Episode: Episode 24: Pearl Bryan


Criminal Logo
Subscribe
Episode 24: Pearl Bryan
 
In February of 1896, a little boy discovered a woman's headless body in a farmer's field in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. No one knew who she was, or what had happened. Newspapers carried headlines like "Hunt for the Head" and "Headless Horror." Quickly, the crime scene became a tourist attraction and visitors traveled from all over to collect bloody souvenirs. The gruesome details were adapted into a popular song that's been recorded dozens of times. We talk with folklorist Sarah Bryan about the true story behind the murder ballad, and the band Elephant Micah performs an original arrangement. 
 
Download Elephant Micah’s “Pearl Bryan” on iTunes or Bandcamp. Read their guide, “How to Bring a Murder Ballad Back to Life” here.
 
We're doing live shows in Durham, Seattle, LA, and San Francisco this fall. Tickets on sale now. Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Say hello on Twitter @criminalshow


 


Criminal
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

Criminal > Episode 23: Triassic Park

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona has the largest collection of petrified wood in the world. The beautiful wood is more than 200 million years old, and visitors to the park often take a little piece home with them as a souvenir. But stealing the wood has serious consequences, both legal and, some say, supernatural...

Criminal > Episode 25: The Portrait

More than eighty years ago, a North Carolina family of nine posed for a Christmas portrait. Two weeks later, all but one of them had been shot dead. (See the portrait here.)  Thanks to Elephant Micah and Sarah Bryan for collaborating with us this month. Download Elephant Micah's version of "Lawson Family" on iTunes or Bandcamp, and see them perform it live (along with their version of "Pearl Bryan") when they go on tour this September...

Thinking Sideways Podcast > Death of Annie Börjesson

In December 2005, the body of Annie Börjesson was found washed up on the beach at Prestwick, Scotland. Local police concluded that the death was suicide by drowning... but the evidence suggests something else.
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.