April 12, 2013

Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde

A doctor named Benjamin Gilmer gets a job at a rural clinic in North Carolina. He’s replaced another doctor named Gilmer – Dr. Vince Gilmer – who went to prison after killing his own father. But the more Benjamin’s patients tell him about the other Dr. Gilmer, the more confused he becomes. Everyone loved Vince Gilmer. So Benjamin starts digging around, trying to understand how a good man can seemingly turn bad. Sarah Koenig reports.

Erin Brethauer (Benjamin); Andre Teague/Bristol Herald Courier/Associated Press

An update on this story: On January 13, 2022, the Governor of Virginia — one day before his last day in office — signed a pardon for Vince Gilmer so that he could be released from prison. Benjamin had been fighting for this, with a legal team that worked for free, pretty much since the week the episode first aired in 2013. When the news came, Vince was 59 and had been locked up for 17 years. He was not in great shape. His neurologist says he’s entered what’s called “late stage” Huntington’s. He can talk and feed himself, but his speech and swallowing and chewing aren’t so good. He can walk but he falls sometimes. He gets confused sometimes. The pardon clears the way for him to go to a medical or psychiatric facility that can give him the care he needs at this stage.


As Benjamin settles in at the clinic, and people got to know him, something interesting happens. Vince’s former patients – who are now Benjamin’s patients – start talking to him about Vince. What he finds out surprises him. (6 minutes)
Act One

Act One

Benjamin starts to get very curious about the murder Dr Vince Gilmer committed, so he begins asking questions and poking around. Soon he develops his own theories to explain the murder, that never came up at Vince’s trial. (25 minutes)