Sword and Scale Episode 4

Sword and Scale Episode 4

On Friday, October 5th 2012, 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school. This is the story of what happened to her and how the suburban city of Westminster coped with the aftermath, including the perpetrator’s chilling confession. We warn you, some of the details are quite disturbing and not intended for all audiences.

We also examine how common child abductions are in the United States and cover some of the week’s most eye-catching headlines.

If you have any information on child exploitation, please call 1-800-THE-LOST or visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website.

To find out more about Jessica Risgeway’s story, please visit her website. Also read about The Lassy Project, an innovative mobile app spearheaded by her mother Sarah that uses technologies like GPS, SMS, and crowdsourcing to protect our children.


  • Bob

    Ok, what the hell is with these 911 operators? The caller states, “My son has just confessed to a murder.” and at 26:15, the operation replies by asking, “And what’s going on there?”

    The caller is stunned and pauses, finally saying, “Did you not hear me? He just confessed to killing her.” The operator goes on like this, asking the most moronic questions imaginable in such a situation. It doesn’t help that her demeanor makes her sound as dumb as her questions.

    • http://swordandscale.com/ Sword and Scale

      This one particular interchange was one of the most disturbing things I’ve heard. This 911 call messed me up for at least a good couple of months, not because of the 911 operator’s reaction, but because of the grief in the mother’s voice as she is suddenly faced with the reality that her son is a depraved monster. It still breaks my heart.

    • Jane Smith

      She was assessing the situation so law enforcement knew what they would be walking into. It was for LE’s safety. I thought she was excellent.

      I’m still haunted by the grief in his mother’s voice. I guess I just never considered the feelings of a murderer’s family before.

  • Bea

    I think the 911 operator is really good, actually. She has a procedure to follow, asking after the killer’s mental state, asking there are weapons in the house, etc. She also HAS to keep them on the phone so she’s going to ask anything she can think of. I thought she was really calm and unflappable in the face of a REALLY disturbing call. I was impressed with her.

    This episode, however, was extremely disturbing and made me feel like I wanted to throw up. SUPER well put together. The clips were effective and well-edited. The subject matter made me want to vomit. This poor girl and her poor parents.

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.