Chapter 9: The Burden
Three women attacked on one fateful night in Norfolk, Virginia. All three identify the same man. Decades after his conviction, DNA analysis proves his innocence, leaving the women with more questions than answers. The people falsely convicted are not the only ones whose lives are turned upside down when the system gets it wrong.
Tessa Kramer: There’s an important group of people who we haven’t talked about yet in this series…a group of people who have been profoundly impacted by Mary Jane Burton’s actions: the women who were assaulted. Women who were at the center of the original cases and then further impacted when those cases broke back open in the 2000s.
This episode may be especially disturbing, because in order to talk about the experiences of these women, we’re including a bit more detail about the sexual assaults themselves, as well as a mention of self-harm.
Early in my reporting, I had a call with one of these women, and her story really stuck with me. Her name is Ann.
Ann: At the time that I identified Earl, I was like, in this hypervigilant state. You know, I was kind of looking all the time for someone who was going to come and attack me, because my attacker had told me that he would come back and get me if I told the police.
Tessa Kramer: In December of 1981, a man broke into Ann’s home in the middle of the night and raped her. She identified Julius Earl Ruffin as her attacker. We met Earl in episode five – he worked in maintenance at the hospital where Ann worked. A few weeks after the assault, she happened to pass by Earl, standing in an elevator at work, and became convinced that he was the man who had attacked her.
Ann: You know I think when somebody, you know, makes an eye witness identification, number one, I mean, we certainly know now, and the science, that we’re not very reliable witnesses. And number two, we’re especially poor witnesses when we’re dealing with someone of a different race.
Tessa Kramer: But at the time, Ann’s identification of Earl was enough to take the case to trial – actually, it went to trial three times. In the first two, some members of the jury were Black – and those trials ended with hung juries. The third jury had zero Black jurors – and they convicted Earl in just seven minutes.
Ann: Even I at the time thought it was unfair that there’s nobody that looks at him like he was their son or their brother. This is not fair! Because I mean, the – the whole idea of the victim wins and the perpetrator loses or vice versa is not really how the system is set up.
It should be set up to find the truth. And it should have found the truth that I really wasn’t a reliable witness. In my gut, I thought he was the person, but I was wrong. And there should have been something there, somebody who would question me and my reliability.
Tessa Kramer: But there wasn’t. The idea that a victim of a violent sexual assault should bear the weight of this identification, with little to no backup, is a pressure I had never considered. And because there weren’t stronger safeguards to protect against a mistaken ID, that just caused Ann even more pain down the line.
Ann: In the end, even though they wanted to save me from further trauma, it just created more trauma in my life later on. I was not only a victim of rape, but I sent a man to prison for 21 years who didn’t do anything at all except get up and go to work one morning.
Tessa Kramer: The victims’ IDs were some of the most vital pieces of evidence against the defendants in these 13 rape cases. These women survived something horrific, and were brave enough to report it to police…to go through the invasive process of providing a rape kit, and testifying in court…trying to ensure that the person responsible would not go on to attack someone else. Only to find out years later that their ID had contributed to an innocent person going to prison.
(Admissible theme begins)
Tessa Kramer: In this episode, I want to talk about the experiences of the survivors of these crimes through the story of another of the 13 exoneration cases. A case that is like a tangled web, illuminating just how much harm radiates out from a single wrongful conviction.
This is Admissible. I’m Tessa Kramer.
(Admissible theme ends)
Dede: At the time of the rape, I was working at the Omni Hotel and I always did the evening shifts. And the 3-to-11 shift always went out afterwards.
Tessa Kramer: This is Dede. We’re only using first names for victims – and we’re using the term victim because that’s how these women identify, though some people prefer the term survivor.
One night, in August of 1981, Dede went out with her friends from the hotel, and then headed home around 1:30 in the morning. She parked her car and was walking down the street…
Dede: …when I was jumped from behind. And choked and dragged. And I did have mace in my hand and I was spraying it like crazy. It didn’t work. He got pissed. It was out on the street in front of a neighbor’s house where the rape occurred.
Tessa Kramer: When the attack was over, Dede got up. She couldn’t find her clothes. She started yelling for help and banging on a neighbor’s door.
Dede: You know, she looks through the door window and sees me there with no blouse or anything and freaks out. So she took me in and then the police started to arrive.
Tessa Kramer: The detective on call is Larry Hockman.
Larry Hockman: Well I was the only one from Sexual Assault working that night…
Tessa Kramer: Larry is relatively new to the force, just 25 years old.
Larry Hockman: It was kind of unheard of to be that young, so I was the child detective there.
Tessa Kramer: He drives to the scene, and takes Dede to the hospital.
Larry Hockman: I was at one of the hospitals with Dede when I got the call that there was another rape victim. There was nobody else available. So I told them, I said, “Look, I said I’m here with one. I’ll go to the other hospital as soon as I can.”
Tessa Kramer: On the way home, Dede asks if she could go to see her friend Eileen – but no one answers. So Larry drops Dede at home and heads to the hospital to meet the other rape victim. Like Dede, she’d also been on her way home after getting off work late.
Eileen: It was around 2:00 a.m., 2:15, something like that. I had a little Volkswagen, and I went up my street, made a left down a small street, parked my car, and as soon as I turned around there was a man standing there with the knife. And at first I didn’t know what was going on. I think I offered him money and he said just get undressed or I’ll kill you. And the fact that he had this huge knife at my throat? Um, it was like do this or you’re dead. So whatever kind of made me me, excuse me one second…
Tessa Kramer (to Eileen): Sorry.
Eileen: It’s okay. Um, so anyway whatever made me me kind of just kind of was standing there watching it ‘cause physically I don’t remember feeling anything. So it was like watching a movie. And I think that’s what helped me survive. He did say to me “Hug me like you mean it.” And I just laid there. I didn’t do anything, I didn’t move, I didn’t say anything. And then he just stopped.
Tessa Kramer (VO): She waits until the man is gone, and then drives to her boyfriend’s apartment.
Eileen: His roommate answered and I went in and he basically said I sat on the chair for a good half hour and didn’t say anything.
Tessa Kramer: Eventually, they convince her to go to the hospital.
Eileen: And while they were examining me, I heard a voice from behind the curtain and it was Detective Larry Hockman. And he said, “Dear God, don’t tell me your Dede’s Eileen.”
Tessa Kramer: She was Dede’s Eileen. Eileen was the friend that – earlier that evening – Dede had wanted to see when she left the hospital, but Eileen wasn’t home…
Eileen: I asked him, “Well, what do you mean? How do you know Dede?”
Tessa Kramer: Larry was starting to piece together that Eileen and Dede were friends – and they both just happened to be raped that same night, within 45 minutes of each other – and just a half mile apart. And the case would get even more tangled: a third woman was attacked that night, a few miles away. A woman named Brenda.
Brenda: So this is a night, my boyfriend had been at the house and I’d fallen asleep. He woke me up, would I please lock the front door, which I did. And I fell back to sleep on the couch. Next thing I know, I woke up with all the hair on my body, standing straight out and I didn’t know why.
Tessa Kramer: Brenda looks up and sees a man in her living room, holding a knife.
Brenda: He walked over me. He had my legs pinned together with his legs over mine and he stuck the knife to my throat. And he wanted to know who else was in the house. I had my two small children and my neighbor’s two small children staying the night. And I wasn’t telling him that I had babies in the house. It just wasn’t going to happen. So he kept sticking it and I kept trying to get my head up further and I could feel the blood running down my neck–
Tessa Kramer: At that moment, Brenda hears her roommate who had come home while Brenda was asleep on the couch.
Brenda: And I just started yelling, “Dial 911, Jane! Dial 911!” and he just – he called me a crazy bitch and ran out my door.
Tessa Kramer: The police arrive. As they’re taking Brenda’s statement, the phone rings. It’s Brenda’s boyfriend, who’d left her house a few hours earlier…
Brenda: He was very upset and he was like, “I just need to know that you’re okay. Doug’s girlfriend Eileen just came to the door and she’s been beaten and robbed and we’re taking her to the hospital.”
Tessa Kramer: Yeah. Brenda’s boyfriend was roommates with Eileen’s boyfriend. After he’d left Brenda’s house, he’d gone home and fallen asleep, only to be woken a few hours later by Eileen banging on the door.
Brenda: The fact that all – everybody was kind of connected indirectly was really weird.
Eileen: The fact that Dede and I were friends. The fact that we were raped the same night. The fact that Brenda [censored]…it’s like somebody wrote this script.
Tessa Kramer: The connections between these three cases…they’re kinda mind-boggling. And the connections are really important – because in part, this would lead the police to a single suspect…
Brenda: One of the detectives who had come to the house, he brought back thousands of black and white and color pictures and asked me if I could pick him out, which I did repeatedly every single time.
Tessa Kramer (to Brenda): You picked Arthur Lee Whitfield every time?
Tessa Kramer (VO): Brenda told the police she’d gotten a good look at her attacker, and gave the following description: a Black man, about 6 feet tall, with a light complexion, and hazel green eyes. And she pointed to a photo of Arthur Lee Whitfield – a Black man, about 6 feet tall, with a light complexion, and hazel green eyes.
About a week later, this information gets back to Detective Larry Hockman…
Larry Hockman: One of my partners in the precinct was working in the burglary squad. So we were – we just happened to meet up, uh, as we would do working the night shift at the Dunkin Donuts and uh, we were just shooting around and he says, “Yeah I’m working some burglaries,” he said, “Sounds like one of the victims actually saw the guy.”
Tessa Kramer: The detectives compare notes. According to Larry, both Eileen and Dede had given strikingly similar descriptions – including those hazel green eyes – that was the detail that really stood out to him. So he starts connecting some dots here, developing a theory of the case. Maybe Arthur Lee Whitfield broke into Brenda’s house, got scared off by her roommate, ran across town, assaulted Dede and then Eileen. Three attacks, one attacker.
Larry arrests Whitfield, and calls Dede and Eileen down to the station for a lineup.
Eileen: I remember going into that little room, they opened the curtain. There were five people, I think? Five or six, I’m not exactly sure, but the second they opened it, I said, “That’s him.”
Tessa Kramer: Eileen picks out Whitfield. So does Dede – though she didn’t get a great look at her attacker, because he grabbed her from behind.
Dede: I had more of the voice of him hollering at me and demanding and telling. So the voice was really in my head.
Tessa Kramer: The police charge Whitfield with all three attacks. And then, Larry does something unusual. Even though he’d already charged Whitfield, he arranges for Eileen and Dede to make another kind of identification…
Larry Hockman: One of the unique things about it is their description of the individual’s penis. They both described it independently of each other as shaped like a fireman’s helmet. And I said, “Well, this is helpful.” Once we were able to identify Whitfield, we took a picture of his penis. And then during the course of…you know, when you work in a lot of these cases, I was able to obtain photos of other penises along the way. We actually conducted the first ever penis lineup.
Tessa Kramer: According to Larry, both Eileen and Dede independently said their attacker was uncircumcised, and identified Whitfield’s penis. I gotta say…the idea that you could identify a penis, that this would be admitted as evidence in a court of law? I find that pretty questionable – never mind violating – not only for the suspect, but also for the victim; someone who’s been through a traumatic sexual assault…
But the judge allowed the penis lineup evidence at Eileen’s trial, and the Court of Appeals upheld that decision when Whitfield – understandably – challenged it.
This is not the only piece of evidence from Eileen’s trial that I have questions about. The state called Dede as a witness – essentially, to refute Whitfield’s alibi that he was at a family friend’s birthday party all night. The thinking being: how could Whitfield be at the party if he was across town, attacking Dede? Basically assuming his guilt in Dede’s case even though he hadn’t even been tried yet. Whitfield’s attorney tried to challenge this before the jury was called, but the judge sided with the prosecution.
After a two-day trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict. To avoid a harsher sentence, Whitfield pled guilty to Dede’s assault, and was sentenced to 63 years in prison. And with that – all three cases were neatly resolved. Larry even got some recognition for his work on the case…
Larry Hockman: After we made the arrest, I was actually nominated for the J. Edgar Hoover Award for that investigation.
Tessa Kramer: The victims began to move on with their lives…
Eileen: After the trial, it was over and done with. It was like closing a book. And then to have it just bam, in your face, come back. “You screwed up.” All over the newspapers: “Woman wrongly convicts.” It was horrible.
Tessa Kramer: After the break, that neat resolution falls apart.
– AD BREAK –
[Archival]: Good evening. He spent 22 years in prison for sex crimes he did not commit but a Norfolk man takes comfort tonight that he was finally freed through DNA testing and is back home with his family.
Tessa Kramer: In August of 2004, almost 23 years to the day after the attacks, Arthur Lee Whitfield was cleared by DNA testing on Mary Jane’s clippings. This was all over the news.
[Archival]: Arthur Whitfield was serving consecutive sentences for a 1981 rape and robbery of two women in the Ghent section of Norfolk. That was, until DNA evidence cleared him of the crimes.
Tessa Kramer: Whitfield had pursued the DNA testing himself, from prison. And his DNA was nowhere to be found in the clippings from either Dede or Eileen’s cases.
[Archival]: Now, one day after his release from prison, Whitfield is talking about his ordeal.
Arthur Lee Whitfield [Archival]: Thank God for DNA.
Tessa Kramer: Whitfield is 49 years old. He was 26 when he was arrested. The DNA results not only cleared Whitfield, but they pointed to a different perpetrator: a man named Aaron Doxie III. Doxie was serving five life terms for a 1984 rape in Norfolk – one of a slew of sexual assaults he’d confessed to.
And this was not the first time Doxie’s DNA showed up in Mary Jane’s clippings. DNA testing also indicated that Doxie was the man who raped Ann – the woman we heard at the top of this episode who identified Julius Earl Ruffin.
[Archival]: The victim testified she was 100% sure he was the man who raped her, but prosecutors now say new DNA evidence proves this is the real rapist: 47 year-old Aaron Doxie III.
Tessa Kramer: When this came out, Ann went public, acknowledging her mistake and becoming an advocate for Earl’s innocence petition. She spoke to reporters, did press conferences.
Ann [Archival]: I was wrong and the science was inadequate.
[Archival]: Ann’s testimony back in 1982 helped put Earl Ruffin behind bars. She believed he was the man who brutally raped her.
Ann [Archival]: My accusation, his arrest and eventual conviction robbed him of a normal life.
Tessa Kramer: You can’t always see the ripple effects of a mistake as clearly as you can here. This story demonstrates how errors compound, creating exponential harm. If the police had identified Aaron Doxie instead of Arthur Whitfield, then Doxie would not have been able to go on to assault Ann and Ann would not have gone on to identify Earl. Neither Arthur Whitfield nor Earl Ruffin would’ve been convicted. And the victims wouldn’t have been left to feel that they were responsible for a wrongful conviction.
Which is just so unfair. That the victims were left with this sense of guilt – for “picking the wrong guy” – when the responsibility of finding their attacker never should have fallen on them in the first place. Today we understand that eyewitness IDs in stranger rapes are highly unreliable – especially cross-racial IDs.
According to the Innocence Project, eyewitness misidentifications are the leading cause of wrongful convictions. I talked about this with defense attorney Jon Sheldon, who has represented a lot of men accused of rape and other violent crimes.
Jon Sheldon: So most of the people who are wrongfully convicted, of course, are Black guys, many of the victims are white women. And we know those eyewitness witness IDs are extra unreliable in cross-racial identifications. Your confidence level has nothing to do with your accuracy and your confidence level is falsely increased intentionally by the police, not because the police want a wrongful conviction, but because they want to support the victim and because they think the defendant’s guilty, and so they give confidence to their witness.
Tessa Kramer: Jon’s touching on a few big issues here. First, how race plays into these cases. According to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations, Black people are almost eight times more likely than white people to be falsely convicted of a rape. Which leads me to think that cases involving Black perpetrators often aren’t handled as carefully as cases involving white perpetrators…And that police may be more likely to believe a victim, and want to support her, when the case involves a white woman assaulted by a Black man.
It’s certainly not always the case that police want to “support the victim” of a sexual assault. There are many cases where the police don’t believe victims or make them feel like it was their fault. This is part of why many women choose not to report sexual assaults at all, something Jon is also careful to note.
Jon Sheldon: The lack of reporting isn’t because there’s a problem with women. It’s because the criminal justice system doesn’t give them confidence to report. Or society doesn’t. Or because of all sorts of things that happen with reporting. But the problem with sexual assaults is the number of sexual assaults there are. That’s the biggest problem.
Tessa Kramer: But Jon’s point – that in many cases, the police inadvertently nudge a rape victim towards a particular suspect – or encourage false confidence in their identification – that’s a huge issue. Because this doesn’t serve the victims either. I think of Ann saying that she wished there had been someone – or something – to question her reliability.
We put too much responsibility on the survivors of sexual assault. Knowing what we know about the fallibility of memory – and mistaken IDs – those pieces of evidence need to be handled carefully. They need to be checked and corroborated, just like every other kind of evidence. In my view, that is how law enforcement can best support victims.
But back in 1981, we didn’t know what we do now about the unreliability of eyewitness IDs in stranger rapes. So Dede and Eileen’s IDs were the most important pieces of evidence in the state’s case against Arthur Lee Whitfield.
And I’m not sure that those pieces of evidence were handled very carefully.
Tessa Kramer (to Dede): And so when did you and Eileen, like, when did you find out that Eileen had also been attacked?
Dede: So then after I was dropped off, I started calling her all night. I was like getting pissed that I couldn’t get a hold of her and then getting madder and madder and by the time she called I was so mad and I said, “Where you been I’ve been calling you all night.” She said, “I was raped.” So when she said that I was like, “Oh God.” But she already knew I was because Hockman had already told her.
Tessa Kramer (VO): It’s no surprise that Eileen and Dede talked after their attacks. They were friends who had just been through extremely similar traumatic events. But what if in one of those conversations they talked about their attackers – what they looked like, what they were wearing – and what if their memories got conflated?
This idea of memory conformity – it’s a real phenomenon. There’s lots of research about how our memories can be reshaped by new information. There are also studies that show that experiencing a violent, traumatic event can sharpen our memories of the gist of the event, but worsen our ability to remember the details…Details like eye color or skin tone.
The narrative around this case has always been that all three victims gave very similar descriptions of their attackers: a Black man, about 6 feet tall, with a light complexion, and hazel green eyes. That’s the narrative that Larry, Eileen, Dede, and Brenda all maintain to this day.
But at Eileen’s trial, Larry was asked to read Dede’s original description of her attacker – the statement she made the night of the crime – and I noticed some discrepancies! According to Larry’s notes, she described a man with a dark complexion and brown eyes.
It seems possible to me that evidence wasn’t even adding up – and the details that didn’t quite fit kinda got brushed to the side. I think of Mary Jane Burton. How she really wanted to help “catch the guy” – even if that meant manipulating the evidence into a “nice neat little package”. Maybe the evidence in this case wasn’t “a nice neat little package” pointing at one perpetrator – or at least, maybe it wasn’t pointing at Arthur Lee Whitfield.
That’s where I come down on all of this. But we can’t tell this story without saying that, to this day, Eileen maintains her belief that Whitfield is the man who attacked her. And here’s why.
As soon as the state got the DNA results, they released Whitfield on parole right away – just based on the simple fact that his DNA profile was nowhere to be found. But they still needed new DNA samples from Eileen and Dede to confirm their DNA profiles in the respective clippings.
Dede never agreed to provide a sample. Eileen did, and that’s where things got complicated…
Eileen: The nurse took my blood. She left. And they opened up a file, and they took out two laminated pieces of paper.
Tessa Kramer: As Eileen remembers it, this file contained copies of two worksheets – the ones where Mary Jane had scotch-taped clippings of evidence from Eileen and Dede’s cases. Including clippings from two pairs of jeans…
Eileen: Soon as they laid it out – they hadn’t said anything to me, I didn’t know anything – I looked at the two pieces of paper and I said, “Those aren’t my jeans. Those are my jeans.” They took a swatch from Dede’s jeans and put it on my page and my jeans were on her page. The Assistant District Attorney turned white and sat down.
– AD BREAK –
Eileen: The Assistant District Attorney turned white and sat down.
Tessa Kramer: Eileen believes that key pieces of evidence were mishandled; that her jeans and Dede’s jeans were swapped. This rattled her confidence in the DNA results, and left her with a lot of questions.
And the Assistant District Attorney who “turned white”– Phil Evans – he agreed that the DNA results warranted further investigation. There were some other kinda funky things about the results…
Phil Evans: The forensic scientist could identify the presence of Mr. Doxie’s DNA, and they could eliminate Mr. Whitfield. The problem is she could make no definitive conclusion as to the presence of Eileen [censored].
Tessa Kramer: Even with Eileen’s new DNA sample for comparison, the forensic analyst was unable to conclusively find Eileen’s DNA profile in any of the clippings.
Phil Evans: One of the conundrums from Eileen’s standpoint is, “You took samples from me, you took my clothing. You’re telling me that these are cuttings that are taped down from your examination of the samples taken from me, yet in none of them can you conclusively say that my DNA is present. Tell me what in there confirms that I’m the person that these came from.” And other than being taped on a piece of paper, there is nothing that does that.
Tessa Kramer: The lab had a simple explanation for this: degradation. These samples were not preserved in ideal conditions – just scotch-taped to a case file. Maybe the clippings from Eileen had degraded more than others. That’s not impossible. Phil and Eileen think there might be more to it.
Phil talked to some forensic analysts about the lab norms back before DNA…They essentially told Phil…
Phil Evans: “Hey, I started out and did basic blood typing back in the eighties. And I can tell you that back then, you know, people didn’t wear gloves. People ate sandwiches on their tables. You were putting things in and out of test tubes. It was not uncommon to have more than one case open at the same time, because people did not take actions with the idea of preventing DNA cross-contamination because it didn’t exist.”
Tessa Kramer: Based on the lab’s chain of custody documents for the evidence in these two cases, it looks like Mary Jane worked Eileen and Dede’s cases in tandem, on the same day. It’s not out of the question that there could have been some kind of cross-contamination or mixing up of evidence between these two cases.
I wanna be clear: there is still no physical evidence connecting Arthur Lee Whitfield to either of these crimes. The only pieces of evidence against Whitfield are the victims’ IDs.
The DNA results do leave me questioning if there’s really evidence that Aaron Doxie was responsible for both Eileen and Dede’s assaults. What if Eileen and Dede were not assaulted by the same person? What if – say – Dede was attacked by Doxie, and Eileen was attacked by… some other individual, who was never identified?
The state might have been able to get to the bottom of this. Eileen and Phil pushed for an evidentiary hearing and further investigation, but the Supreme Court of Virginia declined.
Eileen: Two judges said that there absolutely should be an evidentiary hearing. And I think they didn’t want to admit that Mary Jane Burton had messed up.
Tessa Kramer: Eileen spent years fighting to get this date to investigate, but eventually she gave up.
Eileen: I wrote letters. I did all kinds of stuff and it got to the point where I was like, either I walk away from this or I drive my car into a tree.
Tessa Kramer: Because of the confusion around the DNA, Arthur Lee Whitfield was stuck in legal limbo. He was out on parole, but still a registered sex offender, struggling to get work. Finally, after about five years, he received a pardon from Governor Tim Kaine. And I’ll note, we did try to reach Whitfield but he didn’t reply to any of our letters or messages.
So much harm might have been avoided here if the state had done a better job handling these cases at every turn. Having sound forensic evidence is just one part of that equation.
The way I see it, when the state fails to take accountability for its own role in convicting an innocent person, instead of telling victims “the system failed you too,” the blame kind of implicitly lands on them, like “you picked the wrong guy,” leaving the victims with the burden of that guilt.
Tessa (to Eileen): I guess like, well, why are you talking to us now? Like, what would justice look like for you now?
Eileen: To have the truth come out, that they hid the facts and how many other people, women who have gone through this, never get any kind of an outcome? This is about the facts.
(Admissible theme begins)
Tessa Kramer: Next time I’m going to make a trip to see Gina Demas, the whistleblower, to see how the events of our story have impacted her – and to give her an update on our investigation.
Admissible is produced and hosted by Tessa Kramer. Our executive producer is Ellen Horne.
Original reporting by Tessa Kramer and Sophie Bearman, with additional reporting by Ben Paviour and Whittney Evans. Our editor is Danielle Elliot, with additional editing by Ellen Horne.
Our production team is Dana Bialek, Chloe Wynne, Gilda di Carli, Leslie Neigher, Kristin Vermilya and Kim Nederveen Pieterse.
Gavin Wright is VPM’s Managing Producer for Podcasts. Meg Lindholm is the Director of Podcast Production.
Sound design and mix by Charles Michelet. Music by Del Toro Sound and Story Mechanics, and with additional music by APM. Our theme music is by me, Bryan J. Howard of Del Toro Sound.
Admissible, season 1: Shreds of Evidence is produced by Story Mechanics and VPM, Virginia’s home for public media. We are distributed by iHeart Media.