This week, we cover one of the most shameful war crimes in American history--and the shockingly light sentence of the only man successfully convicted for it. What happens when business tactics are applied to warfare? Why did it take so long for William Calley's crimes to come to light? And why did so many Americans, including the president, believe he was justified in murdering hundreds of civilians?
Content notes: This episode...
This week, we bring you a story about a suspicious suicide, a vengeful spirit, and the wrath of the emperor. Why was a ghostly accountant out for revenge? How good was the Qing dynasty CSI team? And how did one of the most regimented legal systems in history end up with such a weird, orientalist misrepresentation in the English-speaking world?
In our first court case from the Islamic world, we meet one of history's greatest bureaucrats. Midhat Pasha was fantastic at taking control of troubled territories and coming up with grand new legal ideas, but he wasn't so great at playing politics. Meet the scholar who rose to be the Grand Vizier of an empire before he became the defendant in an unwinnable show trial.
Meet the woman who claimed to be a German princess, scammed a handful of husbands, palled around with pirates, and played her scandalous self on the stage. Why were so many English men so easy to dupe when a stranger showed up claiming noble heritage? How did a con artist become a celebrity? How much do we really know about Mary as a person, and how much did this self-made woman construct herself as a character?
This week, we're covering the strange, sad case of Mary Mallon, one of America's most notorious killers—who never technically committed a crime. When is it illegal to spread a disease? Why did the Health Department have the power to detain people indefinitely? Does Mary deserve her infamy, or was she a victim of a system that was stacked against her from the start?
Content note: This is mostly about an epidemic of typhoid f...
This week, Isaac and Demetria go back to the Wild West for our very first outlaw of the American frontier. There's rootin', there's tootin', there's plenty of shootin', and also a truly astonishing amount of...soap?
Show notes, photos, and sources at this link (Note: This page contains a photograph of a dead body)
Disease! Rebellion! Weeb stuff! This week, we have it all, as we journey back to Wat Tyler's rebellion.
This week, Isaac and Demetria talk about their first regicide. It's time for the trial and execution of King Charles I -- who denies that you have any legitimacy to listen to this podcast and proclaims that only God has the right to press the play button.
This week, Isaac and Demetria talk about a workplace mass shooting and its relationship to employment in America. Expect a conversation ranging from gun regulation to the tenure system and beyond.
(Content note: This episode contains discussion of a mass shooting in a workplace, an attempted bombing, and a shooting in a private home)
This week, Isaac and Demetria discuss the white nationalist murderer David Lane, who was inspired to join a radical neo-Nazi group called the Order which went on a year long crime spree up and down the West Coast in 1984-85.
This week, we're covering the trial of Chinese swinger Ma Xiaohai, who was arrested for violating Chinese laws against "group licentiousness" as a crime that violates good social order.
Demetria and Isaac continue their deep dive into the world of obscenity laws with a look at one of Japan's most infamous bad boys of porn, the AV director Muranishi Tooru.
This week (and somewhat late), Isaac and Demetria talk about the trials (literally) and tribulations of the great American comedian Lenny Bruce, whose boundary-pushing comedy landed him in hot water on charges of obscenity around the United States.
Show notes are linked here (Content note: While there's no visual material at the link that is sexual or shocking, some of the embedded content includes comedy sets by Bruce that lis...
This week, journey back to the first murder case in recorded history (at least that we were able to find). Who killed a temple functionary in the city of Nippur? Why was it definitely these three guys? Why are we putting the dead guy's wife on trial too? Partial answers to some of these questions, plus lots of complaining about the lack of user-friendly scholarship on ancient Sumer, all coming your way this week!
It's time for our first case on the history of American slavery, featuring the bizarre legal and moral mess that allowed black Africans fighting for their freedom to be accused of kidnapping themselves.
Come celebrate the big 3-0 with a con for the ages as Jeanne de Valois will try to get her hands on a 2 million livre necklace, and end up implicating -- and slandering -- one of the world's most famous and powerful monarchies.
This week, Demetria takes us through the story of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a prolific serial killer who used her noble status to murder peasant girls at her whim.
Join us as we demystify even more American history! No sacred cow of the American past is safe!
This time, Isaac and Demetria go back in time to answer the age old question: if Socrates was such a great philosopher, why couldn't he figure out not to drink all that poison? That plus long digressions about the nature of democracy and medieval theology (of course)!
This week, grab your tommy guns and fedoras as we make our way to Chicago to cover the meteoric rise (and equally meteoric fall) of one of America's most famous gangsters, Al Capone!