Crimes of the Centuries

Crimes of the Centuries

Obsessed Network

True Crime

38 episodes

Crime is so commonplace that it takes something particularly shocking to be labelled the “crime of the century.” Even so, there are a lot of cases that have earned the distinction. In each episode of Crimes of the Centuries, award-winning journalist Amber Hunt will examine a case that’s lesser known today but was huge when it happened. The cases explored span the centuries and each left a mark. Some made history by changing laws. Others were so shocking they changed society.


  • 26 JUL 2021
    34: Satanic Panic and the McMartin Preschool Case
    45m 54s

    Judy Johnson was horrified when her 3-year-old son told her he'd been abused by a teacher at his preschool. So, too, was her community. Soon, hundreds of parents throughout Manhattan Beach, California, heard horrifying tales from their chil...

  • 19 JUL 2021
    33: The Murder of William Guldensuppe: The Headless Torso that Sparked a Media Furor
    46m 7s

    When a group of kids cooling off along New York City's East River spotted a parcel in the water, they figured a passing freighter had dropped some goods. When they opened the package, however, they discovered a human torso, its arms still a...

  • 12 JUL 2021
    32: The Bath Massacre
    44m 35s

    Andrew Kehoe really didn't like the new property taxes being leveled to pay for his community's fancy new school. This was well known throughout his hometown of Bath Township, Michigan.  What residents didn't know was that his displeasure...

  • 05 JUL 2021
    Roanoke: That Time 100 People Vanished for No Reason (from "Strange and Unexplained")
    32m 59s

    Hey, COTC listeners! We're taking a break for the holiday this week, but we wanted to share an episode from another Obsessed Network show with you.  From "Strange and Unexplained with Daisy Eagan," this episode tells the tale of the vanishi...

  • 28 JUN 2021
    31: Doris Duke's Dark Secret
    47m 55s

    Tobacco heiress Doris Duke got upsetting news on Oct. 7, 1966. Her longtime friend and art curator, Eduardo Tirella wanted to end their work relationship. Within hours, Tirella was dead, having been hit by a car driven by Duke.  Though th...

  • 21 JUN 2021
    30: Patty Hearst: Murder, Terror, and the Taking of an Heiress
    49m 51s

    When the granddaughter of one of America's best-known publishing magnates was kidnapped in 1974, the news of course grabbed headlines. But that was nothing compared to the attention the case would receive after Patricia Hearst joined forces...

  • 14 JUN 2021
    29: John Arthur Pender: The Pardoned Killer?
    44m 23s

    The book The Man from the Train describes dozens of axe slayings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many of which authors Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James believe were committed by what would be the nation's most prolific serial...

  • 07 JUN 2021
    28: The Villisca Murders
    50m 7s

    The Moore house seemed awfully quiet one June morning in 1912, prompting neighbors to investigate. Inside, they discovered a horrific scene: All eight people who'd been inside -- a mother, father, their four children and two young guests --...

  • 24 MAY 2021
    27: The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping
    49m 50s

    Charles Lindbergh became an American and worldwide hero after becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.  But five years later, his world was upended when his toddler son was stolen from his nursery.  The ensui...

  • 17 MAY 2021
    26: Did Jeffrey MacDonald Kill His Family?
    46m 1s

    The sight that greeted arriving medics in February 1970 was so upsetting that at least one had to rush from the scene to vomit. Inside of Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald's home were three dead bodies belonging to his two daughters and pregna...

  • 13 MAY 2021
    Introducing "Murder in Alliance: Ep. 1 Dead in the Water"
    28m 55s

    Hey, Crimes of the Centuries listeners! We're so excited to bring you the new show from the Obsessed Network, "Murder in Alliance." We've got the first episode here for you in this feed, and two more available right now wherever you get you...

  • 10 MAY 2021
    25: Belle Gunness: Butcher of Men
    44m 35s

    When an Indiana home caught fire and burned to the ground in 1908, townspeople mourned the poor mother and two children believed trapped inside. But then someone started to dig on the property, they realized that the woman of the house had...

  • 03 MAY 2021
    24: The Dark Tale of the Radium Girls
    44m 56s

    In the early 20th century, one of the best jobs for a young woman to land in America involved a new discovery: radium. The substance discovered by Marie Curie could be tweaked and turned into glow-in-the-dark paint.  But as the women work...

  • 19 APR 2021
    23: Jane Britton's Mysterious Murder
    45m 8s

    Though 23-year-old Jane Britton had no enemies when she was violently killed in 1969, her case somehow had no shortage of suspects. Who killed the brilliant and feisty Harvard grad student — was it the brooding archeologist rumored to have...

  • 12 APR 2021
    22: H.H. Holmes and His Macabre "Murder Castle"
    58m 26s

    He was born Herman Webster Mudgett, a bright boy beloved by his teachers because of his kind demeanor and thirst for knowledge. Later, the world would know him as H.H. Holmes, a man so determined to murder that he designed a home in Chicago...

  • 05 APR 2021
    21: Fatty Arbuckle: Scandal in Hollywood
    55m 37s

    The roaring '20s of last century were fueled in part by a new industry: filmmaking in Hollywood. Directors were rolling in dough, as were the silver screen's first stars. But in 1921, the future of cinema would forever be altered after inte...

  • 02 APR 2021
    Introducing "Strange and Unexplained: Ep. 1 The Watcher House"
    34m 4s

    Hey, Fam! We're so excited to bring you the new show from the Obsessed Network, "Strange and Unexplained with Daisy Eagan." We've got the first episode here for you in this feed, and two more available right now wherever you get your podcas...

  • 29 MAR 2021
    20: The Enduring Legacy of the Salem Witch Trials
    50m 52s

    When two young girls began suffering from mysterious ailments in Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 17th century, townsfolk were baffled. The only explanation they could imagine was that the girls had been bewitched -- and over the next thre...

  • 15 MAR 2021
    19: The Murder of Marie Smith
    44m 13s

    When a 9-year-old girl failed to return home from school in 1910 Asbury Park, N.J., a local reporter became convinced of a Black man's guilt -- putting that man's life in danger even before an arrest was made in the case. The confounding un...

  • 08 MAR 2021
    18: Rebecca Schaeffer: The Slaying of a Starlet
    47m 9s

    As actress Rebecca Schaeffer rushed around her apartment to ready for the biggest audition of her career, a disturbed young man was pacing the street below, armed with a gun. Schaeffer's senseless death in 1989 would not only shock the nati...

  • 01 MAR 2021
    17: Daniel Sickles: Temporarily Insane?
    47m 56s

    In 1859, two of Washington, D.C.'s highest-profile men were in love with the same woman -- and that love triangle would lead to the broad-daylight shooting of one of them just a stone's throw from the White House. The victim had been the fi...

  • 22 FAB 2021
    16: Richard Speck: Born to Raise Hell
    49m 48s

    On July 14, 1966, Chicago residents awoke to horrific news: Eight young nurses had been brutally killed in their dorm-style housing overnight. The killer had lost count of his victims and left one survivor, and soon, the hunt for Illinois-b...

  • 08 FAB 2021
    15: The Landmark Case of the Scottsboro Boys
    44m 12s

    In 1932, a group of white men rushed to police to report a group of Black men had roughed them up on as they sneaked a ride on a train. Authorities soon descended and soon even more heinous allegations were lodged: Two women on the train sa...

  • 01 FAB 2021
    14: The Million-Dollar Kidnapping of Ginny Piper
    43m 54s

    When wealthy Ginny Piper was kidnapped at gunpoint in broad daylight inside of her secluded Minnesota home, it put the nation on edge and sent her husband on a macabre scavenger hunt to save Ginny’s life. It also became a pet case for the F...

  • 25 JAN 2021
    13: Edward Rulloff: The Genius Psychopath
    41m 36s

    Edward Rulloff was a genius, speaking seven languages by the time he graduated high school -- no easy feat for someone from a poor farming family. But Rulloff was also arrogant, hot-headed and prone to violence. When his wife and infant dau...

  • 18 JAN 2021
    12: The Tylenol Murders: Over-the-Counter Killers
    46m 36s

    When 52-year-old Bruce Nickell suddenly dropped dead in Washington state, investigators at first thought he'd died of a heart attack. But then a second person collapsed, and police realized that the two victims had both taken the painkiller...

  • 11 JAN 2021
    11: Sex, Lies, and Murder: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, and Harry Thaw
    54m 18s

    It was one of the most salacious stories the country had ever heard: A famous architect had been gunned down in front of an audience of hundreds by a man who said he was defending his wife's honor. It so happened the wife was the world's fi...

  • 04 JAN 2021
    10: The Torture Chamber of Delphine LaLaurie
    45m 8s

    A fire broke out in a stately New Orleans mansion in 1834, leading neighbors to rush to the homeowners' aid. What they discovered inside, however, made them realize that the charming and cultured woman of the house had been hiding a horrify...

  • 21 DEC 2020
    9: Charley Ross: America's First Kidnapping for Ransom
    43m 38s

    After 4-year-old Charley Ross vanished in a carriage with two men who'd offered him candy and fireworks, police at first told his father to wait it out. Surely the men had no bad intentions. Then came the first ransom letter. And another. A...

  • 14 DEC 2020
    8: Kitty Genovese: A Murder with 38 Witnesses
    42m 24s

    As a 28-year-old woman screamed for help on an otherwise quiet New York City street, neighbors roused from sleep ... and then largely did nothing. The 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese would soon represent apathy in America and spark the creati...

  • 07 DEC 2020
    7: The Mysterious Beheading of Pearl Bryan
    45m 8s

    When a headless woman's remains were discovered near Cincinnati in 1896, police had a problem. Long before DNA and fingerprinting, the lack of a head made it tough to identify the victim. Thanks to a sharp-eyed shoemaker, a new kind of dete...

  • 30 NOV 2020
    6: Bob Berdella: The Serial Killer Known as the Kansas City Butcher
    48m 17s

    To his neighbors, Bob Berdella was a proactive citizen who helped launch a neighborhood watch group. Sure, he was a bit condescending, but he seemed to have a big heart, using his Kansas City home as a safe haven for young men in trouble. B...

  • 16 NOV 2020
    5: Prohibition Murderers: The Karpis/Barker Gang
    46m 46s

    Thanks to Prohibition, criminal gangs were a dime a dozen in the 1920s and '30s, but the Karpis/Barker Gang became one of the era's longest lived, highest profile, and most consequential. During the Depression, their exploits not only burni...

  • 09 NOV 2020
    4: Nannie Doss: The Murderous Giggling Granny
    43m 13s

    When widower Sam Doss was rushed to the hospital with abdominal pains in 1954, his doctor was flummoxed by his life-threatening yet mysterious illness. But Doss got better and came home -- then died the next day. That's what prompted police...

  • 02 NOV 2020
    3: Elma Sands: The Manhattan Well Murder
    47m 47s

    When a 22-year-old woman living with relatives in a boarding house disappeared on Dec. 22, 1799, her loved ones didn't immediately worry. But when she still hadn't returned days later, all eyes turned to her lover -- whom she'd supposedly b...

  • 26 OCT 2020
    2: Leopold & Loeb: Jazz Age Killers
    45m 40s

    On May 21, 1924, 19-year-old Nathan Leopold and 18-year-old Richard Loeb convinced a younger boy, 14 year old Bobby Franks, to get in a car with them. We think Leopold was driving with Loeb in the backseat. 14 year old Bobby sat in the pass...

  • 26 OCT 2020
    1: The Murder of Mary Phagan
    44m 8s

    At 3:00 am on April 27th, 1913, the body of 13 year old Mary Phagan was found in the basement of the factory where she worked in Atlanta, Georgia. Her dress was up around her waist and a strip from her petticoat had been torn off and wrappe...

  • 13 OCT 2020
    PREVIEW: Crimes of the Centuries
    2m 4s

    Crime is so commonplace that it takes something particularly shocking to be labelled the “crime of the century.” Even so, there are a lot of cases that have earned the distinction. In each episode of Crimes of the Centuries, award-winning j...