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Here Be Monsters

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A Society, Culture and Philosophy podcast featuring Jeff Emtman
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A podcast about fear, curiosity and the unknown. Unusual audio documentaries produced by Jeff Emtman, Bethany Denton and other independent producers since 2012.

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139 episodes

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HBM120: Own Worst Interest
In the fall of 1989, in Vancouver, Washington, a short, 29 year-old man named Westley Allan Dodd raped and murdered three young boys. The boys were brothers Cole and William Neer, ages 10 and 11, and four year old Lee Isli. A few weeks later, police arrested Westley at movie theater after he tried and failed to abduct another boy. He quickly confessed to the three murders. The prosecution sought the death penalty, and Dodd pled guilty. Death penalty cases take a long time due to all the appeals built into the process. These appeals are designed to make sure the state hasn’t made any mistakes in the death sentence. They check for things like juror misconduct, incompetent defense lawyers, new evidence. Death penalty cases take years, sometimes decades. Westley Allan Dodd did not want that. Instead, he wanted to be executed as quickly as possible. In letters to the Supreme Court of Washington, Dodd urged the court to allow him to waive his right to appeal his death sentence. He believed he deserved to die for what he did, and wanted it done as soon as possible. Dodd was what’s known as a “volunteer”–someone who gives up their rights in order to hasten their own execution. The Death Penalty Information Center cites about 150 cases of “volunteers” in the United States. Dodd’s case sparked debate both among people who supported and opposed the death penalty. Some argued he had the right to choose whether the court would review the validity of his death sentence. Others argued that the law ensures that all defendants have due process whether they want it or not. In the meantime, Dodd continued to advocate for his own execution in interviews and in exchanges with his pen pals. He said he felt remorseful, and even wrote a self-defense booklet for kids to learn how to stay safe from men like him. The booklet was called “When You Meet A Stranger”. The debate made its way to the Washington Supreme Court.  In a 7-2 ruling, they decided that Dodd did, in fact, have the right to waive his remaining appeals. After just three years on death row (5 years shorter than the national average at that time) the State of Washington hanged Westley Allan Dodd. On this episode Bethany Denton interviews  Dodd’s former attorney Gilbert Levy. And defense attorney Jeff Ellis, who was a young lawyer during the time of the Dodd trial.   Bethany also talks to Becky Price, who was one of the recipients of Dodd’s pamphlet  “When You Meet A Stranger”. Letter filed to the Supreme Court of Washington state on behalf of Westley Allan Dodd where he asserts his desire to be executed quickly and waive his remaining appeals. Page 1 of 5 Letter filed to the Supreme Court of Washington state on behalf of Westley Allan Dodd where he asserts his desire to be executed quickly and waive his remaining appeals. Page 2 of 5 Letter filed to the Supreme Court of Washington state on behalf of Westley Allan Dodd where he asserts his desire to be executed quickly and waive his remaining appeals. Page 3 of 5 Letter filed to the Supreme Court of Washington state on behalf of Westley Allan Dodd where he asserts his desire to be executed quickly and waive his remaining appeals. Page 4 of 5 Letter filed to the Supreme Court of Washington state on behalf of Westley Allan Dodd where he asserts his desire to be executed quickly and waive his remaining appeals. Page 5 of 5 Westley Allan Dodd’s Sentencing Verdict, in which a jury unanimously agrees that he should be put to death.  Page 1 of 1 This is our last episode of season 7. We’ll be back sometime in the fall, and we’ll let you know when as soon as we know on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime, check out our Art Exchange. It’s like a Secret Santa, only it takes place in the summer and each gift is an original piece of art: sculpture, photography, poem, song, painting, all kinds of things. Click here to sign up (the deadline is June 12, 2019)
HBM119: An Episode of Pebbles and Twigs
The end of our seventh season draws near! Just one more episode until we hang up our podcasting hats for a few months.   We don’t want you to miss us too much though, so on this episode, we’re tying up some loose ends, answering some questions, and sharing ways that you can stay connected with us even when our podcast feed is quieter. Here are five ways to stay connected during the dry months: HBM Summer Art Exchange.  You like to make art?  You like to get art? Exchange something with a fellow HBM listener.  All you have to do is fill out this form. It’s free (well, except for postage). Merch. Did you know that we have HBM shirts, stickers, art prints, books, sweatshirts?  Already have those?  Fear not, we’re working on a something new for next season. The VOICE Hotline Dataset.  In 2017, Jeff FOIA’d Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the records of the calls made to their VOICE hotline.  The (heavily redacted) spreadsheet contains 5,164 calls with many pieces of metadata for each call record.Get the data: Google Sheets Version. This is a version that we’ve cleaned up a tad, added some useful analysis to.  You can view and comment collaboratively here. CSV Version. This is a version that you can use offline in software like Excel and Tableau. ICE FOIA LIbrary Version.  This is straight from the source.  Our FOIA is listed under Reports → VOICE Log: Apr. 2017- Oct. 2017 Super Secret Facebook Group.  We have a top secret Facebook group.  If you want to be a part of it, just find it.  That’s the only test to get in. Voicemail Line.  Call us anytime.  Tell us your stories or record strange sounds, or ask us questions.  We love it when you call. Our number is (765) 374-5263. More reporting on the VOICE Hotline on Splinter and the Arizona Republic.
Listen to Lost Notes
Lost Notes is a podcast that we love.  It’s about music. We think you should subscribe.  This episode comes from the new season and it’s about Suzanne Ciani, an early user of the modular synthesizer.  Ciani wound up being nominated 5 times for a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, but gained her biggest audience from her iconic commercial work for Coca Cola and others.

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Sarah Breau reviewed this podcast on Mar 13th, 2019
"This is a wild card podcast: you never know what the next episode will be about. The editing and production are terrific. Highly recommended."

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Podcast Details
Started
Jul 24th, 2012
Latest Episode
Jun 5th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
139
Avg. Episode Length
33 minutes
Explicit
Yes
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