Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

BONUS: Anna-Sigga & Scott AMA's

BONUS: Anna-Sigga & Scott AMA's

Thu, 03 Nov 2022 07:00

To celebrate AoM’s 100th episode, we wanted to hear from you! Scott and Anna-Sigga answer listeners' questions.

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So just as we dropped our 100th episode, I think for me I almost couldn't believe that we made it because all I kept thinking about Scott was when you first said to me, hey, you know, we really should turn some of our conversations that we have about these cases into a podcast. I was like, I don't know how much, you know, how many hours are there in a day and you're like, let's just try it. So it's like, okay, let's just try a podcast. Let me back up a second, record scratch. You didn't think we were going to make it? No, I never envisioned that we would still be here 100 episodes later, but I'm very glad that I was wrong to think it. Here we are. And to mark this milestone of dropping our 100th episode, we wanted to do something different. You hear from us every week, but this time we wanted to at least start by hearing from you. We asked listeners to send us your questions about anything related to True Crime, the podcast or even us, and today we're going to answer them. Here's the first one. Hi, my name is Lydia and I was actually having a question about serial killers. I feel that a lot of serial killers seemed to be around like in the 70s and 80s, you know, the Ted Bendie, the Jeffrey Dalmer, the Wayne Gacy. I feel like all those were around in the 70s and 80s, but we don't hear much of that anymore. Do you know what the stats are on serial killers in 2022? And I have to start by saying, Lydia, thank you for sending me down this rabbit hole that I think I'll be going down much more than even just for trying to answer your question because no off the top of my head did not know the stats, but it's a really interesting question. And I found so much interesting information on the internet, but there's one article that I'm going to point to because I think it really encapsulated some of the various working theories. And it came out of Discovery Magazine. It was recent. It was September 2022. It's called What Explains the Decline of Serial Killers. And they really talked about everything from, you know, there is this uptick in detection, right? You know, I believe it's an ability to connect the cases with the advancement of forensic science. The killers are now more easily fareded out. The evidence comes against them so they are identified so we can put a name and a face and hold them accountable more than before. But you know, we talk about the number of serial killers out there. You know, none of us know the number out there, but the FBI does say that less than 1% fortunately of all homicides are attributable to serial killers. And you know, they also talk about that we as a society are safer because you carry your cell phone. There are video surveillance cameras out there. So people are less susceptible to at least some of these attacks. But as a society, we've gone in waves of crime and we went up in the 70s, 80s and then have been coming back down at least until recently. Hi guys, I've been listening to the podcast for a while now. I've almost finished listening to all of the episodes, but I haven't. I haven't. I'm getting there. So my first question is, how did the two of you meet? Okay. This one is, I'm giggling. My first memory is Scott getting me on the phone, which was after multiple phone calls. I was still a prosecutor and he was executive producing a show which is still running strong, which is on the case with Paul Azam. And he wanted me to talk to him about one of my cases to which was a total no for me at the time. You know, nope. I don't know what you're going to do with this. It's about the case. No, no, no, no. It was through talking to him and one, just as you all know, like Scott is a very likeable personable guy. So he drew me in that way, but it was also his background law enforcement before that. And just he sounded quite honestly like a very upfront ethical person that after multiple conversations, he convinced me to do that, which I'd never done before, which is talk about one of my cases. But that was to me like our first meeting, but apparently it actually happened before that. So you make it sound like it was like really simple to get you on the phone, right? So that was probably a month into trying to get you on the phone. But when I did, it was an incredible conversation. And I felt like you were the right person to tell that story. And I did research. I knew about you. I've actually seen you prior to that in the courtroom as a reporter watching you during a homicide trial. So I knew that you were the right person to help us tell that story. And then once we finished the episode and you walked off set, it's what you said to me, which it stays with me forever, which was, you know, that was pretty cool. I like that. But I am the one who normally asks the questions, not answers them. So, you know, next time you call me, maybe I can be asking the questions. And I said to you, one day that very well may happen. And that was the birth of true conviction six years earlier. I guess we got lucky to do that. And it has just been a partnership and a friendship that I certainly cherish and has certainly been great for me professionally as well. Thanks, mutual. Thank you. My hat's off to you, too, Scott Lienberger. Hi, good morning. My name is Gabriel. My question is, have you ever ever had a case where dental identification played in the church at school? The reason I'm asking is because I am working since around 2019, helping out on the side of law enforcement. Any time someone needs help with identification, they call me. The quick answer, Gabriel, is yes. You know, obviously we use dental records all the time to identify the victims. But when it comes to dental records, we use it most often with bite mark evidence and identifying offenders. Yes, I've seen it as a supervisor. I've had it in my own cases. But, you know, I will tell you that I have seen cases actually kicked back, which means sent back on appeal because, at least in New York, they decided that evidence can be too subjective. They tend not to be very accurate, in a sense. I mean, they're a great part of a puzzle. But on its surface, if it's the only evidence had to see, I think you agree with this? It's a difficult march to walk. In New York, you couldn't go into court with them. So I've always kind of this rule of thumb, like use it in conjunction with other evidence, but I've never relied on it solely because that has shown to be sometimes problematic. I definitely got a number of questions that wanted to know what is our process into making a podcast. Hi, this is Becky. I wanted to know how long it takes you to complete each podcast from idea to completion. Becky, I would love to tell you that in this weekly podcast that it takes one week to go through all of it, but I think as our producers and executive producers can attest to, it takes much, much longer. But it takes weeks. But I think for me, the process is, you know, this is an unscripted podcast, and we have to both go through a lot of the original materials in order to become familiar with the case. You know, whenever we talk about the process, it's obviously the recording that all of you hear, but that really is just a piece of it. And in some ways, almost the least of it, there's additional research. Then there is on the production side, our executive producer, and sometimes other producers, they go through it all to kind of craft an outline. And what that means really is that, like, yes, like Scott and I obviously know the materials and we have the background, but in every story, there's a way it's told. So that is, you know, to give you a little bit of who the Oz is on AOM, that is our executive producer and the particular producer doing any particular story. And then from there, there's the editors that have to put all those pieces together. So that is why it takes so long. And there is just so much more involved, at least Scott, for me, that I thought there would be when we first said we're going to do a podcast. I know exactly what we're getting into. Do you still keep up with some of the people and families of the victims that you have showcased on your podcast? You know, we do often find ourselves staying in touch via social media with a lot of the people who we've talked with and the family members that we've been involved with on AOM. And I'm proud post dropping the episode to continue those conversations. Have you guys ever had a case that made you almost walk away from your job? What happened? I'm laughing because while I probably should have thought more about it, for me, the scenario that I'm thinking of actually made me just dig in that much deeper. There was a case that the defendants, there was two, they tried to get the gun, they tried to escape, they're going to try to take out as many of us as they could in the courtroom. And you know, we had to do a mistrial. And I was furious. And I will say it's a case that quite honestly that what happened in the courtroom gave me nightmares for a long time. And that does not normally happen to me in that way. But you know, when the judge said like, Anasiga, do you want off of this case and my boss at the time said, well, do you want to take a break from this? You know, it was the opposite. You know, it was just, I was like, furious. Like how dare you try to get out from under what you did to this in this case, young woman by trying to make this play in court. And I think it made, it gave me motivation like that much more resolved to get in there. Now I will say in my later years, I think I may have taken a pause, but in my youth, I will say as a prosecutor, as a homicide prosecutor, just made me dig in deeper. What is the most memorable case or left the lasting effect on you that you've ever worked on and why? I think I've mentioned this before, you know, interviewing Camille Hamilton was the most difficult interview I think I've ever conducted and not only in law enforcement and journalism I've conducted hundreds of interviews. But I was during that conversation with her where I actually felt like we needed to stop. And that was it. That was it. I'm sorry, Camille. Here's a piece of Scott's interview with Camille. Raw. Right, Camille, let's just stop for one second. I just need you to take a little bit of a deep breath. Last time you said you're a true survivor. I think that you have a lot of great reasons to be where you are today and what you've done. And there's a lot of people benefiting from that. I was more concerned that taking her through the details of her horrific case was an unhealthy moment for her. Because, you know, we make it clear that they're honoring us by telling us their story and that there's no pressure, ever, any pressure to do that. You know, we're asking them to share the deepest and darkest things that they've gone through obviously in their lives, especially the survivors. And so, in within that interview, yes, there was a moment where I took a step back and questioned myself at that point of whether I really wanted to continue on. I'm so sorry to make you go through all of this, Camille. It's probably, you can tell how much you loved her. I know. Just a little bit more when Scott, which is obvious when you listen to him interview Camille, the care that he took, but even on the back end, there was someone from that local police department that actually sat on the other end with Camille to make sure that she was emotionally okay at all steps along the way. I want to ask about how you've done what you've done, both of you, without going completely stuck into the horror of some of these cases. So interesting, this is a question that my mom still asks me all the time. And I do mean all the time, as recently as last week. She's like, I know I always ask you, this is a prosecutor, but now you're still talking about these cases and just, you know, are you okay? Are you okay? Is there anything that you can do? How do you handle this? And we are all built for different things. You know, I am not someone that I could ever work as a nurse or an aide or as a physician in a hospital. That's one of those things that I just can't do. And I'm so thankful that others are built to do that. You know, I always think if you've got a heart and you have a pulse, how could you not get drawn in to these horrific cases? I think Anisee and I are both built a specific way. We've seen some bad things. We've covered and handled some really horrific cases. And I don't know if I like the word numb because I think that's not fair, but I think you build a shield around you to focus in on the mission that you're on and the mission is to either solve that case or get that. That's a story right. And you know, most of you know my situation on the 9-11 episode, I mean, we were talking about people that I lost and it was a very emotional interview to go through and I didn't realize I was going to feel that way. And so I do find myself in moments that I had a step back and swallow a gulp and say, okay, yeah, you got to do what you got to do. But I think that's hopefully the norm. You know, I always used to tell the assistants in homicide, especially when they were coming and I was like, this is something that you just need to know it is going to hurt. If you don't at least at certain points, remember and feel, then I think you kind of lose the purpose and why we're doing this. Hi Scott. I'm going to say the money's core damage in Texas. And I just had a question whether or not you two are going to write a book together. And if you are, are you going to go on a tour? Hopefully you'll come to Texas and you will be able to see all. Well Courtney, I can announce it right here on this bonus episode. Anisea and I are working on a book called Pasta and Pastrami. What? We might. Yeah, cookbook pasta and pastrami. Why those two things don't go together. By the way, if I remember part of that cookbook, all of you don't buy it or at least don't make my recipes. No, really. Courtney, I think it's an interesting question. I think, you know, Anisea is a very talented storyteller. So I would not be surprised that for her, that's, you know, absolutely going to be her future. I don't know about me. But the second part of your question, that actually may happen. I'm giving all of you the virtual wink, wink. And we're just going to leave it at that. For Scott, what's next for you? I always think that there's more stories to tell. I love the format of podcasting. I've come to love it over the last, say, 26 months. And I just want to do more of it. Guys, I'm going to just pipe in here because Scott, you know, he's modest and he's not a guy that really would put too much out by himself. But he is someone I will tell you that always has multiple irons in the fire and is always thinking. So he makes this joke about pasta and pastrami. But who knows? Like that just might happen at some day knowing Scott. And if he does, it's going to be really good. Like, I'll buy it if you're, if you're writing it. That's sweet. Hey, guys, love the podcast. Can't get enough of it. Really, my question is, is what can we do, I say the public, to help with any of these cases? Is there anything that we can assist with or what can we do? How can we help? I love this question because, you know, it isn't what is our favorite color and how is this podcast? It's all something that we are ready to answer and holding our head down and hoping it's not too much. But it really says so much for all of you, like our AOM community. Because while it's coming from one person, we have sensed it and heard it on social media and in all different ways from all of you. Like, you not only care and are interested, but you want to help. For me, we do do unsolved cases from time to time. You know, I always say this. Community knows something and that is so valuable in cases that remain unsolved. So yeah, keep a close ear. Listen when we do these specific cases where law enforcement is looking for helping hand. You know, be the armchair detective. We love it. Support survivors. You know, and there's so many different ways to do that. You can volunteer at your local law enforcement, your first responders, support groups, and they all need those extra hands. And that helps impact all of this. I just think that sense of community and understanding and just knowing that we support them really goes a long way with all of this. At a C. Gennari, get in the opportunity to talk to you because of you. You support this show week after week. And you give us the opportunity to honor these victims. And we are so appreciative. 100. Yeah, we're really proud of AOM. I love the work you guys did. I think it's actually educational. And I think you tell stories in such a respectful way. I feel like your compassion and your care at the case is beyond the approach. Thank you guys so much for your podcast. I love listening to it. I know it. Brightens a lot of people's days. Thank you so much. Love the show. You doing what you're doing? Love AOM. And thanks.