Since it began in 1983, Frontline has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.
It was a robbery gone wrong, and when it was over, a woman had been shot in the head. Fingerprint evidence identified one of the suspects who quickly named two accomplices: a friend and the friend's cousin, a man he knew only as "Terrance." And that's where the problem with this ordinary crime begins. Police apprehended sixteen-year-old Terence Garner and charged him with the crime. Garner insisted he was innocent. The codefendants said they had never met him. Another man with the name "Terrance" surfaced and confessed to the crime, then recanted and was let go. FRONTLINE investigates a bizarre case of injustice where two men with the same name are implicated in the same crime and one-Terence Garner-is sentenced to thirty two to forty three years in prison.
The hijackers of September 11 led such outwardly ordinary lives that they moved through Europe and America virtually unnoticed. They plotted in broad daylight, weaving a web of terror from the simple routines of modern life. American flight schools taught them to fly, local banks helped them move money, libraries provided computers, and the Department of Motor Vehicles supplied essential IDs. Everywhere they went they blended in unnoticed and unsuspected. FRONTLINE traces the hijackers' movements across four continents, following clues they left behind to unearth the stories of the individuals inside Osama bin Laden's terror network.
For a few heady years, it seemed that just about anyone -- from institutional investors to the average person following CNBC -- could make quick and easy money by putting their cash into the dreams of the Internet. What spurred the incredible dot-com bull run on Wall Street? Was the public blinded by dreams of small fortunes and easy living or did the nation's investment banks manipulate the IPO market and exploit public trust? In "Dot Con," FRONTLINE investigates the financial forces behind the unprecedented rise and seemingly overnight fall of the Internet economy.
It's the mystery of mysteries-especially to parents. Now experts are exploring the recesses of the brain and finding new explanations for why adolescents behave the way they do. FRONTLINE explores how the new discoveries can change the way we parent, teach, or perhaps even understand, our teenagers.
It's one of the hottest industries in America -- and with adult movies, magazines, retail stores, and the growth of the Internet -- business is booming. The Bush administration has pledged a new attack on the porn industry and for the first time in years, there's a renewed interest in mounting prosecutions. On Thursday, February 7, as the first jury trial for obscenity since 1993 is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles, FRONTLINE investigates "American Porn" and the pending political battle that will soon engulf the multibillion dollar business and its distribution partners -- some of America's best known corporations.
From industrial hauler to America's new station wagon, the SUV has been a spectacular success story, both satisfying and reflecting the tastes of the American consumer. Was the rise of the SUV enabled, even encouraged, by Washington regulators with close ties to the industry? And did they overlook serious safety and environmental flaws in the vehicle that continue to haunt it? FRONTLINE presents an in-depth report of the vehicle that turned Detroit's fortunes around and asks what consumers really know about their SUVs and those charged with making them safe.
President Bush's proposal for mandatory public school testing in grades three through eight signals the beginning of a new era in public education, one marked by increased federal involvement in schools and an unprecedented expansion in the role of tests. A business school graduate and self-styled "CEO President," Bush envisions a business model where educators set objectives, measure performance, and hold students and teachers accountable for results. But will the business model work in education? FRONTLINE correspondent John Merrow examines how the quest for higher scores is changing teaching and learning in America.
As Israelis and Palestinians prepare for possible all-out war, FRONTLINE investigates how the combatants pursue the deadly conflict on the ground. How did a war that was once fought with stones evolve into a battle involving suicide bombings and targeted killings? Through exclusive access to Israeli commando units and Palestinian militants, FRONTLINE reveals the tactics and strategies behind the fighting and reports on the latest cycle of violence to unfold in the Holy Land.
In December 2000, after spending fourteen years on Floridaís Death Row, Frank Lee Smith was finally cleared of the rape and murder of eight-year-old Shandra Whitehead. Like nearly 100 prisoners before him, Smithís belated exoneration came as a result of sophisticated DNA testing that was unavailable when he was first convicted. But for Frank Lee Smith, the good news came too late: Ten months before he was proven innocent, Smith died of cancer in his jail cell, just steps away from Floridaís electric chair. How did Frank Lee Smith end up on Death Row for a crime he didnít commit? And why was he allowed to die there despite possible evidence of his innocence?
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control found that a single fast-food hamburger contained beef from more than 100 cows. In the last few decades, American meat production has become a highly mechanized and centralized industry, bringing about significant changes not only in the way meat is produced but also in the way Americans eat. These changes have forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to institute a new meat inspection process, which gives far greater control to the powerful meat industry. This spring, FRONTLINE investigates the modern meat industry and the safety of our current meat supply.
In 1984, Cuban immigrant Frank Fuster was living the American dream. He had a new house in the suburbs, a successful landscaping business, and a new wife who was helping him raise his five-year-old son. Then, Fuster's world fell apart, as he and his wife found themselves charged with sexually abusing numerous children at their Miami day care service. His case was groundbreaking because it helped create the methods by which prosecutors would pursue alleged molesters in other well-known cases around the country. The prosecutor in the case, Janet Reno, became famous and would later serve as the nation's Attorney General. In the l980s, hysteria was in the air and the Fuster case had the usual media frenzy that branded him a monster. Then, when Fuster's wife and son testified against him, he was easily convicted and sentenced to 165 years in prison. Case closed. But was Fuster really guilty of those horrific acts? Now, nearly 20 years later, a FRONTLINE investigation finds new evidence that calls into question the ironclad case against Frank Fuster.
FRONTLINE investigates the terror threat from Iran and the challenges facing U.S. policymakers. President Bush has declared Iran part of an 'axis of evil.' But will U.S. actions against Iran help or hinder Iranian moderates' struggle to reform the hard-line government of Iran?
The events of Sept. 11 left many Americans questioning how such atrocities could be perpetrated in the name of religion: specifically, the religion of Islam. Few Americans know much about Islam, yet it continues to be the fastest growing religion in the US today. What is Islam? What do Muslims believe in? And how does their faith shape their lives, identities and their political ideologies? FRONTLINE explores these and other questions in "Muslims," a special two-hour report that examines the fundamental tenets of Islam and the causes behind its current worldwide resurgence.Through interviews with dozens of ordinary Muslims from such diverse countries as Iran, Malaysia, Turkey, and the U.S., FRONTLINE illuminates the perspectives, conflicts, and tensions that are shaping today's Muslim world.
On April 2, as Israeli tanks rolled into Bethlehem, some 200 Palestinians - many of them armed - stormed into the fabled Church of the Nativity. They remained there for 39 days, as the standoff between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants at one of the world's most revered holy sites kept the world transfixed. In "The Seige of Bethlehem," FRONTLINE takes viewers inside the siege at the Church of the Nativity. With unprecedented inside access to key figures on both sides of the standoff, FRONTLINE reveals the secret negotiations, strategies, gambits, and maneuvers employed throughout the siege, as the combatants sought to maintain the delicate balance between diplomatic persuasion and military might.
The meteoric rise and stunning collapse of Enron caused many to question why the watchdog system that was supposed to protect investors failed to sound any alarms about the company's dubious financial underpinnings. But Enron and its auditor, Arthur Andersen, are the tip of the iceberg. In the late 1990s, Enron was just one of the more than 400 corporations forced to dramatically restate their value because of accounting lapses, failures, or fraud. What went wrong? Through interviews with SEC officials, corporate executives, members of Congress, and investor advocates, FRONTLINE examines an oversight system gone soft and explores how market deregulation and conflicts of interest between accountants and the companies they were auditing eroded the system of controls designed to protect stockholders from investment fraud.
In the Summer of 2000, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were on the brink of reaching a peace agreement. After years of negotiation, both sides seemed ready to move forwardónever before had the dream of peace seemed so close. Within weeks, however, the window of opportunity had closed and the peace process had collapsed. What went wrong? As the Middle East continues to erupt in violence between Israelis and Palestinians, FRONTLINE examines the faltering, frustrating quest for peace. Beginning with the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, this two-hour documentary traces the ongoing peace process through years of negotiations and up through the chaotic events now unfolding. With never-before-seen footage of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and interviews with key figures on both sides of the bargaining table, "Shattered Dreams" gives viewers unprecedented access to the decision making process on which the fate of millions depends.
Ground Zero in Manhattan has become a site of pilgrimage. Thousands of people visit the site, looking for consolation as they question the events of September 11. There is a profound quiet to their meditations. Starting here, FRONTLINE sets out on a quest to find out how peoples' beliefs-and unbelief-has been challenged, and how they are coping with difficult questions of good and evil, the face of God, and the potential for darkness within religion itself. From survivors who were pulled from the wreckage of the Twin Towers to the widow of a New York City firefighter; from priests and rabbis to security guards and opera divas; from lapsed Catholics and Jews to Buddhists, Muslims, and atheists.... FRONTLINE explores and illuminates the myriad of spiritual questions that have come out of the terror, pain, and destruction at Ground Zero.
In this two-hour special, FRONTLINE recounts for the first time on television the behind-the-scenes story of the U.S. and world response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. Featuring interviews with key U.S. players and world leaders, "Campaign Against Terror" examines the complex diplomatic maneuvering that led to an international coalition against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. From the initial bombing raids to the futile hunt for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda leaders in the caves of Tora Bora, the documentary traces the dramatic ups and downs of the ground war in Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of Pentagon leaders, U.S. Special Forces troops and Afghan rebel leaders in the Northern Alliance. Finally, " Campaign Against Terror " tracks the intricate political wrangling that led to the selection of Hamid Karzai - America's preferred candidate - as the new Afghan leader.
As an FBI agent who specialized in counter-terrorism, John P. O'Neill investigated the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole in Yemen, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and the first attack on the World Trade Center. O'Neill came to believe America should kill Osama bin Laden before Al Qaeda launched a devastating attack, but his was often a lonely voice. A controversial figure, O'Neill's hot pursuit of terrorists and his James Bond style led to nicknames like "Elvis," "The Count," and "the Prince of Darkness" inside the buttoned-down world of the FBI. In the end, he was forced out of the job he loved and entered the private sector - as director of security for the World Trade Center. He died there on September 11. His story is the stuff of Hollywood - yet it's true. O'Neill's relentless obsession with Al Qaeda, and his efforts to get the government to pay attention to the growing threat posed by Osama bin Laden inform the question on every American's mind after September 11: What did the government know?
Following America's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, FRONTLINE examines the reason why: the Bush administration's determination to deploy an antimissile system. Supporters say national missile defense is essential to protecting America from a missile attack by rogue states. Critics argue that terrorist attacks like September 11 are a far greater threat than that posed by ballistic missiles. In "Missile Wars," FRONTLINE examines both sides of the missile defense debate. Through interviews with staunch proponents, skeptical scientists, and military and intelligence experts, the one-hour documentary investigates this multi-billion dollar--yet still unproven--weapons system, and explores how national missile defense fits into the nation's military strategy after 9/11.
In December 1994, Ralph Tortorici, a twenty-six-year-old psychology student at the State University of New York, walked into a classroom, pulled out a hunting knife and a high-powered rifle, and announced that he was taking the class hostage. During a three-hour standoff with police negotiators, Tortorici--a paranoid schizophrenic who believed the government had implanted tracking devices in his body--demanded to speak to the president, the governor, and the Supreme Court. Shots were fired, leaving one student seriously wounded and Tortorici charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder. That Ralph Tortorici was mentally ill was apparent to everyone. What was not so clear was how the courts should deal with his case. In "A Crime of Insanity," FRONTLINE examines the controversial case of Ralph Tortorici. Through interviews with Tortorici's family and the defense attorney, prosecutor, and judge charged with trying his case, the one-hour documentary explores the personal, political, and societal fallout that occurs when the legal and psychiatric worlds collide.
Marriage is in trouble. The past half-century has witnessed staggering changes in the makeup of the American family as the number of single-parent households and children born out of wedlock has skyrocketed. The traditional American family structure is crumbling, and no one's sure why. Now everyone from the government to church leaders to intellectuals--on both the right and the left--are pushing marriage, especially among the poor. But can such efforts turn the social tide and make marriage once again the norm? Should the government have a role in such an intimate, private institution? And for those along the margins, why doesn't marriage seem to matter any more? FRONTLINE correspondent and author Alex Kotlowitz explores the biggest demographic mystery of the last half-century and examines the modern marriage movement.
Within three months of September 11, the War on Terror had succeeded in crushing the Taliban. But many of the operation's primary targets--members of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network of international terrorists--managed to escape into neighboring Pakistan. FRONTLINE examines the quest to bring the terrorist group to justice in "In Search of Al Qaeda." The one-hour documentary follows the trail of Al Qaeda from the Afghan border areas into Pakistan's cities as U.S. and Pakistani authorities begin to track down some of the network's leaders. The journey continues to other Middle Eastern countries, where local villagers, officials, and others are interviewed about what has happened to Al Qaeda and its efforts to regroup.