This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories. Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words. Those happen on this show, a lot.
Episode 43: 19 Crimes Wine, Richard Streicher Jr. Murder, Shonda Townsend Murdered, Putterz Review
- Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
- Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.
We have Melina back as a guest host! She grew up in California and Texas. She preferred California but didn’t like the heat. California has a wildfire season and smog days.
19 Crimes Wine
They are the 19 crimes that would be committed by people in Britain causing them to be shipped to Australia. It is also a wine brand.
Melina had it come up a couple times and decided to look it up.
There are seven types of wine. Each bottle has a picture of a criminal on it. You can purchase the wine’s app and then scan the picture on the bottle. This will cause an AR (augmented reality) program to play. The person on the bottle then begins to speak and tell you of their crime and punishment. (Ali loved it and immediately wanted Melina to show Jenn.) Right now, in the stores in Michigan, they can only find three different labels.
The wine is meant to celebrate those who were sent to Australia for penalization. It is an Australian wine. Their most expensive 19 Crimes Wine is called The Warden. The vineyard also has a Walking Dead Wine. We are currently looking for a bottle so we can watch the AR portion of the app.
Every cork has one of the 19 crimes on it. You need to pull the cork to find which crime you have.
People who committed one of the listed 19 crimes was sent to Australia instead of being sentenced to death. This happened between 1788 through 1868. It was called punishment of transportation. The ships that carried the criminals were horrible and they traveled in terrible conditions. They had to ship people to Australia because Britain was no longer able to ship people to America, due to the war of independence.
The ride to Australia was an eight-month trip. People became sick and often died on the trip. The hulls of the ships didn’t have standing room. The first couple ships also had military personnel to keep them in line. The criminals had to serve their sentence in Australia, and they were sent free in the country after their sentence. 80% of the criminals were men and 20% were women.
Their daily diet was ox cheek, peas, and moldy bread on the ship.
They called stop to the program when over a million people were sent to Australia.
- Grand larceny- theft over one shilling.
- Petty larceny-theft under one shilling
- Buying or receiving stolen goods
- Stealing or receiving stolen lead, iron, or copper
- Impersonating an Egyptian
- Stealing from furnished lodge groups
- Setting fire to underwood
- Stealing letters, advancing the postage, and secreting the money
- Assault with intent to rob
- Stealing fish from a lake or river
- Stealing roots, trees, plants, or destroying them
- Assaulting, cutting or burning of clothes
- Countering money
- Clandestine Marriage
- Stealing a shroud off of a grave
- Waterman carrying too many passengers on the Thames
- Incorrigible rogues, and people reprieved from capital punishment
- Imbuing naval stores
Death of Richard Streicher Jr.
Richard Streicher Jr. was a seven-year-old boy who lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He was the grandson of Thomas Mueller, a wealthy and renowned auto engineer. On March 7, 1935, around 4:30 p.m. Richard asked his mom if he could go outside and play in the snow and she consented. While playing outside he ran into a friend, another seven-year-old boy named Paul Woodside. Richard’s home was on Cross Street, while Paul live on Prospect Street, so the two often walked home from school together.
Richard decided to go home and get his sled. Richard was very particular about how he leaned his sled against the house, and police believe that after grabbing it from its usual spot, he left for snowy hills. No one ever saw Richard again.
A few hours later, during an argument with each other, Richard’s parents realized their son was not home. Borrowing a car, they searched nearby Island Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. (Frog Island was previously called Island Park.) When they weren’t able to find him, they called the police.
The body of Richard Streicher Jr. was found on May 8, 1935 around 1 p.m. He was found under the island side of the bridge that spans the Huron River from Cross Street to Frog Island. Richard was found by a 13-year-old boy named Buck Holt. Buck and his brother saw tracks in the snow leading under the bridge. Buck said they thought the tracks might belong to a muskrat and followed them down. They saw Richard’s body laying at the top of the incline under the bridge. Later, Buck Holt would be caught stealing a car and was sent to a disciplinary school in Washington D.C., from where he escaped.
His clothing only seemed to be disturbed around his neck area. Ypsilanti coroner, Dr. David Robb, found six stab wounds on Richard’s body along with possible head wounds. **Information alert: an article that I read from 1935 said there were six stab wounds and an article that I read from 2019 said he had 14 stab wounds. He had at least one knife wound on his throat, one in his heart, with the four or so other wounds were in his neck and shoulders. There wasn’t any blood evidence at the scene, leading police to believe he had been killed elsewhere. Richard’s body was frozen to the ground, steering investigators to the idea that his body had been soaked in water, possibly in the river, and under the bridge all night.
Albert Rapp, who was Washtenaw County’s prosecutor at the time, said that they were searching for a sex maniac even though there were no signs of sexual assault. Albert said it was due to the frenzied nature of the stabbing that lead to the idea of a sex maniac. (When I hear sex maniac, I think of a guy with a perpetual hardon that is humping any object that is still for long enough.) Ypsilanti’s police chief at the time, Ralph Southard, thought the motive might be revenge and that it was done not by a sex maniac but a “maniac with a lust for blood.”. (1935 must has been a big year for maniacs.) A clue that has never been resolved is that Richard’s sled was found leaning against his house in the right area but not in the right position.
There was an intense search for Richard’s killer, but police were unable to find the motive for his murder or his murderer. When authorities found out that Richard’s mother had recently filed for divorce, they briefly suspected Richard’s father. Richard Sr. took what is called a “truth serum” and answered police questions to prove his innocence. They later moved to Grand Rapids.
Richard Streicher Jr. was buried in an unmarked grave in Highland Cemetery. It was said that his grave was left unmarked because they didn’t want to bring unwanted attention to his burial site due to possible vandals and the notorious nature of his murder. On October 15, 2016, 80 years after his murder, Richard was provided with a headstone. The money was raised by John Sisk, who is a manager of a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. After hearing the sad story of Richard’s death, he raised $1,500 on a GoFundMe page. A dedication ceremony was held and attended by about 30 people. Richard’s murder is one of Washtenaw County’s oldest cold cases.
Today I have an unsolved murder of 19-year-old Shonda Townsend, mother of a 2-year-old boy in Mineral Wells, Texas.
Shonda Towsend’s body was found in October of 2011 in a field South West of Mineral falls. She was last seen in July of 2010 and was said to have left a
person’s home in Mineral Wells to go home, which was in Perrin. Her vehicle was found a few days after she was reported missing in a neighborhood in Southeast Mineral Wells.
On July 4th, 2010 at around midnight Shonda texted her mother and said that she was on her way home, but she failed to show up. She also posted a single sentence to her Facebook around this time which read “I got this”.
When her vehicle was found a few days later it looked as though she was
carjacked, it was missing the stereo and the items within the car were thrown around. There was no evidence of what happened to Shonda nor did anything give the police any clues to go off of.
The Mineral Wells Police confirmed that Shonda had received a text message on July 5th around 2 a.m. prior to her phone either being shut off or going dead. From this text message, it seems the police got a lead to a possible witness. When they had this person’s phone, they were able to retrieve deleted messages which they hoped had valuable information.
On October 27, 2011, the skeletal remains of Shonda were found in a field in
Mineral falls. Based on where she was found they believe it would be someone who was knowledgeable of the area.
The police have conducted multiple grounds and aerial searches, interviewed Shonda’s friends, family, and persons of interest but have not turned anything up which would lead this case to closure.
Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information that leads to
the arrest of the responsible party. You can see more information on this case on our website.
Mike K., 1 Star Yelp Review
Putterz in Ypsilanti
Reduced for time
“I can’t”. Forecast for rain but we decided to go try and play anyways. We bought one course for $7 and enjoyed the red one. It was in rough shape but what the heck. The rainy clouds cleared up so we figured we would make the turn and play the other 2 courses. We went
up to pay the additional $3 each for the $10 all 3 courses package. With a big sigh the older man told us “I can’t”. You can’t what? You can’t Take $3 each from our group and hand us a ball? You can’t make the huge effort required to do that? You can’t because you don’t like cash? You can’t because your cash register doesn’t open up? You can’t because of your morals? You can’t because it should be the busiest day of the year for you and you are not busy? You can’t because of the business ethics class you took in 1954?
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