Ira hears from a woman named Shannon about a phone call she got in 2008 that cast doubt on whether an 18 year old named Marie was telling the truth about being sexually assaulted. This idea leads to one of two investigations—one small and bad, and the other stunningly big and good.
We tell the story of that patient, Alan Pean, and how his delusions lead him to a situation that's just as strange as the worst thoughts his mind is cooking up. This story is a collaboration with the New York Times.
A few years back, when he and his family were driving home from a vacation in Texas, John Nova Lomax realized that the police were aggressively tailing him. And he was definitely not prepared for the reason they pulled him over.
For 17 months, New York police officer Adrian Schoolcraft recorded himself and his fellow officers on the job, including their supervisors ordering them to do all sorts of things that police aren't supposed to do. For example, downgrading real crimes into lesser ones, so they wouldn't show up in the crime statistics and make their precinct look bad.
Host Ira Glass talks a veteran police officer about a time in his 20s when he gets sent to a car accident—and it turns out the driver at fault was a nicely dressed chimpanzee. The chimp seemed harmless enough until the other police officer on duty tries to arrest the chimp&'s owner.
The story of how common and perfectly legal police interrogation procedures, procedures without violence or torture, were able to get an average fourteen-year-old suburban kid to confess to murdering his own sister...even though DNA evidence later proved that he hadn't done the crime.
We hear from Father Jim Kastigar, who got on the wrong side of Town Hall and suffered the kinds of consequences people in Cicero suffer. His parish was denied a permit to hold an outdoor religious ceremony they'd held peacefully for seven years, the youth group's tamale fundraiser was shut down by city inspectors and the parking lot near the church was deemed unfit for Sunday parking.
To understand how Cicero reacted when Hispanics started flooding into town, you have to understand how it dealt with conflict in the past. For a period the town was run by Al Capone, and the mob was connected to Town Hall for most of the twentieth century.
In the 1970s and 1980s, a wave of non-white migration into Cicero begins, this one primarily Mexican-American. The head of the political machine is named Betty Loren-Maltese, whose husband, now deceased, was convicted for mob-related activity.
Host Ira Glass goes to jail in Bristol County, Massachussetts, where there's a large Portuguese community, and where even a law-and-order sheriff named Tom Hodgson opposes this particular immigration law. He also talks with inmate Jorge Aruda, who's being deported for a crime he already served his sentence for.
Ira talks with producer Blue Chevigny about how a prank caller taught her that when it comes to pursuing happiness, Carole King, the world of independent cinema and the New York City Police Department have a lot more in common than she ever imagined. He also talks with MIT Professor Pauline Maier, author of the book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence.
We hear the first part of our story about Archer Daniels Midland and FBI informant Mark Whitacre. In this half, Whitacre inadvertently ends up a cooperating witness—and turns himself into one of the best cooperating witnesses in the history of U.S. law enforcement, gathering evidence with an adeptness few have matched.