A twice monthly podcast on crime and punishment throughout history!
Our first episode about South America gives us a very different perspective on the American fight against Communism. Was promoting America's interests in the Cold War really worth propping up a brutal dictatorship? And why did the international attempt to bring Pinochet to justice involve British Law Lords, a fake case of dementia, and a law that gave Spain carte blanche to prosecute all crimes against humanity... except for the ones that happened in Spain?
Content note: This episode includes a discussion of what Pinochet's regime did to dissenters and suspected leftists. This included torture, sexual assault, and mass murder. The facts of these cases may be disturbing. Please be aware that there are detailed victims' testimonies about these events in the source links.
Show notes and sources at this link
The Hollywood Ten
Get your flags and your bibles, we’re hunting Communists. The Red Menace could be lurking anywhere: in your unions, in your movies, maybe even in the very halls of Congress.
Show notes, sources, and patriotic films and sources at this link
Take a tour around the swamp with America's favorite rascal. Florida Man's always making headlines for punching alligators, stealing meat, and fighting cops in the buff. But does Florida really deserve its reputation as the weirdest state in the union? And is our nation's most beloved rapscallion the villain of our story, or is he the victim of a legal system that accidentally created a media monster?
Show notes, sources, and speeches from some of Florida's best humorists at this link
Willem Arondeus (re-record)
Meet the man who used his artistic talents to resist Nazi occupation, then planned an elaborate scheme to destroy a public records building by posing as a German official. In the occupied Netherlands, a group of artists fought the law with typography and tailoring. Why did Willem Arondeus go from a little-known WII resistance fighter to a hit with Tumblr teens, and what can his story teach us about resisting fascism today?
Show notes and sources at this link
Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four
Was Mao Zedong's fourth wife one of history's deadliest criminals, or was she a scapegoat for a country that needed to preserve the image of its founding father? The answer is complicated, tragic, and involves a surprising amount of high-stakes theater criticism.
Show notes, sources, and sacred mangoes at this link
Puyi, the Xuantong Emperor
China’s last emperor ended up becoming one of history’s strangest political pawns, and ended his life as an avowed communist. How did a man born into unbelievable wealth end up penning a memoir about the evils of the landlord class? And was his disavowal of his privileged upbringing genuine, or was he the victim of a justice system that perfected the art of brainwashing prisoners?
Show notes and sources here
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
Just listened to #37
For a true crime podcast, you two really do bring light to the genre. You find humor where it can be found and give the serious context and explanations when needed. It’s been great to listen so far, and I can’t wait to see what else you have in store!
This podcast provides fascinating slice-of-life profiles of some of history’s most controversial figures. The Benedict Arnold episode was my personal favorite. Isaac and Demetria do a wonderful job of giving the listener the full picture of a person, rather than relying on conventional wisdom and well-worn narratives. Well worth a listen.