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Episode 36: Perfect Specimen (2.5.2016)
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The 500-year-old Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas was once called “the most perfect specimen of a North American tree.” But in 1989, Austin’s city forester realized that the Treaty Oak didn’t look so good, and began to wonder whether someone had intentionally tried to kill it. Music in this episode: “Decompression,” Blue Dot Sessions. “Betrayal, Lies and Disaster,” The Losers. “Bliste” and “4th Chair,” Blue...

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Episode 35: Pen & Paper (1.22.2016)
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As a young woman in the 60s, Andy Austin talked her way into a job as a courtroom sketch artist in Chicago. She spent 43 years sketching everyone from disgraced governors to John Wayne Gacy, and says she only made someone look bad on purpose once.   See more of Andy Austin’s work in her book, Rule 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, Politicians, and Murderers in an American Courtroom.  Music in this episode, “Down Along the Volga,” Podington Bear....

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Episode 34: The Stay (1.8.2016)
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Michael Ross was the first person in Connecticut to be sentenced to death since 1960. He claimed that he wanted to die in order to atone for what he had done. One journalist spent twenty years trying to figure out whether his remorse was real. Learn more about Martha Elliot’s relationship with Michael Ross in her book, The Man in the Monster. Music in this episode: “Dark Matter,” Podington Bear. “RGN iii: Anatomy of Fractals,” Hexigen. “Moonlight Reprise,” Kai...

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Episode 33: Deep Dive (12.18.2015)
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Sgt. David Mascarenas is the Dive Supervisor for the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s been diving his whole life, and prides himself on never refusing a dive, no matter how treacherous. At least until the summer of 2013, when a murder investigation led him into unusually murky waters. If you’d like a 2016 Criminal Calendar or set of postcards featuring artwork and quotes from our favorite episodes, visit our shop. Thanks very much for supporting the show and...

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Episode 32: It Looked Like Fire (12.11.2015)
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Ed Crawford had never been to a protest until he heard about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Robert Cohen, a staff photographer with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, ended up taking a photograph of Ed that would be seen around the world, and change both of their lives.             Music in the episode: “Theme,” Blue Dot Sessions.  “Deserted City,” Kai Engel.  “Tyrano City,” Blue Dot Sessions....

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Episode 31: American Dream (11.27.2015)
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When we’re kids, we have ideas of what we want to be when we grow up — movie star, doctor, astronaut. But what if we dream of being like Butch Cassidy, Jesse James, or John Dillinger? And what happens when you’re not a kid anymore but you’re still obsessed with becoming an outlaw? Music in this episode: “60’s Quiz Show,” “Happytime,” “Undersea Garden,” Podington Bear. “Indirect,”  Blue Dot...

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Episode 30: The Agreement (11.13.2015)
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In 2005, Danny Egipciaco had the opportunity to participate in a robbery of a drug supplier’s stash house. He was told he’d take home between $100K-200K. In the end, the robbery never happened, so why has Danny spent the last ten years in Federal prison? Learn more about Danny’s Reverse Sting Movement. Music in this episode: “Talk Samba,” “Barbagil,” Boom Boom Beckett. “Sentence Ends” Cahill Locksmith. “Ray Gun,...

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Episode 29: Officer Talon (10.30.2015)
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Corporal Scott Foster of the Hillsborough, NC Police Department worked closely with his K-9 partner, Talon, for many years. They located weapons and narcotics, tracked suspects through dark woods, and went home together after work. But when Talon was injured on the job and had to retire early, Corporal Foster was paired with a new dog and life got a lot more complicated.   Watch Phoebe get attacked by a police dog:  Music in this episode: “This Whole World Loves...

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Episode 28: P.D.I.D. (10.9.2015)
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Patti Hammond Shaw is a transgender woman. She’s legally female on her birth certificate and driver’s license, and has been since 1993. But when she was arrested in 2009, male officers strip-searched her in front of male detainees, and held her overnight in a men’s cellblock. Patti hired a lawyer and fought back. Her case was instrumental in changing how the police process and detain transgender individuals in Washington, DC. This story was reported by...

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Episode 27: No Place Like Home (9.25.2015)
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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. Music in this episode: “Pop Brasilia...

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Episode 26: Angie (9.11.2015)
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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. Music in this episode: “E Você Espera Por Tanto Tempo Que Já Não Lembra Mais o...

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Episode 25: The Portrait (8.28.2015)
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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. The Lawson Family, December 1929   Thanks to Elephant Micah for collaborating with us this month. Download their version of “Lawson Family” on iTunes or Bandcamp, and see them perform it live (along with their arrangement of “Pearl Bryan“) when they go on tour this September. And thank you to Sarah...

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Episode 24: Pearl Bryan (8.7.2015)
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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...

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Episode 23: Triassic Park (7.17.2015)
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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. Music in this episode: “Bumble,”...

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Episode 22: Ex Libris (6.26.2015)
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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. Music in this episode: “Pineapple,” “Delta,” “Giving Tree,” Podington Bear....

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EPISODE 21: BLOODLINES (6.5.2015)
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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 his 17-year-old nephew was charged with the crime, Robinson struggled against his family’s expectations and his own. Thanks to Elephant Micah for allowing us to use...

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