Crimetown artwork

Crimetown

52 episodes - English - Latest episode: 6 months ago - ★★★★★ - 13.6K ratings

Welcome to Crimetown, a series produced by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier in partnership with Gimlet Media. Each season, we investigate the culture of crime in a different city. In Season 2, Crimetown heads to the heart of the Rust Belt: Detroit, Michigan. From its heyday as Motor City to its rebirth as the Brooklyn of the Midwest, Detroit’s history reflects a series of issues that strike at the heart of American identity: race, poverty, policing, loss of industry, the war on drugs, and our universal desire for a savior. Detroit’s a tough town, and its residents are even tougher. They’ve weathered riots, a drug epidemic, political scandal, and innumerable other hardships, but they’re still here—and they have stories to tell.

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Episodes

Introducing | Morally Indefensible

August 18, 2020 04:00 - 4 minutes

1979 is the year that Ex-Green Beret Doctor Jeffrey MacDonald is convicted of the murders of his pregnant wife and two young daughters. It’s also the year he meets a new friend in famous journalist Joe McGinniss. Joe agrees to write a book about Jeff’s case. That book becomes a smash bestseller and a TV limited series watched by over 65 million people, but the story it tells isn’t quite the story Jeff expected and that sets off a series of events that ruin both men’s lives…Who’s the real bad ...

Introducing Mogul

October 01, 2019 07:00 - 39 minutes

Introducing Mogul, a show about hip-hop's most iconic moments, told by the people who lived them. This season starts with Luke Campbell of the 2 Live Crew getting thrown in jail. Luke wound up in handcuffs because, according to a Florida judge, his music was obscene. To understand how this happened, we have to go back in time to 1980s Miami, to a sweatbox teen disco that birthed a new kind of hip hop: Miami bass. Stream the entire season on Spotify now. Episodes drop weekly on Wednesdays ever...

Bonus Episode: The Streets Don't Love You Back

September 05, 2019 10:10 - 41 minutes

Growing up, Rob Boyd is ignored by his absent, womanizing father, a well-known local preacher. His mother marries a kindhearted factory worker, who helps raise Rob and his siblings. But after his stepfather is murdered, Rob goes astray, entering a brutal world of drugs and violence. To learn more about Rob's work today, visit thestreetsdontloveyouback.ning.com.

S2 E19: From the Ashes

August 29, 2019 10:10 - 37 minutes

In the Crimetown Season 2 finale, Kwame Kilpatrick begins his 28-year prison sentence. Although he still maintains his innocence, his chances of a retrial are slim. Meanwhile, Detroit is undergoing a remarkable economic transformation. But who is benefitting from the Motor City miracle? And is the era of crime and corruption really over? For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. To make a donation to Auntie Na's House, visit auntienashouse.org. 

S2 E18: United States v. Kwame Kilpatrick

August 22, 2019 10:10 - 39 minutes

After a decade of scandals and a sprawling corruption investigation, Kwame Kilpatrick faces his most daunting challenge yet: a federal trial that could put him in prison for decades. The former mayor is no longer fighting for his political life or his marriage — now, he’s fighting for his freedom. For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E17: Operation Bombay Dreams

August 15, 2019 10:09 - 42 minutes

For years, the FBI has been running a wide-ranging corruption investigation into the Kilpatrick administration. As they dig deeper, the feds uncover a massive pay-to-play enterprise that reaches every level of City Hall. Is Kwame Kilpatrick a crook? Or are his associates just exploiting his name in order to enrich themselves? For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S2 E16: Surrendered

August 08, 2019 10:10 - 30 minutes

After serving 99 days in jail, former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick walks free. He heads to Texas and tries to settle into a new life. But Detroit isn’t quite ready to let him go. For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S2 E15: The Murder of Tamara Greene

August 01, 2019 10:10 - 39 minutes

With the mayor behind bars, a crusading lawyer takes up the case of slain exotic dancer Tamara Greene. Could Kwame Kilpatrick have ordered her murder — or is it all an urban legend? For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

Introducing The Ballad of Billy Balls

July 31, 2019 10:10 - 9 minutes

From the same team that brought you Crimetown comes Crimetown Presents: The Ballad of Billy Balls. It’s 1982 in New York City, and a man bursts into an East Village storefront apartment and shoots punk musician Billy Balls. What follows is a mystery of love and loss that examines the tender binds of family, and the stories we tell ourselves just to survive. Learn more at www.theballadofbillyballs.com.

S2 E14: The Affair

July 25, 2019 10:10 - 44 minutes

The revelation that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had an affair with his chief of staff — a romance detailed in thousands of explicit text messages — rocks Detroit. But it’s only the beginning of their troubles. For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E13: Gary Brown v. Mayor of Detroit

July 18, 2019 10:10 - 30 minutes

Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown files a whistleblower suit against City Hall, alleging he was fired for investigating the long-rumored Manoogian Mansion party. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick denies the accusations. But while he’s on the stand, he’s asked a surprising, seemingly unrelated question — one that just might bring him down.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

Introducing Man in the Window

July 17, 2019 10:00 - 14 minutes

From the partnership that brought you Dirty John, comes Man in the Window. Pulitzer prize winning reporter Paige St. John investigates The Golden State Killer, and traces his path of devastation through the eyes of his victims. Binge the series now at wondery.fm/CT

S2 E12: Fake News

July 11, 2019 10:10 - 39 minutes

As rumors about a wild party at the mayor’s mansion continue to spread, Kwame Kilpatrick must fend off an increasingly unsympathetic media. Meanwhile, his opponent in the next election has a double-digit lead. Can the hip hop mayor survive?  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S2 E11: The Hip Hop Mayor

July 04, 2019 10:10 - 37 minutes

To his supporters, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is a new breed of politician: young, cool, and in touch with black culture. To his critics, his flashy appearance and taste for nightlife are evidence of his immaturity. Rumors about Kilpatrick begin to swirl: sky-high spending, an out-of-control entourage, and wild parties at the mayoral mansion. Is Kwame Kilpatrick in over his head? Or is he being targeted because of his race?  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S2 E10: Right Here, Right Now

June 27, 2019 10:10 - 33 minutes

When Mayor Coleman Young dies after twenty years in office, he leaves a yawning vacuum in Detroit’s power structure. But a successor quickly arises: a young, ambitious state legislator named Kwame Kilpatrick. He’s charismatic, larger than life, and has an impeccable political pedigree. There’s only one person who can stop Kwame Kilpatrick: himself.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E09: Dimitri

June 20, 2019 10:10 - 42 minutes

Dimitri Mugianis is a rarity in Detroit: a white kid whose family stayed after everyone like them left. Growing up, he throws himself into the city’s avant-garde underworld, playing in art-punk bands and partying in gay clubs. But when his taste for the nightlife becomes a full-blown heroin addiction, he realizes that he’s in trouble—and, with a hot new drug called crack hitting the streets, it’s only going to get worse.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E08: Operation Backbone

June 13, 2019 16:37 - 42 minutes

Still hung up on the unsolved murder of Damion Lucas, FBI agent Herm Groman devises an elaborate sting to ensnare the corrupt cops of the Detroit Police Department. Will it bring down Mayor Coleman Young, too?  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E07: Who Killed Damion Lucas?

June 06, 2019 10:10 - 37 minutes

A thirteen-year-old boy is murdered in a drive-by shooting. The Detroit police quickly apprehend a suspect. But the FBI is convinced that the wrong man is in jail — and that the real killers are escaping justice thanks to friends in high places.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E06: The Mayor, the Barber, and the Babysitter

May 30, 2019 10:10 - 32 minutes

Coleman Young has more underworld connections than you might expect of a big-city mayor. Sometimes those connections come in handy. But when his favorite niece starts dating an infamous drug dealer, Mayor Young must choose between keeping her out of trouble and keeping his hands clean.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S2 E05: YBI to the Day I Die

May 23, 2019 10:00 - 40 minutes

It’s the early eighties, and a new organization is revolutionizing the heroin trade: Young Boys Inc. Unlike other drug operations, YBI recruits juveniles, brands smack as if it were designer clothing, and moves the industry out of the dope houses and onto the corners. As YBI’s relentless expansion causes more and more bloodshed, its foot soldiers must reckon with their impact on Detroit.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E04: The Kingpins' Kids

May 16, 2019 10:10 - 32 minutes

When a hungry young DEA agent arrives in Detroit, he picks the perfect case to make his bones: taking down Eddie Jackson and Courtney Brown’s sprawling heroin organization. But if the drug kingpins fall, what will happen to their kids? As the feds close in, Eddie Jr. and Courtney Jr. must face the possibility of growing up without their fathers.  For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S2 E03: The Fat Man and the Field Marshall

May 09, 2019 10:00 - 35 minutes

Eddie Jackson and Courtney Brown are childhood friends from a poor neighborhood. Eddie is the troublemaker, drawn to Detroit’s seamier side; Courtney is his quiet, serious sidekick. As they grow older in a city with dwindling job options, they go their separate ways. But when Eddie dives into the heroin trade, Courtney faces a choice: play it safe and stay broke, or join his friend’s burgeoning empire and get rich.  For bonus content from this episode, check out crimetownshow.com.

S2 E02: The Battle for Detroit

May 02, 2019 10:00 - 33 minutes

A police shooting outside a community center leaves two black teenagers dead. Protesters take to the streets, igniting a movement to elect the city’s first black mayor. As election day approaches, the future of a racially polarized city hangs in the balance. For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S2 E01: Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets

October 01, 2018 10:00 - 35 minutes

Detroit, 1971—a city riven by blight, racial strife, and rising crime. In the first episode of Crimetown Season 2, the police form a controversial undercover unit called STRESS—Stop The Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets. One of the unit’s cops kills so many black men that he earns a nickname: Mr. STRESS. Can anyone stop him? For bonus content from this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

Coming Soon: Season 2

September 20, 2018 14:00 - 2 minutes

In Season 2, Crimetown explores crime and corruption in the heart of the Rust Belt: Detroit, Michigan. Expect stories of police shootings, the drug trade, and political scandal from a city divided by race.

Bonus Episode: Buddy Cianci...The Musical

December 23, 2017 11:00 - 36 minutes

In 2003, a couple of Brown University alumni did the unthinkable: they wrote and performed a musical about everyone’s favorite criminal mayor. No recordings of the play exist today. So, as a holiday gift to Crimetown listeners, we’ve asked some friends in the musical-theater business to resurrect this forgotten classic. To listen to the Buddy Cianci: The Musical soundtrack, and for more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com. 

Bonus Episode: Courtney

December 19, 2017 17:35 - 42 minutes

Courtney Calenda is a star high school student—until a powerful defense attorney more than three times her age pulls her into a downward spiral of sex and drugs. As her life falls apart, she decides to fight back. For more information about this episode, and a full list of credits, visit our website at crimetownshow.com.

Bonus Episode: Sins of the Father

November 29, 2017 11:00 - 32 minutes

Jarrod Tillinghast is the son of one of Rhode Island’s most notorious mobsters. Determined to make a name for himself, he turns to boxing and becomes a rising star. But he learns that his father’s legacy isn’t so easy to leave behind. For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

Bonus Episode: The Arrest of Ralph DeMasi

June 04, 2017 18:06 - 40 minutes

80-year-old Ralph DeMasi is known throughout New England as both a prolific armored-car robber and a dedicated family man. After decades in prison, he thought he would live out his last years in freedom. Then the police made a break in a cold case, and now Ralph has a new charge on his long rap sheet: murder. For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com. Read Dan Barry’s New York Times article about Ralph DeMasi, “The Holdup: A ...

Bonus Episode: Crimetown Live in Brooklyn

May 21, 2017 18:00 - 45 minutes

Earlier this month, we brought some of your favorite Crimetown characters to Brooklyn for a night of storytelling. Hear tales of canine escape, gold heists, prison life and more from Bobby Walason, Charles “the Ghost” Kennedy, Brian Andrews, Tony Fiore, and Dr. Barbara Roberts. For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

The Crimetown Season One Soundtrack

May 18, 2017 15:58 - 12 minutes

To celebrate the end of our first season, Crimetown is releasing a soundtrack featuring many of the songs from the show. In this special bonus episode, co-host Zac Stuart-Pontier and composer/sound designer Matthew Boll take you behind the scenes to discuss their favorite moments from the season and how music helped bring Crimetown to life. You can find the soundtrack on: iTunes | Apple Music | Spotify | Google Play | Bandcamp 

S1 E18: The Prince of Providence

May 08, 2017 02:23 - 47 minutes

Buddy Cianci was once a crusading prosecutor who took on the mob. Now, he’s behind bars. For the mayor of any other city, this would be the end of the road. But Buddy isn’t any other mayor. And Providence isn’t any other city. For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com.

S1 E17: The Trial of Buddy Cianci

April 30, 2017 19:20 - 32 minutes

Buddy Cianci faces justice. His lawyers say he’s the Renaissance Mayor, too busy rebuilding Providence to notice a few bad apples in his administration. The prosecution says he’s just another crooked politician, running a massive corruption ring out of City Hall. Which story will the jury believe? For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com.

S1 E16: Operation Plunder Dome

April 23, 2017 22:58 - 47 minutes

Dennis Aiken is an FBI agent from Mississippi. Anthony Freitas is a businessman from Portugal. Together, they’re Providence’s best hope in the war on corruption—and they just might take down Buddy Cianci once and for all. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com. 

Bonus Episode: The Gangster's Daughter

April 16, 2017 18:00 - 19 minutes

Nicole Ouimette always knew her father was different. He was in and out of prison for most of her childhood. He had a lot of money but no job. And then, one night, the FBI showed up. For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com. 

S1 E15: Family Ties

April 10, 2017 01:52 - 39 minutes

Charles “the Ghost” Kennedy and his sister Gloria took very different paths in life. She became a state senator. He became a drug smuggler. And as his empire starts to crumble, the people close to him suffer the consequences. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com.

S1 E14: Renaissance Man

April 02, 2017 20:07 - 36 minutes

Buddy Cianci left City Hall in disgrace after torturing a man in his living room. Now, he attempts the impossible: running for mayor of Providence again. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com.

Bonus Episode: Cat and Mouse Part II

March 26, 2017 18:00 - 19 minutes

When master burglar Tony Fiore gets out of prison, he decides to try something different: robbing armored cars at gunpoint. His new hobby will bring him head to head with an old adversary one last time. For more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S1 E13: The Network

March 19, 2017 21:14 - 34 minutes

A shadowy group of political insiders tries to cover up a crisis. A mobbed-up banker vanishes after embezzling millions of dollars. And one renegade ex-nun saw the whole thing coming. For a full list of credits, and more information about this episode, visit our website at crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day. Squarespace – For 10% off your first pur...

S1 E12: Mob Justice

March 12, 2017 20:43 - 31 minutes

A mob lawyer rises to become Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. He promises to leave his past associations behind. But it's hard to part with old friends. For more information about this episode, and a full list of credits, visit crimetownshow.com.  Our Sponsors Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day. Squarespace – For 10% off your first purchase go to Squarespace.com a...

S1 E11: The Doctor Broad

March 05, 2017 20:12 - 37 minutes

A young doctor suddenly finds herself caring for a sickly old man named Raymond Patriarca. As she grows closer to her new patient, she’s drawn into the underworld in more ways than one. For more information about this episode, and a full list of credits, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S1 E10: The Ghost

February 26, 2017 18:49 - 37 minutes

After a lucrative career as a thief, Charles Kennedy has an important realization: the real money is in drugs. He rises to become one of the East Coast’s biggest traffickers, throwing coke-fuelled parties and amassing a strange menagerie of pets. But his success attracts the wrong kind of attention. For more information about this episode, and for a full list of credits, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S1 E09: A Deal With the Devil

February 05, 2017 19:29 - 35 minutes

One night in 1982, a 20-year-old man is senselessly murdered at an abandoned gas station. A mobster is taken into witness protection after he pins the murder on his boss. This brutal crime will push three wiseguys out of the mafia in very different ways. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. 

S1 E08: Cat and Mouse

January 29, 2017 22:56 - 36 minutes

A master thief keeps getting away with big heists. A cop spends years tailing him, tapping his phone, and practically moving in across the street. Their epic tug-of-war will revolutionize the fight against organized crime. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Blue Apron – To get your first three meals free with free shipping, go to blueapron.com/crimetown. Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to con...

S1 E07: Power Street

January 22, 2017 19:25 - 35 minutes

March 20th, 1983. As an FBI investigation swirls around him, an increasingly unpredictable and paranoid Buddy Cianci summons a few friends to his home on the East Side of Providence. What happens there that night shocks the city. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Blue Apron – To get your first three meals free with free shipping, go to blueapron.com/crimetown. Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChim...

S1 E06: Gerald and Harold

December 18, 2016 18:00 - 35 minutes

Police discover a bullet-riddled body in the backseat of a car. Jerry Tillinghast and his brother Harold are arrested. But doubts are soon raised about Harold’s involvement. And now, Jerry has a choice: break the mob’s code of silence, or allow his brother to join him in prison. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their pro...

S1 E05: The Art of the Deal

December 11, 2016 20:53 - 35 minutes

Buddy Cianci, the popular mayor of Providence, runs for governor. But he knows something the people of Rhode Island don’t. And when they discover Buddy’s secret, it threatens to derail his political career. So what does Buddy do? He picks a fight. For a full list of credits, and for more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses...

S1 E04: The Bonded Vault Heist

December 04, 2016 17:00 - 36 minutes

August 14, 1975. A ragtag crew of crooks holds up a fur company. But it’s not just a fur company. It’s the Patriarca crime family’s secret bank. And now, the thieves not only have to run from the law—they have to run for their lives. Our Sponsors Blue Apron – To get your first three meals free with free shipping, go to blueapron.com/crimetown. Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their products, and grow their businesses every day. ...

S1 E03: The Making of a Mayor

November 27, 2016 17:00 - 33 minutes

Buddy Cianci runs for mayor as the anti-corruption candidate, promising to change Providence. He’s a novice Republican politician in a city ruled by Democrats and mobbed-up unions. As he struggles to get elected, he faces an impossible choice: stay clean and lose, or get a little dirty and win. For credits and more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Blue Apron - To get your first three meals free with free shipping, go to blueapron.com/crimetown. Mailchi...

S1 E02: The Wiseguys

November 20, 2016 17:24 - 36 minutes

How does a kid from Providence become a mob enforcer? Two men share their personal stories of joining Raymond Patriarca’s crime family. As they move from their formative years on the street to maximum security, they come up against murder charges, jailhouse feuds…and even the occasional farm animal. For credits and more information about this episode, visit crimetownshow.com. Our Sponsors Mailchimp – More than 12 million people use MailChimp to connect with their customers, market their produ...