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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?

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?


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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?




Lioness of Brittany: Jeanne de Clisson and Her Bloodthirsty Revenge

We recently talked about Stede Bonnet, a wealthy landowner who ditched it all for a life of piracy. Bonnet though was not the only aristocrat to turn his back on his life for a life plundering the high seas. Jeanne de Clisson is another noble-turned-pirate who got into the revenge business - upon her husband Olivier's execution by the King of France. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Sayyida al-Hurra, the Muslim Pirate Queen

Sayyida al-Hurra -- which translates roughly as "Lady who is free and independent" in Arabic -- was born as Lalla Aicha bint Ali ibn Rashid al-Alami. Aicha was queen of Tétouan from 1515–1542 -- and she was a pirate queen. And she is considered to be one of the most important female figures of the Islamic West in the modern age. Learn more about your ad-choices at


A Pirate’s Life for Gentleman Stede Bonnet

Stede Bonnet was not really your typical pirate, if there is such a thing. Many pirates, such as unemployed sailors or laborers, chose the lifestyle because they didn't have many options. But Bonnet chose piracy over a wealthy and a respectable life. Was he was just looking for something bigger and more adventurous, or was there more to it? Learn more about your ad-choices at


Meet Lady Killigrew, the Aristocratic Pirate

When Mary Wolverston married Sir John Killigrew, she married into a pirate family, and was very hands-on with the family business. She would ultimately be accused of preying on shipping vessels that passed along the coastline, arrested, and convicted -- yet not executed. Holly and Maria talk about why. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Fab Four: The Only Real Female Pirates of the Golden Age

Sometimes, and it happens with all scurvy sea dogs, male or female, there just isn't enough evidence left behind to know for certain that a person was a real part of history, or if they're just a fictional composite of several people. And because of that, there are just four confirmed female pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy – and one on that list is marginal. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Introducing: Dominant Stories with Jess Weiner

Hi, Criminalia fans! We're excited for the launch of the Dominant Stories podcast hosted by culture expert Jess Weiner. It's a brand new show from Shondaland and iHeartRadio and we think you'll enjoy it too. Don't just take our word for it, though. Check out the trailer and decide for yourself! About the podcast: Dominant Stories is a conversation series that reclaims and rewrites the stories we’ve been told about our bodies, our beauty, our creativity, and our identities. For example, does...


Trick or Treat: A Pirate in Sheep's Clothing

As long as there have been pirates, there have been people hired to make them stop what they're doing. And, sometimes, those individuals hired to catch pirates are, themselves, pirates. From Woodes Rogers to Benjamin Hornigold, Holly and Maria tell the stories of the influential pirate hunters of the Golden Age of Piracy. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Was Sir Francis Drake Just In It For Revenge?

Sir Francis Drake was a politician, a naval officer, a sea captain, an English explorer, and the second person to circumnavigate the globe. He was also a pirate -- disguised as a privateer. Drake considered King Phillip II, the King of Spain, a life-long enemy, and he especially targeted their possessions and colonies. There was a rumor among Spaniards, and especially sailors who fought in the Spanish Armada, that Francis Drake had supernatural powers, and nicknamed him El Draque, or The...


Captain Henry Every: The Pirate Who Got Away With It

Henry Every, also known as Henry Avery, Jack Avery or John Avery, as well as Benjamin Bridgeman or Long Ben OR The Arch Pirate or The King of Pirates, was an English pirate who apparently looted names. But he also became the most prosperous pirate when he took down the Gunsway -- it's estimated his treasure would be at least $60 million if not considerably more after inflation. Learn more about your ad-choices at


The Tale Of The Barbarossa Brothers

Hayreddin Barbarossa was a pirate and a privateer. But he wasn't just looting ships and enslaving people. He was a skilled warrior, and an admiral in the Ottoman navy. And he had a certain political sensibility that helped him navigate not just alliances but kingdoms as well. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Was Lagertha the Female Viking Pirate Real?

Valkyrie, she-warrior, pirate, shield-maiden – whatever the name you call her, stories about strong women including Lagertha are mentioned in lore dating centuries back. But, as we'll see, history can get in the way of itself. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Rachel Wall: New England’s Only 'Lady' Pirate

Rachel Wall may have been the first American-born woman to become a pirate – but she most certainly was the last woman to be hanged in Boston, though the specific crime that landed her that fate wasn’t actually piracy at all. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Pirate Talk And Other Falsehoods About Pirates

Welcome to our Talk Like a Pirate Day celebration! Although pirates didn't actually use words like Arrr and Matey, that doesn't mean it isn't a lot of fun to throw that lingo around, right? Just like we speak in pirate talk that doesn't have much to do with real pirate talk, some famous pirates themselves are just as fake as that vocabulary – although many of us may think it's all real. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Queen Teuta the Untameable

Queen Teuta is often considered the “Pirate Queen” of antiquity, but that's actually a bit misleading -- Teuta was not actually a pirate. In line with her expansionist policies, she encouraged and sanctioned her tribe's piratical activities. This queen led an army of pirates. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Grace O’Malley: The Sea Queen of Connacht

Legend says that Grace refused to bow before Elizabeth because she did not acknowledge her as Queen of Ireland. Maybe she did, or maybe she didn't. Now she's considered a famous, feminine sea captain, and the most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Season Finale: The Greatest Imposters of All

Imposters are people who dishonestly pretend to be someone else for their own gain. Some do it in order to circumvent rules they feel are unjust. And some are simply criminals looking for an easy way to evade capture. And we talk about it all. Learn more about your ad-choices at


Criminalia Season 4: Trailer

Maria Trimarchi and Holly Frey are coming back with season four of Criminalia! Tune in for the new season starting August 31. Learn more about your ad-choices at


The Pseudo-Nero: When One Nero Isn't Enough

Emperor Trajan, who came to power 30 years after Nero's death, spoke about the “quinquennium Neronis,” which means, the five good years of Nero’s 14-year rule. When Nero died by suicide, three documented Pseudo-Neros attempted to take his place. Learn more about your ad-choices at


When Norway's Infamous 'False Margaret' Claimed the Throne

Margaret, Maid of Norway, ascended to the Scottish throne on March 19, 1286, when she was just shy of three years old, and living in Norway. Ten years after the real Margaret, Maid of Norway's death, a Norwegian woman claimed Margaret’s identity. Learn more about your ad-choices at


How Frederick Emerson Peters Charmed the Rich and Naive

His love for financial fraud may have been matched by his love of impersonation. Frederick Emerson Peters is regarded as one of America’s most infamous imposters. He posed as ordinary Americans, but also once pretended to be a Roosevelt -- actually, two different Roosevelts. Learn more about your ad-choices at