Episode 31

The Unsolved Murder of The Haunted Mansion’s Yale Gracey

Apple Podcasts
On Jensen and Holes: The Murder Squad this week we covered unsolved Halloween crimes. The first being the unsolved murder of Disney inventor Yale Gracey. 

Gracey developed many of the illusions we still love today at Disneyland. He created the fire special effect on Pirates of the Caribbean, the pixie dust effect on Space Mountain and many of the illusions in the Haunted Mansion.

But on September 5, 1983 at 2:30 AM someone took Gracey and his creativity away from the world. Yale Gracey and his wife were asleep in their cabana at Bel Air Bay Club on Pacific Coast Highway when an intruder came in. The offender shot both Yale and his wife. Yale was killed but his wife survived. The working theory is the offender was a transient looking for money or drugs. This has never been confirmed and the case remains unsolved.

Marvin Brandland:
In October of 1982 Marvin and Ethel Brandland were at home giving out candy to trick-or-treaters in Fort Dodge, Iowa. They opened the door to see an older person with a pillow case over their head. The person said, "Trick or Treat. Give me your money or I’ll shoot." 

Ethel and Marvin both thought it was a joke at first. Ethel even tried to lift the pillow case. The offender then pulled a gun and directed the couple to the basement where their safe was. At this point, Marvin reached for the gun. The man shot Marvin in the throat. Then he removed the pillow case and ran. 

Ethel gave a description of the offender to law enforcement.
She said he had blondish hair and blue eyes. He was about 5 feet 8 inches tall and between the ages of 16 to 20 years old.

In 2010, law enforcement submitted the pillow case for DNA but there wasn't a large enough sample to try for a match. The case remains unsolved.

Cindy Song:
21-year-old Cindy Song got dressed up for a Halloween party in 2001. The Penn State student attended the Player's Night Club Halloween party in State College, Pennsylvania. She was dressed as a bunny in a pink sleeveless shirt with a rabbit design on it, white tennis skirt, brown leather suede knee-high boots, bunny ears and tail.

Cindy left the club at 2 AM and then went to a friend's house. Her friend drove her home around 4 AM to State College Park Apartments on Clinton Avenue. Based on evidence found inside her apartment, Cindy made it inside. Her eyelashes she worn for Halloween along with her backpack and phone. But her keys and purse were missing.

Hugo Marcus Selenski confessed that he and Michael Jason Kerkowski Junior killed Cindy Song. Selenski claimed he then killed Kerkowski for keeping a trophy from the murder. Selenski's confession has never been corroborated. Cindy Song still remains missing.

Karen Swift:
Karen Swift went to a Halloween party at Farms Country Club in Dyersburg, Tennessee on October 29, 2011. According to witness, the 44-year-old fitness instructor and mother of four had an altercation with another woman at the party.  

Her husband David told authorities Karen came home and tucked her daughter into bed that night. But for unknown reasons, she left the house and didn't return. At 5AM a hunter spotted Karen's 2004 Nissan Murano with a flat tire on the side of road less than a quarter mile from her home.

There was no sign of Karen for over a month. On December 11th, two men discovered Karen's remains under kudzu near the Dyer County cemetery. Her cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma to the head. Karen Swift's murder is still unsolved.

This week we covered a variety of cases. We are looking for any information on each of them: imagineer Yale Gracey's murder; Marvin Brandland's murder; Karen Swift's murder; and the missing person case of Cindy Song.

If you have any information about these cases, please contact us.


1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police.
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members.
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want to the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.