Radiotopia’s “Criminal” has maintained its status as a fan-favorite, top-charting true crime podcast. Since 2014, “Criminal” has covered all things true crime. From criminal investigations and murders, to mysteries, and everything in between, audiences tune in to “Criminal’s” multi-layered storylines. Listeners will hear about bizarre tales, people who have broken the law, and others mixed up in problematic situations. We’ll learn about the criminal justice system, police officers, and more. Parties involved in each story appear on episodes to share first-hand accounts. In “Criminal,” we see there are often more than 2 sides to explore in every story.
Host Phoebe Judge and co-creator/producer Lauren Spohrer work with “Criminal’s” team to create compelling narratives filled with twists and turns. Phoebe hosts many shows besides “Criminal.” She reads classic stories on the podcast, “Phoebe Reads A Mystery.” “This Is Love” is Radiotopia’s monthly podcast created by the same folks as “Criminal,” exploring all-encompassing stories of “love.”
Phoebe discovers a real-life treasure hunt from 1979, as explained in a recent “Criminal” episode. In the fictional children’s book, Masquerade, the moon falls in love with the sun. The moon decides to send the sun a gift, making a hare out of gold. Moon calls upon an actual hare, Jackhare, to travel across the earth with the special delivery. But upon arriving, Jackhare realizes he lost the gift somewhere along the journey. The book concludes by asking readers to find the hare. An actual 18-karat gold sculpture was created and hidden in Britain by Masquerade’s author, Kit Williams. Readers perused the the intricate illustrations and hidden subtexts the book contained. Kit said this was a nod to his childhood. Then, the episode unpacks the mysterious and odd circumstances around the treasure hunt’s winner.
The two-part episode, “48 Hours,” details a kidnapping scheme of a couple, where they’re inexplicably held hostage. When the boyfriend manages to call 911, things get weird when he visits the police station. They believe he has killed his girlfriend. The guy explains that his girlfriend is still in danger and the kidnappers are trying to extort them for money, but it takes several hours for the police to believe him. Certain situations, like the ones presented in this episode, leave listeners questioning the criminal justice system.
Nina Gilden Seavey of “My Fugitive” dropped by episode 4 of Podsauce. Nina shared that “Criminal” is her favorite podcast, and she expressed her love for true crime shows, discussing how this podcast, as well as “My Favorite Murder,” are like “mind candy” when she wants to escape reality for a while.
In 2022, “Criminal” will embark on a world tour to feature live iterations of the podcast. New episodes of “Criminal” are released twice monthly.