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Criminal

Criminal

Criminal & Radiotopia
True Crime
174 episodes
Criminal is the first of its kind. A show about people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Hosted by Phoebe Judge.
  • After 32 years in the United States, José Chicas was told he had to leave. He bought a plane ticket to El Salvador, but then a local church offered another option. Special thanks to Jackie Metivier. For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode...
    Play39m 20s
  • The Pacific Northwest was said to be terrorized by a serial killer in the early 20th century. A local police chief told reporters that he believed that they were dealing with “the greatest murderer of the age.” But the real story was a lot more complex, and the wealthiest and most influential people...
    Play34m 40s
  • The song “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four reached number 9 on the Billboard Charts in the week of March 12, 1966. Just months later, Bobby Fuller was found dead. The mystery of what happened to him has been called “the rock and roll version of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.” Learn more...
    Play44m 27s
  • When Joan Borsten married actor Oleg Vidov, also known as “the Soviet Robert Redford,” he introduced her to beautiful Soviet animations created in Moscow’s Soyuzmultfilm studio. They eventually acquired the rights to distribute the films outside of the former Soviet Union. One day, Joan realized som...
    Play36m 56s
  • In 2010, a $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket was sold at a gas station in Des Moines, Iowa. At first, no one showed up to claim the prize. And then, a series of lawyers tried to claim the money on behalf of a client they would not name. Things got stranger, and eventually investigators uncovered what h...
    Play31m 24s
  • One Sunday afternoon, a man named William Mumler decided to take a self portrait. He said he was alone in the photography studio, but as the photograph developed, he saw something very strange—the image of someone else, sitting beside him. Louis Kaplan’s book is The Strange Case of William Mumler,...
    Play39m 18s
  • “What I recall most is the way that she grabbed my wrist and, shaking a bit, she said over and over again, ‘If it happens, run. Don't let that happen to you. Run. If it ever happens, run.’” It was years before Cynthia Brown understood what her great-grandmother, Athalia Howe, was talking about. Da...
    Play35m 35s
  • Qandeel Baloch grew up in a conservative village in Pakistan, a place where it was shocking to see a woman swimming outdoors. She ran away from home, changed her name, and eventually became "Pakistan's first social media star." By 2015, she was reported to be one of the 10 most Googled people in Pak...
    Play37m 0s
  • In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean was invited to write a letter to a man on death row named Elmo Patrick Sonnier. She told us, "I thought that all I was going to be doing was writing letters. And lo and behold, two years later, I am in that execution chamber." She's now 81, and has been present at the e...
    Play41m 46s
  • A day in the life of the town of Kalispell, Montana. Thanks very much for listening this year, and happy New Year. Read about other days in the Flathead Beacon's Police Blotter. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven’t already, please review us on Apple Podcasts! It’s an...
    Play5m 51s
  • With Covid-19 shutdowns, people have been taking advantage of quiet highways to drive as fast as they can from New York City to Redondo Beach, California. They’re trying to break records set in an unofficial and secretive race called the “Cannonball.” In today’s episode, the history of the illegal c...
    Play34m 49s
  • When Nathan Myers and Clifford Williams were charged with murder, neither of them were worried they would be convicted. They had dozens of witnesses that could confirm that they had been at a party when the shots were fired. But during their trial, not a single one of those witnesses was asked to te...
    Play33m 1s
  • One Sunday night in November 1987, something very odd happened in the middle of the nine o’clock news in Chicago. As one television viewer said, it felt like someone threw "a brick through your window." A television engineer said it felt like "a home invasion." And a little boy said it was "very, ve...
    Play26m 3s
  • Early one morning in 1948, a phone call woke up the police chief in the small town of Clearwater, Florida. The caller said he’d seen something strange at the beach. Residents woke up that morning to find an odd set of footprints in the sand, and a rumor began circulating that Clearwater Beach had a...
    Play31m 57s
  • In 1932, a group of men in a speakeasy in New York City hatched a plan — to take out life insurance on a loner named Michael Malloy, and make his death look like an accident. They thought it would be easy money. But Michael Malloy would become known as the man who just wouldn’t die. Simon Read’s bo...
    Play31m 49s
  • On May 8, 2013, a man named Timothy Jones was arrested in Chicago. He says it wasn’t until he got to the police station that he found out that he was being charged with murder. He didn’t even know someone had died. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven’t already, please r...
    Play34m 8s
  • In the mid-1800s, Harvard Medical School had a reputation for being a "den of body snatchers." And then, in November 1849, the school’s most prominent supporter went missing. He was last seen walking into the medical school building. Paul Collins’ book is Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scand...
    Play39m 11s
  • Early in his career, Errol Morris read about a shocking series of alleged insurance crimes in Florida. When he told an insurance investigator he wanted to go to Florida to make a documentary, the investigator said, "Don't even think about it." Errol Morris went anyway. Today, the story behind the m...
    Play44m 23s
  • The summer after Jessica Maple finished 6th grade, she found out that her great-grandmother’s house had been burglarized. So, 12-year-old Jessica got out her notebook, looked for fingerprints, and decided she would conduct her own investigation. This week, four stories of kids who cracked the case....
    Play33m 21s
  • In 1978, Tim Jenkin was charged under South Africa’s Terrorism Act for disseminating anti-apartheid material, and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Just before he was convicted, someone gave him a book called Papillon, which he said “was really a manual of escape.” Tim Jenkin’s book is Escape from P...
    Play31m 50s
  • In 1989, Helen Ackley decided to sell her old Victorian house in Nyack, New York. It didn't go as planned. The house became the center of a case that's referred to as “The Ghostbusters ruling.” The judicial opinion read: “as a matter of law, the house is haunted.” Our other shows are Phoebe Reads a...
    Play32m 32s
  • People incarcerated in California’s San Quentin State Prison aren’t allowed to have pets—but some people, like Ronell Draper, have found ways to work around that. Meet Ronell Draper, also known as “Rauch,” plus Ear Hustle’s Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods join Phoebe to talk about the impact of Covid-...
    Play34m 16s
  • "I didn't do what they said I did. And it was like, I don't know how to disprove the police. I mean, it's my word against theirs. I don't really stand a chance.” - Julian Betton Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven't already, please review us on Apple Podcasts! It's an i...
    Play35m 27s
  • On May 13, 1862, Robert Smalls took command of a Confederate ship and liberated himself and his family from enslavement. His great-great-grandson, Michael Boulware Moore, tells the story. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven't already, please review us on Apple Podcasts!...
    Play31m 54s
  • On August 10th, 2014, one day after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, Edward Crawford went to his first protest. “The people, you know, I guess they were out there to be heard,” Ed told us. This episode contains references to police brutal...
    Play19m 10s
  • In May 1991, a bank robber walked into a bank in Irving, Texas, and without speaking handed the teller a note that read, “This is a bank robbery. Give me your money. No marked bills or dye packs.” Witnesses reported that the robber was wearing a cowboy hat and a brown leather jacket. And then it hap...
    Play34m 21s
  • “I’ve been teaching law for almost 40 years. And I recently realized we don’t really teach people in law school about the tools of forgiveness that are built into the legal system.”  Today, we’re talking with Harvard law professors Dehlia Umunna and Martha Minow about when and how the law should fo...
    Play35m 59s
  • In January 2000, two bodies were found frozen in a remote area of Saskatoon, Canada. It was a place where nobody walked, especially in the winter. And then, a man came forward and said he had been dropped off by police on the outskirts of town, but he had made it back alive. Criminal is a proud mem...
    Play37m 32s
  • In April of 1995, wildlife biologists flew small airplanes over Yellowstone National Park, looking for two missing wolves. “They’re just gone. And that’s implausible because wolves don’t just disappear.” We’re trying something new. Two stories about the same family of wolves in Yellowstone. One is...
    Play34m 22s
  • Our other show, This is Love, is coming back on April 1. All new stories, about animals and the wild, and what happens when we take time to look around us. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven't already, please review us on Apple Podcasts! It's an important way to help n...
    Play3m 52s
  • Phoebe reads Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. For more, visit Phoebe Reads a Mystery on its own feed. Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/phoebe-reads-a-mystery/id1503921457 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4aqOirMxxorVMFcVRvDusi RSS: http://feeds.feedbu...
    Play32m 43s
  • Sgt. David Mascarenas was 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 the unusually murky waters of the...
    Play33m 41s
  • Just before midnight on October 15, 1990, police arrived at 527 Lime Street in Jacksonville, Florida to find the small wood-frame house on fire. There was a man standing in the front yard. He said there were people inside the house. What happened next was so unusual that it changed the way we think...
    Play31m 51s
  • "The police had surrounded the house. They had been there for quite a while. They didn't want to try to rush the house because they thought he might kill one of the innocent people. But after waiting for a long time, I asked the police: 'Let me see if I can talk to the guy.'" Thanks to CBC Licensin...
    Play31m 35s
  • One day Adam Braseel got a phone call from his mother. She said that a man in Grundy County, Tennessee had been murdered, and the police thought Adam had something to do with it. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven't already, please review us on Apple Podcasts! It's an...
    Play39m 40s
  • In the summer of 1922, in a town in southern Illinois, 23 people were murdered over two days. Men, women, and children came out of their houses to watch, and in some cases, to take part in the violence. Scott Doody's book is Herrin Massacre. Special thanks to the Special Collections Research Center...
    Play26m 51s
  • Debbie Schum waited a long time to receive the cremated ashes of her friend, LoraLee Johnson. When she did, she felt relieved to finally take them home with her. But then, she got a call from the FBI. To learn more, check out Elena Saavedra Buckley's article, "‘None of this happened the way you thi...
    Play33m 24s
  • Crime Blotter: “The Learning Center on Hanson Street reports a man across the way stands at his window for hours watching the center, making parents nervous. Police ID the subject as a cardboard cutout of Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Today, we're looking at mistakes. Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm...
    Play30m 35s
  • We are trying something different. Have a question for Phoebe? You can call into our voicemail at (919) 697-8231. Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.
    Play10m 49s
  • In 1995, two men filmed an episode of daytime talk show, The Jenny Jones Show. A few days later, one of the men was dead. The shooter later claimed he’d committed the murder “in a panic that he was being falsely accused or identified as a gay person.” Thanks to Thomas Curry, who helped co-produce t...
    Play39m 44s
  • World-class biathlete Kari Swenson was on an afternoon trail run in the mountains near Big Sky, Montana in July 1984 when two men blocked her path. This story was produced by 30 for 30 Podcasts from ESPN. Find more at 30for30podcasts.com Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you h...
    Play41m 25s
  • In 1977, a man named Robert Burns went to a funeral and shot someone, in the head, in front of 300 people. He didn’t deny it, and his lawyer didn’t deny it. Burns told a police officer: “I had to do it. And if I had to do it over, I’d do it again.” Casey Cep's book is The Furious Hours: Murder, Fra...
    Play36m 55s
  • In 1930, a Cuban woman named Elena de Hoyos went to the hospital in Key West, Florida. She had a bad cough, and her family was afraid she had Tuberculosis. She met a German x-ray technician who called himself ”Count Von Cosel” and who claimed he could save her, using unusual methods he'd invented hi...
    Play20m 53s
  • Three years ago, we spoke with Axton Betz-Hamilton about discovering that her identity had been stolen as a child. When she found out who had stolen it, everything changed. We spoke with Axton again a couple of weeks ago. She said that since our last conversation she’s been conducting an investigat...
    Play39m 58s
  • After a crime occurs, or when someone dies, the police aren’t responsible for cleaning up. That’s not their job. The coroner takes the body, the police conduct their investigation, and then everyone leaves. But the blood, and the rubber gloves, and the uneaten food in the refrigerator are all left b...
    Play21m 39s
  • When 18-year-old Ruth Cruger disappeared in 1917, newspapers reported that she probably ran off with a boyfriend. New York police said that there were no clues to go on. But an investigator named Grace Humiston decided that she would do whatever it took to find her. She became known as "Mrs. Sherloc...
    Play29m 29s
  • John Buettner-Janusch was one of the first Americans to study lemurs. He held prestigious faculty positions at Yale, Duke and NYU, before surprising everyone with a series of increasingly bizarre crimes.   Peter Kobel's Book is The Strange Case of the Mad Professor You can learn more about lemurs...
    Play30m 40s
  • “I never did anything wrong. I never had a speeding ticket. I think I just saved all my stuff up for just one thing.” This week, we speak with Toby Dorr - better known as the Dog Lady of Lansing Prison. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven't already, please review us on...
    Play46m 15s
  • In the late 1800s, North Carolina was trying to build a railway system through the Western part of the state. In December of 1882, something went wrong. The Raleigh News and Observer called it “too horrible to chronicle without a shudder.” Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you...
    Play22m 55s
  • 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. 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. W...
    Play35m 1s
  • One day in 1969, Paulette Cooper decided to see what she could get away with. Learn more about Paulette Cooper on her website. Here’s her 1969 Cosmopolitan piece about stowing away. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. If you haven't already, please review us on iTunes! It's an impo...
    Play28m 50s