EPISODE TWELVE: FAKE NEWS

HEATHER CATALLO: We started to then hear these rumors. One of the rumors was the rumor of the party.

JOHN WHITE: This is Heather Catallo, an investigative reporter for WXYZ in Detroit. And in her line of work, she heard a lot of stories about Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

CATALLO: And we'd all heard it for months and months and months that this crazy thing had happened at the Manoogian, and Carlita was there and there was a stripper and you know, everyone’s chasing this story, but nobody could prove it. The big thing occurred when he fired Gary Brown.

JOHN: Gary Brown was the head of internal affairs, and he served on the police department for over two decades. So it raised eyebrows when he was fired out of the blue.

CATALLO: Everyone was just going, “What? Why? Why did, why did the mayor let go the person who's in charge of investigating the cops?”

CATALLO: There was a memo that got leaked out that showed that Brown was starting to investigate a number of different things including these allegations about this party that may or may not have happened, and so he started to work on it and the mayor fired him.

CATALLO: And this uproar starts of, “What just happened?” Kwame is nowhere to be found. We can't get an answer from the mayor's office about where he is, will he explain why he did what he did? It's just not, he's not talking to reporters, and so we found out that he was taking off for D.C.

JOHN: Heather and her camera crew flew down to Washington D.C. They met Kwame in the lobby of his hotel and confronted him about firing Gary Brown.


ARCHIVAL CATALLO: Please expand on that for our viewers.


ARCHIVAL KWAME KILPATRICK: I am so anxious to talk to the citizens of the city of Detroit about this. When I come home we will make a formal statement, it will either be tomorrow evening or Friday during the day. You know there’s been several things done by Mr. Brown without my knowledge. I don’t have any knowledge of what goes on over there and still don’t.


ARCHIVAL CATALLO: You have been very adamant that there was no party. How can you be so sure? Is it possible that members of your staff -- that these things happened and you just didn’t know about it?


ARCHIVAL KWAME: As far as the party? That’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. This rumor has been swirling around the city of Detroit for months and it’s ridiculous to think that Kwame Kilpatrick would do something like that. I mean, I’m not typical of the traditional rumors that you hear about a 32-year-old black man. I’m not dumb. I don’t sell drugs or use them. I don’t whore around on my wife and I don’t have wicked nude parties at my house. And that’s ridiculous. And the God I serve knows that and I can’t wait until the truth comes out.


ARCHIVAL CATALLO: Thank you Mr. Mayor.

CATALLO: And he walked away with his bodyguards and got onto the elevator and that was the end of it.

CATALLO: The relationship between the mayor and the press just continued to deteriorate, and it just got worse and worse from there.  I think at that point we knew about the Navigator. We now know that the mayor had fired the head of internal affairs who was following up on allegations against the mayor essentially, and it just started to look like this is going to get really ugly. And it did.


JOHN: Last episode, we told you about how Kwame Kilpatrick started running into trouble over his personal style, his spending habits, and a rumor about a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion, the mayor's official residence.


JOHN: Today on the show… as more and more scandals pile up, Kwame fights for his political life.


JOHN: I’m John White. Welcome to Crimetown.


[TITLES]


ARCHIVAL NEWS ANCHOR: Tonight, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick hopes he’s putting all the rumors and allegations of wrongdoing to rest…


JOHN: In May 2003, a day after Heather Catallo confronted Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor flew back to Detroit. He called a press conference on the steps of the Manoogian Mansion to address the scandal.


ARCHIVAL KWAME: I want to stand here and tell the citizens of the City of Detroit that Kwame KIlpatrick has absolutely nothing to hide about any of these allegations. I think and feel very strongly that an independent evaluation or investigation needs to be done on all of these allegations so the next time that someone is disgruntled and starts to say anything, you all won’t take it as true.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: And with that, surrounded by family and friends and appointees, the city’s youngest mayor talked about the allegations that have rocked his administration. The most serious: that there was a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion with nude dancers and his wife walked in.


ARCHIVAL KWAME: It never happened. It never happened. It never happened.


JOHN: Kwame tried again and again to dismiss this rumor of a wild party at the mayor’s residence, but it just wouldn’t go away. And not only that...right around this time, something happened that was about to make the rumor much, much worse.


[MUSIC IN]


MIKE CARLISLE: This was a typical drive by shooting.


JOHN: This is Mike Carlisle, a Detroit homicide detective. On April 30th, 2003, a woman named Tamara Greene, who worked as an exotic dancer, was finishing up her shift at a strip club.


CARLISLE: Tamara Greene, she is known, her dancing name, her street name was Strawberry. She had finished dancing, the bar closes at 2 am.


JOHN: After work, Tamara Greene went to pick up her boyfriend, Eric Mitchell, a drug dealer known as Big E.


CARLISLE: She picked him up and she’s driving over to the city’s west side. And a little after 4 am they’re sitting in front of one of his houses on the west side of Detroit.


CARLISLE: She’s behind the steering wheel and Big E is sitting in the right front passenger's seat. Big E, Eric, he looked in front of him at the corner.


CARLISLE: He’d seen a light colored SUV vehicle turn and start approaching their vehicle head, head on. The driver put out his left hand while Eric Mitchell, by his own statement, just tried to get down on the floorboard.


CARLISLE: As the SUV got closer, the driver of this vehicle started firing and apparently emptied a clip of ammunition. She was struck 3 times. I believe Eric was struck twice in the shoulder. And the vehicle went down the street, the SUV rolled past him. Eric Mitchell jumps out of the car. And from there he runs up on a porch asking neighbors for help.


CARLISLE: And the police arrive. The SUV’s already gone out of sight. EMS gets on the scene. They pull Tamara Greene from the vehicle. And she’s basically dead at the scene.


JOHN: There are a lot of shootings in Detroit. But the murder of Tamara Greene wouldn't go unnoticed...thanks to one particular detail.


CARLISLE: The lieutenant in charge of Squad Eight had made a remark the caliber of bullets that had killed her were 40 caliber bullets, and he made a remark "Well you know Detroit police carry glock 40 caliber weapons." Well here you go, the media started a frenzy again.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: ...claims that strippers went to the mayor’s mansion for a party for Kwame Kilpatrick. That the mayor’s wife showed up and was outraged. Reports that she attacked and assaulted one of the exotic dancers. And that one of the dancers at the mansion was Tamara Greene, a high-priced stripper known as Strawberry. The same woman who months later was murdered in a drive by. Police now describe that as a hit. Wild rumors or true stories...


CHRISTINE BEATTY: Tamara Greene was the person supposedly that got beat up at the party by the mayor's wife.


JOHN: This is Christine Beatty, Kwame’s chief of staff.


BEATTY: Ultimately, she ended up dead. So then they tried to do this theory of, "Oh, she ended up dead because she danced at the mayor's party.” When that thing came up and took on its own life, again, we had already established that there was no party, so to now try to tie this random girl's murder in with, you know, the mayor and the administration was, to this day, it makes me so angry.


JOHN: How did Kwame take it?


BEATTY: Oh it was all horrible time for us. It was a horrible time.


KWAME: Then after this young lady got killed, I heard that oh that was the stripper at the Manoogian. The news was chasing me down calling me a murderer. After that, I’m like, ’cause I'm out here busting my butt for this town. I mean you know I didn't get any sleep. You know I was waking up in the middle of the night doing all kinds of stuff. You know we just trying to shovel snow, cut grass, fix streets. All of that work got swallowed up in this kind of Negro urban legend, it was called, but it was more than that. It was a part of the whole process of really demonizing and denigrating me. And so yeah it definitely hurt. I was depressed and tired and wanting to get up out of there.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: In Detroit a huge development in the Manoogian Mansion scandal involving a stripper who later wound up dead. That scandal revolves around Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his wife…


BEATTY: When we start coming up on time to run again which is 2005. We have to seriously think about it. I mean it was like I want out of here.


BEATTY: I mean I was very like, I'm breaking my neck for what now? Like hold on. And of course you always come back to the people, the citizens that you are serving. But is it worth being attacked in this way?


BEATTY: And I don't remember the exact conversations how of we got there. I know the overall thing was we can't go out like this like, this can't be the swan song like we owe it to our city and the people that are here to continue this fight.


[BREAK]


ARCHIVAL KWAME CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL: Remember four years ago when our parks were neglected and our playground equipment was rusting away? My grandfather lived just one block away from this park when nothing was here. And today I stand in this park filled with laughing children and parents with pride in our community. This job is personal because I was raised in this city. We’re rebuilding our parks because it’s time to show our children what standing together can do. Let’s continue standing strong for Detroit.


JOHN: In 2005, despite a first term dominated by a series of scandals, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick decided to run for re-election.


KWAME: So I had actually thought it was a slam dunk. I had a little bit of the Trump problem. You know, I didn’t really listen to the media. I thought it was all fake news.


JOHN: But Kwame was in for a rude awakening.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: In the city of Detroit voters went to the polls for the mayoral primary in that city and Kwame Kilpatrick, the sitting mayor, was dealt a pretty harsh blow by Freman Hendrix. Hendrix won by 46%, Kilpatrick only had 34%. They were the two top vote-getters in this primary so they will meet in the November 8th election. But for a sitting mayor...


JOHN: Kwame’s opponent was a man named Freman Hendrix. Hendrix was a politician’s politician: a former deputy mayor and chairman of the school board.


ARCHIVAL FREMAN HENDRIX: I know that the incumbent mayor begins with some big advantages. But no amount of money and, certainly, no amount of flash. No amount of bling bling -- my daughter helped me understand what that means. [laughter] No amount of bling bling can fool the voters when the job of leading our city is not getting done.


ARCHIVAL HENDRIX:We can have a campaign that Detroiters will be proud of, one that we know will bring us a brighter future, and one that we know that is much better than our past. And it will certainly be better than what we are experiencing “right here, right now.”


GREG BOWENS: Freman Hendrix had the kind of savvy and personality that just kind of dominated a room and lit up a room...


JOHN: This is Greg Bowens. He was Freman Hendrix’s campaign spokesperson. And despite both candidates being black, race, once again, found its way into Detroit’s mayoral election.

BOWENS: The way that it played out was light skin versus dark skin. Which would never have been an issue ever any place else because black is black, and because Freman is of mixed race, they were able to make an issue of it. Now, certainly I never heard Kwame Kilpatrick say you know, Freman is a mulatto or anything like that, but the people around him and the message that was pushed out there was that Freman's mother was white, and you know, and he ain’t really black.


KWAME: Freman is a smart man. He was a very formidable candidate, had great relationships in the city, and he was light skinned with curly hair and he was a socially acceptable black man for a lot of people in the white community. And you know we can't we can't just glaze over that. That was a huge issue at the time. You had this 6 foot 4, 300-pound black guy and you had this socially acceptable, nicer, kinder, gentler black man.


KWAME: And at the same time, the Tamara Greene's story erupted on the scene where I was actually being called a murderer. And so right in the middle of this campaign you have all of this stuff happening. They're running stories about everything. They're bringing up old stories. The Navigator. They bringing up stories of parties and all kinds of things. And then at the same time you’re being called a murderer and this guy’s raising all kinds of money. It was a full court press. It was, get Kwame Kilpatrick out of there at all costs.


JOHN: And that full-court press? According to Kwame, it was coming from the media, who endorsed Freman Hendrix.


KWAME: And so I saw a collective effort on the part of a lot of people in the city including Detroit’s media endorsing him. Both papers the Free Press, the News endorsed him early and so it was a challenge immediately.


JOHN: Local op-eds at the time included lines like “Does anyone really believe this flamboyant 34-year-old man-child is the best Detroit can do?” And, “he simply believes he can make almost anything be the truth if he just runs his mouth enough.” “His practiced swagger conceals the desperation of a demagogue fighting for his life.” Time Magazine named Kwame one of the worst mayors in America.

KWAME: But it’s time for some offense. And as an offensive tackle I can’t wait to hit somebody. I can’t wait!


DREW NELLES: So can you start by telling us your name and what you do?


ADOLPH MONGO: Adolph Mongo.


JOHN: And what do you do?


ADOLPH: Fuck with people.


DREW: How do you fuck with people?


ADOLPH: Well you know I'm a political media consultant…put out fires…start fires.


JOHN: If Adolph Mongo’s last name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s a brother of Larry and Skip Mongo, who you’ve met in previous episodes. In Detroit, Adolph is known as the guy to turn to when you’re ready to fight dirty. And in the 2005 election, Kwame was getting more and more desperate.


ADOLPH: People start abandoning the campaign. Looked like he was going to lose.


ADOLPH: He kept calling me. He called me one night at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. My wife grabbed my phone. I had one of those flip phones. And she’s like, “Hello?” Like I got somebody calling me at 3 o'clock in the morning. She says, “It’s the mayor.” “Dolph, I need you man. Can you meet with me?” I said, “I don't know, Mr. Mayor.” But I went over there. I walked in the - into the mayor's office.


ADOLPH: He didn't have one book. Nothing. I said, maybe this is the new, what’s happening with the Internet and all this shit. I said, he’s an attorney. He passed the bar on the first try. So he’s not stupid. Pretty smart guy. But had no books, no newspapers, no computer. All he had was pictures of him and other folks.


DREW: What did that tell you?


ADOLPH: They don't get it. They don't get it.


JOHN: But…eventually Adolph agreed to work with Kwame. And he had an idea.


ADOLPH: And we bought a full page ad in the Michigan Chronicle and the Michigan Citizen. Two black newspapers.


JOHN: Adolph created a newspaper ad featuring an image of black men being lynched. During our interview, he pulls it up on his phone.


ADOLPH: Here’s the ad. That’s part of it: lynching is still legal in America.


JOHN: Can you describe what we’re looking at?


ADOLPH: We’re looking at three young black men lynched with a mob around them.


JOHN: And what does the mob look like?


ADOLPH: All white folks. They lynched these guys.


JOHN: The text read, “Lynching is still legal in America” and “the most recent victim of media lynching in Detroit is our mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.” Below, there was a list of the so-called “Media Lynch Mob,” complete with names and photos of local journalists.


ADOLPH: People say they don’t like negative ads. That’s BS, they love it.

ARCHIVAL NEWS ANCHOR: This was one of the most racially charged political ads ever in the history of local politics. When it went public it created a national firestorm.


ARCHIVAL NEWS ANCHOR: In this world of nasty and negative political ads this one may take the cake.

ARCHIVAL NEWS ANCHOR: The ad referring to the media treatment of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who is running for a second term. It’s accusing a media lynch mob of unfairly attacking Kwame Kilpatrick.


ARCHIVAL NOLAN FINLEY: We wouldn’t even make a menacing book club let alone a lynch mob, I don’t think...


JOHN: This was one of the reporters named in the ad.


ARCHIVAL DEVIN SCILLIAN: How did you feel to be a part of this? Just wave it away?


ARCHIVAL FINLEY: It is what it is. It’s a racist piece of trash which is about what you’d expect from supporters of that campaign. They’ve been race baiting since the beginning.


ADOLPH: Kwame was calling me saying, say that wasn’t your ad please.


JOHN: He was scared?


ADOLPH: Yeah he was scared, I was having a great time. I was in my element.


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: 2 weeks and 2 days. That’s all that’s left before Detroiters head to the polls in what everyone frames as a terribly critical election for the city.


JOHN: As Election Day approached, Kwame appeared on a local talk show.


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: A note or two about the questions. There will be no questions about Manoogian Mansion rumors. If those are the most important things to you in this election, my guess is you’ve already made up your mind.


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: How would the Kilpatrick administration be different in a second term than it was in the first?


ARCHIVAL KWAME: I hope I’ve shown Detroiters, from the primary to today, a tremendous amount of maturation and growth. I think people see that in me already, but I think I’ve been a good mayor, I think I’ve done some good things, I’m ready to be a great mayor, though, now.


JOHN: Kwame needed to convince Detroit that he could be a great mayor. And he got his chance… during the debates.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: Tonight, mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and challenger Freman Hendrix go head to head...


BEATTY: So every debate that Kwame and Freman had, the room was at capacity so we were in a lecture hall at Wayne State University.


JOHN: Again, Christine Beatty.


BEATTY: I think capacity crowd probably was about maybe 300 seats or whatever. So that was packed. People were lined out on the walls, stood all in the back open spaces. It was packed.


JOHN: As the debate kicked off, Freman Hendrix went on the attack.


FREMAN ARCHIVAL: You cannot ask workers to give up pay cuts, to give up concessions, to give up benefits and so forth if you are partying with the taxpayers money. And clearly. Clearly. So the pain starts at the top. The pain starts with the mayor taking a 25% cut. The party is over.


JOHN: It wasn’t looking good for Kwame. But then…


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: Dean Wu, the next question is for Freman Hendrix...


ARCHIVAL DEAN FRANK WU: Scientists are making a dire prediction. There’s a potential for a global flu pandemic that would effect millions of lives around the world...


BEATTY: The professor was sitting in the front row. And he posed the question about you know a pandemic, you know, hitting the city of Detroit. Are we ready? You know, what does that look like in terms of preparedness?


ARCHIVAL DEAN WU: How would you ensure that we are ready for something like that or any other catastrophe here in Detroit?


ARCHIVAL HENDRIX: Mr. Woo, thanks for the question. The Health Department here in the City of Detroit, like all of our departments, are challenged from a budget standpoint...


CHRISTINE: And Freman's answer was you know like “We'll have are all of our health clinics together. We'll make sure we have the staff with doctors and nurses.” And as soon as he said his answer, he clapped, you know, his little people clapped. And the professor, you know said “Mr. Mayor,” you know, gave him the answer. And Kwame's response was, “Now see. This is what I'm talking about.”


ARCHIVAL KWAME: The question was about a pandemic. On health. Flu. And my opponent talked about he going to get some clinics up. Listen, Detroit, I want you to listen closely to this debate because you can have all these things but you have to have people that have actually done things in office...


BEATTY: You know this man just asked about a pandemic. Do you understand what a pandemic is?


ARCHIVAL KWAME: Because if there’s a pandemic, we have to also have an evacuation plan. We have to have a quarantine plan. We also have to move aggressively to make sure that our least of these: our children and our seniors are provided with water, are provided with medicine. We also have to know what kind of vaccine stock we have now...


BEATTY: It was one of the best takedowns that I have ever seen in my life. And the crowd went crazy.


ARCHIVAL KWAME: None of this was happening when Mr. Hendrix was in office. He can’t speak to it because he doesn’t know about it.


BEATTY: I mean, the look on Freman's face was really like shell shock.


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: We’re already running over on time. Mr. Hendrix, you have 30 seconds.


ARCHIVAL HENDRIX: Let me just say: I might be a pretty face, but he’s a great talker. Don’t you agree?


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: I tend to think debates in this day and age calcify standing opinions far more often than they create new ones. But something caused a big movement in our most recent Survey USA poll. All of a sudden the double digit lead of Freman Hendrix is down to 4 points. Within the margin of error for the poll. How’d that happen?


JOHN: Momentum started to shift toward Kwame.


JOHN: And then, in the final days of the campaign, he got an unlikely boost.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: The woman described as the mother of the modern day civil rights movement passed away. Rosa Parks died of natural causes in her Detroit home at the age of 92. Parks became famous for refusing to give up her bus seat....


JIM SCHAEFER: The optics of him during Rosa Parks' funeral was a big deal.


JOHN: This is Detroit Free Press reporter Jim Schaefer.


SCHAEFER: Legend obviously, especially in this town where she came to live for many, many years. And there was a funeral - televised - and his opponent, Freman Hendrix, and Kilpatrick were both at the funeral. Kilpatrick was inside, and you could see him on TV paying his respects.

ARCHIVAL KWAME: Everything has really been said about Mother Parks. And I want to go to a different perspective and not one of an elected official. As a man who is a good husband of Carlita. I didn’t say great, I said good. I don’t want her to stand up and testify. But who’s a great dad of Jelani, Jalil, and Jonas. I say to you, Mother Parks, thank you for showing men what true courage really is...


SCHAEFER: Freman Hendrix went outside and started campaigning, shaking people's hands. And that looked bad. That looked really bad.


ARCHIVAL SCILLIAN: ...make no mistake, the Rosa Parks funeral not only suspended campaigning for several inexpensive days, but it also allowed the mayor to look awfully mayoral. Standing among the likes of Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson. The theme of the day was, “To honor Rosa Parks, get out there and vote.”


BOWENS: Election night comes and we're up 10 points and folks are dancing.


JOHN: Again, Greg Bowens, Freman Hendrix’s spokesperson.


BOWENS: We were at the state theater next door to the Fox Theater and the place was packed. You know, waiting for the final count to sort of come in.

ARCHIVAL HENDRIX: We can make no conjectures about anything. I simply say to you: This election is far from being over. The celebration is far from being ended. And this 21 month journey is very much alive. It is well. And the hope for this city. The promise that we can indeed be a city that we can believe in again is on schedule. So I remain optimistic.


BOWENS: And then the lights go out. Literally. There was a blackout and then when the lights came on again 10, 15 minutes later and the TVs back on and folks are like “the numbers are flipped.” Instead of you know, 10 points up. We’re down.


BOWENS: It was like, “what the hell?” It was. That's what it was like. It was like “What the hell?” They're stealing this election right out from under us. How does that happen?


ARCHIVAL REPORTER: Let’s hear what the mayor has to say as he greets some of his supporters on the stage tonight.


ARCHIVAL KWAME: Hello, Detroit! Alright. How’s everybody doing? Alright, alright, alright.


ARCHIVAL KWAME: In the great spirit of Mother Rosa Parks, Detroit showed up today. So I’m just here to tell Fox 2 and Channel 4 and Channel 7 to just wait on the streets, because today everybody is created equal. Everybody got a right to vote today. And when that vote comes in, I know what you’re gonna see. You’re gonna see “Kilpatrick: 4 More Years.”


ARCHIVAL STEVE INSKEEP: One big surprise on election night came in Detroit. The incumbent mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, pulled away at the end to win a second term over the challenger, Freman Hendrix.


ARCHIVAL MAGISTRATE: Mr. Mayor, if you will repeat after us and give your name, I…


ARCHIVAL KWAME: I, Kwame Kilpatrick, do solemnly swear...


JOHN: In January of 2006, Kwame was sworn in for a second term as mayor.


ARCHIVAL MAGISTRATE: And that you will faithfully discharge…


ARCHIVAL KWAME: And I will faithfully discharge...


BOWENS: What people have to understand whether you're mayor or governor or president of the United States, you don't operate in a vacuum.


JOHN: Again, Greg Bowens, Freman Hendrix’s spokesperson.


BOWENS: And you may you may think that the office protects you. But it really doesn't. If anything, it exposes who you are as a person, you know. It reveals more than it hides about your personality and what you're willing to do and what you're not willing to do. And it also opens you up to a greater level of scrutiny.


BOWENS: This kind of light that you're under and the kind of controls that are put into place, when they work, and they will eventually work, it might take time to get through it but you can't hide behind a seal of the mayor of the office of the mayor forever or governor or president. It just - it's just not possible.


ARCHIVAL BAILIFF: Mr. Mayor, would you raise your right hand? Do you swear that the testimony you’re about to give is the truth?


ARCHIVAL KWAME: It will.


ARCHIVAL REPORTER MICHAEL ROSENFIELD: In just under 4 hours of testimony, the mayor said former Deputy Chief Gary Brown was let go of his appointment as head of police Internal Affairs because he broke the chain of command. Lawyers for the two men who say the mayor retaliated against them for investigating the mayor and his staff are trying to portray the mayor as a liar.


JOHN: That’s next time on Crimetown.


JOHN: Crimetown is Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. This season is made in partnership with Gimlet Media and Spotify.


This episode was produced by Samantha Lee, Soraya Shockley, Rob Szypko, and me, John White.

The senior producer is Drew Nelles.


Editing by Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc Smerling.


Fact-checking by Jennifer Blackman.


This episode was mixed, sound designed, and scored by Kenny Kusiak.


Original music this season composed by Homer Steinweiss.


We recorded some original music at Rustbelt Studios in Detroit in partnership with Detroit Sound Conservancy. Special thanks to Carleton Gholz and Maurice “Pirahnahead” Herd.


Additional music by Kenny Kusiak and John Kusiak. Additional mixing by Bobby Lord.


Our theme song is “Politicians In My Eyes” by Death.


Our credit music this week is “Survival” by Phat Kat.


Archival research by Brennan Rees.


Archival material courtesy of WXYZ and the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.


Show art and design by James Cabrera and Elise Harven.


We’ve got a great website with bonus content for each episode like photos, videos, and newspaper clippings, as well as a full list of credits and a transcript. Check it out at crimetownshow.com.


Thanks to the Detroit Free Press, Peter Bhatia, Mary Schroeder, Mary Wallace, Max White, Randy Lundquist, Erick Hetherington at D&D Video, Devin Scillian, Melissa Samson, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, the Detroit Historical Society, Brendan Roney, Mike Martin, Ron Fleming, Art Blackwell, Harold Gurewitz, ML Elrick, Darci McConnell, Charlie LeDuff, Zak Rosen, Elizabeth Clemens, Miles Feldsott, and everyone who shared their stories with us. Detroit’s an amazing place, and we’re honored to tell a small part of its story.


Alex Blumberg is the podfather. He called me up at 3:00 in the morning. He said, “John, I need you man. Can you meet with me?” I said, “I don't know, Mr. Blumberg.” But I went over there. I walked into his office. He didn't have one book. Nothing. I say, maybe this is the new, what’s happening with the Internet and all this shit. All he had were pictures of him and other folks.”


Rob Szypko