Phoebe Judge of North Carolina, the voice behind the Criminal Podcast. Like the podcast I enjoy the most (“Reply All” is more than all thing internet, “Conan Needs A Friend,” is more than comedy), the subject matter isn’t bound to the mere topic at hand, in this case true crime. Criminal isn’t your New York Post of podcast, no diving into the gory details for shock, it’s something more.
Phoebe is a Chi-town gal who is an experienced journalist now working for WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio. She has covered the BP Oil Spill, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, & has won multiple super important journalists’ awards. Now she is the voice of Criminal, coining the phrase, “I’m Phoebe Judge, and this is criminal.”
Behind the curtains is a crew of super smart women. They are proud that Criminal is a female-owned, female-produced, female-staffed endeavor. And Judge’s voice is unforgettable. Out of Durham, NC, Criminal isn’t of the “if it bleeds, it leads,” variety of true crime. At its heart, it is great storytelling, a sense of narrative, a sense of the human experience, and covers crime only sometimes in a tangential way. They cover dog nappings, 20’s It Girl’s, justice, or lack thereof, in the post-civil rights South…and Harper Lee. You learn and are affected all the while being entertained with great production.
Phoebe’s voice has been described, by another female mind you, as “seductively smart sexy.” But her voice is more than just the sound. Like Terri Gross, she just has a voice you are drawn to, want to listen to, and has something to say that is deeper, richer, than mere words. It’s a voice that reveals the human story and all the complexities and entanglement therein.
You may not be a podcaster, but try and give Criminal a listen. Worried that their flagship show was too dark, Judge and Spohrer then created its counterpart, “This is Love,” to present another mystery of human behavior, love stories & the experience of hope in love.
You may just become that person that goes around telling people, I heard this thing on a podcast, let me tell you about it. And people will be equally fascinated. Try it. At the very least, you can hear, “This is Phoebe Judge, and this is Criminal,” and oddly fall in love with that voice. Yeah go on, call me a fanboy. I’ll own that.