Playlist · by Melissa Lagattolla
43 episodes, 48 hours 5 mins
The Menendez Brothers - 307
Two brothers shot their parents to death but was it done out of fear or for greed?
Chandra Levy - 296
May 1st, 2001. Washington, D.C. Chandra Levy, an intern in Washington, D.C. was an independent woman with big dreams. As someone who was very interested in politics and law enforcement, the move from California to the nation's capital was exciting for her. In April of 2001, she lost her intern position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons because her eligibility had expired six months before. Because of this she had no real reason to stay in D.C. Chandra started the process of moving back. On May 6th, though, her parents reported her missing. The authorities were informed that Chandra had been involved in a relationship with Gary Condit, a married U.S. congressman. Did he harm or kill Chandra to prevent her from leaving? In May of 2002, her remains were found in Rock Creek Park. As the investigation evolved, two suspects stood out; congressman Gary Condit and a 20 year old man from El Salvador named Ingmar Guandique who had admitted to attacking other women in the same area. At the ti...
Ariel Castro - 293
2002-2013. Cleveland, Ohio. Three young women went missing in Cleveland, Ohio between 2002 and 2004; Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. While investigations occurred and families held vigils, these three women endured unspeakable torture at the hands of a monster. But as terrible as this was, what this story really became was one of courage. Aaron & Justin discuss the kidnappings, the captivity and the escape of these three strong women after a decade in hell. You will be moved by their stories and you'll never forget their names.
Death Of Kathleen Peterson 2 - 287
Michael Peterson's trial for the alleged murder of his wife Kathleen was the subject of a documentary titled, The Staircase, which is now on Netflix. This is the second and final part of our discussion where we go over the evidence in more detail and state what issues we had with the trial and with the documentary series. Do we believe Michael Peterson murdered his wife? Or do we think this was just an accident? Or, as some believe, could a barred owl be responsible? Join us as we conclude our discussion The Staircase and the death of Kathleen Peterson.
Death of Kathleen Peterson 1 - 286
December 8, 2001. Durham, North Carolina. Michael and Kathleen Peterson seemed to have it all. A beautiful home and great careers. She was an executive at Nortel and he was an author. But one night, Kathleen went into the home they shared while Michael continued to lounge outside. After a bit he went in only to discover his wife covered in blood at the bottom of their back staircase. He called 911 to report an accident. After a few hours, Michael Peterson contacted his attorney. Inside the home, prosecutors said that Kathleen Atwater Peterson was attacked and killed by her husband. In this first episode we discuss the night in question and some of the evidence. With the re-release of the documentary The Staircase on Netflix, we have seen our inbox flooded with requests to discuss the documentary and the case. Part two we'll be focused on going through more of the evidence and giving our opinions on what occurred on that fateful night in 2001 at the Peterson home.
Adam Kaufman - 282
Adam Kaufman. November 7, 2007. Aventura, Florida. Adam Kaufman, a successful real estate developer, called 911 to report that he found his wife, Lina, slumped over in their bathroom. Paramedics are dispatched and take her to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. By all accounts the couple, who had two young children, were very happy. But a case of murder would develop against the husband after the manner of death is released a year and a half later. It was listed as manual asphyxiation which meant that she must have been strangled. Adam maintained that his wife must have died from natural causes even stating at one point that the spray tan that she had received just hours before might have been the cause. At trial, the prosecution sought to show that Adam had behaved oddly and that he had an interest in another woman while the defense illustrated just how much he loved his wife and that she hadn't been murdered. Had a crime occurred? Or was a loving husband facing a pos...
Josh & Susan Powell - 280
West Valley City, Utah. December 7th, 2009. Josh Powell took his two sons camping at 12:30am so they could have s'mores. This wasn't a typical trip to take during a snow storm and on a Monday morning, but stranger still, no one was told about this trip. Not his employer who expected him at work. Not the daycare where his sons should have been that day. His wife, Susan, also missed work. The boys' daycare worker did her best to contact the parents of Charlie and Braden, but no one answered these calls. By the time Josh returned home in the family's sole vehicle, a minivan, police were waiting for him. His wife was nowhere to be found. As detectives attempted to locate Susan Powell, Josh's behavior and recent activities caused them to be very suspicious of him. A search of the Powell home turned up a safe deposit box key and led them to a note written by Susan herself the year before. What happened to her? In her own words she described a controlling husband who may harm her or even t...
Golden State Killer - Bonus
Aaron is joined by Mike Morford from Criminology Podcast to discuss the Golden State Killer who was captured on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. While much remains unknown at this point, the notorious serial killer now has a name and a face. Criminology Podcast is covering this notorious serial killer in depth in its current season. We originally covered this case on episode #155 under the title The Original Night Stalker. Criminology Podcast: http://criminology.libsyn.com/ Michelle McNamara's Letter to GSK: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/letter-to-the-golden-state-killer
Jeffrey Dahmer - 261
Jeffrey Dahmer. July 22, 1991. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A man flags down two Milwaukee police officers and tells them about a 'freak' who had cuffed him. The police realize that the handcuff was not police issued and accompany him back to the apartment he had come from. Inside that apartment, police discover photographs of men before and after being murdered. The man who lived at that apartment was named Jeffrey Dahmer. A search of his place revealed to investigators that Dahmer was one of the worst serial killers in recent memory. A confession by the killer gave details on the murders of 15 men and 2 boys over a 13 year period. Dahmer's crimes involved drugging his victims, strangulation, necrophilia and cannibalism. But did he only kill seventeen people? Or did Jeffrey Dahmer keep some of his killings secret?
The Happy Face Killer - 253
The Happy Face Killer. 1990-1995. United States. After a woman was beaten and strangled to death, another woman came forward to confess to having a hand in the crime. She gave authorities the name of her boyfriend as well as details on how and why the woman was murdered. The two are charged and both wind up in prison after evidence mounts of their guilt. Not long after, though, graffiti on a bathroom stall in Livingston, Montana and letters sent to a court and a journalist from someone claiming to be the actual killer appear. The first letter was signed with a happy face. As the years went by and the body count rose, even prosecutors had to wonder if the couple that were sentenced for the first crime were innocent. Luckily for them, the serial killer known as the Happy Face Killer was not about to let anyone else take credit for his brutal crimes.
Timmothy Pitzen - 244
Timmothy Pitzen. May 11, 2011. Aurora, Illinois. A mother contacts her son's elementary school to say that there is a family emergency and that she is going to pick him up. After she leaves with him, they go to the zoo as well as some water parks in Illinois and Wisconsin. She embarked on this trip without the knowledge of her husband who thought that she was possibly just taking some time out as their marriage had been experiencing difficulties. After several days, though, his wife's body was discovered in a motel room in Rockford, Illinois. She had taken her own life. Also troubling was that their son, Timmothy Pitzen, was nowhere to be found. Amy Pitzen had written three notes before her death; leaving one behind in the room with her and the other two were mailed out to her mother and a friend of hers. Within these notes she indicates that Timmothy was being cared for and that "there were just too many pieces to pick up". Did she hand her son over to someone else? Or could she ha...
2012 Aurora Shooting - 243
2012 Aurora Shooting. July 20, 2012. Aurora, Colorado. At the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, the last in a trilogy of Batman films by director Christopher Nolan, an armored man opened fire into the hundreds seated in theater 9 at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. After the shooting ended, seventy people had been injured and twelve were dead. Law enforcement responded quickly and the suspect was arrested just after he left the complex. The question of who was responsible was not really in question, but whether or not James Holmes, 24, was fit to stand trial or not was. Mental health experts and lawyers argued over Holmes' mental illness and whether or not he understood that what he was doing at the time was wrong. Murder has a devastating effect on families and communities. This is never more evident than when murder is as a result of a mass shooting.
Todd Kendhammer - 241
Todd Kendhammer. September 16th, 2016. West Salem, Wisconsin. A man and his wife drive out early one morning so that he can take a look at a truck that had a cracked windshield. He said that he was asked to repair it. On the way, though, tragedy strikes. His wife of 25 years is gravely injured when a 53" galvanized steel pipe from a passing truck on the highway flies off and strikes her through the windshield. She will die the next day from her injuries. The husband seems helpful and assists investigators. But as they look to match his statements against the evidence they discover that Todd Kendhammer doesn't seem to be telling them the truth about what happened to his wife Barbara.
Davina Buff Jones - 228
October 22nd, 1999. Bald Head Island, North Carolina. A police officer radios dispatch to report that she has stopped three people. Soon after she is heard telling one of them that there is no reason to have a gun on the island. A loud squelch noise will be heard followed by radio silence. By the time another officer arrived on scene it was too late. Officer Jones was dead. Her death was ruled as a suicide. A single shot to the back of her head with her own service weapon had ended her life. Rumors of a coverup seem to explain why what appears to be a murder would be interpreted as a suicide by officials. But was it a murder? Could officer Jones have staged her death so that her family would receive money? Or could there be another explanation? We break this case down using the known facts and even include a piece of evidence that you may never have heard about until now.
The Night Stalker Part 2 - 227
The Night Stalker Part 2. August, 1985. Los Angeles, California. Hard work by the detectives pays off and Richard Ramirez is identified as The Night Stalker. His image is released to the public and an angry mob will chase him down. Years after his arrest, Ramirez will head to trial where he faced many charges related to The Night Stalker's crimes. Was there ever any doubt as to the verdicts the jury would render? We will discuss his movements, his identification as a serial killer, his capture, as well as information on this killer sent to us by listeners.
The Night Stalker Part 1 - 226
The Night Stalker Part 1. April, 1984. Los Angeles, California. A home intruder is raping, robbing, and killing residents in the Los Angeles area. A 79 year-old woman who lived in a Glassel Park apartment was raped and stabbed to death after her killer entered through a window. Her place was ransacked. There would be many more victims. Determined detectives would gather clues such as fingerprints and shoeprints but the investigation was complicated by the randomness of the attacks and no apparent victim type. Anyone could fall prey to this killer. While the media would give this boogeyman many nicknames, only one would stick. The man who caused sleepless nights for so many would become known as The Night Stalker. In this first episode we discuss Richard Ramirez's origins, his childhood, and his early crimes. (Part 2 will be released on April 2nd, 2017)
TWA Flight 800 - 210
TWA Flight 800. July 17, 1996. JFK International Airport. Trans World Airlines Flight 800 was to takeoff for Paris, France at around 7pm EST. Various issues kept it from taking off until 8:19pm. Just 12 minutes into the flight, at 8:31pm, the plane exploded. Efforts were made to rescue anyone alive in the Atlantic Ocean from the destroyed Boeing 747, but none of the 230 passengers and crew had survived. Terrorism was suspected early on as the United States was facing threats at home and abroad. As the investigation continued, though, the evidence began to point to an issue with the plane itself. Or did it?
Holly Bobo - 203
Holly Bobo. April 13, 2011. Parsons, Tennessee. 20 year-old Holly Bobo gets up early to prepare for the day. She is to take an exam to complete her nursing degree. Shortly after 7:30am a neighbor hears a scream. Her dog will start barking and her brother will wake up. He will look outside and spot two people kneeling by Holly's car. He believes that his sister is speaking with her boyfriend. He cannot make out the conversation but he does hear her say, "No. Why?" It sounds like they might be going through a breakup. After speaking with his mother, though, he learns that her boyfriend is off hunting turkey and that the man that is with her is a stranger. His mother implores him to grab his gun and shoot him. By the time Clint Bobo understands the danger she may be in it is too late. She and the strange man have disappeared into the woods. Holly Bobo would never be seen alive again.
Pamela Smart - 199
Pamela Smart. May 01, 1990. Derry, New Hampshire. A 22 year-old media services director at Winnacunnett High arrives home to discover the condominium that she shared with her husband dark and quiet. Once inside she would find him dead on the floor and their place ransacked. The investigation would stall early on until a young man went to police with information. This would ultimately lead to the arrests of five people. One of whom was the very wife of the of the murdered man. The four young men would cut deals while she maintained her innocence. Billy Flynn, just a sophomore at the high school, had become her lover and said that she had coerced him into killing her husband. Did Pamela Smart conspire to kill her husband? Or was she falsely implicated by the younger people she had become involved with?
Untold Stories of Ted Bundy - 180
Untold Stories of Ted Bundy. The infamous serial killer never revealed all of his secrets and questions remain about his life and his murders. Those who knew him have been interviewed by author Kevin Sullivan who has written his second book on Bundy. He joined the podcast to discuss the book and the newly revealed information about one of the most well known serial killers in history. https://wildbluepress.com/on-the-trail-of-ted-bundy/
Aileen Wuornos - 173
Aileen Wuornos. Author Sue Russell is interviewed about the life and crimes of Aileen Wuornos. Aileen was the subject of the award winning film, 'Monster' and played by actress Charlize Theron. The serial killer was known to have a difficult life and would go on to claim the lives of at least seven men. Russell's book is titled, 'Lethal Intent' and is as thorough as possible in it's coverage of one of the most controversial figures in true crime history. We discuss her upbringing, her relationships, & what might have led her to become a serial murderer.
Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders - 169
Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders. Oklahoma, 1977. Buses, loaded with young girls, leave Magic Empire Headquarters in Tulsa. They are taking them to Camp Scott. That night after dinner, three girls meet back at the tent they are sharing for the duration of their stay. They will write letters home and eventually try to get some sleep. For nearly 50 years the camp had been a safe place for friendship, adventure, & growth. Sometime during the night in 1977, though, that would all end. The body of a young girl would be discovered the next morning with two more found shortly after. It would not take long before a manhunt would begin. The authorities had a suspect, Gene Leroy Hart, but would they find justice?
Steven Avery 2 - 167
Steven Avery 2. Our second episode takes a look at the evidence in the case and we also explore the innocence angle. While some say he makes for the best suspect, there are many issues with the way the investigation was handled. Furthermore, the conflict of interest by Manitowoc County in this entire situation definitely has the public doubting the conviction of both Avery & Dassey. Thank you to all who provided information to us and answered our questions. This case is far from over.
Steven Avery - 166
Steven Avery. September 11, 2003. Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Steven Avery is released from prison after serving 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. On October 31, 2005, Auto Trader photographer, Teresa Halbach, would go missing after visiting the Avery salvage yard to photograph a van. Her disappearance would be brought to the attention of the authorities three days later. Within a week, Steven Avery would again be arrested. This time around there seemed to be plenty of evidence of his guilt. Between the investigation and his subsequent trial, questions would be raised about the evidence collection and the actions of the sheriff's department that had been wrong about him in the past. Could the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department be wrong about Avery a second time? Could they possibly have even set him up to end his pending $36 million civil suit? Or did Steven Avery really murder the missing photographer and cremate her remains on his property?
Scott Peterson - 165
December 24, 2002. Modesto, CA. A pregnant woman disappears while supposedly walking her dog. After authorities are notified, they react quickly in the hopes of discovering her whereabouts. It will not take long before one man becomes the focus of the investigation. Her husband, Scott. Suspicious circumstantial evidence turns up, including hair in a pair of pliers consistent with his wife's as well as evidence of 5 homemade cement anchors of which only one remains. Could he have murdered her and weighted her down to hide her in the bay where he claims to have gone fishing? Months later, the bodies of Laci Peterson as well as that of her unborn son are found near the bay about a mile apart. It appears as though they had washed ashore. A jury would ultimately find Scott guilty. Some say that Scott was not given a fair trial and that his conviction was not supported by enough evidence. Was there a sufficient case made to prove his guilt? Or did his questionable lifestyle doom him from ...
H.H. Holmes - 164
H.H. Holmes. Chicago, Illinois. Some murder to satisfy dark urges. Others kill out of passion. In the late 1800's, one man may have murdered for profit. Setting up shop in Chicago, Herman Webster Mudgett purchased a drug store and was said to have built a hotel in anticipation of The World's Fair. Much of his time was spent committing fraud, but people around him were constantly disappearing. Eventually, this would lead to his capture. Once his building was investigated, it was indeed found to contain trap doors, hidden rooms, & secret passages. People speculated on what the man now known as H.H. Holmes was up to for all those years. Is Erik Larson's book, The Devil In The White City, as well as the upcoming Martin Scorsese film of the same title, an accurate account? Was H.H. Holmes also Jack the Ripper? Mysterious Chicago's Adam Selzer joined us to to discuss this dangerous swindler and to separate fact from fiction.
Freddie Gray - 163
Freddie Gray. Baltimore, Maryland. A 25 year-old man makes eye contact with a police officer and runs. He is pursued and apprehended within a minute. A search of his person revealed a knife that the officers deemed to be illegal. He is arrested and would be placed into a police van for transport to the police station. Sometime between his arrest and his arrival at the station, he is seriously injured and becomes unresponsive. Inside of a week he would undergo double surgery on his spine, go into a coma, & die. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby would levy charges against six officers as a result of what occurred. Was his death an accident or murder? Or was it something else? As criticism and distrust of law enforcement grows, what can be done to restore trust in those who have vowed to protect and serve?
The Titanic Conspiracy - 160
The Titanic Conspiracy. In 1912, the RMS Titanic was the largest luxury liner in the world. In April of that year it would set off on its maiden voyage. Carrying over 2200 passengers & crew, the ship was to ultimately travel to New York, but on April 14th disaster struck. An iceberg would damage the ship and would cause seawater to flood and sink her. Just over 700 would be rescued. Many years later, though, a man would come up with a theory. That this 'disaster' was no accident. The sister ship to the Titanic, the Olympic, had been damaged in a collision with a British cruiser, the HMS Hawke in 1911. Because it was damaged so extensively, a scheme was hatched where the two ships would be switched. The Olympic could go down and insurance claims made to recover the cost. Meanwhile, the Titanic could go on to make White Star Line money as the Olympic. Is there evidence supporting this theory? Did JP Morgan really endanger all of those people just to protect his company?
Ruby Ridge - 158
Ruby Ridge. August 21, 1992. An isolated cabin in northern Idaho owned by Randy Weaver and his family is being monitored by US Marshals due to his missing a court date for a federal weapons violation charge. When the family's dog alerts them to danger, shots are fired leaving the man's son, his dog, & a Marshal dead. The government's response would be strong. 400+ officers, including snipers that were under rules to shoot armed adults on the property. Before the standoff ended, two more from the cabin would be injured and one more would die. How did the situation escalate so quickly? Was the government justified in changing the rules of engagement? Ruby Ridge was intended to provide an escape from tyrannical government, but for the Weavers it had the opposite effect.
Lululemon Murder - 157
Lululemon Murder. March 11, 2011. After two women close the Bethesda Lululemon Athletica store for the evening, they go their separate ways. Shortly after, one of them, Brittany Norwood, reaches out to the other, Jayna Murray, by phone to say that she had forgotten her wallet. Jayna agrees. They would enter the yoga store and leave it unlocked behind them. Before they could leave again they would be jumped. Both women would be attacked, leaving Brittany wounded and Jayna dead. But all of these details were given by the survivor and one detective would suspect that her story wasn't true. A true crime podcast.
Kurt Cobain - 156
Kurt Cobain. April 5, 1994. Shortly after arriving at a rehab center, a musician flees and heads back home to Seattle. Unbeknownst to his friends and family, he has hit the end of his road. Struggling with a heroin addiction and the realization that he could not change his course, he had made the decision to end his life. With his heroin, syringes, and a shotgun, he made his way to his greenhouse. In this room, essentially an attic, he would inject high doses of heroin and then turn the shotgun on himself and commit suicide. A suicide note would be left to convey the Nirvana singer's final words. That is the official story, anyway. Stories persist that this wasn't a suicide at all. Rumored to be responsible was none other than his wife, Courtney Love, who they say used him to gain money and fame. Did she kill her husband? Or was Kurt Cobain simply a tortured man who wanted to end his misery?
The Original Night Stalker - 155
The Original Night Stalker. In the mid to late 70's, the East Area Rapist rapist was operating around East Sacramento, California. In the dark of night he would enter their homes and wake them. With a light shone in their faces, he growled commands through gritted teeth. Their wrists and ankles would be bound tightly with a diamond knot. Always one step ahead of authorities, he could not be stopped. Eventually he began to murder those he chose to attack. He has never been captured. A true crime episode.
Charles Manson Behind Bars – 142
Charles Manson Behind Bars. The most infamous person in modern U.S. history? A career criminal who became a cult leader and ordered his followers to murder innocent people is what he became known for, but he has spent much of his life incarcerated. What do we know about Charles Manson? Can he even tell us? […] The post Charles Manson Behind Bars – 142 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Sandra Bland Commentary – 139
Sandra Bland Commentary. On this bonus episode we speak mostly off the cuff about the Sandra Bland situation. Sandra was asked to pull off of the Texas highway she was on after she failed to signal before changing lanes. After a verbal confrontation with the officer, Sandra was told that she could exit her vehicle. […] The post Sandra Bland Commentary – 139 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Charleston Shooting – 131
Charleston Shooting. June 17th, 2015. A young man entered Emanuel AME Church and sat for about an hour as a Reverend led members of the church through bible study. He later stood up and announced that he was there ‘to shoot black people’. Nine of the twelve in attendance would lose their lives. With race […] The post Charleston Shooting – 131 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
JonBenet Ramsey Case – 129
JonBenet Ramsey Case. This is a lengthy discussion on the events and the evidence, that stands out to us, in one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in U.S. history. In 1996, a family would return home from a Christmas party and the youngest, aged six, would be put to bed immediately having fallen asleep […] The post JonBenet Ramsey Case – 129 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Natalee Holloway Disappearance – 128
Natalee Holloway Disappearance. May 2005. Heading off to an island in the Caribbean with friends and classmates for her high school graduation trip ought to have been a dream come true for an 18 year-old girl from Alabama. And it was until the final day. Following a night at a bar, her tripmates made their […] The post Natalee Holloway Disappearance – 128 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
The Zodiac Killer Hoax of 1986 – 125
The Zodiac Killer Hoax of 1986. Thomas Henry Horan returns after publishing two books on the Zodiac killer. Both set out to show just how this serial killer of the late 1960’s was nothing more than an imagined character. If there was no Zodiac killer then who murdered these victims? Did the police have good […] The post The Zodiac Killer Hoax of 1986 – 125 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Trayvon Martin – 119
Trayvon Martin. When a self-appointed neighborhood watchman pursues a suspicious young man no one could have predicted that it would end with a death, a trial, and a national debate on race & profiling. The finding of the jury is well known, but was it correct? Was the shooting justified? Is this case just a […] The post Trayvon Martin – 119 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
The Zodiac Killer – 118
The Zodiac Killer. His attacks were accompanied by phone calls & letters that taunted police and threatened harm on others. Just what do we really know about these killings? What evidence have investigators collected over the years? Does anyone truly know the identity of the killer as some authors have recently suggested? Is this case […] The post The Zodiac Killer – 118 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Madeleine McCann – 113
Madeleine McCann. In May of 2007, a young English girl, on holiday with her parents in Portugal, would go missing. There were no witnesses as she and her younger twin siblings had been left alone in the apartment that evening while her parents dined with friends at a restaurant nearby. A search was conducted, but […] The post Madeleine McCann – 113 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Death of Princess Diana – 98
Death of Princess Diana. On August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, suffered traumatic injuries and later died after the Mercedes-Benz she and her entourage were traveling in struck a concrete pillar. Her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, as well as the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died instantly. Fayed’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the lone […] The post Death of Princess Diana – 98 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
Lizzie Borden – 89
Lizzie Borden. In 1892, 32-year-old Lizzie Borden was living with her father, stepmother, and older sister. On the morning of August 4th of that year, her parents were brutally murdered with a hatchet while Lizzie was in the house. She was quickly suspected of being the one responsible and was later arrested and sent to […] The post Lizzie Borden – 89 – Generation Why appeared first on The Generation Why Podcast.
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