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Wondery Presents: The Apology Line


If you could call a number and say you’re sorry, and no one would know…what would you apologize for? For fifteen years, you could call a number in Manhattan and do just that. This is the story of the line, and the man at the other end who became consumed by his own creation. He was known as “Mr. Apology.” As thousands of callers flooded the line, confessing to everything from shoplifting to infidelity, drug dealing to murder, Mr. Apology realized he couldn’t just listen. He had to do something, even if it meant risking everything. From Wondery the makers of Dr. Death and The Shrink Next Door, comes a story about empathy, deception and obsession. Marissa Bridge, who knew Mr. Apology better than anyone, hosts this six episode series.

Listen today at wondery.fm/DrDeathTAL

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Wonder is new true crime. Podcast. The apology line begins with Alan Bridge posting flyers, around New York City, asking people to anonymously apologize for their crimes, not to God, not the police, but to his answering machine within hours. The call started coming in people apologizing for stealing infidelity, lying and even murder, Alan God, dozens of calls from people claiming to be murderers, but one man stood out Richie. He was deliberate, measured and his calls would leave thousands wondering if he really was the serial killer he claimed to be that is until Richie offered to provide proof of his crimes. I'm about to play you a preview of the apology line, but while your listening make sure to subscribe on Apple podcast or you can listen early, an ad free by joining wondering plus in the wondering at wondering.
Feel the story. The following contains descriptions of violence, including sexual violence, and may not be suitable for all listeners. Please be advised, it was early. One thousand nine hundred and eighty one and I was with a group of friends at a loft in New York City. It was a dinner party with I think about six, maybe eight of us around the big table. Doug Welch was there to through the huge windows we could see. The lights of the empire state rosary, candles, flickered on a curved bookcase that separated the living room from the bedroom. These gatherings always went late, We were all artists, so we talked about our work, politics, how we were surviving in the city, the host was a man named Alan toward the end of the dinner, as it was wrapping up island just sort of casually said:
Would anyone like to hear the latest that came in today from apology? Apology was Alan's newest project dogs girlfriend carry vaguely remembered it had something to do with people calling a phone line. Alan held up a cassette tape was standing, it sort of gesticulating, and yet he was excited and we all kind of said sure. Alan water we're to his Cosette player, popped in the tape and turned out the lights. First, we listen who had every person who called Alan's phone line would hear an outgoing message and Alan's deadpan voice of all apologies, did it with the police or any other organisation, but rather the way for you to tell people? You have the wrong. How you feel about it has received by apology will be paid back to the public. So please do not identify yourself. Talk first If you want, then we heard the
voices of collars who'd left messages which occur, recognise recorded as being in the boat and being very bad report Why now on ranch clearing the way I do about the border region with every time I get one bad side, all those poor soul that there the wicked black and blue back there,
Not really I apologize to make, except to one person is my lover. Revolts thing extension sire make life difficult for him. I love you acts parchment around the dinner table, no one. Moved everything became quiet except the tapes. The calls kept coming and became more disturbing out twenty people about modern firemen. Rob
I think I'm too This last collar wasn't like the others, pay their way. Here I killed headway neighbour. He will acquire made a minor around the table, mood suddenly changed. The atmosphere in the room just shifted from this can be. Oh, you know posts dinner contentment to abject car. As this almost this incubus sort of
the room through the speaker and was actually in the room with, as I have said that you are going, it was some very tortured, dangerous sounding person paper like megabyte at all by hearing that voice and watching the lung tissue blinking. Bleak, blinking red and do kind of wanting to stop Alan got up, and turn the lights back on. He looked around waiting for a response. I just remember: I saw looking over our empty wine glass to each other with our jaws hanging open. No one could say a thing. I think we all just silently put on our coats and we just sort of filed out quietly and say. Thank you very much
Harry were quiet on the walk to the subway. Once we were on the trade access. Remember looking at three of these faces and wondering is that Secondly, does he know just conversing? anything to us there's something you visit to inventors move on. I couldn't on either Alan's. Our project starting to take on a life of its own, and it. Eventually take over his life. And mine subscribed to the apology line on apple pie casts or you can listen to new episodes early an ad free by joining wonder he plus in the wondering app wondering, feel the story
Transcript generated on 2021-02-12.