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Ep. 185 & 186 Freedom Parts 1 & 2

Updated: Apr 8

Part 1: "Butchered Up"

By the mid-nineteen-nineties, the United States population of train tramps and hobos dropped to only a few thousand from their Depression-era numbers of two million plus. This turn-around began in 1941, when the U.S. began actions during WWII, which led to the military draft, and  "the creation of millions of jobs in defense and war industries.” The man we're telling you about today started hopping the rails as a full-time hobo lifestyle in 1991, half a century after the Second World War. He lived as ruler in a kingdom as expansive as the contiguous United States, yet as slim as the space between the rails of the nearly 140,000 miles of freight tracks that crisscross the country. A nearly unstoppable man, in a world where violence was the law. He called himself Sidetrack.

Part 2: "The High Line"

Last week, I told you about Robert Silveria aka Sidetrack aka The Boxcar Killer, and his years-long series of murders. Sidetrack traveled at will, with no record of his movements, and his pool of victims were the unhoused, the drifters, and the fellow rail hoppers he encountered. People on the fringe- the kind who wouldn't be missed. This week, the end of the murders, the arrest, and many confessions of Robert Silveria, as well as the California police detective who moonlighted as Elvis- a quirk which endeared him to the killer, and also led to this cop writing the actual book on the case. This is Freedom Part 2: The High Line.

Episode Host: Josh McCullough

FTRA Concho and Tats, photo from The Provence
photo from Murder on the Rails - (ret.)Lt. William Palmini & Tanya Chalupa

Silveria Mugshot, Photo from Robert Joseph Silveria Jr. r/serialkillers

Silveria Sidetrack tag, photo from North Platte Telegraph

FTRA Tags, Tri City Herald

Willie James Clark, photo from Tallahassee Democrat
Photo from Los Angeles Times

Row 1: Silveria OR Extradition - Oakland Tribune | William Pettit - Murder on the Rails photo insert | Silveria and Det. Palmini - Murder on the Rails photo insert

Row 2: Elivis cop - The Morning Call | Elvis Cop - The Napa Valley Registar

Row 3: Bill Palmini Elvis Cop - The San Francisco Examiner | Bill Palmini Elvis Cop - Oakland Tribune

Row 4: Det. Bob Grandinetti - The Province | Murder Map - The Sacramento Bee

Row 5: Victim List - Statesman Journal | Silveria after arrest - The North Platte Telegraph

If you’d like more episodes of Murder in the Rain, Patreon members at the $5/mo+ level, gain access to exclusive episodes, ad-free episodes, bonus content, and more.

Join us this year at the True Crime and Paranormal Podcast Festival July 12th-14th in Denver Colorado! Don’t forget to use our code RAIN15 to get 15% off of your tickets. It’s a great time to connect with podcasts as well as families impacted by the cases we discuss. We had a blast last year and we think you will too. 

Join us this year at True Crime Fest Northwest in Portland, Oregon August 30th-Sept 1st. You can get your tickets at!

Follow us on:

Murder on the Rails - (ret.)Lt. William Palmini & Tanya Chalupa : Great Depression Facts - FDR Presidential Library & Museum | Hoboes, bums, tramps: How our terminology of homelessness has changed - NCH | Emperor of the North (1973) - IMDb | Emperor of the North Pole - Wikipedia : EMPEROR OF THE NORTH: The Hobo In Early 20th Century America - Film Inquiry |Anthropologist Discovers 100-Year-Old Graffiti By 'America's Most Famous Hobo' : NPR | Leon Ray Livingston, America's Most Famous Hobo | Mental Floss | From Coast to Coast with Jack London | Google Books | A-No. 1. Hobo-camp-fire-tales. Cambridge Springs, Pa. | Harvard Library | After a Century, an Anthropologist Picked up the Trail of the "Hobo King" | Smart News | Elvis The Lawman - Elvis Cop; Elvis The Lawman - Buckle Up | Freight Train Riders of America - Facebook | Trainhopping 101: Hobo Lingo : r/vagabond | Northern Pacific Railway 1900 | BNSF Network Map(PDF) | Freight Rail Overview | FRA | Holdups, Hobos, and the Homeless: A Brief History of Railroad Police in North America | Office of Justice Programs | U.S.: total rail miles by state 2020 | Statista | Riding the Rails\ | Hitting the Rails: Hobo Life | Hobo Code - FDR Presidential Library & Museum | Best Water on Earth — City of Dunsmuir; Dunsmuir Train Town!; Site Profile - UPRR - North Dunsmuir Site. | Hobo Communications: A | Brief History of Hobos and Their Signs | Attack of the freight train-riding crazed Vietnam vet | psycho killer hobo mafia...or not.(Spin - July 1998) | Freight Train Riders of America | Juxtapoz | Hap's Beer Parlor | Damn Track(1999 Maxim article) | FTRA: Life and death on the rails |Murderer leaps the rails and strikes small towns  | FTRA members maintaining a low profile | Robert Silveira | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers | Robert Joseph Silveria Jr. - Wikipedia | Train Gangs Today: Another Threat to Law Enforcement | Office of Justice Programs | Hobo Killings Probed | Southern Poverty Law Center | The notorious northwest: 39 crimes that  rocked the region | Robert Joseph Silveria Jr. r/serialkillers | Robert Joseph Silveria Jr.|Radford University | Darren Miller-obituary | Darren Royal Miller|Find a Grave | Willie J Clark|Florida death index | 1950 United States Federal Census for Willie James Clark | Georgia,Central Register of Convicts - Willie James Clark | Quincy L Frederick - CA birth index | Quincy L Frederick - U.S. Public Records | Quincy Lyn Dear - CA death index | West Sac killing probed | Police search for killer | W. Sac murders already top '88 total | '91 Homicide Toll in Utah Matches  State's Bloodiest Years | Was railroad gang in Montana? | Deputies Patrol Train Yards After Beating | New breed of 'hobos' appears | Probe links 'hobo' mafia to slaying  | Family of Murdered Transient Baffled By Tragic Events Leading to Her Death | Train death may be a rite for rail gang  | White racist gang rides rails across U.S.  | Boxcar killing could be serial case | Rails/Investigator discovers seven similar killings in U.S.  | Deputies look for diabetic missing from vet hospital  | MAN LINKED TO OREGON SLAYINGS  | POLICE QUESTION SUSPECT IN BOXCAR SLAYINGS  | TRANSIENT CHARGED IN OREGON BOXCAR SLAYING  | Suspect killer charged in death of homeless man | Homicidal drifter cases difficult to investigate  | Charges mount in 'boxcar' slayings | 'Boxcar serial killer' pleads guilty | Suspect allegedly told relative he killed 47 | Boxcar: Not all of his claims verified | Suspected Hobo Killer May Be Linked to More Deaths | 'Boxcar killer' suspect tells police he killed throughout West | Suspect in boxcar killings details incidents | Violent rail-riding gang worries law enforcement officials | Cameras roll in court  | Police capture prison escapee | Police link Boris to notorious Rider  | Killers ride the rails  | A Trail of Blood on the Rails | TRAINS: Police Follow a Bloody Trail of Violence | Modern hobos accused of crimes  | Murder on the Rails-Part One | Murder on the Rails-Part Two | Railroad police roll with their crime scene | Death on the rails | | The Guardian  | Hobos hurt over serial-killer image  | American Nomads  | DNA may help solve case | Use of DNA brings glut of evidence | Albany cop finds harmony in seat-belt message | Albany cops bring Elviis back for safety tips | Elvis jumps when Albany lawmen do their routine | The King is Back | Singing cops spread safety mesages on CD | Cop Elvis Croons Traffic Safety Tunes | True-crime tale has local angle  | Chronicling a boxcar killer  | Clips from the 2003 documentary Long Gone. : r/vagabond | Long Gone. - Free Online Library | Death of the American Hobo - VICE

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