Episode 306: This week, we discuss the shooting death of American Mark Harshbarger during a 2006 hunting trip to Newfoundland. The Meshoppen, Pennsylvania, man was shot by his wife, Mary Beth Harshbarger, who claims she thought he was a black bear. In 2010, Harshbarger was extradited to Newfoundland, where she stood trial for criminal negligence causing death. The prosecution cited insurance money as Mary Beth’s motive for the killing. After two weeks of hearings in September, the presiding judge found her not guilty. 

The shooting death of Mark Harshbarger has been a source of controversy since it occurred. Some people believe that Mary Beth Harshbarger was guilty of first-degree murder, while others believe that she was justified in shooting her husband because she thought he was a bear.

It is important to remember that this topic is very sensitive for many people. The family and friends of Mark Harshbarger are still grieving his death, and Mary Beth Harshbarger has gone through a great deal. Mark’s children have lost their father. We aim to be respectful of all parties involved when discussing this case.

Sources:

Hunting | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Fur Trade in Canada | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Town of Buchans Newfoundland & Labrador

Guide describes fatal shot in U.S. hunter’s trial | CBC News

Official Newfoundland Hunter Safety Course | HunterCourse.com

Inside The Harshbarger Family Case | CBC — True Crime Canada

Public Advisory: 2023-24 Hunting and Trapping Guide Available Online – News Releases

Regulation Summaries – 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Guide

Mark Harshbarger (1963-2006) | Find-a-Grave

2010 NLTD 152 (CanLII) | R. v. Harshbarger | CanLII

Another Fine Day Afield | Outdoor Canada

Extradition looms for hunter who shot husband | Outdoor Canada

Harshbarger’s father speaks out about widow’s upcoming shooting trial – News – The Times-Tribune

Judge throws out PFA order that had been lodged against Mary Beth Harshbarger – News – Daily Review

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Episode 305: Joseph LaPage, a French-Canadian rapist and necrophile known as the French Monster, was tried and hung in 1878 for the brutal, sexually motivated murder of Josie A. Langmaid, 17, in Pembroke, New Hampshire, in 1875. LaPage was also the sole suspect in the 1874 murder of Marietta N. Ball, a girl from St. Albans, Vermont. He was arrested for that crime; however, insufficient evidence prevented a trial, but the night before his execution, LaPage confessed to Marietta’s murder. Only weeks after LaPage was hanged, two more murders perpetrated in 1867, that of Mrs. George Fountie and her 16-year-old daughter, Minnie, from Saint-Alexandre, Quebec, were also tied to LaPage. It is believed that Joseph LaPage, with a long history of violent behaviour, is one of Canada’s earliest misogynistic serial killers, predating even Jack the Ripper.

Sources:

1878: Joseph LaPage, murderer of Josie Langmaid

Joseph LaPage | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

Josie Langmaid-“The Murdered Maiden Student”

The Trial of Joseph LaPage | CURIOSity Digital Collections

The East Hill Murder (Marietta Ball, Part 1)

The Suncook Town Tragedy (Marietta Ball, Part 2)

Marietta Ball | Obscure Vermont

Marietta N Ball (1854-1874)

Josephine Ann “Josie” Langmaid (1857-1875) – Find…

Josie Langmaid Monument

The Murdered Maiden Student : A Tribute to the Memory of Miss Josie A. Langmaid by Rev. S. C. Keeler on James E. Arsenault & Company

How a Clairvoyant Caught Josie Langmaid’s Murderer in 1875

The New York herald. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, March 16, 1878

Green-Mountain freeman. [volume] (Montpelier, Vt.) 1844-1884, March 20, 1878

St. Johnsbury Caledonian. [volume] (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) 1867-1919, March 22, 1878

Burlington weekly free press. [volume] (Burlington, Vt.) 1866-1928, March 22, 1878

The New York herald. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, April 09, 1878

Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 09, 1878

The Boston Globe 09 Apr 1878

Memphis daily appeal. [volume] (Memphis, Tenn.) 1847-1886, March 23, 1878

Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder

SuncookTragedy

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Episode 304: On the morning of July 11, 1996, police were called to the parking lot of a hotel under construction off Interstate 40 at 7471 Crosswood Boulevard in Knoxville, Tennesee. There, they found the body of a man, later identified as Robert Dennis Blair Adams, 31, a Canadian citizen from Surrey, B.C. Family and friends called him Blair. Scattered around his body were personal items belonging to Blair and almost $4000 in various currencies, including Canadian, American, and German money. A black fanny pack near Blair’s body was found to be filled with nearly 5 ounces of gold bars, as well as gold and platinum coins and jewelry. It was later determined that Blair had been beaten and left to die in the parking lot where he was discovered.

It is unclear why Blair was in Tennessee, thousands of kilometres from home and in another country. His family later said Blair had been acting strangely and was suffering from insomnia. He told them he believed people were after him and wanted him dead. He had quit his job, emptied his bank account and safety deposit box and left home for good only two days before his body’s discovery. As Blair’s significant amount of cash and valuables lay untouched, the motive for his murder remains a mystery, as does the identity of his killer or killers.

Sources:

Half-nude with fanny pack of gold, Canadian’s killing a Knox County mystery decades later

Septemmber 11, 2017 | Knoxville News Sentinel | Wayback Machine

Investigations – Cold Case – Homicides – Knox County Sheriff Website

Investigations – Cold Case – Homicide – Robert Dennis Blair Adams – Knox County Sheriff Website

Who killed a Canadian in Knox County but left his gold untouched?

Blair Adams – Unsolved Mysteries

Robert Dennis Blair Adams (1964-1996) – Find a…

From the UnresolvedMysteries community on Reddit: The Mysterious Death of Blair Adams

The Murder Of Blair Adams — And Why It Remains Unsolved Today

CRIME HUNTER: Death far from home

Appalachian Unsolved: Cross-country trip ends in Canadian’s mysterious death in Knoxville

Unexplained: The Story Of Blair Adam’s Bizzarre Death

Robert Dennis Blair Adams | Fact# 16244 | FactRepublic.com

DOUBLE ‘S’ CEDAR HOMES

Robert Dennis Blair Adams (1964-1996) – Find a Grave Memorial

Blair Adams: A Bizarre Unsolved Mystery – Historic Mysteries

From the UnresolvedMysteries community on Reddit: I think I might be able to explain the Blair Adams case with personal experiences

The Continuum of Addiction and the Addictive Personality | Psychology Today

Part 1: The Connection Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Dry Drunk Syndrome: What Is It and Are You Experiencing It? | CCFA

Dry Drunk Syndrome in Alcoholics – Shanti Ranganatha, 1985

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Brian Carr Update: ‘A long 35 years’: Murder charge laid in Canadian cold case thanks to genetic genealogy

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Episode 303: The Chowchilla school bus hijacking and kidnapping, a notorious case that occurred in 1976, involved the abduction of a school bus carrying 26 children, nineteen girls and seven boys, ages 5 to 14, and their driver, Frank Edward ‘Ed’ Ray, who was 55. It was orchestrated by three young men from affluent families — brothers Richard Schoenfeld, 22, James Schoenfeld, 24, and their friend Frederick Newhall Woods IV, also twenty-four. The crime was motivated by a desire for ransom money and as a cure for their boredom. The kidnappers hid the bus and took its occupants to a buried truck trailer in a quarry in Livermore, California, intending to demand $5 million for their release. Remarkably, led by Ed Ray and Michael Marshall, 14, one of the older children, the victims managed to escape without any ransom being paid. Even though they all made it out alive, the victims suffered psychological scars that changed their lives and persist to the present day.

This was the largest kidnapping in U.S. history, and it has a Canadian connection.

After their hostages escaped, all three kidnappers went into hiding but were eventually apprehended and convicted, although one of the suspects, the mastermind behind the kidnapping, Frederick Woods, fled to Vancouver, British Columbia, before being arrested by the RCMP.

Sources:

Kidnapped! At Chowchilla — The School Bus Hijacking by Gail Miller and Sandra Thompkins

Oroville Mercury Register 16 Jul 1976, page 1

The San Francisco Examiner 16 Jul 1976, page 3

The Fresno Bee 16 Jul 1976, page 25

‘Major Break’ Expected in Mass Abduction (Published 1976)

The Province 23 Jul 1976, page 1

The Vancouver Sun 30 Jul 1976, page 1

Merced Sun-Star 07 Aug 1976, page 1

Merced Sun-Star 07 Aug 1976, page 9

Chowchilla bus kidnapping: Rare photos from one of the largest abductions in U.S. history

Chowchilla bus kidnapping survivor’s lifelong fight to keep her captors behind bars

Chowchilla bus kidnapper released from prison

Chowchilla nightmares / 25 years later, kidnap victims still struggling to forget past

Chowchilla bus kidnapping survivor’s lifelong fight to keep her captors behind bars

James Schoenfeld: Chowchilla Bus Kidnapper Paroled Almost 40 Years Later

Chowchilla school bus kidnap victims file lawsuit 40 years after abduction

Children of Chowchilla: a study of psychic trauma – PubMed

The ballad of the Chowchilla bus kidnapping

New Documentary Examines Kidnapping of School Bus Full of Children — and How They Miraculously Escaped

Edward Ray – A Local Hero | Chowchilla, CA

1976 Bus Kidnapping | Chowchilla, CA

Edward Ray Day in Chowchilla

EDWARD… – City of Chowchilla, California (Government)

Kent Morrill – Ballad Of Chowchilla Ray (1976 Bardel Records)

Ballad Of Chowchilla Ray | Robert Goulet

Survivors of Chowchilla kidnapping break silence in new documentary

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