A New Painkiller, a Crime Boss, a Love Story

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

James 'Whitey' Bulger Mugshot of James "Whitey" Bulger. Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. From the film "Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger," a Magnolia Pictures release. (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)

On today’s show: We’ll learn about the controversial long-acting painkiller Zohydro, which is 10 times stronger than Vicodin and was approved by the FDA in October. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger talks about his new documentary about Whitey Bulger, and he’s joined by Bulger’s attorney. Damien Echols and Lorri Davis describe their 16-year-long correspondence—and how they fell in love and got married—while Echols was on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. And we'll look at how Walmart store managers were encouraged to hide the amount of merchandise that was stolen and damaged—and how that affected profit margins.

Zohydro and the Epidemic of Painkiller Abuse

In October, the FDA approved the controversial long-acting painkiller Zohydro, which some doctors worry will exacerbate the nationwide epidemic of painkiller abuse and addiction.

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Gangster Whitey Bulger, Corruption, and the FBI

Documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger and Whitey Bulger's attorney Hank Brennan discuss the trial and new evidence of corruption in the FBI and Department of Justice that allowed Whitey's criminal empire to thrive.


A Love Story on Death Row

Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit at the age of 18, Damien Echols' story inspired Lorri Davis to write him a letter. Over the course of their 16-year correspondence, Echols and Davis grew to know each other, fall in love, and marry while he was still in prison.

Shrinkage at Walmart

Investigative journalist Spencer Woodman reports about Walmart leadership encouraging store management to mask rates of "shrinkage," which is the value of goods stolen/otherwise lost, by manipulating inventory metrics—and thereby profit margins—through an array of improper and possibly illegal techniques. Woodman's article "Former Managers Allege Pervasive Inventory Fraud at Walmart. How Deep Does the Rot Go?" is in The Nation.

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