In 1977, a man named Robert Burns went to a funeral and shot someone, in the head, in front of 300 people. He didn’t deny it, and his lawyer didn’t deny it. Burns told a police officer: “I had to do it. And if I had to do it over, I’d do it again.”
In 1930, a Cuban woman named Elena de Hoyos went to the hospital in Key West, Florida. She had a bad cough, and her family was afraid she had Tuberculosis. She met a German x-ray technician who called himself ”Count Von Cosel” and who claimed he could save her, using unusual methods he'd invented himself. But on October 25, 1931, Elena de Hoyos died. Count Von Cosel wrote that a strange new kind of life began for him.
Three years ago, we spoke with Axton Betz-Hamilton about discovering that her identity had been stolen as a child. When she found out who had stolen it, everything changed. We spoke with Axton again a couple of weeks ago. She said that since our last conversation she’s been conducting an investigation, going back to the very beginning of her own life, and reconsidering every memory.
After a crime occurs, or when someone dies, the police aren’t responsible for cleaning up. That’s not their job. The coroner takes the body, the police conduct their investigation, and then everyone leaves. But the blood, and the rubber gloves, and the uneaten food in the refrigerator are all left behind. Sandra Pankhurst didn’t like imagining that. So she decided to clean it up.
When 18-year-old Ruth Cruger disappeared in 1917, newspapers reported that she probably ran off with a boyfriend. New York police said that there were no clues to go on. But an investigator named Grace Humiston decided that she would do whatever it took to find her. She became known as "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes."
John Buettner-Janusch was one of the first Americans to study lemurs. He held prestigious faculty positions at Yale, Duke and NYU, before surprising everyone with a series of increasingly bizarre crimes.
“I never did anything wrong. I never had a speeding ticket. I think I just saved all my stuff up for just one thing.” This week, we speak with Toby Dorr - better known as the Dog Lady of Lansing Prison.
In the late 1800s, North Carolina was trying to build a railway system through the Western part of the state. In December of 1882, something went wrong. The Raleigh News and Observer called it “too horrible to chronicle without a shudder.”
Dan Stevenson has lived in Oakland’s Eastlake neighborhood for 40 years. He says crime has been an issue for as long as he can remember, but he isn’t one to call the police. He’s a pretty “live and let live” kind of guy. Or he was. Before he finally got fed up and took matters into his own hands.
We update a favorite episode with news and additional interviews.
One day in 1969, Paulette Cooper decided to see what she could get away with.
Amanda Hamm and her boyfriend Maurice LaGrone drove to Clinton Lake one night in 2003. The next day, DeWitt County Sheriff Roger Massey told a local newspaper, “We don’t want to blow this up into something that it’s not. But on the other side, we’ve got three children who are...
In our last episode we spoke Cecilia Gentili, a trans Latina who worked for many years as an undocumented sex worker. Today, we get two more views of sex work in America. We speak with a high-end escort in New York City, and take a trip to one of the only legal...
When Cecilia Gentili was growing up in Argentina, she felt so different from everyone around her that she thought she might be from another planet. “Some of us find our community with our own family and some of us don't.” Sponsors: Article Visit article.com/criminal to get $50 off your first purchase...
When Philip Benight met Becky Golden, they made a promise to stick together, no matter how bad things got.
One summer in 1973, two men robbed a bank in Stockholm. They held four people hostage for six days. Swedish psychiatrist and criminologist Nils Bejerot coined the term "Stockholm Syndrome" to describe the response of the hostages. One of the bank robbers, Clark Olofsson, told us, "It was fun."
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When Sarah Garone was 13 years old, she received something very strange in the mail. She didn't know who it was from, or why they would have sent it. And then it happened again.