true crime | WAMC

true crime

Courtesy Of Simon & Schuster

On this week’s 51%, we speak with author Rachel Monroe about her new book, which examines the complicated relationship between women and the crime genre.

Is it possible that a man is in prison for the murder of his wife -- when an owl actually committed the crime? What is a very special bourbon going for on the black market -- and why? How does a seemingly typical person get roped into counterfeiting money by their boyfriend? “Criminal” is an award-winning true-crime podcast, distributed by PRX and Radiotopia, with episodes devoted to these stories and many others.

On Saturday, February 22 “Criminal” will be in The Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. “Criminal” launched January of 2014 and is hosted by Phoebe Judge, who co-created the show with Lauren Spohrer. Judge attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, her work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Previously, she was a host at WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon, and a reporter based in the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio.

Rebecca Godfrey is an award-winning novelist and journalist. Her first novel, “The Torn Skirt,” was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

“Under The Bridge,” Godfrey’s shocking true story of a group of teenagers who savagely beat a classmate to death and then tried to cover up the crime, received one of Canada’s largest literary awards, the British Columbia Award for Canadian Nonfiction, as well as the Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Crime Writing. “Under the Bridge” is now available in paperback.

Rebecca Godfrey will talk with author Gary Shteyngart at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, New York this Saturday at 6 p.m.

When a stolen car is recovered on the Gulf Coast of Florida, it sets off a search for a missing woman, local motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler. Three men are named persons of interest: her husband, her boyfriend, and the man who stole the car. The residents of Anna Maria Island, with few facts to fuel their speculation, begin to fear the worst. Then, with the days passing quickly, her motel is set on fire, her boyfriend flees the county, and detectives begin digging on the beach.

Cutter Wood was a guest at Musil-Buehler’s motel as the search for the missing woman gained momentum, and he found himself drawn steadily deeper into the case. His book is "Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime."

Gilbert King is the author of "Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America," which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He has written about Supreme Court history and the death penalty for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine and The Marshall Project.

His new book, "Beneath a Ruthless Sun" tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're discussing the long and colorful history of American crime writing. Our guest is Harold Schecter, professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, and the editor of the Library of America's True Crime volume. A writer of true crime fiction himself, Harold recently served as the scholar-advisor for the New York Council's new Reading and Discussion series "True Crime an American Genre."