(Introduction to show begins)
TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host): I’m Todd Matthews. This is Missing Pieces. Tonight we have Leslie Rule. Welcome Leslie.
LESLIE RULE (Missing Pieces Guest): Hi Todd.
TODD: How are you doing?
LESLIE: I am doing wonderfully thank you. I’m excited to be here with you.
TODD: Oh I’m enjoying having you here. This is takes two; we had technical difficulties so we’re recording this once again and hopefully it will come through really good this time. I hope we are as brilliant tonight as we were last night.
LESLIE: I don’t know if we will be able to be as brilliant as we were last night but we will try.
TODD: We can call it a trial run.
LESLIE: What was that?
TODD: We had a trial run last night. That was our audition; so we did really good on it.
LESLIE: Yes now, shall we tell the listeners about the anomaly?
TODD: Yeah, yes it was. We had a crazy start to last night’s show; when I first called Leslie…you can tell them what happened.
LESLIE: Well first of all, let me just lay the groundwork. Neither Todd nor I call ourselves psychics, yet we both seem to have a really powerful sixth sense, especially when it comes to murdered victims, and both you and I Todd, have had a number of dreams where we feel like we are connecting with people from the other side often before we are even aware of these cases, people will come to us in dreams and then we later become aware of the cases and the things that we see in the dreams fit. We both feel a great compassion for those who have been victims and especially when it’s an unsolved case. Well, yesterday, Todd called me about 10 minutes before the actual phone call of actual the interview, to let me know that he was going to be calling back. So I said, “Sure Todd, I’ll be here, right by the phone.” So, sure enough, 10 minutes later the phone rings, I pick it up and I say “Hello” and I here a woman, very clearly, say “Hello” and then I hear Todd say “Hello” and I thought it was our mutual friend Kimberly Bruklis who produces the show for you, and I said, “Is that Kimberly?” And he said, “No, Kimberly’s not here” and I said, “Well who was the woman?” There was no woman.
TODD: I have no woman in the house other than my wife.
LESLIE: Then did your wife pick up the extension?
TODD: No. No, she stays completely away from this work. She can’t get far enough away from me when I’m trying to do an interview because she’s afraid I’ll try to discuss something with her so she is completely out of it. I think this will give us an opportunity to lay a little groundwork on why Leslie and I were talking about ghosts. Leslie is a mystery writer, a ghost writer…what else, kind of describe yourself to us a little bit.
LESLIE: Well, I have written many books but I have been able to publish 6 of them, and my latest 3 books, are non-fiction books about ghosts. I am currently working on a fourth and I find that many of the cases that I write about seem to be rooted in crime, especially murder and especially unsolved murder. Now, when I began writing ghost stories, I simply wanted to collect interesting accounts across the country where people have actually witnessed ghosts and then I wanted to validate the sighting by diving into the archives and finding the deaths that occurred in or near the vicinity of where the ghost was seen and I also wanted to find obituaries that contained descriptions of people that would match what was being seen. To me, that was a way of validating the actual ghost sighting. Now I have discovered that it has taken me in a direction I did not plan to go in. My mother is a very successful true-crime author, Ann Rule, and I always swore that I was not going to write true crime because that’s her area and you like to do your own thing. Well it turns out that so many of these ghost stories are rooted in murder that I had no choice; this last book was just begging to be written. It’s ‘When The Ghost Screams – True Stories of Victims Who Haunt’ and it features cases of murder victims, many are victims of unsolved crimes and my genre has now collided with my mother’s and there’s just no getting around it; it seems to be in my blood.
TODD: You know I think you’ve built on her work. You have her foundation; that’s your bloodline into this type of work and now you’re taking it a little bit of a different direction but you’re not really straying from her genre. It’s really neat; you really need to read both writers to understand.
LESLIE: My mom goes into great detail with her cases and my editors make me keep my stories short so most of the pages are 3 or 4 pages long in these books. Now, I also have a background in true crime because I have been assisting my mother since I was about 17 years old. I shoot killers for her as a photographer, I’ve gone to many, many trials with her and helped her take notes and I shoot the killers. I wish I could say I did it with a gun but that’s not allowed so I have to do it with a camera but my mom sometimes can’t believe it when I get up in the killer’s face and take their picture during the breaks in the trial. She says, “How do you have the nerve to get up there and do that?” because a lot of times they’re not very happy with me for taking their picture. Sometimes they primp and they pose and, for instance, there’s a man by the name of David Brown who convinced his 15-year-old daughter to shoot and kill his wife, her stepmother. He told his daughter, Cinnamon Brown, “If you don’t kill this woman, I’m going to be dead because she’s plotting to kill me.” Poor Cinnamon was terrified of losing her daddy and she did it; she killed her own stepmother. Little did she know that it was a diabolical plot on his part to get the insurance money and to hook up with his wife’s teenage sister. Well, when I took photographs of David Brown in that courtroom, he actually got out his comb and groomed himself and turned and looked at me so I could get a good shot of him, Now, I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s not the most attractive man in the world, but he was very pleased to pose for the camera. Now, here’s another case Todd, it starts out as a crime case but it actually collides with my genre which is the paranormal.
TODD: uh huh
LESLIE: When David Brown killed his wife and Cinnamon was safely incarcerated for the crime because she did initially take the blame, and he hooked up with the dead wife’s younger sister, Patti Bailey, and they went back to the house where Linda Brown had been murdered, they found that they could not sleep in the bedroom because Linda was crying; they could hear her sobbing.
LESLIE: They actually had to drag the mattress out to the living room because they could not sleep in the room where she’d been murdered and where, apparently, her ghost still was. This was especially painful, because poor Linda Brown was the new mother of an infant daughter, so her soul must have been in great pain. My mom went back to the scene of the crime to take photographs for her book; I usually take pictures for her but if I’m not available, she does it herself and when she got the pictures back, she gasped because there, framed in the window, was an image of a woman with long blond hair who resembled Linda Brown, the murder victim. By that time, none of the principles in the case lived in the house any longer and the people that were living there were aged and nobody resembled that person that my mom caught in the window. She went back and tried to duplicate it again when the lighting was just right to see if maybe it was just a reflection but wasn’t able to get the same image.
TODD: It’s when you least expect it.
LESLIE: Yes. That’s what Todd and I were just talking about before we started the interview…when we’re not expecting it, that’s when something happens.
TODD: We tried to listen again when we reconnected this telephone call. We tried to listen for some of the anomalies that we had yesterday and we’re not kidding; that really happened. You know you’re part of the Missing Pieces family already, I think even before you even knew it. We connected a few years back on your book ‘Ghosts Among Us’ and I think the last word in that book was ‘Doe Network’.
LESLIE: Yes it was.
TODD: And you featured one of the cases.
LESLIE: Now this is really interesting because I learned of The Doe Network via a ghost story. It began with an email from a woman who I didn’t know and I have a chapter on this, it’s called ‘The Lost Lady’ and the email began, “I work in the Peco Energy Building in Coatesville and several times, when I’m in here very early, I know this sounds strange, a ghostly lady with wet hair and a gold spot on the top of her dress comes through; she is very forlorn.” That was the email that I received on February 7, 2002. The woman writing to me, her name was Katie Furman, she hadn’t heard of me and she hadn’t heard of my mother. She had a problem and so she simply typed in 2 words to search on the web, ‘crime’ and ‘ghosts’ and she came up with my email and she wanted to know why she was seeing this apparition. It was always summer time when she would see this poor woman and it was early, early in the morning, 4 a.m., and before anyone else had arrived at work. The first time that Katie glimpsed this ghost, she didn’t even realize that it was a ghost because she looked so real. She saw a lady walking past her cubicle and the woman was distraught, she was crying and Katie was alarmed. She thought it was her fellow employee, Mary-Grace, so Katie jumped up and chased her down the hall and Mary-Grace didn’t come in until later. She said that there is always an overwhelming sadness that accompanies the encounter and she says, “Now that I know she is dead, I stay in my seat and I don’t run after her any more. Well the woman had missing legs; she discovered that later when the woman floated by and she got a closer look at her, she saw that she was missing her legs. This is often the case with apparitions but in this case, it may also have something to do with the crime. Now, Katie and I do not know for sure if the nearby murder case is connected with the ghost but we suspect it is. We both did a little digging and Katie discovered that there was a murder nearby, in her town, and it was a very sad case of a woman who was killed in the summer time and when her body was found, she did have wet hair, like the ghost, and Katie has said that this poor murdered woman, who is a Jane Doe, resembles the ghost that she saw. So as Katie told me the story of this, I knew I needed to investigate so I went to the area and an extremely talented forensic artist by the name of Frank Bender, who has done a number of the reconstructions on The Doe Network, met with me and he and I went to the town where the murder victim was found and we met with the detective there. Now this poor lady was murdered, and it’s been quite a few years now, the case will be right there on the website if your listeners want to look it up, but she was found on July 11th, 1995, and she was in a maroon suitcase. The poor lady has not been identified yet. Now I believe there may be a connection between this case and 2 other cases, and those are both listed on The Doe Network. One is another woman who was found in Las Vegas within weeks of this victim; she too was found with her legs removed in a maroon suitcase; she too appeared to be Hispanic, as was the first Jane Doe. In addition to that, I wonder about another case that’s listed on The Doe Network as Hot Case #618, again a woman who may be Hispanic or may be black, no one knows for certain, with tattoos of a cherry on her body, was found with her legs removed, washed ashore, again in a suitcase. So I think that these really warrant a good look.
TODD: Do you know of anybody having connected these cases together before in an investigative type role?
LESLIE: No. I did mention it to the detective. The thing is that the detectives are extremely busy and their plates are full and there are so many clues that come in; they really do need the eyes and the ears of the public.
TODD: And that’s what we try to do with The Doe Network, and I get to work with so many great people; with The Doe Network; with Project EDAN we do the forensic reconstruction; with this program, I get to meet so many interesting people and they all work so hard trying to present these cases to the public.
LESLIE: Sadly, there’s so many bad guys out there that the good guys have to work a little harder and it can be an average citizen, like Todd and Kimberly and I, Kimberly being the producer of Todd’s show. We always urge people to try to take the time to pay attention to The Doe Network, get on that website and look through it. Now, one caveat, it’s a little disturbing even though there are no body pictures, there are drawings of people who were found and reconstructed busts and things like that; they can still be a little disturbing, so just be aware of that, but these people really do need the eyes of the public to examine them and see if you find anybody on there that resembles somebody that has dropped out of sight because a lot of these people may be or a sort of transient nature, the type that took off and maybe went on little travels without initially telling their family. But, if years go by and you haven’t heard from a family member, you really should take a look at The Doe Network and see if an old friend or family member may have met with foul play.
TODD: It wouldn’t hurt to look.
LESLIE: Not everybody on here, of course, is a murder victim. Some of them were just terrible accidents.
TODD: I’m hoping that if you have a John or Jane Doe in your community that you might not find on The Doe Network, chances are that we might not have heard of it yet so do let us know. You have all the contact information on doenetwork.org where you can let us know and we will do a little research, we will try to contact media in the area and get more information and we’d love to add it to The Doe Network website.
LESLIE: And now Todd, you were telling me before, that though you have…how many do faces do you have on The Doe Network of found victims?
TODD: Oh, there’s hundreds, hundreds, hundreds, into the thousands.
LESLIE: Though you have hundreds, everything isn’t connected yet so there are probably hundreds of little police stations across our country who have information on bodies that have been buried, either some of them have saved the clothes, some of them have simply saved DNA or the information and those need to be sent in, and where should people send those Todd?
TODD: You can contact us at doenetwork.org and we can help you place this information. In fact, with Project EDAN, that’s the forensic art project, www.projectedan.us we can offer law enforcement agencies, with the non-profit status, free reconstructions and a lot agencies do not have reconstruction sketches or the bust because they don’t have the funding and we can those with real forensic artists free of charge for these agencies. So we like to do that and to get the faces out because we can’t the faces out if we can’t see the faces, so we have to find them.
LESLIE: And in addition to the Doe’s, the Jane and John Doe’s on the site, there’s a whole other area, and that’s missing people and do we know how many missing people are on the site?
TODD: That’s up into the thousands. The FBI statistics are that there are over 6,000 unidentified bodies with the FBI and over 100,000 missing persons, to date. But the fact is, we know there’s more than that. Even though a valid police report has been filed in a local law enforcement agency, does not mean that they have actually reported to the FBI, not to have the FBI on the case, but because of the tally. It’s important to have the tally. We know there are probably 40,000+ unidentified bodies and the number of the missing, because you are missing sometimes short-term, sometimes long-term, its way up in the hundreds of thousands.
LESLIE: One of the things that Todd and I have discussed before, that has been a great frustration for us, is the fact that the media is hesitant to cover stories that don’t involve missing people who are blond and beautiful, and it’s heartbreaking but people of every race and every description, disappear and are victims, and we need to help people who are perhaps black, or perhaps overweight or elderly, it’s not just beautiful, blond woman in their teens who disappear. Todd and I have both had frustrations with media because they are reluctant to publish stories about people missing or murdered who are not blond and beautiful.
TODD: And that’s a true story. That is true, and of course this is a retake from last night, but I did add the note, it’s what we tell the media what we want. You need to tell the media because when we buy something in certain way, they tend to keep following that format. We need to let them know and if you know of something and you want them to cover it, tell them, tell them again and tell them again. You are the consumer, you tell them what you want to see and you will see a change.
LESLIE: It’s really shocking, Todd, how many people vanish, and we hear only about the beautiful young women who look like supermodels, but they are not the only ones disappearing. Again, I think you mentioned earlier, what is the specific on that, people disappearing?
TODD: Oh, it’s over 100,000.
LESLIE: And in what period of time?
TODD: That’s at any given time. Of course, that number fluctuates.
LESLIE: At any given time, there 100,000 missing people.
TODD: Yes, that have listed with the FBI, but we do know that there’s more. It’s so hard to put your finger on that exact number and that’s why it’s important to report these to the FBI so that we can get a very accurate number and we’ll have a good handle on how many there are because we have to do a comparative analysis between the missing and unidentified and it’s hard to do without all the statistical data.
LESLIE: And again, here’s another example of something that collides with my genre, being true ghosts stories; there is a case that occurred in 1953; it was April 1953 at the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. There was a really nice, young man by the name of Ronald Tammen and he is on The Doe Network as a missing person. He was a 19-year-old business major and he stepped outside of this dorm, didn’t even take his coat, despite the fact that it was a cold night and a gentle snow fell outside. He left a psychology book open on his desk. His radio was playing, and he walked outside of Fisher Hall and never seen again. It’s so sad; so heartbreaking. Perhaps he was seen again but it was as a ghost. He was in a band called ‘The Campus Owls’; he was very active in music. Well, after he disappeared, within a couple years, students began reporting seeing an apparition near the formal gardens behind the hall where he disappeared. They chased after it and it disappeared. They don’t know if it was a prank or not but many suspected that it was his ghost and every Halloween, there’s a lot of publicity around this case, as a ghost story, and actually it’s pretty sad but if that’s the only way they can get attention to the case then, you know I guess that’s better than nothing.
TODD: And we’ll take it, you know, the opportunity to get some coverage on these cases. It’s what they’re looking for and if that’s what it takes, it works.
LESLIE: You know it’s possible that Ronald Tammen isn’t dead; it’s possible that he’s an amnesia victim. You know it’s possible, you see these poor homeless old men out on the street who don’t know they are. It’s quite possible that a number of these people, that we encounter on the busy downtown streets, who are mumbling to themselves, are in fact loved ones who are missing, who have somehow had an accident or met with foul play and had a head injury. Pay attention if you meet somebody like that; don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation, but if you are in a situation where you are aware of somebody that maybe seems incoherent, if there’s a way you can dig a little deeper or alert authorities that this person may actually be a missing person, please take some action.
TODD: You know the homeless shelters are full of people that have some type of mental condition that makes them unable to function in society and that’s how they end up there, so it just stands to reason that some of the missing persons could be among them. In fact I know that they are. I am very confident that they are among those people.
LESLIE: Definitely. And a lot of these people, they get to such a mental state, they don’t know how to get back home; they may not remember. And the worse part of any of this, I think is for the families, the poor families who don’t know what has become of their loved ones.
TODD: You know we were talking earlier and I mentioned that you were part of the early part of this family of Missing Pieces, you book before this book ‘Coast to Coast Ghosts’, you actually interviewed the program director, Kimberly Bruklis, about her home. She has a haunted home and I like to say, I don’t really think our homes are haunted, as far as my self and Kimberly, I think we’re haunted, as a matter of fact. I don’t know if that’s the case with her but she’s extremely open to these types of things so it could be something surrounding her rather than her home. You recently visited her home.
LESLIE: It very well could be. It seems to be that, a lot of people may think that we’re nuts when we talk about this but it is part of our lives, that there are people on the other side that have things that they want the world to know and they pick people who are sensitive to try to talk to, and I’m somewhat psychic and Kimberly is extremely psychic so she seems to have a lot of people that are trying to get through to her.
TODD: And then sometimes it’s really difficult to make out exactly what the message is and I asked you last night, because some of these things are so very strong when they happen, you get these really, really strong feelings, why can’t they just come through very clearly? What’s the barrier?
LESLIE: Well you know we were talking about this earlier and I think that it may be that, we as humans in this culture are so tuned out, we have cell phones and laptop computers and our cup of coffee and or televisions, we are hardly noticing the living around us, let alone the dead, so it’s really difficult for somebody on the other side to try to make themselves heard. The one that really seem to be aware of those on the other side are children and animals; they seem to be extremely sensitive to this and I have had many cases where children are communicating with dead people, particularly murdered people with unsolved crimes.
LESLIE: Now in the book ‘When The Ghost Screams’, I have a case, and this is one of the few cases where I change names, I don’t usually like to changes names because it doesn’t sound real to the readers unless I put a name and a face behind the witnesses, but in this case I did not want to put a child in danger, because it seems that there may be another murderer out there and I don’t want to alert him to the fact that a little girl knows what happened. This child lives in San Antonio, Texas, and she claims that she sees a little boy by the name of Alex who was killed by his stepfather; in her words, “his Daddy got him dead”, that’s how the little girl described to us what happened. But, in this case, another psychic came on the scene and picked up on the same story without being aware of what the little girl was saying, the psychic said that the little boy was at a park in San Antonio and he wasn’t picking up his toys fast enough, so the stepfather killed him and buried him under a well there in the park. Now, we don’t know…first of all, I’m not positive that this happened but I think it’s very likely that it did happen, but we think if it did happen, it was decades ago and the little girl who was communicating with the ghost drew a number of pictures of things; she drew a tire iron, that was the weapon and she didn’t know what a tire iron was; she drew turtles and said that the little boy like to play with the turtles. Well the mother did some digging and discovered that the very park where this child was supposedly killed, at one time was full of these little turtles. So there were some things that came up that made us believe that perhaps there really is the ghost of a little boy there. My friend, Martin Leal, who does the original ghost tour in San Antonio, Texas, he and I met with this family and we went to the park and tried to determine if there was any paranormal activity there; we couldn’t find anything but that does not mean that something did not occur there.
TODD: You know I’ve had family members of murder victims or missing persons have very positive connections with the psychic and then sometimes very negative. I want to suggest this possibility. I think there are psychics of different degrees of abilities…
TODD: …and maybe when you see part of a scene and maybe you don’t understand, your mind struggles to fill in the missing pieces and maybe you interject something that’s not a psychic ability, it’s something that your rational mind is trying to put together, and maybe you try to figure out the reason that was there was probably because of this, and I think that maybe you have to try to push that away and try not to read something into a reading because I do believe in the psychic ability, I have seen things that I didn’t understand for many, many years until later on and then it made sense to me but I didn’t try to read anything into it, I let time find it’s way of explaining it.
LESLIE: That’s definitely right and the problem is that some psychics let their egos get the best of them and really, the better psychics, don’t have to always be right and when they see things, they offer that with a caveat, they say, “Well this is what I’m seeing but I’m not sure what it means.”
TODD: Yeah and leave it at that. You should leave it at that and let somebody else that has access to the data maybe try to evaluate it but I think maybe sometimes there’s a need to make a sellable product with it. I still hesitate, I see people at times I would like to refer them to a psychic but it’s so hard to because it’s…I don’t want to build their hope up and I think it’s a decision you’ve got to make on your own.
LESLIE: Well I know some very good psychics who I trust. They have been credible and honorable people and I could give you their names and they would be good people for you to refer these folks to.
TODD: If they must do it.
LESLIE: I did have the honor of interviewing Dorothy Allison a number of years ago when I was a regular writer for ‘Woman’s World’ magazine; I was assigned a story about psychics who worked with detectives to solve crimes. Dorothy Allison, she’s a very interesting woman from Nutley, New Jersey, who her landmark case involved a little boy, named Michael, who disappeared, and Dorothy woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible headache and she’d had this dream and in her dream she’d seen this little boy and he had his shoes on the wrong feet and he had a note for his teacher pinned to his coat, and she couldn’t get this out of her head. Well she went to the police and she told them what she saw, and she saw him, and he was stuck inside of a pipe and it was frozen. Well, sure enough, they eventually found him but not until the weather warmed up a little bit and popped out of the pipe at that point and he did indeed have his shoes on the wrong feet and the note pinned to his jacket. He had fallen into the water; it was an accident, but that was Dorothy’s landmark case. That’s when the police became aware of her and also the public.
TODD: You know I know there are people that believe and don’t believe in this type of thing and when a ghost does come through and they do give you some type of message, if that’s what indeed is happening, what would make them come through or not come through, is it…do you think that there is a time period, you know I know time doesn’t mean anything possibly in the next world, maybe they’re not so anxious to give you all the information at once or…what do you think about that?
LESLIE: First of all, let me just say that I have no answers. All I have is theories. I know no more about ghosts than anybody else and anyone who says they know all about ghosts, they’re not telling you the truth because I don’t think we can know.
TODD: I know you’ve done a lot of research and I know you’ve talked to a lot of people and I know you don’t write something unless you believe it, unless you’ve really done your homework, and I know all opinion and I know it’s all theory but I know that you took a good hard look at it.
LESLIE: I try to allow my readers to make their own decisions. I present what I learned and I quote credible witnesses and it’s ultimately up to the readers to decide, but I lean towards the theory that the ghosts are simply people who no longer have bodies and they’re doing their best to be heard and I think that how clearly we hear them, I don’t think it’s the ghosts fault, I think it’s the fault of the human. I think that people who are extremely receptive, such as my friend, psychic Nancy Myer, who is going to be on your show shortly; and Kimberly Bruklis; and the late Dorothy Allison; psychic Donna O’Day; Noreen Renier, those are some names of people who are extremely in-tune, there’s a number of others who are very, very good and are able to decipher what is being said to them. And there are people who say that some ghosts come in stronger than others, and it may be how passionate the spirit is about the message that needs to be given.
TODD: Maybe a chemistry with the person?
LESLIE: That could be it too.
TODD: Between the entity and the living. Well a lot of these things I’m going to talk about tonight, I’ve never mentioned really on the air before, but in the early days of he Tent Girl case, when I first began really getting obsessed with this case, you know I did go to a psychic, a local psychic that a lot of people went to and I asked her about this case because I was wondering why, whatever this was, was entering my dreams and was around me so much, it just seemed like this person was here. What she said was, I really can’t tell you a lot, but she said, “The answer lies within yourself.” That’s what I needed to tell you. Well, it made no sense to me at the time, and I continued to do research and 10 years later I identified her, and it was like the time didn’t make any difference, it was like I had just…she basically had said “You’ll have to figure it out yourself” and then I did.
LESLIE: And then you did. And I’m sure your listeners know the story because you’ve probably told it before.
TODD: And I tell you it took a decade before had come full circle.
LESLIE: You want to just recap it very quickly for…now here I am being the host. Tell us who the Tent Girl is because I know some people are just tuning in for the first time.
TODD: Absolutely. We’re going to have a link to it when we actually have this, but the Tent Girl was a body found by my father-in-law in 1968 in Georgetown, Kentucky. She was unidentified for 30 years, the last 10 of which I did research trying to identify her myself, but during that time, the obsession, I actually married my wife during that time period, we were teenagers, and I grew more obsessed with each passing year with this case and there were events that bordered on paranormal. I was reluctant to say these because since then I’ve had a chance to work on dozens and dozens of more cases and I did learn a lot in that case as far as the physical detective work but there’s also the other side of things that you kind of keep back because I don’t want people to think, “My God, he’s nuts.” Because there are those people that are going to think, “He’s crazy” but you know you’ve heard a detective say, “I had a hunch.”
TODD: What do you think that is?
LESLIE: A psychic feeling.
TODD: And people really don’t want to say that because they get these…everybody has their own opinion of a psychic and I would never go and tell somebody “Let me do a reading, let me think about it, let me see if something comes to me.” It either does or it doesn’t. I don’t go looking for that and, in fact, the 10 years with the Tent Girl wasn’t a very comfortable time period. It was very difficult. I would have to relate to it as some type of haunting, if you want to call it a haunting, it’s as close to a haunting as I can relate.
LESLIE: She had something to say and she chose you to say it for her.
TODD: It’s just like destiny crossed, and you know it involved…I am married to the person whose who found, you know her father found the body, and our lives are completely connected forever and then all of these other cases started coming into play after this so a lot of things were put into motion from that. It’s just like fate happened. I had no idea that anything like this was going to happen in my life.
LESLIE: uh hum
TODD: But it did and I want to make the best of it.
LESLIE: For all we know, the woman who said “Hello” on the phone yesterday, may have been the Tent Girl, but then her case was resolved, I’m thinking it also may have been a number of other people and it’s possible that it’s a woman who was born Mildred Ann Newlin and was later known as Ann Reynolds. Now, this woman, it’s a heartbreaking story for her family. It was many, many years ago. It’s been over 50 years now; it was March 13th, 1956, and it was a Tuesday afternoon and this lady was a newlywed; really, really sweet lady, real pretty, young woman whose dream was to be a teacher and she had just been married and she’d hoped to have lots of kids with her husband who was Coach Reynolds as the high school, and she was on her way home from classes at a nearby college and she was heading out to the high school where she was going to meet up with her husband and she didn’t make it. Her car was found run off the road. It was on fire and she was burning and, of course, she was dead, and it was, after much police investigation, they did decide that it was indeed a homicide. To this day, the case is unsolved. Now, here’s the kicker, Todd. It’s that, even though so many years have gone by, and no one has been arrested, everyone in this small town knows who the killer is, but they’re all afraid to say because the killer is still there. If there is a detective listening who would like to do some investigating in Avard, Oklahoma, you can take anybody on the street there and they can tell you who the killer is. This place actually is a bit of a ghost town now, and I’m not making a pun; there’s not many people living there now and the high school is long gone, but there is one part of the high school left and that is the old gymnasium. This is the same gymnasium where Coach Reynolds did his work and where Ann Reynolds used to go and sit and cheer on the games. It’s not a gymnasium any longer. Now it’s the home of Vina Rae’s Grill & Graze and that’s run by Nan Wheatley and Debra Campbell, and her ghost, Ann Reynold’s ghost is in the gymnasium. It’s been seen by a number of people. Now, one day, actually Debra Campbell was there by herself and she was really surprised because it was a slow afternoon when she suddenly looked up and saw that she had a customer and she thought, “Well that’s kind of odd” because there’s a big cowbell hanging on the door and usually when somebody walks in, well every time somebody walks in, the little bell would ring. The bell didn’t ring, so she noticed that there was a pretty, young woman sitting there and she was wearing green and the woman wasn’t making eye contact with her, she was smoothing her skirt down. Well Debra swung around and picked up her pad and pencil and turned back to take the order; the woman had gone as quickly as she had appeared. Later, when she gave a description of the woman to others, they said, “Well that sounds like just like Ann.” And not only did the description fit Ann, it also fit the outfit she had on; she was wearing green when she was killed. Now they also experienced the smell of burning hair, which will materialize out of nowhere, and it just makes them sick to their stomach. The first time that Nan Wheatley smelled it, she said it made her sick. The ghost re-arranges things in the freezer. Somebody once saw her apparition floating towards them across the room. A number of things have happened there and it’s actually believed that it might not be just Ann that’s there now. Sometimes we find on haunted sites, it’s almost as if there’s a head ghost that opens the door for the others so the place will become a bit of a portal. I’m not sure why this happens, Todd, but I just find, again and again, that if a place has one ghost, more ghosts seem to accumulate. It’s almost as if they’re inviting in their friends.
TODD: Do you think…now we talked about this before, a place or a person, if there’s a person that has openness, and it’s not like I wanted to say, “Hey, I’m open for it. Let me see. You all come to me.” You know nobody ever really picks that, but, like I said, there might be some kind of chemistry there where, once you get started, things just seem to kind of continue.
LESLIE: Yeah, and one thing that both I think that Todd and I, neither one of us advise people to use Ouija boards or to have séances; we don’t call this stuff in. When it happens, we pay attention to it. I report on it, but I don’t play with Ouija boards; I’ve had too many people in the know tell me that it’s dangerous…
TODD: uh huh
LESLIE: And I think that probably every kid in the world has probably played with one; at least people our age played with one at one time in their lives. I got one for Christmas when I was 10. It was put out by Milton Bradley at that time.
TODD: And I’ve got that. It’s just…it’s kind of like one of the tools of the trade that you don’t really use. It’s almost like a joke. Somebody will give me little toys like that, a crystal ball and things like that, almost as a joke because they kind of know me well enough and it and this is symbolic of sort of what you do or what you are and it’s just a reference point. It’s almost like…
LESLIE: It can be a joke but I just wanted to say that some people warn that it’s very dangerous.
LESLIE: I don’t know for certain that it is but I think it’s best to err on the side of caution and to not openly invite this stuff to you. If you happen to encounter a spirit, I think that you could say a prayer for the spirit or ask them what they want; this is just my opinion. There are people that are absolutely terrified of the idea and they want nothing to do with it.
TODD: Well, it’s not a good experience. Now usually, when you look back on something, the experience that you have, I didn’t know if I was losing my mind, if I was really seeing something or if I was just totally obsessed with something to the point that it was just disturbing my cycles of sleep and being awake, you know I don’t really know. It’s not something that you would want to say, “Hey, I want to do that again.” I don’t want to do it again. I never want to do it again. So I would never go try to get a tool to say, “Hey, let’s inflict this on myself again” and I think most of the people out there listening, the regulars, you all know me, I’m never going to bring somebody here that I don’t have faith in and Leslie is somebody that I don’t think would ever write anything that she didn’t believe in her heart and that’s why I want to present her to people because I know a lot of people have mentioned to me that they want to use a psychic or that are looking at…out of desperation even, that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their answers and I want you to hear from credible people, people that are not making things up and this is not a lady that would make something up.
LESLIE: Not unless I’m deliberately writing fiction. I do have a couple novels.
TODD: Well fiction, fiction is a different story but you know I know you do your homework. I know you do research. I know you pay attention. I know you don’t want to cause harm to any living being at all, I know that you want to see good things happen. You don’t want to cause any harm to anybody. You know, who would want to be remembered as a person that would do that?
LESLIE: That’s a true statement. You know we were talking earlier about ghosts that want their cases solved…
LESLIE: …and the help that they give people who are working to do that and a really fascinating story that was told to me by Frank Bender, and Frank Bender is a forensic artist who has quite a reputation; he’s the one that did the age progression of John List, and John List is the killer who murdered his entire family, his mother, his wife and his children and then took off. He was on the lam for nearly 20 years until Frank Bender did an age progression of him in the form of a bust that was so exact, he even got his eyeglasses right. When that was shown on ‘America’s Most Wanted’, List was apprehended within 11 days because of that.
LESLIE: Frank has done so many reconstructive busts that he doesn’t even recall now many he’s done and when he tries to figure out how much money he’s made, it’s pitiful, it’s like pennies an hour because he does this because he has a passion for it and he does this to help and sometimes the police department will contact him and they don’t have the money, well Frank will do it anyway. He has a studio in Philadelphia and there are these incredible busts lining shelves. I visited the place and it’s eerie but it’s as if these busts are looking at you and they’re like daring the killer to get away with murder. Frank was stumped on one particular case and it really bothered him because it was a little girl and she was found in a steamer trunk, in Pennsylvania, underneath a bridge, and it really bothered him that this poor little girl was murdered. She was a child of color and she had deteriorated to the point that she was no longer recognizable, and Frank tried to work on the bust but he couldn’t get the features right, and that doesn’t usually happen to him. He was really frustrated. Finally he went to sleet and when he slept, he dreamed, and he saw a dream that was so vivid, it was almost as if it was real; he was walking down a long corridor and he saw a door to the morgue and the door was open and beyond it was only darkness. Stretched across the doorway, blocking the doorway was a gurney, and on the gurney was a small figure, the figure sat up and it looked at him. It was a little girl, a beautiful little girl with reddish-brown skin. She smiled at him and she had these two cute little pigtails sticking out of the sides of her head. He woke up. He told me, he said, “I knew it was her. I knew it was right.” He got to work and he was able to re-create this little face exactly, her flesh tone, the wide eyes, her hairstyle so that, it took years, but eventually when the wheels of justice started to turn and her natural father saw this picture, he said, “How in the world did the artist know what her skin-tone looked like? How did he get the shade so exact? How did he know how she wore her hair?” Well this poor little girl was murdered by her mother and stepfather. The mother was on probation for killing another child but they eventually, of course, were arrested, and the older sister was a key witness, but Frank was instrumental in this case, and it seems as if that little spirit just reached out to him from beyond the grave and said, “Here I am.”
TODD: You know there are some things you just don’t question. You know when it comes down to it, why analyze it to death. That’s something that happened and you can just say, “Thank you God.” Okay, it worked out.
LESLIE: Frank is not one to use the word ‘psychic’, he’s not one to believe in ghosts or talk about ghosts. I don’t know if he disbelieves it, but it’s certainly not something that he embraces and thinks about the way that I do. This is an extremely logical person who works for the detectives to solve crimes.
TODD: Well he’s with the VIDOCQ Society too, right?
LESLIE: Oh, he’s held in extremely high regard.
TODD: Now, I’m going to have see if you can help me twist his arm. I’d love to actually bring him on here and honor him as a guest too and this is not a commercial show, so we’re not relying on ratings. This is a public service announcement so it’s not like we have to have high-profile guests, and I’m hoping to your mom here too, because I think that she’s got something to say.
LESLIE: Yeah, I think she’s like to be on in December and my friend, Nancy Myer, who was once known as Nancy Vetley, she’s featured on Court TV regularly, I’ve emailed her. And you had our good friend, Lois Duncan on, who had the book, ‘Who Killed My Daughter?’ and her case about her daughter’s murder.
TODD: She’s great. She’s great, and she had a first-hand representation of things too. You know she’s experienced; she’s not just somebody writing about it, she’s been there. She knows what it feels like.
LESLIE: I just want to say that I just heard another voice talking at the same time as you at this end. Did you hear that?
TODD: I heard something but I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t going to mention it. I was just going to let it go. I didn’t say a word.
LESLIE: We’ll let Kimberly edit that out and we’ll see if we’ve got a ghost on with us. It was as if someone was speaking in unison with you.
TODD: We’ll definitely take a look at it. We won’t edit it out. It happened. You know we let this show be raw and natural as possible and we’re nearing Halloween. Now you actually got to visit Kimberly, we both got to visit Kimberly this year.
LESLIE: I did. I got to visit Kimberly’s haunted house in Tampa.
TODD: Now how was that? Did you see anything?
LESLIE: Well, Kimberly got out her recorder and she was videotaping the hallway where a lot of the activity occurs, and as I was standing behind her, I could see a little, bright spot of light just zipping across the hallway and I don’t know what that was. There wasn’t anything there when I looked at the hallway but it was certainly on the screen.
TODD: Well I didn’t experience anything while I was there but I was so glad to see her. I was there for a government conference, I’ve been working as a consultant on the NamUs Project, the government database for missing and unidentified persons, and it just so happens that it’s taken me right there where Kimberly could help take care of me while I was in Tampa, Florida. It was just the perfect opportunity to go down there and meet with her. I was really more excited about meeting her, than going down there for the government conference. I mean, I hate to say that but it was just like fate found a way to allows us to see each other and it was really great, and I got to be there and I was so glad to hear that you were going there.
LESLIE: Yeah, it was great. We just missed each other.
TODD: Barely. We barely missed each other but I have a feeling, you know we’ve covered almost everything that we covered before. Things sort of swelled up. We’re re-doing this because we had a technical problem yesterday when we did the original taping but we’ve expanding and I think its better now. I really would like to make this a two-parter. Can I get you to say, “Let’s do part two?” It doesn’t have to be the next episode but maybe in December.
LESLIE: Let’s do a part two. I still have to tell you all the Ted Bundy stories.
TODD: Because we definitely have time for that. We definitely want to get that and I’ve got more. In fact, I’m hoping that our listeners out there will have some questions for you that we can actually have time to process and feed them back into the next episode and we’ll make this a two-parter.
LESLIE: Sounds good, Todd.
TODD: I really want to do that. Tell me, and we’ve got a little bit of time left, tell me about your new book. You’ve got a new book coming up. What’s going on with that?
LESLIE: Well I’m still researching ‘Ghosts In The Mirror’. It will be out…its due in February but it will be out in August, but I’d love to come back and tell you about that, but, in the meantime, if anybody has seen a ghost, I’d love to hear from you.
TODD: Now what prompted this book? I know you well enough to know that something has instigated this book ‘Ghosts In The Mirror.’ What’s your plan for that?
LESLIE: Well I’m actually using ‘mirror’ as a metaphor for the other side.
TODD: uh huh
LESLIE: But we also have many, many cases of ghosts seen in the mirror, so it was a natural because there are so many stories and I get emails from people inviting me to their haunted locations from all over the country. I particularly like to go to places that have haunted hotels because it’s a great place to stay while you’re researching. You have more chance of running into a ghost that way.
TODD: Well I’m hoping to entice you into the Tennessee and Kentucky area. There are a lot of things that I’d like to show you so, if between now and sometime when you publish, maybe I can talk you into coming here, and I’ll give you a personal tour through these 2 states and there are quite a few things.
LESLIE: That sounds good. I’ll come out your way.
TODD: Well we’ll say “goodnight” to our audience.
LESLIE: Goodnight audience.
TODD: And then we will definitely have you back for part two.
LESLIE: Goodnight ghosts.
TODD: Goodnight to everybody.
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