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Some terrorists use weapons. Some use information. The scariest use hostages. Every Thursday, Hostage tells electrifying crime stories culminating in intense, life-or-death negotiations. Within the stories, we examine tactics used by the FBI’s crisis negotiation unit, world governments, and even hostage’s parents, highlighting the techniques that saved lives, and the moments where everything went tragically wrong. Hostage is a production of Cutler Media, and part of the Parcast Network. New episodes release on Thursdays.

True Crime
Society & Culture
Hostage Bites: Psychological Manipulation
Today we explore the idea of Psychological Manipulation—the tactics criminals use to deceive, coerce, and exert control over their victims.
27 min
Aimee Semple McPherson Pt. 2
After returning home to Los Angeles in the summer of 1926, Aimee Semple McPherson and her mother testified in a grand jury hearing about catching her kidnappers.
40 min
Listen First! SECRET SOCIETIES, A Parcast Origi...
Subscribe to SECRET SOCIETIES free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
14 min
Aimee Semple McPherson Pt. 1
Founder of the Foursquare Church, Aimee Semple McPherson amassed hundreds of thousands of followers in less than a decade with her unique sermon style and revolutionary use of the media. But her fame may have also led her to tragedy when she disappeared one spring morning from the California coast.
43 min
Best of 2019: John Wojtowicz Pt. 3
As the 1972 crisis dragged on, thousands of people crowded the streets to watch a modern-day Robin Hood take on “The Man.”
39 min
Best of 2019: John Wojtowicz Pt. 2
The 1972 hostage stand-off between John Wojtowicz and the police attracts major attention.
39 min
Best of 2019: John Wojtowicz Pt. 1
In the summer of ‘72, inexperienced criminal John Wojtowicz stepped into a Manhattan bank hell bent on carrying out a bold plan—rob the joint and smuggle his partner to Denmark for gender reassignment surgery.
39 min
Beslan School Crisis Pt. 2
After 24 hours, Russia’s hostage situation inside the Beslan School seemed hopeless.
37 min
Beslan School Crisis Pt. 1
On September 1st, 2004, 32 Chechnya rebels infiltrated a Beslan, Russia school holiday celebration.
44 min
The 1976 Chowchilla Kidnapping Pt. 2
After 3 kidnappers abandoned 55-year-old bus driver Ed Ray and his 26 students in an underground storage trailer, the hostages had to fight to stay alive.
32 min
The 1976 Chowchilla Kidnapping Pt. 1
Part-time school bus driver Ed Ray was making his afternoon drop-offs when three men boarded the bus, guns blazing.
39 min
Ion Perdicaris Pt. 2: The Millionaire and the O...
In 1904, rebel leader Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli kidnapped Greek-American millionaire Ion Perdicaris and his British stepson into the Moroccan mountains.
49 min
Ion Perdicaris Pt. 1: The Millionaire and the O...
n 1904, 64-year-old millionaire Ion Perdicaris and his step-son were kidnapped from their Moroccan mansion by a band of political rebels.
41 min
The Norrmalmstorg Robbery Pt. 2: Stockholm Synd...
Jan-Erik Olsson walked into a Swedish bank planning to hold a handful of employees hostage on August 23, 1973.
44 min
The Norrmalmstorg Robbery Pt. 1: Stockholm Synd...
On August 23, 1973, Jan-Erik Olsson walked into a Swedish bank planning to hold a handful of employees hostage.
46 min
John Wojtowicz Pt. 3: A Dog Day Indeed
As the 1972 crisis dragged on, thousands of people crowded the streets to watch a modern-day Robin Hood take on “The Man.”
39 min
John Wojtowicz Pt. 2: A Dog Day Indeed
The 1972 hostage stand-off between John Wojtowicz and the police attracts major attention.
39 min
John Wojtowicz Pt.1: A Dog Day Indeed
In the summer of ‘72, inexperienced criminal John Wojtowicz stepped into a Manhattan bank hell bent on carrying out a bold plan—rob the joint and smuggle his partner to Denmark for gender reassignment surgery.
39 min
John Paul Getty III Pt. 2: The Long Wait
As Paul languished in captivity, his family and fiancé desperately tried to navigate the Italian kidnappers demands.
46 min
John Paul Getty III Pt. 1: The Price of a Pound...
As teenaged John Paul Getty III sat captive somewhere in the Dolomite mountains, the world watched his family feud over who would pay his ransom.
38 min
All Hostage Episodes Now Available!
All Parcast episodes are now available on Spotify, or wherever you listen to Parcast podcasts!
1 min
The Ariel Castro Kidnappings Pt. 2: Escape
By 2003, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus had been kidnapped and held captive in a rundown house in Cleveland for years.
43 min
The Ariel Castro Kidnappings Pt. 1: Michelle Kn...
In 2002, 21-year-old Michelle Knight was lost and panicked while on her way to an important custody meeting for her young son.
44 min
Shannon Louise Matthews Pt. 2: “Beautiful Princ...
In 2008, the kidnapping case of 8-year-old Shannon Matthews dominated the news cycle in England.
40 min
Shannon Louise Matthews Pt. 1: The Field Trip
On February 19, 2008 in Dewsbury, England, nine-year-old Shannon Matthews waved goodbye to her friends and left school, but never made it home.
38 min
Captain James Riley Pt. 2: Enslaved
After months of being enslaved in Northern Africa in 1815, Captain James Riley vows to buy his own freedom, and the freedom of his crew.
45 min
Captain James Riley Pt. 1: Shipwrecked
After their merchant ship, Commerce, was stranded off the Moroccan coast in August 1815, a brave captain decided that they only way to survive was to find help.
45 min
Steven Stayner Pt. 2: Growing Up Dennis
After his abduction in 1972, Steven Stayner spent the next eight years hopping around California with his captor, Kenneth Parnell.
50 min
Steven Stayner Pt. 1: A Hundred Yards Away
On December 4, 1972, 7-year-old Steven Stayner was kidnapped from his home in Merced, California, and stolen away to an isolated camping ground outside Yosemite National Park.
42 min
Frank Sinatra Jr.: Along For The Ride
On December 8, 1963, Frank Sinatra Jr. was taken hostage just before a performance in Lake Tahoe.
47 min
Michael Scott Moore Pt. 2: 977 Days
As a journalist, Michael Scott Moore hoped to get an inside look at Somali piracy.
57 min
Michael Scott Moore Pt. 1: Pirate Reporter Capt...
After receiving a research grant, Michael Scott Moore packed his bags for Somalia to dig into the ongoing pirate crisis.
44 min
Siege at Waco Pt. 2: Babylon at the Gates
In late February, 1992, the ATF laid siege to Mount Carmel, just outside Waco, Texas.
61 min
Siege at Waco Pt. 1: The Prophecy
For years, cult leader David Koresh was abusing the young girls in his cult and stockpiling weapons for the apocalyptic war he believed was coming.
60 min
Peter Weinberger: The Sideways M
When infant Peter Weinberger was stolen from his backyard in sleepy Westbury, New York, in 1956, a seven-week, state-wide manhunt ensued.
49 min
Colleen Stan Pt. 2: Hidden in Plain Sight
In 1981, after four years of captivity, Cameron gave Colleen a single gift: a weekend home with her family in Oregon.
43 min
Colleen Stan Pt. 1: The Girl in the Box
In May 1977, Cameron Hook abducted Colleen Stan while hitchhiking in Oregon, then kept her as a slave for the next seven years.
48 min
Shin Sang-ok & Choi Eun-hee Pt. 2: The Chase
After four years in North Korea as prisoners, both Choi Eun-Hee and Shin Sang-Ok were reunited at a dinner party in 1982 and ordered to resume making movies together.
56 min
Shin Sang-ok & Choi Eun-hee Pt. 1: The Double A...
Actress Choi Eun-hee expected to spend a week in Hong Kong on business in 1978.
45 min
Shawn Hornbeck Pt. 2: The Missouri Miracle
Michael Devlin hadn't realized how hard it would be to keep a teenage boy hostage.
43 min
Shawn Hornbeck Pt. 1: The Missouri Monster
In 2007, Shawn Hornbeck should have been back to his family’s home in Missouri by dinnertime.
35 min
Michelle Renee Pt. 2: The Fall Guy
In November 2000, after being forced to rob the California bank she managed, Michelle Renee was quick to alert police and the FBI.
39 min
Michelle Renee Pt. 1: The Perfect Mark
Chris Butler had robbed banks before, but they heist had always gone awry.
35 min
Charley Ross Pt. 2: The Kidnapper's Pen-pal
After Charley was kidnapped on July 4, 1874 in Philadelphia, negotiations took place for over a year, stymied at every turn by police, politicians, and the public alike.
44 min
Charley Ross Pt. 1: America’s First Ransom Note
Two men earned Charley’s trust by bringing him and his brother candy every afternoon.
41 min
Virginia Piper Pt. 2
In 1972, Bobby struggled to follow the intricate directions left for him by his wife’s kidnappers, while she sat in the woods of Minneappolis, praying she had been taken by men of their word.
42 min
Virginia Piper Pt. 1
When Minneapolis socialite Ginny Piper was kidnapped from her own home in 1972, the police struggled to unearth suspects.
34 min
Natascha Kampusch Pt. 2
By the time she turned 18, Natascha promised herself she would escape her kidnapper.
40 min
Natascha Kampusch Pt. 1
Children were being abducted all over Austria, however Natascha Kampusch never thought anyone would want her.
37 min
John McCain Pt. 2
After a year in captivity, John McCain had lost all hope of ever returning home.
45 min
John McCain Pt. 1
On October 26, 1967, young, audacious Naval Lieutenant John Sidney McCain III prepared for his 23rd mission over North Vietnam.
39 min
Cynthia Ann Parker Pt. 2: A New Identity
After his 9-year-old daughter was kidnapped in 1836, James Parker made it his life mission to find her.
44 min
Cynthia Ann Parker Pt. 1: Naduah
In search of a better life, the Parker family migrated West.
39 min
Chiang Kai-shek Pt. 2: Captive in Exile
His ultimate exile in 1949 would give rise to Communist China.
43 min
Chiang Kai-shek Pt. 1: Civil War Bargain
In charge of the Chinese army in 1936, he was kidnapped during the invasion of Manchuria, where the Japanese invaded.
43 min
Shergar Pt. 2: A Racehorse Against Time
A race to save Ireland’s most prized racehorse turns deadly.
39 min
Shergar Pt. 1: The Stolen Stallion
Shergar’s kidnapping in 1983 sent the entire country of Ireland into a frenzy.
44 min
Munich Massacre Pt. 2: Athletes Become Heroes
The world watched in horror as the heavily anticipated 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany turned into an international catastrophe.
50 min
Munich Massacre Pt. 1: Olympic Tragedy
The Olympics are an event that is supposed to unite countries together, however that wasn’t the case during the 1972 Games in Munich, Germany.
48 min
The MV Maersk Alabama Pt. 2: Captain Phillips R...
Somali pirates seeking a large reward, attempted to hijack the MV Maersk Alabama in 2009.
45 min
The MV Maersk Alabama Pt. 1: Somali Pirate Hija...
It had been nearly 200 years since a ship registered under the American flag was seized by pirates.
46 min
Katie Beers Pt. 2: A Lifetime of Perseverance
For 17 days, she was locked in an underground bunker the size of a closet.
47 min
Katie Beers Pt. 1: A History of Betrayal
John Esposito, a family friend, kidnapped 9-year-old Katie Beers, locking her in a tiny cell under his garage in 1992
48 min
The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis Pt. 2: Rescue...
The Russian Government reacted to terrorist leader Movsar Barayev’s demands, only after a rescue mission conducted by the Russian Spetsnaz turns deadly.
44 min
The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis Pt. 1: Stormi...
The state of Chechnya in the early 2000s only adds to the turmoil of the hostage situation.
39 min
Bobby Greenlease Jr. Pt. 2: False Ransom
One day after school Bobby was kidnapped by Carl Hall and Bonnie Heady.
45 min
Bobby Greenlease Jr. Pt. 1: A Trusting Boy
Bobby was taken from his school by a woman claiming to be his aunt in 1953.
41 min
The Dos Palmas Kidnappings Pt. 2: Island Rescue
Was this the trip of a lifetime or the last trip of their lives?
48 min
The Dos Palmas Kidnappings Pt. 1: Trouble In Pa...
Were these innocent tourists able to survive?
45 min
Patty Hearst Pt. 3: Captive of the SLA
After two months of fruitless negotiations, the FBI stopped trying to rescue a hostage, and started trying to catch a criminal.
59 min
Patty Hearst Pt. 2: Girl on the Run
Blindfolded and locked in a closet for 57 days, Patricia Hearst was subjected to torture, abuse, and brainwashing.
50 min
Patty Hearst Pt. 1: The Kidnapping
Patricia Hearst lived every woman’s nightmare.
39 min
Welcome Trailer!
1 min