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Grocery stores aren’t really fun unless you’re Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi, hosts of the podcast Throwing Shade (they’re coming to Death Becomes Us this November with special guest Latrice Royale! Get tix!) who just started another podcast called, you guessed it: GROCERIES.

No really, there is now a podcast exclusively about grocery stores. You can expect fun facts about the stores themselves, hot tips on what to buy and when to buy it, and of course…coupon craziness. It’s hilarious and I love it. In fact if you have a grocery store-related question or topic you can email ([email protected]) or call (818-660-5543‬).

Because Erin and Bryan are bringing Throwing Shade to our true crime festival I started doing a little digging into crimes that have happened at grocery stores. Turns out nothing, not even frozen food, is sacred.

The Mad Killers of Brabant

The 80’s were a wild time, filled with fast cars, fast women and fast checkouts. Probably, I’m not sure when the 10 items or less option came about. And we’re not only talking about America. Between 1982 and 1985 three people were responsible for a string of gruesome attacks in the Brabant province of Belgium. Their actual identities remain a mystery but the Dutch are a whimsical bunch therefore they were only known as The Giant (he’s very tall), The Killer (he’s very murdery), and The Old Man (not actually old but middle-aged). Most of their crimes occurred in grocery stores. Sometimes they were taking food. Usually they were taking money. Occasionally they took lives. They favored Volkswagens as their getaway cars which makes sense. It was the 80’s and it’s the People’s Car. They planned their getaway routes carefully. What I find so fascinating about them, other than their nicknames, is how meticulous they were in planning supermarket-related crimes. Each one feels like a bank robbery, down to the well-planned escapes, and yet they were exclusively robbing stores where if you wanted…you could grab a bag of Cheetos on your way out.

Frozen

I actually first heard about this story on an episode of Last Podcast on the Left’s Side Stories (tickets for their Death Becomes Us show are on sale now!). This legitimately seems like one of the worst ways to die and is a deeply sad story. In Council Bluffs, Iowa the day after Thanksgiving 2009, Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada fled his mother’s home after an argument. Evidently he was hearing voices that kept telling him to “eat sugar.” Same. It was the middle of winter, during a snowstorm. He was never heard from again. In January of this year his body was discovered wedged behind a grocery store cooler where he had apparently fallen. Presumably the metal was too thick for anyone to hear his screams. This is HORRIFYING. He starved to death. I also don’t want to be too gross but a decomposing body was very close to grocery store food for 10 years. TEN YEARS.

Cartlifting

I’m obsessed with people who take shopping carts home with them. I get it. I live in a city so I don’t have a car and I usually take a Lyft home with all my groceries but if I could just walk out with a shopping cart without issue, I would. And while this isn’t a report of an actual crime it still asks a question I myself have asked. Is it illegal to remove shopping carts from a grocery store?

Freud Rage

Look, I get it…mothers can be difficult. However I’m not sure this is the way to deal with those rocky parental relationships. This story is wild. First of all someone get Freud on the phone because this dude beheaded his mother on Mother’s Day. He also murdered his dog which upsets me more. I know that makes me a monster and I’m okay with that. The headless body of Joshua Lee Webb’s mother was discovered by his sister, Sarah Morris-White in Oregon City, OR Mother’s Day 2017. Clutching the same knife he used to remove his mother’s head, Webb walked over to a local grocery store WITH HER HEAD IN HAND where he also repeatedly stabbed a grocery store clerk. I cannot get the image of his arrival out of my head (pun intended). Imagine yourself standing in the produce section picking out apples (and if you’re me the pasta section buying mac n’ cheese) when a man strolls into the store carrying a bloody, severed head. Predictably Webb was later diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis after calmly admitting to the crimes.

I Scream You Scream

Please don’t open food in grocery stores if you aren’t going to buy it. Please don’t lick ice cream and put it back in the hopes that you’ll go viral. The only viral thing happening here is the spread of germs. This 36 year-old man watched a video of a teenager wherein she opened up a container of Blue Bell ice cream, licked it and put it back. It moved him. He did the same. This is one of my biggest fears and this is why I touch nothing. Ever. I exist in a bubble of my own making. As Johnny Cochran probably once said: If the seal is broken then I’m not jokin’ (does this make sense). Apparently Blue Bell ice cream is going to take steps to make sure its ice cream is properly sealed. DO YA THINK?

Honorable Mentions

Augusta Gein – Augusta, mother of famed serial killer Ed Gein, once owned a grocery store. And while Ed Gein didn’t commit any actual crimes in a grocery store it’s possible he spent some time in his mother’s.

John Dillinger – Boy owning grocery stores is a real family affair. Dillinger’s father owned a grocery store and in 1924 John Dillinger robbed one. Again, we gotta get Freud in here.

The LaBiancas – It is of course the 50th anniversary of the Manson murders. The second murders occurred on August 10, 1969 when Tex Watson, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwickel brutally murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca at the behest of Charles Manson. They owned a string of grocery stores.

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