We’re back with a new recording of one of the first cases we covered on Criminal Records. Bo Xilai was one of the rising stars of China’s Communist Party, but his political dreams came crashing down when a close business partner was found dead in mysterious circumstances.
A half-baked plot to replace the (maybe) true king of England with an impostor involved mind-controlling ointment, a loyalist uprising that never materialized, and some of the biggest political powers in Europe.
One of the western canon’s greatest poets was a real horndog. Was his banishment from Rome really about making Rome great again by returning to purity culture, or did Publius Ovidius Naso get caught up in a complicated web of politics at the dawn of the Roman empire?
One would-be hero of the American revolution wasn’t American, heroic, or particularly good at helping the revolution. His plan to burn down the British navy’s most strategic dockyards had just one fatal flaw: he wasn’t actually any good at starting fires.
One Soviet convict impressed his own jailors so much that he ended up completely transforming the Soviet Union’s gulag system. But how much of what we know about the life of Naftaly Frenkel is real, and how much is a right-wing attempt to link the Communist party to a conspiracy theory about greedy Jews?
We’re exploring the history of crime fiction with Reynard, a rascal whose exploits are definitely not the sort of behavior you’d expect from a cute talking fox today. How did our vulpine antihero go from a murderous rapist to a cuddly kids’ character? Why did Walt Disney keep trying to make a movie about one of fiction’s nastiest criminals? And how long is Isaac willing to listen to descriptions of medieval butt jokes before he begs Demetria to wrap up this episode?
We’re heading to the Roman Republic for two stories about women getting their day in court. Asking the gods to put a supernatural hit out on your illicit lover, that’s a-okay according to the Romans. But being a sugar baby? That’s against the law.
We’re starting the year off with a civil law case involving some very uncivil language. One of our nation’s most important legal battles over the First Amendment was a battle between a Nyquil-chugging preacher and an American flag diaper-wearing porn publisher. Does the right to free speech protect your right to be really, really gross?
On a lonely island off the coast of North America, one man shot another man’s pig for eating his potatoes. The legal question of who had the right to arrest him nearly upset the fragile peace between two nations.
While Japanese officials were investigating a case of illegal baseball betting, they uncovered a shocking secret about the integrity of one of the country’s most famous sports. Who actually runs the world of sumo, and why would some of the most elite athletes in the world feel so much pressure to fix their matches?