E171: James C Brown

(note: time stamps are without ads & may be off a little)

This week Beth and Wendy discuss the case of James Cornelius Brown, aka the Backpage Killer, a black man convicted of killing four women in his home in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He is said to have lured the women to their deaths using the website Backpage.com.

First, we dive into the setting (10:00), the killers early life (27:11) and the timeline (32:00).  Then, we get into the investigation & arrest (40:10), “Where are they now?” (57:18) followed by our takeaways and what we think made the perp snap (58:00).  

As usual we close out the show with some tips on how not to get murdered and our shout outs (01:02:02). 

This episode was researched & scripted by Minnie Williams.

Thanks for listening! This is a weekly podcast and new episodes drop every Thursday, so until next time… look alive guys, it’s crazy out there!


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Shout Outs

Raised by Ricki

DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story


Detroit on Fire: The Documentary

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Hall, C., (02/28/2014). Mich. man convicted in Backpage.com slayings. USA Today. Retrieved 09/06/2022 from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/28/backpagecom-slayings-verdict/5898853/

Johnson, M., (02/28/2014). Michigan Man Convicted of Four ‘Backpage Murders.’ NBC News. Retrieved 09/06/2022 from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michigan-man-convicted-four-backpage-murders-n41661

Hall, C., (04/15/2014). Backpage.com killer stays in cell on sentencing day. USA Today. Retrieved 09/09/2022 from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/15/backpagecom-killer-stays-in-cell-on-sentencing-day/7759789/

Cook, J., (06/20/2013). Sterling Heights suspect accused of killing 4 women admits lying to detective. The Oakland Press. Retrieved 09/09/2022 from https://www.theoaklandpress.com/2013/06/20/sterling-heights-suspect-accused-of-killing-4-women-admits-lying-to-detective/

Dalby, B., (02/28/2014). Michigan Jury Convicts ‘Backpage Killer’ Prosecutor Said Murdered for the ‘Thrill … of It.’ Patch. Retrieved 09/09/2022 from https://patch.com/michigan/newbaltimore/backpage-killer-convicted-by-michigan-jury-newbaltimore

Whire, E., (02/28/2014). Backpage.com killer: Detroit-area man convicted in women’s deaths. Mlive. Retrieved 09/12/2022 from https://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/2014/02/backpagecom_killer_detroit-are.html

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Baldas, T. and Satyanaryana, M. (12/28/2011). Family of slain cousins seeks comfort, answers. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 09/16/2022 from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/109658914/family-of-slain-cousins-seeks-comfort/

Baldas, T. and Damron, G. (12/29/2011). Dental records sought to ID last 2 victims. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 09/16/2022 from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/109661411/dental-records-sought-to-id-last-2/

Cook, J. (02/08/2014). Friend on hearing news of victim’s death: ‘I lost it.’ The Macomb Daily. Retrieved 09/16/2022 from https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-macomb-daily/20140208/281505044108851

Daniels, S. (12/27/2011). 2 bodies found in car trunk after fire in Detroit. The Detroit News. Retrieved 09/16/2022 from https://www.firerescue1.com/archive/articles/2-bodies-found-in-car-trunk-after-fire-in-detroit-R1GWuuIZkSeyLd9y/

Cook, J. (07/30/2018). 2 bodies found in car trunk after fire in Detroit. The Macomb Daily. Retrieved 09/16/2022 fromMacomb County serial killer’s appeal request denied https://www.macombdaily.com/2018/07/30/macomb-county-serial-killers-appeal-request-denied/

Damron, G., Baldas, T. and Anderson, E. (12/31/2011). Mom’s night out on town ends in death. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 09/16/2022 from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/109667705/moms-night-out-on-town-ends-in-death/

Justia. (09/22/2015). People of MI v James Cornelius Brown. Retrieved 09/20/2022 from https://law.justia.com/cases/michigan/court-of-appeals-unpublished/2015/321599.html

MDOC. (n.d.). James Cornelius Brown. Retrieved 09/20/2022 from https://mdocweb.state.mi.us/OTIS2/otis2profile.aspx?mdocNumber=927022

Reyes, Traciy. (04/17/2017). Vernithea McCrary, James Brown: Michigan Backpage.com Escorts Murder Case On TV One’s ‘Justice By Any Means’. Inquisitr. Retrieved 09/22/2022 from https://www.inquisitr.com/4153279/vernithea-mccrary-james-brown-michigan-backpage-com-escorts-murder-case-on-tv-ones-justice-by-any-means/

Wikipedia contributors. (09/07/2022). Backpage. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09/22/2022 from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Backpage&oldid=1108966614


Wikipedia contributors. (09/15/2022). Michigan. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09/15/2022 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan

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Wikipedia contributors. (08/01/2022). Sterling Heights, Michigan. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09/15/2022 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_Heights,_Michigan

Neavling, S., (07/13/2013). As Detroit breaks down, scourge of arson burns out of control. Reuters. Retrieved 09/15/2022 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-detroit-arson-idUSBRE96C06E20130713

Zahranac, S., Iverson, T., McElmurry, S., Weiler, S., and Levittac, R. (03/2019). Hidden Costs of Blight and Arson in Detroit: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Devil’s Night. Ecological Economics. Retrieved 09/15/2022 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921800916306115

Detroit Free Press. (04/22/2012). Detroit Fire Commissioner: Let Vacant Houses Burn. Retrieved 09/13/2022 from https://www.firehouse.com/home/news/10704251/detroit-fire-commissioner-let-vacant-houses-burn

Neavling, S. (12/03/2013). Detroit’s top fire official, Don Austin, is resigning in wake of botched fire crisis.Motor City Muckraker. Retrieved 09/16/2022 from http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2013/12/03/top-detroit-fire-official-don-austin-resigning-wake-fire-crisis/


Kimberly (host). (4/14/2021) What Had Happened: A True Crime Podcast.  Backpage Killers of Detroit [Audio podcast]. Retrieved 9/21/22 from https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy80YjQxOWQ0NC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw/episode/MTA2MDYwNmYtNjQ2NS00NGZlLWJjZTctOWU4MzA4NGFhNjZi?ep=14


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