Precious Lives



Precious Lives , created by 371 Productions , is a weekly podcast about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. Who are the victims and the shooters? How are the weapons obtained? Explore the impact on the community at large and how to stop the violence.


  • #101 Precious Lives: A Search for Answers

    20/12/2016 Duración: 23min

    This is the final episode of Precious Lives . And for this final story, we thought we’d return to the first family we met - the family of Laylah Petersen. Two years ago, we interviewed Ashley Fogl and Amanda Legler. Start From The Beginning: #001 Precious Lives: How Do You Measure the Loss of a Five-Year-Old Girl? Milwaukee has come to know Laylah as the 5-year-old girl who was shot and killed while sitting on her grandfather’s lap. To Ashley, Laylah was a daughter; to Amanda, a goddaughter. In the two years since losing Laylah, they have been left with lots of questions. Mostly, why? Why did this happen? Our final episode of Precious Lives returns to those questions. We learn from three Milwaukee Police Department detectives - Rose Marie Galindo, Kathy Spano and Erik Villareal - how they managed to untangle a web of close social relationships and sort through confusing details to get answers for the family. This is a story of shoe-leather detective work, a family trying to cope and a

  • #100 Precious Lives: Breaking the Cycle of Violence

    13/12/2016 Duración: 13min

    On June 11, 1994, Garland Hampton woke up around 10:30 am. He poured himself a bowl cereal, took a shower and went to a friend’s birthday party. That evening, Garland got into a fight with a fellow gang member. He pointed a 9-millimeter pistol at Donell Storks and shot him in the left side of the head. Both boys were 15 years old. Garland was arrested on homicide charges the next day. He wrote in his police report: “I feel very sorry about what happened.” Today, Garland is 37 and an inmate at Oakhill Correction Institute, a minimum security prison located just outside of Madison. He’s still sorry and is striving for redemption. Vivid Childhood Memories Garland Hampton has been in prison for over two decades, but his childhood memories are still vivid. "I can remember as a kid, running around the neighborhood, playing with other kids," he recalls. One of his fondest memories happened when Garland was about 8 years old. His grandfather took Garland and a cousin on his one and only trip

  • #099 Precious Lives: A Pediatric Surgeon’s Plea To End Gun Deaths in Milwaukee

    06/12/2016 Duración: 17min

    Well over a decade ago, pediatric surgeon Dr. John Densmore and his wife bought their first home. He had just started his residency at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. "You know what I remember fondly about it was that people looked out for each other," Densmore says. For instance, he’d come home after a long shift to find his walk shoveled. But, there were problems. "I remember on a run by a park near that house one day that a Hmong kid had been shot," he says. "Sort of being dumbstruck that that could happen so close to where I was living." Up until that point, Densmore had only encountered gunshot wound victims in the hospital. More than a decade later, two miles from Dr. Densmore’s first home - near 73rd and Mill road, there was another shooting. A shooting between two drug dealers. Darmequaye Cohill sold heroin. Kwesen Sanders stole Cohill’s cellphone number. He got it off Facebook and had Virgin Mobile make it his own. So, when Cohill’s clients wanted to buy they reached Sanders

  • #098 Precious Lives: The Next Chapter

    29/11/2016 Duración: 10min

    At the end of 2016, Precious Lives will shift gears. We’ll wrap up our radio series and focus on a traveling live show. The Precious Lives team will attempt to reach all corners of Milwaukee to harness diverse energies to combat the problem of gun violence. Performers will bring their stories of gun violence directly into churches, schools, offices and so on. We’ve tried this a few times already: most notably to a sold out audience at the Pabst Theater over the summer and recently at an event at the Rotary Club. We’re aiming to do 25 shows throughout 2017. For this episode, Executive Producer Brad Lichtenstein talks with a few of the performers, Khary Penebaker and Damien Smith, about their experience sharing their stories, how their experiences change based on the crowd and what they hope different audiences will gain from the live shows. If you’re interested in learning more or booking an event, please email our Engagement Director Paul Kjelland at .

  • #097 Precious Lives: An Urban Ministry

    22/11/2016 Duración: 10min

    Violence clusters like an infectious disease. But you can also feel it when you walk into certain community spaces, like All People’s Church in Milwaukee. Precious Lives has featured All People’s before in our series - after 24-year-old member Isiah Johnson survived two separate shootings in one year. However, Isiah is far from the only one in the congregation affected by violence. So, if you’re Pastor Steve Jerbi, who leads All People’s Church, what do you say to your congregation? A congregation that habitually experiences violence?

  • #096 Precious Lives: Finding Justice - and Purpose - Amid Police Violence

    15/11/2016 Duración: 09min

    After Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a police officer this summer, his family was left to grieve and figure out how to move forward. His brother Sedan and cousin Taz have emerged as community leaders. They’re young black men from the streets who are taking advantage of the spotlight to seek justice for Sylville, and push for a larger change in their community. And Precious Lives discovered how they’re being changed along the way.

  • #095 Precious Lives: Checking In With Carlton Dewindt, More Than A Year After Losing His Friend

    08/11/2016 Duración: 09min

    We met 22-year-old Carlton Dewindt over a year ago, when he was featured on an early episode of Precious Lives. Neighborhood feuds and shootings eventually culminated in the death of Carlton’s close friend, Lil Ray. Ray died in an alley next to an orchard tended by Walnut Way Conservation Corp. The staff at Walnut Way gathered Carlton and other men affected by Ray's death. They talked, they boxed, they camped... They grieved together . But before Walnut Way’s efforts had a chance to foster neighborhood peace, police conducted an undercover drug investigation in the area. Carlton Dewindt ended up getting charged. The last time we spoke with Carlton, he was getting ready to go to court.

  • #094 Precious Lives: How Did We Get Here?

    01/11/2016 Duración: 08min

    There’s a lot we know about gun violence. We know it’s concentrated in poorer areas. And we know those areas tend to be heavily black. But how did things get that way -- how did we get to the point where 84% of Milwaukee’s homicide victims are black? To start understanding some of the historical underpinnings of how we got to where we are, Precious Lives producers Aisha Turner and Emily Forman visited Monk’s Barbershop. Monk’s has been in Garden Homes since 1981. Shop owner William Campbell, aka Monk, started cutting hair down on the old Walnut Street back in the 1950s. Monk walks us through the physical and economic changes he’s seen in the city so we can start to understand how we got here.

  • #093 Precious Lives: Behind the Gun Violence Beat

    25/10/2016 Duración: 15min

    This is Precious Lives episode 93. We’re almost at our goal of telling 100 stories about gun violence and young people in Milwaukee. We’ve covered the family members who have lost loved ones, the activists fighting to make the city better, and the political leaders overseeing it all. Each week, we ask our interview subjects to be emotionally honest with us as we try to understand the problem of gun violence. This week, the microphones are turned on our reporters. Emily Forman and Aisha Turner produce the radio series, and Ashley Luthern writes companion pieces for the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel. This week, they let people in on what it’s like to cover this beat. A quick note about the future: the media portion of Precious Lives is ending, but the conversation around gun violence will continue. Here’s how you can stay involved: Get in touch if you’d like more information about the upcoming series of live shows Keep sending your story pitches to Ashley Luthern Please continue to follow

  • #092 Precious Lives: Running Towards a Second Chance

    18/10/2016 Duración: 09min

    Born a few months apart, Mario Drain and his friends wound up with very different fates after committing armed robbery together in high school. His friends were 17 and sentenced as adults. Mario was still 16. He was sent to the Running Rebels and put into the Intensive Monitoring Program. Mario's case workers stayed on him -- they made sure he came to meetings, got involved in activities and showed up to school everyday. This alternative to incarceration worked. Through the program, Mario was given a second chance. Now, he’s using it to give back to his own kids and to other young people in the community.

  • #091 Precious Lives: Building Community After a Police-Involved Shooting

    11/10/2016 Duración: 08min

    In August 2016, 23-year old Sylville Smith was shot by District 7 Officer Dominique Heaggan. Officer Lawson Murrell was long-interested in improving the relationship between the police and the black community. He’s now the Milwaukee Police Department's District 7 Community Liaison Officer. And at the memorial for Sylville Smith on 44th and Auer, he’s facing the first major test of his new role. And as a black police officer, he’s stuck in an especially tough position.

  • #090 Precious Lives: The Playoffs

    04/10/2016 Duración: 10min

    This is the final episode of a three part series following a young basketball team. At 13 and 14 years old - these players are dealing with a lot more than basketball drills. They lost a teammate last year: 13 year old Giovonnie Cameron, who was shot and killed within the first week of the season. In this episode, we’ll pick up where we left off: just weeks before the championship game, the team is undefeated. Corresponding Content: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Precious Lives: Team comes back for new season after loss of teammate The Warning league is run by Running Rebels . If you want to learn how to contribute to the league, contact Donta Holmes at or 414-264-8222.

  • #089 Precious Lives: The 'Fighting' Team Copes With a Teammate's Death

    27/09/2016 Duración: 10min

    Precious Lives picks up where it left off last week with Coach Eric Moore. He coaches in a summer basketball league called Warning Project Respect. And he’s earned himself a reputation throughout the league as the “crying coach.” Coach held in his tears after years after his best friend and basketball teammate John Wess was killed back when they were teenagers. That trauma had major consequences on Coach - there was prison time, suicidal thoughts and more violence. But, he was able to turn things around. LISTEN: Precious Lives: The Crying Coach Now he’s trying to help his 13- and 14-year-old players let their emotions out in a healthy way because last year they lost a teammate - 13-year-old Giovonnie Cameron. And while Coach Moore is known as the crying coach... his players are known as “the the fighting team.” Corresponding Content: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Precious Lives: Team comes back for new season after loss of teammate The Warning league is run by Running Rebels . If you

  • #088 Precious Lives: The Crying Coach

    20/09/2016 Duración: 12min

    If you are between the ages of eight and 48, love basketball and live in Milwaukee’s central city…you’ve probably been a part of Warning’s basketball league. Over 40 years old, the Warning basketball league is the third oldest in the nation. It’s a rite of passage, and for many youth, it’s the place to be over the summer, wearing the colored t-shirt representing your team. But last year was a rough year for the league. Two players died within the first week - Tariq Akbar, 14 and Giovonnie Cameron, 13. Both were fatally shot. Eric Moore coached Giovonnie. Most of Coach Moore’s players grew up with Gio. And now, they are back for another Warning season.

  • #087 Precious Lives: Remembering Eric Von

    13/09/2016 Duración: 19min

    On Thursday, September 8th , Precious Lives host Eric Von died of a heart attack. He was 58. In addition to being a journalist, Eric was a beloved community leader who touched many people along his path. Executive Producer Brad Lichtenstein spoke with three men Eric mentored, all of whom have become leaders in their own right: James Causey, a writer with the Milwaukee Journal­Sentinel; Jermaine Reed, the director of Fresh Start Family Services and host of Fresh Start Today on WNOV; and Keyon Jackson-Malone, a community advocate and producer with WNOV. They spoke about the influence Eric had on their lives, as well as the profound impact he had on our city. Corresponding Content: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Causey: Eric Von's passing leaves a void

  • #086 Precious Lives: Programming Sherman Park

    06/09/2016 Duración: 10min

    On August 13th , all eyes turned to Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood . Protesters jumped on police cars and set buildings on fire, outraged over the police shooting of Sylville Smith. Vaun Mayes-Bey and a group of organizers had been in the area all summer, long before the news crews came. Vaun works with Program the Parks to provide activities and food to the teenagers who congregate in Sherman Park, outside of the Boys & Girls Club. Vaun says the work they’re doing is not only fun for the teens, it’s also making the park safer and keeping kids out of the grip of law enforcement. But after the unrest, a 6 pm park curfew made it harder to do their job.

  • #085 Precious Lives: Tragedy Inspires a Fight for Universal Background Checks

    30/08/2016 Duración: 09min

    Last year in Milwaukee, close to 70 percent of gun homicide suspects possessed their guns illegally. They wouldn’t have passed a background check. That was the case with Radcliffe Haughton . Four years ago, he walked he into the Azana Spa with a semiautomatic handgun, killing three people and injuring four more. Elvin Daniel lost his sister Zina that day, and it challenged his views on gun ownership laws. Now, he’s committed to lobbying for universal background checks. Corresponding Content: Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism - Strong Public Support Fails to Move Wisconsin on Gun Background Checks

  • Strong Public Support Fails to Move Wisconsin on Gun Background Checks

    28/08/2016 Duración: 08min

    On a Sunday afternoon nearly four years ago, Elvin Daniel was in his garden when he got a call from police: His sister, Zina Haughton , had been shot at work. Zina’s abusive husband, Radcliffe Haughton, used a semiautomatic handgun that he bought from a man in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Germantown the day before the shooting. He killed Zina Haughton, Maelyn Lind and Cary Robuck and wounded four others at the Azana Salon & Spa in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. He then used the weapon to kill himself. Zina Daniel Haughton, 42, left behind two daughters, ages 20 and 13. Daniel, who owns a gun, said he was shocked that his late brother-in-law was able to buy a firearm despite a judge’s order prohibiting Radcliffe Haughton from possessing a gun. “We started to find out that people actually can get guns without a background check,” said Daniel, who lives in Illinois, where all gun purchasers must pass a background check. “As naive as I was back then, I thought

  • #084 Precious Lives: The Cost of Saying Goodbye

    23/08/2016 Duración: 10min

    Milwaukee zip code 53206 comes with a lot of labels: mass incarceration, poverty, violence. Underneath those labels there’s a lot of pain, but there’s also a lot of love. Kimberley Zulkowski love her community. "Love will make you a master at many things quickly," she says. "I love my community and I love the people in it." She is from 53206 and says it’s hard to shake the labels. Kimberley's seen many people she knows leave in caskets. And when homicides picked up in 2015, her connection grew deeper.

  • #083 Precious Lives: Making Sense of the Weekend Unrest

    16/08/2016 Duración: 18min

    On Saturday, August 14th, a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed 23-year old Sylville Smith near the intersection of West Auer Avenue and North 44th Street. The police department reported that Smith had a gun and refused to drop it. Details are still unfolding. What we do understand is that in the Sherman Park neighborhood where this took place, tensions had been mounting for weeks. Sylville’s death sparked peaceful protests, as well as violent unrest. Footage of buildings set aflame brought national attention to the Milwaukee and its struggles. Precious Lives host Eric Von lives in Sherman Park. And producer Aisha Turner had been reporting on a related story for about a week before the major headlines began to unfold. Eric and Aisha sat down with executive producer Brad Lichtenstein to share their thoughts about what led to the the unrest and what they think is going to be necessary for the community to move forward.