PODCAST

True Crime Reporter™

Robert Riggs

The True Crime Reporter™ podcast takes its audience behind the yellow crime scene where few podcasters dare to go.

The Dallas-based podcast takes listeners on a journey into darkness guided by Peabody Award-Winning investigative reporter Robert Riggs.

Everything is bigger in Texas, and crime is no exception.

The 2021 Webby Awards named the True Crime Reporter™ podcast among seven honorees, including Dateline NBC and BBC Sounds for “Best True Crime Podcast.”

Hailed as the Internet’s highest honor by The New York Times, Claire Graves, Executive Director of the Webby Awards, praised Riggs’ podcast,  "Honorees like Robert Riggs and the True Crime Reporter™ podcast are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet. It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the nearly 13,500 entries we received this year from 50 states and 70 countries."

A leading television streaming channel is currently producing a five-episode news documentary based on Riggs’ first season about serial killer Kenneth Allen McDuff.

Bill Johnston, a decorated former federal prosecutor, joined the True Crime Reporter™ podcast in 2021 as Riggs cohost.

This Texas duo has been up close and personal with the worst of the worst criminals, including serial killers, mass murderers, and sexual predators. You name it, and they’ve seen it from the crime scene to the courtroom, from maximum-security prisons to death row.

Their real crime stories are stranger than fiction.

True Crime Reporter™ produces three types of episodes.

True Crime Reporter™ Extra - features highly produce narrative storytelling about criminal cases. It blends Robert Riggs’ writing/narration with his interviews of investigators, crime victims, forensic experts, convicted criminals, music, and natural sound.

True Crime Reporter™ Confidential - conducts a classic “police procedural.” Riggs and Johnston weave compelling stories during an interview-style/talk show. Think of them as the “Larry King’s” of True Crime. They interview investigators, crime victims, forensic experts, members of the judiciary, even convicted criminals about criminal cases.

True Crime Reporter™ Texas Ranger Files - features unique access to the case files of one of the worlds’ most legendary law enforcement organizations. Riggs and Johnston interview Texas Rangers about their most unusual investigations. These officers work murders in the wild frontier of Texas. True Crime Reporter™ tells epic and heroic stories about the Rangers that most people have never heard.

Our mission is not only to entertain but also to educate. The episodes on True Crime Reporter™ discuss means and motives. We want listeners to come away with insights about crime prevention and self-protection.

The criminal justice system has recognized Riggs and Johnston for their sensitivity to crime victims. Bill Johnston received the “Victim Advocate of the Year Award” for bringing the nation’s first prosecution under the Violence Against Women’s Act. Three weeks after its enactment, Johnston utilized the new law to prosecute a man who sent a twenty-pound pipe bomb to his ex-wife in an attempted murder plot.

The American Bar Association has honored Riggs with its Silver Gavel Award for investigative reports that exposed corruption in Texas’ parole and prison systems.  The Dallas Crime Commission, in conjunction with the FBI, awarded Riggs its first-ever Excellence In Reporting Award for his investigation of teenage heroin deaths in Plano, Texas, and a landmark series on identity theft.

The first season of True Crime Reporter™ broadcasted a 17-episode series about the corrupt release of serial killer Kenneth Allen McDuff from prison by the Texas Parole Board. Bill Johnston organized and led the successful manhunt for McDuff.  Following Robert Riggs’ news investigation about parole selling, Johnston prosecuted the Texas Parole Board Chairman who had released McDuff.


Texas Rangers Brave Bullets and Flames To Rescue 13-Year Old Girl From Kidnappers
This episode marks the inaugural edition of the True Crime Reporter™ Texas Ranger Case Files. Robert Riggs and Bill Johnston feature exclusive stories about criminal cases in interviews with legendary officers of the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers constitute the oldest state law enforcement organization in North America dating to 1823. You can read more about the history of the Texas Rangers and their influence on popular culture on our blog at the True Crime Reporter™ website. Robert and Bill interview retired Ranger Captain Bob Prince, a legendary modern-day Texas Ranger about his most memorable case. Our story begins with the rescue of 13-year old Amy McNiel of Alvarado, Texas from five kidnappers in mid-January of 1985. It captures the frontier spirit and courage of the officers who wear the distinctive 5-star badge of the Texas Rangers. The teenage daughter of Don McNiel, a pioneer in the development of the first hand-held calculator, was snatched at gunpoint on the way to school. Kidnappers ran a jeep driven by her 17-year old brother off the road and put a sawed-off shotgun to his face as they grabbed his sister. They demanded a $100,000 ransom for the seventh grader’s safe return but had no intention of releasing the teenage girl alive. Throughout McNiel’s abduction, the five kidnappers snorted and injected drugs and talked about “driving” to Hawaii with the ransom money. The teen defiantly insisted that her captors feed a hungry dog in their backyard before she would cooperate. Their ringleader, 34-year James Wesley Foote lived near the McNiel’s mansion and his son was her school classmate but unknown to her. Foote’s son had once stabbed a fellow student in the arm with a knife.  Two weeks before McNiel’s abduction, Foote who was wanted for attempted murder had burst into the home of a prominent businessman in Arlington near Fort Worth, Texas to kidnap his two young children. The family’s housekeeper wrestled Foote’s gun away from him and fought him in a bloody 45-minute struggle.  The gun discharged near her head and Foote fled. A few weeks later, Foote and his accomplices then abducted 13-year old Amy McNiel. Retired Ranger Captain Bob Prince remembers a tension-filled 48 hour, 600 mile game of cat and mouse and a 100 mph running gunbattle in this episode of Texas Ranger Files. We want to be your favorite true crime podcast. Please recommend us to your friends and leave a review wherever you listen. Join our True Crime Community to receive updates and bonus episodes. Click Here To Sign Up. Follow True Crime Reporter™ on social media: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube True Crime Reporter™ is a copyrighted and trade-marked production by True Crime Reporter, LLC, in Dallas, Texas.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
5d ago
40 mins
The Mind Of The Murderer - What Makes A Killer?
In our previous episode of the True Crime Reporter™ podcast, we presented the murder case of Annie Laurie Williams.  Williams bludgeoned her 8 and 9-year-old sons to death and then dispassionately dismembered their bodies to dispose of them. Her acts are unthinkable. In order to bring perspective and understanding to such a crime, Cohosts Robert Riggs and Bill Johnston reached out to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Richard Taylor in the United Kingdom. Dr. Taylor is the author of The Mind of a Murderer. He has worked on more than 100 murder cases. He explores the subject of Women Who Kill Children in his book. Dr. Taylor also works with a special unit dealing with threats to the royal family and politicians, which is called the Fixated Threat Assessment Center (FTAC). You can find a link to more information about the FTAC on our website. Murder is not just a crime, it is a major public health problem.  In 2017 alone, there were close to a half-million recorded victims of homicide around the globe. Investigative Reporter Robert Riggs and former U.S. federal prosecutor explore what drives people to murder.  We want to be your favorite true crime podcast. Please recommend us to your friends and leave a review wherever you listen. Join our True Crime Community to receive updates and bonus episodes. Click Here To Sign Up.   Follow True Crime Reporter™ on social media: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube True Crime Reporter™ is a copyrighted and trade marked production by True Crime Reporter, LLC, in Dallas, Texas.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 22 2021
56 mins
The Ghastly Story Of A Mother Who Murdered Her ChildrenCriminal Intel: What Officers Learn About Crime From State JailsHow Cold Case Detectives Solved A 46-Year Old Murder
46 years after the abduction, torture, and murder of a 17-year-old girl, cold case detectives with the Fort Worth police department arrested a 78-year old Glen McCurley and charged him with capital murder. McCurley abducted Carla Walker from the parking lot of a bowling alley. Walker had been to a Valentine’s day dance with her 17-year old boyfriend. McCurley pistol-whipped Walker’s boyfriend and tried to shoot him in the head three times but the pistol’s magazine fell out. Walker’s lifeless body was later found dumped in a culvert. Fort Worth Police detectives Jeff Bennett and Leah Wagner were the primary investigators who reopened this case in 2019. New, advanced DNA testing matched McCurley's DNA to stains found on Carla Walker's clothing. The 46-year old unsolved case came to an end in August of 2021 when McCurley pleaded guilty during his murder trial. He was sentenced to life in prison. Retired Homicide Detective David Thornton helped start the cold case unit. At the outset, investigators faced 750 unsolved murders dating back to 1966. Thornton put into motion an effort that is still solving cold cases in which the original investigation failed to produce sufficient evidence to support murder charges. In this edition of our True Crime Reporter Confidential, Robert Riggs and Bill Johnston take listeners inside homicide investigations and cold cases. It is nothing like what is portrayed on popular TV shows. That’s Hollywood. This is real life. We want to be your favorite true crime podcast. Please recommend us to your friends and leave a review wherever you listen. Join our True Crime Community to receive updates and bonus episodes. Click Here To Sign Up. Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 1 2021
1 hr 2 mins
Inside The Police Beat Covering One Of The U.S. Worst Serial Killers
Serial killer Kenneth McDuff fixated on the female reporters who covered his capital murder trial. After a Texas jury sentenced McDuff to death by lethal injection, he sent off a letter to one of the reporters. The letter written behind bars sickened reporter Rebecca Rodriguez She had covered the abduction of Colleen Reed, a petite 29-year old accountant, from an Austin, Texas self-service car wash shortly after Christmas in 1991. The accountant was one of the dozens of young women who had mysteriously disappeared up and down interstate 35 through the heart of Texas. McDuff was a sadistic sexual serial killer. His biggest pleasure came from inflicting pain on his victims and controlling their moment of death.  A grisly confession by McDuff’s accomplice detailed a chamber of horrors in explicit detail of how he tortured his victims.  Rodriguez had hardly been able to process this horrible story when McDuff’s mother called her.  Addy McDuff claimed her son was innocent and pleaded with Rodriguez to tell his story. But Addy was known as a manipulative crass creature who was the stereotypical mother of a serial killer. The residents of Rosebud, a small town in Central Texas, knew Addy as the “pistol-packing mama”.  Her son had ridden roughshod over its residents for years. When a school bus driver scolded Kenneth for bullying fellow students, Addy threatened him with her pistol. In this episode how McDuff’s case has haunted both reporters and law officers for thirty years. We want to be your favorite true crime podcast. Please recommend us to your friends and leave a review wherever you listen. Join our True Crime Community to receive updates and bonus episodes. Click Here To Sign Up.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 25 2021
40 mins
The Minister Who Almost Got Away With MurderDon't Fence Me In - Why No Texas Prison Could Hold This Inmate"Free To Kill" Inside The Minds Of Serial Killers Kenneth McDuff & Ted Bundy
Kenneth Allen McDuff ranks among the most heartless and sadistic serial killers in American history. But what is it that creates the McDuff’s and Ted Bundy’s of this world? I received an invaluable understanding from two former FBI profilers who were among the original founders of the Behavioral Science Unit based at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  I met profilers John Douglas and Roy Hazelwood after they had retired from the bureau.  At that time they were not widely known outside of law enforcement circles. Today the Netflix crime drama, Mindhunter is loosely based on John Douglas’s role in pioneering profiling at the FBI. His fellow profiler Royal Hazelwood became the world’s leading expert on the strangest, most dangerous of all aberrant offenders, the sexual criminal. Hazelwood is now deceased. He coauthored landmark books about the minds of sexual predators with Stephen Michaud. Michaud is a friend and fellow investigative reporter who used to be based here in Dallas. Stephen Michaud is the expert on Ted Bundy.   He tape-recorded 150 hours of audio with the serial killer when Bundy was imprisoned in a Florida State Prison.  In 1983, Michaud and another giant of investigative reporting, Hugh Aynesworth wrote the book, The Only Living Witness; The True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy. In 2019, NetFlix premiered a four-episode docuseries based on Michaud’s tapes titled Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Michaud and I discuss what goes on inside the minds of serial killers. Please Share This Link With Your Friends To Subscribe. True Crime Reporter™ Podcast Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube P.S. If you like this podcast, we invite you to listen to our Justice Facts Podcast -- True Crime Is Stranger Than Fiction. Click here to subscribe to Justice Facts. Bill Johnston, the federal prosecutor featured in "Free To Kill" and Investigative Reporter Robert Riggs, the host of True Crime Reporter™ talk about criminal cases from their careers and dissect cases making news. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 4 2021
1 hr 21 mins
"Free To Kill" These Wounds Don't Heal: The Living Hurt Forever by Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff
Dec 29 2020
45 mins
"Free To Kill" Mysterious Secrets About Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff"Free To Kill" Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff Is A Dead Man Walking"Free To Kill" How A Throbbing Toothache Made Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff Talk"Free To Kill" Face-To-Face With Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff On Texas Death Row"Free To Kill" A Serial Killer Is The Only Man In Texas To Receive 3 Death Sentences"Free To Kill" How A Serial Killer's Prison Pals Received Get Out Of Jail Free Cards"Free To Kill" Dirty Little Secrets About The Parole Of Texas Worst Serial Killer"Free To Kill" My Little Gangster Spills The Beans About A $25K Bribe
Investigative Reporter Robert Riggs was investigating how serial killer Kenneth McDuff and dozens of other former death row inmates in Texas got out of prison when Riggs crossed paths with U.S. Marshals. The Marshal's nationwide manhunt captured McDuff working on a garbage truck in Kansas City.  But the question remained.  Who in their right mind on the Texas parole board would let this diabolical killer walk out of prison. McDuff's abduction and murder spree started shortly after he returned to Waco, Texas in 1989. Deputy Marshall Parnell McNamara had compared McDuff to "Jack The Ripper". After McNamara locked McDuff in a holding cell, the stern lawman looked Riggs in the eye and told the journalist, "We caught him. Our job is done. Now it's your job to find out how this monster got out of prison." Riggs was already on the trail. Just a few days after McDuff's capture, the daughter of one of McDuff's rape victims from when he was a high school student in his hometown of Rosebud comes forward. The biological daughter that McDuff called "My Little Gangster" tells Riggs that she overheard the serial killer's family discussing a $25,000 bribe to grease his way to freedom. Her allegations take Riggs deep into the corrupt underbelly of Texas parole and prison systems. Click here to Subscribe to True Crime Reporter™ on your favorite podcast channel. Please follow us on Social Media and Share with friends: Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn P.S. If you like this podcast, we invite you to listen to our Justice Facts Podcast -- True Crime Is Stranger Than Fiction. Click here to subscribe to your favorite podcast app. Bill Johnston, the federal prosecutor featured in "Free To Kill" and Investigative Reporter Robert Riggs, the host of True Crime Reporter™ talk about criminal cases from their careers and dissect cases making news. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 2 2020
25 mins
US Marshals Launch Nationwide Dragnet For Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff"Free To Kill" Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff's Accomplice Confesses -- It Is A Journey Into Darkness
The U.S. Marshals Service Task Force locates one of McDuff’s prison pals. Every night Deputy Marshals Parnell and Mike McNamara along with U.S. federal prosecutor Bill Johnston roll through the underbelly of Central Texas rousting parolees. Unlike the horse bound Texas's posses of the past, the Marshals drive an SUV bristling with weapons. It's called "Big Foot". They use a technique called "driving-them-up" to break down one of McDuff's prison pals who is also out on parole. It pays off when the parolee admits that he was McDuff's accomplice in the abduction and murder of Colleen Reed from an Austin carwash. You will hear the masterful confession extracted by Tim Steglich. At that time, he was a criminal investigator for the Bell County Sheriff's Department and a crack interrogator. Steglich extracts a confession that breaks the case wide open. It is a blood-chilling "Journey Into Darkness." Warning: You may have to sleep with the lights on after listening to this episode. Click here to Subscribe to True Crime Reporter™ on your favorite podcast channel. Please follow us on Social Media and Share with friends: Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn P.S. If you like this podcast, we invite you to listen to our Justice Facts Podcast -- True Crime Is Stranger Than Fiction. Click here to subscribe to your favorite podcast app. Bill Johnston, the federal prosecutor featured in "Free To Kill" and Investigative Reporter Robert Riggs, the host of True Crime Reporter™ talk about criminal cases from their careers and dissect cases making news. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 19 2020
25 mins

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