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At McNeil Island's Special Commitment Center, Predators Serve An Indefinite Residency

“McNeil Island and neighbors” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0
McNeil Island in the south Puget Sound is home to Washington's Special Commitment Center

Note: Some of the content in this story might be upsetting to some listeners. 

This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.  

McNeil Island in South Puget Sound is where the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators is located. There are about 250 permanent residents at the Special Commitment Center -that’s what they’re called — and there are only a few ways you can leave the facility: you die, you’re deemed to have successfully completed treatment, or you can challenge your commitment with a trial.

This is what a man named Chris did. We are not using his last name to protect his victims. He had served time in juvenile hall for several instances of sexual assault in his childhood and teenage years, and many of his victims were his younger family members. Chris decided he wanted to challenge his commitment, and went for the trial.  

Chris’s fight to get off the island and back into regular society was chronicled by the podcast "Here Be Monsters."

Jeff Emtman is the producer and host and Bethany Denton is the managing editor.

We talk with Jeff Emtman and Bethany Denton about Chris’s journey — all of the audio in the interview comes from their original story.

Click here to listen to the full "Here Be Monsters" podcast of "The Predators Of McNeil Island [Explicit]," distributed by KCRW. 

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.