On March 29, 1991, David Hendricks was found not guilty in his second trial of killing his wife and three children. A week later he was scheduled to be at the WJBC Radio studios for an interview on my afternoon talk show.
We promoted his appearance heavily. You can imagine the letdown when I had to go on the air late that morning to announce that Hendricks would not be appearing, quoting him as saying he just wasn’t ready and able to do a talk show.
You can also imagine my delight when, a few minutes later, the presiding judge in both Hendricks trials called me, offering to be a substitute guest. Judge Richard Baner had heard the change of Hendricks plans and was willing to answer my and listeners’ questions about the trials.
I must admit (and a little warning to you) that I was a bit concerned at the beginning of the interview because Judge Baner’s answers were short and not terribly interesting. But things got very interesting very fast.
I should also note that near the end of the interview, there’s a caller who compliments the judge, indicating that she was among spectators for the second trial. I suspect that caller was, in fact, a juror in the first trial.
You might also be interested in an interview with the judge from his hometown newspaper 22 years after the second Hendricks trial and 17 years after his retirement:
This audio is actually a recording of a repeat airing of the Baner interview that was broadcast a couple days after the original live interview. It begins with my short introduction…
Steve Vogel is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, columnist, and talk show host who covered every minute of the original murder trial described in the New York Times best-seller Reasonable Doubt.