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Episode 103: John Jonchuck Trial Testimony

This episode contains the testimony of Father Bill Swengros of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida, in the trial of John Jonchuck Jr. for the murder of his 5-year-old daughter, Phoebe. Jonchuck and his wife were engaged in a custody battle over Phoebe when Jonchuck went to see his attorney and began to make bizarre statements. He claimed he was God and the creator. He then wanted her to read him the Bible in Swedish. When she refused, Jonchuck said he was going to find a minister. He called Father Bill Swengros for an appointment, then arrived at St. Paul’s and said he wanted to join the church and be baptized. Phoebe was with him; Swengros said she seemed “bright, amiable, and self confident.” He said Jonchuck did not appear to be mentally ill.

Shortly after midnight that same evening, Jonchuck drove to the Tampa Bay bridge and threw Phoebe over the edge. Despite his claims of insanity, Jonchuck was found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison.

Listen to the episode here.