Crime Writers On...True Crime Review-logo

Crime Writers On...True Crime Review


The original true crime review podcast that looks at other podcasts, TV, and pop culture. True crime authors and real-life couple Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn hold a pop-culture round table with noir novelist Toby Ball and journalist-turned-investigator Lara Bricker. The panel chats about other podcasts (including 'Serial') as well as journalism, storytelling, TV shows and films, and the special segment, 'Crime of the Week.'Show website: Follow the show on Twitter @crimewriterson. Find us on Facebook Email the show at by Benjamin Frisch


United States


The original true crime review podcast that looks at other podcasts, TV, and pop culture. True crime authors and real-life couple Rebecca Lavoie and Kevin Flynn hold a pop-culture round table with noir novelist Toby Ball and journalist-turned-investigator Lara Bricker. The panel chats about other podcasts (including 'Serial') as well as journalism, storytelling, TV shows and films, and the special segment, 'Crime of the Week.'Show website: Follow the show on Twitter @crimewriterson. Find us on Facebook Email the show at by Benjamin Frisch





Emma Mannion told police she was raped in a car by a fellow University of Alabama student. When investigators said her story wasn’t credible, she reluctantly recanted her claim. That’s when cops arrested and prosecuted her for filing a false report. Journalist Rachel De Leon discovered a nationwide pattern of law enforcement using deceptive interview techniques to break the victim’s resolve, then turning the tables on them and accusing them of their own crimes. De Leon traveled the country to explore the story of Emma and others like her who were treated less like victims and more like suspects. The Netflix documentary “Victim/Suspect” follows De Leon as she exposes why women who sought justice for their assaults were falsely arrested and imprisoned because police didn’t believe them. It also recounts the case of several victims who’ve lived with the personal and public pain of false recantations. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "VICTIM/SUSPECT" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Yellowjackets Season 2

Teenage Shauna and her stranded soccer teammates face death during the brutal winter after their plane crash in the wilderness. As the birth of Shauna’s baby approaches, the Yellowjackets are desperate for food. Meanwhile, Lottie emerges as a spiritual leader, getting the team to connect to the supernatural powers of the forest. Back in present day, the police home in on Shauna and her family for the murder of her lover Adam, as Misty attempts to throw an internet detective off the track. A troubled Taissa reunites with Van as they join Natalie and the others at the cult-like self-help commune run by Lottie. With the world closing in on them, are the surviving Yellowjackets ready to confront their long-held secrets? Showtime’s Emmy-nominated “Yellowjackets” returns for a second season. We see the teenage survivors take their first steps toward the foreshadowed nature-worshiping, antler-wearing, cannibalistic tribe they’ll become - while their adult selves are drawn to their one-time woodland priestess for answers. Did the Yellowjackets escape the malevolent force of the wilderness, or did they bring it back with them? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "YELLOWJACKETS" SEASON TWO BEGIN IN THE FINAL 10 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: long, long overdue.


Love and Death

Candy Montgomery seems to have it all: loving husband, adorable kids…and friends from church like Betty Gore. But to fight the mundanity of suburban life, Candy propositions Betty’s husband, Allen. After the affair runs its course, Candy and her husband Pat are closer than ever. But a visit to Betty’s house turns deadly when the women fight over an ax. Elizabeth Olsen stars in the Max Originals “Love and Death,” chronicling the 1980 murder that captivated the nation - and spawned a different miniseries about the case on Hulu less than a year ago. Why would Candy kill Betty with 41 blows from a three-foot ax? Was it the affair…or did she just snap? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "LOVE AND DEATH" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Brokers, Bagmen, & Moles

In the 1980s, brokers at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were not Ivy League financial-types. They were mostly blue-collar workers with on-the-job training in commodities exchanges. And they were making more money than most knew what to do with. All that cash caught the interest of the FBI, who suspected financial fraud at the Merc. But after undercover agents spent thousands of hours on the floor losing millions of dollars in taxpayer money, their investigation turned out to be a bad investment. In “Brokers, Bagmen, and Moles” host Anjay Nagpal takes listeners into the pits of Chicago’s exchanges to detail one of the costliest FBI investigations ever. Were authorities really going after the handful of small fish they caught - or did they actually have their sights on some blue chip executives? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "BROKERS, BAGMEN, AND MOLES" BEGIN IN THE FINAL NINE MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: booze cruise.


Think Twice: Michael Jackson

Just as his commercial success began to wane, Michael Jackson faced career-ending criminal charges he molested a child - not the first time such allegations surfaced. It was the most serious item on the list of problematic conduct and idiosyncratic behavior which defined his public persona. But his journey from fame to infamy was not simple, nor is there consensus on its effects on his legacy. Even a decade after his death, there remains one camp of fans dedicated to his influence and innocence - and another that’s come to terms with the veracity of his deplorable actions. From Audible Originals, Wondery, and Prologue Productions comes “Think Twice: Michael Jackson.” Hosts Leon Neyfakh and Jay Smooth present original interviews seeking new ways to examine Jackson’s staying power in pop culture despite years of disturbing allegations. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THINK TWICE: MICHAEL JACKSON" BEGIN IN THE FINAL NINE MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Jury Duty, plus a Bone Valley update

Leading off: After all of his appeals options have been exhausted, Leo Schofield has one last path to freedom. A Florida parole board agrees to consider his application for release. Setting aside his claims of innocence and focusing on his conduct during 35 years of incarceration, the board offers some hope. In the bonus episode of “Bone Valley,” Gilbert King and Kelsey Decker examine the board’s nuanced ruling and talk to Leo about what lies ahead. Moving on: Documentarians are granted unfettered access to a civil trial and the deliberations of its jury. The panel includes Ronald Gladden, who takes his role earnestly. What he doesn’t know is that the judge, the lawyers, and his eleven fellow jurors are all actors. When alternate juror James Marsden - played by the real James Marsden - gets the jury sequestered, Ronald remains unaware of the elaborate charade as he interacts with quirky characters, ridiculous situations, and bizarre testimony. “Jury Duty,” available on Amazon’s Freevee, wraps its scripted trial in a real life comedy of manners featuring an unsuspecting everyman. But Ronald surprises both the audience and the producers with his heartwarming tolerance to the idiosyncratic jurors, the oddball defendant, and the nutty set pieces engineered for his benefit. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "JURY DUTY" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 8 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: Days of wine and lollipops.


Catching Lightning

In 2006, a group of armed and masked men used kidnapping and precision to enter a money counting center, making off with £53 million in cash. The media buzzed over who was behind the largest heist in history. The trail led to “Lightning” Lee Murray, a champion contender in the world of mixed martial arts. But Murray didn’t just make money as an ultimate fighting star. The middleweight remained connected to the street gang he grew up in...and now he’s on the run. Showtime Sports Documentary Films presents “Catching Lightning,” looking at Murray’s rise in extreme sports and his role in the Securitas depot robbery. The four-part series uses jailhouse recordings of Murray, plus interviews with athletes and investigators to dissect why “Lightning Lee” turned to crime and how he was caught. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "CATCHING LIGHTNING" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 10 MINUTES OF THE SHOW.


The Diplomat

Career staffer Kate Wyler gets a surprise appointment to be US ambassador to the UK during a moment of crisis. A sneak attack on a British ship has left dozens of sailors dead, but Kate is unconvinced Iran is behind the assault. She is unable to rein in her husband, a former ambassador known for his diplomatic connections and for going rogue. While she works to temper the Prime Minister’s belligerent rhetoric, Kate learns the real reason she’s been given the post. It’s an audition to replace the politically disgraced Vice President. Keri Russell stars in Netflix’s trending drama series “The Diplomat.” Kate must employ her skills as a former foreign service staffer to work with her British counterparts and avert a war. She also must negotiate her own domestic relations with a sexy Foreign Secretary and the meddling husband who remains devoted to her. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THE DIPLOMAT" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 9 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: standing on your principals.


The 12th Victim

In 1958, the nation was horrified by a random murder spree across the Midwest by teenager Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate. Authorities said Starkweather was responsible for 11 deaths - including those of Fugate’s parents and sister - but they didn’t believe the 14-year-old’s claims she was an unwitting accomplice. When he shifted blame for the crimes on Caril, she said she was the last of Starkweather’s victims. She received little sympathy from the courts or the public. Even after her parole in 1976, her infamy followed her everywhere, threatening her dreams of an ordinary life. The Showtime series “The 12th Victim” reexamines Caril Ann Fugate’s actions and the criminal trial that made her the youngest woman convicted for first-degree murder. It also discusses the murders’ influence on movies, music, and pop culture. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THE 12TH VICTIM BEGIN IN THE FINAL TEN MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Unreformed: The Story of the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children

A hundred years ago, Alabama took over a reform school that served Black children who were "wayward" or broke the law. But survivors say the facility at Mount Meigs was run more like a slave plantation, complete with forced labor and physical and sexual abuse. For decades segregationist politicians gave administrators a free hand in running the school. Then in the 1960s a whistleblower led a lawsuit to improve conditions - with qualified success. School of Humans and iHeartMedia present “Unreformed: The Story of the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children.” Host Josie Duffy Rice talks to former residents to recount the institutional cruelty and intergenerational trauma inflicted by the school at Mount Meigs. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "UNREFORMED: THE STORY OF THE ALABAMA INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL FOR NEGRO CHILDREN" BEGIN IN THE FINAL TEN MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: speedy delivery.


Witnessed: Devil in the Ditch

For twenty years journalist Larrison Campbell has been haunted by the murder of her grandmother in her Mississippi home. Known affectionately as “Presh,” the victim was found bludgeoned in her parlor, a towel over her face, and her purse dumped out. Despite a full-scale investigation, the case soon went cold. Campbell returned to her hometown to re-investigate the 2003 murder. While it could have been a simple robbery-gone-wrong, police believed Presh knew her killer. For years, the family has suspected Richard - an oddball cousin who viciously quarreled with Presh over money days before her death - but has never been arrested. In season four of Campside Media’s “Witnessed: Devil in the Ditch,” Campbell explores her story of loss and the unsubstantiated suspicions of the family outcast. The host mines the social and political impact of a small Southern town society murder and asks if not Richard, then who? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "WITNESSED: DEVIL IN THE DITCH" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 10 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Perry Mason Season 2

After a self-imposed exile, Perry Mason returns to criminal defense work, charged with defending two young Mexican men accused of murdering the son of a powerful businessman in 1930s Los Angeles. With the help of sidekicks Della Street and Paul Drake, Perry seeks justice for the defendants he fears will be railroaded. But victim Brooks McCutcheon was into some shady business: casino boats, oil drilling, and a new baseball stadium - not to mention his dangerous sexual predilections. While Paul seeks clues in LA’s mean streets, Perry and Della navigate the high society players who’d be happy to see the Gallardo brothers take the fall. Matthew Rhys and an all-star cast return for the second season of the Emmy-nominated “Perry Mason.” Once again, the famous defense attorney must find how all the disparate players and opaque clues fit together hoping to reveal the real culprit and get a dramatic confession. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "PERRY MASON" SEASON TWO BEGIN IN THE FINAL TEN MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: Justice is delivered.



Lamonte McIntyre was imprisoned for a 1994 murder he didn’t commit, based largely on evidence provided by detective Roger Golubski. After his exoneration, attention in Kansas City, Kansas turned to the retired cop with a reputation for racism and corruption. Residents said Golubski preyed on Black women and sex workers, abusing and forcing sex from them. Several of these women were murdered, their cases investigated by Golubski and left to go cold. Years later, federal authorities finally went after the cop many thought was untouchable. Winner of the Investigative Reporters and Editors national award for best audio project, “Overlooked" is a six part series from KCUR and the NPR Midwest Newsroom. Host Peggy Lowe examines Golubski’s years of misdeeds, his connections to unsolved crimes, and the present-day effort to hold a dirty cop accountable. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "OVERLOOKED" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 9 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


CSI on Trial

Juries often take as gospel forensics based on expert opinions and not peer-reviewed findings. There’s now a growing scrutiny of techniques like blood spatter, footwear analysis, bite marks, and arson detection - long accepted as reliable, yet responsible for many wrongful convictions. And efforts to establish meaningful standards to the disciplines are met with resistance from the prosecutors who rely on them. “CSI on Trial” from iHeart and School of Humans examines the veracity of the most common forensic techniques, like ballistics and pattern analysis, as well as misapplied findings of arson and shaken baby syndrome. Host Molly Hermann uses the stories of those freed after wrongful convictions and those still behind bars because of shaky science. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "CSI ON TRIAL" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 9 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: old crime.


Murder in Big Horn

A teenager found in a field, another in a yard, another near a highway rest stop. They were the latest in the long line of deaths of Native women from Montana’s Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. Despite their suspicious nature, investigators failed to call the deaths crimes. The incidents drew attention to the larger issue of Native American and First Nation women missing and murdered in the US and Canada. The cases have been largely ignored by the media, met with law enforcement indifference, and inflicted pain on a marginalized community. Showtime’s “Murder in Big Horn” asks questions about the deaths of Henny Scott, Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, and Selena Not Afraid, as well as the pattern of missing and murdered Indigenous women. It explores the many issues contributing to the problem, like historical colonization, economic inequities, sex trafficking, and the lack of consequences for violence against women by Native and white men alike. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "MURDER IN BIG HORN" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 11 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Admissible: Shreds of Evidence

Wrongful conviction lawyers looking for pre-DNA era evidence to test found a trove of samples where they shouldn’t have been: taped to a lab technician’s paperwork. That material would exonerate 13 men in Virginia. Advocates praised forensic scientist Mary Jane Burton for keeping the samples and foreseeing the arrival of DNA testing. But few were asking why Burton broke the chain of custody rules or why so many of her cases resulted in wrongful convictions. Whistleblowers said Burton would skip scientific steps and record her blood test results in pencil, so she could change her findings to benefit the police. Virginia Public Radio and Story Mechanics present “Admissible: Shreds of Evidence.” Host Tessa Kramer examines Burton’s work to answer whether those smuggled samples revealed more than just the wrong guy did it. Were the scientist’s unconventional methods responsible for getting innocent men out of prison…or for putting them there in the first place? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "ADMISSIBLE" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 13 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: rock of the church.



Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny emerged as Vladimir Putin’s strongest rival for the presidency. But while on a flight to Moscow, Navalny became gravely ill. After getting treatment in Germany, it was determined he’d been poisoned with a nerve agent - likely by Russian special forces. Using telecom data, investigative journalists working with Navalny identified the scientists and operatives who executed the attack. The politician then used the press and social media to expose his would-be assassins in an act of defiance against Putin’s regime. The Academy Award winning documentary feature film “Navalny” from HBO Max and CNN Films brings us inside the activist’s effort to solve his own assassination attempt and score political points against an autocrat. We also see in real time the fallout as Navalny returns to Russian to continue his campaign to change the nation. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "NAVALNY" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 9 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


The No Good, Terribly Kind, Wonderful Lives and Tragic Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman

The 2017 murders of Canadian pharmaceutical executive Barry Sherman and his wife Honey shook the nation. The Sherman’s were seen as pillars of Toronto’s Jewish community. But the billionaire CEO also had a reputation for being a savage businessman, even among those in the cutthroat world of generic drug manufacturing. Meanwhile, Sherman’s cousins claimed they’d been swindled out of their share of the company. Kerry Winters claimed Barry once asked him to murder Honey, then drew suspicion when he told the press he wanted to kill his uncle himself. From Lionsgate Sound and CBC Podcasts comes “The No Good, Terribly Kind, Wonderful Lives and Tragic Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman.” Five years after the unsolved crime, host Kathleen Goldhar explores the business rivals, disgruntled relatives and far-out conspiracy theories around the brutal society murders. While the culprit is unknown, Goldhar says the motive is surely money. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "THE NO GOOD, TERRIBLY KIND, WONDERFUL LIVES AND TRAGIC DEATHS OF BARRY AND HONEY SHERMAN" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THIS EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: Shawshank-style.


Love, Janessa

Thousands of love-struck men around the world were fooled by untold scammers whose cons all had the same thing in common. They all used stolen images of the same woman: a one-time camgirl and adult entertainer known as Janessa Brazil. Heartbroken men and serious journalists all searched for the real Janessa, only to be fooled by more imposters. But where is the woman whose face drew the victims in? Was she just the unwitting bait used by others for their crimes, or was she part of the swindle? From CBC Podcasts and the BBC World Service comes “Love, Janessa.” Host Hannah Ajala tracks down con artists in West Africa, victims in Europe, and a woman in the US believed to be the face that launched a thousand scams. OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "LOVE, JANESSA" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 9 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE.


Boston Strangler

Loretta McLaughlin struggles for respect in the 1960s male-dominated newsroom at the Record-American. But she finds a pattern in different Boston-area murders: women choked in their homes, their stockings tied around their necks in a bow. Teamed with reporter Jean Cole, the women lead the hunt for the killer they dub the Boston Strangler. The pair find their safety threatened as suspects move in and out of the frame, and the cops unable to make an arrest. Oscar nominee Keira Knightley stars in “Boston Strangler” from 20th Century Studios and streaming on Hulu. McLaughlin fights the sexism of the police and fellow reporters, all while seeking the culprit. Was the man arrested for the crimes responsible for all 13 deaths? Or do the changing methods and victims indicate more than one man was the Boston Strangler? OUR SPOILER-FREE REVIEWS OF "BOSTON STRANGLER" BEGIN IN THE FINAL 12 MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. In Crime of the Week: late for school.