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CATCHING A SERIAL KILLER
When Afrikka Hardy was strangled in 2014, it seemed completely random. But it wasn’t. It was part of a pattern.
Four years earlier, reporter Thomas Hargrove created an algorithm to detect serial killers, and it flagged Gary, Indiana, as the site of an unusual number of strangulations. But when Hargrove reached out to warn local police he was ignored – until Afrikka Hardy was murdered, and those cold cases suddenly didn’t look so cold.
Algorithm follows the investigation into Afrikka’s murder, exposes the warnings that police ignored, and uncovers more than anyone expected — that a serial killer was strangling women in Gary and could’ve been stopped. And that Afrikka Hardy should be alive today.
This podcast will explore how technology can be used to identify and track serial killers, and how an algorithm can influence the way homicides are investigated all across the country.
Afrikka Didn’t Need to Die
When Afrikka Hardy was strangled in 2014 it seemed completely random. But it wasn’t. It was part of a pattern. Lori Townsend reminisces about her daughter Afrikka, and journalist Thomas Hargrove says Afrikka’s death could’ve been prevented.
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In 2020, during the start of quarantine, Ben Kuebrich heard about Thomas Hargrove’s algorithm. He was enthralled by the story: A man who spotted something dangerous lurking in the data, but then was ignored until it was too late. Previously Ben helped write and produce shows like Monster: DC Sniper, Monster: The Zodiac Killer, Broken Harts, and Science Vs. Before podcasting he worked in public radio and in neuroscience labs at MIT, Emory, and the University of Tokyo.
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