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.
Where to Listen
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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.
Episodes Listen in your web browser
Recent Episodes Find out more about these historic figures in our show notes
Two women entered Kuala Lumpur International Airport to film a prank show. Their target: an unassuming business traveler. The result: the assassination of the former heir apparent of the North Korean government. How did two aspiring actresses end up caught in the middle of the biggest diplomatic incidents of the decade? And why did Kim Jong-nam go from North Korea’s future leader to its top target?
One man’s quest for vengeance against Wells Fargo turned into a massive crime spree—with occasional poetry breaks. Returning guest Amanda Jean joins us to fall in love with Black Bart, the gentleman robber who bluffed his way through a criminal career with no horse, no accomplices, and no bullets.
Welcome to the seedy underbelly of Pittsburgh, where the battle for control over the sex trade turned into an all-out gang war. Caught in the middle: A trans horse riding instructor who turned to a life of crime when he needed money to care for his ailing mother. S.A. Chant joins us today for a conversation about money laundering through paint-your-own ceramics, fighting the cops with birthday cake, and the way respectability politics changes the stories we tell about queer history.
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?
If you want to tackle the crime problem, why not just get rid of all the laws? In this episode, a group of free thinkers take a utopian experiment to the extreme, and discover in the process that some laws exist for a reason. One of those reasons: preventing bears from eating everyone.