In Schenectady, NY, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he's in charge of the maintenance department. That's when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.
Host Ira Glass introduces the story of Steve Raucci, by way of an anecdote about a contraband space heater. It seems that everyone who knew Raucci experienced something he did that was just a bit...off. (5 1/2 minutes)
Since the high school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, parents and teachers are looking for warning signs that the children in their lives might suddenly strike out. But the dividing line between normal childhood aggression and social pathology can be hard to spot.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig tells a story of the rise and fall of a politician's reputation. Raymond Buckley, a Democratic operative from New Hampshire, was instrumental in his party's success in last fall's midterm elections.