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Broken Harts

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On March 23, 2018, Sarah and Jennifer Hart packed their six adopted children into their SUV and left their home in Woodland, Washington only a few hours after a representative from Child Protective Services stopped by the house to follow up on a child welfare complaint. Three days later, a passerby spotted the car upside down at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff off U.S. Highway 101 in Mendocino, California. All the people inside or found nearby were dead: the two moms (who were white) and four of the kids (who were black). Two kids (also black) are still missing but presumed dead. In the weeks following the crash, upsetting details emerged about the Harts. None of the victims in the car were wearing seatbelts. The driver, Jennifer, had elevated blood alcohol levels; Sarah Hart and the kids had high levels of Benadryl in their blood. Though they appeared to be a tight-knit, fun-loving, and adventurous family on social media, it came out that the mothers had withdrawn their children from school and been accused of abuse in three different states. The kids, who ranged in age from 12 to 19, were alarmingly thin and had complained to neighbors that their mothers were starving them. There are a number of mysteries at the heart of this tragedy. Our goal is to untangle them and get as close as we can to answering the biggest question of all: WHY?

On March 23, 2018, Sarah and Jennifer Hart packed their six adopted children into their SUV and left their home in Woodland, Washington only a few hours after a representative from Child Protective Services stopped by the house to follow up on a child welfare complaint. Three days later, a passerby spotted the car upside down at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff off U.S. Highway 101 in Mendocino, California. All the people inside or found nearby were dead: the two moms (who were white) and four of the kids (who were black). Two kids (also black) are still missing but presumed dead. In the weeks following the crash, upsetting details emerged about the Harts. None of the victims in the car were wearing seatbelts. The driver, Jennifer, had elevated blood alcohol levels; Sarah Hart and the kids had high levels of Benadryl in their blood. Though they appeared to be a tight-knit, fun-loving, and adventurous family on social media, it came out that the mothers had withdrawn their children from school and been accused of abuse in three different states. The kids, who ranged in age from 12 to 19, were alarmingly thin and had complained to neighbors that their mothers were starving them. There are a number of mysteries at the heart of this tragedy. Our goal is to untangle them and get as close as we can to answering the biggest question of all: WHY?
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United States

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HowStuffWorks

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On March 23, 2018, Sarah and Jennifer Hart packed their six adopted children into their SUV and left their home in Woodland, Washington only a few hours after a representative from Child Protective Services stopped by the house to follow up on a child welfare complaint. Three days later, a passerby spotted the car upside down at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff off U.S. Highway 101 in Mendocino, California. All the people inside or found nearby were dead: the two moms (who were white) and four of the kids (who were black). Two kids (also black) are still missing but presumed dead. In the weeks following the crash, upsetting details emerged about the Harts. None of the victims in the car were wearing seatbelts. The driver, Jennifer, had elevated blood alcohol levels; Sarah Hart and the kids had high levels of Benadryl in their blood. Though they appeared to be a tight-knit, fun-loving, and adventurous family on social media, it came out that the mothers had withdrawn their children from school and been accused of abuse in three different states. The kids, who ranged in age from 12 to 19, were alarmingly thin and had complained to neighbors that their mothers were starving them. There are a number of mysteries at the heart of this tragedy. Our goal is to untangle them and get as close as we can to answering the biggest question of all: WHY?

Language:

English


Episodes

Introducing She Makes Money Moves

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Duration:00:04:09

Introducing: Hit Man

8/15/2019
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Five years ago, veteran journalist Jasmyn Morris discovered a book called Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors, and the fact that it’d been used to commit a triple murder. From iHeart Radio and Hit Home Media, this is the story of a man who had a hand in many of Motown’s hits, the hit on his family, an elusive author, a literal murder manual, and how the drive for money can sometimes cost too much. Hit Man is now available. Listen here. Learn more about your ad-choices...

Duration:00:03:28

Introducing Hell and Gone

8/8/2019
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Season Two of Hell And Gone, hosted by writer and private investigator Catherine Townsend, launches July 24. After tracking down new leads in the murder of Rebekah Gould in season one, season two focuses on the 1989 death of 16-year-old Janie Ward in Marshall, Arkansas. Janie died mysteriously at a party at a cabin in the woods, and in the 30 years since her death, no one has been able to determine what or who killed her. The first three episodes of Season 2 are now available. Listen...

Duration:00:03:20

Monster Presents: Insomniac

6/27/2019
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What happens when you immerse yourself in true crime, night after night, digging deeper into the lives of serial killers? What are the consequences to a person's psyche? From iHeartRadio and TenderfootTV comes a new podcast about twisted serial killers and one man's journey through their stories. Listen to the first two episodes of Monster Presents: Insomniac here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:01:49

Introducing The Shrink Next Door

5/21/2019
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Marty Markowitz had his share of problems. His parents had recently died. He had troubles at work. A failing relationship. He needed someone to help him through this rough patch in his life. So he decided to get some professional help from a psychiatrist. What he did not count on, was what happened in his life over the next twenty-nine years.This is a story about power, control, and turning to the wrong person for help. Listen now at wondery.fm/harts Learn more about your ad-choices at...

Duration:00:10:33

"Two Questions, Eight People"

4/12/2019
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A full year after the crash, Mendocino County performs an inquest into the incident. The testimony, which takes place over the course of two days, reveals shocking new details and concludes with a heartbreaking conviction. Now what? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:33:58

"There Were Good Times"

1/29/2019
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We visit the edge of the cliff six months later. Here's what we know—and what we don't. How do we reconcile the good with the bad? And where do we go from here? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:35:55

"Stone-Cold Narcissist"

1/22/2019
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Jen is in the one in driver's seat, both literally and figuratively. But what makes her tick? And what was the state of Jen and Sarah’s relationship? Meet the people who try to answer these questions—and many more—after the crash. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:41:09

"Beautiful Black Boys"

1/14/2019
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The Hart kids are "crack babies." Developmentally-delayed. The victims of racist attacks. There are so many family stories, but each one has the same theme: Jen and Sarah are saviors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:35:11

"Owies"

1/8/2019
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The trouble starts when a teacher notices a bruise on Hannah Hart's arm. It follows Jen and Sarah Hart across three states, to the blue house in Woodland, Washington, where they're supposed to get a fresh start. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:31:35

"My God, There's Six of Them"

1/1/2019
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The Harts' neighbors don't know what's going on with the family on the other side of the driveway. Until one day, Devonte Hart starts begging for food. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:28:33

"The Perfect People"

12/18/2018
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Welcome to the fantastical world of the Harts. What's real? What's imaginary? And how does a private family end up in so many incredibly public moments? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:37:41

"If Not Us, Who?"

12/11/2018
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Jennifer and Sarah Hart adopt two sets of siblings in three years. Chaos ensues—with an undercurrent of something else. Something sinister. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:28:58

"Fear"

12/4/2018
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In March 2018, two white moms and their six black kids drive off a California cliff. What are they running from? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:37:17

Broken Harts Trailer

11/19/2018
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Two white moms. Six adopted black kids. One car found upside down at the bottom of a cliff. What went wrong? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

Duration:00:03:51

Teaser Trailer: Broken Harts

8/29/2018
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Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at www.howstuffworks.com/advertisers.htm And to learn about your ad choices when listening to podcasts, visit https://www.howstuffworks.com/privacy.htm#ad-choices

Duration:00:01:44