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In this podcast episode, reporter Matt Baglio talks with Eric Benson and Matthew Shaer about the case of Arpana Jinaga, a young woman who was murdered in 2008. They discuss the DNA evidence that was used to convict a man named Emanuel Fair, who was later released from prison. They also talk about the possibility that the real killer is still out there.
The person who wrote the email had just finished an investigation into DNA science and how it can be misinterpreted. They were seeking answers about a police officer's murder in Fox Lake, and thought that the writer might be able to help them.
A journalist receives an email from someone who has read their article and thinks they can help with a DNA-based murder investigation. The journalist knows little about the case but decides to reach out to the person who emailed them, Emanuel. After some frustrating attempts, they finally connect and Emanuel tells them about the case. The journalist then decides to investigate further.
The story of Aaron Hernandez and the murder of Odin Lloyd has been ongoing for many years, and it sounds like it has been frustrating for those involved. Ben Goldsmith, a second public defender, has been helping to piece together what happened, and the story is still very much unresolved. There are people who believe that Hernandez did kill Lloyd, even though he has been acquitted of the crime, and it sounds like the case will continue to be a source of frustration for many people. Reporter Jordan O'Neill flew to Seattle to do on the ground research for a story about a cold case. While there, he interviewed people affected by the case and found the experience to be emotionally challenging but worth the effort.
The article discusses how difficult it is to report on a story when you can't be there in person. The author describes how they tried to find a witness to a crime, but had difficulty doing so until they went to the Valley View apartment complex. Once there, they were able to find the witness they were looking for and interview him. The author concludes that being there in person is still the best way to report a story, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The podcast discusses how the criminal justice system often discriminates against people like manual, and how this case is a perfect example of that. They interview people who were close to the case to get different perspectives, and ultimately conclude that the police should have looked into him as a potential suspect based on his criminal history.
Emanuel was convicted of a crime he didn't commit because of systemic racism in the American criminal justice system. The jurors who heard his case had the power to determine his fate, and they may not have fully understood the system or their responsibilities.
The speaker is discussing how DNA evidence can be used against minorities in the criminal justice system, and how this can lead to wrongful convictions.
This person's DNA was found at the crime scene, but there was also a lot of other DNA present. The police decided not to pursue this person as a suspect because they didn't think there was enough evidence to convict them. However, the jury in the case understood that there was other DNA present that pointed to other people, and so they found the defendant not guilty.
The potential compensation that Emanuel might have received if his conviction had been overturned is not available to him because he was acquitted instead. However, his civil attorney is preparing to sue on three lines: deprivation of civil rights, malicious prosecution, and negligence. Meanwhile, Emanuel's family and friends are struggling to make sense of the situation.
The person being interviewed reflects on the response to their podcast. They note that it seems to be a political litmus test of sorts, with people either liking or disliking it based on their preconceptions.
In the episode, the guest talks about how the podcast has been a great learning experience for him, and how it has been a great help in spreading the word about the show. He also talks about how the show has helped him become more informed about the world around him.
Disclaimer: Content created by reNotes from the podcast transcript is an example only. reKnow does not own the original podcast and all content on this page, including content derived from the podcast, are the property of the podcast owner.
It was a beautiful summer day in Wisconsin when Arpana Jinaga's body was found in a campsite. The young Indian American woman had been stabbed to death, and her body was covered in blood. Investigators quickly focused on one man as a suspect: Emanuel Fair. However, his lawyer questioned the state's interpretation of DNA evidence against him, and fares is now a free man. The case remains unsolved, and the family and friends of Arpana are still searching for answers.
DNA evidence can be a powerful tool in the courtroom, but it can also be a double-edged sword. In this case, there was other DNA present at the crime scene that pointed to other people, but the police decided not to pursue them as suspects. The jury in the case understood that there was other DNA present that pointed to other people, and not just manual affair.
Emanuel's conviction being overturned would make him eligible for wrongful conviction relief, but because he was acquitted, he is not entitled to the same compensation. Emanuel's civil attorney is preparing to sue on three lines: deprivation of civil rights, malicious prosecution, and negligence. The lawsuit is against King County.
The podcast "Suspect" has been successful in sparking discussion about the American criminal justice system, with people from both sides of the political spectrum finding something to agree or disagree with. The hosts are pleased that they were able to tell the story of their friend in a way that humanized her, and hope that people will remember her as a fascinating person.
Social Posts (unedited)
Check out this episode of the podcast where they discuss the case of Arpan Naga, a young woman who was murdered in 2008 and the DNA evidence used to convict a man named Manual Faire. Could the real killer still be out there?
Original transcript used by reNotes
Episode: Reporting Suspect
campsite media you've heard him kicked in. Okay, she breathing? I don't know. I didn't even get close to it. We're gonna run away. Okay, hold on. In 2008, a young woman named ARPA Naja Naga was found dead in her apartment in Redmond outside of Seattle.
He said, I'm excited to tell her that she's no more and he's like, No. Are you sure about that? That cannot be.
ARPANET had been killed in the wake of a Halloween party at our complex. As investigators began to look into the murderer, they used a shorthand to describe witnesses and potential people of interest, the construction worker, the bank robber, Jesus's secretary, but eventually they trained their focus on one man, a manual affair.
And he's like I met in Washington State Penitentiary, he's like, I don't know why I'm here. They just brought me here. And I was like, What do you mean, you know, it was like, how do you not know this stuff?
A major part of the case against a manual fair involved DNA, and some of his DNA did appear on the victim's body and clothing, but other suspects had left their DNA on the scene to and when it came time for a manual to stand trial. Almost a decade after Arpan his death. His lawyer Ben Goldsmith questioned the state's interpretation of the DNA
there are all these things that were aligning against a manual, which made it all that much more important to be the person who would try to help.
Did it really show that a manual was the killer, or it prosecutors made up their mind, then use DNA to fit their theory of the case? A manual affair is now a free man has been for a couple of years. He's in the process of putting his life back together. Together with a civil lawyer. He's preparing a lawsuit against King County. Still, Justice feels a long way off. No one else has been arrested for the murder of Arpana. And the case remains for all intents and purposes completely cold. In this episode, I'm talking with Matt Baglio, reporter and host of the third season of over my dead body. Matt Baglio and I will talk about getting out and reporting. With the case of the center a suspect says about the American criminal justice system and what's next for a manual fare.
On a cold morning in Indianapolis, Tony Curtis woke up, loaded his shotgun and drove to his bank. He wasn't there to steal anything he was there to take his life back American hostage tells the true story of one man who channeled the rage of a nation and took justice into his own hands. Follow American hostage wherever you get your podcasts or you can binge all eight episodes right now on Amazon music.
Hi, I'm David Brown, the host of wondery show business wars in our latest series, the big automakers gear up to fight flashy incumbent Elan musk. Check out Tesla vs Detroit on business wars on Apple podcasts, Amazon music or the wondery app join wondery Plus in the wonder he apt to listen one week early and ad free.
From camp side media and wondery I'm Matthew shear, and this is a special episode of suspect.
And suspect we chronicle some of the challenges that arise in the course of a complex murder investigation. How do you get answers when only two people have them and one of them is dead. In Over my dead body Fox Lake The team is also seeking answers about a murder investigation actually reported and hosted season one of over my dead body, which is called tally. He told the story of the murder of a renowned law professor in Tallahassee, Florida. Season two was the story that feud between Joe exotic and Carole Baskin. This season is about another conflict pushed to the limits, and the mysterious death of a police officer in a town called Fox Lake. Today, I'm going to hand the interviewing duties off to Matt Baglio, the reporter and host of Fox Lake. That further ado, Matt, thanks so much for joining me.
Thanks, Brad for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Listen to suspect and I have to say I was really, really impressed with the amount of time and effort that you and your team put into reporting this story. So Matt, this podcast it was quite an undertaking, and I'm curious to know how it got started. In the podcast. You mentioned that you got an email out of the blue, informing you about RPNs murder and the main suspect Emanuel why why did you respond to that email
Oh, yeah, I mean, it's funny because this is a podcast that was directly inspired by one email than in another circumstance I might have overlooked. I think if if you report on the criminal justice system, enough, you're used to these emails or letters. And sometimes they come from people who are incarcerated. Sometimes they come from families of people who are incarcerated, sometimes they come from lawyers. And the honest truth is that a lot of the time, you really want to respond, but you also don't know what you're able what you can do for this person, right? You know, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a police officer. I'm not a private investigator. I'm a journalist. So I always try to respond. But I also always try to be honest about what I might be capable of doing for somebody. But this email was different, because it was an email that I felt like I actually did have an answer to because the email involves DNA science, forensic DNA. And I just finished this long investigation for The Atlantic magazine about DNA science, about how it can be misinterpreted by people and how technology is getting so good that, you know, it's almost too sensitive, in some cases, anyway, all to say that I was basically primed to receive this kind of email. And when I got it said, Oh, the email said, you know, there's this case involves DNA. It's a murder investigation, it's ongoing. I did reply, and I did say, you know, I'm just coming off this article, this is something that I may be able to help with. Because not only do I know this subject matter relatively well, but I had just finished interviewing a bunch of folks in the field lawyers and forensic analysts who are really involved with thinking through what the repercussions of this advanced technology could be on the criminal justice system and who it was being used for and who it was being used against. So I wrote back right away, and it was a matter of days before I was in touch with the manuals, attorneys,
you mentioned that you get a lot of emails, I know you're your investigative journalist, you're looking at stories. So had you heard about this story in any way? Had you read news articles or anything before this email and got to you
know, I mean, and this is probably a point worth worth making, that this is a story that and I still don't know why this is the case, what the answer to this is, or the explanation. But this is a story that had really not resonated outside the Pacific Northwest. And in fact, even if you lived in Seattle, or in King County, where the investigation took place, there's a pretty good chance you didn't know about it. So no, I hadn't heard of it. And yes, it was out of the blue. What had happened was a friend of manuals in the facility where he was then incarcerated, had read the Atlantic article and said, Oh, you know, this is this guy's talking about exactly what's involved in your case, you should reach out to him, and it was a friend that reached out on a Manulis behalf.
So you had this initial curiosity, you had the experience with DNA. And you reach out to Emanuel and tell me about that first contact that you guys made? What What was that like not really having, knowing anything about it, and then having him tell you that initial spark of the story,
it was a frustrating first experience trying to get in touch with a manual because if you've ever corresponded or called or spoken by phone with someone who's incarcerated, you know, they only have certain amounts of time, the inmates had facilities like the one Emanuel was in to, to make calls. And then when we got on the call, you know, you can hear this in some of the manuals, interviews that are in the podcast. It's a manual has been, he was incarcerated for so long, he sat through his to two trials was not able to verbally participate in those trials. And He's participated in so many interviews, and I'm not even counting the police interrogations that it's almost like it'd be it's become almost wrote to him, and he knows frustrating in that regard, because it was like, by no fault of his own, but he didn't know what I didn't know, because he knew so much about the case. And so it was very much I was it was a process of trying to find my footing, basically, and trying to understand exactly what it happened in the order that it had happened in. And the person who was integral in that regard was Ben Goldsmith, who was a manuals, second public defender, and a manual gave Ben permission to talk to me off the record at that point, and to share documentation, including transcripts. And that was when I really did start to wrap my head around it.
Yeah. I mean, I find it interesting in the story. It has such a long lifespan. I mean, it's still going on. And, you know, it happened, the event happened in 2008. But it sounds like when you got involved, even years after the fact, it, you were still very much. The story was still unresolved, you're still very much in the middle of it.
Yeah, I mean, and then you think of what happened at the end of the second trial, right, with the acquittal, which sort of is a is a reset again, right, and leaves things even more unresolved, because there are people out there who believe that a manual affair killed ARPANET, even though he has been acquitted of the crime. But when the when the acquittal happens, then it's sort of all up in the air again, right. It's like, you know, who is anyone ever gonna get arrested for this, but even when Emanuel was in jail, waiting for the second trial, there was a sense that you had had happened a long time ago, but everybody was had just been really affected by different parts of this case. Right. And, and, and affected in a way that made it very difficult for them to leave it, or to not be super emotionally involved in it. And that went for our openness, friends and family members, it went for witnesses who had been at the party, the night that ARPANET was killed, and it was I It sounds a little reductive, but I think it really is the truth in this case that people wanted justice in some way. They wanted resolution and they weren't getting it. And that's often when as a journalist, you find the most you find people most willing to speak to you, right. And again, like this goes for the other side of the equation, right? I mean, Aaron Ehlert, Brian Coates, the the prosecutor and Detective respectively. I don't know this for sure, but I would wager a big reason they talked to Eric and Natalia and I is that they also feel that it's unresolved. Right, and in a frustrating way. So yeah, I mean, and it's not over, right. In a sense, it's a cold case. Now, I guess, officially, it might be a cold case. But, you know, people are going to be thinking about this and wondering for the rest of their lives,
who would you say was the most challenging interview you had to do?
In terms of emotional interviews, I found the interview with Jeff the juror to be challenging in the sense that this was a person whose conception of what it would mean to be a juror and to be a part of the criminal justice system was so radically different from mine and what I would hope anyone's would be that it just kind of, it was like an exercise in me getting my own credulousness under control and, and trying to finish the interview, in terms of pure emotion, and you can hear this and in the show, Jay, the family friend who found RPNs body I interviewed him in person, and he was there with his son. And you know, it's often really easy with this kind of reporting to forget how these cases can affect people who aren't, you know, a family member of the victim or a, you know, a super close friend. It's like these cases are like, storms or like hurricanes, right? Like they, they destroy everything that gets close to them. And Jay was so open about what he had been through. And so hurt by it, right. And also that he brought along his son because it was so important for him to tell his son what he'd been through and to try to explain to him it's just it was really moving. And I have so much gratitude and appreciation for Jay for doing that interview because frankly, I don't know if I was in his position if I if I would have done it. So again, you know, different different types of challenging but challenging nonetheless.
This is a story that takes place in the Seattle area. And it sounds like you did a lot of on on the ground research. As far as places that you went, were there any any experiences there that it really touched, touched you in some way when you visited them in person
when we were really started making our plans for the in person trips. There was a part of me that was like, man, you know, is this really going to be worth it to do this right to to fly? So first time I'd flown during the pandemic? Is it worth the energy that we're going to put into this kind of travel to, to be there? And the short answer is that it was right, because on the one hand, it allowed us to experience places and see places and on a technical level, collect tape from places that were integral to the story, right, so that includes the passageway that leads from the King County courthouse to the jail and includes the botanical gardens and includes the Valley View. And, you know, you can use Google Maps and you can get somebody on a zoom call. But being able to see these places, and to hear them is it's you can't replace that. Right? There's there's no replacement for it. And that became very much part of the story right there. As a reporter, you can cold call people all you want, you can use Facebook as a tool to track people down. We did both of those in the story. You can beg people for cell phone numbers, but nothing beats being able to knock on a door. Right? And the Valleyview is a good example. I had no, you know, I was striking out trying to find ARPA in his neighborhood, effectively, really the only witness that exists to the crime. The the man who heard almost certainly heard Arpana being killed Kyle, who lived on the other side of the wall from her. I try, you know, days trying to find him nothing like nothing doing. And then we get to the Valley View. And it's the middle of the day are walking around, and there's some guy outside and we're like, Hey, did you used to live here in 2008? Guy said, I did. But I didn't go to the party and said and then we said, Well, have you heard of a guy named Kyle Rose? It's like he's right upstairs, like give him a call right now. And we got him. You know, we had an interview with him the next morning. It was as easy as that. So there are workarounds now and we're getting better at learning what they are in this Coronavirus age, but it's very hard to completely work around being there in person.
Sure. Now it was it was very similar for Fox, like it was a challenge reported during COVID. But once you go there, there's just certain places have a feel to them. And you know, they definitely inform your storytelling but also as a, as a journalist, as a writer, you know, you're trying to communicate what these characters and these people are going through. And so being there and seeing it in person, did you go up to open his door at the Valley View? Did you? Yeah. How close? Did you get to that experience?
Yeah, we we did. And we talked to the guy. It's a man who lives there now. And in her unit, you know, he had been separated by two previous tenants from Arpana. And, you know, I never knew her. And you know, he said, Hey, can we talk to you, but he declined, he didn't really have anything to say. But we'd seen the crime scene, footage and, and photos. And in a sense, I almost seen way more than I wanted to see of our opponents apartment, the order that all this happened is that we started looking Eric, in Italian, I started looking into the case compiling all the reporting. Then we got some photos and from the party and from the crime scene, and it was just just devastating to see. And then, you know, by the time we got to the Valley View, it was it was like I don't need to see the inside of that apartment, I thought it would be much more important. And it ultimately was to get the perspective of people who had been there that night, because that really was a little bit of a missing piece. Right? It was like, what order did everything happened? And what did people remember? And what couldn't they remember? And what did the police ultimately do with that information? Those were those were the most important things to us.
There's this really important thread that runs through suspect about the criminal justice system and how it does discriminate against people like a manual. And it sounds like it sort of came about organically like you were interviewing Emanuel you were talking to Ben, and then you just started looking at the facts. And it just it really struck me how well you were able to incorporate that into that narrative and how important it is to the story, because it's really, I guess, fundamental to understanding how the police went about trying to investigate this. This homicide, and you know, and I wondered if you were, were you discovering things as well about the criminal justice system, while you're reporting this story? Did you learn something new yourself?
Well, most importantly, we were discovering things about a manual as case right. So when Emmanuel was younger, when he was 20, he was charged with with rape. And I did not know the circumstances of that case, because it was not it could not be admitted at the at the at the trial. So judge forbade prosecutors from introducing it, it was sort of in the press accounts, but it wasn't really. And so we spent a lot of time I mean, we spent, you know, a solid couple of months, processing this and talking about it and thinking about how to present it to people. We had a female producer, Natalia lead the reporting on that, and we talked to as many people as we could, including the victim. And we ultimately decided that we would do convey just the facts as as we understood them exactly what had happened, while honoring the victims, own statements, and it was the biggest single challenge in making this show. And it was not something we ever took lightly. But when you pull back, and you start to look at the case as a whole, right, and this is, this is where I do feel like I learned a lot, right. And where I do start to get a sense of how things happened the way that they did, I do not think that the Redmond police department should not have looked into a manual affair as a potential suspect based on his criminal history. But I do think that the way that he was ultimately treated, from the beginning, to the end of his experience with this particular murder investigation, was not how a lot of other people would be treated, and probably not how a white person would be treated. Now I can't get inside police officers heads, I can't get inside prosecutors heads. But I do know that the American criminal justice system has a deep and long held problem with systemic racism. And I do believe that Emanuel, in his circumstances, was from from a young age came in direct contact with that criminal justice system, and then it shaped him and that it still affects him today. And it's, I just don't think you can pry these two things apart. I think this is sort of, if you're asking about the realizations that we we made during the show, one is that it's very hard for people to say, and I include myself in this, it's very hard for people to say two separate parts of our history, right? Like we look at people who have a long rap sheet and we say, well, that must be who that person is. But it's not always who that person is. It's often a product of forces well beyond their control, which I think in a lot of ways is what happened to Emanuel. The other realization and it sounds a little more prosaic or, or I don't know, mundane, is that people in the criminal justice system have immense amounts of power and their decisions. And again, it's it's like, well, you can say that but of course they have immense amount, amount of power. We as a society vest that power in them, but when you see it in this way, has as we tried to lay it out in this podcast, will what you're really seeing is almost like Emanuel loses a little bit of agency, right? And it becomes He's almost like passed from person to person, each of whom makes a decision that affects his future, right. It's the investigators. It's the Forensic analysts. It's the prosecutors, it's the jurors. It's his own defense attorney, right. And the amount of power that all of those As people hold over what happens to him and what happened to him is immense. It's just, it's hard to wrap your head around. And, you know, I think that the clearest example here is, is when you talk to the jurors, right, or when we talk to the jurors who hear from in the show, and it's like,
you, these are people who have another human's life completely in their hands, and you want to think they understand the criminal justice system perfectly. They you hope that they do, or at least their duties perfectly, because look at the power that they have now over over somebody's life. And when you find out that that power, is maybe I'm trying to struggling for the nice way to say this, maybe not taken as seriously as as, as you would hope or that the knowledge isn't there, or maybe even that it's willful ignorance that it's, you know, it's dismaying, and that's the kind of stuff that can, that I personally find myself thinking about now and thought about long after the reporting for this was done.
You bring in a great element to the story. And that's and that's science. So so we have this perception, right? We have the jurors are looking at the person on the on trial, and they're making their own judgments based off their appearance to they have to they look like a criminal, you know, whatever. But then you have this thing. Right? With DNA, the science, right? And it seems to, you know, this is going to cure all that, you know, this is going to be the equalizer, right? This is but it's not really like that. It's kind of like a double edged sword. And I wonder if you could talk about that a little bit like how, how you feel about DNA being used in the courtroom? And is that really, this equalizer? That's gonna bring the truth out?
Well, that's what we're accustomed to thinking. Right that it is that it's the Law and Order SVU Greenlight that this is the person who committed the crime. The problem is, as we discuss has sort of quite a bit in the show, DNA does tell you who but it doesn't tell you where or when, you know, DNA can be transferred, DNA can sit on objects for long periods of time. So it's a fallacy, this idea that shows like Law and Order SVU promote that just the presence of DNA in a crime scene is proof of a person's guilt. Now, there are a lot of people who are far smarter than I have done a lot of thinking about the usage of forensic DNA in investigations like this, and what they would say that any tool in the criminal justice system, prosecutors and police have historically found a way to use it against minorities in some way. And I'm not saying this happened. I want to make it clear, I'm not saying that this happened in this case, because I can't get into people's brains. I think it raises the specter that something like this happened in this case, and Ben Goldsmith would argue that it did, which is the sort of tail wags the dog thing, right, where, let's say, you and I are detectives, and we go into a crime scene and we see somebody passing by looks a little weird. And we're like, Oh, that guy, you know, let's look into him. And then because we're so focused on Him, we're starting to find evidence that fits our theory. And we're starting to discard the evidence that does not fit our theory. So yes, we do end up finding this person's DNA inside the crime scene, but we also find a bunch of other DNA inside the crime scene and on the victim, but we don't, you know, we think about it, but we don't decide to go in that direction, because part of us has already made up our mind. Right. And this is a real fear, and it is something that can happen. It's why there's such a movement to separate police, forensic labs from from police, detectives, right. So there's no interplay between them. Here's what I'd say as far as the jury goes. Emanuel, would probably be in prison right now, if it was not for Ben Goldsmith, I don't mean that in a way that Ben is some, you know, super hero, but Ben is a extremely intelligent, committed attorney who thought deeply about the DNA science, and litigated the hell out of this case. And he really, really fought he was like, this does this, the presence of this DNA does not mean that a manual did it, especially if there's no plausible theory as to motive, and especially if there's other DNA that points to other people. And you know what, the jury and this is also credit to Ben and his co counsels. The jury understood that, you know, when we talk to the jurors, not Jeff, because he's kind of in a different bucket. When we talk to other jurors, they were like, yeah, like, I'm not sure they'd be like, Well, I'm not sure I really understood all all the technical details of the DNA. But I did know that there was a ton of DNA that was linked to other people, not just a manual. So yeah, maybe maybe a manual, but like certainly doesn't put us beyond a reasonable doubt. Right. So they did they did get Ben's argument, right? It registered with them.
It the head is very powerful, as seen in near the end when you talk about Emmanuel and how this case affected him. And you know, how he was going off to his job. And he seemed, you know, almost afraid that he at any moment, something could happen to him. And it's kind of this whole case, you know, really shook him did, what is he doing now? Is he what are his next steps as far as moving forward?
So, he's doing okay. He, you know, as you might expect from a person who has been through what he's been through, he's got a fair amount of what he thinks and I'm sure is true is some form of PTSD right from from from being in jail. He's got a job. He works overnight security. He bought himself a car, which we say at the end of the last episode, he has a network of friends. He's got his aunt and uncle. But, you know, it's tough going, right. I mean, I think one of the peculiar tragedies of this is that if a manual had been, I guess it's a peculiar irony, not a tragedy is that if Emanuel had been convicted, and then his conviction was overturned, he'd be eligible for wrongful conviction relief from the county. But because he was acquitted, and not actually convicted, he is not entitled to the same sort of potential compensation. Now, he does have a civil attorney. And we didn't didn't mention this in the show, because it happened more recently. He has a good attorney in Seattle. And they this attorney is preparing to sue on Emanuel's behalf on three lines, the they're suing for the deprivation of civil rights, there's just guaranteed by the fourth and 14th amendments. They're suing for malicious prosecution. And they're suing for negligence. And this is all against King County. So we'll see. I mean, that paperwork I believe has been filed, or if it hasn't been filed, yet, it will be in the next few weeks. And that could provide some sort of relief and closure for a manual.
And ARP and his family are back in India. Have you reached out to them? Have they reached out to you have they have they listened to the podcast?
I know that our business friends who we interviewed Sri and Aletha know, the podcast is there, as do our penance family and just feel it's a little too painful to listen to. I know that, then this is true, both of ARPANET sister and of her two closest friends, that they're confused, right? Like how, by how this turned out? And that's the sort of overwhelming feeling it's like, how could this go on for how could this case in investigation and prosecution go on for so long? And the way it did and not have anyone else? Charged? Right? So it's like, you know, it's a question of like, how did that happen? And then it's also, you know, a question of rethinking what they thought they knew about the case. And, you know, making room for the possibility that maybe a manual didn't do it, which is, you know, as it's often the case with the family of a victim or close friends. They're most in touch with the prosecution and police in the course of the trial. And I think that was the case here. So, yeah, it's kind of like, well, maybe what I knew about this case, isn't, isn't exactly right. So there's a kind of I think there's a kind of reckoning going on as well.
Yeah. I mean, some of the scenes, especially the ARPANET singing the song, I would imagine that those would be tough moments to relive. But at the same time, I would imagine the amount of energy and effort that's been put into this story does, does bring to light a side of Arpana and a side of you know, of what happened, that would not have come out.
Yeah, I mean, though I'll say this about our friend's parents, and I think it's, you know, we did everything in our power to make sure ARPANET was depicted as a real person in this show, right that she was not ever overlooked in any way. And obviously in the, in the later episodes, it becomes much more about the trial. But we did want to wind back with our panel, because she clearly was an amazing person. Fascinating person. And, and people do want to remember her. So if if that's one takeaway that people have. Oh, that, that makes me feel good. That that she hasn't hasn't been flattened in some way.
Since the podcast is aired? What what kind of response? Have you gotten?
You know, I'll be really honest with you, it's like, you could almost use this show. And I, I hate that this is true, you could almost use this show as a political litmus test, right? And on on a person's views on what the American criminal justice system is and what it should be. So if you are a left ish leaning person, and you think that the American criminal justice system has a long way to go, and you're aware of the racism that has defined it for so many decades, you would think you you listen to this and think, Okay, this sort of confirms what I had feared or worried about. Of course, you don't often hear from people who want to tell you, great job. In this case, I often hear from people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum. And who say, Well, how, how dare you make this about race? When this was not about race, or how dare you make these assumptions about racism in the criminal justice system or in the police are in in in the ranks of prosecutors? How dare you over broaden like this and introduce something that's not there? And, you know, I don't I don't make it a habit to write back too many of these kinds of emails. But if someone is marginally nice and open to hearing another point of view, I usually tell them about books that have influenced my thinking, like The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. And I point them to essays or stories that I've read that have influenced me, and I assure them that I still don't know exactly what happened in this case. But yes, I, I do believe that. In America, we do have a problem. And that it is a problem that needs to get solved. And I I try to have those discussions when I can, but you know, really is it's amazingly polarized the response amazingly, amazingly. And it makes me both glad that we did the show, because I do think it can get through to people, and also a little depressed because it's like, man, everything that gets every piece of content that gets consumed in this country. It's like, you arrive at it with your preconceptions on board, and then you like or dislike it based on that. So it's a it's been a little bit of a wake up call in that regard.
Seriously, I could sit here for another three hours and talk to you. Matt, thank you so much for having me on. It's been a great talk. I've learned a lot. Congratulations again, on the podcast. You did an amazing job. I know how much work you put into it. It really captured me right from the beginning. So thanks again.
Thanks so much, man. It was it was really great getting to have this talk and I'm looking forward to listening to Fox Lake.
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From campsite in wondery This is a special app sort of suspect. Suspect was reported by Eric Benson, Natalia Winckelmann. And me Matthew share. Eric and I are producers. David Waters is the executive producer. And our editor is Ashley and Craig. Alia Papes and Kelly Hitchcock are assistant producers. fact checking by Matthew Giles. Original Music by Doug slay when and Meta huddart Consulting producers are Laura Rick ERD and Josie W rice mixing by Garrett Tatum studio engineer is Seth Cohen. Seth co sound in Atlanta, had capsid the executive producers are me. Vanessa Grigoriadis, Josh Dean and Adam Hoff. For wondery Chris Segal is the producer. Managing producers Lata Pandya executive producers are George lavender, Marshall Louie and Jen Sargent
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