True-crime podcasters bring history to life

Texas-based podcasters Gretchen Scanlon and Morgan Kelly featured two unsolved 1969 Iola murders as part of their series, "Bodies in the Bayou." They'll discuss their work at the Allen County Historical Society's meeting at 7 p.m. Saturday at ACC Theatre. Doors open at 6:30.


Local News

July 10, 2024 - 2:26 PM

Gretchen Scanlon, left, and Morgan Kelly will be in Iola Saturday to discuss the 1969 murders of Iolans Betty Cantrell and Sally Hutton. Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: The Register recapped the 1969 murders of Betty Cantrell and Sally Hutton in an article Tuesday. Following is a look at the women behind a true-crime podcast examing the cases. They’ll discuss their work at 7 p.m. Saturday at the ACC Theatre.

It’s nothing personal, Gretchen Scanlon insists, “but we’re definitely looking to get out of Kansas.”

Betty CantrellRegister file photo
Sally HuttonRegister file photo

Scanlon, who along with podcast partner Morgan Kelly, hosts the Texas-based true-crime podcast “Bodies in the Bayou.”

Scanlon and Kelly spent much of the past 18 months investigating the unsolved 1969 murders of Iolans Betty Cantrell and Sally Hutton. 

They’ll discuss the cases — “Iola Eroding Justice” — Saturday at the Allen County Historical Society’s summer meeting. The free program is open to the public and will be held at the Allen Community College Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. before the 7 o’clock show. The program will be live streamed via Facebook

Scanlon and Kelly live and work in Texas City, Texas, a stone’s throw from Galveston. 

Scanlon, a Colorado native, moved to Texas about 10 years ago, where she manages a Starbucks inside a Kroger shopping center. Kelly, originally from Tennessee, moved to Texas about 16 years ago. She runs a flower shop inside the same shopping center.

It was an idle conversation at work a few years back that Scanlon and Kelly realized they shared an interest: True-crime podcasts.

“That’s really how we became friends,” Scanlon said. 

“It’s a passion we both had,” Kelly agreed. “‘Did you hear about this episode? Did you hear the latest news?’ And it just grew from there.”

The discussions naturally led to Galveston’s proximity to the notorious Texas Killing Fields,  the name given to a string of murders — many still unsolved — along the I-45 corridor connecting Houston to the Gulf Coast.

While the Texas Killing Fields topic has become source material for documentaries and even a motion picture, the multitude of cases made it ripe for further examination.

“The idea kind of manifested itself for us to do a podcast,” Kelly said.

Gretchen took a bit of convincing, but ultimately agreed, with one catch: “My No. 1 rule was no serial killers,” Scanlon laughed. “Of course, our first couple of seasons were all about serial killers.”

Fast forward to the end of 2022, when Scanlon was invited to a wedding hosted by Humboldt’s Angela Henry, a long-time friend. Kelly agreed to tag along.

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