Immigration, indefinite detention, and true crime: ‘White Lies’ season two investigates an Alabama federal prison take-over in 1991

True Crime February 3, 2023
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On August 21, 1991, Cuban detainees commandeered a federal prison in Talladega, Alabama, asking for freedom. These men were immigration detainees from Cuba, and none were in prison for a particular sentence. Embedded’s “White Lies” details how this group arrived there, what happened after, and a comprehensive narrative about America. The second season of NPR’s Pulitzer-finalist series examines immigration, indefinite detention, a secret list in 1984, and “a betrayal at the heart of our country’s ideals.” This series also looks at the path to the nation’s current border situation and exposes lies.

Stream “White Lies” from the first episode of each season to hear the true crime story in sequential order, hosted by Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck. The second season traces history of the prison take-over and went back to preceding events including the Mariel Boatlift, a huge refugee crisis in 1980.

In season one, hosts Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley investigated a cold case from 1965 when Rev. James Reeb was killed in Selma, Alabama, and no one was held responsible. The podcast searched for new leads, went back to Selma, and learned what happened after the murder. Hear about the three men who were arrested, their defense at trial, and the search for any jurors still alive. Episode three details the conspiracy theory around Rev. Reeb’s murder – that perhaps he was killed during the civil rights movement as a white martyr.

Grace and Brantley talked to a woman who shared she witnessed Rev. Reeb’s murder and knows who was responsible. This was the first time in 50 years that she was ready to offer this information.

The podcast tried tracking down the additional attacker and investigated the Black civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson’s murder. He was killed weeks before Rev. Reeb, and Jackson’s killer was convicted in 2010. Grace and Brantley dug into this case and searched for tools to help solve Rev. Reeb’s. The series finale interviewed Rev. Reeb’s family and the descendants of one of his attackers, digging into how trauma and misinformation have impacted their families over the years.

Tune in weekly for new episodes of “White Lies” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Listen to ‘White Lies’

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