Episodes
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 realized she was being watched. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at youtube.com/criminalpodcast.  We also...
Published 06/02/23
There’s an old sailors’ saying about the ocean at the southernmost part of the world — “below 40 degrees latitude, there is no law; below 50 degrees, there is no God.” David Grann brings us the story of what happened when five British warships set off on a secret mission to steal a ship filled with treasure. They’d have to sail around the very bottom of South America — at 56 degrees south. David Grann’s book is The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook...
Published 05/26/23
Published 05/26/23
In the late 1870s, a woman named Sarah Howe started a bank just for single women called the Ladies’ Deposit Company. She asked new customers to tell their friends about the bank rather than advertising in newspapers, and she promised she could almost double their money.  Today, the story of the woman running a Ponzi scheme before Charles Ponzi was even born. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on...
Published 05/19/23
“What we ask jurors to do is to just absorb all this trauma and just to keep on absorbing it and not process it with anyone. Just hold it in and hold it in and hold it in.” A look at what happens during and after a trial – and how some courts are trying to help jurors. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at...
Published 05/12/23
In 2008, Sven Berger was chosen to serve on the jury for a murder trial. He says the sentence that he and his fellow jurors handed down “felt like a mistake right away.” Sven talked about what happened next on the podcast Heavyweight, and today, we’re sharing that episode with you. Maurice Chammah originally reported on Sven’s story for The Marshall Project. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on...
Published 05/05/23
When she was 14 years old, Elizabeth Coppin was sent to a place called Peacock Lane in Cork, Ireland. It was a laundry business run by a Catholic order of nuns. Elizabeth noticed bars on its windows. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at youtube.com/criminalpodcast.  We also make This is Love and Phoebe Reads a...
Published 04/28/23
In 1948, two horse jockeys were riding on a beach in Australia when they came across a man lying in the sand. There was a partially smoked cigarette resting on his jacket. He was well dressed, with a striped tie and polished shoes. And he was dead. No one could figure out who he was. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at...
Published 04/21/23
When Benjamin Ferencz was 27 years old, he prosecuted his very first trial. It's been called the largest murder trial in history, with more than one million victims. There were 22 defendants, each of them high-ranking members of Nazi Germany’s death squad. Benjamin Ferencz died last Friday, April 7, at the age of 103. He was the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials. Today, we're sharing our conversation from 2018. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our...
Published 04/14/23
When Debra Miller woke up on October 8th, 1964, she was expecting to see a black Volkswagen in her family’s driveway. Instead, she saw a police car. “And I knew my father was dead.” Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at youtube.com/criminalpodcast.  We also make This is Love and Phoebe Reads a Mystery. Artwork by Julienne...
Published 04/07/23
In 1911, two sisters traveled to Seattle to meet a "doctor" named Linda Hazzard. The sisters didn’t seem very sick, but when they arrived, Dr. Hazzard told them they didn’t have a moment to lose – they needed to begin her treatment right away.  A few months later, one of the sisters wrote a letter to her old governess. “I am wonderfully better in fact,” she said, “getting stronger by leaps.” But her handwriting was messier than usual, and her sentences ran together and overlapped. You can...
Published 03/24/23
In the 1980s, the discount electronics chain store Crazy Eddie was so famous, its commercials were parodied on "Saturday Night Live." So when the family business began selling its company shares on Wall Street — making millions — nobody questioned its success. Gary Weiss’ book is Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie.  Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts:...
Published 03/17/23
In 1964, one of the best javelin throwers in Australia traveled to England to see if he could qualify for the Olympics. But, because of an injury, he didn’t make the team - and he couldn’t afford a plane ticket home. So he came up with an idea while working a cargo job at Heathrow Airport: “I saw them shipping animals. And I thought, well, if the dogs can survive it, I could.” Marcus and Julie McSorley’s book about Reg Spiers is Out of the Box: The Highs and Lows of a Champion Smuggler. Say...
Published 03/10/23
This episode continues where Episode 208 leaves off. In 2001, Daniel Taylor wrote a letter from prison to a reporter at the Chicago Tribune named Steve Mills. Steve Mills spent months investigating before publishing a detailed examination of Daniel’s case as part of a series called “Cops and Confessions.” Daniel told us, “To have someone finally say that they believed me changed my whole life.” Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The...
Published 03/03/23
Daniel Taylor was 17 years old when he was arrested for a 1992 double homicide in Chicago. But Daniel had an alibi. He was in jail at the time of the murders. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at youtube.com/criminalpodcast.  We also make This is Love and Phoebe Reads a Mystery. Artwork by Julienne Alexander. Check out...
Published 02/24/23
In 2016, a man named Anthony Novak created a parody Facebook page of his local police department. "I just thought, 'That would be funny.'" About a month later, he was arrested. Novak is now petitioning the Supreme Court, and The Onion submitted an amicus brief in support of his case. Their brief is written as a parody of an amicus brief. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts:...
Published 02/17/23
On October 4, 1960, Eastern Airlines Flight 375 took off from Boston’s Logan airport, and then, two minutes later, it crashed. 62 people died. Investigators couldn't figure out what had happened, and they decided to ask a scientist working at the Smithsonian for help. Roxie Laybourne's investigation helped launch a whole new field of science that changed aviation and forensics. Special thanks to the Smithsonian Institution Archives for letting us share audio of Roxie Laybourne. Say hello on...
Published 02/03/23
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. We first aired this episode in 2020. Earlier this month, Megan Hess and Shirley Koch were sentenced for their crimes. We've included updates about the case in this version of the episode. To learn more, check out Elena Saavedra Buckley’s article, “‘None of this happened the way you think it...
Published 01/20/23
When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August of 2021, they unlocked the prisons and freed prisoners, some of whom sought revenge on the women judges who convicted them. We speak with some of the judges in today’s episode. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at youtube.com/criminalpodcast. We also make This is Love...
Published 01/06/23
Stories of animals really going for it. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: Apple.co/CriminalShow. Listen back through our archives at youtube.com/criminalpodcast. We also make This is Love and Phoebe Reads a Mystery. Artwork by Julienne Alexander. Check out our online shop.  Episode transcripts are posted on our website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...
Published 12/16/22
In February of 1910, members of the Music Hall Ladies Guild in London received a strange letter from their treasurer – a singer who went by the name Belle Elmore. It said that she suddenly had to travel to the United States, and that she was resigning from her position. Several weeks later, at the Music Hall Ladies Guild fundraising ball, Belle's husband arrived with a date. And she was wearing Belle's brooch. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional...
Published 12/02/22
On September 29, 1982, Adam Janus suddenly collapsed in his home outside of Chicago. He died within hours. Later that same day, in the same house, his brother also collapsed — then his sister-in-law. All three of them had been healthy. Nobody could figure out what was going on. Stacy St. Clair and Christy Gutowski reported an investigative series looking back on the Tylenol murders for the Chicago Tribune. You can listen to their podcast here, and read their series in the Chicago Tribune...
Published 11/18/22
On a Saturday night, in February 1949, the music programming on one of the most popular radio stations in Quito, Ecuador, was interrupted with an urgent news bulletin: strange objects in the sky that looked like large disks with bright lights were using a powerful ray to destroy a nearby city. And they were heading right for Quito. Thanks to Lisette Arévalo for sharing her tape and her reporting. In 2020, she reported this story for the Spanish-language podcast Radio Ambulante – it’s called...
Published 11/04/22
On Halloween night, in 1992, an unusual television special aired on the BBC. Nobody expected what happened next. “The technicians were looking up at the big screen in the lobby, saying to each other, ‘My God, what's going on in Studio One?'”  Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts: iTunes.com/CriminalShow. We also make This is Love and Phoebe Reads a Mystery. Artwork by Julienne...
Published 10/21/22
In the winter of 1803, residents outside of London reported strange encounters with a ghost. Some said it looked like Napoleon Bonaparte, or a horse without a head. Others said the ghost breathed fire and smoke. By Christmas, there was a “full-scale phantom panic.” Shortly after the New Year, one man decided he’d stop the ghost once and for all. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Follow the show and review us on Apple Podcasts:...
Published 10/07/22