Continued: Sruthi Pinnamaneni follows the world’s best bounty hunter on a peculiar case.

Further Reading

Michelle Gomez’s website
Michelle Gomez’s Twitter
Dallas’ Voiceover Site
POLITICO story on The Remembrance Project

Show transcript

PJ VOGT:  From Gimlet, this is Reply All. I’m PJ Vogt. If for some reason, you’re just listening to this randomly, this is part two of a two-part story. Make sure you go back and listen to part one, or nothing you hear will make sense. Ok, here’s Sruthi:

SRUTHI PINNAMANENI: So, Michelle and I arrive in this town in North Carolina. It’s the middle of June, a Monday, very hot and sticky.

SRUTHI: Hey Michelle
MICHELLE: Hey, how you doing?
SRUTHI: Good, how was your flight?

And just a quick reminder: the reason we have come to this particular town, I’m not going to tell which one it is, is because Michelle is after a man named Luis Rodriguez. And after a whole lot of searching, she believes that a woman named Blanca, who lives here, is Luis’ shelter.

ALEX GOLDMAN: Right.

SRUTHI: So, Michelle’s thinking either Luis is at this address that she has for Blanca, like he’s living with Blanca and her family–

PJ: ‘Cause you said people stay close to their shelter.

SRUTHI: Right. Or, if he’s not there, she’s sure that Blanca knows where he is. So her plan is to confront Blanca, scare her, and get her to give up Luis’ location. So that’s her plan. Michelle tells me she’s already checked in with her client, Maria Espinoza, and we are off.

We meet up with this former bounty hunter. His name is Dallas McLean.

DALLAS MCLEAN: I’m Dallas Mclean.
SRUTHI: Hey.

He’s this big dude in sixties, has a goatee, tells me that he’s a voiceover actor on the side.

DALLAS: Do I get a picture with the famous, uh, the famous Michelle?
MICHELLE: (laughs)

So Dallas is going to be Michelle’s wingman for this whole trip, and he’s just doing it as a favor, like letting her use his office as a home base, and he tells her like, “Listen, I’m going to drive you anywhere you need to be.” So we go to his car.

SRUTHI: Wow. You have–you really do live out of your car.

I get in the front seat. It’s this like, giant black SUV with, of course, tinted windows. And there’s, like, all sorts of bounty hunter stuff in it.

SRUTHI: A water gun? Oh no that’s not a water gun, that’s a taser?
DALLAS: I’ve got like laundry that–
MICHELLE: It’s a taser.
DALLAS: –I was gonna drop off, and all that.

Michelle hops in the back, and we head off. The trailer park is about 20 minutes outside of town. And, at this point, Michelle is just planning to do a driveby, like scope out the place and come up with a game plan. She’s done all this extra research on Blanca since the last time I saw her. Like, at this point, she knows, you know, exactly where Blanca works, um, she has this extended family tree for Blanca, has her daughter’s name.

SRUTHI: Is there any part of you that’s like, feels a little–
MICHELLE: Nope.
SRUTHI: –kind of bad for her, or anything?
MICHELLE: Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope. My heart’s cold, my heart turns cold. Because um, she’s aiding and abetting a fugitive who killed somebody. And she knows it. When she could’ve–already, four or five years have gone by. She could easily make an anonymous call and say, “Hey, I’m so and so, I know about this case, I need for you to come get him,” or “he works here.” Something–that’s, um–it’s what you do. It’s the principle thing. And that’s it.
NAVIGATION: In .1 miles, your destination is on your left.
DALLAS: This is it.

We pull into this trailer park.

DALLAS: It’s like a loop, so we can come out down there.

We are slowly driving down this dirt road until we hit this one trailer where, by the number on the door, they know it’s Blanca’s. And they start to figure out what are the possible escape routes.

DALLAS: Yeah. Front door and a back door.

Dallas keeps driving, uh, Michelle has her camera out and is taking photos through the window. We see that there’s this front porch coming out of the trailer, and there’s a little girl there eating ice cream.

DALLAS: Yeah a little girl, about five or six.
MICHELLE: Yep.

We loop around and drive by again. And, now there’s another girl who has come out, an older girl, late teens, and she’s also standing out on the porch.

MICHELLE: Yep that’s her.
DALLAS: Did you get it?
MICHELLE: Yea-. That’s the-the–the daughter. Uh, Blanca’s–Blanca’s daughter.
DALLAS: There’s the dog. He’s no problem.
SRUTHI: And there’s just woods behind, like, thick woods.
MICHELLE: Perfect for them.
SRUTHI: What does that mean?
MICHELLE: He’s been on the run!
DALLAS: He knows he’s gonna be in jail. He’s been out–the idea is to stay out as long as he can. Are we done here?
MICHELLE: Mhmm.
DALLAS: OK.

We leave the house, and Michelle now wants to go to the restaurant where Blanca works. She says, “It’s a weekday, and I think she might be there.” So, we stop by, it’s in a mall food court, and the girl behind the counter tells us: “Blanca just left.”

Dallas says “You know what let’s get some food, I know this great Italian restaurant,” and then for the next two hours, he and Michelle just tell war stories. And finally, at 9:30, Michelle says to him, “Hey, I want to go back to the trailer, I want to see it at night, and see who’s living there besides Blanca’s family.”

First they get their gear together. Dallas opens the trunk of the car.

DALLAS: I left my binoculars…
MICHELLE: I have binoculars.
DALLAS: Ok. I got some night vision.
MICHELLE: Yeah, I got night vision too. A water–uh, water resistant. Let me see.

We head back to the trailer park. Again, I’m up front, Michelle’s sitting in the back. And, she puts on a badge. It’s a Texas investigator badge, but it looks a lot like a police badge.

[MUSIC]

DALLAS: Alright, we’re almost there.
SRUTHI: What are you going to do, Michelle?
MICHELLE: No, I’m just–I don’t–I don’t ever, like–I noticed that you’re always like, “What are you going to do? What are you going to do?” I’m calm. I’m very calm, you know–?
DALLAS: You want me to pull in the driveway or stay on the street?
MICHELLE: You can do it in the driveway. Let them know that we’re not afraid of them.

We just sit there in the car, in front of the house. Just watching. It’s pitch black. And then–

[Car doors slam]

[MUSIC]

Michelle just opens the door, jumps out, and starts marching towards the front door.

[Car doors slam again]

She’s got a cellphone in her hand, and she’s just using it like a flashlight.

MICHELLE: (knocking) Hello? Hola. (knocking, dog barking) Hello? (knocking) Hello?

The whole trailer’s dark, except for this one light that’s on in the back, and in front of us is this giant “Beware of Dog” sign.

MICHELLE: (loud knocking)
[dog barking]
MICHELLE: What time is it here? 10 o’clock?
SRUTHI: It’s, uh, 10:06.
MICHELLE: It’s late.
SRUTHI: Do you think they might be sleeping?
MICHELLE: Yeah–they’re–we’ll get them tomorrow morning.

She seems pretty satisfied, and we walk back to the car. And, just when we we’re about to get inside.

SRUTHI: Oh somebody’s, somebody…

The front door opens, but we can’t see who it is.

(dog growling)
MICHELLE: No, no. No. Good boy. Good boy. (makes kissing noises and speaks Spanish)

It’s this older girl we’d seen earlier, she’s here with this dog, looking extremely confused and disheveled, like as if she’d just been, woken up out of bed.

MICHELLE: Tú mama es Blanca?
DAUGHTER: Blanca?
MICHELLE: Como te llamas?

And then Michelle shows her the photograph of Luis.

MICHELLE: Luis Alberto Rodriguez?
DAUGHTER: No. No sé.

And this girl says, “No, I’ve never heard of this person.” And, at that point, this middle-aged lady in a nightgown comes out looking completely scared.

MICHELLE: Ok. Yo soy Michelle Gomez. Como está?
BLANCA: Bien
MICHELLE: Perdón. Ústed es Blanca?
BLANCA: Sí.
MICHELLE: Yo soy Michelle Gomez. Yo soy detectiva de Texas.

Michelle has her badge out. And they get into this whole back and forth.

MICHELLE GOMEZ: Estoy buscando este señor. Tú lo conoces?
BLANCA: No.
MICHELLE: No lo… mira?
BLANCA: No.
MICHELLE: Ok.

Blanca’s saying does not recognize this photo of Luis either, and she clearly has no idea what Michelle is asking about. She’s like, “I’m not from Honduras…

MICHELLE: Ustedes son ilegales? O tienen papeles
BLANCA: No tengo papeles, un permiso, my hijo también.

…And, I’m legal.” And, she tells Michelle: “Come into my house, and I’ll show you my papers.”

[tape going into trailer, speaking Spanish]

And we sit down in their dining room, her husband’s out, the whole family is out, there’s like six different people there. And they’re all taking out all their paperwork–like, there’s driver’s licenses, work permits.

PJ: Just like, all proof that they’re allowed to be here.

SRUTHI: Exactly. And Michelle is like taking photos of all their documents and then, through the front door, walks in this young-looking guy.

TOMAS: Hola.
MALE VOICE: Hola.
FEMALE VOICE: (introducing Tomas in Spanish) Tomas

That’s Tomas. Turns out the guy we thought was Blanca’s husband is actually her son.

MICHELLE: You speak English?
TOMAS: Yeah.
MICHELLE: Ok, perfect!

Michelle starts asking him all these questions and finds out like this person has the same first and last name as Tomas, that guy that she’s been thus far theorizing is the partner-in-crime of Luis. But this guy is not Honduran, he’s from El Salvador. He’s, like, 20 years younger than we expected. Definitely the wrong guy.

I look over at Michelle, I mean, she has just barged into an innocent family’s house in the middle of the night with a badge. I am mortified and confused, but Michelle seems almost excited. Like, she pivots immediately to this new theory: the original Tomas who she was looking for, the friend of Luis’s, he must have stolen this kid’s identity.

MICHELLE: And, um–you’re the victim, you’re–for identity fraud.

And Michelle starts giving this kid security advice. She was like, “Ok, so here’s what you need to do: You need to write a letter to all these credit bureaus and tell them, like, your Social Security number is compromised.” Uh, I mean, at one point he’s giving her his contact info, so she can get back to him about things.

MICHELLE: And no–you don’t use Yahoo. It’s no good.
TOMAS: No Yahoo?
MICHELLE: You get hacked so many times.
TOMAS: Really?
MICHELLE: Yeah. You need to change. Go to Hushmail.
TOMAS: Hushmail?
MICHELLE: Or go to–are you, you computer savvy?

The whole family is just rapt–like, they seem really grateful for all this advice. And they just keep saying, “Thank you so much.”

[Michelle laughing and talking with the family]

We’re there for two hours.

PJ: Wow.

SRUTHI: By the end of it, they all lined up around her…

MICHELLE: Ok, everybody say cheese. (iPhone shutter sound)

… and took photos.

SRUTHI: Great. Ok, I got it.
[Spanish, laughing]

Here, can I show you a photo?

PJ: Yeah.

SRUTHI: Here.

PJ: (laughing) Wow

ALEX: (laughing) It looks like a family photo!

SRUTHI: It is a family photo!

ALEX: It’s like, absolutely looks like someone was like, “Alright–let’s go to Sears and get our photo taken.”

[laughter and indistinct chatting]

SRUTHI: We leave the house. It’s midnight at that point. Michelle is in a great mood. To me, the whole thing still felt like a mistake. The next morning, it’s back to the drawing board.

[MUSIC]

We station ourselves in the kitchen of Dallas’ office, and Michelle, she’s working on a laptop. And this time, she’s says, she’s going a different route.

She’s found a new lead: a guy named Tony. He’s an actual friend of actual Luis– an old friend. But, he’s willing to help track him down.

BREAK

SRUTHI: Welcome back to the show. So where we left off, Michelle and I were sitting in Dallas’s office

DALLAS: There’s coffee there.
MICHELLE: Well!
SRUTHI: Awesome.

And she was about to call this guy named Tony. And here’s who that is: Remember how the court lowered Luis’s bail? Tony, who was his friend and coworker, he actually appeared in court early on to testify on Luis’ behalf.

MICHELLE: (on phone) Hello? Hi, sir, my name is Michelle Gomez. I need to speak with you regarding, um, the situation with Mr. Rodriguez.
TONY: Yeah.
MICHELLE: Me puede ayudar por favor?
TONY: Sí!
MICHELLE: Ok. You know–you know, Luis Rodrigo, verdad? El Rodriguez.
TONY: Verdad. Yeah.
MICHELLE: You testified on his behalf as a credible person.
TONY: Right.
MICHELLE: Why did you do that? What happened there?
TONY: Well he was–he was–he was good person. He was good people to hang out with, you know, and you’d go over and drink with him. He hangs out with everybody, talked nice to everybody and stuff. He wouldn’t–yeah, he wasn’t mean–he wasn’t aggressive or nothin’.
MICHELLE: OK. How did you feel when he was gone?
TONY: Like shit man. He burnt me. He played me stupid. He plays the people real good and everything, and then he runs from them when he gets in trouble.

He says last time he saw Luis was the night just before he took off.

TONY: I see him about 1:30 that morning. And, we had a beer and stuff. And he said, “Ok, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Bullshit. They were gone the next day.
MICHELLE: Ok.
TONY: Daughter, son, him–all of ‘em.

The next day he found out that Luis, his wife, his two kids, um, had just got in a van and, like, left. So, it was planned.

MICHELLE: Ok. Um–anything else that might help me to find him as far as what he’s–what he would do?
TONY: Yeah. The last time the guy that seen him, he was in Tennessee. His wife’s still here.
MICHELLE: Marina’s in Tennessee?
TONY: Yeah.

He says, “If you can find the wife, Luis would be close by, because they have a little daughter.”

TONY: If you can get a hold of his wife, you might get lucky, man. Because, the man loved the shit out of his daughter, he’s not going to let go of his daughter for nothin’.
MICHELLE: Ok.
TONY: He’s been a good dad. He was a good dad, believe me. (Voice in background: “He was a good person”). He’s a real good person, in real life, he’s a good person, he really is. But uh, the only thing is that when he killed this man, other people told him he was going to do life in prison and all kinds of shit, and he didn’t want to go do it, so he hauls ass.
MICHELLE: Yeah. Was he afraid of being deported?
TONY: Yep. Yep, because they want to kill him back home–they killed his mom and everything.
MICHELLE: (gasps) Oh my god.
TONY: Yeah.

Tony said he didn’t know all the details, but it was something related to these drug gangs– like maybe MS-13– and that they had killed Luis’mother in front of him.

MICHELLE: That is so sad. No, but he can plead down–the United States will protect him.
TONY: He got himself into a spot, because he got hit with a machete in the arm.
MICHELLE: Yeah?
TONY: And he got hit with a machete across the top of the head. He’s got scars that big.
MICHELLE: Oh my god. What a story.
TONY: So he’s scared of everything, you know what I mean?
MICHELLE: Yeah. Yeah, well they can’t deport him. Because mira: si él reclamo, que, si tiene miedo en su país, no lo van a ir p’atras.

Michelle’s saying, because Luis is afraid of the violence in his country, in Honduras, that there’s no way the US is just going to dump him over there.

MICHELLE:. If-if–if he calls you by some chance, by some light of day–you have my number. Ok?
TONY: Yeah.
MICHELLE: Um–there’s some kind of hope, but yet he has to do some time. He has to be punished.
TONY: Yeah! I hope you do get him man. Let me know if you do. Call me up, let me know something.
MICHELLE: I will. Thank you. I appreciate you.
TONY: Alright. Ok, bye-bye.
MICHELLE: Bye-bye.

We got off the phone and I was really confused that, that Michelle was so sympathetic towards Luis

PJ: Yeah, like, I feel like it could be like a tactic? Like, she’s trying to convince Tony she’s on Luis’ side?

SRUTHI: Yeah, but I couldn’t tell because she was actually tearing up. But after that call she says, “Tony’s given us this big clue. And from now on, I’m going to focus on finding Luis’ wife and daughter.”

She spends the next like, five hours on this laptop. By 6 p.m., she confirms that yes, they are in Tennessee, but she still doesn’t know what town.

We head back to the hotel, and Michelle keeps working, like, keeps hammering away at this question. She’s barely talking to me. And then, at 1 a.m.–

[cell phone rings]
MICHELLE: That’s Gabbie, my daughter. Yes?

She gets this phone call from her daughter which starts off normal, but very quickly, it turns super emotional, her daughter’s crying, says that she’s decided to move to this other city. Finally, Michelle turns to me and says, “Listen I need to stop. I need to go home to Texas.”

MICHELLE: And as soon as I get home and say goodbye to my daughter, I’m going to make arrangements to take off to Tennessee.
SRUTHI: Do you feel like you– do you feel like anything happened today that makes you feel differently about him or about your search for him?

MICHELLE: Yeah. He’s had a rough life. He has had–you know, he’s, he’s witnessed the death of his mother right in front of him. I don’t know what age that happened, but it was emotional to know that– (chokes up)
SRUTHI: Yeah.
MICHELLE: It’s emotional, because he’s had a rough life, you know? And shit happens to everybody. But um-he–he needs to he needs to pay for his crime, for the accident, for the closure of this stor–you know, the family. He needs to face, you know, the justice system in terms and grow from that. You know? He’s been running all his life. There’s always a day where you can start over and repair it. And that day I–the day I confront him is the day he’s going to start, because I’m going to sit with him as a friend. He’s going to be able to–he’s probably going to rest. Because usually they usually tell me, “I’m glad you found me, now I can rest.” Yeah, you’re going to be sleeping in jail. You know? And that’s the good part. And I’m probably going to make another friend. I really am. I really do believe it. I’ll probably have a photo album with him (laughs).
SRUTHI: You’re a confusing lady, uh–Michelle.
MICHELLE: I know!
SRUTHI: Yeah I–yeah. Let’s see–let’s see what happens.
MICHELLE: I mean I’m not the police, you know? I’m not a mean person. My life is about doing what I do best, and that’s finding the person.

[MUSIC]

SRUTHI: The next morning, I fly back to New York, Michelle goes back to Texas. And she says, “I’m going to plan for this Tennessee trip.”

I was very curious how The Remembrance Project would feel about Michelle’s new empathy towards Luis. But by that point, Maria Espinoza stopped taking my calls.

This was June, right about the time she found herself in this controversy. A bunch of her families turned on her. Like, there’s this POLITICO article, where they said they feel like Maria was harboring political ambitions, and she was using them to get close to Trump.

Maria told me, “I don’t want to talk to you until I hear your final story.”

Michelle and I, however, we kept checking in regularly.

MICHELLE: Well, I have a lot of cases, um. I have a lot of deadlines, and I have a lot of cases, and, these clients, they–they all need me, and they’re–they’re like, “You’re my last hope.”

When I called her in early July, Michelle was completely overworked, she said she was having migraines. But she said she’s still finding time to search for Luis.

[MUSIC]

And she told me “I looked into it, he’s definitely not in Tennessee.”

MICHELLE: I’m going to be brief with you, because I’m waiting for a call.

In September, she told me, “I found his sons on Facebook. I’m watching them. I think Luis had fled the U.S.”

MICHELLE: Now I’m 90 percent sure he’s in Spain.
SRUTHI: Uh huh.
MICHELLE: Ok? I’m 90 percent sure he’s in Spain, because the way–it’s because of the way the family is re–responding.
SRUTHI: Mhmm. So, oh, so, wait, wait, wait. Have you been texting with the son, or what communication are you having with the son?
MICHELLE: Um… little, little catfish lines here and there, I’m going to say it like that.
SRUTHI: (chuckles)
MICHELLE: Do you know what means?
SRUTHI: No.
MICHELLE: When you catfish somebody and you bring information out, without alarming them.
SRUTHI: You mean you’re–do you mean you’re pretending to be someone else?
MICHELLE: No, I’m, um, catfishing him in a place where he doesn’t know who I am! He didn’t even ask me who I am.

At one point, she told me, “I’m so close to figuring out his address, and I have this like local investigator there on the ground, and he’s helping me.”

MICHELLE: He’s gonna have to, um, take pictures and if he confirms Luis? Oh my god, I’m going to– I don’t know. I’m gonna scream! I gotta report this to Miss Maria.
SRUTHI: Yeah.

MICHELLE: And let her know.

We’d also talk about the things that she said that night in North Carolina– about how the US would protect Luis, let him stay.

SRUTHI: I was wondering if you still feel that way, like–
MICHELLE: If he claims asylum, fear of life–for his life, you know? To go back? They’re going to protect him. No doubt.

I explain to Michelle, “I’ve been talking to a bunch of lawyers, and they all tell me it’s almost certain that Luis will not get asylum.” And I said, “Does that worry you? “

And she said, “Yes.”

MICHELLE: I would be worried for him. Because, I would be part of that–I would be part of putting that cub back into the lion’s den, you know? I would worry for his life. Because he’s a human being, Sruthi. You know, we all make mistakes. You can’t bring Joe Storie back. What you can do is have closure for the Storie family and say, “You know what? There is remorse in Mr., um, Rodriguez’s heart.”
SRUTHI: Does it make your job harder, Michelle, because, like, there is this risk that you know that he, like–that he will be sent back to the lion’s den?
MICHELLE: It’s a responsibility, um, I know that I can find him and… Umm, it’s emotional for me sometimes, (choking up) because I can say, you know, tomorrow’s the day you go to jail. This guy Luis is–he’s gonna be locked up, abroad, first in Spain, and then extradited over here and de–be deported. Who knows, I may be the one who ends his life by sending him back. And if they kill him–I’m gonna be part of that responsibility. (pause) I’ll never know that and I don’t want to know that.

When I would hear Michelle talk about Luis like this, I would think “Wow, you have more sympathy for him than I do.” You know, a drunk driver, allegedly, who killed someone and ran. How is it that you work for, of all people, Maria Espinoza. You know, Michelle seemed to feel like America had some kind of duty to protect Luis. But Maria and The Remembrance Project, their whole thing is, “Why?” You know, Luis, we owe him nothing. We need to protect American families. That guy, he’s not supposed to be here.

And these two ideas seemed really contradictory– like this country fights over them constantly. But I realized that for Michelle, they’re not contradictory,like they exist equally in her mind. So to her, it makes perfect sense that she’s worrying about Luis but also hunting him down for Maria.

MICHELLE: I want to be part of this agenda, because you cannot come to the United States and break the law. You will, you will, you will be punished. And we’re going to make Luis Alberto Rodriguez an example of what’s going to happen to you if your case comes in my hands. I want to be part of uh–of something good, that says, you know what, Mr. Trump is trying to do something. I still don’t know all of his agenda, because it changes all of the time, and he’s careless with his statements. But, there’s something we have to fight for. And-and–and that’s justice for Mr. Joe Storie. He didn’t deserve to die that day.

So Michelle feels this absolute clarity. This is what she needs to do, she is going to get Luis’ address somehow, she’s going to fly to Spain and capture him.

The thing is, it’s been nine months of hearing Michelle say she’s sure she can get him. I am not 100 percent sure. It does seem like a very complicated task, especially because he’s now out of the country. And on top of that, The Remembrance Project seems to have lost some of that steam it had had in the, you know, early days of the Trump victory. So it’s almost like there was this giant target kind of laser-focused on Luis. And now, it’s just lost its focus.

But that’s not the end of this story. Can I tell you this crazy thing that just happened?

ALEX: OK.

SRUTHI: So I was just doing routine fact checking stuff. Like, just trying to confirm the most basic fact about Luis Rodriguez, just that he’s undocumented. Everybody had told me this, it was in the court records, but I just couldn’t figure out where this piece of information had come from.

I met with people from ICE, so I asked them for info on Luis’ status. They said “Sure, we’ll look into it.” And through the weeks, they were clearly working on it, like trying to run down this info. And then, just two days ago, they wrote to me saying, “Hey listen, our hands are tie. Due to privacy restrictions, we’re unable to comment.”

I called Chris Storie. Like, how had she first heard that Luis was undocumented? She couldn’t remember. But she did remember this thing, that at first she thought was bullshit. Um, a cop had told her that the reason they couldn’t, like report Luis to ICE is that he had some kind of special something, like special papers.

PJ: Special papers?

SRUTHI: Yeah. That cop, he was a captain. Retired years ago. But I found his 80-year-old mom, she found him, and he told me it was a protected status.

PJ: Luis had a protected status?

SRUTHI: Yeah, I didn’t know what that meant, but I found a law enforcement source who was able to confirm what he had.

PJ: Alright.

SRUTHI: Luis Rodriguez had a Temporary Protected Status. It’s not asylum, it’s a little different. It’s a temporary thing that the US offers to citizens of certain countries that have experienced disaster, like an earthquake in Haiti, civil war in El Salvador, um, Hurricane Mitch in Honduras. Like, it doesn’t matter how you entered the US– legally or illegally– once you’re here, you can apply for this temporary protected status. And you’d be allowed to live and work here.

PJ: And Luis had this?

SRUTHI: Yes. So–

PJ: So.

SRUTHI: So the central fact of this entire story was wrong. He was not undocumented

PJ: Wow.

ALEX: Maria Espinoza’s posterchild, is now not really a posterchild at all.

SRUTHI: No

[MUSIC]

So everything was supposed to be simple, it turns out it wasn’t. But Chris Storie is sure of one thing: Six years ago, a guy killed her brother and walked away.

Her friends told her that she needed to move on, and the DA stopped returning her calls. It seemed like she was the only one who cared about this.

Until one day, this woman showed up, who was so eager to listen– and she told her this story was worth something. She wanted the whole country to hear it.

I spoke to Chris last night. I told her about Luis’ status. I had no idea how she’d respond. She said you know, it really does not matter. This guy killed my brother and did not even stick around to apologize. That is the point of the story. What else did you need to know?

CREDITS

Reply All is me, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. We were produced this week by Sruthi Pinnamaneni, Phia Bennin, Damiano Marchetti, and Austin Mitchell. Production help from Jon Hanrahan. Our editor is Tim Howard. Our intern is Anna Foley. Fact checking by MIchelle Harris. The show was mixed by Kate Bilinski.

We are currently looking to hire a new producer to join our team. If you’re interested, we’ll have a job listing up on the website by the end of the week. We’re definitely looking for somebody who already has experience making radio.

Special thanks this week Hans Linnartz, Russ Lay, Vaidya Gullapalli, Domenic Powell, Gene Johnson, Barbara Gonzalez, Nick Kulish, and Emily Kennedy.  Matt Lieber is a dog who sleeps on your keyboard.  Our theme song is by the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder and our ad music is by Build Buildings. You can find more episodes of the show wherever you found this episode of the show. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you in two weeks.

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