Nancy Mullane develops, reports, and produces feature stories for Public Radio International’s This American Life, National Public Radio, and the NPR affiliate KALW News-Crosscurrents in San Francisco.

With the support of the Open Society Foundation, she is producing a two-hour, four-part, radio documentary telling the stories of men and women convicted of murder which will air nationally in 2012.

She is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists, the Association of Independents in Radio, and the International Women’s Media Foundation.

In 2011, Nancy was the recipient of a National Edward R. Murrow Award.



As a still photographer, I am intrigued by how much information and meaning can be transcended in a fraction of a second. In a single photograph, subtle details become clues to a larger story that as a viewer are often created out of our own imagination about the world and our need to understand it.

From my early years perusing LIFE magazine and old black and white photos of family members I would never know, I better understood the world and how I possessed a piece of my own history through these images.

In my work, I am drawn to the interconnectedness between myself and the subjects I photograph. Like the images from LIFE and family albums, I look for clues about who the subjects really are and what, if any part, I might have made up.

These photos of the five men profiled in the book Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption, came out of a conversation and collaboration with the author Nancy Mullane. As often happens with Nancy, a conversation becomes a journey, and then you turn around and ask yourself, ‘How did I get here?’, which is how we ended up doing a photo-shoot at Alcatraz. I think by seeing these men as they are today, outside of the prison system, against a backdrop of decaying prison walls, we consider how far they’ve come.

Although the US has the largest prison population in the world, statistically, 1 in 100 Americans are serving time in prison, both inside and outside prison walls, this population of current and former prisoners is largely ignored and invisible to us. We want to feel disconnected to them. That they are somehow different from all the rest of us.

By bringing people face to face with these men visually, I hope people consider who they might be, and like the photos themselves, that they have stories beyond what we might want to imagine.


Life After Murder challenges us to do the unthinkable in the era of mass incarceration – view those accused of heinous crimes as worthy of our care, compassion and concern. Nancy Mullane, a white woman who once was just as ignorant about the real world of crime and punishment as the typical television viewer, takes us on a remarkable journey behind bars and introduces us to five unforgettable men who are struggling to transform their lives. Through their stories we are reminded of the power and possibility of redemption, as well the nearly unforgiveable crime our nation has committed: treating some human beings as disposable.



“Life After Murder is a gripping behind the scenes look at men who have committed heinous crimes yet still challenge our humanity by asking us to truly consider the meaning of redemption. This is journalism at its finest and a must-read for anyone interested in the realities of our prison system.”

–TOM AMMIANO, California Assembly Member


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