NPR’s StoryCorps provides a warm update to the journey of Mary Johnson, the Minneapolis woman whose son was murdered by Oshea Israel in 1992, and who came to forgive him — and become friends with him — after visiting him in Stillwater prison.
Since then, Johnson has been telling her story in local churches. That’s how she met Ed Roy, whose son was also murdered.
“I thought God took my boy and was punishing me for my own crimes. I had joined the gangs early and pulled my first armed robbery at 11 years old. With you being there, I saw hope. You took me under your wing. That’s why I called you my angel,” he tells Mary in today’s episode.
They fell in love. They got married in 2015. Oshea was a groomsman.
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started several blogs, and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.
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