Serial investigative journalism from APM Reports, with host Madeleine Baran and a team of reporters. Season 1 looked at the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota and the accountability of sheriffs in solving crime. Season 2 examined the case of Curtis Flowers, who was tried six times for the same crime. Also, a special report on Covid-19 in the Mississippi Delta.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OMG, what this man has been thru. Thank you for the work you did to make the details of the case come to light and this innocent man freed.
Season 1 blew me away
“…there are no perfect crimes. There are only failed investigations.” I’d love to know more about the psychology of police departments who refuse to reflect on failed investigations, who jump to the most complicated (and often wrong) conclusions, who won’t apologize to wrongfully accused folks whose lives they’ve negatively impacted. It was so hard to listen to the interviews with the Sheriff. That is one toxic dude.
Don’t waste your time.