Criminalia

Criminalia

Humans have always committed crimes. What can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past, and have humans gotten better or worse over time?

Episodes

May 4, 2021 36 min
David Lamar was known for walking about Manhattan with his diamond-studded walking stick, for being brash and cutthroat in his dealings, and went on to become a legend for his financial scams as well as impersonating powerful and influential people.
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On May 25, 1861, Emma Edmonds became Private Franklin Thompson and was mustered into Company F of the Second Michigan Regiment of Volunteer Infantry as a 3-year recruit. Fueled by love of her country and a see slavery's end, Emma, as Frank, volunteered to fight for the Union armies.
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April 20, 2021 33 min
Mary Baker adopted a disguise that she hoped would make her more interesting to those she considered commoners. She became Princess Caraboo, a fictional royal pretending to come from the far far away island of Javasu.
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We were curious if some historical stalking crimes would seem different today, and whether any of these stalkers would emerge as, perhaps, sympathetic characters. What we found was that yes, a modern look does often cast a different light.
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April 13, 2021 2 min
Maria Trimarchi and Holly Frey are back with season three of Criminalia! Tune in for the new season starting April 20. 
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When Cristin Keleher broke into George Harrison's Maui estate, she ate frozen pizza, did a load of laundry, and called her mother. Two weeks later, Michael Abram broke into Harrison's Friar Park estate, stabbing Harrison repeatedly.
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March 30, 2021 37 min
Olga “Janina,” a protofeminist and Polish pianist, was known for stalking Hungarian composer Franz Liszt.  Franz’s name may or may not ring a bell, but he was recognized as a musical “rockstar” during the Romantic era. He composed a number of popular classical pieces that are still heard of today (“Hungarian Rhapsody”).  Sure, fans may have screamed and thrown their undergarments at the composer during his performances back in th...
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We all know of a couple of the most popular U.S. presidential assassins in history (e.g., John Wilkes Booth). But what about those who aren’t talked about?  Meet Richard Lawrence and Charles Guiteau. Richard Lawrence in 1835 stalked and attempted to murder President Andrew Jackson. And in 1881, Charles Guiteau succeeded in killing President James Garfield. Today, we’ll learn of what led up to the two incidents, and even how ment...
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March 16, 2021 33 min
Adele Hugo (1830-1915) was the youngest child of Victor Hugo, a major French writer of the Romantic era. She also was known for stalking a British officer known as Lieutenant Albert Pinson in the mid-1800s.  The lieutenant at one time asked for Adele’s hand in marriage, but Adele declined the proposal. As Pinson moved on however, Hugo’s daughter displayed obsessive behaviors, from wearing disguises, to renting rooms near where he ...
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Jane Bigelow (1829-1889) goes down in history as a socialite who once stalked the great English writer Charles Dickens. As the “Oliver Twist” author toured the U.S. in the late 1860s, Jane displayed obsessive efforts that went far beyond the actions of other screaming fans. From threatening individuals who got close to Dickens, to even assaulting an elderly widow, spectators all agreed that Jane was quite the “incubus” - er, “suc...
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Mary Ann Evans, better known under the pseudonym George Eliot (1819-1880), was a major Victorian novelist and poet. As her popularity grew, so did her admirers.  Two in particular - Alexander Main and Edith Simcox - started to cross the line as far as “passionate devotion.”  One sent numerous gushy letters. Another recorded her unreciprocated love for the novelist in a secret journal. Both made George Eliot pretty uncomfortable.
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Georgiana Fane (1801-1874) was an English heiress, most famously known for being featured in a portrait as a peasant girl (painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence). She also gained a reputation for her harassing pursuits of the Duke of Wellington. From what once was a secretive love affair, Georgiana’s later threats and angry letters turned out to be more than the Duke bargained for.
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February 16, 2021 29 min
Holly and Maria continue the topic of erotomania this week with the story of Léa-Anna B. Léa-Anna B. is best known for stalking England’s George V.  Criminalia’s two co-hosts cover everything about the delusional disorder, from the curtain “messages” that Léa-Anna B. thought were from the king, to learning about who clarified the term (psychiatrist Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault).
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February 12, 2021 20 min
Surprise - Criminalia is back again this week with a bonus episode!  Erotomania is a condition where someone obsessively believes a person is in love with him or her.  From outlining movie examples to providing tips on how to approach such a stalker, co hosts Holly and Maria explain the term: just in time for Valentine’s Day.
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Edward Jones (1824-1893) as a teenager became best known for stalking Britain’s Queen Victoria during the 1800s. “The boy Jones” made numerous (successful) attempts at sneaking into the official residency of the Queen. Though each of the teen’s “visits” turned out to be harmless, overtime, the monarchy was not amused.
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Lady Caroline Lamb (1785-1828) was a novelist best known for her affair with Lord Byron.  In spite of the poet “ending” the relationship in August 1812, Lady Caroline’s pursuits were far from over. From learning Lord Byron’s handwriting to sending him interesting “gifts,” the novelist revealed a disturbing pattern of obsession.
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January 26, 2021 36 min
Holly and Maria are back with season two of Criminalia! This season is all about stalkers.  The co-hosts start things off by discussing anthologist Rufus Griswold, Edgar Allan Poe’s not-so-well-known rival.  The critic’s angry, obsessive (and petty) tendencies over the famous poet stayed strong throughout the years - even long after Poe’s death.
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Holly and Maria were curious if poisoners and their crimes would look different with a little distance on the timeline, and even whether any of the perpetrators would emerge as sympathetic characters. And in season 1 they found out, YES. On both counts.
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Criminalia hosts Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi continue their conversation with "The Poisoner's Handbook" author and Pulitzer Prize recipient Deborah Blum.
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Hosts Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi are joined by "The Poisoner's Handbook" author and Pulitzer Prize recipient Deborah Blum.
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