Since its inception in 2014, "Criminal" has never been just another true crime podcast. Where some shows spin their speculative wheels or endlessly whip listeners back and forth between evidence of innocence or guilt, "Criminal" has a reputation for pointing its microphone at the deeply human moments and stories that lurk behind the headlines — and consistently premiering a fresh, tightly crafted story two Fridays each month.
And over the years, a handful of "Criminal" episodes have brought the podcast’s co-creators, Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer, to the St. Louis region for interviews and research — putting them in conversation with everyone from convicted aircraft hijacker Martin McNally to local historians and journalists.
In 2015, for instance, Judge interviewed Ferguson protestor Ed Crawford, the subject of an iconic photo taken by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Robert Cohen. A year later, the podcast team dug into the history of the Evening Whirl, a crime-focused newspaper that first began publishing in St. Louis in 1938. And in January of this year, Criminal brought new attention to a horrific massacre that occurred in southern Illinois nearly a century ago.