RANSOM

COMING SOON: This episode arrives on may 23rd.

What’s it like to be captured by Somali pirates and held hostage by them for 977 days? Why is it that it’s often most effective — although excruciating — to have the ransom payment get negotiated by a family member? Why did one hostage end up teaching his captors yoga classes? What happens to families after the hostage is released? Do they simply live happily ever after? And why is it that you’re more likely to survive a hostage situation if you’re French?

Ransom payments are the closest thing out there to putting a price on your life, or a price on your freedom. In this episode, we speak to the daughter of a man who spent 6 years held hostage in a basement in Lebanon; a journalist who ended up held by Somali captors for two and a half years; the executive director of the Committee to Protect journalists; and an economist who explains why game theory dictates that the best way to pay your ransom is with a mangy donkey slowly lumbering through the jungle.