The Trail Went Cold – Episode 159 – Charles Southern

December 1, 1987. Chicago, Illinois. While speaking with his mother on the phone, 39-year old Charles Southern shares his plans about taking a trip to India. After not hearing from him for weeks, Charles’ parents check his house and discover he is missing, but they find what appears to be a Last Will and Testament naming a woman named Terri Hoffman as executor of Charles’ estate. Hoffman is the founder of a new religious movement Charles had joined called “Conscious Development of Body, Mind and Soul”, but they are accused of functioning like a cult and over the course of several years, a number of people associated with them would die under suspicious circumstances. Was Conscious Development responsible for Charles Southern’s disappearance? This week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold” not only covers an unsolved missing persons case, but also explores the story of a bizarre cult and their potential culpability in several deaths. Special thanks to listener Carolina Young for providing the opening narration on this episode.

Additional Reading:

“Texas Monthly” Vol. 18, No. 5 (May 1990)

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.