Witness Docs presents Unfinished, an investigative anthology series digging into America's unfinished business. Season 1, Deep South, produced in collaboration with Market Road Films, brought us on a journey into the Arkansas Delta to investigate the lynching of Isadore Banks. Season 2, produced with Critical Frequency, takes us to Short Creek, a community on the Utah/Arizona border divided by much more than a state line. Season 3, produced with Scripps, explores dual loyalties and hidden histories via the story of Ernest Withers, one of the most important photographers of the 20th century -- who was both a Civil Rights Movement photographer and a FBI informant. Hear more great stories about complicated people from Witness Docs at witnesspodcasts.com
Ernie's Secret | E10 Exposed
The FBI’s abusive domestic surveillance is exposed and after years of keeping his identity as an informant secret, Bill Lawrence and Ernest must testify under oath about their relationship. How far will they go to protect each other and preserve Ernest’s legacy as a hero of the civil rights movement?
Ernie's Secret | E9 The Assassination
Dr. King returns to Memphis on April 3 to make good on his promise to lead a non-violent march. But first he has to get the militants on board. Ernest is relaying dozens of tips from inside every meeting and negotiation. Eye-witnesses share details of King’s final hours, and Ernest is instrumental in getting the most iconic and intimate images out to the world.
Ernie's Secret | E8 The Invaders
We begin the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last eight days alive. A sanitation workers' strike brings King to Memphis - but by this time, March 1968, the movement is splintered. A homegrown Black Power group called the Invaders wants more active resistance, a non-violent protest turns into a riot and Ernest, now a paid racial informant, provides the FBI with a front row seat to an unfolding disaster.
Ernie's Secret | E7 Harm / No Harm?
Ernest was an informant, but just how much damage did he actually cause? To what extent do the sins of the government fall on one man’s shoulders? Two people look over their FBI records and what Ernest revealed about them and arrive at very different conclusions.
Ernie's Secret | E6 Informants
The FBI launches a massive, illegal intelligence dragnet to gather information that could be used to disrupt, discredit and damage people and groups it deems a threat. A lot of people get caught up in providing information to the law enforcement, including Ernest. So what made him different?
Ernie's Secret | E5 On The Front Lines
Being on the front lines was dangerous - especially for a Black man with a camera. But Ernest puts himself at the center of the action. It’s easy to make friends with the Northern “agitators” pouring into West Tennessee and feed the FBI’s growing demand for their pictures.
Thorough and brilliant
Up there with In The Dark, Hunting Warhead, Up and Vanished & Dirty John.