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207 EpisodesProduced by Vox Media Podcast NetworkWebsite

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. Part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

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Episode 197: Mantrap

September 23rd, 2022


Ed and Bertha Briney’s unoccupied farmhouse was reportedly broken into 50 times over 10 years. They put up “No Trespassing” signs, repeatedly complained to sheriffs in two different counties, nailed doors shut, and …

Episode 196: Hungryland

September 9th, 2022


In March of this year, a biologist working in a nature preserve in Florida saw an alligator swimming along a canal with something in its mouth. When …

Episode 195: The Procedure

August 19th, 2022


In 1967, a very unlikely group of individuals gathered to quietly break the law and help facilitate abortions. They established a phone number. When …

Episode 194: The Divorce Colony

August 5th, 2022


This episode picks up where Episode 193 left off. We suggest you listen to them in order.

Blanche Molineux visited her husband while he was in prison …

Episode 193: A Ring and a Bottle

July 22nd, 2022


In 1895, Blanche Chesebrough moved into a small apartment in Gramercy Park, in New York City. She brought a portrait of her parents, a vase for flowers, and her piano. She later said, “music had been my one absorbing …

Episode 192: The Devil’s Hole Pupfish

July 8th, 2022


There is a cave in the middle of the Mojave Desert called Devil's Hole. It's home to a small iridescent blue fish, called the Devil's Hole pupfish - …

Episode 191: The Sailor's Teeth

June 24th, 2022


In 1982, forensic dentists examined the teeth of thousands of sailors stationed on an aircraft carrier called the USS Carl Vinson in Newport News, Virginia. It’s been called “the largest dental dragnet likely in U.S. …

Episode 190: Day In, Day Out

June 10th, 2022


When Laura Coates decided to become a prosecutor in Washington, D.C., she was told that the job would be “human misery.” She says she remembers …

Episode 189: The Doctors

May 27th, 2022


In 2018, we talked with three of America’s most experienced trauma surgeons about what happens when someone is shot. We wanted to spend some time with that conversation again this week.

Special thanks to Dr. Amy …

Episode 188: John & Trooper

May 13th, 2022


For 10 years, Detective John Reilly and his horse Trooper were the only mounted team assigned to Central Park. They rode the same route every day. John says Trooper didn’t like change. “If you changed the route, he got …

Episode 187: 427 Emails

April 22nd, 2022


Pontiac Correctional Center is a maximum security prison in the small town of Pontiac, Illinois. It’s the oldest in the state - founded in 1871 - and …

Episode 186: The Magpie

April 8th, 2022


When Shigeru Yabu was 9 years old, he and his family were incarcerated at Heart Mountain Internment Camp, along with thousands of other Japanese and …

Episode 185: The Princess

March 25th, 2022


One night in 1817, a woman appeared in the village of Almondsbury, in England. No one could figure out who she was. But everyone wanted to solve the …

Episode 184: Ransom

March 11th, 2022


Miles Hargrove was in his sophomore year of college when he got a phone call that his father had been kidnapped.

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Episode 183: Breaking into the F.B.I.

February 25th, 2022


In 1971, a woman visited an F.B.I. office in Pennsylvania. She identified herself as a college student interested in learning about opportunities for …

Episode 182: The Midnight Slider

February 11th, 2022


In 2013, a small boat called The Midnight Slider was found floating empty in the waters off of Isle Madame in Nova Scotia. "Murder is not something that occurs in this neck of the woods very often," says Jake Boudrot, …

Episode 181: Pappy, Another Round

January 28th, 2022


When it comes to Kentucky bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle is among the most exclusive. You can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky, exceptionally …

Episode 180: The Boycott

January 14th, 2022


15 years after the Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, many schools across the South …

Episode 179: A Splendid Newfoundland, Cursing Birds, and the Fashion Fox

December 17th, 2021


Stories of animals really going for it.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow …

Episode 178: "The experiment requires that you continue."

December 3rd, 2021


1. Please continue. 2. The experiment requires that you continue. 3. It is absolutely essential that you continue. 4. You have no other choice, you …

Episode 177: Palace of Justice

November 19th, 2021


When Benjamin Ferencz was 27 years old, he prosecuted his very first trial. There were 22 defendants, each of them high-ranking members of Nazi …

Episode 176: The Red Flag

November 5th, 2021


In 2006, a man named William Ramsey went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida for a life-saving liver transplant. It was a success, and so …

Episode 175: Ghost Racket Crusade

October 22nd, 2021


The story of two famous friends — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini — and the disagreement that ended their friendship: can we speak to the …

Episode 174: The Loves

October 8th, 2021


“There is something he hasn’t been telling me and I’m about to find out what it is.”

Bobby and Cheryl Love’s book is The Redemption of Bobby Love: A Story of Faith, Family, and Justice.

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Episode 173: Family Money

September 24th, 2021


When Beverley Schottenstein’s husband Alvin died, she and her children sold their stake in his family’s business, worth an estimated 90 million …

Episode 172: Roselle and Michael

September 10th, 2021


Michael Hingson was on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He says the first indication that something was wrong was the sound of a muffled explosion. Then the building …

Episode 171: Sealand

August 27th, 2021


Today's episode begins with rock & roll and ends with royalty. When bands like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were becoming popular, they …

Episode 170: Ian Manuel

July 30th, 2021


"The phone rang and rang and a lady picked up on the other end and I still remember the operator saying, 'You have a collect call from Ian for …

Episode 169: Masquerade

July 16th, 2021


The story of a cryptic children’s book, a real-life treasure hunt, and its very mysterious winner: “He refused to be on camera. It’s just his voice. His wife even asks that they disguise his voice, but she asks too …

Episode 168: 48 Hours, Part 2

July 2nd, 2021


This episode picks up where Episode 167 left off. We suggest you listen to them in order. When Aaron Quinn called the Vallejo police to report that …

Episode 167: 48 Hours

June 18th, 2021


“I think it was around 3:00 a.m., and that’s when I heard a strange man’s voice waking me from sleep.” This is part one of a two-part episode. Listen to part two in our next episode.

Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn’s …

Episode 166: On Fire

June 4th, 2021


On November 12th, 2012, the Accomack County volunteer fire departments got a call. An abandoned house had suddenly gone up in flames. And then, just …

Episode 165: Unfit

May 21st, 2021


In August 1934, Ann Cooper Hewitt was having lunch with her mother when she suddenly felt pain in her abdomen. When she went to the doctor, he told …

Episode 164: Sanctuary

May 7th, 2021


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 …

Episode 163: The Ghoul of Grays Harbor

April 23rd, 2021


The Pacific Northwest was said to be terrorized by a serial killer in the early 20th century. Bodies were floating to the surface of the Chehalis and …

Episode 162: I Fought the Law

April 9th, 2021


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 …

Episode 161: Only in Hollywood

March 26th, 2021


When Joan Borsten married actor Oleg Vidov, also known as “the Soviet Robert Redford,” he introduced her to beautiful Soviet animations created in …

Episode 160: Hot Lotto

March 12th, 2021


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 …

Episode 159: Spiritual Developments

February 26th, 2021


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, …

Episode 158: "If it ever happens, run."

February 12th, 2021


“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 …

Episode 157: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch

January 29th, 2021


Qandeel Baloch grew up in a conservative village in Pakistan called Shah Sadar Din, a place where it was shocking to see a woman swimming outdoors. She ran away from home, changed her name from Fouzia Azeem, auditioned …

Episode 156: Sister Helen

January 15th, 2021


In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean was invited to write a letter to a man on death row in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison named Elmo Patrick Sonnier. She …

Bears on Ice

December 24th, 2020


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 

Episode 155: Cannonball

December 18th, 2020


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 …

Episode 154: The Night of the Party

December 4th, 2020


When Nathan Myers and Clifford Williams were charged with the murder of Jeanette “Baldie” Williams in Jacksonville, Florida on May 2, 1976, neither …

Episode 153: The Max Headroom Incident

November 20th, 2020


One Sunday night in November 1987, something very odd happened in the middle of the WGN nine o’clock news in Chicago. Sportscaster Dan Roan had been talking about the Chicago Bears, when the screen suddenly went black. …

Episode 152: The Clearwater Monster

November 13th, 2020


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 …

Episode 151: The Many Lives of Michael Malloy

November 6th, 2020


In 1932, a group of men in a speakeasy in Prohibition-era New York City hatched a plan — to take out life insurance on a loner named Michael Malloy, …

Episode 150: 76th and Yates

October 23rd, 2020


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 …

Episode 149: Dr. Parkman is Missing

October 9th, 2020


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 …

Episode 148: Errol Morris

September 25th, 2020


Early in his career, Errol Morris read about a shocking series of alleged insurance crimes in a small town in Florida, which some referred to as “Nub …

Episode 147: Kids on the Case

September 11th, 2020


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 …

Episode 146: Ten Doors

August 28th, 2020


Tim Jenkin was a member of the ANC (African National Congress). The organization had been declared unlawful in South Africa, seen by the white …

Episode 145: How to Sell A Haunted House

August 7th, 2020


In 1989, Helen Ackley decided to sell her old Victorian house in Nyack, New York at 1 Laveta Place. It didn’t go as planned. There were stories of …

Episode 144: Looking Out

July 17th, 2020


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 …

Episode 143: Knock and Announce

July 3rd, 2020


“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 …

Episode 142: Robert Smalls

June 19th, 2020


On May 13, 1862, in Charleston, South Carolina, a man named Robert Smalls took command of a Confederate ship called The Planter and liberated himself …

Episode 141: It Looked Like Fire

June 5th, 2020


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 …

Episode 140: Cowboy Bob

May 15th, 2020


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 …

Episode 139: Learning How to Forgive

May 1st, 2020


“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 …

Episode 138: Starlight Tours

April 17th, 2020


In January 2000, the bodies of two First Nations men 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 named Darrell Night came …

Episode 137: Wolf 10

April 3rd, 2020


In April of 1995, wildlife biologists flew small airplanes over Yellowstone National Park, looking for two missing wolves. “They’re just gone. And …

Looking for Wolves

March 25th, 2020

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. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up …

Phoebe Reads a Mystery

March 24th, 2020

Phoebe reads Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. For more, visit Phoebe Reads a Mystery on its own feed. Apple:

Episode 136: La Brea Dave

March 20th, 2020


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 …

Episode 135: 527 Lime Street

March 6th, 2020


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. A …

Episode 134: Call Russ Ewing

February 21st, 2020


“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 …

Episode 133: Red Hair, Gold Car

February 7th, 2020


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 …

Episode 132: Herrin Massacre

January 24th, 2020


In the spring of 1922, the United Mine Workers of America announced a national strike. And then, that summer in Herrin, Illinois, 23 people were murdered over two days. Men, women, and children came out of their houses …

Episode 131: Sunset Mesa

January 10th, 2020


Debbie Schum waited a long time to receive the cremated ashes of her friend, LoraLee Johnson, from Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, …

Episode 130: Who's There

December 20th, 2019


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 …

Phoebe, Judge Me

December 13th, 2019

We are trying something different. Have a question for Phoebe? You can call into our voicemail at (919) 697-8231.

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Episode 129: Panic Defense

December 6th, 2019


In 1995, two men filmed an episode of the 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 …

Episode 128: Deep Breath

November 22nd, 2019


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. …

Episode 127: The Reverend

November 8th, 2019


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, Tom …

Episode 126: A New Kind of Life

October 30th, 2019


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 …

Episode 125: The Less People Know About Us

October 25th, 2019


SPOILER WARNING: Please listen to Episode 51: Money Tree before you listen to this one.

Three years ago, we spoke with Axton Betz-Hamilton about …

Episode 124: A Bucket, a Mop, and a Sledgehammer

October 11th, 2019


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 …

Episode 123: Mrs. Sherlock Holmes

September 27th, 2019


In 1917, 18-year-old Ruth Cruger disappeared. She’d last been seen getting her ice skates sharpened in the motorcycle shop of a man named Alfredo …

Episode 122: Professor Quaalude

September 13th, 2019


John Buettner-Janusch was one of the first Americans to study lemurs. He held prestigious faculty positions at Yale, Duke and NYU, before surprising …

Episode 121: Off Leash

August 30th, 2019


“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. She started the …

Episode 120: The Tunnel

August 2nd, 2019


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 …

Episode 119: He's Still Neutral

July 19th, 2019


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 …

Episode 118: Stowaway

July 5th, 2019


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

Episode 117: The Lake

June 21st, 2019


Amanda Hamm and her boyfriend Maurice LaGrone drove to Clinton Lake one night in 2003. The next day, DeWitt County Sheriff Roger Massey told a local …

Episode 116: Jessica and the Bunny Ranch

June 7th, 2019


In our last episode we spoke Cecilia Gentili, a trans Latina who worked for many years as an undocumented sex worker. Today, we get two more views of sex work in America. We speak with a high-end escort in New York …

Episode 115: Cecilia

May 24th, 2019


When Cecilia Gentili was growing up in Argentina, she felt so different from everyone around her that she thought she might be from another planet. “Some of us find our community with our own family and some of us …

Episode 114: Philip and Becky

May 10th, 2019


When Philip Benight met Becky Golden, they made a promise to stick together, no matter how bad things got. 

Read Ann Neumann's reporting in Harper's: 

Episode 113: Hostage

April 26th, 2019


In the summer of 1973, Clark Olofsson and Jan-Erik Olsson robbed the Kreditbanken in Stockholm’s Norrmalmstorg town square. They held four people …

Episode 112: The Mail

April 12th, 2019


This episode contains adult content. Please use discretion. When Sarah Garone was 13 years old, she received something very strange in the mail. She …

Episode 111: Silvon Simmons

March 29th, 2019


In 2016, Silvon Simmons was shot in the back by police officer Joseph Ferrigno. The Rochester Police Department said Silvon fired first, and charged …

Episode 110: Baby Snatcher

March 15th, 2019


Georgia Tann of Memphis, Tennessee bragged that she had a rigorous selection process that matched the perfect child with the perfect home.

Barbara Raymond's book is The Baby Thief.

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Episode 109: Homewrecker

March 1st, 2019

It's one thing to get into an argument with a stranger on Facebook. It's another thing to try to ruin that stranger's life. In 2015, Re/Max …

Episode 108: The Numbers

February 15th, 2019

When Fannie Davis and her family moved to Detroit in the mid-1950s, they hadn't prepared themselves for how hard it would be. They had …

Episode 107: The Widow and the Winchester

February 1st, 2019

When Sarah Winchester's husband died, she inherited millions from the family business: the manufacture of the famous Winchester Rifle. A …

Episode 106: Linda

January 18th, 2019

In a suburb outside of Salt Lake City, a 69-year-old woman named Linda Gillman hired a man named Christian Olsen to do some repairs on her …

Episode 105: Protection

December 21st, 2018

John "Sonny" Franzese was once described as "largely responsible for the glamorization of the Mafia over the past century.” He'd been active …

Episode 104: Witness

December 7th, 2018

We speak to a Gerald Shur who has given thousands of people new names, told them where they would live, and warned them they could never go …

Bonus Episode: The Bark

November 30th, 2018

A story about Steve Hutton, a police constable in England, who decided to do things a little differently. For a transcript of this episode, …

Episode 103: Get Out of My House

November 16th, 2018

On a hot summer day in 1978, a group of friends started renovating an old house in a neighborhood in Atlanta called Little Five Points. The …

This is Love: How to Live Forever

November 14th, 2018

Our second podcast, This is Love, is back. We’re sharing this first episode with Criminal listeners - we hope you like it. If you want to hear more, subscribe to This is Love in Apple Podcasts or wherever you …

Episode 102: Ride-Along

November 2nd, 2018

We spend the day in a police car in Austin, Texas. For a transcript of this episode, send an email to with …

Episode 101: The Fox

October 19th, 2018

This episode picks up where Episode 100 left off. We suggest you listen to them in order. When Martin McNally met another plane hijacker in prison, they started coming up with a plan to escape...using the very …

I'm Phoebe Judge

October 5th, 2018

Thanks for helping us celebrate 100 episodes!

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Episode 100: Ten Thousand Feet in the Air

October 5th, 2018

On the afternoon of June 23rd, 1972, Martin McNally walked into the St. Louis airport with a wig, a sawed-off rifle, and a plan. For a transcript of this episode, send an email to

Episode 99: Racehorse Haynes

September 21st, 2018


There is nothing Richard "Racehorse" Haynes of Houston, Texas wouldn't do to win a case. He’s widely considered to be one of the most exceptional …

Episode 98: The Doctors

September 7th, 2018


Three of America's most experienced trauma surgeons speak with us about what happens when someone is shot. This is an unfiltered look at the damage that gunshot wounds inflict upon the body. Special thanks to Dr. Amy …

Episode 97: Palace of Justice

August 17th, 2018


When Benjamin Ferencz was 27 years old, he prosecuted his very first trial. There were 22 defendants, each of them high-ranking members of Nazi …

Episode 96: On the Run

August 3rd, 2018


When Tyler Wetherall was a kid, her mother and father packed up the family car and drove through the night. They were on the run from the FBI. And by the time she was 9, Tyler had learned how to communicate in codes, …

Episode 95: The Job

July 20th, 2018


Not long into his job as prison superintendent, Frank Thompson was asked to write the manual on lethal injection for the state of Oregon. Capital punishment had not been implemented in more than 30 years, and no one …

Episode 94: The Chase

July 6th, 2018


Mark Roberts has attended almost every major sporting event in the world. And he's been escorted off the field almost every time.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The …

Episode 93: Lavender Scare

June 15th, 2018


Helen James grew up in a military family - her great great grandfather fought in the Civil War, her father in WWI, and her uncles in WWII. So when she enlisted in 1952, she felt like she belonged. Shortly after, she …

Episode 92: Dementia Americana

June 1st, 2018


This episode picks up where Episode 91 left off. We suggest you listen to them in order. The early 20th century's biggest murder trial, and a …

Episode 91: The "It" Girl

May 18th, 2018


The story behind the face of New York's Gilded Age. For more information, check out Paula Uruburu's book, American Eve.

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Episode 90: Sharks

May 4th, 2018


The U.S. Navy attempted to develop a shark attack repellant after many sailors were attacked during WWII. The first step was the formation of a "Shark Research Panel," which led to what we have today: the International …

Episode 89: Shadowing Sheila

April 20th, 2018


SPOILER WARNING: Please listen to our first episode about Sheila, Episode 88: Cold Case, before you listen to this one. 

This episode contains …

Episode 88: Cold Case

April 6th, 2018


In 1984, Sheila Wysocki found herself helping the police investigate the murder of her college roommate, Angela Samota. Detectives asked her to help …

Episode 87: Casper, Wyoming

March 23rd, 2018


David Dovala has lived in Casper, Wyoming since he was 19. He’s worked all kinds of cases, first as a detective and later as sheriff, but a 1973 murder stays with him. This episode contains descriptions of sexual …

Episode 86: Willie Bosket

March 9th, 2018


Before he was 10 years old, Willie Bosket had skipped school, started fires, picked pockets, and stolen a car. A psychiatrist at Bellevue called him …

Episode 85: The Manual

February 23rd, 2018


In 1993, Mildred and Trevor Horn, along with their live-in nurse Janice, were found murdered in their Montgomery County home. A Maryland police …

A New Show from the Makers of Criminal: Episode 1

February 14th, 2018


In 1971, David Alexander went for a run in Central Park and started talking to a stranger. For our first episode of This Is Love, a story about what's possible when we bet everything on each other. We speak with David, …

Episode 84: Masterpiece

February 9th, 2018


In the 1950s poodles were all the rage — one tabloid even reported that when a girl “makes the big time she traditionally acquires 3 things — minks, …

This Is Love

January 26th, 2018


Some spiders eat their young, and some eat their parents … love is never simple. From the makers of the award-winning podcast Criminal, This is Love investigates life’s most persistent mystery. Stories of sacrifice, …

Episode 83: The Mothers

January 26th, 2018


There is a group in Durham, NC called "Parents of Murdered Children." This week, we meet three of its members.

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Bonus Episode: Like a Page from a Book

January 15th, 2018


In 1892, a gruesome murder took place in a small fishing village in Argentina. The police had a suspect who would not confess. What happened next …

Episode 82: The Choir

January 12th, 2018


As a child, Lawrence Lessig was a gifted singer. His church choir director encouraged him to attend a choir camp at a prestigious boarding school in …

Episode 81: Unexpected Guests

December 15th, 2017


Three mysteries we can’t stop thinking about. One is about an unexpected photo in Etna, North Carolina. Another mystery is about waking up in a house …

Episode 80: Photo, Hair, Fingerprint

December 1st, 2017


In 1988, a man in Hickory, North Carolina named Willie Grimes was sentenced to life in prison for raping and kidnapping a 69-year-old woman named …

Episode 79: Secrets and Séances

November 17th, 2017


Helen Duncan was a famous medium who travelled around Britain in the 1940s performing séances. She claimed to speak to the dead, and even produce physical manifestations of their spirits. But when Helen Duncan seemed to …

Episode 78: The Botanist

November 3rd, 2017


In 1993, Gerald Boggs of Steamboat Springs, Colorado was found dead in his home. He'd been burned with a stun gun, hit with a shovel, and shot …

Episode 77: The Escape

October 20th, 2017


In 1962, brothers John and Clarence Anglin, along with fellow incarcerated person Frank Morris, managed to escape the one prison in America that was supposed to be inescapable: Alcatraz. Alcatraz is surrounded by icy …

Episode 76: The Big Lick

October 6th, 2017


The Tennessee Walking Horse has a natural gait that's famously smooth. And, if trained in a certain way, it can perform a walk that's even more …

Episode 75: The Gatekeeper

September 22nd, 2017


"I keep saying 'where's the body? Kill someone,'" Marilyn Stasio told us. She reads at least 200 crime novels a year to determine which are worthy of …

Episode 74: Catastrophe

September 8th, 2017


In 1993, more than 1,000 levees broke along the Mississippi River, flooding thousands of acres. Most of these cases were accidents due to the river rising well above its usual levels. But in West Quincy, Missouri, there …

Episode 73: Carry A. Nation

August 18th, 2017


At the turn of the century, Carry Nation was “America’s foremost lady hellraiser” and "the apostle of reform violence.” A radical member of the …

Episode 72: Bears, Birds, and Bones

August 4th, 2017


As long as 2,500 years ago, Native Americans placed the bones of their dead in giant mounds of earth in the shape of animals. The Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa was created to protect one set of these - and the …

Episode 71: A Bump in the Night

July 21st, 2017


Amber Dawn was 20 when she moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Enumclaw, Washington. On her very first night, she began to notice strange sounds. And they didn't stop.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign …

Episode 70: The Procedure

July 7th, 2017


In 1967, a very unlikely group of individuals gathered to help women quietly break the law and obtain an abortion. The first step was to call a phone …

Episode 69: Becoming Chief Brown

June 16th, 2017


Shortly after David Brown was sworn in as the Dallas Chief of Police, his son shot and killed a police officer. Just before he retired as chief, 5 …

Episode 68: All the Time in the World

June 2nd, 2017


The “body farm” at Texas State University is a place almost no one is allowed to see, because it’s one of very few places in the world that deliberately puts out human bodies to decompose in nature. Forensic …

Episode 67: Milk Carton Kids

May 19th, 2017


On a Sunday morning in 1982, in Des Moines, Iowa, Johnny Gosch left his house to begin his usual paper route. A short time later, his parents were awakened by a phone call – it was a neighbor — their paper hadn't come. …

Episode 66: Bully

May 5th, 2017


Skidmore, Missouri is a very small town. In the '70s, there was only one bar, one grocery store, and one bully. Ken McElroy was so ruthless and …

Episode 65: The Kingfish

April 21st, 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 …

Episode 64: 420

April 7th, 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 …

Episode 63: Rochester, 1991

March 17th, 2017


Kim Dadou says she wishes she had a nickel for every person who has asked why she didn't leave her abusive boyfriend Darnell Sanders. The two dated …

Episode 62: Wildin

March 3rd, 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 …

Episode 61: Vanish

February 17th, 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). John Darwin faked …

Episode 60: Finding Sarah and Philip

February 3rd, 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 …

Episode 59: In Plain Sight

January 20th, 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 …

Episode 58: Walnut Grove

January 6th, 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, Michael McIntosh went to visit his son and was turned away …

Episode 57: Everyday Genius

December 16th, 2016


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

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

December 2nd, 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 …

Episode 55: The Shell Game

November 18th, 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. …

Episode 54: Melinda and Clarence

November 4th, 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 own husband Clarence …

Episode 53: Melinda and Judy

October 21st, 2016


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

Episode 52: The Checklist

October 7th, 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 …

Episode 51: Money Tree

September 23rd, 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 …

Episode 50: This is Criminal

September 9th, 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 …

Episode 49: The Editor

August 26th, 2016


In November of 1988, Robin Woods was sentenced to sixteen years in the notoriously harsh Maryland Correctional Institution. In prison, Robin Woods found himself using a dictionary to work his way through a book for the …

Episode 48: Eight Years

August 12th, 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 …

Episode 47: Brownie Lady

July 15th, 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 …

Episode 46: Tiger

July 1st, 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, …

Episode 45: Just Mercy

June 17th, 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 …

Episode 44: One Eyed Joe

June 3rd, 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 …

Episode 43: 39 Shots

May 20th, 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 …

Episode 42: The Finger

May 6th, 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 …

Episode 41: Open Case

April 15th, 2016


Since 1965, there's been an unsolved murder in Houston, Texas. The main suspect, Charles Rogers, managed to disappear and police were never able to …

Episode 40: Pappy

April 1st, 2016


When it comes to Kentucky bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle is among the most exclusive, according to food writer Brett Anderson. The bourbon is prized for …

Episode 39: Either/Or

March 18th, 2016


In 1983, three men were prepared to plead guilty to the violent sexual assault of Elizabeth Daniel in Anderson, South Carolina. Defense attorneys did …

Episode 38: Jolly Jane

March 4th, 2016


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

Episode 37: Hastings

February 19th, 2016


In 2010, an eighth-grader brought a loaded gun to a middle school in Hastings, Minnesota. We speak with Jake Bullington and Emma Bolters, two …

Episode 36: Perfect Specimen

February 5th, 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 …

Episode 35: Pen & Paper

January 22nd, 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 …

Episode 34: The Stay

January 8th, 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 …

Episode 33: Deep Dive

December 18th, 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 …

Episode 32: It Looked Like Fire

December 11th, 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 …

Episode 31: American Dream

November 27th, 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 …

Episode 30: The Agreement

November 13th, 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 …

Episode 29: Officer Talon

October 30th, 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 …

Episode 28: P.D.I.D.

October 9th, 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 …

Episode 27: No Place Like Home

September 25th, 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 …

Episode 26: Angie

September 11th, 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 …

Episode 25: The Portrait

August 28th, 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. …

Episode 24: Pearl Bryan

August 7th, 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 …

Episode 23: Triassic Park

July 17th, 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 …

Episode 22: Ex Libris

June 26th, 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 …

Episode 21: Bloodlines

June 5th, 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 …

Episode 20: Gil From London

May 15th, 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 …

Episode 19: Mother's Little Helper

April 24th, 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 …

Episode 18: 695BGK

April 3rd, 2015


This episode won a “Best Documentary” award at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Police officer John Edwards was patrolling a quiet …

Episode 17: Final Exit

March 13th, 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 die by suicide? We meet an elderly woman named Fran Schindler who sneaks around …

Episode 16: Poster Boy

February 20th, 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 John Elkins and …

Episode 15: He's Neutral

January 30th, 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 …

Episode 14: The Fifth Suspect

January 9th, 2015


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

Episode 13: The Big Sleep

December 19th, 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 …

Episode 12: Break The Internet

November 26th, 2014


In 1999, most of America's tech hysteria centered around Y2K. But at that same time, a teenager in Canada named Mike Calce was messing around in chat rooms, meeting hackers, and learning tricks. At 15, he decided to put …

Episode 11: I'm About To Save Your Life

October 30th, 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 named Leon Moore opened the driver-side door, shoved him over, and started …

Episode 10: Dear Sheila

September 26th, 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 …

Episode 9: That Crime Of The Month

August 29th, 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? …

Episode 8: Can't Rock This Boat

July 29th, 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 …

Episode 7: J.R.R. Ziemba

June 30th, 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, …

Episode 6: We Lost Them

May 23rd, 2014


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

Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies

April 24th, 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 …

Episode 4: Call Your Mom

March 28th, 2014


There are plenty of things we don't share with our mothers. Dark, sad things. Unless of course, you both speak the same dark language. Kathleen Vernon is a coroner in Albany County, Wyoming, the youngest ever, in fact. …

Episode 3: The Buck Stops Here

February 28th, 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 …

Episode 2: Pants On Fire

February 14th, 2014


For nearly a century we've been trying to read someone's truthfulness by the way they act. Be it through machines, or our own intuition. The police …

Episode 1: Animal Instincts

January 29th, 2014


In 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead in a pool of her own blood. Her husband Michael Peterson was convicted of her murder. A curious neighbor, a …

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