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Broken Harts

Author: iHeartRadio & Glamour

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Markis, Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Jeremiah, and Sierra Hart—six beautiful black children, ranging in age from 12 to 19—were all adopted by Sarah and Jennifer Hart, both white. On Jen’s Facebook page, it looked as if they were the perfect blended family, even earning the nickname “Hart Tribe” from friends. Then, on March 26, 2018, the family’s GMC Yukon was found belly-up on the rocks below California’s Highway 1. The news of the murder-suicide shocked their friends and made national headlines, leaving many wondering what possibly led to the fatal crash. Could these lives have been saved?

Broken Harts, a new podcast from Glamour and HowStuffWorks, investigates this question with more than 30 never-before-heard interviews. Cohosts and Glamour editors Justine Harman and Elisabeth Egan and reporter Lauren Smiley follow the family’s journey from South Dakota through Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, and finally to that 100-foot cliff in California.
10 Episodes
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Broken Harts Trailer

Broken Harts Trailer

2018-11-1900:03:5146

Two white moms. Six adopted black kids. One car found upside down at the bottom of a cliff. What went wrong?  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"Fear"

"Fear"

2018-12-0400:38:2390

In March 2018, two white moms and their six black kids drive off a California cliff. What are they running from?  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"If Not Us, Who?"

"If Not Us, Who?"

2018-12-1100:30:1251

Jennifer and Sarah Hart adopt two sets of siblings in three years. Chaos ensues—with an undercurrent of something else. Something sinister. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"The Perfect People"

"The Perfect People"

2018-12-1800:38:3055

Welcome to the fantastical world of the Harts. What's real? What's imaginary? And how does a private family end up in so many incredibly public moments? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"My God, There's Six of Them"

"My God, There's Six of Them"

2019-01-0100:29:3937

The Harts' neighbors don't know what's going on with the family on the other side of the driveway. Until one day, Devonte Hart starts begging for food. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"Owies"

"Owies"

2019-01-0800:32:1548

The trouble starts when a teacher notices a bruise on Hannah Hart's arm. It follows Jen and Sarah Hart across three states, to the blue house in Woodland, Washington, where they're supposed to get a fresh start. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"Beautiful Black Boys"

"Beautiful Black Boys"

2019-01-1400:38:5056

The Hart kids are "crack babies."  Developmentally-delayed. The victims of racist attacks. There are so many family stories, but each one has the same theme: Jen and Sarah are saviors.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"Stone-Cold Narcissist"

"Stone-Cold Narcissist"

2019-01-2200:40:3574

Jen is in the one in driver's seat, both literally and figuratively. But what makes her tick? And what was the state of Jen and Sarah’s relationship? Meet the people who try to answer these questions—and many more—after the crash. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
"There Were Good Times"

"There Were Good Times"

2019-01-2900:35:2355

We visit the edge of the cliff six months later. Here's what we know—and what we don't. How do we reconcile the good with the bad? And where do we go from here? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
A full year after the crash, Mendocino County performs an inquest into the incident.  The testimony, which takes place over the course of two days, reveals shocking new details and concludes with a heartbreaking conviction.  Now what? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Comments (91)

Chris Knerl DeHaan

So very sad. This was an excellent podcast....thank you for your research and excellent telling of such a tragic happening. I hope and pray those children did not know the ending, that somehow they ingested the meds unknowing what was to come.

Apr 18th
Reply

Melissa Knox

Completely heartbreaking, this story is so sad. I wish the episodes were a little longer but great nonetheless.

Apr 14th
Reply

Johane Mc Duff

I don't believe for one second that mental illness was a factor in these murders. They were about to get busted for neglecting and abusing these children and their whole facade was on the verge of crumbling. Everyone would find out about their secret and their ego couldn't accept that so one (or both) of them opted for the classic murder/suicide scenario. Narcissism is a personnality disorder, not a mental illness.

Apr 6th
Reply

A Parker

glad I came across this

Apr 3rd
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Scott Zeller

I'm glad you addressed the failure of the adoption process. That's where I see the biggest failure. Racist and gender issues aside, how the f do you allow a couple to adopt 6 kids on one salary? No wonder the kids were always hungry.

Apr 1st
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Megan A

Scott Zeller no. they were paying for festivals and road trips. this wasn't poverty. this was evil.

Apr 25th
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Carol S

This story was so so very sad, it's the children. My energy and prayers are for them including the first child they had and how sad her story was too but in hindsight she got away. At the end of the last video as I reflected on every episode thoughts pulled me more to Jen who probably had intentionally planned this on her own. To me Sara loved her very much and took the punishment to save Jen. Sara was the one working and taking double shifts to support the family. I don't know everything but somehow it bothers me to assume it was both of them. Yes Sara might have known most of the things going on but was away from the home more. Yes they were married, but I think they should have had a episode apart from one another. I can only imagine that Sara didn't know that they all were going to die. Sara loved Jen and maybe just wanted to protect her. I'm not saying if things were different Sara still should be charged with the crime of knowing about the abuse and let it continue but to me Jen should be the one to be charged with 7 counts of murder. Even though they were married they were still individuals.

Mar 19th
Reply

Kristin Benishek

This podcast is annoying. It's a very sad, horrific story that could have been told so much better. Time lines and details are confusing. The narrators try to hard to be dramatic, but only come off so monotone. And stop comparing your life/loved ones to this family!!

Mar 6th
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Luther McDonald

ohhhhh this makes me so mad

Feb 28th
Reply

Emmy Dorchak

they were both what???

Feb 28th
Reply

Liz Fisher Sobocinski

can't wait to hear the coroner inquest. what could be more rattling than this!?

Feb 27th
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BOO DADDY

Curious if there's any facet of life that a libtard doesn't see racism in. How does skin color matter to them to this degree? Can they not see past the skin to see the potential, the humanity, the ambition? The equation of color to division is catastrophic, and it's entirely on them.

Feb 19th
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Larry Martinez

Kayla Cox did you listen to this ep? I couldn't finish it after her rant. Too bad, I was enjoying it.

Mar 7th
Reply

Kayla Cox

BOO DADDY What does your comment have to do with this podcast?

Feb 21st
Reply

ID6651317

I disagree with your final assumptions: that the women were both monsters and loving moms. Your assumption that there were good times, based on Jen's fb activity, allows her to continue to manipulate the story, even in death. These woman took calculated moves to isolate and harm children. so much so that we never know the true depths of their depravity. Thanks for starting this conversation but much more needs to be explored around race/hate and the systemic dismantling of Black families. This podcast made me swear off fb for good

Feb 14th
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Allison Bothley

Really sad.

Feb 11th
Reply

Letters and Miles

Heartbreaking. 😥 But they're story telling is amazing too, hope you cover more stories

Feb 9th
Reply

Melanie Marie-Jahnke Manning

I don't understand how good parents can be harassed for leaving a kid waiting in a safe car for 5 minutes, but when stuff like this happens all of a sudden the authorities can't do anything.

Feb 6th
Reply

Jimmy Eldridge

Such a sad story. Sound editing is lacking in a few areas. Parts where conversation abruptly skips.

Feb 1st
Reply

Nina Maria

do we fill the blank in ourselves with that closing line "they were something much worse, they were both......" =/ i'm assuming it's "broken harts" but I don't think that's worse than "monsters". i'm sure i'm overthinking, but disappointing wrap up for me

Jan 30th
Reply

Rachel Anderson

Kailey Mingo such a serious and sobering pod but its cracking me up that people really didn't get that last line 😄 good lord.

Mar 3rd
Reply

Ryan Foster

Nina Maria right, I had to rewind 2 times because I thought I missed hearing the answer. I guess we fill in the blank?

Feb 20th
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Nancy Williams

"I've always known. I've always felt something. It's unfortunate that it happened but I don't think there's anyone out there who could have stopped it"...(the last statement in the podcast from a "friend") What the actual f*@k?!! Ummm, yeah there were loads of people who could have stopped it...the adoption agencies could have vetted better and did thorough home visits, children's protective services could have done their job and made sure the allegations weren't true, and the police could have taken the reports of abuse seriously and acted accordingly. No, I absolutely do not accept no one could have stopped it, to do that is to overlook the problems that need attention: better adoption practices by agencies, along with intense scrutiny of children's aid workers and law enforcement when abuse is alleged. This is the saddest podcast I have listened to, God bless those poor children

Jan 30th
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Leon Strand

Nancy Williams ... I live in Alexandria mn, where all this started, I'm not surprised that the people around here didn't do anything

Mar 6th
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Sha Shep

I've enjoyed this series but feel the episodes are far too short. When time for ads and credits is taken out they really are very short and rather superficial documents. The story itself is, I believe, worth deeper and more comprehensive treatment.

Jan 30th
Reply

James Rust

Sha Shep I agree with you, so many ads, it was really good though.

Jan 30th
Reply

Trina Williams

This completely pissed me off! so a kid runs to you, a complete stranger, crying, panicked and visibly shaken, but you decide,oh I'll just stay out of it? They should absolutely have some accountability for those babies' death! then you have the nerve to be interviewed? if that were a little white girl, they wouldn't have hesitated. asshats

Jan 30th
Reply

Trina Williams

Amy Dandridge Amy, it'll never be about race for you I suppose. But I guess we can just keep NOT talking about it because that has been helpful right? why CAN'T you fathom that race may have played a part? in the end, kids came to adults for help, whatever their color, and didn't get it. maybe race didn't play a part. and what if it did?

Apr 6th
Reply

Amy Dandridge

Trina Williams always has to be about race. this such a tragedy and that's what you think about? race? this is why everyone is screaming "racism", because folks cannot just focus on the problem or issue at hand. it MUST be racism!

Apr 6th
Reply
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