Charles Erickson /// 439 /// 440

14 comments

  • Crystal R
    Crystal R Alaska
    Couldn’t have gotten new headphones at a more perfect time. You have the sickest beats Captain!

    Couldn’t have gotten new headphones at a more perfect time. You have the sickest beats Captain!

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    Crystal R • Alaska Thank you so much!!! Captain

    Crystal R • Alaska

    Thank you so much!!!

    Captain

  • RACHEL
    RACHEL O-H-I-O
    When Maggie said his OCD factored into his false confession, that struck a chord. My mother has OCD, among other things, and growing up people didn't understand that she did because at times our house would be completely trashed and filled to the brim due to her depression. But OCD is not all clean, clean, clean. She once told her therapist that she was afraid she saw dead bodies and body parts in our freezer. So her therapist put her on an antipsychotic, which messed with her head and so she abruptly stopped it and ended up having an episode we had to commit her for. But my point is that if she would have explained her FEAR of seeing body parts being so real that it became and obsession instead of she actually saw them visually, it would have been a different story. All this is to say I truly feel for him because I can see how first hand the phobia of being guilty could lead someone with OCD to a false confession. I've witnessed it in on much smaller levels with much lesser "crimes."

    When Maggie said his OCD factored into his false confession, that struck a chord. My mother has OCD, among other things, and growing up people didn't understand that she did because at times our house would be completely trashed and filled to the brim due to her depression. But OCD is not all clean, clean, clean. She once told her therapist that she was afraid she saw dead bodies and body parts in our freezer. So her therapist put her on an antipsychotic, which messed with her head and so she abruptly stopped it and ended up having an episode we had to commit her for. But my point is that if she would have explained her FEAR of seeing body parts being so real that it became and obsession instead of she actually saw them visually, it would have been a different story. All this is to say I truly feel for him because I can see how first hand the phobia of being guilty could lead someone with OCD to a false confession. I've witnessed it in on much smaller levels with much lesser "crimes."

  • Lauren
    Lauren NJ
    Like Rachel, this also hits home for me. I have OCD and this seems to me like reassurance seeking behavior. It's a super common symptom of OCD. You ask others to check things or reassure you that something did or did not happen. For example, I always ask my husband if the door is locked even though I know deep down that I locked the door. OCD is a doubting disease and it makes you think of all these crazy scenarios that are so unlikely to happen, but it convinces you that they are real. Honestly this case terrified me because this easily could have been me when my OCD was at its worst. My OCD would convince me that I did something terrible, like ran someone over with my car without realizing it, even though I would KNOW deep down that I did not. If my husband was driving with me, I would ask him constantly if I hit someone. If I was alone, I would drive around for HOURS retracing my steps trying to cure my obsessions. This is just one example. My mind would convince me of so many other terrible things as well. It is a really horrible disease, and luckily I'm in treatment now and doing much better. But, this case just really hit home for me. I think that Charles was just seeking reassurance from the police, but they totally took advantage of him and his mental illness. I hope he gets the justice he deserves. I'm going to share this podcast with my OCD Support group on Facebook. Thanks for doing this case, guys.

    Like Rachel, this also hits home for me. I have OCD and this seems to me like reassurance seeking behavior. It's a super common symptom of OCD. You ask others to check things or reassure you that something did or did not happen. For example, I always ask my husband if the door is locked even though I know deep down that I locked the door. OCD is a doubting disease and it makes you think of all these crazy scenarios that are so unlikely to happen, but it convinces you that they are real. Honestly this case terrified me because this easily could have been me when my OCD was at its worst. My OCD would convince me that I did something terrible, like ran someone over with my car without realizing it, even though I would KNOW deep down that I did not. If my husband was driving with me, I would ask him constantly if I hit someone. If I was alone, I would drive around for HOURS retracing my steps trying to cure my obsessions. This is just one example. My mind would convince me of so many other terrible things as well. It is a really horrible disease, and luckily I'm in treatment now and doing much better. But, this case just really hit home for me. I think that Charles was just seeking reassurance from the police, but they totally took advantage of him and his mental illness. I hope he gets the justice he deserves. I'm going to share this podcast with my OCD Support group on Facebook. Thanks for doing this case, guys.

  • Greg
    Greg Ventura, CA
    Long-time listener, first-time commenter here (as I've finally caught up to current episodes). Great presentation, guys. I've followed this case for a while. As awful as it is what happened to Ferguson, and what Erickson managed to talk himself into, I've been more interested in who else could have done this. Thank you for providing a lot of details about the case that I didn't know, and the two new possible suspects angle is something I'm keen to follow. I don't want to steal Freleng's thunder here, but I (and I'm sure a lot of others) did a Google search for the murdered Missouri professor in 2005 and the suspect, and I came up with this: https://www.columbiatribune.com/article/20130130/News/301309636 That has to be the case to which Freleng refers - random murders of professors in Missouri being a rare occurrence and all (not exactly a high-risk job), and the facts do fit her brief description. I respect Zellner and acknowledge that she leads an experienced investigation team that has studied the details in this case whereas I'm a guy who listened to a podcast and did a bit of follow-up reading. Still, she's going to have to come up with some pretty compelling stuff to persuade me that the killer(s) in the 2005 professor case are better bets than Boyd for the Heitholt murder. Why? A few things, in no particular order: - The article to which I linked above states that the police believe the killer acted alone; - I've read that Boyd's story changed five(!) times; - I'll make the usual observations that most murders aren't random, it's often the last person who saw the victim, a sour work relationship makes some sense as motive, etc.; - The timing is a big deal here - Boyd claims they were talking shop in the parking lot between 2:12AM and 2:20AM while the 911 call from the janitors was at 2:26AM (not much opportunity for another offender, especially to take down a guy Heitholt's size, although I add a couple of qualifiers to that below); - The guy who killed the professor is listed at 6'7 and 235lbs., which may cut against my last observation (re: Heitholt's size) a bit, but is also a fact that probably wouldn't have escaped the janitors' attentions when they gave their descriptions; - The facts (that I've read) regarding the professor murder aren't really THAT similar to the Heitholt murder and not being able to discern a connection is different from knowing that it was random. To be perfectly clear, I have an open mind about whatever Zellner is going to reveal but I believe she has a high burden to meet given what we already know (or think we know). To be fair though, we do still have two young males who were at the scene as at least one of the janitors stumbled on to it and, as one of you astutely pointed out, they haven't come forward. We need to factor them in, if at all possible. Also, one detail that stood out to me in the murdered professor case is that the police were looking for a "slender white male, between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches in height." Perhaps the killer in that case carries himself in a way that presents shorter than he really is? Maybe he was crouching or something? Maybe he gets the idea that his height is going to be a problem for his nighttime hobby and he compensates for that? Just some thoughts of mine. Thanks for yet another fascinating episode.

    Long-time listener, first-time commenter here (as I've finally caught up to current episodes). Great presentation, guys. I've followed this case for a while. As awful as it is what happened to Ferguson, and what Erickson managed to talk himself into, I've been more interested in who else could have done this. Thank you for providing a lot of details about the case that I didn't know, and the two new possible suspects angle is something I'm keen to follow.

    I don't want to steal Freleng's thunder here, but I (and I'm sure a lot of others) did a Google search for the murdered Missouri professor in 2005 and the suspect, and I came up with this: https://www.columbiatribune.com/article/20130130/News/301309636

    That has to be the case to which Freleng refers - random murders of professors in Missouri being a rare occurrence and all (not exactly a high-risk job), and the facts do fit her brief description.

    I respect Zellner and acknowledge that she leads an experienced investigation team that has studied the details in this case whereas I'm a guy who listened to a podcast and did a bit of follow-up reading. Still, she's going to have to come up with some pretty compelling stuff to persuade me that the killer(s) in the 2005 professor case are better bets than Boyd for the Heitholt murder. Why? A few things, in no particular order:
    - The article to which I linked above states that the police believe the killer acted alone;
    - I've read that Boyd's story changed five(!) times;
    - I'll make the usual observations that most murders aren't random, it's often the last person who saw the victim, a sour work relationship makes some sense as motive, etc.;
    - The timing is a big deal here - Boyd claims they were talking shop in the parking lot between 2:12AM and 2:20AM while the 911 call from the janitors was at 2:26AM (not much opportunity for another offender, especially to take down a guy Heitholt's size, although I add a couple of qualifiers to that below);
    - The guy who killed the professor is listed at 6'7 and 235lbs., which may cut against my last observation (re: Heitholt's size) a bit, but is also a fact that probably wouldn't have escaped the janitors' attentions when they gave their descriptions;
    - The facts (that I've read) regarding the professor murder aren't really THAT similar to the Heitholt murder and not being able to discern a connection is different from knowing that it was random.

    To be perfectly clear, I have an open mind about whatever Zellner is going to reveal but I believe she has a high burden to meet given what we already know (or think we know). To be fair though, we do still have two young males who were at the scene as at least one of the janitors stumbled on to it and, as one of you astutely pointed out, they haven't come forward. We need to factor them in, if at all possible.

    Also, one detail that stood out to me in the murdered professor case is that the police were looking for a "slender white male, between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches in height." Perhaps the killer in that case carries himself in a way that presents shorter than he really is? Maybe he was crouching or something? Maybe he gets the idea that his height is going to be a problem for his nighttime hobby and he compensates for that?

    Just some thoughts of mine. Thanks for yet another fascinating episode.

  • Jen
    Jen IN
    It boggles my mind that Maggie cannot understand how Ryan doesn’t want to do more to help Charles. Ryan told Charles that nothing happened. Charles continued. He is the reason Ryan was questioned, tried, and convicted. I wouldn’t help him either. While he doesn’t deserve to pay for a crime he didn’t commit, he did commit a crime against Ryan.

    It boggles my mind that Maggie cannot understand how Ryan doesn’t want to do more to help Charles. Ryan told Charles that nothing happened. Charles continued. He is the reason Ryan was questioned, tried, and convicted. I wouldn’t help him either. While he doesn’t deserve to pay for a crime he didn’t commit, he did commit a crime against Ryan.

  • cgc
    cgc Fla.
    I always appreciate the hosts and their myriad efforts to perfect this podcast show. It's sleek, well-produced, well-researched, and it's a delight to listen. And, I appreciate being exposed to somebody / something new. My two cents: I vastly prefer the shows when it's just the Captain and Nic. I know they invite guests when they know it will add something, and this gal Maggie has good information. However, her delivery clashed with the smooth rapport I tune in for each week between Nic and the Captain. God bless, and best to everybody. Thank you for your work on this podcast show -- it's a gem.

    I always appreciate the hosts and their myriad efforts to perfect this podcast show. It's sleek, well-produced, well-researched, and it's a delight to listen. And, I appreciate being exposed to somebody / something new. My two cents: I vastly prefer the shows when it's just the Captain and Nic. I know they invite guests when they know it will add something, and this gal Maggie has good information. However, her delivery clashed with the smooth rapport I tune in for each week between Nic and the Captain. God bless, and best to everybody. Thank you for your work on this podcast show -- it's a gem.

  • Nick
    Nick Michigan
    Crystal R, Totally agree. I look forward to the music as much as the topic.

    Crystal R, Totally agree. I look forward to the music as much as the topic.

  • mG
    mG tX
    Excellent broadcast. Reprehensible what the police and prosecution did. The more time that goes by, the less the state cares about who actually did it, just get a conviction. And although Erickson was a victim, I still have contempt for him and what he did to Ryan. Nobody polices the state, cops get promoted and sleazy prosecutors become judges. System stinks.

    Excellent broadcast. Reprehensible what the police and prosecution did. The more time that goes by, the less the state cares about who actually did it, just get a conviction. And although Erickson was a victim, I still have contempt for him and what he did to Ryan. Nobody polices the state, cops get promoted and sleazy prosecutors become judges. System stinks.

  • Amanda
    Amanda Grand Rapids, MI
    Jen -100% agree! Ryan spent 10 years in prison because of Charles. I don't think Charles should be in prison but I don't think it's Ryan's job to devote any part of his life to get him out. I also don't think Ryan not pursuing Charles' release is vindictive or spiteful, I think Ryan is just trying to move on with his life.

    Jen -100% agree! Ryan spent 10 years in prison because of Charles. I don't think Charles should be in prison but I don't think it's Ryan's job to devote any part of his life to get him out. I also don't think Ryan not pursuing Charles' release is vindictive or spiteful, I think Ryan is just trying to move on with his life.

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    I have to agree with several posters here. If I were in Ryan's shoes I believe I would be telling the media and such that Charles is innocent but I would be distancing myself a bit. Not from the situation entirely but I would not put myself on the frontline. You only get one life to live and life is short and Ryan spent 10 years in prison. You do not get those years back. I know it's a different story but I know under the advice of counsel the WM3 were told to distance themselves from the case because simply put they put you away for this once, they might do it again.

    I have to agree with several posters here. If I were in Ryan's shoes I believe I would be telling the media and such that Charles is innocent but I would be distancing myself a bit. Not from the situation entirely but I would not put myself on the frontline. You only get one life to live and life is short and Ryan spent 10 years in prison. You do not get those years back. I know it's a different story but I know under the advice of counsel the WM3 were told to distance themselves from the case because simply put they put you away for this once, they might do it again.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Columbia, MO
    This is a case that’s really divided the community. I wholeheartedly believe that these boys were innocent, I know Ryan personally, it’s a shitty situation all around.

    This is a case that’s really divided the community. I wholeheartedly believe that these boys were innocent, I know Ryan personally, it’s a shitty situation all around.

  • mG
    mG tX
    Have listened to this episode several times (nice job by the way), was already familiar with case, but all Missouri cases interest me. The one thing that keeps coming back is Erickson being all over the place. However, let's be clear, he admitted to it during interrogation. He testified to playing a part in Ryan's trial. He then later swore out a statement that he did it by himself in prison (saying Ryan tried to stop him). Now he acknowledges that he did not play any part. Does anybody in their right mind think a parole board is going to let him walk after repeated confessions and court testimony was given? He is most likely innocent, hell, he is, but legally speaking, he is screwed. You just can't walk back the statements you have given, especially a voluntary one in prison.

    Have listened to this episode several times (nice job by the way), was already familiar with case, but all Missouri cases interest me. The one thing that keeps coming back is Erickson being all over the place. However, let's be clear, he admitted to it during interrogation. He testified to playing a part in Ryan's trial. He then later swore out a statement that he did it by himself in prison (saying Ryan tried to stop him). Now he acknowledges that he did not play any part. Does anybody in their right mind think a parole board is going to let him walk after repeated confessions and court testimony was given? He is most likely innocent, hell, he is, but legally speaking, he is screwed. You just can't walk back the statements you have given, especially a voluntary one in prison.

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