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Episode 123: Ezra McCandless Case

Ezra McCandless (born Monica Carlson), 20, chose a new “gender neutral” name because she sometimes identified as a boy. At the time of the crime, she had three suitors: on/off boyfriend Jason Mengel, 35; Alex Woodworth, who called her his “boy,” and John Hansen, who (according to McCandless) sexually assaulted her. When the crime occurred, Ezra had moved out of Jason Mengel’s home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and their relationship had ended–partly because Jason had learned Ezra was having a sexual relationship with Alex Woodworth, whom (she said) liked to be aggressive and choke her during sex. Ezra wanted to get back with Jason. On March 22, 2018, she broke up with Alex, and he reacted badly. They went for a drive to “continue the discussion in a public place.” The car got stuck on a muddy road, and after trying to free themselves, the two got into a fight. Ezra claims Alex tried to sexually assault her. She stabbed him 16 times, then carved the word “boy” into her arm and went to a nearby farmhouse to get help. The prosecution claimed the attack was “an attempt to recaputure the relationship she wanted with Jason Mengel.”

During the trial, McCandless changed her plea from ‘not guilty by reason of mental disease’ to a ‘not guilty’ plea. She was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.

Listen to the episode here.