4 Episode results for "Cindy Carlson"

AT#647 - Travel to Phoenix, Arizona

The Amateur Traveler Podcast

00:0-1 sec | 1 year ago

AT#647 - Travel to Phoenix, Arizona

"The. The bag on a roll. Anna read it's go in real good pass board. Hammet traveler pursuit six hundred forty seven today. BMI traveler talks about art, museums and western culture, hikes petroglyphs and Sua cactus. As we go to Phoenix, Arizona. Walk. The amateur traveler your host, Chris Christensen. Let's talk about Phoenix. I'd like to welcome back to the show Cindy Carlson from exploration vacation dot net. Who has come to talk to us about Phoenix cine? Welcome to the show. I Chris thanks for having me or welcome back to the show said he was here about one hundred episodes ago. I was surprised it was that long ago talking about northern Vietnam. And if you haven't heard that episode I like that episode, obviously because otherwise she would be back. So Cindy, we're talking about a much more domestic destination this time in what's your connection with Phoenix? My now there's been down there about thirty years now. And so I've been going down there pretty regularly since about nineteen ninety five bending sometimes just a few days and sometimes spending even a couple of weeks down there exploring the area. Excellent. So she is a snowbird in the language of the area. Yes. My parents are snowbirds I'd snowbird if I could convince my husband to spend more time down there, but likes us books. Gets tad warm in the summer for me and Phoenix. And just so we know we usually don't talk about whether for a while. But one of the reasons lot of people come down in the wintertime, lovely lovely weather summertime. They'll get one hundred days in a row that will go of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. So that just maybe something you think about we have a friend who moved to Phoenix because the summer's here in San Jose that only got two ninety were not hot enough for her. So if you like hot weather, that's definitely a good time to go lot more people there in the winter. And there's a lot to do. Actually, I haven't been there in the summer, but there's a lot to do in the summer inside. And there's actually water in rivers in floats and things I have a lot of friends that live there year round. And they actually say summers aren't always that bad. Right. Well, it depends. Again, what you like. And I do know that the friends who go out hiking tend to do it early in the morning in the summertime or or later in the evening usually early in the morning when it's the coolest time of day. But what kind of itenerary do? Recommend for us for Phoenix. So I tried to put together, and I worry that's really aimed at first time. Visitors to Phoenix it gives them an idea of what Phoenix is about where it came from what the landscapes like and what the people who've lived their past and present are like and it's geared. It's five days because five days seems to be to me a good amount of time to get a real feeling for Phoenix. Still leaves you enough time that if you want to spend time golfing or laying by the pool or you want to make a trip up to Grand Canyon, which I know you've covered on one a year previous shows, you can add that on and then it's a week's vacation and still do all the stuff that I'm recommending will you we won't talk quite as much about side trips. But there are a number different things if you head north or south either down to Tucson, we've done it episode on that or up to flagstaff area up to Grand Canyon or even to the north east corner of the state, we've got different shows about northern Phoenix. So we won't be talking about them now. But what should we do in Phoenix? Well, actually, let me back up a bit here. I should start with. Why should we go to Phoenix of all the places we should go to sell? I think Phoenix gets the bad rap as as a snowboard destination. Oh, it's just where the retirees because warm it's hot in the summer. Why would you ever go to Phoenix? And Phoenix, particularly in the last fifteen years twenty years, maybe now as really become a arts and culture hub. It's got a a thriving lively downtown great art scene. It has spectacular scenery all around the city with the Sonoran desert there. It's become a real interesting place to go. There's something there. I think for everyone, and it's really a worthwhile destination. There's a lot to see in Phoenix that you probably won't see and other places. The only part of that that I would show is that that has happened over the last ten or fifteen years because I've been going there at longer than that. And I think it's getting better known for that over the last ten fifteen years, I think that's been there for. In terms of the arts and culture. I think part of it is as light rail's come in. It's maybe it's more that expanded places like downtown Mesa that used to be really dead are now little art. Okay. And so maybe that's it because it's been building. It's I've always liked Phoenix. But I think it's really become something that a lot of people don't expect excellent. And we're should we start? So I'm going to suggest that people start by learning about the Sonoran desert by actually going out to the desert botanical garden, which is in northeast. It's a beautiful place as mechanical garden it, of course, has landscaped areas and non native plants, but it also has large areas of native plants. It's a great place to soak in the beauty of the desert and to learn about the desert, so that when you go hiking on your own, you know, that even those those Challah cactuses might look really friendly in fuzzy that to get near them. So it gives you both that introduction to the desert as well as beautiful place to wander. You can easily spend a few hours or half day there. They have a fabulous cafe. So it's a nice place to spend some time in the garden. And then wander to the cafe will want to make sure that we're talking about the same place because the desert botanical garden that I know is not in north Phoenix. It's on almost in Scottsdale. So it would be east of Phoenix. It's right on the border of Scottsdale and Phoenix that's not north Phoenix east, east Phoenix. Okay. And that's another thing. I should mention that. I have geographic dyslexia when it comes to Unix. So keen is because I miss a west when I really mean east it's over by Scottsdale, and it's beautiful. It's right at the foot of the mountains beautiful place to walk in wander. I happen to see it. The first time when there was a truly exhibit. So my experience there is quite different because there was all sorts of glass being shown at the same time. But what if place especially for kids to recommend our kids love the butterfly exhibit, for instance, there as well as some of the other. And they've actually redone the gardens since you've been there since the CIA Julia exhibit, and there are still still chew Hulas and some other sculptures in the garden. They do special events visitors coming into Phoenix should check the schedule and see they sometimes do big fun parties out in the garden at night and different things can be hard to get tickets to those. But there blast if you can get them. Excellent. So because that's not necessarily a full day. If you want to do a little more that day, I would continue on towards the west to the grandee museum, which it's a museum in an archaeological park, it's fairly small museum. But they do have really nice job of talking about the hokum people who live in the Phoenix area more than thousand years ago. They actually were the original ones building canals in the salt. River valley canals bring all Phoenix's water in today. But that actually goes back to ancient culture that lived there more than a thousand years ago. It's a nice little museum the archaeological site itself, isn't terribly into. Interesting. There's not a lot left, but the museum dozen nice job of introducing you to what this area was like in the people who live there a long time ago. The other alternative end out your first day would be if it's on a Thursday head over to Scottsdale and do evening art walk and have dinner down on the in the arts district in historic Scottsdale, which is a really fun place. And I'll talk about that a little more and went in the next day. We should say we haven't really even gone very far from the Phoenix harbor airport here for the first who stops does botanical gardens. The public grid museum are practically stone's throw from the airport. So we haven't ranged very far afield yet. This is all fairly easy to stone. So for Phoenix anyway, which is a gigantic Norma situ area. Geographically is a very large area geographically that's right for day to actually put together to different options, depending on visitors inter level of interest in native cultures or cowboy culture. I've got two different options won the won would. Be two and more about the people who live in the southwest today. And that would be a trip to the heard museum in downtown Phoenix even closer sky harbor airport. We haven't left really Phoenix at all for these. The today's the herd is both a cultural history and art museum about half the museum or more is devoted to exhibits on the peoples of the southwest with separate areas on each different culture, and both modern and historic pieces of art in basket tree in different daily aims daily life. The other part of the museum includes an exhibit which for in my part of the country is something people don't know as much about as the Indian boarding school era. They've just redone the exhibit. I haven't seen the new one. But the old one was both fascinating and really heartbreaking. But really really interesting again mostly history. But combining modern perspectives and information as well. And presenting it in a way. That's very very acceptable like the exempts really geared for both adults and for children in the area. You're talking about here is an era where they want to pending on how you how you look at this. They're the one side would say they wanted to include the native Americans in American culture, and therefore they wanted to inculturated them. And the other side would say that they wanted them to lose their identity as native Americans and inculturated them. But it was definitely at a very intentional move to bring them in to have the move away from their families to go to these boarding schools and two tournament white people would be the crude way of saying that. Yeah, it's very complicated history, and it's very painful history. And although it's mixed for some people that experience as much as it was it had some negative sides. Also, brought good things to them others found it just devastating. And they try to deal with all that in a really meaningful, and I think respectful way at the herd. The herd has it's mostly native curator's in. So they do a really nice job at dealing with those complicated issues. The other thing the heard is is a arts museum contemporary or more historic pieces of art, usually all native arts. The most recent show featured Yupik masks from Alaska combined with works by Matisse because he had used some of these masses inspiration in his work. Generally, though, the shows are focused on native arts native artists, the shows are always splendid really high high quality works. If you're at all interested in native art and the contemporary native art seeing the heard will have something spectacular. They have the finest collection. Definitely in the west and probably some of their collection is probably equal to some of the pieces the collection at the national museum of the American Indian. They really do a nice job with their show. Does depending how long you heard you have a couple other options for the day. You are right downtown at the heard you're in an old historic neighborhood. You're just north of the Phoenix art museum. The phoenix. Art museum has a lovely collection. They are pretty much the standard big city museum. They have a lovely collection. But it's it's not Phoenix specific for the most part, the exception to that is their photo exhibit draws from the Zona state university collection, and usually has some really interesting things in it. And they do spectacular spectacular special exhibits. So if you're an art person, you might just want to walk down the street and spend the rest of the day at Pam. I did forget to mention that at the heard have lunch before you leave the herd. They have a fabulous cafeteria then head onto whatever else. The Pam would be one of them the Phoenix art museum the other action. If you kind of had enough art for the day, or what a little smaller museum is to get in. Your car and head over to the smaller museum at the state capitals. The state capitalism. It's the old capitol building. They've preserved a few rooms in the building. But they have some really interesting exhibits in there. It's not very big. But they have a exhibit on the Zona the worship which was sunk in Pearl Harbor and some memorabilia from some of the survivors as well as this was news to me that all these ships have find China and silver and fancy settings like you get some Victorian dinner party, and they have all that unto splayed there as well. They also have some very interesting displays on the beginnings of AirAsia as a state in the establishment of the of the state, including the fact that Arizona kind of played a trick to get into the US as a state. They were required to change something in their provision for how they will how the handled their judges and resulted didn't like with the federal government wanted them to. Do. So they went ahead and did it to become a state. And then as soon as they were state, they went and undid it and did it the way they want it to. And the whole section on it. It's really quite interesting. So those are my day to number one my action number two is to go back up. If you haven't been discussed to go to Scottsdale and do western spirit. I don't know. Have you been to western spirit in Scottsdale? Chris I do not know where you speak of with western. Still. But well, this isn't relatively new museum. It's maybe five years old at the most they're trying to capture the full extent of the the life and population changes in the west, and it has several components that it's a fine art museum more than a history museum. Although it does have historic pieces. One piece of the museum is a cowboy collection or western collection that has things like Spurs and saddles and all the things you'd expect in like a cowboy museum or an old west museum except most of the pieces were collected because of their artistic value more so than as artifacts of the old west that's a fun place for kids. But it's it's kind of cool for everybody because they have all this stuff. And you start looking at it. And you're like, wow, I never knew Spurs could be that interesting. But they can be part of museums fine. Art, mostly they've been expanding what they've been showing. They usually always have a big section by a prominent bronze artists who does away art in features native Americans, although he's not native American himself. They've added now a western movie poster collection that they acquired so there's usually some sort of western movie themed exhibit. They've also added a collection of Hopi classic historic and contemporary, but mostly historic Hopi pottery that they always have some of undisposed, and then they have some other traveling exhibits they've had western cartoons. They've had the towels painters different things very much art based most of the first floor is very much art based except for the movie posters in the western cowboy things the second floor has to Perm semi permanent exhibits one of which saved Alaska's. It's kind of. Zossen? It's a fine. It's interesting. He's laughing. It's a fine art exhibit. That tells the story of the settlement of the west and meeting of the natives and the Anglos as they started settling the west, it's a big Zabit. And it's interesting, but more interesting as the other half, which has mostly has some fine art, but it mostly has more what we would consider artifacts and objects. So it has some artifacts and things from the Lewis and Clark exhibition. It has collection of spectacular chief's blankets. It has a bunch of Curtis. And they've changed this since I was there. The first time of Curtis original Curtis images of native Americans and showing all the different printing presses he used which was something. I had never seen the goal tones in some of that before. And so that was really interesting. It's got a fabulous mix of items and again, very large exhibit. So this is a museum that if you wanna see everything will take most of the day to take a break here and here from a sponsor with all the recent news of online security breaches is hard not to worry about where your data goes making it online purchase or simply accessing your Email could put your private information at risk. I hope he knew the danger of connecting to the WI fi in the airport or in a local coffee shop. But did you just see AT and T has been selling your data and other companies have been as well your browser history? So that they can target you. You can protect your data and your privacy by using VPN. I have installed express VPN. They have an easy to use app. That runs seamlessly in the background on your computer, your phone, or your tablet. You could turn on protection with one click. It's secure as an anonymous as your internet browsing by encrypting your data, it costs less than seven dollars a month. And it's the number one rated VPN service by tech radar. Protect your online activity today and find out. How you can get three months free at express VPN dot com slash travel. That's E X P R E S S VP and dot com slash travel for three months free with a one year package and thanks to express VPN for sponsoring amateur traveler. Well, it's interesting that's in Scottsdale because of the city's Phoenix there's Phoenix downtown, and we didn't say, but there's all sorts of different places. We'll be talking about around it including Scottsdale to the east and Scottsdale. I would say of the places that I have been in the area is the most cowboy town the downtown Scottsdale has more cowboy art exhibits in stores and things like that and has more of that western heritage. I think they call themselves the most western town in the west. And it's love downtown scout till it's an arty town with this western heritage. And my grandfather actually was a cowboy so I have a fondness for the. Western heritage. We have his Spurs. He was on the last round up in Colorado when he was sixteen he busted broncs being. So I have some connection to this. Although I myself am not a coupla. I would say to if you're bringing kids along in being a western museum Alday seems like that might be the seventh layer of hell for you. You might. Instead if you wanna get in touch with the western heritage take them up to rawhide, which is a wonderfully touristy cheesy. Western recreation town in northern Scottsdale that is more of a kid friendly way to look at some of the western culture. And glad you added that I have not been to rawhide. I was looking at that the other day going I have to get up there. I took my kids there as as a kid. We join it. I mean, it's touristy it's cheesy. But it's great western spirit has some sections for kids and the western area part of it is Scott some good stuff. But both the heard and western spirit. Are pretty adult oriented museums. And glad you mentioned the old town Scottsdale because that would be my other recommendation as once you finish western spirit is actually right along that area where all the galleries an auction houses and studios and things are and they've got that fixed up as a mall. You can go down you can walk into some window shopping. You can go in the galleries. There's a whole range of art. There's the western art. But now there's a lot non western themes done by western artists contemporary artists than there was a few even a few years ago. There's a lot of good restaurants there. No problem finding someplace to eat. Did you have one you would recommend? I was looking to see if there were any that I could recommend, but none are occurring to me cafe forte. Mr. right down on that end in. It's a lovely lovely spot. They do very beautiful dinners and nice lunches. There. We've eaten there couple times. It's not a budget place, but it's not super expensive either. And also for art lovers if you really into art and want something different. If you feeling a little overwhelmed by native and western art, the Scottsdale contemporary art, gallery is down at the end of the mall in that is completely different small small small museum only usually four maybe five exhibits on installations more often, but really interesting edgy stuff. So if you want a little change of pace, that's a good place to walk down to and see what's happening. And as I mentioned Thursdays. Are there aren't night? Most of the year. They have galleries are open late to museums. They're open late things are free. Most of the things are free, and you can walk around, and it's kind of event, and it's a lot of fun to do something like that were to next day three. I think it's time to get out in the Sonoran desert a little farther. I'd recommend taking a hike. Phoenix is a great city for hiking or biking more just getting out endanger, you can hike right in the city of Phoenix. As you go towards the edges of Phoenix. You have the mountain parks, which are spectacular. There's some some parks that we've that we've really really liked because they have a nice mix of trails and fabulous scenery include the mountain parks right in town and yourself thinking of the Phoenix mountains, preserve. I'm thinking of all of those north so user mountain park Dowell park farther out is lost further out. Okay. The problem with the parks like doing the Camelback hike is that you're there with ten thousand other people. So Camelback so there are places to hike inside the city I've been in Phoenix mountain preserve which is an easy hike. And then there's Camelback mountain which is between Phoenix and Scottsdale, which is a much more strenuous hike, but a very popular hike, especially to go up there for sunrise is a very popular thing to do. But yeah, it is more popular while you can get around Phoenix proper Phoenix and Mesa Tempa without a car because of the light rail, you cannot get Scottsdale on the light rail, but you can get to the others Phoenix is so much easier with a car, and if you have a car like I say north cave creek has that's a beautiful park. It's not too far out of the city. If you're staying up in Scottsdale, I generally stay on the east end of the city. I generally stay way out in Mesa the eastern end may so or in Apache junction and from their lost Dutchman state park is just stunningly beautiful Usery mountain state usury mountain recreation area, there's a number of trails out there that are. Tackler and take you right up into the edge of the superstition mountains. So you have the desert and you have the mountains. And when flowers are in bloom, it's just it's a gorgeous area. Do you have particular trail you recommend the to remember? Well, there's chew suggestions one is just about any of the lower trails in Las Dutchman are fabulous. They're beautiful. And then there's a trail if you wanna go all the way out to gold canyon, which is at that far edged the mountains at the Phoenix area. There's a trail out there called the hieroglyphics trail, which has it's a not too difficult on though, I haven't been out there in a few years, but it's still open. It's not too difficult trail that leads out to a basin where there's sometimes waterfall. There's always usually a pool, and then there's petroglyphs on all the cliffside some of them you walk right past the first time, I was out there. We were looking for the petroglyphs in. We were looking so hard for them thinking, they'd be hard to find that we. We actually walked by them. I turned around at some point and looked at my girlfriend in the petroglyphs like over her shoulder right there where you could touch them. So that's a spectacular hike in. It's not a terribly hard hike. Please don't damage the petroglyphs and don't touch them while you're out there 'cause you could date that damages the the artwork, but that's a spectacular hike on that end say we've gone out cave creek in the north has really some wonderful, easy, easy hikes. Kimba Wimpy hiker these days. So. But I would spend the day and just take your time and do one of the parks and enjoy the desert again if you're out there in the spring, the flowers in the desert are spectacular just spectacular. So that's my day. Three is Spencer timeout in for hiking around or in the mountain forests are in the desert area hiking around day four I'm going to suggest something that has nothing to do with Phoenix. Except that it's the only place you'll find this. And that is the musical instrument museum. Good. I was gonna get there. If you didn't. And it's not the only place you'll find it. But we'll talk about the game hoping to see the other one to spring. So the musical instrument museum ignored the name. It's a music museum. The name. There are instruments in the museum. So that is not an accurate. Isn't the totality of the museum? It's really about music and the people who make music as well as the instruments it's experiential in that you put on a set of headphones as you walked through the museum, and as you look at an exhibit. If you turn to watch a classic performance on video you'll hear all the sound over your headphones. If you go up and look at Bali's instruments as you look at the gamma you'll start to hear the Gammel on play in your headphones. If you're watching classic rock somewhere again, you'll hear the sometimes nation, but usually it's just the music. It's a fascinating Newseum to go through in the shows. They have their special exhibits include things like women's Rackers, costumes, or we went to that was it was an art exhibit. I don't remember what they called it. But it was like dragons vines, and it was all the inlay guitars and musical instruments from around the world from the US. It was just an incredibly beautiful show. You've been there. Chris. Wouldn't you say that there's something there for absolutely everybody? I have not been there. My wife has been there to this one. I have been to the one that inspired it in Brussels. But I have not been to this one yet. Oh, will you need to get there? It's unbelievably fun. And it takes leave a lot of time. We left about three hours to do the museum. We took my mother there, and we figured she'd be bored in three hours, and she wasn't board, and we weren't bored in the museum was closing. And so we were very disappointed that we had left more time. That's the same thing. I heard from oh if it was a trip where I drove back from Phoenix, San Jose, California, which is home for me and my wife, flew back. So she had a little more time that to to go and explore in what with reservoirs thoroughly enjoyed it. Yeah. It is a very good reputation. But personally been there I'm gonna check out the one in Brussels spring. I hope so I can compare the two, but I was very very impressed and for lovers of more world music or more. Interesting things, you don't usually see in concerts. They have a beautiful beautiful studio concert space. They're and they do full range of form Ince's through the winter at least. And so if you're heading to town, you can check out and see there might be something really unusual there that you are unlikely to hear somewhere else than it's beautiful space to hear music in. Excellent. Well, you're out in kind of out in that end of of Scottsdale. I think it is it's way north in Scottsdale. So maybe it is gut feeling Notre kind of Scottsdale Phoenix somewhere over there. The trip me up because most things just say Phoenix in the address. And so you're not really sure there is a loop of highways that kind of to me defines the main part of town. And e this is one a one on the north and ten on the south, and this is the northeast corner of that loop. It's out ways compared to the other places we've talked about while you're there. It's further west steel for something again, a little different. But now only probably in Phoenix, there's a place called the deer valley petroglyphs do valley petroglyphs, preserve. There are petroglyphs had mentioned on the hieroglyphics trail. There's actually petroglyphs you can see on the south mountain hike, but deer valley has a whole hillside boulders with hundreds and hundreds of petroglyphs they have a interpretive center that talks about the petroglyphs attacks about the area settlement in the area. It's a really pleasant little site. And if you're like me, really bad at spotting petroglyphs, these are even if you can't find them. I don't know how you couldn't there right in front of you. But they have volunteers out there to help you see the petroglyphs little show you where they are in point them out. So if you wanna see petroglyphs this it's handicapped accessible, it's an easy place to see a little bit more about the history of the area and see these ancient petroglyphs, it's in some really interesting spot. And it's a good extra spot. Run to if you're out at the music musical instrument museum, because it's kind of in that corner of more inner urban area. So for my last day. I am proposing that you leave that civilized Phoenix area behind and head out into the superstition mountains superstitions are on the east. They kind of the east border of the Phoenix area. Beautiful rugged mountains. They don't look like there is rugged as they actually are. There's a roadway into the superstitions historic roadway called the Apache trail. It's if you go out to Lou loss Dutchman and some of the mountain parks out that direction you go right on the patchy trailer up to it for a while on the Apache trail, the first half of the trail is a paved road. It's very scenic. But it's pretty good condition. It's an easy drive. Anyone can drive it. A good half day trip would be to take the trail out to canyon lake in take a cruise on the steamboat Dolly, which will take you down into. Along canyon lake and into its back in early backwaters, but the little offshoots canyon lake is a reservoir. It's Switzer flooded. Canyon has steep cliffs, lots of desert scenery, you might even see some some big horn sheep some wildlife while you're out. It's just a really pleasant little cruise either before after the Dalai, you should continue down the road to tortilla flat. Which is a either restored revived ghost town or a rebuilt completely rebuilt. Ghost town, the original tortilla, flat mostly burned down many many many years ago, they have a little restaurant out there. There's a teensy tiny museum. The restaurant is actually fairly good. It's really good. But it's very western themed, you know, saddles for barstools, and that sort of thing it's an interesting quirky place with decent food makes a really good stop fro either before or after your crews when you go there. It's about a half day trip to go out do the cruise. Have a meal, it tortilla flats and then drive back for the more adventurous, the fun part of the road starts after tortilla flat. Skip the cruise unless you want a really long day, but you could do both once you pass tortilla flat. You you get to a hill. And when you go down the hill the road turns dirt, it's basically the same unpaved road. It was in nineteen thirty six when it was last used as a the main highway between Apache junction, we'll between Phoenix and Payson and you are stepping back in time. It's one lane in some places. If you make it through fish creek through the steep descent, the twists the blind the one lane blind curbs and that area than the rest of the road is pretty drivable. Always check the weather before you go to make sure the road isn't in terrible shape or washed out from Raines was recently graded the last time we were out there. There are some guardrails there are a lot of guardrails because it's a historic road. The apparently can't do much to widen it or improve it. It, but that's part of the adventure. It's a stunning drive. It's a dusty drive. There are some some places to stop where you can admire. The senior admire the wealth lowers there's actually another lake further down Apache lake. There's a little resort marina down there. When you get to the end of the road. There's a big dam area which creates another lake Roosevelt lake which is a big recreation area. And once you get all the way to the end, and it's only about twenty five miles on the unpaved portion, but plan at least an hour or more to drive that part. You cannot drive it over about thirty miles an hour, most of it. And some of it is a lot slower than that. You don't need a high clearance vehicle most of the time, it's not a bad idea. But you can drive it most of the time in a sedan without any problem. But for the adventurous drivers, it's a gorgeous drive when you get to the end, you can stop and take a break at Roosevelt lake, and then you either can go back the way you came or. There's a state highway that runs through the it's the tunnel. National forests, it's a lovely area. Partly desert, partly forested and takes you back down south to down in globe and coming across globe and superior. There's another botanical garden down there that spectacular. If you want to do some more flowers if you're there and flower season, you can tell my thing is flour season. So flower season would be early spring starting in various by year. But usually starting late February, Pat, the poppies sometimes mid February. But March is really marching into early April is usually when the flowers and this year offensive your listeners are thinking about going. This should be a great year for flowers. They've had a lot of rain this winter at should be really really beautiful through most of it's already the starting to bloom even through all March should be really really nice and at the weather's beautiful March is the high season, and we'll get into that in a little bit. Because there's a reason why it's the high season if the high part of the high season actually the winter is the high season go ahead. You're you're talking about flowers though, that Dr gives you some spectacular flowers the hallway when you come down in when you get down. It's Boyce Thompson arboretum down in superior, which is again at far far southeastern edge of the the Phoenix metro area. It's really I would. Consider it part of the Phoenix metro area. But technically it actually is. It's a spectacular drive in that garden is spectacular to Seoul. That's the nice it'd be a full day at a someone wants to do something like that gets you out of town and let get you out into the desert, which is sort of nice. If you're in spending all of your time right in the Phoenix area. That's only five days. There's other things you could do I did not mention tally Essen, which is Frank Lloyd Wright's Greenwich that Yuka. Winter residents. It's a very interesting place to tour. I think it's an interesting place to tour if you're an architecture geek, which I happen to be I not sure that I would recommend it for anybody. Who's not a real fan of architecture? But if you are a, yeah, this is a very major site. In fact, it is on the list of possible UNESCO world heritage site as a multi site portion about Frank Lloyd Wright, oh, I didn't realize that. Yeah. No. I would agree that you need to be an architecture fan and partly because it's quite expensive to tour. It's not a budget tour, and you have to buy to to do it for architecture fans in general Phoenix is a great city because developed so much in the forties, and particularly the fifties and sixties, so it's unbidden century modern stuff everywhere, they do a mid century modern week in March. There's just lots and lots of interesting architecture from that period as well as some really interesting modern the lot of the civic buildings that were built. Twenty thirty years ago or more recently are just really spectacular both in Phoenix. And in Scottsdale in particular, the western spirit in Scottsdale is an architecture. Very interesting building with a lot of sustainability features interesting. Interesting features, there's a Pam the Phoenix. Art museum is a real interesting building. There's a lot of really interesting buildings. But for Frank Lloyd Wright fans, this is one of the big ones. The other thing. I didn't mention is for fans of either western art in general, art, or native American Arthur's a museum down in Chandler called the Basha collection. And it was the private collection of Eddie Basha who runs the who. At one point ran the Basha grocery stores, and it's not curated the same way the say the heard or western spirit is but for someone who's interested in that sort of art, it's an amazing collection. He'll have he has in some cases, hundreds of pieces by the same artists. You can see like your. Development style through time. It's a large collection in unlike most things and Phoenix for most museums. It's totally free only when weekdays, but it's an interesting thing. Most people don't know about the last one I'd add that people should maybe think about is the superstition mountain museum, which is a little more informal than most of the other museums. I've mentioned it's at the base of the superstitions where the Apache trail starts they have some really cool mining memorabilia pieces while not huge equipment. They have some historic buildings and some historic looking buildings. So they've set up kind of like an old mining town. And it's very atmospheric in the location stunning. It's a beautiful beautiful location. The other thing that we haven't talked about is why March is so busy in Phoenix. And it's going to be one of the more expensive times to go and that spring training if you were a baseball fan, the number one reason that I have been a Phoenix over the last twenty years or so is to go down for spring training. We're half of the American baseball teams. Well, half of the American US and Canadian will end up in Phoenix and the other half in Florida, and you could go down and see half the teams play in general, and how cheap it is depends on where you go. If you go to Scottsdale stadium where the giants play you'll pay as much as you will for game that you see in San Francisco, but on the other hand, if you go out to Glendale or Peoria to one of the other stadiums where some of the mid western teams are playing you can sometimes see a game for really cheap a game and a hotdog and can be quite a fun experience to go and see a number of the different teams all in a short period of time. Which is why it is. So popular will be a little more expensive to go that time of year. But that is a big draw in Phoenix in spring training starts in February and then finished his March. Yeah. And. Really it's March. That's the the big thing. Because that's when they start playing more games the pitchers catchers reported mid-february. So that is something that we have been down for many times and is good fun. But again, a little more expensive get friends to stay with. That's a great time to go but lights are going to be a little more hotels going to be a little more hotels early challenge and rental cars. I don't know if you guys fly drive, but I have been there in March where there has not been a rental car available in Phoenix believe that. Yeah. I mean, it seems as ING, but it's it's true because of the spring training, and all there is a lot of marches probably Phoenix's month for the best weather the entire year. It is a great time to be there. Usually I have also been there during hailstorms in March so easily could weather then but not always and for hikers the snakes aren't out yet. Okay. Good to know. It's still too cold. It's warm enough for us. But not for the snakes, generally. Okay. That that is always something. Couple things other things for kids. There's a children's museum I have not been there. So I cannot recommend it necessarily. But there is a zoo that our kids enjoyed when they were younger in Phoenix that was quite fun some other things for kids to but again, I don't travel with kids either. So it's harder. But the zoo is the zoo is very nice. Yeah. US news World Report that put that in their fourth on the list, even above the Phoenix art museum, and some of the other places we've talked about they put it above the heard museum, which I know is fighting words for you. But. It's a zoo. It's a good soon though. I would recommend that more of the shoulder season or the winter in the summer that's going to be pretty warm. Yeah. I mean, that's generally true anything outdoors. You wanna do even the end may? But for sure June through even I've been in their late September. And it's still Ben really in the nineties hundred degrees. So early mornings or evenings. A really when you wanna be out. You wanna do stuff that's inside an air conditioned, every places are conditioned in Phoenix. It is a drier heat than you would find in the midwest east coast or the south like an oven. But it gets quite warm. So and there's you know, spas, golf courses and all sorts of other things that people go down to Phoenix for that. I'll let you look on your own anything else. We wanna tell people before we get to some of our wrap up questions, Cindy mentioned is that for looking for lodging in Phoenix that there's really some key places. If you wanted urban experience to stay downtown Phoenix downtown Scottsdale, or in one for more laidback urban experience in one of the historic districts and Phoenix they actually have a lot of historic districts, and there's a Fairmont of Airbnb is in them luxuries arts up north in Scottsdale or the desert escapes out on the eastern edge of the metro area. You can find some spectacular places out there. Great views, and you can hike right out your door, and I should say that if you're looking at a map of Phoenix almost everything we covered other than some of the parks that we went out and heighten were in the eastern part of that circle that I drew. Around Phoenix with highway one and highway ten almost everything we did was to the east of highway seventeen which runs north and south sort of in the center of Phoenix. We didn't talk about places like Sun City where a lot of the retirees are and some of that area. That's a little less. Interesting to me, unless you're really fond of astroturf lawns and things like that. We also didn't talk about Mesa and Tempe, which you say is where you stay. Is there anything we want to say about those areas? Why did you stay in the farther eastern part of Mesa or north on the mountains? But downtown Mesa is really starting to have a rebirth in his becoming an interesting arts area. They've done a lot of landscaping they've put in a beautiful art center. They have some historic buildings. They lost a lot of them. But they have some there's a historic neighborhood. So it's it's becoming a really attractive place to stay and are more little more urban stay, but not being in Phoenix. It's let cheaper than downtown Phoenix Scottsdale Tempe. I have not stayed in Tempe. But we've gone down there on the light rail we've stopped there few times to eat and check it out. And that is of course, we're on a state university is located that's probably the liveliest place in the Phoenix metro area right now, there's all sorts of bars and restaurants in while lot of it's aimed at college students. Not all of it is and it's become a real interesting urban place, the kind of hang out and eat and do things and be. Outside and they've got some great parks. And so again, that's more urban areas, especially for younger people. There's a lot more nightlife. It's I have been in restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa recently that eight thirty you're eating dinner in their starting to put the tables on the chairs on the tables and close up for the night. So. If you want to be a little later, Scottsdale or Tempe is probably your best place to go and look for a little bit of nightlife. Excellent. All right. You're standing in the prettiest spot in Phoenix where he standing in. What are you looking at this is cheating? But I think the prettiest place in Phoenix is any place where I can see Sura cactus silhouetted against the setting sun. Just my favorite thing. Can you a lot of places that is a lot of places? Can you think of one place in particular? I'm very partial to lost Dutch mistake part because you can see the swirl mountains on one side swore months, the superstition mountains on one side, and you can see Phoenix off in the distance. And so you can have the best of everything. Excellent. One thing that makes you love and say only in Phoenix. It's the phones it's getting better. There are water features everywhere in Phoenix, just everywhere. And they recycle all the water. I understand that. It's reused water. And they reuse it for five times even before it gets in the fountains. But. It still seems just crazy to see all these cactuses growing alongside these beautiful ponds around the greenfields, and golf courses and lawns. It's just. It's crazy. Excellent. And if you had to summarize Phoenix in three words, what three words would use vibrant, artsy and Suru. Excellent. Well, we did we did talking about the cactus is so much the one thing that may surprise you. If you're not from the area is how old these cactuses are because I think oral cactus won't even get an arm a limit till it's like one hundred years old if I recall correctly. So if you see something up there that's got two three four arms as a cactus. It is hundreds of years old so beat, you know, be careful with them be gentle with them. But they are very interesting adapt Haitians of plants that grow in the area. Yeah. And they're only found in the Sonoran desert. So they're only found in the central southern Arizona into Mexico and in in Phoenix, UC them planted on the roadsides all over the place and just everywhere, but they're cool. They're so cool city if we wanted to send people to the best post on Phoenix on at exploration vacation dot net. What post would we send them to? I have a separate landing. Page for exploring Phoenix in the valley of the son that has just some summaries, and that has links to a few other stories and things a lot of the places of talked about I haven't actually written about because it's I'm down there so often I don't get things written up. Our guest again, it's been Cindy Carlson from exploration vacation dot net. Simi thanks so much for coming on amateur traveler and sharing with us your love of Phoenix. Thanks, Chris is really fun. It's always fun to talk to you. Couple of new things on the amateur traveler blog one is I finally got around to writing up some of the amateur travel trips in blog format. So if you're interested in reading about Morocco Cambodia or India, you can check those out at the top page of amateur traveler, also we just got back from Portland, and there's a couple articles about things to do in Portland and winter and best Portland food trucks and carts. So check those out amateur traveler dot com. If you're looking for California content on the amateur trough, or you're gonna have to go instead to California travel media dot com, all that content. Got moved to a new California website that I'm going to be putting some work into. I heard from Kyle this weekend. Kyle said I just wanted to send you a quick note of appreciation. I came across the amateur traveler podcast years ago via your tech in travel minute features on Tom merits daily tech news show putt cast a been a regular listener ever since. Last fall, my wife, and I moved from Pennsylvania to Brussels for an expat assignment, I've been combing through the amateur traveler archives since then and binging the European episodes to help decide where we should travel on our new home continent, you've created such an invaluable resource with rich catalogue of travel experience. Please do keep up the good work regards Kyle and thanks so much. It was great to get your Email. And also people don't know what he's talking about four nail over two years. I've been doing once a week just a quick tech in travel tip for the daily tech news show, which is my daily tech new show of choice. I'm a regular listener of that show as well with that will bring an end to this episode of amateur traveler giving questions Senate Email to hosted amateur traveler dot com or better yet. Leave a comment on this episode at amateur traveler dot com, and thanks so much for listening. See? Champ.

Phoenix Scottsdale Phoenix Phoenix art museum Sonoran desert Chris Christensen Phoenix cine US Mesa Phoenix mountains Arizona Cindy Carlson Phoenix Phoenix harbor Art museum Phoenix mountain Phoenix Scottsdale Tempe general Phoenix Alaska
Full Episode: Friday, June 6, 2020

20/20

1:20:08 hr | 6 months ago

Full Episode: Friday, June 6, 2020

"Take. You wouldn't stand a chance I mean you're got. Started saying call nine one one is dead. What's going on the? Wind at. His twenty three year old son Levi dies tragedy. At first, it didn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary. appeared to be an accident. You know this was a story that played out in upstate New York. I'm from upstate. New York and I remember people consumed by this story and it only got more twisted as the years went on. Forever. Carl goes tragedy takes place it was. deja Vu moment for Carl. Ninety long and lost his wife and lost his home and everything they owned. How lucky is this guy? Christina was trapped inside that bathroom with fire raging just outside the door. It wasn't an accident. I heard. Screaming. My father and said Mommy's gone to happen. Seemed like every couple years, something was. A lot of people have said when this guy needed funding a family member. Is definitely a pattern. Cindy's concern okay first wife dies in this tragedy revitalizing. There's tragedy. Was She convinced. There was a killer home. Katie. Kenny. Hi Katie. My name is Aaron Dorosh. My name is Ronald Carl Carlson is my father. It does seem surreal. Sometimes that this is my life. This much bad stuff happen to normal people. P. Highs and Hughes stable to manipulate people very easy. Asked who he's always been so for me. I saw the monster more than the man's. This story that has really taken years to unfold I, began covering it seven years ago in upstate New York, but really no one could have imagined. No one could have predicted how this would end up. So, we're headed. eighty-five, yell found her own to. Carlson Families quite connected community rate and throw well-known family how they met here for. Generations my grandfather settled right here where a large family. Carl is my brother. Carlton Five brothers and a sister. Almost all of whom remain in the area has was a highway official in that county for almost fifty years. His brother was a town councillor. Definitely a family that has a lot of connections. The Carlson family name is has always been a very rectal name senator. County. Second County sits between two vehicle. Pretty much smack DAB in the middle of the Finger Lakes region of upstate new. York were between the cities of Rochester and Sarah Hughes Santa Falls is known for. It's a wonderful life. The current. Belief is that Seneca falls was the model. For the village of Bedford falls in. It's wonderful life. When I met Carl in November of Nineteen, ninety two, he was A. Single Dad to his three children. Carlson's first wife Christina was thirty years old when she died in a tragic fire just years before he would be his second wife Cindy Carlson. He seemed like he was a hands on dead. The youngest Katie adored her father. Aaron and leave Levi seem to. They had a special bond. Levi was amazing. He was so creative. He was very smart, but he had a warning disabilities so when it came to bringing home. Good grades, he couldn't because of the disability. Difficult life, grownup. Levi's life was everything that you wouldn't want your kid to grow up with. He might throw rebellious time and his teenage years and. him in his father seemed. Clash. He got older. He got into more the metal music, and he now he kinda changed his appearance a little bit, but deep down, he was always still the same goofy kid. He married early. Two young. The marriage didn't pan out leave I of. pull his life together. He was he was a good young man. He wanted to make better. And rumoured twentieth, two, thousand, eight, nine, one received a frantic call from Cindy Carlson. Nine. One one was vocation of it. Eight hundred. Okay. Leave I had come to the home, a Cindy and calls. At the requests a Carl parallel told me that leave. Right was gonNA come out to work on an old firm truck that we had but. Our plan was that we needed to attend. My Aunt's funeral while Levi is in the garage, working under that farm drug, crawling cindy or getting ready and dress to go to a funeral I went and got in the passenger seat of the car, and Carl had told me that I'm just going to go out and leave I. Know that we're leaving. It was just a minute or two. And then curl came in got in the car. I think seemed out of the ordinary. In Cindy leave to go to a funeral done New York Lira gone for. four hours. They returned home Cindy. I noticeably by his car still parked in there i. wish she's kind of concern. I went into the house. And Carl came up to the window in the door and started banging and saying call nine one one Levi is dead. What's going on? My Stepson. The truck fell on your stepson. And I don't think he's a lie. You don't think he's alive. Cindy's basically taken information. She got her husband Carl and relates nine one one dispatcher. Justice crossed now. He's probably been under here for hours. Own. Karl had pulled out. From underneath a truck. You. Could Steve. And tation honest chest. The truck was jacked up by a single. Railroad type Jack. This is the kind of jacket that police found. That's similar similar a Railroad Jack, and you make for very weak foundation in haikus weaker kids. Never, forget that the team, we all went to this local junkyard to try to find a similar. Old Farm truck the weight of it just to see what it would be like a propped up on a single railroad Jack. Would you go under this pickup? I would never go under a truck I. Don't like going underneath trucks when they're sitting all four tires on the ground, so you've gotta checked up here with a railroad. Jeff Look at I think Typically Jack Going just wobbling. Jack is moving. and that's just crazy. It's really. Have time to get clear of that. You wouldn't stand a chance you your your God. Your God. The amulets was there. They were just pulling Levi out. To them. When police arrived, what were the parents? Link very distraught very upset. Crying Grief, stricken? I remember. sheriffs trying to console Carl because he was so. Distraught. Levi was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Twenty three years old time. At first, it didn't appear to being anything out of the ordinary. appeared to be an accident. I get a call from my niece. My nephew has has died. I knew soon as I heard that I was gone that he had done it. Every Khyber maybe I said I have no idea what he stands to gain from knows, but it begs the question. Put Fodder his own son. and. I I met. At a line yesen. told me that, he could line dance. I was Kinda. Looking for line dancing partner. Come to find out if you really had no clue about financing. Cindy Carl. She sees this physically strong could look in successful in her mind guy that unfortunately he's dealt with a treasury of the death of his wife, and a house for Nineteen Ninety one. What he told me about. The fire was that he was able to. Pull, the children hoped i. then the house was involved. It had been almost two years. He was heartbroken. He loved her I felt extremely sorry for him. She was your new for the family package he came with. The package is pretty quick. He brought her over to the house then. And introduce US and initially it was. It was a nice change of pace. For me, it was. I'm going to have a mom like all the other little kids my age have. She did initially felt that void Shimmy. Now is the mother mother figure in life. We were married in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty three. Turns out. It wasn't so happily ever after for the Carlson. Kids their life with coral, as they describe, it was filled with work shores disciplined. We did the sweeping in the mopping dusting everyday vacuuming we cook. Dad would get home and. Cindy would go right to him right away and you know Aaron. Did this or I believe I, did this you need to take care of right now? In he did. China's when the kids really misbehaved I would tell him he needed to talk to them. And sometimes I felt like he was. Overly strict with them, Parl was really was such a tight fist. They couldn't be kids. Always had chores to do. There was always work to do. Physical Labor as a form of punishment pretty consistently. One time I don't even know what I'd done. But he wanted me to carry Tang Gallon bucket full to the brim water back, and forth from the House to the barn, and he would just. Watch and wait for my body to physically give out when it was Levi. He would take him outside. My father told me that leave I. was a man, so he could take. As far as physical abuse I did not see that he hid it well. We moved out when he was sixteen. It became an escape for him. He needed to get out of the House pretty soon thereafter. He had met Cassie Levi was eighteen when he had his first daughter. And then the second one came two years later. Murtaza Young Age. And their marriage that workout. She was really one of the only people in his entire life that had loved him, and accepted him for who he was and losing. That was traumatic for him. Prior to death? His life was on an upswing DNA. He was coming back to the far more often. He was able to get a job with one of the factories that was in Geneva. They had insurance and stuff they. He needed as a father, trying to support his children. After the of the investigation is very cursory. John reports were filed. The doctor signed off on it. There was no autopsy. Gave every appearance of being an unfortunate accident. It was shortly after Levi died that Carl had told me that league at had a life insurance policy the life insurance policy. Taken out on Levi. Beyond bizarre. Carl drive leave his twenty year old son to a insurance office introduces Levi to an insurance. If they wanted to get an insurance policy on Levi, who had two young girls? Worked in a glass factory and felt it with job. Hazards and accidental death was was a possibility. Carl Convinces Levi to take out a life insurance policy where seven hundred thousand dollars. I didn't realize that Carl actually. Eight first premium I did not know that and he paid cash. This life insurance policies taken out, and the first payment is made provisional coverage, but it's providing that the subject pass a medical. Medical Exam Carlin Levi did not tell the agent that leave. Levi had serious swallowing disorder that made it difficult to ingest food, and that he'd been treated for that disorder several years before the likelihood is at New York life would have suspended or drop the policy or had to rewrite at once, revise. Medical conditions were brought to their attention Levi. Carlson's medical exam was scheduled the day after he died. Even the leave. I didn't make it to that medical exam. The insurance companies still paid out. To Call Dad also made a point. What tell me was the? We've I had left a will. This was a handwritten note. Saying. That his father was going to be the sole executor of his estate base be dispersed the money to his kids. E said it was barely enough to cover the funeral expenses for Levi seven hundred thousand dollars that would be paying for a heck of a funeral turns out. Nobody in Karl's life knew about that life insurance money other than his wife Cindy. When a crushing Kara. Why were you beneficiary? He had told me that. Because leave I was going through this nasty divorce Carl made it out to. Leave I didn't trust his ex wife. Net Levi wanted his daughters taking care of any trusted. His Dad I didn't think it was odd because we had worked his way back into the house, a little bit more and him and dad seemed to be getting along pretty good. I just trusted my husband. There was no reason for me to question anything. Note, says all of the essence. Go to the father to be handed out, yes. and. When was the letter notarized? The day of his death. At the time law enforcement didn't know about any of this. So once it was ruled an accident. It seemed like it was case closed. Wasn't until four years later at the investigation real with everything that you discovered here. What did you make of what happened? Was I one suspicious? I went to the House the next day and could not for the life of me understand why somebody didn't try to get around. It wasn't an accident. Here's before Levi. Carlson would die underneath that truck Carl Carlson had experienced loss before. When Levi. died. I assume it was some sort of A. deja Vu moment for Carl. That he'd been there before ninety one, he had lost his wife and lost his home and everything they owned. Beautiful Mommy over there. Lamont state West Christina, but everybody was fairly close to our caller Chris. Had Two daughters. One was suzy homemaker. Sports job. That, She was three years older than me. Everybody knew I was her little sister. She didn't see bad in anyone. Even, the somebody could have done something horrific. She would find a way to find something positive about them. Carl met his first wife. Christina. News in Air Force. She had told me she'd met a nice guy. And so I asked questions about she seemed very very excited about this particular person, and then when she told me we're getting married. You Know I. Wish her the best, and as soon as I can get out there to see her. I got out there. Work that is stone quarry Senator County. Ultimately Carl to California to take a job got laid off. I said come out here to California if. You always have a job out here. I made him. Parker in my company, so Carla out of the blue, just packed everybody up, and he took off for California to strike it rich and famous. And that was. A typical adventure, and of course I'm excited because my sister. Her kids are coming home, so I'm very excited. The Cross family lived in the town of Murphy's. Murphy's a Gold Rush Era town that was settled by pioneers, miners and existed here since the. Mid, to early late eighteen hundreds. It's northern California. It's a quite a hype from Sacramento. Hour or two it's. Quite country rose. We loved Murphy's. My mom would actually take guys on on walks and we. Leaves and ACORNS and we would go on picnics. Pennsylvania Gulch road where the Carlson family settled was. Way Down A rural road. Where Carl and Christina and their three children was an old nine check, it was converted into a house it was. It was a difficult environment. It wasn't very dilapidated, but I remember when we maintain. My mom put in water effort to get the house clean she. She decorated. She sewed curtains. She was a phenomenal seamstress. It was amazing when my father wasn't home. When he was home, it was very tense. You just had a very aggressive personality. kind of that personality either my way or the highway and in the highway isn't an option, so it's my way. Her thirtieth birthday I bought her a glamour shot. I thought this would be the perfect thirtieth birthday for she really didn't want to turn thirty. Walk into my house. Her tells her take the makeup off. You look like a whore and she went to the bathroom and took it off when things would get. To the point where she felt she didn't want us to witness I'm the arguments for the fights she would request. They go back to the bedroom. But we we heard. There were some glaring things to me that I didn't like that. I talked to her about. Multiple Times Corey to call that Christina was getting ready to move out. Take the kids weather moving with her. Just one way get through the holidays. Christmas morning nineteen ninety. Day Three for me. Get your face in this. Thank you, Darla. Last Christmas. We all had together at my mom's house. Know opening presents being goofy. On January first nineteen ninety-one. every day kind of like any other. We were just playing around the house. Corals daughter Erin recalled him taking a Christmas tree out of the House and dousing it in kerosene. was going to burn the Christmas. Tree. And he wanted to watch, so we wind us up and said the he wanted us to see how quickly house could burn and I was. Just shy of seven, but my assumed it was kind of less than like. Don't play with matches. Don't play with fire. And then we went back inside. Our MOM got US ready to go down car now. Sleeping in his room Katie Aaron Sleeping in their room and Christina went into the bathroom to take a bath. So while Carl's wife is taking a bath. He says that he was upstairs in the attic fan before then going out to the garage. He walks out into the garage which the dodgers probably fifty feet? He's working in the shop and it's at that point. Here's his wife screaming his name. He comes out looks, and that's when he sees. He sees flames he sees the house is on fire. Here's Christina. Say Karl get the kids. She loves those kids and she would have done anything for them. Hey, heard. May mother screaming fellow to the door. Slightly Ajar so I kinda. You know peaked worry and four years old I. Think I really understood what was happening saw down. The hallway was engulfed in flames. Carlton smoked out of the House flames, and it goes up on the portion to revise better window. And breaks the window. Coral claims. He sees his son there on haunt, so he reaches in grabs his son by the hair and throws his five year old son out of the house into safety. That goes to the other side of the house. Breaks a window to the girls better. He was just there and he pulled us out. After saving Aaron and Katie. said he returned to the House and tried to enter into the door, but there were too many flames. Nineteen ninety-one about everybody has a cell phone so. He leaves this fire saying we decided his best next course of Action Vita. Go seek out. To different people come to my door. Said had. Heard on the scanner. Fired at the end of pin through just walked down the street. I could see the smoke and I knew knew was coming. My first thought, just get out there. Services Fire Department first responders respond to the same people that were close to Christina had a lot of questions about what happened that day. It's obvious that they're suspicious. The sound. There was two hundred thousand dollar policy on Christina. It's just. It's all red flags. It makes you wonder just. How unlucky is this guy? These are all from the fire. From Santa Carlson parish in the house fire. A founder doubled over outside of the TUB with a rank, covering her face. I got out there and I started looking around. Somebody directed me over to the ambulance and. Cutting back ambulance. I see the whole family except for my daughter Chris. That's when I realized what had happened everybody. was rushing around with a purpose and my dad was it. He was just standing there casually. Like. Any other day. Though people in California right from the beginning of Nineteen ninety-one believed that Christina's death was not accidental. Christina Carlson's cousins went to the burnt out home and created a video. She extensive video footage, the inside and outside of the House. The area where Christmas body was discovered in the bathroom. Excuse me out. Christina was found. Both of them. Evaluate the house. Look through the ruins. It's obvious that they're suspicious. Why he didn't knock this out. In front of the bathroom window is a board nailed him to the wall. Post, the bathroom areas still intact. You can clearly see the boarded up window to the bathroom. Carl stories that a few days prior to the fire, his wife was trying to open the bathroom window, and she was using a toilet plunger and broke the window. Carl's solution, he said was to take a warped wooden board that he had in his shop and you seventeen males to hammered into the wall. There's now wish she could have got off. Isn't there anything she could Houston? I went to the House the next day I. Ask somebody to drive me out there and basically you don't WanNa. Go out there and I said yes, they do. I stood in the bathroom. And could not for the life of me understand why. Somebody didn't try to get her out. Clean the boarded up window and the fire. Just outside the bathroom door, she was trapped. There was no getting out I asked him. Why didn't get the Board Off Yourself? And, he said by the time he got around and got the kids out with the windows. That it was too late, he couldn't get near him. So after the fire Carl talks to investigators, and he tells them how he thinks the fire might have started. Carl goes down with a very large story. Told back in Nineteen ninety-one days prior to this fire, his wife brought in a five gallon jug. That was silver kerosene. They used kerosene heaters inside of the house. They have a cat and dog, and those animals are rough housing, which knocks over the container of kerosene made you remember there being a spill on the floor and mom had towels and blankets piled up and we were having fun climbing over the top of them. She adult been working. That day of the fire was working in the attic area. Crawl says he was using a trouble up in the attic for light just before he went out to the garage. Carl's claimed that the trouble light which either fell from the attic or which he left on the kerosene spill likely caused the fire. And according to Karl. He says that once the fire began. He did what anyone would try to do to try to save their family. Therapy things that are a little fuzzy, but. There are some things that I remember just like it was yesterday. He pulled us out through the window. He took eighty nine to the truck. Ke told us to get down. And not to look your kids. Curiosity got the better of I, so he? Turned around all of us and just Kinda Watch. She watched. Carl walks slowly to the house and not make any real attempts to break into the House and Save Christina. Her mother and my father had said Mommy's gone to happen even before the. has there the firefighters like? Wow, we're sitting in the truck. We didn't understand. Of course. The gravity are what it really meant, but we knew, so. We were all really quiet. Christina's death is ruled accidental death. The actual physical cause of death of Christina Carlson was smoke inhalation, which indicates that the fire. Was Not on top of her. We just flew to California as soon as we could get there. He was very stoic. Emotionless didn't t just said I WANNA go home. Meaning New York. At the time it made sense. In four days. They had everything taken care of and. Then, we're off to New York. They were gone before she was even laid to rest. If you really were that concerned about everything happens, you would stay around and you wouldn't be avoiding talking with detectives. The Fire Marshal. Carl cat, who was the investigator for California Department of? A, lot of questions about the cause, and who started this fire and I was requested to come to a fire scene I thought the circumstances of the fire were suspicious. There was. Concern that something. Right and it didn't help. Carl had taken out an insurance policy on Christina just weeks before that deadly fire. Carlson went to an insurance agent and Two hundred thousand dollar policy on his wife. The fact that the policy was purchased nineteen days before Christina's death I think, rang the alarm bells, and the head of State Farm Insurance State farm brought in, canvas. Typically, I'm hired by Insurance Company to answer what the cause of the fire is the story the related to many? At least initially made sense a story that the hot bulb. Come the trouble light could ignite the kerosene soaked into the carpet, but you know. When that investigator looked at that severely burned light, he was able to determine filament had not been energized at the time of the fire, meaning the light wasn't on. Is a bulb off. Of course, it's not have to the cause of the fire. Mr Karlsson story simply couldn't have been true. Ken busking turns his report into the Insurance Company telling them. He's convinced that this was no accident. This was a set fire by a human being. Well! We, clearly no. One human being capable of settlements player. But for whatever reason that report didn't stop the insurance company from paying out. The Plane Carl was paid two hundred fifteen thousand dollars. And it was not explained why their recommendation to not having paid was overlooked. Insurance. Company did a very good investigation law enforcement. It didn't seem was doing anything I. Never saw Mr Buggies report. A Key wise just seemed like. When Carl moved to New York a few days after the fire. It's everything stopped. And, there wasn't much follow up. I asked if they would front. The money's for me to travel back there and interviewed. called. Wanted to go to New York to interview Carlson and person, but his superiors turned him down, saying that there just wasn't enough money for that kind of the. DA's office. It was a good circumstantial case wasn't enough. To prosecute. I was hoping something would happen. Somewhere after maybe the fifteenth year I was. Beginning to think somebody got away with murder all these years later with his twenty three year old son Levi dead. There are people who start to wonder. Did he get away with murder, not once but twice. Maybe the phone call. That was asked if if we didn't investigate an accident involving Levi Carlson staff. Do you remember the call to this? Oh Yeah. Send his concerned now than I is in this tragedy. By Dies Tragedy Am I. Album. After Levi died. Out. Four. Everyone went about their business. Time on March Dot Carl collected a large insurance policy on even. If I had known that there was an insurance policy I would have gone straight to the sheriff's Department Karl received approximately seven hundred thousand dollars. He claimed that this money was going to be used for Levi's children, his grandchildren. Levi's insurance money is being spent by Carl Symbol. Not Levi's children. What were they spending money on? Well. It looks like a lot of money went to a duck business gourmet duck business. It was just another one of Karl's stay. Dreaming Ideas Get rich quick schemes. The idea was he was gonNA raise gourmet ducks to sell to restaurants, but what happened is curl started right away, ordering more and more Docs. We went from raising ten. Twenty gourmet ducks two thousands I mean duck feed. For thousands of ducks cost a lot of money. He doesn't know what he's doing. He just bailing water as losing money left and right, dad and Cindy. Their finances weren't making sense to me. There was also new vehicles quite frequently. They will constantly be going on vacation I finally confronted her and I. You know I said. What is going on here this? This doesn't make sense. She just denied everything. Coral is the person responsible for spreading the bulk of that money and he kept Cindy in the door. At this time, he's keeping me blind. Want to know anything because he knows I questioned everything. He's just GonNa do what he wants to do. That's just how it was Carl to Carlson. told us that it was about two years after Levi's death that she actually started to grow suspicious of the man she was married to. There is not one thing that I just said. Oh my God! He did it. It happened over time I would have these panic attacks. I would be in my living room and say Oh, my Gosh. To have something to do with. They Vice Death Christina's family. said he had something to do with her death. She convinced there was a killer in our own home I. Think did she suspected? Cindy calls and says that. During this time she was so terrified of her husband. She started sleeping with a knife under her bed and finally she just had move out. At, the end when there was very little, money left and Carl kept spending and spending and spending Yes I took some money because I needed to keep myself life. I had nothing left and I'm scared. She was concerned enough that she hires a private detective to to look into it it self-preservation. She probably was concerned for her life when she realized that there was a policy on her. A private investigator started digging in finding out. I would be worth one point two million. To Carl if I was dead one night. I had called my cousin and told her my fierce. I think curl might be Khalil by. She said why would Karl Levi? There's nothing for him to gain from that I said. Guests are was gained seven hundred thousand dollars. Cindy's cousin Jackie and called in a concern that she had to the police. A phone call. What are you told those asked? If if we didn't investigated an accident involving Levi Carlson's death and I looked it up. This family members Gusman suspicions concerned that things just aren't ended up. You know wherever Carl goes. Tragedy takes place and financial payoffs. Follow suit. Once we started looking into prior incidents. That was the first indication of something wasn't right here so as investigators start to look into Carl Carlson's past. You know it doesn't take them long to to see what is a frightening pattern that dates back decades. The first thing that came up was a firefighter from nineteen six was a brand new Mustang purchased by Carl Carlson at ten thousand dollars insurance on it, and it burned up his driveway, according to the report, we heard. Nothing in the trump nothing a glove box. The car just burned up and. It church took care of the payment and Got Monitor. Players, another one of those incidental tragedies, one evening in two thousand and two, I was asleep. And Carlson Upright in bed. And looked out the window. and Said on the Barnes on fire. I knew there were horses in there. There was our prize Belgian mayor. And two babies. Those devastating to see the barn, burning down, which is part of our family's history, and then also to see the loss of these horses that we're conveniently. Just put it. In the barn. One. Hundred fifteen thousand dollars Carl's paid out on this. Burn in the horses. Can we go one more time? Tragedy and a Pale. I call it blood money. He got an insurance policy from my daughter. He got another insurance policy when he had A. Firm, down with expensive courses in your seemed like every couple of years, something was burning. You know so I mean I feel like we kinda new and just expect it. We choose to reach out to Cindy Carlson to further investigation. First thing she said was. Thank God. You called when you asked her to help you out. She said yes she agreed. And put a wire. Walking into. Traffic! I thought maybe I can get him to confess. That was Michael. Of Carl did this she wanted to I'm terrified. I'm thinking. Oh, my Gosh, my husband is a murderer. This was a story that played out in upstate. New York I'm from upstate. New York and remember people consumed by this story, and it only got more twisted as the years went on. Why kind of parents? Are Father would. Push a truck. On their own child. And, let them suffer and die. It was the most terrifying time in my life. And it becomes a huge store. They asked him you know what this is about. Talk about my dead wife and dead son. So when he says who could do that, who could kill their wife? That way we already. We already know that. You killed your son that way I told him that I wanted to see my sister, and he said I can't. She's a crispy critter. That was his term. crispy critter. Smiled like a Cheshire cat and he said it's been. Twenty two years. They haven't caught the at. And they're not going to. Put before Carl would walk away for good. There would be one more. Unbelievable twist in this case that it's almost impossible to believe. Increase. Getting maternity ready. Don't you look at some today? This wasn't about a job. This was a passion. This was a passionate. Bring Justice. To lovely people over there Christina Levi in their family. Pride and joy sitting over Morocco. delegators Seneca County get tip. Tip is looking to Carl Carlson. That's when the tide starts to shift. So the You was twenty twelve. It was about three years after Levi. Carlson had died, and as investigators begin to take a much closer look at this case. They learned that lead by Carlson had a life insurance policy, and that his father Carl was the beneficiary to this seven hundred thousand dollar life insurance policy. That seems very odd when when Levi had children of his own to leave money to. For me, that was enough to reopen. Reopen the investigation right there. It was the most terrifying. Time in my life. I decided that I just could not do. It anymore couldn't live with Carl anymore. I needed to get out of the house shortly after I left is when law enforcement called me first thing she said was. Thank, God, you called. That she said she said that she also had suspicions. They said they had a tip from a family member that. Maybe, there was something more to leave Levi death. That's when we started working together to law enforcement. Cindy was coming in on a regular basis. There was an ongoing process for months. I think she was almost kind of like. Almost WANNA to be part of the police investigation I was watching a show where a woman was taping her. Mother. Secretly. Try to get her confessed to killing your father. And I remember just thinking. I knew that. I'm going to get a recorder I'm going to start recording my conversations with Carl. Met Carl in a busy restaurant and Carl had actually picked the place I think because he was worried that I was recording I. Just told him that I'd consider getting back together with him if he. Came clean or confessed about every single thing he did during our marriage. Every told you come clean and out consider it. He actually confessed. When she came to my office, she was all excited and she said He. He just told me he killed Levi. Then she goes and is recorded. I think she she pretty much thought that. This was the home run by what happened. Was it was inaudible? They were a pretty poor record best surely. one. That didn't capture all that. Cindy thought it captured, but now it's the detectives who have an idea, and they ask, Cindy, if she's willing to wear a wire to try to get Carl Carlson to confess to this again. We're GONNA pick a restaurant. We're going to put undercover officers in there and we're GONNA. Wire her up professionally and see if they could. We create this conversation and I said yes. She's got the wire on wear underneath your clothing. And what does he think he's walking into? he thinks he's coming to talk to his wife about getting back together about reconciliation, yes. But. She has no plan to get back together. No, she's here for you. Yes. So the two of them are sitting together in the corner. and. You'd private investigators through the room. Yes, several of US sat in the area with other investigators in plain clothes, sitting inside the restaurant nearby. Played. To hire pipe. Head right? Thank you this time now. He's very suspicious that I want to hear. The same thing said he said before. Our. What you're talking? About. Feel like walking. Rally he even said. I feel like you're setting up how? Do, you want to go through my Kirk Carlson I. Ever made any such mission, so we're kind of like taken back. Like what did he really tell us? What's going on here? I couldn't get him to confess to the same exact thing that he had confessed. Today's before you can hear the Cindy Carlson. Pressing, her husband Carl over and over again. She doesn't give up as the questions become more aggressive. Coral appears to make halfway admission. You! took. Your. told me that they didn't set it up that way, but when you were in, you saw opportunity. After Opportunity. Very strange word for us about a son's death. I would find it very unusual that apparently it would be fair to the death of their is an opportunity. For right now I know I. I'm just here. Hard. No I mean you just just. Make. Saliva. Touching the ground is just. Oh now I have my coffee. Then, I mean, did he? Learn, how? It's not clear cut and it's not definitive it's. By no means that we think this was a slam dunk I I'll be in touch with you. All right bye. So at that point, we knew we're going to be bringing them in for an interview. And they asked him to come in for questioning, they subbed. You know what that says about. You WanNa talk about my wife and dead saw. This isn't a simple interview. Compassionate. We all know that going into this corals very comfortable with them until they start asking him very pointed questions. That's when the interview turns into an interrogation. The truck. Just. I felt like I was getting close. He was close to telling me that really happened that day. Your goals. was ever. Twenty two, thousand twelve. Can See. Carl is picked up by investigators. He's brought to the Senate County Sheriff's Office into an interview. And you can see in that interview. That corals very comfortable with them. The investigators are very reasonable with how they initially approach it. They morand is. Route. You're. About as A. Most of the questions we asked we already knew the answers to. It was just going to be how Carl was GONNA. Ask you hall him in. And you begin asking questions. How many different stories did have? Three what was version. One version Ron was essentially the same. Story that was in the original report. Coral would detect thieves. After he returned home from that funeral with Cindy that he walked out into the garage and discovered his son Levi. Crushed underneath that truck. Out there and You know then we went to the hospital. I. Karl knows that they know something. He doesn't know the extent of what they know. I. What? Is here. You have a wire. I thought yes all record. One. Thing became very clear. He liked to talk and he liked to talk about his favorite subject with. All. Coral talking about his history in the air force. In and air force his personal injuries and tour. Three of he's going through. Basically a complete narrative of his life. 'CAUSE! Percent wants to keep reverting and talking about the pain is back and how his backs bothering him in all me and forget about the that his sons died. His wife's died. Let's worry about Carl and his back problem. I. It was typical of him trying to get sympathy through out. The whole interrogation is one thing that stuck in my mind that came from Cindy Carlson. Her exact words were. He's a sympathy junkie. And as we got into the latter part of the interview I gave him a lot of sympathy and a lot of hands on contact, and that did work. Roughly three hours into the interview, his version to starts version number two was. When he went back into the garage to see Levi, he was already dead. Debt. Rollo Rod! I. Packed. Just So. Over call call nine. Was Refunded Ryder South. To. He saw his son trapped in dead under the truck. It's still left for the funeral gas. Version. Two is far more ridiculous version one and instead of screaming. Help GonNA. Get help. He simply goes well. Okay, my son's Dad. I blame myself every day, but now when he returns, he finds his son Dad underneath the truck is when he flips and goes crazy screaming for help. Kid more than. Because I knew he was startling, went through I went through as a kid, you know. I think throughout the interview. He was convinced that he was going to convince us. He had reason to think that he'd gone away with a longtime. The interview ultimately lasts for nine hours. Put on the pressure harder. Carlson asks to move his chair right. He moves his chair. He puts in the corner of the room. Both the investigators have literally backed him into a corner. When she S in. Personnel. was, hard. season. I don't remember. Off! You keep pushing. And yet a third story emerges. Out. How long would you? Assign? I felt like I was getting with. It's almost like a physical thing. You can almost feel it. was close to telling me something more about what really happened that day. It would turn out and Carl Carlson one more version of this story. He said that when he went out into that garage that his son leave, I was still alive was actually working on the truck. and. They! Did it? In there. Final Staff. Just. Here. I don't know why. I can't imagine. Walking away and leaving their child dying on floor. Were going with fuel. Guess. Get many would argue he had just created. One right here in his own garage. We know that there's the real version of version for the untold version where Carl Jack up on a single post got Levi to get underneath there with all his force pushes the truck. Run them. Causes. A struggle crashed onto Levi what kind of parents? Are Father. would. Push a truck over. On their own child. And let them suffer and die. Truck! That evening after the interview Carl. Rested Carl for the murder murder. Second Degree Cancer Insurance Fraud I remember thinking. No want in California certainly needs to be looked at a lot harder than it was. I went to go visit him. When I was like I, know that you children mother and he smiled like a Cheshire cat. Twenty two years. They haven't caught me. And they're not going to. Once Carl was charged in New York. It gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe we could finally get some traction in Calaveras County. Look at me, please. Please Fresh bancaire from decades after Pristina died in that House Fire Her sister Colette never gave up. She believed that this was not an accident. It turns out the investigators in New York had been digging into this case as well. We're interviewing Carl about obviously because we're in with New York state, but we're GONNA further this investigation California. Well about halfway through the interview, he does make a real off the wall. Remark he comes and says what kind of person does that kind of person kills his his his own son or his wife. There's nothing to justify killing your wife your kids. You're your own. Your parents, your earth I mean. It'd be different if you killed. Kobe, now I know, but I'm just saying. You know on the advising wife kids whatever? You Know No. I already done through that. No, how no way! I thought it was a strange thing for him. To bring up California was on his mind, even if it wasn't necessarily on ours at the moment, does he stick to a story about what he told in Nineteen ninety-one to some degree? Yes, we know. There was one was. Extremely extremely extremely small, but of course there was that video. The Cristina's cousin made showing US exactly. HOW BIG THAT WINDOW WAS! Serious about? Christina failed. Trying to picture this window. Window or the window was like. that. Where did you? was that. because. You couldn't you couldn't put. You might be able to be. Obeyed. You and Eighty woman! There's no. That video zoomed in on that bathroom window and you could see. It was large enough person to get. Kiss. The investigators asked Carlson about the insurance policy that he had on his wife Christina, and how long before her death that he actually took that policy out on her so about hog before you think. It's. Other minds like relatively soon? It's gotta be. It's. It's gotta be like three or four months or something. But detectives already know. And Curl certainly should have known that he had taken out that life insurance policy just nineteen days before Christina died. It's very simple. Truth is the truth, but when you start town lies, it's hard to remember the lies and retell the lies if every lie, you tell. Lies Four lies in, and it keeps getting compound it. It's interesting. The. The situations you. Tell me about it. I won't. Doesn't strike twice. I'll tell you what. Friends around I. Talk About it. It's like. There's no way how can more personally this. There were so many people that harbored suspicions in Nineteen ninety-one. There was documentation from state FARM INSURANCE FOR FIRE INVESTIGATORS Fire investigators like Ken Busca, who was hired by that insurance company all those years ago back in Nineteen, ninety-one Trudeau, he had more damning evidence that this fire wasn't an accident that this fire was intentionally set. Appeared that the fire had started on the carpet outside the bathroom door, so I was very interested in carpet. For that reason, leschi examine that carpet closely, and he discovers something that was surprising. His report noted that there was evidence of a second kerosene poor. Right before the fire. Not The spill that happened from the dog and cat roughhousing around this poor happened right before the fire. The second spill appeared to be a deliberate poor anywhere from a few seconds to. A matter of just a few minutes prior to the fire. And, so at that point in time I was thinking that the state of California would proceed to treat this as if it were a murder. I kept my files and still have my files, and there would be another person who never gave up the evidence that he collected state investigator Carl Kent. Carl Ken harbored suspicions for so long that. When he retired, he took documents to boxes of them. With an audio recording with papers and kept them versus the only one that I've ever done that with. I would've loved to conduct. New, York I think I've could have. talked to Carl and. Give me taken, you know. Five six seven eight ten hours. Who knows the talking to him? I think we might have been able to get a confessional. After Carlson is arrested in new. York for the murder of his son. The media catches wind of it, and it becomes a huge story. The man accused of killing his wife and son for the insurance money. Tonight. It's the explosive case, but was the accident really surprised to everyone because when investigators start digging shocking discovery. was there a deadly pattern? This family after all the media plus so much attention to this case. It was relentless the pressure that was continuing to put on Calaveras County. That's what really got things belly. But before he could get to trial. Carlson did something that no one saw coming I was thrilled. I was pissed. Him In control. Talk about Levi, nine, we. Talk about it a lot. About what he remembered a bowel what I remembered and bow how things just didn't add up. A year to before Levi lived out leave I told her father that we knew that he had murdered by their. Believe I was around seventeen years sold and curl had heard that Levi was telling people thick. He Carl killed his mother. He was arguing with our father in just blurted it out. I. Remember is Carl just saying. Why would you say that I killed your mother? What are the people going to think? Blairite. God! He had A. Steel, spine so, he did not back down and that only infuriated my father further. And, it was altered in a fistfight in the kitchen. After he was jails, I went to go visit him. He wanted to be able to give me a hug or something, and he was very pissed off that he was in this box and he was trying to convince me that he never would have killed her brother. He never would've killed her. Mom and I. Just listened to it for a little bit and I stopped I looked at him and I was like. I know that you did this and I know that you children mother. Any host and he was just like he completely calmed down, and he looked at me, smiled like a Chechen. Said expect. Twenty two years. Have a commie yet. They're not going to. Do. After he was arrested. I was involved as much as I I followed every news article. Man. And I was excited. I wanted death to gorge try. because. There is no way. He was GONNA walk off. There's no trial vice case after insurance for on was dropped as a charge Carlson. Pleaded guilty Carlson admitted to killing his thought. It was a huge relief to know that we weren't going to have to go through trials. Coral ultimately pleaded guilty to second degree murder. Charles Image is super important. I felt that the New York case when he saw the witness including his own children testifying against him. I think he thought he was to. His cowardly way out and not do that tried. Him In control again. As a part of his plea deal Carlson had to stand up in court and tell the judge exactly what he had done to his son, and in this version of the story. He tells the court something more horrifying than we ever thought before. That he was. To a son! Jack. Jack knowing that it was. Life threatening for someone to be underneath that, and that leave I was still alive when he laughed, and he left his son Levi alive crushed under that truck. And walked away. It was devastating for me. To have my dad admit. It wasn't just the loss of my brother. With that one statement, it was the loss of my father to. was sentenced to fifteen years to life. And The New York State Prison System. He showed no remorse today. It's like it was a game. and. It wasn't a game that was people's lives. I didn't like the sentence at all. Was My nephew only worth fifteen years? Some of the have family say there's more work to be done. Not here but in California. There'd be turned. Authorities had decided to reopen the investigation into Christina Carlson's death in California back in Nineteen ninety-one For All these years. I literally thought the man got away with murder and there was nothing I could do. in the hard part is never forget. I think it really was the media exposure in combination with Phoenix, state police? Pushing California and Of course the family mighty and God love her my ankle that was on like white on Rice to make sure that this happened. We definitely wrapped up my activities to try and get their attention that you were still out here. We're still waiting for justice. The authorities in California start digging into the case and they unearth evidence. That had long been forgotten. You start here about all these former figures that were at forefront in ninety-one, getting contacted again. So pick up the phone and totally surprised to hear about. This case has come back. The DA's office in Calaveras County. They contacted me and says. You know anything about the fire that. Happened, in nine, hundred, ninety, one and I go yes. They said. Do you know where the records are? All these years later that California fire investigator still had those two boxes of evidence sitting in his basement. Turn! Them, over the DA. This evening, a brand new development from the two thousand twenty exclusive. You saw here I. The DA there suddenly announces. They're charging. Carl Carlson in the death of his first wife Christina. I was very surprised when our formulas case went forward cases twenty nine years old I knew that those witnesses met evidently. We're GONNA be screwed. I was very see California's trial. We the family needed to see a playoff. Bad. Coffee and trapped her in there. Christina took her last breath trout. It just becomes more unbelievable with every developing. No one could have seen where this was going. Everybody in the courtroom, just kind of sucked in at route. They were selling surprised. This was not an accident. was. Intentional, we want to go to trial. My mom never stopped believing. She believed from the very beginning that the trial would actually occur, and she's got a very strong faith. Ultimately she was right. The trial took place in Calaveras. County Superior Court approximately twenty nine years almost to the date. After, Christina Carlson died. It was heartbreaking to see my down in the courtroom. T turns and looks at me. In smiles. Just a normal dad booking and smiling his daughter and. It brought back all of these emotions. Christina Alexander Carlson. Was So many things to so many people. The defendant. Through hold and calculated measures extinguish the light that was Christina. and. He did offer. The prosecution scores in early victory by convincing the judge to allow them to tell jurors about the previous incidents and all the insurance payouts to Carlson. I'd say it was absolutely foundational to the setup of their case that the jury, no, not just about the death Christina but about the bonfire about the car fire about the death of Levi so and he says could do that. Who could kill their wife that way? Well, we already. We already know that you killed your your son that way. Carl has a conviction in New York for the murder of the Sun. I can't argue. I wouldn't try. You're not here to determine whether he's a good and pious man. That's not your job. Your job is to determine if the people have proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Carl killed his wife and that he did it for money. The first person on the stand was Aaron Deroy. She knows what her father did. Her mother. She could speak so clearly about the moment that everyone was evaluating, testified about his behavior after getting out of the house, and of course for the few days following the fire. She brought memories of her confronting Karl after his arrest in the death of Levi. It doesn't get much more damning than someone who's supposed to love. You unconditionally says. I believe he killed my mother, I know he killed my brother. I was very nervous to testify. I've never participated in. Anything like this before. And it was on the stand that Colette tells jurors this chilling story about the very first conversation. She had with Carl Carlson after learning that. Her sister had died in that fire. I went. into the House and told him that I wanted to see my sister, and he said you can't. She's a crispy critter. That was his term. A crispy critter everybody in the courtroom, just kind of sucked in their breath. I, think he? Truly believed that my sister had burned up the house, and that there would be no evidence and he was wrong. But some of the most critical testimony came from that fire investigator hard by insurance company. Ken Bussey! The trouble light didn't ignite this. None of the appliances in home ignited this. It had the be a person. Applying aflame to the kerosene. Though. Carl Carlson barely spoke in person during the trial. The jury hurt him a lot. They heard recordings that were made over the course of his lifetime, regarding the investigation into Christina's death. You're not proud of getting money from someone step. Cousin to you break. down. Ladies and gentlemen. Has. In this case. Was Greed. Pre. The defense was. Questioning the validity of what happened. We all know the data evidence. Is Twenty nine years old defenses. Arguments seem to be. That if the case wasn't strong enough back in nine hundred ninety one. What would make anything different now? This case was ignored twenty nine years ago. It was brought to them. They looked at it. They said Nope. Passengers nothing here. I was looking forward to it. Being done with, and it was the end of week three. When The jurors were finally able to go and deliberate. I really thought this would drag L. Much longer than it did. Puts the. Jury came out, said they had a verdict. We the jury. Find The defendant Carl Holger Carlsen guilty of murder in the first degree. Carlson had no reaction at all stone called. In fact, it looked like he almost expected that verdict. Never been a more humbled by grateful to twelve strangers in my entire life. It was everything I wanted. Very stoically stood up and he walked away. I really wanted to see him. Look over his shoulder. Make eye contact with those two girls and. Just by tell them something. Say something. Never looked back. He walked away. On their mother. Locked away under brother. It he just walked away on them. Again. But before Carl would walk away for good. There would be one more unbelievable twist in this case that it's almost impossible to believe. I mean who would take out a life insurance policy on little girls. We jury, find the defendant Carl over Carlson guilty of murder in the first degree killing Christine Awesome. The Monday that the church came to a verdict. was actually Levi's birthday, and he would have been thirty five the day that the guilty verdict came in my tough. It was surreal. So after all these years that fire back in Nineteen ninety-one, it was just weeks ago, Carl Carlson finds himself in Calaveras county courthouse to hear a sentence. In this case. would be sentenced to state prison forty turn of life without the possibility of parole. Rotten. Person Normally, but. In this case I am I can't help it. We should never been investigating death. This family went through enough nine, hundred, ninety one. It should ended then. But it turns out that there are people in Carlson's life. who think had he not been arrested? He may have been trying to get away with murder yet again. After, cal collected at and leave is doubts, additional policies for taking out. And the two granddaughters. Dad had life insurance policies out on both of my brother's daughters. Levi's widow. said that she had recently got a visit from Carl after many many months some no contact at all wanting to renew his contacts with his granddaughters and get them out to the fire. Most people don't even realize that you could take out. Life. Insurance policies on your grandchildren I was scared half to death. An accident was going to happen with one of them. Eventually Cindy cashed out those policies to make sure that there was nothing hanging over the heads of her granddaughters. It's relief to know that we don't have to worry for ourselves. For our children for nieces or nephews for real good Some justice was finally done for this family. It's Overdo. I found these. This is the first time earn an aunt have seen them. But they are harangues. teeny tiny little fingers! My sister is real small, I mean I don't think anything. You know of any value real monetary value, but it's got obviously the sentimental. There were so many twists and turns in this case and one of the things that I think brings real comfort to the family is that? is now buried right next to his mother Christina in Murphys California. They're actually together and mcphee's. I'm very happy that he got to be buried next to mom. I? Just wonder if I've done enough for her kids. I tried to make sure that they knew their through me. Now you know was Levi there it's. They're together. So when the New York Times calls you one of the eight news podcast worth listening to well you to say thank you, so go on start smart. We start here the ABC News daily podcast. Take us with you. Listen to us now free on apple podcasts.

Carl Convinces Levi Cindy Carl Cindy Carlson Carl West Christina Cindy New York investigator I. Karl California Carl Jack Christina Carlson Levi Carlson Ronald Carl Carlson Katie Aaron Carlson
AT#647 - Travel to Phoenix, Arizona

The Amateur Traveler Podcast

49:34 min | 1 year ago

AT#647 - Travel to Phoenix, Arizona

"The bags back on the road. There and read it's go real good pass board. Hamma traveler pursued six hundred forty seven today. The amateur traveler talks about art, museums and western culture, hikes petroglyphs and Naro cactus. As we go to Phoenix, Arizona. The metre traveler, I'm your host, Chris Christensen. Let's talk about Phoenix. I'd like to welcome back to the show Cindy Carlson from exploration vacation dot net. Who has come to talk to us about Phoenix cine? Welcome to the show. I Chris thanks for having me or welcome back to the show said he was here about one hundred episodes ago. I was surprised it was that long ago talking about northern Vietnam. And if you haven't heard that episode I like that episode, obviously because otherwise she would be back. So Cindy, we're talking about a much more domestic destination this time in what's your connection with Phoenix? My now there's been down there about thirty years now. And so I've been going down there pre regularly since about nineteen ninety five bending sometimes just a few days and sometimes spending even a couple of weeks down there exploring the area. Excellent. So she is a snowbird in the language of the area. Yes. My parents are snowbirds I'd snowbird if I could convince my husband to spend more time down there but likes books. Gets a tad warm in the summer for me and Phoenix. And just so we know we usually don't talk about whether for a while. But one of the reasons a lot of people come down in the wintertime, lovely lovely weather summertime. They'll get one hundred days in a row that will go of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. So that just baby something you think about we have a friend who moved to Phoenix because the summer's here in San Jose that only got two ninety were not hot enough for her. So if you like hot weather, that's definitely good time to go lot more people there in the winter. And there's a lot to do. Actually, I haven't been there in the summer, but there's a lot to do in the summer inside. And there's actually water in rivers and floats and things I have a lot of friends that live there year round. And they actually say summers aren't always that bad. Right. Well, it depends. Again, what you like. And I do know that the friends who go out hiking tend to do it early in the morning in the summertime or or later in the evening usually early in the morning when it's the coolest time of day, but what kind of itinerary do. Recommend for us for Phoenix. So I tried to put together, and I tend to worry that's really aimed at first time. Visitors to Phoenix it gives them an idea of what Phoenix is about where it came from what the landscapes like and what the people who've lived their past and present are like and it's geared. It's five days because five days seems to be to me a good amount of time to get a real feeling for Phoenix. It's still leaves you enough time that if you want to spend time golfing or laying by the pool or you wanna make a trip up to Grand Canyon, which I know you've covered on one a year. Previous shows you can add that on then it's a week's vacation and still do all the stuff that I'm recommending will you we won't took quite as much about site trips. But there are a number different things if you had north or south either down to Tucson, we've done it episode on that or up to flagstaff area up to Grand Canyon or even up to the north east corner of the state, we've got different shows about northern Phoenix. So we won't be talking about them now. But what should we do in Phoenix? Well, actually, let me back up a bit here. I should start with. Why should we go to Phoenix of all the places we should go to sell? I think Phoenix gets the bad rap as as a snowboard destination. Oh, it's just where the retirees go because warm it's hot in the summer. Why would you ever go to Phoenix? And Phoenix, particularly in the last fifteen years twenty years, maybe now has really become a arts and culture hub. It's got a a thriving lively downtown great art scene. It has spectacular scenery all around the city with the snoring desert there. It's become a real interesting place to go. There's something there. I think for everyone, and it's really a worthwhile destination. There's a lot to see in Phoenix that you probably won't see and other places. The only part of that that I would show is that that has happened over the last ten or fifteen years because I've been going there at longer than that. And I think it's getting better known for that over the last ten fifteen years, I think that's been there for. A while in terms of the arts and culture. I think part of it is as light rail's come in. It's maybe it's more that it's expanded places like downtown Mesa that used to be really dead are now little art tub's. Okay. And so maybe that's it because it's been building. It's I've always liked Phoenix. But I think it's really become something that a lot of people don't expect excellent. And we're should we start? So I'm gonna suggest that people start by learning about the Sonoran desert by actually going out to the desert botanical garden, which is in northeast. It's a beautiful place as botanical garden it, of course, has landscaped areas and non native plants, but it also has large areas of native plants. It's a great place to soak in the beauty of the desert and to learn about the desert, so that when you go hiking on your own, you know, that even those those Challah cactuses might look really friendly fuzzy that to get near them. So it gives you both that introduction to the desert as well as beautiful place to wander. You can easily spend a few hours or half day there. They have a fabulous cafes. What's a nice place to spend some time in the garden, and then wandered to the cafe will want to make sure that we're talking about the same place because the desert botanical garden that I know is not in north Phoenix. It's on almost in Scottsdale. So it would be east of Phoenix. It's right on the border of Scottsdale. And Phoenix you that's not north Phoenix east, east Phoenix. Okay. And that's another thing. I should mention that. I have geographic dyslexia when it comes to Unix. So keen on is because I miss a west when I really mean east it's over by Scottsdale, and it's beautiful. It's right at the foot of the mountains beautiful place to walk in wander. I happen to see it. The first time when there was a truly exhibit. So my experience there is quite different because there was all sorts of glass being shown at the same time. But what if a place especially for kids to recommend our kids love the butterfly exhibit, for instance, there as well as some of the other. And they've actually redone the gardens since you've been there since the league's of it. And there are still still Hulas and some other sculptures in the garden. They do special events visitors coming into Phoenix should check the schedule and see they sometimes do big fun parties out in the garden at night and different things can be hard to get tickets to those. But there are blast. If you can get them. Excellent. So because that's not necessarily a full day. If you want to do a little more that day, I would continue on towards the west to the Pueblo grandee museum, which it's a museum in an archaeological park, it's fairly small museum. But they do really nice job of talking about the hokum people who live in the Phoenix area more than thousand years ago. They actually were the original ones building canals in the salt. River valley canals bring all Phoenix's water in today. But that actually goes back to ancient culture that lived there more than a thousand years ago. It's a nice little museum the archaeological site itself, isn't terribly into. There's not a lot left. But the museum dozen nice job of introducing you to what this area was like in the people who live there a long time ago. The other alternative end out your first day would be if it's on a Thursday had over to Scottsdale and do evening art walk and have dinner down on the in the arts district in historic Scottsdale, which is a really fun place. And I'll talk about that a little more in the next day. We should say we haven't really even gone very far from the Phoenix harbor airport here for the first two stops does botanical gardens. The public grid museum are practically stone's throw from the airport. So we haven't ranged very far afield yet. This is all fairly easy to a stone. So for Phoenix anyway, which is a gigantic Norma's area. Geographically is a very large area. Geographically. That's right. I forget to actually put together two different options, depending on visitors interest level of interest in native cultures or cowboy culture, I've got two different options. One the one would. Be two more about the people who live in the southwest today. And that would be a trip to the heard museum in downtown Phoenix even closer to sky harbor airport. We haven't left really Phoenix at all for these. The today's the herd is both a cultural history and art museum about half the museum or more is devoted to exhibits on the peoples of the southwest with separate areas on each different culture, and both modern and historic pieces of art in basket tree in different daily aims of daily life. The other part of the museum includes an exhibit which for in my part of the country is something people don't know as much about as the Indian boarding school era. They've just redone the exhibit. I haven't seen the new one. But the old one was both fascinating and really heartbreaking. But really really interesting again mostly history. But combining modern perspectives and information as well. And presenting it in a way. It's very very acceptable like the exempts really geared for both adults and for children in the area. You're talking about here is an era where they want to pending on how you how you look at this. The one side would say they wanted to include the native Americans in American culture, and therefore they wanted to inculturated them. And the other side would say that they wanted them to lose their identity as native Americans and inculturated them. But it was definitely a very intentional move to bring them in to have the move away from their families to go to these boarding schools and two tournament white people would be the crude way of saying that. Yeah, it's a very complicated history. And it's a very painful history. And although it's mixed for some people that experience as much as it was it had some negative sides. It also brought good things to them others found it just devastating. And they try to deal with all that in a really meaningful, and I think respectful way at the herd. The herd has it's mostly native curator's in. So they do a really nice job at dealing with those complicated issues. The other thing the heard is is a arts museum contemporary or more historic pieces of art, usually all native arts. The most recent show featured Yupik masks from Alaska combined with works by Matisse because he had used some of these masses and Spiratou in his work, generally, though, the shows are focused on native arts native artists, those shows are always splendid really high high quality works. If you're at all interested in native art and the contemporary native art seeing the heard will have something spectacular. They have the finest collection. Definitely in the west and probably some of their collection is probably will to some of the pieces the collection at the national museum of the American Indian. They really do a nice job with their show. Depending on how long you heard you have a couple other options for the day. You are right downtown at the heard you're in an old historic neighborhood. You're just north of the Phoenix art museum. The phoenix. Art museum has a lovely collection. They are pretty much the standard big city museum. They have a lovely collection. But it's it's not Phoenix specific for the most part, the exception to that is their photo exhibit draws from the Zona state university collection. Unusually has some really interesting things in it. And they do spectacular spectacular special exhibits. So if you're an art person, you might just want to walk down the street and spend the rest of the day at Pam. I did forget to mention that at the heard have lunch before you leave the herd. They have a fabulous cafeteria than head onto whatever else. The Pam would be one of them the Phoenix art museum the option if you kind of had enough art for the day, or what little smaller museum is to get in. A car and head over to the smaller museum with the a state capitals the state capitalism. It's the old capitol building. They've preserved a few rooms in the building. But they have some really interesting exhibits in there. It's not very big. But they have a exhibit on the Zona the worship which was sunk in Pearl Harbor and some memorabilia from some of the survivors as well as this was news to me that all these ships have find China and silver and fancy settings like you get some Victorian dinner party, and they have all that on display there as well. They also have some very interesting displays on the beginnings of AirAsia as a state in the establishment of the of the state, including the fact that Arizona kind of played a dirty trick to get into the US as a state. They were required to change something in their provision for how they will how the handled their judges and didn't like with the federal government wanted them to. Do. So they went ahead and did it to become a state. And then as soon as they were state, they went and undid it and did it the way they want it to. Whole section on it. It's really quite interesting. So those are my day to option number one my action number two is to go back up. If you haven't been discussed to go to Scottsdale and do western spirit. I don't know. Have you been to western spirit in Scottsdale? Chris I do not know where you speak of with westerns. Still, but this is relatively new museum. It's maybe five years old at the most trying to capture the full extent of the the life and population changes in the west, and it has several components that it's a fine art museum more than a history museum. Although it does have historic pieces. One piece of the museum is a cowboy collection or western collection that has things like Spurs and saddles and all the things you'd expect in like a cowboy museum or an old west museum except most of the pieces were collected because of their artistic value more so than as artifacts of the old west that's a fun place for kids. But it's it's kind of cool for everybody because they have all this stuff. And you start looking at it. And you're like, wow, I never knew Spurs could be that interesting. But they can be part of museums fine. Art, mostly they've been expanding what they've been showing. They usually always have a big section by a prominent bronze artist who does away art in features native Americans, although he's not native American himself. They've added now a western movie poster collection that they acquired so there's usually some sort of western movie themed exhibit. They've also added a collection of Hopi classic historic and contemporary, but mostly historic Hopi pottery that they always have some of undisposed, and then they have some other traveling exhibits they've had western cartoons. They've had the towel Spain tres different things, but very much art based most of the first floor is very much art based except for the movie posters in the western cowboy things the second floor has to Perm semi permanent exhibits one of which saved Alaska. It's kind of. Exhausting. It's a fine. It's interesting. He's laughing. It's a fine art exhibit. That tells the story of the settlement of the west and meeting of the natives and the Anglos as they started settling the west, it's a big Zabit. And it's interesting, but more interesting is the other half, which has mostly has some fine art, but it mostly has more what we would consider artifacts and objects. So it has some artifacts and things from the Lewis and Clark exhibition. It has collection of spectacular chief's blankets. It has a bunch of Curtis. And they've changed this since I was there. The first time of Curtis original Curtis images of native Americans and showing all the different printing presses he used which was something. I had never seen the goal tones in some of that before. And so that was really interesting. It's got a fabulous mix of items and again, very large exhibit. So this is a museum that if you wanna see everything it will take most of the day to take a break here. And here from sponsor with all the recent news of online security breaches is hard not to worry about where your data goes making it online purchase or simply accessing your Email could put your private information at risk. I hope he knew the danger of connecting to the WI fi in the airport or in a local coffee shop. But did you just see AT and T has been selling your data and other companies have been as well your browser history? So that they can target you. You can protect your data and your privacy by using a VPN. I have installed express VPN. They have an easy to use app. That runs seamlessly in the background on your computer, your phone, or your tablet. You could turn on protection with one click. It's occurs. An anonymous as your internet, browsing encrypting your data it cost less than seven dollars a month. And it's the number one rated VPN service by tech radar. Protect your online today and find out. How you can get three months free at express VPN dot com slash travel. That's E X P R E S S VP dot com slash travel for three months free with a one year package and thanks to express VPN for sponsoring amateur traveler. Well, it's interesting that's in Scottsdale because of the city's so Phoenix there's Phoenix downtown, and we didn't say, but there's all sorts of different places. We'll be talking about around it including Scottsdale to the east and Scottsdale. I would say of the places that I have been in the area is the most cowboy town that the downtown Scottsdale has more cowboy art exhibits in stores and things like that and has more of that western heritage. I think they call themselves the most western town in the west. And it's a love downtown scout till it's an already town with this western heritage. And my grandfather actually was a cowboy so I have a fondness for the. Western heritage. We have his Spurs. He was on the last round up in Colorado when he was sixteen he busted broncs, adding. So I have some connection to this. Although I myself am not a couple I would say to if you're bringing kids along in being a western museum Alday seems like that might be the seventh layer of hell for you. You might. Instead if you wanna get in touch with the western heritage take them up to rawhide, which is a wonderfully touristy cheesy. Western recreation town in northern Scottsdale that is more of a kid friendly way to look at some of the western culture. And glad you added that I have not been to rawhide. I was looking at that the other day going I have to get up there. I took my kids there as as a kid. We join it. I mean, it's touristy it's cheesy. But it's great western spirit has some sections for kids and the western area part of it is Scott some good stuff. But both the heard and western spirit. Are pretty adult oriented museums. And glad you mentioned the old town Scottsdale because that would be my other recommendation as once you finish western spirit is actually right along that area where all the galleries and auction houses studios and things are and they've got that fixed up as a mall. You can go down you can walk into some window shopping. You can go in the galleries. There's a whole range of art. There's the western art. But now there's a lot non western themes done by western artists contemporary artists than there was a few even a few years ago. There's a lot of good restaurants there. No problem finding someplace to eat. Did you have one you would recommend? I was looking to see if there were any that I could recommend, but none are occurring to me. Cafe forte. Okay. Mr. right down on that end in. It's a lovely lovely spot. They do very beautiful dinners and nice lunches there. We've eaten there a couple times. It's not a budget place, but it's not super expensive either. And also for art lovers if you really into art and want something different. If you feeling a little overwhelmed by native and western art, the Scottsdale contemporary art, gallery is down at the end of the mall in that is completely different small small small museum only usually four maybe five exhibits on installations more often, but really interesting edgy stuff. So if you want a little change of pace, that's a good place to walk down to see what's happening. And as I mentioned Thursdays are there art night. Most of the year, they have galleries are open late. The museums. They're open late things are free. Most of the things are free, and you can walk around. And it's kind of an event it's a lot of fun to do something like that. Where to next day three. I think it's time to get out in the Sonoran desert a little farther. I'd recommend taking a hike. Phoenix is a great city for hiking or biking more just getting out in nature, you can hike right in the city of Phoenix. But as you go towards the edges of Phoenix, you have the mountain parks, which are spectacular. There's some some parks that we've that we've really really liked because they have nice mix of trails and fabulous scenery include the mountain parks right in town. And also thinking of the Phoenix mountains, preserve I'm thinking of all of those north so user mountain park Dowell park farther out is lost further out. Okay. The problem with the parks like doing the Camelback hike is that you're there with ten thousand other people so the Camelback so there are places to hike inside the city I've been in Phoenix mountain preserve which is an easy hike. And then there's. Camelback mountain, which is between Phoenix and Scottsdale, which is a much more strenuous hike, but a very popular hike, especially to go up there for sunrise is a very popular thing to do. But yeah, it is more popular while you can get around Phoenix proper Phoenix in Mesa Tempa without a car because of the light rail, you cannot get to Scottsdale on the light rail, but you can get to the others. Generally Phoenix is so much easier with a car, and if you have a car like I say north cave creek has that's a beautiful park. It's not too far out of the city. If you're staying up in Scottsdale, I generally stay on the east end of the city. I generally stay way out in Mesa the eastern end may so or in Apache junction and from their lost Dutchman state park is just stunningly beautiful Usery mountain state usury mountain recreation area, there's a number of trails out there that are tackler take you right up into the edge of the superstition mountains. So you have the desert and you have the mountains and went flowers are in bloom. It's just it's a gorgeous air. Area. Do you have a particular trail you recommend the to remember by name? Well, this chew suggestions one is just about any of the lower trails in Las Dutchman are fabulous beautiful. And then there's a trail if you wanna go all the way out to gold canyon, which is at that far edged the mountains at the Phoenix area. There's a trail out there called the hieroglyphics trail, which has it's a not too difficult though. I haven't been out there in a few years, but it's still open. It's not too difficult trail that leads out to a basin where there's sometimes waterfall. There's always usually a pool, and then there's petroglyphs on all the cliffside some of them you walk right past the first time, I was out there. We were looking for the petroglyphs in. We were looking so hard for them thinking they'd be hard to find that we actually walked by them. I turned around at some point and looked at my girlfriend in the petroglyphs like over her shoulder right there like where you could touch them. So that's. Tackler hike in. It's not a terribly hard hike. Please don't damage the petroglyphs and don't touch them while you're out there 'cause you could date that damages the the artwork, but that's a spectacular hike on that end like say, we've gone out cave creek in the north has really some wonderful, easy, easy hikes. Kemba Wimpy hiker these days. So. But I would spend the day just take your time and do one of the parks and enjoy the desert again if you're out there in the spring, the flowers in the desert are spectacular just spectacular. So that's my day. Three is Spencer timeout in for hiking around or in the mountain forests are in the desert area hiking around day four I'm going to suggest something that has nothing to do with Phoenix. Except that it's the only place you'll find this. And that is the musical instrument museum. Good. I was gonna get there. If you didn't. All right. And it's not the only place you'll find it. But we'll talk about the. Hoping to see the other one the spring. So the musical instrument museum, ignore the name. It's a music museum. There are instruments in the museum. So that is not an accurate. Isn't the totality of the museum? It's really about music and the people who make music as well as the instruments it's experiential in that you put on a set of headphones as you walk through the museum, and as you look at an exhibit. If you turn to watch a classic performance on video you'll hear all the sound over your headphones. If you go up and look at Bali's instruments as you look at the gamma Lon, you'll start to hear the Gammel on play in your headphones. If you're watching classic rock somewhere again, you'll hear the sometimes nation, but usually it's just the music. It's a fascinating easy to go through in the shows. They have their special exhibits include things like women's Rackers, costumes, or we went to one that was it was an art exhibit. I don't remember what they called it. But it was like dragons vines, and it was all the inlay guitars and musical instruments from around the world from the US. It was just an incredibly beautiful show. You've been there. Chris. Wouldn't you say that there's something there for absolutely everybody? I have not been there. My wife has been there to this one. I have been to the one that inspired it in Brussels. But I have not been to this one yet. Oh, will you need to get there? It's unbelievably fun. And it takes leave a lot of time. We left about three hours to do the museum. We took my mother there, and we figured she'd be bored in three hours, and she wasn't board, and we weren't bored in the museum was closing. And so we were very disappointed that we had left more time. That's the same thing. I heard from oh if it was a trip where I drove back from Phoenix, San Jose, California, which is home for me and my wife, flew back. So she had a little more time that to to go and explore in what with reservoirs thoroughly enjoyed it. Yeah. It is a very good reputation. But haven't personally been there. I'm gonna check out the one in Brussels spring. I hope so I can compare the two, but I was very very impressed and for lovers of more world music or more. Interesting things, you don't usually see in concerts. They have a beautiful beautiful studio concert space. They're and they do full range of form Ince's through the winter at least. And so if you can't into town, you can check out and see there might be something really unusual there that you are unlikely to hear somewhere else than it's a beautiful space to hear music in. Excellent. Well, you're out in kind of out in that end of of Scottsdale. I think it is it's way north in Scottsdale. So maybe it is cut netra kind of Scottsdale Phoenix somewhere over there. The trip me up because most things just say Phoenix in the address. And so you're not really sure there is a loop of highways that kind of to me defines the main part of town. And e this is one a one on the north and ten on the south, and this is the northeast corner of that loop. It's out ways compared to the other places we've talked about while you're there. It's further west steel for something again, a little different. But now only in probably Phoenix there's a place called the deer valley petroglyphs do valley petroglyphs, preserve. There are petroglyphs had mentioned on the hieroglyphics trail. There's actually petroglyphs you can see on the south mountain hike, but deer valley has a whole hillside a boulders with hundreds and hundreds of petroglyphs, they have a interpretive center that talks about the petroglyphs attacks about the area and settlement in the area. It's a really pleasant little site. And if you're like me, really bad at spotting petroglyphs, these are even if you can't find them. I don't know how you couldn't there right in front of you. But they have volunteers out there to help you see the petroglyphs will show you where they are in point them out. So if you wanna see petroglyphs this it's handicapped accessible, it's an easy place to see a little bit more about the history of the area and see these ancient petroglyphs, it's in some really interesting spot. And it's a good extra spot. Run to if you're out at the musical instrument museum because it's kind of in that corner of more inner urban area. So for my last day. I am proposing that you leave that civilized Phoenix area behind and head out into the superstition mountains superstitions are on the east. They kind of the east border of the Phoenix area. Beautiful rugged mountains. They don't look like there is rugged as they actually are. There's a roadway into the superstitions a historic roadway called the Apache trail. It's if you go out to Lou lost Dutchman and some of the mountain parks out that direction you go right on the patchy trailer up to it for a while on the Apache trail, the first half of the trail is a paved road. It's very scenic. But it's in pretty good condition. It's an easy drive. Anyone can drive it. A good half day trip would be to take the trail out to canyon lake and take a cruise on the steamboat Dolly, which will take you down into. Along canyon lake into its back early backwaters, but the little offshoots canyon lake is a reservoir. It's Switzer flooded. Canyon has steep cliffs, lots of desert scenery, you might even see some to Bighorn sheep some wildlife while you're out is just a really pleasant little cruise either before after the Dalai, you should continue down the road to tortilla flat. Which is a either restored revived ghost town or a rebuilt completely rebuilt. Ghost town, the original tortilla, flat mostly burned down many many many years ago, they have a little restaurant out there. There's a teensy tiny museum. The restaurant is actually fairly good. It's really good. But it's very western themed, you know, saddles for barstools, and that sort of thing it's an interesting quirky place with decent food makes a really good stop for either before or after your cruise when you go there. It's about a half day trip to go out do the cruise. Have a meal, it tortilla flats and dry back for the more adventurous, the fun part of the road starts after tortilla flat. Skip the cruise unless you want a really long day, but you could do both once you pass tortilla flat. You you get to a hill. When you go down the hill the road turns dirt, it's basically the same unpaved road. It was in nineteen thirty six when it was last used as a the main highway between Apache junction, we'll between Phoenix and Payson and you are stepping back in time. It's one lane in some places. If you make it through fish creek through the steep descent than the twist the blind, the one lane blind curbs and that area than the rest of the road is pretty drivable. Always check the weather before you go to make sure the road isn't in terrible shape or washed out from Raines was recently graded the last time we were out there. There are some guardrails there are a lot of guardrails because it's a historic road. The apparently can't do much to widen it or improve. It, but that's part of the adventure. It's a stunning drive. It's a dusty drive. There are some some places to stop where you can admire. The senior admire the wealth lowers there's actually nother lake further down Apache lake. There's a little resort marina down there. When you get to the end of the road. There's a big dam area which creates another lake Roosevelt lake which is a big recreation area. And once you get all the way to the end in. It's only about twenty five miles on the unpaved portion, but plan at least an hour or more to drive that part. You cannot drive it over about thirty miles an hour, most of it. And some of it is a lot slower than that. You don't need a high clearance vehicle most of the time, it's not a bad idea. But you can drive it most of the time in a sedan without any problem. But for the adventurous drivers, it's a gorgeous drive when you get to the end, you can stop and take a break at Roosevelt lake, and then you either can go back the way you came or. There's a state highway that runs through the it's the tunnel. National forests, it's a lovely area. Partly desert, partly forested and takes you back down south to down in globe and coming across the globe and superior. There's another botanical garden down there that spectacular. If you want to do some more flowers if you're there and flower season can tell my thing is flour season. So flower season would be early spring starting in varies by year. But usually starting late February, Pat, the poppies sometimes mid February. But March is really marching into early April is usually when the flowers and this year offensive your listeners are thinking about going. This should be a great year for flowers. They've had a lot of rain this winter should be really really beautiful through most of it's already the starting to bloom even through all March should be really really nice the weather spoonful March is the high season, and we'll get into that in a little bit. Because there's a reason why it's the high season if the high part of the high season actually the winter is the high season go ahead. You're you're talking about flowers though, that Dr gives you some spectacular flowers the hallway when you come down in when you get down. It's Boyce Thompson arboretum down in superior, which is again at far far southeastern edge of the the Phoenix metro area. It's really I would. Didn't consider it part of the Phoenix metro area. But technically it actually is. It says spectacular drive in that garden is spectacular to Seoul. That's nice. It'd be a full day at a someone wants to do something. Like that gets you out of town and let get you out into the desert, which is sort of nice. If you're in spending all of your time right in the Phoenix area. That's only five days. There's other things you could do I did not mention tally Essen, which is Frank. Lloyd, Wright's grew dimension that Yuka. Winter residents. It's a very interesting place to tour. I think it's an interesting place to tour if you're an architecture geek, which I happen to be I not sure that I would recommend it for anybody. Who's not a real fan of architecture? But if you are a, yeah, this is a very major site. In fact, it is on the list of possible UNESCO world heritage site as a multi site portion about Frank Lloyd Wright, oh, I didn't realize that. Yeah. No. I would agree that you need to be an architecture fan and partly because it's quite expensive to tour. It's not a budget tour, and you have to buy to to do it for architecture fans in general Phoenix is a great city 'cause developed so much in the forties, and particularly the fifties and sixties, so it's unbidden century modern stuff everywhere, they do a mid century modern week in March. There's just lots and lots of interesting architecture from that period as well as some really interesting modern the lot of the civic buildings that were built. Twenty thirty years ago or more recently are just really spectacular both in Phoenix. And in Scottsdale in particular, the western spirit in Scottsdale is an architecture. Very interesting building with a lot of sustainability features interesting. Interesting features, there's a Pam the Phoenix. Art museum is a real interesting building. There's a lot of really interesting buildings. But for Frank Lloyd Wright fans, this is one of the big ones. The other thing. I didn't mention is for fans of either western art in general, Kobe, art or native American art is a museum down in Chandler called the Basha collection. And it was a private collection of Eddie Basha who runs the who. At one point ran the Basha grocery stores, and it's not curated the same way the say the heard or western spirit is but for someone who's interested in that sort of art, it's an amazing collection. He'll have he has in some cases, hundreds of pieces by the same artists. You can see like there. Development and style through time. It's a large collection in unlike most things in Phoenix for most museums. It's totally free only when weekdays, but it's an interesting thing. Most people don't know about the last one I'd add that people should maybe think about is the superstition mountain museum, which is a little more informal than most of the other museums. I've mentioned it's at the base of the superstitions where the Apache trail starts they have some really cool mining memorabilia pieces while not huge equipment. They have some historic buildings and some historic looking building. So they've set up kind of like an old mining town. And it's very atmospheric in the location stunning some beautiful beautiful location. The other thing that we haven't talked about is why March is so busy in Phoenix. And it's going to be one of the more expensive times to go and that's spring training. If you were a baseball fan, the number one reason that I have been Phoenix over the last twenty years or so is to go down for spring training. Half of the American baseball teams. Well, half of the American US and Canadian will end up in Phoenix and the other half in Florida, and you could go down and see half the teams play in general, and how cheap it is depends on where you go. If you go to Scottsdale stadium where the giants play you'll pay as much as you will for a game that you see in San Francisco, but on the other hand, if you go out to Glendale or Peoria to one of the other stadiums where some of the mid western teams are playing you can sometimes see a game for really cheap, you know, a game and a hotdog and can be quite a fun experience to go and see a number of the different teams all in a short period of time. Which is why it is. So popular will be a little more expensive to go that time of year. But that is a big draw in Phoenix in spring training starts in February and then finished March. Yeah. And. Really it's March. That's the the big thing. Because that's when they start playing more games the pitchers catchers reported mid-february. So that is something that we have been down for many times. And is is good fun. But again, a little more expensive you get friends to stay with. That's a great time to go but lights are going to be a little more hotels going to be a little more hotels early challenge and rental cars. I don't know if you guys fly drive, but I have been there in March where there has not been a rental car available in Phoenix. Believe that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it seems as ING, but it's it's true because of the spring training and all there is a lot of marches probably Phoenix's month for the best weather of the entire year. It is a great time to usually I have also been there during hailstorms in March. So usually could weather then but not always and for hikers the snakes aren't out yet. Okay. Good snow. It's still too cold. It's warm enough for us. But not for the snakes, generally. Okay. That is always something to know. Couple of other things for kids. There's a children's museum I have not been there. So I cannot recommend it necessarily. But there is a zoo that our kids enjoyed when they were younger in Phoenix. That was quite fun. Some other things for kids to. But again, I don't trouble with kids either. So it's harder. But the zoo is the zoo is very nice. Yeah. US news World Report that put that in their fourth on the list, even above the Phoenix art museum, and some of the other places we've talked about they put it above the heard museum, which I know is fighting words for you. But. It's a zoo. It's a good sue though, I would recommend that more of the shoulder season. Or the winter in the summer that's going to be pretty warm. Yeah. I mean, that's generally true anything outdoors. You wanna to do even the end may? But for sure June through even I've been in there in late September. And it's still Ben really in the nineties hundred juries so early mornings or evenings. A really when you wanna be out. You wanna do stuff that's inside an air conditioned, every places are conditioned in Phoenix. It is a drier heat than you would find in the midwest east coast or the south like an oven. But it gets quite warm. So and there's you know, spas, golf courses and all sorts of other things that people go down to Phoenix for that. I'll let you look on your own anything else. We wanna tell people before we get to some of our wrap up questions, Cindy mentioned is that for looking for lodging in Phoenix that there's really some key places. If you wanted urban experience to stay downtown Phoenix downtown Scottsdale, or in one if for more laidback urban experience in one of the historic districts and Phoenix they actually have a lot of historic districts, and there's a Fairmont of Airbnb in them luxuries ORT s- up north in Scottsdale or the desert escapes out on the eastern edge of the metro area. You can find some spectacular places out there. Great views, and you can hike right out your door, and I should say that if you're looking at a map of Phoenix almost everything we covered other than some of the parks that we went out and hiked in were in the eastern part of that circle that I drew. Around Phoenix with highway one and highway ten almost everything we did was to the east of highway seventeen which runs north and south sort of in the center of Phoenix. We didn't talk about places like Sun City where a lot of the retirees are and some of that area. That's a little less. Interesting to me, unless you're really fond of astroturf lawns and things like that. We also didn't talk about Mesa and Tempe, which you say is where you stay. Is there anything we want to say about those areas? Why did you stay in the farther eastern part of Mesa or north on the mountains? But downtown Mesa is really starting to have a rebirth in his becoming an interesting arts area. They've done a lot of landscaping they've put in a beautiful art center. They have some historic buildings. They lost a lot of them. But they have some there's a historic neighborhood. So it's it's becoming a really attractive place to stay and are more little more urban stay, but not being in Phoenix. It's let cheaper than downtown Phoenix Scottsdale Tempe. I have not stayed in Tempe. But we've gone down there on the light rail we've stopped there few times to eat and check it out. And that is of course, where here's ONA state university is located that's probably the liveliest place in the Phoenix metro area right now, there's all sorts of bars and restaurants, and while lot of it's aimed at college students. Not all of it is. And it's become a real interesting urban placed the kind of hang out and eat do things and be out. Outside and they've got some great parks. And so again, that's more urban areas, especially for younger people. There's a lot more nightlife. It's I have been in restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa recently that eight thirty you're eating dinner in their starting to put the tables on the chairs on the tables and close up for the night. So. Do you wanna be a little later, Scottsdale or Tempe is probably your best place to go and look for a little bit of nightlife? Excellent. All right. You're standing in the prettiest spot in Phoenix where he's standing in. What are you looking at this is cheating? But I think the prettiest place in Phoenix any place where I can see Sura cactus silhouetted against the setting sun. Just my favorite thing. Can you a lot of places that is a lot of places? Can you think of one place in particular? I'm very partial to lost Dutch mistake part because you can see the swirl mountains on one side swore months, the superstition mountains on one side, and you can see Phoenix off in the distance. And you can have the best of everything. Excellent. One thing that makes you laugh and say only in Phoenix. It's the phones it's getting better. There are water features everywhere in Phoenix, just everywhere. And they recycle all the water. I understand that. It's reused water. And they reuse it for five times even before it gets in the fountains. But. It still seems just crazy to see all these cactuses growing alongside these beautiful ponds around the greenfields, and golf courses and lawns. It's just. It's crazy. Excellent. And if you had to summarize Phoenix in three words, what three words would use vibrant, artsy and Soweto. Excellent. Well, we did we did talking about the cactus is so much the one thing that may surprise you. If you're not from the area is how old these cactuses are because I think a sore cactus won't even get an arm a limit till it's like a hundred years old if I recall correctly. So if you see something up there that's got two three four arms as a cactus. It is hundreds of years old so beat, you know, be careful with them be gentle with them. But they are very interesting adapt Haitians of plants to grow in the area. They're only found in the Sonoran desert. So they're only found in the central southern Arizona into Mexico and in in Phoenix, UC them planted on the roadsides all over the place and just everywhere, but they're cool. They're so cool. If we wanted to send people to the best post on Phoenix on at exploration vacation dot net. What post would we send them to? I have a separate landing. Page for exploring Phoenix in the valley of the sun that has just some summaries, and that has links to a few other stories and things a lot of the places of talked about I haven't actually written about because it's I'm down there so often I don't get things written up. Our guest again, it's been Cindy Carlson from exploration vacation dot net. Sydney. Thanks so much for coming on amateur traveler and sharing with us your lover, Phoenix. Thanks, Chris is really fun. It's always fun to talk to you. Couple of new things on the amateur traveler blog one is I finally got around to writing up some of the amateur travel trips in blog format. So if you're interested in reading about Morocco Cambodia or India, you can check those out at the top page of amateur traveler, also we just got back from Portland, and there's a couple articles about things to do in Portland in winter and best Portland food trucks and carts. So check those out amateur traveler dot com. If you're looking for California content on the amateur traveler, you're gonna have to go instead to California travel media dot com, all that content. Got moved to a new California website that I'm going to be putting some work into. I heard from Kyle this weekend. Kyle said I just wanted to send you a quick note of appreciation. I came across the amateur traveler podcast years ago via your tech in travel minute features on Tom merits daily, tech news show podcast. I've been a regular listener ever since. Last fall, my wife, and I moved from Pennsylvania to Brussels for an ex Pat assignment, I've been combing through the amateur traveler archives since then and binging the European episodes to help decide where we should travel on our new home continent, you've created such an invaluable resource with rich catalogue of travel experience. Please do keep up the good work regards Kyle and thanks so much. It was great to get your Email. And also people don't know what he's talking about four nail over two years. I've been doing once a week just a quick tech in travel tip for the daily tech news show, which is my daily tech new show of choice. I'm regular listener of that show as well with that. We'll bring an end to this episode of amateur traveller if you have any questions Senate Email to hosted amateur traveler dot com or better yet. Leave a comment on this episode at amateur traveler dot com, and thanks so much for listening. See? Jam building.

Phoenix Scottsdale Phoenix Phoenix art museum Chris Christensen Phoenix cine US Mesa Phoenix mountains Sonoran desert Arizona Cindy Carlson Phoenix harbor Art museum Phoenix mountain Phoenix Scottsdale Tempe general Phoenix art museum Brussels
The House on the Hill

Dateline NBC

1:25:17 hr | 9 months ago

The House on the Hill

"Mental health is so so important. I know it can be tough to talk about. But we're not doing anyone any favors by keeping the stigma alive. That's why I feel so strongly about therapy and the work that better help is doing. It's not a crisis line. It's not self help. It's professional counseling done. Securely online better help will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You can start communicating with them in under twenty four hours. A service is available worldwide. You'll get timely and thoughtful responses plus you can schedule weekly video or phone sessions. It's more affordable than traditional offline. Counseling and financial aid is available. If you need it visit better help dot com slash de L. NBC. That's better help. H. E. L. P. dot com slash de L. NBC. And join the over seven. Hundred thousand people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional as a listener of the show. You get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com slash de L. NBC. I'm Lester Holt Tonight. On dateline the mystery that's taken decades to saw two strange deaths on one broken family. I looked up. And it's like their smoke coming out Yelling for the kids and I hear Daddy's coming Daddy's common. She perished in the fire. This is my sister. Nobody should have to go through what our family has gone through. Not once but twice. Are you with your son right now? The breathing no. Qc YOUNG KID. Now gone distant. Makes see thoughts kept coming up. Oh my God I think he did it bad luck that they died. Would you call? You're saying that you are completely one hundred percent innocent. Yes you have to know the rest of the story. Here's Andrea Canning with the House on the hill. If these hills could talk imagine the stories they tell about the people who came here to California's gold rush country dreaming of a big break a last chance or a way out. The woman at the heart of this story had dreams of her own. This is how they ended her life was really about giving to others and she didn't care what she sacrificed to do that. That's the person that Phil Never Forget. What a wonderful sweet person Cresswell's. Our story begins with a catastrophic fire in the old mining town of Murphys California. It was New Year's Day. Nineteen Ninety one. It seemed like every firefighter within radio range heard the call. A woman was trapped in a burning house. That must be a scary feeling when you hear trapped fire is terrible thing. Rich Wind was a local business owner and volunteer firefighter. One of many who raced up this treacherous winding road to reach the fire. My heart was founded my chest. I was hyperventilating. Had A dread. Could you see the smoke? Yeah as you're getting closer getting closer. We could see the smoke. And we're feeling really anxious. I jumped in my dad's fire chief's vehicle and Went to the fire with him today. Brian Wilson's Murphy's fire chief back in nineteen ninety-one he was a seventeen year old fire-cadet who thought he was going to be part of a rescue. I WanNa save this person you know. It's that instinct that we need to get there. We need to get there soon as we can't they arrived to an awful scene. How bad was the fire? It was just consuming the house you know we felt the smoke and the heat you know even from here. This quiet clearing is where the house was burning and when we go back behind the flames are just too intense. You know we just couldn't get in. We couldn't get close so we essay incident commander of what he wanted to and he said surround and drown. That's fire speak for drench. The House with water after fifteen twenty minutes we got fire knocked down and then he chose two of US my partner and I went in the house. Yeah we were asked to find the body. It was scary and so as we went in. The smoke is still rising waters dripping everywhere. It's a disaster scene and then I heard an call out. I found her. We just stop and we just were so defeated dejected. Her name was Christina Carlson. She was a thirty year old wife and Mother. Fortunately may be. Miraculously her husband. Carl and three young children had escaped the deadly blaze. They were all being treated in an ambulance by paramedic Pam Geat. The children didn't say much other than daddy had got them out of the House. Then one of them said that all of their Christmas presents at burned up and that mommy went to heaven. Pam says talking to them wasn't easy they would answer things very briefly. There were not really connected that I felt that they probably were suffering some sort of a psychological shock. Christina's father are Alexander. Had No idea what happened. When he arrived at the scene got in the ambulance. I looked around. Worst Chris NATO me one of the kids said she's she's with God or the angels took her or something like that and it's art could only imagine the terror of Christina's last moments on earth. Now he had to break the news to the rest of his family beginning with her sister collapsed. I got a call from my dad in the afternoon. And he said he said I need to tell you something. So there was a fire out at Christie's house and he said everyone got out but Chris and I said are you kidding me. And he said No. Is it almost unbelievable when you hear that it is it is because I had just been out at the house? You know We had gone up to my sister's house I think. On December twenty second Kalat was numb. Everyone was including the firefighters. A newer you know she used to come in to peppermint stick the ice cream parlor. I owned in with three kids and some of the memories were doing that and here. We couldn't save her off when he was leaving the scene. That day. Young Brian Wilks remembers. He was shaken and sad about the young mother. They couldn't save but he was also grateful. The three kids were okay. I very clearly remember today. A Conversation with my dad when we were driving. I think we were driving home from the fire and he makes the company goes. Wow He goes that. That dad was a hero today but that day was just the beginning of an epic drama involving the Carlson. Family that we've been following for years and only now nearly three decades since Christina's death can the secrets be revealed about what happened inside the House that once stood here still to come tonight? Disaster strikes again. He kind of looked out the window and said. Oh my God barnes on fire then another painful loss. Heavy breathing no. He's not breathing own just the feeling of now. What do we do deadly accidents? Keep hitting this family. How could that be Almost thirty years after her death and fire Christina Carlson sister collapsed still talks about her capacity for joy. She just had this incredible laugh. That you know. She laughed very easily and when she started laughing she would. Just you know the whole room is. She was contagious with her laugh. Her husband Carl speaks of her with admiration. When you lose somebody. They're they're beautiful but she was just. There was the shoes proud. What do you mean by proud when she walked? She walked through their head with their chin up not that she was better than you but she was proud of who. She was what she was. And things. Like that Carl's brother. Mike adored her to. You'll never forget the day he heard the news. How hard was that for you? Knowing how she died it was terrible. I mean the concept of dying in a fire. It's got to be pretty awful to know it's family and someone you love and care for. That's it's hard. Carl met Christina. Ten years earlier in North Dakota breathes stationed in the air force. Christina's first marriage to another airman had just broken up. When do you get the first phone call from Christina saying that that she's in love again and it's with Carl? She told me she'd met a guy she was happy. I think the next phone call. She let me know that she was pregnant and he said well. What are you going to do so I said you can come stay with me. And she said No. She said we're going to get married but she happy. Oh Yeah Yeah. She was very happy. Car left the Air Force in one thousand nine hundred five and decided to move his little family here to his hometown in Seneca County New York by then they had two kids Erin and baby Levi drove in an old antique pickup truck. From North Dakota. Mike took to Christina right away. Choose small tiny little girls not very tall at all a very simple sweetheart of a kid. How did she handle it? All just suddenly being thrust into the Cross family I think at first she was a little confused. Trying to keep named straight was a challenge but she was the type of kid that her glass was always helpful. She a good fit crossing fancily. Yeah she would give it out as well as take it and laugh on the way they were acute couple. Christina the little cheerleader from the mountains of California Carl the rough-and-ready country boy they would laugh and joke and he was big barrel chest guy on my sister. You only four foot eleven. We just connected and she just was a very frightening. Never a bad word to say about anybody. Carl found work in the local stone quarry and soon they had another baby. Katie Christina loved. Being a mother. She'd be on the floor playing with more teaching more instructing. Moore coddling them and it wasn't just her kids. It was all of our kids to lovely people over there. Christina seemed happy but call wanted more than a life working the corey. He didn't see a big future for himself in upstate. New York right about them. Christina's father offered a ticket out a job with a future working in his heating and air conditioning company. And I told him if you ever need a job to come on to California and and you'll have you can work with me so they moved across the country and eventually settled into that ramshackle house at the top of the long winding road. It wasn't much but it was closer to collect and Christina set out to make it special. She was a creative do-it-yourselfer and a great seamstress she went into like home decorator mode and started painting and sewing curtains. And you know every time I'd go up it was like wow. This looks really good. Sounds like Christina was always trying to make the best out of any situation yes and she usually succeeded in issued finished. Redoing all the bedrooms when When the fire came through Christmas nineteen ninety was the last time. Kellett saw her sister alive just days later. This was all that was left of the home. Christina worked so hard on her grieving cousins videotape the smoldering wreckage in a matter of weeks. The house would be raised but this video would survive and raise many questions in the years to come. You Know My dad and myself. We were all saying something's not right. Something is not right here. I'm yelling for the kids. I hear Eddie's Common Davies Common that Tragic Day Carl tells his story and investigators tell there's there was a strong smell of kerosene when datelined continues in the grim aftermath of Christina's death. Carl Carlson's brother. Mike knew how badly he needed help to your mind immediately go to those three beautiful children immediately thinking well. I got a brother in trouble when three little kids depending on him how do we what do we do? The first thing Mike did was had to California Carlos walking around out in the front yard just a strange scenario so we hugged and I said I hope when I can't help tell me what to do. And he was just Nomi was more of Zombie. He just said. I don't know everyone was wondering how it all happened. Carl said that all he knew was that the fire started while he was working around the house. It was New Year's Day. The kids were taking naps. Pristina was bathing. I was outside in the garage looking for some stuff to fix a motor in the attic. And then I hear Karl then I hear Karl Hoeger Carlson. Get the kids so I come out of the garage. Their smoke coming out and I'm like what the and it's now. It's coming out underneath the front door. The video shot by Christina's cousins are the only images that remain. This gaping hole is where Levi's room was and where Carl says he raced. I dare here Levi calling no not a word so I break the window and it's like it feels like the sun hits you in the face hot blast air whatever blows me back off the porch you know but he says he managed to pull Levi through the window and just bolt of a sort of tumbled backwards onto the porch. Then he ran around the house to Erin and Katie's window. How do you rescue your two daughters? Well I ended up getting to the window have to jump up every time. Jump grab the screen trying to get my fingers into it. Pull THE SCREEN OFF. Do the same thing with the window. And I'm yelling for the kids and I hear Erin telling Katy I hear Erin telling Katie Daddy's coming daddy's common. He says six year old. Aaron help three ruled Katie. Climb up to address or under the window so both girls get a hold of me. We fall back tumble on the ground. Get back up. Run them to the truck but Christina was still in the bathroom. The fire was burning outside her door and aboard was covering the broken bathroom window. Her only way out. You hear her screaming. There's no screaming. There's any nothing he says. He tried to get Christina out of the house but couldn't get inside. He drove the kids to the neighbor's house and called for help. But of course it was too late. She died of smoke inhalation. How do I explain to my father law to my mother in law that I didn't save their little girl Monday two days after the fire? Mike says his brother was a mess. Did he seem lost absolu- I could remember he i. He was still in the same clothes he had on at the fire. These still smelled of smoke looked Arab. Terrible one at old white t shirt here a little singed. The family helped Carl pull himself together for the memorial service and then Carl took every went to a place. He often visited with Christina. The giant sequoias that calaveras big trees park. He just wanted to get away. Take a couple of hours and get away from reality. Probably was a good thing for all of us then. It was time to talk about the future. What are we doing? If we're going to stay in California? You need to reach for an apartment. That's when he said I just just WanNa go home. So four days after the fire Carl packed up his three children and flew back to upstate. New York it was yet another blow for Cristina's grieving family. My sister and I had made a commitment to each other that our kids. We're going to grow up knowing each other and then it was stripped in five days all Christina's father had left of his beloved daughter. Was this box of chart photos that he rescued from the house. He was hobbled by grief after her death. I wasn't probably more dead than alive. He didn't pay attention to a lot of things that I should have. But I didn't muddle through. I didn't care a few days after Carl left. State fire investigator Carl. Kent was asked to examine the scene. It's still looked very much like it did. When this video was shot the first thing he noticed was the smell. There was a strong smell of kerosene In that particular area and the whole hallway from the master bedroom to the living room was covered with cardboard there had been a kerosene spill in the house a day or two before the fire. Carl said the pets knocked over a jug of kerosene along the hallway near the bathroom door. The burn patterns indicated the fire also started there and so the the area of origin was right in the area of the utility room and the hallway bathroom area. She wouldn't have been able to escape out the doorway because there was so much fire at Right in that area had she gotten into the hallway she would have probably inhaled hot gases from the fire itself in Syria. Their lungs and she would have perished from that he wondered if this father had risked his life to save his children. Couldn't he have tried harder to save his wife? Think if I was in that position I would do everything. I couldn't get her out of there as far as the. Da was concerned. There wasn't enough evidence to prove it was anything other than an accident but can't felt differently. This was a fatal fire involving kerosene and a boarded up window. Kent urge to supervisors to let them interview. Carl Carlson in person and I asked if they would authorize or send me to New York to Interview Carl. Carlson and they said they didn't have the money to do that. So the fire investigator moved onto other cases but his gut told him there was a chance he would someday return to this one. At least he hoped so coming up told me that he had lost his wife and fire and he was a single dad. A new life and new white for Carl Carlson then suddenly a new tragedy to he sat upright and said you know. Oh my God call nine one one. The Finger Lakes region of upstate. New York was Carl Carlson's home and now he was back to stay here in Seneca County. He would rebuild his life among the farms the fields the vineyards. His old friends and family were looking out for him. But Carl still wondered how he'd manage coming back home is like what the Hell am. I GONNA do now. I'm not a mom I'm a dad. She was the homemaker she was the mother. She bathes the kids so I don't know nothing about doing braids and things like that. I don't know how to take care. I mean I know how to take care kids but I don't know how to take care of kids then all of a sudden I get the education. Oh I gotTa do school records. I got shot. Was there a lot of concern for Carl? Having just lost his wife well. I think everybody realized that this poor guy isn't going to do it on his own. He went back to work with the stone quarry for Awhile and then saw an opportunity. Local glass manufacturing plant. That had just opened. And it's like I don't WanNa go back to do on six days a week now to three kids so they let me work five days a week. Ten to twelve hour days other people helped out to start kind of place and it all seem to come together for him when he met Cindy best in nineteen. Ninety-two I was into line. Dancing at the time and That's where I I met him. We talked about different things you know. He had told me that He had lost his wife in a fire and he was a single dad raising three kids. Sinus own and His family was in two horses Belgian. Horses he told you that on the first night. Yes wow yeah. That first meeting led to dating and meeting his kids. What did you like most about him? I was very attracted to The fact that he had children I Had been told that I probably would never have children I always wanted to be a mom and I felt bad for him and the kids and you know I was drawn to that. Cindy got an instant family when she married. Carl in August of Nineteen ninety-three. They bought the old family farm and house from his parents. And then Cindy got pregnant. The best news of Your Life. You're going to have the baby. You'd always wanted happiest time in my life. They named Alex. Alex say hi to the camera whose birthday today as Alex up. He became close with his half siblings. Katie Aaron and especially Levi with whom he had a brotherly bond. He was always there for me. We always love to hang out together so I mean. We had a lot of good times hunting fishing and just hanging out a lot on the farm riding horses. The family raised in Seoul Belgian draft. Horses it's funder at a Belgian. They're big that flatly big horses but it was fun. Coletta and her family would visit from California. She would tell the kids stories about their MOMS so they wouldn't forget. My niece asked me. She said one time she said. Well I wish you were my mom I said Oh honey. I'm nowhere near as Nice as what your mom was. I can't even come close to you. Think you've done a good job of keeping her memory alive with Well I think I have. You know the fact that I was on the phone with Levi. You know two to three times a week driving to work in the afternoon. I'd be on the phone with Aaron Katie whenever I could get around between her school schedule so I've been very involved even though I was involved from a distance collapse. Notice that life wasn't easy for the kids as they hit their teen years. Especially for Levi. He was struggling in school acting out with any kid. You have your issues. But he wasn't he wasn't bad and she thought Carl was tough on Levi he wasn't following Carl's path but how many of us follow down. Parents passed Mike Notice. The problems to Carlin Levi didn't seem to have the best relationship no no Levi buck the system a little bit. He was a typical teenage boy. Who Knew All the answers? The rift widened and when Levi was only seventeen. He left home. Mike watched it happen with a tinge of sadness. Dropped out of school which didn't help things at all. He jumped didn't didn't look where he was jumping to and so he didn't have a job. He floated from house to house to different family members. Then in November of two thousand to another disaster inflamed the family tensions. Cindy said it happened as choral got into bed. He Sat Upright and kind of looked out the window. And said you gotTa Call Nine. One one the barn sunfire coming up that could see the glow in the sky. Another deadly fire. We just stood there and watch go. Nothing could be done. What had happened inside that barn when dateline continues off in the fall of two thousand and two more than eleven years after Christina died in an inferno the Carlson family was struck again by fire middle of the night in Sydney call and just as soon as I answered the phone. She said the Barnes on fire took off as quick as they could. And as soon as I left my house I could see the glow in the sky and as I ran around the side of the barn couple of my brothers were there with Carl and fire. Trucks are just pulling into the road down the road and we just stood there and watched the go. Nothing that could be done. It was fully engulfed in going down. What a car will say to you when you arrived. He mentioned that the horses were still there. Three Belgian draft horses were killed. That's tough to hear. Horses dying in a fire is pretty tough to take. Oh definitely these were the prized family horses. Yes it's sad. It's traumatic knowing what you know. All they always horses were going through you know. They were lacked in that barn. They couldn't get out and DIG SEEM UPSET. Yes and no. I don't think he was overwhelmed with emotion just on one more problems to deal with. It seemed like within twenty four hours. The bulldozers were onsite great. I'll hauled the horse carcasses away and buried them right away in the barn was levelled within a few days. It was all cleaned up gone. Some family members were upset about the loss of the horses and the Old Family Barn. They couldn't ignore the fact that this was the second catastrophic fire involving Carl. Did Karl have an explanation? As to how this fire started he had thought that Because there was a radio on In he thought maybe a spark from the radio Head ignited the. Hey there was a lot of old. Hey in there. There wasn't investigation on short albeit very short. Yep and the fire chief in ruled it an accident now pretty much right away so that just there wasn't really a reason for you to be suspicious. Given that even the fire officials were saying cracked history and accident right but suspicions continued to bubble around Carl in that barn fire. Some family members weren't convinced it was an accident Levi was one of them had just gotten out of the hospital with a second back surgery and he come home and he made us. My Wife told me that Levi was there and made a statement that he thought I birth a barn down or something like that so he comes back to the house and it got up their argument. That night. Got So heated. Father and son came to blows Levi. gotten his truck to get away from. Carl in Carl chased after I was yelling at Carl. Just let him go. Leave them alone let them go and so they did fully on his own. Levi made a major life decision. He got married and soon had two little girls and for a while. Things seem to settle down and you know things seem pretty good for him but then you know they were so young when they got married in they just ended up going through hard times and decided to get divorced but coral says they looked out for Levi. The kid wasn't gonNA suffer. We had the babies almost every other weekend. So we're still in each other's lives. He'd come out to the farm cut firewood and leave. I started to grow up. He got his. Ged got steady work and tried hard to be a good dad. Any old resentments about the past seemed to be fading away. I think he'd rounded the corner. A little bit could see some sort of path in direction for his life. Got Him into the company and he just flourished. I mean you can work. All the overtime he wanted. He had medical insurance. He's paying child support. The company was just thrilled with him. Everything clicked but November twentieth. Two Thousand Eight would change. Everything Levi came over that day to do work on an old. Chevy pickup of Carlsbad kept in the Barn Carlin. Cindy headed off to a relative's funeral. When they returned home four hours later Cindy thought it was. Odd that Levi's vehicle was still parked outside the barn so then and there you know I hit an uneasy feeling net. Something wasn't right. There Coral went into the barn to check on Levi while Cindy went into the house when suddenly he come banging on the window when the door and tell me to call nine one one. What's going on talk? Show my stepson? Coming up they were just bringing Levi out on the stretcher astounding but true yet another loss for Carl and his family his actually like throwing himself up against the wall. He was on the ground out. This is real. Is He breathing breathing? Carl Carlson had found his son Levi Pin beneath the old pickup truck. He'd been working on in the barn crush his chest as cross. He's probably been here for hours. Carl's brother Mike heard the news and rushed over. They were just springing Levi out on the stretcher and putting him and when I got there Levi was taken to the hospital but the family knew it was hopeless. Seventeen years after his mother's terrible death Levi. Carlson died at the age of twenty. Three Cindy says Karl came unhinged. Who's actually like throwing himself up against the wall and he was on the ground again. There were so many questions. Mike wanted to know. Exactly what happened this? We went into the bar and to see the truck was checked in a very PA- curious. Dangerous Scenario No blocks Andrea Flimsy. Little Jack Holding it up. Rethinking Levi should've known better than that. He knows his way around absolutely cars and trucks. Here's a young kid my nephew same age as my kids and now gone and not knowing any details of what happened just trying to grapple with the idea of. Oh this is real. My brothers were all standing around with Carl. And just that numb feeling of now what do we do? His wife died in a house fire. His horses were killed in a bonfire and now his son had been killed in a freak accident so much tragedy surrounding this one man. Carl has called himself unlucky. Didn't did you see your husband does unlucky. I did I did. I felt like it was He had just one of those guys that had a lot of bad things happen but true to form. Carl pulled himself together. He had Radin magazine Article. Somebody from New York City was looking for farmers in upstate. New York Therese Duck Gourmet ducks for restaurants and It was something that he wanted to get into. I felt like it was A good thing for him Along the way somewhere somebody had told him that you know he was. He could make a lot of money doing it. Carl got fired up by this new business and began raising thousands of ducks to sell the New York City restaurants. He instant even found themselves starring in an episode of pitching in a Food Network Canada series. Carl liked being on TV. He did he liked. Being in the spotlight he'd liked being recognized. He did and in in your small neck of the woods. That was a big deal. It was a big deal. Yeah I think he had these visions that he was going to be this famous person. Rich and famous Sindhi washed her husband's ego swell with all the attention at the same time. She became deeply unhappy and found herself drinking too much. So what changed? Why did you start to think? Things didn't necessarily make perfect sense anymore. I'm not sure you know I can't pinpoint one exact thing. Just I just think it was an intuition a I would have these feelings or attacks you know. Every few months she had queasy feelings about the day Levi died and about how he died. Was Carl telling the truth about what happened in the barn and I was telling myself it's just you you know you're being paranoid you know and so I would forget about it for a while again. It turns out Mike was Uneasy about it to the events of that terrible day kept playing over and over again in his head. Wouldn't Carl. Cd You after? Levi's death not a lot I I went to the hospital and I was in the room with Lee in. Carl came in the room and I don't know what I wanted him to say but he says how do I explain this? That was that now what I was hoping to hear. Don't know really what I wanted to hear but I didn't see the grieving dad that I thought I should have seen that. Maybe I wanted to see Mike didn't share his misgivings about Carl was cindy but her own fears were growing worse. She even started feeling physically. Ill and you know I went to the doctors. And you know we thought you know treated me with pain medications and everything trying to make it better. But nothing helped and her smoldering awful suspicion was evolving into a terrifying conclusion. Oh my God I think he did it. Coming up. Cindy shares. Her fears with police. What were the most useful thing she told you about a seven hundred thousand dollar plus insurance policy then daring undercover plan? I had actually watched that episode of Dateline and I like him. This revelation cord cindy uncover the truth when dateline continues as much as I love getting my hair done. I don't always have time to sit in a salon chair for hours on end every six weeks and I really can't justify the hundreds of dollars plus tip. It costs each time with Madison Reed. I can refresh my color at home for a fraction of the price. Their color is formulated without things. Like ammonia parabens which means it doesn't smell and it actually nourishes your hair. Madison Reed Color. Kits are beautifully packaged. With everything. You need to color your hair at home in under an hour and it's all delivered right to your door starting at just twenty two dollars with their online hair color tool you can try on different shades and find your favorite. They've really made the entire at home. Color Process Super Easy and super fund as a listener of the show. You'll get ten percent off plus free shipping on your first color kit with Kodei L. NBC at Madison Dash Away Dot Com. That's code deal NBC. Hey Guys Willie geist here this week on the Sunday. Sit Down podcast I get together with Hollywood icon Al Pacino for a cruise around Beverly Hills and a conversation about his legendary fifty year career. You can get that now for free wherever you download your podcasts By the fall of two thousand eleven. Three years had passed since Levi's depp as Cindy grew apart from Carl. She kept looking back on the events of the day. Levi died and wondered what really happened in that barn again. These thoughts kept coming up kept sinking more into a depression. Cindy confided in France. They suggested she called a private investigator. That's how she met Steve Brown. She walked in and door and she looked very frail physically emotionally just sickly week. Cindy proceeded to tell me what happened that day in two thousand eight and she mentioned something about that day that had always nagged at her. Carl said he wanted to check on Levi before they left. Carl was alone in the barn with Levi for a few minutes. Cindy wondered if he had pushed the truck onto his own son. How could that be? How could somebody do something like that? No one wants to believe they could marry a murderer right but then cindy told him another thing that made her wonder. If Carl had reason to kill Levi it turns out. Carl got a substantial insurance payout. Levi's life she later found out that Carl was the beneficiary of the policy. Not The girls say that really concerned her. The policy was for a hefty. Four hundred thousand dollars. What's more? There was an additional three hundred thousand dollar payment. Because Levi's death occurred by accident round wanted to talk to Karl without revealing that he was working for his wife. I said well what if I kinda go. Undercover and Befriend Carl if you will As a as a marketer a promoter for Your Business Cindy thought it might work. She arranged the meeting. I came to the farm and sat down at the kitchen table introduce myself and and essentially I just said you know your duct business in coral started telling his vision his dream for the duck business if you will and he bought it. Hook line and sinker he did. He did no clue. This was a private investigator cracked right. Steve Brown began spending time with car. One day Carl showed him his new electric knife for killing ducks. He said. I like the old fashioned way and it came up behind me and my neck up and went like this with his hand he said messy very physical the look in his eye when he tilted my my head back you know. I kind of stepped away and looked at him. And said we're talking about docks here and chickens aren't we and the sense just coldness and emptiness. Steve went back and forth about whether he had enough to show police. But in February of two thousand twelve the choice was taken of his hands. One of the People Cindy had confided in called detective John. Clear of the Seneca County Sheriff's Office and he called. Cindy how did that go? The first thing she said was thank God you called. What were the most useful thing she told you? The most useful piece of information was about a seven hundred thousand dollar plus insurance policy that was paid out and Levi. Carlson detective clear. Learned that Karl actually helped Levi sign up for the policy. Seventeen days later. Fatal accident happened. Carl says he told Levi that if something happened he would hang onto the money for Levi's daughters detective clear learned. The girls never got a dime after the death. Carl and Cindy went on to really spend a lot of money. Oh Yes yes the insurance money. What were they spending. The money on there was money spent on a lot a multitude of things Home Improvement Vehicles Investment. A lot of investments were taken out. Cairo spent a lot of money on the duck business. There are some huge payouts on that as he dug deeper detective clear realized Carl. Carlson had collected on a number of insurance policies over the years in one thousand nine hundred. Six Carl's new. Dodge charger caught fire. He collected ten thousand dollars. The fire that killed the horses and took down the barn paid out nearly one hundred fifteen thousand dollars a lot of insurance payouts for one man. Yes most people. Don't have that many tragedies in her life and there was more. There was life insurance on both of Levi's daughters. If Cindy died Carl would gain more money because they shared assets Cindy decided she had to get away from him. I was scared that he found out what was going on and I just decided I couldn't do it anymore so I ended up calling Alex. Her son was over at a friend's house. She came and got me and came out to the car and I saw that she had packed. All of our suitcases and our dogs were in the car and she had told me that. There's an investigation going on Because they thought my dad had killed my brother. They started living in hotels. Cindy dodged Carl's calls and so did Alex. She knew police were investigating but it seemed to be taking so long so cindy decided to do something. A little more proactive and very risky. I had actually watched an episode of Dateline where this woman was recording her mother and I like his revelation and I said you know I want to start recording conversations with Carl. I thought if I could just get him to confess about the barn fire that would show his character. It was a bold move. Maybe a crazy one. But Cindy was ready to take the rest coming up. This is a potentially dangerous situation. You're walking into Cam. Cindy wring a confession out of Karl can the police. Don't kill your son. You don't kill for money. Visit about money Cindy. Carlson had a plan. She decided to secretly record a conversation with her estranged husband. Carl wearing a small voice recorder tucked under her Bra. She was hoping she could get him to confess. Burning down the family barn and killing all their horses and I just started telling him that I was considering getting back together with him. But I couldn't even consider it unless he started telling me the truth of Saints said he did Dern our marriage that he lied about and he Said to me as sounds like you want me to say that I hit something to do with Levi's death while at that moment I knew that we skipped right over the barn fire. I might be able to get him to confess about Levi. She asked him what happened inside the barn. The Day Levi died now I just kept talking to them and I'm at one point. He got To where he said that the truck was checked up. I know I asked him. So did you push the truck or was it hard to push? And he said No. It wasn't was that a confession. Cindy felt like it was. She took the recording to the police. But it was inaudible. Still detective. Clear was intrigued and asked her to do it again. I request. She agreed to be wired up to do a second interview under controlled circumstances. So Cindy put on the wire and went to meet Carl. This is a potentially dangerous situation. You're walking into are. Are you scared? I was actually Cam because I knew that Karl believed my story of wanting to get back together. Abigail restaurant near Seneca falls would be the meeting place it was mid November two thousand twelve. You had undercover officers in the restaurant. Four were they. Diners were they. Waiters diners. The detectives needed Cindy to get Karl to repeat. What she said was his confession to leave is murder but when she started grilling him again. Carl became suspicious Artemis Walkman. You can imagine what I had to convince them. That wasn't a trap. I offered for him to check my purse. It works and she got him back on the subject that day in two thousand eight. I asked you travel in person I said but I I took piano and that is exactly what you told me that. Set it up that way but when you were in you opportunity after this exchange crystallized John Clear suspicions about Carl Carlson. I felt I understood him to a degree. This is someone who doesn't think like we do. They still had no confession but detectives believe they had enough to bring him in for questioning. It was the moment of truth if Carl. Carlson refused to speak or if he called aware the case could evaporate but Carson wanted to talk. I mean I work multiple jobs and stuff like that. I worked Lhasa. I mean we were talking about his favorite subject. Police quickly steered Carl. To leave is death. He repeated what he told police. In two thousand eight he found Levi debt after returning home from the funeral. And and you know then. We went to the hospital. I loved trump but then Carl let something slip a possible motive. You don't kill your son you don't visit. We'll we'll tell you about money. What are you talking about? The detectives knew they were on the right track. There's not a conscience of play to there's nine empathy to play. What are what are we play to? What does he have while he has an ego? And it's a big one so that's the strategy that we shift to. Which is I gave them a lot of sympathy and a lot of attention. We know that you were in the air force and we all have to do because I respect you for that. Are you proud of the time spent? I think you should be proud of that. And I know that when you read their like anybody does not train. You probably retraining to make life deficit right. I think you just made more when when it came to leave. I think there was a problem. And you did what we're trained. What PROGRAMS DO I don't I wasn't. I don't agree with as the conversation wore on New York. State Police Investigator Jeff. Arnold took a different approach and turned up the heat. Taking Carl back to that moment in the barn help you let record are you your unwatchable driving along and you say again. It's showtime propel. Grandma show my radically. I'm a liar show and you will remember it only got city. Hurry call one. Carl denied it all pushing. His buttons wasn't working so clear. Dialed it back again. You want to give you a chance to help you. I can't tell you what didn't happen. Sir. I let me. He listened. As Carl talked about injuries he had suffered botched surgeries. The pain meds. He needed yourself. Okay I don't mean to change the subject. Sir I really don't as the hours ticked by clear coaxed and prodded and Carl. Carlson story began to change version. Two came out where he admitted that he leave. I was already dead before they left to go to the funeral. I need a decision to walk out on my son and knocking them off the truck right now at that point. There's no doubt in my mind what happened here then. Carlson finally broke. He admitted he didn't just find Levi under the truck. He saw the truck fall and he may have even caused it to fall. They anti hidden by when I did it. It is the truth. Is You whether whatever your was I the action you took 'cause attractive on the inaction of leaving them there right okay? So turn your holiday. Police charged Carl. Carl said with second degree murder Mike. Carlson certainly had suspicions but he was heartsick when he actually got the news. That would never think anybody could do that too. So I couldn't see how anybody can do it. Perfect stranger or a wild animal and in fact Carl had second thoughts about that confession months later his arraignment. He pleaded not guilty. The state would have to prove their case against him in court coming up. Nobody should have to go through what our family has gone through. Not once but twice. Soon there'd be more than just one case against Carl Carlson waiting just about twenty four years now for some closure when dateline continues a year passed in Seneca County New York. Carl Carlson still in pain. He said hobbled into hearings as his attorney filed motions to suppress evidence testimony and that police interview most of them failed and then on November. Six two thousand thirteen one day before his trial was set to begin a surprise that no one saw coming Carl. Carlson pled guilty to murder in the second degree in Seneca County Court Take responsibility for the death of his son Levi. It's called depraved. Indifference murder in exchange for that plea Seneca County. Da Berry Porsche. Said Carlson would be given the minimum sentence. Fifteen years to life. The plea was a relief for Mike. Carlson who attended every hearing that year and came away convinced. His brother was guilty. The exit betrayal on multiple levels. Betraying your family your son you community. It was all about Carl a sociopath that needed to be the center of attention. Even as the family mourned Levi's death. They saw carl's conviction as an opportunity to reopen the investigation into the awful tragedy from decades earlier. The death of Christina Carlson. I'm on daughter. Errands spoke for the family. We've been waiting just about twenty four years now for some closure for things that transpired in California. You know things that I will never be able to forget things that my family. I'll never be able to overcome. Say One more thing. The Seneca County Sheriff echoed errands words. Throw Challenge Out California. You've been sitting back waiting to see what's happened here while now it's happened now. It's your turn. Colette had no doubt that a serious investigation into her sister's death was long overdue. I am glad that he pled guilty but I am not settled at all with where I am him. Pleading guilty only solidifies my beliefs that he killed my sister. How would you sum up your life since nineteen ninety-one and the roller coaster? You've been on. I would say that I feel like I have been living what most people watch on. Tv nobody should have to go through. Our family has gone through. Not once but twice just imagine would Christina went through and that lasts those final moments of her life screaming for help. It turns out that while he was working on Levi's case investigator Jeff. Arnold also focused on Christina's. Why did you take such an interest in? Christina's death when you're here in New York State. It became personally. Because she's she's just a great human being who had everything to look forward in life. Arnold reached out to investigators in California. Once they heard what he had to say about Levi. They decided to reopen the case into his mother's death. Arnold stayed on the case to think any of us is team investigators hand. You have ever seen a case like this before I know personally I have not arnold spoke to Karl Kent. One of the original California investigators who had retired by this time. I knew it was coming someday. I didn't know win. Remember back in. Nineteen ninety-one cans bosses told him not to pursue the case to the new investigators. He looked like a good source. So they contacted me to see if I had any recollection of the fire. And I told him yes I did. It was fire that I felt was very suspicious so suspicious that when he left the California Department of Forestry for the last time he did something unusual I head Taken two boxes of transcriptions and tapes. A put him in my basement in my house for the mere fact that. I thought someday somebody whether it's the kids or somebody else will come forward with some information and it might be able to open the case again. Good thing too because all the evidence had been tossed anything that was left at the In the evidence room was purged. Gone wasn't already more so California. Investigators examine the evidence in Kansas boxes. They talked to surviving witnesses and family members who had doubts about Carl Story and they reviewed Levi's case in light of all that the Calaveras County. Da Charged Karl Karlsson with first degree murder in August. Two thousand fourteen but collette knew there was still a long way to go. We need closure. We need to know that that this man will be put away for the rest of his life. Colette made sure prosecutors kept their foot on the gas. When Carlson's extradition from New York seemed to stall. She made phone calls wrote letters and use her facebook page. The process was horrible. You know we we were set back time and time and time again and it just seemed like every obstacle that could possibly get in front of us was placed in front of us in two thousand sixteen coral. Carlson was finally extradited to Calaveras County California. He sat there for four more years until his trial began last month. Jeff Arnold had pushed hard on this case so when the trial date was set. He made his way to California Carl. Carlson children held accountable in Nineteen ninety-one Levi's Sylvia live. But he wasn't held accountable. Then let's make sure. He's held accountable now. Three decades after his wife Christina died barricaded in a bathroom. Carl would face a jury of his peers but was it too late. Coming up. Christina took her last breath trapped in this coughing coral. Carlson on trial prosecutors. Come on strong. Their main strategy is to just paint this picture of Carl Carlson because in a way he's the only physical evidence that's even left of this fire. It was the strangest of family reunions. Twenty nine years after Christina Carlson's death her family including her mother. Arlene gathered in northern California. The trial of Carl Carlson for sister. Colette this was a long time coming. You know the day that the jury selection actually began was the day. We finally believed that this trial was going to happen. The jury saw the video shot by Christina's cousins and District Attorney Barbara. Yoke painted a heroin picture of Christina's last moments in that bathroom with fire raging outside the door and the only window boarded up. Michio Ladies and Gentlemen. Christine are coughing and trapped her in there she was alone naked political washrag clutching washrag your face trapped with only the panic and sheer terror of a mother who cannot reach children. According to the Prosecution Carl Carlson set the fire to kill his wife and then walked away with hardly a tear and seventeen years later. He killed again. The prosecution has leaned really heavily into Carlson's prior conviction. Levi's death Dakota moreland covered the Carlson case as a reporter for the Calaveras Enterprise. We spoke to her mid trial. I'm not sure if they could convict him as easily without that or at all. That's why the Prosecution Flu New York. Detective John Clear out to California to make the case that Carl Killed Christina for the same reason he killed Levi. It's not unusual when you're building what we call a pattern case to use subsequent acts and prior acts. But if you can show a clear pattern that is way well beyond the boundaries of chance or circumstance it can. It can help build a case. Clear testified about Carl's confession and he added an additional detail during his allocution in court. He actually admits to his son was still alive when he left to go to this funeral and that he knew that by leaving him there that would result in his death. The message was clear. Carlson was capable of anything following repeated objections from the defense. The prosecution played most of the New York interrogation up and it turned out that much of it was about the California case me fire. We are first leg concern home. The jury watched as Jeff. Arnold asked Carlson about the boarded up bathroom window or fire. Let's months before before. But collect who saw Christina just before Christmas testified that Carl must have nailed that Boorda only days before the fire it was not boarded up when I was there. Carlson also told Arnold he suffered awful injuries as he broke windows to rescue his children and that the fire was so intense. He couldn't save Christina. Happens window I got hit with a fireball American. The face blew me off the Front Porch Burma. I was together. Burn skin off my face. Burma Moustache Jurors watched as Arnold finally unloaded. Your work will gloom in. You hear her calling your name. We'll six hundred calling. It was screaming Steven. You're able to get blown off or older. Is Your Son's Uninjured Erla? Grabbing under the sun this explosion just very place without mark on him take him out of the House. Runaround rexy say the two daughters and let your in West Leisure way parishes would not have to rip that word out that five before that house again as I live by that time the fires all around what are we gonNA do. I don't Cau- any treatable injuries. Pam geat the paramedic told the jury. Carlson didn't look like someone who had been hit with a fireball. He may have had some small abrasions and very minor burns but nothing that required any immediate treatment. He seemed incredibly calm Given the circumstances I thought that was a little odd. A number of witnesses testified to the same thing that Carl seemed. Oddly UNINJURED AND UNCONCERNED. There were even gasps in the courtroom. When Collette told the jury a story from that terrible day it was something she told us. A few years ago I was standing in the back hall with Carl and I said I wanNA see my sister and he goes. You can't and I said well. Why not and he looked at me square in the eye and he said your sister's crispy critter which was shocking to me to say the least just with a straight face. The prosecution talked a lot about Carl's alleged callousness. His family members testified. They were troubled that he was up for sightseeing trip right. After his wife was killed went up to betrays her remember. They talked about being trees and a stop and after that offended said he wanted to. You want to go to New York. I think that their main strategy is to just paint this picture of Carl Carlson. Because in a way he's the only physical evidence that's even left of this fire. He you know this is very much a trial of personality and a lot of ways. The prosecution also put some of the original investigators on the stand including Ken. Bosque a forensic electrical engineer who specializes in fire causes and origin. I was called by a representative of Insurance Company and they wanted to look at the trouble light which was a what they thought was a key piece of evidence from the king's bus says he went to the scene five weeks after the fire and says he couldn't find a likely ignition source. The House wiring didn't start at the Washer. Didn't start at the dryer to start at. The water. Heater didn't started. The kerosene heater didn't start it and the trouble. I didn't start it because it wasn't on. Sugalski took a look at the kerosene stain. Pets may have knocked over a container of kerosene the day before the fire but he saw evidence of a second spill that looked deliberate. There was a very distinct poor of what also appeared to be seen in a Kennel. Horsh use shape going across the bathroom Door and then around to the other side toward the laundry you testified that it looked like someone had poured that kerosene and then lit it. The edges were very distinct. He told the Insurance Company about his findings and agents looked into it but the company ultimately decided to pay the life insurance claim. Two hundred thousand dollars. And that's where the alleged motive came in as district attorney Barbara. Yuck reminded the jury twelve thousand dollars just three weeks. After Carl took out that Policy Christina was dead. This was his plan. The said this was Carlson's deadly ammo. It's time to the defendant. That life is more important than money. It's time to tell him that his family members are not a means to an end. I ask that. You buy a bandit guilty as charged. But Carl Carlson's defense was ready to punch back and they would have a theme. Where's the evidence coming up? What's a grieving husband supposed to do? Upset crying I did record. The fight is on. They had twenty eight years to put a case together. And this is what they've come up with when dateline continues for more than a week. Prosecutors had painted Carl Carlson as cunning killer. Who deliberately started the fire that killed his wife but now it was the defenses. Turn TO FIGHT BACK. Carles Attorneys Lee Fleming and Richard ESCA veld argued the prosecution's case was old. They had twenty eight years to put a case together and this is what they've come up with if anything they said the case that road over time as evidence was thrown out and witnesses struggled with fading memories the same evidence that they rejected in one. Thousand nine hundred. Ninety one is what they presented you with today and it wasn't good enough then. It's not nearly good enough now. Then they attacked Ken. Bosque reminding jurors that he didn't work for any law enforcement agency but for an insurance company and they said he didn't even begin investigating until the evidence had literally grown cold. He didn't go to the scene until five weeks later. After the whole house was overhauled things were taken out. It was an unsecured area. When he got there was largely cleaned. Remember that video Christina's cousins took of the burned down home while they took a second one later on. Here's what the house looked on their original video and here's how it appeared later after being cleared out the time line is murky but the defense claims Husky. He got there after the site was overhauled. This is the bathroom where Christina died here it is just after the fire and here again later on the bath that she was founded has been cleaned out of debris. There are items left there like gloves and things that weren't there before when the defense argues that it's a contaminated crime scene. I think that's a pretty good argument to be honest. Not only that. But since most of the evidence Bosque used his investigation had been thrown out. They had no way of double checking his work the items that he tested along with all the photographs that he took we're giving back to his employer and they were destroyed. What I understand so there was a lot of what you didn't have in this case. That could help you. Yeah we didn't have any of the evidence that Mr Busk had to render his opinion they reminded jurors that despite Bosque's findings the Insurance Company paid Carl. This Christine report paired told them everything they needed to know. Why should also start that fire and they said no we reject your report and we're paying the claim with no hard evidence connecting Carl to the fire. The defense argued. The case was completely circumstantial like the life insurance policy. Carl took out on Christina. Carl told me the same thing. His attorney said in court accidents do happen even when insurance is involved. Do you think the timing looks suspicious that you've got this insurance policy just a few weeks before she died we can say look suspicious but it was stated in court that. This isn't an uncommon thing to happen. What's not uncommon to get an insurance policy and then someone dies a few weeks later or a car accident. Yes coral says he did. Try to rescue Christina. After he got the kids out tried saving her by getting the board off the window. Maybe she could get to the window and jump out which it's only seven feet or whatever to hit the ground the fire and the smoke. Push me back because I don't have equipment to fight that asked for the allegations that Carl seemed cold unemotional after Christina died. He says he was upset and showed. What's a grieving husband supposed to do? Upset crying I did record. It's stated in. Their crawl was covered in snow. Karl was crying at all. That curl said the people who some crying have since died so jurors never heard their testimony. Coral didn't testify either so jurors heard from him by watching nearly nine hours of that police interrogation where Carl talked about his son. Levi's death in my hand. How do you think that damaged your defense specifically by being allowed to see this extra stuff? I think it was highly traditional. I think the issue was that you heard coral. Who is a talker? He does like to talk. But you heard him talking about so many different things that were not relevant to this case and yet depending on how you took what he was saying they could hold it against them. Okay was your biggest concern that the jury will see what what he was accused of doing back in New York. And so hey. Why wouldn't he do this to -solutely that was the DA's plan the entire time that was there? The route they took was to try and show that because this occurred in New York it means that he did with the accused him of doing back in one thousand nine hundred one. The defense told jurors they couldn't draw any conclusions. Based on Carl's guilty plea and Levi's death does call. Carlson deserve a fair trial now. Some people say well. He admitted to killing his son in New York. He doesn't deserve a fair trial and to that. I'd say if you believe that today based just on that fact you have an obligation to let the court know. You can't be fair now. It was up to the jurors coming up a verdict from the jury and tough questions for Carl. Carlson Tattoo deaths with two life insurance payouts. Bad luck the died. Would win sentence that you. Would you call it? I want to hear what you have to call it my interview with Carl. Carlson took place near the end of his trial at the Calaveras County. Jail where he'd been held for almost four years. He had declined to take the stand but it turned out he wanted to talk to us about everything including the death of his son Levi and what he said surprised us that the whole tearful confession about leaving his son to die. Underneath a truck was a lie. I walked away Lenexa. Four years in a complete turnaround. Karl now. Says he didn't kill Levi after all despite his confession to investigators and is guilty plea in court. Annoyed didn't approve. Did you walk away from your son getting crushed by the truck? No Levi was alive when I left. So you're a complete. You're saying that you I sent this. Yes Carl says when he left the farm that day Levi was fine busy working on the truck in the barn but when he returned so you walk into the barn. You're saying you realize that your son. He's crushed underneath the truck and I reached out to grab him by the ankle. 'cause I could you know to touch his actual skin and I knew he was dead. The reason he told police he did it. He says was because he was exhausted and in desperate need of pain medication he was using after surgery. During the nine and a half hour interrogation asked thirty five times. Please let me have my medicine medicine other early smarter. We really get my message and they said Oh. Don't you don't need them because they'll make you dizzy fuzzy. They're they're the trained expert. They you're hearing. You're saying you admitted to leaving your son to die because you were off your medication yes. In because you're getting pulverized for nine and a half hours until you're in those shoes lady you have no idea. But during the interrogation detectives repeatedly offered to get Karl lawyer more. Let him leave altogether. You know you're you're I don't watch them out. I'm not going to last said. Look if you wanna where we can stop if instead he stayed and kept talking. I think any dad who's watching. We'll say no way and admitting to that when it involves my own okay son. Here's a catch until you're on that hot seat that you're looking at life in prison. How many cases have you done? Where please have been found to be untrue? A lot a lot because they put you in a position. Where if you don't take your going away forever. What do you say to anyone who's watching this? Who thinks this is just a bunch of Hollywood? Come they go spewing out. Don't believe what comes out of my mouth. Believe what I can prove you on government documents. This is the document. He's talking about the death certificate. It says Levi died at approximately three pm about three hours after Carl left the house. Carl says it's proof he's innocent. Detective John Clear has his own take on it. The bottom line is those time of deaths are an educated guess at best. There was no autopsy. There is no scientific testing done to determine the an actual time of death. He says it's just another ploy Carl's using to make himself seem like the innocent victim in a string of tragedies. Okay let your wife gets a life insurance policy. You're the beneficiary she dies in a fire. Your son gets a life insurance policy. Your name the the beneficiary he dies by getting crushed by a truck correct. So now you've had two deaths with two life insurance payouts Bad luck the died. Would you incidence that you would you call it? I I want to hear what you have to call it well. I think it's I've had many other things in my life. I've had horses Dive Barn. I mean I was going to bring that up daily. You've had barn fires horses. I mean that look seems to follow you around. Would you say that you're a victim of bad luck? If I told you everything you wouldn't believe what's happened to me. Like the fire that killed Christina. Carl claims he has no idea how it started. Did you pour that kerosene and light it? No why would you do that and leave a woman to access points to get out when it could easily pull off the board in the bathroom. She didn't have obviously access to get out. She's in the TUB. She's got a door and she has a board on the window but in fact she was trapped. According to John. Clear that was Karl's Mo you talk about Karl almost that. He has a a signature of sorts. What do you what do you mean by that His pattern is to is to create a hazardous situation almost like a trap and then step away and let the trap do its business. Carl does acknowledged that some things in this case. Just look bad for him. Like the way people said he behaved after the fire. Colette claims that you called Christina a crispy critter after that fire when I got out of the hospital. Horrible if if if is drew say that which. I don't remember if I did and I can't believe I would be the most. It'd be just horrifically insensitive but you think you might have or you know 'cause I don't believe I did. I would just hope that somebody would say I never said that. Most sort of sound like they're not sure. I've said that to other people but I'm loaded up with volume okay. So did did I say that one hundred did I not say that hundred percent? I can't say that Carl's family hasn't stood by him but there's something he wants them to know. What would you say to your surviving children? Aaron Katie and Alex. I'm sorry for this for dragging our lives in this and that I did not kill your brother. I did not kill Kadian errands. Mother and I didn't but jurors would have the last say about how Christina died. Deliberations lasted two days and then the verdict came. In we the jury find the defendant. Carl Holger Carlsen guilty of murder in the first degree inside the courtroom Christina's family clung to each other in relief sister. Colette was there to when they read it and it was a good moment. It was a good moment to. It's been a long time waiting for this verdict to come through Carl. Carlson showed little emotion as he was led out of court. His attorneys plan on filing an appeal. He's six years into a sentence of fifteen to life for killing Levi next month. He'll be sentenced for killing Christina. Today this is all that's left of the Little House on the hill. The remains of settled into this crater. How does it feel to be back here? After all those years it's very emotional for firefighter. Rich Win the guilty verdict to offer some measure of comfort. You know I feel such sadness. Such joy to because finally justice was served. He didn't get away with it. Twenty nine years after. A fire took Christina Carlson's life. Her family finally has answers but even time they say doesn't heal all wounds. I don't think you can put a time when when you would miss some of the most. You can be doing something around the home and all of a sudden. You have a memory of something that the two of you used to do together. The memories are are good. I still have her pitchers up around my home. And I'm I I'm not going to take those down and so she's right there my bedroom with me at all times. That's all for this edition of Dateline. We'll see you again next Friday at nine eight central and of course I'll see you each weeknight for NBC nightly news. I'm Lester Holt for all of us at NBC News. Good night. Hi Jenna Bush Hager from the today show. I'd love for you to join my book club. Read with Jenna. I've loved reading since I was a little girl. And my mom. A librarian read to me every night. Now I love getting lost in the world that books open for US meeting characters who feel like friends. Every month I choose a book that I fall in love with usually diverse debut author's books piddly degrade conversations read with genetics about sharing our love of reading and connecting with each other so visit today dot com slash. Read with Janette to join the club and get my latest pick.

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