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Crime Writers On...True Crime Review

Crime-Justice

The original true crime review podcast that looks at other podcasts, TV, and pop culture. True crime authors and real-life couple Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn hold a pop-culture round table with noir novelist Toby Ball and journalist-turned-investigator Lara Bricker. The panel chats about other podcasts (including 'Serial') as well as journalism, storytelling, TV shows and films, and the special segment, 'Crime of the Week.' Show website: crimewriterson.com. Follow the show on X @crimewriterson. Find us on Facebook facebook.com/crimewritersonpodcast. Email the show at crimewriterson@gmail.com.

Location:

United States

Description:

The original true crime review podcast that looks at other podcasts, TV, and pop culture. True crime authors and real-life couple Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn hold a pop-culture round table with noir novelist Toby Ball and journalist-turned-investigator Lara Bricker. The panel chats about other podcasts (including 'Serial') as well as journalism, storytelling, TV shows and films, and the special segment, 'Crime of the Week.' Show website: crimewriterson.com. Follow the show on X @crimewriterson. Find us on Facebook facebook.com/crimewritersonpodcast. Email the show at crimewriterson@gmail.com.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Cover Up: The Anthrax Threat

4/22/2024
With the nation already on edge after 9/11, envelopes containing deadly anthrax were mailed to journalists and politicians. It killed five postal workers and reporters, and sickened Congressional staffers. Government officials claimed these attacks originated overseas, and used the threat as justification for the invasion of Iraq. The FBI relied on leading experts to decipher the anthrax, and traced the weaponized strain to a particular beaker in a US biolab. Was one of the scientists working with investigators actually responsible for the attacks? In the latest installment of the series from Sony Music and Campside Media, “Cover Up: The Anthrax Threat” recounts the seven-year probe that shocked the nation, ruined lives and careers, and set the country on the path to war. Host Josh Dean details the sprawling investigation into who mailed the bio-weapon and why. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "COVER UP: THE ANTHRAX THREAT" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: Octomess! For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:47:27

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The Truth vs. Alex Jones

4/18/2024
The 2012 murders of 20 school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary shocked the nation and shattered their grieving families. But InfoWars host Alex Jones immediately unspooled a series of conspiracy theories accusing the parents of faking their kids’ deaths in an elaborate hoax. For years, the families were harassed by conspiracy theorists and routinely slandered by Jones. Fed up, a group of parents sued the host for libel and asked courts in Texas and Connecticut to hold him accountable in the biggest defamation case in US history. The HBO Original documentary “The Truth vs. Alex Jones” goes behind the scenes of the billion-dollar-plus lawsuit. It also digs into the origins of Jones’s unrepentant personna and his scandal-driven business model, as well as the worldview of the followers he inspired to torment the victims’ loved ones. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THE TRUTH VS. ALEX JONES" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:45:05

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Stolen: Trouble in Sweetwater

4/15/2024
In June 2021, Ella Mae Begay vanished from her Sweetwater, Arizona home in the middle of the night. Preston Henry Tolth admitted to tribal police he stole the 62-year-old’s truck and beat her, but Ella Mae’s family pressured him to say where on the Navajo reservation he left her. A year later, 38-year-old Kristina Carrillo went missing from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. But as host Connie Walker investigates her disappearance, she uncovers an unlikely connection between the two cases. In the final season of “Stolen: Trouble in Sweetwater,” Walker looks at two missing persons cases from the largest Indian reservation in the US and their potential link. In addition to her journalism on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous people, the Peabody Award-winning host also focuses on the systemic issues that make solving these cases so difficult. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "STOLEN: TROUBLE IN SWEETWATER" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: the beat slows down. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:41:44

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Murder 101

4/11/2024
To engage his sociology students, Elizabethton High School teacher Alex Campbell created a unique lesson plan. The class would research a 1970s cold case known as the Redhead Murders. By semester's end, the students had created a profile of the possible serial killer. Six months after the class released their findings, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified someone who fit their profile. They said DNA linked a now-deceased truck driver to one of the half-dozen murders. But with links to the other victims still missing, a new group of Mr. Campbell’s students pick up the trail to solve the case once and for all. From iHeart True Crime and KT Studios, “Murder 101” traces how a group project turned into a potential break in a 40-year-old mystery. The podcast brings us into the classroom discussions on possible clues and an interview with the one person who might tie the crimes of Jerry Leon Johns together: his one surviving victim. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "MURDER 101" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE PODCAST. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:44:57

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Death and Other Details

4/8/2024
Imogene Scott finds herself aboard a luxury cruise ship chartered by the Collier family. The guest list includes powerful friends, as well as Chinese investors interested in acquiring their clothing factory. But after setting sail, an obnoxious passenger is killed with a harpoon through his chest. Also on board is a figure from Imogene’s childhood: world famous detective Rufus Cotesworth, who tried to solve her mother’s car bombing but abruptly dropped the case. The murdered passenger was actually Rufus’s undercover partner, looking for connections between the Colliers and the enigmatic Viktor Sams. Though she despises him, Imogene agrees to help Rufus investigate when she learns Sams was somehow tied to her mother’s death. Hulu’s high seas whodunnit “Death and Other Details” stars Violett Beane and Mandy Patinkin. The stylized drama takes the locked room murder format and sets it afloat. Can the pair learn what Danny uncovered that got him killed? Why is Viktor Sams targeting the passengers ? And will Imogene discover who was responsible for her mother’s death all those years ago. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "DEATH AND OTHER DETAILS" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: Up shit's creek. This episode was recorded live at The Word Barn in Exeter, NH. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:54:11

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CWO Classic: Slow Burn

4/4/2024
It was the scandal that took down a President…but it didn’t happen all at once. The road to Watergate was paved over time with small turns and little-known stories that need to be heard. In this CWO Classic: we’ll revisit our December 8, 2017 review of the classic podcast “Slow Burn.” For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:31:32

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Beyond All Repair

4/1/2024
After profiling lawyer Shane Correia years ago for her podcast, part of his story stuck with host Amory Sivertson. He grew up under the cloud that his sister Sophia had been arrested for murdering her mother-in-law. And it was his brother Sean who said he witnessed Sophia commit the crime. But something about the story bothered Sivertson. Did the six-month pregnant 23-year-old really beat Marlyne Johnson with fireplace tongs just to steal some money? Why does the blood evidence only point to Sean, who was given a deal to testify against his sister? But her own investigation takes several turns, and Sivertson wonders if she’ll ever know who’s telling the truth. In “Beyond All Repair” from WBUR and ZSP Media, Sivertson offers up a classic murder mystery with an enthralling cast of characters. She brings a vibrant narrative style and leaves no stone unturned in her quest to find out who killed Marlyne . OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "BEYOND ALL REPAIR" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: sinking feeling. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:47:40

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CWO Classic: Gladiator

3/28/2024
He went from NFL tight end to having three murder charges. Could his rags-to-riches-to-ruin story have been different? In this CWO Classic, we’ll revisit our October 29, 2018 review of "Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football, Inc." from Wondery and the Boston Globe Spotlight team. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:27:12

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Dissident at the Doorstep

3/25/2024
Western news outlets became fascinated with Chen Guangcheng, a blind self-taught lawyer who advocated for human rights inside communist China. When Guangcheng escaped house arrest and fled to the US in 2012, he was held up as a symbol of freedom and democracy. But in the subsequent years, observers were puzzled when Guangcheng re-entered the public sphere as a Trump supporter, repeating right-wing talking points. And the humble dissident who stood up to China’s authoritarian government was spotted in Washington on January 6th. The podcast “Dissident at the Doorstep” from Crooked Media looks at Guangcheng’s story, tracing his early advocacy for reproductive freedoms and disability rights, to the diplomatic crisis caused by his flight from captivity, and his latter day emergence as a right wing darling. Hosts Alison Klayman, Colin Jones, and Yangyang Cheng ask if the man known as “the barefoot lawyer” changed his political stripes…or was he misunderstood from the beginning? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "DISSIDENT AT THE DOORSTEP" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: Every dog has his DNA. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:45:43

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Varnamtown

3/21/2024
“Twin Peaks” actor Kyle MacLachlan had a crazy story for his friend. In the 1980s, kingpin Pablo Escobar bribed an entire North Carolina town to let him land airplanes and smuggle cocaine into the US. The little-known story happened in Varnamtown, population 300. They found that residents, many with the last name of Varnam, got rich as a cog in the cartel's trafficking operation. But one fisherman who refused to be intimidated took on the town in a quixotic effort to stop the smuggling. It took a spate of bad luck and double crosses to bring the whole thing down. In the podcast “Varnamtown,” MacLachlan and war correspondent Joshua Davis revisit this drug war footnote in a tale that features REO Speedwagon, lawn mowing Playboy bunnies, and an attack turkey. We hear from residents, investigators and drug smugglers while the actor and the journalist banter with each other about the story’s quirky twists and turns. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "VARNAMTOWN" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:45:39

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The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping

3/18/2024
Concerned by her adolescent behavior, Katherine Daniel’s parents sent the teenager to the Academy at Ivy Ridge, a school that promised to set her straight through a rigorous program. But within its walls, Ivy Ridge’s students were subjected to humiliation and violence at the hands of its staff. Years later, Katherine and her former classmates returned to the now-closed school. Riffling through its abandoned files and surveillance tape, they put together the pieces of their traumatic experiences, hoping to prove to an unconvinced world they were abused by so-called educators more interested in collecting tuition than in their well being. The Netflix documentary series “The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping” is a unique view of the troubled teen industry told through the eyes of a former student. Katherine Kubler retraces the academy’s history while confronting former workers and pursuing current owners. She also attempts to come to terms with her own experience at the school and her strained relationship with the parent who put her there. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THE PROGRAM" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 14 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: rise, dry, reboot. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:51:27

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Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative

3/14/2024
Journalist Jess Shane had become disillusioned with the documentary industry and its effects on those profiled. She set off to create a new paradigm and craft stories with input from the people whose lives she’s covering. Shane reveals her process of creating a new kind of storytelling, featuring four people who’ll receive compensation and editorial input. But after months of collaboration, the subjects are unable to offer meaningful contributions to Shane’s presentation of their life stories. And the documentarian must confront what happens when subjects want more of the control she offered. From PRX’s Radiotopia Presents comes “Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative.” Shane lets listeners into her earnest project to create stories that do right by their subjects, only to learn what is lost by doing so. It also asks questions about the commoditization of nonfiction programs by the companies that supply them and the audiences that demand them. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "SHOCKING, HEARTBREAKING, TRANSFORMATIVE" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 16 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:56:06

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The Truth About Jim

3/11/2024
Sierra Barter’s step-grandfather had terrorized her family for years before his death in 2008. Jim Mordecai sexually abused the women in his life, including his step-daughter and his high school students. But he also seemed to have knowledge about a string of 1970s unsolved murders involving hitchhikers near his Northern California hometown. Sierra launches an investigation into Jim’s life which draws her closer to estranged relatives, but what she learns of her dead step-grandfather fits the profile of a man who could be responsible for some of the most infamous killings in the Bay Area. The Max Original “The Truth About Jim” follows Sierra’s journey to learn about Mordecai’s past, his victims, and his penchant for violence. Was this serial sexual offender also responsible for the Santa Anna Hitchhiker Murders? Or even more shocking…could he have been the Zodiac Killer? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THE TRUTH ABOUT JIM" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: frankly disappointing. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:47:19

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CWO Classic: Murder on Middle Beach

3/7/2024
A young filmmaker sets off to find his mother’s killer. What he uncovers shocks him. In this CWO Classic Rewind we’ll revisit our December 7, 2020 review of HBO’s “Murder on Middle Beach.” For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:34:29

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Cover Up: Body Brokers

3/4/2024
Sunset Mesa Funeral Home was a trusted business for bereaved residents in Montrose, Colorado. Director Megan Hess smooth-talked family members and offered steep discounts on cremations for those who donated their bodies to science. But the community was shocked when it learned the ashes in their urns were not those of their loved ones. Investigators discovered customers were being misled as to how their remains would be used. Hess was getting rich in the shadowy world of body dealing. In the backroom, she was dismembering heads and limbs to be illegally sold to medical companies for research. From Sony Music Entertainment, Campside Media and Black Bar Mitzvah, comes “Cover Up: Body Brokers.” The podcast recounts how Hess and her mother harvested body parts from their funeral home while giving families cremains from a mixed pile of ashes. Host Ashley Fantz talks to investigators, Sunset Mesa employees, and loved ones affected by the scam. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "COVER UP: BODY BROKERS" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: By any other name. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:50:11

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CWO Classic: True Detective 3

2/29/2024
An aging detective with a failing memory struggles to solve the kidnapping case that has haunted him his whole career. On this CWO Classic Rewind, we'll revisit our February 4, 2019 and March 4, 2019 reviews of HBO's "True Detective" season three. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:51:03

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True Detective: Night Country

2/26/2024
After the last sunset of the year, a group of scientists vanish from their arctic research station near Ennis, Alaska. Police Chief Liz Danvers later finds the men naked and flash-frozen in the ice with no indication of how they got there. Danvers reluctantly reunites with Trooper Evangeline Navarro, her former partner still haunted by the unsolved killing of an indigenous woman. The uneasy pair seek to answer what happened at Tsalal station and whether it’s connected to Annie K’s murder. But as an endless darkness settles over the Night Country, are greater forces at play? “True Detective: Night Country” is season four of the HBO series and stars Jodi Foster, Kali Reis, Fiona Shaw, and Finn Bennett. Are the deaths linked to one another or with the mining operation polluting the water supply? Haunted both literally and figuratively by loss and isolation, the characters confront their own darkness living above the Arctic Circle. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "TRUE DETECTIVE: NIGHT COUNTRY" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: dick pic. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:48:57

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Runaway Joe

2/22/2024
In 1985, Irish residents were stunned to learn the man they knew as country gentleman Michael O’Shea was actually Joseph Maloney, a fugitive from America, accused of poisoning his wife twenty years earlier. He had fled to Ireland after escaping custody in New York. Though a court ruled he be sent back to the US, a legal glitch with his extradition order allowed Maloney to flee with his second wife. Decades later, the accused murderer remains on the run, frustrating authorities on two continents. From RTÉ Documentary on One comes the podcast “Runaway Joe.” It looks at one of the FBI’s oldest cold cases. Host Pavel Barter interviews friends of Maloney’s murdered wife, American authorities hunting him, and Irish residents who knew him for years as Mick O’Shea. Can investigators find the elusive fugitive and bring him to justice nearly 60 years after the crime? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "RUNAWAY JOE" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 9 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:41:29

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They Called Him Mostly Harmless

2/19/2024
The case of an unidentified hiker found dead in the Florida Everglades baffled police. He’d gone by the trail nickname “Mostly Harmless,” but no one knew who he really was. His story energized Internet sleuths who started their own investigation into the John Doe. The online community grew toxic, with splinter groups competing with one another in a search for answers. But when the identity of Mostly Harmless was uncovered and the questions to his life on the trail were answered, some wondered whether the quest had been worth it. The Max Original film “They Called Him Mostly Harmless” recounts the crowdsourced hunt for the mysterious man’s identity. It poses questions about whether these armchair detectives were searching for the hiker - or searching for themselves. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THEY CALLED HIM MOSTLY HARMLESS" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: long in the tooth. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:47:34

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On Our Watch: New Folsom

2/15/2024
When Valentino Rodriguez Jr. died at home, his family believed it had something to do with his time in an elite investigative unit inside New Folsom Prison. He’d been driven out of the job by other corrections officers Valentino believed were behind the abuse of prisoners. KQED reporters Sukey Lewis and Julie Small began to dig through reams of newly-released documents and interview tapes, hoping to shed light on what was happening in California’s most violent prison. Meanwhile, with guidance from Valentino’s mentor, Val Senior launched his own investigation into his son’s final days with the help of an insider. Season two of KQED’s “On Our Watch: New Folsom” tells the tale of two corrections officers struggling with the pattern of violence and a culture of silence within the high-security facility. The hosts investigate the challenges they faced and follow in their footsteps to uncover the secrets hidden inside the most dangerous prison in the Golden State. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "ON OUR WATCH: NEW FOLSOM" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. Note: This episode has been updated to correct an error in an earlier posted version. For exclusive podcasts and more, sign up at Patreon. Sign up for our newsletter at crimewriterson.com

Duration:00:42:54