Sword and Scale Episode 41

Luckily there aren't very many examples of the perfect storm occurring in a community where a dysfunctional family, a broken child-protection agency, and a community that makes a series of unlucky decisions end with the death of a beautiful, happy and loving 5-year-old little girl. Episode 41, however, isn't one of them. On January 8th, 2015,...

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Lead Belly

William Huddle Ledbetter. AKA ‘Lead Belly’, was one of the archetypal blues icons of the Deep South. He wasn’t from Mississippi or Chicago, unlike so many contemporaries, but he still had a prodigious appetite for music and the talent to match. His fondness for life’s many rich pleasures (mainly involving boozing, brawling and bumping...

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Broken Family Tree

The story of the McStay family was widely publicized on the show “Disappeared”, which is featured on Investigation Discovery. The show, which first aired in 2010, offers a glimpse of what happens after people go missing. Joseph McStay and his family were seen on the show in January of 2011 in an episode titled “Mystery at the Border”. Of...

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The Death Penalty: Stepping Backwards?

Over the last several years, European Union drug companies have been engaged in an active and effective boycott, refusing to sell the drugs used in lethal injections to prisons and correctional facilities. The original three-drug protocol comprised sodium pentathol, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride. These drugs, administered in sequence,...

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Sword and Scale Episode 40

When asked to imagine the perfect place to perform serial murder most imagine something dark and creepy, but the truth of the matter is that the perfect place to kill is actually the same place in which most of us are born and die: a hospital. This is a place where death is not only common, but expected.  Many of the victims are already...

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Killing Them Softly

On January 16th, 2015 there were two executions scheduled. The US Supreme Court refused in a 5-4 vote to stay the execution of Charles Warner in Oklahoma, the State’s first since its horrendously botched execution of Clayton Lockett last year. In Florida, tonight’s execution of Johnny Shane Kormondy was also delayed pending the outcome of...

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The Real Untouchables?

We all know the story of Prohibition-era Chicago, of how Al ‘Scarface’ Capone was brought down by a few good men in the form of Eliot Ness and his squad of ‘Untouchables,’ Right? Wrong. The original book by Oscar Fraley (renowned for his lack of historical accuracy), the eponymous TV series and the Hollywood movie would have you believe...

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Tor’s Not Just for Criminals

The words “dark web” brings to mind all sorts of nefarious imagery. A corner of the web were hackers, thieves, and child pornographers hangout in order to share stories and high-fives. While in some cases that may be entirely true, the dark web isn't just a place for criminals. As a computer engineer it is easy for me to forget that not...

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Six Executions In One Day

Meet Robert Greene Elliott. Family man, devout Methodist, electrical contractor and pipe smoker. He also personally executed 387 people (including 5 women) working as a freelance executioner for six US States. Elliott was (and remains) the most experienced ‘State Electrician’ in penal history. He became notorious Statewide, easily as...

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Sword and Scale Episode 39

Some things are hard to fathom, like why a young boy with his entire life ahead of him would choose to destroy it by an act of unspeakable violence towards the people that love and care for him most in the world: his parents. Yet, time after time, we see these angst ridden youth lose control of their developing minds and act out in a way that...

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About Sword and Scale

Sword and Scale covers the underworld of criminal activity and the demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions.

The Sword and Scale Podcast debuted in 2013 and is available on iTunes. Get to know more about Sword and Scale at our About Us page.