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The Art of Crime

The Art of Crime

Author: Gavin Whitehead

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The Art of Crime is a history podcast about the unlikely collisions between true crime and the arts. We take painstaking research and craft it into compelling stories that teach you about society and culture. 

Each new season covers a different theme. Season 3 is titled "Queen of Crime: Madame Tussaud and the Chamber of Horrors." Just in time for Women's History Month, this season chronicles the long and distinguished career of Madame Tussaud, one of the most celebrated show-women of her day, kicking off in pre-revolutionary France and wrapping up in Victorian London. At the same time, "Queen of Crime" tracks the evolution of the Chamber of Horrors, a special showroom in Tussaud's wax museum that exhibited macabre curiosities, including effigies of notorious murderers. 

Season 2 is titled "Assassins." It profiles artists who have committed, attempted, or at least been implicated in an assassination. Also check out Season 1, "The Unusual Suspects: Artists Accused of Being Jack the Ripper."

For show notes and full transcripts, visit www.artofcrimepodcast.com. Follow us on Facebook at Art of Crime Podcast, Instagram @artofcrimepodcast, and Twitter @artofcrimepod. To get in touch by email, please write to artofcrimepodcast@gmail.com.

Help us buy books for future research and pay composer Liam Bellman-Sharpe, who writes a unique score for every episode! If you'd like to make a donation, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. You can also make a onetime contribution via PayPal. The relevant email address is artofcrimepodcast@gmail.com.

41 Episodes
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The first in a series of bonus episodes related to the theme of assassins will drop on Wednesday, September 13. To tide you over until then, I'm pleased to present two episodes of the History Daily podcast. History Daily generously featured an episode of The Art of Crime a few weeks back, so I wanted to return the favor. This episode is about the mystery of D.B. Cooper. On November 24, 1971, an unidentified criminal known by that name hijacks a Boeing 727, extorts $200,000 in ransom money, and parachutes to an uncertain fate.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
The first in a series of bonus episodes related to the theme of assassins will drop on Wednesday, September 13. To tide you over until then, I'm pleased to present two episodes of the History Daily podcast. History Daily generously featured an episode of The Art of Crime a few weeks back, so I wanted to return the favor. This History Daily episode is about the Antwerp diamond heist of 2003, one of the largest heists of all time.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
Back in the spring, I was interviewed on the true crime podcast, Crawlspace, and I wanted to share that interview with you. Hope you enjoy! We'll be back with original Art of Crime content in December, and season 3 will start in earnest in January 2024. If you'd like more Art of Crime content now, however, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. There, you can listen to a sneak peak at season 3, and we're coming out with two new episodes related to the theme of assassins in the coming days.
Today, we're joined by Austin Harvey, co-host of History Uncovered, a podcast that explores the natural world and the world past. First, we'll hear a History Uncovered episode about the mysterious disappearance of indigenous art collector Michael Rockefeller in 1961. Afterward, Austin chats with Gavin about the process of making the episode and offers additional insight on a few key points.If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
In 1910, four Abyssinian royals toured the H.M.S. Dreadnought, the most technologically advanced ship in the British Royal Navy. Afterward, however, it leaked to the press that the captain and crew of the vessel had been duped: they had given a tour not to foreign dinitaries but British citizens. The Dreadnought affair caused a minor scandal, and what started as a practical joke threatened to end in legal repercussions for the hoaxers.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
The Perseus of Benvenuto Cellini is justly considered a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. Believe it or not, this statue almost never existed. From start to finish, sculpting the Perseus proved a Herculean labor, as dogged opposition from Cellini's own patron, life-threatening illness, and the sheer enormity of the artist's ambitions conspired against him.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
Today, I'm sharing an episode of the delightful art history podcast, Who ARTed?, hosted by Kyle Wood. This episode is all about the Stockholm art heist of the year 2000. Find out what extraordinary paintings were stolen from the National Gallery--and how they were recovered. We're back next week with another installment in Queen of Crime: Madame Tussaud and the Chamber of Horrors.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. The Art of Crime is part of the Airwave Media network. To learn more about Airwave, visit www.airwavemedia.com. If you'd like to advertise on The Art of Crime, please email advertising@airwavemedia.com.
In 1888, Jack the Ripper murdered at least five women in the East End of London. More than a century later, we haven’t stopped talking about his crimes, nor have we given up on unmasking the perpetrator. In season 1 of The Art of Crime, we look at six artists who have been accused of the killings. Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
In 1888, the malefactor known as Jack the Ripper killed at least five women—Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elisabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly—in the poverty-stricken district of Whitechapel, East London. In the first episode of this season, we discuss the victims’ lives and times as well as their deaths.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
For decades, Willy Clarkson reigned as London’s most famous theatrical wigmaker and costume designer. Also renowned as a master of disguise, he did business with countless customers intent on concealing their identities. According to Clarkson’s early biographer, Jack the Ripper was one of them. However, documentarian P. William Grimm has recently argued that Clarkson and Jack were one and the same person.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
In 1887, American actor Richard Mansfield originated the dual role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Boston. His performance as Hyde was so terrifying that audience members fainted. In the late summer of 1888, he took the show to London, presenting it at the metropolis's foremost playhouse. Just weeks after Jekyll and Hyde opened, the Ripper claimed his first canonical victim, and Mansfield aroused suspicion as the culprit.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
Lewis Carroll was teaching math at Oxford when he befriended Alice Liddell, a colleague’s daughter. Even though their friendship ended in scandal, it led to one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 1996, psychotherapist Richard Wallace accused Carroll of committing the Whitechapel murders, claiming to have discovered compromising anagrams in Carroll’s writing. Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
When the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, hired the brilliant James Kenneth Stephen to tutor his eldest son, Prince Eddy, Stephen and his student became fast friends. Some believe they were more than friends. After publishing two volumes of poetry, Stephen suffered a mental breakdown in 1891. Based on what happened next, Stephen’s tantalizing relationship with Eddy, and violent themes in his writing, several commentators have named the poet as the Ripper. Show notes and full transcript below.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
One of the most important painters of his generation, Walter Sickert gravitated toward scenes of low life and at times depicted women who appeared to be dead. In the 1970s, a man purporting to be Sickert’s illegitimate son implicated the painter in the Whitechapel homicides. Sickert has since become a favored Ripper candidate and has received more attention as a possible perpetrator than any other artist covered this season.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
Singer and composer Michael Maybrick was the Victorian equivalent of a pop star in 1889 when his older brother, James, died under enigmatic circumstances. In 2015, writer and director Bruce Robinson nominated Michael as the Ripper, based on what he believes happened to James as well as Michael’s involvement in the Freemasons, one of the most secretive and talked-about fraternities in Victorian England.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
We look back at the artists we’ve covered this season and consider what we’ve learned about the Whitechapel murders and the theories they’ve inspired. Why are artists so popular as Ripper suspects?Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
In 1910, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen poisoned his wife, Cora, and fled to Canada with his mistress in disguise. Detective Walter Dew, who cut his teeth on the force while hunting for the Ripper in 1888, donned a costume of his own as he pursued the fugitives. Like the Whitechapel murderer, Crippen is dubiously said to have procured his disguise from wigmaker and costume designer Willy Clarkson.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast. 
In 1913, Marie Belloc Lowndes published her novel, The Lodger, inspired by a story that painter Walter Sickert heard from his landlady. At one point, the heroine attends a farcical inquest, during which a witness offers bogus testimony. This fictional debacle resonates with one of the more bizarre episodes in the Whitechapel murders.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
In 1884, the Reverend Samuel Barnett and his wife, Henrietta, founded Toynbee Hall, a charitable institution meant to improve the lives of Whitechapel residents. From its inception, Toynbee Hall offered both arts education and programming. The Ripper’s victims died within walking distance of its doorstep, and Bruce Robinson believes that the Hall was essential to Michael Maybrick’s s plan to get away with murder.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
Arthur Conan Doyle rose to fame as the inventor of Sherlock Holmes. Not unlike his literary creation, Doyle had a knack for making inferences about others based on observation alone and even brought that talent to bear on real-life criminal cases. He also weighed in on the Ripper killings, drawing curve-ball conclusions about how the murderer committed his crimes.Show notes and full transcripts available at www.artofcrimepodcast.com.If you'd like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/artofcrimepodcast.
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Comments (2)

Shayne Legassie

A superbly researched podcast. Tells fascinating, detail-rich stories about artists from the past whose lives intersected with crime. The host is deeply knowledgeable and weaves thought-provoking tales out of excellent historical research. For history buffs and lovers of art, there’s nothing else quite like it.

Feb 24th
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Feb 9th
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