Who really killed Michael Jordan’s father? Follow the Truth is a true crime podcast re-investigating the murder of Michael Jordan’s dad, James R. Jordan Sr. and one of the men convicted of his murder. Daniel Green has served nearly three decades in a North Carolina prison maintaining his innocence in the killing. Veteran crime reporter Amanda Lamb questions the evidence, and explores whether this is a case of wrongful conviction.
E1 From John Doe to Michael Jordan's Dad
A nearly unidentifiable body is found in the middle of a South Carolina swamp with a gunshot wound to the chest. For three weeks, no one knows the identity of the John Doe. More than sixty miles away in North Carolina, a stripped and vandalized Lexus sports car turns up in the woods. Then the news that shocks the world. That’s Michael Jordan’s car and the dead man is identified as James R Jordan Sr, Michael Jordan’s dad. Days later, authorities say they have their accomplice--Larry Demery--and their killer: Daniel Andre Green. Problem is, Daniel says he didn’t do it.
In this episode: the crime, why James Jordan wasn’t reported missing by his family for three weeks and the role celebrity played in how the murder was investigated.
E2 Dig Deeper - The James Jordan Death Investigation
Investigators say they found the killers of Michael Jordan’s dad, now they just need evidence. Like an NBA championship ring buried in the dirt behind a grandmother’s house. A pistol in a shop vac. A music video. All clues that link Daniel Andre Green to the murder of James Jordan – or at least it looks that way.
In this episode, we examine the James Jordan death investigation and how law enforcement handled a celebrity case that had to be solved, and solved quickly.
E3 The Complicated Life of Michael Jordan's Dad, James Jordan
Everyone followed the fairytale: The handsome kid, a born athlete, rises to stardom, gets the championships, the money, the shoes. It was a superhero story brought to life – and throughout the meteoric rise, Michael Jordan’s dad, James, was always by his side. Their identities are forever linked: even in death James was often described not by name, but as “Michael Jordan’s dad.” But who was James independent of his son and how would their link haunt his death?
In this episode, we delve into the complicated life of James Jordan in the shadow of his superstar son and the web of conspiracies people wove in the aftermath of his death.
Photo credit: North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill
E4 The Devil’s Backyard - Robeson County, NC
Nobody in Robeson County, NC was surprised about there being another murder in their neck of the woods. Things like that just seemed to happen there. In a place where armed gunmen took over the local newspaper and a political candidate was murdered on the eve of an election, nothing was out of the question. Often dubbed one of the most dangerous places in America, Robeson County, NC earned its reputation through decades of racial tension and police corruption that still haunt the community today.
In this episode, we question whether the deep history of racism and corruption in Robeson County, NC could result in a fair trial for Daniel Andre Green.
E5 The State v. Daniel Andre Green
It's 1996. Three years after the James Jordan murder, the accused faces a jury – and the media, who come out in a frenzy, cameras loaded, hungry for the next OJ trial phenomenon. As the world learns what law enforcement thinks happened when Michael Jordan’s dad, James drove through rural North Carolina in the middle of the night, all eyes turn to the state’s star witness: Larry Demery, Daniel Green’s co-defendant and childhood best friend, who testifies it was Daniel who fired the shot that ended James Jordan’s life.
This episode details the case against Daniel Andre Green and how sometimes, he can be his own worst enemy.
Photo Credit: Fayetteville Observer
E6 Daniel Green's Story
As a kid, Daniel Andre Green begged his mom to buy Wheaties so he could collect the Michael Jordan posters tucked away inside each orange “Breakfast of Champions” box. He says, to a young Black guy back then, Michael Jordan was everything. He was status. He was swag. And he was proof you could make it, too. So when Daniel was arrested in 1993 for killing Michael Jordan’s dad, no one was more surprised than him.
In this episode we hear the most detailed first person account of Daniel’s version of what really happened the night of the James Jordan murder and in the days after.
It’s so well done. Heartbreaking and enlightening
I was a child when the events detailed in this podcast occurred, so hearing it all from the beginning has been very enlightening. It’s very obvious that a lot of work went into researching and preparing this podcast. It’s awesome to me that it’s narrated by a local reporter (Amanda Lamb). The production values are impressive, too. I hope the team behind this continues making podcasts!
Continue to Question
With themes of social justice, racism, corruption, and celebrity, there are so many reasons to want to listen to this podcast. Perhaps the #1 reason is the thorough, thoughtful, kindness and love that reporter Amanda Lamb, Exec. Producer Shelly Leslie and the entire WRAL team puts behind each and every episode. One thing I can promise you if you listen:whatever you thought about the case before listening to this podcast will be changed, questioned or at the very least thought of in a different way that you can appreciate. Well done and I look forward to each and every new episode!