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)
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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.
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.