About Conviction: American Panic
When John Quinney was ten years old, he took the stand to testify against his own father. He had come to believe that his dad Melvin was the murderous leader of a satanic cult. It would be decades before John would learn that his family was just one of many swept up in a panic that gripped America in the 1980s—one in which hundreds of people were accused of taking part in underground satanic cults that sacrificed infants and sexually abused children. By the time the panic had subsided, scores of people were in prison, convicted on little to no evidence—people like John's father. Conviction: American Panic takes you inside one of the darkest and most bizarre chapters of American history.
About Season 1
Manuel Gomez is a detective straight out of a detective novel. He carries a pen that’s really a knife, wears a watch that’s really a camera, adores Sherlock Holmes and Miami Vice. But the cases Gomez takes on are all too real: cases of young men in New York City who say they’ve been arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. In the first season of Conviction, reporter Saki Knafo follows Gomez as he tackles the biggest case of his career—and along the way, Saki explores big questions about criminal justice in America.
This story was the first in Gimlet’s Conviction series, which will feature a new piece of investigative reporting each season. This show includes strong language and descriptions of violence, and may not be appropriate for sensitive listeners.