Believe Her

Believe Her

Believe Her is true crime, upside down. In September 2017, young mom Nikki Addimando shot and killed her partner, Chris Grover. She was sentenced to nineteen years to life in prison for murder. Through rare access to police audio, a month-long trial, conversations with Nikki, and original reporting, journalist Justine van der Leun lays out the killing, the evidence, and the aftermath. As this six-part series unfolds, listeners will put together different pieces of a disturbing puzzle. One thing is clear: perception ≠ reality. Believe Her is a riveting chronicle that grapples with assumptions we make about domestic and sexual violence, the long reach of trauma, and the ways in which survival is criminalized, leaving us shocked at how far people will go to avoid seeing what's right in front of them. From Lemonada Media and Spiegel & Grau.

Episodes

October 1, 2021 2 mins

Nikki Addimando is a young mom in prison for murder. But she claims that she was acting in self-defense. This is the story we don’t tell, the one where the woman doesn’t die. Hosted by journalist Justine van der Leun, Believe Her -- Lemonada Media’s first true crime series -- premieres October 21, aligned with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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In September 2017, Nikki Addimando, a young mom of two, shot her partner of nine years, Chris Grover. Nikki was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for murder but she claims she was acting in self-defense. In this first episode, journalist Justine van der Leun takes us on a journey that starts with the night of the killing and ends at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. 

...

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October 21, 2021 50 mins

Let’s go back to when Nikki and Chris first met at Mr. Todd’s Gymnastics Studio. Justine takes us to Poughkeepsie, New York to talk to the people who were closest to both Nikki and Chris to try to find out how their seemingly loving relationship spiraled into years of abuse and, ultimately, Chris’ death.

 

Resources:

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, use a ...
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October 28, 2021 53 mins

Nikki was abused, doubted and silenced from a young age — and yet, there were still too many so-called “bad facts” that helped the prosecution build their case against her. This week, Justine talks to one of Nikki’s childhood friends about witnessing the early abuse and the cycle of trauma that followed. 

 

Resources:

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic a...
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November 4, 2021 55 mins

Is Nikki a victim or is she a master manipulator who planned and plotted Chris’ murder? This question was at the heart of Nikki’s trial. There, the defense team put forth a cache of evidence of abuse. But the prosecution suggested that Nikki wanted attention, tried to destroy her credibility and asked: if the abuse was so bad, why didn’t Nikki leave? Justine unpacks the trial, and what the verdict says about how o...

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November 11, 2021 49 mins

A 12-person jury convicted Nikki of murder, but they didn’t see the whole picture. Many key pieces of this puzzle didn’t make their way into the courtroom. In this episode, Justine follows up on disturbing gaps in the evidence. Through conversations with Nikki’s lawyers, digital forensic experts, Nikki’s therapists and Nikki’s children’s therapist, Justine explores what was not shown at trial.&nb...

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November 18, 2021 41 mins

In the final episode of Believe Her, Nikki reflects on the shocking outcome of her appeal and what this means for others in similar situations going forward. Justine talks to criminalized survivors across the U.S. about how and why they were incarcerated for their attempts to protect themselves or loved ones from abuse.

 

Resources:

  • For more information about Nikki’s case and to sign a petitio...

In this bonus interview, Justine sits down with Sandra Brown, the criminalized survivor who you heard from in Chapter 6. Sandra was recently released from prison, where she worked on rebuilding herself over the course of 21 years, and is now working toward her Ph.D. This conversation has been edited for time and clarity.

 

Resources:

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, use a s...
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Sheree Warren left her job in Salt Lake City on a mild October evening in 1985. She told a coworker she was headed to meet her estranged husband, Charles Warren, at a car dealership. But she never made it, Sheree vanished. When her car mysteriously surfaced weeks later, hundreds of miles away in Las Vegas, no one could say how it got there.

When a young mother disappears under unexplained circumstances, police always turn suspicio...

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January 22, 2024 19 mins

On January 4th, 2024, Nikki Addimondo was released from prison and reunited with her family. To celebrate, we are sharing two excerpts that were previously only available to our Lemonada Premium subscribers. These two conversations speak to the range of the incredible reporting in this series – one touches on the heart of Nikki’s personal story and the other reminds us that Nikki was not the only person put behind bars for trying t...

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April 16, 2024 14 mins

The hit true-crime podcast The Letter is back for Season Two. Today, we’re dropping into your feed to offer you a sneak peek of this gripping and impactful story. 

On a winter morning in 1982, two young fathers were found shot to death in a van parked outside an upscale Utah restaurant.The killer soon confessed, but his story about what happened - and why he chose violence - would create more pain, conflict, and questions for the ...

Mark as Played

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