92 episodes

A twice monthly podcast on crime and punishment throughout history!

Criminal Records Podcast Demetria Spinrad and Isaac Meyer

    • History
    • 4.5 • 53 Ratings

A twice monthly podcast on crime and punishment throughout history!

    Edwin Rist, the Feather Thief

    Edwin Rist, the Feather Thief

    The target: The British Museum of Natural History. The payload: A suitcase full of dead birds. The criminal: A flute player obsessed with the rare art of Victorian fly tying.
    Content note: This episode contains discussion of the "Asperger's defense," a controversial mental health defense in the British court system. We're discussing the legal and medical terminology that was used at the time; understanding of the autism spectrum has evolved since then.
    Sources, show notes, and a whole lot of pictures of wild feather art here
    Purchase The Feather Thief here

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The Chishima Incident

    The Chishima Incident

    We’re tackling one of our most confusing legal systems yet in a case so complicated no one could even figure out which jurisdiction covered it. Because there was no law covering criminal negligence, the accidental sinking of the warship Chishima was tried in a civil court–but Japan’s bizarre treaty system forced the emperor of Japan to personally take his suit to a British court on Chinese soil. Mix in a little debate over maritime law, a dash of confusion over precedent, and a lot of nations with an interest fighting for their share of Japanese trade for a truly nonsensical court battle.
    Sources and show notes at this link
    Support the show on Patreon

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Russian Gay Propaganda Law

    The Russian Gay Propaganda Law

    We’re closing out Pride month with a look at a country where Pride demonstrations are banned. How did Russia go from relative tolerance to extreme repression? Why did so much Soviet propaganda feature men kissing? And how did a law about kids’ media turn into a human rights violation?
    Note: While this episode is not particularly sexually graphic, I’ve marked it as explicit just in case because it contains discussion of the legality of performing and depicting sex acts.
    Special thanks to KTP, just peace, Nevi, and kapyushonchan for helping me with finding reliable sources and translating news articles and legal terms. (My pronunciation flubs are 100% on me. I think I might also have referred to the book "Summer in a Pioneer Tie" as "Love in a Pioneer Tie" by accident.)
    Sources and show notes
    Support the show on Patreon

    • 1 hr 3 min
    The 11th Panchen Lama

    The 11th Panchen Lama

    Can you break the law by reincarnating in the wrong body? We get into Tibet’s complicated battle with China over its reincarnation lineages, including a government-mandated ceremonial golden urn, a legal precedent that requires time travel to make sense, and an inheritance dispute involving a parent who’s younger than his own child.
    Sources and show notes here
    Support the show on Patreon

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence v. Texas

    Get ready for more discussion of of glory holes than you’ve ever heard in a civics lesson before. This landmark case invalidated sodomy laws across the United States. But did the plaintiffs involved actually commit any sodomy with each other? And is the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning at risk today?
    Sources and show notes
    Support the show on Patreon

    • 1 hr 5 min
    The Luddites

    The Luddites

    This secret society of criminals had a fake leader, but their grievances were very real. Were the Luddites just a bunch of anti-technology cranks, or was there more to their machine breaking movement?
    Sources and show notes
    Support us on Patreon

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
53 Ratings

53 Ratings

atomicalex0 ,

OMG you went there!

1. I love listening to Isaac and Demetria dig up odds and ends, on the path to who knows where. They pick and tease out the details that make these crimes truly human without sensationalizing them or losing sight of what makes them relevant to us today.
2. The Robinhood episode includes Rocket Robin Hood. Which makes this the absolute best podcast in the history of podcasting.

uthodern ,

My favorite true crime podcast, hands down!

I love the way Isaac and Demetria use historical criminal cases as a way to gain insight into the societies in which they took place. Thanks to them, I’ve learned a ton about different legal systems, not to mention the social construction of crime itself! Add in some genuinely good-natured humor and we have a recipe for a great listening experience.

Bigfoot Pepper Farm ,

You guys belong in the FraudCast genre

When someone repeatedly admits their lack of reading the material they discuss it’s obvious they lack the right to comment on the topic. You waste our time with your opinions. Get a job cause your killing mine.

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