Episode 30: Crime-Fighting Broads 004: The Nazi-Killers

There were plenty of jobs for women in WW2: nurse, ambulance driver, factory worker. But then there were the other jobs, the ones no one really talked about. Spy. Resistance fighter. Killer.

These are the stories of five women—Nadezhda Popova, Vitka Kempner, Noor Inayat Khan, Nancy Wake, and Lyudmila Pavlichenko—who fought the Nazis. They terrorized them from the sky, blew up their trains, endured their torture, rode bikes through their territory, and shot them down with their rifles. In a world that threatened to be consumed by evil, they fought back.

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Sources:

“Nadezhda Popova, WWII ‘Night Witch,’ Dies at 91,” New York Times, 14 July 2013

“Nadezhda Popova, celebrated Soviet ‘Night Witch’ aviator of World War II, dies at 91,” The Washington Post, 13 July 2013

“Vilna Jewish Partisans Led By Young Girl,” The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 8 Sept 1944

“VITKA KEMPNER-KOVNER,” The Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

“Vitka Kovner, partisan, passes away at the age of 92,” Yad Vashem, 15 Feb 2012

“Overlooked No More: Noor Inayat Khan, Indian Princess and British Spy,” New York Times, 28 Nov 2018

“One Woman, Many Surprises: Pacifist Muslim, British Spy, WWII Hero,” NPR, 6 Sept 2014

“Noor Inayat Khan: The Indian princess who spied for Britain,” BBC, 8 Nov 2012

“Nancy Wake, Proud Spy and Nazi Foe, Dies at 98,” New York Times, 13 Aug 2011

“Farewell to Nancy Wake, the mouse who ran rings around the Nazis,” The Guardian, 8 Aug 2011

“War hero Nancy Wake's ashes scattered in France,” ABC Australia, 10 Mar 2013

“Eleanor Roosevelt and the Soviet Sniper,” Smithsonian, 21 Feb 2013

“The life and myths of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Soviet Russia's deadliest sniper,” Public Radio International, 9 March 2018

“By the Numbers: End of World War II,” CNN, 2 Sept 2013

World War II Foundation (for statistics)

 Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer

“Shake It and Break It” by Lanin's Southern Serenaders, licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License

“Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 16” by Sergei Rachmaninoff (Sviatoslav Richter, piano; Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanislaw Wislocki, cond.), via archive.org.

Samples played from “Miss Pavlichenko” by Woody Guthrie and Inglorious Bastards by Quentin Tarantino.

Tori Telfer
Episode 29: Hyena of Auschwitz: Irma Grese

Meet Irma Grese. She likes boys, girls, movies, makeup, and sadistic torture. She hates her dad, but loves Adolf Hitler. This is horrific story of the story of how propaganda—and a large dose of teenage boredom—transformed an unskilled peasant girl into one of the Holocaust’s most successful concentration camp guards.

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Sources:

The Beautiful Beast: The Life & Crimes of SS-Aufseherin Irma Grese, by Daniel Patrick Brown

“The Violence of Female Guards in Nazi Concentration Camps (1939-1945): Reflections on the Dynamics and Logics of Power,” by Elissa Mailänder in SciencesPo

“Nazi Bride Schools: ‘These girls were the nucleus of the Reich,’” Telegraph, 16 August 2013

“Auschwitz II-Birkenau,” from Auschwitz.org

“Life for young people in Nazi Germany,” BBC Bitesize, accessed 6/31/2019

“Gendering the Holocaust: A case study of Irma Grese: Constructing the ‘evil’ and the ‘ordinary’ through digital oral testimonies and written trial testimonies of the Holocaust survivors,” by Bianka Vida, Kaleidoscope

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer

“Shake It and Break It” by Lanin's Southern Serenaders, licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License

“Death Is Our Only God” by Silent Carrion, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

Tori Telfer
Episode 28: Making a Murderess: Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan (feat. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi)
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History remembers them as beautiful booze-hounds. Hollywood turned them into fame-hungry starlets. But who were these murderesses, really?

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With Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, author of UGLY PREY: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago, we dive into the stories of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan, the most infamous lady killers of 1920s Chicago. What did the press get wrong about them? What do we get wrong about them today? WHY WERE THEIR JURIES SO UTTERLY MAD? And honestly, was the whole thing just a gin-soaked joke, or were real crimes committed?  

Find Emilie on her website and Instagram. Buy her books here. And become a Patreon supporter for rewards and bonus content! Follow the podcast on Instagram for more photos.

Sources:

Interview with Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, 6/14/19

UGLY PREY: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago, by Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi

The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago, by Douglas Perry

Lady Killers, by Tori Telfer

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer

“Shake It and Break It” by Lanin's Southern Serenaders, licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License

“One Night Alone With You” via archive.org

Brief clips played for educational purposes: “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago and “Hula Lou” by Danny Kaye

Tori Telfer
Episode 27: Crime-Fighting Broad 003: Isabella Goodwin, Detective
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The story behind New York’s first-ever female detective! In 1896, Isabella Goodwin was a quiet, hard-working police matron who wrangled murderesses, made up the prison beds, and earned about half of what her male coworkers did. As far as she knew, she’d be a police matron forever…until one day, a gruff captain called her over to his desk and asked if she’d like to take a crack at going undercover.

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Sources:

 The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin: How New York's First Female Police Detective Cracked the Crime of the Century, by Elizabeth Mitchell

“Robbers Hold Up Bank Messengers in Taxi; Steal $25,000 and Escape in an Auto,” Brooklyn Times Union, 15 Feb 1912

“The First Municipal Woman Detective in the World,” The New York Times, 3 March 1912

“Mrs. Isabella Goodwin is a Sherlock Holmes in Skirts,” Daily Long Island Democrat, 26 March 1912

“Who Mrs. Isabella Goodwin Really Is,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7 April 1912

“Bandits’ Sentences Pile High,” New-York Tribune, 13 April 1912

“Woman Detective is Secret Bride,” The Standard Union, 28 Nov 1921

“Overlooked No More: Isabella Goodwin, New York City’s First Female Police Detective,” New York Times, 13 March 2019

Ticket Scalping: An American History, 1850–2005, by Kerry Segrave (p. 68)

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Shake It and Break It” by Lanin's Southern Serenaders, licensed under a Public Domain / Sound Recording Common Law Protection License

“La Traviata, Brindisi (Verdi)” by MIT Symphony Orchestra, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License

Tori Telfer
Episode 26: The Duchess: Juanita Spinelli
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Juanita Spinelli ran a gang of embarrassingly awful Northern Californian crooks who could barely rob enough gas stations to stay afloat. And yet three years after forming her gang, she was walking toward the gas chamber, as citizens across the country clamored that it wasn’t right to execute a woman.

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(Become a Patreon supporter for rewards and bonus content! And here’s the slideshow of California’s death row inmates that I mention at the end of the episode…)

Sources:

“Murder Ring in State Broken,” Santa Maria Times, 16 April 1940

“Robbery-Gang Killing Explained,” The Los Angeles Times, 17 April 1940

All Juanita Spinelli coverage from The San Francisco Examiner, 1940-1941

“Woman Seized as Murder Ring Head,” Leader-Telegram, 17 April 1940

“Gang is Indicted in Sacramento For Slaying of Youth,” Reno Gazette-Journal, 23 April 1940

“Aided Slayers to Save Child,” Muncie Evening Press, 25 May 1940

“’Duchess’ Gang Aid Admits Throwing Victim Into River,” Oakland Tribune, 27 May 1940

“A Woman Condemned to Die,” Lincoln News Messenger, 13 Feb 1941

“‘The Duchess’ to Die for Gang Slaying,” The Press Democrat, 19 June 1941

“Murderess Snatched from Death’s Shadow,” The Press Democrat, 20 June 1941

“Death Awaits Mrs. Spinelli,” The Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov 1941

“‘The Duchess’ Dies in Gas Chamber,” The Roseville Press, 21 Nov 1941

“Many Pleas Made For Duchess’ Life,” Oakland Tribune, 21 Nov 1941

“‘Duchess’ Quite in Execution,” Santa Cruz Evening News, 21 Nov 1941

“Aides to ‘Duchess’ Executed; Laugh and Pray at Finish,” The Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov 1941

“These Interesting People,” Oakland Tribune, 4 Nov 1946

“Big Names from the Big House,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, 17 Dec 2000

“The Death of a Duchess,” Daily News, 29 June 2003

“Timeline: Capital Punishment in California,” Southern California Public Radio

“California Death Penalty Suspended; 737 Inmates Get Stay of Execution,” New York Times, 12 March 2019

“The most notorious inmates on California's death row,” SF Gate, 13 March 2019

“These are the 737 inmates on California's death row,” LA Times, 13 March 2019

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Me and the Blues,” sung by Mildred Bailey, from archive.org

Tori Telfer
Episode 25: Woman of Seven Faces: Kazuko Fukuda
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In 1982, Kazuko Fukuda strangled her coworker, changed her name, and went on the run—for fifteen years. She was playing a game of chicken with the law, trying to stay free until the statute of limitations for her crime ran out. To do this, she had to go under the knife.

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(Become a Patreon supporter for rewards and bonus content!)

Sources:

Crime stats for Japan and the US: The Japanese Industrial System (De Gruyter Studies in Organization, 3rd Edition), Page 46, and “The U.S. Murder Rate Is Up But Still Far Below Its 1980 Peak,” FiveThirtyEight, 25 Sept 2017

“Staying Healthy in Japan: Jujin Hospital,” Tokyo Weekender,  20 May 1888

“A Modest Proposal for Capturing Fugitives,” The Japan Times, Aug 07, 1997

“Informant donates reward to charity,” The Japan Times, 24 Aug 1997

“After 14 years on run, murder suspect arrested,” The Japan Times, 30 Jul 1997

 “Japanese police scramble to catch up with criminals,” The Washington Post, Tokyo, 13 September 1997

“Ex-fugitive admits killing,” The Japan Times, 28 Oct 1997

“Life term for ex-fugitive upheld,” The Japan Times, 14 Dec 2000

“The rules of hostessing,” Japan Today, 3 November 2009

“Japan: Statute of Limitations for Murder Abolished,” Global Legal Monitor, The Law Library of Congress, 21 May 2010

“Heisei flashback: Kazuko Fukuda, ‘The Woman of Seven Faces,’” Tokyo Reporter, 19 April 2019

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Moon-kana – Tsuki Kinoko (Yaka-anima Slow Mix)” by Yaka-anima from Broken Doll (2018), used with permission from archive.org under license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International.

Tori Telfer
Episode 24: The Women of Jack the Ripper, Part 2: THE VICTIMS
Annie Chapman and her husband.

Annie Chapman and her husband.

The victims of Jack the Ripper, the most famous serial killer in the world, are known to us mostly by their autopsy photos. In the conclusion to our WOMEN OF JACK THE RIPPER series, historian Hallie Rubenhold comes on the podcast to illuminate the rough and tragically brief lives of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elisabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly—the canonical five. Hallie is the author of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper.

(Become a Patreon supporter for rewards and bonus content!)

Sources:

Interview with Hallie Rubenhold

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold

Descriptions of the victims’ injuries are available in detail on casebook.org/victims/

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Funeral March in C minor, Op. posth. 72 no. 2” by Frederick Chopin, used with permission from musopen.org.

Tori Telfer
Episode 23: The Women of Jack the Ripper, Part 1: JILL
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We remember Jack the Ripper as a man who did the brutal work of a typical male serial killer, de-feminizing his victims by hacking up their bodies. But in this two-part series, let’s take a look at the women who circle around the Ripper legend. First up, the admittedly controversial and kinda odd theory that perhaps Jack the Ripper is the wrong nickname for the killer—perhaps, some writers insist, we should have been looking for a Jill all along! This episode features an interview with Jonathan Menges of Casebook.org and the Rippercast.

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Sources:

Interview with Jonathan Menges of Casebook.org and the Rippercast

Jack the Ripper by William Stewart

Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman by John Morris

Letter to the Times (London), 18 Sept 1888, by Lord Sidney Godolphin Osborne

The Complete Jack The Ripper A-Z, by Paul Begg, Martin Fido, Keith Skinner

I Caught Crippen by Walter Dew

“Was Jack the Ripper a Woman?” Independent, 18 May 2006

Interview with Dr. Lawson Tait, Pall Mall Gazette, 21 September 1889

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Jane The Ripper” by Cullah on Be Love Not Fear, under license (CC BY 4.0).

Tori Telfer
Episode 22: Dark Angel in the House: Adelaide Bartlett
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Victorian women were expected to be wives and mothers—not killers. Enter Adelaide Bartlett. In her middle-class Victorian world of green wallpaper, taxidermy, and submissive wifehood, the beautiful Adelaide was an enigma. Was she telling the truth about her husband’s weirdness? Was she really as good as she seemed? And most importantly: did she do it?

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The Trial of Adelaide Bartlett for Murder, Held at the Central Criminal Court from Monday, April 12, to Saturday, April 17, 1886

 “Adelaide Bartlett and the Pimlico mystery,” by M. Farrell, BMJ, Dec 24, 1994

“Science and Masculinity: The 1886 Pimlico Mystery Revisited,” by Holly Reynolds, University of Colorado

Murder Files from Scotland Yard and the Black Museum, by R. Michael Gordon

The A-Z of Victorian Crime, by Neil R. A. Bell, Trevor Bond, Kate Clarke, M.W. Oldridge

 “Syphilis – Its Early History and Treatment until Penicillin and the Debate on its Origins,” by John Frith, Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health, Vol 20 No 4

“George Dyson Alias John Bernard Walker,” by John A. Vickers, Methodist History, 41:1 (October 2002)

Hitchcock on Hitchcock, Volume 2: Selected Writings and Interviews

“The Heroine of the Hour,” The Pall Mall Budget: Being a Weekly Collection of Articles Printed in the Pall Mall Gazette from Day to Day, with a Summary of News, Volume 34, 1886

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Silver Threads Among the Gold,” sung by John McCormack.

Tori Telfer
Episode 21: Crime-Fighting Broad 002: Eunice Hunton Carter, Lawyer
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In 1930s New York, a single man ruled the entire city with extortion, racketeering, and a healthy dose of murder. Nobody could take him down—until a black girl from Atlanta decided to try her hand at it. It was the match of the century: the lawyer, Eunice Hunton Carter vs. the mobster, Lucky Luciano. Only one of them would walk out of that courtroom unscathed.

(Become a Patreon supporter for rewards and bonus content!)

Source:

Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster, by Stephen L. Carter 

Music:

“Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Moonlight Ride Ft. Bluey Moon,” by Isaac Chambers, licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License and used with permission.

Tori Telfer