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She Says: It's Not Him*

Greg Harris

In episode 3, Linda goes down to Charlotte Mecklenburg Police headquarters to talk to detectives about her case. It’s a particularly emotional conversation because she learns about the DNA results from her sexual assault kit. They aren’t what she expected.

We also hear how the CMPD crime lab handles the testing of sexual assault kits.

Find more information on She Says, including a timeline of events, the series trailer and resources for survivors of sexual assault, at wfae.org/shesays.



Editor’s note: This podcast includes adult language and themes. It also contains descriptions about sexual violence. Please be advised.


SARAH DELIA: The worst kind of path to travel on is the kind where you believe you’re actually going the right way, but really you’re totally lost. You just don’t know it yet. You think, hand to God, there’s no possible way this could be the wrong direction. And there’s this false sense of hope with every step you take.

LINDA: So Friday at 1? Umm … let me, let me think real quick.

DELIA: And that’s where we left Linda last episode. She’s on the phone with Detective Christina Cougill, who’s been working her case for almost two years. At this point it’s June 2017. Linda just found out Cougill wants her to come down to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters to go over her case. She doesn’t give many specifics.

LINDA: OK. Has anything…what prompted this? Just us talking?

DELIA: There’s some back and forth over the time of the meeting and the day. And this feels a little bit out of the blue, especially because the two had just spoken earlier. But Linda is excited to hear what Cougill has to say and wants to have this conversation as soon as possible. Remember, this is June 2017 – two years since she’s been sexually assaulted, and no arrests have been made.

LINDA: I’m not sure what we are going to be going over, but I’m anxious. Let’s do Friday at 1 (p.m.). I’m anxious. I’ve been waiting and waiting.

DELIA: Sometimes you think you’re headed toward a place that will have all the answers, or at the very least, give you a second to rest and catch your breath. But by now, you know this winding road. And even with the best set of directions, you’re not always going where you need to go to get what you need. Oftentimes, you find yourself disoriented, lost and afraid. And you’re left with one question: where do I turn next?

That’s the realization Linda was about to have. She thinks maybe there’s been a development. Maybe there’s news on the person she identified as her assailant. Linda has so many questions about the man who attacked her - who we’ve named Mr. X - and you probably do too. Is he the same man she identified in her internet search? Is that why she was asked to come down to the police station?

Linda’s hopeful and cautiously optimistic even though the detective is careful not to give any specifics. Still, that doesn’t stop Linda from thinking she’s headed toward some good news.

From WFAE in Charlotte, I’m Sarah Delia. This is She Says.

DELIA: On June 23rd of 2017, Linda and her husband drove to the CMPD headquarters in uptown. It’s a large white building about 15 miles away from their home in a suburb north of the city. She’s met by Detective Cougill. With her is a more senior officer, Detective Cynthia Banner.

You’re about to hear their voices. And you may be wondering, how is that possible? Well, Linda recorded her conversations with police, and she can legally do that because North Carolina has a one-party consent law when it comes to recording unknowing parties. Basically meaning, in most situations, you can record anyone you are talking to at any time without their knowledge.

Maybe you’re thinking this sounds extreme. And for sure, it is no small thing to record a police officer without their knowledge. But at that point in June 2017, it had been almost two years since her assault and she’s frustrated. She feels like she’s been told conflicting information, and no one seems to be listening to her. So she started recording to keep track. And she believes that she knows who did it. Through her internet search, which she’s handed over to police, she believes she has identified her attacker.

Linda says the police interview room she was brought into was small with no windows. She says there was a round table everyone circled up to. She sat in a chair facing the door. Detective Banner was to her right, and Cougill was sitting straight in front of her. There was another table behind Linda where she put her purse. Her phone was in the purse recording, so you’ll hear lots of tapping and clicking noises.

The detectives start off by asking Linda if she needs anything like water. And they say the reason she was asked to come in is so that they can go over everything, all the ins and outs of her case. And just to let you know, these taped recordings are the only time you’ll hear from Cougill or Banner. We asked to speak to Cougill, but that request was denied. We directly reached out to Banner but never got a response.

Here’s Detective Cougill:

COUGILL: I wanted to go over the lab results…


BANNER: OK, because I think it was getting a little muddled…

BANNER: Doing it over the phone, and stuff.

COUGILL: This is all science stuff so it’s easier to kind of explain. I know some of this might be confusing. That’s why I asked Detective Banner to come in to help.

LINDA: OK, that’s fine.

COUGILL: She’s been doing this a lot longer than me.

DELIA: And it is confusing. One of the most important parts about Linda’s case is the hardest part to understand: the DNA found in her sexual assault kit. Let me explain.

Detective Cougill says the results are in from Linda’s kit. I haven’t been able to obtain these records because they aren’t public. But here’s what we know based on this recording of Detective Cougill. Three DNA profiles were found — basically 3 different people’s DNA are present in her kit. One of course is Linda’s. The other two are male. So, there’s Linda, and two different male profiles that are in her kit. Her husband was ruled out as a suspect through a voluntary DNA sample he gave, so it’s definitely not him.

Here’s the breakdown. From a swab the nurse collected from her left hand, three DNA profiles were found: one is hers, and two are male. On the right hand, three people were found again: remember one of them is Linda, two are male. One of those profiles matches a profile found on her oral sample.

Linda’s underwear was also tested. And again, three people come back. One is her, but again, there are two male DNA profiles that show up.

And this may be surprising to you because Linda never mentioned another male. And she’s surprised, too.

LINDA: There was no one that would have touched that area other than him. Is there a possibility that he had something that could have gotten contaminated and have DNA there? I mean...

COUGILL: I mean, I guess anything is possible.

LINDA: I know right ... At this point ... looking you dead in the eye, that would have to be the possibility.

DELIA: What Linda is saying is, is it possible Mr. X already had someone’s DNA on him and when he touched her underneath her underwear. Could that explain the other profile?

To this day, Linda believes that something happened, like maybe her kit was mishandled at the lab. Maybe it was accidentally contaminated. She doesn’t have any proof, but she doesn’t know who this other male profile could be.

Because here’s the kicker. Cougill says the lab can see that the name Linda gave police is in CODIS, the databases that contain the DNA of convicted felons, people convicted of certain misdemeanors, and some arrested for violent crimes. But there hasn’t been a hit on Linda’s kit yet. In other words, the lab has confirmed there is DNA present in Linda’s kit, but it doesn’t match anyone’s DNA profile in the databases. You’ll hear Cougill’s voice first.

COUGILL: If it were him, it would have already hit.

LINDA: That’s what I would think, too.


BANNER: That’s a fact. Because his DNA is in CODIS.


COUGILL/BANNER: So as of right now, it’s not him. It’s not him.

DELIA: There’s a long pause as that sinks in. The detectives go on to ask if there’s a chance she made a mistake in her identification, and Linda very adamantly says: no, not a chance.

But the detectives keep returning to those three words throughout their conversation: it’s not him.

And I want you to go ahead and just burn those three words into your brain. In fact, if you only remember three words from this entire episode it’s those. It’s not him. And then, put one of those asterisk qualifying stars next to those three words. Because although they are said with crystal clearness, there’s a murkiness to them the second time you look.

"... the DNA is very clear. I mean very clear. ... That's definitely not the suspect in this case." - Detective Cynthia Banner to "Linda"

We’ll get back to those three words by the end of this episode, I promise.

I have a lot of questions about this conversation and how it went down between Linda and the detectives.

First, there’s the way the detectives responded to Linda’s internet search. Linda believes this is the glue that is keeping her case together, that her search is pointing police in the right direction. And she goes through great pains to say, look, I didn’t just randomly find a guy that sort of looked like him. She says she believes she knew his last name because the shirt her attacker wore had that name on it. She says he told her how old he was. That information helped her identify the man she believes attacked her. So she asks the detectives: what are the chances she just clicked on a person that not only matched that last name but looked exactly as how she remembered him?

This was Detective Banner’s response.

BANNER: We can’t even use that in the court of law.

LINDA: I get that, yeah.

BANNER: Because eyewitnesses, it has been proven that…

LINDA: It can be…

BANNER: More than likely it’s not the person. You’ve gone through an extremely traumatic situation. Extremely. And, and like you said, you are a survivor because you are sitting here now. But the DNA is very clear. I mean very clear. Whenever Detective Cougill asked me to just review it, you know, for another set of eyes to make sure we both were understanding, I was like, “Yeah, you got it down pat.” That’s definitely not the suspect in this case.

DELIA: Detective Banner goes on to say that the Google searching Linda did is very quote,TV, and reiterates it can’t be used in a court of law.

BANNER: I think it’s great that you were doing what you did, but this right here, that’s just…


BANNER: Yeah, wow. That’s golden, you know?

DELIA: In other words, you can’t argue with DNA. DNA is golden. And at this point, there is no DNA evidence linking anyone to the crime.

I spoke with Mecklenburg District Attorney Spencer Merriweather for this series. And to be clear, we did not speak specifically about Linda’s case.

Over the course of the conversation with him, which we’ll get into further in a later episode, we spoke about different tools that are used when linking a suspect to a crime. DNA is one of them but so are a variety of things.

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather.
Credit Daniel Coston / WFAE
Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather.

MERRIWEATHER: We spoke earlier about DNA. It’s a tool of identifying people. It can help put somebody in a room. But it's not the only tool that can put someone in a room. A phone call can put someone in a room. Having a witness see someone can put someone in a room. Having someone's car GPS can put someone in a room. So there are so many different things, and I'm not going to tell you all of them because there's some not great people who are listening to this recording. And the truth is there is circumstantial evidence out there, and we hope to use every bit of it in order to put assailants behind bars.

DELIA: So someone identifying who they believe attacked them, like that could be another tool? Potentially?

MERRIWEATHER: Exactly, it can help corroborate the account of a victim.

DELIA: So should a CMPD detective discount the validity of a victim’s suspect identification when it comes to something like Linda’s Google search and not a traditional lineup? Remember, this is what Detective Banner said:

BANNER: We can’t even use that in the court of law.

LINDA: I get that. Yeah.

BANNER: Because eyewitnesses, it has been proven that…

LINDA: It can be. Yeah.

BANNER: … more likely it’s not — it’s not that person.

DELIA: To be fair, eyewitness identifications can be wrong. That can happen. But we wanted to point out that Linda thinks she knows who assaulted her because she says, she believes she has his last name from the shirt he wore that night and he told her his age.

Linda gets very emotional at points, tries to compose herself to ask more questions and then gets very emotional again. It’s like a bad rollercoaster ride she keeps trying to get off. But every time it starts to slow down, her seat belt tightens and it starts all over again. Here’s another exchange, this one between Linda and Detective Banner.

LINDA: Going through this? And now we’re here?

BANNER: You understand. I just said it. This continues to go. We don’t close the case out …

LINDA: It does.

BANNER: We don’t close the case out.

LINDA: You gotta understand.

BANNER: I do, I totally do. And that’s why we keep repeating it, so you’ll hear us. The case is still open. We’re still working it. It’s just that the person whom you believe to be the suspect is excluded. So he won’t be getting arrested, but if and when that person. … We just had a case from 1993 …

"Do you still believe me? You've got to" - "Linda"

DELIA: Toward the end of the conversation, which is about an hour long, Linda sounds exhausted. The detectives pause and ask if she needs tissues.

Here’s the exchange between Linda and Cougill toward the end of their conversation.

COUGILL: You know I’ve always been available to you, so.

LINDA: Do you still believe me? You’ve got to.

COUGILL: I believe that something happened, yes. I do.

LINDA: Do you feel like I have purposely lied about anything? Look at me and tell me.

COUGILL: It’s not necessarily about you lying, just some of the evidence doesn’t add up like cameras and stuff.

LINDA: That I can handle, but I need to know that. I need to know that you don’t feel like I purposely lied about stuff. I need to know that from you.

COUGILL: Why do you need to know that from me?

LINDA: For my sanity. That’s important. Believing me is like, I mean, it’s, it’s …

COUGILL: I work my investigations, honestly, whether or not I believe somebody or not.

LINDA: I’m sure.

BANNER/COUGILL: That’s how I work my investigation. We go by the law. We go by what’s in the case file.

COUGILL: We have DNA. It’s somebody’s. We’re just waiting to find out whose it is.

DELIA: OK, so Detective Cougill references the cameras not adding up.

Detective Cougill says she looked at video camera footage from the 7-Eleven Linda says she went to. Cougill says Linda is not on any of that camera footage either inside or outside of the 7-Eleven. That’s something that still bothers Linda to this day.

What also really bothers Linda is that she doesn’t feel believed by the detective. And she’s upset when she asks the detective I need to know that you don’t feel like I purposely lied about stuff. Detective Cougill’s response, “Why do you need to know that from me?” has stayed with her.

We wanted to know should that have been the detective’s response?

Terry Thomas, a retired special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Credit Courtesy of Terry Thomas
Terry Thomas, a retired special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

TERRY THOMAS: I would not have said that.

That’s Terry Thomas.

THOMAS: Full name is Terrance, only my mother called me that though, Terry Thomas. And I’m a retired special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

DELIA: I put air quotes around retired though. Terry is still very active. In fact, he trains sexual assault detectives on how to effectively and empathically conduct interviews with victims. So we sent him the exchange I just played for you to see what he had to think about it.

THOMAS: I would have tried to use my words again. She was ventilating, and I would have validated it. I would have said, ‘Yes, I do believe you. Until there is something that would lead me otherwise, I’m always going to believe you.’ I think that’s important for a victim to hear that. Obviously, she was very emotional. And, if that detective wants to maintain or try to build a relationship with her, telling her that, asking her why that’s important … well for the obvious reason.

DELIA: Part of the problem, Terry points out, is a lack of interview training detectives receive. He remembers his first time interviewing a victim like it was yesterday. And he was nervous.

THOMAS: Training is the big deal. Like I said, god, the first victim I ever interviewed, she’s probably still in therapy. Simply because there just wasn’t any training out there. And trying to mandate, which law enforcement agencies don’t like to be mandated to do anything. But here is my analogy: We go to the range four times a year and qualify to shoot a gun, and it’s a very important feature of law enforcement. I get that. But the average police officer will never fire his weapon except on the range, but we don’t give that much attention – see that’s high liability – but we don’t give near that attention to victim crimes where these detectives need specialized training to conduct comprehensive quality interviews. We don’t give them that type of training.

DELIA: First, let’s talk about the type of training CMPD does provide. To Terry’s point, CMPD officers are required to attend the CMPD firing range four times a year.

We spoke to Melanie Peacock, who at the time of this interview was the head of the sexual assault unit. She’s since been promoted to captain and moved to another division. She says all incoming detectives are sent to interview schools. And all new detectives go through a formalized training program in which they are paired with a senior detective for one-on-one practical instruction. This training process can last as long as six months, after that detectives can handle cases on their own.

CMPD also mandates annual training on other topics such as legal updates. No doubt, there seems to be a significant amount of initial training for detectives. But what about as you continue throughout your career? I asked Peacock that question on the phone.

Is there any mandatory training once you make detective or is it just you seek things as you need them?

MELANIE PEACOCK: We seek these as we need them. We really, you know, interrogation and interview training is always standard, and we all go through legal training. I mean police officers have so much mandatory training every year that we — just maintain our police certification — that, you know, additional detective classes are more specialized, and we kind of get those as we go.

DELIA: We wanted to be as up front with CMPD as possible about the tape that Linda had been collecting. So we explained to Linda we would need to let the police listen to some of that audio. We met with several CMPD officials on March 1, 2018, and gave them some of the audio Linda had recorded. About two weeks later, on March 16th, we sat down for an in-person interview with Captain Melanie Peacock. During that interview, we discussed that particularly emotional conversation between Linda and the two detectives from June 2017.

LINDA: I need to know that you don’t feel like I purposely lied about stuff. I need to know that from you.

COUGILL: Why do you need to know that from me?

LINDA: For my sanity. That’s important. Believing me is like, I mean, it’s, it’s …

DELIA (to Peacock): So you don’t think in [that] moment the detective should have said something like, ‘I hear you, I believe you?’

PEACOCK: It’s not our job to tell someone if we believe them or don’t. We can always provide more emotional support. That’s why we have the victim advocates to do that. Our detectives try to, but we have to remain impartial and that is a real struggle. We can be empathic, but the whole believe vs. don’t believe is really a non-issue. We believe everybody until there is a reason not to believe. It’s not our job to judge. It’s our job to look at it from an impartial standpoint and work the evidence.

DELIA: Right. It just doesn’t feel like they believed her for the past three years that she’s been saying that it’s this person.

PEACOCK: Well, that’s your opinion. I wouldn’t necessarily share it.

DELIA: Well they tell her point blank though, ‘It’s not him,’ several times in that conversation.

PEACOCK: But that’s not an issue of belief; that’s what the evidence is showing.

DELIA: Captain Peacock says it’s not a detective’s job to believe or not believe. But that they believe everyone until they have a reason not to. Linda believes Mr. X is the person she identified to police. Linda believes this internet search is the proof. The detectives cite DNA as their proof in that June 2017 interview.

And when Detective Cougill says this line:

COUGILL: We have DNA. It’s somebody’s. We’re just waiting to find out whose it is.

DELIA: I asked Captain Peacock if what detective Cougill said could be taken this way:

DELIA (to Peacock): I mean, to me, that almost comes off a little bit like, ‘We’re really relying on this DNA. There’s nothing else I can do until this DNA comes back.’

PEACOCK: Well, I would disagree, and I think it’s important to note that as part of our investigative process, we can’t afford to be emotional. We have to make a decision based on probable cause. It doesn’t matter whether we believe or don’t believe, and frankly, we don’t even enter that into the equation. We work the case based on the facts and what we can prove and what we can corroborate. If we let emotion play into it, we would never be able to go home and sleep at night with everything we have to hear. We hear some tragic stories day in and day out, so we have to take emotion out of it.

DELIA: We’ll hear more from Melanie Peacock in an upcoming episode.

Linda leaves this conversation feeling worse about the future of her case. She leaves feeling like no one believes her. The road she thought she was headed down that would lead to some good news was actually a dead end.

At CMPD headquarters, interviews are typically conducted on the second floor, which is where we are going to leave Linda for a moment. We’ve got business to take care of on the fourth floor. That’s where the crime lab is.

So hang in there. This path just got vertical. I’m Sarah Delia. This is She Says.

((Midshow break))

DELIA: Two floors up from where we left Linda is a little ecosystem that is not open to the public or a reporter. It’s the CMPD crime lab.

And unfortunately, this imaginary elevator ride ends here. The closest I got to a tour of the CMPD crime lab was a phone conversation with its director, Matt Mathis. I wanted to get a better sense of the resources the lab has—after all, Charlotte is unique in the state of North Carolina. We have our own crime lab. So if your assault happened within city limits, the CMPD crime lab will handle your kit. If your assault happens outside of Charlotte, your kit is sent to the state lab in Raleigh. Some agencies outsource their kits to a private lab, but that can get pricey.

So here’s what I learned. The CMPD crime lab gets evidence for crimes such as sexual assaults, burglaries and homicides. The lab gets about 20 to 25 requests for sexual assault kit testing each month. And there is a backlog of sexual assault kits that currently sits at about 200, and that’s recent cases, not cold cases which is a whole other story. It’s not hard to understand how a backlog gets formed — it’s, unfortunately, a problem everywhere. Here’s Matt Mathis, the director of the lab.

Credit Sarah Delia / WFAE
Matt Mathis

MATT MATHIS: A lack of resources has resulted in a backlog of sexual assault kits nationwide. And also, just an old approach to investigating sexual assault kits. We’re now, we’ve implemented here the best practices for what we consider to be national best practices with testing every single kit and not triaging those kits from the front end based simply on the investigation.

DELIA: There are nine DNA analysts working at the crime lab.

Remember that chain of custody we spoke about last episode? The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or SANE nurses are the first ones to sign off on the evidence kit. Then it goes to the officer who picks up the kit. The kits are stored in the property and evidence division until they are tested. And when they are tested very much depends on the circumstances around the case.

MATHIS: That kind of dictates when and how we test the sexual assault kit.

DELIA (to Mathis): What would be cause for like an immediate testing of the kit?

MATHIS: Well, any time the investigation shows that this maybe a situation where there is an unknown suspect or a predatory type case, then that would cause us to receive the evidence fairly quickly and to do the testing quickly.

DELIA: In other words, kits are tested on a priority basis, and the investigation drives that priority status. My question is in Linda’s case, was her case a priority? And if so, was it from the beginning?

Presently, CMPD says all sexual assault kits connected to a criminal case and accepted by the CMPD Crime lab will be tested. That practice began in 2015, although that policy didn’t officially go into effect until April 25, 2018. Kits weren’t always tested if, say, the district attorney decided not to prosecute or if a victim withdrew a complaint. CMPD started to keep all sexual assault kits in storage indefinitely in 2015.

Further down our winding road, we will hear more about the preservation of rape kits and what happens when they are destroyed and shouldn’t be. But it’s getting late into our story. And Linda is still waiting downstairs on the second floor.

So back on the second floor, Linda leaves the interview room in tears. She’s met by her husband, who’s waiting for her. She’s still recording.

LINDA: I’m not sure I’m going to be OK.

HUSBAND: Hey, we’re always OK.

LINDA: No, not this time. Something is fucked up.

HUSBAND: You need to calm down.

LINDA: Something is way fucked up.

HUSBAND: I want you, before you do anything, I want to talk to you, OK?


DELIA: They drive back to their home. She struggles to make sense of the conversation with detectives. Cougill does reach out to her two weeks later on July 11, 2017, via email to ask how she was.

LINDA: I told her I was devastated, confused, back to square one as far as PTSD goes.

DELIA: Cougill responds via email. She’s sorry to hear that. Is Linda aware of Safe Alliance, a local group that supports sexual assault victims?

And the next time Linda hears from Cougill is another two to three weeks later responding to questions about her lab results and sexual assault kit.

In late July 2017, there’s news.

LINDA: She told me that they had a hit, and I’m like, ‘OK.’ I’m remember being like, ‘Great. That’s him,’ you know. And ummm, she said, ‘But don’t get too excited.’

DELIA: So the DNA in her sexual assault kit matches someone’s in the CODIS databases. But here’s the but. According to Linda, Cougill says the lab can’t tell the detective who the hit was because the lab can’t tell if the DNA sample was eligible to be in CODIS. Remember, CODIS is made up of databases full of DNA profiles of mostly convicted felons. But in some cases, DNA can be collected for certain arrests and then put into CODIS. But if those arrestees are never convicted, their DNA should be expunged from the databases. Sometimes that doesn’t happen.

Also, DNA laws have changed in the state over the years. This person’s DNA could have been collected at a time when the rules were different.

Earlier in this episode, I told you to hold onto three words: ‘It’s not him.’ And they must be weighing on you by now.

Linda and I caught up shortly after her sort of good news/bad news conversation with Detective Cougill.

LINDA: She said that they couldn’t even tell her who the name of the person was. Right after that, she said she felt certain that it was him. And I remember my response was very quick. I said, ‘I know it’s him.’ There’s just no question there. Period. End of story.

DELIA: And the person that they’re talking about? That’s the guy Linda identified through the internet search back in 2015.

LINDA: And she mentioned, too, going back out and again and asking him to volunteer, to voluntarily give his DNA. But if he wouldn’t, that working on a court order.

DELIA: Linda says Cougill told her that early on in the investigation, CMPD had attempted to get a voluntary DNA sample from the man Linda identified through her internet search. He declined.

So now Linda says, Cougill was going to try and get a voluntary DNA sample, this time with a backup plan. If he won’t voluntarily give his DNA — which is his right to do by the way — Cougill will try and get a court order to make the lab reveal who this person is.

LINDA: None of it adds up whatsoever, and now I’m being told, oh there’s a hit and I’m going to get a court order. I don’t know what they’ve done or haven’t done or slipped up on that, you know, got them to where now she’s going for a court order.

DELIA: It’s early August 2017... over two years since her assault. So she doesn’t know what to think. She’s happy there’s a hit on her kit. But she’s also like, Hello. Have you not heard me for the past two years?

LINDA: The emotional side of it is just a holy nightmare. Here I am trying to get the kids ready for back to school, which is, I mean, any parent under normal happy little life, that’s, you know, difficult in itself. And then, it’s just been, it’s just been a lot.

DELIA: Linda says she doesn’t fully understand what changed. What changed from the June conversation when Cougill and Banner said it is not him? Why are they trying to get this voluntary DNA swab?

Linda doesn’t have any of the answers. And with no explanation as to why the person she identified is now a person of interest, three words are burned into her brain.

It. Is. Him.

I’m Sarah Delia.


She Says is written, produced and reported by Sarah Delia. Our editor is Greg Collard. Joni Deutsch is our producer. Alex Olgin is our reporter. Music is provided by Pachyderm Music Lab. Keep the conversation going on Twitter using the hashtag #WFAESheSays. You can tweet at Sarah Delia directly @SarahWFAE. If you want next week’s episode in your feed as soon as it comes out, make sure to subscribe to She Says on NPR One, Apple Podcasts or wherever you find podcasts. You can find more information about the podcast at WFAE.org/shesays.

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Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.