S2 EP2 – Crimes in Antarctica – The cold, cruel, and desperate happenings on earth’s most remote continent

This episode is a slight departure from our usual programming. Buckle up for a deep dive into a truly fascinating topic…Antarctic crime.

Crimes which occur in Antarctica may be rare, but they are rife with drama and intrigue. In this episode, Heather Thorkelson and Lauren Farmer discuss the complicated legal background of investigating and prosecuting a crime on the white continent, where multiple countries can claim jurisdiction based on where the crime occurred and who was involved.


Several psychological factors also contribute to these criminal acts, including isolation and boredom. Paired with alcoholism, which is a known problem on the continent, trouble ensues.

Lauren and Heather take us on a wild journey through the most infamous cases, starting with an ice axe attack over a chess game in 1952 and finishing up in 2018 with an ongoing feud ending in a violent stabbing.

This is a must-listen for anyone who is fascinated by true crime and the limits of the human psyche.



1:05 Heather offers an overview of crime in Antarctica including what types of crimes have been committed over time

2:15 The legal background is incredibly complicated when it comes to which country has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes

7:23 Several psychological factors contribute to crimes in Antarctica, including isolation and boredom

9:55 The first Antarctic crime reported in any detail was a fight over a chess game at Russia’s Vostok Station in 1959

12:55 The infamous arson case at Almirante Brown Station on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1984

16:36 In 1996, a chef at the USA’s McMurdo Station attacked a coworker with the claw end of a hammer.

21:10 The case of Rodney Marks, an astrophysicist at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station who died in 2000 under mysterious circumstances.

32:02 As recent as 2018, an ongoing feud results in a stabbing at Russia’s Bellingshausen Station on King George Island.

39:25 Lauren discusses the various types of crimes that may be committed during ship-based operations and the jurisdictional issues that arise.



Apple Podcasts → Stitcher → PocketCasts → RSSYouTube