Remorse explores the death of Eric Morse, a five-year-old thrown from the fourteenth floor window of a Chicago housing project by two other boys, ten and eleven years old, in October, 1994. The documentary was reported by LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman — both residents of the Ida B. Wells housing development, where the crime took place, and both sixteen years old.
Remorse marks the return of Jones and Newman to NPR’s airwaves. In March of 1993, at age fourteen, they collaborated with producer David Isay for the radio documentary Ghetto Life 101, an audio diary of young people growing up on Chicago’s South Side.
When Eric Morse fell to his death in 1994, LeAlan and Lloyd felt compelled to pick up their tape recorders once again. They spent a year reporting the case and interviewed everyone from Eric’s mother, Toni Morse, in the only interview she’s granted to the press, to Vince Lane, chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority, to the father of one of the assailants. They set out to learn about the story from the inside, to see how a tragedy like this can touch a community, and to bring to light the scars it left behind.
Remorse won the Grand Prize Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and a Peabody Award in 1995.
Recorded in Chicago, Illinois. Premiered March 21, 1996, on All Things Considered.
This documentary comes from Sound Portraits Productions, a mission-driven independent production company that was created by Dave Isay in 1994. Sound Portraits was the predecessor to StoryCorps and was dedicated to telling stories that brought neglected American voices to a national audience.