10 episodes

Nina Gilden Seavey was twelve on May 5, 1970, the day an Air Force building in St. Louis burned to the ground. Her dad represented a young man accused of the crime: Howard Mechanic. Facing serious federal time, Howard went on the run and became one of the longest-running fugitives in U.S. history. As an adult, Nina picked up the trail. What ever happened to Howard Mechanic? This eight-part series is the tangled story of her search for answers. Hundreds of Freedom of Information requests. Hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. FBI surveillance and confidential informants. Cold War spies, conspiracy theories and the murder of a civil rights icon. And the sacrifices America makes in the name of national security.

My Fugitive Pineapple Street Studios

    • History
    • 4.4 • 305 Ratings

Nina Gilden Seavey was twelve on May 5, 1970, the day an Air Force building in St. Louis burned to the ground. Her dad represented a young man accused of the crime: Howard Mechanic. Facing serious federal time, Howard went on the run and became one of the longest-running fugitives in U.S. history. As an adult, Nina picked up the trail. What ever happened to Howard Mechanic? This eight-part series is the tangled story of her search for answers. Hundreds of Freedom of Information requests. Hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. FBI surveillance and confidential informants. Cold War spies, conspiracy theories and the murder of a civil rights icon. And the sacrifices America makes in the name of national security.

    The Fire

    The Fire

    Our story begins in St. Louis, where host Nina Gilden Seavey recounts how the FBI surveilled her family in the 1970s to keep an eye on her father, Louis Gilden, a civil rights attorney at the time. We also learn about Howard Mechanic, one of Gilden’s clients, who was a student at Washington University. After an ROTC building was burned to the ground during a campus protest, Mechanic becomes a prime target of the investigation. What made St. Louis such a hotspot for FBI activity? 

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    • 30 min
    The Assassination

    The Assassination

    While Nina searches for Howard Mechanic, she discovers the story of another fugitive from Missouri: James Earl Ray. In 1967, Ray escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary and went on to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Why didn’t the FBI follow all the leads in investigating the possibility of a St.Louis-based conspiracy to kill King?

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    • 38 min
    The FBI

    The FBI

    The shadow of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI looms over this story: from surveillance of left-leaning student protestors to harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We learn about Hoover's anti-communist fervor, and how that led to decades of FBI abuses. We also meet Stanley Levison, a communist sympathizer whose friendship with King is considered by Hoover to be a threat to American security.

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    • 31 min
    The Activists

    The Activists

     In this episode, we return to St. Louis. Nina learns about the FBI's harassment of her father's clients, Percy Green and Jane Sauer, whose left-leaning groups were targets of COINTELPRO. Howard Mechanic and the student activists at Washington University are also on the FBI's radar, and there are informants among them.

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    • 30 min
    The Trials

    The Trials

    Howard and others are arrested by the FBI and put on trial by the feds. For reasons neither Nina’s father nor his clients understand, St. Louis is the only place in America where student protestors are facing federal charges -- and the verdict is too much for Howard to bear.

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    • 27 min
    The Fugitive

    The Fugitive

    Howard goes underground and emerges as Gary Tredway. He gets married. There are dangerously close calls, but he gets away with it for decades -- until a reporter uncovers the truth.

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    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
305 Ratings

305 Ratings

Iswingpings ,

Good

A well done podcast that really grips you and makes you want to go along on the ride.

Eec10 ,

Well researched, smart, nuanced

Really enjoyed this podcast! Very well done

Taki Z ,

100% Leftist Garbage

Another dishonest manipulative piece of work by astonishingly hypocritical leftists.

In the first five minutes of this podcast, they tell everyone that this guy participated in a protest that culminated in burning a federal building to the ground. And then in the next sentence say he got sentenced to five years in prison for “protesting”. No my dear, he got sentenced to five years for burning a building to the ground with people in it.
I have no idea how people like you live with yourself being that nauseatingly dishonest.

And then you people are enabling the same garbage to happen again.

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