The passing of time is a serious enemy in finding a missing person, and in solving a murder case.
A body is discovered, the crime scene is sifted carefully, evidence gathered, theories formed, suspects identified. Grieving families want answers. The community wants answers. Law enforcement wants answers. But if the answers don’t turn up pretty quickly, the case can grow cold, leaving everyone unsatisfied.
Striking out at the beginning of a college education marks many firsts for late teens. It’s the beginning of independence, and likely the first extended period away from family and a familiar home environment. Its the beginning of true responsibility for your own life. It marks the start of the sobering reality of necessary debt. Along with these newfound freedoms comes an adjustment to the consequences of those freedoms. And sometimes the consequences are deadly.
In a calm and sparsely populated corner of southeastern Ohio, newlyweds Stacey and Todd Holston are starting out their lives together in a tiny mobile home. On an October day much like any other, a trusted relative brings husband, wife, son, stepson, and mother and father in law together in that small trailer, and shatters a young family’s promising future forever.
Domestic abuse takes many forms, and sometimes it’s not easy to know which spouse is the abuser, especially when a couple is known to fight it out in regular quarrels. When one or the other is pushed to murder, and the killer decides to hide the evidence, the solution to that age old problem can take a gruesome turn, as is clear in episode 14: The Murder in Barberton.
When a young couple, planning a life together turn up missing after a quiet walk in the autumn woods, who is to blame? And what did freaky crosses and nude photos have to do with it? Was it a case of Satanic Panic? Or was it a simple crime of opportunity? In Episode 12 of A State of Perfect balance, we visit a farm in Logan, a small town in southeastern Ohio, to follow suspicious behavior, rapid justice, and the mystery of a missing couple in love.
In the case of James Allen Ponder, of Hamilton, Ohio, the only thing we’re really left with is questions, with no answers to be found. “Closure,” something families desperately seek when someone they love is taken violently from them, is an elusive thing in the best of circumstances. When the killer and the victim are both close family members, and there are no answers to the big fat “why,” everyone is left feeling tormented and adrift.
James Ponder was 71 years old. He enjoyed many of the things in life that other men his age did. The only thing that seems to stand out, is the way his life ended. This is his story.
Amish Country is a land of simplicity and quiet. Horses, buggies, and bonnets. Reverence and respect. Hand crafted furniture, and a life far removed from everything modern. It was the life Barbara Weaver desired and expected. No one, least of all Barbara, could have foretold the life she found herself in, with a sex-obsessed, porn surfing, discontented husband bent on getting rid of her. Amish Country may not be what it seems. It’s trysts with random hookups in the barn, mystified neighbors, plotting lovers and murder, in Episode Ten, of the State of Perfect Balance.
Some murder cases capture the attention of the public in a way that seems disproportionate. All murders are terrible, of course. All of them cut short a valuable life and bring sudden tragedy and emotional agony to the families of the victims, and all of them deserve our respectful attention as the killers are brought to justice.
Before the time of television, or even radio, murder cases would sometimes become the focus of breathless national attention. This episode of The State of Perfect Balance is centered around what was once such a case.