In February 2013 a Youtube video went viral, and for a short time a young drifter named Caleb Lawrence McGillvary was a star. In an interview with a local news station, Caleb who prefers to be known as "Kai" described how he had "suh-mashed!" in the head with a hatchet a man from whom he had recently hitched a ride. The driver who stopped to pick up Kai was mentally unstable which would become apparent after the man drove his car into a group of utility workers, and then wrapped a passerby in a bear hug while muttering that he was descended from God himself. Kai was, for a brief period after the video's release, a folk hero. Kai only enjoyed his new celebrity for a short while. Only 3 months after Kai's recounting of that day went viral, he killed a man. Kai was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to 57 years in prison. How did this happen? Is Kai really the eccentric hippie with a heart of gold that millions of people saw in that 2013 viral video? Find out on episode 26 of Where is the Line?
In Appalachia and in the American South there are some Christians who take literally passages of the bible that other adherents to the faith might consider to be metaphor. These followers of Christ's teachings put to the test the biblical notion that true believers can take up venomous snakes without suffering injury. On this episode of Where is the Line? we'll be talking about a snake handling preacher from Alabama named Glenn Summerford. Summerford found himself in the national spotlight in 1991 after being accused of attempting to murder his wife using the same Copperheads and Diamondback rattlesnakes that he often clutched during religious services.
We recently received some electronic fan mail. This particular email's author related that he enjoys our theme song, he rates our podcast 5 stars, he hopes we continue making the show, and he was once cellmates with a man who cooked and ate his wife. That last nugget of information seemed worthy of a followup. So, we got in touch the man who sent us that email and recorded our conversation with him. Ryan Martin has 4 felonies and 13 misdemeanors. He's done time with a couple of high profile killers including "The Michigan Murderer." Ryan is also incredibly personable. In this episode we'll talk to Ryan about accidentally shooting a prostitute, about his history of violence and drug abuse, and we'll take a listen to some excerpts from his incredibly well written prison essays.