Logo

Criminalia

Humans have always committed crimes. What can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past, and have humans gotten better or worse over time? 

My Guitar Gently Weeps: George Harrison's Stalkers

Criminalia

  • 280 views
  • 8 months ago
  • 29:22

When Cristin Keleher broke into George Harrison's Maui estate, she ate frozen pizza, did a load of laundry, and called her mother. Two weeks later, Michael Abram broke into Harrison's Friar Park estate, stabbing Harrison repeatedly.

Olga Janina: “La Cosaque”

Criminalia

  • 230 views
  • 8 months ago
  • 37:24

Olga “Janina,” a protofeminist and Polish pianist, was known for stalking Hungarian composer Franz Liszt.  Franz’s name may or may not ring a bell, but he was recognized as a musical “rockstar” during the Romantic era. He composed a number of popular classical pieces that are still heard of today (“Hungarian Rhapsody”).  Sure, fans may have screamed and thrown their undergarments at the composer during his performances back in the day. But from writing “fictional” stories about Liszt, to threatening homocide and suicide, Olga took what is called “Lisztomania” to a whole new level. 

Richard Lawrence and Charles Guiteau: The Presidential Stalkers

Criminalia

  • 210 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 35:28

We all know of a couple of the most popular U.S. presidential assassins in history (e.g., John Wilkes Booth). But what about those who aren’t talked about?  Meet Richard Lawrence and Charles Guiteau. Richard Lawrence in 1835 stalked and attempted to murder President Andrew Jackson. And in 1881, Charles Guiteau succeeded in killing President James Garfield. Today, we’ll learn of what led up to the two incidents, and even how mental illness may have come into play.

Jane Bigelow: “The Bigelow Terror”

Criminalia

  • 260 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 41:49

Jane Bigelow (1829-1889) goes down in history as a socialite who once stalked the great English writer Charles Dickens. As the “Oliver Twist” author toured the U.S. in the late 1860s, Jane displayed obsessive efforts that went far beyond the actions of other screaming fans. From threatening individuals who got close to Dickens, to even assaulting an elderly widow, spectators all agreed that Jane was quite the “incubus” - er, “succubus.”

Alexander Main and Edith Simcox: The Passionate Worshipers

Criminalia

  • 250 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 33:50

Mary Ann Evans, better known under the pseudonym George Eliot (1819-1880), was a major Victorian novelist and poet. As her popularity grew, so did her admirers.  Two in particular - Alexander Main and Edith Simcox - started to cross the line as far as “passionate devotion.”  One sent numerous gushy letters. Another recorded her unreciprocated love for the novelist in a secret journal. Both made George Eliot pretty uncomfortable.

Georgiana Fane: “The High Society Stalker”

Criminalia

  • 150 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 33:04

Georgiana Fane (1801-1874) was an English heiress, most famously known for being featured in a portrait as a peasant girl (painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence). She also gained a reputation for her harassing pursuits of the Duke of Wellington. From what once was a secretive love affair, Georgiana’s later threats and angry letters turned out to be more than the Duke bargained for.

Léa-Anna B.: King George V’s Admirer

Criminalia

  • 160 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 28:34

Holly and Maria continue the topic of erotomania this week with the story of Léa-Anna B. Léa-Anna B. is best known for stalking England’s George V.  Criminalia’s two co-hosts cover everything about the delusional disorder, from the curtain “messages” that Léa-Anna B. thought were from the king, to learning about who clarified the term (psychiatrist Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault).

Erotomania: Stalking for Love

Criminalia

  • 170 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 20:22

Surprise - Criminalia is back again this week with a bonus episode!  Erotomania is a condition where someone obsessively believes a person is in love with him or her.  From outlining movie examples to providing tips on how to approach such a stalker, co hosts Holly and Maria explain the term: just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Edward Jones: “The First Celebrity Stalker”

Criminalia

  • 160 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 30:25

Edward Jones (1824-1893) as a teenager became best known for stalking Britain’s Queen Victoria during the 1800s. “The boy Jones” made numerous (successful) attempts at sneaking into the official residency of the Queen. Though each of the teen’s “visits” turned out to be harmless, overtime, the monarchy was not amused.

Lady Caroline Lamb: “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”

Criminalia

  • 190 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 26:39

Lady Caroline Lamb (1785-1828) was a novelist best known for her affair with Lord Byron.  In spite of the poet “ending” the relationship in August 1812, Lady Caroline’s pursuits were far from over. From learning Lord Byron’s handwriting to sending him interesting “gifts,” the novelist revealed a disturbing pattern of obsession.

Rufus Griswold: Poe’s Petty Stalker

Criminalia

  • 150 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 32:34

Holly and Maria are back with season two of Criminalia! This season is all about stalkers.  The co-hosts start things off by discussing anthologist Rufus Griswold, Edgar Allan Poe’s not-so-well-known rival.  The critic’s angry, obsessive (and petty) tendencies over the famous poet stayed strong throughout the years - even long after Poe’s death.

Arsenic and ... Arsenic: Criminalia's Season 1 Final Episode

Criminalia

  • 160 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 33:08

Holly and Maria were curious if poisoners and their crimes would look different with a little distance on the timeline, and even whether any of the perpetrators would emerge as sympathetic characters. And in season 1 they found out, YES. On both counts.

"The Poisoner's Handbook" with Author Deborah Blum Pt. 2

Criminalia

  • 160 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 35:09

Criminalia hosts Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi continue their conversation with "The Poisoner's Handbook" author and Pulitzer Prize recipient Deborah Blum.

"The Poisoner's Handbook" with Author Deborah Blum Pt. 1

Criminalia

  • 150 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 27:48

Hosts Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi are joined by "The Poisoner's Handbook" author and Pulitzer Prize recipient Deborah Blum.

Amy Archer-Gilligan: Sometimes Predators Look Like Pious Grandmas

Criminalia

  • 140 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 31:08

Amy Archer-Gilligan was the proprietress of The Archer Home for Elderly People and Chronic Invalids, in Windsor, Conn., one of the first nursing homes in the U.S. But she may have been responsible for the intentional deaths of as many as 48 residents.

Mary Ann Cotton: 'She's Dead and She's Rotten'

Criminalia

  • 170 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 33:37

Mary Ann Cotton was convicted of, and hanged for, the lethal poisoning of her stepson Charles Edward Cotton. But it's likely that she murdered as many as 21 people, including three of her four husbands and 11 children, apparently in order to collect on their insurance policies. Local children would recite this disturbing nursery rhyme about her, “Sing, sing, oh, what can I sing? Mary Ann Cotton is tied up with string. Where, where? Up in the air, sellin’ black puddings a penny a pair.”

Belle Gunness: Comely Widow Who Wants You to Stay Forever

Criminalia

  • 170 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 37:06

Belle Gunness wanted what every American wants: the American Dream. And through insurance fraud and murder, she eventually found it. "Hell's Belle," as she was known, used strychnine -- and a meat cleaver -- to kill an estimated 40 victims she met through personal ads, almost all in Indiana. The popular theory about Belle? That she managed to elude authorities for years by transforming into a woman named Esther Carlson.

Hieronyma 'La Spara' and Her Secret Society of Poisoners

Criminalia

  • 210 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 26:13

Hieronyma Spara, known as "La Spara," organized instruction in the uses of arsenic for married women who were considering bettering their station in life by becoming wealthy widows. After the church became suspicious of this secret society, they infiltrated her group -- and La Spara was hanged in 1659.

Bertha Gifford: Angel of Mercy or Good Samaritan?

Criminalia

  • 210 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 25:28

Bertha Gifford was well-known throughout her community for her cooking skills and her compassion. She acted in the role of nurse for her sick family and neighbors, and was eventually accused of murdering with arsenic a total of 17 people in her care. But what's most interesting about Bertha is that she also became one of America's first female serial killers.

Locusta: Ancient Assassin-for-Hire

Criminalia

  • 220 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 30:25

Locusta, herself, wasn't a poisoner. She was a maker of poisons – think of her more like a botanist or chemist. But she was actually more like an assassin-for-hire – she provided poisons because she was hired to do so.