Murder and the Mignonette | Christine
Aired: 27 January 2024
In 1884, a yacht called Mignonette left England for Australia but never reached its destination. After it was lost, those aboard were adrift at sea for weeks, resorting to desperate measures for survival. Here, Christine covers the ill-fated voyage, the murder trial it sparked, and how the story lives on in pop culture.
Leo Frank and the Murder of Mary Phagan | Christine
Aired: 30 September 2023
In 1913, Leo Frank was arrested for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in Atlanta, Georgia. Two years later, he, too, was dead. In this episode, Christine explores the complicated case and its perhaps unexpected musical theatre legacy.
Titus Oates, a Popish Plot, and the Mysterious Murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey | Samantha
Aired: 2 September 2023
In the summer of 1678 a defrocked preacher named Titus Oates claimed to have knowledge of a Catholic plot to kill King Charles II and to replace him with his crypto-Catholic brother. At first the story gained no traction, reported as it was by a man of dubious reputation, but when Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey (the man who had first investigated Oates’ story) was found dead people started listening. This week we’ll lay it all out for you: who was Titus Oats? What’s the deal with Godfrey’s death? And what happened when people came to believe that there was a plot against Charles?
True Crime on Stage in Shakespeare's England | Lucy and (Guest Co-Host) Rachel
Aired: 5 August 2023
In the often-chaotic society of sixteenth-century England, many people enthusiastically consumed true crime narratives in songs, news, and theater plays. Then as now, true crime narratives often centered on community crime-solving as a way of dealing with sensational and upsetting violence. Whether in the form of domestic tragedies or elaborate revenge dramas, true crime played to packed houses in the theaters of Elizabethan London. Amid religious and political upheaval, the popularity of true crime attested not just to evolving habits of media consumption, but also to powerful desires for communal order and mutual responsibility. In this episode, Lucy and guest host Dr. Rachel Clark examine true love, strong hate, and swift revenge – and why audiences tend to love a good murder.
Wyatt Earp and a Heavyweight Fix | Josh
Aired: 22 July 2023
In 1896, retired from his life in the so-called "Wild West," Wyatt Earp was asked to referee a boxing match. But not just any boxing match - a bout that would determine the new heavyweight champion. Two legendary boxers, Bob Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey, duked it out in San Francisco. The legendary lawman Earp allegedly fixed the fight. On this episode of Footnoting History, come along from a walk through the seedy underbelly of illegal prizefighting and learn how Earp found himself at the center of tremendous controversy.
The Public Arch | Josh
Aired: 22 April 2023
While one of the safest cities in the United States today, El Paso, Texas was one of America's most dangerous cities in the 1880s. Run by gunslingers, gambling brokers, and brothel madams, the city often descended into significant bouts of violence. One such episode occurred when the most renowned madams in the city, Alice Abbott, invaded the home of her chief rival, Etta Clark. The dispute ended with Alice Abbot shot and Etta Clark arrested for attempted murder. Eventually, Clark's brothel burned down. On this episode we unpack these events and get to the root of what they can tell us about this lively border town.
The Weeks Murder Trial | Kristin
Aired: 25 March 2023
In 1800, Levi Weeks was accused of the murder of Elma Sands in New York City and throwing her body down a well. His defense team included Henry Livingston, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton. His is the first murder trial in the United States to have a recorded transcript … but there are still many unanswered questions as to what happened the night of December 22, 1799. Join Kristin as she looks at the most sensational trial of the new 19th century this week on Footnoting History!
Who Murdered Licoricia of Winchester? | Kristin
Aired: 8 October 2022
It’s an unsolved mystery: Licoricia of Winchester, once the wealthiest woman in England, was found stabbed to death, with her maid, in 1277. Licoricia was a businessperson, whose clients included the king of England. She was a wife and a mother. She was also Jewish. The life, times, and circumstances of this extraordinary woman reveal a lot about the history of women and Jews in medieval England, and her death remains a puzzle to historians.
Belle Gunness, Black Widow Serial Killer | Nathan
Aired: 27 September 2017
In the quiet town of La Porte, Indiana at the beginning of the 20th century lived a widow farmer with three children. Originally from Norway, Belle Sørenson Gunness was, like many widows in the period, in search of a husband to help work her lands and provide for her family--until one night, a tragic fire revealed that all was not as it appeared. In this week's episode, we examine the grisly tale of how the outwardly unassuming Belle killed at least nine male suitors and probably two husbands, and the terrible methods that she used to evade capture.
The Murderess in History | Lesley
Aired: 12 August 2017
Serial killers can be fascinating subjects. The men who hunt strangers are terrifying and interesting studies of the human mind. Yet women in history have also killed, and in some cases they have killed in large, unexpected numbers. In this episode, Lesley discusses five lesser-known serial killers from throughout history and analyzes how the female motivations from the past may differ from the more famous serial killers of modern day.
Guy de Montfort and Dante’s Inferno | Christine
Aired: 6 June 2017
When your grandfather was a leading crusader and your father was a famous rebel, what is left for you to do? For Guy de Montfort, the answer was to earn a spot in one of the circles of hell imagined by Dante in his Inferno. Find out how this medieval man came to such a fate in this episode.
The Murder of Sweden's King Gustav III | Christine
Aired: 13 August 2016
Louis XVI of France wasn't the only European king to die at the hands of his subjects in the 1790s. In this episode Christine examines the life and dramatic assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden.
The Life and Crimes of Caravaggio | Samantha
Aired: 21 May 2016
One of the most inventive painters of his day, Caravaggio’s work is remembered for its ingenious use of light and shadow. Much like his work, Caravaggio’s life was lived in the shadows as he became involved in one criminal activity after another, which eventually culminated in his exile and death. This podcast seeks to shed a ray of sunshine into the darkened canvas of Caravaggio’s story.
Al Capone's Pineapple Primary | Lesley
Aired: 7 May 2016
Many Americans are familiar with Al Capone's mobster rule over the City of Chicago during the Prohibition Era, but less know about his violent involvement in the so-called "Pineapple Primary". How far would Capone go to see his chosen man elected, and how many lives would be lost in the process?
Evelyn Nesbit and the Crime of the Century | Samantha
Aired: 12 March 2016
In December 1900 the beautiful, fifteen year old Evelyn Nesbit arrived in New York. Within a year she became the “glittering girl model of Gotham,” the first iconic American sex-goddess. Her fame would transform into notoriety after June 25, 1906 when her millionaire husband, Harry Thaw, murdered Evelyn’s one time lover, Sanford White, in what was known by contemporaries as “the crime of the century.”
Medieval Animal Trials | Lesley
Aired: 30 January 2016
Humans and animals have developed a symbiotic relationship over the past 30,000 years. From the earliest domesticated dogs to sign-language speaking apes, animals have worked with humans throughout history. Yet the relationship is not always a positive one; predators and vermin make life very difficult. In this podcast, Lesley explores one innovative method of dealing with animals that make a nuisance of themselves: by bringing them up on charges in Court.
Cola de Rienzo: Medieval Tribune of the Roman Republic | Nicole
Aired: 11 April 2015
Cola di Rienzo had a turbulent career in fourteenth century Rome. Find out how this son of a Roman innkeeper became embroiled in papal and imperial politics, held the ancient positions of tribune and senator, and ultimately died a violent death.
Robert Bruce: Stabbings and Statebuilding | John
Aired: 22 November 2014
What does the murder of John Comyn by Robert Bruce in 1306 tell us about medieval Scotland? How has history been rewritten to stress nationalist narratives? And did anyone really care about Scotland as a country or state in the early fourteenth century? All this and a murder most foul. Or moderately foul. Or perfectly justified. It's all very Scottish. But somebody was murdered and this week John takes a stab at addressing the formation of Scotland under Robert Bruce in the fourteenth century.
Guy Fawkes | Kirsti
Aired: 1 November 2014
Remember, remember the Fifth of November! Guy Fawkes has become an iconic face of the American Occupy movement, but was the Gunpowder Plot really an effort to improve the lot of the lower classes? This week we will explore the religious terrorism that inspired a national holiday.
Seeking to Punish in 17th century England | Lesley
Aired: 13 September 2014
As the United States deals with a critical mass of imprisoned citizens, it might be worthwhile to consider how historical civilizations dealt with the punishment of non-violent offenders. How did England maintain order before the rise of the prison? This episode explores alternatives to long-term prison sentences by examining the origins of the US English legal system - with surprising results.
Buck and Blanche (and Bonnie and Clyde) | Christine
Aired: 15 Feb 2014
The love story of infamous American outlaw pair Bonnie and Clyde is cemented in modern pop culture- but they were not the only couple in the Barrow Gang. Clyde’s older brother, Buck, and his wife, Blanche, often traveled with their relatives and had a dynamic (and tragic) love story of their own. This week Christine delves into the outlaw romance of the American depression era that is barely mentioned in the folk ballads and Hollywood films.
Criminalizing Sex in Early Modern England | Lesley
Aired: 5 October 2013
In the middle of the Reformation, Parliament passed a law criminalizing some forms of sexuality. This became known as the Buggery Law of 1533. Why would the government be interested in regulating sex? An investigation into official records reveals that it had less to do with the bedroom and everything to do with power, privilege, and piety.