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

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James Reavis, part 2

In the second part of our story, the Baron of Arizona has to create a Baroness so he can rise to great heights in Europe and use his connections to keep swindling in America. But while the upper crust in the old country buy into his wild story, Americans are starting to unravel his fraud.


James Reavis, part 1

James Reavis was a failed real estate investor, but he had a knack for document forgery. And if you lose all the land you own legally, why not acquire some more with the help of a few doctored papers?


The Bombing of KAL Flight 858

A North Korean plot to sabotage the Olympics and possibly derail a crucial South Korean election hinged on a pair of very unusual spies. When one of the bombers survived after swallowing a cyanide capsule, she told investigators her whole world was a lie.


The death of Thomas Overbury, part 2

Mirror mirror on the wall, who really killed Thomas Overbury? We’re getting deep into what might just be the weirdest trial we’ve ever covered on this show, with accusations flying about witchcraft, a poisoned enema, Spanish treachery, and a cameo from Sir Francis Bacon.


The death of Thomas Overbury, part 1

We begin a twisted tale of witchcraft, poison, and legal arguing over magically cursed genitals in the court of King James I. Sir Thomas Overbury tried his best to climb to a coveted position at court, but he made a lot of enemies along the way.

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
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