Morbid podcast

Episode 533: The Mysterious Death of Charles Morgan

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In March 1977, Arizona businessman Charles Morgan went missing from his home in Tucson, only to turn up three days later in the middle of the night, shoeless, traumatized, and with broken plastic handcuffs on his wrists and ankles. Unable to speak, Charles wrote that he had been drugged by an unnamed individual and kidnapped, but he refused to let his wife call the police or otherwise report the assault. Three months later, Charles Morgan’s body was discovered in the desert with a gunshot wound in the back of his head, one of his teeth wrapped in a handkerchief, and a two-dollar bill pinned to his underwear.

From the outside, Charles Morgan appeared to live a very normal and decidedly unexciting life. Yet when investigators began digging into his background to find out who would have wanted him dead, they discovered a complicated and bizarre story of supposed government agents, mobsters, and a mystery that one would have expected from a Hollywood screenplay, not the life of a middle-aged Arizona escrow agent. The increasingly bizarre details of Morgan’s life and death comprise a fascinating mystery that remains unsolved to this day and endures as one of Arizona’s most baffling cold cases.

Thank you to David White, of the Bring Me the Axe podcast, for research assistance


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Heltsley, Ernie, and John Rawlinson. 1979. "1977 shooting ended Tucsonan's two lives." Arizona Daily Star, February 4: 1.

Jordan, Tracy. 1990. "City residents asked to drop a dime on hit man." Times Leader, October 22: 3.

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