8 episodes

In March, 1987, a man breaks into a Billings, Montana, home and sexually assaults a young girl then escapes undetected. The crime begins a decades-long recovery process for the girl and her family. It's also the start of a maddening search for justice that involves a suspect, an exoneration and DNA evidence that ultimately exposes a loophole in the US legal system.
Hosted by Jule Banville
Music Courtesy of Nic Bommarito

An Absurd Result Mopac Audio

    • True Crime
    • 4.9 • 340 Ratings

In March, 1987, a man breaks into a Billings, Montana, home and sexually assaults a young girl then escapes undetected. The crime begins a decades-long recovery process for the girl and her family. It's also the start of a maddening search for justice that involves a suspect, an exoneration and DNA evidence that ultimately exposes a loophole in the US legal system.
Hosted by Jule Banville
Music Courtesy of Nic Bommarito

    NEW RELEASE: AN ABSURD RESULT - October 27th

    NEW RELEASE: AN ABSURD RESULT - October 27th

    Coming October 27th - The home invasion and sexual assault of an 8-year old girl in Billings, Montana, begins a decades long recovery process and a painstaking search for justice. Hosted by Jule Banville

    Mopac Audio Productions
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    • 2 min
    EP 1: The Crime

    EP 1: The Crime

    Episode 1: The Crime
    In the pre-dawn of March 20, 1987, a man moved a swingset closer to a house on Virginia Lane in Billings, Montana. He used it to climb into a bathroom window. He walked up the stairs and assaulted an 8-year-old girl in her bed. Six others in her family were home, but no one heard what happened and he left without getting caught. Then the investigation begins...
    Hosted by Jule Banville
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    • 31 min
    EP 2: The Arrest

    EP 2: The Arrest

    A police sketch leads police to Jimmy Ray Bromgard, a senior at Billings Senior High. They get him in a lineup in front of Linda, the victim, who visibly reacts. The founder of the crime lab compares hairs in Linda’s bedroom to Jimmy’s, leading to an arrest in front of his house. A trial and a conviction follow, but now the founder of the Innocence Project is interested in his case. All he needs is DNA.
    Hosted by Jule Banville
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    • 41 min
    EP 3: The Test

    EP 3: The Test

    Evidence that could have been destroyed from a trial in 1987 is instead discovered sealed in the basement of the Yellowstone County Courthouse. But in 2002, there aren’t many labs that will test it, and it’s expensive. After a donor comes forward, the results prove conclusively that Jimmy Bromgard is not a match. He’s the first person in Montana exonerated with DNA. Linda, who’s now living and working in Yellowstone National Park, has to reckon with watching the man she thought raped her walk out of prison. She asks: How could they be so wrong about all of it? And will they ever find who did this?
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    • 39 min
    EP 4: The Hit

    EP 4: The Hit

    A former intern at the state crime lab is now the person in charge of the criminal DNA database that runs samples regularly. One morning, Megan Ashton discovers a hit on this case and links it to someone arrested on a felony marijuana charge. Ronald Dwight Tipton lives in White Sulphur Springs, about an hour from Linda. He meets detectives in a courthouse there who ask him about this crime. They start piecing together where he was in March 1987 and we knock on his door.
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    • 37 min
    EP 5: The Waiting

    EP 5: The Waiting

    Linda gets a visit from a prosecutor who tells her: We know who did this, and we’re going to charge him. But there’s a problem. It starts where a lot of old sexual assault cases do: with the statute of limitations. Montana’s clock to prosecute this case expired with the wrong man in prison. But a law that makes an exception for DNA comes into play. Tipton’s charged under this newer law, even though that move hits another roadblock: a 2003 Supreme Court decision that didn’t allow California to apply a new statute of limitation to an old rape case. A judge in Billings must decide if she’s going to go against the country’s highest court and let the charges stand.
    Hosted by Jule Banville
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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
340 Ratings

340 Ratings

Molly Williams Sherburne ,

Just Wow, so much more than I was expecting.

I am a true crime fan and when I came across a story that unfolded in Montana (Bozeman local) I was immediately interested but unsure of what to expect.

I am awestruck by the thoughtful journalism shown throughout this series. If all journalists took the humanist approach that Jule’s does while pursuing this story I think our society would be much brighter for it. She showed so much professionalism, kindness and grace in so many instances, especially when depicting the tragedy Linda and her sister experience. I found myself gritting through those hard interviews where Jule gently holds true to the facts of Linda’s story while still allowing space for empathy. Thoughtful, honest, and poignant through and through.

My heart goes out to Linda, her sister, and Jim. The strength of character and perseverance they’ve all shown uniquely and individually is inspiring and as thought provoking as Jule’s journalism. I will hold in my heart the changes necessary for our local laws the next opportunity to vote.

MontanaMommaNerd ,

OUTSTANDING

I am a journalist in Montana. I knew the general backstory here, but the information Jule uncovers is fascinating, infuriating, and deeply emotional. I binged this whole series in a single road trip and you will too!

mrgkay ,

Wonderful and sad

Very well done podcast. Really sad that Justice was not served.

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