Criminal

In the early 90s, a wealthy magazine publisher was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 18 months in a minimum security prison in Louisiana. But white collar criminals weren't the only people living there, and the other people inside had basically been forgotten about by the outside world, some of them for decades.

Learn more about Neil White’s time at Carville in his memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts.

We’re going on tour! Tickets on sale now for live shows in Durham, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Click here for venue and ticket information.

Sign up for our newsletter here. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Direct download: Episode_27__No_Place_Like_Home.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

In July of 2002, Philadelphia Homicide Detective Pat Mangold was called to the scene of a gruesome murder on the Schuylkill River. When he wasn't able to determine the victim's identity, he expected the case to remain unsolved. But then, out of the blue, a professional soccer player inserted himself into the investigation, and became obsessed with solving the crime.

Tickets on sale now for Criminal LIVE in Durham, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. If you live in one of those cities, we'd love to see you. 

Criminal is proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Direct download: Epsiode_26__Angie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

More than eighty years ago, a North Carolina family of nine posed for a Christmas portrait. Two weeks later, all but one of them had been shot dead. (See the portrait here.) 

Thanks to Elephant Micah and Sarah Bryan for collaborating with us this month. Download Elephant Micah's version of "Lawson Family" on iTunes or Bandcamp, and see them perform it live (along with their version of "Pearl Bryan") when they go on tour this September

This fall, Criminal is putting on live shows in Durham, Seattle, LA, and San Francisco. Tickets on sale now. We've also got new shirts and mugs. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow.

Direct download: Episode_25__The_Portrait.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

 
In February of 1896, a little boy discovered a woman's headless body in a farmer's field in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. No one knew who she was, or what had happened. Newspapers carried headlines like "Hunt for the Head" and "Headless Horror." Quickly, the crime scene became a tourist attraction and visitors traveled from all over to collect bloody souvenirs. The gruesome details were adapted into a popular song that's been recorded dozens of times. We talk with folklorist Sarah Bryan about the true story behind the murder ballad, and the band Elephant Micah performs an original arrangement. 
 
Download Elephant Micah’s “Pearl Bryan” on iTunes or Bandcamp. Read their guide, “How to Bring a Murder Ballad Back to Life” here.
 
We're doing live shows in Durham, Seattle, LA, and San Francisco this fall. Tickets on sale now. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow


 
Direct download: Episode_24__Pearl_Bryan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has the largest collection of petrified wood in the world. The beautiful wood is more than 200 million years old, and visitors to the park often take a little piece home with them as a souvenir. But stealing the wood has serious consequences, both legal and, some say, supernatural

See photographs of the conscience letters and learn more about Ryan Thompson's book here

Check out our original episode illustrations at thisiscriminal.com. Say hi on Twitter @criminalshow. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.

 
 
Direct download: Episode_23__Triassic_Park.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare books have been disappearing across America since the late 90s, and haven't resurfaced in the marketplace. They've just vanished, never to be seen again. But unlike most thieves, this thief is motivated by something more abstract and romantic than money, which makes him extremely difficult to catch. 

Check out our original episode illustrations at thisiscriminal.com. Say hi on Twitter @criminalshow. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX

You might like this: phoebejudges.squarespace.com.

Direct download: Episode_22__Ex_Libris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Julius Robinson had killed for revenge before, and so when his sister was brutally murdered in her sleep last year, he says he planned to "get" the killer. He felt like his family expected him to get revenge, because that's what he'd always done, both in and out of prison. But when he learned that the killer was actually his 17-year-old nephew, he struggled against his family's expectations and his own.

Music by Elephant Micah. To learn more about Criminal, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. Say hi on Twitter @criminalshow. If you live in NY, join us for a live show on July 15th at The Bell House

Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

 

Direct download: Episode_21__Bloodlines.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Karen Miller met a man named Gil Harper on Facebook. They started flirting. The flirtation grew more serious. Eventually, they planned to meet in real life. Gil would travel from London to meet Karen for her birthday. With his arrival just a few days away, Karen's son scrambled to learn more about Gil's identity. But trying to determine whether someone is who they say they are turned out to be a whole lot more confusing and dangerous than Chris imagined. 

To learn more, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. We're on Twitter @criminalshow. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Direct download: Episode_20__Gil_from_London.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Sandie Alger is a 71-year-old woman with a very long rap sheet. She was in and out of prison throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and upped her game each time she got out. Prison, she says, is where you move "up the criminal ladder, just like the corporate ladder." 

To learn more about Criminal, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Direct download: Episode_19__Mothers_Little_Helper.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Police officer John Edwards was patrolling a quiet neighborhood in Bellaire, Texas when he saw an SUV driven by two young African-American men. It was just before 2am on December 31, 2008. Edwards followed the SUV and ran the license plate number. When his computer indicated that the SUV was stolen, Edwards drew his gun and told the two men to get down on the ground. It wasn't until later that he realized he'd typed the wrong license plate number into his computer. He was off by one digit. By the time he realized his mistake, one of the men had already been shot in the chest at close range. 

To learn more about Criminal, visit us at thisiscriminal.com. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. 

Direct download: Episode_18__695BGK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT