In her new memoir, Deborah Spungen remembers her daughter, who was the girlfriend of the Sex Pistols' bass player Sid Vicious. Vicious confessed to murdering Nancy, but died of a drug overdose before his conviction.
Humorist and reporter Calvin Trillin is staff writer for the New Yorker and a humor columnist at The Nation. Trillin recently joined the show to discuss his love of rich regional and ethnic food which he chronicled in his book "Third Helpings." His New Yorker Magazine series "U. S. Journal" ended in 1982, but a collection of 16 of his stories about murder have been collected in the book "Killings."
Novelist Albert French. He found inspiration for his first novel, "Billy" (Viking), in the true story of an 11-yr-old getting the electric chair in the 1930's. "Billy," is the story of the "legal lynching" of a ten year old boy in the deep south who inadvertently kills a white girl. French writes in "Delta" dialect, epitomizing racial hatred in America. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Activist Claudia Brenner, one of the prominent voices against anti-gay violence. Her new book Eight Bullets: One Woman's Story of Anti-Gay Violence, (Firebrand) which she co-wrote with Hannah Ashley, is a personal account of her lover's murder and its aftermath: her path to recovery and activism. Brenner is an architect who lives in upstate New York with her lesbian family.
On November 11, 1994, Eddie Polec was clubbed to death in a Philadelphia suburb by a group of rival high school kids. He was clubbed with a baseball bat on the steps of the St Cecilia's Church where he had been an altar boy. Investigators say he was beaten until limp and then held aloft "to give the bat-wielding youths a better shot." He had been waiting for his young brother, to walk home together when the group of kids arrived, looking for a fight. Eddie hadn't been part of the rivalry. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In light of the deaths of rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, a discussion on the culture of rap and the violence that surrounds it with Chicago police officer Eric Davis. He's a member of the rap group the Slick Boys. Davis and two other officers founded the group in 1991 to provide positive role models for the inner-city kids they encountered on their jobs every day. The group has received national acclaim for their songs about the importance of getting an education and staying off of drugs and out of gangs.
More than 20 years ago, Jody Arlington was at home when her 18-year-old brother murdered their parents and younger sister. She thought she was next, but instead her brother told her they were now free. He went to prison, and Arlington changed her name and had to learn how to live without her family. A similar family slaying has prompted her to speak out about her experiences.
In Blake Nelson's novel, Paranoid Park, a 16-year-old skateboarder is implicated when a transit cop is killed at the local skate park, and withdraws into silence as a way of dealing with it. Director Gus Van Sant recently released a film version of the novel.
The United States is home to less than five percent of the world's population — and almost a quarter of the world's prisoners. Adam Liptak, national legal correspondent for The New York Times , says that's one of the ways America's legal system differs from those of other countries.