• True Crime

    Five True Crime Podcast Episodes for Halloween

    If you’re an avid podcast listener like me, you’re always on the hunt for good shows to listen to. Several podcasts in my feed put out Halloween-related episodes recently, so I thought I’d share those with you. The first two cases I had never heard of before, so I’m curious to see if they are new to you as well. Of course, I couldn’t resist adding in my own ghostly episode of Missing in the Carolinas I created last year into this mix. Enjoy! Dateline: The Night Before Halloween If you’re a true crime junkie like me, you enjoy watching “Dateline” but may not always have the time to watch the episodes when…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: What Happened to Jamie Fraley?

    Jamie Fraley was a young 22-year-old from Gastonia who had lived most of her life with bipolar disorder and anxiety, but according to friends and family, she was on a medication that was working for her and excited about the future. She was taking classes at Gaston Community College and living in a nearby apartment. She was also engaged at the time to a young man named Ricky Simonds Junior. They had been living together until he was arrested and charged with theft. Despite his arrest, Fraley was supportive of Ricky Junior and stood by him while he served out his sentence. She was living alone at the apartment, but Ricky’s father, Ricky…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: Who Killed Lue Cree Overcash Westmoreland?

    This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. When 20-year-old Lue Cree Overcash Westmoreland retired for the evening at the home of her husband’s family on Jan. 19, 1937, no one expected the young bride of only two months would be murdered by the next morning. Lue Cree’s husband, Herman Westmoreland, lived in an apartment during the week so he could be close to his job at Cascade Mills in Mooresville. Lue Cree was staying at the family home in the Amity Hill area of Iredell County. According to an article that ran in the Statesville Record & Landmark, members of the Westmoreland family went to call Lue…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The N.C. Murders of Viktor Gunnarsson and Catherine Miller

    North Carolina isn’t exactly the place where one would expect to find a man suspected of being involved with the assassination of the Prime Minister of Sweden hiding out. Nor would they expect the man would be murdered as the result of a love triangle and not his troubles abroad. But that’s what happened to Viktor Gunnarsson in December 1993. On Feb. 28, 1986, Prime Minister Olof Palme was exiting a movie theater on a busy street in Stockholm when he was shot and killed. His wife, Lisbet, sustained injuries during the attack but survived. Because Gunnarsson, known to be a staunch right-wing extremist at the time, was spouting off hate speech about…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Murder of Foy Dixon Cooper

    Author David Aaron Moore shared the story of Foy Dixon Cooper in his book Charlotte: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem. At around 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 1959, a group of young boys gathered in the Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte to play and chase squirrels and chipmunks like they often did. Playing in a cemetery could involve quite a bit of creative role playing for energetic children, so when one boy, Dale Jackson, dared Ronnie McCauley to enter a nearby crypt so he could meet Dracula, the youngster didn’t back down. McCauley stuck his hand and then his head into the opening of the crypt, screaming, “Hey, there’s a real dead woman in…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: William Dathan Holbert

    He was known to his friends as “Wild Bill Cortez” on the small islands of Bocas del Toro, a Caribbean enclave in Panama popular with tourists and expats. But what no one knew was that “Wild Bill” was actually a fugitive from North Carolina who had found the perfect paradise to fund a lifestyle he felt he deserved. In reality, the man was named William Dathan Holbert and he grew up in Hendersonville, N.C., where he played football at North Henderson High School, started up his own landscaping business after graduation, got married and fathered three children. In 2004, while working at a fitness chain in the Asheville area called The Body Shop,…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Murder of Christina Maria Matos

    Christina Maria Matos was just trying to help out a friend, but the generosity she was so well known for likely caused her death. Matos had just turned 20 and was living in an apartment in Raleigh, N.C. and working as a server in a couple of different restaurants. Last semester she had taken courses at nearby Wake Tech Community College. Her parents spoke to her on her birthday, Fri., April 2, 2021, and she was excited to be going out with friends. When they didn’t hear from her for the rest of the weekend, they grew concerned, because it wasn’t like her not to respond to their calls or texts. When she…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: An Update in the Kristin Smart Case

    In January of last year I wrote about the podcast, Your Own Backyard, which Chris Lambert created and produced. Smart’s disappearance has always been a sad mystery to me, because she went missing from her university in California at the same time I was attending college in North Carolina. She was a 19-year old student at Cal Polytechnic State University attending an off-campus party when she became intoxicated and walked home with two classmates, one being a young man named Paul Flores who was questioned after she went missing. I always had a sinking feeling harm came to Smart and because she was inebriated, she was unable to defend herself properly (FYI–Paul Flores…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Craft of Writing on the Strange and Sinister

    In addition to writing about true crime here, I’ve also shared my story of honing the craft over at WOW! Women on Writing. Here are a just a few of the posts I’ve written on the topic, and it’s fun to see my progression go from just a spark to a fully-developed project or idea. How to Write Compelling True Crime. In this post I share how I came up with the idea to start up Missing in the Carolinas, and how it evolved from being just a missing persons podcast to one that mixes in solved cases and reviews of other true crime shows and books. I also used this content to…

  • Mystery,  True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: Who Was Mecklenburg Jane Doe?

    Did you know Mecklenburg County in North Carolina has a cold case featuring an unidentified deceased woman whose loved ones may be missing her? Investigators with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have given her the name of “Mecklenburg County Doe.” On March 17, 2011, the incomplete skeletal remains of a female were found in a wooded area on Statesville Avenue in Charlotte. The woman, who was estimated to be between the ages of 20-30 years old, was white or Hispanic. She weighed around 110 pounds when she died. The manner and cause of death have not been released at this time. She was wearing a small white t-shirt with the words “Virginia Beach, Virginia”…