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Criminal

PRX

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.

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.

Location:

United States

Networks:

PRX

Radiotopia

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 169: Masquerade

7/16/2021
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 Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice....

Duration:00:39:34

Episode 168: 48 Hours, Part 2

7/2/2021
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 police viewed Denise and Aaron as suspects, not victims. Denise...

Duration:00:47:24

Episode 167: 48 Hours

6/18/2021
“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 newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Julienne Alexander. Check out...

Duration:00:58:47

Episode 166: On Fire

6/4/2021
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 Life in a Vanishing Land. It’s the Radiotopia Spring Fundraiser!...

Duration:00:48:01

Episode 165: Unfit

5/21/2021
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 Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt. For a transcript of this...

Duration:00:49:37

Episode 164: Sanctuary

5/7/2021
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 Julienne Alexander. Check out our online shop. Criminal is a...

Duration:00:42:23

Episode 163: The Ghoul of Grays Harbor

4/23/2021
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 William Gohl (often called Billy Gohl) who angered the wealthiest and...

Duration:00:36:52

Episode 162: I Fought the Law

4/9/2021
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 Randell Fuller’s book, I Fought the Law: The Life and Strange...

Duration:00:46:37

Episode 161: Only in Hollywood

3/26/2021
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. We talk with Joan Borsten, Andre Violentyev, and former FBI...

Duration:00:38:08

Episode 160: Hot Lotto

3/12/2021
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 years working at the Multi State Lottery Association. For a...

Duration:00:33:05

Episode 159: Spiritual Developments

2/26/2021
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 studio, for a hefty fee. Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd...

Duration:00:40:33

Episode 158: "If it ever happens, run."

2/12/2021
“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” for Black people, and by 1898, Black men had become integral...

Duration:00:37:18

Episode 157: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch

1/29/2021
Qandeel Baloch grew up in a conservative village in Pakistan called Shah Sadar Din, a place where it was shocking to see a woman swimming outdoors. She ran away from home, changed her name from Fouzia Azeem, auditioned for Pakistan Idol, and eventually became “Pakistan’s first social media star.” By 2015, she was reported to be one of the 10 most Googled people in Pakistan. As she became more famous, Qandeel Baloch also became more controversial. She received intense criticism when she...

Duration:00:37:33

Episode 156: Sister Helen

1/15/2021
In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean was invited to write a letter to a man on death row in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison named Elmo Patrick Sonnier. She told us, “I thought that all I was going to be doing was writing letters. And lo and behold, two years later, I am in that execution chamber.” She’s now 81, and has been present at the executions of six men. Sister Helen’s book, Dead Man Walking, is about her time as a spiritual advisor to Elmo Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie. It was...

Duration:00:42:57

Bears on Ice

12/24/2020
A day in the life of the town of Kalispell, Montana. Thanks very much for listening this year, and happy New Year. Read about other days in the Flathead Beacon's Police Blotter. 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 Alexander. Check out our online shop. Criminal is a proud member of...

Duration:00:03:23

Episode 155: Cannonball

12/18/2020
With Covid-19 shutdowns, people have been taking advantage of quiet highways to drive as fast as they can from New York City to Redondo Beach, California. They’re trying to break records set in an unofficial and secretive race called the “Cannonball.” Car and Driver Magazine editor Brock Yates came up with the idea for the race, and described it as a “balls-out, shoot-the-moon, rumble.” He also wrote the screenplay for the 1981 movie based on the race, “Cannonball Run,” which starred Burt...

Duration:00:36:03

Episode 154: The Night of the Party

12/4/2020
When Nathan Myers and Clifford Williams were charged with the murder of Jeanette “Baldie” Williams in Jacksonville, Florida on May 2, 1976, neither of them were worried they would be convicted. They had dozens of witnesses that could confirm that they had been at a party when the shots were fired. But during their trial, not a single one of those witnesses was asked to testify. The prosecution’s entire case rested on the testimony of a woman named Nina Marshall, who'd been in bed with...

Duration:00:35:24

Episode 153: The Max Headroom Incident

11/20/2020
One Sunday night in November 1987, something very odd happened in the middle of the WGN nine o’clock news in Chicago. Sportscaster Dan Roan had been talking about the Chicago Bears, when the screen suddenly went black. Then a person appeared, dancing back and forth in front of a moving striped background, and wearing a mask. The mask was the face of a fictional character from 1985 named Max Headroom, who was supposed to be the world’s first computer generated TV host. He supposedly came...

Duration:00:27:02

Episode 152: The Clearwater Monster

11/13/2020
Early one morning in 1948, a phone call woke up the police chief in the small town of Clearwater, Florida. The caller said he’d seen something strange at the beach. Residents woke up that morning to find an odd set of footprints in the sand, and a rumor began circulating that Clearwater Beach had a sea monster. The rumor spread so wide, it caught the attention of a biologist in New York named Ivan Sanderson. Ivan Sanderson coined the term cryptozoology in the 1930s, meaning the search for...

Duration:00:32:21

Episode 151: The Many Lives of Michael Malloy

11/6/2020
In 1932, a group of men in a speakeasy in Prohibition-era New York City hatched a plan — to take out life insurance on a loner named Michael Malloy, and make his death look like an accident. They thought it would be easy money. But Michael Malloy would become known as the man who just wouldn’t die. Simon Read’s book is On the House: The Bizarre Killing of Michael Malloy. For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say...

Duration:00:33:23