In big families, there's often one kid who always gets blamed when something goes wrong. But Shalom Auslander came from a small family, so the role of fall guy was up for grabs.
Sara was raised in a fancy suburban neighborhood with strict parents who liked to flaunt their wealth—with his and hers Porsches, for instance. But when Sara was 12, her mother and father sat her down in the den with her siblings, and told them that their father had done a terrible thing, and their lives were about to change forever.
Writer Doug McGray tells the story of a daughter who wanted to be closer to her mom, and went to extremes to do it. Doug McGray is a fellow at the New America Foundation.
Host Ira Glass introduces four characters: Kay McDonald, who raised a daughter named Sue, and Mary Miller, who raised a daughter named Marti. In 1994, Mary Miller wrote letters to Sue and Marti, confessing the secret she'd kept for 43 years: The daughters had been switched at birth and raised by the wrong families.
Reporter Jake Halpern tells the story of Marti Miller and Sue McDonald, the daughters who were switched at birth, and the many complications that came with learning the truth. Jake is the author of several books and creator of the comic Welcome to the New World.
Jake Halpern tells the mothers' sides of the story. At 69, Kay McDonald had to cope not only with the news that her daughter wasn't her own, but that another mother had known the whole time.
When David Ellis Dickerson was 12, he got a new bike, and his father decided to use the occasion to teach David a lesson. But the lesson David learned wasn't the one his father intended.
The song "Mystery of the Dunbar's Child" describes Bobby Dunbar's disappearance.
Margaret Dunbar Cutright starts looking into her grandfather's disappearance.
Margaret meets the living relatives of her grandfather's kidnapper and finally arrives at an incontrovertible truth.
Veronica Chater's mother wants to go to a resort in Mexico with a friend. Her father, a former cop with an extravagant sense of security, prepares as if she's headed for a war zone.
Thanksgiving 2002, the Ohm family's dinner conversation turned to the recent terrorist attacks. Alexis Ohm, the youngest daughter, made a comment that in retrospect she admits was probably the wrong thing to say with her conservative, military-veteran dad at the table...that Osama bin Laden was hot.
When Sarah was 10 years old, she got a heart transplant. Soon after, her mother decided to find out more about the person who saved her daughter's life.
Eight-year-old Betsy Walter goes on a campaign to understand her parents' divorce.
Anthony Pico was a foster kid for most of his life. His mother was a crack addict who abandoned him, and he bounced around from house to house, relative to relative.
Josh Bearman grew up in California with his dad, stepmom, and brother. But they're not his whole family.
Josh Bearman continues his story by looking at how things got so bad for his mother and David in the first place.
Host Ira Glass talks to an expert stone cutter who makes headstones. One day he got a call from a guy who wanted him to make his headstone in advance, which is not all that uncommon.
Ron Mallett was ten years old when his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. A year later, after picking up a comic book based on H.G.
Serry and her husband's love story began in a place not usually associated with romance: The West Bank. That was where the couple met, fell in love and decided to get married.
Host Ira Glass talks to ordinary Iraqis about life in their country since the U.S. invasion. Every one of them has friends and relatives—civilians—who've been killed in the violence there.
Two years ago, a Johns Hopkins University study published in The Lancet estimated the number of civilian casualties in Iraq. It came up with a number—100,000 dead—that was higher than any other estimate at the time and was mostly ignored.
Captain Ryan Gist was given a particularly tough assignment in Iraq: To build relationships with a town where U.S. bombs had killed twelve innocent people. But first he has to apologize to the families of those who were killed.
The Lancet's new study of deaths in Iraq, by the same research team that did the earlier study, yielded an astounding number—650,000 civilian deaths. Producer Alex Blumberg talks to Ira about the debate over this new study.