The Lost Sons of Omaha: Two Young Men in an American Tragedy

S. & S. Audio. May 2023. 11:53 hrs. ISBN 9781797155753. $24.99. SOC SCI
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sexton debuts with a deeply researched investigation into the killing of Black protester and single father James Scurlock by white bar owner and decorated Iraq War veteran Jake Gardner. Sexton’s reporting carefully untangles the web of information and misinformation about what transpired during a chaotic protest in Omaha, NE, following the 2020 murder of George Floyd. Talented narrator Dion Graham employs a somber, calm voice throughout, providing a nuanced exploration of the men’s families and communities and allowing listeners to fully process all aspects of this horrific tale. Chameleonlike, he gives voice to each person, imbuing them with depth and personality. The sad truth of this drama is that the event took on a life of its own in social media, with people who knew nothing about the case enhancing and creating new narratives that obscured the truth, which is that neither Scurlock nor Gardner were as many perceived them to be.
VERDICT An empathetic, beautifully narrated audio that details a heartbreaking tragedy complicated by social media and a politicized law-enforcement system.
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