"Fear"

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

If you haven't checked out my new series the end of the world with Josh Clark. The now's a great time to start the holidays are over the doldrums of winter had begun. And there's no better time to explore existentialist dread than right now. But wait, there's more to the end of the world than that. Yes. The series is about existential risks. But it's also about hope the threats that are coming our way that could wipe humans right out of existence. Could also be just the thing that makes us band together. In a way that humanity never has before in the end of the world. I take you on a journey across time and space from the moment and asteroid collided with earth and set off a chain of events that wiped out the dinosaurs to the post biological future where we live in a digital format. If we don't already we'll explore big questions like whether we're alone in the universe and exactly how artificial intelligence could take control of our world from us. It also has a beautiful score. For and cinematic sound design. So it's an adventure for your mind. Which is just the thing to snap. You out of the winter blondes all ten episodes of the end of the world with Josh Clark are available for you to binge now on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you get podcasts. The cliff is the kind of place. Jennifer heart would have loved to photograph or kids. Located two hundred miles north of San Francisco. It has a green edge bluff right off of California's highway one with a gravel path leading to dramatic one hundred foot drop into the Pacific on other trips. Jen and her wife, Sarah might have pulled to the side of the road and had their brood lineup as they often did backs to the camera hands raised in peace signs, a technicolor sunset framing their silhouettes. They were Marcus nineteen Hannah sixteen devante fifteen Abigail and Jeremiah both fourteen and Sierra twelve two sets of biological siblings. Both black adopted by two white moms a beautiful family by most accounts friends, called them, the heart tribe, but this trip wouldn't be like the others the heart tribe took to places like bliss, Idaho or Zion national park in Utah. Vesta Gators have been desperate to figure out how that family flew off that cliff in California, and whether it was on purpose. Scene two days ago. There was no skid marks we have no evidence. And they'll reasonably that this wasn't intentional act. Certainly people are wondering what caused this. On March twenty six two thousand eighteen a German tourist spotted the families two thousand three GMC Yukon XL belly up on the rocks below the picturesque Mendocino cliff. The car plummeted more than one hundred feet. Here's what we know happened in the days leading up to the crash. On March twenty fourth at three AM. Sarah's co workers at Kohl's where she worked as an assistant manager received a text from Sarah saying, she was too sick to open the store that morning that same morning the hearts next door neighbors. Bruce and Dana DeKalb noticed that the Yukon was no longer in their driveway. And that the bright red Pya, but typically sat on top of it had been removed cinderblocks littered the driveway suggesting that family had crashed into a retaining wall in their rush to leave on March twenty fifth at eight oh, five AM a surveillance camera in a Fort Bragg, Safeway captured Jen in glass is an ill-fitting gray hoodie paying twenty dollars eight cents in cash for groceries. She bought the nana's saltines and chef boyardee ravioli and used a club card for discounts friends said she looked twenty five pounds heavier than they'd ever seen her. On March twenty sixth at one twelve pm. Sarah's co Cheryl Hart no relation called nine. One one asking for a welfare check on her friend. Can I help you? If I was calling to see thing get welfare chips done. Okay. And her we taking on Sarah. The reason that we're taking on our she sent out. Text message at two o'clock in the morning on Saturdays stating that she was sick. But over these get ahold of her tackle her or seen her since that is. Or her wife was his Jen. So confirm okay in did. She say when she was six that she say what was going on or she just said that he just is unable to come out and able to go to work and out go to the doctor. I've checked the hospitals. They didn't have any other. And I think the phone is now dead. Okay. And just the two of them of their children. Okay. Any known medical history about that. I'm aware of now she has been sick. I think it's like a cold. Okay. Has she been societal at all or? With. The call. You just heard came several hours too late. Early the morning of March twenty six rescue workers repelled down the cliff where they lifted the dead bodies of three children later identified as Marcus Abigail, and Jeremiah heart and spotted two more Sarah in the back and Jen in the driver seat the corner founded ingredient commonly used in allergy medicines like Benadryl in the bodies of Sarah and to the kids. Gen's blood alcohol. Content was over the legal limit. No one had wearing a seatbelt. The cars computer revealed that Jan had stopped on a pull out some seventy feet from the cliff moments before the freefall she then gunned it off the ledge. Ten days later, the county sheriff issued a statement about the gruesome incident arm to the point where I had no longer. I'm calling this an accident. I'm calling it a crime. From glamour and how stuff works. This is broken hearts. I'm Justin Harman, and I'm Liz Egan together. We've been looking into this story for the past six months, and what has emerged is one of the most complex and compelling stories of abuse, neglect privilege and confusion in the digital age. We've ever encountered one astounding element of this story is that this family, the heart tribe didn't just burst into the news after the horrific crash over the years they had somehow managed to be at the center of multiple news events. Remember that picture of the young black boy in a blue fidora embracing a white cop in riot gear at a black lives matter rally in two thousand fourteen and the debate that ensued over whether it was a symbolic moment of racial healing or semi staged. The inter that was devante heart. The third oldest of the heart kids. Devante was a trumpet player who loved to brush his dog. Kenya? He had big teeth and big is his whole face. Looked like a smile. He often more a free hug sign around his neck. He was an extrovert and an m path. That photo from the rally was taken in two thousand fourteen nearly four years before the families death. And that wasn't the only time the hearts found themselves in the spotlight, but we'll get into that later. A few weeks ago, our producer Jason asked us what drew us to this story in the first place. Our answers were different. I was on a ten day road trip with my family one afternoon after spending about nine hours in the car with my three kids who are seventeen fourteen and eleven I looked at the New York Times homepage. And I read a story about the heart. I was really surprised by how quickly it fell out of the news. There weren't that many stories that sent me down a rabbit hole of wondering what had happened at glamour morning meetings. We discuss not only what we're working on currently, but what stories are sort of peaking interest. And Liz brought up this story that I had almost surreptitiously clicked on the night before something about the picture. I saw these two women white very tractive sort of. Every day. Looking nothing seems sinister about them and six really adorable. I mean, the kids just looked so happy and so to have that juxtaposed with such an egregious storyline. And headline I was instantly captivated by will what could have driven these women to do such a thing. How does someone get to a place where they're willing to choose not only a path for yourself? But that of six young people, I am a mother of two year old. I can't imagine ever being pushed to the brink that way. But at the same time eat is relatable feeling as a mother as a woman to feel trapped by the choices you make the story is so complex in fact that we brought on Lawrence Miley, a San Francisco based investigative reporter to help us figure out what really happened in the days months and years leading up to the crash you'll hear from Lauren. She's the intrepid interviewer with throaty chuckle and the Iowa accent over the course of this cross. Journey that leads us from South Dakota to Minnesota to Oregon Washington and old timidly cliff in California. You'll also meet a variety of people who knew the hearts or thought they did. And you'll get an exclusive look into a case that left six people dead two missing and a nation. Puzzled over the perfect family. They never knew but the most important voices in this podcast along to the people. We couldn't interview the heart kids, Marcus Hanna. Devante Abigail, Jeremiah and Sierra henna in devante were not found in the car that day in March and their bodies have not yet surfaced at the crash site since their whereabouts have yet to be located some fear. They were killed before the plunge others speculate, they escaped in the Nick of time back in may we sent Lauren to woodland Washington to meet with Dana, Bruce DeKalb the hearts next door. Neighbors the family shared a driveway. Take the fork to the left and you'll hit. The dekalb's spread split level. Take the one of the right and drive down a little bit. And you're at the hearts, this is Lauren. I got out of my car and felt like it landed in a postcard of the Pacific northwest. It seems like the dekalb's property could be swallowed up by nature at any moment. Their houses blanketed by pine trees, rhododendron bushes. Just for some orientation. I driven up from Portland for about an hour on I five which continues on up to Seattle, I took an exit and then drove along this twisty road with trees overhead for five minutes. Even though this is huge freeway just minutes away by the time. You get to the dekalb's. It feels really remote you out here to be close to nature. Not people. Data agree to me at the door. She's in her late fifties and has short curly hair. She's a talker. And always wears a smartwatch to tracker daily steps to decades ago, she and Bruce moved from California cul de sac to this spot in the foothills of the cascades where you can see cleared amount Saint Helen's BRUCE'S about six feet tall. He's more laid back. He's chatty too. But when together let's Dana do talking their days usually include some beating back of the Washington wild that have entering out on jetski or kayak last September, the retirement good life was interrupted when a small frightened girl wrapped in a fleece blanket. Rang their doorbell at one thirty in the morning. Doorbell rang, and and I went to the front door. Here's this girl. Standing there on blanket wrapped around her. She comes Bolton in the house and yelling for Dana. You know? Hey, wake-up come help me. And she ran up the stairs on her own. Bolted upstairs. Pounce on me. Because that's when I woke up thinking who are you merging come from. I came down. Here was talking to her trying to get calm down to understand. What was going on? And she was just frantic and begging you know, that take me to Seattle don't make me go back there. There are racist. They're abusive. You know, we're just going. Well, you know. Bruce Astrum away you mean, and she's like they with about. And he was like, Wow, I've been what for the belt trying to think. Oh, you know. And in the meantime on trying to figure out where she came from. Because we don't know she lives next door. I noticed that the whole family was outside looking for with. Flashlights? And she's freaking out. And I'm like, you know, they're coming. I have to figure this out. Just stay put. They came in. And they just trying to push their way into, sir. Jennifer did. And they started going around looking through the house went up to the federal advice. The family to go into. No. Came in. And we, you know, it's one thirty in the morning, and you're freaking out. Hannah hit crouch down between my bed dresser. And this little slot. And she was like in the fetal position. And when they just went in in Sarah approach to person Hannah, she was like, no, you know. So I said, well, he's back up give her some space. You freaking around freaking me out with back up. And about that time. Jennifer, kind grabs Sarah said I'll deal with this you go down back downstairs with the kids. So Jennifer started talking to her calming her and being all nice and stuff. So I thought okay, I'm gonna give him a minute. And so I left the room regretfully. And then they came back downstairs, and they start come back downstairs, Jennifer told Sarah you need to take the kids. Go Hannah's having a problem with her big brother right now. We were like. Her issue was her brother at all. What do you mean? So that kind of a little bit weird. But you know, I I don't know. So they sat there thing. You know, you need to tell these people you're sorry. Yes, ma'am. And you need to explain to him. You just had a really badly. Yes, ma'am. And she just constantly was looking Jennifer never even talked to us. It was just robot. And so they ended up leaving. Now. It's two thirty in the morning. You're trying to figure out what? Wow, what what's really going on here? You know, a guess. The arm education. For variety of reasons. Dekalb's wouldn't call the authorities until nearly six months after the incident, but that didn't stop her eighty year old dad, whom she told about the event from getting involved unav- eighteenth 2017, nearly three months after Hannah visited in the middle of the night daynuss dad's Steve placed a call to nine one one. There's some kids that I feel as being highly abused. What's the address? Okay. I'm gonna good address my daughter's house 'cause it's right next door. Yeah. If you're going up the road to her house, it's a house on the right? Okay. And what's going on there? Well, they help Fluck children with that part. Doesn't matter their new here with the other night. A little girl jumped out of the second story window on the roof and then down onto the ground and random my daughter, and this is like two in the morning begging them to help her to help her. And when they came looking for she was big, and my daughter, not to let them know. She was there, and then eventually my son-in-law, let them know he doesn't want to get involved. But the more I sit on it. I just can't live with somebody's got over there. And how old was the little kids. Did that Randy your daughter's house about twelve years old thirteen and then she had all four the kids? Come back later into say. Everything was okay. And they're all standing at attention. Like they were just scared to death. And I think there's something very serious going on there here from Texas the kids might even be kidnapped. In basically, my son in law's like most people don't want to get involved in. So he's keeping my daughter out of it. But since she's told me about it. I just can't live with it. I'm very concerned for these kids. Someone from the county sheriff's office called the dekalb's to ask whether there been more incidents in Dan, explain what you'd observe since that night, the kids next door were almost always indoors. She remembers being told it's not illegal to keep kids inside on August, seven twenty eight teen a little less than a year after her dad called I contacted county sergeant Brentwood L over the phone so data's dad and called down here and reported that Dane is neighbor child had come over in the middle of the night. And the deputy contacted dad in also contacted Dana. When the deputy talked with Dana. There was no indication that there's any ongoing issues or anything like that. What L wasn't the one who talked with Dana? But the department had done internal review of how they handle their interactions with Dana, enter dad inquired documented that he talked with Dana, and they had discussed or anything over there sense. That's happened anything concerning and Dana, basically said, you know, we never see him see him out for us to go up and knock on the door. We would need something a little bit more people have rights in this country, and this state in just because your neighbor, you know, there was something a little bit more current and some of the factors again, we don't know what happens behind closed doors. So just because the kids aren't playing outside or aren't outside or seen that much that in -mongst itself is not the trigger. A red flag hindsight being twenty twenty. Who knows? But you know, there's, you know, the deputy Dana had a conversation, and in the deputy was okay with not going up and knocking on the door. Hi, I'm Ariel Casten. I'm Jonathan Strickland and together we're going to tell you the stories behind some of the biggest triumphs in failures in business. That's right. We're going to explore situations that tested the medal of entrepreneurs pivotal moments required making decisions we'll be talking about some companies that everybody knows like Disney LEGO and Harley Davidson together, we try to answer the question. What do you do when you find yourself at the brink? Listen and subscribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to your podcasts. But what really went on behind the white door in that baby. Blue split level who are these women, and how did they come to adopt six children two sets of three black siblings. Their stories starts in small town, South Dakota where Sarah gambler, and Jen heart both grew up. A photo of five year old gen shows her dressed up in a roughly blue dress with knee high White Sox outside of cornflower blue home with astroturf covered stairs. Extremely rare. Find she wrote on Facebook in may of two thousand sixteen me in address. The women met when they were twenty years old as undergraduates at northern state university in Aberdeen, South Dakota. It was nineteen ninety nine. American pie was the biggest thing at the box office JFK junior had just been found dead off the coast of Martha's Vineyard still strapped into the pilot seat of his plane, living LA Vida loca was the biggest thing on the radio. But it would be more than a decade before Ricky Martin would publicly come out as gay. At aberdeen. Sarah would go on to earn her degree in education. Jen, never graduated later gen would describe on Facebook how she called Sarah her friend her roommate once they did come out as a couple, however, the mid western mindset, she wrote was relentlessly unforgiving. The pair of eventually moved to Alexandria, Minnesota a lake town famous for big Oli, a twenty five foot tall statue of Viking. That was built for the sixty four world's fair. Herberger? 's were the women worked Jen in the juniors department, Sarah as department manager was the biggest store at fighting milk plaza a one level strip mall located off of route twenty nine. Jen was probably the one I met. I she was taller than me. She had like thin, bright red hair. I remember her feeling so much older than she actually was like she probably was twenty six or twenty seven at the time. And she was confident and a third of and intimidate I immediately did not feel like I was on the same level as her. This is Jordan Smith Jordan worked with Jenin Sarah in the summer of two thousand four at Herberger 's we asked Lauren to find out what they were like. Most people who knew the women back then noted their differences. Jen was more colorful outgoing abrasive that will be the Minnesota term for it. Smith says Sarah could be more emotional stressed. But she lovingly kept the picture of her in gen cuddling on her office desk when I talked to Jordan, she remembered the time Jen complained about a mannequin nipples being sexist, Jen hauled, the mannequin to a back room and Herberger 's Emmanueli cut them off with a hacksaw people'd mannequin back to do it. He wanted to doing it on the floor. It was probably her relationship with their that like gave her you know, that kind of like I can do the as a couple they're very, discreet. It took me on nine month realize they were a couple. I mean, we're talking real rural Minnesota like the bible belt of Minnesota. That's alexandria. In two thousand four Alexandria, Minnesota a town located one hundred and thirty two miles north west of Minneapolis had a population of around eleven thousand it was a bit more progressive than rural South Dakota. But it wasn't exactly the most tolerant of places either as Jordan recalls, it would pretty usual to get called a dike or a fag. And you're gay and everything negative. It may not seem that long ago. But two thousand four was very different time socially, especially in the rural midwest, you kind of describe them in. Ability as well don't ask don't tell Jordan identifies as queer now. But back then it wasn't so easy to be out to Farren, Jen credit. They were Bob ably. One of. Very rare handful of open and out homosexual couples in area years later in a Facebook post gen would recall the realities of being a gay woman living in the unforgiving an unaccepted mid west the truth of our love is clouded with fear. She wrote fear of rejection from family and friends fear of being unwanted unloved. Fear of not being able to get a job fear of acts of violence. Fear of not being able to have a family fear of walking through this life alone with our love, keeping it a secret. The hearts would eventually find a community over the years. They became regulars at transformational festivals days long, socially conscious. Mashups of music, yoga, dance, and creative costumes. The kids would join too often dressed in colorful, costumes and carrying motivational signs and interacting with the musical acts. In one YouTube clip, we see devante at the beloved festival an annual gathering dedicated to what its website describes as vulnerability belonging and liberation in the clip, a large group of adults dressed in tie-dye and bucket. Hats congregate around the musician Xavier Rudd as he plucks at guitar place to cross his lap Rudd is shirtless. His long blond hair is pulled back with the headband. His eyes are closed about eight minutes into the song. He notices someone in the crowd and beckons him to the stage. Devante dressed in zebra, costume, a free hug sign around his neck and the word beloved shaved into his head approaches the musician and gives him a hug, their tears in his eyes the embrace lasts over a minute. Homing moment is a lot. But it was also at these festivals that friends legs zippy Lomax, a Portland based photographer. I encountered Jenin Sarah in twenty thirteen after the news of the crash broke Lomax like so many of the people in the hearts inner circle took to social media to defend the women. She knew they were that really bright kind of presence. It was pretty hard to miss them any event that that I was at where they were if I had a camera. I was of course attracted to that. I was inspired by them. They gave me hope everyone who's them like the heart trad. It was just sort of a natural term that would kinda come out when you see them showing up at places, there's a hard time that term like tribe has been shown around a lot in that. 'cause there's some sort of like returning like Rian digitization, and like these interesting terminologies, there's even a book that this other photographer put out called Tri. Able revival. It's all about like the people from all these different festivals. So beloved is just one of many of these kind of festivals that sort of fit under the umbrella of what would be considered transformational festivals that have this very similar kind of goal. I guess of experimental community different ways of coming together and being supportive rather than competitive. Looking a little deeper into understanding what that festivals kind of part of Mosul maybe give a little bit of context for why there were so many people quit to kinda like jump up and say like, wait a minute. You guys have the story wrong. Zippy Lomax Jen, especially became close often communicating over DM and social media zippy shared with us over three hundred of jen's Facebook posts often, accompanied by long well-written captions, many of which served as keyhole into who these women and who these six kids were there are photos of Abba. Gallon. Devante eating breakfast with hens perched on their heads vegetarian, chicken and waffles. The caption reads. Devante Jeremiah and Sierra painting on the living room floor mini Jackson, Pollock's all six kids. Grinning with kindness is contagious sign. Redwood nation is about to get blasted with kindness. Jen wrote? Each post reaffirms the same story line two moms and their rehabilitated kids thriving against all odds. But as we've had to remind ourselves to the course of digging into the story, Jan Hart who is far more active on social media than her wife. Sarah, isn't the most reliable narrator. This is something zippy and many friends of the hearts struggle with zippy has received a lot of messages from people who once knew the family, but maybe lost touch over the years. It's a nice counter. She says to the loads of hate mail. She received like this letter. She got two months after the crash from a high school friend of gents with the subject line, your heart subject. She just said your heart has a poor. I wanted to reach out to after all of this heart story broke. I could sense that you're a beautiful soul with good intentions condescending people thinking new. I knew Sarah John from college in. I was in disbelief. I was not even brave enough to admit knowing them. So I was proud of you for stepping out there. And speaking up the people I knew in college were not capable of this act, although looking back now, it's clear there were warning signs from Jen in the way, she exerted absolute control over Sarah. I just thought they were in love. I'm wondering if you to have had any change of heart. I'm looking for some deep philosophical guidance on this because it is weighing heavily on my heart. I go between anger and confusion inside Nissen Levin. Disbelief. I visited them in Alexandria in two thousand five before they adopted their kids after that. I phoned them on Facebook and was amazed in proud of how many lives they were touching. I know you're busy. But if you ever have time, please send me a message or point me to a person can hope you doing. Okay. I'm sure the painting grief, you feel as thousand times worse than mine. I was grateful for that. 'cause every other message I got was hateful awful like that. So many saying that just kind of echoes what other people said oven more quiet ways that they were grateful that I was willing to speak up. No part of zippy is able to reconcile the women's. She wants new with the women who began to emerge on paper after the fateful crash. If you haven't checked out my new series the end of the world with Josh Clark. The now's a great time to start the holidays are over the doldrums of winter had begun. And there's no better time to explore existential dread than right now. But wait, there's more to the end of the world than that. Yes. The series is about Xs -sential risks. But it's also about hope the threats that are coming our way that could wipe humans right out of existence. Could also be just the thing that makes us band together. In a way that humanity never has before in the end of the world. I take you on a journey across time and space from the moment asteroid collided with earth in set off a chain of events that wiped out the dinosaurs to the post biological future where we live in digital format. If we don't already we'll explore big questions like whether we're alone in the universe and exactly how artificial intelligence could take control of our world from us. It also has a beautiful score in cinematic sound design. So it's an adventure for your mind. Which is just the thing to snap. You out of the winter blondes all ten episodes of the end of the world with Josh Clark are available for you to binge now on apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you get podcasts. As we've been reporting most of the heart families found dead at the crash site in March twenty six that was just days after child protective services, tried to visit their home car county to look into reports of potential Glick against parents, Sarah, and Jennifer heart tonight, investigators held a telephone news conference to confirm that they believe the SUV was crashed on purpose, but first appeared to be a tragic accident now looks much more. Sinister captain Bart said information downloaded from the airbag control module shows the SUV actually stopped before accelerating over the cliff parak- celebration from the last break application until it hits the bottom of. Yoshi? Investigators are releasing new details about the heart family tragedy. Telling us that Jenifer Hart was drunk when she drove the family's car off a cliff in northern California and your wife Sarah had a drug in her system. Even now if he has a hard time, believing her friends were living do allies, there's no part of me all of my looking back at my observations of them. That's capable of seeing that it was just assuring somehow the smoke and mirrors of the compelling digital narrative. Jen created was able to cloud a sense of civic responsibility. It's not unlike the same mental gymnastics perform on a daily basis while absent minded Lee squirreling through anyone's feed, we know. Of course, we do that perfect is a myth. But we also convince ourselves that other people must have achieved it pictures have an uncanny way of making any story. True. Marcus hanna. Devante Abigail, Jeremiah and Sierra died because everyone. Saw something different. When they looked at them, the perfect family, some lucky rescued kids a symbol for post, racial Koumba. No, one saw six young people in desperate need of help. Not even the people who were looking right at them. Next time on broken hearts. She would eating on the garbage into this debt. You just seems so strays I remember vaguely hearing that they hopped the foster daughter off and like just abandoned her that's kind of like the ACLU right then. And there that this is a person you don't they can operate in the house best interests. I hit her monologue would like something not right about. Absolutely. I think race played a part. You know when people are sitting in already as thinking that. Okay. We'll why did the judge has ruled that way. Kidding me? Well, ever have owes you. Broken hearts is a joint production between glamour and how stuff works with new episodes dropping every Tuesday broken hearts is co hosted and co written by Justin Harman and Elizabeth Egan and edited by Wendy alkyl, Lawrence Miley is our field. Reporter Samantha berry is glamorous editor in chief. Julie Chen and Deanna buckman head up the business side of this partnership. Joyce Pendle, Pat singer and Luke Zeleski our research team Jason Hoke is executive producer on behalf of how stuff works along with producers, Julian Weller, Ben key, brick and Josh state special. Thanks, Jen lands have questions for us about this podcast reaches on Twitter at glamour MAG for access to exclusive photos and videos and documents about the case visit glamour dot com slash broken hearts. If you like what you heard leave us a review. Most serial killers don't make any effort to involve media or investigators. They're very secretive and don't want tension. They almost want their crimes to go unnoticed, but the idea of committing a crime, and then calling the police and bragging about it. That's a whole 'nother level of terror. A man who wore a mediaeval style executioner's hood who has police and baffled. The media seems to crave publicity. He's letters and Ramsden newspapers and police subject stated, I want to report a murder. No, a double murder. I did it. Here. We are fifty years to the first sodium killing in today's world of friends. The mold cases are being solved who doesn't wanna know how it turns out. The creators of Atlanta monster come season two. This is monster zodiac yet killer. Listen as scribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app.

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