Dec 21, 2007
A 79-year-old woman, Mary Ann, dies in Los Angeles. She's lived alone for decades. No one knows her—or her next of kin. There's a body to be buried, a house full of stuff to get rid of.
It so happens there's a county bureaucracy for just this type of problem. In this show, we follow around the person charged with figuring out what to do with the remains of Mary Ann's life. This and other stories about what happens when people are left alone.
- When she was in kindergarten, Jennifer, along with her brother and mother, was held hostage by an armed gunman for four days. Their father was a drug dealer and had disappeared with a bunch of cocaine that belonged to someone else. The gunman had been sent to hold the family hostage until he returned the drugs. But the gangsters didn't count on Jennifer's mother being so tough—frightening enough, in fact, to almost make the guy leave. And not only that: Her mother was so composed, that Jennifer and her brother never even knew they were being held hostage. (14 minutes)