It’s been 50 years since John List killed his entire family in their Westfield mansion and disappeared to reinvent himself. But the shocking mass murder is still on the minds of many in New Jersey and beyond, as thousands of listeners are diving into the story with NJ Advance Media’s new serial podcast, “Father Wants Us Dead.”
With over 20,000 downloads in five days, “Father Wants Us Dead” peaked at No. 91 on Apple Podcasts’ top podcasts chart and No. 23 among true crime podcasts.
The first three episodes of the investigative true crime story were released May 10, and a new episode will be available each Tuesday through June 21. You can listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. Episodes, photos and more are also available at fatherwantsusdead.com.
List, a 46-year-old father of three who never missed a service at Westfield’s Redeemer Lutheran Church, seemed like a stiff accountant who kept to himself. But as is detailed in the first three episodes, behind that boring façade, List was succumbing to self-imposed pressures and failings until he came up with an unthinkable solution: He executed his mother de el, Alma, 84; wife Helen, 46; and three kids, Patty, 16, John Frederick, 15, and Freddy, 13.
The meticulously planned killings, the discovery of the dead family and the shockwaves it sent across the state are the topic of the next episode, which will be available Tuesday morning. The accountant’s attention to detail meant he planned his escape as carefully as the killings, so it was a month before authorities discovered the bodies of his victims, most of them left on sleeping bags in the ballroom of the family’s mansion on Westfield’s exclusive north side.
By then, List had taken a new name and started a new life for himself — one he was able to carry on successfully for 18 years.
Episodes (released every Tuesday) as well as trailers, photos and other information about the podcast can be found at fatherwantsusdead.com. You can listen, rate and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Youtube or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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