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The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop
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The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop

Author: The Washington Post

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Grenada’s revolutionary leader, Maurice Bishop, was executed in a coup in 1983. Seven other people, members of his cabinet and friends, were killed alongside him. The whereabouts of their remains are unknown. Now, in a series two years in the making, The Washington Post’s Martine Powers discovers new information about the 40-year-old mystery, including the role the U.S. played in shaping the fate of this Caribbean nation.
8 Episodes
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Grenada’s Black revolutionary leader, Maurice Bishop, was executed in a coup in 1983, along with seven others. The whereabouts of their remains are unknown. Now, The Washington Post’s Martine Powers uncovers new answers about how the U.S. fits into this 40-year-old Caribbean mystery.“The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop” is an investigative podcast that delves into the revolutionary history of Grenada, why the missing remains still matter and the role the U.S. government played in shaping the fate of the island nation.
Every 19th of October, Grenadians mark a somber anniversary: the 1983 execution of the country’s former prime minister and revolutionary leader, Maurice Bishop, and others who died alongside him. The people of this Caribbean nation still have no closure 40 years later. The remains of Bishop and his supporters were never returned to their family members and are missing to this day. In the first episode of “The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop,” The Washington Post’s Martine Powers takes us on the personal journey that led her to learn about Grenada’s history. Martine delves into why Bishop was such an influential figure, what made the United States nervous about him and why the mystery of his missing remains continues to haunt so many on the island. You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here [http://washingtonpost.com/emptygrave?utm_source=podcasts&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=the-empty-grave-of-comrade-bishop].Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to episodes 3-6 of the series on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here.
Maurice Bishop was a charismatic leader who captured the imagination of many Grenadians. But the revolution he helped spark began to buckle under pressure within his own party. Martine Powers tries to understand the life of Bishop and what propelled him into the position of prime minister, the promise of the beginning of the revolution and the events that led to his brutal death. That history reveals why the mystery of the missing remains haunts Grenada to this day. Martine speaks with Bishop’s sister, his fellow revolutionaries and the family members of some of the other victims killed on Oct. 19, 1983. They tell harrowing stories of having their own lives endangered, the last moments they saw their loved ones alive and what it’s been like to not be able to give them a proper funeral. You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here [http://washingtonpost.com/emptygrave?utm_source=podcasts&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=the-empty-grave-of-comrade-bishop].Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to the rest of the series, on Mondays, on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here.
Annie Bain saw something 40 years ago that she’s been contemplating since: her husband’s ring, which was brought to her in the weeks after he died — and which she believes is proof that there are people who know what happened to his remains and those of the seven others killed with him on Oct. 19, 1983. This clue and Annie’s other recollections bring The Washington Post’s Martine Powers to the doorsteps of two men: a soldier who witnessed where the bodies were first taken, and a detective who tried to get answers about the remains in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Martine gets one step closer to the empty grave and to new questions about the actions of the U.S. military.You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here. Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to the rest of the series on Mondays on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here.
Professor Robert Jordan was among the few people still on the campus of St. George’s University in November of 1983, in the days after the U.S. invasion of Grenada. One day a strange request came in: The U.S. military wanted to use his anatomy lab at the university for a forensic exam.Martine Powers visits what is left of the old lab and hears the professor’s story about what he saw that day. What transpired in that examination 40 years ago has raised serious questions about the identity and condition of the remains recovered from the pit at Calivigny.Later in the episode, Martine puts some of those questions to the “Grenada 17,” the individuals held responsible for the murder of Maurice Bishop and the others killed with him. She asks: What did they do with the bodies? And could they be omitting information that could explain the mystery?You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here. Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to the rest of the series on Mondays on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here.
Why would the U.S. government have an interest in hiding the remains of an assassinated revolutionary leader? In this episode of “The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop,” Martine Powers puts this question to Americans who served in Grenada after the invasion 40 years ago, including alumni of the U.S. State Department and a former CIA analyst.“I don't follow the logic of Maurice Bishop as a symbol for communism or anti-Americanism,” said Lino Gutierrez, a former ambassador who worked as a foreign service officer in Grenada. According to Guy Farmer, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Grenada, “It would have been good for us if we had found Maurice Bishop's body, showing how violent and terrible the Bernard Coard-Hudson Austin faction was. That would have been good for us.”But when The Post’s reporting turns to the role of the U.S. military – and in particular, a battalion of Army rangers who conducted an attack on a Grenadian military training camp – the picture gets more complicated, raising new theories about when and how the United States might have discovered a critical piece of evidence.You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here. Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to the rest of the series on Mondays on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here.
When Martine Powers began looking into the mystery of the missing remains of Maurice Bishop, his cabinet members and supporters, one of the most noted explorations of the case turned out to be done by a group of high school boys in Grenada more than two decades ago. She was able to locate some of the now-adult investigators and the old principal of the school to learn what compelled them to do this as a class project, and how they found their sources. One of the people they interviewed, a former Jamaican soldier, witnessed the exhumation at Calivigny. What he told them more than 20 years ago is central to why many Grenadians think the U.S. government has not told the entire story of what happened to the remains after they were discovered. But he eventually stopped responding to students. Martine and her colleagues searched for the witness for more than a year. They also amassed hours of other tape from interviews with other people who were at the exhumation. What they were left with were incomplete memories of exactly what transpired the day the remains at Calivigny were recovered. Then, there was a breakthrough – with new questions about where all of this leads.You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here. Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to the rest of the series on Mondays on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here. 
What does the United States owe to Grenada about the mystery of the missing remains of Maurice Bishop, his cabinet members and supporters? In the final installment of the series for now, Martine Powers takes on that question as she assesses the conclusions of the team’s current reporting. She speaks with a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who has made another formal request of the U.S. military to turn over records related to the case. The Post’s reporting indicates that there are several records that exist and have not been released despite multiple Freedom of Information Act requests. The episode opens with a trip to an old cemetery in Grenada’s capital, where it is possible that the remains could be located. Martine learns why, despite excavations by experts over the years, confirming this has been so difficult. You can find photos and documents from the investigation in our special episode guide here. Subscribers to The Washington Post can get early access to the rest of the series on Mondays on Apple Podcasts, as well as ad-free listening. Link your Post subscription now or sign up to become a new Post subscriber here. 
Comments (2)

Klaudia Kwasniak

PTSD ? DNa?

Apr 9th
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Aakash Amanat

I recently had the pleasure of listening to "The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop," and I must say, it was a captivating and thought-provoking podcast. The storytelling, the historical context, and the way the hosts delved into the mystery of Comrade Bishop's missing grave left me intrigued throughout the episode. The narrative was well-researched and skillfully presented, making it both informative and engaging. https://find-open.com/brooklyn/nyc-packaging-solution-13905423 It shed light on a lesser-known chapter of history, and I found the exploration of political intrigue and espionage during the early 20th century quite fascinating. The podcast hosts did an excellent job of maintaining a balanced perspective while discussing the various theories and controversies surrounding Comrade Bishop's life and death. Overall, "The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop" is a must-listen for anyone interested in history, mysteries, and political intrigue. https://citysquares.com/b/nyc-packaging-solution

Nov 3rd
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