249: Christmas 2022: Safe Cracking Santa & his Murderous Elf

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.


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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