When thinking of America’s Amish, what comes to mind? Quite likely, you envision rolling hills and fertile farmland, a tightly-knit, family-focused community living simply without the bells and whistles of modern technology. Indeed, the Amish are of a quiet and conservative faith; they preach Christian pacifism and eschew modern vice. And yet, some individuals with dark impulses still move through this community.
One night in June of 2009, Barbara Weaver, a 30-year-old mother of five and a devout member of the Old Order Amish church in Apple Creek, Ohio, was fatally shot while sleeping in her own bed. Who could have committed such a crime—and why? Case Closed: A Killing in Amish Country, the latest season from the hit true crime podcast, will answer these questions and many more.
Our story begins on June 3rd, 2009, when Barbara’s oldest child awoke to find his mother unresponsive in their Apple Creek, Ohio home. He ran to a neighbor for help and they used the community phone to contact the police. Investigators soon confirmed that Barbara had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest at some point either late the previous night or early that same morning. None of the other people present in the house that night, including Barbara’s children and her sister’s children, seemed to have any inkling as to what had happened. Barbara's husband, Eli Weaver, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found, having gone fishing with friends in the wee hours of the morning.
Right away, Eli was a suspect, given his curious absence from the home on the night/morning of Barbara's murder. Acquaintances of the couple claimed that Eli and Barbara had been having marital issues. Nevertheless, Eli’s friends vouched for his alibi; the man was indeed out fishing when Barbara was killed.
Then who shot Barbara? Moreover, what could have motivated the killer to murder a devout Amish mother while her children were sleeping nearby? Was her own husband responsible for her death, or is there more to this story than meets the eye? Case Closed: A Killing in Amish Country will examine every detail, and every twist and turn, of this shocking case.
A Killing in Amish Country is the third season of Case Closed, a podcast that focuses exclusively on true crime cases that have been solved. With no loose threads or ambiguous endings, listeners can be sure that the bad guy will not get away with the crime, making for a satisfying listen. The first season of the podcast covered the case of Erin Corwin, a 19-year-old military wife who was murdered in 2014. Season two investigated the murder of Rusty Sneiderman, an Atlanta businessman who was killed in the parking lot of his son’s preschool. Season three, A Killing in Amish Country, takes place in the unlikely setting of Ohio's Amish country and is based on the true crime book of the same name by Gregg Olsen.
True crime fans are likely familiar with Gregg Olsen, a towering author in the genre. Olsen has been writing true crime since 1990, in addition to penning pulse-pounding thrillers that have climbed their way up the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. He’s best known for his coverage of convicted child rapist Mary Kay Letourneau (If Loving You is Wrong), serial killer and “Starvation Doctor” Linda Burfield Hazzard (Starvation Heights), and product tampering killer Stella Nickell (Bitter Almonds). A Killing in Amish Country, Olsen’s 2016 book about the case at hand, isn’t his first investigation into a crime that took place among the Amish. He also wrote 1990’s Abandoned Prayers, about Amish serial killer Eli Stutzman.
Case Closed: A Killing in Amish Country is hosted by true crime book editor Charlie Spicer and the show’s producer, Kristy Westgard. In addition, Olsen himself provides his expertise to the podcast, clarifying details about the case and dispelling myths about the Amish community so that listeners have a clear understanding of the world in which Barbara Weaver’s murder took place.
For example, members of the Andy Weaver Amish—the conservative sect to which the Weavers belonged—are permitted to ride in cars but not to operate them. They are also allowed to use telephones, but they can’t own one in their homes, because it’s seen as a threat to the tight-knit nature of their community. The Andy Weaver Amish also frown upon being recorded by video or audio, which is why there are no existing photographs of Barbara Weaver, and why so many people preferred to speak about the case off the record. These are all important details that play into the case, and the show is excellent at examining them and clearing up misconceptions that many of us might have.
Tracing the crime from its tragic beginning to its shocking end, Case Closed: A Killing in Amish Country is one of the most compelling true crime podcasts out there. It also has the perk of featuring Gregg Olsen, a legendary true crime writer who brings all his expertise to bear.
Case Closed: A Killing in Amish Country premieres on all major streaming platforms on October 13, 2020. The series will release one episode a week for 10 consecutive weeks, exploring every aspect of the case until the truth about what happened to Barbara Weaver is finally pieced together. For listeners who wish to stream every episode of season three right now, you can do so by hopping over to Stitcher Premium and using the code CLOSED to unlock a free month. Otherwise, listen to the first episode in the embedded player below and then subscribe to Case Closed: A Killing in Amish Country. Get ready for a shocking true crime audio investigation unlike any you’ve heard before.
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