Criminal
Criminal
Criminal & Radiotopia
Episode 148: Errol Morris
44 minutes Posted Sep 25, 2020 at 1:00 am.
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Show notes

Early in his career, Errol Morris read about a shocking series of alleged insurance crimes in a small town in Florida, which some referred to as “Nub City.” There were allegations that men and women were mutilating themselves -- removing hands and feet -- in order to exploit accidental dismemberment clauses in insurance policies, and collect money. It was very difficult to prove that these injuries were intentional and not accidental. As one insurance official put it, “it was hard to make a jury believe a man would shoot off his foot.” When Errol Morris told an insurance investigator he wanted to go to Florida to make a documentary about it, the investigator said, “Don’t even think about it.” Errol Morris went anyway.

Today, the story behind the “Nub City” movie he couldn’t figure out how to make, plus his memories of making The Thin Blue Line, his work as a private detective, and meetings with Ed Gein, James Grigson, Randall Adams, David Harris, and Herbert Mullen.

For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Julienne Alexander.

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