72 episodes

A twice monthly podcast on crime and punishment throughout history!

Criminal Records Podcast Demetria Spinrad and Isaac Meyer

    • History
    • 4.7 • 47 Ratings

A twice monthly podcast on crime and punishment throughout history!

    Operation Wedding

    Operation Wedding

    What do you do when your country won't let you leave? One group of defectors from the Soviet Union hatched a desperate plan: they'd pretend they were on their way to a wedding, then they'd hijack their plane and fly it out of the country.
    Content note: This episode discusses antisemitism in the Soviet Union and the Zionist movement.
    Sources and show notes at this link

    • 59 min
    The Holy Roller Murders

    The Holy Roller Murders

    A Salvation Army-inspired preacher decided to turn a small Oregon town into a new Eden. His method for achieving this: public nudity, floggings, bonfires, and sex rituals. When the worried families of his victims tried to stop him, they set off a chain of deaths.
    Content notes: Murder, sexual exploitation of women and girls, suicide.
    In case it's not clear from our discussion in the episode, we don't believe there's anything inherently wrong with the enthusiastic methods of worship that Protestant movements descended from the wider movement once called "Holy Rollers" practice today. However, in this case, Creffield was taking those methods to extremes as a thought-stopping technique in combination with isolating his followers and depriving them of food, sleep, and appropriate clothing. We do, however, want to put the Salvation Army on blast for its history and its current discriminatory practices.
    Show notes and sources at this link

    • 50 min
    No episode this week

    No episode this week

    Sorry folks, Isaac is in the middle of a covid scheduling shakeup and Demetria is sick. We should have a new episode for you next week!

    • 29 sec
    Jacques Le Gris

    Jacques Le Gris

    What if a legal trial was also a battle to the death? In this episode, we look at the strange phenomenon of the judicial duel, in which a plaintiff and defendant would try to kill each other to win a court case. In the “last duel” of medieval France, one man made his fight for justice into a literal fight, and used his weapons to prove that God was on his side.
    Content notes: This episode is about a trial for violent rape. It contains discussion of some of the incorrect assumptions that medieval doctors had about rape and conception. It also contains descriptions of the deaths of animals.
    Sources and show notes at this link

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Shi Jianqiao

    Shi Jianqiao

    We've talked about cultures that had a formalized, bureaucratic process for getting revenge. But what do you do when you're not legally allowed to retaliate against the man who killed your father? Shi Jianqiao devoted her life to revenge, captivating the Chinese populace with her filial piety and her poetry justifying her crime.
    Show notes and sources at this link

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Jonathan Wild, The Thief-Taker General

    Jonathan Wild, The Thief-Taker General

    London’s greatest thief-taker had a secret: he was also the leader of its best-organized gang of thieves. For years, Wild turned one of the most brutal criminal justice systems in the world to his advantage—but even the self-styled Thief-Taker General ended up on the gallows.
    Content note: This episode contains a graphic description of execution by hanging.
    Show notes and sources at this link

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

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.

Jules-the-journo ,

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!

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