David Maurer's account of con artists running the "big con" to fleece victims in the first half of the 20th century. This non-fiction book is the basis for the movie The Sting [more inside]
On the morning of March 25, 1975, sisters Sheila and Kate Lyon left their home in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. to visit the local mall. Their mother Mary gave them firm instructions to be home by 4:00pm. When they weren't home by 7:00, the sisters' parents called the police. A massive search was launched. But after weeks and months of effort, there was no trace of them: the girls had disappeared into thin air. [more inside]
This true crime docuseries follows India Oxenberg as she grapples with her experiences in NXIVM, a self-help organization which turned out to be a sex cult. [more inside]
A documentary focused on Gilberto Valle AKA "the Cannibal Cop" and the legal issues involved in his case [more inside]
Unsolved Mysteries: Full Season Season 1, Ep 1
Immersive, character-driven stories are rooted in the experiences of ordinary people who have lived the unthinkable. Families, detectives and journalists hope viewers hold the clues to solving these mysteries. (IMDB, 2020)
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness: Full Season Season 1, Ep 0
Netflix's latest true crime docuseries dives into the wild world of big cat owners and enthusiasts in an exploration of one man's path from attention-seeking zoo owner to convicted criminal. [more inside]
When Mari Gilbert's daughter disappears, police inaction drives her own investigation into the gated Long Island community where Shannan was last seen. Her search brings attention to over a dozen murdered sex workers. (Netflix Original, based on the non-fiction book "Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery" by Robert Kolker) [more inside]
A twisted criminal's gruesome videos drive a group of amateur online sleuths to launch a risky manhunt that brings them into a dark underworld. A Netflix original series. CW for animal abuse, violence. [more inside]
Things are not always as they appear, especially in the case of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard. In this true crime documentary that follows a bizarre case involving one of psychology's most controversial conditions--Munchausen by proxy syndrome--a treacherous web of lies, child abuse, mental illness, and forbidden love is untangled in provocative fashion [more inside]
The Act: Season One Season 1, Ep 0
Dee Dee Blanchard is overprotective of her daughter, Gypsy, who is trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her mother. Gypsy's quest for independence opens up a Pandora's box of secrets, which ultimately leads to murder. The stranger-than-fiction true-crime series is based on a 2016 BuzzFeed article that detailed the shocking 2015 crime.
In the early nineteenth century, a series of murders took place in and around London which shocked the whole of England. The appalling nature of the crimes―a brutal slaying in the gambling netherworld, the slaughter of two entire households, and the first of the modern lust-murders―was magnified not only by the lurid atmosphere of an age in which candlelight gave way to gaslight, but also by the efforts of some of the keenest minds of the period to uncover the gruesomest details of the killings. [more inside]
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women. [more inside]
London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes. All across London, women were going missing--poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left. [more inside]
On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who? [more inside]
In this fascinating exploration of murder in the nineteenth century, Judith Flanders examines some of the most gripping cases that captivated the Victorians and gave rise to the first detective fiction Murder in Britain in the nineteenth century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous, transformed into novels, into broadsides and ballads, into theatre and melodrama and opera―even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts. Detective fiction and England's new police force developed in parallel, each imitating the other―the pioneers of Scotland Yard gave rise to Dickens's Inspector Bucket, the first fictional police detective, who in turn influenced Sherlock Holmes and, ultimately, even P.D. James and Patricia Cornwell. [more inside]
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. [more inside]
Few gain entry to the privileged world of ultrafine wines, where billionaires flock to exclusive auction houses to vie for the scarce surviving bottles from truly legendary years. But Rudy Kurniawan, an unknown twenty-something from Indonesia, was blessed with two gifts that opened doors: a virtuoso palate for wine tasting, and access to a seemingly limitless (if mysterious) supply of the world’s most coveted wines. After bursting onto the scene in 2002, Kurniawan quickly became the leading purveyor of rare wines to the American elite. But in April 2008, his lots of Domaine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis red burgundy—dating as far back as 1945—were abruptly pulled from auction. The problem? The winemaker was certain that this particular burgundy was first produced only in 1982... [more inside]
On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks. [more inside]
The Case Against Adnan Syed: Parts 1-4 Season 1, Ep 0
Directed by Academy Award-nominee Amy Berg, four-part documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed explores the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed — a case brought to global attention by the hugely popular Serial podcast.
Where is Cleo? Taken by child welfare workers in the 1970’s and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC news investigative reporter Connie Walker joins the search to find out what really happened to Cleo. [more inside]
On the morning of July 16, 1996, someone walked into a furniture store in downtown Winona, Mississippi, and murdered four employees. Each was shot in the head. It was perhaps the most shocking crime the small town had ever seen. Investigators charged a man named Curtis Flowers with the murders. What followed was a two-decade legal odyssey in which Flowers was tried six times for the same crime. He remains on death row, though some people believe he's innocent. [more inside]
In Season 1 of our podcast, we reported that the Jacob Wetterling case was a botched investigation. Just yesterday, law enforcement acknowledged it too. [more inside]
The Staircase: The whole series Season 0, Ep 0
The high-profile murder trial of American novelist Michael Peterson following the death of his wife in 2001. [more inside]
A teenager decides to cooperate.
2:28pm. August 28, 2003. A man walks into a bank with a bomb locked around his neck. This is a true story. The extraordinary story of the "pizza bomber heist" and the FBI's investigation into a bizarre collection of suspects.
“Rule number one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.” [more inside]
A true story about seduction, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. From Wondery and the L.A. Times. Reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard. [more inside]
The Keepers: Full Run Season 1, Ep 0
Starting with the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Celsnik, Ryan White's true crime documentary uncovers a massive history of sexual abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Priest, Joseph Maskell. Moving between the late 1960s (when the bulk of the abuse occurred), the 1990s (when the story began to come to light), and the present day, White follows a number of individuals who have been independently researching the murder. Content Warning: the series deals directly with graphic details of sexual abuse, violence, and murder.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: The Verdict Season 1, Ep 10
The jury reaches its decision, and not everyone agrees with it.
The Dream Team goes across the country to acquire the Mark Fuhrman tapes.
Months into the trial, cut off from their families, society and the media, the jurors grow stir crazy and start becoming unlikely targets for the prosecution and the defense. Meanwhile, the country gets an introduction to the science of DNA evidence.
Does the glove fit?
Tensions rise as the defense starts taking aims at racial implications in the case, and as Marcia faces an ongoing divorce and negative representation in the media.
The trial begins.
As jury selection gets underway, the entrance of Johnnie Cochran adds an interesting energy to the case.
With a provocative strategy devised, Robert Shapiro begins putting together O.J. Simpson's legal counsel.
O.J. Simpson's lawyers must handle an intense situation when he goes missing.
The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman lead the LAPD to the home of O.J. Simpson.
Making a Murderer: Making A Murderer - entire first season Season 1, Ep 0
Who is responsible when an innocent man is sent to prison? Discussion thread for entire first season of Making A Murderer (Netflix streaming).
When Steven Avery is freed after serving 18 years from a wrongful conviction, his search for justice raises questions about the authorities who put him behind bars. [more inside]