Host Ira Glass interviews Joe Amrine, who was falsely accused of murder. Rather than avoid the death penalty, Amrine said everything he could think of on the witness stand to get the jury to give him a death sentence.
Scott Carrier and his family live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood as Elizabeth Smart, the fourteen-year-old whose kidnapping made international news in 2002. Though pictures of Smart were everywhere in Salt Lake City, and thousands of volunteers searched for her, her captors brought her back to the neighborhood she was taken from, and they walked freely through the streets with her.
Reporter Anya Bourg tells the story of Carl King's first case, where he's able to accomplish what experienced detectives and lawyers were not. He proves that his friend was innocent.
The story of Collin Warner continues. His friend Carl manages to convince the real shooter and the victim's brother (who watched him die on the sidewalk) to testify on Collin's behalf.
Carl King, a self-taught investigator, talks about the murder case he's working on now—one the police think they've already solved. Carl got started in this business after freeing his close friend from prison.
When Darren's car was stolen in Washington, D.C., he did what everyone does: He called the police and figured he'd never see the car again. But within a week, as he was driving his rental he spotted his stolen Toyota, and chased it, with some help from the nice lady at 9-1-1.
Jack Hitt tells tales of voter sabotage so outrageous that we swear will get you yelling at your radio and calling for people's heads.
Patrick Wall was a special kind of monk. He was a fixer.
Julia Whitty's father's cancer medication cost $47,000 a year if she bought it in the United States. It cost $1,200 a year if she bought it in a foreign country.
Could anyone in a small farming town have done anything to prevent a brutal crime, committed by one of their neighbors? Robert Kurson first wrote about the March 2002 triple murder in Toulon, Illinois, for Chicago Magazine. His article has been reprinted in the anthology Best American Crime Writing 2003. (15 minutes)
Host Ira Glass talks to two people about their real-life stories of theory and practice. Subject 1: Michael.
We hear the secret recordings that ended mob control of New York garbage collection, and talk to Rick Cowan, the NYPD detective who went undercover for three years to make them.
For four hours in August 2001, KCAL-9, an all-news channel in Los Angeles, broadcast a very unusual police pursuit. The suspect drove under the speed limit, obeyed all traffic laws, signaled every time he wanted to turn.
The story of an FBI sting that involves gangsters, G-men, and lots and lots of people who want to work in the movies. It's adapted from an article by Elizabeth Gilbert that first appeared in GQ magazine.
Host Ira Glass plays parts of a speech by George Ryan, former Governor of Illinois. When he was a state senator in 1977, Ryan was part of a successful coalition that voted to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois.
"Stolen Dog, black, toy poodle named Isis." Producer Todd Bachmann interviews a man named Leo, who recently placed that ad.
Rarely when we're suckered do we get a chance at revenge, and that turns out to be a good thing. Writer Shane DuBow tells the story of a scam he fell for when he was just out of college.
Host Ira Glass talks to Cory Simmons and Dominique Mapp, who were driving home one night and were followed by a group of rowdy men in an SUV. The men tailed them for miles and then started firing a gun at them.
Susan Burton's story continues. She investigates the effect the high-speed chase had in the town where it happened—Miller, South Dakota, one of the top ten most racially homogeneous places in the country.
Jack Hitt's story about a prison production of Hamlet continues. He discovers that almost all the actors draw on their pasts in one way or another to get into character.
The story of a man who committed a murder when he was a teenager. He got away with it, and didn't tell the police for twenty years.
Susan Drury tells the story of what happens when one of the most respected men in town gets accused of sexual harassment by one of the most trusted women in town. For a lot of the townspeople it was a difficult decision, but they chose to believe him over her.
Ira talks with Barry Keenan, who was living a lot of people’s plan A in the early 60’s. He was rich, he was successful.
Reporter Mark Arax spent three years investigating the murder of his father and yet he's still not at peace when he thinks of his dad's death. (His book is called In My Father's Name.) This is how it goes sometimes: We create a story that tries to explain our lives, and it still leaves so much unanswered.