Plagiarism scandals have officially infected the world of podcasting.
Crime Junkie, a popular podcast that BuzzFeed News says is currently the most listened to series on Apple Podcasts, apparently may be cribbing a lot more than just the public records surrounding some mysterious crimes.
The first accusation of plagiarism appeared on Sunday, when journalist Cathy Frye posted a comment on Crime Junkie host Ashley Flowers' Facebook page:
"You relied on my series about Kacie Woody to air your podcast, which, I would assume, profits by the sharing of crime stories. At one point, you quoted a portion of MY copyrighted story almost verbatim. I then started listening to your other podcasts and - SURPRISE! - discovered that you don't cite sources or credit news organizations."
Frye, considered the preeminent expert on the murder of Kacie Woody due to her award-winning coverage for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2003, isn't the only one with an allegation. Fellow true-crime podcaster Robin Warder, host of The Trail Went Cold, wrote a post on Reddit in 2015 summarizing his episode about the death of Henry McCabe. He told Variety that in a recent episode of Crime Junkie, "Ashley Flowers is practically reading [from the Reddit post] verbatim without credit." BuzzFeed News reports that "a handful" of podcasters also felt their work had been plagiarized by the hosts.
Since the controversy started, five episodes of Crime Junkie have reportedly been removed from the show's website and streaming platforms. In a statement to Variety, Flowers said the show's "research process is thorough, rigid, and exhaustive, and those familiar with Crime Junkie are aware that we make clear references to the use of other sources and that comprehensive notes and links to all sources are made available on our show's website."
Sounds like a crime that still needs solving.