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White Lies

Author: NPR

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In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.
9 Episodes
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Introducing White Lies

Introducing White Lies

2019-05-0600:02:0546

A new serialized podcast from NPR investigates a 1965 cold case. New episodes every Tuesday starting May 14.
In 1965, the Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Ala. No one was ever held to account. We return to the town where it happened, searching for new leads in an old story.
The Who And The What

The Who And The What

2019-05-2100:58:0256

In Episode 2, we unravel the aftermath of the Rev. James Reeb's murder: the arrest of three men and the defense brought at trial. We also track down the last living jurors.
The Counternarrative

The Counternarrative

2019-05-2800:50:4548

In Episode 3, we break down the conspiracy theory that emerged after the Rev. James Reeb's murder: that he was allowed to die or was killed because the civil rights movement needed a white martyr.
In Episode 4, we find a woman who says she knows who killed the Rev. James Reeb, because she was there. She's ready — for the first time in more than 50 years — to tell the truth about what she saw.
The X On The Map

The X On The Map

2019-06-1100:51:5335

In Episode 5, we search for the fourth attacker while digging into the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a black civil rights activist who was murdered in Alabama just weeks before the Rev. James Reeb. Jackson's killer was brought to justice in 2010. We look at his case for strategies to help solve Reeb's.
Learn Not To Hear It

Learn Not To Hear It

2019-06-1800:51:4025

In Episode 6, we reveal the identity of the fourth man who participated in the attack on the Rev. James Reeb.
In our final episode, we examine the legacy of the Rev. James Reeb's death. We speak both to his descendants and to those of one of his attackers, exploring how the trauma and the lies that followed it affected both families.
From the NPR podcast Code Switch: Eighty-five years ago, a crowd of several thousand white people gathered in Jackson County, Fla., to participate in the lynching of a man named Claude Neal. The poet L. Lamar Wilson grew up there, but didn't learn about Claude Neal until he was working on a research paper in high school. When he heard the story, he knew he had to do something.
Comments (47)

Nick Bryant

best episode. to bad it's the last. I suppose it's time to learn from history. thank you for your devotion to a true story that included all involved.

Sep 23rd
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Kim A. R.

Wow, what an amazing series. Thank you Chip and Andy for taking us this emotional journey. I have to listen to it again!!! Peaceful Rest Mr.Jim Reeb.

Aug 5th
Reply (1)

Kim A. R.

Oh, so no Blacks need to be treated fairly???!!! Martin Luther King was a trouble maker seriously???!!!! Killing men and keeping silent about it, is horrific.

Aug 5th
Reply (1)

Kim A. R.

Mr. Capp. Wow.smh

Jul 30th
Reply (1)

Mark Lafhameyer

uuuuuugh... racism racism racism... the daily NPR subject line. had it with our "public" radio station. We need an FM alternative to this crap already!!!!

Jul 24th
Reply (1)

Faith Trent Verburg

Excellent and terrible at the same time. I was struck by the inability of the Selma individuals to think about the family almost like an institutional narcissism. I have lived in the Montgomery area for over 25 years and this series helped clarify the deep resistance to truth I have experienced. Thank you so much and love to the Reeb family

Jul 18th
Reply (1)

deborah cassidy

Wow emotional episode. Great work.

Jul 18th
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T M

What a miraculous luxury this old man whom has had, a full life, long marriage, and this ability to will the memory away of a possible accessory to murder. Bill Portwood is half assing his attempt at redemption to sate his own guilt. His wife seems to also believe that religious involvement is a trade equal for his violence and possibly murder of another religious person, while also ignorantly saying " he never was in trouble with the law", how utterly convenient.

Jul 15th
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Nadine DaCosta

that was an amazing piece.

Jul 12th
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Nicole Smith

The daughter's interview makes me so mad. They did what they had to do is such a cop out. Just say they were bigots. It sucks. It doesn't change what happened however, when it's called by it's name we can begin to quit picking at the scab.

Jul 11th
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Jerek Banks

It will take conversations like this to heal our nation, and show the ugliness of hate and racism to exacerbate why they have no place in this nation in the 21 century and beyond.

Jul 9th
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Tre Clark

I honestly enjoyed every bit of this series. It was so well done. I am so glad that I listened. Andy and Chip, you did a great job with telling this story and making me feel so connected. At times I could actually feel like I was there in the stories. Great job!!

Jul 9th
Reply (1)

Ione Moraes

Thia kind of investigate work is so important, especially nowadays. Thank you, NPR!

Jul 5th
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Heather Estep

❤❤❤ cannot get enough!

Jul 3rd
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keadra young

Amazing series! I visited Selma around this time last year for the first time and you can still feel all the emotion in that city. From there we went on to the slavery museum in Montgomery and talk about eye opening. This story is what so many need to hear in this day and age, thank you for doing the hard work and not giving up. I can't wait to hear what's up next!

Jul 2nd
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Autumn Mott Calvert

Brilliant!

Jul 2nd
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Ashlei Priest

Who's the guy speaking at 1:00? I love his point on the importance of facing our history before we can heal from it. i would love to learn more about this

Jun 29th
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Alyssa Bickler

Amazing piece of journalism. Thank you for shining a light on an important and shameful part of our history. Well done!

Jun 28th
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Dante Arevalo

This podcast is so good!!!!

Jun 27th
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ilovepodcasts41

I enjoyed the whole series but this episode was the best of all. I'm intrigued to learn more about the History of what happened in Selma. Extremely powerful and emotional episode. Thank you.

Jun 27th
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