Criminal

When Melinda Dawson was seven years old, she learned that she was adopted under mysterious circumstances. As she got older and had children of her own, she tried to learn something about her biological parents. And when she went to the county courthouse and asked to see a copy of her birth certificate, she discovered that she was an unwitting participant in something much bigger and more complicated than she could have imagined. 

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Direct download: Episode_53__Melinda_and_Judy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

SPOILER WARNING: Please listen to Episode 51: Money Tree before you
listen to this one. While working on our last episode, we became
curious about the nature of psychopathy -- how it is defined, and what
to do if someone close to you meets the criteria. We spoke with Dr.
Ronald Schouten, author of Almost a Psychopath, and Jon Ronson, author
of The Psychopath Test.

We are going on tour! We will be in Washington, Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, New York, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto.  Find out more here.

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Direct download: 01_Episode_52__The_Checklist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

When Axton Betz-Hamilton was 11 years old, her parents' identities were stolen. At that time, in the early 90s, consumer protection services for identity theft victims were basically non-existent. So the family dealt with the consequences as best they could. But then when Axton got to college, she realized that her identity had been stolen as well. Her credit score was in the lowest 2%.  As she was working to restore her credit, she inadvertently discovered who had stolen the family's identity. It would change everything forever.  

View the photograph Axton describes here.  

If you live in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, or Toronto. . . come see us tell all new stories live! Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 

Direct download: 01_Episode_51__Money_Tree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

To celebrate Criminal's 50th episode, we check in with some of our most memorable guests including Fran Schindler from Episode 17: "Final Exit," Dan Stevenson from Episode 15: "He's Neutral," Corporal Scott Foster from Episode 29: "Officer Talon," and Marian Tolan from Episode 18: "695-BGK."

We're very excited to announce that we're taking the show on the road this fall, visiting Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Toronto. We'd love to see you. Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Direct download: 01_Episode_50__This_is_Criminal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

In November of 1988, Robin Woods was sentenced to sixteen years in the notoriously harsh Maryland Correctional Institution. In prison, Robin found himself using a dictionary to work his way through a book for the first time in his life. It was a Mario Puzo novel. While many inmates become highly educated during their incarceration, Robin became such a voracious and careful reader he was able to locate a factual error in Merriam Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia. He wrote a letter to the encyclopedia's editor, beginning an intricate friendship that changed the lives of both men. Contributor Daniel A. Gross has the story. 

We're very excited to announce that we're taking the show on the road this fall, visiting Washington D.C., Durham, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Iowa City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Toronto. We'd love to see you. Learn more at http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

 

Direct download: 01_Episode_49__The_Editor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

2008 was an exciting time to be a Harry Potter fan. The final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had been released. Movies were on the way. And author Melissa Anelli was at the center of it all, running a popular fan site called The Leaky Caldron and working on a book, Harry, a History. Just as things couldn’t get better, Melissa received her first death threat.

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We’re taking Criminal on the road for a series of live shows! Learn more and buy tickets here: http://thisiscriminal.com/live/

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

Direct download: 01_Episode_48__Eight_Years.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Shortly after Meridy Volz moved from Milwaukee to San Francisco, she received a phone call from a friend asking her to take over a small bakery business.  Meridy agreed to run the bakery, but she only wanted to sell one thing: pot brownies. Her brownies were a massive success, and soon she was making enough money to support three families. Meridy tells her story alongside her daughter, Alia Volz, who describes what it's like when San Francisco's "original brownie lady" is your mom.
Visit our website: www.thisiscriminal.com to see Meridy's final brownie bag & recipe.
Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.  If you are interested in sponsoring Criminal, email sponsor@radiotopia.fm
Direct download: 01_Episode_47__Brownie_Lady.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

There are more tigers in captivity in America than wild tigers in the entire world. The exact number of captive tigers in this country isn't known, because many of them live in people's backyards or unaccredited zoos, and the legality of their ownership varies widely by state and even by circumstance. We travelled to Louisiana to see a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger who lives at a truck stop, and the man who's fought very hard to persuade Louisiana lawmakers he's not a criminal.

We're a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/

 

 

 

 

Direct download: 01_Episode_46__Tiger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

As a law student, Bryan Stevenson was sent to a maximum security prison to meet a man on death row. The man told Stevenson he'd never met an African-American lawyer, and the two of them talked for hours. It was a day that changed Stevenson's life. He's spent the last 30 years working to get people off of death row, but has also spent the final hours with men he could not save from execution. He argues that each of us is deserving of mercy.

Learn more about Bryan Stevenson in his book, Just Mercy.

Criminal is hiring.

We're a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm. 

Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsCriminal/

 

 

Direct download: 01_Episode_45__Just_Mercy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Not only was John Frankford a famous horse thief, he was also a notoriously good escape artist. People thought no jail was strong enough to keep him, but then in 1895 he was sentenced to Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary. At Eastern State, Frankford became the victim of a strange practice that carried implications for both the state of Pennsylvania and the medical establishment we know it today. Reporter Elana Gordon from WHYY's The Pulse has today's story.

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Direct download: 01_Episode_44__One_Eyed_Joe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT