196 episodes

Humans have always committed crimes. What can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past, and have humans gotten better or worse over time?

Criminalia Shondaland Audio

    • True Crime
    • 4.4 • 1.2K Ratings

Humans have always committed crimes. What can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past, and have humans gotten better or worse over time?

    The Story of Walter Minx, the Sears Extortionist and His Homemade Submarine

    The Story of Walter Minx, the Sears Extortionist and His Homemade Submarine

    Milwaukee Magazine once described Walter Minx as slender and fidgety, with, "the kind of sharp-featured handsomeness that the movies had taught people not to trust." He was German-born, and immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his parents, his brother, and his sister in 1925. He aspired to be a successful American businessman; he wanted to make a fortune -- and a name for himself. He did make a name for himself, but not quite the kind as he’d hoped for. 
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    • 28 min
    Blackmail Fail: What Happened When George Ratterman Reformed 'Sin City of the South'

    Blackmail Fail: What Happened When George Ratterman Reformed 'Sin City of the South'

    When All-American footballer George Ratterman announced his candidacy for sheriff of Campbell County, Kentucky, in April of 1961, he said, “I am told that if I run for sheriff, I will be the victim of all sorts of personal slanderous attacks, but I say to our opponents, let the attacks start now, if they must.” And, well, the attacks did start – culminating in a high-profile set-up of Ratterman in a compromising position with a woman named April Flowers.
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    • 26 min
    Inheritance Lost: The Murder of Captain Joseph White

    Inheritance Lost: The Murder of Captain Joseph White

    Joseph Jenkins Knapp, Jr. was expecting to receive a sizable inheritance upon the death of his 82-year-old great uncle, wealthy retired shipmaster and trader Captain Joseph White. But with debts piling up, Knapp decided he couldn’t wait for natural causes; in April of 1830, he and his brother, John Francis Knapp, hired a hitman to murder him, faked some blackmail letters, and, in the end, didn't get any inheritance at all.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35 min
    ‘Acid Burns’: That Time Mae West Was Blackmailed, Know What I Mean? See?

    ‘Acid Burns’: That Time Mae West Was Blackmailed, Know What I Mean? See?

    It started just after Labor Day, with an envelope postmarked September 13, 1935, sent special delivery, addressed to Miss Mae West of 570 N. Rossmore, Ravenswood Apartments, Hollywood, California. There was nothing unusual about the envelope, but its contents were a different matter. It was the first of what would become a series of extortion letters threatening disfigurement by acid if she didn't pay $1,000. This wasn’t about keeping secrets or giving favors; it was about taking money from Mae West. 
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    • 21 min
    Why Charles Augustus Howell Was Called the Worst Man in Victorian London

    Why Charles Augustus Howell Was Called the Worst Man in Victorian London

    Described by some as a, “charming rogue,” Charles Augustus Howell was a dodgy figure in Victorian art circles, in particular London’s Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood movement. There was extortion. There was forgery. And just a whole lot of unsavory bits. Howell was an art dealer by trade who was also known to manipulate those around him so he could acquire works that would establish and increase his reputation – and his financial security. When that didn’t work, in the words of biographer Humphrey Hare, "Howell did not hesitate to blackmail." So let’s get to know this charming-yet-unsavory character.
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    • 24 min
    A Murder, a Letter, and the Questions Surrounding King Edward II’s Death

    A Murder, a Letter, and the Questions Surrounding King Edward II’s Death

    This is a story of controversy; actually, more than one controversy. It’s a story of medieval kings and queens, of revenge, and of a letter that challenges the circumstances historians thought they knew surrounding King Edward II’s death – including possible blackmail. Or maybe not blackmail. Stick with us while we try to sort it out.
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    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

Tmbdraws ,

Cocktail recipe book & less ads!

Loved the first season. Liking the witches & alchemy season. PLEASE offer a cocktail recipe book! I’d buy several & give to my friends. 🍸
Only complaint is TOO MANY ads! It’s a shorter podcast anyway. The amount of advertising detracts from the listening experience. Ugh.

Rachael Bachael ,

Too Many Ads p

I love this podcast, but the amount of ad breaks is wild. I understand the need for ads and sponsors, but it’s getting to the point where it makes the podcast unlistenable.

I know the hosts aren’t in control of this! So I don’t blame them on the slightest. But I hate that it’s getting to the point where I won’t listen anymore because the ads are so long and so jarring (like a different tone/vibe than the podcast itself).

Nicknames all taken!!!!! ,

Interesting

But yes, way too many ad breaks

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