This is the first episode in Radio Diaries’ new series The Unmarked Graveyard, untangling mysteries from America’s largest public cemetery. Each week, they’re bringing you stories of how people ended up on Hart Island, the lives they lived and the people they left behind.
This debut episode goes back to a few years ago, when a young man who called himself Stephen became a fixture in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Locals started noticing him sitting on the same park bench day after day. He said little and asked for nothing.
When Stephen’s body was found in 2017, the police were unable to identify him, and he was buried on Hart Island. Then, one day, a woman who knew him from the park stumbled upon his true identity, and his backstory came to light.
Listen to new episodes of The Unmarked Graveyard from Radio Diaries every week, wherever you get your podcasts.