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Episode 45: Just Mercy (6.17.2016)
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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:...

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Episode 44: One Eyed Joe (6.3.2016)
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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 as we know it today. Reporter Elana Gordon from WHYY’s The Pulse has today’s story. Criminal is hiring! Come work with us.     John Frankford’s obituary appeared on the front page of the Lancaster Intelligencer newspaper on January 21, 1896 (courtesy of the Lancaster County’s historical society)   Music in this episode: “Waltz Dream” by Dave Depper. “Bizzare Waltz,” and “Cascet” by David Szesztay. “Capilla” by Blue Dot Sessions. “Plashes,” and “Romance” by David Szesztay. “Sepia” by Podington Bear. “Crystal Island” by Kevin Bryce. “April” by Kai Engel.    ...

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Episode 43: 39 Shots (5.20.2016)
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In 1979, a group of labor organizers protested outside a Ku Klux Klan screening of the 1915 white supremacist film, The Birth of a Nation. Nelson Johnson and Signe Waller-Foxworth remember shouting at armed Klansmen and burning a confederate flag, until eventually police forced the KKK inside and the standoff ended without violence. The labor organizers felt they’d won a small victory, and planned a much bigger anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina. They advertised with the slogan: “Death to the Klan” and set the date for November 3rd, 1979. As protestors assembled, a caravan of nine cars appeared, and a man in a pick-up truck yelled: “You asked for the Klan! Now you’ve got them!” Thirty-nine shots were fired in eighty-eight seconds, and five protestors were killed. The city of Greensboro is still grappling with the complicated legacy of that day. The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s full report is available online. Today, Reverend Nelson Johnson is a pastor with Faith Community Church and serves as the Executive Director for the  Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, which advocates for social and economic justice. Signe Waller-Foxworth is the author of  Love and Revolution: A Political Memoir. Eric Ginsburg is the associate editor at the Triad City Beat.  For this story, we also interviewed Elizabeth Wheaton, author of  Codename Greenkill.   Music in this episode: “Cirrus” Blue Dot Sessions. “At The End Everyone Dies” by Kai Engel. “Ash and Mirage” by Blue Dot Sessions. “Emergency B-Side” and “Hands and Cheeks” by MADS. “Ballast” Blue Dot Sessions. “Union Hall Melody” by Blue Dot Sessions. “Floret” by Kai Engel. “Fig Tree” Blue Dot Sessions.  ...

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Episode 42: The Finger (5.6.2016)
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People have been giving each other “the finger” since Ancient Greece. The first documented use is said to be a photograph from 1886 in which the pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters extends his middle finger to the camera (ostensibly to the rival New York Giants). Even though it’s been around for so long, many find the gesture offensive enough to try to bring criminal charges. Courts have ruled that “flipping the bird” is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. It’s not a crime to be obnoxious. But there’s a man in Oregon who tests the limits of free speech by giving the finger to every police officer that he sees.   To learn more about the legalities of the middle finger, you might enjoy: “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law” from the UC Davis Law Review.     Music in this episode: “Slow Strutt,” “Great is the Contessa,” and “Mknt” by Blue Dot Sessions.  “Midnight Stone” by VYVCH. “Radio Heart” by Marcos H. Bolanos. “Big Because” by Minden.     ...

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Episode 41: Open Case (4.15.2016)
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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 4th for a special Radiotopia live event. Ten Radiotopia shows are coming together for a live show at the Ace Hotel. Music in this episode: “Flag of No Country” by Julia Kent.  “Stale Case” and “Denzel Sprak” by Blue Dot Sessions. “Linger” by David Szesztay. “Jack” by Podington Bear. “Deserted City” by Kai Engel. “Siesta”...

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EPISODE 40: PAPPY (4.1.2016)
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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 Alliance. Music in this episode: “Acoustic Blues” by Jason Shaw. “One More Round” by David Szesztay. “Small Bummer” by Podington Bear. “Crime Story” by David Szesztay. “Tennessee Hayride” by Jason Shaw. “Starday” by Podington Bear. “Waiting” by David Szesztay.      On May 4th, all of the Radiotopia shows are coming together in Los Angeles for a very special live performance. Tickets and information here. A limited number of $200 tickets are on sale now. VIP tickets include a premium level seat and an invitation to our after-show cocktail party in the mezzanine of The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Don’t miss this chance to mix and mingle with your favorite Radiotopia hosts!...

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Episode 39: Either/Or (3.18.2016)
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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 Bear. “Emergency B-Side” by MADS. “Coffee & Cigarettes” by DR. Have a great idea for a podcast? Want to be a member of Radiotopia? Open call for new shows through April 17, 2016. Learn more...

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Episode 38: Jolly Jane (3.4.2016)
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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 Circus Marcus. “Gone” by Dana Boule. “Clouds Pass Softly Deaux” and “Tortoise Shell” by Podington Bear....

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Episode 37: Hastings (2.19.2016)
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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.    ...

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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 Dot Sessions.  “Flag of No Country,” Julia Kent. “Pretty Melody,” Podington Bear. “Sometimes it Shines,” Pictures of the Floating World.       itunes download subscribe...

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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. “Taking Dark Matter Lightly,” Alan Singley. “Smolder,” Podington Bear. “People Like You,” Weinland. “Climbing the Mountain,” Podington Bear.       itunes download subscribe...

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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 Engel. “Diamond Variety,” Cahill Locksmith “Woodcut,” Sealadder. “Running Waters,” Jason Shaw.    itunes download subscribe...

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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 have a happy New Year. We’ll be back January 8th. Music in this episode: “Tortuga,” Trigg Gusset. “Thaw Outro,” Kai Engel. “History Explains Itself,” The Losers. “Led by the Dress Colored in Red,” Augustus Bro & Gallery Six. “Plantopia,” plusplus. “Beat the Burglar,” Scott Holmes.     itunes download subscribe...

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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. “We Hear Things So Differently,” Will Bangs. “Trilobite,” Podington Bear. “Distill” and “Ray Gun,” Podington Bear.    itunes download subscribe...

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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 Sessions. “Let’s Make a Pact,” The Losers. “Diamonds,” Rhys Ziemba. “The Plastic Cow Goes Moooooog,” Future Sauce. Learn more about Clay’s story in The Blue Chip Store. Many, many thanks to everyone who donated to the Radiotopia Fall Fundraising Campaign. Your support means so much.   itunes download...

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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, Faster Faster Brighter,” Blue Dot Sessions. “Black is the Color,” Podington Bear.   itunes download...

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