409: Held Hostage

409: Held Hostage

Jun 4, 2010
A kidnapping victim in Colombia spends his nights listening to a radio station that plays messages from the families of the kidnapped. That and other stories of people held captive—by criminals, by paperwork, and in one man's case, his own body—and the ways they try to cope.
  • Ira Glass speaks with a man named Daniel Johnson, who is in the K&R business. That's the kidnap and ransom business, where a company helps you negotiate to get back your loved one. Daniel explains some surprising strategies for surviving as a hostage. (6 minutes)BusinessCrime

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  • So much kidnapping happens in Colombia that the biggest radio station in the country has a show aimed specifically at an audience of kidnapping victims. Reporter Annie Correal tells the story. Annie originally produced this as a longer story with Jay Allison for the website transom.org. Annie Correal manages Cowbird and is a Senior Producer at Radio Ambulante, a new Spanish-language radio storytelling project. They've just launched their website and are raising money for their first episodes on Kickstarter. (14 minutes)Crime
    Song:
    • "Colombia", Jan Hammer

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  • An angry man in New Orleans seeks revenge against people who bought property that he formerly owned and that was seized by the city. The homeowners find themselves trapped in a morass of paperwork, court visits...and worse. Wayne Curtis tells the story. Wayne is a contributing editor of the Atlantic Magazine. (23 minutes)HousingLegal System

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  • Four years ago, Matt Frerking started having attacks where he simply couldn't move his body. That's strange in itself, but what's even stranger is the apparent cause of the problem, which is known as cataplexy. Chris Higgins tells the story. Chris is a writer in Portland, Oregon. He contributes to Mental Floss Magazine. (10 minutes)Health Care/MedicineJournalismMarriageWeddings

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Photo

Viviana Duarte, one of many Colombian children whose father was kidnapped by the FARC. He’s been gone since 1998. Photo by Jacob Silberberg.

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