Episode 39: True Crime Historian

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Photo: Emily Simer Braun

It’s amazing when two of your passions can come together!

This is what happens in this episode thanks to Richard Jones from the True Crime Historian podcast.

Just like you might collect vintage clothing, homewares or furniture, Richard collects stories of vintage criminals!

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It’s not surprising that Richard Jones has a passion for good storytelling.

He was a journalist for a long time before he started looking into a life of historic crime.

But writing for a newspaper has always been different in the modern age.

No catchy, sensational headlines telling elements of criminal cases or speculating on the criminal or their family before the court case proceeds.

These were the newspaper articles from the late 1800’s to early 1940’s that drew Richard in.

And once he started he really did fall down the wormhole.

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Wanted poster for John Dillinger.

Richard Jones describes the storytelling of these vintage crimes as Shakespearean.

There were villains and those that are innocent. Scandal, family drama, sordid affairs, gangs, drugs, alcohol – everything!

I’m not sure if it’s luck or fate, but Richard’s hometown of Hamilton Ohio is a little bit of a hot pot of vintage crime.

There have been several family massacres, a connection with John Herbert Dillinger, hangings and more!

So that’s where Richard started and slowly he’s branched out.

He says that he now has folders and folders full of stories waiting to be told.

As much as his podcast is about true crime, it’s also about honouring the writing of an earlier era.

While the journalists were usually unknown, the style of writing and the way they used words can be as incredible as the crimes they are talking about.

 

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One of the most well known vintage crimes is of course Jack the Ripper in London.

There are hundreds of people around the world trying to solve this cold case using newspaper articles, witness descriptions, police reports and evidence collected.

But Richard Jones isn’t really about solving old crimes. Instead it’s about telling the stories all these years later and keeping the beautiful words written in newspapers alive.

jailfilefullYou can hear more about Richard Jones’ vintage passion in our latest episode. 

And make sure you check out the True Crime Historian podcast as well!

 

 

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