Why to watch Watchmen & Murder in Oregon

Murder in Oregon” explores one of that state’s most infamous homicides. Corrections Department Director Michael Francke was stabbed outside of his office in 1989. Was his killing tied to his investigation of corruption?

HBO's “Watchmen” takes place in an alternative history where cops who hide behind masks for their own safety team with costumed vigilantes to fight crime and avoid a race war. Like the comic, "Watchmen" ponders what kind of heroes are needed in a world where truth and justice are in short supply.

In crime of the week: turn the other cheek.

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Dolly Parton's America & Bad Batch

Leading off, the medical mystery behind Wondery's "Bad Batch" is not just who is responsible for contaminated stem cells that made patients sick. It also looks at the company’s claims that stem cells can treat virtually everything, when it’s only approved for blood disorders.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "BAD BATCH," GO TO 28:07

Moving on, NYC Studios and OSM Audio are rolling out a nine-part series about an American icon. In “Dolly Parton’s America,” RadioLab host Jad Abumrad explores the over-sized cultural impact of the perhaps under-appreciated country music singer.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "DOLLY PARTON'S AMERICA," GO TO 58:36

In crime of the week: who'll start the rain?

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Limetown on Facebook Watch and The Undercovers

First up, Facebook Watch is out with its own imagining of the podcast, "Limetown." As with the original, the story revolves around a public radio reporter investigating the sudden disappearance of hundreds of people from a tiny town and remote research facility years ago.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "LIMETOWN," GO TO 38:32

Moving on, “The Undercovers” is an audio dramatization of the life and career of a DEA agent and his exploits working to take down narco-terrorists from inside their organizations. It attempts to set itself apart in style and storytelling, with tough-guy dialogue to go along with the tough-guy action.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "THE UNDERCOVERS," GO TO 55:28

In Crime of the Week: blood bath.

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Double podcast review: Motive and StartUp

We start with a look inside podcasting's biggest business deal: Spotify's acquisition of Gimlet. In "StartUp," Alex Blumberg and Matt Leiber reveal the behind-the-scenes tensions and pose the question: can a nine-figure paycheck mend this friendship? 

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "STARTUP," GO TO 33:28

Next, "Motive" from the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ tells the case of teen exonerated for a murder, awarded millions, only to wide up in jail again. With its “Making a Murderer”-themes, “Motive” is a cautionary tale about the system failing the innocent and what happens when redemption is squandered.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "MOTIVE," GO TO 57:11

In crime of the week: these dogs have flees.

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The Mysterious Mr. Epstein & The Missing Cryptoqueen

The Crime Writers get into about book covers. (Guess which one has the worst cover ever?)

In “The Mysterious Mr. Epstein,” host Linsey Graham hopes to fill in the blanks around the infamous investor-to-the-stars’s origin story and how he was able to lure and rape young women with no consequences for so long.

To hear our spoiler-free review of The Mysterious Mr. Epstein, go to 32:34.

BBC Sounds presents an investigation into a multi-million dollar scam involving OneCoin and the disappearance of the cryptocurrency’s founder. Host Jamie Bartlett shows us that Dr. Ruja Ignatova turned her digital money venture into a cult-like phenom.

To hear our spoiler-free review of The Missing Cryptoqueen, go to 1:03:26.

In Crime of the Week: legal dream team.

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Passenger List and Criminal:UK

First up: Netflix’s new crime series is an anthology set in a police interview room and its adjacent observation post. In Criminal: UK, we see a specialized team try to get suspects to crack. In addition to Criminal: UK, the series also brings us to Spain, France, and Germany without ever leaving the set.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "CRIMINAL:UK" GO TO 25:38

Moving on, Radiotopia’s ambitious drama “Passenger List” follows a woman who seeks answers from friends and relatives of flier on ill-fated Atlantic 702. Is the airline lying about a bird strike taking down the plane? Was the airliner caught up in a global conspiracy?

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "PASSENGER LIST" GO TO 53:10

Then in Crime of the Week: death, taxes, satellite TV.

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The Thing About Pam and Hit Man

First off is a look at iHeartRadio's "Hit Man." The podcast follows the stories of the hit men - one who used music and one who used a gun - as well as a discussion about whether a book providing a step-by-step guide to getting away with murder is speech that ought to be protected.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "HIT MAN," GO TO 24:33

Moving on...in "The Thing About Pam" from Dateline, police zone in on Russ Feria for his wife's murder, pointed there by co-worker Pam Hupp. It’s not an open-and-shut case and the Dateline team gets dragged into the story. But mostly...this is about Keith Morrison.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "THE THING ABOUT PAM," GO TO 50:22

In crime of the week: golden oldies.

Kevin will be doing a walkathon in high-heel shoes. Click here to donate to Kevin's Walk A Mile In Her Shoes page.

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"Unbelievable" is unbelievable!

We're got a true crime podcast update from the team at "In the Dark." Also, Kevin will be doing a walkathon in high-heel shoes. Click here to donate to Kevin's Walk A Mile In Her Shoes page.

Netflix’s buzzed-about new series “Unbelievable” is a dramatic take on the true story of a serial rapist who escaped detection for years. The show follows two narrative timelines. The first focuses on a teenage victim who falsely recanted her story under pressure from investigators. The second thread takes place three years later and follows a pair of female detectives who realize the separate rape cases they’re working on may be connected.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "UNBELIEVABLE," GO TO 59:22

In crime of the week: blowing through.

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Over My Dead Body: Joe Exotic & Happy Jail

Joe Exotic and Happy Jail!

Rebecca gets around. Even as she’s laid up recovering from ankle surgery, our host will appear on other podcasts including “Undisclosed Addendum,” “The JV Club,” and bonus episodes of “In the Dark.” Meantime, there’s a True Crime Podcast Update featuring everyone’s least-favorite prosecutor Doug Evans.

They were the Pilipino inmates who became a YouTube sensation with their “Thriller” dance. Netflix’s “Happy Jail” returns to that detention center.  It follows former inmate-turned security consultant Marco Toral. As his fortunes fade, so do the fortunes of the prisoners.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “HAPPY JAIL” GO TO 32:07

Moving on…Wondery’s “Over My Dead Body” returns for a second season with the story of Joe Exotic. Host Rob Moor introduces us to the charismatic and controversial exotic animal collector who claims to be a target for ruin at the hands of a woman whose husband vanished under mysterious circumstances.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “OVER MY DEAD BODY: JOE EXOTIC” GO TO 1:00:51

Then in Crime of the Week: fowl play.

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Bardstown & The Great Hack

The Great Hack, plus Bardstown

Kevin provides some good news in his battle with cancer. Also, Lara hired a murderer. (It's complicated.)

The panel talks about Netflix’s latest documentary, a deep dive into the scandal around Cambridge Analytica. “The Great Hack” is a think piece about how forces can harness our digital footprints to influence our voting behaviors and the way we look at the world.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “THE GREAT HACK,” GO TO 33:50

Moving on, Vault Studios and WHAS TV News have teamed for the new podcast “Bardstown.” The series examines five unsolved cases in a small Kentucky town over the past few years.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “BARDSTOWN,” GO TO 1:05:00

In Crime of the Week: it takes a thief…

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Mindhunter returns! Plus, 30 for 30: The Sterling Affairs

On the podcast, Kevin talks about being radioactive and Toby, where is thy sting?

In True Crime Update: even more about Dirty John.

The panel reviews the latest from 30 for 30 podcasts: The Sterling Affairs. It explores the downfall of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in a whirlwind of sex, race, and sports...all caught on audiotape.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "THE STERLING AFFAIRS," GO TO 28:10

Then, Netflix is out with season two of its triumphant “Mindhunter.” This time, Holden, Bill, and Wendy are taking their research on serial killers and attempt to apply it in the real-world.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "MINDHUNTER," GO TO 57:03

In Crime of the Week: gotta go.

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Room 20 and Who Killed Garrett Phillips

Room 20 and Who Killed Garrett Phillips

Studio C has been relocated to accommodate Rebecca and Kevin's upcoming medical procedures. They give Lara and Toby health updates.

First on the double bill is HBO's "Who Killed Garrett Phillips." The 12-year-boy was strangled in his apartment after school and the perpetrator escaped from a third-floor window. Reminiscent of The Staircase, it's a look at race and justice in America.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "WHO KILLED GARRETT PHILLIPS" GO TO 33:55.

Then it's a review of top-ten podcast "Room 20" which looks at the strange case of an unidentified man who has been living in a vegetative state for 15 years. Host Joanne Faryon tries to learn the name of the patient known for all these years only as “Sixty-six Garage."

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "ROOM 20" GO TO THE 1:00:43..

In Crime of the Week: how'd that get there?

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Bundyville: The Remnant and The Clearing

A Double Review: The Remnant and The Clearing

As summer rolls on, so do the hot new podcasts. First, the panel revisits the Patriot Movement in the sequel to Bundyville: “The Remnant.” It’s a deep look at how a bomber who targeted a former co-worker may be tied to the larger anti-government movement.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “BUNDYVILLE: THE REMNANT,” GO TO 26:26

Then the crime writers dive into “The Clearing,” an investigation into serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards. A journalist and the killer’s daughter try to sort out what other crimes he committed…and which ones he didn’t.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “THE CLEARING,” GO TO 53:16

Then in crime of the week, do chickens have felons?

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Double Review: I Love You, Now Die & Exhibit A

We're back with a double review. First, HBO's “I Love You, Now Die,” exams the strange case of a teenager accused of ordering her boyfriend to commit suicide over text message. The documentary tells a deeper story than was presented on TV news, probing the troubled lives of both young people to offer more complex reasons Conrad Roy might have wanted to die and why Michelle Carter didn’t stop him.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “I LOVE YOU, NOW DIE,” GO TO 34:40

Next, Netflix's “Exhibit A” looks at four court cases in which questionable forensic science was used to secure otherwise shaky convictions. The documentary goes at the public’s blind trust in science, giving real-life examples of how it can be misused or misinterpreted.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “EXHIBIT A,” GO TO 1:03:32

Then in Crime of the Week: traffic cop-out.

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In the Dark Revelations and Atlantic

Following the US Supreme Court striking down Curtis Flowers’ conviction, In The Dark has returned with what could be the final episode of season two. The Polk Award-winning podcast saved some of its most compelling journalism for its final hour, accomplishing more in 56 minutes than most podcasts do in their entire series.

FOR OUR THUMBS UP OR THUMBS WAY UP REVIEW OF THIS EP OF IN THE DARK, GO TO 25:04

The Irish Times’s podcast “Atlantic” examines the unsolved mystery of Peter Bergmann, a tourist found dead on a beach in County Sligo in 2009. The question remains - not how did he die - but why did he come to Ireland to disappear?

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “ATLANTIC,” GO TO 46:55

Then in Crime of the Week: burn, baby, burn.

APPEARANCE ALERT!

The crime writers will be at the True Crime Podcast Festival 2019 on July 13 in Chicago. Information at tcpf2019.com.

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Big Little Lies and Slate's The Queen

Big Little Lies returns and The Queen reigns

Sisters are doing it for themselves.

This week, the panel talks about Madeline Baron’s rapid response episode of “In the Dark” following the SCOTUS decision on Curtis Flowers. What was the response from residents in Winona…including prosecutor Doug Evans?

The crime writers review “The Queen,” a new podcast from Slate. It follows the story of Linda Taylor, the con woman whose brazen public assistance scam gave rise to the “welfare queen” narrative. The mixture of crime, politics, and dog-whistle racism has left a legacy which resonates today.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “THE QUEEN,” GO TO 31:13.

HBO offers a second season of “Big Little Lies,” as we see the fallout from Perry’s death on the women who keep the secret. Relationships become more complicated and the stakes get higher.

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “BIG LITTLE LIES,” GO TO 1:00:00.

Then in Crime of the Week: you’re not the sauce of me.

APPEARANCE ALERT!

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Double review: Confronting OJ and Man in the Window

Double review: Confronting OJ and Man in the Window

Lots of true crime podcast updates this week! The US Supreme Court has vacated the conviction of In The Dark S2 subject Curtis Flowers in a 7-2 decision. Will he be tried for a seventh time? There’s a shocking discovery in NPR’s White Lies podcast. We have a verdict in the Escaping NXIVM case and a new plea from the suspect in The Teacher’s Pet podcast.

After their hit Dirty John, the LA Times and Wondery have paired up again to tell the story of California’s most infamous serial killer. “Man in the Window” charts the evolution of the Golden State Killer. Will they capture lightning again or simply re-tread a significantly covered crime?

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF MAN IN THE WINDOW, GO TO 33:34.

Confronting: OJ Simpson,” hosted by Kim Goldman, sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, revisits some of the primary and peripheral figures of the crime. Does it bring anything new to this well-known case?

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF CONFRONTING: OJ SIMPSON, GO TO 59:18

Then in Crime of the Week: cat-astrophe.

APPEARANCE ALERT!

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When They See Us and This Land

When They See Us and This Land

In True Crime Update, a listener of the “Bear Brook” podcast solved a big part of the cold case. We hear from Rebecca’s colleague Jason Moon, as well as giving a plug for NHPR’s new podcast about parole, “Supervision.”

The panel offers a first-impressions review of Crooked Media’s “This Land.” It touches on a murder conviction from 2000, but the legal case has less to do about what happened and more to do about where it happened.

FOR A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF “THIS LAND,” GO TO 38:22.

Then the crime writers dig into Netflix’s “When They See Us.” It retells the 1989 story of the Central Park Five, showing how the five black teenagers falsely confessed to a rape they didn’t do and challenges they faced even after serving their sentences.

TO HEAR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "WHEN THEY SEE US," GO TO 1:05:41.

In Crime of the Week: Taco Hell.

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APPEARANCE ALERT!

The crime writers will be at the True Crime Podcast Festival 2019 on July 13 in Chicago. Information at tcpf2019.com.

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  • This Sounds Serious – get season two wherever you get your podcasts

The Legend of Cocaine Island and Crime Writers Against Humanity!

The Legend of Cocaine Island and Crime Writers Against Humanity!

In a break from format, this episode was recorded before a live audience at PodX in Nashville!

The panel discusses the stylized, semi-serious Netflix documentary "The Legend of Cocaine Island." Is this story of buried treasure about the American Dream or about American excess?

TO HEAR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "THE LEGEND OF COCAINE ISLAND," GO TO 24:59.

With the help of the audience, the team plays a few rounds of CRIME WRITERS AGAINST HUMANITY! Using cards from the very-adult, delightfully-offensive game, the panel answers podcast-specific questions in terribly naughty ways. The show ends with some Q&A from the crowd.

In Crime of the Week: a bat out of Dell!

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APPEARANCE ALERT!

The crime writers will be at the True Crime Podcast Festival 2019 on July 13 in Chicago. Information at tcpf2019.com.

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Yeah, we put Chernobyl and Killing Eve in the SAME SHOW!

Yeah, we put Chernobyl and Killing Eve in the SAME SHOW!

Kevin makes his return from his latest surgery to sound that call: TRUE CRIME PODCAST UPDATE! From Paris, the trial of "West Cork" subject Ian Bailey is underway.

Call it the “feel-bad show of the summer.” HBO and Sky Atlantic have teamed for the five-part series “Chernobyl.” We know going in that “Chernobyl” will be scary and depressing...but will it also be entertaining?

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "CHERNOBYL," GO TO 29:51

It was one of our favorite shows from 2018. BBC America’s "Killing Eve" just wrapped up its second season. Emmy winner Sandra Oh reprises her role as Eve Polastri, the MI-6 analyst obsessed with the delightfully-psychopathic assassin Villanelle, played by Julie Comer. Does the show work better when the frenemies are together or apart?

FOR OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF "KILLING EVE" S2, GO TO 51:55

In Crime of the Week - a clean getaway.

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APPEARANCE ALERT!

The crime writers will be at the True Crime Podcast Festival 2019 on July 13 in Chicago. Information at tcpf2019.com.

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