Criminal

Criminal

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.

Episodes

November 19, 2021 32 min

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 Germany’s death squad. The entire world was watching.

Today, we take a look at the Nuremberg trials and their role in defining international law after World War II.

This episode originally aired in 2018—this version includes an update with Benjamin Ferencz, who celebrated his 101st birthd...

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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 when his health started to decline after the procedure, doctors couldn't figure out why.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Julienne Alexander.

Learn more about our upcoming live shows at thisiscriminal.com...

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October 22, 2021 40 min

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 dead?

Read Rose Mackenberg's essays in Tony Wolf's book, Houdini's Girl Detective: The Real-Life Ghost-Busting Adventures of Rose Mackenberg.

Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Julienne Alexander.

...

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October 8, 2021 43 min

“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.

For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Julienne Alexan...

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September 24, 2021 37 min

When Beverley Schottenstein’s husband Alvin died, she and her children sold their stake in his family’s business, worth an estimated 90 million dollars. Family relationships got complicated. It was hard to know who to trust. And what happened next surprised everyone. Beverley told us, “I was floored.”

For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say hello o...

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September 10, 2021 34 min

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 began to tilt, and he felt the floor drop like an elevator. But Michael Hingson didn’t panic because his guide dog, Roselle, was calm.

Michael Hingson’s book is Thunder Dog.

Listen to other episodes of This is Love at...

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August 27, 2021 51 min

Today's episode begins with rock & roll and ends with royalty. When bands like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were becoming popular, they weren't played much on the radio in England. The BBC controlled the airwaves at the time, and some listeners described its music offerings as "square." So aspiring DJs packed up their record collections, got in boats, and sailed past the territorial limits of the UK, where...

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July 30, 2021 36 min

"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 Debbie. Will you accept the charges?' And I remember Debbie saying, 'Yes, I accept.' And I just remember blurting out, 'Ms. Baigrie, I just called to wish you and your family a merry Christmas and to apologize for shooting you.'"

At 14 years old, Ian Manuel w...

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July 16, 2021 39 min

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 late. The interview is already happening. And she faints.”

For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Insta...

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July 2, 2021 46 min

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 his girlfriend Denise Huskins had been kidnapped, and went into the station for questioning, a detective told Aaron that he didn't believe him. When Denise was released after being held captive for about 48 hours, police didn't believe her either. It soon became clear that the ...

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June 18, 2021 54 min

“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 book is Victim F.

For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsl...

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June 4, 2021 45 min

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 hours later, a second fire was reported. Then a third. Over the next few months, there would be a lot more fires—nearly 90 in all. It was all anyone could talk about in Accomack. Someone was burning down the entire county.

Monica Hesse's book is American Fire: Love, Arson, and Lif...

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May 21, 2021 46 min

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 her she would have to have her appendix removed. He never examined her abdomen. She later told papers that when she woke up from surgery, she heard a nurse saying that Ann “didn’t suspect a thing.”

Audrey Clare Farley's book is The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Ster...

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May 7, 2021 39 min

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 name and number. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Ju...

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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 Wishkah Rivers. 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. It’s about myth-making and working conditions, The Sailors' Union of the Pacific, and a man named Willi...

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April 9, 2021 44 min

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.” 

We speak with Miriam Linna and Dalton Powell. 

We made a special playlist of music discussed in this episode.

Learn more in Miriam Linna and R...

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March 26, 2021 36 min

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, like Hedgehog in the Fog, by Yuri Norstein. Joan and Oleg eventually acquired the rights to distribute the films outside of the former Soviet Union. One day, Joan realized someone was undercutting their business, and she devised a very Hollywood solution.

...

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March 12, 2021 31 min

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 has been called the biggest lottery fraud in U.S. history.

We speak with Iowa’s state Auditor, Rob Sand, and with Ed Stefan, who spent ...

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February 26, 2021 39 min

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. 

Mumler’s “spirit photograph” was championed by advocates of Spiritualism, who saw it as evidence that the living could communicate with the dead. Mumler began to host portrait sessions in his st...

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February 12, 2021 35 min

“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.

Athalia Howe grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina in the late 1890s. At the time, Wilmington was called “the freest town in the country”...

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