Podcast Pick: Criminal

As we enter into the week that is Halloween, let me invite you into joining me for a more chilling podcast pick than usual. The podcast is called Criminal, and as usual I am bringing you not only a treat for the ears, but you will not miss a trick buying it, because it is free.

This podcast has been created by Phoebe Judge, Eric Mennel, and Lauren Spohrer. Its stories are all true and are based on “people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle”.

I downloaded four of the episodes to get a good feel for what the podcast had to offer. The length of episodes are perfect for a quick listen, and range from 15 to 30 minutes long. One of these was Episode 27: ‘No Place Like Home’, the story of a man named Neil White (who narrated parts of the story himself) and how he was convicted of fraud. That is just the beginning though; see, he is sent to a prison that doubles as a leprosy commune. He speaks of the people he met and their struggles with leprosy. The story is not only eye-opening, but heartfelt, as the tales from the victims of leprosy are quite harrowing.

Another episode which might be even scarier is the tale of ‘The Portrait’, which covers what happened to the Lawson family 80 years ago on Christmas Day. Not a tale for the lighthearted, but a curious listen for those who are interested in real crime.

On another note, the podcast produces episodes that are less commercially catchy. Everyone likes a good murder, but the producers also include stories of those whose lives have changed from a criminal act either done by them or by someone else. An example is Episode 28: ‘PDID’, which regales what happened to transgender woman Patti Hammond Shaw when she was arrested, and how she has changed police processing for the better. A podcast not for the lighthearted but a definite must.

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