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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Apology Line

Available for listening on Wondery / Podcasts

“Press 1 for crime, 2 for cheating.” In the 1980s, the aspiring artist Allan Bridge distributed flyers around Manhattan inviting anonymous callers to atone for their sins. The project itself was born out of guilt: to make ends meet, Bridge had complemented his carpentry with occasional shoplifting. What started off as a way to “Get your misdeeds off your chest!,” as one flyer advertised, became a dark medium in which criminals and crazies revealed human impulse at its worst. One caller claimed to be the Zodiac killer. Another threatened to murder Bridge. But there were also optimistic calls and sincere apologies, and you can hear them on this six-episode podcast, narrated by Bridge’s widow, Marissa, who kept recordings of the more than 100,000 confessions. —J.V.

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