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Debriefing And Processing The Four Deaths In Central Vermont

Wilson Ring
Joe Faryniarz, left, and Tiertza-Leah Schwartz, cousins of slain Vermont social worker Lara Sobel, lead a procession in her memory on Aug. 9 in Barre. Authorities believe three other apparent murders in Central Vermont are all connected.

The state is reeling after four murders in central Vermont. Department for Children and Families social worker Lara Sobel was shot and killed on Friday as she left the agency's office in Barre, allegedly by a woman in a case she was involved in where the suspect had lost custody of her nine-year-old daughter.

Then on Saturday morning, three relatives of the suspect in that killing - Jody Herring - were found dead in a home in Berlin.

Today, DCF workers are returning to their jobs and mourning a lost colleague. Sobel's murder has highlighted the dangers involved in their work, including those posed by a current of deeply negative perception towards the agency in the state. 

And as the killings are investigated, many Vermonters are struggling to come to terms with an unprecedented crime. We'll hear about the latest we know and don't know about the murders - plus the ongoing investigation, reactions across the state, and what it means for the DCF and other public servants.

We're joined by DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz. Also by VPR reporters Taylor Dobbs and Peter Hirschfeld who have been following the story, Elodie Reed of the St. Albans Messenger, and Angelo McClain of the National Association of Social Workers.

Broadcast live on Monday, Aug. 10 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Patti is an integral part of VPR's news effort and part of the team that created Vermont Edition. As executive producer, Patti supervises the team that puts Vermont Edition on the air every day, working with producers to select and research show ideas, select guests and develop the sound and tone of the program.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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