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Murder, mental illness and justice: the story of the two Dr. Gilmers

In 2004, a doctor named Vince Gilmer, who worked in a clinic in the small town of Fletcher, North Carolina, murdered his father and dumped his body in a ditch just over the Virginia line.

Dr. Benjamin Gilmer
Photo by Cappy Phalen
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Dr. Benjamin Gilmer

Five years later, another doctor interviewed to take his place. That doctor, it turned out, had the same last name. Benjamin Gilmer was no relation. But as the new Dr. Gilmer’s patients told him how much they had loved the old Dr. Gilmer, Benjamin Gilmer set out to learn what happened to Vince Gilmer — and why.

That led to an episode of “This American Life” back in 2013, but the story didn’t end there. Benjamin Gilmer has written a new book called “The Other Dr. Gilmer” about his quest to understand Vince Gilmer — and ultimately, to help him.

And it turns out that even after the book was finished, there was still more to the story.

Show notes

Other music in this episode

  • Lobo Loco, "Candle in the Night" and "Free Over the Fields"
Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.