Previously, I introduced you to my five favorite episodes of one of the best true crime podcasts around, The Casefile True Crime Podcast. The series is still going strong, as is the popularity of true crime itself. The program is offering up even more fascinating cases for listeners to dive into with their new bi-weekly format. They are now up to 116 cases, and run the gamut of well-known stories like that of serial killer Ivan Milat (Case 109: Belanglo, which spanned five episodes), to cases probably never even heard of before by many.
This diversity still works in Casefile True Crime Podcast’s favor. Because while it is excitedly agonizing to have to wait so long for new episodes, the care they take with each story guarantees that listeners are never disappointed, no matter how big or small the case is. All of these peoples’ stories need to be told, and Casefile does so with the kind of care and respect they deserve. Listeners can now receive a newsletter that accompanies each episode, which includes reactions from the writers on how they felt about the case, as well as any updates from past cases that the podcast has covered.
If you’re still not on board with this amazing show, I’ve dug back into Casefile’s vault, taking into account new cases since the last list, to bring you five more episodes that stood out!
Case 51: Tina Watson
In October 2003, newlyweds Tina and Gabe Watson took a honeymoon trip to Australia where they partook in Gabe’s favorite pastime, scuba-diving. Gabe was an experienced diver, Tina was barely a novice. While exploring the dive site of the shipwreck the SS Yongala in the Great Barrier Reef, Tina experienced difficulties in the water and drowned. This may seem like a horrible and tragic accident, but Casefile shows that it was anything but. They cover the many fascinating and frustrating intricacies involved in this story, such as the conflicting reports of the event from Gabe himself and fellow divers who were with them on the trip. They also delve into Gabe’s behavior after Tina’s death. At two-and-a-half hours long, the detailed work put into this episode is astounding, and it is one that I have listened to several times. You really come to care about these people so much that you just want to get to the truth, and see justice served for Tina.
Case 59: Amy Lynn Bradley
Another tragic story of an ill-fated trip, Case 59 covers the disappearance of 23-year-old Amy Lynn Bradley. Bradley, her parents, and her brother disembarked for a week-long Caribbean cruise in March of 1998 aboard the Royal Caribbean International ship, the Rhapsody of the Seas. After a fun night of dancing, Amy retired to her cabin, where she was spotted by her father in the early morning hours, sleeping on her balcony. However, less than an hour later, she was gone, and there has not been a legitimate reported sighting of her since. This is another intriguing and yet frustrating story from Casefile True Crime Podcast, as they explore what Amy’s family has been through in trying to locate their daughter. From the initial delay of the cruise ship to search for Amy, to the parents being taken advantage of by a private investigator, it is an incredibly sad story that unfortunately has no real resolution. Still, Casefile’s amazing storytelling technique shines in this episode, which is why it stands as one of my favorites.
Case 67/68: Battle of Alcatraz/Escape from Alcatraz
“Break the rules and you go to prison. Break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz.” There are no doubt many amazing stories to be told about the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary from the 29 years the island fortress was used as such. For back-to-back cases 67 and 68 of Casefile, the host explored two of these. The Battle of Alcatraz was a two-day ordeal that occurred in 1946 after a failed escape attempt by prisoner Bernie Coy, where two corrections officers and three prisoners were killed. Of the 14 total escape attempts from Alcatraz, the one covered in the Escape from Alcatraz episode is the one believed to be the most successful, that of Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin in 1962. I love historical stories such as this, and while they are still grim, considering the loss of life, there’s something enjoyable about these episodes because they are a departure from the often very dark and hard-hitting murders that the show has delved into so regularly.
Case 89: Ella Tundra
Case 89 is another somewhat welcome departure for Casefile True Crime Podcast as there is no murder in this case. There is, however, the absolutely terrifying story of the depraved Richard Brittain (pictured below). Casefile does an amazing job of presenting this story to listeners, first introducing us to the seemingly unrelated incident of a woman being smashed over the head with a bottle while working in a grocery store. Then the story of Brittain is slowly revealed. He’s a narcissistic loner who stalked and terrorized a woman, even writing a book based on his obsession called The World Rose, where he names the object of his desire Ella Tundra. He then traveled all the way to Scotland to attack a woman who gave his book a bad review online. She thankfully survived, and the woman Brittain stalked also came out unscathed, but this story is still unbelievably scary. Brittain even wrote a blog post called “The Benevolent Stalker,” which made the rounds online in 2014. This, coupled with his criminal actions, make him a blood-chilling but important person for Casefile to examine. People need to be made aware and take proper precautions and do what they can to avoid people of his ilk.
Case 93: Susan Snow and Bruce Nickell
You’ve probably heard of the Chicago Tylenol murders from 1982, where seven people died after taking pills that had been laced with cyanide. This case was never solved, but led to stricter federal product-tampering laws. Four years later, the first person to be punished under these laws was Stella Nickell (pictured below). She and her husband Bruce were living in the Seattle, Washington area in 1986 when she murdered him using a similar method of lacing Excedrin pills with cyanide. Her main motive? The life insurance policy she had taken out on Bruce. Nickell also tampered with other bottles of Excedrin in the area to make it look like the Chicago case, which led to the death 40-year-old Susan Snow. While the story of how Nickell was eventually caught for these crimes is again fascinating, Casefile’s coverage of this case really hits home the tragedy of the innocence of these two victims because of one person’s greed.
Subscribe to Casefile wherever you get your podcasts to listen to these fascinating cases and more from the vault of true crime.
*Updated November 19, 2020