Rank #1: Serial Season 2, Limetown, Dishing Maura Murray
Rebecca, Kevin, Toby and Laura talk about the possibility of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's story as the focus of season two of Serial. Rebecca also interviews the guys behind Missing Maura Murray, a podcast that has the rest of the panel up in arms. Plus, the Crime Writers dish on the surprise hit Limetown and dissect the latest 'Crime of the Week.'
Rank #2: Extra! The Golden State Killer has been caught! So here's our I'll Be Gone In The Dark book club show!
If you've been following the news, you've probably heard that the man dubbed the Golden State Killer by I'll Be Gone In The Dark author Michelle McNamara has been caught, according to multiple sources. You probably also know that we just started making a special book club podcast for Patreon supporters. Well, in honor of the news, and to entice you to become a supporter, we're releasing our inaugural book club discussion about I'll Be Gone In The Dark. Click here to support us on Patreon and hear future book club shows! Book club guests: Rabia Chaudry, Patrick Hinds, and Rebecca Lavoie Music by Twin Guns
Rank #3: S-Town by Serial - Episode 1 Recap & Review
The Crime Writers review episode one of S-Town - the new podcast series from the folks behind Serial and This American Life. The entire series, featuring host Brian Reed, dropped on Tuesday, March 28. Watch your feed for recap shows reviewing episodes 2-4 and 5-7. SPONSORS THIS EPISODE Serial Killers podcast from Parcast
Rank #4: The Case Against Adnan Syed Part 1 & Leaving Neverland
A breakdown and review of The Case Against Adnan Syed (part 1) and Leaving Neverland on HBO.
Rank #5: Serial Season 3: Episode 3 & Uncover: Escaping NXIVM
In Serial episode 3, "Misdemeanor, Meet Mr. Lawsuit," Sarah looks into the issue of how the police interact with the African-American population in their communities. A large topic writ small through the story of one arrest in a hallway. Which one of the crime writers says this is the best single episode of Serial ever? Then the panel discuss the new CBC podcast Uncover: Escaping NXIVM. The distinctive Canadian presentation style takes on an alleged sex cult. (Want to skip to our spoiler-free review? The time code is 1:04:06) In Crime of the Week: game over. (Thanks to listener Kevin Carroll for contributing this COTW!) DONATE TO KEVIN'S WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES EVENT, OCT 3, BY CLICKING HERE. SEE TOBY AT THE CHARLOTTE VT PUBLIC LIBRARY OCT 4. JOIN OUR PATREON TO GET ACCESS TO LARA'S RAGE WALK FB GROUP! SPONSORS THIS EPISODEbioClarity - get 15% off with code CRIME at bioClarity.comSimple Contacts - get $20 off at simplecontacts.com/CWO20 or enter code CWO20 at checkoutDaily Harvest - Go to daily-harvest.com and enter promo code CRIME to get three cups freeRothy's - free shipping on your Rothy’s shoe when you go to Rothys.com and enter CRIME Handy - go to handy.com/crime and use code CRIME to get your first 3-hour cleaning for $39Evelyn & Bobbie - go to evelynbobbie.com and use code CRIME to get a free pair of knickers with any purchase
Rank #6: Adnan Syed's Bail Motion, Sarah Koenig's Serial Choices, Offshore's Big Splash
Heads up Baltimore City Court! Here comes Adnan Syed seeking a bail hearing. It's not your usual motion, written more like a campaign speech than a legal brief. The Crime Writers dig into the latest in the efforts of Serial's protagonist to get out of prison now that his conviction has been vacated. And a journalism conundrum: IF Sarah Koenig knew about Jay Wild's post-Adnan criminal history, should she have included it in Serial? Also, the panel hangs ten in Hawaii with the new podcast, "Offshore" from Honolulu Civil Beat and PRX. Can a white reporter do justice to a tale of Hawaiian culture and disenfranchisement? Related: Toby recommends reading this article from the New Yorker, "The American Raj," to learn more about Hawaiian history. In our Crime of the Week, the panel shakes the tree. But who goes undercover as a tree, anyway? (Kevin reported on a similar bank robbery story in NH. Watch the version filed by his colleagues.) Plus: mystery solved! Who bought the family-sized bucket of massage lotion? We finally know. Finally. This week's sponsors are: thegrommet.com/crimewriters madison-reed.com (promo code "writers")
Rank #7: Serial Epilogue: Adnan Syed Gets a New Trial...Maybe
Ever since Sarah talked to Asia the world wondered whether she was the key to getting Adnan Syed a new trial. In the end, it was a single sentence in a pile of thousands of documents. The result is in. Judge Welch has ruled Adnan's Sixth Amendment rights were violated and he'll get a new trial...if it ever gets that far. The Crime Writers pull apart the decision and discuss where the case may go from here. Does the state have any evidence left? How would 12 Baltimore jurors (who'd never listened to a podcast) size up Adnan? And why could it be years before he gets out of jail? The panel is joined by super-professor Colin Miller, who answers questions about the legal ins-and-outs of the ruling. Then the Crime Writers take your questions and voice memos. They also discuss the dilemma of the Alford plea: would you admit your guilt to a crime you didn't commit if it gets you out of prison? Also, WTF is a jury view like at the scene of a lumber theft? Here's something new: our first Crime Writers On Summer Book Club show. Each writer has nominated a book. You vote online, then we'll all read and share (bring your own white wine). The nominees are If I Did It by OJ Simpson, I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry, and Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman. In the Crime of the Week, one of our listeners makes a marital confession... #Serial #SerialSeasonOne #AdnanSyed #Undisclosed
Rank #8: S-Town by Serial - Episodes 2-4 Recap & Review
The Crime Writers jump in to chapters two through four of "S-town," the new podcast series from Serial and This American Life. The entire series, featuring host Brian Reed, dropped on Tuesday, March 28. Watch your feed for recap shows reviewing episode 1 and episodes 5-7. SPONSORS FOR THIS EPISODE Hunt a Killer - Use the code "writers" MeUndies - 20% off your first pair at meundies.com/crime. Select Blinds - mention Crime Writers On and get free sample swatches. Le Tote - letote.com (use the promo code "crime" at checkout)
Rank #9: That Laci Peterson series, a Bowe Bergdahl update, and a podcaster controversy
Red-eyed and jet-lagged, Rebecca and Kevin are back from Podcast Movement in Anaheim with stories of their exploits with your (and their) favorite podcasters. They'll spill some tea over what caused some controversy a big name - "NOT a podcaster" Payne Lindsey from Up & Vanished - made an audacious, self-congratulatory presentation...and how some even bigger names in the room reacted. Plus, a true crime podcast update! A hungover R&K met up with old friend Lt Col James Weirick for an update on Bowe Bergdahl's court martial and the defense's move that could bode well for the disgraced former POW. (Audio of the full discussion can be found on our website - and beware, it's unedited and was literally recorded in a hotel hallway.) Back in the confines of Square Egg Studio, Lara & Toby chime in on A&E's new limited series, "The Murder of Laci Peterson." So far, the show seems to be playing the story down the middle, not sensationalizing its retrospective of the crime, and is of surprisingly high quality for a basic cable show. Then in Crime of the Week: our house is a very very very moldy house. Sponsors this week:Exposed - hear the audiobook edition of Exposed by bestselling author Lisa Scottoline at www.macmillanaudio.com/exposedBook of the Month - See their current selections and get your first book for just $9.99 at bookofthemonth.com/crimewriters Le Tote - Go to letote.com Enter promo code CRIME at checkout to get 50% of your first monthLola tampons - For 60% off your first order, visit mylola.com and enter CRIME when you subscribeHarry's razors - Get a free shave kit when you at harrys.com/crime, just pay 3 bucks for shippingLovePop - Enter to win 50 3D birthday cards at lovepop.com/crime
Rank #10: Serial Season 3: Episode 1 and 2 - Our breakdown and review!
Get ready for the best discussion and analysis of the Serial podcast. Sarah Koenig is back for season 3 (finally!) - Along with Emmanuel Dzotsi, Sarah gives us a year in the life of the Cleveland Justice Center. For episode one, "A Bar Fight Walks into the Justice Center," the crime writers discuss whether the lesson is about prosecutorial discretion...or about race? In episode two, "You've Got Some Gauls," we can't even with Judge Gaul. But does he have a point? (Spoiler alert - he does not.) Also, we give our take on the Curtiss Flowers update episode of "In the Dark." The more things change, the more they stay the same. In crime of the week: whale fail. See the dumpster snafu here and the classic exploding whale incident here. DONATE TO KEVIN'S WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES EVENT, OCT 3, BY CLICKING HERE. SPONSORS THIS EPISODEBlue Apron - get your first 3 meals free at BlueApron.com/crimewritersFelix Gray glasses - try a pair at FelixGrayGlasses.com/crimeFirstleaf - get 3 bottles of wine for only $15 plus free shipping at TRYFirstleaf.com/crimeFabFitFun - go to fabfitfun.com and use code CRIME to get $10 off your first boxTommy John - TommyJohn.com/crime to save 20% on your first order
Rank #11: Serial Season 3 News? Sort Of. And What's Different About Up And Vanished?
Breaking: Lara's cat has a super weird disease! For real. Some maybe-news about Serial Season 3 has us theorizing. Was Kevin super, duper wrong when he said Sarah Koenig would never do a true crime story again? Plus, we get a whole lot of listener email and tweets about what podcasts we should be listening to and talking about. One of the podcasts we’ve had pimped to us the most often lately is the hit show "Up and Vanished," an investigative podcast about the 2005 disappearance of Ocilla Georgia Beauty queen Tara Grinstead. But before we get into our discussion about Up and Vanished, we'll first listen in to Rebecca's conversation with someone who knows a little bit about that show - its host and creator Payne Lindsey. Even if you haven't heard the podcast, you should listen to this interview. And, Toby apologizes to a nation. And our Crime of the Week strikes pretty damn close to home. Episode sponsors: thegrommet.com/crimewriters madison-reed.com (use the promo code "writers" at checkout) harrys.com (use the promo code "crime" at checkout)
Rank #12: Adnan Syed & Steven Avery Updates, The Keepers (Wrapped in Newspaper!) Detail & 74 Seconds
The State of Maryland got its bite at the apple, asking a three judge panel to reinstate Adnan Syed's conviction. The hour-long hearing dove more into Asia McClain and not-so-much into fax cover sheets. What's next for the "Serial" season one subject? We also talk about the latest epic filing in the Steven Avery case. Will "brain fingerprinting" save the day for the man at the middle of Making a Murderer? And what's up with Brendan Dassey's case? Did we forget to mention the CRAZIEST thing that came out of "The Keepers"? Like a particular body part wrapped in newspaper and thrown on the table during the interrogation of a priest? We're backing the train up so we can unwrap (sorry) that one. The Crime Writers spend more than 74 seconds discussing the podcast "74 Seconds" from Minnesota Public Radio. This look at the fatal shooting of a motorist by a cop (live-streamed on Facebook) tackles the familiar themes of race, violence, and law enforcement training. With some episodes exploring the back story of the players in the shooting - and other episodes providing real-time updates from the court house - 74 Seconds feels like two separate podcasts. What's working? What's not? We'll give our review In Crime of the Week: Some wanted men just can't stop the music. How karaoke landed a fugitive in jail. Episode sponsors: MHZ Choice - go to mhzchoice.com/writers and use code CRIME for 30 free days and 50% off your first month Kopari Beauty - Get 20% off your order at KopariBeauty.com/crime. Hubble Contacts - Get 15 pairs of contacts for free at hubblecontacts.com. Storyworth - Get $20 off your subscription at StoryWorth.com/crime
Rank #13: That JonBenet Ramsey Special - Yup, We Went There
The Crime Writers take on what's good - and what's *not* so good - about the The Case of JonBenet, the four-hour CBS special featuring profilers Jim Clemente and Laura Richards and an all-star cast of forensic investigators. We talk about the case, the show's WTF moments (THEY BUILT THE HOUSE??), and dive deep into the potential defamation of Burke Ramsey, who is (in the experts' opinions) a leading suspect in the cold case. We also chat with Ann Bartow, a law professor at UNH Law School and expert on all things defamation and internet speech, and tie that conversation in with issues raised in this week's episode of the excellent In The Dark podcast. Finally, our crime of the week has Rebecca airing an old grudge with her favorite public radio host, Ira Glass. Episode sponsors are the Havenly app (use promo code "crime") and Modcloth (also use promo code "crime") - and yes, we sometimes flub the ads, as you'll hear in the outtakes. Interstitial music by Blue Dot Sessions and Jahzzar. Support Kevin's walk for domestic violence victims in crisis at crimewriterson.com.
Rank #14: The Staircase/Michael Peterson Owl Theory, Alford Pleas & A Stranglers Podcast Review
The panel tackles a HUGE true crime update - the Alford plea taken by Michael Peterson, the novelist and suspected murder featured in The Staircase - a documentary Rebecca contends is the Citizen Kane of true crime. As a bonus, our very own Legal Siri (AKA legal professor and Undisclosed genius Colin Miller) educates us on WTH Alford pleas actually are. Then the Crime Writers argue about an alternative theory posed in the Peterson case...was his wife Kathleen actually killed by an owl? That was the theory posed in the amazing pilot episode of the podcast Criminal - but Toby's not exactly buying it. (Shocking, we know.) Then, in our regular segment about whether you should watch/listen to/read the latest big thing in crime media, we review Stranglers, the podcast by Earwolf that takes a deep ol' dive into the Boston Strangler case. (Warning: This segment features a quasi-mansplain meltdown and Kevin Flynn doing a pretty convincing trashy Boston accent.) Finally, our Crime of the Week features one of Rebecca's favorite big box stores, a sex crime, and scabies. Listen: This week's sponsors: Madison Reed. Go to madison-reed.com and use promo code WRITERS to get 10% off and free shipping. The new book A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming. Kopari coconut beauty products. Go to KopariBeauty.com/crime for 20% off!
Rank #15: S2 Ep1: DUSTWUN in the Wind - Serial Season 2
The Crime Writers dissect every aspect of Serial Season 2's first episode and bring back Rebecca's favorite part of the show, the Crime of the Week. Also, Kevin forgets something pretty important!
Rank #16: Abducted in Plain Sight....is bananas
A breakdown and review of Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix.
Rank #17: Amanda Knox - The Documentary And Case That Divides Us All
Oh no! We went there! The Crime Writers discuss the controversial Netflix doc "Amanda Knox." Why are we still intrigued by the murder case? Does any of the evidence add up? Is the motive believable? Is Knox herself credible? As she says, "Either I am a psychopath in sheep's clothing or I am you." Rebecca and Kevin welcome back Dr. Elizabeth Yardley to explain why the British have such a different (and more visceral) view of the case than Americans do. Could it be they were each seeing a different case in their papers and on their TV screens? Bigger question: how bad are the writers going to get trolled on Twitter for their views? Because it seems some people - not everyone, but some - feel really, really, REALLY strongly about this case and you better agree with them in 140 characters (or the 140 consecutive tweets with which they will flood your feed)! In Crime of the Week...a SWAT team takes out an 81-year-old woman for growing a single marijuana plant. Good thing she wasn't stealing cable TV...she'd probably be dead. Episode sponsors are : PrepDish.com/crimewriter - ModCloth.com (promo code crime) - the Havenly app (promo code crime) - and TheGrommet.com/crime
Rank #18: Dirty John (and Debra!), a Sarah Koenig encounter, and a (maybe) deal for Serial's Bowe Bergdhal
Rebecca met Sarah Koenig!! She fills us in on that awkward encounter. What's the latest with Serial season two subject Bowe Bergdahl? Seems he's made some kind of deal with the government. We invite back retired USMC Lt Col James Weirick of the Military Justice podcast to explain why he thinks some of the early media reports are wrong and what a plea for a lighter sentence might look like. Then the panel digs into the new hit podcast from the LA Times, Dirty John. TO SKIP PAST THE SPOILERS AND JUST HEAR OUR REVIEW, GO TO TIME CODE: 1:03:25 This six-part true crime profile looks at grifter John Meehan and the trouble he wreaked on Debra Newell and her family. Judging by your Twitter and Facebook questions, you seemed just as amazed by Debra's willingness to forgive the gold digger as you are in Dirty John's evil designs. In Crime of the Week, how many Facebook likes would you need before your turned yourself into the police? SPONSORS THIS EPISODE:Madison Reed - Visit Madison-Reed.com and get 10% off plus Free Shipping on your first color kit with promo code: WRITERSAudible - Get a free audiobook with a 30-day trial at www.audible.com/CRIMELe Tote - Go to Letote.com and enter promo code CRIME at checkout to get 50% of your first monthVirtue Labs - Try Virtue at 10% off and get free shipping at virtuelabs.com with the code CRIMEFirstleaf - To order your 3-pack of introductory wine for $15 go to TryFirstleaf.com/CRIME
Rank #19: Breaking: Adnan Syed's DNA was NOT found in new evidence tests. But what does that mean?
New testing shows Adnan Syed's DNA was not at the Leakin Park crime scene. What does it mean?
Rank #20: An S-Town lawsuit, an In The Dark tragedy, and a Sharp Objects Review
While Toby broadcasts from a beautiful island lake house, the rest of the panel sweats it out to bring you another episode of Crime Writers On with a brand new logo! There are true crime updates galore: We talk about the MD Court of Appeals granting cert in the continuing post-conviction struggles of Serial's Adnan Syed. Curtis Flower's mother passed away and we reflect on the meaning of injustice within injustice. Plus, the "estate" of John McLemore is suing "S-town" for violating his privacy. Legally, morally, ethically - do they have a leg to stand on? We talk about HBO's new prestige drama "Sharp Objects." As much a character study as it is a crime mystery, will the star-driven adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel thrill fans like “Gone Girl” or leave them disappointed like “True Detective" season 2? Plus, we give the Granite State some summer tourism plugs this week with shout-outs to Story Land, Santa's Village, and Clark's Trading Post (with the dancing bears and the Wolfman who shoots a gun at you). TO HEAR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "SHARP OBJECTS," FAST-FOWARD TO 1:14:47 Then in crime of the week: blow it up your ass. SPONSORS THIS EPISODE Daily Harvest - go to daily-harvest.com use code CRIME to get three free cups in your first box Felix Gray - Go to felixgrayglasses.com/crime to try a pair of Felix Gray glasses today! First Leaf - For 3 bottles of wine for only $15, plus free shipping go to tryfirstleaf.com/crime Simple Contacts - get $20 off your first order at simplecontacts.com/CWO20 or enter the code CWO20 at checkout Hangman, a new novel by Jack Heath