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Notorious Narratives

With an enduring fascination with all things weird, long time friends Jen and Robin delve into history's most peculiar people and extraordinary events.

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A Light That Never Stops Shining - The Dark Story of The Radium Girls

"My beautiful Radium", Marie Curie called the element that glowed softly and emitted warmth. During WWI, many young women took jobs in factories. One such job, that was considered quite glamorous was a dial painter. They used radium laced paint to color the numbers and hands of dials for military equipment. In this episode, Jen introduces you to the women who bravely fought for all of us and today, OSHA exists because of their selfless efforts.

37mins

23 Jul 2019

Rank #1

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Nothing in this Episode is Funny - The Gruesome Tale of the Castrati

What would you do for fame? That answer is probably shocking, but not as shocking as castration, I am sure. Until the late 19th century, boys were being castrated to create a voice that was otherworldly. As women were banned in the theater and the church people went to any lengths to replace them. Those who were successful were revered, pampered and adored. But for those who did not make it, life was not so kind. In this episode, Jen tells you about history's most tragic child stars. 

38mins

9 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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Jen's Anniversary Episode - Ferris Wheels and a Murder Castle: The Chicago World's Fair and H.H. Holmes

Chicago's Columbian Exposition in 1893 was meticulously designed to highlight the marvels of the day and most importantly to showcase just how far America had come in the mere 400 years since its inception. But among the beautiful facades of the White City lurked a monster. In this episode, Jen will tell you all about the fair, its planning, construction and of course one of the most notorious serial killer's in American history: H.H. Holmes.

54mins

3 Sep 2019

Rank #3

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The Tennessee Baby Thief - Georgia Tann

In the early 20th century there were very few regulations on adoption and that left the door open for Georgia Tann to swoop in and exploit the system. Over the course of 20 years Georgia Tann used an extensive network of healthcare workers, judges, police and politicians to steal over 5,000 children and sold them to families throughout the United States. In this episode you will hear the tale of how one woman amassed a fortune selling children.Get ad free and exclusive content by becoming a Patron at Patreon.com

41mins

10 Mar 2020

Rank #4

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The Culture of Foot Binding

In this week's Notorious Knowledge segment, Jen explains the self-mummification practices of the Sokushinbutsu. Then Robin takes on the task of discussing the Chinese cultural practice of foot binding. It was for fashion, vanity and the illusion of being "high class" that these young girls were tortured.  While this may be shocking to some, ask yourself, are today's beauty standards any different?

28mins

16 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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Centralia - The Story of a Modern Day Ghost Town

From Irish secret societies, labor uprisings to a major garbage crisis, Centralia, Pennsylvania is a town with a story to tell. Once a bustling hub of mining, now a town of only 9 citizens who brave the fire that burns below that constantly threatens to take the earth from beneath their feet. How does a town become a ghost town in the modern day? Well, Centralia is a ghost town, and in this episode, Jen will tell you this ghost's story.For ad free and exclusive content become a Patron at Patreon.com.

34mins

14 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Death on the Hour - The Story of The Jewel of Prague

At the top of each hour a crowd amasses to watch a show of astronomical proportions. They are there to see one of the world's oldest astronomical clocks. The clock is located in Prague where the medieval masterpiece wisely it sits in front of the Old Town Hall Tower. Each hour it chimes, and a show begins that lasts 45 seconds full of allegorical characters, including death himself. But this hourly show is not the only thing that draws tourists. With tales of magic, murder and mystery this cursed clock's history is a bloody one. In this episode, Robin tells us about the creation of one of the world's most famous clocks.Support us on Patreon where you get access to new and exclusive content!Merchandise available at the Notorious Narratives website!

29mins

26 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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Jailed For Wearing Pants and Other Heroic Acts - The Story of Mary Edwards Walker

There is only one female winner of the Medal of Honor, that is Mary Edwards Walker. Mary was a singular woman in her day, a progressive dresser, physician, field surgeon and suffragette. In this episode, Jen introduces us to a woman ahead of her time.Support us and get exclusive content and swag on Patreon.

32mins

31 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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Dirty Days- The Story of The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl is one of the worst manmade ecologic disasters in human history. As the Depression took hold, many Americans began fleeing the overcrowded cities of the east coast looking for a lucrative future in farming. The American Dream. But what awaited them was far more sinister. In this episode, Robin takes a look at the decade that literally changed the American landscape: The Dirty Thirties.

24mins

5 Mar 2019

Rank #9

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The Glass Delusion: The Most Popular Madness of the Middle Ages

Depression can affect anyone, young, old, rich, poor. But sometimes depression can manifest itself in very intriguing ways. Imagine, one day, you feel that your body is made of glass. No longer skin and bone, but brittle glass that could shatter at the slightest touch. In this episode, Robin teaches us about the most popular madness of the Middle Ages: The Glass Delusion.

19mins

3 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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Wash your hands - The Story of an Epidemic in NYC

Today we know that it is necessary to wash your hands. Most of us know what a disease carrier is. But in the early 20th century these concepts were high science and for one Irish immigrant cook they were impossible to understand. It this episode, Jen tells you how peach ice cream became a killer dessert.

33mins

26 Feb 2019

Rank #11

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Sex, Lies & Attics: A Tale of Murder Most Odd

On a hot August night in 1922 the Los Angeles police were called to a private home after a neighbor reported gun shots and the sounds of a woman screaming. Upon entering they found the man of the house, a rich businessman named Fred Oesterreich, lying on the floor, shot dead. They also found a woman locked in a closet, she was Dolly Oesterreich, Fred's much younger wife. The distraught woman told the tale of burglary gone wrong. But the evidence just did not add up. In this episode, Robin tells us truth that was discovered that was far stranger than fiction that involved a love triangle, a sex slave and a murder most devious.

19mins

12 Nov 2019

Rank #12

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Take Some Cocaine For It - The History of Patent Medicine

Medicine has a strange history. In the 19th century medical practices were questionable at best and often did not offer immediate relief of the patient's symptoms. This left the door open for a burgeoning industry that would provide quick fixes in brightly colored bottles that promised cures for anything from balding to cancer. These cures utilized a variety of ingredients from the useless to the deadly. In this episode, Jen tells us the story of the Patent Medicine industry. 

28mins

1 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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The Family Curse - The Tale of Lemp Mansion

They say that money does't buy happiness and for The Lemp Family this saying was certainly true. Though blessed with health, wealth and success, generations of this family never found happiness. Plagued with divorce and suicide, members of the family and the media began rumors of a family curse. In this episode, Robin tells the tale of the cursed Lemp Family of St. Louis.

23mins

26 Mar 2019

Rank #14

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Hard to Kill- The Tale of Mike Malloy

Sometimes a story is so unbelievable that it must be true. That is the case for the legend of Mike Malloy. Times were tough in NYC during The Great Depression and people thought of all sorts of schemes to make money, even murder. In this episode, Jen introduces you to a band of hapless criminals and one tough Irishman who became known as The Rasputin of the Bronx.

32mins

12 Mar 2019

Rank #15

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Out With a Bang - The History of Fireworks

Around the world fireworks are synonymous with joyful celebration, but those that invented these delightful explosives certainly were not thinking of partying during their creation. Developed in China by alchemists searching for the elixir for eternal life, gunpowder was born. In this episode, Robin will tell us the history of fireworks and how the search for eternal life brought about death. 

23mins

2 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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Musk Comes From the Butt - The History of Perfume

Since the dawn of time man has had a problem, that problem is human stink. From feet to nether-regions people can have a rather unsavory aroma. Perfume, now in every home, was once a luxury item only for the royal or incredibly wealthy. The demand for goods to create these scents forged some of history's most profitable trade routes. In this episode, Robin will tell you some of the weirder ways in which people have combatted their own unsavory aromas throughout history. 

19mins

20 Aug 2019

Rank #17

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The Mysterious City of Petra

Most of us have seen the beautiful pink facades of the city of Petra. One of the new seven wonders of the world the ancient city of Petra is Jordans most popular tourist destinations but few know the true story of it's past, present and future. In this episode, Robin takes us through the winding canyons of this mysterious ancient location.

24mins

19 Feb 2019

Rank #18

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Immurement: History's Most Horrific Death Sentence

From Ancient Rome to Modern Mongolia, immurement has been used as a method of capital punishment, torture and sacrifice. Numerous cultures worldwide have used this practice for a myriad of reasons but regardless of the reason the horror remains. In this episode Robin tells us about the practice of immurement; history's most horrific death sentence.

29mins

7 Jan 2020

Rank #19

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Land of the Lost - The Story of Doggerland

For those of you that fear rising waters and tidal waves, this episode is NOT for you. Deep beneath the frigid waters of the North Sea lies an entire lost civilization known as Doggerland. Touted as the real life Atlantis, this is no fantasy land. As waters rose at the end of the Ice Age and major tidal waves crashed across the land it erased the land that once connected Great Britain to Europe. In this episode, Robin and Jen discuss climate change, globalization and dating.

23mins

25 Jun 2019

Rank #20