Aamer and Erin bring you weekly true crime with a political twist. Assassinations, terrorism, war crimes, and revolutions—nothing is off-limits! New episodes drop Tuesdays with bonus content available on our Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/dascriminal
Juvenile Penal Labor: The Killing of Gina Score
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On July 21st, 1999, the girls at the Plankinton juvenile detention boot camp in South Dakota were forced to do a 2.7 mile — or 4.3 kilometer — run. Fourteen-year-old Gina Score was having trouble. Gina had not even finished a week at the boot camp, and she almost immediately fell behind the other girls.
Gina was showing signs of heat stroke — the most severe form of heat illness. Gina had several serious indicators: she was barely moving, and gasping for breath. Gina was cooking like an egg in the hot sun. Her organs were shutting down.
She lay like that for more than three hours before staff called an ambulance, but it was too late; at only fourteen years old, Gina Score was declared dead en route to the hospital.
Gina was a victim not only of the cruel staff at Plankinton who literally worked her to death, but of a juvenile criminal “justice” system that doles out ruthless punishments to children under the guise of “alternatives to prison.” The very place that claimed it would help Gina by reforming her into a model citizen murdered her. And while Plankinton itself has been investigated and shut down, most of the ingredients of the deadly recipe that killed Gina Score continue to abuse and traumatize children around the country.
65 - Meng Wanzhou & The Two Michaels
On August 10th, 2021, the Dandong City court found Michael Spavor guilty of espionage and sentenced him to 11 years in prison and the payment of a fine and deportation following the sentence. Spavor was arrested alongside another Canadian, Michael Kovrig, on charges of espionage in December of 2018. The “Two Michaels,” as the cases are commonly known, have caused a stir in Canadian politics and strained Canada’s relationship with China.
Many believe that the arrest of the two Michaels was a direct response by China to Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou. Meng, a Chinese citizen, and executive of the massive multinational technology company Huawei, was arrested by Canadian authorities on December 1, 2018. She was stopped by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police while transiting in Vancouver International Airport.
The RCMP announced that they had detained Meng on behalf of an extradition request by the United States. The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York had issued a warrant for Meng’s arrest on August 22, 2018, and Canada has an extradition agreement with the United States. The US charged Meng with bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. At heart is the claim that Meng had knowingly cleared money for Huawei when it was meant for Skycomm, a Huawei subsidiary that has been dealing with Iran contrary to US sanctions.
What crimes have been committed here? Is this justice being conducted or a complicated game of international relations?
64 - Conflict Is Not Abuse: Jodi Arias & Travis Alexander
On June 4th, 2008, Jodi Arias murdered Travis Alexander — her ex, her on-again/off-again boyfriend, her friend-with-benefits, her stalking victim, or her f**k buddy, depending on how you view their relationship. Media pundits like Nancy Grace saw this as a case of a beautiful, narcissistic psychopath slaughtering her ex-boyfriend in cold blood. Arias’s defense team painted her as a woman abused.
But we want to take another approach — one that recognizes the toxic nature of Jodi and Travis’s relationship while affirming that nothing in Travis’s behavior justifies his brutal death. In the words of author and activist Sarah Schulman: conflict is not abuse. Hurt feelings — even when caused by someone else’s deceit or selfishness — don’t give someone a free pass for violence.
Shrooms & Section 33.1: The Thomas Chan Case
In the early hours of December 28, 2015, Lynn Witteveen was woken up in her Haggis Drive, Peterborough home by a commotion in the kitchen. She made her way to the source of the noise just in time to see her partner, Dr. Andrew Chan, plead with his son Thomas as Thomas stabbed him to death.
Thomas then turned his attention to Lynn. He stabs her multiple times, but she manages to flee to the bedroom and call 911. The operator hears Lynn plead with her partner’s son, “I love you, I love you.” Inaudible screaming follows, and then “Ah. I’m dead.” Lynn tells the dispatcher she has a knife in her head. In the background, Thomas is heard yelling.
Lynn Witteveen survived this horrific attack. Unfortunately, her partner and Thomas’s father, Andrew, did not. So, what happened?
The 2018 YouTube Shooting
On April 3rd, 2018, around 12:45 pm Pacific Time, someone with a grudge against YouTube went to the platform’s physical headquarters at 901 Cherry Avenue in San Bruno, California, armed with a semi-automatic pistol. That person shot and wounded three people before turning the weapon around and killing themselves with a shot to the heart. When details emerged about the YouTube attacker, social media lit up. This person didn’t conform to so many of the stereotypes we hold about mass shooters. Nasim Najafi Aghdam was vegan, a member of the Baháʼí Faith, and — exceedingly rare for lone mass shooters — a woman.
Why did Nasim decide to commit such an act of violence at the YouTube headquarters before ending her own life? Join us for a look into the 2018 YouTube headquarters shooting and the life of the woman behind the attack.
The Attempted Assassination of George Wallace
At his inaugural address in 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace infamously declared, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” An avowed racist, he opposed the Civil Rights Movement and its mission to end legalized racial discrimination in the United States. To label him a “controversial” figure would be an injustice to the people he hated and devoted his political career to oppressing.
On Monday, May 15th, 1972, at approximately four in the afternoon, Arthur Herman Bremer fired at George Wallace at point-blank range. Though seriously injured, Wallace survived the attack.
But why did Bremer fire on the governor? Was this a political statement? Or, was it something else entirely?
Really good Arab Spring series
I found the podcast after Aamer's RWN episodes and both the hosts do a fantastic job on the Arab Spring. The Bethnal Green episode was one of their strongest.
well researched and good cases
It took me a while to get into at first but now it’s on my regular rotation. Episodes are a lot of information in a short time.
Unique podcast with good insight
Some of the episodes I could listen to over and over. Erin hits the nail on the head but Aamer tells some off color jokes sometimes but they are both funny.