November 2, 2007

How to Rest in Peace

There are umpteen TV shows about solving murders, endless whodunits in bookstores. But what happens to the people left behind after the detectives close the case? Three stories about children trying to figure out how to live normally after their parents have died.

Rachel Howard and her dad, Stan Howard, who was murdered in his house in 1986. His killer was never found.


Host Ira Glass talks to Rachel Howard, whose father, Stan, was murdered when she was 10 years old. His case was never solved. And like a lot of people whose family members have been killed, she tried for a long time to find the killer. But after a while, she gave up. And she's comfortable with that—which sometimes makes fellow survivors decidedly uncomfortable. (7 minutes)

Rachel wrote a book, The Lost Night, about her father's murder.

Act One

Dry Eyes And Videotape

Jason Minter lived through the worst trauma you could imagine: He was at a friend's house, a gun pressed to his head, while his mother and another woman were raped and shot to death in the next room by robbers. He was six. And even though he saw a series of therapists as he grew up, he's never been able to feel anything about what happened. He's never even cried about it. So almost 30 years after the crime, Jason decides to make a documentary, to revisit every aspect of his mother's murder, in hopes that he'll connect to what happened, and to her, in some way. (30 minutes)


“It's All Right to Cry” by Moufette
Act Two

The Good Son

A story about a mother who wants to commit suicide and a son who dutifully helps her do it—even though his mother is a happy, healthy, independent person. How did they manage to pull it off? Practice, practice, practice. (16 minutes)