WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Three men are being held in Virginia in connection with two bodies found a day apart in Rensselear County.

Bette Gordon is a director and independent filmmaker best known for her film Variety (1984), Luminous Motion (2000), and Handsome Harry (2010) Toronto. She has been the subject of retrospectives at IFC Cinema, Anthology Film Archives and The Walker Art Center.

Josh Charles is an actor best known for his work in Dead Poets Society, Sports Night, and The Good Wife.

They join us to discuss their new film The Drowning, directed by Gordon and starring Charles along with Julia Styles, and Avan Jogia. The thriller will screen twice at this year's Woodstock Film Festival

Police in Vermont say a dispute between separate homeless encampments preceded the fatal beating of a transgender man.

  Elizabeth Brundage is the author of the novels A Stranger Like You, Somebody Else's Daughter, and The Doctor's Wife.

Her latest is All Things Cease to Appear, where late on winter afternoon in upstate, New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and their three-year-old daughter alone in her room across the hall. The novel is a complex portrait of a psychopath and a marriage.

Sharon Tate: A Life

Feb 18, 2016

  Ed Sanders gave readers their clearest insight yet into the disturbing world of Charles Manson and his followers when he published The Family in 1971.

Continuing that journalistic tradition in his new book, Sharon Tate: A Life, Sanders presents the most thorough look ever into the heartbreaking story of Sharon Tate, the iconic actress who found love, fame, and ultimately tragedy during her all-too-brief life.

  Experts in end-of-life care tell us that we should talk about death and dying with relatives and friends, but how do we get such conversations off the ground in a society that historically has avoided the topic?

In Let's Talk About Death: Asking the Questions that Profoundly Change the Way We Live and Die, Steve Gordon and Irene Kacandes share the results of a no-holds-barred discussion they conducted for several years over email.

In March 2000, just days after a highly anticipated successful gallery showing the acclaimed, Mark Lombardi, was found hanged in his Williamsburg apartment; it was immediately ruled as suicide, but the mysterious circumstances to his death following the recent onslaught of public attention towards his controversial art lead some people to question if his death was suicide or murder. 

Patricia Goldstone's Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi is a comprehensive biography that explores Lombardi's life, his death, and his lasting impact on the art and technology community. 

  In his 60-plus years as a trial lawyer, Gerry Spence has never represented a person accused of a crime in which the police hadn't themselves violated the law. The police and prosecutors won't charge or convict themselves, and so the crimes of the criminal justice system are swept under the rug. Nothing changes.

According to Spence, too many police officers are killers on the loose, and every uninformed American is a potential next victim. He discusses this in his new book, Police State: How America's Cops Get Away with Murder.

WAMC's Patrick Garrett

More than 30 U.S. cities have reported sharp increases in violence since last year, including New York, New Orleans, Baltimore, Washington, St. Louis and Milwaukee.  The question is, why is this happening? And why now? Here to help us discuss this issue is University at Albany Professor of Public Administration, Shawn Bushway.

A former Long Island police officer has pleaded guilty to killing his wife inside their upstate home, where he spent two days with her body before the slaying was discovered.

5/11/15 Panel

May 11, 2015


  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post and SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Scheduled topics include President Obama and trade agreement; King Salman of Saudi Arabia won't attend meetings at Camp David; President Obama intends to renew a nuclear cooperation agreement with China; Mississippi Police Officers killed; Indian Point transformer explosion; Dean Skelos faces growing opposition.

POK Woman Is Charged In Death Of Missing Kayaker

Apr 30, 2015

A Poughkeepsie woman whose fiancée has been missing since a kayaking trip in mid-April has been charged with second-degree murder. The Orange County district attorney's office announced the charge Thursday.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

One dead person is dead and two others remain hospitalized after a Wednesday night shooting along the outskirts of Albany's Arbor Hill. A preview of summer violence?

In late October, 2014, shaken by yet another round of gun crime in Albany, elected officials, community leaders and private citizens gathered together for a downtown brainstorming session. At the time, Mayor Kathy Sheehan said:     "We learn when we listen and sometimes a community has ideas that are far better than anything that we can come up with in a conference room in city hall."

Vermont State Police

Police in Springfield, Vermont, are investigating a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a man over the weekend.


  David Baldacci’s books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries. They have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America.

With over 110 million copies of his novels in print, David Baldacci is one of the most widely read storytellers in the world. Now he introduces a new character: a man with perfect memory who must solve his own family's murder.

  Four weeks before their graduation, Kevin Schaeffer walked author Amy Butcher to her home in their college town of Gettysburg, PA. Hours after parting ways with Butcher, Kevin fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Emily Silverstein. He waited forty minutes, then called the police and met them outside.

Psychiatrists would later conclude that Kevin has suffered a "psychotic break" on the night he killed Emily. Butcher was severely affected by Kevin's crime, but remained devoted to him as a friend, writing him monthly. Over time, she grew determined to prove that what Kevin did had not only been unintentional, but unconscious.

She write about the experience in her book, Visiting Hours: A Memoir of Friendship and Murder.


  The recent arrest in New Orleans and the HBO documentary The Jinx have put Robert Durst back in the headlines. Matt Birkbeck was the first reporter to access Durst’s NYPD files. His book on Durst, A Deadly Secret, was the very book found in Durst’s own apartment when it was searched by police.

Based on interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances of Durst, law enforcement, and others involved in the case, A Deadly Secret is a cross-country odyssey of stolen IDs and multiple identities that raises baffling questions about one of the country’s most prominent families—and one of its most elusive suspected killers.

Police Arrest Suspect In Newburgh Homicide

Apr 8, 2015
Courtesy of the Office of the Orange County District Attorney

Police have arrested a suspect in the beating death of a Newburgh man outside a bar and restaurant in the city.

A case against a retired police officer accused of killing his wife last year has been postponed.

  In Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway: Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college hoping that she will finally "come into her own." When she brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister's wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn's sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a savage attack at home, resulting in Joe's death and Hanna's severe injury and memory loss.

Rud is convicted of the crime, and the community speculates that Dawn may also have been involved. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to live in the family home, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial, exonerate her daughter, and keep her husband's murderer in jail.

Jessica Treadway will read from and sign her book at The Book House in Albany, NY tonight at 7pm.

3/17/15 Panel

Mar 17, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner.

Schedule topics include: Netanyahu on Palestinian State; US Oil Low; Schneiderman on Ethics; Putin Reappears; Iran on GOP Letter; Durst Charged with Murder.

    Mark Schultz is an Olympic and two-time world champion freestyle-wrestler and a distinguished member of the Wrestling Hall of Fame. He and his older brother, Dave Schultz, also a wrestler, were noted for both winning Gold Medals in wrestling in the same Olympics in 1984. They were the only brother pair to win both Olympic and World championships. The remarkable story of Mark Schultz is portrayed by Channing Tatum in the new film, Foxcatcher. The book that inspired the film is entitled Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold.

Dave and Mark return to Palo Alto as Olympic ChampionsCredit markschultz.comEdit | Remove

An exclusive preview of the film will be shown on Sunday, December 14th at noon at The Spectrum Theater in Albany, NY. Mark Shultz will be on hand and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Journeymen Wrestling.

TWC News

A former U.S. Marine with ties to the Capital Region, charged with killing a couple in the Philippines, says his extradition is official and that he looks forward to finally fighting the charges.

  Based on one of the great unsolved murders in mob history, and the rise-and-fall of a real-life hero, The Big Crowd tells the sweeping story of Charlie O’Kane. He is the American dream come to life, a poor Irish immigrant who worked his way up from beat cop to mayor of New York at the city’s dazzling, post-war zenith. Famous, powerful, and married to a glamorous fashion model, he is looked up to by millions, including his younger brother, Tom. So when Charlie is accused of abetting a shocking mob murder, Tom sets out to clear his brother’s name while hiding a secret of his own.

Kevin Baker is a novelist, historian, and journalist.

    Joe Gannon is a writer and spoken word artist. He was also a freelance journalist during the Sandinista Revolution, writing for the Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Examiner.

In his new novel, Night of the Jaguar, he takes readers to the land of Nicaragua in the mid-eighties, a place recovering from one conflict and descending into another.

      Jayne Anne Phillips grew up in West Virginia hearing about the infamous Quiet Dell murders of 1931, real-life killings of a widow and her three children at the hands of a con man she met through a lonely hearts club.

Phillips learned about the grisly case from her mother, who remembered as a child walking past the “murder garage” where Asta Eicher and her children — 14, 12 and 9 – died, the road nearby lined with cars of souvenir-seekers.

    In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.

    In her bestseller Room, writer Emma Donoghue imagined what life would be like for a little boy born into captivity, to a mother who'd been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

And in her new novel, Frog Music, she's imagined a possible solution to a very real murder, one that took place in California in 1876. That crime was never solved. But Emma Donoghue has gone through historical records to write what might have happened.

    Rachel Urquhart's debut novel, The Visionist, is based in real life: the Visionists were young Shaker girls who began to suffer mysterious fits, thought to be in communication with the spirit world.

The Visionist tells the story of 15-year old Polly Kimball who kills her abusive father in a fire. Her mother leads them to seek shelter in The City of Hope, a nearby shaker Settlement. She is anointed a visionist upon her arrival, where she is - by turns - worshipped and questioned.

    In France at the end of the nineteenth century a great debate raged over the question of whether someone could be hypnotically compelled to commit a crime in violation of his or her moral convictions. When Toussaint-Augustin Gouffé entered 3, rue Tronson du Coudray, he expected nothing but a delightful assignation with the comely young Gabrielle Bompard. Instead, he was murdered—hanged!—by her and her companion Michel Eyraud. The body was then stuffed in a trunk and dumped on a riverbank near Lyon.

As the inquiry into the guilt or innocence of the woman the French tabloids dubbed the "Little Demon" escalated, the most respected minds in France debated whether Gabrielle Bompard was the pawn of her mesmerizing lover or simply a coldly calculating murderess.

Steven Levingston, the nonfiction editor of The Washington Post, writes about Gabrielle Bompard and hypnosis in his book, Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Époque Paris.