The First Degree

Join Ladygang's Jac Vanek, true crime TV producer Alexis Linkletter, and investigative journalist Billy Jensen on a chilling ride into the darkest corners of your worst nightmares. We're talking murder, serial killers, cults, conspiracy theories and beyond, all told through the eyes of a guest who is one degree of separation from the story itself. From Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer to an unknown heinous murder in your very own hometown, The First Degree will bring a new and refreshing perspective to the true crime phenomenon. And who knows... you may be our next guest.

LATEST EPISODE

The First Degree

Trial by Media: the Case of Millionaire Bob Ward, Part II

On episode 41, Jac, Alexis and Billy conclude with part two of the story of Bob & Diane Ward, and their two daughters' decade-long fight to prove their father's innocence. We learn about the Space Chicken, the struggle against the media and how they found an incredibly key piece of evidence years after their mother's death.
01:15:03 5/22/2019

Past Episodes

On the night of September 21st 2009, police responded to a 911 call at the Isleworth mansion of Bob and Diane Ward. Inside they found Diane dead from a gunshot wound. It launched one of the biggest courtroom sagas in Florida and a textbook example of trial by media. In Episode 40, Jac, Alexis and Billy are joined by First Degree guest, Sarah Ward-Rupp as she walks us through trauma of losing her mother and the decades-long battle to exonerate her father.
01:03:00 5/15/2019
On episode 39, Jac, Alexis and Billy conclude the puzzling case of family annihilator William Bradford Bishop. The international manhunt for Bishop has spanned nearly four decades and lured law enforcement across international lines. Many questions remain, did Bradford Bishop use his international savvy to relocate abroad, or is he in the US hiding in plain sight?
01:03:50 5/8/2019
In March of 1976, police were drawn to a fiery stretch of North Carolina woods. At the time, first responders had no idea that the horrors revealed there would prompt a world wide and decades long search for the person responsible. On Episode 38, Jac, Alexis and Billy explore the mysterious force that unprecedentedly and unexpectedly snuffed out what appeared to be a perfect family.
01:06:09 5/1/2019
Psychopaths make up about one percent of the general population. We work with them, we're friends with them?and some of us even date, fall in love with, and marry them. On Episode 37, Jac, Alexis and Billy speak with two sisters whose lives were uncomfortably intertwined with a dangerous psychopath, and how they were able to survive him to tell their tale. Higher Education Skincare - Head over to HigherEducationSkincare.com and use promo code FIRSTDEGREE for 20% off your first order Living Proof - Visit LivingProof.com/FIRST or use promo code FIRST for a free sample of dry shampoo Scentbird - Visit Scentbird.com/firstdegree and use code FIRSTDEGREE for 50% off your first month
01:06:02 4/24/2019
Black Friday is the name assigned to the notorious shopping day after Thanksgiving. Although the original derivative of the term has been diluted, some say that the phrase was originally coined by police in the 1950's to describe the mayhem prompted by a high volume of shoppers who cause traffic accidents, trample over each other, and resort to intentional brutality... all in the name of a bargain. On episode thirty six, Jac, Alexis and Billy discuss the details of a chilling Black Friday case that boasts all the trappings of what some believe the day itself represents; chaos, materialism, and violence-inducing greed. Higher Education Skincare - Head over to HigherEducationSkincare.com and use promo code FIRSTDEGREE for 20% off your first order Living Proof - Visit LivingProof.com/FIRST or use promo code FIRST for a free sample of dry shampoo
01:16:48 4/17/2019
There is no crime more difficult to comprehend than the murder of a child by his or her own parents. Nevertheless, tales of the killing of newborn children are as old as time. On episode 35, Jac, Alexis and Billy explore the elusive concept of neonatacide, and delve into the incredibly disturbing case of the Debeers, who didn't stop at killing just one of their newborns. SeroVital - Try SeroVital Advanced by texting FIRSTDEGREE to 246810 and enjoy your $70 discount now
01:00:24 4/10/2019
Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two week window after leaving their partners than at any other time during the relationship. And on Episode 34, Jac, Alexis and Billy profile a case that illustrates the horror of that statistic and shows the devastating aftermath when they're joined by a first degree connection who was at the very center of the story in the worst possible way. SeroVital - Try SeroVital Advanced by texting FIRSTDEGREE to 246810 and enjoy your $70 discount now
01:05:35 4/3/2019
On April 19, 2015, a 21-year-old named Samantha Young was found brutally murdered behind her ex boyfriend's house. Her killing was horrific; but even more chilling was the revelation of the months of planning the perpetrators undertook before the murder. On episode 33, Jac, Alexis and Billy discuss the facets of the case, the conspiracy, and how dysfunctional puppy love can lead to a decent into madness. Buffy - Go to Buffy.CO and enter Degree for $20 off your comforter Living Proof - Visit LivingProof.com/FIRST or use promo code FIRST for a free sample of dry shampoo SeroVital - Try SeroVital Advanced by texting FIRSTDEGREE to 246810 and enjoy your $70 discount now
01:10:10 3/27/2019
Is there a serial killer gang murdering college-age men in the waters of America? Jac, Alexis & Billy conclude the story of the Smiley Face Killer theory, with the help of Kevin Gannon, Mike Donovan, Anthony Duarte, and Doc Gilbertson. Daily Harvest - Go to Daily-Harvest.com now and use Promo code FIRST for 3 free cups in your first box Kopari - Check out KopariBeauty.com/FIRST for $5 off your first subscription
01:11:00 3/20/2019
Dozens of young men found dead in bodies of water in the northeast and Midwest. Most were last seen leaving parties or bars. Most of their deaths were classified as accidental drownings. But a group of retired detectives believe their deaths are the result of something much more sinister?an elusive network of individuals who are murdering these young men. On episode 31, Jac, Alexis & Billy explore both sides of the "Smiley Face Killer" theory. The various cases, the shared characteristics between victims and interviews with the detectives while at the same time weighing the conflicting evidence?that most of these cases were just tragic accidents. Buffy - Go to Buffy.CO and enter Degree for $20 off your comforter Care Of - Go to TakeCareOf.com and enter code degree50 for 50% off your first month of personalized care of vitamins
01:03:00 3/13/2019
22-year-old Todd Geib goes missing after an orchard party in rural Michigan. For 20 days, his family and friends frantically search for him. On the 21st day, they find his body, floating upright in a private lake. Was Todd's death an accident, or did he fall victim to something sinister? In episode 30, Jac, Alexis and Billy speak with Todd's mother, examine the evidence, and deconstruct the curious case of Todd Gieb. Buffy - Go to Buffy.CO and enter Degree for $20 off your comforter
01:07:00 3/6/2019
A married couple is found murdered in the bedroom of their home. Their teenage daughter runs out of the house screaming that someone killed her parents. In episode 29, Jac, Alexis and Billy discuss the case of Sarah Johnson, shedding light on the motives, the opportunity, and the pink bathrobe that held one of the secrets that led to a conviction. But they also show the coverage and concern it received in contrast to the same-town murder of Maggie Guardado, the focus of episode 28. A memorial scholarship has been established in Alan and Diane Johnson's memory: https://www.alandianejohnsonscholarship.com/ Kopari - Check out KopariBeauty.com/FIRST for $5 off your first subscription Living Proof - Visit LivingProof.com/FIRST or use promo code FIRST for a free sample of dry shampoo
01:20:07 2/27/2019
On episode twenty eight of The First Degree, Jac, Alexis and Billy tell the story of the vicious murder of Maggie Guardado. When the charred body of 16 year Old Maggie was discovered in front of her house, suspicion immediately fell on her much older boyfriend. But Maggie also had a jealous ex. Police use cell phone records and a dried blood stain to piece together who killed Maggie and set her on fire. Daily Harvest - Go to Daily-Harvest.com now and use Promo code FIRST for 3 free cups in your first box Green Chef - Visit GreenChef.us/degree for $50 off your first box Zola - Check out Zola.com/firstdegree to get $50 off your registry
01:03:17 2/20/2019
Have you ever gotten mad at a sibling? Sure. But have you ever conspired to kill them? On episode twenty seven of The First Degree, Jac, Alexis & Billy dive head first into the curious crimes committed within the Hawes family, a case as perplexing as it is gruesome. A family conspiracy, numerous crime scenes, hidden weapons, and a second death that remains a mystery to this day. Care Of - Go to TakeCareOf.com and enter code degree50 for 50% off your first month of personalized care of vitamins Kopari - Check out KopariBeauty.com/FIRST for $5 off your first subscription
01:30:00 2/13/2019

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