Nick Flynn tells the story of his father, who was never on a pedestal. His father abandoned the family soon after Nick was born.
You can't do a radio show about worshiping false gods without a story about money...or real estate...or hipness. Fortunately for us, Iggy Scam supplies a story that's about all three.
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.
Two stories about daily life in Cicero. First the tale of Dave Boyle, who stumbled into Cicero politics accidentally in the 1980s, suffered the bruises, and left town.
The Jarvis family, a group of eight, goes on the run from the law—for seven years. They live on a boat, in a treehouse in a swamp.
Producer Blue Chevigny tells more of the story from Bristol County, where the immigration law of 1996 has a community of non-political people reluctantly going to protests, attending meetings at night, talking to politicians, and doing all sorts of other things most of us would do anything to avoid.
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.
Our story about ADM and Mark Whitacre continues. The FBI finds out that their star cooperating witness Mark Whitacre has been lying to them for three years about some rather serious matters.
What if you're remembered in ways that you don't like? What if you're remembered for something someone else did? In this act, we consider the case of Marguerite Oswald, mother of Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1965 she spent three days with reporter Jean Stafford, who wrote about Mrs.
Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic, in Pontiac, Michigan, explains how every crime scene is like a novel.
Forensic Criminologist Enrico Togneri in Nevada explains exactly what can be learned from evidence on a crime scene: What can be learned from the shape of a blood stain or a piece of cheese.
Reporter Nancy Updike spends two days with Neal Smither, who cleans up crime scenes for a living, and comes away wanting to open his Los Angeles franchise, despite the gore—or maybe because of it.
Sometimes criminals return to the scene of their misdeeds—to try to make things right, to try to undo the past. Katie Davis reports on her neighbor Bobby, who returned to the scene where he robbed people and conned people...to coach Little League.
Actor Matt Malloy reads a short story by Aimee Bender, from her book The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories.
Monica Childs's story continues. She tells the story of how she was asked by her boss to do something illegal...and how she refused...and the repercussions she suffered.
Host Ira Glass talks with Jack E. Robinson, Republican candidate for Senate in Massachusetts.
When Jessica Robinson was sent to adult prison at the age of 14, the state did such a terrible job taking care of her that several women—an embezzler, a convicted murderer, and some thieves—stepped in to mother her. Alex Kotlowitz reports.
Writer Bill Buford reads from his book Among the Thugs. In it he sets out to try and understand the soccer hooligans who were rioting in ways large and small on a regular basis after soccer matches. It's a remarkable book—in turns funny, and then horrifying.
A postman explains how it is that he can be so much a part of the scenery that people commit crimes in front of him, on quiet daytime streets, as if he's not there. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg spent a day with postman on Chicago's west side, to find out what he sees...and who sees him...and who doesn't see him, even though he's right there.
The story of a con man, one of the most successful salesmen in a long-running multimillion-dollar telemarketing scam, who finally got caught when he was conned himself. Nancy Updike talks about the case with Dale Sekovich, Federal Trade Commission investigator.
This is the story of two people—one in his late teens, one in his late fifties. Both have good reasons to be mad at the world, but what they did with their anger—and what society did with them—are very different.
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: A Family, a Town, a Murder.) This is how it goes sometimes.
Host Ira Glass with former Congressman Daniel Rostenkowski. When Rostenkowski began a term in federal prison, he met for the first time people who'd been locked up under harsh drug laws that he'd voted for himself. "The whole thing's a sham," he declares.