Express kidnappings, the “millionaire tour,” the Lindbergh baby, the Cudahy kidnapping, Chowchilla school bus incident, and more. Plus news, pop culture, how to survive a kidnapping and “The Lesser of Two Evils” – would you rather be kidnapped for ransom or savaged by a pack of wolves?

Music: “5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days” by Louis Prima



Proof of Life
Toren: 8/10

Toren: 7/10
Kevin: 7/10

Man on Fire
Kevin: 8/10

Suicide Kings
Kevin: 4/10
Joe: 5/10

21 Responses

  1. I was surprised you didn’t mention the case of Adam Walsh. His kidnapping in 1981 became a huge phenomenon in the states and most of North America. In fact there was a M.O.V.
    made for him that turned out over 30 million viewers, and this same movie was shown to many American children in their schools as a precautionary tale. I remember having to watch it in school, as did many people who were born in the 70’s. This case alone is the reason many rules are placed in North America including a “Code Adam” which means a child is lost in a department store.

    Its probably most known for his father John walsh who became obsessed with the case, and he is the person who started “Americas Most Wanted”, Once Adam was abducted and killed, his father went on a runway trip to find the culprit.

  2. Awesome episode!

    There’s a genus of ants known as “Slavemakers” that mount raids on the nests of other species of ant (usually one or two specific species) and take away the larvae and pupae to raise in their own nests. Once the ‘kidnapped’ ants reach their adult moult, they do all the work in the colony, whilst the Slave-Making ants sit around twiddling their antennae all day…

    1. Similar happens to Honeypot Ants, the ones used as living vending machines. When rival colonies invade, the Honeypots (who can’t move and basically just dispense sugar water on demand) are kidnapped and made to feed their captors for the rest of their lives.

  3. Loved the episode. Thanks for the great topics. I’ve listened to every ep to date.

    I’d like to suggest Stranded/Marooned for a topic. From car breaking down, walking 20 miles in the wrong direction and succumbing to nature; to, Brits marooning criminals on an island and creating Australia. Perhaps stories of (call-back) Pirates marooning people on islands?

    Also, thanks to all the fantastic guest speakers. Notable thanks to Mike “The Soundman” Leeson.

    Keep up the good work everyone. There just aren’t enough episodes.


    1. Definitely going to do a “castaway” episode – “stranded/marooned” might be folded into that or its own episode. Specific topic suggestions welcome!

  4. A famous Canadian kidnapping that might interest listeners/readers is the kidnapping of two government officials by the FLQ back in the 1970’s. Kidnapped were British Trade Commissioner James Cross and Quebec’s Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte. The kidnapping resulted in the only peacetime use of the War Measures Act in Canada’s history. James Cross survived the kidnapping. Pierre Laporte did not. He was executed by his captors. Look up the October Crisis for more information.

    I’m sure you talked about it and it was edited but I would also mention the book “Kidnapped!” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was given to me as a gift by my mother as a child and I loved that book.

  5. Good offshoot episode: Human traffickers. Women and children can be kidnapped or other wised forced into being sex slaves. Seriously disturbing shit. Extremely attractive women in eastern European countries get enticed by modeling contracts and end up finding themselves with debts they can’t get out of and forced into prostitution. Portland, OR was also recently discovered to be a huge hub of child sex trafficking. The topic sits somewhere between slavery and kidnapping.

  6. The biggest pop culture reference I know is the abduction of Fox Mulder’s sister, Samantha, in the X Files (maybe that’s just because I’ve been watching it recently, but it’s awesome!), and wasn’t Natalie Portman kidnapped in V for Vendetta (nice graphic novel tie-in there).

    On the serious side, I heard a panel conversation/interview with Aussie journalist Nigel Brennan and some of his family on the radio a few months ago about being kidnapped and held for ransom in Somalia for over a year. Very powerful stuff. Anyway, the transcript and podcast can be found here: Highly recommended listening. He was ultimately released when his family coughed up the couple of hundred thousand dollars the kidnappers wanted, with varying degrees of support from the Australian Government (as they describe it).

  7. Just saw ‘J Edgar’ and for once (and only) in my life, I actually knew what was going to happen before the end! You guys did a great job on the Lindbergh baby story in this episode, and that movie reinforced the FBI’s role in the investigation. Awesome stuff.

  8. Thanks for another great show! I was laughing so hard in parts, as I walked along a busy city street listening to the episode on my iPod, that people were looking at me like I was crazy.

    I hope you do a special episode just on the kidnapping that goes on in mid-east, central asia (i.e. Afghanistan) and northern/eastern Africa – they sometimes result in beheadings, surely a Caustic topic if there ever was one.

    Also, another famous kidnapping case in the news happened in Austria, somewhat similar to the Jaycee Dugard case, Natasha Kampusch was held in captivity from age 10 until 18. Her kidnapper was a regular kind of guy, had a decent job and had friends, neighbours who never suspected anything. Here’s some info on her:

    …and her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil:

  9. The guy who attempted to abduct the Korean pop singer was totally imitating the scene from the movie Streets of Fire where the leader of a motorcycle gang, Raven Shaddock (Willem DaFoe), abducts pop star Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) during a concert.