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In The Dark

In The Dark

By The New Yorker

Serial investigative journalism, 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.


An Announcement

Big news! In the Dark has a new home and a new team of partners. The podcast now comes to you from The New Yorker—the legendary home of extraordinary journalism. ____ In the Dark is a Peabody Award-winning podcast that tells deeply reported stories. Season 1 investigates lapses by law enforcement after the kidnapping of eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling. Season 2 examines the case of Curtis Flowers, a Mississippi man tried six times for the same crime. In the Dark journalists have already started reporting on Season 3. We can’t tell you what it’s about yet, but it’s the most ambitious story we’ve pursued, and we’re thrilled to have the resources of The New Yorker and Condé Nast Entertainment to help us tell it. For more on the new partnership, check out the team’s interview with David Remnick on The New Yorker Radio Hour. And follow other podcasts from The New Yorker, including The Political Scene, The Writer’s Voice, the Fiction podcast, and the Poetry podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/03/23·11m 16s

S2 E20: Curtis Flowers

During three years investigating the Curtis Flowers case, we’d talked to nearly everyone involved: lawyers, witnesses, jurors, family members, investigators, politicians, and many, many people around town. But there was one person we hadn’t yet interviewed — Curtis Flowers. That is, until one day in early October, a few weeks after he’d been cleared of all charges. For the final episode of Season 2, we at long last talk to the man at the center of it all. Read: Will Doug Evans face accountability? See photos of Curtis Flowers on Instagram. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/10/20·1h 4m

S2 E19: Freedom

After 24 years, the case against Curtis Flowers is finally over. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch asks the judge to dismiss the charges against Flowers for lack of evidence. Flowers is released from house arrest and free – truly free – at last. Read the story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/09/20·20m 8s

Coronavirus in the Delta E6: Delta State

College football is practically a religion in Mississippi. And for the players, it's life. As Covid-19 upended their world, the teammates at Delta State struggled to find structure and support for an off-season like no other.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/06/20·33m 1s

Coronavirus in the Delta E5: Geno

As the coronavirus swept into the Mississippi Delta, a judge in the small city of Indianola decided to release every inmate she had in jail. That is, every inmate except one.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/05/20·36m 14s

Coronavirus in the Delta E4: Watermelon Slim

In the middle of a pandemic, with so many people suffering alone, it seemed an appropriate time to hear from a Delta blues singer. Enter Watermelon Slim.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/05/20·23m 55s

Coronavirus in the Delta E3: The Hospital

The doctors and nurses at Greenwood Leflore Hospital brace for the pandemic, cordoning off their ICU and preparing for an influx of patients. Then the virus strikes one of their own.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/05/20·32m 30s

Coronavirus in the Delta E2: Parchman

How do you self-isolate when your home is a single room that you share with 107 men? That's what inmates at Mississippi's infamous Parchman prison have been wondering for six weeks.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/05/20·33m 30s

Coronavirus in the Delta E1: Greenville

A storm hits Greenville just in time for Easter. Two pastors and a mayor clash over how to do church during a pandemic.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/04/20·43m 39s

Coronavirus in the Delta: The Trailer

A new limited-run series from In the Dark, reporting on Covid-19 in the Mississippi Delta. Episodes every Thursday, beginning April 30. Support journalism with a donation to In the Dark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/04/20·3m 15s

S2 E18: The Recusal

District Attorney Doug Evans has prosecuted Curtis Flowers for 23 years and six trials. Now he says he's done.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/01/20·19m 2s

S2 E17: Home

After almost 23 years, Curtis Flowers is no longer behind bars. For his family, it's a long-awaited reunion. But not everyone in Winona is happy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/12/19·44m 56s

S2 E16: A Hearing

After nearly 23 years locked up, Curtis Flowers has a chance to get out on bail -- if his lawyers can convince the judge to rule in his favor.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/12/19·50m 37s

S2 E15: Revelations

It's been 11 days since the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Curtis Flowers' conviction. But the story didn't end there. In recent days, there have been three other significant developments, including new details from a key witness, that may determine Flowers' fate.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/07/19·59m 4s

S2 E14: The Decision

On Friday, June 21, after months of deliberation, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its opinion in the Curtis Flowers case. In a 7-2 ruling, the justices threw out the conviction from his sixth trial, in 2010. The decision of what happens next -- whether to release Flowers or begin a seventh trial -- now lies with the same prosecutor who's pursued him from the beginning: Doug Evans.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/06/19·18m 16s

S2 E13: Oral Arguments

After nearly nine years of appeals of his sixth trial, Curtis Flowers finally had his case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue was whether DA Doug Evans tried to keep African-Americans off the jury in the 2010 trial. Flowers wasn't at the Supreme Court -- he remains on death row in Mississippi -- but the In the Dark team was. This is what we saw.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/03/19·50m 21s

S2 E12: Before the Court

We resume Season Two with the U.S. Supreme Court weighing Curtis Flowers' case. We preview oral arguments and delve into the allegations at the heart of the appeal: that Doug Evans tried to keep African-Americans off the jury in Flowers' sixth trial.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/03/19·43m 24s

S2 Update: Q&A + A Fire in Winona

We answer your questions and report on a fire in Winona.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/11/18·1h 7m

S2 Update: SCOTUS Takes the Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Curtis Flowers' appeal. Now the justices will examine if District Attorney Doug Evans had a history of racial discrimination in jury selection.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/11/18·9m 33s

S1 Update: The Wetterling File

In Season 1 of our podcast, we reported that the Jacob Wetterling case was a botched investigation. Just yesterday, law enforcement acknowledged it too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/09/18·31m 20s

S2 Update: Back to Winona

Two months after the season ended, we return to Winona to see what has changed. Turns out, a lot. Curtis Flowers' mother has died. The whole town is talking about the case. Flowers' defense lawyers are including our findings in their legal filings to the Supreme Court. Citizens are trying to file bar complaints against the district attorney, Doug Evans. One man has gone into hiding, his personal safety threatened because he spoke to us. In this update episode, we look at what's happened in Winona since our last episode and what happens next with Curtis Flowers' case.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/09/18·35m 25s

S2 E11: The End

For the last episode of the season, we went to meet Jeffery Armstrong, who, a few years after Curtis Flowers first went to prison, found what might have been a key piece of evidence. What he found -- and where he found it -- offers hints that someone else may have committed the Tardy Furniture murders. Armstrong turned the evidence into the cops. And then, he says, it disappeared.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/07/18·39m 30s

S2 E10: Discovery

Prosecutors have always said that Curtis Flowers was the only serious suspect in the Tardy Furniture investigation. But we found a document showing that another man, Willie James Hemphill, had also been questioned just days after the murders. Who was he? Why was he questioned? When we finally found Hemphill, living in Indianapolis, he had some very surprising things to say about the case.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/06/18·1h 7m

S2 E9: Why Curtis?

After re-examining the case, we'd found no direct evidence linking Curtis Flowers to the murders at Tardy Furniture. But we had one lingering question: How did Flowers become the main suspect? Why would investigators focus so much on Flowers based on so little evidence? In short, why Curtis? We decided to find out.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/06/18·59m 47s

S2 E8: The D.A.

After investigating every aspect of the Curtis Flowers case, we were nearly ready to present what we'd found to District Attorney Doug Evans. But first we tried to learn all we could about him: his childhood, his years as a police officer and his record as district attorney. Then, finally, we met the man who's spent more than two decades trying to have Flowers executed.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/06/18·1h 4m

S2 E7: The Trials of Curtis Flowers

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/06/18·1h 4m

S2 E6: Punishment

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/05/18·47m 3s

S2 E5: Privilege

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/05/18·51m 8s

S2 E4: The Confessions

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/05/18·55m 48s

S2 E3: The Gun

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/05/18·50m 4s

S2 E2: The Route

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/05/18·55m 54s

S2 E1: July 16, 1996

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/05/18·45m 37s

Season Two: The Trailer

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?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/04/18·2m 19s

S1 Update: A Sentencing, A Demand, No Closure

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/12/16·39m 56s

S1 E9: The Truth

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/10/16·43m 16s

S1 E8: What's Going on Down There?

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/10/16·47m 27s

S1 E7: This Quiet Place

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/10/16·41m 45s

S1 E6: Stranger Danger

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/10/16·38m 7s

S1 E5: Person of Interest

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/09/16·48m 52s

S1 E4: The Circus

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/09/16·37m 52s

S1 E3: The One Who Got Away

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/09/16·46m 10s

S1 E2: The Circle

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/09/16·39m 49s

S1 E1: The Crime

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/09/16·36m 5s

Season One: The Trailer

After he disappeared nearly 27 years ago, Jacob Wetterling's remains have been found. Why did it take so long?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/08/16·3m 38s
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