Navigation Menu+
Episode 41: Open Case (4.15.2016)
Read more

Since 1965, there’s been an unsolved murder in Houston, Texas. The main suspect managed to disappear and police were never able to find him. The case is still considered open. In 1997, a couple of accountants decided to look into the murders, and were able to uncover evidence that the police missed. They think they’ve solved the mystery. – Learn more about Hugh and Martha’s book: The Ice Box Murders. – We’re heading to Los Angeles on May...

Read more
EPISODE 40: PAPPY (4.1.2016)
Read more

When it comes to the bourbon Pappy Van Winkle, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have — you can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky or willing to break the law. The Pappy frenzy has law enforcement, bartenders, and even the Van Winkle family themselves wringing their hands.   Interested in buying a bottle? http://howtobuypappy.com/ This story was produced with help from Gravy, a podcast from the Southern Foodways...

Read more
Episode 39: Either/Or (3.18.2016)
Read more

In 1983, three men were prepared to plead guilty to a violent sexual assault in Anderson, South Carolina. Defense attorneys did not want their clients to go before a jury, and arranged a plea deal. This left the sentencing in the hands of the judge, who gave the assailants a very controversial choice.   Music in this episode: “Zither Sprague” by Blue Dot Sessions. “You Know Who You Are” by Alan Singley. “Nervous Whisp” by Podington...

Read more
Episode 38: Jolly Jane (3.4.2016)
Read more

Jane Toppan was born in Massachusetts in 1857. She attended the Cambridge Nursing School, and established a successful private nursing career in Boston. Said to be cheerful, funny and excellent with her patients, nothing about “Jolly Jane” suggested she could be “the most notorious woman poisoner of modern times.”             Music in this episode: “Snowcrop” by Blue Dot Sessions.“December” by Kai Engel. “L’enclume” by...

Read more
Episode 37: Hastings (2.19.2016)
Read more

In 2010, an eighth-grader brought a loaded gun to a middle school in Hastings, Minnesota. We speak with two students and the principal about the minutes and hours in lockdown. Read Jake Bullington’s essay, “Yeah, I’m Afraid of Guns.” Music in this episode: “Middle,” “Pool,” and “Shower Scene” by MADS.  “Three Colors” by Podington Bear. “Forgetfulness” by Ketsa.    ...

Read more
Episode 36: Perfect Specimen (2.5.2016)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 35: Pen & Paper (1.22.2016)
Read more

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....

Read more
Episode 34: The Stay (1.8.2016)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 33: Deep Dive (12.18.2015)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 32: It Looked Like Fire (12.11.2015)
Read more

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....

Read more
Episode 31: American Dream (11.27.2015)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 30: The Agreement (11.13.2015)
Read more

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,...

Read more
Episode 29: Officer Talon (10.30.2015)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 28: P.D.I.D. (10.9.2015)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 27: No Place Like Home (9.25.2015)
Read more

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...

Read more
Episode 26: Angie (9.11.2015)
Read more

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...

Read more