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Episode 2: Pants On Fire

Episode description

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.

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Bonus Episode: Like a Page from a Book

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Episode 82: The Choir

January 12th, 2018

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Episode 81: Unexpected Guests

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December 1st, 2017

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Episode 79: Secrets and Séances

November 17th, 2017

33:44

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Episode 78: The Botanist

November 3rd, 2017

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Episode 77: The Escape

October 20th, 2017

28:10

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Episode 76: The Big Lick

October 6th, 2017

25:35

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Episode 75: The Gatekeeper

September 22nd, 2017

26:26

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Episode 74: Catastrophe

September 8th, 2017

32:38

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Episode 73: Carry A. Nation

August 18th, 2017

25:52

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Episode 72: Bears, Birds, and Bones

August 4th, 2017

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Episode 71: A Bump in the Night

July 21st, 2017

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Episode 70: The Procedure

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Episode 69: Becoming Chief Brown

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Episode 67: Milk Carton Kids

May 19th, 2017

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Episode 66: Bully

May 5th, 2017

29:37

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Episode 65: The Kingfish

April 21st, 2017

28:44

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Episode 64: 420

April 7th, 2017

18:25

The Colorado Department of Transportation says the 420 mile markers on the state's highways were stolen so often, they had to replace them …

Episode 63: Rochester, 1991

March 17th, 2017

28:59

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Episode 62: Wildin

March 3rd, 2017

25:15

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Episode 61: Vanish

February 17th, 2017

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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 …

Episode 60: Finding Sarah and Philip

February 3rd, 2017

22:07

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 …

Episode 59: In Plain Sight

January 20th, 2017

32:04

In 1849, abolitionist and attorney Wendell Phillips wrote: "We should look in vain through the most trying times of our revolutionary …

Episode 58: Walnut Grove

January 6th, 2017

35:22

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 …

Episode 57: Everyday Genius

December 16th, 2016

21:12

To close out 2016, we're bringing you two lighter stories of people exhibiting everyday genius under. . . unusual circumstances. Comedian …

Episode 56: Don't Let Me See You In The Whirl

December 2nd, 2016

18:42

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 …

Episode 55: The Shell Game

November 18th, 2016

18:11

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 …

Episode 54: Melinda and Clarence

November 4th, 2016

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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 …

Episode 53: Melinda and Judy

October 21st, 2016

27:55

When Melinda Dawson was seven years old, she learned that she was adopted under mysterious circumstances. As she got older and had children …

Episode 52: The Checklist

October 7th, 2016

25:51

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 …

Episode 51: Money Tree

September 23rd, 2016

28:09

When Axton Betz-Hamilton was 11 years old, her parents' identities were stolen. At that time, in the early 90s, consumer protection services …

Episode 50: This is Criminal

September 9th, 2016

39:01

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 …

Episode 49: The Editor

August 26th, 2016

30:04

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 …

Episode 48: Eight Years

August 12th, 2016

25:03

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, …

Episode 47: Brownie Lady

July 15th, 2016

23:44

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 …

Episode 46: Tiger

July 1st, 2016

22:12

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 …

Episode 45: Just Mercy

June 17th, 2016

27:23

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 …

Episode 44: One Eyed Joe

June 3rd, 2016

30:35

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 …

Episode 43: 39 Shots

May 20th, 2016

32:20

Episode 42: The Finger

May 6th, 2016

18:26

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 …

Episode 41: Open Case

April 15th, 2016

25:59

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. …

Episode 40: Pappy

April 1st, 2016

26:20

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 …

Episode 39: Either/Or

March 18th, 2016

28:17

In 1983, three men were prepared to plead guilty to a violent sexual assault in Anderson, South Carolina. Defense attorneys did not …

Episode 38: Jolly Jane

March 4th, 2016

27:28

Jane Toppan was born in Massachusetts in 1857. She attended the Cambridge Nursing School, and established a successful private nursing …

Episode 37: Hastings

February 19th, 2016

21:34

In 2010, an eighth-grader brought a loaded gun to a middle school in Hastings, Minnesota. We speak with two students and the principal about …

Episode 36: Perfect Specimen

February 5th, 2016

24:45

The 500-year-old Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas was once called "the most perfect specimen of a North American tree." But in 1989, …

Episode 35: Pen & Paper

January 22nd, 2016

19:49

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 …

Episode 34: The Stay

January 8th, 2016

29:11

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 …

Episode 33: Deep Dive

December 18th, 2015

22:19

Sgt. David Mascarenas is the Dive Supervisor for the Los Angeles Police Department. He's been diving his whole life, and prides himself on …

Episode 32: It Looked Like Fire

December 11th, 2015

18:34

Episode 31: American Dream

November 27th, 2015

22:27

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 …

Episode 30: The Agreement

November 13th, 2015

20:32

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 …

Episode 29: Officer Talon

October 30th, 2015

21:49

Corporal Scott Foster of the Hillsborough, NC Police Department worked closely with his K-9 partner, Talon, for many years. They located …

Episode 28: P.D.I.D.

October 9th, 2015

21:10

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 …

Episode 27: No Place Like Home

September 25th, 2015

26:03

In the early 90s, a wealthy magazine publisher was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 18 months in a minimum security prison in Louisiana. …

Episode 26: Angie

September 11th, 2015

25:31

In July of 2002, Philadelphia Homicide Detective Pat Mangold was called to the scene of a gruesome murder on the Schuylkill River. When he …

Episode 25: The Portrait

August 28th, 2015

26:57

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 …

Episode 24: Pearl Bryan

August 7th, 2015

20:48

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 …

Episode 23: Triassic Park

July 17th, 2015

21:34

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has the largest collection of petrified wood in the world. The beautiful wood is more than 200 …

Episode 22: Ex Libris

June 26th, 2015

22:46

Hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare books have been disappearing across America since the late 90s, and haven't resurfaced in …

Episode 21: Bloodlines

June 5th, 2015

22:30

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 …

Episode 20: Gil From London

May 15th, 2015

26:26

Karen Miller met a man named Gil Harper on Facebook. They started flirting. The flirtation grew more serious. Eventually, they planned to …

Episode 19: Mother's Little Helper

April 24th, 2015

20:41

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 …

Episode 18: 695BGK

April 3rd, 2015

22:58

Police officer John Edwards was patrolling a quiet neighborhood in Bellaire, Texas when he saw an SUV driven by two young African-American …

Episode 17: Final Exit

March 13th, 2015

25:05

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 …

Episode 16: Poster Boy

February 20th, 2015

18:42

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 …

Episode 15: He's Neutral

January 30th, 2015

18:05

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 …

Episode 14: The Fifth Suspect

January 9th, 2015

21:51

In June 2014, authorities released information about a massive child pornography ring being conducted in North Carolina.  Four suspects had …

Episode 13: The Big Sleep

December 19th, 2014

17:57

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 …

Episode 12: Break The Internet

November 26th, 2014

17:51

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 …

Episode 11: I'm About To Save Your Life

October 30th, 2014

21:31

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 …

Episode 10: Dear Sheila

September 26th, 2014

18:17

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, …

Episode 9: That Crime Of The Month

August 29th, 2014

13:18

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

Episode 8: Can't Rock This Boat

July 29th, 2014

19:40

In March 1964, a 35-year-old African American woman named Johnnie Mae

Chappell was walking along the side of the road in Jacksonville,

Episode 7: J.R.R. Ziemba

June 30th, 2014

19:53

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 …

Episode 6: We Lost Them

May 23rd, 2014

16:43

On April 13, 2014, former KKK member Frazier Glenn Cross pulled into a Jewish Community Center and ambushed a grandfather and grandson, …

Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies

April 24th, 2014

23:30

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 …

Episode 4: Call Your Mom

March 28th, 2014

16:54

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.

Episode 3: The Buck Stops Here

February 28th, 2014

19:30

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 …

Episode 1: Animal Instincts

January 29th, 2014

21:00

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 …

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