Black and white digital illustration of a man in profile, smoking a piple, holding a tall bottle of whiskey in front of his face.

Pappy, Another Round

Episode #181

2022-01-28 13:29:26


When it comes to Kentucky bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle is among the most exclusive. You can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky, exceptionally wealthy, or willing to break the law. The Pappy frenzy has the police, bartenders, and even the Van Winkle family themselves wringing their hands. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, sales of the most expensive American whiskeys have basically doubled since 2016, when we first looked into Pappy Van Winkle. We decided to find out what's happening now. 
Black and white digital illustration of the state of North Carolina with the county lines delineated. Text: The Boycott.

The Boycott

Episode #180

2022-01-14 13:10:41


15 years after the Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, many schools across the South were still segregated. Some school districts actively blocked desegregation. North Carolina passed legislation authorizing tuition grants to white private schools, sometimes called "segregation academies." Members of the KKK held rallies in North Carolina, describing desegregation as "anti-Christian" and "communistic." When the Federal government pressured school boards to comply or lose their funding, many responded by shuttering Black schools and assigning Black students to formerly all-white schools. It was called "one-way desegregation." In a very rural part of North Carolina, Black students and their families decided to fight back.
Black and white sketch of seven different animals: a heron flying with a fish in its beak, a cat stretching amongst several dollar bills, a fox with a shoe in its mouth, a dog with a steak in its mouth, a parrot with a cursing speech bubble, a cat sitting on a car, and a beaver clutching a token that reads “DG.”

A Splendid Newfoundland, Cursing Birds, and the Fashion Fox

Episode #179

2021-12-17 12:57:57


Stories of animals really going for it.
White sketch, against a black background, of Stanley Milgram's shock machine. It resembles an old fashioned radio, with long rows of switches and indicator lights, and dials at the top.

“The experiment requires that you continue.”

Episode #178

2021-12-03 12:50:45


1. Please continue.  2. The experiment requires that you continue.  3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.  4. You have no other choice, you must go on.
Black and white sketch of Benjamin Ferencz from the chest up, as a young man, wearing a suit

Palace of Justice

Episode #177

2021-11-19 13:06:50


When Benjamin Ferencz was 27 years old, he prosecuted his very first trial. There were 22 defendants, each of them high-ranking members of Nazi Germany’s death squad. The entire world was watching. Today, we take a look at the Nuremberg trials and their role in defining international law after World War II. This episode originally aired in 2018—this version includes an update with Benjamin Ferencz, who celebrated his 101st birthday earlier this year.
Black and white sketch of eight vials sitting in a vial holder, half full with dark liquid that looks like blood.

The Red Flag

Episode #176

2021-11-05 12:25:30


In 2006, a man named William Ramsey went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida for a life-saving liver transplant. It was a success, and so when his health started to decline after the procedure, doctors couldn't figure out why.
Black and white abstract illustration of two eyes, one open and one shut.

Ghost Racket Crusade

Episode #175

2021-10-22 14:24:37


The story of two famous friends — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini — and the disagreement that ended their friendship: can we speak to the dead? 
Sketch showing white footprints on a black background, showing a dance pattern, with arrows pointing from foot to foot to indicate the next steps

The Loves

Episode #174

2021-10-08 12:16:48


“There is something he hasn’t been telling me and I’m about to find out what it is.”

Family Money

Episode #173

2021-09-24 12:53:59


When Beverley Schottenstein’s husband Alvin died, she and her children sold their stake in his family’s business, worth an estimated 90 million dollars. Family relationships got complicated. It was hard to know who to trust. And what happened next surprised everyone. Beverley told us, “I was floored.”
A black and white sketch of a white dog against a black background, wearing a service dog harness, and sitting.

Roselle and Michael

Episode #172

2021-09-10 12:37:56


Michael Hingson was on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He says the first indication that something was wrong was the sound of a muffled explosion. Then the building began to tilt, and he felt the floor drop like an elevator. But Michael Hingson didn’t panic because his guide dog, Roselle, was calm.
Black and white illustration of an old World War Two sea fort, also known as the “Principality of Sealand.” The fort is a small building on a platform above two very wide columns standing in the ocean. A person is sitting on a swing hanging from the fort’s platform, holding a flag.


Episode #171

2021-08-27 12:26:02


Today's episode begins with rock & roll and ends with royalty. When bands like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were becoming popular, they weren't played much on the radio in England. The BBC controlled the airwaves at the time, and some listeners described its music offerings as "square." So aspiring DJs packed up their record collections, got in boats, and sailed past the territorial limits of the UK, where they set up pirate radio stations in the sea—sometimes on abandoned WWII sea forts.
Black and white digital illustration of a simple box, at a slight angle

Ian Manuel

Episode #170

2021-07-30 11:38:58


At 14 years old, Ian Manuel was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and spent an estimated 18 years in solitary confinement. Today, he tells his story.
White sketch of a rabbit leaping in front of a black background, with a crescent moon surrounded by stars in the bottom left corner and a sun in the upper right corner


Episode #169

2021-07-16 12:09:00


The story of a cryptic children’s book, a real-life treasure hunt, and its very mysterious winner: “He refused to be on camera. It’s just his voice. His wife even asks that they disguise his voice, but she asks too late. The interview is already happening. And she faints.”
Black background with the number “48” in a white digital clock font.

48 Hours, Part 2

Episode #168

2021-07-02 12:13:21


When Aaron Quinn called the Vallejo police to report that his girlfriend Denise Huskins had been kidnapped, and went into the station for questioning, a detective told Aaron that he didn't believe him. When Denise was released after being held captive for about 48 hours, police didn't believe her either. It soon became clear that the police viewed Denise and Aaron as suspects, not victims.
Black background with the text “HOURS” in a white digital clock font.

48 Hours

Episode #167

2021-06-18 12:09:38


“I think it was around 3:00 a.m., and that’s when I heard a strange man’s voice waking me from sleep.”
Black and white sketch of a slightly open box of matches, with “Whispering Pines Hotel” on the lid, and two pine trees standing next to each other.

On Fire

Episode #166

2021-06-04 12:16:45


On November 12th, 2012, the Accomack County volunteer fire departments got a call. An abandoned house had suddenly gone up in flames. And then, just hours later, a second fire was reported. Then a third. Over the next few months, there would be a lot more fires—nearly 90 in all. It was all anyone could talk about in Accomack. Someone was burning down the entire county.