STRANGELAND from audiochuck is an investigative series that examines cases in immigrant neighborhoods. Season 2: Murder is Maple Shade is hosted by investigative journalist Ben Adair and award-winning journalist with more than 30 years experience across three continents, Tinku Ray. Maple Shade, New Jersey is a quaint suburb where the motto is, “Nice Town, Friendly People.” But on the evening of March 23, 2017, an Indian tech worker, Sasikala Narra, and her six-year-old son, Anish, were found brutally murdered in their apartment. Police questioned the husband and father, Hanumantha, but his alibi checked out. Six years later, the case is still unsolved, and authorities won’t discuss it. So, we’re investigating for ourselves and discovering new leads, potential motives, and questionable behavior by local authorities. Will there ever be justice for Sasikala and Anish? Strangeland is produced by Western Sound.
STRANGELAND is a new series from audiochuck that is reexamining cases in immigrant neighborhoods. These investigations go where the police couldn’t to uncover the real story behind a headline crime.
On May 5, 2003, Chi Hyon Song, a 30-year-old mother, along with her two-year-old son, and their 56-year-old nanny Eun Sik Min, were all slain, execution-style, in their modest apartment in Koreatown.
LAPD detectives first suspected Song’s husband, but his alibi was air tight. With no other suspects, the case goes cold. That is, until 2008, when a law enforcement DNA database turned up a new connection to the case.
Who is this new suspect that the LAPD has pegged for the brutal Koreatown triple murder? A modest family man from the South Korean countryside who has some dark secrets — over two-and-a-half million of them. Do they add up to a motive for murder?
LAPD detectives take their first crack at their new suspect. However, things just aren’t adding up for the cops — or for Robin Cho. Afterward, Cho leads the police on a wild ride across Los Angeles and exhibits some very suspicious behavior.
LAPD investigators pounce on Cho, interrogating him twice in the same day. After hours of getting nowhere, emotions boil over in the interrogation room. The cops eventually arrest him for murder… but they may have missed their chance to make the case.
The man dubbed “The Koreatown Killer” heads to trial, and the prosecution presents its case — with no witnesses, no weapon, and no concrete motive. The jury must decide if one piece of evidence is enough to send Robin Cho to Death Row.
After almost eight weeks of trial and deliberations, there’s a verdict. However, though the jury has reached a decision, they don’t seem very confident when it comes to sentencing Robin Cho.
As part of Strangeland’s reinvestigation, Ben and Sharon have been keeping a list that goes way beyond culture clashes and misunderstandings. It shows that the prosecution’s already-tenuous motive for Cho is even less solid than they thought. At the same time, Cho’s behavior doesn’t do him any favors.
It’s courtroom 101: the prosecution’s trying to make a case, the defense is trying to get their client off, and it’s the jury’s job to figure out the truth. But how much of the science that’s presented at court is actually scientific? Ben and Sharon look closely at specific pieces of evidence presented at trial and find out that some of the bedrock assumptions about evidence and crimes… could be wrong.
Ben and Sharon visit the lab that did the DNA testing that led to Robin Cho’s conviction. While touring the facility, they learn of DNA from the crime scene that’s never been tested.
The results of the new DNA tests are in, with big implications for Robin Cho, Byung Song, and the victims of this crime. So, the question is, will justice be served and how?
Maple Shade, New Jersey is a quaint suburb; its slogan is “Nice Town, Friendly People.” But on the evening of March 23, 2017, an Indian tech worker, Sasikala Narra, and her six-year-old son, Anish, were found brutally murdered in their apartment. Police questioned the husband and father, Hanumantha, but his alibi had checked out. Six years later, the case is still unsolved, and authorities won’t discuss it. So, we’re investigating ...
Hanumantha Narra arrives home from work to find the lifeless bodies of his wife and son. We dissect his 911 call and make some startling revelations about the crime scene. Authorities try to stonewall our investigation and neighbors of the Narras say there had to be witnesses - but no one is coming forward.
Maple Shade is a modern-day Mayberry, but in the Fox Meadow apartments, it’s a different story. We go to the Narra’s home in Fox Meadow and start speaking with their neighbors. Turns out that “Fox Ghetto,” as many locals call it, has a long history of violence that doesn’t square with the town’s squeaky clean image.
Following the murders, Sasi’s husband Hanu was taken in for questioning. But investigators soon let him go, saying his alibi holds up. We investigate Hanu’s version of events and find inconsistencies and potential motives for the crime.
The Narra murders divide the sizable Indian community in South Jersey. Hanu’s closest confidants at the powerful Telugu Association of North America (TANA) keep strangely silent while other Indian cultural groups readily assist investigators in drumming up new leads. Is TANA trying to protect someone?
Murdered son Anish Narra was beloved by those who knew him. He was his teacher’s favorite student - a super smart, motivated class clown. Anish’s karate teacher explains why he thinks Anish died a hero. And his first grade teacher talks about a strange incident that happened the day of the murders - and why she reported it to police.
The bodies of Sasikala and Anish Narra were shipped back to India for last rites amid an inter- family drama between Hanu’s and Sasi’s families. We send an Indian reporter to Sasi’s hometown of Vijayawada, to try to find out more about her upbringing and why her family told the Indian press that they know who’s responsible for the murders.
We discover a letter that Sasi wrote to her brother, Venu, a few years before her death. It contains an intimate look at Sasi’s home life and contains an explosive secret ... that might provide a motive for who killed her and Anish.
A former neighbor of the Narras gives a first-hand account of the family’s troubling dynamics. But, he says, it was Hanu’s behavior in the days following the murders that was even more concerning. And, we get a crucial new tip on a potential eyewitness to the crime.
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