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  • Summary

  • The amazing true story of a mysterious murder. In 1999, Emmon Bodfish was murdered in his home in the wealthy enclave of Orinda, CA, just east of San Francisco. For the young crime scene analyst, Paul Holes, it quickly became the most bizarre and surprising case of his storied career. It was immediately clear how Emmon had died: by being hit over the head with a heavy object. What wasn’t clear was who did it and why. Each clue was like a doorway to an expanding labyrinth of leads - leads involving pagan ceremonies, stolen artwork, a mysterious disease, an elusive shoe pattern, entomology, a blue demon, a family inheritance, an enigmatic child, a struggle for identity, and passages written in a secret language throughout two decades of Emmon’s diaries. No matter how deep Paul went into the tunnels of the mystery, the shapeshifting shadow of Emmon’s antagonist stayed just out of reach. Paul had never faced anything like it. He became obsessed with solving it. For himself, and for Emmon.
    ©2021 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC
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Episodes
  • Episode 1: The Riddle

    May 13 2021
    When crime scene analyst Paul Holes begins investigating a man’s homicide that took place in a surprising location, each clue he uncovers adds to a strange and confounding mystery that will become the most unusual case of his career.
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    20 mins
  • Episode 2: The House

    May 13 2021
    For three days, Paul forensically investigates the odd and intricate crime scene puzzle at Emmon Bodfish’s house, while Detective Mike Hubbard discovers that Emmon’s closest family member is missing.
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    16 mins
  • Episode 3: Gold

    May 13 2021
    Paul believes he can figure out what day Emmon was killed, but he’ll need a specialist’s help. Then, as Paul examines the potential murder weapon left behind at the crime scene, Emmon’s attorney calls to say there’s something hidden at the house.
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    16 mins

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What listeners say about The Riddle of Emmon Bodfish

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

A well written account and telling of an extraordinary person in an extraordinary story. Love anything to to with Paul Holes crime analysis as his passion for his work is second to none. Jim Clemente is a fab narrator. RIP Emmon.

18 people found this helpful

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Wait a minute! this. is. BRILLIANT!!??

I write this in a way to avoid any spoilers. There are
many voices that cover the investigators, friends, and professionals involved. This production, doesn't just cover your typical true crime story and all the events and clues as they develop. this also covers a profound understanding and separate investigation into the mental frame work and psychological profile of the victim and some other people too. I was in tears in the 5th episode listening to the investigator sympathetically unravel some of the victims history. It really makes you think about the past, and what you choose to do with it. I'll say no more but if you like true crime, this is one of the best.

5 people found this helpful

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fascinating, informative, unbiased, real

Well presented, loads of detail, reality is stranger than fiction. Will listen to this again

5 people found this helpful

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unsatisfactory ending

I enjoyed this overall it's narrated well and is very interesting.

I appreciate this gives a bit more clarity on an interesting mystery, especially for those involved but it leaves too many open questions at the end.

I only realised how short this was towards the end and quickly guessed it was going to leave me with many questions.

If you want a clear ending with the outcomes wrapped up, this probably isn't for you.

Its like a great TV show that permanently ends mid-season leaving you with a thousand questions.

4 people found this helpful

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Another fabeicated "transgender" drama!

Why is this marketed as a true "trans" murder?
It is so obvious that this man's / woman's sexuality problems have NO relevance to her murder. So why do you keep pushing the word trans is our faces everywhere?!!! The victim was beyond creepy and had eccentric beliefs, according to her own diaries. The most plausible theory is that she staged her own death exactly as she wanted according to her diaries.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Good reader but repetitively told.

Well read but while a sad story despite what sounds like a interesting topic turned out quite repetitive and dull.

2 people found this helpful

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very long for content

this could have been three thirty minute episodes, rather than lots of varying length. There's a lot of repetition and dramatic interpretation of what is, ultimately, an unsolved and now likely unproveable case. Good contributions from various people but overall it comes across as an attempt to sensationalise and overcomplicate an admittedly strange death, by turning it in to something conspired at by many.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and interesting

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Would highly recommend to anyone that is in to true crime.

1 person found this helpful

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Twists and Turns

I trust Jim Clemente wouldn't narrate something which wasn't sound. A well told, rich story of fascinating people with ample levels of torment and the drive to grow beyond it.

1 person found this helpful

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interesting

really enjoyed this but would have preferred less but longer chapters. all in all I would recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-05-21

Excellent! Loved it!

This moved me immensely. I couldn't stop listening though I only chanced upon it. I appreciate the respect with which Emmon was treated and how his story was neither exploited nor raked for some political agenda. Thanks for a wonderful listen.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Michele
  • 14-05-21

Haunting

Loved it. I think I could listen to Paul Holes read the phone book. Great story and hope that they are able to find the real killer(s).

19 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-05-21

Boring

This was described as a bizarre and mysterious murder, and I kept waiting for the moment when it would get interesting. It never really did. It was 11 (!) episodes of nothing. Emmon sounded like an interesting person. I don’t think his being TG had a thing to do with his murder. Oh, and sex is not assigned at birth, it’s observed and recorded.

18 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-05-21

The story seems forced (spoilers)

To me, Emmon being TG didn’t seem relevant to his murder. I’m not sure why it’s brought up repeatedly. And that’s the tone of the whole piece really.

It’s a simple case of “guy murdered for money” presented as a big mystery(it isn’t). Some of it is just silly, like the authors theory of 2 murderers with identical shoe size, wearing the same shoe (come on!)

16 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 15-05-21

Fascinating and frustrating!

I appreciate the dedication of all involved. Such a tragedy how persons can be completely destroyed by childhood torture. Also tragic is the way Eammon passed on the same kind of soul destroying treatment to his own son.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Sam Differ
  • 15-05-21

The listener becomes an eyewitness.

An extraordinary non-fiction account of a murder that includes fascinating threads involving Druids, messages coded using symbols associated with runes, the FBI and other law enforcement entities, and a brilliant victim who also happens to be a transgendered mother. The author weaves this account in a manner that quickly transforms the listener into a role as an eyewitness to the events. Highly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kate
  • 16-05-21

Depressing and leading nowhere

I appreciate that this was a podcast about a cold case, but I expected a little more mystery in the case itself - not a single, consistent suspect. I found Emmon Bodfish to be a mentally ill man who wished for his own murder and got his wish - it was hard to feel sympathy for him, or connection. I wish I hadn’t listened.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Mark M.
  • 19-05-21

Intriguing, Compelling, Unsolved Mystery

There are rabbit holes within rabbit holes, throughout this compelling, unsolved murder case. And while (to date) no definitive, provable solution has been found, it's still a fascinating story - presented here in a solid, well-produced series.
At the time of Emmon Bodfish's murder, I lived just 19 miles away, and yet never heard a thing about the case. That makes the tale all the more intriguing to me. I'm guessing it probably made a blip on local news, but then as layers were peeled back in the investigation, the news just quietly dropped the story.
If as a listener, hearing a solution to the crime is a "make or break" factor for you, this may not be your thing. However, if you are more about the mystery, and if you like being fed pieces of an incomplete puzzle that send your mind down a path of possibilities that keep you up at night, this may well be very much your thing.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Buretto
  • 20-05-21

Just no there, there

Simply, there isn't much of a mystery here. Certainly not enough to warrant 11 episodes of a presentation. There are some social issues which may rub sensitive conservative types the wrong way, but nothing that a a good story (had it existed) couldn't have overcome. That being stated, the whole project did seem a bit performative, using the unconventional life of the title character as a crutch to hold up a weak story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mare99
  • 19-05-21

Hard to top this one

A compelling victim. Layers and layers to this podcast. Like the investigator in this case, I want to know more about Emmon Bodfish, why he was killed, and who killed him.

8 people found this helpful