Hosted by Award-winning journalist Amber Hunt, Crimes of the Centuries on the Obsessed Network chronicles true crime stories that were huge when they occurred but are lesser known today. After being heralded as one of Rolling Stone's Top 10 True Crime Podcasts of 2021, Crimes of the Centuries returns for Season 2 on January 10, 2022. Before then, relive five of these seminal cases in American history.
"Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start." The Murder of Mary Phagan chronicles the tragic but true story behind a 13 year-old's brutal murder. Because of this seminal case in history, the United States moved to create child labor laws. However, the Jewish man convicted for the murder, Leo Frank, was wrongly lynched following his sentencing. Despite Frank's conviction being shrouded in controversy, he lost in the court of public opinion, being taken out of prison and lynched. By 1986, Frank was finally posthumously pardoned in Georgia for the crime, though never fully absolved of guilt.
The kidnapping of Charley Ross marks an important moment in history when criminals began to realize that they could demand a ransom from the loved ones of kidnapped victims. In the case of Charley Ross, four year-old Charley was taken outside of a candy store once he was lured into a carriage by two unknown men. Then the ransom letters began to appear, demanding money from Charley's parents in exchange for his safe return. Sadly, Charley never made it home, and the case marked possibly originated the famous warning for children "not to take candy from strangers."
In 1932, a group of white men accused an innocent troupe of nine Black men of "roughing" them up and assaulting two white women. The legal cases of these men – known as the Scottsboro Boys – are still cited today in legal proceedings, including the argument that these boys were denied their right to the Sixth Amendment, the right to an effective counsel. In truth, the defendants had not met their defense attorneys until the morning the trial began.
Though theatergoers may recognize the oft fictionalized story of the Radium Girls, other casual listeners may need to visit the tale for the first time. In the 1920s, watchmakers instructed their factory workers to utilize a state-of-the-art, glowing paint pioneered by Marie Curie. Little did they know, however, that this glowing substance – radium – had cancerous and, often, deadly effects when used on the skin or ingested. Unfortunately for the women in said factories, they had done both... and paid greatly.
The final episode of Season 1 may just be one of the most important. In this episode, discover the haunting murders of the wealthy members of the Osage Nation began to die of mysterious causes, leading to the FBI uncovering an unspeakable conspiracy called "The Reign of Terror." Before jumping into Season 2, relive the final episode of the premiere season.