Episode 375:

Please Withhold

The Tragic Murder of Author Helen Bailey


James Leininger, the “Reincarnated WWII Pilot”


Episode 375: Please Withhold

This week, Karen and Georgia cover the tragic murder of author Helen Bailey and the story of the “reincarnated WWII pilot” James Leininger.

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The Tragic Murder of Author Helen Bailey

The Tragic Murder of Author Helen Bailey Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Stefanie Akkerman on Unsplash

Other Images:

1. Helen Bailey (Alamy)

2. Diane Stewart


"...Ms Bailey was enjoying success as a children's author, having written more than 20 books, including the popular Electra Brown series.

A lover of cooking, Arsenal FC and her Dachshund Boris, the Northumberland-born writer lived with her husband John Sinfield in Highgate, north London. The pair had been together for 22 years, and married for 15.

In February 2011, during a holiday to Barbados, her world was turned upside down when Mr Sinfield got caught in a rip current in the sea and drowned.

Ms Bailey was, in her own words, "a wife at breakfast, but a widow by lunch".

The aftermath saw her start a blog, Planet Grief. The posts shine with wit, humour, honesty and authenticity as she recounts moments from her life as a widow.

She describes releasing memorial balloons on Hampstead Heath; buying a single Scotch egg in the deli she used to frequent with her husband; coping with Christmas and the loss of the festive traditions she used to enjoy as a couple.

And she describes meeting Ian Stewart.

"I'm on a Facebook bereavement page, piddling around," she wrote in one post. "A photo comes up. I am surprised to see it because I know the man in the photo.

"I keep wondering where we met, wracking my grieving brain.

"As it turned out, we had never met, but the man was Gorgeous Grey-Haired Widower, a man who from the moment we first met, I felt as if I had known for my entire life."

Ms Bailey went on to date GGHW, as she referred to him in her blog, and they later bought a house in Royston, Hertfordshire, moving in together along with his two sons.

They were planning to marry and were arranging a wedding at nearby Brocket Hall.

But in April last year, she was reported missing; a disappearance friends and family said was completely out of character..."

Source: “Helen Bailey: A life shaped by death” by Jodie Halford (BBC News) 2017

James Leininger, the “Reincarnated WWII Pilot”

James Leininger, the “Reincarnated WWII Pilot” Notes:

Other Images: 

1. James Leininger as a child

2. James Huston Jr., fighter pilot

"James Leininger has had a love for aviation since the age of two years old, but his passion for aeroplanes took a turn after he experienced a shocking nightmare one evening in 2002.

The young boy woke up screaming after he experienced a plane crash in his sleep, where he was shot down by a plane with a red sun on it — a Japanese plane.

The child's family was then convinced he had been reincarnated after he started experiencing dreams and memories of being Lieutenant James McCready Huston.

Lieutenant Huston was a World War II fighter pilot from Pennsylvania who had been killed in Iwo Jima, Japan, over 50 years before James was born.

According to James' mother, Andrea, he would scream at the top of his lungs "Aeroplane crash, on fire, can’t get out, help," as he kicked and pointed to the ceiling during his sleep.

On another occasion, James told his parents, who reportedly had no knowledge of aeroplanes, that he had flown a plane called the Corsair from a boat called the Natoma during the Second World War.

This comment led James' father, Bruce, to do some research and he later discovered that there had been a small escort carrier called the Natoma Bay.

This aeroplane took part in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and its pilot was Lieutenant Huston who sadly died in the carrier after it was hit in the engine by a Japanese aircraft on March 3, 1945.

After Bruce concluded his research on the fighter pilot, he and his wife wrote a letter to Lieutenant Huston's sister, Anne Barron, about their little boy and she believed that young James was a reincarnation of her brother..."

Source: “Boy who wakes up screaming about a WW2 plane crash thinks he has been reincarnated” by Charlotte Hawes (Mirror)

Karen's Episode Sources

  1. “Murdered by my Fiancé” (Channel 5) 2017
  2.  “Helen Bailey: A life shaped by death” by Jodie Halford (BBC News) 2017
  3. “Happy Birthday JS and PG” by Helen Bailey (Planet Grief) 2012
  4. “Cupcakes of Love” by Helen Bailey (Planet Grief) 2011
  5. “Up Up and Away” by Helen Bailey (Planet Grief) 2011
  6. “Concern grows for missing author Helen Bailey” (BBC News) 2016
  7. “Helen Bailey obituary” by Julia Eccleshare (The Guardian) 2016
  8. “Helen Bailey murder trial: A timeline of events” by Tara Cox (Cambridgeshire Live) 2017
  9. “Ian Stewart: Murder accused's 999 call played to trial jury” (BBC News) 2022
  10. “Ian Stewart's 999 call reporting Helen Bailey missing – audio” (The Guardian) 2017
  11. “The body language which gave away callous killer Ian Stewart before he even said a word” by Claire Carter (The Mirror) 2017
  12. “Diary of a woman left widowed in an instant: One moment Helen was on a blissful holiday with her husband, the next she was plunged into shattering grief. How did she cope? By writing this searingly honest journal” by Helen Bailey (The Daily Mail) 2015
  13. “Children's author killed and dumped in cesspit by partner, court told” by Alexandra Topping (The Guardian) 2017
  14. “Helen Bailey: Ian Stewart 'tried to sell author's flat'” (BBC News) 2017
  15. “‘I was wearing a bikini when he died - the absurdity of it’” by Paula Cocozza (The Guardian) 2015
  16. “'My happy ever after': how killer fiance duped grieving Helen Bailey” by Alexandra Topping (The Guardian) 2017
  17. “Cesspit” definition (Cambridge)
  18. “Brother of missing Northumberland author Helen Bailey makes emotional appeal for her safe return” by Katie Dickinson (Chronicle Live) 2016
  19. “GRIM DISCOVERY” by Amanda Devlin (The Sun) 2017
  20. “What happened to Helen Bailey's beloved dog Boris?” by Tara Cox (Cambridgeshire Live) 2017
  21. “Ian Stewart: Man who killed author guilty of murdering wife” (BBC News) 2022
  22. “LIVE: Helen Bailey murder trial - defence case to start” by Julian Makey and Tara Cox (Cambridgeshire Live) 2017
  23. “Helen Bailey 'seen walking dog' on day of her alleged murder, court hears” (Sky News) 2017

Georgia's Episode Sources

  1. “Boy who wakes up screaming about a WW2 plane crash thinks he has been reincarnated” by Charlotte Hawes (Mirror)
  2. “Bruce Leininger’s “Definitive Proof” of Reincarnation” by Micheal Sudduth (Cup of Nirvana)
  3. “Carol Bowman” (Wikipedia)
  4. “Crash and Burn: James Leininger Story Debunked” by Micheal Sudduth (Cup of Nirvana)
  5. “Could a Little Boy Be Proof of Reincarnation?” (Carol Bowman’s Past Life Forum)
  6. “James Leininger (reincarnation case)” by KM Wehrstein (Psi Encyclopedia: The Society for Psychical Research)
  7. “James Leininger Segment” (Fox 8 News)
  8. “Natoma Bay Logbook Project” by John J. Sassano, historian and Bob Wall, editor (Natoma Bay Association, Lucinda DeWitt)
  9. “Parents Think Boy Is Reincarnated Pilot” (ABC News)
  10. “Reincarnation–James Leininger” by Chris Cuomo (Primetime Thursday–ABC News) and Dr. Jim Tucker presentation and Fox&Friends News segment as featured in “A Soul Survivor: James Leininger Best Proof of Reincarnation” (The Paranormal 60 with Dave Schrader)
  11. “Response to Sudduth’s “James Leininger Case Re-Examined”” by Jim B. Tucker (Journal of Scientific Exploration VOL. 36, NO 1)
  12. “Satanic panic” (Wikipedia)
  13. “Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot” by Bruce and Andrea Leininger with Ken Gross (Hatchett Book Group)
  14. “Surviving Death: Reincarnation” (Netflix)
  15. “The Boy Who Thought He Was Reincarnated” by Brian Dunning (Skeptoid)
  17. “The James Leininger Case Re-examined” by Michael Sudduth (Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 35, No. 4)
  18. “Where Is James Leininger Now? How Did James Huston Jr. Die?” by Kriti Mehrotra (The Cinemaholic)