Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

New Year's Day (Mary Greco)

New Year's Day (Mary Greco)

Tue, 04 Jan 2022 08:00

An 82-year-old nun was found dead inside her home on New Year’s Day. Did her faith play into motive, was it personal, or was this a truly random attack? An innocuous clue leads investigators to the truth.

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If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. We were just stunned. We were stunned. We were trying to figure out how the blanket got on here, why she was there like she was who in our community would do this. I'm Scott Weinberger's, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Nalazi former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction. His anatomy of murder. This is our first episode of 2022 and we hope each and everyone of you had a joyous holiday season and spent some quality time with family and friends. I know that we both did. The New year is so often a time of renewal, of positivity, getting ready with those New Year's resolutions for the upcoming year. But sometimes those feelings of hope or plans for the future can be cut short, and that's what happened in today's story. Today's case is about a well loved, gentle woman of deep faith. But on New Year's Day in 2013 she was found dead. And to help us tell the story, we spoke to Schenectady's chief of police, Eric Clifford, who at the time was a detective Lieutenant. There was a really heavy snowstorm a few days before, and it was New Year's Day. It's generally a day for everybody to relax after New Year's Eve, wishing in the New Year. It's a day that you could either relax yourself and catch up on a lot of desk work, or you can go out into the field and get a lot of work done there. You know, I remember my days in uniform working on New Year's Day, and they were always very quiet. And I'm sure it's that way at police agencies all over the country, including in Schenectady, NY. But this New Year's Day was going to be anything but quiet for Eric. We had been working on a another homicide case that happened the previous fall when we heard the call come in. The 911 caller would come from a man who said he hadn't seen his tenant for a while, which to him was really unusual. And while her car was also missing, he decided to head up to her apartment to check on her, and to his shock, it looked like a murder scene. So as soon as that call comes in, officers obviously race over to that scene. It was a modest two family home on a quiet St, and if you walk up to the house, the door on the left would lead to the main level where the landlord of the house lived. The door on the right would lead upstairs. To an apartment. There was nothing obvious in general as far as things being out of place, but it didn't take long before something indeed caught their eye. There was no sign of forced entry. The fact that the door didn't have any evidence of being pried open or kicked open, the first thing that comes to mind to me is potentially the killer may have been known to the victim and simply let in. I remember walking upstairs into her home and her home was very clean. There was not much furniture inside. I remember seeing that she had some things neatly stacked on the floor in a very organized manner. Often when you have an apartment that is still pristine, it generally says to me this is not going to be a very prolonged interaction. Whatever it was, this crime, it wasn't like it took hours, there wasn't a fight or a scuffle or an attack that went from room to room because then you would have things generally out of place. I've seen this in a number of crime scenes when you have a spotless, in this case a house. It's much easier for things that don't seem like they belong to stick out, you know? One quick example of that is a case that we covered for our TV show true conviction, where the victim's apartment was completely spotless, and when investigators noticed an opened orange juice container left on the kitchen counter, it was absolutely out of place. And as it turns out, they located fingerprints on that orange juice container, and that's how the suspect was caught. And while the scene may have been clean, the crime was indeed gruesome. As officers went from the living room now to the dining room, they made a grim discovery. She was laying on the ground. She was visibly deceased. I believe she was wrapped up in a blanket. We were trying to figure out how the blanket got on here, why she was there like she was. Scott, when you hear about a blanket covering the person, what does that say to you? It is a telltale sign of a killer who does not want to look at the results of their actions, somebody who potentially knows the victim. I also look at it that in addition to that, it sometimes talks about someone who is almost sloppily trying to cover up their crime, and while obviously this doesn't cover up a body laying on the ground in the living room, it at least is that cursory attempt to make it seem like they're doing. Something to hide what they have done. The landlord told officers that the victim had not been seen for two days, and that seemed to be backed up by their observations of the condition of her body. At first look at their victim. She appeared to be a woman approximately in her 80s. She was fully dressed and she had been stabbed. There was a knife actually still sticking out from her neck, stabbing someone through the neck. You know, there's little chance of survival. It's very definitive and really depending on the wound. It's possible in this case that the suspect and the victim could have been eye to eye, which, if true, supports the theory that this attack was personal. In addition to that, she had suffered extensive defensive wounds. But what's incredibly surprising is who the victim was. Her name was Mary Greco. She was 82 years old. She lived alone and when police learned of her profession, they were shocked. She was a retired nun. We were just stunned that number one, that this would happen to her. But the type of violence that Mary succumb to is, is not common in our community. It was a pretty violent crime. It was a personal crime. Who in our community would do this? Scott, just hearing that, tell me your reaction when you heard that fact about Mary's life. You know, we've seen these in homicides where the victims are children or a random victim of the homicide who really didn't ever have a chance to defend themselves. It leaves you thinking that if they would take a life. Of an 82 year old nun, no one is safe. Someone like Chief Clifford, who even at this point in 2013 had a lot of police experience. You'd imagine it. It'd be hard to surprise him about anything while this crime scene did, both as a detective and as a member of the Schenectady community. As he began working on the case, Chief Clifford even uncovered a personal connection to Mary Greco. Some people that I knew growing up were relatives of her, and one was a friend of mine who lived a couple doors down from me, and Mary had helped him in his life as he became estranged from his parents. And then there was another person that I knew from school. She was a family friend of Mary's, and her mom was still friends with Mary. You have to wonder. You know you have to do the job the same way whether you know the person or not, and it can certainly never impact you in any way. But I've got to think that there's a different level of something pulling at you or tugging at you when you have that personal thread, that you want to make sure you not only get it right, but that you get the job done and justice for all involved. We were all really shocked to know that there was a killer in our community who did this to her. And just to give you a sense of how much this homicide rocked the community, here's what Chief Clifford heard from one of Mary's other elder neighbors. I remember that she was certainly retired. She was an older German lady, and we went over and interviewed her because she was alone. And she asked me to speak to her son on the phone, which I did. And I had a long conversation with him and he offered to put up $5000 as a reward to help find the killer. Think for a moment how scary this situation must be, not even just for neighbors and the community, but now someone who is similarly situated. And while again someone being in their 70s or 80s. And I certainly can say my parents are not going to want to hear that they are weak or not capable of taking care of themselves. But that does add a different level of vulnerability, especially when there aren't loved ones nearby. You know, I'd be asking if someone is targeting the elderly in that neighborhood. There is a killer on the loose and you have to look at everyone in the community. Are they safe? You know, typically the first things that go through our head are and Ben desperate enough to do this and then think twice about it and then say, OK, well, you know, before I leave, I got to take care of her and wrap her up. As difficult as it is to imagine who would want to kill a nun, you also have to look at the fact of how many people they may come in contact with on a daily basis. This is what she did with her day-to-day. She was all about helping others, so she certainly was in contact with many people in the regular course of her days. So in this case, based on who she was, it really left the field wide open. While the killer could be anyone, police do know this. The killer had access to the apartment and would have been someone in Mary Circle. One of the first things that we started doing was start looking at Mary and anybody that's close to her that might want to do this. And while nothing was sticking out to them that was so obvious, they did go to the first person that at least was obvious for them to talk to, potentially to focus on. And that was someone that did know Mary. They had access. They actually live not only close by, but in the same building, and it's the same person who reported the crime. Her landlord. It was clear to law enforcement that this case was going to be challenging for them. The way the scene was described was enough to bring several officers to the scene that day, including Daryl Mallard, who was a Sergeant and supervisor on duty that day. And certainly for this patrol supervisor, it was actually a first for him. It was probably one of my first and only real stranger homicide that we really had no known suspects. We spoke to the landlord to confirm his presence within the House. What he did. The landlord actually lived in the same building as his tenant, the deceased. At this point, you may be asking, is it reasonable at all to suspect the landlord? And the answer is yes. He found the body, he reported the crime and had access, so he's certainly someone that I would want to talk to, but you need to get information before really moving the investigation with him any further. I definitely kind of put that in my head. Did he cover her or, you know, did the killer cover her? I wanted to ask him if he had disturbed the crime scene in any way. Obviously that's going to be very important. And again, when we say it doesn't make sense to look at him, everyone is potentially a suspect that could at least fit some of the generalities. So while there is nothing else ******* him as a killer in this case, and by all accounts they had a very friendly relationship, it is going to be the obvious starting point, because at that point at least, that's all they had. We talked to the landlord and his wife. They said that they had attended a New Year's Eve party, so they weren't home. Really, nothing out of the ordinary had occurred with what appeared to be a pretty solid alibi. The landlord gives them a potential lead, someone that Mary had been seen with days before her body was discovered. He told us that there was a young black male that had been doing some snow shoveling. He had dug out her car for her. In 2012 into January of 2013, two big storms had hit the area, one at the end of December and one in January. So the snow was really piling up. It was not unusual for people to walk up and down the street in Schenectady to offer shoveling snow for residents, especially to women. What about an 82 year old nun? Absolutely. That would make sense. But being a snow shoveler doesn't mean you're a killer. And what makes this a good lead is just because it is a lead, there's no one obvious that's sticking out to them. There's no one that had a motive or a problem with Mary Greco. And so while vague, it certainly is something for them to go on. He gave us a clothing description. He explained what kind of shovel he was using. So that was basically it, as far as you know, suspect description. But again, let's flip it around for a moment, because there's always also the possibility that the landlord is telling police something, maybe to throw them off his trail. At that point, you know, it was a fairly large storm, so there was a lot of people out offering assistance, so it wasn't an uncommon thing to see around that time as people going around shoveling driveways. Both the landlord and his wife were separated and interviewed by investigators who quickly determined that both of their stories were lining up, which is a pretty good indication that they were telling the truth. We're starting to try to speak to people that actually knew married to see where that would lead. That really didn't generate, you know, a lot of intelligence for us, and there wasn't really anything valuable that came out of the neighborhood canvas. Here's something interesting while this investigation is going to be challenging police in Schenectady, I do have a crime fighting tool that many cities don't and certainly didn't then. One of the things we pride ourselves here in the city of Schenectady is a camera project that we partnered with our District Attorney. It's connectivity is one of a handful of urban cities in the US that has an extensive network of St cameras. The system just grow over 400 cameras. It's not only beneficial and potentially capturing a crime in progress, it's also useful when determining how suspects travel to and from a crime scene. The cameras are a combination of 360 degree cameras, fixed cameras, PTZ cameras which are ones that just rotate out of timer. It could capture a vehicles description, a license tag. It's one of the best crime fighting tools that we have. It's become an effective piece of evidence in a prosecution of a case. The reason is pretty obvious. Jurors react to photographic and video evidence. It can be powerful. Now the camera systems are very helpful to us, both with solving crimes and exonerating certain people from crimes where they may become a suspect. When I think about what it was like when I started prosecuting, which is in 1995 up until the time that I stopped in 2017, when I think about the difference in evidence and what you started to get from those photographs, 1 the absence of anything could lead you somewhere. But also it's the what. It wasn't only just The Who. It might show you a car, it might show a scenario, it might help piece together a timeline. There's so many different ways that these cameras provide useful that it really changed the game for us. As far as law enforcement and coming out of a city that had cameras on many, many St corners, by the time that I left just hearing that that's what's connected, he had certainly gave them a boost in moving forward, hopefully in this investigation. But there was an issue where Mary lived wasn't in a high crime area. It just so happened to be that in this part of the city we didn't have a lot of cameras in that area and the extensive network of St cameras had no coverage on her. St closest camera was a ways away so was not really going to help us. Investigators did, however, track down her car. One of our detectives found it in a church parking lot. We're able to track its movement through the city. But it really didn't get them that far. Because one thing about video surveillance, there's all different types of quality in the cameras. And this one, whether it's because of the equipment or when it captured these images, it was grainy and what they got was vague. They could really only tell and piece together that it was indeed her car and that the person who driving it was a male. The question many in the Community had was if someone was willing to murder an 82 year old man, what else would they be willing to do? The murder of a nun in a nice neighborhood. It had everybody on edge at that time. And nobody had any clue who had done it. That person is still out there in the community on the loose. But a razor sharp observation from Daryl Wall walking through the crime scene is going to lead investigators to the killer as Darrell was doing his walk through the house. Not much looked at first out of place, but there was a few things that stood out was the television that was unplugged and appeared to have been moved. The suspect was probably doing something with her TV maybe, you know, trying to remove it or unplug it or something like that. Next on the floor in the kitchen was a box of pastries that had been overturned. What I was thinking is that she was making him a little mixture of treats, you know, thanking him for doing her driveway. But further into the House, Daryl made the most surprising discovery of all. So as Darryl walked from room to room, looking at this pristine apartment, something caught his eye. So when I went to check the bathroom and the toilet seat was up, that was something that really stood out to me. I knew she lived here by herself, and it's not typical for a female to leave the toilet seat up. As a male, it's a habit you develop when you're young. It becomes second nature. You lift up the seat. So to Darrell, the observation meant that the last person to use her bathroom was likely a man, and it could be the killer. And not to make light. But I have to for a moment. Because while it certainly is a habit that many men develop being a woman, it's also a pet peeve when they don't learn to put it down. But here it was exactly that thing. It was that small something that caught this investigators. Guide that mutham 0 in to help catch her killer. We all know in order to lift up a toilet seat, most people use their hands. So now the question is what forensic evidence could have been left on that seat? Perhaps a fingerprint of our killer? I walk through the house with one of our evidence technicians, Detective Jeremy Pace. He shined his light around the toilet seat and on the the Chrome toilet seat plunger you could see a perfect print was left on the Chrome handle. I have to be completely honest, this is great police work, the kind that you would see in a Hollywood script. And it's exactly this type of thing that I love about evidence. It is something that is seemingly so ordinary, just the way that the toilet seat is. That is just that piece that might prove pivotal in an investigation, detective pace went, and he was able to lift that print. And here's the thing about fingerprints. There are different techniques, but very often it's something obvious to the eye. You could almost see it. And then they use what's almost like picture a piece of Scotch tape that almost they roll it, over it, lift it, and now that is the thing that is examined. I must admit, I was not the best fingerprint lifter. I would get all that black powder all over my white uniform. But it really does take patience to be able to identify what could be lifted as a solid latent. We certainly got lucky and Jeremy Pace being able to lift that print from the seat was a huge victory for us. The Prince were rushed to the lab and investigators had asked them to really see if they could do it as quick as they can, and those results would only take a couple of days. And as it turns out, the lab was able to process a really good looking thumbprint. But the next challenge would be you need to match it to someone. And it came back with a positive hit. Right. At the same time, they gave us a name, Michael Briggs. The thumbprint was matched to 37 year old Michael Briggs, originally from New York City. He had just settled in the city of Schenectady just a few months prior to the murder. Once we had that name, that was really the beginning parts of us trying to figure out, OK, we strongly believe he's a suspect because unless there's a connection explaining why his thumbprint is on the toilet seat, he had no reason to be in the house. So we need to figure out real quick as much as we could about Michael Briggs. This is the most significant piece of forensic evidence in the case so far, and it is a huge leap forward in the investigation. But there's more to be done. A thumbprint puts Briggs inside her apartment, but it doesn't mean he killed Mary Greco. Investigators had to figure out was he the same man witnesses saw shoveling snow outside and standing on the sidewalk with the victim just days before her body was found? Or could it be two different people? So now police had the name of whose print that was, but now they had to look into who he was, and when they looked at him, he was someone who had had multiple contacts with law enforcement in the past. Michael Bricks fingerprints were in the system because he was previously incarcerated. Here's just a couple things about his priors. According to the prosecutor in this case, Briggs had been convicted in 1997 for a burglary on Long Island, also in New York, where he had tricked a 12 year old boy into letting him inside the child's home. He then tied the child to a pole, filled a suitcase with jewelry and electronics, blindfolded the child with a T-shirt, and sodomized him, causing physical injuries. He was also convicted of an armed robbery in which he stole the clothing of another child, 13 years old. And while his prior criminal record did not line up perfectly with the murder of Mary Greco, investigators knew they had to find Michael Briggs and take the next step in this now fast moving investigation. It felt different because we were trying to wrap our heads around what could Mary Greco have done that could have put her in this position, given the killer the opportunity to take her life. We were determined to try to find that out. Scott, how are you going to go out and find this person, or at least try to after you got that match? Well, we already know that three cameras had identified several areas that Briggs was known to frequent. You know, I would find the most recent picture of him available and go to those areas and approach my contacts, informants, people that I trusted at some level, but not the general public. And here's why you don't want your suspect to know he's been ID. Otherwise your prime suspect in the murder of Mary Greco could be in the wind. When we ran his name through our local records management system, there was a recent contact with him at a home. It was probably about 1/2 a mile, maybe 3/4 of a mile away from where Mary lived. The reason his name was in our record system was that he was present when a domestic incident occurred and the officers that came to the scene put his name down on the report as a witness to this domestic. This is my favorite piece of this. Case one, it goes to what I am such a believer in, which is document, document, document. And here it is that officer documenting who else was in that home for this domestic violence incidents, but by all accounts had nothing to do with Briggs, yet he was there. So they put down his name and that was the very thing again, one of those innocuous things that you never know what it's going to lead to or ever be used at all. But here it was the thing that was maybe going to lead them to the person responsible for this crime. That address happened to be a location where we did have a camera. It is tremendously time consuming to go through hours and hours of surveillance tape to determine if that person walking down the street could be your suspect. But if you do hit paydirt, the rewards of placing a potential murder suspect in custody is so worth it. It turned out that he was seen in the area frequenting. He was seen carrying a shovel asking people if they wanted to have their sidewalk or driveway shoveled. And then they get a break. One of our investigators, through neighborhood interviews, said yes, I remember that guy and he tried to sell me a crucifix. Now the coincidences are really starting to line up. You have Briggs's fingerprint inside the apartment. You have people that say he was indeed someone who was going door to door asking people if he could shovel their driveways or their Stoops. We know that Mary Greco had asked someone to shovel her driveway. She'd actually made a phone call to a family member to say that the person who's going to shovel her driveway seemed nice. And now you have this same person. Those printers in her apartment trying to sell a crucifix. And let's not forget that Mary Greco was a nun. Now that starts establishing that he was in the home, most likely committed a crime there, and we started putting things together with theories. Did he ask to use the bathroom? Did he attempt to steal something? Did she come upon him trying to steal something? And that's when he reacted. Did he kill her and in order to go through her house to see what he could take? So these are the things that we're trying to figure out, even the what is ironic and interesting to me. Here you have this crucifix. Belonging to a nun, something that is used for her faith and in prayer, and now it is the thing that is potentially leading to her killer because of its whereabouts and who it's with after her murder. And it's also someone selling some of her most prized possessions, in this case something that she held so dear to her because it was a symbol of her faith. But as we confirm one thing after another, we start establishing our probable cause to say that, OK, we're ready for an arrest. They were able to find Michael Briggs and place him into custody for the murder of 82 year old Mary Greco. And while circumstantial evidence absolutely places Michael Briggs in the victim's apartment, was that enough to convict him? Now you have him in custody and investigators want to get his side of the story, but the question was, would Michael Briggs have anything to say? And there's one more piece of evidence that investigators have yet to uncover that shows who indeed killed Mary Greco. While the incredible network of St cameras didn't pay off as police hoped it would, remember where Mary lived wasn't in the coverage area. But there was another camera from a neighbor that did pique the attention of investigators and pay huge dividends. It was a video of someone matching the description, as the landlord had described in the area on her street on her block around the time. We suspected that he encountered her offering people to shovel, and we we had a few different views of him. Now we have the when and so it is that timeline that so close in time do they believe when Mary Greco was killed that now it is really almost too much for him to get away from? I mean you know, we both love digital forensics. I mean it's incredible how this has advanced homicide investigations and has become such a crucial part of this case. So by putting Michael Briggs on the victim Street with a shovel in his hand matching the description from the eyewitnesses that saw him there. Just days before thumbprint that connected him inside the home. As you say, the articles that were stolen from Mary's House and the direct evidence to Briggs being inside her home. The evidence to me seems so overwhelming. They gathered some more physical evidence from the scene that ultimately came back to him. The clothing that he was wearing was recovered. The shovel that he was using was recovered. So detectives were able to put a pretty solid case together. O let's put together the pieces to try to determine what exactly happened that led to her death. When you put it together, it does seem somewhat clear that she needed help clearing her driveway. This man had offered to be that person, and she took him up on it, and then, being the person that Mary was, she offered him in, probably to get him warm. There was two cups sitting on the table, so whether that was for cocoa or coffee or some sort of beverage, and that she had probably this tray of pastries about to feed him after he had just done this work, almost as a thank you. And remember what Darrell talks about? That television that was on its side? So that Briggs was probably in the process of stealing from her when she saw him and said something or told him to stop. And he answered her words with violence by taking an object that he used to stab her. And remember, there were extensive defensive wounds, so she tried to ward him off until he ultimately put that weapon into her neck and it cost her her life. They brought him in for an interview and ultimately he essentially just said that he had nothing to do with it. We'll probably never know what set breaks off that day, but we do know from the people we spoke to for the podcast that she, even at 82, was in really good shape. She volunteered help building houses, and so I'm sure that he was surprised about the resistance that she tried to put up, the fact that she was trying to save her own life, and the fact that she had so many defensive wounds on her body. He was charged with murder in the first degree, and before he went to trial, he pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. During my conversation with Darrell, I was pretty straightforward in my admiration for his work in this case, his ability to see that clue and quickly make a determination that potential evidence could be located underneath that toilet seat, and also staying focused throughout the confirmation of all the evidence and the statement. His work did this case and this victim justice. I certainly appreciate all the kind words that people said to me. I was given a letter of merit for the discovery, but at the end of the day, I pointed out a thought to a detective who's the one that actually had the skill and know how to lift the print. So really, I always defer a lot of credit to Detective Jeremy Pace because, you know, he's the one that actually pulled the print. What happened to Mary Greco is incredibly tragic and is a case that has stayed with Chief Clifford and the Schenectady community for years. The murder of a nun in a nice neighborhood that had everybody on edge at that time. The neighbor a couple doors down. Her son living in Minnesota ultimately ended up selling her house and moving her to Minnesota to live with him. You know, there is this push and pull that Chief Clifford talked about. When someone returns back into the community after having served their time in prison, they're often referred to as a returning citizen. We started asking ourselves, you know, how does something like this happen and what can we do to better inform the Community, the public, when people are released from prison that might be joining our communities. And it's a sensitive topic because people that serve their time in prison and get released, they've done their time, they deserve a second chance. So we don't want to re victimize them or recruit analize them when they released, but at the same time we want to make sure that the community in which they're released. John has no fears that they're gonna go back to the ways that God them in prison in the first place. And I have to say, Scott, you know, it is not an easy conversation. I don't think there is an easy answer, but it certainly is something that needs to be addressed both in conversations and in different forum on other days. Sister Mary Greco's passion for her faith came at an early age and continued for decades, always helping others. And for many years she missioned to Guatemala, building homes, caring for the sick at their local hospitals. She said it was her calling and brought her a lifetime of joy. In her last few minutes of life, Mary was still trying to extend that helping hand. I think about Mary Greco and how she was someone who chose to really just see the good in people and she helped change lives and she helped others. And one of those that she was helping after he, at least according to her, had helped her. Was Michael Briggs, and for that he brutally took her life. But I think the best way to honor her memory is to not get jaded when we see these awful things and we talk about dark crimes just like this, but that we continue to see the good and know the good that's out there and the hope that these cases get solved and the hope that we have less of them. And I think it seems to me that that is exactly what Mary Greco would want us to do. So at the start of this new year, maybe that's the attitude. The optimism, the hope we should all strive for. TuneIn next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original produced and created by Weinberger Media and for SETI Media. Ashley Flowers and Summit David are executive producers. This episode was researched and produced by Hallie Lucas Shevitz. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?