On a tragic and sobering edition of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — Wednesdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen, and secret weapon, forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — we peer into the shocking February death of Penn State fraternity pledge Tim Piazza after an alcohol-saturated hazing ritual that has resulted in criminal charges against 18 Beta Theta Pi fraternity members. We talk with journalist Charlie Thompson, who is covering the case for the Patriot-News and PennLive, and author/social critic Caitlin Flanagan, whose article “The Dark Power of Fraternities” in The Atlantic is a classic in the field. Caitlin and Charlie will join us in the 10pE hour; at 9pE Clarissa will lead us through the week’s most notable True Crime news.
Caitlin Flanagan’s 2014 article for THE ATLANTIC, “The Dark Power of Fraternities” is a scabrous and at times hilarious look into the dangers and allure of fraternity life, the contradictions of freedom and conformity, and their seemingly intractable role in American college life. By the way, hazing isn’t close to being the most dangerous frat activity. Flanagan began her magazine-writing career, in 2001 with a series of extended book reviews about the conflicts at the heart of modern domestic life as it is lived by professional-class women. Flanagan quickly established herself as a highly entertaining social critic unafraid to take on self-indulgence and political correctness, and her reviews provide penetrating and witheringly funny observations about the sexes and their discontents.
Her ATLANTIC articles have been named as finalists for the National Magazine Award five times, and her essay “Confessions of a Prep School College Counselor” was included in the 2002 compilation of Best American Magazine Writing. Her work has also been included in Best American Essays 2003 and Best American Magazine Writing 2003. She is the author of the books TO HELL WITH ALL THAT—an exploration, based on her Atlantic articles, of the lives of modern women; and GIRL LAND. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Flanagan earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Virginia. She now lives in California, where she spends her time writing and raising twins.
Charles “Charlie” Thompson has been a journalist for the PATRIOT-NEWS and PennLive for almost 30 years. Thompson has covered state government for THE PATRIOT since 1999. Prior to that, he had covered various Cumberland County municipalities and school districts. In 2015 Thompson received a William A. Schnader Print Media Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for his work related to the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and Penn State University. Thompson lives in Carlisle with his wife, Beth, and their two children.