In the Dark

In the Dark

features.apmreports.org/in-the-dark
Serial investigative journalism from APM Reports, with host Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters. In Season 1, we looked at the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota and the accountability of sheriffs in solving crime. In Season 2, we examined the case of Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime. With a special report on how Covid-19 is affecting the Mississippi Delta.


Episode 6: Delta State
Jun 11 • 29 min
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. Support journalism with a…
Episode 5: Geno
May 28 • 32 min
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. Support journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Episode 4: Watermelon Slim
May 21 • 20 min
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. Support journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Episode 3: The Hospital
May 14 • 29 min
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. Support journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Episode 2: Parchman
May 6 • 30 min
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. Support journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Episode 1: Greenville
Apr 30 • 40 min
A storm hits Greenville just in time for Easter. Two pastors and a mayor clash over how to do church during a pandemic. Support journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Coronavirus in the Delta: The Trailer
Apr 23 • 3 min
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.
Mississippi prosecutor Doug Evans takes himself off the Curtis Flowers case
Jan 6 • 18 min
District Attorney Doug Evans has prosecuted Curtis Flowers for 23 years and six trials. Now he says he’s done. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E17: Home
Dec 22, 2019 • 42 min
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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Curtis Flowers released on bail
Dec 16, 2019 • 47 min
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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S2 E15: Revelations
Jul 2, 2019 • 56 min
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…
Curtis Flowers wins appeal at U.S. Supreme Court
Jun 21, 2019 • 15 min
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…
S2 E13: Oral Arguments
Mar 26, 2019 • 47 min
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…
S2 E12: Before the Court
Mar 19, 2019 • 40 min
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.…
S2 Update: You asked, we answered
Nov 27, 2018 • 64 min
We answer your questions and report on a fire in Winona. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
Supreme Court agrees to hear Curtis Flowers appeal
Nov 2, 2018 • 9 min
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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
S1 Update: The Wetterling File
Sep 20, 2018 • 28 min
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.
S2 Update: Back to Winona
Sep 18, 2018 • 33 min
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…
S2 E11: The End
Jul 3, 2018 • 36 min
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…
S2 E10: Discovery
Jun 26, 2018 • 64 min
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?…
S2 E9: Why Curtis?
Jun 19, 2018 • 56 min
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…
S2 E8: The D.A.
Jun 12, 2018 • 61 min
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…
S2 E7: The Trials of Curtis Flowers
Jun 5, 2018 • 61 min
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…
S2 E6: Punishment
May 29, 2018 • 43 min
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…
S2 E5: Privilege
May 22, 2018 • 48 min
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…
S2 E4: The Confessions
May 15, 2018 • 52 min
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…
S2 E3: The Gun
May 8, 2018 • 47 min
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…
S2 E2: The Route
May 1, 2018 • 52 min
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…
S2 E1: July 16, 1996
May 1, 2018 • 42 min
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…
Season Two: The Trailer
Apr 16, 2018 • 2 min
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…
S1 Update: A Sentencing, A Demand, No Closure
Dec 2, 2016 • 36 min
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.
S1 E9: The Truth
Oct 25, 2016 • 42 min
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…
S1 E8: What’s Going on Down There?
Oct 18, 2016 • 46 min
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…
S1 E7: This Quiet Place
Oct 11, 2016 • 40 min
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…
S1 E6: Stranger Danger
Oct 4, 2016 • 36 min
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…
S1 E5: Person of Interest
Sep 27, 2016 • 47 min
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…
S1 E4: The Circus
Sep 20, 2016 • 36 min
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…
S1 E3: The One Who Got Away
Sep 13, 2016 • 44 min
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…
S1 E2: The Circle
Sep 7, 2016 • 38 min
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…
S1 E1: The Crime
Sep 7, 2016 • 34 min
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…
Episode 0: Introducing ‘In the Dark’
Aug 29, 2016 • 3 min
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.