Episodes
Not long after Jacob Wideman murdered his summer camp roommate, Eric Kane, in 1986 — seemingly with no motive — a question emerged in the breathless news coverage of the tragedy: Was Jake a “bad seed”? It was no accident that some reporters latched onto the phrase. After all, it was plucked straight from perhaps the most famous book written by Jake’s own father, acclaimed author John Edgar Wideman, about his family’s experience with violence, trauma and incarceration. But John Wideman...
Published 03/29/23
Why did Jacob Wideman murder Eric Kane? In 1986, the two 16-year-olds were rooming together on a summer camp trip to the Grand Canyon when Jacob fatally — and inexplicably — stabbed Eric. That night, Jacob went on the run, absconding with the camp’s rented Oldsmobile and thousands of dollars in traveler’s checks. Before long, he turned himself in and eventually confessed to the killing — although he couldn’t explain what drove him to do it. It would take years of therapy and medical...
Published 03/22/23
In 1986, while on a summer camp trip to the Grand Canyon, 16-year-old Jacob Wideman fatally stabbed his roommate, Eric Kane. Jacob confessed to the murder, but couldn’t explain why he did it. The crime devastated both boys’ families. For the Widemans, it was also a haunting echo from their family history. Just two years earlier, Jacob’s father, acclaimed author John Edgar Wideman, had published "Brothers and Keepers," a memoir that grappled with how his brother, Jacob’s uncle Robby Wideman,...
Published 03/08/23