Felon File Podcast
A Podcast Discussions of law enforcement, history. issues and incidents in the Appalachian Mountains and beyond.
Episode -1- A LITTLE BACKGROUND -
The five four two and the Blue Podcast. .. Discussions of law enforcement history. issues and incidents in the Appalachian Mountains. Hosted by Scott Lunsford, retired police detective sergeant. Author and researcher.
Some quick local history to gain some perspective of the area.
Episode 2 Asheville N. C. Montford Ave. The Murder.
On the morning of May 10- 1927, a maid walking to work discovered the body of a women in a ravine on Montford Avenue. Thus begun one of the most sensational crimes, investigations and trials in that time period. The infamous case was followed by 1000’s in the media of the day. The court house and the trial of the accused, the crime scene and other locations related to the investigation were visited and tramped through by 100’s of curious individuals.
Almost all Buncombe Co. and Asheville city officials became involved in the trial and investigation. Partly because of the investigation and some of the issues involved resulted in the Asheville Police Department being reorganized.
Weeks after the investigation was started and after the grand jury issued indictments 13 men lost their jobs with the Police department.
Also involved, in the Trial and investigation, a Confederate Civil War Veteran, a future US Senator and a world-famous folk singer and musician.
Episode- 3- Montford Avenue Murder / The Trial
On the morning of May 10- 1927, a maid walking to work discovered the body of a women in a ravine on Montford Avenue. This begun one of the most sensational crimes, investigations and trials in that time period.
The Investigation and trial had impact through out Buncombe County and the City of Asheville at that time.
Allegations of a cover-up, involvement of the Klu Klux Klan and miss-handled evidence was the talk of the time. A reorganization of the Asheville Police Department and the firing of 13 Officers.
Episode- 4- Five dead in ten Minutes, Asheville NC 1906
A discussion about the Asheville North Carolina of 1906. The 5 homicides that occurred in a 10 minute span rampage, the investigation and man hunt reported as far away as New York City .
The murder Will Harris is quoted as saying before shot by an avenging public.
"I come from hell,…. from Charlotte, …...from state prison ...and from the chain gang," "And I'm surely going back to hell, ….sooner rather than later."
Will Harris arrived in Asheville by train on Nov. 12, 1906. His reputation preceding him. In his late 20’s he had a known criminal record that cast a long shadow of theft, robbery, assault and prison escapes.
In a 10 minute spree Harris killed 5 men including two police officers. Resulting in Harris being deemed an Out Law and started a man hunt for the killer with the community looking to shoot on sight.
Episode -5 - 1964 and a deadly Home Invasion
Shortly before midnight Tuesday November 10, 1964, masks, guns and other disguises were collected by four young men. The burglary and robbery tools placed in a burlap bag, hidden under the hood of a pick-up truck.
The robbery team consisting of a 23, 27, 19, and a 16 year old, drove to the farm of Charlie Lunsford. The four men drove around the area several times to make sure police were not in the area. 16 year old Arrlie Fox had worked for Lunsford the previous day. He discovered the farmer had a large amount of cash as he made change for customers.
The four planed a simple robbery to make some quick cash. What would be called today a "Home Invasion" turned deadly.
The story starts, and before it ends, multiple trials, a deadly prison riot, a prison escape, the Governor of NC. and another murder are involved.
Episode -7 The Ghost Town incident of 1992
This shade of blue story for Five Four Two and the Blue, does not start in the mountains of Western North Carolina but the start of the ending does.
It’s a story of the capture of a real bad guy, James Neil Tucker. This Shade of Blue begins in a make believe world of a Wild West theme park. Ghost Town in the Sky, Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
In 1992, A Private Security officer working for the Park, found James Tucker hiding under a bus after the Ghost Town amusement park closed for the night, he didn't know at the time, but Tucker was a wanted man.
Maggie Valley Police Chief Saralyn Carver, responded to the call. A normal radio check on set in motion a deadly confrontation and several court trials to bring the want a be desperado to justice.
Episode -8- Murder and attempted Murder on the Appalachian Trail
While Hiking they met a man named Randall Smith. The two observed how Smith appeared troubled and socially uncomfortable and because of there calling in life, wanted to help him and tried to draw him out socially. This friendly act would be the mistake of there life.
Episode - 9. Witchcraft Trials in Tenn, Ghostly evidence and Court testimony in West Virginia
Three Shades of Blue stories, for Five Four Two and the Blue. Three stories of Law enforcement, and the court system. Two Witchcraft Trials in Tenn. And A Shade of Blue story of, Ghostly evidence and Court testimony in West Virginia.
Episode - 10- Five Four Two and the Blue -gambling in the Mountains
Scheduled for April 27, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Illegal gambling in the Mountains. Cases from 1901, 1955 and 1977. A look at the differences of how the Evil of Gambling and "Gambling Dens" was handled.
In 1901 the NC state Legislature passed a new Anti-Gambling Law. The previsions of the new law were put into strict force in several cities. The Law was especially strict on Gambling in Barrooms, Hotels and private clubs. If enforced, it was thought would put an end to gambling in North Carolina. Listen to see if that happened and about other changes and charges in the Mountain Gambling world
Episode -11- The Murder of 17 year old Muriel Baldridge in 1947
The Shade of Blue starts with a brief musical ballad telling the story of a tragic event from the Appalachian Mountains. The Ballad written in 1949, the recording made in 1977.
The Ballad tell the story of the tragic Murder of Muriel Baldridge, the 17-year old high school cheerleader who was found beaten to death under a bridge the morning of June 28, 1949 in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.
The Murder after a decades of investigation by local, state and federal investigators follows a strange path of confessions, retracted confessions and finally a sensational trial with a controversial verdict.
To this day the case remains unsolved and thought of as one of the very confusing investigation and legal case in Eastern Kentucky if not the South.
Episode -12- Big Al Capone in the Appalachians
Big Al in the Appalachians. Did the famous gangster "Scarface" Al Capone keep an apartment and hide out in Johnson City Tnn?
Was the Mob involved with the death of a whole family in N.C. on Christmas Day, all because of something the father saw in Johnson City?
Episode - 13- 1901 Murder of a sleeping mountain family.
On the night of September 21st, 1909, a knock on a cabin door and a neighborly welcome turned to murder.
The family knew the visitor and quite naturally opened their home to him. By nine o’clock, all six family members were asleep. Using a pistol, a knife, and a hatchet the visitor is said to have slain the entire family, then set the cabin on fire and left.
Bungled petty theft and non-premeditated murder. Or a planed ruthless killing of an entire family over money.
Episode -14- The hanging of Peter Smith
Crime and punishment in the Appalachian Mountains
On Oct. 2, 1905, A man was hung at Marshall NC the County seat of Madison County.
Growing up in Madison Co. I had heard the stories and have seen the photographs of Smith standing on the gallows in Marshall out side of the Jail in 1905.
The concession over the years I was told, Smith did not commit the crimes he had been accused of.
A murder of a young girl then several years later a rape of another young girl. I had been told many times that he had been framed for the assault.
Reviewing the media of 1900's, copies of the court testimony, the findings of the NC Supreme Court and the Governors Office. Listen for yourself. Did he or didn't he? Did North Carolina hang an innocent man?
Episode -15 The Murder of W. W. “Bill” Ormond by Mr. William Bonaparte Cole.
Episode - 15- Part 1. Scheduled for June 01, 2019 at 7:00 PM
William Bonaparte Cole started in N.C. textiles at the age of fifteen as a mill bookkeeper in Rockingham, NC . Moving up to becoming a powerful businessman and resident of Rockingham North Carolina. Was his actions self defense
Episode 16 Part two of the Murder of W. W. “Bill” Ormond
Scheduled for June 02, 2019 at 7:00 PM
The 1925 trial of the man and the Idea of "The unwritten law" in that, some times a guy just needs to get shot.
Episode- 17- A 1960s unusual disappearance and missing person case with connections to Western N.C.
Scheduled for June 06, 2019 at 7:00 PM
A shade of blue looking at an unusual disappearance and missing person investigation. In the mid 1960’s Mary Little was a Bank secretary in Atlanta, Georgia, she disappeared from the parking lot of Lenox Square Mall shopping area on night.
Unusual evidence is uncovered including connections to the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina.
A second missing young lady over a year latter from the same bank with similar connections to Mary Little, fails to show up for work one morning. Her body is discovered in the trunk of her car abandoned in a joining town. Are the investigations still on going? Are they connected? Listen to decide for yourself.
Episode-18- Why did the Deputy shoot Tom Mashburn? & Who killed the father of NC Ginseng Trade
Scheduled for: 6/15/19 at 7:00 PM
Part 1-The song says Someone may have shot the sheriff and claims they did not shoot the deputy, but we do know for sure that the Deputy shot Tom Mashburn.
Part 2- Is it true that the murder will return to the scene of the crime? The fact is sometimes he does. How this and 1800 CSI work solved the killing of Captain Garrett the man known as the father of the North Carolina Ginseng Business. Listen to Episode -18- to find out.
Episode -19 Murder in Mitchel Co. NC. 1904, Murder or self defense?
Scheduled for June 22, 2019 at 7:00 PM
The murder of 19 year old Mr. Shell from Tennessee with 124 dollars gold in just paid wages in his pocket, would turn into a shade of blue involving attempted jail breaks, planed lynchings and the Sheriff under cover of darkness removing the suspect from the county for safe keeping. Murder or self defense? Were the jail breaks and escapes necessary to protect an innocent man? Was justice found at the end of the story? Listen and decide for yourself.
Episode -20- The Right Rev. George Washington Carawan and the School teacher Charles Lassiter. 1852.
Scheduled for June 29, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Though a preacher of the gospel, The Reverend George Washington Carawan, was a prominent and powerful North Carolina Baptist minister. A man of violent temper and strong animal passions, more likely to inspire terror than piety in the community and those around him.
The sorrows he begat in his relationships would follow him to the courtroom for a final tragic act in Carawan’s play of tragedy, life and death.
Dump choices? Thinking himself smarter than every one else? Or did his luck run out? Perhaps. several issues came together to solve the problem of The prominent and powerful Reverend George Washington Carawan.
Episode -21-The story of Namoni Wise. Was Bob Dylan and Doc Watson correct in telling the story?
Scheduled for July 06, 2019 at 7:00 PM
A shade of blue that starts with a sound clip by Doc Watson. A recorded Ballad of the story of Namoni Wise. Down loaded from Smithsonian Folkways. The nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution.
Naomi Wise was said to be an extraordinarily beautiful, young teen age orphan indentured as servant to a farming family in North Carolina. She was found strangled and drowned in the Deep River. Pregnant with child. Who killed Namoni Wise? The young North Carolina lady written about in novels and sung about in ballads by Doc Watson, Bob Dylan, Newtown, Vernon Dalhart and others. What is the truth about the young orphan and how she died. Listen to make your own decision.
Episode -22- The 1970s Virginia Bunny man mystery and Investigation
Scheduled for July 13, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Who was the Virginia Bunny man? Ghost? Specter from the past? A crazed ax welding man in a rabbit costume?. Perhaps a simply misunderstood guy who liked to dress up as a Bunny. If so why the ax?
Find out the reality of the 1970’s story of the Virginia Bunny Man and the police investigation into his existence.
Episode-23- The Ballad of Poor Ellen Smith and the truth behind the song.
Scheduled for July 20-2019 @7:00 pm
This episode starts with The Ballad of Poor Ellen Smith. The morning of July 21, 1892, the body of Ellen Smith was found behind the Zinzendorf Hotel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Shot through the heart. The story of Ellen Smith’s murder is a classic tale of seduction and betrayal. A beautiful but innocent young woman strays from the path of righteousness for a faithless shifty older lover who becomes her killer.
It is the stuff of many Victorian cautionary tales and mountain murder ballads.
Scheduled for July 27 -2019 @7:00 pm
Episode-25- LAST EPISODE OF SEASON ONE
Scheduled for August 03-2019 @7:00 pm
Victoria Producer for The Felon File Podcast
Alice, your other Pod Cast Producer for The Felon File