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True Crime in Old Time Radio


DragnetBy its very nature, police and detective work is ripe with drama and intrigue and perfect for old time radio shows. Listeners and true crime sleuths solve the crime along with the gumshoes and cannon shooters. Throughout radio history, true crime cases were fictionalized and sensationalized to different degrees of accuracies and entertainment. 

 

Orson Welles
Black Museum
Orson Welles stars in "The Black Museum. A Repository of Death. Here in the grim stone structure on the Thames which houses Scotland Yard is a warehouse of homicide, where every day objects ... all touched by murder."

Border Patrol
Border Patrol
Based on real exploits of the border patrol: All names were changed to protect the innocent, except the border patrol agents' real names are used. Cases range from a drug smuggler who used a teenage boy as a drug mule to ghosts reported seen at Niagara Falls.

 

Call The Police
Call the Police
Sponsored by Lever Brother's Rinso and Lifebuoy Soap, Call the Police was billed as "a new series of realistic radio dramas inspired by the courageous work of police departments all over America." This collection contains all known episodes to be in existence of this rare series.

Confession
Confession
Created from the transcribed confessions of actual crimes, the names of the criminals were changed, but the cases were from documented records and case histories.

Crime Classics
Crime Classics
"A series of true crime stories from the records and newspapers of every land, from every time. Your host each week is Mr. Thomas Hyland- connoisseur of crime, student of violence, and teller of murders."

 

Crime Does Not Pay
Crime Does Not Pay
This old time radio series portrays murder, theft, and racketeering, and other crimes. Exposes the consequences of these misdeeds and teaches listeners as the title suggests "crime does not pay!"

Did Justice Triumph
Did Justice Triumph
Follow police investigators as they move through crime scenes, question witnesses and suspects, and solve real crimes in this rare crime drama.

 

Dragnet
Dragnet
The series covered crimes ranging from check fraud, petty theft, and bunko detail to more sensational topics like murder, drug abuse, and taboo topics such as sex crimes and child abduction and murder. With a semi-documentary style, realism would be the show's feature.

Honor The Law
Honor the Law
These short stories from 1938 focus on police work and bravery: big cases and big busts, but also the interpersonal relationships between officers.

Devise and Bequeath
I Devise and Bequeath
An old time radio show about the stories of "strange wills from strange people" based on true life stories of last wills and testaments from around the world.

 

Incredible But True
Incredible But True
Sometimes the harder a story is to believe, the better audiences like it! Incredible But True used a short format to titillate listeners along with droning organ music and a touch of the supernatural.

Nightwatch
Nightwatch
Ride along with Culver City Police Officers in real recordings from the squad car.

 

Official Detective
Official Detective
This classic old time radio police drama features a crime from the start to finish: from a drunk accused of murder to bride that murders her groom after discovering that he married her for her money. Even spinsters are unsafe at the hands of madmen and murderers!

Standby for Crime
Standby for Crime
Done with the barebones "just the facts" style that made Dragnet a runaway hit, Standby For Crime follows a radio newsman and his girl Friday as they dig into the city's seedy underbelly.

Lineup
The Line Up
Inter-meshing true crime stories of the day with fiction, this realistic police drama gives radio audiences a look behind the scenes at police headquarters.

 

This is Your FBI
This is Your FBI
Endorsed by J Edgar Hoover himself, this fact-based drama told the story of FBI cases from the agent's point of view.

True Detective
True Detective Mysteries
True Detective Mysteries radio series was based on the "True Detective magazine. Later it was sponsored by Listerine and Oh Henry Candy, but kept the same name. Each week the show presented the "case history of an actual crime. Many were told from the criminal's point of view.

 

True Legal
True Legal Dramas
15 minute commercial for the legal profession, but it is also well written and entertaining radio drama.

Unit 99
Unit 99
Real-Action Police Stories of the Sacramento Police Department!

Up For Parole
Up for Parole
Practice your poker face and get ready for some shocking crimes! This program is based on authentic cases heard by our parole boys in state prisons.

 

Wanted
Wanted
Help find criminals on the run from the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list from 1950.

 


Click here for a complete list of all our detective and crime shows.



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