Monday, May 20, 2024



Full disclosure: I have been an Aphrodite Jones fan for 30 years!  Therefore, I have read many of her books, and I watched her television show, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones.  No surprise, I was eager to read her newest from 2023- Levi's Eyes- A son's deadly secret and a father's cruel betrayal. I was familiar with the case, having watched several documentaries on the Karlsen case.  How wrong I was! 

After reading Aphrodite Jones' book, I am blown away at the depth and breadth of details that come together at the end, enabling justice to be achieved. We gain insight into the killer's mind, what drove him, the circumstances that triggered two murders, 17 years apart.  Her writing style enables her book to more resemble a novel, flowing so that you understand what the people in the story are thinking-- which is not fanciful on her part, but from many conversations with principal players in these tragedies. Throughout court procedures, Aphrodite Jones was in contact with the defendant and his former wife, Cindy Karlsen-- whose story has not been told previously.  Ms. Jones also compassionately remembers the victims, who we come to understand as people, with talents, and foibles, dreams and ambitions. 

I highly recommend that anyone who appreciates true crime read this book.

As the host of the Murder Shelf Book Club podcast, I covered Ms. Jones's book in Episodes 87-90 and interviewed her in depth.

You can find these episodes at

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Book Review! Katherine Ramsland- The Serial Killer's Apprentice





Crime con Nashville 2024 is in a month!  OUR MEETUP at the hotel in Nashville is FRIDAY, May 31, 2024, in the FALLS BAR…Right after the John Douglas special event is over at 11:00-ish pm. Wear your merch! We have to take some photos!! 

I know it’s late, but the schedule is SO amazing, it’s the only free time I have! And we can sleep the week after- this is CRIMECON, the most amazing true crime focused event of the year! 

You can always find me on Podcast Row and--- please know how much you all mean to me, because I can’t do this without you! 

AND Jill is currently featuring the true crime book, Levi’s Eyes by Aphrodite Jones—the best-selling author and true crime maven, who is ALSO at Crimecon!  Don't miss Aphrodite's sessions! 

Listen to series and catch Jill’s interview with Aphrodite too, Ep 90! 





Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ep 87-90- Roasted Chicken Garlic Pesto Flatbread Recipe

Roasted Chicken Garlic Pesto Flatbreads




2 6-inch flatbreads (or one 12-inch)
1 head roasted garlic
2 heaping Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup sliced artichokes
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie or leftover chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella or a cheese blend)
2 heaping Tbsp shredded parmesan 
fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Place flatbreads on baking sheet.
3. Spread roasted garlic over flatbreads, then spread the pesto over each on top of the roasted garlic. Add chicken, sliced artichokes, and cheeses. 
4. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until hot with cheeses melted and turning golden brown. 
5. Slice into pieces with pizza cutter and serve!  Bon Appetite!  

Thank you The Wicked!

Ep 87- 90 Levi's Eyes by Aphrodite Jones


Buy Levi's Eyes on Amazon!

LISTEN to the SERIES here!


Levi, Kati, Karl, and Erin (Dateline)

Christina's father, Art Alexander (Dateline)

Fire Scene (Dateline)

Fire scene- the bathroom (Dateline)

Fire Scene- boarded up bathroom window (Dateline)


Christina Alexander Karlsen (Dateline)

Levi Karlsen

C&K Farm- Pitchin' In- the ducks!

Karl and Cindy- Pitchin' In- Ducks episode

Karl on the farm- Finger Lake Times.
Pitchin' In: Serving duck- Finger Lakes Times


A Father's Fraud, American Greed,, 2023.

Amanda Folts, Romulus Farm Just Ducky, Finger Lake Times, Aug. 22, 2011.

Aphrodite Jones, Levi's Eyes: A son's dadly secret and a father's cruel betrayal, Independently Published, Sept 24, 2023.

Arc Mapping, Hawkins: Leader in forensic investigations, 2024.

Carolyn Warnock, Karl Karlsen's Motive: Why Did he Kill His First Wife Christina & His Son Levi?,, July 9, 2021.

David Lester, The Insatiable Passion, Charles Press, Philadelphia, 1995.

Death Resulting from Residential Fires & the prevalence of smoke alarms- United States 1991-1995, Center for Disease Control, 1994.

Ducks, Season 3, Ep 10, Pitchin' In, 2013. (Watch! OMG! WOW!)

Ex-wife says living with Karl Karlsen was 'terrifying', 20/20,, June 4, 2020.

Father Knows Death, Season 4, Ep 2- Accident, Murder or Suicide,,, 2024.

Fire in the United States-1989-1998, United States Fire Administration, FEMA, 2001.

Giuseppe Ricapito, Karlsen had angry outburst when asked by insurance rep if he caused fire, The Union, Jan 18,

Giuseppe Ricapito, BOUSSON: Karlsen called sister a 'crispy critter', The Union Democrat, Jan 27, 2020.

Giuseppe Ricapito, Christina Karlsen died of smoke inhalation, The Union, Jan 16, 2020.

Giuseppe Ricapito, Karlsen Guilty, The Union, Feb 3, 2020.

Glenn Coin, Cindy Karlsen lives a double life waiting for police to arrest her husband, Karl Karlsen, for murder,, Nov 15, 2023.

House on the Hill, Dateline, March 3, 2020.

Kendra Cherry, Denial as a Defense Mechanism,, Nov 14, 2023.

Dana Nichols, Family feel Calaveras neglecting possible homicide,, June 5, 2013. 

Meagan Flynn, Ex-Lode man who killed son for insurance money convicted of doing same to wife, The Washington Post, Feb 3, 2020.

Mercer Cavern, Wikipedia, 2024. 

Michael D, Kelleher, Murder Most Rare, Westport, Conn, 1998.

Mike Hubbard, Karlsen brother speaks out- family had suspicions, Finger Lake Times, Nov 18, 2013.

Murphys, Wikipedia, 2024.

Pitchin' In, Freevee,, 2024.

Robert Morton, Jennifer M Tillman, Stephanie J Gaines,  FBI Serial Murder-Pathways for Investigation, Behavioral Analysis Unit 4, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, 2023.

Royalty-free sound effects,, March 2024.

Richy Maria Jacob, Where is Colette Bousson Now?, The Cinemaholic, June 5, 2020.

Robert A. Corry, Examples of Fire Patterns- Ignitable Liquid Pour Patterns,, 2024.

Scott Bonn, Some Serial Killers Commit Murder for Profit, Psychology Today, April 20,2015.

Sins of the Father, Pt 1, 20/20, ABCNews, 2021.

Sins of the Father, Pt 2, 20/20, ABCNews, 2021.

Sins of the Father, Pt 3, 20/20, ABCNews, 2021.

Sins of the Father, Pt 4, 20/20, ABCNews, 2021.

Sins of the Father, Pt 5, 20/20, ABCNews, 201.

The House on the Hill, Dateline,, 2020.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024




Best. Book. Ever. (Out June 1, 2024!)

I just finished reading J. David Bethel 's suspenseful new thriller, Mapping the NIGHT, which has the flavor of true crime rather than fiction. Fully exploring the realism that he is known for; Bethel hits this one out of Yankee stadium! Our favorite characters, FBI Special Agents Eileen Prado and Ira Fisher, are back, deep into an elaborate, twisting investigation into a series of murders on New York City’s Upper East Side.  Infused with international intrigue and political corruption, they team up with NYC’s Commanding Investigator Nadine Robinson.   Meandering through the gritty investigation that powerful forces want to derail, roadblocks hurdled to get a serial killer off the streets before more lives are lost. At times, I laughed aloud, taking adject pleasure as the story unfolded, while at others, the tension and anticipation swept me away. By the end, there was not a dry eye to be found. I highly recommend Mapping the Night; the satisfaction is as extreme as the evil they hunt. 


Available at most bookstores - June 1, 2024.


Jill- Host of the Murder Shelf Book Club

Friday, April 5, 2024

Book Review- Imprisoned by Fear by Kathy Lange (Byron Smith Case)

 Oh my. 

Having researched the case, which was featured on my podcast, the Murder Shelf Book Club, having spoken with the lead investigator, Jeremy Luberts, listened to the Byron Smith's audio and watched the video evidence from Smith's security cameras, I eagerly read Ms. Lange's book. Wow.  

The misinformation is astounding.  Once can tell that she is emotionally involved in the case, that her friend is in jail for premeditated murder, and she feels that this is unjust. However, feelings do not create evidence.  The evidence, much produced by the Defendant, Byron Smith, himself, is undeniable, and yet, Ms. Lange denies it, misconstrues it, and is dishonest.  

I gave this book 2 stars because her emotion is sincere. The problem is-- the story is fiction.  I cannot recommend it.  IF you want to know about the Byron Smith case, listen to my episodes 84, 85 and 86 on the Murder Shelf Book Club, where I cover the case in depth. Or better, read Murder on Elm Street by lead investigator Jeremy L. Luberts.  He provides transcripts of Byron Smith's statements, details into the burglary investigation, and testimony at Smith's trial. 

Goodreads Reviews: