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

The Murder of Pavlik Morozov

The Murder of Pavlik Morozov

In the Soviet Union, snitches got statues. But was the story of a brave little Communist who was murdered by his own family just a little too good to be true? And if the famous campfire tale was a fabrication, who really killed the Morozov boys?

Kinder Egg smuggling

Kinder Egg smuggling

Are people really being fined thousands of dollars for smuggling a sweet treat across the US border? Demetria goes deep (maybe a little too deep) on an investigation into why American stores can’t sell one of Europe’s favorite chocolates.

Starvation Heights

Starvation Heights

Was one of Seattle’s most notorious killers murdering her patients and stealing their fortunes on purpose, or did she really believe that starvation was the cure for every disease? Welcome to the world of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard, one of alternate medicine’s most notorious quacks, who always seemed to end up with power of attorney over her wealthy victims shortly before they died under mysterious circumstances.

John Spano, Jr.

John Spano, Jr.

One man lived the dream of every hockey fan when he bought a 50% stake in the ownership of the New York Islanders. There were just a few problems with his plan to save the struggling underdogs: He didn’t know anything about how to run a hockey team, he couldn’t fulfil any of his grand promises, and he didn’t actually have any money.

Roy Olmstead, the Gentleman Bootlegger

Roy Olmstead, the Gentleman Bootlegger

When Washington State went dry, one baby-faced cop decided to start moonlighting as a bootlegger. His alcohol empire involved crooked mayors, bootlegging conventions, airplane engines strapped to boats, and a conspiracy theory about secret messages for rum-runners hidden inside children’s bedtime stories.

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