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Thursday, April 09, 2015 - 03:18 PM

(Photo Credit: Bernhard Suter/Flickr)

We're thrilled to present a piece from one of our favorite podcasts, Love + Radio (Nick van der Kolk and Brendan Baker). 

Producer Briana Breen brings us the story: Diane’s new neighbors across the way never shut their curtains, and that was the beginning of an intimate, but very one-sided relationship.

Please listen to as much of Love + Radio as you can

Produced by:

Brendan Baker, Briana Breen and Nick van der Kolk

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Comments [223]

aphasiac

Why was the ending of this episode changed?

Originally it included the following addendum: "after this story originally aired, the neigbour closed her curtains and hasn't opened them since".

Now it appears the mp3 has been altered to remove this.

Apr. 17 2016 12:04 PM
Porkopolis

Interesting story, certainly. But I can't help but feel like many others: There is a distinct level of narcissism and voyeurism with our narrator, as so many have pointed out in one way or another.

Apr. 01 2016 04:35 PM
Christian from Sweden

Inspiration...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047396/

Feb. 24 2016 05:02 AM

It is sad how emotionally immature some of the comments were about this amazing story. Which describes so many human emotions. From being unable to look away. To getting emotionally involved by simply living parallel across the young couples apartment over a long period of time. I have never been in such a situation, but possibly would of gotten as involved under the right circumstances. THE STORY WAS CAPTIVATING AND BESUTIFUL!!!

Feb. 22 2016 12:43 AM
Samantha Green from New York

The fact that this woman watched people once doesn't bother me. It's the fact that she somehow became emotionally attached to their lives and didn't realize that it was a one-way, voyeuristic activity that bothered me. If the narrator had been a man, I highly doubt anyone would find this 'beautiful'. The plain truth is that this behavior is classic stalking. Justifying her actions, or comparing this to watching TV, shows how little society understands the issue. Case in point, imagine a man running out of his apartment in his pajamas to be part of a woman's final moments with her dead lover, thinking he could help her emotionally - when the woman in question had never met him. Creepy.

Feb. 20 2016 06:12 PM
Quin from Fortville Indiana

Just listened to this show today. Loved it!

Feb. 20 2016 04:27 PM
REM from Danbury

I just heard the end of this story, but isn't this the plot of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window?

Feb. 20 2016 12:27 PM
Roi James from Austin, Texas

Forgive me if I'm wrong. But I feel the need to give my response to the story a voice. I truly hate saying this because this was quite the emotional story and there is every chance that I'm off here, but for some reason, as it was delivered, I had this sense that there was something inauthentic about it. I don't know how to describe it except to say, there seemed something about it that was too dramatic to be real. This response was so acute that I had to listen to it twice and really, REALLY listen to it the second time. There were things that were extraordinarily convenient in explaining how this situation could occur, and convenient in the way that makes it difficult if not impossible to verify.

What immediately brought my antenna up was that no other apartment could see into the couples apartment making it impossible for someone else to verify.

Their curtains never seemed to be down?!!! I had cancer a couple of years ago, went through radiation, chemo, several surgeries, more chemo, went down to 116 lbs (I lost 44 lbs during treatment and recovery). I would never leave myself so publicly exposed. I do have to say natural light would have been healing and I'd have wanted them up at times. In this story, they're up from the start, even after his death, leaving his corpse exposed and the emotions of this family in public view. I simply don't believe this.

She could find no obituary. Also makes it impossible to authenticate the existence of these people. Not that it's anyone's business (and that's another story).

And I have to say, when the woman starts dancing towards the end of the story seemed so hollywood, it practically screamed SCREENPLAY!

I hate being so suspicious but it's a feeling I have and I can't deny it. I hope I'm wrong and it's all true. But it reminded me of the Stephan Glass scandal at the New Republic where he fabricated such interesting stories that people just wanted to believe were true.

Jan. 27 2016 10:20 PM
Daisy

The narrator is seriously sick in the head. It's a pity radiolab played this story, there is nothing romantic about seeing a man's corpse being dragged away who chose to die in the comfort of his own home. Disgusting.

Jan. 25 2016 10:47 PM
EVAMEA from CHICO CALIFORNIA

I WONDER WHY ITS HARDER TO LOOK WHEN PEOPLE ARE HAPPY. WHY IS IT EASIER TO LOOK WHEN SOMEONE IS SUFFERING?

Jan. 11 2016 06:46 PM
Kathryn from Minneapolis

This story lacks credibility on many levels. Diane could supposedly see these people clearly from half a block away. She could see their heads as they lay in their bed, which was pushed up against the window, and somehow she could see their bodies, too, as they were making love. She says "naked" an astonishing number of times. They were, in fact, "always naked." She keeps making the point, a childish attempt at titillation. She watched them -- what else? This window that appeared in her life was "like a movie screen." It was amazing to her that it was all "really clear, amazingly clear. I had no idea you could see so well across such a distance." (Yes, because you can't see that well across such a distance.) The couple "never, ever bought curtains" but shortly after the story was recorded, the woman "closed her curtains and hasn't opened them since." How convenient. This is clearly a fabricated story, and not a very well done one at that.

Jan. 08 2016 08:17 AM
daph higdon

Four reasons why Diane Weipert's "The Neighbors" didn't ring true for me.

https://medium.com/@DaphHigton/four-reasons-why-dianeweipert-s-the-living-room-didn-t-ring-true-for-me-fb0856d29d92#.qnbzmlu30

Dec. 24 2015 12:32 AM
Rich from Chicago

This is my favorite story on the internet. It puts you through every emotion and whenever I listen to it I see myself in the narrator's shoes.

Dec. 22 2015 03:07 PM
Deb from Massachusetts

Gee, I can't make up my mind! I wonder what I'd have done if I were in the narrator's shoes. I am too emotional by nature and I don't think I'd have the strength to watch the events unfold.

What would you do if you were there? I'm curious.

Nov. 28 2015 03:13 PM
Ashley from The road

I honestly thought this story was incredible and beautiful. Was it right or wrong for her to watch the young lady? That's between she and Diane. Was it ok for her to share the young lady's story without her consent? Again, not my call. In my opinion, which is all I can give, the story became beautiful and incredible as she described the maternal love she began to feel for the young girl. I believe Diane proved her credibility by discussing the struggle she felt over the perverseness of the situation. And one day these women will part ways. But I think we often fail to see or feel just how much we are loved, even when it comes in unconvential ways. To know that this sort of love exists, even if we don't understand it, is, in my opinion, just another beautiful facet of human existence.

Nov. 25 2015 11:39 PM
Laura from Elsewhere

Ew. Creepy voyeur gets sentimental about something she saw, makes a ton of assumptions about who these people were, WITHOUT getting input or consent from the actual people involved, then shares her interpretation of the events with millions of people.

She is the worst kind of storyteller for a podcast. Presenting us with just her interpretation of things, never challenges her assumptions or uncovers any facts that would reflect the actual reality of the situation.

No, just no. This would have been a more honest story if it just examined her own reasons for spying on these people and apparently her own lack of discretion and eagerness to entertain herself through other people's suffering. This is not good behavior, and it should not be celebrated on a national podcast.

Nov. 13 2015 12:10 AM
Molly from Cali

I had the feeling she was crying because she was ashamed that after she realized she was just a rubber necker she still didn't or couldn't stop. All the emotions and compassion for the girl were justification she needed to live with herself.

Oct. 23 2015 08:10 PM
Robin McConnell from Toronto, CANADA

I can't stop thinking about this. I want so badly for the narrator to send a copy of this to the girl. I cried along with the narrator. I want the girl to know that not only does this woman want her to be okay... any one who has listened to this tale wants her to be okay. <3

Oct. 16 2015 04:28 PM
Jason from Australia.

I've only ever heard of the stereotypical male obtaining sexual gratification through voyeurism. My understanding is that it's a shallow, quick fix relationship between the watcher and the watched to satisfy the male libido. This example of female voyeurism sends the whole act into the troposphere and is way, way creepier than any male version of the act.

Oct. 12 2015 12:50 AM
Michael Glass from Jacksonville, FL

This was a really touching piece. Probably one of my favorite shorts produced so far. After hearing this, "Dead Friend" by Against Me! played on my drive home and I couldn't help but picture this story in my head while listening to it. Totally changed that song for me! Anyone who's heard this podcast should give it a listen.

Oct. 02 2015 01:52 PM
Mr. Analog from Calgary

Most touching story. It hints at life before walls when community was naked and exposed. All our natural moments exposed; life, death, and everything between. I did not see voyeurism as it seems Diane too was exposed and is now exposed even more through her story. For me it was more about allowing one's life and another's life to happen simultaneously in a shared space. Through this we sometimes inadvertently impose memories on others that change them forever. In this case, many people including myself have been impacted by that story which allowed me to see outside of myself and to entangle my life with someone I don't know. What a life!

Sep. 09 2015 05:06 PM
Re' from New Orleans

Thanks for sharing this story. Beautiful. I think I cried!

Aug. 25 2015 02:31 PM
Connie from Central Florida, USA

For those who fail to see the science in observing the human condition and only see voyeurism, WTH is wrong with you?

For those of you disgusted by this "voyeur" who was an inappropriate watcher, but who still questioned the morality of her own actions, how often do you question your own actions when you watch some ridiculously produced reality show on TV? I do not live in a situation where someone elses' OPEN and uncurtained window faces my own, but I can tell you that I have concerns for my neighbors-should I not watch out for them? Should I be uninvolved in the lives of those around me? An open window invites the looker, whether in the city or the country.

The judgement call - while it may have been in poor taste, while it may have been inappropriate, many people are intrigued by what catches their eye. They slow down at the car wreck. They invest themselves in the lives of others. Many do the same with soap operas, even though they realize it is fiction. I don't know what I would have done in such a situation-I've never had to face it. I agree she knew/knows what she is doing is not appropriate, she is just as addicted to the story playing out as if it were on the telly. She doesn't "know" them, and it appears she never will. She took pains to not identify specifics and I think that's fine as far as protecting the individuals involved. The time for her to have identified herself was right after she discovered "the window" and let the couple decide how much of themselves they wanted to reveal-at least they would have had a choice in whether or not they wanted to close their own drapes.

Those with a bad taste in your mouth, would you have felt the same if they were yelling and screaming at each other? If there was no sex or only violence, would that have been OK to "watch". What would YOU have done? Would you have called the police and thereby ruined the couples' last year together by forcing them to not enjoy the sunshine and sky? Would you smugly say "that takes care of that" and moved on without another thought or care about it? If so, then yes, you are a prude.

The narrator did not exhibit her voyeurism with the intent to get any sexual arousal or gratification. She may have been curious; dismayed at her own body (her discussion about the lack of sex in her own household, and insecurity for her husband, etc); and maybe she simply did not reveal any of the more deviant interest she may have had in the intimate life of this couple... She was interested in (as most women are) in the study of the human story - she was fascinated by the stories she made up, and in the reality of what wound up playing out in front of her. IF her interest was not sexual but life-curiosity, then I think most of us - to one degree or another - are guilty as well, whether or not we admit it.

Aug. 24 2015 03:08 PM
Katie100 from Canada

This episode left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. Although it is a well-told story, it is ultimately creepy, perverse, and disrespectful.

As someone who has lost a loved one to cancer and lived the very scene described by the voyeur, I would be downright livid to find out that not only had someone watched those painful, vulnerable moments but worse that they described it publicly to a media outlet.

Not only is this story a gross infringement of privacy, but the voyeur takes those most intimate moments of strangers and turns those moments into a story about herself and her feelings about it. She effectively coopts a stranger’s life as her own personal journey.

Aug. 17 2015 04:22 PM

Some people in the comment section talk about empathy. Let's do that, let's be empathetic, how would you feel if a stranger with binoculars would watch you for months. Watch you during your most personal an painful moments. I for one, wouldn't be exactly pleased.

The couple that was being watched should have bought curtains, sure. The peeping woman should have contacted them (made them aware somehow).

What most people don't seem to notice is that the "watcher" recognized what she did was perverse when she met the young woman on the street. She then rationalized it away.

I don't want to be too judgy. I can understand the fascination, the attraction of the situation. We are all human and flawed. But to portray this perverse act (using the watchers own words here) as something beautiful and good, is all sorts of messed up.

Aug. 06 2015 04:06 AM
Sophy from Australia

Thanks radiolab for such a touching story. I completely disagree with those attacking Diane, who hasn't been fascinated by the lives of strangers? Such a beautiful depiction of the loss of loved ones

Aug. 06 2015 12:52 AM

My daughter and I stumbled upon this story while on a road trip. At first we were turned off by the story as it started. We looked at each other thinking,"What is this?". We rode it out to the end and we were glad we did. We sat quietly digesting the whole story, sobbing. It was sad and beautiful. I think this story illustrates how we have drifted away from what makes us human in a world where technology has separated us through layers of quick convenience. The author's internal need to say something to the woman but can't is a sign of the struggle we face in today's world. Thank you for a thought provoking story that stayed with us for a long time.

Jul. 29 2015 11:34 PM
Paje Garbus from East Bay Area, CA

Oddly enough I feel for Diane. It's refreshing to know that there's someone else out there who would've acted similarly in that situation. Obviously the fact that Diane works from home gave her a pretty good idea of the situation. Yes there is a fine line between invasion of privacy and curiosity, but I think Diane was concerned especially after seeing the boyfriend so emaciated after some time. I myself would've been curious & probably would've ran across the street as well wanting to give my condolences. This story is so touching and I feel very lucky to have come across it on radiolab. Although, if I were Diane and if I were to run into the girl, I would be tempted to befriend her somehow especially since I feel like I'm somehow a part of her life, knowing what she's gone/going through. She may or may not be welcoming and either reaction, it would be ok.

Jul. 27 2015 04:57 PM
Jay from Prague, Czech Republic

I've listened twice... beautiful, sad. We all have stories, ever those annoying neighbors across the steet. Thank you.

Jul. 24 2015 01:45 PM
Karen from Alaska

Loved this story; I can see why it may turn off some people as appears to be an invasion of privacy. It was very compelling and gave us a glimpse into a story of love and relationships. It made me value just the ordinary life that I live and how if someone else viewed my "story" from afar that they would be touched by the love and care that I show to my husband, children, etc by just being a wife and a mom. That truly is what life is about, the relationships we have with the people that matter in our lives and how we never really know what this life will bring.

Jul. 22 2015 10:55 AM

Some of the comments here are so narrow-minded and judgmental. This was a very intriguing look into the human experience. Whether we agree or disagree, it still has the value of insight into how humans behave. We know what went through the mind of someone who for some reason compulsively kept watching. To cast stones is hypocritical. Everyone of us has and will do things that are seemingly incomprehensible and ethically dubious. Should we repress it and not deal with it or have a conversation and try to understand why we do the things we do. No one was hurt by airing this story.
The conversation should be more empathetic. Maybe some of he commenters here don't know how crammed together people are in a big city and how hard it is to turn away from whats right in front of you.
It's absurd to speculate about how people would react based on the gender of the narrator. I could put the moral blame on the couple for being so visible. I've had cops called on me by neighbors for being nude in my home. Should she have done that instead? Are people not able to have conversations that aren't completely dominated by morality. If you want science, discuss like a scientist, please.

Jul. 20 2015 08:47 PM
Dietrich from San Diego County

Great story. More like this.

Jul. 17 2015 04:01 AM
Jason from Florida

I don't understand why people are complaining about this podcast. It was beautiful, suspenseful, thrilling. I went through so many emotions listening to this episode. It was incredible. These were wonderful stories. People are complaining how its not about science and if whether they were fact or fiction. Does it matter? Enjoy it for what it is. Superb job Radiolab. I respect the effort and time your team put in these podcasts.

Jul. 14 2015 10:20 AM
Ugh from East Coast

Not sure, after skimming the comments, whether this was a true story, a work of fiction, or some combination of both.

If fiction: please let your listeners know ahead of time. We have a right to know.

If truth: Here's my takeaway: Narrator (summary): "I was kind of irritated that these people were having so much sex and I could see it all the time. I wanted to put up a sign that said 'Please buy some curtains!' But I didn't want to seem like a prude. So instead of drawing my own curtains (because that would have made my living room DARK ::wrist to forehead::), I bought a pair of binoculars, creeped on the couple, and then went and aired their story on national public radio. Yay me!"

This was absolutely pathetic. Again, if the narratrix were male, nobody would have listened and the backlash would have been exponentially harsher than it is here.

If some mixture of both: Ugh. Again, we deserve to know.

If in fact the woman whose boyfriend died did actually comment above: I am sorry for your loss.

Jul. 12 2015 11:24 PM
Andrew from United States

First RadioLab episode I did not enjoy without fail. The final bit about the woman not saying anything to the woman if she saw her was the final straw. She marked herself as a peeping Tom at that point and even worse a coward. I still respect RadioLab but I see this as a waste of an episode.

Jul. 08 2015 12:47 PM
Curtis Brandie from USA

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Jul. 06 2015 04:04 PM
Lora from St. Paul, MN

I wish I could remove the memory of this story from my mind - and I didn't even finish listening! It was so creepy, disturbing and whacked out, I can't believe RadioLab aired it - What were you thinking?! Where's the science in this? This voyeur woman needs something else to do with her life. I feel for the family she was spying and reporting on. RadioLab, why would you want to give her a forum by airing this supposed "reporting?" I used to LOVE RadioLab - part of my heartbreak with hearing this podcast is the loss of quality of the program. Sadness all around.

Jun. 30 2015 09:57 AM
John Smith

I felt gross after listening to this. This wasn't a touching story, but a story about a creepy lady who treated a people's real lives and tragedies as some sort of show to amuse themselves with. I don't think I will be listening to Radiolab again after this.

Jun. 27 2015 10:57 AM
James from Indiana

If this story is true, you have committed an ethical breach by broadcasting a story about this family's painful, private experience without their consent.

If it is not true, you have committed an ethical breach by intentionally deceiving your listeners.

I only recently discovered Radio Lab and have been enjoying it so far. But I don't think I can continue to listen to your program. After hearing this broadcast, I simply no longer trust your judgement.

Jun. 19 2015 11:58 AM
David

If this woman voyeur was a young man, this would clearly be looked down upon as a story from a creepy peeping tom. Instead, it's about distant empathy. What?! And isn't this show supposed to be about science...not questionably immoral stories that may or may not be true?

Jun. 18 2015 06:30 PM
Maria

The coolest, most engaging story I've heard in a long time. I absolutely loved it. Thank you.

Jun. 17 2015 08:41 PM
Nishka from Toronto

Very well written and very well acted. I do think as listeners we have the right to know if something is fiction or non-fiction, or even if it lies somewhere in between. I think that level of transparency is in order to build a sense of trust between the listener and the producers. Imagine if all books and movies were censored in that way? There's a reason they're not.

Jun. 09 2015 02:06 PM
Laura Gomez from Chile

Good morning, I would like to know if there is anyway there is a SCRIPT of this audio.

I need it for my university class.

Thank You.

Jun. 09 2015 10:02 AM

I liked what Jorge from France said about this- it should have been packaged differently. Because I listened expecting for there to be some redemption. Diane's acknowledgement of the wrongfulness of her act does not excuse it. And her tears make me cringe. Diane- this was not a picture show for your entertainment, and certainly not fodder for your so-called art. I imagine how the couple in the apartment would feel so violated and angry to know this creepy woman was doing that. And putting up curtains is expensive, difficult, and makes a room gloomy. I don't think it is what someone with cancer would do. Maybe they want the light of the sun on their skin. I live in an apartment and can see lots of windows and activity directly across the way, but I don't stare. And I certainly don't watch with binoculars. Radiolab should just rename this episode what it is, a creepy, voyeuristic invasion.

Jun. 06 2015 05:50 AM
Paul

Assuming this was not some kind of radio fiction I am disappointed that Radiolab would give this story an audience.

Jun. 04 2015 03:53 PM
Polle from Norway

Listening to the episode was quite engaging and at times I was moved, but following the comments I can really understand that some people are upset. I do think it can be considered a privacy infringement. It is of course normal to see people from your window, and to stare every now and then, but spending hours looking with binoculars and calling your partner if exciting things happen is not done. I'd surely be upset if someone at any moment would do that to me, let alone in these most private moments of someones life. Nevertheless I was moved by the story, I have strong doubts if it's true, and I actually don't really know why radiolab has chosen to air this. It is not the type of story I listen to radiolab for.

tl;dr: Mixed feelings.

Jun. 02 2015 02:27 PM
leslie from colorado

I have never been turned off by a radio lab podcast until this one. I have yet to see its redeeming value, or ask any questions I think valuable to growth. It left a bitter taste in my mouth.

May. 31 2015 05:54 PM
Marlene from Philadelphia

I was deeply moved by this story. I read through some of the comments and I know a lot of people found the actions of the author creepy and voyueristic.
I am the woman of the anonymous couple. Not literally but having just lived through such a similar scenario - caring for and watching the man I love sicken and die, I can tell you I would have been thrilled to know there was a witness. I can tell you there is nothing more isolating than becoming the sole caregiver for someone who is slowly wasting away. When someone gets sick there are suddenly all these new people in your life, doctors, nurses, aides,etc. The one thing that's missing is that no one really sees you.

I worked a full time job and took care of the man I deeply loved every free minute I had. Even though I knew death was the inevitable outcome nothing can prepare a person for witnessing the living human body slowly breaking down. To couple that with witnessing that process happening to someone you love is indescribable.
I say all this because this story whether true or made up left me feeling 'seen' for the first time in a very long time. I would have been glad to have a stranger come up to me the day they took David's body away to say something kind. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. I walked out of my house every day and put on a brave face. Few people knew at work about my personal life and even those that did had no idea of the magnitude of my reality. I am grateful for this story. I have no problem with the author. In fact this story for a few minutes took me out of my sense of isolation and let me feel connected to people again.

May. 26 2015 10:41 AM
Jeff Hoelscher from Minneapolis, MN

Reverse the genders, change the city, and decrease the amount of sex we were having, and this story could have been about my wife and me at 24. In other words, it's a generic story without specifics that make it uniquely identifiable. No one but the author has been exposed. Whether she needs psychiatric help or not isn't for me to decide, but if I had found out that someone was watching my suffering through the window that I refused to cover, my response would range from indifference to comfort in knowing that someone else knows.

May. 20 2015 07:54 PM
Conrad from Brooklyn, NY

I'm okay with this story. Compelling. Real or not, close your curtains if you want privacy. She finally closed then because someone told her she was being watched.

May. 19 2015 08:17 PM
Michael from Los Angeles

I thought this was a beautiful story and it really made me appreciate what RadioLab brings to me. As for science: it would be fascinating to be able to categorize by geography the comments. My hypothesis would be that those who use the word "voyeurism" come from less densely populated areas -- I live in a heavily urban area (downtown Los Angeles) and the concept of voyeurism did not even occur to me until I read these comments.

May. 19 2015 01:01 AM
Dick Blakely from SF

Shame on Radiolab to air this filth. This is a story about a peeping tom. This is not behavior we should promote or celebrate. I am insulted and disgusted. I have watched and cared for both my parents and my child while they went through terminal illnesses, all of which ended in their demise.That is a process that is deeply personal and to think that someone would be peeking into my window to watch this is repulsive and breaks all assumed rules of human decincy. To think that Radiolab would give this story a platform is beyond belief, but Radiolab ran this story and now you own it. You and the writer both owe the Family depicted in this story a huge apology.

May. 18 2015 04:35 PM
uganda from Uganda

Touching story. i believe it is real and while i can understand why some were offended, it is wrong to say there was no introspection on the part of the correspondent. She clearly felt mixed emotions about how voyeristic she was behaving. as for Radiolab, do you expect them to spoonfeed you information about what is right and wrong? there is a place for just telling a story and letting us think about it. eveyone's reaction to tragedy is different, but for myself, if i found out someone was watching such a private moment, i would understand and be grateful to kniw someone understood my pain. and if they were to broadcast it, i would only hope hat they would do so with dignity and compassion, which I felt she did.

May. 17 2015 02:58 AM
Amber from Kentucky

I have first hand knowledge that this story is not fiction. I have not, nor will I ever, listen to this story, though Radiolab has been my favorite show for a long time. Shame on them for airing this. These people are/were very real and it is not this woman's story to tell. I am shocked that Radiolab approved and aired this story.

May. 15 2015 07:18 PM
MaryDove from CT

If what Robert & Jad wanted was something titillating and controversial, then, booya! They got it. I really disliked this episode ~ if the story was real, then it was about an impolite voyeur; if it was fiction, then it was entirely meaningless. I'll admit that I listened to the end, very much hoping that there was going to be some denouement that would redeem the story, but in the end I just felt disappointed and a little slimy for not turning it off.

C'mon guys ~ I know you can do better. I'm counting on it; I won't continue to donate for material like this.

May. 14 2015 01:02 PM
Fernando Santana from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

One of me most beautiful stories I have ever listened to. Thanks, Radiolab. ❤️

May. 13 2015 11:21 AM
Charlotte from United States

This story represents an attempt to grapple with the fate that we all will face inevitably. It is a topic with which many people are uneasy - the strong and polarized opinions in this comments section bear me out on that fact. For the record I do not think this story is factual but nonetheless I found it quite distasteful.

For a far more enlightening, intimate, dignified, respectful and ethical documentary on death may I recommend The Human Body - Episode 7 - The End of Life (BBC). I do not want to spoil the experience but please be assured that the subject of the film, their family, doctor, friends, hospice carers and neighbors all agreed to participate. The presenter Dr. Robert Winston is a highly respected UK obstetrician with a true gift for striking that perfect balance of science education and pathos. The result is a detailed but compassionate description of the emotional, physiological and medical process of death coupled with a celebration of what it means to have had a life. For those of you who were left feeling implicated in the voyeurism of The Living Room podcast I highly recommend it.

May. 10 2015 11:37 PM
daniel satterberg from minneapolis

Everyone's getting bent out of shape about, what I highly suspect is, a fabricated story. Two things that led me to think it was; the 'toddler' reference was suspiciously overplayed and the fact there was no corroborating obituaries.

May. 10 2015 01:30 AM
Claire from Washington

This episode was disgusting. If it's a true story, everyone involved should be ashamed by their lack of journalistic integrity. The narrator, who seems to take pride in her opportunistic narcissism, had absolutely no right to exploit this young woman's suffering to further her own career gain. If I were to learn that a busybody stranger had shared my grief in this manner I would be traumatized and furious.

I am saddened that Radiolab decided to air this and I will not be listening or contributing to the program anymore.

May. 09 2015 01:56 AM
Jay from San Diego, Ca

To the critics who go on about how she invaded this couples privacy, please read Jonathan Franzen's essay on the subject, "Imperial Bedroom". Americans have a strange relationship to privacy...as they seem to care about it in the abstract.

The mailman can go through your letters and read your love poems and tax evasions and confessions of this sort, but who really cares if you will never ever see the mailman in your entire life nor even know he was doing it to begin with?

May. 09 2015 01:33 AM
Jessica Jernigan from United States

This is disgusting. I am ashamed that I listened all the way through.

May. 08 2015 06:14 PM
Leslie from Alaska

This story is the reason I will not listen to Radio Lab again. I think it is an egregious violation of the grieving woman's right to privacy, not to mention that of her dying/dead husband. To think it is acceptable to lay bare someone's most private of experiences - death - without their permission is in my opinion, unforgivable. I will not listen again.

May. 08 2015 05:11 PM
Mary Richter from Bellingham, WA

I thought the story brought up some interesting questions about human behavior whether it's true or not. I'm retired and look out my window. I notice my neighbors more than I did when I was young and busy. So I see myself a bit in the storyteller. I read the comments and noticed the strong reactions: some people were really touched while others were offended, disappointed, and angry. I thought maybe it was the comments that were fabricated and not the story. Or maybe both...and all will be explained in a follow up story! I also noticed that no one said they were a contributor to Radiolab. I am and have been for years. Not all episodes appeal to me, but enough of them do for me to continue my support.

May. 08 2015 12:24 AM
sarah from salado, tx

I liked this story and I don't think it was made up. By the way I love radio lab!

May. 07 2015 10:14 PM
T from Australia

I just don't believe this story. The narrative is too well crafted and Diane's story telling performance is just that, a performance. Oh and how convenient that the curtains closed the week before it went to air.

May. 07 2015 06:58 PM
Lynda from Chicago

Wow, very intriguing but upsetting episode. I wish the woman had reached out to the girl in some way, even just sending a handwritten letter.

May. 05 2015 04:20 PM
M Starkozy from United States

Really disappointing episode Radiolab. I didn't learn anything. Just annoying questions lingering. Did the husband see his wife's obsession as being okay? Why did the lady give the interview (instead of telling the lady to her face, um, let me just broadcast this story to the world). Lame.

May. 03 2015 09:26 PM
Kurt Meadows from Newton, MA

I liked the way she tried to make her story seem real. It reminds me of an independent podcast - The Addendum, which is a collection of short stories written for audio presentation.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/addendum-podcast/the-addendum

May. 03 2015 05:53 PM
Tom from Mannheim Germany

One of the most strange, heartfelt, and moving things I've ever heard...thanks

May. 03 2015 09:54 AM
Radiolablover

I really like this story. I almost cried. I don't understand why moit of you are getting upset just because one episode isn't about what you want it to be about.

May. 02 2015 11:56 AM

I think Nick's post script is a bit chilling:

"Just after this interview was recorded last Spring, Diane's neighbor closed her curtains, and hasn't opened them since."

May. 01 2015 07:42 PM

I usually really enjoy radiolab, but was pretty disappointed with this episode. What happened to the themes about science? Has Radiolab become a podcast about anything and everything? As the last line of the post says "Please listen to as much of Love + Radio as you can," I can't help but wonder if airing of this episode was just a favor to some friends at "Love + Radio."

May. 01 2015 07:11 PM
Karl Marl from Los Angeles

Why would any of you think this story is made up? Is it a religious thing?

May. 01 2015 03:40 PM
Fred from Pittsburgh PA

I agree with the comment "bring back the science," with the added emphasis PLEASE!
This article was disturbing, sad and in a way sick. This is more of a story for "This American Life" which I listen to also, but I doubt they would even play it.

I started to listen to this with my wife in the car but she made me turn it off with about 10 minutes left. I later picked up these last 10 minutes hoping that there would be something to redeem the show before it ended. But No! It just kept dragging on and left me wondering how I could have wasted this time in an even less productive manner. I couldn't come up with one.

Maybe it was just a slow week for you guys, or maybe you owed someone a favor or something temporary like that. I hope you haven't lost your way and think this is a new path to follow for the show.

Apr. 30 2015 04:31 PM
kris ayers from united states

Why does it matter if it's true or made up?

Answer: personal preference.

That's why I listen to radio lab and not to some drama or short story podcast. For me, it's interesting to listen to an account and know that a real person experienced a real thing. This story was a melodrama prepared and distributed for the express purpose of eliciting a specific response from us. To that end, I find it less interesting. That's fine though. My only real gripe was accurate labeling by radio lab so I could have known up front to skip this one.

Apr. 30 2015 12:13 AM
Mikael from Finland

Quite disappointing episode. I felt that this more about a really unhappy person who fills her own misery with the misery of others. I would not call that empathy. I just feel bad about the storytellers obvious personal problems and the way she is projecting them on the window screen of this unlucky couple.

Not wrong to do a story about, but this was clearly not the right format for it. Better executed and written properly, this could maybe be a OK short novel. Now it was just a poor love-movie in words.

Apr. 29 2015 04:10 AM
Tiziana from Naples, Italy

A great story. I don't understand why most of you think: creepy woman! Love, empathy can be shown is many different ways.

Apr. 28 2015 05:05 PM
John from colorado

I've read some comments and I've got to wonder: who the f*ck cares if the story is real or not? Were there inconsistencies in the storyline? Probably (I don't care enough to go back and confirm them or even look for them). Are there inconsistencies when people tell the truth. Usually.

Does it matter? No. Why? Because this sh*t easily could have happened. And it reminds us all how precious life is--and how sad at times it can be, and how human we all are. (Also, I think there are more interesting things to talk about than the validity of the story itself).

I'm surprised at how many of you find this lady “creepy” or “stalkerish” or whatever. The couple was allegedly having sex in front of huge open windows, thus no reasonable person would expect “privacy” to be an issue (but who knows, maybe you are all trolls lol, because this seems so obvious to me), because no expectation of privacy would be present.

The storyteller (can't remember her name) gets out binoculars at one point to more closely observe. Again, if it's in front of a large open window, I doubt the looked-upon would even care, and if they do, well, that's what curtains are for and they should have had them.

What I found most peculiar about this story was the narrator's unwillingness to make contact with the couple throughout the narrative. I mean let's be for real, if you're a young couple and having incredible sex in front of an open window where anyone could potentially see you, record you, whatever—you probably get off on that fact and you wouldn't mind the recognition and perhaps slight admiration that came from someone coming to introduce themselves as, “oh hey by the way, nice moves last night you guys. . .”

And yet she feels so distant from them, and alludes to feeling uncomfortable by the prospect of introducing herself to the bereft female. I actually think though that the bereft female would welcome a tactful approach by the narrator, should they ever cross paths. Can't imagine what it would be like to lose someone whom you dearly loved and feel so alone.

CHEERS

Apr. 28 2015 01:07 AM
Nelly

Creepy indeed. I stayed through to the end in the hope that there would be something to redeem this exercise in self-indulgence. Now I just feel implicated in the voyeurism.....my apologies the the couple and their family.

Apr. 26 2015 07:27 PM
Tom N from GA

Possibly the most compelling story I have ever heard.

Apr. 26 2015 11:14 AM
Kris Ayers from united states

Fabricated story. Please indicate when stories are fictional so as not to waste time of people looking for non-fictional accounts.

Apr. 25 2015 09:09 PM

I loved this episode because there are so many layers to it and it was fascinating listening to Diane convey a very real and genuine love for people whom she had simply observed but had never actually met. And for the love of god, all the judgement going on in the comments! Are you shitting me?? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

Looking at the comments this might be the most contentious Radiolab episode ever. The fascinating irony is many people are complaining about the lack of "science" ... but this episode and the comments below are a CASE STUDY in social science. Radiolab could do an entire episode just on the psychological projection happening in the comments section alone!

Jad and Robert, I say to you: Bravo! You have certainly stirred up controversy by choosing to play this episode, even more so by not adding an introduction. But it is in the rage and the ire that are the fuel for new insights, the building blocks for new creativity ... building blocks not unlike the stardust we are all made of and will become again.

Apr. 25 2015 08:49 PM
Pudge from Northern California

As a pastor, I thought this was a fascinating description of human behavior. It isn't hard to second-guess Diane's choices (e.g. she might have introduced herself when the man first got sick), but seriously -- I can second-guess a lot of my own past (Why didn't I say something to my grandmother that last time I saw her? Why didn't I visit my neighbor when he was ill and lonely? Answer = sometimes I lack courage to face uncomfortable things). Diane sounds like a human being who genuinely loved another, but couldn't find a way to express it. That's a basic human dilemma. Diane suffered a loss, she grieved, yet mostly alone. I hope her embarrassment and regrets don't prevent her from dancing in her own apartment. This story is about humanity in all its terrible beauty. The disgust and judgment in this comment section is also an unfortunate part of us.

Apr. 25 2015 03:39 PM
Jorge from France

If this story were embedded into a one-hour long episode under a label ('Cities', 'Morality', 'Mortality'…) and properly wrapped up with some scientific explanation, everyone would have loved it. Everyone. We have listened to creepier testimonials in other episodes.

But this time Radiolab removed the label and the wrap, and we, listeners, turned into angry kids because the present we got looks raw and ugly.

Radiolab won't be there all the time to decode reality and human behavior for us. At some point we have to do it ourselves by making questions, and not by getting furious about individuals. That's what Radiolab is about.

Thanks Radiolab. Well done.

Apr. 25 2015 06:43 AM
Rob from United States

This story is so obviously fabricated. It reads like the fiction from start to finish. Naive, sentimentalist fiction at that. I can't believe that so many people, including the producers of not one but two highly regarded podcasts saw fit to broadcast this. Where are your fact checkers? She told this story and claimed to still be watching the woman go through her grieving process. Did anyone think to stop by and confirm any of the facts of this story? Oh and, for the first time in years, curtains go up and haven't opened since. What a convenient afterword. This is shameful. You should retract this story and apologize to your listeners.

Apr. 24 2015 05:11 PM
kotronez from Oaklandish

I thought the story was really moving. But I was so scared the woman who was spied upon will hear this episode and then it will forever color what was surely a profound and heartbreaking experience. I wonder if Weipert thought about this possibility -- it doesn't seem so remote. Many a young San Francisco woman listens to Radio Lab.

Apr. 24 2015 05:01 PM
Z from United States

First off, I would like to agree with the other people here saying bring back the science. However, this cast was fascinating. A beautiful slice of life. Nothing more nothing less. No in depth analysis or moral questioning, nor should there have been. Just strictly observing. I live in a city and am aware that I could be seen when my curtains open. When I want privacy, I draw them. Curiosity is in us all. I don't shame the observer.

Apr. 24 2015 02:14 PM
Charles L. Peden from Benbrook, TX

I LOVED this story! What a beautiful description of her experience. The fact that a couple were interesting enough to draw a complete stranger into their lives without even knowing it was fascinating.

The couple had a right to leave their curtains open just as the storyteller had a right to look out her window. Very simple. No violations.

This was also an extremely relevant story because technology is destroying privacy. I have noticed that many intelligent people have already caught on to that fact. This comment section is full of people who are desperately holding on to a disappearing concept of privacy.

Apr. 24 2015 01:26 AM
Brian from suburbia from USA

Broadcasting this show victimized somebody. You didn't get a signed release from the voyeurized widow, did you? As you would from any other living subject of a radio show.

She certainly knows now that the most intimate moments of her life were not only observed by a shameless binocular-wielding couple across the way, but also by thousands of radio listeners.

Shame on Diane, Briana, Radiolab and me. I don't listen to Radiolab for this, which is probably why I kept listening--I expected some value added, but it never came.

Just because you can broadcast a story that elicits pain, guilt, discomfort, doesn't mean you should. There was no grownup in the room when the decision to air this was made.

Apr. 23 2015 08:25 PM
adam from brooklyn

apparently a lot of people didn't get this story... i thought it was quite moving personally.

Apr. 23 2015 05:46 PM
Adam

TRIGGER WARNING anyone? Also, what was the point of this story?
For anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer, this was NOT ideal mid-day listening. This kind of ruined my day. Jad, you said something to the effect of "Not much to say about this story, here, listen". I feel there was quite a bit more you should have said about the story. And so, based on listening to Radiolab for so long now, I was expecting a very cool story. This felt like a bait and switch. This was not even remotely on par with episodes like Detective Stories, Sleep, Sperm, Space, Laughter, and so on. And the story just kind of went nowhere. No conclusions, no epiphanies, no lessons, other than what? Close your curtains? I feel really bad for the poor girl who was spied on for so long.

I love Radiolab. I plug you guys every chance I get. I tell all my friends about the amazing show you put on. I know it's a crushing amount of work, time, research, thought and editing. I applaud what you have done with Podcasting. Please don't stray too far from what put you on the top. The episodes I mentioned are gold. More like those, please.

Apr. 23 2015 04:56 PM
TK from London, UK

I found this episode completely disappointing - irrelevant of the fact that there was not a single moral question posed to the voyeur, it struck me simply as a sub-Hitchcock rehash.

Perhaps even less tasteful is the fact that this was an advert for another show, an advert predicated on the (supposed) loss of one woman's loved one. How sad and depressing that this should be the case. Death turned commodity.

I love Radiolab and am totally confused as to what this has to do with the programme and deeply troubled by the lack of any editorial judgement. Or critical analysis.

Apr. 23 2015 03:59 PM

In response to "cat from Canada
If you think Diane shouldn't have watched them, and/or shouldn't have talked about it on radio, and/or Radiolab shouldn't have aired it,

Did you yourself stop listening to it?"

Well for one, I kept listening to it expecting there to be some reveal of the girlfriend, or something to the effect of indicating that she approved of the story being told. (other commenters have said that they expected Diane to come to a realization that what she was doing was inappropriate, which never came). Two, just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean you are complicit if you keep listening. After all, if you are still reading this comment and you don't agree with it, why are you still reading it?

Apr. 22 2015 03:24 PM
Derrick from South Carolina, US

While I love Radiolab and have loved Radiolab for years, I am missing Jad and Robert being a large part of each episode.

This story was interesting for sure and I enjoyed it to a point, but it seemed so far from what the theme of this podcast is supposed to be. Can we please get some Scientific episodes back, ones in which both Jad and Robert bicker at each other and fuss over the meaning of these advancements in science?

It's not like there's nothing to talk about or anything they haven't covered, just as an example look at Tesla and their advancements, or the ways we'll need to advance in order to farm enough food for the booming population. There are so many topics to cover and so much to research, but lately it's all been personal slice of life stories and unrelated episodes without the slightest hint of Jad and Robert throughout. Bring back the old Radiolab please!

Apr. 22 2015 03:48 AM
meh

Got damn white people

Apr. 22 2015 12:28 AM
Eva from Hawaii

It is odd how many people feel so offended by this story, even after hearing Diane recount all the ways in which she was the one who suffered radical exposure to the lives of this pair of strangers. Nothing here was obscene, especially the death scene - it is a moving depiction of humanity that was laid out for all the world to view. That she made the best of it and even developed a loving, concerned and deeply respectful relationship with a situation she had almost no control over and that she chose to share that with the rest of the world is truly humane and - just beautiful. Thank you!

Apr. 21 2015 06:37 PM
Clear Truth from USA

I also believe it is quite clear this story is completely fabricated. Please VERIFY before publishing these things as if they were real.

Why is there no obituary? Why are the curtains now closed just after story was going public? Many other factual errors, such as why would the family leave the apartment when the man was on his deathbed? Thats nonsense... you dont do that. This is fabricated!

I do not appreciate being told a tall tale to pull at strings on a podcast that is not even meant to cover this kind of nothingness. Please get back to what made radiolab good.

And please issue a correction!

Apr. 20 2015 08:41 PM
Sam Rosenblum from Medford, MA

Guys, I used to look forward to every episode asking big and interesting questions about big questions and answers that lead to more questions. Conversations about how music is processed and perceived, gastrointestinal illness, what does death mean. All of these touch important topics about how science touches our daily life so much so that one of my favorite quotes is from your show:

"If you don't see past yourself you fall pray to magical thinking. You have to be careful that you're not finding meaning here when it is just coincidence."
I think from your "Stochasticity" episode not sure.

These people stories can be interesting sure, I listen to "This American Life" to get those stories, but you guys have always tickled my science information itch in a way that made science even more interesting then it already was. Having a deviation from the science is interesting but this season has barely had any science information, and I don't think it is a good direction. Please, I used to wait anxiously for each episode but at this point I almost cringe at the disappointment. Please bring back the science stories, they relate to life as much if not much more then the stories you are currently presenting.

Apr. 20 2015 04:12 PM
Brian

This episode offends me.

Apr. 20 2015 01:51 PM
alph4dog

Diane should have spent a bit more time researching the psychology of her very disturbing actions. As someone who has lost loved ones the LAST thing I want is some rubber-necker making the tragedy about themselves. Very troublesome. Spend more time mothering your child and less on a stranger's window.

Apr. 19 2015 12:35 PM
cat from Canada

If you think Diane shouldn't have watched them, and/or shouldn't have talked about it on radio, and/or Radiolab shouldn't have aired it,

Did you yourself stop listening to it?

Apr. 18 2015 09:40 PM
Cecilia Villarruel from Chicago

A lot of people have issues with Diane watching this couple, and I understand why they have issues, but I’m not too bothered by that. I love a good story, but what I don’t like is someone presenting a story as fact when it’s not, just to get an emotional reaction. There are a couple of serious inconsistencies (and a lot of conveniences) in this story that make me feel pretty confident it’s not true.

Diane goes on about how she never noticed this window before, never saw it until this naked couple was there, but then she says that it had always been a living room and “suddenly” it was a bedroom. How does she know what it was before if she never saw it before?

@ 1:11 “There was this bright window that I never noticed before”

@ 1:22 “I realized that I’d never seen it because there had always been curtains”

@ 1:44 “I hadn’t even noticed it”

@ 1:56 “It had always been a living room and now it was suddenly a bedroom”

Also, she says in a couple of places that the young couple did not have curtains at all:

@ 3:58 “Close your curtains! Buy curtains, they didn’t even have curtains. Buy curtains, we can see you!”

@ 5:10 “They were just always there and never ever bought curtains.”

But then in the postscript, Diane’s neighbor closes the curtains she doesn’t have and never opens them up again.

@ Postscript @ “Just after this interview was recorded last spring, Diane’s neighbor closed her curtains and hasn’t opened them since.”

It’s convenient that there are no names on mailboxes, only numbers, so she can’t find out the couple’s names. It’s convenient that right after the story is recorded, the curtains close, so nobody can go up there and see that it doesn’t exist. It’s convenient that no other neighbor can see through the couple’s window, so nobody else can confirm or deny if it’s true.

Also, Diane is a scriptwriter and works in film, so it’s not unthinkable that she’s creative enough to make all this up.

So, the story was decent, and I’m sure, as a writer, Diane is pleased with both the positive and negative feedback because a writer is successful when they can get a strong response out of people. But it’s kind of a bummer in the way that This American Life’s story “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” was a bummer. There was truth in the story, it was pretty decently told, but it was presented as fact when it’s not.

A lot of people are calling Diane creepy, and I don’t think that for the most part. I do think, though, that she needs to work on story consistency. I also think one part was a little gross and kind of arrogant:

@ 13:57 “I thought, now all that’s left is the girlfriend and the mother and, inexplicably, me. Me. Like, I’m one of the three people at the deathbed.”

Diane’s character in the piece is not one of the people at the deathbed. That’s a bit insulting to anyone who has ever been at someone’s deathbed. That’s a line I wouldn’t like in fiction or nonfiction.

Apr. 18 2015 05:58 PM
maxx71

irresponsible and violating to air this without that other woman's consent.

Apr. 18 2015 05:37 PM

Lady is a stage 5 creeper. Spies on her neighbors with binoculars during their most intimate moments. Goes on the radio and talks about it. Cries for half the episode. Easily my least favorite episode of Radiolab.

I will echo what other commenters have pointed out: 1. If this were told by a man, it wouldn't be celebrated. 2. If the person she was stalking was a celebrity, we would all say she was over the line. 3. If we were in the girlfriend's shoes and found out about this story, we would feel violated.

Yeah we all have impulses to peer into other people's lives, but most of us have a sense of what's reasonable.

Apr. 18 2015 12:33 PM
Andreas from Sweden

Emotionally compelling story, but it shouldn't have been broadcast. It wasn't Diane's story to tell.

The creepy voyeurism isn't what gets me... I mean it bothers me, but I suspect it is quite natural to get that invested in such a situation, so I don't really resent or blame Diane for it.

But when deciding to take this poor girls suffering and turn it into her own story to tell the world - without the girl's permission? Then she can no longer claim to merely have been "drawn in" against her will. That was a calculated decision; and ethically and journalistically, it was the wrong decision. And the same poor judgment was displayed when deciding to re-broadcast this - I expect a higher level of journalistic integrity from Radiolab.

Apr. 18 2015 04:03 AM

Are you sure this isn't a Raymond Carver story?

Apr. 18 2015 01:34 AM
Chris

This story demonstrates why there are gossip magazines right next to the checkout at grocery stores.

No celebs here, but the same impulse to stick ones nose into somebody's private misery for the very reasons that Radiolab could have presented another interesting episode.

Sorry you missed the clues and chance to do so.

Apr. 17 2015 07:22 PM
luca from United States

This story was allright but I have to echo many other comments here and say BRING BACK THE SCIENCE (please)

Apr. 17 2015 04:53 PM
Jacob from Canada

Excellent story. It seems like there's a lot of commenters who can't separate telling a story about something, and glorifying it. It IS a disturbing story. The narrator's voyeurism and obsession IS creepy and a little unhinged. She says as much herself, multiple times. She literally says she's not proud of it.

But there's also something touching about the transition from simply resenting these anonymous neighbors, to having them suddenly, brutally humanized right in front of her. Anyone who lives in a dense urban area knows what it's like to get constant glimpses into the lives of strangers, whether you want them or not, and what it's like to so easily reduce those people in your mind to nothing more than sources of annoyance and inconvenience. It's so easy to forget that we know nothing about the lives and circumstances going on all around us.

It's a mix of ugly and beautiful, good and bad, and it leaves it to you to draw your own conclusions about what it all means, as all the best human interest stories do. Criticizing the narrator for her decisions and actions is totally justifiable. In her place, I think I would be too ashamed to share the story this publicly. But ranting against Radio Lab just for presenting the story is ridiculous.

Apr. 17 2015 02:10 PM
Sarah from Washington, DC

I am a long time listener to RadioLab and while I find the show compelling, I do not always agree with Jad and Robert and I believe that is a good thing. Listening to material that may challenge what you already think is important. However, I have found the show to be ethical in its pursuit of stories up until this point.
First, there is no acknowledgement of the social and economic privilege that makes this possible for this narrator to share her story -- and that is my fundamental problem: that this is cast as HER story when it is really about an intrusive relationship. Anyone who lives in any sort of proximity to other people has their "regulars" that they watch -- people in your neighborhood, your place of work, your campus whose schedule you are sort of on and you observe regularly. Here our narrator is making an active point to intensely observe these people over a very extended period of time. She is clearly not OK with all that she did -- her nervous laughter reflects that -- but I heard no real soul searching about WHY, only the discussion of how this sight was compelling.....which of course it was, human drama almost always is. But it would also have been a relatively easy thing for a show staffer on either podcast to actually attempt to find out who the observed couple/woman was and gain their consent. Often, particularly in photojournalism, such a thing is not possible, but here it would have been worth a good effort. It is also relatively likely that this observed woman will FIND OUT about this story. Maybe she ultimately hung curtains because she realized she could be seen, maybe she just redecorated.....but can you IMAGINE finding out that the story of your loving relationship and partner's death has been broadcast to a huge listening audience without your consent or perspective? I would feel terribly violated. Also, given that we know the narrator's name and rough location, whose to keep a stranger from doing the legwork and figuring out who this woman is? Hasn't she been put through enough for the moment? I understand why the narrator observed, but if this story were to be told, it needed to be made FAR more anonymous than it was. This felt emotionally manipulative for all the wrong reasons and with far too little introspection, especially on the part of our hosts. They had to go in studio to record the intro and outro....why not also do, say, 10 minutes of discussion between themselves on the ethics of playing this at all? How was context completely abandoned in posting this episode? I would rather have fewer RLs and not be questioning their ethics than consider how and why this played out the way it did.

Apr. 17 2015 11:03 AM
Deanna fusco from Brooklyn

I feel like since she was anonymously viewing the tragedy, she could have at least sent an anonymous fruit basket, or tray of food to the young woman she was spying on. It seems like she exploited their story. I didn't come away with a real point to it, either. And while it sounded like her concern for the young couple was genuine, why not offer a helping hand? Maybe she did and didn't talk about it. But she could have said, "I live in the neighborhood and saw the gurney coming out, and just figured whoever just lost someone can use some lasagna and I'm sorry for your loss" which doesn't really out her as a nosey neighbor, but at least offers an ounce of kindness instead of her armchair compassion. Rather, her broadcasted armchair compassion, for the purpose of, what, exactly?

Apr. 16 2015 11:07 PM
Linds Havishammond from Colorado

I always check the comments of the episodes that don't sit well with me to see if someone else can articulate my squickiness better than I can. So this might be a regurgitation of the better-stated but ultimately I think I do have to settle into disappointment.

My brother had an extra ticket to the Radiolab live show in October 2013 and I was hooked immediately, but lately the human interest stories are becoming more and more rote and in the usual flavor: Well-bred vanilla people inserting themselves into stories because they think they should be the ones to tell it better.

I wonder how differently this wrenching story would have been perceived if the watcher were an inarticulate creepy old man with his birding binoculars and not a middle-class (probably, I don't know a lot of low-paying jobs that afford you the free time to uh, "work" at home) woman. Would that have been creepy? I also kind of wonder about the implication the couple invited the attention by not shutting their curtains. That seems yucky, like an excuse away from an upskirt flip phone shot: WEAR PANTS THEN.

Another tally for missing the science. Such a bummer.

Apr. 16 2015 03:29 PM
Holgier from Seattle

I found "The Living Room" a riveting piece of storytelling, but if I were the subject of the piece I'd feel incredibly violated if I listened to it. Knowing that I had my own personal Gladys Kravitz "rooting" for me would be a cold comfort. Does the end justify the means here? I wonder what the spied-upon young woman would say.

Apr. 16 2015 02:37 PM
Chris from Florida

Such an incredible story...such an experience.

Apr. 16 2015 11:12 AM
Michelle from San Diego

I am completely surprised by the gamut of feelings about this podcast. I found this an incredibly moving story. I do not think there is anything abnormal about this woman's curiosity and what it propelled her to do. I think that is more normal than abnormal. Perhaps it is because I work in healthcare and therefore am part of someone's life for small pockets of time that I understand her emotions. When you are witness to some terrible times for someone that is a stranger to you it really brings about a strong and odd sense of a human bond that you share together. I see this on both sides in my professional life. A feeling of kinship to the patient and also the patient feeling the same for caregiver. Even though she was not a caregiver in a sense of a normal "caregiver" she was a caretaker of sorts. Watching over them. Wanting to protect them and shelter them from the hardships they were facing that we all inevitably face in life. It was evident how profound of an experience this was for her and it will shape her life and her relationships with her family and their eventual deaths. I found this to be an incredibly moving story and I appreciate it being shared.

Apr. 16 2015 10:54 AM

Thank you, 'a questioner of surprises' for your nuanced and sane questioning of this broadcast.

Diane Weipert's exploitative use of emotion to validate and draw attention to herself - ultimately to benefit from her telling of someone else's tragedy - is not edgy or surprising, it's gross.

RadioLab producers: if you're genuinely concerned about where the boundary into sensationalism begins, this might be an opportunity for some self-reflection.

Apr. 16 2015 10:40 AM
John from Columbus, Ohio

I miss the hard science of Radiolab. The internet has too many disposable human-interest podcasts. I'd like to start learning things again.

Apr. 16 2015 09:26 AM
Aleks

I agree with Ben, Ryan, and others. In this past I used to obsessively check whether new RadioLab has come out. Now, I just sometimes download an episode, and everytime I do it, I am disappointed. In the past they were mind-nlowing, awesome pices about science, psychology, now it is just another, fiction or non-fiction, random podcast. Huge shame.

Apr. 16 2015 03:11 AM

I cannot mirror David from Australia's comments enough. This is a self absorbed stalker utilising someone elses life for their own entertainment. No matter how sincere her emotions were it does not excuse the invasion she committed.

This was not good radiolab.

Apr. 15 2015 06:26 PM
James Lucius Gray from Brooklyn, NY

A heartbreaking anecdote.

Apr. 15 2015 05:10 PM
Sarah from United States

This was not up to the usual Radiolab standards at all. I could not imagine why the producers would have found this to be an interesting subject. I kept thinking that the narrator would come to some new awareness about herself, but she didn't. Listening to it was excruciating.

Apr. 15 2015 03:48 PM

I understand you may frustrated about Radiolab re-presenting stories, but I am happy they did. I would not have heard that story otherwise.
I thought it was beautiful and sad. It would be hard not to notice your 'nudey neighbors' without curtains. I think it is an understandable and normal response to watch them curiously. She did not sound like a creep or a demented voyeur. In fact she seemed like a beautiful person, who was empathetic and cared for these window strangers.
And I like the thought that people may be rooting for you and wishing you happiness, although you may never know. It is a sweet and encouraging thought.

Apr. 15 2015 03:37 PM
Npg from United States

Can Radiolab please go back to science stories? This was dreadful and disappointing for so many reasons.

Apr. 15 2015 12:36 PM
E

Must be nice to get grant funding just to re-air stories from other podcasts.

Apr. 15 2015 10:28 AM

It is a lovely feeling to unknowingly have the kind thoughts of a stranger at any given moment gathering pieces of existence out of a lonely void to be loved and cried for again, given a second life, not so unlike the silent understanding of my childhood angels.

Apr. 15 2015 02:47 AM
Jared from Seattle, WA

I have to say this was such a beautiful story. At first I was put off by the peeping Tom aspect. However, all of us "people watch" at some point. If there was a fight, physical or verbal, people would stop and watch with anticipation. She wasn't searching for someone to spy on. She didn't put on night vision goggles. Giver her a break. She got caught up in two beautiful lives and couldn't look away. And we all couldn't stop listening.

Apr. 15 2015 01:12 AM
Chris from London, UK

This story really upset me and lowered my respect for radiolabs and their editorial standards.
As many other listeners I was hoping for some turnaround, but all we got was the accounts of an indecent person.
I am from Europe, so can't be blamed if being prude, but this story upset me on several levels:
- tasteless: this story does neither challenge not question the actions and motives
- shallow: there is no deeper analysis of what happened, how it confirms with or violates social and ethical norms.
- boring: a women dwelling in her bad behaviour with no further development makes for a poor story
Sad to know that it met the standards of the radiolab producers and editors.

Apr. 15 2015 01:01 AM
David from Australia

I did not appreciate becoming an unwilling voyeur by listening to this episode. I kept waiting for Diane to realise how wrong her voyeurism was, to reach some self awareness and stop. I kept waiting for a turnaround, for some redemption in this episode to justify listening. But there was none.

If there is ever a time in life a person deserves privacy and dignity, it is the moment of dying. But Diane's peeping-tom actions denied this, and by sharing it we are all complicit. I am saddened that Radiolab made me complicit in this.

If this had been a "fan" stalking outside a celebrity's window, it would be socially unacceptable. How is this any different?

Apr. 14 2015 10:47 PM
Steven from Texas

I thought it was a great story all around and I'm glad you presented it!

Apr. 14 2015 09:26 PM
Jerry from United States

This invasion of privacy is so horrendous, I kept hoping the piece would end with the woman admitting it was a work of fiction. (In which case it was exceptional.) But certainly this is nothing to celebrate any more than if it were the story of a man who came to feel a bond with women he spied on in the toilet. If I were the family in the story, I would feel totally violated and used. If it is true, then this woman has certainly heard the story by now and her grief is compounded by shame.

Apr. 14 2015 08:54 PM
Alice H. Nash

I didn't like this podcast. I think what that lady did is just wrong and I prefer radiolabs that are based off of science.

Apr. 14 2015 04:40 PM
james wong from california

People deserve privacy, courtesy, and respect.

Radiolab has been used to promote voyeurism or just to let someone know they should put blinds up.

The story was just gossip and lacks decency.

If someone's flies is opened, just let them know don't keep staring at it.

Apr. 14 2015 04:10 PM

Oh my god,what a weirdo. So a story of a women who is slacking on her day job to spy on other people. Alright.

Apr. 14 2015 03:50 PM

PS: If you're looking for science in this, it could be categorized as social-neuro-science.

Apr. 14 2015 03:21 PM

I was riveted by the story and I admired Diane’s courage in admitting that she had become obsessed with strangers. Such obsessions are common but most people don’t admit to it. I appreciate the comments about breach of privacy but am also surprised. We live in an age where so much is captured on cameras and smart phones. Interactions with police, drunken disgraceful behavior, dishonest moments, random acts of kindness, private romantic moments, tragedy and death, innocent child moments, moments of fear and vulnerability … my facebook feed is full of of private video captured by strangers and publicly posted where millions of viewers then judge and evaluate the person captured on camera. Diane did not video this couple but she captured their moments with her eyes and had feelings about it and relayed what she saw and felt.

Apr. 14 2015 03:16 PM

America is very much a land of prudes. The majority of comments use "creepy" and "invasion of privacy". We watch people die from war, famine, and disease every day on online or on TV and now we can watch in real time. Doesn't that make us "voyeurs" of death? Aren't we invading these people's privacy and misery?

Apr. 14 2015 02:57 PM
Ethereal from California

I'm surprised to see so many negative comments about this piece. Fake or not, it's a beautiful story about the interplay of mixed feelings -- finding something initially abhorrent and then seeing the beauty of it; being jealous of a woman, then indirectly experiencing her tragedy and having those feelings turn into compassion. It's not like any embarrassing details are said about the couple, all that's described is their transition from being young and beautiful into a state of frailty and death -- the sum of life captured in such a small time frame. So many people acting like they wouldn't have peeped given the same opportunity. Many people have peeped -- or at least had an urge to -- at least once in their life, even if it was just for a split second. While most people would keep these experiences to themselves, this woman just happened upon one that was beautiful enough to be worth telling.

Apr. 14 2015 02:42 PM
Mafern from New York, NY

I cannot believe this woman is getting all this attention from spying on someone's private life! I am sure #DianeWeipert was after a story she could sell, with little concern to the people she was spying, violating the most intimate of moments.

I am disgusted with this episode, disgusted with Radiolab for airing it, wasn't Radiolab supposed to be about science? Now is all about sensationalism, bringing controversy and selling yet another podcast that was blessed by Ira Glass.

#podcast #radiolab #thelivingroom

Apr. 14 2015 02:30 PM
El from United States

Damn... I was really hoping this would be a radio rendition of 'The Room'

Apr. 14 2015 12:13 PM
Matt Larson from Indiana

I'm disappointed in Radiolab for airing this story as well. It has made all the listeners of the shows involuntary voyeurs as well. As the story began, I assumed that the couple was contacted and gave permission to air the story. But as it progressed I was horrified to learn that the people involved were never contacted.

I don't fault the story teller for not contacting them because of the difficulty of contacting them, but I do fault the journalists who invited us all to be voyeurs without the consent of the people involved in the story who were not aware their private lives from the perspective of their bedroom would be broadcast nationally and internationally.

I'm disappointed that generally considerate, thoughtful and introspective people at Radiolab did not consider the ethics of broadcasting this story.

Apr. 14 2015 11:28 AM
Jane J. Asimov from oviedo fl

This podcast game me mixed emotions. One on side I find the story beautiful and romantic and a great depiction of city living. If this story was turned into a book it would be a hit. The trend now days is risky sexual explicit books. One the other hand this story made me uncomfortable because the couple essential never gave this women and her husband permission to observe such a private part of their lives. Over all this story is some what controversial and I'm kind of surprised that radio lab put it up but some people may enjoy it or be disgusted.

Apr. 14 2015 11:02 AM
Katja from Brussels

I can't help but feeling somewhat betrayed by RadioLab. Being a longtime listener it was the first time I felt discomfort. I don't see anyway how to interpret this as a beautiful story. I assume its true after checking Dianes twitter account (where she is accepting compliments after broadcast). The fact that she herself is ashamed says it all. The compassion is in no way a justification for her voyeurism. If put in the same situation as the couple I would be furious and confront her in any means possible. One other thing, saying that people who don't shut their curtains can't have privacy is the same as saying a girl in a skirt asks to be raped.

Apr. 14 2015 09:50 AM

We have to assume this story is true. Or true enough. If so:

The comments here are overprotective of the couple's privacy - moreso than they were.

Commenters are also much too critical of Diane, but perhaps less than she was of herself. Or, rather, that Diane's self-criticism did not come laced with vitriol and accusations of creepiness. In my opinion, obsessive or ritualistic voyeurism is not, itself, creepiness. Not without a second, affirmative step - such as buying binoculars (oops) or stalking in peson.

Alas, nor did Diane permit herself many excuses.

It was her simple curiosity which engaged and enthralled her, only to burden her with memories of loss. Memories she cannot make sense of, and a loss she carries in a special place.

Billions of people live in poverty globally. They live in shantytowns, shacks, hovels, and slapdash construction. They live on top of each other, have few luxuries like privacy. They live in each other's lives and deaths.

This story is not even a close approximation to how underdeveloped societies watch each other give birth, live, grow, and die.

Apr. 14 2015 09:15 AM
bernard from London

Regardless of the couple having no curtains, Diane knew all along that they thought they were not being observed. In other words, they had a reasonable expectation of privacy both objectively and subjectively, and Diane invaded it. On her own, with her husband or friends, that's on her.

But to go on the radio and broadcast it to thousands, in such detail that the people involved can work out it's about them, is something else. When Diane says she 'works from home', I'd not be surprised to learn it's in journalism, but I sincerely hope it isn't.

Apr. 14 2015 06:47 AM
Marc from NYC

I think this story typifies sky scraper living. There are office buildings that look directly into people's living rooms, if either office workers or people at home want to look out the window you have no choice but to look into someone else's world, after a while you have to decide, do I bar myself from looking out my own window, or do I accept that there is a story across the way that might be too compelling to look away from. Even the fact that she caught intimate moments is not all that odd she lives and works from home so how could she not. What I would find creepy is if she failed to notice how her neighbour’s lives changed. She grew to have a strong empathy for the couple across the way, in a smaller town she probably would know who it was she was watching. And I am sure that people in small towns look across into the windows of their neighbours. You only have to drive in a car to know people are looking out their windows at the lives of others, otherwise traffic would move past accidents smoothly because no one would care.

As long as we live in vertical spaces the only view people are going to have are other people's lives.

Apr. 14 2015 05:59 AM
Milo C Rousseau from FL

This is almost too crazy to be believable. It's weird to think that someone's private, intimate moments could be in full view of someone else. I know that the woman didn't have any bad intentions when watching the couple, but it's an unsettling thing to think about. I wish there was more actual information in this story. One person's account of events isn't really much to go on, to be honest.

Apr. 13 2015 11:48 PM
Edgar D. Havisham

I don't care what her initial intentions are anybody who looks in on another person through their open curtains is creepy and disturbed. This is exactly the reason I have kept my blinds and curtains closed all my life. This podcast has done nothing for me but creep me out. This lady needs help because it's just insane to me to think that someone would find spying on someone is ok.

Apr. 13 2015 11:31 PM
Agatha M. Silverstein

Yes, this woman is weird, but she's not invading their privacy because the couple wasn't trying to keep their lives private. Also, though some would react differently to the situation, most people would still look so, let's calm down with the judgement. The only thing that makes this woman exceptionally weird is because she constantly took the time to watch this couple and basically became absorbed in their lives, probably without their knowledge.

After the man became sick, I don't think she was necessarily watching to be creepy. It was more of a concern for the couple. The question that pursues my mind is why would she allow herself to get SO invested in other people's lives?

Apr. 13 2015 11:18 PM
Huxley T Wilder from United States

I absolutely love this story. I think I could listen to it a million times. To get to witness such an intimate interaction between two people is, in my eyes, a blessing. This story is extremely humbling if you think about it. She sees this little snippet of life and death, of love and mourning while life continues all around them without knowing what had been happening. It's very interesting that she was literally able to watch the woman across the way grow and change after the pain of losing someone. and that she really loves this woman very much. I think this is going to be one of my all time favorite stories.

Apr. 13 2015 10:24 PM
Gandalf G. Bond from Oviedo

This is really creepy. I am now inspired to always have my curtains closed knowing that there are people out there who think its okay to invade the privacy of others in this way. I hope this story is fake because this is one really f'd up individual.

Apr. 13 2015 10:03 PM
Dylan Alba from United States

How bizarre.
I just remembered having read a posting on Buzzfeed, 'Losing My Boyfriend to Cancer at 29' by Erica Karnes, and am feeling like Erica's personal (though published) story of loss was being retold through Diane the Outsider's eyes. Coincidence?

Here is Erica's story: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ericak4a403379f/losing-my-boyfriend-to-cancer-at-29#.qaBaw0ypN

Apr. 13 2015 09:44 PM
Agatha Y. Coleridge

Although the woman had no ill intentions, I found it very creepy how she would watch the couple all the time and became obsessed with their lives. Even though she couldn’t help but look into the couple’s window, she was still invading their privacy by always watching them and it became too obsessive when she even started to use binoculars to spy on them. The story was very interesting though, and how wrapped up she became with their lives without even knowing their names. When she explained how she went outside to see the boyfriend’s dead body being carried away, she just had a sudden realization of how she has no place in their lives and that she was a nobody to them but they were everything to her. It would have been very interesting for them to actually meet each other and I would have loved to see their reactions to each other, but after hearing the postscript of this podcast, I’m guessing that the girl found out which is why she now keeps her curtains closed.

Apr. 13 2015 09:16 PM
Catniss S. Vonnegut from Oviedo

I really don't like the violation of the people's privacy. Just because you noticed a window for the first time doesn't mean that it is okay to watch people through their window in the intimacy of their bedroom. Did anyone teach these people that it isn't polite to stare? This podcast makes me very upset that there are people in this world that think they are entitled to whatever they please and if this story is real I hope that the window people find a way to press charges. This is a form of stalking and its not okay. If this was a 20 year old guy he would be considered a creepy stalker but since its a mom of a three year old its okay? Yeah that makes tons of sense.

Apr. 13 2015 09:05 PM
Peter from California

Remember when Radiolab was about science?

Apr. 13 2015 08:19 PM
aldous t chrichton

I think this was very interesting story.

Apr. 13 2015 07:43 PM
Alice A. Keats from FL

I think that this NPR was entirely too personal with the whole sex aspect. They go on saying that the couple are always naked and later go into explicit detail. I don't necessarily want to know that. I think sometimes the NPR went too in depth and don't understand why she would want to know these details. But if she thinks that this will better society or help her along her job than so be it. I wouldn't find happiness in watching a naked couple all the time.

Apr. 13 2015 06:48 PM
Alice Z Lovecraft from FL

I am really hoping this is a fake story. I understand her curiosity but she went really far. She observed the most personal things in someone's life. That aside, the human connection was really interesting. She cared about these people like they were her family.The entire story made me squirm but also feel bad. She grew so attached to these people she had no connection with. So often we do not care about these random nameless people. It's interesting to see that some people find that connection.
I also think she saw a lot of her life in this couple. Like an alternate reality of what it would have been like for her if she was in this situation. She started out in a similar on but got the happy ending.

Apr. 13 2015 06:02 PM
steve from Berkeley, CA

That show was was well done, as it creeped me out more than anything I've listened to.

That said, I listen to this podcast for interesting perspectives and to learn new things. After listening to this show, I'm not sure what you could possibly say that would cause me to listen to a show that you didn't produce. Next time you do that, I'll take a pass.

Apr. 13 2015 05:40 PM
a questioner of surprises

Full disclosure. I am a public radio producer. For years we have been taught how to pitch stories to shows like Radiolab, This American Life, Snap Judgement, Planet Money, Studio 360, all of them really. It comes down to one word: surprise. Which sounds innocent enough. Who doesn’t like a surprise? And who would want to hear a story that you’ve heard before? But it’s getting harder and harder to pitch to these shows. More often or not pitches are turned down because, “it just didn’t sound THAT surprising.” Meanwhile the surprises have gotten more and more extreme. I’d say we’re in a “surprise" arms race. And what bugs me is that our innocent quest for surprise seems to be changing the definition of a good story. The more surprising a story, the ‘better’ the story. This gets us in trouble sometimes like Mike Daisey’s disaster with This American Life. I think Ira and company were seduced by the delicious surprises. But there are other examples, maybe The Living Room is one. I honestly don’t know. What worries me are the facebook and twitter converstions between Radiolab and L+R producers (referring to critical comments on this thread) celebrating how they’re ushering in a much needed change in public radio! Anyone who disagrees with their take on what makes a good story is considered old, stodgy, misguided or just not that good a producer or listener. I’m 33. Am I really old because I don’t agree with you? Do I suck because your surprises seem gimmicky to me? L+R seems to epitomize the surprise as good, surprise as cool model. They say they are not journalists and so it is okay that they sometimes make up stories, especially some of the more titilating ones like Superchat. How far are they an willing to go? How far do the rest of us want to go?

Apr. 13 2015 05:15 PM

Not believable. She just happens to have the timing to see precisely the moments in this couple's lives that move the narrative along? I'd like it better as a creepy fiction than as a true (and exploitative) story as claimed by Love + Radio. Radiolab, if it's not a true story (as indicated by comments about "true" disappearing from the description), what is it?

Apr. 13 2015 05:00 PM
Catniss J. Plath

Very interesting that a women could spend so much time observing others across her window and then apply it to her life. I personally don't even look outside my window that often to observe anything different. This definitely has not been my favorite podcast from radiolab.

Apr. 13 2015 04:05 PM
Dennis Lang from Saint Paul, MN

Very, very powerful and gripping. A story within a story,from innocence to escalating tension, of the observed, and "voyeur" observer entering so intimately the lives of the observed.

Stunning documentary--true or fiction.

Apr. 13 2015 03:15 PM
Morgan from Philadelphia, PA

When I first heard this story on Love & Radio, it was like listening to a person tell me something in confidence, as have been most of the stories on that very intimate podcast. Hearing it again on Radiolab is different because now I'm fairly certain that the woman she was watching through that window will also hear this story. I'm thinking about her now too, how she inadvertently made her life public by not putting up curtains, and how her anonymous audience of one or two people has suddenly become millions. Today the woman in the window is still anonymous, but I'm wondering how she's feeling now—wondering if and how she'll respond. This is a great piece of radio, and part of what makes it so great is how it pokes at some ethical buttons and makes us all voyeurs: the narrator with her curtains still open and binoculars in hand, and we with our iPods still switched on, reaching to turn up the volume.

Apr. 13 2015 03:06 PM

Can I just say that I really enjoyed these 30 minutes of listening to someone congratulate themselves so heartily for their compassionate observation of someone else's pain? Very enlightening, particularly the part where she realized that she had absolutely no place in the story while simultaneously telling a radio host all about it with no regard for the actual actors in the events. Top drawer storytelling.

Apr. 13 2015 02:38 PM
Jeff from Canada

The negative comments towards Diane speak volumes of the individualism and lack of sense of community in American culture. These people lived with their windows open, they shared their lives during the good times and the bad, this is what builds strong and beautiful relationships. We should all live this freely with one another, show ourselves for all of who we are, not just what we want to share. And also not be afraid to show ourselves during our most vulnerable and sad times.

Diane may not have known this couple by name but she was a member of their community, lived near them, breathed the same air, drove on the same roads. They were neighbors, fellow human beings getting by in their own unique ways.

Apr. 13 2015 01:51 PM
Nick

Fascinating perspective on the human condition, on love, on obsession, on death, on shame, on grief, on guilt.

True or not, an incredible story.

Furthermore, I love the recent podcasts. While they may not be as science based in the past, they still succeed. The mere fact that they derive such intense discussions and self anaylsis from its listeners means they are a success on a variety of levels.

Apr. 13 2015 12:56 PM
Linz from ME

Ugh. This episode should be renamed from "the living room" to "how I totally intruded and spied on a tragic time in a family's life, then told their story on public radio, and then made it about myself, but I never learned their names or got their permission...and I still spy on the girlfriend when I can."

Okay...I'm done. I just really needed to get that off my chest.

Apr. 13 2015 07:52 AM
Godfiry from NY

Similar thing happened with me during the '80s but I watched gay couple having sex in the apartment across and they really had passionate wild sex every day with pissing and shitting on each-other and putting mice into each-other anuses... and then one day they were suddenly angry at each-other, it was so strange: they would yell at each-other, then hug, then cry, then figh,t then make love, then yell... and then as time passed they were both weaker and weaker even getting scabs all over their bodies which meant they had the "gay plague" or AIDS as we call it now.
But there was no relatives to gather around them they were alone. They only had each-other. And then one they when they were totally wasted out of sickness that they could only lie in bed the suddenly jumped on their legs, full of energy (I guess the were under some strong drugs) partying like they once did: dancing like two dalmatians, making love, whipping, peeing and pooping on each-other and putting rodents down their anuses and this time much bigger that you could see long tails coming out of their asses while they danced. AND then they fell on the floor and died!!
It was so sad. I remember crying for months afterward. Until that point I held grudge against gays and gay sex, but then I finally understood it and that underneath it there are strong feeling like love.

Apr. 13 2015 07:14 AM
Jonhnny Sparks from Las Vegas NV

It sounds like a blocker buster movie , can we please get back to SCIENCE or should I send my next screen play to radio lab! - Very touching but has my BS meter Screaming to 11!! WHO What WHEN WHY

Apr. 13 2015 01:26 AM
dmoore. from Ottawa, Canada

I'm from a small town, but I spent the past 7 years living in NYC, when I had a friend from my hometown come visit me she said something so perfect "It's funny...in a city of millions how easy it is to feel lonely".

This was an intense story, and whether it was true (or not) it hit a lot of notes about living next to all these people but...you'll never get to know them. And this woman, at first, she just saw her neighbours, and in a pretty odd way at first, but then again I know that my old roommate and I used to walk around half naked in our apartments when it was hot in the summer, and never really though that people were looking...but maybe they were. And I've seen neighbours through their windows...or playing outside on their lawns...or just having beers in their backyard. My old apartment I had private rooftoo access, and I could sit outside and have a perfect view of my neighbours every Sunday having a BBQ with their kids...and the odd Sunday they didn't...I got worried. These people I had never met, but somehow...I worried.

I'm a little bit taken aback that everyone's comments are so quick to judge, but I can see how this happens. And I think how she just judged them, like we all do (and like we are judging her) and then...something changes. We learn about people, and also remember that they are people. That's a human being. It's a weird and strange thing to recognize this complete stranger has a life and a death and it will affect people you will never meet...

Great story

Apr. 12 2015 08:43 PM

You know who else were spying on strangers from their living room? The nazis!

Apr. 12 2015 08:28 PM
Damon from Southern Calif.

The story about professional wrestling was scraping the barrel bottom, but with this episode RadioLab has brought up chunks of wood. A potentially fabricated story Jad's just "passing along from his friends at Love 'n Radio" (what, what?). We seem to be getting a lot of that lately; podcasts produced by other people that contain none of the amazing science or natural wonder that we originally liked about RadioLab. Guess the crowd source funding isn't going well.

Apr. 12 2015 07:25 PM
satifaulks from Paris

This story brings to question much more for me the ideology of - social norm/conformity, how people (middle class) do stuff, get older, have kids and feel obliged to give up on exploration, feeling, living, being open.

Protected and judging, behind glass, through windows, through binoculars.

Then when faced with feeling an understandable feeling, of compassion, after having experienced in some way something powerful with this neighbor she is too cowardly to even reach out let herself be viewed and say something to this person. eh, people are so contained, bland boring and here for a short time. This story should be an inspiration to not conform in this way and actually move, do things, f*ck, cook, dance, talk to neighbors. mbergbzrv.

also all of these comments, political correctness is total b/s, look around, feel things whatever. i love how we all feel so ok to judge people though, we are all so enlightened haha

Apr. 12 2015 07:20 PM

This was a disappointing podcast. She goes from what she can see from sitting at her chair to binoculars. That crossed the line. Was that after she scooted her chair up to the window? Or is the line set at night vision binoculars? Or infrared binoculars? Or personnel drones? Get a life and stop living someone else's.

Apr. 12 2015 04:45 PM
Bill from Connecticut

My wife died several years ago after a long, difficult struggle with cancer. Had someone published such a story about our experience I would have been crushed and furious. I shudder to think how my children would have felt. The author here, I believe, is a cruel narcissist. She should have kept it to herself.

Apr. 12 2015 03:49 PM
R Brown from Texas

Did Rolling Stone green light this? How was this story verified by the producers or journalists? How do we know that Diane did not just make this sick story up for attention? It smacks of shock journalism: a story of, if not criminal, immoral behavior designed to cause controversy, but no risk to Diane or the journalists, because it can't be verified in order to protect the innocent victims.

Apr. 12 2015 02:47 PM
Charlotte from United States

Everyone is calling this woman a "voyeur" when there is no indication she was getting sexual pleasure from watching this couple. If anything, we could slap an "exhibitionist" sticker on them (without judgement, of course!). If she had filmed them and uploaded the footage to the Internet (porn site or not) I would agree that her behavior was reprehensible. But she didn't.

It's hard not to notice what your neighbors are doing when you live in a dense urban environment. I live alone and would probably be grateful if one of my neighbors saw or heard something fishy going on in my apartment and called me or the police. What if this young woman had been attacked in her apartment? Diane would have been a hero.

Apr. 12 2015 01:27 PM
JMS from formerly midwest

There was decidedly a creep factor here. "Diane" clearly went beyond the incidental viewing to voyeurism. (binoculars? really?) Though implied, but not fully determinate, it sounds as if the curtains were closed after the airing, though the story said "after the interview was recorded". Which is it? If it was aired / podcasted, and the young woman did hear or hear of it, can you imagine how violated she must feel? Having the most intimate periods of her relationship made public by a complete stranger?

This would have been a interesting short story, or an interesting hypothetical discussion had (or if) it had been fictionalized, as it does provide a glimpse at human nature, and the course of life, but this just makes me want to go take a shower.

Was this an experiment Jad and Robert? Did you really find this fascinating, or like most others on this thread, a little bit creeped out by this? Maybe part of the ich factor in this was your intro, or that you didn't discuss the possibility that the young woman closed her blinds as a result of knowing that she had been watched, but just a glib post-script.

This was definitely not your finest.

Apr. 12 2015 11:36 AM
Alice L. Havisham from oviedo, FL

I went ahead and looked at some of the other comments and was shocked they were so negative. I can see where this woman is coming from, being a people watcher myself, and I understand the attachment one can get. She could have turned the chairs the other way but she did not and that is not a privacy issue, the privacy was violated when the young couple did not get curtains when they know the risks and walk around naked. She was not creepy until the end when she ran out to see the dead body. This piece was interesting and I feel bad for all the dislike it was given. It made me think about how once can be so happy and suddenly can fall into sickness, it truly can happen to anybody.

Apr. 12 2015 11:27 AM
Issi from California

I am so angry at the woman voyeur in this story. Is this the way your parents taught you to act? Will you teach your child this is acceptable? You, like many people of your generation, make decisions based on how you feel rather than what is right. You want to know why the middle class is diminishing? Because middle class decorum has been replaced with doing what feels good. Doing what feels good is almost always the wrong thing to do. Doing the right thing is always more difficult and takes self control. People who don't understand this will sympathize with the woman in the story. If you are truly interested in making life better for the next generation, exert self control and require it of everyone around you. Shaming a child is wrong, but shaming an adult is an effective way of upholding socitial standards.

Apr. 12 2015 02:45 AM
Mark from Japan

I was undoubtedly among the many who yelled "just move your chairs!"during the early stages of this program. But I listened until the end and this probably says some disquieting things about me.
I've read and enjoyed a lot of novels with unreliable and even reprehensible narrators. But it is true that almost unintentionally we tend to turn the lives of others into fiction just by looking, as many of us did with this lady, and as she did with her neighbors. But the prolonged and determined act of looking made it something else, as did her strangely bifurcated view of herself, able to see the creepiness of what she was doing but seemingly sincerely believing she had some kind of connection with her neighbors. Again, the latter was what made it uncomfortably interesting.
In Japan, where I live, unless you are at a certain height, your apartment or house is designed so that the part that is most exposed to strangers features rooms such as the kitchen or the box room and these are usually in darkness. The bedroom and living room tend to be at the heart of the layout and thus shielded from view. In urban areas however buildings are packed tighter than raisins in a wedding cake and you have to take some precautions. But still I think the onus here is on the householder not to embarrass their neighbors by putting themselves on show

Apr. 12 2015 01:55 AM

This one stinks of the same overwritten lies that got this american life and more recently rolling stone. I too heard it on love and radio - which I'm now done with. But will continue to support radiolab because they are amazing.

Apr. 11 2015 11:59 PM

Umm... RadioLab, in text on this page, refers to the storyteller as "Diane" but she herself says her name is Diana Wyber[sic]. Simple errors of accuracy can steer someone who is already doubtful over the edge to thinking the story is not true, either.

But what I wish to say is this: There is no sociomoral wrongness in watching people inside their abode from a fixed distance (i.e. two apartment buildings “across half a block of gardens, and across a small street”; “from my third floor apartment”; “anyone has this perfect level view”). Just as the storyteller chose the same thing — “we never close those curtains”— Diana Wyber[sic] chose to remain exposed to her neighbors and passersby.

This is an ages-old aspect of human living, exacerbated or at least increased as people live closer together in greater numbers. Obviously, each apartment’s occupants make this choice, and the choice varies over time (letting in the morning sun, or shutting off the lights to watch a beautiful snow falling, or closing the blinds to take a shower...).

What is touching to me is that the storyteller chose to tell this story — including becoming the subject of others' disapproval — and that, to me, it reveals the complexity of life in the society of other human beings. NB: she did not steal the rings from a corpse delivered for cremation to a funeral home by the grieving family, did she? **That is criminal and immoral behavior** in my book.

Apr. 11 2015 09:41 PM
Jason from United States

Lot of feedback that discusses how the story is fake and an invasion of privacy, but I have to be honest, as a child who lived in an apartment complex filled with different ppl and characters, this story gets to me.

I use to watch ppl walk by my window all the time, see kids and parents fighting or shadows in curtains walking by and talking. I do understand the issues at hand and the story may be fake, but I still feel like this is a strong story.

Apr. 11 2015 09:09 PM

Hello, I hope this story is fiction.

Apr. 11 2015 06:45 PM
john morgan from United States

let's assume the story is true, there are obvious privacy issues here and I'm horrified that radiolab re-aired it. they should remove the link to it ASAP. the story deals with the most intimate moments of people who neither looked for or asked to be featured.

i imagine the fig leaf that made it okay in everyone's mind is that the couple in question was kept anonymous. but there was really only one person who needed to hear about podcast for the damage to be done: the women herself. the story's coda -that she finally closed her curtains a few weeks after the podcast aired- seems to indicate that she did in fact hear that she was featured on this podcast. the implication is sickening. frankly the narrator is an idiot for not realizing that by broadcasting this story there was a good chance the woman would find out.

I ask you jad or robert, how would you feel if a similar tragic episode in your life -even anonymously - were told to millions without your consent? I thought so.

Apr. 11 2015 05:24 PM
Sam from Estonia

Whether this story is fake or not, I'm shocked that not everyone is repulsed by this behavior.

It's one thing to notice these people having sex with the curtains open, which is sort of their own fault for not being discreet as much as it is the viewers' fault for ogling.

But to gawk at a stranger's death bed, where only their lover and their mother are present and watch his life wither away as some sort of emotional pornography is abhorrent. With binoculars? Really?

Apr. 11 2015 03:13 PM
Henrik from Sweden

The swift removal of the word `True´, kinda changes things...

Or do I remember wrong?

Would be interested to hear from Radiolab what this was about.

Maybe a scientific experiment to find the line between fiction and a lie?

Apr. 11 2015 11:11 AM
Jeremy from Brooklyn

Drama! Outrage! Wanted to see what all the hub bub was about. Listened. I agree with Karl and others. Not real. And honestly kinda meh. Just don't hear what's so amazing about the story. Sounds like y'all have small lives. Get outside more. Explore. The real world is pretty amazing!

Apr. 11 2015 10:14 AM
Jacqueline from CT

I would have listened, but I feel warned off...
When are more real Episodes returning? We need more.

Apr. 11 2015 09:21 AM
David J from SE USA

I love Radiolab but I'm sorry that I listened to this episode. I feel like I'm complicit in something that is morally questionable at best. I'm going to take a shower now. This is the first podcast I've ever commented on, and I listen to a lot of them.

Apr. 10 2015 11:08 PM
Matt Coleman from Chicago

hahahaha def got played Radiolab. Those guys make shit up all the time.

Apr. 10 2015 09:41 PM
acon from Brooklyn

I love Radiolab, but none of this rings true. I think you've been had...

Apr. 10 2015 07:52 PM
Ben z

I was pretty upset by this story. It's presented as a morally questionable tale of voyeurism, but I think it's important to state that this was unquestionably an invasion of privacy. Whether or not the narrator was captivated by her neighbours, she did not have the right to witness private and intimate moments. Even if the curtains are open, she had the choice over and over again to look away or find a way to inform them of their lack of privacy. Think of the hurt and sense of violation this would cause her neighbour and their families. Radiolab should hold storytellers to a higher human standard.

Apr. 10 2015 06:34 PM
Travis Evans from Portland, OR

Although the couple in the story currently remains anonymous, even to the narrator, there are enough details that I can guarantee that the surviving girlfriend will eventually find out about all of this. It only takes one friend of a friend of a friend to hear the podcast (now on Radiolad of all places) and put it all together.

I had mixed feelings after listening as to whether, for us listeners, hearing the "rest" of the story (Who was the man? How old was he? What did he actually die from?) would be gratifying, or conversely, compromise the story by dispelling the mystery and making it seem mundane, rather than a sort of mythical fable.

In any event, now in the internet/social media age, I will be curious to see how long it takes for the real story to break, how the surviving girlfriend will react (totally understandable if she is appalled and horrified), and how it will change our feelings about the story when we get the hear the epilogue.

Apr. 10 2015 06:23 PM
Anna B. Silverstein

Wow, what a story. I certainly don't fault her for watching, it was right there an fairly unavoidable. Along with him becoming ill, I believe most people would've been caught. It restores a bit of faith in humanity every time I hear about compassion like this, between the girlfriend and boyfriend, and between the woman and the unknowing neighbors. The entire thing is humanity inside and out: curiosity, jealousy, compassion, love, grief, and uncertainty.

Apr. 10 2015 05:15 PM
Karl Butcher from Seattle

I heard this story on Love and Radio, and was a tiny bit suspicious of it. Having listened to it again on Radiolab, I'm even more sure that the story is NOT TRUE.

It's a good story, but told in a way that absolutely nothing can be fact checked.

It has some serious internal inconsistencies though, with the Husband of the narrator at times being uninterested in the window and at other times watching at key moments.

The window is described as a perfect, clear view, while at other times binoculars are important.

Apr. 10 2015 05:01 PM
Jon W

Have some friends who listen to love and radio. I've tried but I find the host smarmy and arrogant. Bums me out that radiolab is trying to help that dude promote his podcast. The stories are a mixed bag. Some good ones. like one about a black guy who befriends a KKK grand wizard, but a lot of them are just crap. Sometimes it's impossible to tell what's going on they are edited so poorly. This one is okay, but honestly, not all that surprising. I'm glad radiolab is supporting other lesser known podcasts though, that's cool.

Apr. 10 2015 04:29 PM

Absolutely loved this story, not because of Diana's nosiness, rather because it showed how amazing the human condition is. You can never utter a word to someone but have so much love and compassion for them, it can even make you do crazy things (like put them on the Truamn Show). I just wished Diana was braver... Especially when she first started seeing him get sick, she should have built up the courage to walk over there and say hello. You don't have to say anything about peeping through the window, just go as a friendly neighbor caring about another you noticed getting sick. I bet she could have been able to truly step into this poor couple's life and make an impact on them and become part of their story, instead of just relaying it.

Apr. 10 2015 04:09 PM

It was a great and interesting episode. What Dianne observed from the window may not have been appropriate but I don't think many people would have done anything differently than her given the choice. They just wouldn't have told the world what they watched. The lack of locations/names protect the subjects so I don't think it should be taken down.

We all speculate on the activities of our neighbors whether we talk about it or not. Curiosity is a big theme of RadioLab and this was extremely relevant. What was happening across the way was deeply personal and that's what drew us to it as much as her. Death happens, even to the seemingly young and beautiful. Choosing to ignore the things that hurt us just makes things like this even more painful when they do happen.

Also in a more literal sense, most people have an understanding that windows work both ways. As a irrelevant personal choice, I'd choose to die with those windows open; I'd want to know people were thinking about me; I wouldn't feel so alone.

Apr. 10 2015 04:02 PM
Geraard from San Francisco Bay Area

Well done. I suspect the objective of the story was precisely to elicit the kind of discussion we're seeing here; about boundaries, anonymity in crowds, detached compassion, and even how reality shows have changed our perspectives on privacy.

Apr. 10 2015 03:27 PM
Bethany from Toronto

This would have been great as a work of fiction; it's a wrenching story rooted in a pretty mundane and universal activity, and on some abstract level it is very worthwhile. But knowing that it's (allegedly, anyway) a true story makes my skin crawl. In the whole process of recording, releasing, and then rereleasing this episode, did NOBODY stop and wonder whether it could filter back to the young woman in the story, and how she might feel about this completely unsolicited, unanticipated third-party perspective on the illness and death of a person she loved? These are real people and real lives and they did not consent to being part of Diane's story. If Diane would not have talked to this young woman in public, why is it appropriate to talk ABOUT her in a public podcast? The potential to cause real pain to real people is enormous here, and just the possibility should have been reason enough to get consent before releasing this story.

Apr. 10 2015 02:31 PM
skleeve from Portland, OR

Don't be so down on the woman that was the story's protagonist. It's ok to look out your window, and we can all become curious and even obsessed to an extent about other people in our community - especially when they knowingly, or perhaps unknowingly display their lives. Hell, live in a small town sometime. It's true that she became obsessed to a degree, but I feel that this is part of our human condition, and it's not like she had maleficent intents - she seems to be an empathetic and caring woman. I actually find her distant "maternal" caring somewhat comforting in this cynical world of a##holes. It is also telling that when she is asked what she would do if they bumped into each other at the corner market, she says she would not say anything - what could she say, and how creepy it would be (as she says). This shows that she is a not some freak, rather, a typical human being with boundaries that got caught up in a human drama. So what I say is, lighten up people; it's a sad and beautiful story and it it makes you uncomfortable then don't look out your window lest you slip into voyeurism (is that such a sin anyway? reasonably speaking of course). And don't leave your curtains open if you're afraid of people seeing your life. The right to privacy is fundamental I believe, but if you leave your curtains open at all hours, or wash your car in your driveway, play in your front yard, etc, then don't get so offended and worked up if your neighbors notice and watch you.

Apr. 10 2015 02:25 PM
Anasar from NYC

This is one of the saddest, most compelling, heartbreakingly beautiful story I have ever heard on a podcast. It goes well being voyeurism transcending into compassion.

Apr. 10 2015 02:04 PM
Bob from United States

You should pull this story down. I can understand up to a point the experience of an accidental urban voyeur who gets drawn in. But without these people's consent, putting their story out there is wrong.

Apr. 10 2015 01:42 PM
Ben from United States

Guys please, retire Radiolab. I loved this show. It was the first podcast I ever listened to. But enough already. It's been so long since this show was about the cutting edge in science, psychology, and sociology. It depresses me to think that this is what it's come to, 20 minutes of a story (not yours) that fits much better on a show like This American Life.

You can't call this an "episode". You could barely even call this a "short". I love you guys, but let's be real, what was the educational value of this episode?

Apr. 10 2015 01:25 PM
Dee B. from Los Angeles

You're right, Diane. You're obsessive and had no right be there. You're super gross with some kind of issue that allows you to justify voyeurism and telling someone else's incredibly personal and deeply sad story. Antonio makes the great point that if this was a man telling the story, we'd call him perverse. Her creepy description of the woman's work schedule, bed room dancing, and implying a sense of maternal care is quite disturbing. Get help.

Apr. 10 2015 12:53 PM

I did not finish this episode because it rubbed me the wrong way.

Since I never fished it, I do not know of Diane ever went over to their neighbor and introduced herself or tried to help. I bet she didn't.

Just spying on this couple, especially when she's supposed to be "working from home", was wrong.

Apr. 10 2015 12:35 PM
Travis from Utah

Very good story/storytelling. But, I generally agree with the consensus on this thread. I think that the main character (the voyeur) is NOT empathetic, but in fact extremely detached, selfish, and removed from others. Spying on and obsessing over somebody else's life at a distance does not, for me, equal real empathy or care in any way. This voyeurism was all for the benefit of whom?...for the lady to feel good about herself that she was eventually capable of feeling something positive for someone else?... I kind of hate that lady.

Great story nonetheless! Illustrates the isolation and detachment of people in the same neighborhood and community in modern life.

Apr. 10 2015 12:14 PM
D from UK

Found this creepy, perverse with a lack of morality. Quite terrifying obsession, incredibly discomforting.

Sorry. I usually adore your podcasts, but this was just uncomfortable.

Apr. 10 2015 12:10 PM
Anna from California

Beautiful story! Shows the rawness of the human experience. Thank you for sharing.

Apr. 10 2015 12:03 PM
Denise from United States

I think I'm echoing Ryan's comment here...

Radiolab updates so rarely as it is, but when you guys do update it's never about amazing mind-blowing topics that you guys explored in the past. Human interest stories like this and some others you've posted are nice, but you guys had something special. And that something special was why I binge-listened to all your past podcasts, and started tuning in when I caught up.

I don't know what else to say. It's your show and you both will do with it as you will, but I really enjoyed your science-centric episodes the most...

Apr. 10 2015 11:50 AM
Adam from Minnesota

I agree with many of these posters, particularly 'Luke'. It was a touching story in a way, but it was voyeurism and intrusive. I found myself being disturbed at how badly the narrator was feeling, being that she invited herself into the other couples life without their consent, she didn't really have a right to feel bad.

Let's leave the touchy feely stories to This American Life and get back to the sciency stories.

Apr. 10 2015 11:39 AM
Drew from Cleveland

Having lost two parents to cancer, one about a year ago, I found this story moving and beautiful. It reminds you that sometimes empathy comes from the strangest places, and that people may care even though you may never know it.

When I was in college, my neighbors had a window barely thirty feet across from my living room window for which they never bought a curtain and in front of which they often had sex. Trying to ignore that is sort of like trying to have a conversation in a bar where there's a big TV in your peripheral vision - it pulls your attention, whether you want it to or not. Yes, perhaps it was a violation of privacy for Diane to spy on the neighbors so intently (although they clearly weren't too privacy-conscious), but human emotion often drives us to do things we might not otherwise do. I would probably have done the same.

Apr. 10 2015 11:12 AM
Luke Thomas from Chicago, United States

I found this really upsetting. Diane is beautifully spoken and the story was fascinating, but I was really bothered by her voyeurism and rationalization. Even after her epiphany that she had no right to say anything to the bereaved neighbor, she then watched her neighbor's grief. Armchair psychology, but sounds like she was looking for escape from her own life and was living vicariously through theirs. The fact they didn't close their curtains, and the fact Diane acknowledged the binoculars were crazy does not make this right. She invaded the intimacy of strangers, and by telling the story, further violated their privacy. I regret that my own curiosity led me to listen to the entire piece.

Apr. 10 2015 10:21 AM
nancy from Brazil

Thank you for showing the beauty of empathy.

Apr. 10 2015 09:07 AM
Antonio from NYC

I love radiolab and I love when you showcase othe great podcasts (that's how I found 99%); but I am really taken aback by this story. I am actually kind of stunned.

I won't sit here on some moral perch, but I'll simply say this:

If this was about a man, it would never made it on air - he would be arrested and treated like a perv.

I mean she even says - "but I guess I could have not gotten the binoculars" and it's highlighted as if it's a joke?

Her excuse? The chairs faced that window. Disgusting.

Apr. 10 2015 08:47 AM
Dani R from London

You didn't get the consent of the family and that is plain wrong. Plain creepy and not in any sense deep or revealing. Any adult should acting like they just discovered death after listening to this story and bypassing the creepiness shouldn't call himself and adult but a kid.

Apr. 10 2015 07:27 AM
ygesty from Boston

I love radiolab, but I think they got this one wrong.
As an intensive care doctor, who frequently faces end of life scenarios, I constantly struggle with my role as a stranger involved in families most intimate of moments. This sense of boundaries is not shared by those involved in this broadcast.
The interviewed in this story was a voyeur; plain and simple. Perhaps the feeling she got from the coroner best sums up this sentiment: a “rubbernecker”. I imagine that the inner dialogue she had with herself justifying her intrusion is common to others who participate in others affairs uninvited. If radiolab and the original station that presented this story wished to raise debate and dialogue, it was not clear. My concern is providing legitimacy to such pervasions in the name of providing an interesting narrative (which radiolab, true to its nature, has found another story that is overall appealing and well presented).
Perhaps, instead of binoculars, the interviewed should have bought curtains.

Apr. 10 2015 07:08 AM
Henrik from Sweden

Have a few years with reality shows and the internet worn everyone´s sense of decency down to a nub?

Please, people!

The part where the creepy neighbour-lady gets emotional, watching his death was the worst.

Obscene.

This is not journalism. Remember? Journalism?

This is snuff.

I can´t imagine how it would feel finding out that a stranger has been watching you lose the person you love, and then having it told on the radio...

Apr. 10 2015 05:09 AM
Ryan from United States

I used to love radiolab, for they would open my eyes and teach me about the world, and present science and nature in interesting and beautiful ways. Now, it feels like they've thrown in the towel on science. Instead, this story, los frikis, la mancha screw, american football etc....all nice stories, but that's all they are. Don't get me wrong, I like a nice story. It's just that I have lots of places I can turn for reporting on the human condition, or on an interesting story from history. But I used to come to Radiolab to get something different: a place where science, sound and story collide. But alas, I guess they've given up on that which used to make them unique, and decided that science isn't worth making beautiful, and they'd rather just tell another story. Sad.

Apr. 10 2015 12:26 AM
Kailer Mullet from Canada

I was like, "here we go, radiolab's phoning another one in", but this was great. Thanks.

Apr. 09 2015 11:53 PM
Mirka Breen from United States

A special angle on a contemporary REAR WINDOW... Wistfully beautiful.

Apr. 09 2015 11:11 PM

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