Listen to Season 7 of the AJC’s ‘Breakdown’ podcast

Anthony Hill was a war veteran struggling with bipolar disorder when he was gunned down by DeKalb officer Chip Olsen. The seventh season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s podcast follows Olsen’s murder trial while exploring how race and mental illness intersect with police training.

Anthony Hill, a 26-year-old Afghanistan war veteran, was not only unarmed when he was gunned down in March 2015, he was naked. Hill was struggling with bipolar disorder and was off his medication. But Police Officer Chip Olsen didn’t know that when he responded to a 911 call about a nude man wandering around a metro Atlanta apartment complex in the middle of the afternoon. When Hill came at Olsen, the officer fired. Was it self defense? Or murder?

Host Bill Rankin, the AJC’s veteran courts and legal affairs reporter, returns in “Judgment Call,” the seventh season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s award-winning podcast “Breakdown.” He’s joined by AJC public safety reporter Christian Boone, who has followed the Anthony Hill story since the beginning.

You can listen to the episodes at the links below, or go to the iTunes store to binge listen the entire series.



INTRO: Welcome to Season 7: Introducing the case of Anthony Hill — a loving son, talented musician and an Afghanistan War veteran. Hosts Bill Rankin and Christian Boone tell the story of Hill's life and death, set up the trial of Officer Robert "Chip" Olsen, who is charged with murder.

EPISODE 1: 'They're Here to Help Me': On March 9, 2015, the manager of the Heights at Chamblee apartment complex called 911 to report that a man was wandering the grounds naked in the middle of the afternoon. Soon afterward, he was dead, shot and killed by the DeKalb County police officer who arrived at the scene. How did Anthony Hill end up dead at the hands of police?

EPISODE 2: The Road to Indictment: Who is Chip Olsen? The cop who shot and killed Anthony Hill followed an unusual path to the force. We'll tell you why it's so rare to indict police officers who kill in the line of duty. And we'll take you inside the surprising revelation that convinced the DeKalb DA to not only charge Olsen, but to charge him with murder.

EPISODE 3: 'Impervious to Pain, Superhuman Strength': Former Police Officer Chip Olsen takes the stand in a risky gamble to try to get the murder charges against him dismissed. Does it pay off? And his lawyers push a controversial defense used by cops to justify the use of force.

EPISODE 4: Policing a Mental Health Crisis: When Anthony Hill was killed by DeKalb County Police Officer Robert "Chip" Olsen in 2015 he became the latest casualty in a growing crisis: One in every four people shot and killed by police is suffering from mental illness. Why do police encounters with the mentally ill turn deadly so often? And would Hill be alive today if DeKalb had done more to train its officers?

EPISODE 5: A Trial Run: Chip Olsen's legal team turns to a mock jury to road test their defense strategy. Jurors had a lot of questions and some strong opinions. And what will the lawyers be looking for when they select a real jury? This murder case could turn conventional wisdom on its head.

EPISODE 6: Unarmed. Unclothed. Unable to harm? A jury is seated and Chip Olsen's murder trial is finally underway. The ex-cop's defense lawyer said he fired at Anthony Hill because he was terrified as the naked man ran at him. But the prosecution offers a surprising new theory.

EPISODE 7: Three Eyewitnesses: Testimony begins in the murder trial of Robert "Chip" Olsen and a trio of witnesses who saw Anthony Hill's final moments take the stand for the state. But do they help or hurt the prosecution's case?

EPISODE 8: The State Strikes Back: After a rocky start, prosecutors come out swinging in the murder trial of Chip Olsen. One of their star witnesses: Olsen's own police academy instructor.

EPISODE 9: The Verdict: Chip Olsen's fate is now in the hands of the jury. Will the ex-cop end up behind bars? We take you through the murder trial's dramatic conclusion and its aftermath.

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres