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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/AL_ShrinkNextDoor

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 Irish, 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 start coming in people apologizing for stealing infidelity lying leaving even murder. Alan got dozens of calls from people claiming to be murderers, but one man stood out Richie, he was deliberate. Measured in his calls would lead Thoust wondering if he really was the serial killer he claimed to be until which he offered to provide proof of his crimes. to hear a preview of the apology line, but why Listening make sure to subscribe on apple upon cast where you can listen early and ad free by joining one reply ass in the wonderful wondering feel the story. The following contains descriptions of violence, including sexual violence, and may not be suitable.
All listeners please be advised it was in nineteen. Eighty one- and I was with a group of friends at aloft in New York City. It was a dinner party with I think about. Six may be aid of us around the big table. Doug Welsh was there to through the huge windows we could see the lights of the empire state Building rosary, candles, flickered on a curved bookcase that separated the living room from the bedroom. These gather always went late. We were all artists, so we talked about our work politics and 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, Bum 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 carried
I remembered it had something to do with people calling a phone line. Alan held up a cassette tape. Alan was standing it sort of gesticulating yeah. He was excited, and we all kind of said sure, Alan Water were to his Cosette player, popped in the teeth 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. associated with the police or any other organisation, but rather the way for you to tell people through the wrong. How you feel about it has received by apology will be paid back to the public. So please do not identify yourself for as long as you want. Then we heard the voices of collars
left messages. I the crime I could not reported being in the boat and being very bad reporting Why now on ranch paving the way I do about the border region between the Chinese? Again, I just wanna, backed by all those poor souls out there like a black and blue. The next day
out of a really apology to make, except to one person, is my lover with Spain, of extension from sight met his life difficult to him. I love you axe parchment around the dinner table, no one moved everything became quiet except the tapes. The calls kept coming and became more disturbing in our voting, Bobby vomit.
I'm think. I'm too, This last collar wasn't like the others, pay their way here, killed headway neighbour. He would acquire made a minor around the table. The mood suddenly changed. The atmosphere in the room just shifted from this debate. oh, you know post dinner contentment to abject car. As this almost this incubus sort of
through the room through the speaker and was actually in the room with its back you're going. It was some very tortured, dangerous sounding person paper like megabyte, but only by and everything it by hearing that voice and watching the lung. Just blinking blinking blinking red ended kind of wanting to stop Alan got up and turn the lights back He looked around waiting for a response I just remember us all 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 that system was just you know. Just confessing we to Us something you visit to adventurous move on. I couldn't. on either Alan's our project we're starting to take on a life of its own and eventually take over his life, and mine, subscribe to the apology line on apple podcast or you can listen early and ad free by joining one replied in the wonder. Yap wandering feel the story
Transcript generated on 2021-01-20.