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Ep 97: The Disappearance of the Murray-O'Hair Family, Part II

All Crime No Cattle

All Crime No Cattle

History, True Crime

4.82.6K Ratings

🗓️ 27 July 2022

⏱️ 112 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Welcome to the second part of this series about the Murray-O’Hair family. After Madalyn, Jon Garth, and Robin mysteriously vanished in September 1995, a year went by without any further investigation. It wasn’t until a reporter began asking questions that the story finally got the attention it deserved. In this episode we’ll discuss how the case was unraveled, and the clues involve a hundred pounds of gold coins, a perfect diamond, unlikely heroes, and finally, the discovery of the truth after a 5-year hunt for answers.


Bryce, R. (1998, November 20). Abducted by aliens? Credit card clue. The Austin Chronicle. https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/1998-11-20/520646/

Bryce, R. (1999, June 4). Preying on atheists. Austin Chronicle. https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/1999-06-04/522124/

Bryce, R. (2000, June 9). Picking up the pieces. Austin Chronicle. https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2000-06-09/77537/

Dracos, T. (2003). Ungodly: The Passions, Torments, and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Free Press.

Duggan, P. (1999, August 16). The atheists’ cold case gets warmer. The Washington Post.

Fairbank, K. (1997, March 9). Oh god, O’Hair is still missing. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-03-09-mn-36392-story.html

Hall, M. (1999, May). Has Madalyn Murray O’Hair met her maker? Texas Monthly. https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/has-madalyn-murray-ohair-met-her-maker/

MacCormack, J. (1996, August 11). Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s disappearance a mystery one year later. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Archive-Atheist-Madalyn-Murray-O-Hair-s-11017379.php

MacCormack, J. (1996, December 8). Funds missing along with atheist O’Hair. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Archive-Funds-missing-along-with-atheist-O-Hair-11017393.php

MacCormack, J. (1998, February 1). IRS probes O’Hair trio; atheists left nearly $100,000 in gold coins in S.A. before vanishing. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Archive-IRS-probes-O-Hair-trio-atheists-left-11017369.php

MacCormack, J. (1999, January 31). ID of headless body may revive O’Hair case. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Archive-ID-of-headless-body-may-revive-O-Hair-11017421.php

MacCormack, J. (1999, February 18). The case of the headless, handless corpse. Dallas Observer. https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/the-case-of-the-headless-handless-corpse-6401233

MacCormack, J. (1999, November 6). An investigative reporter’s inside story untangling the O’Hair vanishing. 22nd annual convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, San Antonio. https://ffrf.org/legal/item/17152-an-investigative-reporters-inside-story

MacCormack, J. (2003, June 29). O’Hair’s last days. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Archive-O-Hair-s-last-days-11017564.php

MacCormack, J. (2003, July 10). True Confessions. Dallas Observer. http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/true-confession-6387834

Milloy, R. E. (2001, March 16). Bodies identified as those of missing atheist and kin. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/16/us/bodies-identified-as-those-of-missing-atheist-and-kin.html

Selcraig, B. (2019, January 30). Texas Institute of Letters honors San Antonio Express-News veteran. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Texas-Institute-of-Letters-honors-San-Antonio-13574192.php?utm_campaign=twitter

Swartz, M. (1997, March). The lady vanishes. Vanity Fair. https://archive.vanityfair.com/article/1997/3/the-lady-vanishes

Travis, A. (2021, March 12). Man convicted for ties to 1995 death of ‘Most Hated Woman in America’ resentenced to nearly 50 years. KXAN Austin. https://www.kxan.com/news/crime/resentencing-hearing-friday-for-man-convicted-for-1995-murder-of-madalyn-murray-ohair-theft-of-600k-in-gold-coins/

Tregaskis, R. (1965, October). Madalyn Murray. Playboy.

Van Biema, D. (1997, February 10). Where’s Madalyn? TIME. https://web.archive.org/web/20080314192357/http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,985893-2,00.html

Without a Prayer (Season 7, Episode 10). (2002, December 14). In Forensic Files.

Wright, L. (1989, January). God Help Her. Texas Monthly. https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/god-help-her/

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Well, hello everybody. Welcome back to another episode of All Prime No Cattle, a Texas


True Prime podcast. We are back in the closet. I don't know when we're going to get out of


the closet, but we are here in the closet. It is. You said you loved the sound of the


closets, right? Yeah, it works really well. I can see why voice actors and professionals


record in the closet now. But your toes broken, we think. Maybe probably. Yeah. Do you want


to expound on that? You kicked the trash can. Yeah. I mean, that's pretty much what happened.


I kicked a trash can coming around a corner to do nothing. I was going too fast to do nothing.


Yeah, it's very bruised. Yeah, it hurts. But hey, I'm here dedicated to my craft. Yes.


I'm ready to record. And it is part two of a two-parter. So we are at the climax. We have all


this, this interesting info we have to dig into. So keep that in mind. If you haven't listened to


part one of this series, go back, listen to that first. Don't start here. You'll be, you'll be


very confused. But yeah, let's do you have like a quick synopsis that we can go through real quickly


on what happened in part one. Absolutely. Great idea because a lot happened in episode one.


Boy did it. So some of the important details we learned last time. In 1963, Madeline Murillo


Hare founded the organization American Atheists, a group that advocates for the rights of atheists as


well as for the separation of church and state. She, her youngest son, John Garth and her granddaughter


Robin controlled and ran the group as well as several other similar organizations. In late 1994,


the family left for a trip and returned to find that David Waters, the office manager at the


American Atheist headquarters, had laid off their employees and had stolen $55,000 from the organization.


Waters eventually pled guilty and was given deferred adjudication in order to pay back 15 grand


as restitution. Madeline was angry about her treatment by the APD and the DA's office as well


as Waters' thax punishment. So she wrote an article in her magazine detailing the theft as well


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