Criminal Records Podcast is a true crime show about history’s weirdest criminal cases. Co-hosts Isaac Meyer and Demetria Spinrad profile criminal cases throughout history. Our philosophy behind the show is that students of history can learn a lot about a society by what it chooses to criminalize, and studying criminal records as primary sources can reveal crucial information about the lives of people who might otherwise have been left out of the historical record entirely. Many of the criminals in our episodes weren’t bad people–in fact, some deserve to be remembered as heroes for their courage in breaking unjust laws.

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Who We Are

Isaac Meyer is a historian, high school teacher, and podcaster. He started The History of Japan Podcast in 2013. Isaac believes that history should be accessible for everyone, both because it is important for us to know our common past and because really, who doesn’t love a good story?

Demetria Spinrad is an author and digital marketing professional. As a storyteller and a true crime fanatic, Demetria likes to use criminal records to help show you the humanity behind the history.

Isaac Meyer

Historian and teacher

Episodes Listen in your web browser

Recent Episodes Find out more about these historic figures in our show notes


Abe Sada (re-record)

One of Japan’s most famous murderesses took a very intimate souvenir from the lover she murdered. Was she the sex-crazed nymphomaniac portrayed in the media? Was she the symbol of female empowerment described by her supporters? Or was she an abuse victim who broke down after making one terrible mistake?


The Free Town Project

If you want to tackle the crime problem, why not just get rid of all the laws? In this episode,…

The Moscow Trials

The Moscow Trials

While the United States was panicking about the secret communist conspiracy, the Soviet Union was in the middle of its…


Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson was so good at boxing that he scared an entire generation of racists. White authorities chose to make an example of him with one of America’s most infamous laws.


Augusto Pinochet

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?

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