This Week on Wonderlust:
Welcome back, Wonderers! In today’s episode, we dive into our Sister Subjects, History & True Crime, by celebrating the bravery of women! Our tales include the inspirational spy adventures of Josephine Baker, followed by horrors the Dungeon of DeWitt.
Sarah recounts tales of the already fascinating life of Josephine Baker, and specifically, her work as a spy during World War II. Josephine Baker was an American-born, international entertainer who rocketed to stardom in France during the 1920s. During World War II, Baker courageously used her charm and star power to collect intelligence for the Free French Forces. She also entertained at Axis embassies, safely delivered top secret documents to the resistance, provided shelter from the Nazis for her fellow freedom fighters, and so much more. Josephine Baker’s determination & heroism is the kind of tale everyone needs to hear!
Next, Emily switches with the terrifying tale of The Dungeon of DeWitt. After literally stumbling across the scene of the ghastly true crimes, Emily recounts the horrors of convicted serial kidnapper and rapist, John Jemelske. Over the course of fifteen years, the rapist attacked and kidnapped children & women near Syracuse, NY. He then forced the victims into his concrete basement bunker for months– or even years at a time. Jemelske’s crimes were unimaginably cruel and heartless. However, the courage and tenacity displayed by the survivors of the Dungeon of DeWitt, is truly awe-inspiring.
As always, in addition to our Sister Subjects, we also divulge the ever-present oddities of our daily lives. These delightful tangents include, but are not limited to, Emily’s new DJ career, some spooky developments at Sarah’s house, & the proper ways to compliment a man– according to the internet.
Thanks so much for listening to our rambles & wonderings! If you like what you hear, please take a moment to rate & subscribe. Also be sure to keep an eye out on social media!
insta: wonderlust.pod • email: firstname.lastname@example.org • website: thewonderlustpodcast.com
La Baker & The Dungeon of DeWitt
Emily 00:00:01 Hello
Sarah 00:00:03 Hi!
Emily 00:00:13 DJ little Ditty in the house.
Emily 00:00:21 Make them lots of little ditties this week.
Sarah 00:00:23 Oh yeah, you have.
Emily 00:00:25 Yeah, I have.
Sarah 00:00:26 She has guys. It’s been amazing.
Emily 00:00:30 Yeah, It’s been pretty great. Um, I like having fun playing around in Garage Band. It’s a good time. So, if anyone has a few hours to kill, I fucking recommend that shit. It’s it’s delicious.
Sarah 00:00:40 She’s also very good at it.
Emily 00:00:42 Ehhhh, She’s also my sister, she’s required to say nice things about me.
Sarah 00:00:45 Actually. I would argue that that’s the contrary.
Emily 00:00:46 Oh, yeah?
Sarah 00:00:47 Yeah. I don’t have to at all, but I do like them, I was jamming out to her little songs while I was cleaning my kitchen.
Emily 00:00:54 Nice.
Sarah 00:00:55 Yes, yes.
Emily 00:01:05 I’ve been working on a couple of other ones. The last one I sent you, I’ve got to fix, but yeah. So we got, we got some jams in the works for you guys. Um..
Sarah 00:01:11 Yeah, yeah.
Emily 00:01:15 For all, for all to enjoy.
Sarah 00:01:17 Yes. So welcome back to the pod. I’m Sarah and here with me as my sister, Emily, and we are the Wonderlust Podcast where we talk about all the weird, unexpected, unknown, deep dives you could possibly ask for. That’s what we’re here for really.
Emily 00:01:38 It is what we’re here for, we are your mystic sisters that are here to give you a brain twister. Whoa
Sarah 00:01:49 Twist and shout.
Emily 00:01:51. Oh boy.
Sarah 00:01:55 Oh gosh. That was, um, so…I have a couple of really crazy things to tell you.
Emily 00:01:57 I would love to hear about them.
Sarah 00:01:59 One, while I was doing my notes. I’m sitting there quietly. It’s getting darker. Actually. No, it wasn’t. It’s just been getting darker recently, but he’s sitting there with me chilling. He’s having cute little kitty paw moving paw dreams, you know? Aw. I’m in the living room. My keys are on the hook in the laundry room. My car is outside and I had the garage door open because I had some plants in there that needed some sun. So I’m typing away, Yahtzee snoring and the garage door closed by itself, everybody. By itself!
Emily 00:02:43 I don’t like that, I’m not a fan of things, doing things by themselves.
Sarah 00:02:48 I was also not a fan and neither was Yahtzee. He’s not a very good guard cat. He like looked at me like, what the fuck was that shit? You’re here; who is that?
Emily 00:03:01 Oh my God.
Sarah 00:03:03 So that was, um, the weird slash creepy thing that happened to me today.
Emily 00:03:10 Yeah, that’ll make you jump.
Sarah 00:03:12 Tell me about it.
Emily 00:03:14 I watched a weird slash creepy video today. Um, it was on Reddit; because I’m a grownup and I know how to spend my time. Well.
Sarah 00:03:27 Yes, same.
Emily 00:03:29 And it was a video from like a ring doorbell and the audio is like this like screeching weird noise. And then all of a sudden there’s this like scream and like watching it and like, I, it all, it looks like something is like moving and like the tree, but then, you know, as the video goes on, like you realize like, oh, that’s the road, that’s actually like a very large thing. Because, um, you know, I’m watching this and it’s posted in like a scary subreddit, so I’m waiting for something to jump out at me or like a big spider to crawl across the camera or something silly like that. And then like, there was this blood curdling scream in the middle of it. And I was like, ooh, I don’t like that sound.
Emily 00:04:11 Did you jump?
Sarah 00:04:12 Yeah, no, no, no, no, no.
Emily 00:04:14 Yeah. But I read the comments and they were like, that was the sound of two foxes having sex. So that was the moment that you just witnessed.
Sarah 00:04:24 I love it.
Emily 00:04:26 Yeah, but it was a little bit like a reassurance because now I know if I hear like a random blood curdling scream out here, it’s probably a fox, not a screaming banshee.
Sarah 00:04:36 That’s very true. I don’t know.
Emily 00:04:38 My brain will tell me that it’s a screaming banshee, before it’s a fox.
Sarah 00:04:41 And it’d be like, no, it’s just foxes, having fun, doing foxy things. Um, so I have one more thing to tell you before we get down to it. Okay. Because I really think that you’re going to enjoy this. And also I promised somebody that I would mention it on the podcast.
Emily 00:05:00 Uh oh.
Sarah 00:05:03 So, I don’t know. Um, I don’t usually, you know, talk about this kind of stuff on air, but um, you know, dating in your thirties is just oodles of fun. Let me tell you guys and gals wrong, it’s not fun. But I’m trying not to give up and turn into a cave troll. So, you know, I, uh, I was texting a man folk, I think seemed pretty cool. And you know, so like this is something like with women, I feel like they’re so easy to compliment. Like, Hey, you’re so beautiful. Wow. You have really nice eyes.
Emily 00:05:51 Yeah. No, that is true.
Sarah 00:05:52 I love your curves. I love your cheeks. I love your freckles. I love your eyes. I love your hair.
Emily 00:05:54 I love your brain.
Sarah 00:05:55 I love your brain. Well, no, I’m talking about…the other stuff is important too. But, my specific issue was like, I was talking to this guy and I was like, how do I tell him a not fucking lame way, that he’s cute. Cause I feel like guys don’t think like, guys don’t like being called cute. And they’re like weird about it.
Emily 00:06:14 I don’t know. Do guys like being called cute? Because, because I do agree. I feel like it’s like a, a weird, a weird stigma, but they’re like, eww. But I don’t, you know how weird it feels to like go up to someone and be like, you’re so handsome.
Sarah 00:06:30 Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Emily 00:06:34 So like, someone’s 78-year-old at Gertrude going, “Oh you’re so handsome.
Sarah 00:06:39 He was such a strapping young fella. Yeah.
Emily 00:06:42 Uh, look at the exams. Look at those arms. He could, he could push a wheelbarrow with those arms.
Sarah 00:06:48 Yeah. Okay. So in my curiosity, I decided to Google how to compliment men. I
Emily 00:06:55 I love that. Oh my God, what did Google tell you?
Sarah 00:06:58 Oh my goodness. Get ready? Because these were amazing.
Emily 00:07:03 This is upsetting. I’m upset already.
Sarah 00:07:05 I don’t need the pillows anymore. Your broad chest will do.
Emily 00:07:14 Ewwww. Stop. Stop, stop.
Sarah 00:07:19 You look divine…
Emily 00:07:23 Divine, divine. That’s what I’d want to be called divine. I want to be called that all the time.
Sarah 00:07:30 This is according to the internet. Um, there is no man like you darling; you are the best of your kind.
Emily 00:07:40 Why do I feel like someone told that to Tim Allen, on like a sitcom.
Sarah 00:07:43 Like ewww. Um, let’s uh, there was some about complimenting his personality. Okay. You truly have a commanding presence. I’m sorry. But if a guy has a commanding presence, that usually means that I probably want to deck him. Just my track record.
Emily 00:08:06 Yeah. You know, it’s hard. It’s hard out there in heteronormative society. It’s tough.
Sarah 00:08:13 You have an aura that is so loving, commanding and warm. It is quite irresistible.
Emily 00:08:20 Okay. But I just can’t imagine a positive reaction from these unless it’s like, again, Gertrude and her 80-year-old husband, Tony. I don’t know why Trudy and Tony, here we go.
Sarah 00:08:36 Hey, bringing Trudy back. Our gal, Trudy. Yup. Um, complimenting a guy on his dress. My honeycomb, you are particularly smart today.
Emily 00:08:51 My face is upset. I am upset.
Sarah 00:08:53 Also. This one…
Emily 00:08:54 My honeycomb??
Sarah 00:08:55 Yes. My honeycomb.
Emily 00:08:56 That’s a cute nickname though. Oh my honeycomb.
Sarah 00:08:58 You are the best little honeycomb I’ve ever known.
Emily 00:09:07 Oh my God. You know, what’s going to happen. Now. Mom is going to start calling dad, her honeycomb and vice versa.
Sarah 00:09:13 Yes, please do.
Emily 00:09:14 No, stop, stop, stop.
Sarah 00:09:18 Mom and dad, listen and hear this now. Okay. There’s this other one also says, wait, no, I already said that one. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Okay. And then the last one that I just, “Baby, you are hot!!!” three exclamation points.
Emily 00:09:38 So do you have to say the exclamation points?
Sarah 00:09:41 I don’t know, like exclaim, exclaim, exclaim.
Emily 00:09:44 Or is it like an animal crossing, like reaction you have to like,
Sarah 00:09:48 I like how we both did the silent expression where nobody else can see.
Emily 00:09:54 No, you can’t. You can hear my hands though.
Sarah 00:09:57 Yeah, exactly. Um, and then the last one that just tickled me, I feel like, “You look so great in your appearance.”
Emily 00:10:08 Ew. Who says that? That’s like Sunny from I Robot complimenting Will Smith.
Sarah 00:10:15 adajennifer.com says that, apparently. So, Hey guys, if you don’t know how to compliment a man, um, just flirt with women instead,
Emily 00:10:27 You know, that’s very true. And I support that. Also, if you say anything confidently enough, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying. Like if you have the confidence to, to overshadow the truth of the words,
Sarah 00:10:15 Or can fake the confidence…
Emily 00:10:45 Either, or, you know, we all got to go get our imaginary friend acting classes on now.
Sarah 00:10:47 Hells, yeah.
Emily 00:10:53 I had someone tell me, Hm. This is upsetting. And I just want to let everybody know that this is not true. But it was said to me with such confidence that I questioned my knowledge of animals and nature and science and the way things worked. I had someone tell me
Sarah 00:11:12 Oh geez. Who, who said this to you?
Emily 00:11:14 I can’t reveal.
Sarah 00:11:15 That’s what I thought
Emily 00:11:20 I was told by this person that kangaroos and deer are basically the same. And I, my response to that was, What? What now? And they said, yeah, haven’t you ever heard of Pangea? And I was like,
Sarah 00:11:43 Whoa, my sweet summer child.
Emily 00:11:46 Yes I have. Gosh, I like, well, okay. You Pangea we’re really going all the way back. Okay. And they were like, yeah. So like the way everything was like laid out and like kangaroos and deer, like come from like the same family. And like, they just have evolved differently. And I was just like…
Sarah 00:12:04 Did he just assume this because their faces look semi similar. Cause one is a marsupial and the other is not.
Emily I can’t even, I can’t even, I can’t even, because let me tell you the confidence that was displayed to me had me questioning so many things. And I was like, how did I not know that kangaroos and deer were the fucking same? Cause, they’re not, they’re not. No, they’re not. No. And then it was really actually very funny because this person was like, so I like mentioned it, uh, as a, as like a throwaway comment, I was like, Oh yeah, well kangaroos and deer are the same thing, so fuck me. Right. And they just go, oh yeah, I was really wrong about that. I looked it up and I have no idea what I was thinking. And what’s funny is that I hadn’t actually taken the time to look it up. I did wrote it down. This is how bad it got under my skin. I wrote it down to like, look it up for the fucking podcast. You guys like that’s how bad it was. That’s how bad it was. I didn’t take the time to look it up yet. But they were like, yeah, I looked it up because I’ve said it. And I was like, where did I hear that from nowhere you heard it from nowhere like a dream.
Sarah 00:13:27 Oh my God. That is hilarious.
Emily 00:13:29 So yeah, if you say babe, you’re hot exclamation point exclamation point exclamation point for a little bit of Alexis in there.
Sarah 00:13:40 Yeah, exactly.
Emily 00:13:41 You’re good to go. You know what I mean? People will just be like, yeah, that’s normal. That’s a normal thing to say.
Sarah 00:13:45 Yeah. Would you like to hear a story?
Emily 00:13:50 I would love to. Tell me a story.
Sarah 00:13:57 Well, I wanted to take on the whole, uh, historical aspect, you know, that’s the history topic.
Emily 00:14:08 Okay.
Sarah 00:14:09 But history can be rather depressing.
Emily 00:14:11 Yes it can.
Sarah 00:14:13 So I wanted to find some fun history.
Emily 00:14:15 Ooh.
Sarah 00:14:20 Yeah. Some fun unknown history or unknown to me. Right?
Emily 00:14:23 Right.
Sarah 00:14:24 So, everybody loves Tom Clancy and there’s this new movie coming out with Tom Clancy and Michael B. Jordan is in it. I’m very excited, but it looks very depressing. But it got me thinking about spies. Okay. And now when you just Google World War II spies…
Emily 00:14:46 Oh shit. I might know what you’re talking about.
Sarah 00:14:49 We will find out. When we Google World War II spies, it’s mostly a certain, you know, image that comes to mind, even when we think about spies in general and you know, right?
Emily 00:15:02 The Get Smart, Steve Carell, phone in the shoe, Inspector Gadget, spyman?
Sarah 00:15:06 And of course, obviously that was my first go-to. Okay. Also I would just like to, you know, give an honorable mention to, you know, figures like James Bond or which, by the way, in my research, I discovered that the guy who invented James Bond was actually a spy during World War II.
Emily 00:15:23 So I actually got a bit of information that the guy who invented James Bond, wasn’t that Ian Flemming?
Sarah 00:15:31 Yeah.
Emily 00:15:32 So, okay. So now I’ve got a, I’ve got to double check, but do you know who Christopher Lee is?
Emily 00:15:36 The actor?
Emily 00:15:39 Yeah. So Christopher Lee, um, who was Saramon in, right? Sauron? No, Saramon.
Sarah 00:15:49 Saramon, yeah.
Emily 00:15:50 Um, in Lord of the Rings? He is the step cousin of Ian Fleming, uh, who is the creator of James Blonde, James Bond. Hahaha! Um, I would love to see a movie that takes on toxic masculinity. And I love it to be called James Blonde. Thank you.
Sarah 00:16:10 Yes please.
Emily 00:16:11 Yes. It’s like legally blonde James Blonde. Let’s do it. Yeah. So he, um, was a Green Beret or some shit like he was like, yeah, he, there was one movie that he was in where, um, they’re like doing a scene and someone is getting stabbed in the back and he like walks across the set and he’s like, that’s not what a man sounds like when he dies from being stabbed in the back and he just walks away. Yeah. He’s a real scary son of a bitch.
Sarah 00:16:40 Well, he’s, he’s actually dead now. I know it was very recent. Yes. It was very sad. Oh, I know.
Emily 00:16:49 Well scary in the best way. I don’t know. I don’t know. He’s definitely killed people. I don’t know what he does, what he, what he did. But yeah, so he was apparently part of the inspiration for Ian Fleming was.
Sarah 00:17:04 Yeah. I can see that. Especially with his sultry voice.
Emily 00:17:08 Oh my God. Yeah. He has such a great voice.
Sarah 00:17:10 God. So good. Also, well, we’re talking about spies, right? We’ve got James Bond, we’ve got the chick from Atomic Blonde that I have to mention because I just love Charlize Theron, and Matt Damon and the Bourne Identity series. If you’re really feeling frisky, you could think of Melissa McCarthy from that one movie where she was a fake spy. Yeah. With like Jude law, right?
Emily 00:17:37 Yeah. No, that one, what was that one called? That one’s a good one. It’s like the female Get Smart.
Sarah 00:17:45 I know. I wanted to say I Spy. I don’t even know what I Spy is. It’s something.
Emily 00:17:52 That’s good though. Anyways, continue. So with spies. Yeah.
Sarah 00:17:55 Spies, right? Yeah. However, when you think of a spy, you may not think of, you know, somebody of average height with a slight dancers’ frame. You know, very charming, extremely talented. Has sick moves, if you will. And she’s very beautiful and scantily clad. Well, that’s how she started off her career was scantily clad. Fun fact: in a faux banana g-string skirt. Uh huh.
Emily 00:18:32 I’m just…I’m confused at the words.
Sarah 00:18:37 Faux banana g-string skirt. Wow. That’s really hard to say
Emily 00:18:41 G-string skirt. Is it like a skort situation?
Sarah 00:18:43 I guess it’s technically like a skort. Is it a skort though? If it’s only like a string? But anyway, so she’s this beautiful, slight, sick moves, extremely talented scantily clad dancer with a faux banana skirt. Do you know who I’m talking about?
Emily 00:19:07 I have like an inkling, but I can’t disclose.
Sarah 00:19:12 So today I will be telling the story of Josephine Baker. And her work as a spy for the French resistance in World War II.
Emily 00:19:27 Yes.
Sarah 00:19:28 Yes. Um, I really had a lot of fun with the story. I, it was really hard for me to stop researching stuff because I just kept finding more and I maybe bought two books because I had problems.
Emily 00:19:43 I smile and shake my head because I also have those problems.
Sarah 00:19:48 Exactly. So for those of you who don’t know, Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1906. She grew up in poverty. Um, and it’s debated on who her father actually is. Although on her birth certificate, it’s listed that he’s a vaudeville entertainer. She did not necessarily get along with her mom super well. She wanted to be an entertainer. Her mom was not super fan of that. At the age of 15, she headed to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. And she performed at the Plantation Club as a dancer. She also had some background work on Broadway in Shuffle Along and Adelaide Hall. She was the last in the chorus line, which apparently back then, this was what the, 1920s. So back then, the last of the chorus line left for comedic relief. Which I don’t know if you knew that; I figured you might, but I’m not sure. Uh, so like they would have everybody in the line, they would have everybody in the line, the chorus line do this dance. And then the last person was supposed to pretend like they forgot to be like a cutesy little funny thing. Right?
Emily 00:21:06 Yeah.
Sarah 00:21:08 Later on, after she had her wild success in life, some people would ask, “Oh, did you get your first big break on Broadway?” And she’s quoted as saying, “no, I didn’t get my first break on Broadway. I was only in the chorus in Shuffle Along and Chocolate Dandies. I became famous in France in the twenties. I couldn’t stand America. And I was one of the first colored Americans to move to Paris.” And she said this in a 1974 interview with The Guardian. So, that quote kind of sets us up. She wasn’t a super fan of America obviously rife with racism and discrimination at this time. And when she had the chance to go abroad, she took it. She jumped at it. So in 1925, she was 19 years old. She moved to Paris and she was part of a performance called Le Revoux. I’m really bad at French. I wish I should have texted you those things. And had you say it.
Sarah 00:22:14 But in this, you know, what’s it called show, here we go. Wow. Wow, yikes guys, I’m really tired. And we’ve had a really rough week, excuse me.
Sarah 00:22:31 So in this show, uh, she rocketed to stardom, uh, she was famous for her dancing. Um, and she was made, especially famous by her dance sauvage, which was a dance with a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas with the g-string to keep it.—Yeah. Anyways it coincided with, you know, France wasn’t segregated like America was at the time. Um, and while, you know, it was still harder for people of color in general, it was way easier than in the U.S. and it sort of coincided with this interest in non-Western forms of art at the time. Ernest Hemingway called her one of the most sensational women anyone ever saw. She was also referred to as the Queen of Paris, mmhm, she really rocketed to fame with her unique dance style. And especially in the ‘20s, she did this like really cutesy thing like the Charleston. And she was just adorable. Like she was just the cutest thing.
Sarah 00:23:38 However, she was still American. So she like really wanted to like go back to the States and do some work there, even though she was doing really well in France and Europe. In 1936, she got an opportunity to star in Ziegfield Follies on Broadway. Uh, but it generated less than an impressive box office numbers. And later she was replaced by Gypsy Rose Lee, a white woman, right. She was faced with all kinds of racist, horrible vitriol. Aside from that, which I don’t want really want to repeat. They also said stuff like her voice wasn’t good enough and dwarf like, and she just faced all kinds of ridiculousness from the US so she said, fuck it. And went back to Europe. In 1937, when she returned to France, she married a guy named Jean Lion, and he was a French industrialist, and that’s how she got her French citizenship. All right. So we’re in 1937. She is 31. I said she was born in 1906. Yeah. So now we get on to the spy shit. Okay.
Sarah 00:25:00 As most of us know, in 1939, France declared war on Germany because they invaded Poland right? On June 14th, 1940, however, Paris fell to the Nazis. There was very little resistance, no blood was shed. And to be honest, a lot of the French were very upset there was so little pushback, um, on this invasion, right? So France set up a puppet state with a capital in Vichy, which is in Southern France. Okay. Josephine, at this time was married to Jean Lion. When she married him, she converted to Judaism, because he was Jewish. So at this point in time, while the Nazis are gaining power with all of their terrible shit, she is now not white, and she’s Jewish, and they just invaded France. So like obviously the Nazis probably aren’t going to be her biggest fan. Right. And in return, she was not their biggest fan either.
Sarah 00:26:06 You know, she, she left America because she despised how racist they were. So like, this was not something that she was super thrilled about. Right. So, after the war has started, you know, there’s all this stuff going on, on her own initiative, Josephine Baker volunteered for the Red Cross. She volunteered as a nurse, and she used her private plane, that she piloted to deliver supplies for the war effort, but she has a pilot. That’s awesome. I know she’s fucking bad ass. Okay. So as this is all happening, Paris falls to the Nazis, there’s this dude name? Jacques Abtey. He was the 33-year-old head of the French counter-intelligence at the time. So, he was looking for people to join his counterintelligence squad. He wanted people who had lifestyles that would allow them to move freely and gather information on enemy forces or the axis powers. But the caveat is that it would also be really helpful if they could work without pay.
Emily 00:27:25 LOL. Of course.
Sarah 00:27:27 Yes. So, Josephine
Emily 00:27:28 You know what would really help me out?
Sarah 00:27:29 Is if you could just do this for free.
Emily 00:27:32 If that was just like on a volunteer basis.
Sarah 00:27:35 And, you know, just do it from the goodness of your heart, please. Like, that would just be fantastic. Yeah.
Emily 00:27:42 Yeah. Who needs food or like shelter, water, or anything like that.
Sarah 00:27:46 Or anything really? I mean, like who needs that stuff?
Emily 00:27:49 I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know why other people do it astounds me personally. Yeah.
Sarah 00:27:54 Girl, same. I can just sit out in my backyard and absorb the energy from the sun.
Emily 00:28:04 Hahahaha! Oh boy.
Sarah 00:28:06 So Jacque over here is looking for these people who had lifestyles that would allow them to move freely. They’d be willing and able to gather information, useful information, and be able to work for free. So these are all like pretty, like we’re narrowing down the field, right? And somebody mentions Josephine and he’s like, nah, I don’t want to do that. You know, what if she would, if she turns double agent and..
Emily 00:28:31 For who? For the Germans? Oh, okay. Okay. Who is it, John? Okay. Jacques. Well, apparently those are the same name, if you ask a British person.
Sarah 00:28:42 Okay.
Emily 00:28:45 You know, like the whole John and Jack thing. So Jack has a nickname for John and I’m like, no, it’s not. Like stop. Anyways.
Sarah 00:28:52 Is Jack a nickname for anything?
Emily 00:28:58 Hahahaha! I know that was a genuine question, but exactly. That’s exactly my point.
Sarah 00:29:05 Got really fired up about that! So yeah, he turned her down was like, no, I don’t think that she has what it takes and she’s probably not, you know, brave enough or cool enough to be able to do that. Right? However, you know, uh, obviously Germany, invaded, France, things are getting pretty dire, you know? So he’s like, fuck, I guess I’ll ask her. So he goes to her chataeu because she is a famous well-to-do singer, dancer, and entertainer in France. And he, you know, expects this well, put-together woman, you know, very chic in the height of fashion. And instead the image that he comes upon is a woman crouched in the bushes, in old clothes with a gardening hat and she stands up and she has a rusty old can in which she’s collecting snails so that she can feed them to the ducks.
Emily 00:29:10 Do ducks eat snails?
Sarah 00:29:12 I guess. But it’s just, that’s what I was. I’m so glad you had that reaction. Cause I had the same reaction. I’m like, why snails? Give them lettuce.
Emily 00:29:18 I just, yeah. It’s like, I thought they ate like little plants or something. Yeah. I know they’re not supposed to eat bread.
Sarah 00:30:26 Yes. That’s why I said give them lettuce, let them eat lettuce! So he finds this very well to do woman, uh, in her garden, collecting snails. And he asks her about her connections. And if she’s willing to do it and kind of tells her what it would take and you know, goes over all the stuff and she goes slick, this is what she’s quoted as saying “France made me what I am. I will be forever grateful that people of Paris have given me everything they have given me their hearts. And I have given them mine. I am ready, captain, to give them my life. You can use me as you wish.” Ah!
Emily 00:31:10 Oh my gosh.
Sarah 00:31:12 She’s a literal angel. I’m not, I’m not lying. While she loved France and she made it clear that she would do anything for France. She also wanted to make a stand against what she recognizes the racist war of the Nazis. And so another quote that she told Ebony magazine years later was, “of course I wanted to do all I could to aid France, my adopted country, an overriding consideration. The thing that drove me as strongly as did patriotism was my violent hatred of discrimination in any form.”
Sarah 00:31:47 She’s so cool. She’s like the coolest. So now we’re into act three Josephine, The Spy.
Emily 00:31:59 For some reason, the song, “Tequila” just keeps playing in my head. I’m picturing her a little, like bananas. Like she’s just like, you know, but then she’s like a spy and she like turns a corner with a gun. It’s like <inaudible>
Sarah 00:32:14 Oh my gosh. That would be like, I feel like that would be a really cool Halloween costume.
Emily 00:32:21 Yeah.
Sarah 00:32:23 I mean, you’d have to be okay with being like, you know, scantily clad. Well,
Emily 00:32:29 I actually did look it up. It’s not, it’s not like a full string. It’s like a little heavy, like, you know, it’s like a little, little, a little cutie, little bananas in there like sticking out.
Emily 00:32:40 But her butt is covered. Yeah.
Sarah 00:32:42 That’s why I said it was a banana skirt.
Emily 00:32:43 I don’t care about having a butt out. You know, it is what it is.
Sarah 00:32:47 Suns out, buns out. What?
Emily 00:32:49 Even if the sun’s not out,
Sarah 00:32:52 Buns out, all the time.
Emily 00:32:54 Not all the time, but like at appropriate times.
Sarah 00:32:59 So, Josephine, The Spy. She joined forces with Abteyor I don’t like that last name. I keep wanting to say, Attabay, which is, uh, a Puerto Rican goddess. So we’re going to just call him, Jacques. Uh, she joined forces with Jacques, and began working in a refuge center, welcoming people who are fleeing the Germans. She’s supposed to welcome the refugees, but also identified German spies, according to one of my books. Um, she also was a little too good at it. And for a while was just pretty much sending them anybody who was blonde.
Emily 00:33:44 What do you mean?
Sarah 00:33:45 She was just picking out all the blonde men and sending them to get interviewed, by Jacques, for being a spy, which makes me laugh, girl. I would do the same thing.
Emily 00:33:57 Wait, blonde? James Blonde?
Sarah 00:34:07 Hahaha! So amazingly perfect. I had no idea where you’re going to go with that. So she did that, but she also accepted invitations to many diplomatic functions, including functions at the Japanese and Italian embassies. Okay. Which, you know, her connections and popularity gave her the perfect cover to collect all this information about German troop movements and airfield activities and stuff. But obviously this was also like exceedingly dangerous, you know, but she was so famous and well liked and so charismatic that she knew she could get away with it. So she would write information on her arms and in the palm of her hands, like how fucking ballsy, by the way.
Emily 00:34:54 I was going to say like, girl, what are you wearing? I hope you got gloves. Right? Although it might be a little suspicious to just be like hand up, pulling up your gloves, pulling out a pen. and then write this down real quick. I’m going to take note of this and then slipping the glove back. That’s a fucking power move right there.
Sarah 00:35:15 Maybe she went to the bathroom for that. I don’t know.
Emily 00:35:19 I went to go freshen up. Yeah. What a good excuse ladies. Like, I’m sorry. All of us, all of us ladies, we have had that excuse for so long of just like a time where we need to go to the bathroom. And it’s just so wonderful. And I do love that.
Sarah 00:35:33 So helpful in all situations, whether or not you’re a spy or whether, or not just want to get away from the gross sweaty dude across the table from you.
Emily 00:35:40 I mean, just in general, cause like society expects us to be like fresh for some reason. Which we are fresh to death all the time. It does not fucking matter. So if we want to go to the bathroom yeah. If you want us to go to the bathroom to like prove it to you, like we will use that at every opportunity we can. Thank you. And welcome to my Ted talk.
Sarah 00:36:00 Then also escape out of the bathroom window.
Emily 00:36:02 Have you done that before?
Sarah 00:36:03 No, but I’ve wanted to. Very much. So she’s going to these diplomatic things, right. And she’s writing all over herself and Jacques is like, Hey girl, you know, this is like super dangerous, right? Like what happens if you would get caught? And he claims that she would just laugh and say, Oh, nobody would think I’m a spy. Don’t worry. And she was very correct. Yeah. Um, at some point she also started hiding resistance fighters at her chateau and I guess the Nazis caught wind of it. And so they came and visited the estate at one point and she had resistance fighters in the basement there. So if they had found them, they would have probably all died and she managed to charm them off the property without even conducting a search. That’s how bad ass she was. Like, isn’t that amazing?
Emily 00:37:03 Those are the social skills that I wish that I had.
Sarah 00:37:07 Oh man. Same, so much.
Sarah 00:37:14 So after that, however, she was a little rattled because the Nazis came to her house and you know, obviously that was a very close call. Yeah. And Jacques at this point was frustrated with the French army. So he resigned from the French army and officially joined the French resistance. And they got in contact with the leader who was General de Gaulle, General Charles de Gaulle. And you know, he’s like, look, we need you to travel through Lisbon to London to get us these documents. Right. So what’s the perfect cover for that? Well, they said that she was going to go on a South American
Emily 00:38:00 South American? Lisbon to what?
Sarah 00:38:06 So they were in France. They’re going to go to Spain. Then they’re going to go to Portugal, which was neutral, at the time. And then obstensibly go to South America from there. Jacque, who was this, you know, important counter-intelligence officer, posed as her secretary. And that’s how he traveled. Sorry. It just made me giggle so much like super spy passing as a secretary in the 1930s, 1940. This was when this happened. So between the two of them, they ended up carrying over 50 classified documents and secret intelligence to Charles de Gaulle. That’s a lot. She used to hide photographs in her dress. She would carry along the sheet music and write information about troop movements and France in invisible ink in the margins. They were dedicated. But because, and like with the photographs and stuff in her dress, because she was Josephine Baker, she was never strip searched and they didn’t bat an eye at her secretary because they didn’t care about him. So they went from Spain, France to Portugal, and no one really cared. Star power allowed Jacques to travel unnoticed, basically in the shadows. And when she got to Spain and Portugal, she got invited to a bunch of embassy parties and any details she could get about access, troop movements she would get. And she would do this by squirreling away in the bathroom and make detailed notes when she was there and then pin them in her bra.
Sarah 00:39:52 She is quoted as saying, or she wrote later, uh, “My notes would have been highly compromising. Had they been discovered, but who would dare search Josephine Baker to the skin? When they asked me for my papers, they generally meant autographs.”
Emily 00:40:08 LOL. Oh yeah. You go!
Sarah 00:40:10 Doesn’t she sound like the coolest?
Emily 00:40:18 Queen of it all!
Sarah 00:40:19 Right? This is like some real ass spy shit.
Emily 00:40:23 Like it’s not even just the real-ass spy shit. It’s just like the, the dominance in the situation. Just being like, Oh, I know exactly who the fuck I am like. Yeah.
Sarah 00:40:31 Oh man. I just, I love her so much. So in 1941, they made their way to Morocco. They were tasked with setting up a liaison transmission center in Casablanca. I don’t know. I don’t like either of those pronunciations. But anyways, Josephine Baker brought 28 pieces of luggage and a portable zoo. She, she brought three monkeys, two mice, a hamster and a Great Dane. She refused to leave them behind. She said that she loved them and they would never leave her behind. And also they would be the perfect cover. No one would suspect she was a spy traveling with the zoo. To be fair, it did work. While they were there, they worked extensively with the French resistance network and used her connections. She used her connections to secure passports for Jews fleeing the Nazis. How amazing is that?
Emily 00:40:33 Wow.
Sarah 00:41:34 Of her own initiative, she also entertained allied troops and the free French army. The free French army was the resistance and they did not have any organized entertainment set up for the troops at all. So, she literally just did it on her own. Yes. Um, unfortunately in June of 1941, she was struck very ill with peritonitis and she had to have five or six surgeries and she was in the hospital for 18 months. Wow. 18 months in the hospital, she’s in the hospital so long that people thought she was dead. However, she quickly corrected them. And she’s quoted as saying, “There has been a slight error. I am much too busy to die.”
Sarah 00:42:25 Once she was discharged, she had a hefty recovery because when she was in the hospital for that long, you know, obviously her muscles and everything atrophied, she had been in a lot of pain. She had a lot of scars. She had a lot of recovering to do. But once she was discharged, she began performing for the troops in North Africa to boost morale. The morale was kind of low, especially with the American soldiers. Once the Americans got there, um, and invaded as part of the war effort, they were not allowed to socialize with locals or local girls. That’s really what they were after due to the laws there. And because it’s America, all the troops were still segregated. So there was tension between the black and white GIs. Also fun fact, during this time she connected a lot more with the black soldiers.
Sarah 00:43:20 Obviously, you know, she’s from America, she’s an African-American, but she had spent so long overseas. I think that maybe she had been a little bit disconnected. So, she connected more with black soldiers and learned about the continued racism and discrimination in the US. Like the fact that while there are American soldiers in World War II, most were cooks, construction workers, or servers, and even the ones that were in combat were generally not allowed to have weapons.
Emily 00:43:50 Wow. That’s fucked up.
Sarah 00:43:51 So they had African-American soldiers in combat units and didn’t give them weapons. They would also test mustard gas, and all that kind of shit, on them, to see how it affected them versus other soldiers. Americans would do this to the American black soldiers! Anyway, that’s a whole other thing that’s fucked up. I want to talk about a slightly happier story.
Emily 00:44:18 I was like, didn’t you just say at the beginning of this, that this was going to be a happy story. Just kidding guys. There is no happy in history. I’m just, I’m I’m just saying that.
Sarah 00:44:32 It’s true! Josephine, right. She takes
Emily 00:44:35 Mistakes out of the portals of discovery.
Sarah 00:44:39 That’s that’s a tattoo right there.
Emily 00:44:41 It was actually from a fortune cookie that I got, one time.
Sarah 00:44:44 I love it. So, you know, while there’s this, all this terrible morale with the troops in Africa, the red cross decided to open something called the Liberty Club where the American soldiers could enjoy themselves. However, the blacks and whites still had to go at different times because they were still segregated because America. However, the club needed entertainment. So Josephine still recovering stepped up. However, she made a stipulation that if she was going to perform for the troops, that they would have to allow all the troops to sit at the same time. She didn’t want them segregated. She’s quoted as saying, “We have got to show that blacks and whites are treated equally in the American army or else what’s the point of waging the war on Hitler?” And the club agreed. And for her performance, it was desegregated. And also this poor woman, she, the first performance, it was so emotional and she was still recovering that she ended up on her knees at the end of the song. And apparently many of the people in the audience were in tears. Oh, I know she’s amazing.
Sarah 00:45:51 So, she continued, during this time, performing all over Northern Africa. She would go along in Jeeps and perform for anyone, wherever she could, wherever they told her to go. In 1943, she finally met the famous General Charles de Gaulle, the guy who was in charge of the free French army for the first time, she gave the benefit for the Dree French Forces. Jesus, say that like twelve times fast. And when she did that, he presented her with a Croix de Loraine, which is the emblem of the French Forces. Later, she ended up auctioning it off for a fundraising effort. And actually after this, she began to tour. And when she was touring, she donated all of the money she made to the Free French cause she raised more than 3 million francs.
Sarah 00:46:58 She was awarded for that, and all of her other work, the honorary rank of SubLieutenant in the Ladies Auxiliary of the French Air Force.
Emily 00:47:08 Wow.
Sarah 00:47:09 So the next year, in 1944, when Paris was liberated, she came back to France and she donned her uniform. There are some pictures of her in her Air Force uniform, and it’s just the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen. And when she came back and after Germany surrendered, she went to Germany to sing for the newly liberated people of Buchenweld Concentration Camp, who were too sick to be moved and many of which were dying and later died.
Emily 00:47:45 Oh, no.
Sarah 00:47:46 After she did that, she did not talk about her performances there, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It was probably very sad. And I was reading too that she also had issues when she was entertaining the troops, because she knew that even though they were so happy and rowdy, and, you know, having fun when she entertained them that many of them were going off to die. Yeah. And you know, like I remember when I was a kid and I used to think about, you know, the men in World War II, you think they were like grown-ass adults. Now, these were boys, mostly boys.
Emily 00:48:18 It makes me think of, um, that movie, An Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain. Johnny Shell Shock.
Sarah 00:48:26 Yup. And they were just boys. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it was. And apparently something that she really struggled with was the knowledge. And sometimes because of her work, she would know before these men did, you know, what they were going to go be facing. And so it was very difficult for her. But anyway, so after the war recognition, she was well rewarded with awards, including Le Croix de guerre , The Metal of Resistance, as well as, the Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, which is the highest order of French merit. Definitely well rewarded for all of her hard work for the French resistance. And you know, during, and after the war, she adopted 12 children who she called her rainbow village, children from all over the world. She wanted to show that people of different races and backgrounds could come together in harmony. Later in life, she also worked extensively with the NAACP. They even had the 20th of May, 1951, declared Josephine Baker Day, because of her efforts to save
Emily 00:49:50 Willie McGee.
Sarah 00:49:51 Yes. Thank you. So, Willie McGee was a Mississippi man convicted of raping a white woman based on shitty evidence and racism. He was convicted and sent to death. They fought really hard and she really charged the fight for that, but he was still executed in 1951. In 1963, she also spoke at the March on Washington at the side of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. She was the only female speaker and she was there in her French Air Force uniform. She is quoted as saying, “I have walked into the palaces of Kings and Queens and into the houses of presidents and much more. But I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee. And that made me mad. And when I get mad, you know, that I open my big mouth and then look out. Cause when Josephine opens her mouth, they hear it all over the world.” Bam.
Sarah 00:50:49 And that’s the story of fucking bad-ass Josephine Baker, international spy and superstar.
Emily 00:50:59 Yeah. No, she definitely is an international bad-ass and superstar.
Sarah 00:51:04 Yeah. And like, I, like I said, I’m not as thinking about spies. Like I was looking at spies during World War II, and like she only came up on like one of the lists maybe. And like, but she’s did a lot of shit. And she took a lot of personal risks, you know what I mean? She was very important and crucial to the war effort.
Emily 00:51:31 I feel like that is a great example of just living life to the fucking fullest. Oh yeah. That it just, no matter what, you know, no matter what life throws at you, you’re like, Oh, Oh, this country is super fucked up. Fuck it. I’m going to move somewhere else. Yeah. Oh, there’s a fucking war and it’s terrible and horrific. I’m going to do whatever the fuck I can to stop that from happening.
Sarah 00:51:56 I’m literally going to use my pilot’s license and private plane to fly supplies where they are needed. I just could not believe that. Like that’s just crazy to me. So yeah. I hope you liked my story.
Emily 00:52:16 That was a good one. What are you eating?
Sarah 00:52:20 My dairy-free Ben. And Jerry’s
Emily 00:52:24 Um, yeah, no, very interesting. I always, like, I remember hearing that about Josephine Baker, but I never, um, I never actually took the time to look to look her up. So I’m glad that you got to tell me. I needed to know. I really did.
Sarah 00:52:43 Yeah. She was definitely an inspiration. Like I said, this week has been kind of hard. It’s so funny how I keep on finding subjects that like have extra meaning for me. This has been really tough and stressful and then I’m reading about her and all this stuff she did. And I’m like, she’s, bad-ass, bad-ass. I can do this. She did it. I mean, she did way cooler things than I’m doing, but helpful inspiration to get through my day.
Emily 00:53:10 To get through any day, honestly. Yeah. I need a little banana skirt.
Sarah 00:53:15 I know. Right. And I like recognized her from like cutesy Charleston dances and like the twenties and stuff. But like I had no idea that she was that important to the war effort, and you know, all the other cool shit that she did, you know? And obviously I didn’t even talk about her entertainment career as much. I just wanted to focus on her World War II spy stuff. But like, she’s a big deal, you know, big deal, big deal. So yeah.
Emily 00:53:51 Please stop eating ice cream in front of me. Cause I don’t like it.
Sarah 00:53:54 That is my only joy I have in life right now.
Emily 00:53:55 Wow. Fuck you.
Sarah 00:53:57 Excuse me.
Emily 00:54:02 Yeah. I said it.
Sarah 00:54:09 I can’t eat cookies. I can’t have coffee. I can’t have alcohol. I can’t have bread…
Emily 00:54:15 All right. Fine. Whatever. There’s your joy.
Sarah 00:54:20 I haven’t even had a raging diet Coke. Okay.
Emily 00:54:24 Well, probably cause it’s a little too ragey. Am I right?
Sarah 00:54:27 Yeah, no, that’s exactly what it is. Are you going to tell me a story?
Emily 00:54:36 No, I’m going to tell you a nightmare.
Sarah 00:54:40 I knew you were going to say that. Actually.
Emily 00:54:45 It’s really funny. I was thinking about how layman was as it came out.
Emily 00:54:53 Yes. So, um, are you ready?
Sarah 00:54:55 I am.
Emily 00:54:59 All right. It’s particularly awful and dreadful, to boot.
Sarah 00:55:02 Dreadful?
Emily 00:55:06 Dreadful to boot. It’s quite terrible.
Sarah 00:55:10 Oh dear. No, thank you.
Emily 00:55:12 Oh yes. So today I will be talking about the Dungeon in Dewitt.
Sarah 00:55:21 Is that cool or not?
Emily 00:55:22 It is not cool. It is like an actual dungeon. Kind of like the what’s an old place. Like the Oubliette of Oklahoma. Oh exactly. Oklahoma gives me some Oubliette vibes. I don’t know why out of all of the States that I’ve driven through in my adult life, Oklahoma creeps me the fuck out.
Sarah 00:55:48 Cause it’s creepy.
Emily 00:55:55 It’s just, it’s not, not creepy. So yeah. So the Dungeon in Dewitt. I didn’t know about this. I never heard about it. I have a friend who lives nearby, to Dewitt. And one day they were like, Hey, did I ever tell you about the kidnapper that lives down the street from my elementary school, and kidnapped like young girls when I was a kid. And I was like, well, that sounds like a cheerful tale and like a very casual conversation topic. No, you have not told me that. Like what, what,
Sarah 00:56:36 Let me just bring that up over brunch, why don’t I?
Emily 00:56:40 I was very taken aback by that. And also my main thing that I was struck by was like, I can’t imagine raising a kid after knowing that someone was just down the street. And here’s the annoying thing about my paranoia and my brain is like,
Sarah 00:57:00 i’s just the one thing. It’s just the one,
Emily 00:57:06 A annoying thing. Um, is that, you know, after finding that out, how can you not be like, Oh shit, this is, you know, it just, it really is upsetting. It really is upsetting. It’s like, I don’t know how people like, okay. So I was living in Florida and I was staying at the house. I was there by myself for a few months. And someone tried to break into the house several times. Yeah, like three times. Yes! You didn’t know this. Oh yeah, yeah. They tried to break into your room. They tried to break into the bathroom. Yeah. So that was upsetting. And that house already freaked me out. I was going to say that well, and you know, honestly, it’s like to be quite fair. I didn’t feel that threatened because I assumed that it was just like teenagers, kids stupid. I don’t think that it was actually something weird, but also if it was, I don’t know, like what if some weird man is trying to break into my house and do something fucking weird to me. It’s just, when you find out it’s like the whole Ariel, um, the guy who kidnapped the girls in Ohio.
Sarah 00:58:19 Oh, um,
Emily 00:58:22 Castro, Ariel Castro. Yeah. Yeah. So this actually, this case has been compared to that. So buckle up. Um, this actually did happen down the street from my friend. They grew up there. I also found out that another person I know actually, uh, was connected to the situation as well, which I was surprised about. So that’s why I wondered about it because people brought it up to me and then I started looking into it and I was like, holy shit. So let’s get into it. And we can all have that holy shit moment together.
Emily 00:58:54 Yay. So we’re going to start off talking about Mr. John Jamelske. All right.
Emily 00:59:08 So John Jamelske was born in Fayetteville, New York, which is very close to Dewitt and that is a suburb of Syracuse. He was born in 1935. All right. His father was a watchmaker, it was the trade that he did at the time. You know, growing up Jamelske was kind of an outcast. In school, he was like very quiet and withdrawn, rarely spoke to people and was just also, he was also described as an underachiever. So it’s like, not only was he not speaking to people, but he also like wasn’t doing his shit and just like, wasn’t interested. However, when he would tell his children about his high school experience, like later on in life, he would tell them something completely different. And he would say that he like, all the girls wanted to be with him. And he was really good at sports.
Sarah 01:00:00 And he was like player and popular and blah, blah, blah.
Emily 01:00:03 Yeah. And he would just completely lie about that. So he was, like I said, an academic underachiever, and he was bullied by other students. They would call him germ Jamelske.
Sarah 01:00:17 Sorry. Knowing that, like knowing that he’s a kidnapper just makes me feel okay at laughing at it.
Emily 01:00:27 Yeah. Yeah. No, he’s a real terrible dude, but um, yeah. Germ Jamelske so yeah. So then he went to Morrisville state college and got a degree in watchmaking in 1955 because why else, what else would you go to school for? Dad’s a watchmaker. You, are obviously are destined to make watches. Wow.
Sarah 01:00:46 I mean, I guess it was a fifties, so I guess you could still go to school to be a watchmaker back then,
Emily 01:00:53 I suppose. Yeah. But then that also made me think of that show, that Repair Shop when I’m just like these people know a fuck ton about this shit. And I was going to say, how could you not, if you didn’t major in watchmaking, was that the right use of negatives?
Sarah 01:01:09 Yes. No, I don’t know.
Emily 01:01:17 Anyway, he also did a few blue collar jobs. He worked as a handyman anywhere, as a carpenter. And then in 1959, he married a school teacher named Dorothy Richmond. They had three sons together and unfortunately the first son died as an infant. So he had two sons into, you know, that became adults. God, that was such a weird way to say that.
Sarah 01:01:41 But he had two sons that became into adults. Yes.
Emily 01:01:48 Anyway, so, in 1988, Dorothy became ill and she was so ill that she was bedridden. Right before she was having these health issues, there were actually some reports that Jamelske had begun an affair with a teenage girl. Yeah, it’s not an affair, it’s grooming.
Sarah 01:02:14 I was going to say, that’s called ‘grooming’.
Emily 01:02:15 Yeah. It’s disgusting. Um, not an affair, so that’s terrible.
Emily 01:02:20 And apparently he would even bring her to family gatherings. Yeah. Um, so this was probably in 87, 80, early, 88, right before Dorothy had really severe health issues. So, you know, that really kind of gets you geared toward the rest of the story. Dorothy is bedridden in the house in Dewitt and Syracuse. This area is like a really suburban area, you know, close to this house. This house is not particularly noticeable, to be honest. To be honest, I had the wrong house at first and I like took pictures and like drove by the house and then found out that it was another house. And I had never even noticed the other house before. You know, the first house that I thought it was, you know, it was just a few, few homes down, but it obviously like, it looks very creepy.
Emily 01:03:26 And when you sort of like read about the articles about Jamelske, they’re saying like, “Oh, he put all these trees around his property, he built this fence up” and this is a house that fits that description. However, that house is next to a church. So that would have added an extra creepy element because remember the story is a Dungeon in Dewitt. Yeah. So yes, but the house is very unassuming. It’s like a bungalow style, one-story house. From the back of the road it almost looks like a double double-wide.
Sarah 01:04:00 I was going to say, I’m looking at the picture that you sent me and it looks like a double wide.
Emily 01:04:04 Yeah. And it’s like, and it doesn’t really look like there’s much yard. It doesn’t really look like there’s much going on. And again, like I never even remembered seeing that house on that road. And I’ve driven on that road a bunch of times. So it’s like, I would say it’s in an upper middle class area. A lot of the houses around him, are a lot nicer looking than his. Much larger.
Sarah 01:04:25 But it’s not like much rundown looking or anything. It loose
Emily 01:04:30 It just looks normal compared to like these really large, expensive houses. And then, right across the street is an elementary school.
Sarah 01:04:43 Oh my God. That’s worse than a church.
Emily 01:04:47 I mean, it’s kitty corner. It’s like church, elementary school, golf course. It’s like your standard, like neighborhood, you know what I mean? It’s just, yeah. So upsetting.
Sarah 01:04:58 You never know the horrors that could be going on in your neighborhood guys. You’re welcome. Yeah.
Emily 01:05:03 Back to Jamelske. Now 1988, Dorothy becomes ill. He also kidnaps his first victim. Oh, good. Yeah. Didn’t waste any fucking time at all. You know, he already had the situation where he was grooming this young teen, his wife becomes ill and he’s like, this is the perfect time for me to act on all of my disgusting tendencies because no one can stop me and
Sarah 01:05:35 Also, no one can catch me or complain.
Emily 01:05:37 No, one’s there to catch me and complain. And also I happen to have a fucking bunker basement situation going on now. Jamelske did not build the bunker by himself. He actually had his sense, help him build the bunker. Now they were under the impression that it was like a safety situation. Should the world kind of like blow up or some shit or that it was just like an emergency storage or food rations kind of situation. Uh, they had no idea, uh, allegedly that, I mean, I’m not saying that they did, but I’m just saying like, that is what it said that they said that they had no idea about it. But, he had this plan in motion. Okay. And he kidnapped his first victim. So, he didn’t even have the basement, the bunker, at this time, when he kidnapped his first victim, his wife is bedridden. He’s ready to go. And he’s like, I need a place to put someone. So what did he do?
Sarah 01:06:36 So he already kidnapped her. And then he realized that he needed a place to put her.
Emily 01:06:40 Yeah. Yeah, no. He, he found the victim hurt. So all the names have been changed obviously to protect the identity of the victims. Just put that out there. But in October, 1988, the most case first victim was a 14-year-old native American girl. And her name was Katie. He put Katie in the well in his mother’s backyard.
Sarah 01:07:04 Did you say 14?
Emily 01:07:05 Can you imagine?
Sarah 01:07:07 I’m so sorry. My brain is slowly catching up. Did you say, “well”?
Emily 01:07:14 Yes. That’s what I was about to say. Could you imagine, not only being like abducted, being threatened, having your family threatened, being terrified, and then this creepy ass old white dude just sticks you in a fucking well and is like, ‘I’m going to leave you here until I get you your bunker that is going to be just made for you.
Sarah 01:07:33 Oh my God.
Emily 01:07:37 Yeah, no, it’s terrible. And yeah, so his sons actually helped him build the bunker, but they didn’t have any idea what was going on. And that’s what they told law enforcement is that they didn’t, you know, they assumed that it was for, he was like a, like a prepper, I guess.
Sarah 01:07:52 That’s what I was thinking. Yeah. For food
Emily 01:07:55 Rations. I don’t really don’t know what people need bunkers for
Sarah 01:07:59 Kidnapping people, obviously.
Emily 01:08:01 Kind of freaks me out. Yeah. I mean, obviously. Yeah. Yeah. It’s just really upsetting.
Sarah 01:08:06 So in my opinion, yeah. I know people might say that they have bunkers for real reasons, but in my opinion, bunkers are for probably you’re going to kill someone or torture someone or kidnap someone or do something else terrible where you don’t want anybody to hear or see or find it. You know what I mean?
Emily 01:08:26 Yeah. And it’s like, I just,
Sarah 01:08:28 Really upsetting. Yeah.
Emily 01:08:30 So, all this effort to build this and it’s on a main road, which is also even more upsetting that this was like something that people driving by were like, “Oh, they’re working on a project.” Maybe they’re getting a new septic tank. Like, you know what I mean? It’s like, this is just right there out in the open, making this horrific space to put people in.
Sarah 01:08:57 Nope. Not people, women I’m assuming.
Emily 01:09:01 Oh yeah, no. You’re right. Well, women are people, Sarah. Wow. I can’t believe that I had to tell you that. Wow. We’re people too, okay. Yeah. So that same year, while Jamelske is having his son build his fucking nasty dungeon bunker basement with him, his wife is sick and dying inside this house. His, mother has no idea that there’s a 14-year-old girl stuck in her well. And he is also convincing his father to invest in stocks. So, you know, eventually when his father and mother died, he came into a lot of money because he had convinced them to invest their money in all of these things. By 2000, I know I kind of jumped here, but this is just like a side note, by 2000 he was a millionaire.
Sarah 01:10:14 Where’s karmic justice, by the way, why is that allowed to happen?
Emily 01:10:20 He was just doing shit in 1988 where it was just like, Oh shit, now my wife’s out of the way. I’m just going to do whatever the fuck I want. Which is also upsetting. Like, why is this shit that you want? Like, that is not okay. So back to Katie, Jamelske had convinced her that if she were to try to escape or to try to do something to get away or to hurt him, then he would kill her whole family. And that he would torture her little brother and just repeating all of this shit to her. Obviously, as a terrified kid, you know, she didn’t know what to do.
Sarah 01:11:03 I was going to say terrified. Abducted, tortured kid. Yeah. Yeah.
Emily 01:11:09 He held Katie captive for over two years.
Sarah 01:11:15 I’m sorry. So she was 14 at this point, right?
Emily 01:11:17 By the time he released her, she was 17. So, and here’s the thing about Jamelske. We’ve been saying kidnapping, he’s a serial rapist and kidnapper. He was assaulting his victims on a daily basis. He would force them to keep a calendar of the day that he would do certain things to them. The calendar also included like the brushing, their teeth or bathing. So Katie was the first victim and she was,
Sarah 01:11:53 So she was there for over two years?
Emily 01:11:55 Yeah.
Sarah 01:11:56 So that’s at 17, that’s 12% of her life is spent in this fucking well / bunker.
Emily 01:12:08 So the bunker; let’s talk about that.
Emily 01:12:13 They got her out of the well, and they put her in the bunker. Okay, the bunker is in his basement. The entrance to it is behind a shelf and there’s like a steel door. You have to crawl, get on your hands and knees, and crawl through a tunnel and then come into the room like backwards because it, the tunnel ends at the ceiling of where the bunker starts. So you have to walk down into it cause it’s lower. The floor is lower. In that room, there’s another door, um, at the beginning of the tunnel, like where the door is up towards the ceiling that has a lock on it. There are speakers where he would play the sounds of tapes of other victims. I’m assuming there’s like a video camera somewhere in that situation as well. There was like a foam pad for them to sleep on. And there was like a metal tub in the middle of the room that wasn’t connected to any plumbing. When they were to take a bath, they had a garden hose is how they could fill it up. And then they had to just empty it. And it would just empty into the room onto like the cement
Emily 01:13:23 For two years.
Sarah 01:13:26 Oh my God. So it’s kind of be like, so fucking moldy and filthy
Emily 01:13:30 Just terrible. There’s like a little tube, uh, for like air that goes out of the corner of the rooms. That way he can pump air into the room. And there’s like a chair that has like a toilet seat attached to it. Like the frame of a chair that has toilet seat attached to it over like a five gallon bucket. Two years.
Sarah 01:13:49 Oh my God.
Emily 01:13:52 By the way, Jamelske called his bunker, the “party room”.
Sarah 01:13:59 Eww.
Emily 01:14:01 Yeah, it’s disgusting. On the walls, is a crucifix hung by the door, and words were painted that said, “Peace to all who enter here. Hate, ready to ruckus. So bring on the pain.” All were, I looks like they’re spray painted in a deep crimson red color. There was also like some religious phrases and peace symbols. He would shackle his victims up with a chain connected to an ankle bracelet. And that was for two years.
Sarah 01:14:35 How much, how much room was there in there?
Emily 01:14:38 It was a eight feet high, 24 feet by 12 feet.
Sarah 01:14:45 So that’s, I don’t know. I just had my calculator. That’s under 300 square feet. For two years with of like concrete, a foam pad chair with a toilet seat on it, but no plumbing and a tub with no plumbing
Emily 01:15:19 And air is just being pumped in here. There’s like, no, you know what I mean? It’s just, I can’t imagine
Sarah 01:15:27 There’s no air actual circulation?
Emily 01:15:29 I think that there’s a duct, or like a makeshift duct situation, which would be connected to like a ventilation system. I’m assuming one of the victims said that he would threaten to turn on and off the air as torture. Yeah. Because that’s their only access to air they’re in a sealed room, underground; terrifying, absolutely terrifying. So, you know, eventually he did let Katie go.
Sarah 01:16:10 He just let her go? Why?
Emily 01:16:16 He just let her go. He had a habit of like, just letting his victims go, unfortunately, due to, you know, all the threats and the torture and like the, just straight up terror that she experienced. She never went to the police, she never reported it after it happened.
Sarah 01:16:37 Okay. And then she was also a teenager who was subjected to this torture. And she was, you said she was a Native American? I’m sure she didn’t think that the police would believe her.
Emily 01:16:49 Yeah. So in around 1995 or 1996, Jamelske abducted a second victim, another 14-year-old girl, this time she was Latina and her name is Valerie. Valerie was a runaway and he was able to lure her under the premise that she would be like helping him deliver a “special package”. So, he was hiring her to deliver this package because the information was too critical and if anyone saw him with it, you know, he kind of was selling her like a Bourne ultimatum situation of like, I can’t be seen with this and I just need somebody to do this for me. And since she was runaway, she, you know,
Sarah 01:17:30 How old was she?
Emily 01:17:30 Fourteen. And she needed money. So, she agreed. And he like, you know, when she was in the car with him, he told her to keep her head down so no-one would see her. Basically saying like, if anyone saw her, and then saw her with the package, it would be really bad. And just trying to feed her this lie to her, basically. And then he was saying that when he got to his house, he was like, okay, well, the package is in the basement and it’s so important, you need to go and get it. So, and that’s how she ended up down there. And then as soon as she was inside, of course, he locked her in and chained her up. She was held in his dungeon for a year. After about a year, Jamelske put a blindfold on her and drove her to, uh, an area that happened to be near her mother’s apartment. And just like dropped her off and kind of pushed her out of the car.
Emily 01:18:32 And he had threatened to kill her family too. He had told another thing that he would tell his victims. He told them that he was working for the police in like a sex trafficking ring. If they were good and they basically like, if they let him assault them, then the police wouldn’t come and sell them to somebody else. They would have a little more time before they were sold into sex slavery basically. And he told them that he was working with the police in this situation. So, that’s like another element of psychological, you know, fuckery, that, you know, why would I go to the police? He’s working for the police who had like a badge. He had some kind of badge. I remember seeing about that, where he had like, found like this Syracuse badge somewhere. And he would flash it to them and be like, yeah. But I mean, obviously it wasn’t his, he had just, I found it. So, she happened to be dropped by her mother’s apartment, which was like really lucky for her. And even though she was threatened, she immediately went to the police
Sarah 01:19:45 After being kidnapped for a year. She still went to the police.
Emily 01:19:54 You’re being held underground in gross conditions. You’re chained up. You would think that there’s gotta be some kind of physical evidence that shows that you were kidnapped.
Sarah 01:20:06 Like malnutrition,
Emily 01:20:08 Malnutrition, like darkness around the eyes, or like something, something like, you know, it’s like paleness, I don’t even know, something has got to be like at least science to be maybe we should look into this. So she did go to the police, but apparently because of her previous drug use, that was on her record, they questioned her credibility and dropped the investigation after she reported it. They were like, yeah, no, she’s probably just on drugs. She’s just a druggie, like never investigated it.
Sarah 01:20:39 Yeah. Yeah,
Emily 01:20:42 No, that’s absolutely terrible.
Emily 01:20:46 And now we go on to 1997 when Jamelske kidnapped his third victim. This time it was a 53-year-old Vietnamese woman and her name was Mai, and she was a refugee and he attacked her on the street in downtown Syracuse. Since Mai was refugee, she spoke very little English and he attacked her. He forced her into his car, took her to an abandoned house where he raped her and then tied her to a stack of flattened cardboard boxes and drove her to his house where he held her in his dungeon and would continue to assault her on a regular basis. And like I said earlier, he made them keep a calendar. It was etched into the wall of the room where he would make them like mark different letters for like, if like a B, if they bathed the T they brushed their teeth and asked for every assault.
Emily 01:21:49 Now about just under a year later, on May 23rd and 1988, he blindfolded Mai and drove her to a Greyhound bus station, gave her 50 bucks and just let her go. She reported it to the police that day. But she said that the police didn’t believe her, that the, and the Syracuse police spokesman, Sergeant Thomas Connellan, stated that they “investigated all leads, none of which panned out.” Don’t believe that shit.
Sarah 01:22:28 So, they have two people that have reported being kidnapped, held this place, and they still didn’t do anything about it. Yeah.
Emily 01:22:55 So now we’re on to item number four. There was a gap between those victims, by the way. He released Mai in 1988 and on May 11th, 2001, is when he abducted his fourth victim, allegedly. A lot of people speculate as to whether there was another victim that just never came forward in the trial. Some people allege worse and that he killed his actual fourth victim. And that Jocelyn, who was his, who stated to be a fourth victim is actually his fifth. Yeah.
Sarah 01:23:30 I mean, there doesn’t seem both hard speculation. Yeah. I mean, why else would there be like a gap though?
Emily 01:23:38 That’s kind of how I feel because he like didn’t waste any time as soon as Dorothy died, I think in 1999. So he had already kidnapped three people before she died.
Emily 01:23:56 And I mean, and that was that, that was a catalyst for him. Making excuses for his behavior and saying, oh, this is now I’m going to do this now is because my wife is sick. She’s not going to say anything. So it’s, um, very, it’s, it’s very hard for me to believe that he would just stop
Sarah 01:24:15 Just a random gap. Yeah. How long you said it was? A year?
Emily 01:24:21 May was let go. And on May 23rd of 1998 and May 11th, 2001 is when he kidnapped Jocelyn.
Sarah 01:24:30 So that’s three years.
Emily 01:24:34 Yeah. Yeah. So, there could be more than one victim in that gap.
Sarah 01:24:39 Oh, that’s still much more depressing.
Emily 01:24:44 Later in the trial, his attorney was like, this isn’t a silence of the lambs situation. They haven’t found any bodies and I don’t think they’re going to. Oh, okay.
Sarah 01:24:57 If they don’t find bodies, even though he put her in a literal, well.
Emily 01:25:02 Well, no. I mean, that just made me feel like, Oh, so there probably are some bodies out there. To say, they haven’t found any bodies and I don’t think they’re going to…
Sarah 01:25:10 Oh, I didn’t even think about that.
Emily 01:25:14 So, now we’re back at Jocelyn in May of 2001, and Jocelyn was partying in downtown Syracuse. She was walking from one party to another, she had taken LSD. And she was just like having a time out. She said that there were some people that were harassing her on the street and she was getting scared, probably getting a little tripped out. And Jamelske happened to notice the situation. He pulled up next to her and offered her a ride. And she accepted.
Sarah 01:25:14 How old is she?
Emily 01:25:14 She was 26. You know, she didn’t hesitate to get in the car because, because of the situation that she was in, you know, she was like, oh, this person is just to help me.
Sarah 01:26:04 Thank God. I found an out. Yeah.
Emily 01:26:06 Yeah. She actually said it in an interview. She was like, you know, why would I think this old white guy, you know, was doing anything? I just thought he was trying to be like an old white guy, you know, like
Sarah 01:26:20 Let me drive you home, Sally.
Emily 01:26:22 Yeah. It’s so it’s so annoyingly dangerous to give people the benefit of the doubt. It really is.
Sarah 01:26:29 But then when you’re suspicious, he looks like you’re a fucking ass. Why are you being a bitch? Why you just assume the worst of people because of shit like this.
Emily 01:26:40 Guys, if you remember, women aren’t people,
Sarah 01:26:44 Ugh, you’re the worst! She’s the worst guys.
Emily 01:26:50 The wor-rst!
Emily 01:26:56 So, yeah. So she needed a ride. She was just thinking that he was trying to help her. Um, of course Jamelske did not take her home or to where she asked to go. He took her to his bunker of dungeon terribleness, instead, and subjected her to the same treatment as his other victims. She resisted his attacks, very much. I didn’t see any reports of like, from anyone else that like, he would like take away their air. I don’t know if that was like part of a thing, but she said that like, you know, that he would do, he would really try to fuck with her. He burned her with a cigar. So many times that she developed an abscess on her back.
Sarah 01:27:42 What?
Emily 01:27:43 And then, yeah. And that several times he would take the air out of the dungeon, you know, leaving her in the pitch black darkness, he would shut off all the electricity so that there was no light. And as she couldn’t see anything. I really can’t imagine. Um, Oh. And she would pump the sounds of other victims screaming. So not only is she in the pitch, black, she’s afraid that she’s going to suffocate. She’s also been like brutally tortured.
Sarah 01:28:13 And now psychological torture as well.
Emily 01:28:16 And now on top of that, yeah. She’s hearing screams of other people. She thinks that there are other women in this bunker in here with her that are being tortured.
Sarah 01:28:25 I didn’t even think about that. Yeah.
Emily 01:28:28 Yeah. So he also told her that he was part of an underground, sex slavery ring and that the police were his bosses and that they were the ones telling him what to do. So there’s no point going into the police because I’m really, I am saving you from them. That was the story that he sold them. It was like, you know, you don’t want them to have to come down here. Like, you should just let me do this to you. Because if they get ahold of you, it’s going to be much worse. So I’m doing you a favor by fucking you up. Like, I can’t even handle how someone’s brain comes up with this shit.
Sarah 01:29:06 That’s like, I’m broken. Like, that’s just so disgusting.
Emily 01:29:13 And then on top of that, the police, they don’t fucking do anything. So like how much would that fuck you up? Just being like, Oh my God, maybe it was fucking right. Yeah. I just, Oh, I really can’t handle it. So she said, he made me think that he wasn’t working alone and that his bosses were in the police department. And he would show me the passports of other women and say that they would drug women and put them in a wheelchair and sell them to whoever was buying them. So, just really playing up the story here. And another ridiculous part about this case. When it, when it actually like came out…After Jamelske was arrested, it took his lawyers days, actual days, to convince him that what he did to these women was in fact kidnapping.
Sarah 01:30:08 What?
Emily 01:30:12 Yeah. Jamelske thought that since he never ransomed them and he let them go, it didn’t count as kidnapping. And that the most he would have to do with some community service.
Sarah 01:30:23 What, wait.
Emily 01:30:25 Fucking delusional. Yes. I mean,
Sarah 01:30:29 He’s an old white dude. So, I guess it’s not that far out of the realm of possibilities that he would only have to do community service.
Emily 01:30:35 Sorry, no excuses for gargoyles.
Sarah 01:30:38 He didn’t think it was kidnapping because he didn’t set a ransom?
Emily 01:30:42 Yeah. Apparently
Sarah 01:30:44 Still holding somebody against their will.
Emily 01:30:47 Yeah. He would do other weird things. Like, he made Jocelyn read the Bible to him. He made her teach him how to play poker. And he would talk about how he thought it was funny that they were searching for her on the TV because they, “were never going to find her.” And she was like, yeah, that’s what we would talk about. That’s what he would talk to me about. Now. She was held for two months and like, this was her experience. I cannot even imagine what a year to two years of this would be and how to survive that. And then go to the police after that, after being fed all of this fucked up shit and then have them being like, no, we don’t think that’s true. We don’t believe you. And, and then also, you know, by now, uh, he’s a millionaire.
Sarah 01:31:41 Oh, I forgot about that part.
Emily 01:31:43 He’s still living in his weird little house, but it’s like, he’s got money and investments and he has like, you know, he’s rolling and shit. And it’s just, it’s kind of weird. And I would, I would feel really weird about that because I’d be like, Oh, well maybe he really could pay the fucking police off. I don’t know
Sarah 01:32:00 I guess that’s true.
Emily 01:32:05 Jocelyn like really wanted to write home to her parents and to her family to like let them know that she was alive and Jamelske agreed that she could, but only if she said that she was in a drug rehab clinic.
Sarah 01:32:21 Hmm.
Emily 01:32:23 So she obviously jumped on that opportunity and wrote her family a letter because she didn’t want them to think that she was dead.
Sarah 01:32:30 Yeah, or stop looking for her.
Emily 01:32:37 Yeah. Because wasn’t that a whole thing. That was actually one of the Castro girls. I’m pretty sure.
Sarah 01:32:40 It was.
Emily 01:32:43 Yeah. Was that was the Sylvia Brown thing. Wasn’t it? Where Sylvia Brown told her mom that she was dead and she was watching that on the news as Sylvia Brown told her mother that she was fucking dead. So I don’t know what year that was. I feel like this was after this or maybe around the same time.
Sarah 01:32:59 I think this might have been a little bit after this, but pretty close in time. Still 2002.
Emily 01:33:06 2013. So yeah. So by the time Jennifer is going through this it’s right before Castro starts being psycho.
Sarah 01:33:12 I forgot that. That was that long. Yeah.
Emily 01:33:15 Yeah. No, there, yeah, that was a very long situation.
Sarah 01:33:18 True crime podcasts. How do you do this? I don’t know. I really don’t know. Kudos to you guys.
Emily 01:33:26 You guys, I’m just doing this because I was like, Oh shit, this happened here? And you know about this here? Oh shit, this is the house? Oh, wait, what happened? Like, excuse me. He did what now? The police did what, now? Like, that was me this entire time when I was given this kidnapping. Oh my God. It was just so gross. I hate it all anyways. So, um, so she did, she jumped on the opportunity. She wrote a letter that ended up, you know, once he released her, you know, cause he released her two months later on July 7th of 2001. And obviously he like threatened her and her family said no one would believe her. And um, you know,
Sarah 01:34:11 He was right. Unfortunately.
Emily 01:34:14 Yeah. Spoiler alert. He fucking was, which is super annoying. But what happened is, she gets released. She goes to her mom, her mom takes her to the hospital that day to get a rape kit done. But, they didn’t find any evidence and they didn’t believe her, which like, that’s the unfortunate part. But he had stopped assaulting her several days before he released her. So that way, there was no fucking evidence. He had already thought about this ahead of time. So that’s just like extra salt in the fucking wound. The letter that she wrote ended up comp quote, unquote complicating her police investigation because once he released her, she went to the police and she tried to get a rape kit and then they didn’t believe her because they were like, there’s no evidence in this rape kit and this letter says that you are fine. So maybe you’re just crazy.
Sarah 01:35:06 I mean, Hey bitches, be crazy.
Emily 01:35:11 I fucking, I’m about to blow my top
Sarah 01:35:13 I’m picturing you like a little kettle with the steam coming out of your top of your head.
Emily 01:35:19 Yeah. Yeah. That’s how I feel because I was about to be like, they are still burning witches out here. So upsetting. But yeah. So she also that same day that she had this experience, right. She had told a trusted friend that she grew up with who happened to be a cop now, what Jamelske had done to her and what she had gone through. And her friend, her family friend, who was a cop, did not believe her and did not do anything.
Sarah 01:35:54 This is why men are trash.
Emily 01:35:57 Literally. This is really awful. Like this is really, really bad.
Sarah 01:36:08 I feel like we’re both, we’re both breaking slowly, but we’re like, eh…eh buh duh…eh eh.
Emily 01:36:14 It’s breaking my brain because I just can’t understand how this is okay. But it’s like the astounding thing is, that this happens all the fucking time. Like all the fucking time, you know, when I told people around, like I told like a couple of friends that I was looking into this, and then I got another story for you guys about that. But I was like telling my friends. I was like, yeah, John Jamelske dah, dah, dah. And then I had two separate people be like, oh, was that the one in this area? Or was that the one in this area? Multiple cases of people in New York State, and I’m sure in other states as well, where people just like hold people captive for like a few months / years and do terrible things to them. There was one up here in the seventies, and then there was another one in the nineties, and then this was like from the eighties to 2001, 2002, like, wow. I think he was caught in 2003, but like, it’s just really, really astounding to me that this happens so often. And it’s like also really interesting now because it’s like, oh, well, because of the media, like now it’s more known And this is my biggest fucking qualm with history and people romanticizing history is because I’m like, yeah, there were no fucking cameras back then.
Sarah 01:37:30 Well, and, but everybody, so that’s the only thing was going back in time. It was like, everybody, it seems like, Oh, it’s so much better back then. Correction. You just didn’t hear about it because we didn’t have the internet.
Emily 01:37:40 Yeah, exactly. Oh anyways. All right. I’m going to shake it off. All right. So
Sarah 01:37:52 I’m like, just over here, like shaking my head continually.
Emily 01:37:56 I know it’s really bad. It was really bad. No, I’m just kidding. I love a good snort.
Sarah 01:38:06 Cool. Snooty snort.
Emily 01:38:08 Yeah. Sometimes I just like, don’t want to control the air in my body.
Sarah 01:38:12 Then, fair. Me neither.
Emily 01:38:14 You know, I just want to let it do its thing.
Sarah 01:38:17 Who am I? I’m not an air bender.
Emily 01:38:21 Maybe you are. Maybe that’s where the snorts come from.
Sarah 01:38:25 I wish. Okay. Back to terrible things back
Emily 01:38:31 Back to something really terrible. Um, her friend whose cop didn’t believe her and Jocelyn is just like, Oh my God, Jamelske said, no one would believe me. And he was right. No one will believe me. You know? And not only did the cops or that letter in her face, but she was honest about what happened when she was kidnapped. And because she was partying and was on drugs. When she was abducted, they treated her like a junkie. Um, they dismissed her story acting like she was like sick and crazy. And didn’t know what she was talking about.
Sarah 01:38:59 Guys. Spoiler alert. It doesn’t even matter if you were the most innocent of innocent grown women. Because even if you were wearing a white dress and something covering your hair and you were the most modest, of modesty people, and you went and told the police and had the kit done. They’d still be like, well, maybe you wanted it. You’re so chaste. You probably just did it. You went out looking for it because you’re deprived. You’re ugly. You wanted it. You, why didn’t you just enjoy yourself? Like, Ugh, anyways, sorry.
Emily 01:39:38 Wow. No, but I mean it’s so true.
Sarah 01:39:40 It doesn’t matter if you’re a partier. If you are married. If you like to date people. If you’re a lesbian. It really doesn’t matter what your life experiences are. They will find a way to blame it on you. Regardless. Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.
Emily 01:40:01 God, it’s so true though. They’re category categorizing her as like a druggie and a drug user and a junkie and an addict. Okay. But she obviously had the wherewithal to report this. And also, she told the police that Jamelske’s car was tan, 1975 Mercury Comet. I don’t know cars in years. No. We’ve had Mazdas over the years. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a 2014 and a 2015, or even a 2012. That’s what I’m saying.
Sarah 01:40:38 Really. Usually, there’s not much difference between the models and one year difference anyway.
Emily 01:40:43 That’s a very good point. So they went out with her a little tip and they were like, Oh yeah, okay. Let’s look for a 1975 Mercury Comet. They found one that was tan and it wasn’t the same guy. And they were like, wow, obviously you were a liar and a fiend and you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Okay. They never actually looked over like the full scope of when that model was being produced, which was from 1971 to 1977.
Sarah 01:41:12 That’s a big gap. See again with the same model, the same type of design for several years. Yeah.
Emily 01:41:19 Yeah. The police completely neglected to search any other year. And,, after Jocelyn was released in 2001, Jamelske still wasn’t caught for another two years. So cool. Hashtag not cool. Since he was not caught and was not only still kidnapping people, but was also still free to use a telephone or a phone book. He would actually, continue to harass her for those two years. Not only did the police not fucking do anything for her. But he would call her at her work and would call her at home and would try to harass her and keep her compliant by telling her all of these things. It got so bad with him calling her at work, that she quit her job and went to go work somewhere else because she didn’t want him to know where she was.
Emily 01:42:12 In October of 2002, which again, little bit of a gap there. I know he’s busy on the phone with Jocelyn, but he let her go in beginning of July of 2001. And this is October, 2002.
Sarah 01:42:29 And he only kept, and he only kept her for two months. So who knows how many.
Emily 01:42:33 Exactly. So there’s no way of knowing if he kept other victims for shorter amounts of times or if he did worse things. But the gaps don’t make me feel good. I would rather there not be any gaps. I’d rather he not exist as a person actually.
Sarah 01:42:47 Just be erased from the face of the earth.
Emily 01:42:50 From the beginning of time, you know? Yeah. Anyways. So in October of 2002, he picked up his final victim, allegedly. Um, which was, uh, well, it was because he was caught, but her name was Mikayla and she was a young black girl that was 16 years old at the time she had run away from home when John found her walking along the street. She did manage to befriend Jamelske, and he took a special liking to her. He allowed her to come upstairs into his home and he’s still sealed all the exits and kept everything locked to keep her from escaping. But he felt so confident in her and felt comfortable enough around her to take her out. So they went out bowling…
Sarah 01:43:41 She was 16?
Emily 01:43:43 Yeah.
Sarah 01:43:44 And how old was he at this point? Old.
Emily 01:43:49 Old. So he’s old guy. Um, 1935, it’s 2003, so he’s, what, 68?
Sarah 01:43:58 Yuck.
Emily 01:44:02 Yeah, so they went bowling and then in April of 2003, he took her to a karaoke bar. You know, people definitely thought they were an odd couple, but he still didn’t raise enough suspicion and nobody said anything. So here’s another thing about Jamelske. Now I’m going to tell you my other little anecdote of, or another reason why I was like, Oh, I guess I have to talk about this now.
Emily 01:44:30 So, he was kind of like portrayed in, you know, the media, when you look up like articles about the case and how you know, them searching his home. And obviously the Dungeon of Dewitt, you know, he’s also called the Boogeyman of Syracuse. And just like, obviously it’s just gross when they searched his home. He apparently had a collection of 13,000 bottles and cans for like a returnable recycling center.
Sarah 01:44:53 13,000?
Emily 01:44:56 Yeah, it’s a big collection. And I’m like, where do you keep? That is my question. Because here’s the thing. I’m like, what the fuck. Some thing I don’t. Yeah. I don’t have like the capacity to understand what that means. Spatially personally. I’d have to do the math to understand that. So if someone wants to do that between us.
Sarah 01:45:16 Actually. Yeah. Somebody do that and we’ll send you a present.
Emily 01:45:21 Uh oh.
Emily 01:45:26 All right. It’s on you get a present. Um, anyways. Yeah. So, so he’s kind of like painted as a hoarder and he’s a millionaire, at this point. Right. But yet he still is collecting bottles and cans and returning them to the recycling center, like on a very regular basis that the people at the recycling center know exactly who he is. They see him all the fucking time and they’re like, Oh, it’s that guy.
Emily 01:45:52 Okay know. So I asked, I had mentioned this earlier, right? I was telling a couple of friends what I had learned about Jamelske and like why I looked it up and I didn’t know anything about it. And my friend goes, what’s his name? Like, who are you talking about? And I was like, John Jamelske and she goes, Oh. And I was like, that was a weird reaction. And she was like, yeah, one time I went to feed his cats.
Sarah 01:46:31 Oh my God. She went in the house?
Emily 01:46:34 In the house. And I was like, what, how was that possible? How did you go? Like you knew him. And she like explained that it was her friend she went with and they went to go, like, she went with her friend to feed his cat because he had asked her friend to feed them. And they were like 15, 16 years old at the time. Here’s also another thing now that I’m fucking thinking about it. I asked her, oh my God, this is really upsetting. But I asked her when she went to the house and she, Oh, shit, Oh shit. I just realized this. When she went to the house had to be between 1998 and 2000. Like, she couldn’t remember exactly what year it was. But that was in that gap, which I didn’t realize because when she told me that I was like, I’m pretty sure there was someone in the house when you were there. Like, what was the house like? I was so taken aback. I mean, you hear this shit. And now that I’m realizing it, I’m like, Oh my God, there wasn’t anybody in the house. And that’s actually even more terrifying.
Sarah 01:47:44 Well, there’s no one, you know, in that house. Yeah. What if, you know,
Emily 01:47:49 In a really weird way. This is how upsetting it is to be a fucking woman dudes, like people, guys, everyone out there, like, this is really upsetting that I’m like, there was no, there was no one abducted in the house. So you’re more, you’re at a higher level of danger.
Sarah 01:48:04 Higher. It’s higher. Fucked up. Nope. That’s exactly what I was thinking too though. I was like, how did she not end up in that basement?
Emily 01:48:12 You would be safer if somebody was kidnapped, isn’t that fucked up? That’s a fucked up thing to say. So yeah. Shit. I did legit have like a mini conniption fit when she told me that and I was like, oh my God, like, I can’t believe you, you were there. And she was like, I had no idea. I didn’t find out until like years later. And I was like, I get it.
Sarah 01:48:31 I probably would have like accidentally hit her or something.
Emily 01:48:33 I was taken back. But I also asked her, I was like, so what, what was the house like? And she was like, it was like a normal house. I was like, did it smell bad? Was there like weird stuff everywhere? Was it like nasty or gross or was it clean? Like, was it organized? And she was like, honestly, I just remember it being like a normal house and like looking through his like cabinets maybe, but there wasn’t anything weird. We fed the cats and we left and I was like, and then after she told me that I was like, Oh, well, see, they portray him as like this hoarder. And then they found all this shit in his house. And I found that interesting that, um, you know, obviously he was arrested in 2003. So it’s like maybe, maybe he started going buck wild Reese. Like after that, or maybe they, maybe it was all in the basement. I don’t really know. Maybe. So I thought that was interesting. So more than interesting. I was shocked and appalled. I was like, Oh my God, I’m so glad you’re alive.
Sarah 01:49:37 Thank goodness you, Oh God,
Emily 01:49:41 Both of them. I can’t even, I can’t even handle that anyways. So now him and Mikayla have been out bowling. He took her to karaoke and the next week on April 9th, 2003, he took her with him to a bottle redemption center in Manlius to return recyclables that he had collected part of his major recyclable collection. And while they were there, Mikayla managed to convince him that she needed to use the phone, to call a church, to ask when their service times were.
Sarah 01:50:23 Smart girl, smart girl.
Emily 01:50:25 Yes. He let her go use the phone. And as soon as she was alone, she called her sister and she told her where she was and what had happened to her. And, then she hung up the phone and went back to Jamelske. Her sister, redialed, the number thanks to caller ID, and called back, talked to one of the employees in the redemption center and said, Hey, my sister just called and she’s kidnapped she’s with a random dude. They know exactly who he is because they just saw who he was with. And they were like, yeah, I thought that was weird that he was with a young teenage black girl. Like that seems odd. And we’ve never seen him with her before.
Emily 01:51:06 Okay. So, they had mentioned that they were going to this pet store and when he was there, just in conversation. So they, you know, had that and maybe he’s going to be there. So Mikayla managed to get to a phone again and called her sister again, that same day. It was either like when they were at the pet store or like close to the pet store. And she was trying to describe where she was and she used the words, yellow and Dodge, and that’s where they were able to like pinpoint that she was at like across the street, I think from the like dealership, like car dealership. So 15 years, after he started abducting and abusing these girls and women, he is finally fucking caught after Mikayla was able to get ahold of her sister a couple times. And, you know, they were able to figure out where she was.
Sarah 01:52:14 And there were three other reports against him.
Emily 01:52:17 Yeah. I just, like, I literally can’t believe that about the police. And then they went on an MSNBC interview and were talking mad shit about some of the victims because of how they reported it saying that they didn’t help themselves, and just like fucked up shit. I don’t have like the actual quotes.
Sarah 01:52:36 Victim blaming at its best.
Emily 01:52:42 I know it’s just, it’s bad. I don’t like it at all. So in a prison interview with MSNBC, Jamelske said that he should not be punished for what he did and that once arrested, the most he would spend, that he would at the most spend a couple of days in jail, pay a fine or perform some community service. LOL. Obviously his lawyers had to convince him otherwise because he did a lot of really fucked up things. So he is currently in the Clinton Correctional Facility and on December 22nd of 2020, he had his first appeal for parole, which was denied.
Sarah 01:53:25 Thank God!
Emily 01:53:26 I think his next one is like next year or something. And his attorney, Michael Forsythe, said that he believes that Jamelske had a better than usual chance of being released because of his age and the spread of Coronavirus. So he was like trying to use the pandemic to get a fucking serial rapist out of jail.
Sarah 01:53:43 Serial kidnapper, torturer, and rapist.
Emily 01:53:45 Yeah. In the like more recent news coverage of his parole hearing, district attorney, Bill Fitzpatrick, said that, “it is an unimaginable terror to be kept in utter darkness and tortured like these women were.” And he pleaded with the parole board to ask themselves if they would want Jamelske as their neighbor. And if the answer is no, then there should be no fucking question. Yeah.
Sarah 01:54:17 Yeah, exactly.
Emily 01:54:19 So, yeah, dude, fucking John Jamelske. So that’s the story of the Dungeon in Dewitt, that I literally stumbled across. And then it was just one of those things where it’s like, you know, the more that I read about the victims and not being listened to by the police and they’re actually going out and reporting after going through these horrific experiences. Even to have the courage to go to the police after being told that the police were the ones trying to sell you into sex slavery, and you still had the balls to walk into the police department and say, “I was kidnapped by this guy who said he was working with you.” And they’re like, we don’t care.
Sarah 01:55:03 You’re crazy. You’re an addict. You’re a woman. You’re yeah.
Emily 01:55:07 We’re going to find whatever random fucking reason we can to not believe you
Sarah 01:55:18 Because you’re just, you’re just a crazy ho and that’s, that’s how it is, you know?
Emily 01:55:18 Yeah. I got a little ragey, but
Sarah 01:55:24 I was going to say it was going to be ragey on a topic like that. Like fucking a, yeah. I can’t believe that he didn’t think that it was kidnapping.
Emily 01:55:33 Just an absolutely delusional psychopath. I really can’t. I really, again, it was just like, I don’t know what I thought, when someone’s like, Oh yeah, this person kidnapped people. And they lived down the street from my elementary school. Like, I don’t know what I thought I was going to find that what, but I was so surprised.
Sarah 01:55:55 Hey, you know what, though? The optimist in me is like, what if now there’s no good reason for kidnapping. I was going to say, what if this lady kidnapped a drug trafficker ause she was trying to free her abused husband? I don’t know.
Emily 01:56:13 So it’s like Taken, but the reverse. Yeah, exactly. The Helen Mirren version of Taken?
Sarah 01:56:19 Fuck yes, I would watch that.
Emily 01:56:22 Anyways. So why did you, uh, wonder about Josephine Baker? Well, because we know I stumbled across Jamelske literally in real life. Yeah. What got you on to Ms. Josephine?
Sarah 01:56:40 Well, um, you know, full disclosure, I did know what you were going to talk about and that it was going to be depressing and that we would get ragey. So I was like, let’s find a happy story to talk about. What’s something fun. And I’m like, what’s more fun than World War II spies. Hey. And then I started looking up spots and I didn’t find any stories I liked. And then that’s how I got onto Josephine Baker. And I was like, what? Cause I recognized her with her cute little Charleston outfit and stuff like that. Like her little flapper outfit. I was like, she was a spy? And then when I went deep into the Google hole, if you will,
Emily 01:57:24 We do love going deep into that Google hall. Don’t we?
Sarah 01:57:27 Yeah. Her story though. Yeah. It just, it was a, it was a really fun one. I’m glad that I chose to do a happy story now often I feel like I’m like, let me look up something weird or creepy or fucked up. So, you know, spending time with a happy story, I think was probably the best thing for my mental health this week. Not going to lie, you know? But, um, yeah. That’s how I got to get to know a little bit more about Ms. Josephine, you know? She’s the bee’s knees. She was the cat’s Meow. She was um, what’s another term.
Emily 01:58:08 The cat’s pajamas?
Sarah 01:58:08 Ooh. Is that a thing?
Emily 01:58:10 I thought it was.
Sarah 01:58:11 Do cats wear pajamas? I don’t think Yahtzee does.
Emily 01:58:13 Only cool cats.
Sarah 01:58:16 Yeah. He’s definitely not a cool cat. I also forgot to tell you about the other weird thing that happened today.
Emily 01:58:20 Oh my God, what?
Sarah 01:58:21 I woke up this morning and my front door was open.
Emily 01:58:25 Babe. Why?
Sarah 01:58:26 I just remembered. I don’t know, I woke up.
Emily 01:58:30 Is it malfunctioning? Does it malfunction?
Sarah 01:58:33 It was windy. So maybe I didn’t like push the lock all the way. And so it blew open, possibly. Yeah, I opened my bedroom door and walked out. It was really cold and I was like, why is the heat struggling? And the door is just like slightly open and Yahtzee had just walked out and then walked back in and he’s like, what’s going on? And I’m like, what the fuck? It couldn’t have been opened for that long because he would have been gone. But still, so my front door opened, and my garage door, closed on its own. Although at least now I don’t have to remember to close my garage door.
Emily 01:59:10 Oh, so maybe it’s like a timer thing. That’s logical. That would make sense. We would think we would maybe think that no, there’s no timer. The garage story gets like tired of holding itself open and it’s like, all right, we’re done.
Sarah 01:59:21 No, I wish that’d be handy though. I know. So yeah, I guess, I guess we’ll find out what fun things my house has in store for me tomorrow.
Emily 01:59:32 That’s so upsetting. I’m so sorry.
Sarah 01:59:35 Uh, I’m more worried about the nightmares I’m going to have about being trapped in an airless damp concrete bunker dungeon. Yeah. Yeah.
Emily 01:59:49 That is definitely the stuff of nightmares right there. But we do have better things to look forward to next week. Yeah. Next week our sister subjects will be science and nature.
Sarah 02:00:04 Oh my gosh. I’m so excited too. I have such a good one.
Emily 02:00:08 Me too. Yay.
Sarah 02:00:12 It’s going to be good.
Emily 02:00:14 It’s going to be so good. Um, well good. Yeah. See, we’re excited. There’s things. There’s things to look forward to, guys.
Sarah 02:00:22 There are things on the horizon. Well, all righty then. Thanks everybody for joining us on this. Um, fun and terrible adventure tonight.
Emily 02:00:37 It was mostly terrible.
Sarah 02:00:38 I was going to say it’s equal parts. Fun and terrible. Yeah. As you say that you’re sad voice, but uh, we love all of our listeners, dearly, fervently. Oh, I was going to say majestically. I don’t know why though. So just ignore that. But if you like us and would love to find out more about us or follow us on social media, you can find us on Instagram at wonderlust. pod.
Emily 02:01:14 You can also tweet us on Twitter allegedly at podwanderlust. We also have an amazing brand new website up. It’s at thewonderlustpodcast.com? Yes, check it out. You can contact us there, hit us up. Um, we’re also on Facebook. You can like and follow us there and we just love, and appreciate you all.
Sarah 02:01:40 And hopefully if you love and appreciate us, please do not forget to rate and subscribe to us. Those ratings really help us out. And the more we get the happier we’ll be in the happier we’ll be the better the world will be. I don’t know. It was really terrible. I was really hoping you would save me on there and you did not let me fail.
Emily 02:02:07 Yep. Nope. Rate and subscribe. Leave us a review. Um, we love you anyways. True. Whether you do or you don’t.
Sarah 02:02:17 But you’ll just make us extra happy if you tell us that you love us too. Um, so yeah.
Emily 02:02:27 I’m trying to think, if anything else, like weird, happened this week,
Sarah 02:02:29 Nothing is as weird as my house doing things by itself.
Emily 02:02:32 No that’s upsetting. And I don’t like that. I’m not a fan. I’m not a fan of you’re being very like cool and calm and collected about that. I would not be.
Sarah 02:02:39 What else am I supposed to do?
Emily 02:02:42 No, you’re not wrong. You’re not wrong. I know. I know. And maybe that’s like an inward angle I should take. And just be like, don’t freak out about things. Maybe, maybe you are just destined to be kidnapped and killed because you’re a lady. And that’s what happens.
Sarah 02:02:57 I just like, if I think about it too much, I just, I’m just going to say it was a fluke. I’m just going to, they were flukes. It’s fine. It could have been really windy and it was really windy. And then the garage just was helping me out so that I didn’t have too tired. Yeah, exactly. So it’s all fine. Yeah.
Emily 02:03:13 Obviously. Oh, I went to work the other day.
Sarah 02:03:17 Wow, impressive.
Emily 02:03:20 I know. Super weird guys. Super weird thing that happened. Um, I walked in all the lights were off. There was nobody there, which it’s like a lot of people when they go into work, like that’s how their day starts, you know? That’s never happened here and this is a new place and I was really weirded out by it.
Sarah 02:03:36 Why was it like that?
Emily 02:03:39 I don’t know. People were just late, I guess. It was snowing that day.
Sarah 02:03:44 Oh, that makes more sense to me.
Emily 02:03:46 Maybe that’s why. But like, yeah, I walked in and I was very much like, this is uncomfortable. I don’t like being here by myself with the lights off. I legit like looked up. I was like, are we open today? Did I somehow misunderstand what I was doing?
Sarah 02:04:04 Dude, that’s, that’s totally what I would do, though. Like without a doubt,
Emily 02:04:07 Very much feel like I should not be here.
Sarah 02:04:09 Right. Oh.
Emily 02:04:12 But it turns out it was fine. And I had to work my way. Yeah. I mean, besides like having weird deer and kangaroo dreams. Yeah.
Sarah 02:04:21 That just is very still upsetting. That was also upsetting to me. You may tell him, I find that upsetting.
Emily 02:04:31 Just my favorite part was that it was just like, Oh, I looked that up. I was so wrong. So I I’m imagining that he was like their faces.
Sarah 02:04:37 Their faces are similar and Pangea was one continent. So obviously makes sense.
Emily 02:04:43 So much like, duh, you didn’t know that? Not that I like questioned myself. Ladies. Don’t fucking question yourselves. All right.
Sarah 02:04:52 To have the confidence, the heteronormative white men.
Emily 02:04:56 Yeah. No, that’s what we should all take into this week, you know, to have the confidence of a fucking Michael Caine in Miss Congeniality.
Sarah 02:05:06 Yes. That’s a mood I need to bring into my life all the time. Yeah.
Emily 02:05:10 Yeah. What’s his name in that movie?
Sarah 02:05:13 Michael Kane.
Emily 02:05:14 Oh my God. Miss Congeniality…
Sarah 02:05:24 Two of my biggest joys in life are when I get you to a genuinely laugh at something that I’m trying to be funny about. Oh yeah, there we go. And then w when I genuinely annoy you, those are the two reactions that I live for.
Emily 02:05:40 You know, those are the two reactions that I live for in you. It’s almost like you’re the closest thing I have to a twin
Sarah 02:05:51 Oh. And on that note…
Together 02:05:51 Winners wear a crown, and losers wear a frown. So don’t forget to smile.
Emily 02:06:03 And, uh, right. I, I wonder if this is where we’re going to take our leave from you this week.
Sarah 02:06:10 Wait, wait, wait. Wanders. No, God damn it.
Emily 02:06:18 I’m like, nah,
Sarah 02:06:19 Hey wonderers! This is where we go, wonder off.
Emily 02:06:28 You heard it here first folks. We’re, uh, we’re gonna wonder off right now, but we will see you next week for an awesome episode on science and nature.
Sarah 02:06:40 Yay!