In the nearly 20 years that Susan Randall’s been working as a private investigator, she’s seen Vermont’s most disadvantaged people struggling to have life’s most basic amenities. Sometimes her job is to interview people addicted to crack, to help determine whether they’re suitable parents. Sometimes her job is to examine blood spatter at gruesome crime scenes. She recently helped defend a client who murdered a DCF worker in broad daylight.
Susan has seen how humanity’s worst instincts become possible where cyclical poverty, incarceration, and drug addiction wreak havoc on communities.
There’s a necessary split screen in Susan’s mind. One screen shows a home life: dropping her kids off at lacrosse, helping them with school projects. And another screen shows a work life: prison visitation rooms, run-down trailer parks, the color-shifted skin of a corpse.
Producer Erica Heilman interviewed Susan over the course of three years. Erica is a private investigator herself, and Susan was her mentor. The two talk about the mechanics of the legal system, poverty and how to survive a job that takes such an emotional toll.
Music: The Black Spot