James Reeb The Man: Episode 7 NPR 'White Lies' Civil Rights Crime Podcast In our final episode, we examine the legacy of the Rev. James Reeb's death. We speak both to his descendants and to those of one of his attackers, exploring how the trauma and the lies that followed it affected both families.
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A Dangerous Kind Of Self-Delusion

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A Dangerous Kind Of Self-Delusion

A Dangerous Kind Of Self-Delusion

A Dangerous Kind Of Self-Delusion

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  • Transcript

The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., was the scene of the confrontation that became known as Bloody Sunday. William Widmer for NPR hide caption

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William Widmer for NPR

The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., was the scene of the confrontation that became known as Bloody Sunday.

William Widmer for NPR

Editor's note: This podcast contains explicit language that some may find offensive.

In our final episode of White Lies, we contemplate James Reeb the man. Before the news of Reeb's death was broadcast across the country and cast him as a martyr, Reeb was a husband, father and trusted friend.

We hear Reeb's own voice, delivering his final sermon, and hear from his wife, Marie, and his children about the months before his murder, the days following the attack in Selma, Ala., and how his death altered their lives.

We also examine the legacy of the man who witnesses say delivered the fatal blow, Elmer Cook, through his descendants: his son, grandson and great-granddaughter, and explore how they reckon with their feelings of shame and their longing to atone for Cook's wrongs.

For a visual narrative of NPR's investigation into the murder of Reeb and its aftermath, visit npr.org/whitelies.