If there was one thing Helle Crafts’ friends knew for certain, it was that Helle’s husband Richard was a violent sketch ball. So when she didn’t show up for work one day, they got suspicious. Richard’s explanations were less than reassuring. Was she visiting her mother in Denmark? Or was she with a friend on vacation? The story kept changing, but one thing remained the same — Helle was nowhere to be found.
Then Brandi continues her Johnson County, Kansas, series with a robbery gone terribly wrong. It all started at the She’s a Pistol gun store in Shawnee, Kansas. Becky Bieker owned the store with her husband Jon. She was behind the counter on January 9, 2015 when four teenagers entered the store. Two of them were armed. One of the teens punched Becky, knocking her unconscious. Shortly afterward, Jon came out of a back room, gun drawn. A gun battle ensued. Later, one of the teens’ lawyers mounted an… interesting legal defense.
And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.
In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“50-year sentence imposed in wood chipper murder,” New York Times
“Wood Chipper Murder” Crime Library
“The Disappearance of Helle Crafts” episode of Forensic Files
“23 years ago Richard Crafts was more willing to part with his wife than his money,” NewsTimes.com
“Crafts unconcerned at wife’s disappearance, her friends say,” Hartford Courant
“Chopped to bits,” Daily News
“Richard Crafts denies killing his wife, says he believes she is alive,” Hartford Courant
In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“Owner Killed, Three Shot in Attempted Robbery at Gun Shop” Associated Press, NBC News
“Co-owner of Shawnee gun shop dies; three suspects shot during attempted robbery” by Michelle Pekarsky and Megan Brilley, Fox 4 “Suspect in ‘She’s A Pistol’ murder to plead guilty, while 3 alleged accomplices prepare for murder trial” by Michelle Pekarsky, For 4 KC
“Four Charged With Murder In Gardner Man’s Death” Danedri Thompson, The Gardner News
“She’s a Pistol gun store in Shawnee is closing” by Tony Rizzo, The Kansas City Star
“Judge denies defendant’s self-defense claim in She’s a Pistol killing” by Tony Rizzo, The Kansas City Star
“Owner of She’s A Pistol tearfully announces store’s closure amid mounting expenses” by Shannon O’Brien, Fox 4 KC
“Trial begins for ‘She’s A Pistol’ gunman who claimed he shot store owner in self-defense” by Kerri Stowell, FOX 4 KC
“On day three of his trial, She’s A Pistol suspect pleads guilty as charged” by Nick Sloan and Natalie Davis, KCTV5
“One man convicted for role in deadly shooting at ‘She’s A Pistol’ sentenced to ‘Hard 25’ for murder” by Andrew Lynch, FOX 4 Kc