The Central Park Five

April 16th, 2013

1989 New York was a time in which social systems were breaking down. The crime rate was peaking, crack was a serious epidemic, racial animus was strong and it was safer for black and latino teenagers to hang out in Central Park, than to hang out on the mean streets of their own neighborhoods.

Amidst this atmosphere the body of a white woman was found in the park; beaten, raped and left for dead.

This is the backdrop for what would become one of New York and the country's most infamous crimes, what was dubbed at the time as the Central Park jogger. Sarah Burns has written The Central Park Five: The Untold Story Behind One of New York City's Most Infamous Crimes. Tonight her documentary, produced with her father Ken Burn, airs on PBS.

My conversation with Sarah Burns, last April: