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In the Dark

Author: APM Reports

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Serial investigative journalism from APM Reports, with host Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters. Season 1 looked at the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota and the accountability of sheriffs in solving crime. Season 2 examined the case of Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times for the same crime. Also, a special report on Covid-19 in the Mississippi Delta.
43 Episodes
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In Season 1 of our podcast, we reported that the Jacob Wetterling case was a botched investigation. Just yesterday, law enforcement acknowledged it too. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Season One: The Trailer

Season One: The Trailer

2016-08-2928:05113

After he disappeared nearly 27 years ago, Jacob Wetterling's remains have been found. Why did it take so long? Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E1: The Crime

S1 E1: The Crime

2016-09-0735:30314

The abduction of Jacob Wetterling, which made parents more vigilant and led to the first national requirement that states track sex offenders via registries, took place before moonrise on a warm October night in 1989. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E2: The Circle

S1 E2: The Circle

2016-09-0739:10212

When Jacob Wetterling was taken, authorities launched what would turn into one of the largest searches for any missing person in the history of the United States. But that first night, law enforcement didn't cover all the basics. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E3: The One Who Got Away

S1 E3: The One Who Got Away

2016-09-1345:29170

The closest you can get to a conversation with Jacob Wetterling about his abduction is to talk to Jared Scheierl. Scheierl was walking home from an ice skating rink in Cold Spring in January 1989 when a man who turned out to be Danny Heinrich forced him into a car, assaulted him, and let him go, uttering some chilling parting words: "If they come close to finding out who I am, I'll find you and kill you." That was nine months before Jacob's abduction. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E4: The Circus

S1 E4: The Circus

2016-09-2037:17117

The Wetterling abduction story kept getting bigger as the case served as a conduit for public fear and grief. Capitalizing on a growing sense that pedophiles lurked in every shadow, the likes of Maury Povich and Geraldo Rivera joined the cause with sensational retellings of the crime and its consequences. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E5: Person of Interest

S1 E5: Person of Interest

2016-09-2748:10129

Dan Rassier now wishes he'd insisted that police search his family's St. Joseph farm top to bottom the night Jacob Wetterling was abducted. That way, they would have known there was nothing to find. And it would have been harder for them to come back 21 years later to search with backhoes and declare him a "person of interest" in the case. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E6: Stranger Danger

S1 E6: Stranger Danger

2016-10-0437:23114

In the 1970s and early '80s, missing children weren't considered a policing priority. You couldn't even enter missing child information into the FBI's national crime database. But that changed quickly. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E7: This Quiet Place

S1 E7: This Quiet Place

2016-10-1141:12108

Soon after the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling in 1989, Stearns County sheriff's investigators came face to face with his killer, Danny Heinrich, who would confess to the crime 27 years later. Then they let him go. It wasn't the first time that had happened in Stearns County. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
In November 2012, a police officer named Tom Decker was shot and killed in Cold Spring, Minn., after getting out of his car to check on a man who lived above a bar. The man was quickly arrested and held in the Stearns County jail. He was interrogated but then released without charges. The state crime bureau later ruled him out as a suspect. Investigators turned their focus to another man, Eric Thomes, who hanged himself before he could be charged with the crime. Nearly four years after the murder, Sheriff John Sanner has refused to close the case "because we're still hopeful that new information will come in," he said. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 E9: The Truth

S1 E9: The Truth

2016-10-2542:32113

When Danny Heinrich confessed in court on Sept. 6 to abducting and murdering Jacob Wetterling and assaulting Jared Scheierl 27 years ago, investigators declared that at last, the public had the truth. But despite Heinrich's excruciatingly detailed accounts, the truth remains elusive. Many questions remain unanswered. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
The sentencing of Danny Heinrich on Nov. 21, 2016, brought to a close the 27-year investigation into the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling. But it didn't end the story. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Season Two: The Trailer

Season Two: The Trailer

2018-04-1602:3334

Curtis Flowers has been tried six times for the same crime. For 21 years, Flowers has maintained his innocence. He's won appeal after appeal, but every time, the prosecutor just tries the case again. What does the evidence reveal? And how can the justice system ignore the prosecutor's record and keep Flowers on death row? Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E1: July 16, 1996

S2 E1: July 16, 1996

2018-05-0143:10154

On the morning of July 16, 1996, someone walked into a furniture store in downtown Winona, Mississippi, and murdered four employees. Each was shot in the head. It was perhaps the most shocking crime the small town had ever seen. Investigators charged a man named Curtis Flowers with the murders. What followed was a two-decade legal odyssey in which Flowers was tried six times for the same crime. He remains on death row, though some people believe he's innocent. For the second season of In the Dark, we spent a year digging into the Flowers case. We found a town divided by race and a murder conviction supported by questionable evidence. And it all began that summer morning in 1996 with a horrifying crime scene that left investigators puzzled. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E2: The Route

S2 E2: The Route

2018-05-0153:31106

The case against Curtis Flowers relies heavily on three threads of evidence: the route he allegedly walked the morning of the murders, the gun that investigators believe he used, and the people he supposedly confessed to in jail. In this episode, we meet the witnesses who said they saw Flowers walking through downtown Winona, Mississippi, the morning of the murders. Some of their stories now waver on key details. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E3: The Gun

S2 E3: The Gun

2018-05-0849:1577

Investigators never found the gun used to kill four people at Tardy Furniture. Yet the gun, and the bullets matched to it, became a key piece of evidence against Curtis Flowers. In this episode, we examine the strange histories of the gun and the man who owned it. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E4: The Confessions

S2 E4: The Confessions

2018-05-1555:06104

Over the years, three inmates have claimed that Curtis Flowers confessed to them that he killed four people at the Tardy Furniture store. But they've all changed their stories at one time or another. In this episode, we investigate who's really telling the truth. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E5: Privilege

S2 E5: Privilege

2018-05-2250:35100

No witness has been more important to the prosecution's case against Curtis Flowers than Odell Hallmon. He testified in four trials that Flowers had confessed to him while the two men were in prison together. Hallmon has an astonishingly long criminal history that includes repeated charges for drug dealing, assault, and robbery. So how reliable is his testimony and did he receive anything in exchange for it? In this episode, we investigate the veracity of the prosecution's star witness. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E6: Punishment

S2 E6: Punishment

2018-05-2945:4878

Odell Hallmon, the state's key witness in the Curtis Flowers case, is serving three consecutive life sentences. We wondered what he might say now that there are no deals to cut, and he will spend the rest of his days in prison. Would he stick to his story that Flowers had confessed to the Tardy Furniture murders? We wrote him letters and sent him a friend request on Facebook. Weeks went by and we heard nothing. And then, one day, he wrote back. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
There's one critical aspect of the Curtis Flowers case that we haven't looked at yet -- the makeup of the juries. Each of the four times Flowers was convicted, the jury was all white or nearly all white. So we decided to look more closely at why so few black jurors had been selected. And it wasn't always happenstance. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
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Comments (496)

Alma Ramicevic

This is so insane! How can this asshole of a "DA" get away with this?!?

May 25th
Reply

Jamie Kiecker

Can you folks please go solve the Mikayla Miller please? The police have officially dropped the ball.

May 7th
Reply

Kieran Donnelly

After listening to all the episodes it is perfectly clear to me that this has been the most egregious miscarriage of justice. Although I have the utmost sympathy for the victim's families, how can they possibly not see that at the very very least that there is now a reasonable doubt established? Douglas Evans epitomises the good ol boy racist South IMO. It's a truly shocking state of affairs but then as was said in one of the episodes "this is Mississippi after all."

Mar 25th
Reply

ID20715634

What the??? Why is this reporter empathizing with convicted pedophiles??? I’m not listening to this or recommending

Mar 24th
Reply

For The Love Of a HORSE

I agree. My wish is that you don't stop. You have a gift and such, a task given to you to continue. How's that for pressure? Meant with love. But please, don't stop. A thank you for what you do.

Mar 12th
Reply

Dan Pullar

I'm still quite confused as to why the DA is continuing to take Curtis to trial when it has failed so many times. What's in it for him? Surely it's a big waste of money, so why doesn't he just let it slide? Just doesn't make sense. Is it just so he can get reelected? Is it because he is 100% sure he is correct and is willing to get a ruling against Flowers no matter the cost. Even if that involves acts of misconduct? Is it just ignorance? Racism alone isn't enough. It just doesn't add up, and the evidence the podcast has shared doesn't add up yet. I also haven't seen enough evidence to say Curtis didn't do it appart from "he is a nice person". Doesn't make him guilty ofcourse, and the evidence is weak. But it's enough for reasonable doubt. Which is enough to say not guilty imo.

Feb 26th
Reply

MicheB

Very frustrating episode. Local control is not a bad thing. The choice should be with the people. What you should be doing a podcast on, is why do people vote for people that don't do their job. That is what the American people are tired of. Career politicians that don't produce, need to go.

Jan 9th
Reply

MicheB

Those LAWS will affect him for the rest of his life??? I'm sure their victims will be sorry to hear that...

Jan 8th
Reply

TH

just what 2020 needed!! thank God Curtis can now live his life. ♥️ his mom must be dancing in heaven watching her son be free

Dec 29th
Reply

Willian De Sousa Silva

I'm so happy to finally hear Curtis speak. After so long, he get to live his live as a free man. what an enclosure episode!

Dec 16th
Reply

Rebecca Miller Gill

Larry L. Jenkins, Jr. was convicted of the malice murders and kidnappings with bodily injury and armed robbery of Terry and Michael Ralston, and theft of $600 in coins. The jury recommended two death sentences for the murders. I believe I read he also burned them in a Kia. Larry complaining about the virus is NOTHING to what he did to these men. I usually like your stories but this is a prison not a jail. This man was committed for murder. The fact that he got any attention or air time is very upsetting.

Dec 14th
Reply

Dana Pellegrino

Really happy to hear Curtis speak finally. He speaks with such grace and positivity about the future despite everything he's been through. I'm so glad he is finally able to live his life as a free man again.

Dec 9th
Reply

Miss Anne Thrope

I love Libby! She sounds like a wonderful human being.

Nov 11th
Reply

Kieran Donnelly

Gr8 podcast. But can you believe the utter incompetence of the Stearns County Sheriff's Office? God forbid you'd ever be a witness to a major crime there! There seems to be a good chance you'll be questioned and branded as a major suspect and your life will be ruined after that.

Nov 10th
Reply

ShaW

I am enjoying hearing his voice, Curtis has such a warmth and humbleness to him that is conveyed through his voice

Oct 23rd
Reply

Cat Black

I'm so appalled at the incompetence and lack of caring from that Sheriff's office. They are supposed to be doing their job, not waiting for "luck" to solve the crimes for them. Just disgusting.

Oct 23rd
Reply

ShaW

Amazing Episode!

Oct 23rd
Reply

lynn

this is what we need in 2020. so pure. I'm grinning ear to ear listening to this.

Oct 20th
Reply

Pocket Glitter

Season 2, Episode 20 All the feels.... 🥰

Oct 15th
Reply

ID10339531

So good to listen to this. I was crying in happiness for him. Wish his mum was there. Did he get the recipes his mum was collecting for him? Has he cooked any?

Oct 6th
Reply
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