podcast

Stranger Things, Serial Update(s)& Omar on The Night Of

Well, it took more than one try, but the Crime Writers are getting it done with a well-rehearsed discussion on Netflix's newest breakout hit, "Stranger Things." It's like Stephen King and Steven Spielberg had a baby that was eight-episodes long. (Almost) no spoilers...except that it's freakin' awesome.

We also debut a brand new segment: the TRUE CRIME ROUND-UP!

We've got the latest on the Adnan Syed appeal and the Bowe Bergdahl court martial.

The panel's sharp eyes turn back to HBO's "The Night Of." What was a straight murder mystery is now part prison story, part crime procedural. Half way through, is it losing focus or hitting its stride.

ALSO: Watch for details on the first Crime Writers On live podcast. (Click here for a sort-of RSVP!)

We'll wrap up our summer book club with an audience-participation discussion on Laura Lippman's Wilde Lake. We'll be at the the Hatbox Theater in Concord, NH September 12th. FREE ADMISSION. Surprises galore!

Listen to the episode:

HBO's The Night Of, DNA Mixtures, a Serial Update & Rebecca's Big Win

HBO's The Night Of, DNA Mixtures, a Serial Update & Rebecca's Big Win

It's been more than ten days. What's the latest on whether the state will appeal Judge Welch's decision to vacate Adnan Syed's conviction?

"The Night Of" is sure to be "the show of the summer." This moody, unsettling murder mystery is everything that "True Detective, Season 2" was not.

The Crime Writers talk about what makes this show stand out, whether the cops are playing fair with Naz, and WTF is up with John Turturro's feet.

You think juries can be swayed by faulty cell tower evidence, but how about something as sure-fire as DNA? We hear from science writer Chris Berdik about how DNA mixtures from a single sample are complicating the scientific process...and how the DNA used to convict some suspects is now being used to exonerate them.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! We'll announce which crime book you have chosen for the Crime Writers On first Summer Book Club. Use that Amazon link to buy your copy. We'll have a special interactive show to get your views and discuss our thoughts (bring your own white wine).

Grab your smartphone for the Crime of the Week. People our out in the real world hunting for Pokémon and some are finding more than just Pikachus!

Listen to the podcast:

Serial Epilogue: Adnan Syed Gets a New Trial...Maybe

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...

Listen to the episode:

Related:

Lara's husband likes a show called Alaskan Bush People 

'Reply All' Does True Crime & Shines Bright Like King Diamond

'Reply All' Does True Crime & Shines Bright Like King Diamond

Who thought we'd see Serial reborn in a podcast about the internet? Reply All's Sruthi Pinnamaneni brings us a four-part story about an inmate, his blog, the shifty characters associated with his crime, a flimsy evidence and nutty trial, and then - woah! - that final jailhouse interview! It's the podcast that has everyone asking, "Who the eff is King Diamond?"

In this episode, we'll hear from Sruthi about what went into creating the world's latest must-listen-to podcast. Then the panel will give their two-cents on the case and whether Sruthi is the one who finally stuck the landing.

There's also a correction or two. The song says "Don't you forget about me," but we might have forgotten about them.

Finally, you'll be repeating the Crime of the Week over and over again.

Listen to the Episode:

(Audio will be posted at 12:01 AM EST on 6.11.16)

Listen to the series "On the Inside" from Reply All:

Also...can't get enough wisdom and insight from the incarcerated? Here are some blogs written by inmates, for future inmates (...if you're not careful).

  • On the Inside - Paul Modrowski's blog, edited by his mother, that started Reply All's four-episode profile of Paul and his case.

  • Between the Bars - a blog platform for prisoners in the US without internet access, done through MIT.

  • Live from Lockdown - a blog written by various inmates in the federal prison system, including highly influential gang-leaders and those held in solitary confinement.

  • Ben's Prison Blog - written by Ben Gunn, imprisoned in Sudbury (HM Prison), Derbyshire, England, 2009–2012. Since his release, Ben has continued his blog.

Lastly, for those looking for deeper meaning, here's King Diamond's song, "No Presents for Christmas."

Additional music this episode provided by Uncanny Valleys.

Two And A Half Crime Writers (AKA The One Where We Chat With Jon Cryer!)

Two And A Half Crime Writers (A.K.A The One Where We Interview Jon Cryer!)

Use our Amazon link!

Click here and then shop like you always do. You can even bookmark this link if you want.

Click here to shop on Amazon UK!

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Why the heck would mega TV and movie star Jon Cryer agree to be on our little podcast? Because he's a fan, dammit! It also turns out that he's a HUGE fan of true crime, including many of the podcasts we've talked about, like Serial and Undisclosed.

But does the artist formerly known as Duckie qualify as a crime writer? YES! (Sort of.) He's got a hilarious memoir, So That Happened, in which he explains his crime scene-rich formative years, including the shooting of his hooker-loving, soup-making next door neighbor. 

So yeah, that happened. We talked to Jon Cryer. And yes, he DID spill the beans on being in Pretty in Pink, the weird antics of Charlie Sheen, and serving on jury duty (more than once!)

Plus, our Crime of the Week tackles the question...of all the child/teen actors you used to love, which one does the panel most which would make a comeback?

Listen to the episode:

Bowraville - The Podcast from a Land Down Under

Bowraville - The Podcast from a Land Down Under

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This week, the panel talks about Bowraville, the true crime podcast created by The Australian newspaper. (Scroll down to listen!) Rebecca also connects with Dan Box, the Brit-turned-Aussie who reported the story, and asks, why is your newspaper being called the "unlikely hero" of this never-solved serial murder case? (A hint...it has a little something to do with Rupert Murdoch!)

Also, we tackle some listener queries, and play a voice memo simply because one of you asked us to. As for the crime of the week? Let's just say it puts a new twist on the trustworthiness of babysitters.

Listen to the episode:

Related:

You can listen to Bowraville on the playlist below, or click here to subscribe to The Australian podcast and get the episodes on iTunes.

Also, Rebecca and Lara talked about an awesome book, The Round House, by Louise Erdich.

Bowe Bergdahl's Court Win & The SWAT Team Controversy

Bowe Bergdahl's Court Win & The SWAT Team Controversy

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Click here to shop on Amazon UK!

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When news broke last week that Bowe Bergdahl's legal team had scored a victory in his case, we weren't sure we understood exactly what happened. So, Kevin reached out to our trusty military legal eagle James Weirick for a quick run-down. As a bonus, we get confirmation that Weirick is, in fact, the manliest man to ever man-up.

Also, the PBS documentary Peace Officer hooked us in but also left us with some questions. As we tackle those, we also wonder, WTF is our local PD doing with a tank?

(BTW, you can find out what we're going to be talking about before our episodes drop if you sign up for our newsletter! You can do that right here.)

Plus, Lara gets corrected correctly, we answer a couple of listener inquiries, and the Crime of the Week posits...is it EVER too late to hand out some justice?

Listen:

Audio will be available at midnight EST on 5.14.2016

Links:

"The Coldest Cut" article by Kevin & Rebecca

Radley Balko's Washington Post blog: The Watch

AMC/Netflix's crime drama "The Killing"

Crime of the Week: 71 year old fugitive caught 50 years after his escape.

These Are Their Stories: A Very Special Law & Order Special

These Are Their Stories: A Very Special Law & Order Special

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Click here and then shop like you always do. You can even bookmark this link if you want.

Click here to shop on Amazon UK!

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Kevin and Rebecca are joined by two very special guests to discuss Law & Order: "Original Recipe," AKA, the first series in the juggernaut franchise that's been on the air for nearly three decades.

The panel talks about what makes Law & Order so compelling, their favorite characters, the weird writing tropes of the Law & Order universe, and a lightning round that pits Jerry Orbach against Dennis Farina, and Jill Hennessy against Angie Harmon.


Listen: 

Links:

Meet our brand new special guest panelist Brady Carlson and read his book, Dead Presidents

Rebecca talked about a study that looked at views of law enforcement through the lens of Law & Order. Here's an article about that

And, if you want to see Brady Carlson's Happy Birthday photo signed by Jerry Orbach, here it is:

 

 

S2 Ep 13: Endings are Important! Plus, Our Podcast & Media Picks

Endings are Important! Plus, Our Podcast & Media Picks

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The crime writers respond to a listener's very British rant about the critical nature of endings in a good story, talk about what TV shows totally failed at the end, and settle a long-term marital dispute that's been tearing Kevin and Rebecca apart.

In response to a less swear-filled voice memo (and dozens of listener emails), the panel gives their picks for podcasts, books, and TV worth consuming.

Plus, the Crime of the Week delves in to Australia's long national nightmare and reveals that there's a killer living with one of the panel! Watch out, Toby!!!

Listen to the episode:

Audio will be available after midnight EST on 4.23.16

Our Media Picks:

Rebecca's picks: 

Listen: Embedded podcast & Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People

Read: Silent City by Alex Segura

Watch: The Americans (AKA the BEST SHOW ON TV)

Also check out: Hinterland on Netflix

Toby's Picks:

Listen: You Must Remember This podcast

Read: Of Better Blood by Susan Moger 

Watch: Billions

Also check out: Jodorowsky's Dune (documentary film) and Deep Water (doc film on Netflix)

Lara's Picks:

Listen: Modern Love podcast

Read: Outfoxed by Rita Mae Brown

Watch: Outlander, Season 2

Also check out: Belgravia, by Julian Fellowes

Kevin's Picks:

Listen: Guys We F**cked

Read: The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Watch: Bosch on Amazon Prime

Also check out: Game of Thrones, people!

S2 Ep 12: Does Someone Know Something? Damned if We Know.

Does Someone Know Something? Damned if We Know.

The Crime Writers talk about another true crime podcast, Someone Knows Something, the Canadian-crafted cold case show that's holding firm on the charts. Rebecca also checks in with the show's creator and host, David Ridgen.

Also, we talk about the kerfluffle over Asia McClain's book announcement,  find out what celebrity Toby most resembles and ask him, "Why oh why did you leave your sister hanging?"

Then, the gang answers a few listener questions before going on to the Crime of the Week which delves into the gang's vanity...and crippling insecurity.

Listen to the episode:

Related:

Wondering how Kevin's Fritz Wetherbee impression stacks up to the real deal? Check out this video - and then google a few more. 

Want proof that Toby looks exactly like Brad Pitt and Rebecca resembles Nicole Kidman? Check out the photos below, and then find out what celebrity you resemble on this creepy, creepy web site

S2 Ep 11.5: The People Vs. Serial Season 2 - Was OJ The Better-Told Story?

The People Vs. Serial Season 2 - Was OJ The Better-Told Story?

The Crime Writers welcome very special guest Lt. Col (R) James Weirick on board to talk about the art of storytelling, and whether Serial delivered on the big promises it made in season 2.

We also take apart the storycraft behind The People Vs. OJ Simpson, and how the cast, the plot frame, and even the casting of Ross as Robert Kardashian affected that show's arc.

Plus, we listen to some pithy listener voice memos and tackle a juvenile crime of the week. 

A special thanks to classy-voiced British journalist Emma Finamore for reading some of the items our listeners from across the pond purchased on Amazon UK! 

Listen to the episode:

Mentioned in the Episode:

Check out Toby's handwritten plot outline of Serial seasons 1 and 2:

And you thought SERIAL had fancy digital stuff!

And you thought SERIAL had fancy digital stuff!

Here's the article Toby mentioned in which the courtroom sketch artist compares the actors' portrayals to the real people in the OJ Simpson case.

What's on Weirick's Netflix list? Here you go:

1. Bronson

2. H.H. Holmes, America's First Serial Killer

3. Carl Panzram, The Spirit of Hatred and Vengeance

4. Punch-Drunk Love

5. Mirage Men

Crime of the Week link:

Read the Orange Street News, the greatest newspaper ever written by a kid.

S2 Ep 11: Reporting For The End (of Serial Season 2)

Reporting For The End (of Serial Season 2)

After eleven episodes, Sarah and team tapped out of season two. In "Present for Duty," the Serial squad does some solid enterprise reporting into whether anyone was actually killed or wounded in efforts to recover Bowe.

While saving judgement on the season as a whole until next week, the panel breaks down the series finale. Did Ken Wolf's declaration make a difference in the minds of those who want the maximum punishment for Bowe Bergdahl? Do the fates of Jimmy Hatch and Matt Allen make it harder to forgive Bowe for his actions?

The Crime of Week is a shocker! A NC man gets arrested because of an overdue video rental. Please be kind and rewind.

Listen to the episode:

Links:

Here's more on the case that Lara mentioned of the guy who gave a whole of people Hepatitis

And here are two links (one and two) about the research into brain wiring of liberals and conservatives - something Rebecca mentioned in the show

S2 Ep 10.5: JAGged Little Pill, Your Questions, & A People Vs. OJ Breakdown

JAGged Little Pill, Your Questions, & A People Vs. OJ Analysis

It's yet another a super long episode! (Sorry about that.)

But hey, at least there are t-shirts you guys can buy. Here's the link to those

For civilians, is there something about Serial Season 2 that neither we nor Sarah fundamentally get?

Rebecca and Kevin have a talk with JAG Lt Col James Weirick (ret), one of the hosts of the Task and Purpose Radio podcast. Weirick shares his take on Bowe, how the legal case against him is playing out, and what military listeners are saying about Serial Season 2. He also confesses to stalking Sarah Keonig in a "non-criminal" way.

We also answer a few listener questions (including one from Michael Jackson's old house!) and Kevin makes yet another terrible transition into our sponsor's ads. There's also a meaty discussion about our latest TV obsession, "The People vs OJ Simpson." What started as a cheesy, escapist miniseries has become a riveting character study - and maybe a feminist manifesto?.

So a guy walks into a sushi bar with a giant snake.  And he says, "This sounds like it could be the Crime of Week." Let the good times maki roll. 

Listen to the episode:

S2 Ep 10: We Never Promised You A Rose Garden - Serial Season 2

We Never Promised You A Rose Garden

The Crime Writers dissect almost every aspect of Serial, Season 2, Episode 10, "Thorny Politics." It gets so deep that Rebecca feels the need to include extra out-takes for comic relief.

Plus, Kevin explains what a "news fixer" is and makes a better-than-last-week transition into our ads, Rebecca asks whether or not public radio reporters are SO committed to journalistic neutrality that they only talk to Republicans, we hear what a traffic report in New Hampshire would have sounded like a decade ago, and the panel discusses a Crime of the Week designed for the twenty-five percent.


Listen to the episode:

 

Related:

Here's the New York Times article that gets mentioned about twelve times during this episode

An Atlantic story about news fixers and how they decide which crimes you actually hear about on network TV

Rebecca mentioned this reddit thread in which a user made a comment about Sarah Koenig's use of sources and public radio's reporters' fear of being seen as "liberal shills"

The Crime of the Week: An Alabama man faces charges for stealing almost $200,000 in quarters, which weighed about 10,000 pounds.

S2 Ep 9.5: Ruff Week, Trumping Bowe, OJ on the Side, & Downton's Downturn

S2 Ep 9.5: Ruff Week, Trumping Bowe, OJ on the Side, & Downton's Downturn

The Crime Writers talk about why it's not a good idea to say you think someone committed a murder in public and also  cover some new developments around Bowe Bergdahl media projects and his lawyer's request to interview Donald Trump.

Plus,  there are some silly ads, and after those, a discussion about The People Versus O.J. Simpson and that Downton Abbey finale, which Toby has a whole lot of opinions about. 

Also, the Crime of the Week gives Kevin a case of the 'Green Apple Splatters.'

Take a listen:

 

S2 Ep 9: Trade...Ahem...Secrets - Serial Season 2

S2 Ep 9: Trade...Ahem...Secrets

Bookmark our Amazon link!

The Crime Writers zoom all around a huge episode of Serial in which Sarah unpacks the attempts at diplomacy that led (and didn't lead) to Bowe Bergdahl's release. 

Also, we talk about that mysterious throat clearing incident, beg our listeners to start watching The Grinder, and frame a whole episode around what you thought we should talk about. Plus, THAT KNIFE FOUND AT OJ SIMPSON'S HOUSE!!!

Listen:

Related:

Watch the trailer for The Grinder, that show Rebecca wants you to help save:

Here are the books recommended by the panel during our ad for Audible.com (we're linking to the physical books through Amazon):




S2 Ep 8.5: Bowe's Brain, Loose Story Threads, & Listener Questions - Serial Season 2

Bowe's Brain, Loose Story Threads, & Listener Questions

Bookmark our Amazon link!

The Crime Writers pick at some loose threads from Serial's recent episodes, and talk with an actual expert on about how Bowe's personality disorder may have led to his walking away but also helped him cope with five years in captivity.

Plus, Toby's away! But we have an able-bodied PT Stud sitting in his place, reporter and Outside/In podcast host Sam Evans-Brown.

Also, the Crime of the Week puts the Crime Writers on the spot when it comes to internet sleuthing.

Listen to the episode:

Links:

Here's that Daily Mail article about the girlfriend Bowe Bergdahl had when he walked away.

Remember when Sam Evans-Brown said he "wasn't that fast" a runner? Yeah, he's a liar. Check out the results of this 2014 5K in Concord, NH, in which nearly 3,000 people participated. Spoiler alert: he placed 7th.



S2 Ep7/8: Hindsight, in Two Episodes - Serial Season 2

S2 Episodes 7 and 8: Hindsight, in Two Episodes - Serial Season 2

The Crime Writers dissect the most interesting aspects of this week's 2-part Serial Season 2 release, 'Hindsight.' Highlights include Rebecca's unprecedented disagreement with Sarah Koenig, Toby's astute analysis of "slippery slope," the over-use of the word "hippie," and a the beginning of a feline face-off.

Plus, the Crime of the Week - and a special surprise we've all been waiting for right in the middle of the ep. 

Listen:

Links:

Toby talked about white supremacists being let into the military on special wavers. Here's some reporting on that.

Additional episode scoring music from Jahzzar, via the Free Music Archive.

S2 Ep 6.5: Making a Murderer's 'Silver Fox', Adnan Syed's PCR Wrap, Bowe's Brain, & The People Vs. O.J. Simpson

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S2 Ep 6.5 Megasode: Making a Murderer's 'Silver Fox', Adnan Syed's PCR Wrap, Bowe's Brain, & The People Vs. O.J. Simpson

Rebecca's dream comes true as she gets the chance to chat with Making a Murderer's breakout press-pool guy Aaron Keller. Well, it would have been her dream come true if Kevin hadn't tagged along.

Anyway, the Crime Writers also talk about how Adnan Syed's PCR hearing wrapped up, dive into reactions about their Bowe Bergdahl Autism speculations, talk about their initial impressions of 'The People v. OJ Simpson' on FX, and tackle yet another compelling Crime of the Week. Plus, a listener clears up a mystery sparked by Toby's misread of one of those Amazon items.

BOOK LAUNCH: Kevin and Rebecca are having a book launch party for their newest title, Dark Heart, on March 3, 2016. They'd like you to join them at Gibson's Bookstore, S Main St, Concord NH at 5:30.

Listen:

Related links:

Making a Murder journalist Aaron Keller wants everyone to read the Wisconsin Rules of Conduct for attorneys. So, here they are.

Listen to the episode of This American Life Toby mentioned, the one in which you get to find out just how weird OJ Simpson actually is.

Rebecca mentioned a story about Gawker reporters being allowed to make political donations. Here's that article

S2 Ep6: Adnan's Hearing & Bowe's 5 O'Clock Shadow - Serial Season 2 (and 1!)

S2 Ep6: Adnan's Hearing & Bowe's 5 O'Clock Shadow - Serial Season 2 (and 1!)

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Crime Writers On is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Crime Writers take on Sarah Koenig's  phoned-in updates on Adnan Syed's PCR hearing and try to solve the mystery of why she's staying in a hotel that provides animal-print bathrobes.

Plus, we dissect Serial Season 2 Episode 6: 5 O'Clock Shadow. What do we think of Bowe's story now that we know he smoked a pipe? And how about the idea that he'd get picked first for a fantasy sports team of soldiers? And what, exactly, are the major exports from Amsterdam?

All this, plus Toby reads Amazon items, the team shares their best NH Primary stories, takes on the Crime of the Week, and much, much more.

Listen to the episode: