In the early morning hours of June 14, 2007, a 32-year-old man is found walking down the side of a frontage road off I-55 in Channahon, Illinois. He’s bleeding and seemingly in shock. A passerby calls 911 and investigators arrive at the scene. They find the man’s wife and three children, dead in the family’s SUV.

In this episode, I cover the trial of Christopher Vaughn, a husband and father accused of killing his wife and three children.

A special thank you to Jon Seidel, a reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times for contributing to this episode. You can follow him on Twitter at @SeidelContent.

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

In this episode, I cover former NFL player Aaron Hernandez’s harsh fall from grace. In 2015, Aaron was convicted of the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. As he sits in prison, he is now preparing for yet another trial, scheduled to begin next month.

I speak with Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) from the New York Daily News about Aaron’s arrest, trial, and upcoming trial.

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

Kelsey Smith was just 18 years old when she was abducted from a Target parking lot in Overland Park, Kansas in June 2007. Finding her would take a battle with a cellular phone company and heartbreaking surveillance video from Target, that shows that no one is ever really safe, even if you’re running a simple errand in broad daylight.

A special thank you to Kelsey’s mom, Missey Smith, for speaking with me for this episode. To learn more about the Kelsey Smith Foundation and the Kelsey Smith Act, please visit kelseysarmy.org.

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

In this episode, I take you behind-the-scenes of each case I covered in the Court Junkie podcast, as well as go over the latest updates. You’ll also hear from Pravin Varughese’s mom and family friend, as well as other Court Junkies.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Also in the episode, I talk about the photos of Pravin’s injuries that his family had posted online. The photos are of Pravin after his body had been found. They are very graphic but his family feels that they are important to see so you can understand why they feel the way they do. If you’re interested in viewing them, you can click on the following link, but please be aware that they may be disturbing. – https://www.facebook.com/realitycheck.monicazukas/posts/1043334495795100?pnref=story

Towards the end of this episode, I talk about a special group of True Crime Women Podcasters. Below is a list of all the podcasts in the group – If you’re looking to add more true crime podcasts to your subscription list, please consider checking these out:

Thin Air, The Vanished, In Sight, White Wine True Crime, Slaughter, Curiosity Kills, Bay Area Mystery Club, Twisted Philly, True Crime Asia, They Walk Among Us, Unsolved Podcast, The Apex & The Abyss, Once Upon A Crime, Already Gone, Actual Innocence, Crime & Precedents, Ex Post Podcast, Most Foully Murthered

In August 2012, 66-year-old John Wise went to the Akron General Medical Center to visit his ailing wife of 45 years. He would leave there in handcuffs. It’s a case that isn’t as it seems and the twists and turns may leave you with more questions than answers. It’s a case that begs the question, does the act outweigh the intent?

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

In Part 2 of this episode, Kristine and her newly-formed defense team fight to win back her freedom. Armed with advances in fire science, a potential Brady violation, and some shocking revelations about the State’s evidence at trial, Kristine and her team fight til the very end.

Click here to read the Court of Appeals of Indiana Opinion.

A special thank you to Kristine Bunch for sharing her story with me.

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

In Part 1 of this episode, you’ll hear about one woman’s nightmare come true. In 1995, 21-year-old Kristine Bunch was abruptly awoken in the early morning hours to discover that her house was on fire. After escaping the flames, she watched in horror as firefighters were unable to save her 3-year-old son who was still trapped inside. Within hours of being released from the hospital, she discovered that detectives had a theory about the fire – someone had started the fire on purpose, and their main suspect was Kristine.

A special thank you to Kristine Bunch, for sharing her story with me.

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

Ryan Poston and Shayna Hubers had been dating on and off for about a year when one night in October 2012, a 911 call was placed from Ryan’s condo. When officers arrived, they found Ryan dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Shayna claimed it was self-defense even though Ryan had been shot 6 times.

I’ll go over Shayna’s bizarre behavior, the details from the trial, and tell you about a shocking new development that just might change everything.

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

On February 24, 1986, John Ruetten came home from work to find his newlywed wife on their living room floor, dead from 3 bullet wounds to the chest. Investigators concluded it was a burglary gone wrong, but the case went unsolved for decades. 23 years later, DNA testing that hadn’t been available before was conducted and who the new evidence pointed to was shocking.

In Part 2, you’ll hear the conclusion of Stephanie’s interrogation, the evidence presented at trial, and the final outcome of the case.

Full Interrogation Video

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.

On February 24, 1986, John Ruetten came home from work to find his newlywed wife on their living room floor, dead from 3 bullet wounds to the chest. Investigators concluded it was a burglary gone wrong, but the case went unsolved for decades. 23 years later, DNA testing that hadn’t been available before was conducted and who the new evidence pointed to was shocking.

In Part 1, you’ll hear the details of the crime, how the investigation progressed over the years, and audio from a very interesting interrogation.

Full Interrogation Video

If you’d like to discuss this case, please join our active discussion on the Court Junkie Discussion Facebook Group.