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Letters: Cold Case; Ken And Barbie; Bieber Fans

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Letters: Cold Case; Ken And Barbie; Bieber Fans

From Our Listeners

Letters: Cold Case; Ken And Barbie; Bieber Fans

Letters: Cold Case; Ken And Barbie; Bieber Fans

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133847142/133847128" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Listeners respond to our story on the unsolved murder of Frank Morris, an African-American shoe repairman who was burned to death inside his shop nearly 50 years ago in Louisiana; a Valentine's Day story about a Mattel Web campaign to help Ken win Barbie back; and a conversation about Justin Bieber fans and Esperanza Spalding. Hosts Michele Norris and Melissa Block read e-mails from our listeners.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

It's time now for your letters. This week, our investigative unit shed some light on a decades-old unsolved murder. Frank Morris was a respected African- American shoe repairman who was trapped inside his burning shop nearly 50 years ago in Louisiana.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

A grand jury has finally begun to hear testimony in that case. And several of our listeners were grateful to hear the story about Frank Morris. Lou File Doddy Low(ph) of Austin, Texas wrote that he listened with fascination to the story of courage of integrity. Kudos to NPR for this and other similar stories over the years, he wrote. This is typical public radio reporting at its best.

BLOCK: Onto other matters, Valentine's Day was Monday and we aired a marketing story that a few of you didn't find so sweet. And in case you hadn't heard, toy company Mattel announced some years back that Ken and Barbie, the famous toy couple, had called it quits.

NORRIS: Who knew? Well, this year, Mattel launched a Web campaign to help Ken win Barbie back. But a few of you didn't feel the love.

BLOCK: Mike Reynolds(ph) of Beverly Hills writes this: For a few seconds, I felt my ears were deceiving me on two fronts. One, that I was hearing an April Fool type story when I thought it was Valentine's Day. And second, that my radio had somehow mysteriously changed from NPR to a commercial channel.

NORRIS: Last Sunday, Esperanza Spalding was a huge upset winner of the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. As we told you on Monday, a lot of Justin Bieber fans were outraged. They thought Bieber was robbed and they said so, along with a few other nasty things on Spalding's Wikipedia page.

BLOCK: Well, all the fuss and our interview with NPR culture blog writer Linda Holmes didn't much interest many of you. Adam Broomfield of Olympia, Washington wondered, was it really necessary to spend any time, even four minutes, on one account of teenagers being mean to people online or that Wikipedia is amendable by the general public?

NORRIS: Steven Kipple(ph) of Palm Desert, California agrees. He writes that the story served to distract from Esperanza Spalding's accomplishment. And he said it turned attention instead to Internet miscreants. Kipple concludes, I hope ATC isn't turning into a tabloid.

BLOCK: We appreciate your feedback. Please write to us by going to NPR.org and clicking on Contact Us.

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