An illustration of Errol Morris.

Errol Morris

Episode #148

2020-09-25 11:57:38


Early in his career, Errol Morris read about a shocking series of alleged insurance crimes in a small town in Florida, which some referred to as “Nub City.” There were allegations that men and women were mutilating themselves — removing hands and feet — in order to exploit accidental dismemberment clauses in insurance policies, and collect money. It was very difficult to prove that these injuries were intentional and not accidental. As one insurance official put it, “it was hard to make a jury believe a man would shoot off his foot.” When Errol Morris told an insurance investigator he wanted to go to Florida to make a documentary about it, the investigator said, “Don’t even think about it.” Errol Morris went anyway.

Today, the story behind the “Nub City” movie he couldn’t figure out how to make, plus his reflections on The Thin Blue Line, his work as a private detective, and meetings with Ed Gein, James Grigson, Randall Adams, David Harris, and Herbert Mullen.