White Lies investigates the Civil Rights cold case murder of the Rev. James Reeb, who was killed in 1965, just before the Selma to Montgomery March in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened and expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved. White Lies is told in three acts: a detective story, in which they solve a murder; a legal drama, in which they explore the confines of justice; and a ghost story, in which they examine the obstinance of memory. This podcast isn’t just about who killed Rev. Jim Reeb, but the systems in place that led to his death, the acquittal of his killers, and a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.
About the Host
Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace
Chip Brantley is a writer/editor/producer based in Alabama. The author of The Perfect Fruit (Bloomsbury), his work has appeared in Slate, Gourmet, the Oxford American, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others. A senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Alabama, Chip is a former director of TV development for Mike Newell’s Dogstar Films and the creative producer of Whitman, Alabama, an experimental documentary that was a 2018 Emmy finalist in the New Approaches in Documentary category. Chip lives in Birmingham, Ala., where he founded the Desert Island Supply Co., a nonprofit creative writing program for kids.
Andrew Beck Grace is an Emmy-nominated nonfiction filmmaker based in Alabama. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and PBS’s Independent Lens. His film Eating Alabama premiered at SXSW, played over 40 festivals worldwide, and aired nationally on PBS. The film was awarded Best Documentary by the James Beard Foundation. His interactive documentary, After the Storm, was a co-production of PBS’s Independent Lens and The Washington Post. It has been exhibited internationally at the Sheffield Doc Fest, DOK Leipzig and at CNA Luxembourg, and was featured at the Magnum Foundation’s “Photography, Expanded” symposium. The project was nominated for an Emmy in New Approaches to Documentary as well as two Webby Awards. Andrew teaches nonfiction filmmaking and journalism at the University of Alabama.