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Notorious Bakersfield is a podcast that steps back in time to look at some of Bakersfield's most notorious crimes, events, and characters that have impacted this Central California Valley community.
4 days ago
E19: Murder At Bakersfield College
Whenever a violent crime occurs at a well-known institution in a community, the community takes notice-people pay attention. And that's certainly what happened when 24-year-old Bakersfield College student Frances Lorine Brown was viciously attacked and killed on the Bakersfield College campus in 1977.
Oct 5, 2021
E18: Wiley & Grace
Wiley Dorris was one of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in Bakersfield. If you found yourself on the wrong side of the law, Wiley was the guy you wanted in your corner. But overshadowing his courtroom triumphs, was his wife's political activism and electoral comeback victories. Grace Dorris was one of the first women in the United States to be elected to public office. She was elected to the California Assembly in 1918. Two years before the United States as a whole granted women the right to even vote, Bakersfield citizens elected a woman to the California legislature to represent them. This is the story of Wiley and Grace Dorris
Sep 28, 2021
E17: Unsolved: Jessica Martinez
The 1990 abduction and murder of 4-year-old Jessica Martinez remains one of Bakersfield's most notorious mysteries. If you have any information regarding Jessica Martinez's murder, please call the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111. Secret Witness Tip Line at 661-322-4040.
Sep 21, 2021
E16: He Solved His Own Murder
William Compton, a 76-year-old cancer patient, was murdered in his home in 1993. The first Bakersfield Police detectives to investigate the murder tentatively and wrongly determined the elderly man committed suicide. Despite this error, and thanks to the victim, Christopher Lightsey emerged as a suspect.
Sep 14, 2021
E15: Unsolved: Matt Odom's Murder
28-year-old Matthew Dale Odom was assaulted and stabbed in his front yard in the early morning hours of September 15, 2014. The father of four later died at the hospital from his injuries. The seven-year anniversary of this crime is this week. Typically I cover older cases. But since this murder remains unsolved and relatively recent, I decided to cover this crime with the hope that it will jog someone's memory to help close this case. If you have information regarding this case, please contact the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111 or the Kern Secret Witness tip line 661- 322-4040.
Sep 7, 2021
E14: Terror On Panorama Drive
Ralph Smith Jr was a prominent Bakersfield home builder, real estate developer, and broker. He built many of the homes in Bakersfield's now well-established neighborhoods. In 1966, he and his family were living at 275 Panorama Dr, a home Ralph built specifically for his family. It was at this home on September 8, 1966, where Ralph Smith, his wife Edna, and son William were the victims of a home invasion that shocked not only their neighborhood but all of Bakersfield.
Aug 31, 2021
E13: Torie Lynn Knapp
This past week, a parole board recommended parole for a convicted murderer. In 2001 Torie Lynn Knapp was brutally stabbed to death by her then 15-year-old son Parker Chamberlin. This was a gruesome murder that shocked everyone who knew both the victim and the killer. How could a teenager who appeared to have a close and loving relationship with his mother...kill her...and in such a brutal way? It's a question everyone has-the family, friends of the family, even the detectives who investigated the case.
Aug 24, 2021
E12: Rose Marie Riddle Murder
The 1961 kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of 6-year-old Rose Marie Riddle happened in Shafter, only 15 miles from Bakersfield. It was so horrific, news of the crime reverberated throughout the state of California like an earthquake. Families feared that if such an awful thing could happen in the small town of Shafter, it could happen in larger communities and cities too. 1961 was a period of innocence. Children could play outdoors without their parents fearing the unimaginable. That innocence was lost for many with this horrific crime.
Aug 17, 2021
E11: 1952 Bakersfield Earthquake
During the summer of 1952, Bakersfield-actually, most of Kern County-experienced an earthquake, and a string of aftershocks that forever changed our city's landscape. Besides the tragic loss of lives, the earthquake altered downtown Bakersfield's architecture that took shape immediately following the quake. I had some questions regarding the 1952 earthquake and turned to Emily Fisher, a local geologist with a wealth of knowledge about earthquakes.
Aug 10, 2021
E10: BPD Corruption Scandal
The Bakersfield Police Department was embroiled in a corruption scandal that rocked city hall. It was a grudge match between two of Bakersfield's most powerful government officials.
Aug 3, 2021
E9: The Oildale Serial Rapist
Through the Summer of 1981, there was a serial rapist prowling the streets of Bakersfield. But you wouldn't have known about it unless you had a connection to law enforcement or a local news reporter. Or were one of his victims, or knew one of his victims. There were no newspaper headlines or nightly TV news stories warning the citizens of Bakersfield that there was a serial rapist. Police and reporters were privy to that information and they deliberately kept the public in the dark until a suspect was finally arrested four months after the rapes began.
Jul 27, 2021
E8: Deputy Kills BPD Officer
The subject of this episode deals with the death of a law enforcement officer. Coincidentally, just last Sunday, July 25, 2021, the Kern County Sheriff Office and the entire community suffered a tremendous loss. Deputy Philip Campas tragically died in the line of duty in Wasco. I'm sensitive to the reality that many in our community are grieving Deputy Campas' death, and wanted to give a heads-up to everyone before proceeding to listen to this episode. The circumstances surrounding these two incidents--the subject of this episode and Deputy Campas' death --are entirely different. Even though these two events are markedly different, I understand emotions are raw right now regarding this subject matter. I extend my condolences to Deputy Campas' family, friends, his coworkers, and fellow deputies at the Kern County Sheriff's Office.
Jul 20, 2021
E7: Stranger Than Fiction
The circumstances surrounding Eddie Lee Peel's 1977 murder are not only sad but truely bizarre. If this were a movie, nobody would believe it. But, it happened. And it's true. Except for a few names that had to be changed.
Jul 13, 2021
Episode 6: Rampage in Rosedale
The neighborhood that runs along Palm Ave in Rosedale looks remarkably the same as it did in 1992. Like then, this neighborhood doesn't seem to be the type of neighborhood where a triple murder could happen. But it did. And it left Bakersfield reeling. Kenneth and Cynthia Volpe, and Cynthia's mother Betty Reed were murdered by an evil man with a dark and deadly past.
Jul 6, 2021
Episode 5: Bakersfield Stealth Crash
On July 11, 1986, a mysterious United States military aircraft—an aircraft that the Air Force never before acknowledged existed—had crashed just outside Bakersfield. This accident threatened to expose one of the United States' most secret aircraft. Killed in this accident was USAF Major Ross Mulhare.
Jun 29, 2021
Episode 4: Rosedale Train Disaster
*In March 1960, Bakersfield was the site of an awful railroad tragedy. A passenger train collided with a truck hauling highly flammable oil product. 14 people were killed and 64 more were injured. While this train accident was an awful tragedy, what I discovered in my research, was Bakersfield's response to this crisis was nothing less than inspirational. *
Jun 22, 2021
Episode 3: Freddie Giovanetti
He had a BIG presence in Bakersfield. He had a big personality with an even bigger passion for food. He was a big name in the local restaurant business. Freddie Giovanetti's culinary career spanned over 30 years...From dishwasher to owning a chain of restaurants. His story is a classic American dream story. A story of business success built by hard work. That success story ended when he was brutally beaten and killed in 1971. During the months that followed his death, rumors swirled throughout Bakersfield. Was it a mafia hit? A lovers triangle? A robbery gone wrong? For months, and for everyone not involved with the investigation, it was a classic murder mystery. It all came into focus once law enforcement began unraveling the plot. And I'll tell you all about the notorious Freddie Giovanetti murder case on this episode of Notorious Bakersfield.
Jun 15, 2021
Episode 2: Duncan & Mull
Anna Bertram Duncan was the daughter of two Kern County pioneering families. Her father was Millard A. Duncan, owner of MA Duncan & Company, a mercantile business that was located at 18th & Eye Streets. Her mother, Emma Duncan, was the stepdaughter of Peter Wible, whose offspring went on to become some of Bakersfield's most prominent civic, farming and business leaders. Perhaps you've heard of Wible Road? In 1931 Bertram was savagely murdered in broad daylight in front of her family's Oleander neighborhood home across the street from Beale Park. But, this wasn't the first time her murderer had killed. You'll hear all about his two crimes in this episode of Notorious Bakersfield.
Jun 1, 2021
Episode 1: Two Fairys
*In 1926, Fairy Cornell and her daughter Fairy Gerace were murdered by Odd Cornell, Fairy Cornell's estranged husband. It happened in a home that once stood on the north side of 24th Street, between Chester Ave. and Eye St. Most people living today have no idea about this tragedy that made headlines across the country. *The Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault *https://kernalliance.org/** Toll-Free: **(800) 273-7713** LGBTQ Hotline:** (661) 322-2869** 24-Hour Crisis Hotline:** (661) 327-1091* *National Domestic Violence Hotline:** 800.799.SAFE (7233) 800.787.3224 *