Criminal

Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.


Top Rated Episodes:

No one has rated an episode of this show yet. Select an episode from the list below to add your own rating.


All Episodes

April 21, 2017

In 1928, Huey P. Long became the youngest Governor in Louisiana’s history. He bragged that he bought lawmakers like “sacks of potatoes, shuffled ‘em like a deck of cards.” By the time he was 39 years old, he’d made his way to the U.S. Senate. And just a couple of weeks after his 42nd birthday, he was dead. Buried 16 feet deep on the front lawn of the state Capitol, with no autopsy. 

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

 

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

 

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.

 

Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

April 7, 2017

The Colorado Department of Transportation says the 420 mile markers on the state’s highways were stolen so often, they had to replace them with 419.99 mile markers. Many people know that “420” represents marijuana – hence the popularity of the mile markers – but very few know why. It’s not a police code, it’s not the number of chemical compounds in cannabis, and it’s certainly not Bob Marley’s birthday. Today on the show, we try for the real story.

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

 

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

 

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.

 

Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

March 17, 2017

Kim Dadou says she wishes she had a nickel for every person who has asked why she didn’t leave her abusive boyfriend. They stayed together for four years. And then, in the middle of the night on December 17th, 1991, Kim’s entire life changed. 

This episode contains descriptions of physical violence against women. It may not be suitable for everyone. Please use discretion.

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

 

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

 

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.

 

Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

March 3, 2017

In 2014, 16-year-old Wildin Acosta left Olancho, Honduras and traveled toward the U.S. border. When he arrived, he turned himself in to border patrol agents. He was one of 68,541 unaccompanied minors who crossed the border into the U.S. that year.

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

 

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

 

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.

 

Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

 

February 17, 2017

People have faked death to escape criminal convictions, debts, and their spouses. In 2007, a man named Amir Vehabovic faked his death just to see who showed up at the funeral (answer: only his mom). It’s an appealing soap-opera fantasy, but actually disappearing requires an incredible amount of planning. How do you obtain a death certificate, a believable new identity, or enough money to start a new life? Today — the answers to those questions, stories of fake death gone wrong, and a man who spends his life bringing back the dead.

 

 
 
Steven Rambam’s Investigative Agency, Pallorium, Inc.
 
 
Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
 

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.


Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.


If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.


Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

February 3, 2017

In 2005, Teri Knight drove 650 miles on midwestern roads through Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois, pleading with the public to help her do what law enforcement and the FBI had not been able to: find the remains of her children Sarah and Philip Gehring. An Ohio woman read about Teri Knight’s search in her local paper, and decided she would try to help.

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.


Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

January 20, 2017

In 1849, abolitionist and attorney Wendell Phillips wrote: “We should look in vain through the most trying times of our revolutionary history for an incident of courage and noble daring to equal that of the escape of William and Ellen Craft; and future historians and poets would tell this story as one of the most thrilling in the nation’s annals, and millions would read it, with admiration of the hero and heroine of the story.” Unfortunately, almost 170 years later, William and Ellen Craft aren’t well known anymore. Today, we have the story of this couple’s incredible escape. 

 

Read the Craft’s book: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
Running http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/585

Barbara McCaskill wrote about William and Ellen Craft in Love, Liberation, and Escaping SlaveryWilliam and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory
http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/love_liberation_escaping_slavery

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.


Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

January 6, 2017
In 2010, Michael McIntosh’s son was incarcerated at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in the small town of Walnut Grove, Mississippi. One Sunday, McIntosh went to visit his son and was turned away because, he was told, prison officials “did not know” where his son was. He spent the next six weeks searching for his son, only to find him in the hospital with severe injuries. And McIntosh’s son wasn’t the only one who had been hurt at the facility. Walnut Grove was such a violent prison that one Federal Judge called it “a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts.” Today, we have the story of an especially troubled youth prison, the for-profit corporations that managed it, and the small town that relied on it. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.

Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

December 16, 2016

To close out 2016, we’re bringing you two lighter stories of people exhibiting everyday genius under. . . unusual circumstances. Comedian Dave Holmes’ story begins with an upsetting phone call from the IRS. Then we meet a Baton Rouge attorney with a story of wild resourcefulness at Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola.

A word of caution, this episode contains language that may not be suitable for everyone.

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

If you haven’t already, please review us on iTunes! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.

 

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for The Accomplice.

 

If you’d like to introduce friends or family members to podcasts, we created a How to Listen guide based on frequently asked questions.

 

Artwork by Julienne Alexander.  

 

 

December 2, 2016

Since 1938, a weekly African-American owned newspaper called The Evening Whirl has covered crime in St. Louis with a style all its own, using alliteration and rhyme, and often omitting the usual crime-reporting words like “accused” or “alleged.” The paper has been widely criticized for its casual approach to fact-checking and sensational writing style. But the paper’s owner, Anthony Sanders, who has been helping out with it since he was 18 years old, doesn’t have any plans to change it. As the pages of The Whirl have said: “If that’s too much for you, pick up the Times and read the theatre reviews.” 

 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Congratulations to our fellow Radiotopia show The Heart, which just won first prize at the Third Coast International Audio Festival for their story “Mariya.” You can listen here: http://www.theheartradio.org/solos/mariya

We have new T-shirt designs! And one of them *glows in the dark*. All of the designs were created by Julienne Alexander, who makes illustrations for each episode of Criminal. We’ve also restocked our sticker and magnet supply, so there is lots to check out in the Criminal shop: http://criminal-show.myshopify.com/ 

November 18, 2016
The Magic Castle in Hollywood has been a private club for magicians since 1963, and its walls are lined with portraits of magicians past and present. Among them is a portrait of one of the earliest American organized crime bosses and conmen, Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith. And though it may seem strange that this “mecca of magic” honors a criminal, Soapy’s legacy reveals just how blurry the line is between a delightful trick and a dirty one. 
 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Congratulations to our fellow Radiotopia show The Heart, which just won first prize at the Third Coast International Audio Festival for their story Mariya, about one woman’s experience with female genital mutilation and how she broaches the subject in conversation with her family. You can listen here: http://www.theheartradio.org/solos/mariya.

Radiotopia’s flagship show is 99% Invisible, hosted by Roman Mars. 99% Invisible is ostensibly a show about design and architecture. But really it’s a show about who we are through the lens of the things we build. Because, even though we are surrounded by the stuff we’ve made, from tiny objects to massive structures, that physical matter is only 1% of the story. The rest is 99% Invisible. Go listen.

November 4, 2016

SPOILER WARNING: Please listen to Episode 53: Melinda and Judy before you listen to this one.

Melinda Dawson found out on the same day in 1998 that her adoptive mother had been killed and that her husband Clarence was being charged with the murder. Clarence was convicted in 1999 and given two life sentences. Left alone with her two sons, no money, and no experience, Melinda set out to try and prove that he was innocent. She started with a suspect list. 
 
Special thanks to David Massar, who is currently working on a film about Melinda’s life story, Miss America
 

We are on tour! We will be in Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto. Find out more here

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

October 21, 2016

When Melinda Dawson was seven years old, she learned that she was adopted under mysterious circumstances. As she got older and had children of her own, she tried to learn something about her biological parents. And when she went to the county courthouse and asked to see a copy of her birth certificate, she discovered that she was an unwitting participant in something much bigger and more complicated than she could have imagined. 

We are going on tour! We will be in Washington, Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, New York, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto. Find out more here.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

October 7, 2016

SPOILER WARNING: Please listen to Episode 51: Money Tree before you
listen to this one. While working on our last episode, we became
curious about the nature of psychopathy — how it is defined, and what
to do if someone close to you meets the criteria. We spoke with Dr.
Ronald Schouten, author of Almost a Psychopath, and Jon Ronson, author
of The Psychopath Test.

We are going on tour! We will be in Washington, Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, New York, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto.  Find out more here.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

September 23, 2016

When Axton Betz-Hamilton was 11 years old, her parents’ identities were stolen. At that time, in the early 90s, consumer protection services for identity theft victims were basically non-existent. So the family dealt with the consequences as best they could. But then when Axton got to college, she realized that her identity had been stolen as well. Her credit score was in the lowest 2%.  As she was working to restore her credit, she inadvertently discovered who had stolen the family’s identity. It would change everything forever.  

View the photograph Axton describes here.  

If you live in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, or Toronto. . . come see us tell all new stories live! Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

September 9, 2016

To celebrate Criminal’s 50th episode, we check in with some of our most memorable guests including Fran Schindler from Episode 17: “Final Exit,” Dan Stevenson from Episode 15: “He’s Neutral,” Corporal Scott Foster from Episode 29: “Officer Talon,” and Marian Tolan from Episode 18: “695-BGK.”

We’re very excited to announce that we’re taking the show on the road this fall, visiting Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Toronto. We’d love to see you. Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

August 26, 2016

In November of 1988, Robin Woods was sentenced to sixteen years in the notoriously harsh Maryland Correctional Institution. In prison, Robin found himself using a dictionary to work his way through a book for the first time in his life. It was a Mario Puzo novel. While many inmates become highly educated during their incarceration, Robin became such a voracious and careful reader he was able to locate a factual error in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. He wrote a letter to the encyclopedia’s editor, beginning an intricate friendship that changed the lives of both men. Contributor Daniel A. Gross has the story. 

We’re very excited to announce that we’re taking the show on the road this fall, visiting Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Toronto. We’d love to see you. Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

 

August 12, 2016

2008 was an exciting time to be a Harry Potter fan. The final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had been released. Movies were on the way. And author Melissa Anelli was at the center of it all, running a popular fan site called The Leaky Caldron and working on a book, Harry, a History. Just as things couldn’t get better, Melissa received her first death threat.

Please take a moment to fill out our listener survey: http://surveynerds.com/criminal

We’re taking Criminal on the road for a series of live shows! Learn more and buy tickets here: http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

July 15, 2016

Shortly after Meridy Volz moved from Milwaukee to San Francisco, she received a phone call from a friend asking her to take over a small bakery business.  Meridy agreed to run the bakery, but she only wanted to sell one thing: pot brownies. Her brownies were a massive success, and soon she was making enough money to support three families. Meridy tells her story alongside her daughter, Alia Volz, who describes what it’s like when San Francisco’s “original brownie lady” is your mom.

Visit our website: www.thisiscriminal.com to see Meridy’s final brownie bag & recipe.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.  If you are interested in sponsoring Criminal, email sponsor@radiotopia.fm

July 1, 2016

There are more tigers in captivity in America than wild tigers in the entire world. The exact number of captive tigers in this country isn’t known, because many of them live in people’s backyards or unaccredited zoos, and the legality of their ownership varies widely by state and even by circumstance. We travelled to Louisiana to see a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger who lives at a truck stop, and the man who’s fought very hard to persuade Louisiana lawmakers he’s not a criminal.

We’re a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/

 

 

 

 

June 17, 2016

As a law student, Bryan Stevenson was sent to a maximum security prison to meet a man on death row. The man told Stevenson he’d never met an African-American lawyer, and the two of them talked for hours. It was a day that changed Stevenson’s life. He’s spent the last 30 years working to get people off of death row, but has also spent the final hours with men he could not save from execution. He argues that each of us is deserving of mercy.

Learn more about Bryan Stevenson in his book, Just Mercy.

Criminal is hiring.

We’re a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/

 

 

June 3, 2016

Not only was John Frankford a famous horse thief, he was also a notoriously good escape artist. People thought no jail was strong enough to keep him, but then in 1895 he was sentenced to Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary. At Eastern State, Frankford became the victim of a strange practice that carried implications for both the state of Pennsylvania and the medical establishment we know it today. Reporter Elana Gordon from WHYY’s The Pulse has today’s story.

Criminal is hiring!

We’re a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

May 20, 2016

In 1979, a group of labor organizers protested outside a Ku Klux Klan screening of the 1915 white supremacist film, The Birth of a Nation. Nelson Johnson and Signe Waller-Foxworth remember shouting at armed Klansmen and burning a confederate flag, until eventually police forced the KKK inside and the standoff ended without violence. The labor organizers felt they’d won a small victory, and planned a much bigger anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina. They advertised with the slogan: “Death to the Klan” and set the date for November 3rd, 1979.

As protestors assembled, a caravan of nine cars appeared, and a man in a pick-up truck yelled: “You asked for the Klan! Now you’ve got ’em!” Thirty-nine shots were fired in eighty-eight seconds, and five protestors were killed. The city of Greensboro is still grappling with the complicated legacy of that day.

The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s full report is available online.

Today, Reverend Nelson Johnson is a pastor with Faith Community Church and serves as the Executive Director for the  Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, which advocates for social and economic justice.

Signe Waller-Foxworth is the author of  Love and Revolution: A Political Memoir.

Eric Ginsburg is the associate editor at the Triad City Beat

For this story, we also interviewed Elizabeth Wheaton, author of  Codename Greenkill.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

May 6, 2016

People have been giving each other “the finger” since Ancient Greece. The first documented use is said to be a photograph from 1886 in which the pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters extends his middle finger to the camera (ostensibly to the rival New York Giants). Even though it’s been around for so long, many still find the gesture offensive enough to try to bring criminal charges. Courts have ruled that “flipping the bird” is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. It’s not a crime to be obnoxious. But there’s a man in Oregon who tests the limits of free speech by giving the finger to every police officer that he sees. 

To learn more about the legalities of the middle finger, you might
enjoy: “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law” from the UC Davis Law Review. 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

If you enjoy the show, please write us a review on iTunes. 

April 15, 2016

Since 1965, there’s been an unsolved murder in Houston, Texas. The main suspect managed to disappear and police were never able to find him. The case is still considered open. In 1997, a couple of accountants decided to look into the murders, and were able to uncover evidence that the police missed. They think they’ve solved the mystery. 

 
To learn more about Hugh and Martha’s book. The Ice Box Murders, click here: http://iceboxmurders.com

 
We’re heading to Los Angeles on May 4th for a special Radiotopia live event. Find out more: http://www.axs.com/events/308712/radiotopia-live-tickets
 

April 1, 2016

When it comes to the bourbon Pappy Van Winkle, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have — you can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky or willing to break the law. The Pappy frenzy has law enforcement, bartenders, and even the Van Winkle family themselves wringing their hands.  

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. On May 4th, all of the Radiotopia shows are coming together in Los Angeles for a very special live performance. Tickets and information here: http://www.axs.com/events/308712/radiotopia-live-tickets?skin=acehotel

Say hello: 
Twitter: @criminalshow
Instagram: @criminal_podcast
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/

 

 

March 18, 2016

In 1983, three men were prepared to plead guilty to a violent sexual assault in Anderson, South Carolina. Defense attorneys did not want their clients to go before a jury, and arranged a plea deal. This left the sentencing in the hands of the judge, who gave the assailants a very controversial choice.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

March 4, 2016

Jane Toppan was born in Massachusetts in 1857. She attended the Cambridge Nursing School, and established a successful private nursing career in Boston. Said to be cheerful, funny and excellent with her patients, nothing about “Jolly Jane” suggested she could be “the most notorious woman poisoner of modern times.”

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Visit us at thisiscriminal.com. 

February 5, 2016

The 500-year-old Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas was once called “the most perfect specimen of a North American tree.” But in 1989, Austin’s city forester realized that the Treaty Oak didn’t look so good, and began to wonder whether someone had intentionally tried to kill it.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

January 22, 2016

As a young woman in the 60s, Andy Austin talked her way into a job as a courtroom sketch artist in Chicago. She spent 43 years sketching everyone from disgraced governors to John Wayne Gacy, and says she only made someone look bad on purpose once.

See Andy Austin’s sketches, including the one she made of Phoebe, on our website http://thisiscriminal.com/episode-35-pen-paper-1-22-2016/.

Her book, Rule 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, Politicians, and Murderers in an American Courtroom, is available here or here

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

January 22, 2016

As a young woman in the 60s, Andy Austin talked her way into a job as a courtroom sketch artist in Chicago. She spent 43 years sketching everyone from disgraced governors to John Wayne Gacy, and says she only made someone look bad on purpose once.

See Andy Austin’s sketches, including the one she made of Phoebe, on our website http://thisiscriminal.com/episode-35-pen-paper-1-22-2016/.

Her book, Rule 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, Politicians, and Murderers in an American Courtroom, is available here or here

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

January 8, 2016

Michael Ross was the first person in Connecticut to be sentenced to death since 1960. He claimed that he wanted to die in order to atone for what he had done. One journalist spent twenty years trying to figure out whether or not his remorse was real.

Learn more about Martha Elliot’s relationship with Michael Ross in her
book, The Man in the Monster.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

January 8, 2016

Michael Ross was the first person in Connecticut to be sentenced to death since 1960. He claimed that he wanted to die in order to atone for what he had done. One journalist spent twenty years trying to figure out whether or not his remorse was real.

Learn more about Martha Elliot’s relationship with Michael Ross in her
book, The Man in the Monster.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

December 18, 2015

Sgt. David Mascarenas is the Dive Supervisor for the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s been diving his whole life, and prides himself on never refusing a dive, no matter how treacherous. At least until the summer of 2013, when a murder investigation led him into unusually murky waters.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Talk to us on Twitter @criminalshow. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice

If you’d like a 2016 Criminal Calendar or set of postcards featuring artwork and quotes from our favorite episodes, visit our shop. Thanks very much for supporting the show and have a happy New Year. We’ll be back January 8th. 

December 18, 2015

Sgt. David Mascarenas is the Dive Supervisor for the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s been diving his whole life, and prides himself on never refusing a dive, no matter how treacherous. At least until the summer of 2013, when a murder investigation led him into unusually murky waters.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Talk to us on Twitter @criminalshow. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice

If you’d like a 2016 Criminal Calendar or set of postcards featuring artwork and quotes from our favorite episodes, visit our shop. Thanks very much for supporting the show and have a happy New Year. We’ll be back January 8th. 

December 11, 2015

Ed Crawford had never been to a protest until he heard about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Robert Cohen, a staff photographer with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, ended up taking a photograph of Ed that would be seen around the world, and change both of their lives.

To see the photos, visit http://thisiscriminal.com/episode-32-it-looked-like-fire-12-11-2015/.

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow, visit us on Facebook and on our new Instagram at Criminal_Podcast

Our artist, Julienne Alexander, has created beautiful 2016 calendars and postcard sets featuring quotes and illustrations from some of our favorite episodes. Learn more at: http://criminal-show.myshopify.com/

Click here to read “Phoebe, Judge Me.” 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

 

December 11, 2015

Ed Crawford had never been to a protest until he heard about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Robert Cohen, a staff photographer with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, ended up taking a photograph of Ed that would be seen around the world, and change both of their lives.

To see the photos, visit http://thisiscriminal.com/episode-32-it-looked-like-fire-12-11-2015/.

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow, visit us on Facebook and on our new Instagram at Criminal_Podcast

Our artist, Julienne Alexander, has created beautiful 2016 calendars and postcard sets featuring quotes and illustrations from some of our favorite episodes. Learn more at: http://criminal-show.myshopify.com/

Click here to read “Phoebe, Judge Me.” 

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

 

November 27, 2015

When we’re kids, we have ideas of what we want to be when we grow up — movie star, doctor, astronaut. But what if we dream of being like Butch Cassidy, Jesse James, or John Dillinger? And what happens when you’re not a kid anymore but you’re still obsessed with becoming an outlaw?

Many, many thanks to everyone who donated to the Radiotopia Fall Fundraising Campaign. Your support means so much. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow, visit on Facebook at facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/ and on our new Instagram at Criminal_Podcast.  

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

November 27, 2015

When we’re kids, we have ideas of what we want to be when we grow up — movie star, doctor, astronaut. But what if we dream of being like Butch Cassidy, Jesse James, or John Dillinger? And what happens when you’re not a kid anymore but you’re still obsessed with becoming an outlaw?

Many, many thanks to everyone who donated to the Radiotopia Fall Fundraising Campaign. Your support means so much. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow, visit on Facebook at facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/ and on our new Instagram at Criminal_Podcast.  

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

November 13, 2015

In 2005, Danny Egipciaco had the opportunity to participate in a robbery of a drug supplier’s stash house. He was told he’d take home between $100K-200K. In the end, the robbery never happened, so why has Danny spent the last ten years at Fort Dix Correctional Institution?

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow and check out our new Instagram: criminal_podcast. 

November 13, 2015

In 2005, Danny Egipciaco had the opportunity to participate in a robbery of a drug supplier’s stash house. He was told he’d take home between $100K-200K. In the end, the robbery never happened, so why has Danny spent the last ten years at Fort Dix Correctional Institution?

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow and check out our new Instagram: criminal_podcast. 

October 30, 2015

Corporal Scott Foster of the Hillsborough, NC Police Department worked closely with his K-9 partner, Talon, for many years. They located weapons and narcotics, tracked suspects through dark woods, and went home together after work. But when Talon was injured on the job and had to retire early, Corporal Foster was paired with a new dog and life got a lot more complicated.

Watch Phoebe get attacked by a police dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRYkHA98MzY

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

October 9, 2015

Patti Hammond Shaw is a transgender woman. She’s legally female on her birth certificate and driver’s license, and has been since 1993. But when she was arrested in 2009, male officers strip-searched her in front of male detainees, and held her overnight in a men’s cellblock. Patti hired a lawyer and fought back. Her case was instrumental in changing how the police process and detain transgender individuals in Washington, DC. 

This story was reported by Lauren Ober.

Tickets are on sale now for Criminal Live! in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. More info at: http://thisiscriminal.com/live-shows/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

September 25, 2015

In the early 90s, a wealthy magazine publisher was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 18 months in a minimum security prison in Louisiana. But white collar criminals weren’t the only people living there, and the other people inside had basically been forgotten about by the outside world, some of them for decades.

Learn more about Neil White’s time at Carville in his memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts.

We’re going on tour! Tickets on sale now for live shows in Durham, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Click here for venue and ticket information.

Sign up for our newsletter here. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

September 11, 2015

In July of 2002, Philadelphia Homicide Detective Pat Mangold was called to the scene of a gruesome murder on the Schuylkill River. When he wasn’t able to determine the victim’s identity, he expected the case to remain unsolved. But then, out of the blue, a professional soccer player inserted himself into the investigation, and became obsessed with solving the crime.

Tickets on sale now for Criminal LIVE in Durham, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. If you live in one of those cities, we’d love to see you. 

Criminal is proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

August 28, 2015

More than eighty years ago, a North Carolina family of nine posed for a Christmas portrait. Two weeks later, all but one of them had been shot dead. (See the portrait here.) 

Thanks to Elephant Micah and Sarah Bryan for collaborating with us this month. Download Elephant Micah’s version of “Lawson Family” on iTunes or Bandcamp, and see them perform it live (along with their version of “Pearl Bryan“) when they go on tour this September

This fall, Criminal is putting on live shows in Durham, Seattle, LA, and San Francisco. Tickets on sale now. We’ve also got new shirts and mugs. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow.

August 7, 2015
 
In February of 1896, a little boy discovered a woman’s headless body in a farmer’s field in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. No one knew who she was, or what had happened. Newspapers carried headlines like “Hunt for the Head” and “Headless Horror.” Quickly, the crime scene became a tourist attraction and visitors traveled from all over to collect bloody souvenirs. The gruesome details were adapted into a popular song that’s been recorded dozens of times. We talk with folklorist Sarah Bryan about the true story behind the murder ballad, and the band Elephant Micah performs an original arrangement. 
 
Download Elephant Micah’s “Pearl Bryan” on iTunes or Bandcamp. Read their guide, “How to Bring a Murder Ballad Back to Life” here.
 
We’re doing live shows in Durham, Seattle, LA, and San Francisco this fall. Tickets on sale now. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow

 

July 17, 2015

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has the largest collection of petrified wood in the world. The beautiful wood is more than 200 million years old, and visitors to the park often take a little piece home with them as a souvenir. But stealing the wood has serious consequences, both legal and, some say, supernatural

See photographs of the conscience letters and learn more about Ryan Thompson’s book here

Check out our original episode illustrations at thisiscriminal.com. Say hi on Twitter @criminalshow. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 
 

June 26, 2015

Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of rare books have been disappearing across America since the late 90s, and haven’t resurfaced in the marketplace. They’ve just vanished, never to be seen again. But unlike most thieves, this thief is motivated by something more abstract and romantic than money, which makes him extremely difficult to catch. 

Check out our original episode illustrations at thisiscriminal.com. Say hi on Twitter @criminalshow. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX

You might like this: phoebejudges.squarespace.com.

June 5, 2015

Julius Robinson had killed for revenge before, and so when his sister was brutally murdered in her sleep last year, he says he planned to “get” the killer. He felt like his family expected him to get revenge, because that’s what he’d always done, both in and out of prison. But when he learned that the killer was actually his 17-year-old nephew, he struggled against his family’s expectations and his own.

Music by Elephant Micah. To learn more about Criminal, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. Say hi on Twitter @criminalshow. If you live in NY, join us for a live show on July 15th at The Bell House

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

 

May 15, 2015

Karen Miller met a man named Gil Harper on Facebook. They started flirting. The flirtation grew more serious. Eventually, they planned to meet in real life. Gil would travel from London to meet Karen for her birthday. With his arrival just a few days away, Karen’s son scrambled to learn more about Gil’s identity. But trying to determine whether someone is who they say they are turned out to be a whole lot more confusing and dangerous than Chris imagined. 

To learn more, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. We’re on Twitter @criminalshow. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

April 24, 2015

Sandie Alger is a 71-year-old woman with a very long rap sheet. She was in and out of prison throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and upped her game each time she got out. Prison, she says, is where you move “up the criminal ladder, just like the corporate ladder.” 

To learn more about Criminal, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

April 3, 2015

Police officer John Edwards was patrolling a quiet neighborhood in Bellaire, Texas when he saw an SUV driven by two young African-American men. It was just before 2am on December 31, 2008. Edwards followed the SUV and ran the license plate number. When his computer indicated that the SUV was stolen, Edwards drew his gun and told the two men to get down on the ground. It wasn’t until later that he realized he’d typed the wrong license plate number into his computer. He was off by one digit. By the time he realized his mistake, one of the men had already been shot in the chest at close range. 

To learn more about Criminal, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

March 13, 2015

No one disputes that it’s against the law to take another person’s life, but is it against the law to sit with someone and watch while they commit suicide? We meet an elderly woman who sneaks around the country as an “exit guide.” 

To learn more about Criminal, visit our (newly redesigned!) site: thisiscriminal.com

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

February 20, 2015

On July 17th, 1889, the residents of Clayton County, Iowa woke up to news of the worst crime in their history. A Civil War veteran and his young wife had been murdered in their bed in a grisly attack. Their two children escaped to raise the alarm. But something was off. There were no suspects. There were no clues. To quote the local newspaper, the whole thing was “surrounded in a veil of mystery.”

 
To learn more about Criminal, visit thisiscriminal.com

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

January 30, 2015

Dan Stevenson has lived in Oakland’s Eastlake neighborhood for 40 years. He says crime has been an issue for as long as he can remember, but he isn’t one to call the police on drug dealers or sex workers. He’s a pretty “live and let live” kind of guy. Or he was. Before he finally got fed up and took matters into his own hands.

To learn more about Criminal, visit thisiscriminal.com

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

January 9, 2015

In June 2014, authorities released information about a massive child pornography ring being conducted in North Carolina.  Four suspects had already been arrested, and the police were asking the public for help finding a fifth suspect. But they didn’t need to look very hard — the suspect was about to turn himself in, almost by accident.

To learn more about Criminal, vist www.ThisIsCriminal.com

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. To find other great shows like this one, go to www.Radiotopia.fm

December 19, 2014

Raymond Chandler is often called the greatest American crime novelist, famous for murder mysteries like “The Big Sleep” and “Farewell, My Lovely.” He’s the subject of several biographies, and his correspondence and manuscripts are archived at Oxford. But something very, very important to Chandler had gotten lost. No one noticed until a pair of Chandler’s biggest fans, newlyweds in their seventies, got on the case.

November 26, 2014

In 1999, most of America’s tech hysteria centered around Y2K. But at that same time, a teenager in Canada was messing around in chat rooms, meeting hackers, and learning tricks. At 15, he decided to put his knowledge to the test. To push up against the Internet’s limits, and in some places, break them. In the end, he managed to pull off something no one had ever seen before.

October 30, 2014

In 1977, a mild-mannered aeronautical engineer sideswiped a parked car in Compton, CA. When he stopped his car to survey the damage, a man opened the driver-side door, shoved him over, and started driving. He said, “I’m about to save your life.”

September 26, 2014
Working as a reporter for a TV station in New Hampshire, Kevin Flynn
was covering the capture and arrest of a female serial killer named
Sheila LaBarre. As he grew more and more obsessed with LaBarre’s
story, Flynn decided to write her a letter. She wrote back. Their
correspondence became flirtatious, and eventually he went to visit her
in person.

August 29, 2014

What does it mean when a woman commits a crime and attributes her
actions to PMS? We revisit the first use of the “PMS defense,” in this
country, back in 1981. What have we learned about the science of PMS
since then? Last year, the American Psychiatric Association classified
a form of PMS (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD) as a mental
disorder in the DSM-V. How can the scientific community study severe
premenstrual symptoms without perpetuating the utterly unscientific
idea that menstruating women aren’t mentally competent or liable for
crimes they commit?

August 29, 2014

What does it mean when a woman commits a crime and attributes her
actions to PMS? We revisit the first use of the “PMS defense,” in this
country, back in 1981. What have we learned about the science of PMS
since then? Last year, the American Psychiatric Association classified
a form of PMS (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD) as a mental
disorder in the DSM-V. How can the scientific community study severe
premenstrual symptoms without perpetuating the utterly unscientific
idea that menstruating women aren’t mentally competent or liable for
crimes they commit?

July 29, 2014

In March 1964, a 35-year-old African American woman named Johnnie Mae
Chappell was walking along the side of the road in Jacksonville,
Florida. Four white men were driving around listening to the local race
riots on the radio. They had a gun on the dashboard. As they passed
Chappell, one of the men leaned out the car window and shot her to
death. As the police investigated, evidence began to
mysteriously disappear, making it impossible to punish the men who
admitted to committing the crime.

July 29, 2014

In March 1964, a 35-year-old African American woman named Johnnie Mae
Chappell was walking along the side of the road in Jacksonville,
Florida. Four white men were driving around listening to the local race
riots on the radio. They had a gun on the dashboard. As they passed
Chappell, one of the men leaned out the car window and shot her to
death. As the police investigated, evidence began to
mysteriously disappear, making it impossible to punish the men who
admitted to committing the crime.

June 30, 2014

Crime victims are often put under the same scrutiny as the accused. Not only for their version of events, but sometimes for how they look and talk, too. We meet a man whose trial hurt worse than his assault.

June 30, 2014

Crime victims are often put under the same scrutiny as the accused. Not only for their version of events, but sometimes for how they look and talk, too. We meet a man whose trial hurt worse than his assault.

May 23, 2014

On April 13, 2014, former KKK member Frazier Glenn Cross pulled into a Jewish Community Center and ambushed a grandfather and grandson, killing both.  He then killed another woman a short distance away.  What does the family left behind do when they are thrust into a national spotlight? How do they figure out what to disclose and what should be private?

May 23, 2014

On April 13, 2014, former KKK member Frazier Glenn Cross pulled into a Jewish Community Center and ambushed a grandfather and grandson, killing both.  He then killed another woman a short distance away.  What does the family left behind do when they are thrust into a national spotlight? How do they figure out what to disclose and what should be private?

April 24, 2014

Every year for the past few years, tens of thousand of flytraps have gone missing – from the wild, from gardens, from nurseries. And, really, nobody knows where they go. What’s cropped up in rural North Carolina is essentially a Venus Flytrap crime ring — with lackies, middle men, and a mysterious end buyer who’s perpetuating the market.

April 24, 2014

Every year for the past few years, tens of thousand of flytraps have gone missing – from the wild, from gardens, from nurseries. And, really, nobody knows where they go. What’s cropped up in rural North Carolina is essentially a Venus Flytrap crime ring — with lackies, middle men, and a mysterious end buyer who’s perpetuating the market.

March 28, 2014

There are plenty of things we don’t share with our mothers. Dark, sad things. Unless of course, you’re both in the business of death.

March 28, 2014

There are plenty of things we don’t share with our mothers. Dark, sad things. Unless of course, you’re both in the business of death.

February 28, 2014

With the advent of the Inkjet printer, counterfeiting money became as simple as a trip to Staples. By the year 2000, there were 72 million of these homemade dollars in circulation. The real question is… who was behind them all?

February 28, 2014

With the advent of the Inkjet printer, counterfeiting money became as simple as a trip to Staples. By the year 2000, there were 72 million of these homemade dollars in circulation. The real question is… who was behind them all?

February 14, 2014

For nearly a century we’ve been trying to read someone’s truthfulness by the way they act. Be it through machine, or our own intuition. The police have tried. The FBI has tried. The CIA has tried. But the fact is… most of their efforts just don’t work.

Are we doomed to ignorance? Maybe not.

January 29, 2014

In 2001, a woman was found dead in a pool of her own blood. Her husband was convicted of her murder. But a curious neighbor had a different theory… one that brings new meaning to man vs. beast.