Michael Moran, Ohio, Dr Lori discussed on The Piketon Massacre

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I'm dr lori centers. I'm a psychology professor at yale. And i started to notice that a lot of my students all that happy so i created a new class longtime everybody to psychology and the good life. But it's not just my students who need to understand the science being and that's why we launched the happens lab so you can learn about too. Are you ready to feel happier. Head to iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or if you like to listen brought to you by ziprecruiter. The smartest way to hire. Welcome to the piped-in massacre production of iheartradio and katie studios. Somebody pretty important in ohio. Once asked to be why. I was so vested interested in this case in sex trafficking. I had to be honest with myself and i had to say when i first heard it. I didn't believe it. i didn't think it was widespread. And ever since then. It's been like these women aren't lying and they deserve all lavar. This is the pectin massacre return to pike county season. Two episode nine twenty five miles south part to. I'm courtney armstrong a television producer at katy studios with stephanie lie. Decker and jeff shane throughout the series we've examined abuses of power by authorities in ohio from law enforcement officials to city councilman investigative reporter. James pilcher drew a through line in the cases of pike. County sheriff charlie reader michael moran and the corruption that has infiltrated the southern ohio criminal justice system happening in these kinds of counties. So much either. Hey you had ineffectual or corrupt or both law enforcement right. You had a community or a culture of lawlessness that has descended on upon many places in rural america. And i think that's one of the reasons. Nobody's watching nobody cares to watch not to enhance or blow up importance of journalists. But if you don't have some kind of watchdog or Somebody holding officials accountable i. It doesn't always work in two thousand. Seventeen reported nikki. Blankenship uncovered an affidavit filed by the drug enforcement agency. The document detailed and fbi investigation into a portsmouth. Ohio lawyer and former city councilman michael moran. Its content supported stories. Nikki had long heard from area. Women who claimed that moran was involved in sexual digging and prostitution. It should be noted. That michael moran has strongly denied the allegations. So when i got this affidavit. I i mean they took it to my publisher my editor and they wanna prove that it was real it was authentic and all this was real and so i contacted private investigators that i knew had the look into the document further. I call people in court systems. That i knew and had them looking into it. I verified it over and over and over and ultimately they said that no we're not going to publish gave my letter of resignation that day and the said ethical differences. I left during the course of her reporting on sex trafficking and southern ohio. The issue had become personal for nikki. She often spoke with the families of portsmouth women that had fallen into prostitution and others whose family members had gone missing or been murdered after her resignation. Nikki had a crucial decision to make. I made a promise to the families little bit. But i promised these families and i shouldn't have as journalists thomas them but i did. I promise that i was going to scream until someone listened. So i felt like i was just repeatedly be shut down. I feel very helpless. I had to do something. I had to put it out there somewhere. And social media's. I knew even if only local families were able to see that i thought it might them in some way give them something and as a local journalist a lot of people locally were on my facebook page so i went ahead and i publish him. I went to sleep. Woke up the next morning. I had hundreds probably thousands of whites on the close already traits if not thousands of shares and messages for everyone. But it kinda went crazier than i expected to win. You saw the affidavit. What ran through your head. I was not a bit stunned and people. They want me to be stunned. But i wasn't. That's katie lancaster. Speaking with producer. Chris graves katie's best friend and sister-in-law megan lancaster went missing twenty thirteen. Katie alleges that megan worked for michael moran as a prostitute moran denies these allegations. What went through my head is. Oh my gosh like. I'm not the only one that sees this. You know like the fbi sees it like it was just so just a sense of relief. News of the affidavits spread. It soon. Caught the attention of cincinnati inquirer investigative editor. Bob strictly who had once worked for the newspaper. The portsmouth daily times initially was sports editor in portsmouth and was elevated to managing editor. And during my time there there were always these rumors about michael moran and the women that he was around in circles he he ran in and at the time early in my career it just seems so far fetched or smith if nothing else is a remote so a lot of things get tossed around without substantive evidence to back it up but it was quite surprising to receive or that there is something that could actually back this up. We got a copy of it ourselves and verified through various attorneys and around the council. And i went back and looked through notes that i take and i 'cause i never throw away notebook for my time. Working enforcement was like a lot of this tracks. And here's a government official saying so and it's in a sworn affidavit. So it's time for the chips allah table and get involved says too. Big of a story took more even. If it is a place that is not traditionally in an area where type paper covers it. I don't know if initiated a sense of responsibility as much as it triggered a pretty huge amount of guilt that motivated me to go pitch the story of our bosses despite paper being two and a half hours away from the subject that we were covering and luckily bosses were hospitable enough to allow us to explore that dig real deep in this story and turn over some rocks that needed to be turned over decades ago the puerta. Jane's kilter was writing for the inquirer at the time mob. Boss came to me. Because i was investigative reporter and said what do you think about this. You wanna take a look at this guy. Trafficking women all over the country from this little town. This burned out shell of a town. It's known as the epicenter of the opioid epidemic. Is he doing. This is it. Sure can we prove it. I really thought there was no way. There was no way this could be going on for so long and nobody did anything about the other interesting thing. Was that the paper got. This wouldn't publish it. I mean it's a federal affidavit and they still wouldn't publish it right. There in the hometown of mike moran picks it the big city newspaper from two hours away in cincinnati to come in and do this investigation now granted. We have the resources of usa today behind this but why not at that have been published or if the local newspaper had been truly and independent harm or an independent high with some of this stuff have gone on. I don't think so the first time i went to portsmouth. I didn't know what to expect. Nate partnered me fulltime with photographer. Who is also on the story is she and i were just shooting some footage out at the. Us shoe factory and there was graffiti. They're talking about a prostitution and drugs and things like that and this guy writes up on a bicycle san What you guys doing. We just kinda tell them so. By the way.

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