SHELTON – He, she or maybe they cut the phone lines outside the house on Howe Avenue, came in through a basement window and murdered Francis Gallo in cold blood a few days before Christmas.
It was, apparently, a random crime, perhaps committed by a cat burglar who got a thrill from breaking into houses while the owners slept.
It robbed Francis’ daughter, Lindsay Gallo, just 11 at the time, of her father, a salt-of-the-earth Valley dad — youth sports coach, volunteer firefighter, drummer, a participant of bowling and softball leagues. He was just 41 years old.
Shelton police have been eyeing an out-of-state suspect for years, but haven’t collected enough info for an arrest.
And now that 25 years has passed without an arrest or new information, Lindsay believes the investigation into her father’s murder has gone “beyond cold.”
Yet she still hopes someone will pass information to Shelton police about her father’s killer, which is one of the reasons Gallo recently appeared on “The Murder In My Family,” a new true crime podcast hosted by Mike Morford.
Click the play button to listen to Gallo talk about the crime and its impact on loved ones.
Click here for a previous Valley Indy story on the cold case.
Call Shelton detectives at 203-924-1544 with information about the case.
The Valley Indy conducted an email Q & A with Morford, the podcast’s host, about the episode and his new podcast.
Valley Independent Sentinel: Mike, true crime podcasts are everywhere. I’m hesitant to listen to some because some they’re exploitative and revel in the flotsam of a given case.
But your interview with Lindsay Gallo is respectful and earnest. You gave a victim’s relative an unfiltered voice. Is that the mission of this new podcast?
Morford: “You’re right, there are so many different podcasts out there when it comes to true crime. Some are definitely exploitative and some are actually comedy shows using true crime as the material for their shows.
To me, I don’t particularly like or listen to those kinds of shows.
I’ve talked with too many victims, and survivors of awful crimes to make light of these awful tragedies. I also host a successful and established podcast called Criminology, and I’ve been able to establish a voice in the true crime community, and however big that voice is, I want to use it to help tell tragic stories in a helpful and respectful way.
I want to use whatever power I have to allow the families of murder victims to have a platform to speak from, or to ask for help. That IS the mission of my new podcast, The Murder in My Family, and so far, it’s been well received.
VIS: Where are you from and what’s your background? Are you a journalist? Do you work a day job?
Morford: “I am a true crime blogger, researcher, writer, podcaster, and consultant, I sort of do it all. This is a full time job for me and I am always working on one project or another. There is no down time for me really.”
VIS: How did you decide to feature this Shelton cold case?
Morford: “The first episode I did was about the Colonial Parkway Murders, a pretty well-known case out of Virginia about a string of unsolved murders.
But I didn’t want to release that, a largely known case, and give listeners the impression that only large, well-known cases would be covered, so I decided I would reach the second episode at the same time, which would be a smaller lesser-known case, so that people would see the vast differences in the types of cases I would be covering.
Francis Gallo’s daughter, Lindsay, had reached out to me when she saw me mention on Twitter that I would be doing this show. I decided right away that her father’s case was one that I wanted to cover.
It’s a scary case that could happen to almost any family at any time, and I felt that would resonate with listeners. As a result of the Gallo episode, I hope it brings new awareness to the case, and generates tips and leads.
I hope if anybody in your area knows anything about the Gallo case, they will contact police. The same goes for all of the unsolved cases I’ll be covering.”
VIS: Where are you located?
Morford:I am in New Jersey
VIS: Do you record and edit these episodes yourself?
Morford: “I record the podcast episodes myself, and do very little editing as I don’t feel tech savvy enough to do what I feel would be an excellent job, not to mention editing is very time consuming. Instead, I enlist the help of my producer/editor Lisa Strawn who helps assemble each episode.”
VIS: Why podcasts? What is it about the form that appeals to you?
Morford: “The short answer, because ANYBODY can do it, and so many people listen to podcasts. It is so mainstream now, and is really the way of the future.
The equipment is reasonably cheap to start out with, and there is enough videos, and material online to help somebody get started. Not to mention you can do it from home at your own pace.
Like anything else, it takes practice to get better. I’ve been podcasting over a year now, and while I’m still learning, I feel I’ve improved but can always get better.
My hope is, that as I go along that I can continue to grow my listener base, and continue to use my voice in the true crime community to help others in one way or another.”