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In the Dark

In the Dark

Reporter Madeleine Baran examines the case of Curtis Flowers, who 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. In the Dark is an investigative podcast from APM Reports. Season One focused on the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.

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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.
2019-07-02
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2019-06-22
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2019-03-27
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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 Curtis' sixth trial. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2019-03-19
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Coming Soon: New Episodes of Season Two

Our second season spanned a year in Mississippi where we revealed misconduct, injustice and racial divide in the six trials of Curtis Flowers. The U.S. Supreme Court will now decide if the prosecutor racially discriminated in jury selection. In four new episodes starting March 19, we'll go into the courtroom for oral arguments, report the decision and examine the effect of the ruling. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2019-02-19
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S2 Update: Q&A + A Fire in Winona

We answer your questions and report on a fire in Winona. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-11-27
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-11-03
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-09-21
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-09-18
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S2 E11: The End

For the last episode of the season, we went to meet Jeffrey 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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-07-03
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-06-26
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-06-19
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-06-12
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-06-05
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-05-29
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-05-22
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-05-15
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-05-08
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-05-01
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-05-01
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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? Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2018-04-16
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-12-02
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-10-25
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-10-18
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-10-11
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-10-04
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-09-27
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-09-20
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-09-13
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-09-07
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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. Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark.
2016-09-07
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Season One: The Trailer

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.
2016-08-29
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