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Havana Syndrome: A New Podcast from VICE

Today we are sharing an episode from one of our newest series – Havana Syndrome. In 2016, a mysterious, debilitating illness begins to afflict American diplomats and spies working abroad – first in Cuba, and then around the world. Victims report crippling neurological symptoms. Some describe the feeling of being hit by an invisible, directed pressure while they were stationed on government property, or sometimes standing in their own homes or hotel rooms. Is this bizarre illness the result of a weapon? Is it mass psychosis? Or something else entirely?


Award-winning journalists Jon Lee Anderson and Adam Entous take listeners to the heart of this saga in Havana Syndrome, a new podcast from VICE World News. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. 


Havana Syndrome is hosted and reported by Jon Lee Anderson and Adam Entous, and produced and reported by Julia Nutter, Jesse Alejandro Cotrell and Ramon Campos Iriarte. Edited and executive produced by Annie Aviles and Kate Osborn. Original composition and sound design by Steve Bone. Production support from Pran Bandi.


Janet Lee is Senior Production Manager for VICE Audio. Fact Checking by Nicole Pasulka. Charles Raggio is the head of VICE Audio.


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1/5/2023

The End of Pain

For over 30 years, Danny Elliot suffered from severe chronic pain, the aftermath of nearly getting electrocuted to death in a home accident. The only thing that eased his pain was the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, which was prescribed to him by a doctor. But in recent years, it had become almost impossible for Danny to obtain fentanyl—even with a prescription. With illicit fentanyl made by Mexican cartels causing thousands of overdose deaths, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been cracking down on all sources of supply—including doctors suspected of operating illegally and over-prescribing. A week after the DEA’s visit to Danny’s third  doctor in four years, he killed himself. His wife of 25 years, Gretchen Elliott, also took her own life at the same time. VICE News correspondent Keegan Hamilton first spoke to Danny two years ago for an episode of the podcast series “PAINKILLER: America’s Fentanyl Crisis”. This week, he went to Danny’s funeral and talked with friends and family who told a story of a tragedy that was as predictable as it was avoidable.This story was reported and produced by Keegan Hamilton and Jesse Alejandro Cottrell. It was edited by Stephanie Kariuki and Annie Aviles.VICE News Reports is produced by Sam Eagan, Sophie Kazis, Adreanna Rodriguez and Adriana Tapia. Our senior producers are Jesse Alejandro Cottrell, Janice Llamoca and Julia Nutter. Our supervising producer is  Ashley Cleek. Our associate producer is Steph Brown. Sound design and music composition by Steve Bone, Pran Bandi, and Kyle Murdock. Annie Aviles is our Executive Editor and Janet Lee is Senior Production Manager for VICE Audio. Fact Checking by Nicole Pasulka. Our theme music is by Steve Bone. Our host is Arielle Duhaime-Ross.