The Piketon Massacre

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Category: True Crime

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Subscribers: 1230
Reviews: 11

 Oct 20, 2020
Is this podcast finished? It felt like we were left with so many loss ends. And it wasn't clear if it was over.

 Sep 16, 2020
The music and musical stings are too dramatic. Someone will say something not very revealing or seemingly unimportant and they add a horn for dramatic effect. Takes away from the story also, adds adds adds adds adds adds adds adds.

 Sep 15, 2020
Decent. it seems like they stretched it out over too many episodes.

 Sep 11, 2020

A. A.
 Sep 11, 2020
Way too many adds. The story seems interesting enough but it's hard to follow as there is more ads than podcast..


The most notorious mass murder in Ohio’s history happened on the night of April 21, 2016 in rural Pike County. Four crime scenes, thirty-two gunshot wounds, eight members of the Rhoden family left dead in their homes. Two years later a local family of four, the Wagners, are arrested and charged with the crimes. As the Wagners await four back-to-back capitol murder trials, the KT Studios team revisits Pike County to examine: crime-scene forensics, upcoming legal proceedings, and the ties that bind the victims and the accused. As events unfold and new crimes are uncovered, what will it mean for all involved? What will it mean for Pike County? 

Episode Date
Episode 11- Finale: What’s Next?
A trial date for accused brother George Wagner has been set for April 4th, 2022, in the Rhoden murder case. But, what will happen in the next few months, remains to be seen. In the season two finale, we answer the most pressing listener questions with a panel of Piketon Massacre regular contributors, including reporters Angenette Levy, James Pilcher and forensics expert Joseph Morgan. We explore the important role that listeners played in shaping the direction of the season. We also delve deeper into other regional cases we've covered this season, the personal and professional effects of covering the Rhoden murders, as well as what the future could hold for George, Angela and Billy Wagner as they await trial. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 21, 2021
Episode 10- Hopper Road
A Rhoden family member puts us in touch with a friend whose family was struck by a tragic double murder. In episode ten, Piketon resident, Angie Montgomery, recounts the story of her cousin, Curtis Francis and his fiancée, Jennifer Burgette's murders in 2006. Angie takes us through the ups and downs of the 14 year investigation, including the discovery of an archive of eyewitness statements, the loss of potentially incriminating evidence and the work of one Cincinnati reporter who never gave up on the case.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 14, 2021
Episode 9- 25 Miles South Part 2
Pike County is no stranger to misconduct by local officials, as is seen in the case of former Pike County Sheriff, Charlie Reader. In part two of 25 Miles South, reporter Nikki Blankenship picks up where she left off in episode seven - exploring allegations of abuse of power in a community just south of PIketon. When Nikki comes into some damning information tying a Portsmouth, Ohio lawyer and former city councilman to long standing rumors of sex trafficking, her lead is followed up by reporters from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Their investigation leads them into the underbelly of the Southern Ohio sex trade. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 14, 2021
Episode 8- A Pike County Roundtable
Two months after Jake Wagner pled guilty to killing five of the eight Rhodens, accused brother George Wagner IV heads back to court for a pre-trial hearing. In episode eight, we catch up with regular Piketon Massacre contributors, Angenette Levy, Jody Barr and Joseph Morgan for a roundtable discussion, covering everything from George Wagner's most recent hearing, their earliest insights into the investigation and thoughts on the questions that continue to cloak the horrific crime in mystery. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 30, 2021
Episode 7- 25 Miles South
About 30 minutes away from Piketon is Portsmouth, Ohio, a once bustling community that fell on hard times and became the epicenter of the Opioid crisis. In episode seven, we talk to local journalist, Nikki Blankenship, who did a deep investigation into the issues her hometown faced, including serious allegations of sex trafficking. What she found was that Pike County isn’t the only tight knit community with secrets. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 23, 2021
Episode 6- The Victims Need a Voice
At the time of the Rhoden murders, Chris Graves was working as a reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer. As she began covering the story she had no idea what would transpire in Pike County. In episode six, we sit down exclusively with her as she recounts her experience being the only journalist to interview not only the surviving family members, but also the accused. Her perspective gives us a one of a kind insight into the massacre. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 16, 2021
Episode 5- To Protect & Serve
The man who helped lead Ohio’s largest criminal investigation, Sheriff Charlie Reader went from being a well-liked public figure to finding himself at the center of a very different crime- one that placed him on the other side of the law. In episode 5, we look at the once beloved sheriff’s career, his involvement in the Rhoden case and his shocking fall from grace.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 09, 2021
Episode 4- The Houses on Union Hill Road
It’s been described as the most gruesome, complicated and long-lingering homicide cases the state of Ohio has ever seen. In episode four, alongside forensic expert, Joseph Morgan we look at the varying evidence that is sure to shape the upcoming trials. As we attempt to piece together what transpired in the Rhoden homes, the complicated forensics and crime scenes begin to make sense. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jun 02, 2021
Episode 3- Wagner vs. Wagner
In episode three, we focus on the impact that Jake Wagner’s confession could have on his mother, father and older brother. Additionally, we unpack the current state of their trials and the future proceedings that will decide the fate of the family at the center of Ohio's biggest criminal investigation. Will they ultimately protect each other or will it become... Wagner vs. Wagner? Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 26, 2021
Episode 2- Cinnamon and Hay
Special prosecutors described the Wagners as “cult like.” In episode two, we take a deeper look at the family that’s allegedly behind the massacre, speaking with a Pike County local who has an intimate connection to them. We also dissect the prosecution's theories on the family’s complex dynamics. On the surface, the Wagners may have seemed all American but behind closed doors, they were anything but. What we found out was far darker and more disturbing than anything we ever could have imagined.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 19, 2021
Episode 1- Ties that Bind
A photograph shows the Rhoden and the Wagner families embracing, in happier times. What would tear these families apart and cause a tragedy that would shake a community to its core? Just months before death sentence trials were set to begin and in the middle of production of this podcast- a shocking break in the case changes everything. The Piketon Massacre: Return to Pike County explores the ties that bind the two families at the center of Ohio's largest murder investigation. Episode 1 dives into the theories surrounding the bombshell reveal and what will happen next in Pike County. Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 12, 2021
The Piketon Massacre Season 2 Trailer: Return to Pike County
In 2016, eight members of the Rhoden family were viciously murdered in their homes. Two years later, four members of the Wagner family, were charged with the largest massacre in Ohio’s history. As justice plays out in the courtroom, the KT Studios team revisits Pike County to examine: crime-scene forensics, upcoming legal proceedings, and the ties that bind the victims and the accused. Starting Wednesday, May 12th listen to The Piketon Massacre: Return to PIke County, a production of KT Studios on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Check us out online: Executive Produced by KT Studios: Learn more about your ad-choices at
May 05, 2021
We Think You'd Like 'Criminalia'
Hey, Piketon Massacre listeners, check out this iHeartRadio & Shondaland Audio podcast – Criminalia. On Criminalia, hosts Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi explroe the intersection of history and true crime. This season is all about lady poisoners. During the time that Chicago’s most visible criminal element was organized crime, Tillie Klimek was quietly becoming the city’s most prolific female serial killer. She allegedly killed between six and 20 people, all through arsenic poisoning. We hoped you liked this episode of Criminalia. If you want to hear more, listen to Criminalia every Tuesday on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Oct 27, 2020
Wild Country
The most infamous crime that occurred in South Eastern Ohio is the murder of eight members of the Rhoden family. While four members of the Wagner family have been arrested and charged with the murders, the community knows all too well that in this area, there are often more questions than answers. In episode 10, we dive deeper into subjects we’ve only previously touched on such as the relationship between Angela and Billy Wagner and Sheriff Reader’s involvement in the case. Finally, we explore how a neighboring town harbors its own dark secrets.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 30, 2020
Episode 9- Piketon Uncovered
With the Wagner family awaiting their day in court, the residents of Piketon are left to wonder how the largest criminal investigation in Ohio’s history will end. In episode nine, we explore unheard topics such as how the community reacted to the newfound attention and how our team began producing the podcast. We’ll also answer questions submitted by listeners that pertain to the case. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 23, 2020
Episode 8- Truth Be Revealed
With Fredericka Wagner and Rita Jo Newcomb spared jail time in connection with the Rhoden murders, we turn our focus to the four other family members awaiting their days in court. In episode eight, we look at what life in prison is like for Billy, Angela, George and Jake Wagner, the four accused “trigger pullers” in the Rhoden murders. George has requested solitary confinement and Angela’s phone and mail privileges have been revoked. How does this affect their upcoming trials and overall quality of life? We’ll also examine both the prosecution and defenses’ arguments, the turns the case has taken since their imprisonment and how the outcome will shape the legacy of Ohio’s largest mass murder.   Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 16, 2020
Episode 7- 4,000 Miles Away
With the Wagner family attempting to start a new life in Alaska, the investigation into the Rhoden murders in Piketon, Ohio moves forward. Episode seven tracks authorities’ moves as they narrow in on their suspects. We'll also explore another surprising move made by the Wagner family and the discovery of a key piece of evidence that leads to their arrests. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 09, 2020
Episode 6- The Investigation
Ohio law enforcement officials spent over two years investigating the Rhoden murders. During that time, they received over 1,100 tips, conducted over 500 interviews and served nearly 200 search warrants.   Episode six explores this exhaustive investigation, how authorities honed in on the Wagners, and how they think the family allegedly pulled off the gruesome massacre. We’ll also look at the Wagner’s moves in the two years following the Rhoden murders, including a shocking decision the family made at the height of the investigation. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Sep 02, 2020
Episode 5- Air & Opportunity
In the aftermath of the arrest of six members of the Wagner family in connection with the Rhoden murders, many people across the country were shocked by the brutality of the massacre. But, for the Piketon, Ohio area, this grisly crime wasn’t exactly an anomaly. In episode five, we take a dive into the dark history of the Piketon, Ohio community. We investigate a wave of murders that were eerily similar to the Rhoden case, a spate of unsolved violent crimes and take a look into the underhanded tactics of one prominent, law enforcement official entrusted to bring the killers of the Rhoden family to justice. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 26, 2020
Episode 4- Alternate Theories
On November 13th, 2018, six members of the Wagner family were arrested in connection with the Rhoden family massacre, in Piketon, Ohio. While authorities claim that a custody dispute between Jake Wagner and Hanna Rhoden was the central motive, there are others that think that perhaps law enforcement officials may have the wrong people in custody. Episode four explores some of the alternative theories surrounding the “Piketon Massacre.” We look into the Rhoden family’s violent altercations with other Piketon locals, a melee that ensued after a demolition derby race, and their potential involvement in the Ohio drug trade.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 19, 2020
Episode 3- Hanna and Jake
Four members of the Wagner family are in prison, awaiting death penalty trials for allegedly murdering of eight members of the Rhoden family. Two other family members have been arrested for supposedly conspiring to pull off the crime. In episode three, we talk to friends of the Rhodens who shed light on the victims’ lives in the months leading up to the murders. We’ll also explore the relationship between Hanna Rhoden and Jake Wagner, the custody battle that unfolded between the two in the months before the Rhoden family was murdered, and the tragic legacy left in its wake. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 12, 2020
Episode 2- Wagners in Custody
In April 2016, after eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered in their homes, Ohio authorities launched the largest homicide investigation in the state’s history.  For over two years, residents of the small town of Piketon lived in fear, as rumors circulated about who the killers could be.  Then, on November 13th, 2018, six members of a local family were arrested in connection with the brutal massacre.  In episode two, we meet the family accused of being responsible for this unthinkable crime and talk to those who knew them the best.  We’ll also examine the ties that bound the two families together and the driving motive authorities claim might lie at the heart of the tragedy. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Aug 05, 2020
Episode 1- Daddy's Playing Zombie
On the night of April 21, 2016 eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered in their homes. Episode one explores the crime that decimated an entire family and left residents of the small town of Piketon, OH reeling. We examine what lead up to the crime, look into the details of Ohio’s largest murder investigation, and the potential motives that drove the alleged killers.   Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 29, 2020
Introducing: The Piketon Massacre
On the night of April 21, 2016 in rural Piketon, Ohio - eight members of the Rhoden family were viciously murdered execution style in their homes. Two years later in 2018, their neighbors, the Wagners, were arrested and charged with committing the largest massacre in Ohio’s history. Shocked by the arrests, this once close-knit and religious community remains divided and unable to cope. Was a respected and reputable Piketon family responsible for this unimaginable murder spree? Our team will examine the deep ties that connected both families. We’ll examine the evidence and possible motives for the crimes. For the first time we’ll speak with townspeople, psychological experts, respected investigators, friends and members of both families. Are the Wagners responsible for the murders, and if convicted, will they be executed? Or is it possible that there is still a murderer at large waiting to kill again? Learn more about your ad-choices at
Jul 22, 2020