Big, If True
E81: The Salem Witch Trials

E81: The Salem Witch Trials

October 14, 2019

The Salem witch trials were some of the most notorious events to take place in early Colonial America. From February 1692 to May 1693, twenty people from the communities of Salem, Salem Village, Ipswich, and Andover were accused of witchcraft and subsequently executed. In addition to those who were found guilty and executed, hundreds of others from the area were accused of witchcraft, with many of them being arrested for their alleged crimes. All of these cases relied almost entirely on the use of spectral evidence and the testimony of teenagers, with little to no evidence of "witchcraft" ever being found. The witch trials in Salem are some of the most famous examples of the dangers of mass hysteria, and the reasons for why they took place has been heavily debated by historians. This week, Matt and Kayla discuss the Salem witch trials, breaking down the timeline of events, talking about modern witch hunts, and much more.

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E80: A Brief History of Witchcraft

E80: A Brief History of Witchcraft

October 7, 2019

Since the dawn of man, humans have revered and feared those who claim to be able to influence the world around them through occultism. These alleged practitioners of magic were a major part of many ancient and early modern civilizations, playing important roles in the fields of science and medicine, bringing good fortune to citizens, and informing royalty. As the popularity of Catholicism spread throughout Europe, the image of the witch became much more sinister, seeing witches directly aligned with Satan, who commanded them to use their magical abilities for evil. This reshaping of the witch mythology led directly to the European witch hunts, a period that saw thousands of innocent people die in horrific ways. In this week's episode of Big, If True, Matt and Kayla dive into the history of witchcraft, specifically taking a look at witchcraft from ancient times to early modern Europe.

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E79: Alien Arrival

E79: Alien Arrival

September 30, 2019

For more than a hundred years, humans have been fascinated with the idea of making contact with extraterrestrial life. Today, experts almost unanimously agree that alien life exists somewhere in the universe. Successful contact with intelligent alien life would change every aspect of our lives, potentially giving us access to revolutionary information, technology, medicine, science, and more. On the flip-side, making contact with alien life could potentially spell the end of the human race, unwittingly bringing unprecedented death and destruction to Earth. In this week's episode, Matt and Kayla have a casual discussion about alien arrival, including what actions the world's governments might have to take, how humans would react, and much more.

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Clip: The Visit: An Alien Encounter (2016) - check it out on Amazon Prime Video at https://www.amazon.com/Visit-Jacques-Arnould/dp/B015SKA196.

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E78: The Roswell Incident

E78: The Roswell Incident

September 23, 2019

In July 1947, something strange crashed on a ranch outside of Roswell, New Mexico. Those who came into contact with the object described it as looking like nothing they had ever seen before, with foil-like material that sprang back to its original shape no matter what was done to it, and wooden beams that were impervious to fire and cutting. Rancher William Brazel, who found the object, brought it into Roswell shortly after its discovery, prompting military response. After a short period of media frenzy, the military revealed that the object was simply a rather common weather balloon featuring a radar reflector. In the years since, the Roswell Incident has lingered in the minds of those who want to believe we came into contact with something extraterrestrial that summer, sparking dozens of theories, books, films, and television shows in the process.

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E77: Robert Pickton

E77: Robert Pickton

August 26, 2019

Robert "Willy" Pickton, also known as the "Pig Farmer Killer", is perhaps Canada's most notorious serial killer. Pickton grew up on a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, which he would eventually inherit and run with his siblings. In his adult years, Robert allegedly developed a crack cocaine addiction, as well as a penchant for picking up sex trade workers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. By 2002, Robert Pickton had brutally murdered up to 49 of the women he had picked up, feeding them to his pigs and burying their remains on his farm. In the final episode of our Killer Canucks series, we cover Robert William Pickton, one of Canada's most prolific serial killers.

If you have information about any of the missing women from Downtown Eastside Vancouver, we ask you to report it to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or on their website at https://www.solvecrime.ca/.

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E76: Bruce McArthur

E76: Bruce McArthur

August 19, 2019

For more than forty years, Bruce McArthur lived a completely normal life, raising a mostly functional family and working as a relatively successful salesman. In the early 2010's, his seemingly normal life spiraled into nearly a decade of murder and sadism. Between 2010 and 2017, Bruce McArthur terrorized Toronto's gay community by murdering eight men in the Church and Wellesley area. McArthur, who worked as a landscaper, dismembered the bodies of his victims and hid them in plain sight. In 2018, he was finally apprehended, becoming one of Canada's most famous serial killers. In the penultimate episode of our Killer Canucks series, we discuss the life and crimes of Bruce McArthur.

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E75: Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka

E75: Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka

August 12, 2019

Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, the "Ken and Barbie Killers", are without a doubt Canada's most famous serial killers. On the outside, the couple seemed to have it all - good looks, steady jobs, and an undeniable romantic chemistry. Unbeknownst to everybody around them, both Bernardo and Homolka were sexual sadists who pushed each other to the limit. Between December 1990 and April 1992, the pair raped and killed three teenage girls, capturing nearly every moment on video. The details of their gruesome crimes continue to shock Canadians to this day, and their subsequent criminal trials generated some of the most newsworthy moments of the time. In the eighth installment of our Killer Canucks series, we discuss the life and crimes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

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E74: Peter Woodcock

E74: Peter Woodcock

August 5, 2019

Peter Woodcock, one of Canada's youngest serial killers, shocked the city of Toronto with his brutal crimes. In the mid-1950's, Peter would bike the streets of Toronto in search of his next victim - his preference was children under the age of 10. His crimes would very quickly escalate from sick sexual games to murder, which would eventually land Peter in the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre. Though he was incarcerated, Woodcock proved to the world that nothing could stop him from living out his sick fantasies. In the seventh episode of our Killer Canucks series, we take a look at the life of Peter Woodcock, "the serial killer they couldn't cure."

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E73: William Patrick Fyfe

E73: William Patrick Fyfe

July 29, 2019

William Patrick Fyfe, more famously known as the "Killer Handyman", terrorized the city of Montreal over a twenty year period from 1979 to 1999. Fyfe's victims would inadvertently let the killer into their homes for routine maintenance work, allowing him to strike when his victims were at their most vulnerable. In addition to committing up to nine murders, Fyfe also claims to have been responsible for a series of serial rapes in Montreal during the 1980's, committed by a man known only as the "Plumber". In the sixth episode of our Killer Canucks series, we take a look at the notorious crimes committed by William Patrick Fyfe, Canada's "Killer Handyman".

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E72: Elizabeth Wettlaufer

E72: Elizabeth Wettlaufer

July 22, 2019

Killer nurses, usually nicknamed "Angels of Death" have been documented since the dawn of the profession. Canada's Elizabeth Wettlaufer is one of the world's most famous killer nurses, having preyed on nursing home patients throughout the province of Ontario over a span of nine years. Wettlaufer's weapon of choice was insulin, which allowed her to kill or injure her elderly patients with little to no risk of ever being caught. In the fifth episode of our Killer Canucks series, we take a look at Canada's very own "Angel of Death", Elizabeth Wettlaufer.

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E71: Gilbert Paul Jordan

E71: Gilbert Paul Jordan

July 15, 2019

Gilbert Paul Jordan, known to many as the "Boozing Barber" or the "Alcohol Murderer", is one of Canada's most unique serial killers. Rather than taking a traditional approach to murder, Jordan would have his victims drink to the point of blacking out, and then would proceed to pour alcohol down their throats. Gilbert Paul Jordan preyed on women in downtown east side Vancouver, paying them to stay the night and continue drinking with him. In the fourth episode of our Killer Canucks series, we tell the truly unique story of Canada's "Boozing Barber".

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E70: Wayne Boden

E70: Wayne Boden

July 8, 2019

Wayne Clifford Boden moved to Montreal, Quebec in the midst of Expo 67, being initially enamored by the hustle and bustle of city life. Boden would quickly turn his attention to the young women of Montreal, charming them with his quiet, polite nature and his natural good looks. Unbeknownst to these young women, Boden had other intentions. From 1969 until 1971, Boden, known to police as the Vampire Rapist, would strike fear into the heart of Montreal with his vicious crimes. In the third episode of our Killer Canucks series, we talk about the life of Wayne Boden, Canada's Vampire Rapist.

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E69: Allan Legere

E69: Allan Legere

July 1, 2019

Allan Legere, commonly known as the Monster of the Miramichi, is one of Canada's most notorious serial killers. After being sentenced to life in prison for murdering a shopkeeper in 1986, Legere escaped from a New Brunswick hospital. His escape was followed by over 200 days of unpredictable terror, as Legere looked to wreak as much havoc as possible - it would end with the brutal deaths of four more innocent people, and leave thousands around Miramichi in a state of panic. In the second episode of our Killer Canucks series, we talk about the life and crimes of Allan Legere, the Monster of the Miramichi.

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E68: The Highway of Tears

E68: The Highway of Tears

June 24, 2019

The Highway of Tears is a 724 km stretch of road that runs between the cities of Prince George and Print Rupert, British Columbia. Since 1969, dozens of women and children have been murdered or gone missing on or near the highway, often leaving law enforcement dumbfounded. Many serial killers and opportunists have made their long-lasting mark on the highway, unintentionally aided by government and law enforcement institutions that refuse to take action. On this episode of the podcast, we cover the highway's many tragedies, its origins, and the people who have attempted to address the problems that have led to so many tragic deaths and ruined lives.

If you have any information regarding any of the women or girls who have been murdered or gone missing on the Highway of Tears, call the E-PANA tip line at 1-877-543-4822, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Read more about Ray Michalko's book "Obstruction of Justice: The Search for Truth on Canada's Highway of Tears" here.

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E67: Michael Jackson (Part Two)

E67: Michael Jackson (Part Two)

June 17, 2019

On June 25, 2009, pop icon Michael Jackson died suddenly at the age of 50, just weeks away from the launch of his retirement tour. In the months prior to his death, Jackson had become addicted to propofol, a powerful anesthetic which he used as a sleep aid. On the eve of his death, Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, administered it and a number of other drugs in order to help Michael sleep. After a series of events led to Dr. Murray leaving the room and becoming distracted, Jackson died in his sleep. Murray would later be sentenced for manslaughter, serving two years before retreating to a much quieter life.

The bizarre circumstances surrounding his death and his many years as an unpredictable entertainer led to the creation of many conspiracy theories. In the second part of our Michael Jackson episode, we discuss a number of these conspiracy theories, the lead-up to Jackson's death, the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, and much more.

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E67: Michael Jackson (Part One: More Thoughts)

E67: Michael Jackson (Part One: More Thoughts)

June 17, 2019

Two weeks after recording the first part of our Michael Jackson episode, Matt and Kayla present a new side to the allegations against Michael Jackson. In this special bonus presentation, your hosts cover a wide range of topics including potential inconsistencies and lies told in the critically acclaimed documentary Leaving Neverland, pose tough questions about the allegations, and discuss Evan Chandler and the first accusations leveled at Jackson.

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E67: Michael Jackson (Part One)

E67: Michael Jackson (Part One)

June 10, 2019

Michael Jackson stands as one of history's most legendary musicians. His legacy is one of innovation, style, philanthropy, and the willingness to bridge societal gaps. Though his track record of excellence in the world of music is undeniable, a number of disturbing allegations about Jackson's personal life exist - namely that he has sexually abused up to five young boys. Accusations have been made against Jackson in 1993, 2003, 2013, and 2014, leading to a great deal of public debate about what really happened in Jackson's bedroom - was the iconic pop star a sexual predator, or was he simply the victim of extortion and character assassination?

In the first part of our two-part episode about Michael Jackson, we discuss the history of sexual abuse allegations made against Jackson, the evidence presented, and the arguments against.

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E66: The Sodder Children

E66: The Sodder Children

June 3, 2019

Christmas 1945 began much like any other holiday for the Sodder family. The boys worked with their father during the day, a number of the children stayed up late on Christmas Eve to play with their new toys, and the rest went to bed in preparation for the busy day ahead. In the middle of the night, the Sodder family home was mysteriously engulfed in flames, with the Sodder parents and four of their children managing to escape. They watched on helplessly as their beloved home burned to the ground, trying desperately to call to the five children who hadn't made it out. By the morning, the home had been reduced to a pile of ashes and five of the Sodder children were seemingly dead. No remains of the five Sodder children were ever found, and the weeks and months following the fire saw dozens of reported sightings of the missing Sodder children.

On this week's episode, we discuss the tragic disappearance of Maurice, Martha, Louis, Jennie, and Betty Sodder, and the lifelong attempts by their parents George and Jennie to find out what happened to their children on Christmas 1945.

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E65: The Myrtles Plantation

E65: The Myrtles Plantation

May 27, 2019

Built by Whiskey Rebellion figurehead General David Bradford in 1796, the Myrtles Plantation has a very long and interesting history. It has served as a tourist hotspot for much of its existence, and has developed a reputation as being one of the most haunted houses in the United States. Many visitors to the Myrtles Plantation claim to have seen a young turban-wearing woman roaming the corridors of the house, even waking up in the middle of the night to find her tucking them in or watching over them. Others swear to have encountered the ghosts of a young Native American woman, a Confederate soldier, and even two young children. In the final episode in our four-part Hauntings series, we take a look at the history of the Myrtles Plantation, breaking down the many owners of the property and the alleged spirits that have made it their home.

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E64: The Amityville Horror

E64: The Amityville Horror

May 20, 2019

On November 13, 1974, 23-year old Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his father, mother, and four siblings late in the night as they slept soundly at their home in Amityville, Long Island. 13 months later, George and Kathleen Lutz and their three children moved into the same house, allegedly experiencing 28 straight days of unexplained terror that would spawn an iconic novel and a famous series of horror films. In the third part of our four-part hauntings series, we take a look at the events that transpired at 112 Ocean Avenue, break down the aftermath of the alleged hauntings, as well as discuss theories about it being a hoax.

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E63: The Winchester Mystery House

E63: The Winchester Mystery House

May 13, 2019

With the untimely death of her husband William in 1881, Sarah Winchester inherited partial ownership in the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, giving her more income than she knew what to do with. After moving to San Jose, California, Sarah would begin the seemingly never-ending construction of her labyrinthine Winchester Mystery House, providing builders with nonsensical instructions that included staircases leading to nowhere, doors that opened to more doors, hidden rooms, and many other architectural oddities. It's said that Sarah Winchester received instructions about the houses construction by the spirits of those who had been killed by firearms manufactured by her late husband's company, with Sarah attempting to appease and confuse the angry spirits through the never-ending construction.

On this episode of Big, If True, Matt and Kayla discuss Sarah Winchester and the events leading up to the houses construction, as well as the history of the Winchester Mystery House, theories about the house, and much more.

Support Big, If True on Ko-fi at www.ko-fi.com/bigiftrue or on Bandcamp at bigiftruepodcast.bandcamp.com.

Subscribe to Big, If True on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts - while you're at it, leave us a rating or review telling us what you love about the show!

Email us at: bigiftruepodcast@gmail.com

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Intro/Disclaimer: Josh McLellan (http://www.fiverr.com/joshmclellan)

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Use Your Freedom to Vote

Use Your Freedom to Vote

May 6, 2019

From Monday, May 6th to Friday, May 10th, listeners of Big, If True are encouraged to use their freedom to vote for their favourite Patron Pilot episodes! The winner will be selected as our patron exclusive show, and will premier in June 2019 for all patrons. 

Your choices are:

Film School for Scoundrels - A movie review show taking on must-see cult, classic, and contemporary films.

Tokyo Tiger Driver - Discussing the best and most significant pro wrestling matches to come out of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Do It for the Vinyl - Reviewing the best and most critically acclaimed albums ever produced, regardless of genre.

Enter Sandman - Watching every Adam Sandler movie in chronological order so you don't have to.

You can vote in three ways:

1) Twitter

2) Facebook

3) Send your mail-in ballot to bigiftruepodcast@gmail.com

Additional details about our patron page will follow shortly.

Thank you for participating, and best of luck to everybody!

Music: www.purple-planet.com

E62: The Great Amherst Mystery

E62: The Great Amherst Mystery

May 6, 2019

The Great Amherst Mystery is one of Canada's most famous hauntings, and has been cited as being one of the most credible examples of explainable paranormal phenomena in history. The events saw 18-year old Esther Cox and her family be tortured by the presence of spirits for nearly a year, before ending almost as soon as it all began. Actor Walter Hubbell famously wrote about the case, gathering a number of eyewitnesses for testimony, and having them sign an affidavit for the release of his book The Great Amherst Mystery: A True Narrative of the Supernatural. In this episode, we talk about Amherst, Nova Scotia, Esther Cox, and the events that took place from September 1878 until the following summer.

Support Big, If True on Ko-fi at www.ko-fi.com/bigiftrue or on Bandcamp at bigiftruepodcast.bandcamp.com.

Subscribe to Big, If True on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts - while you're at it, leave us a rating or review telling us what you love about the show!

Email us at: bigiftruepodcast@gmail.com

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Intro/Disclaimer: Josh McLellan (http://www.fiverr.com/joshmclellan)

Music: Mushaboom by Feist

E61: The Death of Adolf Hitler

E61: The Death of Adolf Hitler

April 29, 2019

By 1945, Nazi Germany had seen two years of increasing losses on the Eastern front, the involvement of the United States in the war, and the arrest of close ally Benito Mussolini - early in the final year of the war, it was clear that the Nazi German empire was crumbling quickly. In early 1945, Adolf Hitler and his long-time lover Eva Braun would take refuge in the Fuhrerbunker, where they would allegedly take their lives at the end of April. In the final part of our "Nazi Conspiracy" series, we take a look at events that led to the quick rise and fall of Nazi Germany, the last days of Hitler, and the conspiracies about his alleged suicide.

Support Big, If True on Ko-fi at www.ko-fi.com/bigiftrue or on Bandcamp at bigiftruepodcast.bandcamp.com.

Subscribe to Big, If True on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts - while you're at it, leave us a rating or review telling us what you love about the show!

Email us at: bigiftruepodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on:
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Intro/Disclaimer: Josh McLellan (http://www.fiverr.com/joshmclellan)

Music: Hell March by Frank Klepacki

Patron Pilot #4: Enter Sandman #1 - Big Daddy (1999)

Patron Pilot #4: Enter Sandman #1 - Big Daddy (1999)

April 25, 2019

In "Enter Sandman", the fourth and final Patron Pilot episode, Matt and Kayla discuss 1999's Big Daddy. Topics discussed include Adam Sandler's obsession with Hooters, the film's many great gags, the Razzies, and more.

Support Big, If True on Ko-fi at www.ko-fi.com/bigiftrue or on Bandcamp at bigiftruepodcast.bandcamp.com.

Subscribe to Big, If True on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts - while you're at it, leave us a rating or review telling us what you love about the show!

Email us at: bigiftruepodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on:
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Music: When I Grow Up by Garbage