StoryCorps 442: Hostage

Andy Downs and Angelia SheerIn this podcast, we present two stories about hostage situations that had very different endings.

The first story is a discussion between Andy Downs, the son of a Tennessee pilot who was killed during a hijacking, and Angelia Sheer, the daughter of the hijacker (they are pictured together at left).

Andy recalls: “I was 18 months old and my mother told me that, ‘Dad had gone to fly for God.’ So whenever I saw an airplane fly over I remember pointing up saying, ‘There goes daddy.’ I remember that very vividly.”

The hijacked plane is pictured above sitting on the tarmac in Jacksonville, FL.

The second story comes to us from Washington state. fitzpatrick1In 2003 high school junior Sean Fitzpatrick brought a gun to school. It was Officer John Gately of the Spokane Police Department who negotiated with Sean to bring the situation to an end (they are pictured together at left).

Sean recalls: “I remember seeing you and thinking ‘Don’t trust anything he says.’”

They reunite for a conversation about the day when their lives intersected and how it changed them both.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists.
“Atlantique Nord” by Yann Tiersen from the album Tabarly Soundtrack
“Agdam” by Hauschka from the album Abandoned City
“Written On The Sky” by Max Richter from the album The Blue Notebooks