Reed Slatkin engineered one of the greatest Ponzi schemes in history, in the name of Scientology and to line his own pocket.

Photo by Mackenzie Marco on Unsplash

Investment guru and former minister of the Church of Scientology, Reed Slatkin, used his connections to swindle 800 clients out of nearly $600 million, and he started with those closest to him; his church group.

Born in Detroit in 1949, Slatkin lost his father at a young age. His uncle took over guardianship and soon introduced him to Scientology, and in 1975, Slatkin became an ordained church minister.

The role didn’t last long, and by 1984, Slatkin was a full-time financial investor. …


The teenager hired a hitman to kill her, or did she?

Natalie Bollinger via Broomfield Police Department

The story surrounding Natalie’s murder is odd, to say the least. Drugs, Craigslist, and a stalker all play a part in this case, but how involved was each element, and why are there still multiple unanswered questions?

Natalie was 19 years old and about to finish high school in Broomfield, Colorado. She’d gained a scholarship, studying to become a registered nurse at college, and for all intents and purpose, she was a happy young woman. However, there was another side to the teenager that wasn’t as straightforward, and that’s what makes this case even more strange.

Natalie went missing just…


Neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch severely maimed and killed the majority of his patients.

Christopher Duntsch in theatre via dmagazine.com

As the number of operations grew, people began to notice that Christopher Duntsch’s surgeries — even the straightforward ones — weren’t going as planned. Quadriplegia, significant blood loss, and in some cases, death didn’t stop the surgeon from entering the theatre, and it took years for someone to finally make a stand.

Christopher Duntsch was born in Montana in 1971, and eventually completed his MD-PhD and neurosurgery residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. …


Did the musician who wrote songs for the ‘sad kids’ kill himself, or was he murdered?

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

Elliott Smith was launched into the spotlight after his involvement in the 1997 Oscar-winner Good Will Hunting, but he didn’t enjoy the sudden fame he experienced. In an interview with Elizabeth Blair in 2000, Smith explained his disregard for the fanfare.

“I was pretty happy before all that [performing at the Academy Awards], I was going on tour and making records. It was kind of fun in a way, and it was really kind of weird in a way. It doesn’t mean anything, you know. It’s not a particularly musical environment.”

Elliott Smith’s death would become a conspiracy for the…


David Evans was murdered by his wife’s boyfriend, but the impetus behind the crime is far scarier.

David Evans and his family via Brittney Long on NBC News

After 30 years of marriage, David Evans and his wife Kristie still seemed very much in love. To outsiders, the pastor of the small Baptist church in Oklahoma was living the dream, but behind closed doors, it was all but perfect.

The couple met at high school in a small town just outside Arkansas in 1991. They married a few months later and went on to have three children. David wasn’t religious at the outset, but over the years, he became more involved in religion and eventually stepped into the role of the pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church.


Short Read

How courtrooms are using service dogs to help victims of crime.

Walker from Spokane via Facebook

With the news that the Spokane police force is launching a sexual assault helpline, and offering the use of a support dog named Walker, it seemed time to find the other good boys and girls employed by courts to ease victims of crime.

The first case of a courthouse facility dog was reported in 2003 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle, Washington. Jeeter, a white Labrador, was brought in to help two young twin girls testify in a court case against their father.


Karina Holmer was discovered in a dumpster, but only half of her has ever been found.

Boston, Massachusetts in 1996 was a very different city. The Boston Police Department was struggling with youth violence, specifically the use of guns and homicides. The Boston Gun Project Working Group had begun to meet in January 1995, but Operation Ceasefire had only been implemented a year later in January 1996. There were still attacks around the city, but ultimately, the streets were safer, with a significant decline in homicides that year.

Karina Holmer via buggedspace.com

Boston was about to become home for Karina Holmer; she’d won $1,500 on a lottery ticket in her native Sweden, enough to get her to America. …


Tristyn Bailey fought for her life until the end.

Just a few weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Tristyn Bailey competed at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Cheerleading with her team, Infinity. The group were triple crown champions who competed across the United States in numerous events, and Tristyn was a crucial part of the team.

Tristyn Bailey via clickorlando.com

By all accounts, the teenager from St Johns, Florida, was happy and vivacious, with countless friends and an active social circle. Unfortunately, her life was cut short when her fourteen-year-old classmate stabbed her multiple times for no apparent reason.

Tristyn’s family called emergency services around 10 am on Sunday the 9th of May when…


The story of Arne Johnson: The Devil made me do it.

Photo by Magne on Unsplash

The town of Brookfield, Connecticut, sits close to the New York state border, around an hour’s drive from Hartford. Despite the University of Connecticut’s population projections, the town grew faster than anticipated, and by the early 1980s, nearly 13,000 people were living in the area.

One of these was 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who tried to convince a jury that the Devil made him do it when he killed Alan Bono.

Debbie Glatzel and Arne met in a supermarket in Bridgeport when he was 12, and she was 19. …


SHORT READ

Julie Ann Hanson was just 15 years old when she was killed while riding her brother’s bike.

Julie Ann Hanson via Naperville Police Department

The 1970s were a simpler time. Then, doors were left unlocked, people knew their neighbours, and latch-key kids were typical. Julie and her siblings were no different.

The teenager was desperate to attend the local baseball game in Naperville, so she borrowed her brother’s bicycle and left for the pitch. Julie never returned home from the sports game and was reported missing by her parents soon after.

Her body was found in a cornfield near Modaff Road and 87th Street, and the autopsy showed she’d been sexually assaulted and stabbed over 30 times.

Her death shocked the community, “She was…

Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about true crime, culture and marketing. www.truecrimeedition.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store