Two young men of color vanished three months apart, on the same road in Naples, Florida, under eerily similar circumstances nearly 20 years ago. They were last seen with the same white sheriff’s deputy. What went wrong? Did the police drop the ball? Did the media? The eight-episode series, distributed by the NPR Network, includes new details and exclusive interviews with Tyler Perry, Ben Crump, family and friends of the men, and investigators, and dramatic polygraph audio. Reported by veteran journalists with the Naples Daily News and The Fort Myers News-Press, part of the USA TODAY Network, and produced in partnership with WGCU Public Media.
The Last Ride podcast launched on April 4, 2023. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
WGCU-FM will broadcast and stream episodes every Tuesday beginning April 4 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. as part of Gulf Coast Life.
Episode 8: Pursuing Justice
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Terrance Williams comes to an end, but not until after a tense deposition of former deputy Steven Calkins. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, media mogul Tyler Perry, and the missing men's families and advocates still harbor hope for justice.
Episode 7: The investigation and the loose ends
The sheriff's office publicly deflects attention from deputy Steven Calkins, but behind the scenes, they are investigating one of their own. The investigation grows as several agencies join the Collier County Sheriff's Office, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney's Office. What did they do to search for evidence in the disappearances of Felipe Santos and Terrance Williams? What clues did they follow? Was the investigation thorough? Impartial? Was it too late?
Episode 6: The Tyler Perry Effect
Media attention can make a big difference when people go missing. But did the local, regional and national media fail these two missing men of color? Why didn't these cases get the same attention early on as cases involving young white women and are there lessons to be learned? Media mogul Tyler Perry has helped bring a spotlight to the disappearances of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos and has become an advocate for the families.
Episode 5: Good Guy or Bad Cop?
Who is Steven Calkins? Friends from his past shed light on his life in Ottawa, Illinois before moving to Naples, Florida to become a deputy. What was he like as a cop? Were there any clues that Calkins was the kind of guy who would do something to these men? What was the probability that Calkins meeting both Felipe and Terrance before they vanished was a pure coincidence?
Episode 4: The Polygraphs
Deputy Steven Calkins takes three polygraph tests about the disappearance of Terrance Williams. Inconsistencies between his dispatch calls, his own statements and the polygraphs only bring up more questions. Why didn't Calkins report pulling Terrance over? Was the Cadillac really broken down? What time did this all happen? And, with each polygraph, it's clear that suspicions about Calkins are heating up.
Episode 3: The disappearance of Terrance Williams
Terrance Williams was 27 when he disappeared. He was pulled over by Collier County Sheriff's Deputy Steven Calkins in January 2004 in Naples, FL, and was never seen again. Calkins said he gave Terrance a ride to a nearby Circle K. His mother and stepfather began their own investigation when the sheriff's office was not initially responsive in trying to find Terrance. Williams was the second man to go missing after last being seen with the same law enforcement officer.
Episode 2: The disappearance of Felipe Santos
Felipe Santos, a 23-year-old immigrant from Mexico, disappeared after a minor traffic crash in Naples, FL in the fall of 2003. Steven Calkins, the Collier County deputy on the scene, said he gave Felipe a ride to a nearby Circle K gas station. Felipe was never seen again.
Episode 1: One deputy, two missing men.
Two young men of color disappeared in Naples, Florida, three months apart from the same street nearly two decades ago. The last person they were seen with was a white deputy. Steven Calkins. No one's been arrested or charged for whatever happened to them. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump and filmmaker Tyler Perry join the fight for answers. Could something finally come to light to solve this tragic mystery?
The Last Ride: The Trailer
Two missing. One patrol car. Zero charged. The Last Ride dives deep into the unsettling story of a nearly 20-year-old cold case in Naples, Florida.
Naples Daily News and The News-Press:
Producer, Writer, Reporter: Janine Zeitlin
Audio Editor and Co-Producer: Amanda Inscore
Reporting: Melanie Payne and Ryan Mills
Executive Producer: Laura Granias
Original Theme Song: Christopher Russell
Sound Designer: Richard Chin Quee
Executive Producer: Pamela James
Audio Assistant: Jared Gonzalez
Associate General Manager of Content: Amy Shumaker
General Manager: Corey Lewis
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