First Topic – "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die": How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor
It was this week in 1999 that violence once again flared in East Timor – the end result of which would be a vote for independence and an end to Indonesian occupation later that year. Historian Geoffrey Robinson is here to examine the tumultuous events surrounding East Timor's 1999 attempt to gain independence from Indonesia. With expertise and an insider's perspective - a principal researcher for Amnesty International in the 1990s, Robinson joined the UN mission overseeing East Timor's independence referendum – Geoffrey offers rare insight into the country's internal turmoil. Particularly riveting are Robinson's descriptions of the days preceding the historic vote to separate from Indonesia: "dressed in their Sunday best, some East Timorese left home in the middle of the night to reach the polling station by dawn." The importance of that vote, in which "98.6 percent of those who had registered cast ballots," is hard to overstate. Despite the overwhelming brutality of the story, and a bleak assessment of actions from the UN and international community, Robinson manages to cap his detailed report with a hopeful note.
Second Topic – A Twisted Faith: A Minister's Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church
On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister’s wife Dawn Hacheney. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found only her charred remains. Her husband Nick was visibly devastated by the loss. What investigators failed to note, however, was that Dawn’s lungs didn’t contain smoke. Was she dead before the fire began? So begins this true crime story that’s unlike any other. It investigates Nick Hacheney, a philandering minister who had been carrying on with several women in the months before and just after his wife’s death. He would be convicted for the murder five years to the day after the crime. One of the foremost names in true crime, author Gregg Olsen joins us to tell this gripping and truly unforgettable story of a man whose charisma and desire rocked an entire community.