10 episodes

A podcast that examines the intersections of folklore--our traditional stories and beliefs--with true crime.

Crimelore Kristina Downs

    • True Crime
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

A podcast that examines the intersections of folklore--our traditional stories and beliefs--with true crime.

    Sex Trafficking Legends Part 2

    Sex Trafficking Legends Part 2

    In the second part of our discussion of sex-trafficking legends we discuss some actual rumored and documented cases of sex trafficking, Susana Trimarco--a mother fighting back against sex traffickers, and how legends about sex trafficking interact with these actual case in contemporary culture.

    National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (USA) 1-888-373-7888

    Polaris Project has resources for Trafficking victims. 


    Anne. 2020. “Stop the Spread of Fake News: No One Is Sex Trafficking You at Target.” Iowa City Moms.  https://iowacity.momcollective.com/2020/02/08/stop-the-spread-of-fake-news-no-one-is-sex-trafficking-you-at-target/. 

    Barron, Alexis. 2019. “Letty Serrano Was Abducted And Trafficked For Sex At 13; Two Years Later She Committed Suicide.” Mitu. https://wearemitu.com/things-that-matter/human-slavery-is-alive-and-well-letty-serrano-committed-suicide-two-years-after-being-rescued-from-sex-traffickers/. 

    BBC News. 2013. “Argentina Convicts 10 in Marita Veron Sex Trafficking Case,.  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-25429736. 

    Buenos Aires Times. 2018. “32 Years after Her Kidnapping, Argentine Woman Rescued in Bolivia,” December 26. https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/32-years-after-her-kidnapping-argentine-woman-rescued-in-bolivia.phtml. 

    Chiaramonte, Perry. 2019. “Houston Teen Takes Own Life after Surviving Sex-Trafficking Ring,.” Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/us/houston-teen-takes-own-life-sex-trafficking-ring-ongoing-epidemic. 

    “Corinna Paige Slusser–Charley Project.” https://charleyproject.org/case/corinna-paige-slusser. 

    “FBI Informant Speaks with News10NBC; Says He Witnessed Brittanee Drexel’s Murder.” 2019. WHEC-TV. https://www.whec.com/news/fbi-informant-speaks-with-news10nbc-says-he-witnessed-brittanee-drexels-murder/5260439/. 

    Jackson, Angie. 2018. “Man Named in Brittanee Drexel Investigation to Be Released on House Arrest.” Post and Courier. https://www.postandcourier.com/news/man-named-in-brittanee-drexel-investigation-to-be-released-on/article_f97655aa-9fc4-11e8-b719-e3e542ec89c4.html. 

    Johnson, Scott C. 2012. “Argentina’s Susana Trimarco: One Mother’s Fight Against Human Trafficking.” Newsweek, https://www.newsweek.com/argentinas-susana-trimarco-one-mothers-fight-against-human-trafficking-65407. 

    Lahman, Sean. 2019. “Jailhouse Informant in Brittanee Drexel Disappearance Files Lawsuit.” Democrat and Chronicle,  https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2019/02/28/brittanee-drexel-jailhouse-informant-lawsuit/3015000002/. 

    Pasqualini, Kym L. 2020. “The Reality of Sex Trafficking in the US: Corinna Slosser Missing.” Medium. https://kympasqualini.medium.com/the-reality-of-sex-trafficking-in-the-us-corinna-slosser-missing-74e617cbd2dc. 

    Recklein, Courtney M. 2020. “The Strange and Unsolved Disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley.” Film Daily. https://filmdaily.co/news/amy-lynn-bradley/. 

    Roy, Anusha. 2017. “Read This before You Share That Viral Facebook Post about Ross.” KUSA.Com. https://www.9news.com/article/news/verify/read-this-before-you-share-that-viral-facebook-post-about-ross/73-455672734. 

    “R/UnresolvedMysteries: On the 4th of March 1998, 11-Year-Old Rui Pedro from Portugal Disappears near His Mother’s Workplace. 3 Years Later, His Photo Is Found on the Database of Wonderland Club, a Child Pornography Ring. This Is the Last Anyone Saw of Him.” n.d. Reddit.  https://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9iiawr/on_the_4th_of_march_1998_11yearold_rui_pedro_from/. 

    Staver, Anna. 2017. “Do Child Sex Traffickers Look for Victims at the Store?” KUSA.Com, https://www.9news.com/article/news/verify/verify-do-child-sex-traffickers-look-for-victims-at-the-store/73-455918970. 

    • 55 min
    Sex Trafficking Legends Part 1

    Sex Trafficking Legends Part 1

    In part 1 of an impromptu 2 parter, we discuss legends of women being abducted into sex trafficking. We look at older versions of the legends (who knew ice cream parlors were so dangerous?) as well as modern variants spreading on social media. 


    Anne. 2020. “Stop the Spread of Fake News: No One Is Sex Trafficking You at Target.” Iowa City Moms (blog). February 8, 2020. https://iowacity.momcollective.com/2020/02/08/stop-the-spread-of-fake-news-no-one-is-sex-trafficking-you-at-target/.
    Ellis, Bill. 2009. “Whispers in an Ice Cream Parlor: Culinary Tourism, Contemporary Legends, and the Urban Interzone.” Journal of American Folklore 122 (1): 53–74. https://doi.org/10.1353/jaf.0.0053.
    LaCapria, Kim. n.d. “Department Store Sex Trafficking Rumor.” Snopes.Com. Accessed March 10, 2021. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/department-store-sex-trafficking/.
    Roy, Anusha. 2017. “Read This before You Share That Viral Facebook Post about Ross.” KUSA.Com. July 11, 2017. https://www.9news.com/article/news/verify/read-this-before-you-share-that-viral-facebook-post-about-ross/73-455672734.
    Staver, Anna. 2017. “VERIFY: Do Child Sex Traffickers Look for Victims at the Store?” KUSA.Com, July 11, 2017. https://www.9news.com/article/news/verify/verify-do-child-sex-traffickers-look-for-victims-at-the-store/73-455918970.

    • 48 min
    The Boyfriend's Death

    The Boyfriend's Death

    Returning from an unplanned hiatus, Jesse and Kristina discuss the classic urban legend known as "The Boyfriend's Death." What are the implications of stories about couple's being attacked at lovers' lanes? Why is it the man who pays the ultimate price in this story? What things happen when you go outside of populated areas? As always, we compare the legend to true crime stories, discussing some cases in which couples were actually attacked at lover's lanes.


    Brunvand, Jan Harold. 2002. Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. Illustrated Edition. New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company.
    Dziemianowicz, Joe. 2021. “On The Colonial Parkway, The Mark Of Unsolved Murders Remains Thanks To Urban Legends.” Oxygen Official Site. February 5, 2021. https://www.oxygen.com/lovers-lane-murders/crime-news/colonial-parkway-murders-why-lovers-lanes-inspire-urban-legends.
    “Frank Mitchell (Prisoner).” 2020. In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Frank_Mitchell_(prisoner)&oldid=993131399.
    Glazer, Mark. 1987. “The Cultural Adaptation of a Rumour Legend: The Boyfriend’s Death in South Texas.” In Perspectives on Contemporary Legend II, edited by Gillian Bennett, Paul Smith, and J. D. A. Widdowson, 93–108. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.
    “Kray Twins.” 2021. In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kray_twins&oldid=1004039759.
    Wilson, Michael. 1998. “Legend and Life: ‘The Boyfriend’s Death’ and ‘The Mad Axeman.’” Folklore 109: 89–95.

    This episode is dedicated in memory of Kristina's beloved cat Wash Seamus Downs, who passed away suddenly in February. 

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Is Crime a Laughing Matter?

    Is Crime a Laughing Matter?

    We take a break from legends and talk about another common form of folklore--jokes! We go over a collection of jokes about serial killers and murder in general. Then we talk about some joke theory and discuss why we joke about things that are so horrible.


    Kornheiser, Tony. “Explosive Humor.” Washington Post. April 1, 1996. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1996/04/14/explosive-humor/8e8a9557-c2f8-425f-9156-612212dbda9b/

    And the following web links: 
















    • 54 min
    Organ Theft Legends

    Organ Theft Legends

    Starting with the legend known as "The Kidney Heist," we embark on a conversation about the realities of organ trafficking. In this legend, a man meets a woman at a bar and accompanies her to her hotel room, only to wake up missing his kidneys. What's the truth behind this legend? Along the way we cover everything from cattle mutilations, the definition of life, and the fact that you really CAN buy everything on Craig's List.


    Brickwood, Becky. 2020. “Forced Organ Harvesting: ‘This Is Beyond Understanding.’” Health Europa (blog). January 27, 2020. https://www.healtheuropa.eu/forced-organ-harvesting-this-is-beyond-understanding/96933/.
    Campion-Vincent, Véronique. 2002. “Organ Theft Narratives as Medical and Social Critique.” Journal of Folklore Research 39 (1): 33–50.
    Coffman, Keith. 2020. “Colorado Funeral Home Operators Indicted for Illegally Selling Body Parts.” Reuters, March 18, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-bodies-idUSKBN21509C.
    Kish, Phillip. 2018. “Mother of Model Whose Body Was Found without Organs Still Seeks Answers.” Wusa9.Com. December 28, 2018. https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/nation-world/mother-of-model-whose-body-was-found-without-organs-still-seeks-answers/507-625177206.
    Smith, Saphora. 2019. “China Forcefully Harvests Organs from Detainees, Tribunal Concludes.” NBC News. June 18, 2019. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-forcefully-harvests-organs-detainees-tribunal-concludes-n1018646.
    Staff, DecodingScience. 2019. “Organ Harvesting, Human Trafficking, and the Black Market.” Decoded Science (blog). November 12, 2019. https://decodedscience.org/organ-harvesting-human-trafficking-and-the-black-market/.
    Thompson, Don. 2015. “NorCal Inmate Was Cut Nearly in Two, Organs Missing.” KCRA. July 11, 2015. https://www.kcra.com/article/norcal-inmate-was-cut-nearly-in-two-organs-missing/6423766.


    • 59 min
    The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

    The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

    A young babysitter is tormented by creepy phone calls until the operator gives her some unthinkable information, "The call is coming from inside the house!" The legend has been in circulation for half a century and inspired multiple movies, but what's the truth behind the legend? Are babysitters really in danger? And what do these legends tell us about the anxieties of contemporary life?


    Berry, Craig. 2018. “The Unsolved Murder of Janett Christman.” True Crime Articles (blog). March 30, 2018. https://truecrimearticles.com/2018/03/30/the-unsolved-murder-of-janett-christman/.
    Brunvand, Jan Harold. 1981. The Vanishing Hitchhiker:  American Urban Legends and Their Meanings. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
    ———. 2002. Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. Illustrated Edition. New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company.
    Greaney, T. J. 2010. “Who Killed Janett Christman?” Columbia Daily Tribune. March 7, 2010. https://www.columbiatribune.com/article/20100307/NEWS/303079884.
    Sweeney, Gary. 2017. “This 15-Year-Old Babysitter Disappeared Over 60 Years Ago — And Was Never Found.” Woman’s Day. February 24, 2017. https://www.womansday.com/life/real-women/a58048/what-happened-to-evelyn-hartley/.
    “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs.” 2020. In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_babysitter_and_the_man_upstairs&oldid=991197865.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

crnbrryjuice ,

Fun, Crimey, and Educational

So interesting!! I love true crime and lore and history. This podcast combines all three and is well researched. I like that the hosts are folklore scholars and that they can speak on the topics with authority.

SunniVali ,

Ah, memories!

I love hearing all these old urban legends we grew up with as kids! I remember them all, and it’s fascinating to hear them broken down, researched and analyzed by folklore experts! I’m loving it! Keep ‘em coming!

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