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

Not sure where to start? Check out some of our fans' favorite episodes

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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.

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The Nippur Murder Case

Is this the oldest case ever covered on a true crime podcast? PROBABLY! In this episode, we discuss the oldest known recorded murder trial and try to read between the lines of cuneiform to get the real story of one victim, three killers, and a wife who didn’t snitch.

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The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

A group of thieves set their sights on the greatest wealth stockpile of them all: the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve. All they needed was a network of truckers, black market syrup smugglers, and shady dealers willing to get their fingers sticky for a sweet payoff.

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Florida Man

Take a tour around the swamp with America’s favorite rascal. Florida Man’s always making headlines for punching alligators, stealing meat, and fighting cops in the buff. But does Florida really deserve its reputation as the weirdest state in the union? And is our nation’s most beloved rapscallion the villain of our story, or is he the victim of a legal system that accidentally created a media monster?

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

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Women and the Law in the Late Roman Republic

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.

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Hustler Magazine, Inc v. Falwell

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?

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The Pig War

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.

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The Great Sumo Match Fixing Scandal

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?

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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?

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