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Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption
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Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption

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A mysterious drug overdose at a posh Pasadena hotel leads our host and LA Times investigative reporter, Paul Pringle, into Los Angeles’ darkest corridors of power and wealth. Pringle discovers that the dean of the University of Southern California's medical school is leading a secret double life. As Pringle and his team at the LA Times untangle a sordid web of lies, drugs, and greed, they encounter obstacles and resistance at every turn—from USC, law enforcement and even within their own organization. Fallen Angels explores how money and privilege can corrupt our most important institutions and destroy people's lives.

Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption is based on Pringle’s book, Bad City: Peril & Power in the City of Angels.
10 Episodes
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A mysterious drug overdose at a posh Pasadena hotel leads our host and LA Times investigative reporter, Paul Pringle, into Los Angeles’ darkest corridors of power and wealth. Pringle discovers that the dean of the University of Southern California's medical school is leading a secret double life. As Pringle and his team at the LA Times untangle a sordid web of lies, drugs, and greed, they encounter obstacles and resistance at every turn—from USC, law enforcement and even within their own organization. Fallen Angels explores how money and privilege can corrupt our most important institutions and destroy people's lives. Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption is based on Pringle’s book, Bad City: Peril & Power in the City of Angels.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
An unconscious young woman in a room full of drugs: that’s the scene at the Hotel Constance in Pasadena, California. But when the hotel manager tries to call 911, the woman’s much older companion tells him that won’t be necessary – he’s a doctor. The manager makes the call anyway. And yet, when the police and paramedics arrive, this so-called doctor simply…walks away. And then the hotel manager learns who this man is: his name is Carmen Puliafito, and he’s the dean of the medical school at the University of Southern California (USC).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
LA Times Reporter Paul Pringle starts to investigate what really happened at the Hotel Constance. But there’s a surprising lack of a police paper trail, and the Pasadena Police are stonewalling at every turn. So is USC. But Paul has investigated the university before, and he has his sources. Still, there’s one missing piece to the puzzle: the identity of the young woman found in the hotel room. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 3: Company Men

Episode 3: Company Men

2024-04-1139:442

With rock solid reporting that proves Carmen Puliafito was involved in the incident at the Hotel Constance, Paul and his editor take the story to the top brass at the LA Times. But the story is slow-walked, then killed by the top editors at the paper. And Paul starts to wonder: is it possible that his own paper doesn’t have the stomach to take on the powerful and influential USC?  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Paul and his editor decide to form a secret reporting team with four other reporters, out of sight of the top editors at The LA Times. Bit by bit, the team starts to unravel the truth of Puliafito’s double life, and his surprising circle of associates: drug users, dealers, and sex workers. And they might have finally found the identity of the young woman from the Hotel Constance: her name is Sarah Warren.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The team tracks down the family of Sarah Warren, who have been desperate to get Puliafito out of their daughter’s life for years. The reporters discover that Puliafito’s control over vulnerable people struggling with drug addiction is far greater than they imagined. And Sarah is not the only young person to have come under his spell. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sarah and her teenage brother Charles Warren go on the record with Paul to tell the whole sordid story. With a mountain of documents, shocking videos and on-record sources, the reporting team pushes the editors to finally publish. But the top brass continue to dilute and delay, and the reporting team considers taking drastic steps to make sure the story sees the light of day. A note: for substance abuse treatment and mental health referrals, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Puliafito story finally lands, and it’s a bombshell. USC goes into damage control mode, while the leadership of the LA Times seem to forget the months of contentious edits, and bask in the acclaim. But Paul and the other reporters have mobilized to ensure the end of these roadblocks at the paper. Meanwhile, more damning details about Puliafito continue to surface, including another young woman caught under his influence – with tragic results. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Episode 8: Bad Doctors

Episode 8: Bad Doctors

2024-05-1642:23

In the wake of the blockbuster Puliafito story, reporter Harriet Ryan receives an anonymous tip about another bad doctor at USC. His crimes are shocking, and far reaching. And as the reporters discover, it’s another terrible story covered up by USC – this one for decades. A note: for substance abuse treatment and mental health referrals, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), organizes the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. The Hotline is a referral service for local rape crisis centers. To reach the hotline, call 1-800-656-4673, or access RAINN's online chat service.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
With the help of scores of survivors, the reporters uncover the grisly details of the doctor’s crimes, and of USC’s culture of coverups. The new leaders at the LA Times stand behind them all the way. The story is published, the outcry is everywhere, and this time, fallout is unavoidable. USC has to reckon with these revelations and take some action. It leads to a major shakeup at the top – though real accountability still seems out of reach.  A note: The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), organizes the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. The Hotline is a referral service for local rape crisis centers. To reach the hotline, call 1-800-656-4673, or access RAINN's online chat service.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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