Unfiltered

Casefile Presents

About

Unfiltered invites guests from all walks of life to share real stories about justice and transformation. Join host Raquel O'Brien for a series of raw and honest conversations from a range of perspectives in an invitation for you to make up your own mind. No topic is off-limits.

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38 episodes

28: Martin Hodgson: Reversing Recidivism

* When an individual is released from prison, only to relapse into criminal behaviour and be sent back behind bars, it’s known as the “revolving prison door.” In Australia, it’s estimated that over 50% of incarcerated people re-offend within two years and end up back in prison. In the US, that number is estimated to be as high as 75%.  My guest today is Human Rights Activist Martin Hodgson. Martin works relentlessly, pro-bono, to get incarcerated people in Australia out of prison and away from a life of crime. In his 20-year career, not a single one of his clients has ever re-offended. Martin joins me to discuss how he helps to get his clients back on their feet - and stay on their feet. Links: https://www.instagram.com/martinghodgson https://www.instagram.com/martinghodgson/?hl=en https://curtainthepodcast.wordpress.com https://curtainthepodcast.wordpress.com/

43m
Feb 27
27: Madeline Heather: Reclaiming Her Story of Survival

* Madeline Heather is the host of Reclaim Me, a remarkable podcast that spotlights the voices of individuals who’ve survived unimaginable crimes.  Madeline herself is a survivor. At the age of 14, she attended a sleepover at a friend’s house, which quickly turned into a nightmare. In this week’s episode of Unfiltered, Madi shares her first-hand account of waking in the middle of the night to find her friend’s father on top of her.  Madi is quick-witted and gets straight to the point. She reminds us that sometimes, when life gets heavy, we just gotta laugh to help lighten the load. Links: https://www.reclaimme.com.au https://www.patreon.com/reclaimme https://www.instagram.com/reclaimmepod https://www.instagram.com/reclaimmepod/?hl=en

1h 5m
Feb 20
26: Tom Voigt: Howard Stern’s Zodiac Guy

* In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Zodiac Killer terrorized the Bay Area of Northern California, murdering at least five people. He toyed with law enforcement officials, leaving clues about his identity in letters and cipher codes he sent to local newspapers. To this day, the case remains unsolved. Tom Voight was a kid growing up in Southern California when the Zodiac was active, and he lived in fear of the killer's next move. In 1998, Tom launched the only Zodiac Killer website recognized by law enforcement. In this episode, he shares why the case has kept him captivated all these years. Links: https://zodiackiller.com https://zodiackiller.com/ https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/zodiackillerfr https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/zodiackillerfr/ https://www.youtube.com/@tomvoigt

50m
Feb 13
25: Sam Riggio: The Miracle Walker

* On the 26th of January 1999, Sam Riggio’s life took an unexpected turn. A routine drive through his hometown turned into a catastrophic collision when a truck merged into his lane. Sam was left with a dislocated skull, shattered pelvis, broken ankle, ruptured spleen and stomach, lacerated liver and a punctured lung. Paralyzed from the neck down, medical staff told him he would never walk again.  Please join Sam and I for this week’s episode of , as he shares his miraculous story of recovery, defying all the odds to walk again.  LINKS: Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation - https://www.pcsrf.org.au https://www.pcsrf.org.au/

43m
Feb 06
24: Olivia LaVoice: Unpacking The Bakersfield Three

* For this week's episode of Unfiltered, I'm joined by Emmy Award winning crime reporter, Olivia LaVoice. Olivia hosts the Bakersfield Three podcast, which tells the story of three friends who either went missing or were murdered in the space of six weeks. Unconvinced that the cases were unrelated, the mothers of the three friends joined forces, transforming their grief and despair into action.  As the podcast shows, sometimes the only way to get justice is to fight like a mother.  Links: casefilepresents.com/the-bakersfield-three https://casefilepresents.com/the-bakersfield-three/

40m
Jan 30
23: Shawn Rech and Brenda Schuler: Convicting a Murderer

* In 2015, Netflix released a 10-part documentary series, , that explores the 2005 Manitowoc area homicide of 25-year-old photographer Theresa Hallback and the convictions of Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey. The series became a true crime cult classic, leaving a lot of viewers with an overwhelming sensation that Stephen Avery had been framed. But then, in 2023, director Shawn Rech created a response piece titled . Today, I’m joined by Shawn Rech and Brenda Schuler, who features in the series, to discuss documentary ethics and an alternate version of the case against Stephen Avery. Links: https://www.dailywire.com/show/convicting-a-murderer

59m
Jan 23
22: Erika Schlotthauer: Domestic Violence to Death & Everything In Between

* On the 19th of November 2023, I got my first response to the call-out I extend at the end of some of our episodes, asking for personal stories from listeners related to justice and transformation.  Erika Schlotthauer, a licensed psychotherapist, answered the call and is ready to share her story publicly for the first time.  Please join Erika and I for this week’s episode of Unfiltered as we plunge into the gray areas of experiences intertwined with trauma, exploring the unanswerable questions that shape our lives.

44m
Jan 16
21: James Nelson: Abolition of the Prison System

* Here’s a staggering reality: The United States, with only about 5% of the world's population, holds 25% of the world's prisoners. This raises a critical question: Does the US prison system perpetuate the oppressive legacy of slavery? In hopes of some perspective, I’m joined by James Nelson, an abolitionist who, at just 19 years old, was sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Now a free man, James shares his insights on why abolition is not just a vision but a viable path forward. Links: Dignity and Power Now https://dignityandpowernow.org

29m
Jan 09
20: Bruna Curcio: Venezuelan Migration Crisis in Brazil

* Did you know that Venezuela is experiencing what has been described as the worst economic and humanitarian crisis ever recorded in Latin America? A combination of political turmoil, inflation, soaring crime rates and food shortages has left more than 7.71 million Venezuelans displaced since 2014. Today, documentary filmmaker Bruna Curcio provides insight into the crisis from a ground-level perspective.  Links: Production: https://www.brunacurcio.com Projeto Reghid: https://gcrf-reghid.com Film: https://www.youtube.com/@brunacurciofilmes

33m
Jan 02
19: Carrie Bell: Rising from the Belly of the Beast

* Today’s Unfiltered guest is Carrie Bell, a woman whose story of transformation begins in Pasadena, California. After Carrie’s parents separated when she was five years old, she turned to the streets in search of a family. This eventually led her down a path she never intended to follow, one that involved dealing drugs and committing crimes - anything to keep herself afloat. It got to a point where Carrie was spending the majority of her time in jail, never home for longer than a six-month stretch.  But against all odds, Carrie completely turned her life around. Tune in to see how.  Links: www.urban-alchemy.us http://www.urban-alchemy.us/

29m
Dec 26, 2023
18: Richard Zitrin: Deep Dive into the San Quentin 6 Case

* On the 21st of August 1971, George Jackson, founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang, was assassinated by a prison guard. Three guards and two other inmates were also killed. No one knows exactly what occurred that day, but six inmates were indicted for various crimes, including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, possession of firearms, and escape. Those inmates came to be known as the San Quentin Six.     Trial lawyer Richard Zitrin’s first-ever client was Johnny Spain, one of the San Quentin Six defendants. Richard joins me for this episode of to share his perspective on the case and the events that occurred on that fateful day. LINKS:   Trial Lawyer: A Life Representing People Against Power https://www.amazon.com/Trial-Lawyer-Representing-People-Against/dp/1895131618

54m
Dec 19, 2023
16: Reunald Jones III: Menace to Society

* Pyromania is an impulse control disorder which causes individuals to start fires deliberately. Unlike arsonists, pyromaniacs don’t light fires for personal or financial gain. They do so to release tension or gain pleasure. Reunald Jones III claims to have started more than 300 fires throughout Los Angeles County between 1986 and 1990. He was arrested on February 5th, 1990, and sentenced to 14 years in prison.  Here, Reunald speaks candidly about his motives behind starting the fires and explains how, back in the ’80s, his criminal mind turned him into a self-proclaimed menace to society.

33m
Dec 12, 2023
16: Paul Fronczak: What if Your Whole Life Was a Lie?

* When Paul Joseph Fronczak was 10 years old, he discovered a family secret: In 1964, when Paul was just one day old, he was kidnapped from the Chicago hospital where he’d been born. Paul’s abduction led to the largest manhunt Chicago had ever seen. One year later, an abandoned child was found outside a New Jersey department store and ultimately identified as “Baby Fronczak”. Paul was reunited with his parents and soon had a baby brother.  Then, In 2012, Paul took a DNA test and made a shocking discovery. He was not the real Paul Fronczak, and the story he’d been told about his identity was wrong. In an instant, he became what is known as an "unidentified living person." Over the past decade, Paul has been digging for answers, seeking his true identity, and connecting the dots to find the whole truth.  LINKS: fronczakfiles.com https://www.fronczakfiles.com/ facebook.com/WhoIsPaulFronczak? https://www.facebook.com/WhoIsPaulFronczak?mibextid=LQQJ4d instagram.com/fronczakfiles https://instagram.com/fronczakfiles?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA== The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me https://a.co/d/e59HeyK  True Identity: Cracking the Oldest Kidnapping Cold Case and Finding My Missing Twin https://a.co/d/3nIZpTW 

37m
Dec 05, 2023
15: Ryder Jack: Carving Out a Tomorrow Man

* What does it mean to be a man today? And what do we want it to look like tomorrow? These are the types of questions asked by a social enterprise that facilitates workshops across Australia for men of all ages. The organization's mission is to reinvent masculinity by disrupting outdated stereotypes and building emotional muscle.  Ryder Jack, the principal facilitator of shares his experience and thoughts about reinventing a healthier version of masculinity to live by. Links: tomorrowman.com.au https://www.tomorrowman.com.au/ tomorrowwoman.com.au https://www.tomorrowwoman.com.au/ instagram.com/tomorrowman_au https://www.instagram.com/tomorrowman_au facebook.com/tomorrowmanaustralia https://www.facebook.com/tomorrowmanaustralia

39m
Nov 28, 2023
14: Sakiya Sandifer: Conversation with Chicago Raised & LA Based Entrepreneur

* J. Sakiya Sandifer, an entrepreneur, designer, and best-selling author. Over his nearly 30 year career, Sakiya has worked with Coca-Cola, Bally Total Fitness, Lil Wayne, and most notably, his longtime friend Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Sakiya’s primary focus now is his own lifestyle brand XSSORTMENTS, a hyper-curated collection of elevated basics for every mood. Recorded from the comfort of his home, in our sit-down conversation, Sakiya generously shares some of his creative, insightful and humorous philosophies and anecdotes that have created his path to success. Links: https://www.xssortments.com

41m
Nov 21, 2023
13: Matt O’Brien: When the Monster is Your Father

* “Monsters” are the people who commit the most heinous of acts. So what happens when that monster is your father? How do you process it?  When I was 16, the head of our family, Ralph O’Brien, took his own life, leaving us to sort through his trail of lies, financial wreckage and our own grief. Four years later, we discovered he had sexually abused our eldest brother. Today, I sat with my youngest brother, Matthew, to discuss the monster who was our father.  This one goes deep.

1h 14m
Nov 14, 2023
12: Rob Jua: Conversation with Music Label Executive from Humble Beginnings

* Rob Jua is a music executive and record producer from Brownsville, Brooklyn. Rob’s personal journey navigating the music industry is a truly inspirational tale. From his time at Quad Studios and Roc-a-Fella Records, to discovering his business executive calling and starting his own record label, one thing’s for sure - Rob never quits on himself! Join us as Rob shares the highs and lows of his illustrious career in an ever-changing industry. Links: instagram.com/rob.jua https://www.instagram.com/rob.jua/ disruptivelabel.com http://www.disruptivelabel.com

1h 4m
Nov 07, 2023
Casefile Presents: The Bakersfield Three

* When three friends disappeared or were murdered within a 30-day period in a California town, an investigation began that would ultimately unearth dark secrets and revelations no one was prepared for. Written and reported by award-winning investigative crime reporter Olivia LaVoice. All 15 episodes of The Bakersfield Three are available to stream right now, wherever you get your podcasts. Listen here:  Website - https://casefilepresents.com/the-bakersfield-three Apple Podcasts - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bakersfield-three/id1713527997 Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/show/2c1Qap8SSElRakXKUdFprZ

4m
Nov 07, 2023
11: Jan Broberg: Conversation with American Actress & CSA Survivor

* You may have come across American actress Jan Broberg’s story in the television series The show details Jan’s childhood experience of being groomed and kidnapped by a close family friend, who was also a convicted child sex offender. Jan’s story is shocking, to say the least. But to see her now, standing in her power as a woman who has healed from her traumatic childhood is inspiring beyond words. Please join Jan and I for a deep, and at times emotional chat, about how we are transforming our narratives of abuse in the hopes that other survivors feel propelled to transform their own. Links: https://linktr.ee/janbroberg

1h 8m
Oct 31, 2023
10: Anonymous Brown: 27 Years of Prison Tales

* I recently travelled to the United States for the first time. While I was in Los Angeles, I had a serendipitous encounter with an individual whose story blew me away. His life sounded like the plot line for a movie - part Boyz n the Hood, part The Godfather - but this was no fictional tale. This guy had actually lived it. I know, because I verified his stories by checking court documents and speaking to people connected to him. At first, this individual was reluctant to speak with me for but I promised to protect his identity to allow him to share the unimaginable. Without further ado, please meet Anonymous Brown.

1h 55m
Oct 24, 2023
9: Joe Kennedy: Retired NCIS Special Agent

* To better understand the methodology behind solving cold cases, I’m joined by the primary architect for the first NCIS Cold Case Homicide Unit, retired NCIS Special Agent, Joe Kennedy. Joe takes us into the mind of a cold case detective and how to go about uncovering evidence. LINKS: Solving Cold Cases: Investigation Techniques and Protocol https://www.amazon.com/Solving-Cold-Cases-Investigation-Techniques/dp/147668765X

54m
Oct 17, 2023
8: Laura Richards: Award-Winning Criminal Behavioural Analyst

* Coercive control describes a pattern of behaviour used by a perpetrator to gain power in a relationship. To do so, they erode their partner’s autonomy and self-worth. These behaviours create invisible chains that trap the victim in the relationship, scared to stay and terrified to leave.  In my opinion, when it comes to domestic violence, the concept of coercive control should be central to the discussion. For that reason, I’m joined by award-winning criminal behavioural analyst and expert on domestic violence, Laura Richards, who spearheaded pioneering law reform in the UK, criminalizing stalking and coercive control, to help decode the mechanisms of coercive control. LINKS: thelaurarichards.com https://www.thelaurarichards.com/ crime-analyst.com https://www.crime-analyst.com/ dashriskchecklist.com https://www.dashriskchecklist.com%20%20 youtube.com/@crimeanalyst https://www.youtube.com/@crimeanalyst Twitter: @laurarichards99 https://twitter.com/laurarichards99, @thecrimeanalyst https://twitter.com/thecrimeanalyst, @realcrimeprofil https://twitter.com/realcrimeprofil Instagram: @laurarichards999 https://www.instagram.com/laurarichards999/, @crimeanalyst https://www.instagram.com/crimeanalyst, @realcrimeprofile https://www.instagram.com/realcrimeprofile

55m
Oct 10, 2023
7: Ben Giles: Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanups

* When it comes to unforeseen deaths involving violent crimes, accidents and suicides, you might be shocked to know that the burden of cleaning up the scene is often left to the loved ones of the deceased. Not only can this be deeply traumatic, but it also presents all kinds of health hazards. Instead, the work is typically outsourced to professionals.  Ben Giles is the managing director of Ultima Environmental, a biohazard cleaning company specialising in trauma and crime scene cleanups across the United Kingdom. In this episode, Ben joins me to share his first-hand experience of this incredibly important yet greatly taxing line of work.  LINKS: HTTPS://ULTIMACLEANINGACADEMY.COM https://ultimacleaningacademy.com/

1h 5m
Oct 03, 2023
6: Loren O’Keeffe: Founder of The Missed Foundation

* In 2011, Loren O’Keeffe’s 24-year-old brother Daniel disappeared from their family home in Victoria, Australia. Loren says the search for her brother gave her purpose. In 2013, she founded the Missing Persons Advocacy Network (known as MPAN), now known as Loren offers insight into her personal experience with missingness and explains why it's important to reframe Missing Persons as a Public Health Issue. Links: instagram.com/missedaus https://www.instagram.com/missedaus missed.org.au https://missed.org.au

1h 7m
Sep 26, 2023
5: Mark Sutton and Flavio Andrade: Violence Prevention in Gang-Ridden County

* Flavio Andrade and Mark Sutton got involved with gangs at a young age. Flavio is Mexican, and Mark is African American. Technically, the two should be rivals. But when a 10-year-old Pasadena boy became the victim of a gang-related shooting, Mark and Flavio joined forces to prevent further gang-related violence while maintaining their street credibility. They join me today for a conversation about transforming the narrative of collaboration and unity. Links: instagram.com/ogbigpreach https://www.instagram.com/ogbigpreach

50m
Sep 19, 2023
4: Mark Sutton: Co-Founder of PDL Blood Gang

* In the small Los Angeles city of Pasadena, the Bloods expanded to form the Pasadena Denver Lane Bloods, which became one of the largest blood gangs in California. Mark Anthony Sutton, aka “Big Preach”, was one of the founding members. He was eventually incarcerated for 26 years for a gang-related homicide.  He is now the Co-Founder and Director of the Partners Building Community Groups Project, a grassroots movement working towards disrupting and preventing gang violence. Mark’s story is raw and real, and he speaks to the power of transformation, starting with himself and expanding his reach to serve the community. Links partners-building-community-groups.webnode.page https://partners-building-community-groups.webnode.page/ instagram.com/ogbigpreach https://www.instagram.com/ogbigpreach/?hl=en

1h 7m
Sep 12, 2023
3: Maggie Zingman: Mother Seeking Justice for Murdered Daughter

* In 2004, 18-year-old college student Brittany Phillips was tragically raped and murdered in her Oaklahoma apartment. To this day, the case remains unsolved. Brittany’s mother, Dr Maggie Zingman, is a trauma psychologist who has dedicated almost two decades to helping catch her daughter's killer. Maggie shares the incredible story of her fight for justice as she keeps Brittany’s legacy alive. LINKS:  brittanyphillipsmurder.net http://www.brittanyphillipsmurder.net/ facebook.com/mom.missing.brittany http://www.facebook.com/mom.missing.brittany

1h 5m
Sep 05, 2023
2: Justin Watt & John Diem: Former US Soldiers Turned Whistleblowers

* What price do whistleblowers really pay for uncovering the truth? Former US soldier Justin Watt has first-hand experience. Covered in episode 78 of Casefile, the Janabi Family Case occurred in 2006, during the height of the Iraq War, when a local family was killed in their home south of Baghdad. While the crimes were initially thought to be carried out by local insurgents, the reality was even more shocking. When Justin Watt discovered who was really responsible, he risked everything to reveal the truth.  17 years on, Justin and the man he credits with saving his life, John Diem, join me to reflect on trust, empathy, and the consequences of speaking out.

1h 36m
Aug 29, 2023
1: Casey: Anonymous Host of Casefile Podcast

* In 2021, I sat down and had a series of hour-long phone calls with the anonymous host of Casefile, or “Casey,” as he’s been dubbed by fans of the show. At the time, Casey was recovering from an unexplained medical issue. Our chats reminded me of the power of real and raw conversations, and it paved the way for ‘ the new Casefile Presents podcast where guests from all walks of life join me for a conversation about justice and transformation.  In our first episode and his first-ever in-depth interview, Casey generously opens a window into parts of his own story that he’s never before shared publicly. Follow Casey on Instagram: instagram.com/caseys.snaps https://www.instagram.com/caseys.snaps/

1h 52m
Aug 29, 2023
Message to our listeners (From The Files Rebrand)

* Hello, From the Files listeners. This is just a quick message to let you know that in a few weeks’ time, brand new episodes will start appearing on this feed under a new show name: Unfiltered. Unfiltered has been in the works for a long time now. It’s inspired by what I believe was the best part of From the Files: the in-depth chat with a different guest in every episode. Unfiltered will be hosted by Raquel O’Brien, whose podcast, Silent Waves, was the first released on the Casefile Presents platform.  After getting to know Raquel and seeing how talented she is at interviewing people from all walks of life, I knew that she had to have her own conversation-style podcast one day. And although I don’t host the show, the first episode features the first ever in-depth interview I’ve ever given. It's a long chat and you’ll get to know some things about me that I’ve never spoken about publicly. Raquel is the only person I felt comfortable having this conversation with, and I hope you’ll check it out.  Episode 2 stars two key witnesses from Case 78 of Casefile, The Janabi Family. Justin Watt, who previously appeared on From the Files, and his former sergeant, John Diem, speak in depth about their experiences in war and as whistleblowers. Future episodes will feature a diverse range of different guests from all walks of life. Some are connected to Casefile episodes or Casefile Presents series, while others are not. But all have real stories to share about justice and transformation. Unfiltered is an exploration into human experiences. No topic is off-limits. These raw and honest conversations will open you up to a range of perspectives and invite you to make up your own mind. Episodes one and two will drop on Wednesday, August 30th, with all subsequent episodes being released weekly.

2m
Aug 15, 2023