator. Very special guest star Don Knotts and Meredith Baxter-Birney.
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Bonus Episode: Mass Debate Part Deux
What we have here is a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Instead of our normal research-based informational podcast full of 20% accurate information, 30% inaccurate information, and 60% offensive jokes (yes, the math adds up if you've listened to us), we flip the script. This time, we have a three person debate, college rules, no holds barred. We turn to our listeners to randomly give us numbers, and we debate key topics from the New York Times top 100 debate topics. They range from sports to video games to child rearing to the almighty Zeus. We also play a hardcore round of Superfight. You don't want to miss it. Or you do want to miss it, in which case that isn't hard to do since you just have to not listen. We don't care. We won't be sad. Those aren't tears in my eyes. They are tears in YOUR eyes!
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Episode 337: Caligula: The Sick, Sick, Sick Roman Emperor
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the life, fetishes, mass killings, reign, and assassination of the most infamous of all Roman emperors: Caligula. Caligula was the great-great grandson of Julius Caesar, and his real name was Gaius Caesar Germanicus. Caligula was a term that meant “little boot” and came from his time as a child he spent with his famous father during military campaigns. His father was a politician, and through a hardcore series of Game of Thrones type maneuvers, he was ultimately killed by the emperor Tiberius who eventually took in Caligula and raised him. But, the raising was mostly torturous treatment, and everyone knew Tiberius killed Caligula’s father, so it wasn’t a good upbringing. In fact, most historians believe this period of his young life is what bred the sadism and perversion that followed him through life. Eventually, Tiberius died, and the inexperienced Caligula was voted by the senate to be emperor. He did great things for the first half a year or so, and then his predilections for cruelty came to the surface. He started a brutal campaign of murders (he called them executions) of everyone who ever stood in his way, and he started taking money from prominent citizens just to keep himself in the lifestyle he enjoyed. He was also crazy. How crazy? How about, he built a three mile bridge of boats and rode across it for two days just to prove someone wrong? How about, he killed people who talked about goats in his presence? He once threw an entire section of the coliseum into the pit to be eaten by wild animals because he thought the fights were boring. He slept with his sisters. A lot. He declared war on the sea, declared himself a god, built a mansion for his favorite horse, and so much more. So what good things did Caligula do for the Roman empire? How was he assassinated and why? What was up with his pleasure barges? How did his wife and child die? Why did he hate goats? What declare himself to be the god of? What made the senate decide to destroy all traces of him and erase him from Roman history? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 336: The Rajneeshees: Sex Cult, Salmonilla, and Poisoned Beavers
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the most interesting cults we’ve ever covered: The Rajneeshees. Let me give you a teaser. Their story involves the bombing of a hotel by a radical Islamic group, a bio weapon attack involving poisoned salads, an assassination attempt of a prominent politician, a lot of capitalistic sex, a war against Nike, the attempt to take over a town in Oregon, an army of hoboes who were knowingly high on Haldol, and a plot to poison the water supply with an army of beavers. Yes. That’s all true. It sure seems like a lot when you string it all together. So, who are the Rajneeshees, and what did they believe? They started as the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (also known as Osho), a public speaker from India who specialized in meditation seminars. He got backing by some wealthy folks in India, and he quickly rose in prominence, securing a whopping 100,000 followers in just a few years. They lived in an ashram in India but spread throughout the globe. They started to be a group that was somewhat hedonistic, celebrating things that made you feel good, from material possession to sex. Lots of sex. Eventually, they settled on a plot of land in rural Oregon, and there, they went to war with one of the co-founders of Nike to claim dominance over the area. This battle got intense, and eventually led to the group doing all they could to win local elections and stay in power (this is where the bio attack, army of hoboes, an assassination plot, and poisonous beavers come on the scene). So, what was up with Rajneesh’s 93 Rolls Royce cars? How much sex did this sex cult have? How big was their militia? What did the Rajneeshees secretary do to take power, and where did she end up? What happened to the army of hoboes? Why did the cult try to cultivate live AIDS cultures? Listen, laugh, learn. List of Crazy Crimes from the Cult: https://www.thedailybeast.com/wild-wild-country-the-most-shocking-reveals-from-the-sex-cults-fbi-informant
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Episode 335: Devices of Death: Instruments of Execution
On this grisly episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about devices of death, all the inventions that are used for capital punishment from the ancient world until now. Every society since the most ancient days of China have killed criminals for the worse offenses, and the means vary from “humane” to absolutely brutal. The 7th Century BC Draconian Code of Athens made death the penalty for every crime anyone ever committed! Also, people like the mad emperor Nero would burn bodies at the stake and use the fire for light at this parties. From classic devices of death such as Iron Maidens to force feeding people milk and honey until their own fecal matter makes bugs live in their skin, this episode has you covered. We talk a lot about the modern methods used for killing killers here in the U.S. Hanging, of course, ties back to our cowboy days and is still used in some prisons to this day. However, it’s not as easy as it seems. Too long of a drop, and the rope rips the person’s head off. Too short, and they slowly suffocate for 45 agonizing minutes. That evolved to the electric chair in 1890, but again, not without perils. Sometimes, the wiring was done wrong, or the people had to get zapped time after time. They would light on fire, and a sponge that was too wet or dry would mess up the connection. Then technology got “better.” We moved to firing squads, gas chambers, and finally lethal injection. So what is the problem with lethal injection drugs, and why do so many states have to turn to alternative methods of killing? Why was it important to have a good executioner in the past? Which killing technique has never had a botched attempt in the past 120 years? Which devices of death caused the most problems? Who watches the executions, and who performs them? Listen, laugh, learn. Good Site On Info: https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/descriptions-execution-methods
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Episode 334: Nazca Lines: Alien Runways?
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at one of the ancient mysteries of the world and explore the myth, truth, and science behind the enigmatic Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are massive glyphs drawn in the soil in Peru, and they date back a few thousand years, according to most scholars and some good old fashioned carbon dating. Many people think these enormous glyphs etched into the Peruvian soil are some sort of communication or landing pad for ancient aliens. Others think they are signs to the gods or even markers for agriculture areas or rare wells in this dry climate. What’s unique about the Nazca Lines, for one thing, is the environment. They are only carved a few inches into the soil, but the presence of lime deposits, constant temperature, arid climate, and strange fog have left these things preserved. Keep in mind, simply walking on them can ruin them, so the fact that they exist several thousand years later is a bit miraculous. Another unique feature is that they are apparently intended to be viewed from the air, but were constructed a people who predated aircraft by a few millennia. They are miles long in some cases and remarkably straight. Why did these people actually build them? What techniques did they use? Was it religious or a feature of agriculture? Why do some scholars think these are “anti-constellations?” What did Greenpeace do to damage one of the glyphs, and why were they jerks about it? What’s up with the alien mummies? Listen, laugh, learn. Nazca: Million theories why:  https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_lineas_nazca_2.htm
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Episode 333: Richard Ramirez: The Night Stalker
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we delve into the shadowy realm of true crime and look at one of the most rage-filled serial killers of all time, the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez. Originally called the (much less impressive) Valley Intruder, Richard Ramirez ran on a violent, burglary filled murder spree through all of California. But to understand the crimes of this monster, it’s important to understand his beginnings. If anyone was dealt a hand that promised they would become a brutal serial killer, it was Ramirez. His father was an ex-cop known for rage issues, and his mother breathed in so many harsh chemicals at work that all of her other 5 children had birth defects. Add to that an older cousin and role model who was an unstable soldier fresh from the Vietnam war. Oh, and said cousin had photos of all the Vietnamese locals he raped and murdered and shared them with the young Richard Ramirez. And then there was the time his cousin murdered his wife with a pistol while Ramirez watched and the time his uncle showed him how to be a peeping Tom, take LSD, and worship Satan. So, yeah, serial killer. Ramirez had his first taste of murder with a nine year old girl in the basement of a hotel he lived in, and from there, he began a murder spree of mostly older victims. He tended to break into people’s homes, rob them, shoot the husband in the face, and then rape and kill the woman with whatever he could find to use as a weapon. He didn’t care about leaving evidence, covering his trails, or anything many such killers worried about. He killed out of passion and rage, typically on the spur of the moment. So, how many people did Richard Ramirez kill? Why were they typically retirees? What was up with eyeballs in a jewelry box? How come Ramirez had so many fan girls when he was on trial for his horrible crimes, and why did one marry him while on death row? What came of the suicide pact his wife took with him? Why did he scrawl pentagrams on his body before the trial, and how did this scumbag eventually die? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 332: Sparta: Ancient Bad Asses
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at perhaps the most hardcore civilization to ever exist. This. Is. Sparta. Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was made popular in recent years thanks to Frank Miller’s graphic novel and Zack Snyder’s movie adaption of it—300. This tells the story of 300 elite Spartan warriors who hold off a million man Persian army. Is there any truth to this? Kind of, yes. Sparta was a nation that was dedicated to two things: a strong state and warfare. The Spartans were actually the minority in their own society since the other two castes of slaves and craftsmen outnumbered them. However, they were the best of the best at warfare, and a Spartan only had career goal. Warrior. They didn’t farm, build house, make weapons or anything else. They simply fought in wars. To this end, the children were sent to a brutal training ground starting at age 7 called the Agoge. The Agoge was a military training that lasted until they were 20. They fought each other, were starved to encourage them to steal food and fight each other for calories, and they finally graduated when they could sneak out of the barracks without being caught and murder a slave. They were the Navy Seals of the ancient world, born and raised for battle. Weak infants were discarded, women learned to fight, and men were in the army until they were 60. So what was the story of the battle of Thermopylae? How accurate was the movie compared to true history? How did the Spartans get defeated in the Hot Gates? Why did they bathe their infants in wine? What did they do to keep the slave population in check? Listen, laugh, learn. Movie versus Truth: http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/300spartans.php
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Bonus Episode 36: Mass Debate
He stood in front of the class, and his hands were so wet from nerves that his scant stack of notecards felt like used toilet paper. The professor sat with all his glasses. The old man had a pair cocked on his forehead, a pair on his eyes, and a pair hanging on a little beaded necklace. The prof would swap them from time to time. Why so many? How bad can eyes be, and in how many ways? It didn't matter. Just an observation. He set the notecards on the podium. It lurched like poorly nailed gallows, rickety and old. He let out a laugh, an exaggerated thing that bespoke his nerves. He felt immediately obvious, immediately the fraud he was. He wasn't prepared. One shitty night of prep using Wikipedia and some other crap he got from that podcast full of dick jokes and whiskey. He'd have to fake it. Plus, there was Missy. She never gave him so much as an errant look when they were in high school together last year. Now, she seemed different. Alone. She'd talk to him when they were on break. She'd laugh sometimes. Now she was staring at him. She must have seen the sweat. Oh, god, was he sweating through his shirt? Jesus. So much for making a good impression. "Any time, if you please," the professor said. No humor. Just impatience. The clock was now on. He set his notecards down. He started to speak with the opening line he thought up on the bus ride to campus. The one one about a zen master and a hot dog and being one with everything. But he couldn't remember how it went. Why didn't he write it down! Jesus, this was a disaster and it hadn't even started yet. And his tongue. It felt like the organ of a dead animal, killed for cheap meat, was limp in his mouth. Dry. He needed water, or his mouth would just stick. Missy was looking out the window. Bored. Why did he take a debate class?!?!? Oh, sorry. This was supposed to be a pithy little introduction to this bonus episode of the Sofa King Podcast. We turned to the Patrons during our live stream, and they gave us random numbers between 1 and 100. The three of us then used them to give us topics from a list of the top 100 college debate topics. Then, we debated. Was it a mass debate? Perhaps. Was there whiskey? What do you think?
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Episode 331: Cicada 3301: The Web’s Darkest Mystery
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at one of the biggest mysteries of the internet era, the deep, impossible, mysterious puzzle called Cicada 3301. Just who wrote this strange internet puzzle (is it a game?) is unknown. Also unknown is why they did it. It involves expert level decryption and steganography as well as hacking skills, and it took considerable resources to create. Was it the NSA or CIA as a recruitment tool? Is it a band of hackers looking to expand their numbers? Is it a global banking trust or a rogue artificial intelligence? Good questions. So, on January 4th, 2012, a simple message was posted on 4Chan. It said they were looking for highly intelligent individuals and that this was a test. It was signed simply 3301. After weeks of chat rooms and idea sharing, people started to realize this wasn’t just some random 4Chan troll, but a very complicated puzzle. To solve it, you needed hacking skills, good software, patience, the ability to translate ancien Mayan numbers, and knowledge of crazy popular culture from William Gibson to Anton Lavey. One person who engaged in the puzzle was named Joel Erikson. He beat the puzzle, but only after 3301 pulled the solution off the net because too many people were solving it in teams, and they apparently thought this was cheating. Another was named Marcus Wanner. He allegedly beat the puzzle and was invited to join Cicada 3301 where he toiled as a coder working on a piece of software called CAKES that would release sensitive information to the world if the owner didn’t log in every 24 hours or so. So, what did the puzzle involve, and how many layers were hidden in layers? What was The Warning, and how did it deal with a global God Brain? Who do they think is behind 3301, and how did everyone from Google to the US Navy steal their moves? How many puzzles did Cicada 3301 ultimately release? Listen, laugh, learn. Marcus and Tekk Story: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/cicada-solving-the-webs-deepest-mystery-84394/
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EPISODE 330: Pan Am Flight 103: The Lockerbie Bombing
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at the deaths, political intrigue, and conspiracy theories surrounding the infamous bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Called The Lockerbie Bombing due to the destruction caused by the plane crashing over that Scottish city, the plane was brought down by a bomb placed in the nose of the plane. Who would want to bring this plane down and why? That’s what we aimed to find out through our research. On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded 31,000 feet over Lockerbie. On board, 259 people died, and on the ground, 11 people died in the horrible fireball caused by the ignition of 200,000 pounds of jet fuel. The bomb was small and easy to conceal. It was a cutting-edge Symtec bomb hidden in a radio and smuggled into a suitcase (the alleged bombers weren’t on board). The bomb was so advanced that security screeners weren’t trained to look for its kind until 11 months after this bombing. So who placed the bomb? The official report is that it was two Libyans who possibly worked for Libyan intelligence. Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah were implicated, and after everything from embargoes to threats, the United Nations got Colonel Gadhafi to extradite them for trial. During the incredibly lengthy and thorough investigation, the CIA pointed the bomb fragments to a Libyan group, and detectives did a crazy patchwork of information, pulling evidence from a crazy weather wizard, a tailor with a seemingly photographic memory, and a person who hung Christmas lights. Needless to say, the evidence is a bit shaky. One of the Libyans was convicted and the other got off. However, some very reputable journalistic sources from Frontline to Time Magazine came to question the official stories. Some point to Iran and some strange plans that dealt with the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Others point to the CIA who was revealed to be allowing Syrians to smuggle heroin on Pan Am in exchange for intelligence on terrorist networks. Either way, the story of the bombing, the horrible details, and the final death of the bomber of Pan Am Flight 103 are a very interesting tale. The PBS Frontline article on alternative theories of the bombing: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/lockerbie-the-alternate-theories/
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Bonus Episode 35: Christopher Walken VS. Christopher Reeves
So, my first term in college, I decided to major in history and archaeology. Did I dream about fighting Nazis with a whip and getting artifacts that make people's face melt? Who doesn't. Did I more realistically want a job where I sit in a ditch in the middle of nowhere and dig a hole with paintbrush so as not to upset anything. Yes, yes I did. Isolation. Patience. Being paid to cultivate boredom. Sounds good to me. However, cut to my first history class. The teacher was so boring that the motion sensors would turn out in the middle of class. Keep in mind that there were 50 people sitting in desks, plus the professor in front of the room. Perfect stillness. Boredom that even digging a hole with a paint brush was too much for. I changed my major to English. Why am I telling you this? Because this Bonus Episode of The Sofa King Podcast is one in which we take to answering history questions that our listeners posted on our face book group. They are intense history questions, and we answer them without being so boring we make the lights go out. What questions you ask? Could Hitler beat Saddam in a Punch Up? Would Jesus have chose rock, paper, or scissors every time? What does the D stand for in D-Day? Who was Corporal Wojtek? What ailment did Napoleon have during Waterloo? And many more! So, if you want a solid history lesson without all that...you know...history, then this is the episode for you. I strongly suggest you don't use our answers on your midterm, however, if you hope to graduate. And if you really want to graduate--from lame to awesome--join our Patreon page and donate for more bonus content!  
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EPISODE 329: Skinwalkers: Navajo Abominations
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we pry back the secrets, rituals, and horror stories of the supernatural creatures known as Skinwalkers. Skinwalkers exist through multiple groups of Native Americans, but they are mostly attributed to the Navaho. According to their beliefs, they are medicine men who have turned into harmful witches and can change their form into animals. However, their transformations are not all cool and seamless; instead, they are twisted, unhealthy, corrupt version of the animals. They are deformed and often injured and matted and don’t move as they should. In the Navajo language, Skinwalkers are called yee naaldlooshii, which means roughly “by means of it, it goes on all fours.” Many people think the story of Skinwalkers comes from early medicine men who would disguise themselves in animal pelts to spy on other groups. Indeed, they are portrayed as people who used to do good for the communities. However, somewhere along the line, they became twisted and evil. They are so terrifying that even today, Navajo won’t talk about them at all to outsiders, and they won’t openly discuss them on the Navajo Nation for fear of drawing their attention. Their powers supposedly include the ability to shape shift into animals, polymorph into other humans, hypnotize, run as fast as a car, perfectly mimic the voice of your loved ones, fire blowdarts made of human bone, and kill you with corpse powder made from the bones of twin infants. In other words, true horror shows. So, how do you kill a Skinwalker? What is their weakness? Where are you safe from them if they target you? Do we think there is any truth to this creature, or is it just a blown up boogey man? Did Brent actually encounter a Skinwalker in Mexico, tapping on the glass of his rental? Most importantly, what are the spooky-ass stories that are told about specific encounters with Skinwalkers? Listen, laugh, learn. Hunt for the Skinwalker Film: http://www.hunttheskinwalker.com/about/ Horrible Video by Sir Spooks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MGiBGbkzro
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Episode 328: The Jewish Holocaust: History’s Ultimate Crime
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we explore one of the darkest chapters in all of human history—the Jewish Holocaust. During this horrible period of history, an estimated 6 million European Jews were killed by the Nazi regime. Many of them were in murder camps such as Auschwitz, but more of them were killed in round ups and purges in local towns. “Holocaust,” is a mix of the Greek words “holos” (whole) and “kaustos” (burned) and in the ancient world was used to describe a sacrificial offering burned to a god. The Nazis obviously burned the bodies, but the term will forever mean something more somber. The Nazis were anti-Semitic, and Hitler used a building hatred of Jews to help amass his power and establish the Reich. He blamed the Jews for their loss of World War One and the poverty that struck the nation afterwards. During a period of many years, he slowly eroded the rights of Jews, taking their property, and spreading hate through his all-powerful propaganda machine. Eventually, it culminated in the Kristallnacht or “night of broken glass” where Germans burned synagogues and busted windows of Jewish owned shops. Soon after that, Hitler established the walled Ghettoes in Poland and through all of Europe. All of this was, of course, the wind up to the “Final Solution” where the Jews were systematically murdered. So, how many camps existed in Europe (you might be surprised at this one!)? Did anyone successfully resist the Jewish killings? What were murder vans, and how did they help to establish the gas chambers? How long did the gas chambers take to kill people? Why did the Nazis start to burn all the old bodies from mass graves? How many people were murdered in each of the murder camps, and which camp was the worst? Listen, (laugh?), learn. Horrible Photos: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/10/world-war-ii-the-holocaust/100170/
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Episode 327: Doc Holliday: The Violent Gentleman
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we travel back to cowboy days and talk about the violent gentleman, Doc Holliday. Though it’s hard to sift through the tall tales of the Old West, historical evidence proves that Holliday killed dozens of men after drunken fights at the poker table, and that was years after a 6 month death sentence due to his horrible tuberculosis. Born John Henry Holliday, Doc Holliday was born in 1851 in Griffin Georgia. He was born to upper class southern elite, and his education, languages, speech, and demeanor proved it. He became a dentist after his mother and adopted brother died of consumption, and he was diagnosed to have TB himself at age 23. Given only 6 months to live, he headed west to drier climates to try and extend that life. Out west, he tried to do dental work, but his horrible coughing fits kept him from practicing medicine. His alternative? Becoming a professional gambler. Like you do. Doc Holliday started to gamble and deal cards at lawless saloons through the west. In each city, he seemed to run afoul with a loud-mouthed local, shoot him dead in the street, and run away to escape the frontier justice of small town lynch mobs. Living this wild life of whiskey and cards, he came to befriend both the lawman Wyatt Earp and the hooker Big Nose Kate. He helped Earp bring in some of the worst criminals, and he had a sometimes violent on again off again relationship with Kate. She broke him out of prison. And Holliday kept Earp from getting his head blown off. They were all close friends. Eventually, they all found their way to Tombstone where the events of the OK Corral took place. We can’t help but talk about the movie Tombstone and Val Kilmer’s portrayal of this famous southern gun slinger. Was it accurate? How many people did Holliday kill at the OK Corral? How did this outlaw gunslinger befriend Earp, a federal marshal? How did Doc Holliday end up living a decade past his death sentence, all while having shootouts, knife fights, and running from torch wielding mobs? He was a true badass. Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 326: Columbine Massacre: On Psychopaths and Bullies
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about some true crime and look at the most influential mass shooting in American history, the tragedy at Columbine. On April 20, 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School and shot and killed 13 people. Rumors spread in the media that it was caused by a great many things, but it turns out that much of the story we’re fed is pretty far from the truth. Harris and Klebold were pretty bad eggs long before the shooting. They were often on the wrong side of the law, breaking into vans and posting death threats on their AOL web page. The threats were investigated, but the paperwork was never filed, so no judge ever issued a search warrant for their home. If they had, the police would have been shocked. They’d have found plans for several types of bombs, 99 explosive devices, and a small arsenal of guns (most of which were obtained illegally). However, this was pre 9-11, and, well pre-Columbine, so nobody took it too seriously. However, on the morning of the attack, the two tried to execute a yearlong plan. The plan wasn’t just to shoot up the school. It was to set a series of explosions that would lure away the first responders, kill hundreds of students, and force the survivors to flee through exits that would then be fired upon, killing almost everyone in the school. Once this was done, car bombs were to detonate, killing cops, fire fighters, and reporters. But, the bombs mostly failed, so it ended up being a shooting frenzy instead. The details of their shooting spree are horribly detailed, and we cover a lot of them in our talk on Columbine. Who did they kill? Who did they let live? What did the FBI profilers think was the cause of the rampage? How did the two shooters die? Where did they get the guns? Is this a false flag event? Were they in the Trenchcoat Mafia? Listen, laugh, learn. Thorough article on the killers: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2004/04/the_depressive_and_the_psychopath.html Article about Two Columbine Survivors: https://www.glamour.com/story/two-columbine-survivors-on-life-after-a-mass-shooting-and-the-columbine-generation  
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Episode 325: Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Genius
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we put our thinking caps on and talk about the life, thoughts, and struggles of Stephen Hawking. Hawking was largely considered the smartest person in our generation, and his theories on life, the universe, and everything radically changed our cosmology. His accomplishments are impressive enough as they are, but coupled with the fact that he had ALS and was bound to a wheelchair, unable to talk, write, or do much of anything is in conceivable. Hawking was born to a family of well-educated eccentrics (they drove an old cab, kept bees in their basement, and made fireworks in their greenhouse, you know, like you do…). He followed in their footsteps and went to Oxford where he was typically bored with his studies and excelled while doing less than an hour of work per day on his studies. While there, he attempted to study a particular field of mathematics, but the degree wasn’t offered. He went to study the universe instead. From there, he wrote majorly influential papers that focused on the nature of space time and black holes, and he became an instant rock star in academia. He married as his disease was getting worse, and he went on to gain international fame by writing one of the biggest selling books of all time, A Brief History of Time. So, what did Stephen Hawking say about black holes, and how did this change later in life? What did he thing of the gangsta rap album done using his voice synthesizer called MC Hawking (with the album A Brief History of Rhyme)? What is the conspiracy theory surrounding him, and is NASA involved? Why did he divorce his wife, and who did he end up marrying? Listen, laugh, learn. Conspiracy Theory on Stephen Hawking: http://milesmathis.com/hawk3.pdf  
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Bonus Episode: Why didn’t we do a bonus episode?
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place!
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Game Night: Superfight Edition
This is not a regular episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Instead, did someone say game night! Yes. And it was Brad. Instead of our normal research-based, foul mouthed episode, we play a game and remain foul mouthed. This is an extra episode that we wanted to record and have ready since the Meetup in Anaheim is going to keep us from doing our regular weekly episodes. So, tonight we sat down and played the game Superfight. It is superfun. The premise is, you draw three cards that have a character on them and three cards with attributes. You pick one character and two attributes, and then you face off against someone else and their own hand of cards. You then argue who would win in a fight and let a third party decide who wins. Some of the characters include a Human Centipede, Hitler, Jesus, and 72 Virgins. Some of the attributes include an animated mustache (eat your heart out Giraldo!), acid blood, and being Roofied! You won't want to miss this one. Or you will. Either way, here it is! Do enjoy.
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Episode 324: Oscar Pistorius: Olympian Cyborg Murderer!
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we get all Olympic and discuss the career and crimes of Oscar Pistorius, the amputee athlete (and, of course, murderer) known as the “Blade Runner.” Pistorius was born in Johannesburg, South Africa without a fibula in either of his legs. When he was less than a year old, his parents decided to amputate his legs below the knee. This didn’t stop Oscar Pistorius from being a world-class athlete, however. He started to do everything from wrestling to cricket, and he eventually started to run in the Paralympics, winning gold. In 2012, his dreams of being in the regular Olympics came true, and he ran on his controversial prosthetic leg blades. The successes he had in sports had turned him into a celebrity and allowed him to find wealth through lucrative endorsement deals. However, things went south when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reva Steenkamp through the door to his bathroom. Pistorius claimed he thought it was someone breaking in, but according to the lead detective on the case, this didn’t add up. The evidence on the scene didn’t indicate that; plus, neighbors allegedly overheard the couple arguing hours before the Steenkamp’s death. Also, when you look at the past crimes and personality of Oscar Pistorius, the picture isn’t pretty. So, did the Blade Runner intentionally murder his girlfriend or accidentally shoot her? What examples of violence against women were in his past? Was Reva on the phone with another lover at the moment she was shot? How did the other police discredit Hilton Botha, the lead investigator on the case? Was Pistorius a giant douche bag? Listen, laugh, learn.   Vanity Fair interview with Detective Botha: https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/06/oscar-pistorius-murder
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Episode 323: Servant Girl Annihilator: America’s First Serial Killer
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we delve into the dark world of true crime and bring you the story of the American serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator. “Servant Girl Annihilator” was the name given to perhaps the first serial killer in America. He operated in Austin, Texas back in Cowboy Days, several years before Jack The Ripper terrorized London. The identity of this killer (or these killers) remains unproven, but he got his name by killing five African-American servant girls. He Killed a man and some white women as well, but they seemed outside of his wheelhouse. So, how did this monster kill? His modus operandi was to kill by splitting the head with an axe. He’d also rape the women and pose their bodies with spikes and sharp objects sticking out of the ear. When he snuck in and killed the first five girls, the city of Austin was scared. When he finally “upgraded” and killed white women, the town went in a rage and summoned possess that tried to catch the killer. The police had a hard time with this case. First off, the Annihilator only struck late at night, so witnesses were few and unreliable. In fact, no two witnesses had a story that even remotely lined up. At the end of the year, over 400 men had been arrested in connection with these slayings, but all of them were ultimately released. So, how good was the Servant Girl Annihilator with an ax? Who do historians think is responsible for these deaths? Why do some people think that the killer actually is Jack the Ripper, and if this is true, who do they think the ripper was? Why did some people think the killer practiced Voodoo? Listen, laugh, learn. Nice Article on Killer: http://mentalfloss.com/article/94680/how-servant-girl-annihilator-terrorized-1880s-austin PBS Documentary on Killer: http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/video/2365286604/
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Episode 322: Coral Castle: Tourist Trap or Modern Pyramid?
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the mystery of the Coral Castle. This modern-day wonder is found in Florida and was built in the 1940s and 1950s. It is made of massive blocks of stone, averaging 14 tons each, and it was built to the same exacting specifications as the Great Pyramid of Giza. The big mystery about the castle, however, is how one frail, sickly, malnourished man clocking in at Five Foot Tall was able to build this structure by cover of night with no cranes of elaborate tools…by himself. Edward Leedskalnin is the man in question, a Latvian emigre who moved to America after his “Sweet Sixteen” dumped him at the altar. He came to the States, contracted terminal tuberculosis and was allegedly cured by magnets. After that, he was given a parcel of useless land in Florida and began work on his castle, which he called Rock Gate. Why is this castle such a mystery? Well, for one, nobody knows how he quarried the stones. Nobody knows how me moved the stone. Nobody knows how the stone was exact enough in its measurements that even light won’t come through the cracks (like the pyramids, he used no mortar). He claimed that in building the Coral Castle, he used the same techniques that were used on the pyramids and said that it was simple if you knew what it was. But, why did he only work at night, so nobody could see him? How did he afford the construction when he had no real means of employment? What were his strange theories on magnetism? How did it tie to his “Perpetual Motion Holder? What does all of this have to do with an awesome Billy Idol song? Listen, laugh, learn. Magnet Description: https://gizmodo.com/how-one-man-created-a-1-000-ton-coral-castle-in-1923-1443356836  Good photos: http://www.thebohemianblog.com/2014/12/the-coral-castle-masonic-mystery-in-the-sunshine-state.html
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Bonus Episode: Divide and Conquer
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place! On this bonus episode, we answer questions that target specific hosts: How did Brent come up with the name SWAT PC? What is Brad's favorite underground rapper? What is Dave's favorite Dungeons and Dragons Module (He goes deep nerd on this one...) What does Brad think a good $150 bottle of tequila is? What are Brent's two most favorite pieces of music gear? Dave: FMK? Faygo Redpop, Faygo Grape, Faygo Mist? And many more! So, if you want to hear a casual bonus episode where we BS a little and have some laughs, this is the one for you. If you are an information hound or a Sofa King purist, you can go to any other episode and get your fix. Also, we do a live-stream for our $10 and above Patrons on these episodes. We really appreciate all you do to support us, and we try our best to give you unique shout outs. If you like the show or just want a fancy shout out, visit us at https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 321: Baba Vanga: The Blind Seer of Bulgaria
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we explore the prophecies of a woman called the modern day Nostradamus—the Bulgarian paragons called Baba Vanga. According to multiple studies, she had between a 70-85% accuracy record in her predictions. Born as Vangeliya Pandeva Dimitrova in Bulgaria in 1911, Baba Vanga had a hard life. Her father was conscripted into World War I and in trouble with the law for his political views. Her mother died; her stepmother died. She was sucked into a tornado and had her eyes sandblasted out of her skull (like you do). Her family was stricken with illness, poverty, and sadness, and through it all, she claimed to gain a gift of foresight. According to Baba Vanga, she was told things by invisible beings who looked like light and water. She claimed she could see people’s lives unfold in front of her like a roll of film or a movie reel. During World War II, she gained some fame for her abilities to tell the future, and she started to get flooded with various refugees and family members during the war. They wanted to know the status of relatives lost in the conflict, and she told them what more often than not turned out to be truths. Her accuracy in prognostication became so famous that her own king, Winston Churchill, and the American government all visited themselves or sent covert agents to find out how she was doing what she was doing. The CIA even tried to create some psychics to do what she could allegedly do. So, what things did she predict, and were they accurate? What did she say about 9/11? Whose deaths did she accurately predict? What does she say about the future? When do the Muslims create a caliphate in Rome and lay waste to Europe? What secret weapons will America use to reclaim Rome? When will humans be able to speak to god? This, and so much more, is all covered in the blind prophecy or Baba Vanga.   List of Predictions: https://ancientexplorers.com/blogs/news/the-chilling-predictions-of-baba-vanga-with-80-accuracy
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Episode 320: J Edgar Hoover: The Flawed Founder of the FBI
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we break out the Tommy Guns, polish our badges, and talk about the life, power, corruption, and secrets of the ultimate G-Man, J Edgar Hoover. J Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI (he even predated the FBI when it was simply the Bureau of Investigation), and he ran the joint for almost 50 years. All the roaring twenties gangster arrests were on his watch, as was prohibition, World War II, the Red Scare, the Cold War, and civil rights. His vision of the FBI defined politics in Washington and criminal prosecution throughout the land, for better or worse. At his height, J Edgar Hoover was so powerful that every president and D.C. power broker feared him and information he’d inevitably gathered on them (and everyone). Hoover started COINTELPRO, which was often illegal and always immoral. He spied on Martin Luther King and tried to convince him to commit suicide (like you do…). He hated commies and persecuted them even before he was the director during a crazy episode in American history called the Palmer Raids. He also persecuted homosexuals as security risks for spying communists, though many experts are convinced he was a closet homosexual himself. So, why did he hate MLK so much? What was wrong with his COINTELPRO program? Who was Clyde Tolson, and why do people think he was his gay lover for decades? Did he really dress in drag? Listen, laugh, learn. Anthony Summers Article on Hoover’s Secret Life: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/jan/01/j-edgar-hoover-secret-fbi MLK Letter: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/12/13/an-old-letter-sheds-light-on-fbis-malice-toward-martin-luther-king-jr/?utm_term=.3891f7ba8069
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Bonus Episode 32: Hot Dog Water
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place! On this bonus episode, we answer some of the following: What was our favorite interaction with a SKult member? What is our favorite state? What is our favorite Steven King novel/film? What is our favorite fad that is no longer popular? What is your favorite Disney Movie (though, did we answer that already?)? And many more! So, if you want to hear a casual bonus episode where we BS a little and have some laughs, this is the one for you. If you are an information hound or a Sofa King purist, you can go to any other episode and get your fix. Also, we do a live-stream for our $10 and above Patrons on these episodes. We really appreciate all you do to support us, and we try our best to give you unique shout outs. If you like the show or just want a fancy shout out, visit us at https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 319: 4Chan: Home of Hackers, Memes, and Web Warriors
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we discuss one of the most important websites in the world, even though you may have never heard of it or visited it—the notorious 4Chan. 4Chan is the birthplace of memes, the meeting ground for Anonymous, the bastion of the Alt-Right and the far left, and the sometimes cruel often hilarious vigilantes of the World Wide Web. So what exactly is 4Chan? Well, the simple answer is that it’s a imageboard started by a 15 year old in 2003, a place where people anonymously post comments and photos (originally of anime, often of sexual, humorous, and shocking images). The complex answer is that it’s where some of the greatest hacktivists in the world rub elbows and spread their ideas, code, technology, and plans to thwart the mainstream establishment. It’s sort of like the one place where the Dark Net rubs up against the Internet. The hacker group Anonymous is said to have spawned from the ranks of 4Chan, and some of the most viral memes of all time are born there. Ever been Rick Rolled? Thanks, 4Chan? Did you laugh and Chocolate Rain? Thanks, 4Chan. Ever run into Pedobear? Thanks, 4Chan. Its founder Christopher Poole (aka “moot”) sold 4Chan, and at times it has been in financial trouble, but it continues to do what it does. What does it do? It hacked online polls and sent the rapper Pitbull to Alaska and made Taylor Swift perform a concert at a deaf school. It hacked Time Magazine’s most influential person poll. Twice. It busts criminals who post illegal or immoral photos. It has even found murderers. But it also is a breeding ground of extreme political hate at times, and it even tries to bring down the Church of Scientology. Love them or hate them (spoiler alert—we love them!), the radical, radically different, funny, edgy, misanthropic, brilliant members of the 4Chan community are a force to be reckoned with. 4Chan Summary: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/09/25/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-to-understand-4chan-the-internets-own-bogeyman/?utm_term=.84b6fedcc674 Rolling Stone Alt Right: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/the-measure-of-hate-on-4chan-627922/
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Episode 318: Albert Einstein: The Ultimate Genius
On this very nerdy episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about discoveries, math, and quantum shift in the world that was Albert Einstein. Virtually every discovery about Quantum Physicist is based in part on papers written by a very young Albert Einstein. By the age of 26, he proved that atoms and molecules existed; he showed that light was in fact particles called photons, and he of course came up with the famous Theory of Relativity. He won a Nobel Prize for his discoveries, and not even for his good ones! Einstein was a Jewish German, born in 1897 in Württemberg. He moved with his family to Italy and then back to Germany again. Eventually, as Hitler came to power, however, he (and great many German Jewish physicists) fled the country. Eventually, he ended up in the United States at Princeton University, where he spent the rest of his life. He was married, divorced, and gave his Nobel Prize money away as a divorce settlement. He was married again to his cousin, and he even has a “missing daughter” that nobody knew about until the 1980s. Albert Einstein’s genius was so great that every other genius of the era bowed down to him. As Quantum Physics took off (thanks to him), he backed away from it and remained the brilliant loner he always was. He was the reason the US actively pursued the development of the Atomic Bomb, after he co-wrote a letter to the president showing what a dire threat it was. Afterwards, he became friends with J. Robert Oppenhiemer for the rest of his life and lobbied for peace and the end of nuclear bombs. He was a socialist, a rebel, an early supporter of the NAACP, and he was so mistrusted by J. Edgar Hoover that he had an 1800 page FBI file gathered over the course of 22 years. So, what was he like as a person? Why were his discoveries such a big deal? Why did NASA write an article trying to prove he wasn’t a space alien? Why did the coroner steal his brain, and where is it now? Listen, laugh, learn. Openheimer Speech on Einstein: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1966/03/17/on-albert-einstein/ NASA article on Einstein Being a Space Alien: https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2005/23mar_spacealien Einstein Socialism Article: https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/
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Bonus Episode: What Belt You Got?
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place! On this bonus episode, we answer some of the following: What is one question we have of our podcast's listeners? What advice do we have for someone who has to work too much to avoid bankruptcy and has trouble with their spouse as a result? What belts do we hold in martial arts, what styles, and do we compete? What three items are on our bucket lists? What is our mixed drink of choice? And many more! So, if you want to hear a casual bonus episode where we BS a little and have some laughs, this is the one for you. If you are an information hound or a Sofa King purist, you can go to any other episode and get your fix. Also, we do a live-stream for our $10 and above Patrons on these episodes. We really appreciate all you do to support us, and we try our best to give you unique shout outs. If you like the show or just want a fancy shout out, visit us at https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 317: Armin Meiwes: The Rotenburg Cannibal
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we turn our gaze to some true crime and talk about the bizarre and horrible case of Armin Meiwes, aka the “Rotenburg Cannibal.” Meiwes is a murderer. Kind of. Depending on how you interpret the law. You see, in 2001, this German computer repair technician (I’m looking at you, Brent…) put an ad on a cannibal website, like you do. It said what you’d expect: “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.” Since this is humanity we’re talking about, he had volunteers. Plural. The first one was too fat, so Meiwes didn’t go for it. The second one got scared and backed out at the last minute, and the third one was just right. His name was Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, and he was a German engineer. He agreed to be killed and eaten, but Brandes included the one request you’d expect in such circumstances; he wanted to eat his own penis first. So, Brandes and Armin Meiwes got to know each other. They corresponded through letters together, then met in person, had lots of sex apparently, and recorded a video tape. Of everything. The sex, the agreement to kill and eat Brandes, him saying he was willingly surrendering his life, and even the killing and slaughter of the body to bite-sized portions. It was all caught on tape. Meiwes ate this meat for months and even ground the bones into flour. Eventually, as his man-meat was running low, Armin Meiwes put out another advertisement, and this time, it got him in trouble. The German officials raided his house, finding his horrible video tapes, the frozen body parts, and the used kill-room. Meiwes confessed and was quickly arrested. So, what did Armin Meiwes finally get convicted of? What happened at his retrial, and why was it allowed? What happened to the penis he cooked? What body part did he let his dog eat? How do you prepare a fried penis, anyway? Listen, laugh, learn.   Ramstein: Mein Teil music video that mentions Meiwes, you know, in German. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBvwcH4XX6U   Supposed Leaked Screenshots. Not verified, and VERY disturbing. View at your own risk. http://lostmediaarchive.wikia.com/wiki/The_Armin_Meiwes_Tape_(Recorded_in_2001)   EDIT:: Thanks to Gesa Lycos for schooling us on how to spell German cities!
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Episode 316: Jean Paul Getty–Oil Billionaire and Crazy Miser
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at Jean Paul Getty, once the richest man in the world, an American oil magnate, a crazy miser with his money, and a guy who let his own grandson be kidnapped and mutilated just to save a few bucks. Many people in Southern California know Getty as the guy who opened the art museums and drilled oil, and he was that. But he was also so cheap with his billions that he makes Mister Burns and Scrooge McDuck look like big spenders. Jean Paul Getty built his fortune after he got a start at his father’s small oil business. Getty was obsessed with proving his father wrong (who claimed he would fail as a business man), and he became overcome with a goal to succeed and be rich. He worked tirelessly to acquire as many oil leases as possible, and his business exploded. After his father’s death, Getty took control of the company and made a lot of shrewd deals that increased his wealth. Eventually, he made deals with the king of Saudi Arabia for a piece of land nobody had ever drilled on before, and it paid off. He was soon the first oil billionaire. But with that wealth came a ton of family trouble. Some of his kids and grandkids became addicted to drugs, some died, and he let a lot of bad things happen to people he could have otherwise saved if he’d been willing to part with some of his massive fortune. The most famous case of this was when Jean Paul Getty refused to pay the ransom that the Italian mob asked for to return his kidnapped grandson. The kid was abducted for almost two months, and Jean Paul Getty negotiated for a cheaper payment. So, how many times did Jean Paul Getty marry? Who won in his will? What body part was cut off before he agreed to pay his grandson’s ransom? What’s with the payphone in his mansion? Why did he do his own laundry and recycle letters by sending the other people? Why did he collect so much art? What drug did he take for his erection problems when he was older? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 315: Jack the Ripper–The Ultimate Serial Killer
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we travel back to Victorian England to look at the grandfather of all infamous serial killers, the one and only Jack the Ripper. From August 7th to September 10th of 1888, a series of horrible murders took place in the seamy Whitechapel district of London. They were all prostitutes, and they were all killed by a slash across the neck and then mutilated after the death. The papers ran with the story, giving the murderer the name Jack the Ripper. Whitechapel was a place filled with hookers and murders, but the heinous nature of these killings (along with plenty of missing body parts) made the story become larger than life, a truly viral phenomenon. This led to a series of letters sent to the police and the newspapers, most of them frauds, but some are considered legit letters written by Jack the Ripper to taunt the police. A dozen women were killed in this time span, and five of them are considered canonical to The Ripper. The final killing was the most brutal and most desecrated body. So, after a hundred years have passed, who do experts think Jack the Ripper actually was? Some follow the “From Hell” hypothesis that it was a Masonic cover up to protect members of the British royal family. Others think it was noted serial American killer HH Holmes or the Texas-based Servant Girl Annihilator. Who did the police at the time think he was? What do modern day forensic examinations say about those police findings? Why did so many of the suspects end up in insane asylums? Was it actually the femail dubbed “The Mad Midwife”? What did modern FBI profilers say about Jack the Ripper, and how does this profile tie into existing theories of who this enigmatic killer was? Listen, laugh, learn.   FBI Jack the Ripper: https://vault.fbi.gov/Jack%20the%20Ripper/Jack%20the%20Ripper%20Part%201%20of%201/view Ripper Suspects: https://whitechapeljack.com/jack-the-ripper-suspects/
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Episode 314: Julius Caesar: Ultimate Historical Badass?
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we travel back in time and look at the life, loves, and conquests of one of the biggest bad-asses in all of human history, Julius Caesar. Caesar was born to an aristocratic family that was on the decline. But he was smart and of the right pedigree, so at least he had a chance to rise to power, and rise to power he did. He started by marrying up. He got with a number of women who were above his station, one of them even as powerful as the granddaughter of Roman Emperor, Sulla. This move pissed the emperor off, so Caesar had to join the army and get the hell away. While off at war, he became an even bigger badass, proving himself a master of tactics and diplomacy. When he finally returned, he started to rapidly climb up the ranks of Roman political society. Part of this meant the ability to raise armies and collect loot, and he did this too. After many years, he finally had the backing of two other major players in Rome, and they formed a group called the Triumvirate, which ruled the nation. His partners were Marcus Licinius Crassus and Pompey. Crassus was the wealthiest man in Rome, and Pompey was another experience general. In this set up, Caesar fights and wins the Gallic Wars, and his telling of the tactics and battle are still considered one of the all-time greats of Western writing. However, eventually, his ally Crassus was killed, and his financial backing was lost to Caesar. From there, he and Pompey got into what was essentially a civil war for control of Rome. This war led to major moments in Roman history, such as Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon. It also leads to him chasing Pompey all the way to Egypt where Julius Caesar falls in love with Cleopatra. Why was Caesar so popular among the people but hated by the senate? What led to his getting murdered on the floor of the senate? What happened when Caesar was captured by pirates? What ever came of the love child that was spawned from the love of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar? What’s up with the pickles? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Bonus Episode: It’s the Most Magical Time
Welcome to a bonus episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast. Just to be clear, in our normal podcast episodes, we do research on key topics that listeners vote on, and we give our takes on the information we dig up. The topics range from serial killers to conspiracy theories to abuses of power and cults. In this episode, however, we turn to Facebook and ask listeners for questions they want us to answer. So this bonus episode is different. We explain all of that at the top of the show, just to head off any questions you may have. So, if you want a bunch of research and factual goodness, skip this episode and turn to others with a clear focus. If you want a lot of dicking around, however, you’re in the right place! On this bonus episode, we answer some of the following: What is our favorite song that we are embarrassed to admit to? What is our favorite guilty pleasure? What is our favorite time of year? What is our favorite Star Wars character? What is our favorite comfort food? And many more! So, if you want to hear a casual bonus episode where we BS a little and have some laughs, this is the one for you. If you are an information hound or a Sofa King purist, you can go to any other episode and get your fix. Also, we do a live-stream for our $10 and above Patrons on these episodes. We really appreciate all you do to support us, and we try our best to give you unique shout outs. If you like the show or just want a fancy shout out, visit us at https://www.patreon.com/sofakingpodcast
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Episode 313: Boston Dynamics: The Real-Life Terminators?
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we oil up the servos and get ready to fight the upcoming robot overlords by exploring the history, robots, and unique funding source of the strangest corporation most people have never heard of—Boston Dynamics. Boston Dynamics was founded in 1992 as a means to fulfill its founder Marc Raibert’s lifelong dream of making robots that are supernatural in their abilities. That’s not creepy at all. It was an offshoot of the prestigious MIT, and its initial goal was to create functioning robotic legs. It did. And then some. Most people who have heard of Boston Dynamics learned of them when their video of their first big robot, Big Dog, went viral in 2005. This robot was meant to be a pack mule for US troops and was able to carry 340 pounds up a 35% hill, even on ice and mud. It worked, but it was too loud since it relied on a diesel generator, so the project was scrapped by DARPA, the group who funded it. But that wasn’t all DARPA funded through Boston Dynamics. In fact, before Google bought the company in 2013, it had given a total of $150 Million to the firm to push the boundaries of robotic innovation, even if they didn’t have a viable product to show for it. That’s what DARPA does, after all; it funds moonshot type projects like the Internet and GPS and gets them to work for the entire world (after, of course the US government uses the hell out of them first). Boston Dynamics was sold off by Google to a Japanese firm called SoftBank once Google realized they made no products to sell (their money came from government contracts, which Google refused to accept). Oh, and they also wanted to distance themselves from the creepy robots that scarred the pants off of everyone with YouTube. Seriously, give them a look at the links below. We talk about Sand Flea, Little Dog, Spot Mini, Atlas, and any number of robots this firm has created. One day, their creations will kill us all. Seriously. Raibert’s Horrible Geocities Website on mit.edu: http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/leglab/old-leglab/people/mxr.html Good List of Creepy Videos: https://mashable.com/2018/06/27/learn-tableau-online-course-sale/#VsLnilcgNaqy
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Episode 312: Apartheid: The Ultimate Racism
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at the ultimate in institutionalized racism, South Africa’s Apartheid. Apartheid literally means separateness, and it was a policy of social discrimination turned into pretty hardcore laws that stripped the rights away from black South Africans. Although the black population was almost 4 times larger than the white, after these laws were in place, the wealth and land was owned by whites in staggering proportions. Apartheid formally started in 1950 when the Population Registration Act was passed. This law classified all citizens as white, black (Buntu), colored, or Asian. At this time, it also became illegal for whites and blacks to be married, and even mixed children (aka colored) would be forcibly taken away from parents to be raised by someone with the same muted skin color as them. (The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah talks about this in much of his stand-up act since he is one of the “colored” children who went through this.) Other laws were passed that combined to make what was called The Grand Apartheid. Blacks were forced to move to ghettos called Bantustans and stripped of the right to vote in South African national politics. They had to carry passports everywhere. Much of their land was taken by the government and sold to white farmers for cheap. Those who resisted in public were arrested by the thousands or just plain shot by the police. Resistance leadership such as Nelson Mandela were arrested, many of them being beaten to death in prison. So what finally made Apartheid come to an end in the 1990s? What was “Sun City,” and how did it bring together Bono, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, The Fat Boys, Run D.M.C., Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, Hall and Oates, Ringo Starr, and Joey Ramone? How did the Soweto Protests lead to change and support by the United Nations? Since nobody in American every teaches this subject, how much did we get right? Listen, laugh, learn. Sun City Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY3w9gLjEV4 David Goldblatt Photos: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/david-goldblatt-south-african-photographer-who-exposed-apartheid/news-story/d710b2d7194ae54aaa473c0c912b26d3
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Episode 311: Jackie Chan: Martial Arts Mogul
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we all become drunken masters and study the life, times, films, injuries, and legacy of one of the all-time greats of the Kung Fu film: the one and only Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan was born in Hong Kong to what are described as very poor and radical parents. They allegedly tried to sell Jackie to his delivery doctor for $26, and when they got in trouble with the communist regime (his mom may have been an opium dealer and his father a spy—and no, I’m not making this up), they abandoned him with the Chinese Opera Research Institute, a brutal Hong Kong boarding school. Here, Chan learned the ropes and built up all the skills he would need to become the master of the genre he is today. His childhood was like a real-life Kung Fu movie. He was stretched with ropes, beaten for making mistakes, and had to endure grueling 19 hour work days when as young as 8 years old. He graduated at the age of 17 and was immediately working as an acrobat and stunt man in Hong Kong action films. A year later, he landed a big break and was able to work with the legendary Bruce Lee on three films, and this got him noticed. From there, Jackie Chan was tapped to be a likely successor once Lee died, but Jackie had a different style and mood. He was all about slapstick comedy. Borrowing from film greats like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, Jackie worked a lot of humor into his intense martial arts sequences. Oh, and stunts. He does his own, almost dying so many times it has become a cliché. So what were his most dangerous stunts? How many bones has he broke? How many movies has he made? Why does dislike like making movies for American studios? What did he do to make the criminal Chinese Triad back down? What is his stance on communism? What’s up with the stuffed pandas? Listen, laugh, learn. Jackie Chan’s Comedy Action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1PCtIaM_GQ Best Fight Scenes List: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhNcqdZCgPE
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Episode 310: Amelia Earhart: Feminist, Trail-Blazer, Spy?
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the fame, flight records, trail blazing, and life story of the biggest missing persons case in American History: they case of Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart was born to an upper middle class family, and though her father was an alcoholic, and her parents had a decades long on-again off-again relationship, she still managed to get admitted to Columbia medical school and have a very liberal childhood. She was raised to be free from the typical constraints of women back in the early 1900s, and this freedom from male oppression was part of what made her rise to fame. Earhart ended up signing up as a nurse volunteer during World War One, and this is where she met wounded pilots and fell in love with the idea of flying. Within a couple of years, she had taken flying lessons, and within one year of learning how to fly, she set the high altitude record for a woman! Amelia Earhart continued to set records, buying her first plane at an incredibly young age. She lived the dream of the Wright Brothers, and eventually, she was part of a rare flight across the Atlantic (though not the pilot), and this made her famous. She wrote a book, became editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine, started a fashion line, and continued to set record after record as a pilot and continued to be a trail blazer for women’s liberation. Eventually, Amelia Earhart decided to assemble a team and fly completely around the globe, taking a more dangerous route that covered more miles (and hopefully set another record….). She set out to fly a westerly course leaving Oakland, but she had back luck in Hawaii, and her plan was very badly damaged. After a delay in repairs and new fundraising, she had to chart a new course heading east this time and flew 22,000 miles of the roughly 30,000, almost completing her course. However, as she left New Guinea for a small island near Hawaii, her plane vanished. She was in contact with a Coast Guard ship, but lost radio communication with them. So, where do people think she ended up? Did she drown in the sea with her co-pilot? Did she live out her years as a castaway? Was she captured by the Japanese as they postured to begin World War II? Was she actually a spy working for President Roosevelt, and why do people think this? What about the picture of Amelia Earhart that surfaced recently? Listen, laugh, learn.  
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