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Author: Witness Docs

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Witness Docs presents Unfinished, an investigative anthology series digging into America's unfinished business. Season one of Unfinished, Deep South, produced in collaboration with Market Road Films, brought us on a journey into the Arkansas Delta to investigate the lynching of Isadore Banks. Season two takes us to Short Creek, a community on the Utah/Arizona border divided by much more than a state line. On one side are fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons who believe the town should be run by God—and his prophet. On the other are ex-believers who want democracy—and the right to believe (or not believe) as they want. When the prophet, Warren Jeffs, goes to prison for sex crimes, the community has to face its painful past...and struggle to define its future. From Witness Docs and Critical Frequency, hosts Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre move beyond the headlines and embed in the community to bring you Unfinished: Short Creek, a very American story⁠ about the battle between freedom of religion and freedom from religion that asks whether people on two sides of a deep divide can rediscover common ground. Hear more great stories about complicated people from Witness Docs at
15 Episodes
For decades , Short Creek is a pretty great place to live for the faithful. People farm together, worship together, and help build each other's homes. But when the Jeffs rise to power, the communal dream begins to change into something much darker for some. See for privacy information.
Welcome to Short Creek. See for privacy information.
Who lynched Isadore Banks? How does his story echo through the anger and activism of our current moment? And what does justice look like after 66 years? See for privacy information.
One meeting, three stories and a clue that leads to knowing more about what happened around the time Isadore was murdered. See for privacy information.
A former detective offers us some cold case advice, and we decide to go full frontal on the town of Marion with a 40-foot billboard that asks “Who Lynched Isadore Banks?” See for privacy information.
Isadore wasn’t the only victim of racial violence in Crittenden County. We track down a woman whose faded childhood memories could help solve two lynchings. But will she talk? See for privacy information.
The investigation takes a turn when we get the name of a new suspect -- and learn he may have been involved in a second lynching, nine years later. See for privacy information.
Some people still refuse to call Isadore’s murder a lynching. So in this episode, we take a step back to ask: what, exactly, is a lynching? And why, in 2020, do we still have trouble talking about it? See for privacy information.
The lynching of Isadore Banks was a catastrophe for the African American community of Marion, Arkansas, and it’s never been forgotten. But for white people, the story is very different. Is this town hiding a secret? See for privacy information.
Tracing back Isadore’s family helps understand his wealth. Isadore wasn’t an anomaly-  many African Americans in the south had land, built wealth and created their own communities to thrive. See for privacy information.
A $7 million dollar fortune. A white supremacist sheriff. And a 66-year-old mystery: what happened to Isadore Banks’ land and wealth? See for privacy information.
For most of his life Isadore Banks found ways to survive—and thrive—in the violently anti-black South. He became one of the largest land-owners on the Arkansas Delta, ran several businesses, and was a leader in his community. Then, something changed. See for privacy information.
Season two, Unfinished: Short Creek, is coming next week! In this bonus episode, Witness Docs senior producer Stephanie Kariuki sits down with the hosts of season one (Taylor Hom and Neil Shea) and the hosts of season two (Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre) to explore how each season tackles a different aspect of America's unfinished business. We'll hear about reactions to season one from Isadore Banks' family, and we'll learn about Short Creek, home of the FLDS church.  Plus, we'll get a sneak peek at some exclusive audio! Find the first two episodes of season two wherever you listen to podcasts on September 14th See for privacy information.
In this season of Unfinished, we’ll take you to Short Creek, a community on the Utah-Arizona border that is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a break-off of the Mormon church. Over 10 episodes, hosts Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre will tell the story of a truly American faith, of a prophet with unchecked power, and of a fight for democracy. It's a battle over family, home, and the limits of religious freedom. Subscribe now to hear the first two episodes on September 14th.   See for privacy information.
Unfinished: Deep South tells the story of a wealthy African American farmer named Isadore Banks who was lynched in 1954. He owned more than 1,000 acres of land along the Arkansas Delta until it all disappeared with his death. In a quest to find his killers and unpack how his murder shattered a community, we’ll get to the heart of America’s unfinished business by asking ‘Who Lynched Isadore Banks?’ Premiering June 29th. See for privacy information.
Comments (14)


Having lived in Utah for a spell, and being non-Mormon I've sought a better understanding of the religion and culture. This explains so much and gives even greater understanding of FLDS religion, culture, lives, losses, & court cases.

Sep 14th

John Buckner

I have wanted to visit the memorial ever since I first read about it and saw pictures. Now I will go this fall because it feels like a friend is there. I will put a flower in front of his plaque. I am glad his family found some peace at the memorial. I wish they could have also found justice. Thanks to the reporters who worked on this so long and tried their best.

Aug 31st


This is a good podcast and makes me so angry when white people say, "That's in the past." With that said, Native Americans have been treated just as bad. I won't minimize a person's suffering.

Aug 26th

John Buckner

Having listened to all but the last episode, I think this is as much a profile of an amoral, shithole county with the lynching of a Black man as a backdrop. It's hard to find one nice thing to say about that county, and what is most appaling is the refusal of so many to help Isadore's family find closure. Everyone is worried about their own sorry ass and their possible fiscal liability rather than trying to bring justice to a man who was murdered. What a truly awful county. Deep shame on that place. And scorn, ridicule, and derision toward those who could have helped but instead kept silent.

Aug 25th


I hope the creators of this podcast continue with this investigation, but I also hope they do a whole series that specializes on racial crimes against all American minorities. The subject matter is vast, & to investigate and document more accurate histories of the lives, struggles, times, and unfortunate endings of these people, and hopefully obtain justice & correction of historical record to honor the victims and victims families.

Aug 4th


I hope the step-daughter comes around to help with finding the truth. It's difficult for me to understand why people don't want the truth to be discovered. Some of these small southern town white women are odd, very odd.

Aug 3rd

Angela Hopkins

It doesn't surprise me that stolen money was given to the church, they're the biggest crooks of all.

Jul 28th

Chris Hicks

Excellent work...

Jul 24th

John Buckner

Tremendous in every way. Thoroughly researched, highly informative, reveals so much with insights that go far beyond the story itself.

Jul 17th

Lady Butterfly

Thank you for our History

Jul 16th


Woah! I'm loving the history I'm learning from this podcast. Isadore and his family are so vividly brought to life. #BLM #StopRacism #History #TrueCrime

Jul 15th

ian neumann


Jul 14th
Reply (1)
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