2014 Recap: In A Bathrobe, Charlie LeDuff Moves In On Detroit Squatter

December 29, 2014, 7:19 AM

This Nov. 6 article has the third-highest readership of 2014. Our Top 10 series runs through New Year’s Eve. Links to earlier installments are at the end.

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Pushing the boundaries of participatory journalism -- in a white bathrobe -- Charlie LeDuff brings to the nation's TVs  a poignant drama about a squatter who muscled her way into a woman's Detroit home but ended up in handcuffs. It's another chapter in his Fox network project, "The Americans."


Holding his microphone and carrying in his pocket the deed to the home from its rightful owner, LeDuff attempted to squat on the squatter, Lynn Williams, talking his way into the bungalow.  He notes she has a rap sheet and an illegal electrical hookup on the house.

"What's for dinner?" he asks.

"I'm not cooking," Williams says.

 Williams tells LeDuff she has made improvements to the home. 

LeDuff asks her is he left his house for a month and a half, would she be entitled to move in?

"I'm not the only one that is squatting," Williams says. "There's a lot of other people on the block."

LeDuff's bathrobe attack on the squatter is reminiscent of another classic bit -- the 2012 report in which he tested how long it would take Detroit police to respond to a home invasion. After showing up at the east-side residence, he went out twice for food, took a bubble bath and walked into the street in a white bathrobe to look for the cops. See below.

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Top 10 Countdown so far

10. ’Ballsy’_Cadillac_Ad_During_Oscars_Stirs_Debate_About_its_Politics, March 2

9. Dan Gilbert’s Graffiti_’Degenerates’ Identified_as_Grosse_Pointe_Teens, July 1

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7. Detroiters_Reach_Back_to_Say_on_Social_Media: ‘I’m_So_Detroit I . . .’, July 17

6. ’Topless_Prophet’ Is_the_Latest_Ddetroit_TV Series, Oct. 9  

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4. Ben_Affleck_Trades_in_Kapanese_Cars_for_GM_and_Ford_Autos, June 29

Read more:  Fox 2 Detroit

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