Listening: “In the Dark,” an American Public Media Reports podcast hosted by Madeleine Baran
5 stars for reporters who did the investigating that authorities failed to do for more than 27 years
This podcast chronicles the 1989 disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old boy, from his hometown of St. Joseph, Minn. Baran must reveal the identity of Jacob’s murderer in the first episode, because on the eve of the podcast’s debut in September, he confessed. Authorities heralded the case as a success, but why did it take nearly 30 years to find the killer? Through tireless reporting, APM shows us that this was not the perfect crime, that the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department is not uniquely incompetent and that we should all be worried.
“In the Dark” shines when it connects Jacob’s disappearance to the millions of Americans his story affected. In one memorable episode, it chronicles how Jacob’s case led to the establishment of the national sex offender registry. By following a sex offender's difficult search for housing, "In the Dark" shows that sex offenders are punished in a way murderers and other criminals are not. It’s punitive justice that even Patty Wetterling, Jacob’s mother, no longer agrees with. Little closure awaits you at the end of the season, but you’ll be well-informed and will experience fire-breathing outrage. As of this week, a second season has been announced, so get bingeing!
Note: This podcast contains explicit accounts of violent acts, some of a sexual nature.
Watching: "Melissa McCarthy as Press Secretary Sean Spicer for SNL"
Politico reports that what made the White House most uncomfortable about this sketch, which stars the comedian as the gum-chewing, hot-headed press secretary, was Spicer being portrayed by a woman. We can't wait for when Rosie O'Donnell portrays Steve Bannon!
you have to understand /
that no one puts their children in a boat /
unless the water is safer than the land
-excerpt of “Home” by Warsan Shire