ROSEBUD, TX — During the COVID-19, pandemic podcasts have increased in popularity. The most popular genre of podcasts right now is true crime.
In a newly released podcast called True Crime Reporter, award-winning investigative reporter Robert Riggs gives an in-depth look at how Central Texas native Kenneth Allen McDuff was finally brought to justice.
He was a product of Rosebud, Texas, but according to Riggs, McDuff is known for something other than his hometown.
"He's now known as the worst sadistic sexual serial killer in Texas history, maybe the United States. Most people have never heard of him."
Thanks to Riggs, we now do. From Waco, Austin and all the way up to Dallas/Fort Worth, Riggs details the backstory of criminal cases like McDuff, better known as the Broomstick Killer.
"I opened my reporters' notebooks. My law enforcement sources opened up their confidential case files and we sat down to talk, and you can hear a journey into darkness."
That journey into McDuff's darkness included former U.S. Marshal and current McLennan County Sheriff, Parnell McNamara, featured in the McDuff podcast.
"Most all of his victims were (for whatever reason) brunette, and they were small females that he could easily manhandle," says McNamara. "Some of them he would be able to pick them up by the throat, get their feet off the ground where they couldn't fight him."
McDuff's original murders of three teenagers took place in the 60s. He was sentenced to death row, got off of death row and eventually walked out of prison a free man in 1989 thanks in large part to a corrupt Texas parole board.
Because of the work by Riggs and law enforcement officials, the criminal justice system in the state of Texas changed.
"It led me into the underbelly of the prison and parole system in Texas at that time, which was corrupt to the core and there were allegations that inmates (including McDuff) were paying bribes to get out of prison."
Due to the corruption uncovered, the Texas legislature overhauled the criminal penal code for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, calling it: the McDuff laws.
"The difference between me and everyone else is one: I am a reporter. I was there. I was inside the crime scene tape. I'm not just regurgitating information somebody's read in a book or a Wikipedia. I was there. I have all of these relationships with former officers, who by the way, had urged me to do this.
And no doubt, the urging of true crime enthusiasts as well. The True Crime Reporter Podcast with Robert Riggs can be found where podcasts are available.