8 episodes

In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.

White Lies NPR

    • True Crime
    • 4.7 • 11.5K Ratings

In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.

    A Dangerous Kind Of Self-Delusion

    A Dangerous Kind Of Self-Delusion

    In our final episode, we examine the legacy of the Rev. James Reeb's death. We speak both to his descendants and to those of one of his attackers, exploring how the trauma and the lies that followed it affected both families.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Learn Not To Hear It

    Learn Not To Hear It

    In Episode 6, we reveal the identity of the fourth man who participated in the attack on the Rev. James Reeb.

    • 51 min
    The X On The Map

    The X On The Map

    In Episode 5, we search for the fourth attacker while digging into the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a black civil rights activist who was murdered in Alabama just weeks before the Rev. James Reeb. Jackson's killer was brought to justice in 2010. We look at his case for strategies to help solve Reeb's.

    • 51 min
    The Sphinx Of Washington Street

    The Sphinx Of Washington Street

    In Episode 4, we find a woman who says she knows who killed the Rev. James Reeb, because she was there. She's ready — for the first time in more than 50 years — to tell the truth about what she saw.

    • 45 min
    The Counternarrative

    The Counternarrative

    In Episode 3, we break down the conspiracy theory that emerged after the Rev. James Reeb's murder: that he was allowed to die or was killed because the civil rights movement needed a white martyr.

    • 50 min
    The Who And The What

    The Who And The What

    In Episode 2, we unravel the aftermath of the Rev. James Reeb's murder: the arrest of three men and the defense brought at trial. We also track down the last living jurors.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
11.5K Ratings

11.5K Ratings

MommySmart ,

FANTASTIC!!

I’m a blue dot in a red state where this could have TOTALLY happened in my town. This story checks all the boxes: true crime, scavenger hunt, cold case, systemic racism, and how to move past the past. OUTSTANDING.

Get lost 1 ,

Worth your time to listen

I’m not from “The South “ but now live in the south. America is racist and racism is alive and well. Everywhere, north south east west. Don’t fool yourself. To own it, admit it and speak it, is breaking the chain. 2021, racism is real. Listen to this in 2031, will there still be racism? Of course.

S-BZEE ,

Lots of well-done layers to digest

I live outside the South now but am from Alabama. I think the fact the narrators are from Alabama brings a rich complexity to the story outsiders couldn’t. Hearing their personal introspection of being raised as white Southerners echoed some of the internal work I’ve done to untangle the cultural lies I was raised with. Some of the words used to transmit culture they mentioned were verbatim replicas of those I heard from my own parents and grandparents that were alive in the 60s. The story of the Jewish business owner perpetrating one of the myths of the murder has been on my mind long past that episode because it illustrates just how complicated humans are and how so many contradictory concepts can exist in the socio-political economic systems we create. This podcast invites deep thought and analysis and provides rich and fertile ground for ideas and understanding to flourish. The interviews with family members of both the victims and the perpetrators are all simply beautiful, but the grandson and son of the main perpetrator was something truly special to have to opportunity to eavesdrop on. Thanks to the narrators for giving space to let them speak their own words and truths as something very powerful was accomplished by letting them open in their comfort rather than forcing a story for sensation. Well worth a listen!

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