Press "Enter" to skip to content

Help! I Told My Boss at NPR We Were out of Compelling True Crime Stories and They Handed Me a Gun!

Look, I’m not one to complain. I am well aware of my privilege and I absolutely to not want to come off as ungrateful for the opportunity to work as a research assistant for NPR.

When I was told that I would not only be working on the new season of Serial but that I would be able to help choose the case we cover I was over the moon excited, until I hit a snag. It’s all been done. Between us, other podcast networks, HBO, Court Tv and all the rest, there are simply no compelling murder cases rife with mystery left that have not been covered to death.

Naturally I brought these concerns to my boss and before I could suggest alternatives to covering a specific case she just handed me a suspiciously heavy tote bag and said “make it right.” I looked in the tote bag and sure enough, it was a gun. When I looked up she had already disappeared and I could see someone in the distance whispering to a security guard and pointing in my direction. Terrified and confused, I did the only thing I could think to do- calmly walk away tote-bag-gun in hand.

I wish I could say that incident was the strangest thing that’s happened to me lately, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I arrived to work the next morning, certain that I was merely the rube of an elaborate joke. I was expecting perhaps a few laughs at my expense but otherwise a typical day. Imagine my surprise to find the entire staff replaced by strangers, all of whom claimed to have worked there for years and claimed to have no idea who I was.

None of my logins were accepted. My bank account was frozen. When I went back to my apartment every single thing I owned was gone, save for the totebag which now contained a a photo of a woman I’ve never seen before with an address written on the back.

Related: We Ranked the 97 True Crime Documentaries Coming to Netflix This Weekend


Could this be real? Could every NPR podcast about murder conspiracies be a conspiracy? Could this be the reason that during my job interview they kept asking “and you don’t have a family, right?”

While part of me knew that going to the address on the photo would be playing right into their hands, it was my only lead. I needed to see just how far down this rabbit hole went. So what did I find?

You’ll have to read next weeks article to find out.

This article is meant to be read to the music of Nick Thorburn and is executive produced by Julie Snyder, Dana Chivvis and Ira Glass.