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The Durham Valentine’s Day Murders Spur A New Podcast

For author Eryk Pruitt the podcast “Serial” was more than just a riveting crime drama. It was the type of suspenseful story he aspired to create. After joining forces with journalist Drew Adamek, he found his own gripping crime to explore, and it took place in a location in Durham he passed every day.In 1971, two young lovers left a Valentine’s dance for a trip to “lover’s lane” when they were kidnapped, tied to a tree, tortured and murdered. No suspect has ever been publicly named in the case, and almost 50 years later the murder remains unsolved. In the upcoming podcast “The Long Dance,” Pruitt and Adamek name the suspect. In the eight-part series, listeners follow the case from the night the couple went missing to when Pruitt and Adamek find the suspect who is alive and still living in Orange County.

With the help of Capt. Tim Horne of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, “The Long Dance” dives into the case files with candid interviews from investigators who are still haunted by this murder.  Pruitt and Adamek interviewed the families of the victims and even the one living suspect. Pruitt and Horne join host Frank Stasio to talk about Durham’s own murder mystery and the podcast it inspired. 

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
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