Episode 249: As this is our special Christmas episode. It is our tradition to tell a Yuletide-themed yarn. This one is about a duo of bandits who burglarized various shopping malls across the United States and Canada year after year during the holidays. Their insidious M.O. was to work from the inside. The group’s leader, a safe cracker named Willie Thomas Soke and his sidekick, a little person of colour called Marcus Skidmore, would acquire jobs inside the department store. Soke, a foul-mouthed, chronic alcoholic and sex addict, would play the store’s Santa Claus, and Skidmore, his evil sidekick, would be one of Santa’s elves. Finally, after the murder of the head of a mall security manager named Johnny ‘Gin’ Calhoun at a Phoenix, Arizona, shopping complex, the pair were brought to justice in 2003. This was thanks partly to the unwitting help of a Canadian-born 10-year-old boy, Thurman Merman, who was living in Phoenix with his grandmother.

Sources:

Achondroplasia | Johns Hopkins Medicine

City of Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department

Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ – song and lyrics by Charley Pride | Spotify

Simon Fraser University

The University of British Columbia

‘Documentary’: Bad Santa

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Episode 248: In New York City on the 8th of December, 1980, the world was rocked by the murder of influential rock and roll icon, artist, sometimes controversial activist and dad John Lennon. After an evening recording session at the Record Plant, John Lennon and his wife, artist Yoko Ono returned to their Central Park West apartment building, The Dakota. As John and Yoko approached the entrance to the building, they passed a man for whom, only hours earlier, Lennon had signed an autograph. The man, Mark David Chapman, 25, watched the couple walk by and then pulled a .38 special from his coat and unloaded on John Lennon, shooting him in the back four times. The deadly hollow point bullets tore through the former Beatle, mortally wounding him. He was pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital later. When police arrived, they found Chapman patiently reading his book, Catcher in the Rye

Sources:

JOHN LENNON. GIMME SOME TRUTH.

The Beatles

This Is: The Beatles | Spotify Playlist

This is: John Lennon | Spotify Playlist

John Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” quote | Slate

23 December 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono meet Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau | The Beatles Bible

The Catcher in the Rye | Summary, Analysis, Reception, & Facts | Britannica

Two Marks — Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon — Crime Library

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | John Lennon killer ‘wanted fame’

BBC ON THIS DAY | 8 | 1980: John Lennon shot dead

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Episode 247: In January of 1922, the first of a series of fires broke out on a farm in the small rural community of Caledonia Mills in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. The family who lived at the farm, Alexander, 70, and sixty-nine-year-old Janet MacDonald, 69, and their 15-year-old adopted daughter Mary-Ellen, claimed the unexplained blazes, 30 in all, had begun in rapid succession in places not close to either wood stove. The fires and other terrifying occurrences that drove them out of the home, they believed, were caused by a malicious poltergeist bent on their destruction and focused around Mary-Ellen. News of the events brought renowned international investigators of things paranormal, even catching the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories.

Sources:

Caledonia Mills: The Mary Ellen Spook Farm Case

Fire Spook by Monica Graham – Ebook | Scribd

Ghost Stories of Canada by John Robert Colombo, Jillian Hulme Gilliland – Ebook | Scribd

The Mary Ellen Spook

Folklore | Visit Antigonish

Caledonia Mills – Wikipedia

Folklore of Nova Scotia by Mary L. Fraser

Antigonish Heritage Museum – The Old Train Station News – Newsletter 8, Oct 2009

Hobgoblin – Wikipedia

Apparitions Of Black Dogs

Black Shuck: The Legendary Devil Dog Of The English Countryside

Investigating the Antigonish Fire Spook Haunting

PSICAN – Paranormal Studies and Inquiry Canada – Caledonia Mills Fire Spook

American Society for Psychical Research

A look back at the mysterious haunting of an Antigonish County farm, 100 years later | CBC News

More Canadian Poltergeists

The Mysterious Fire Spook of Caledonia Hills

Phantoms and Monsters – Real Cryptid Encounter Reports – Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Seeks Ghosts: Poltergeist: Fire Spook, Part l

Dark Visions: Personal Accounts of the Mysterious in Canada – John Robert Colombo – Google Books

Le cas curieux de la ferme Mary Ellen Spook – PREUVES DU PARANORMAL

poltergeist | Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained – Credo Reference

spr.ac.uk |

Glossary | spr.ac.uk

Lexscien: Library of Exploratory Science

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