Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels

Macmillan Audio. Jul. 2022. 9:48 hrs. ISBN 9781250856586. $26.99. CRIME
In April 2016, L.A. Times investigative reporter Pringle received a tip about an overdose at an upscale Pasadena hotel. This tip set off a chain of events that rattled the upper echelons of leadership at the University of Southern California and at the Times itself. Pringle found that Carmen Puliafito, dean of the USC medical school, was providing drugs to a troubled young woman in exchange for sex. Stonewalled by USC leadership, Pringle doggedly pursued the story, much to the chagrin of his employers, who seemed beholden to the wealthy and powerful, rather than to the truth. But the Puliafito story is merely the tip of the USC iceberg; Pringle and his colleagues also break the story of a sexually abusive gynecologist who worked and preyed on young women at the USC student health center for decades. Robert Petkoff’s skilled narration is straightforward and engaging, with frequent inflections suggesting incredulity and disgust at both the appalling behaviors of the men being investigated and Pringle’s editors at the paper.
VERDICT This inside look at investigative reporting at a major U.S. newspaper will appeal to listeners with an interest in journalism, as well as fans of true crime podcasts that focus on criminal investigations.
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