‘Strangeland’ is re-examining murder in Maple Shade, New Jersey

True Crime February 10, 2023
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In “Strangeland,” investigative journalist Ben Adair dives into shocking cases from immigrant neighborhoods. This season, Adair is joined by investigative journalist Tinku Ray to explore the murder in Maple Shade – a quiet New Jersey suburb known for its motto, “Nice Town, Friendly People.” On March 23, 2017, an Indian tech worker, Sasikala Narra, and her six-year-old son, Anish, were found dead inside their apartment.

The mother and son were brutally murdered. Hanumantha, the husband and father, was questioned, but his alibi was solid. He was cleared, yet the case remains unsolved with authorities refusing to discuss it any further. Adair and Ray are investigating on the podcast, looking for new leads, finding possible motives, and questioning the local authorities’ dodgy behavior. Hear the investigation unfold across the season’s 14 episodes.

The first season reexamined a triple homicide that still scars LA’s Koreatown. On May 25, 2003, a 30-year-old mother, her 2-year-old son, and their nanny were found slain in the bathroom of their Koreatown apartment in Los Angeles. Chi Hyon Song, her son Hyun Woo Song, and Eun Sik Min were shot execution-style in the crowded apartment building, but for years, the police were baffled by who could have done this. It wasn’t until 2008 that a lead finally came in, but “Strangeland” believed justice may not have been served.

Eventually, they had a suspect by the name of Robin Cho, whose fingerprints were sent into the LAPD database in 2008 and ended up matching the fingerprints at the crime scene. The weirdest part: he was one of Song’s neighbors. He had a record of fraud, but is that a sure sign of someone who would commit a triple-homicide, including a child?

Sharon Choi co-hosted the first season, and you might recognize her from the 2019-2020 film awards season, when Parasite was sweeping categories left and right. She was the praised interpreter for Bong Joon-ho, Parasite‘s director.

Adair has helped create and launch numerous top ten podcasts, including “Dirty John,” “American History Tellers,” and “Young Charlie.” The series finds new evidence that might change the outcome of each case.

“Strangeland” looks at shocking cases that need to take into account the immigrant experience of the many involved. Their focus on crimes in immigrant neighborhoods emphasizes how those aspects could have played into the crime, the police’s action, and the court outcome. They speak with lawyers, DNA lab scientists, professors, and more to dig through all of the evidence laid out on this “Strangeland.”

Listen to ‘Strangeland’

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