20 episodes

Witness Docs presents Unfinished, an investigative anthology series digging into America's unfinished business. Season one of Unfinished, 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 two takes us to Short Creek, a community on the Utah/Arizona border divided by much more than a state line. On one side are fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons who believe the town should be run by God—and his prophet. On the other are ex-believers who want democracy—and the right to believe (or not believe) as they want. When the prophet, Warren Jeffs, goes to prison for sex crimes, the community has to face its painful past...and struggle to define its future. From Witness Docs and Critical Frequency, hosts Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre move beyond the headlines and embed in the community to bring you Unfinished: Short Creek, a very American story⁠ about the battle between freedom of religion and freedom from religion that asks whether people on two sides of a deep divide can rediscover common ground. Hear more great stories about complicated people from Witness Docs at witnesspodcasts.com.

Unfinished Stitcher

    • True Crime
    • 4.7 • 1.6K Ratings

Witness Docs presents Unfinished, an investigative anthology series digging into America's unfinished business. Season one of Unfinished, 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 two takes us to Short Creek, a community on the Utah/Arizona border divided by much more than a state line. On one side are fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons who believe the town should be run by God—and his prophet. On the other are ex-believers who want democracy—and the right to believe (or not believe) as they want. When the prophet, Warren Jeffs, goes to prison for sex crimes, the community has to face its painful past...and struggle to define its future. From Witness Docs and Critical Frequency, hosts Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre move beyond the headlines and embed in the community to bring you Unfinished: Short Creek, a very American story⁠ about the battle between freedom of religion and freedom from religion that asks whether people on two sides of a deep divide can rediscover common ground. Hear more great stories about complicated people from Witness Docs at witnesspodcasts.com.

    Short Creek | E7 This Land is Our Land

    Short Creek | E7 This Land is Our Land

    Ex-believers return to Short Creek and face discrimination from FLDS who still control the towns. In an attempt to reclaim the community, ex-believers face off with former family members over land, and power.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    Short Creek | E6 This One's for You, Gramsy

    Short Creek | E6 This One's for You, Gramsy

    Warren Jeffs continues to control Short Creek from prison. As families are torn apart and the faithful are divided according to their "righteousness," some of his most ardent believers hit their breaking point. But can they stay away from Short Creek for long?

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 40 min
    Short Creek | E5 Answer Them Nothing

    Short Creek | E5 Answer Them Nothing

    Elissa Wall takes prophet Warren Jeffs to court, and his followers back in Short Creek are forced to reckon with his crimes—or not.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    Short Creek | E4 The Kingdom of God or Nothing

    Short Creek | E4 The Kingdom of God or Nothing

    In order to understand Short Creek now, you have to understand how it came to be. A determined group of fundamentalists create a community in order to live their religion in peace...but the government has other ideas.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 39 min
    Short Creek | E3 Keep Sweet, No Matter What

    Short Creek | E3 Keep Sweet, No Matter What

    Warren Jeffs becomes prophet of the FLDS Church and kicks out his rivals. Others don’t like what's happening to their religion and make the challenging choice to leave.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    Short Creek | E2 Prophets and Losses

    Short Creek | E2 Prophets and Losses

    For decades , Short Creek is a pretty great place to live for the faithful. People farm together, worship together, and help build each other's homes. But when the Jeffs rise to power, the communal dream begins to change into something much darker for some.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.6K Ratings

1.6K Ratings

CmfAlex ,

Fantastically produced and delivered

Love, love, love this podcast! It’s so well produced and does such an incredible job of telling this important story - and the many personal stories, on both sides, that are woven into such a complicated, emotional, powerful and intriguing history. Sarah and Ash do it with such honesty, integrity and respect for all involved. I also love how the hosts share their own vulnerabilities - and even real time insights about themselves - as they delve further into understanding and sharing this compelling account of actual events. Thank you!

CJayBreezy ,

A deep and layered women’s story

Season 2, Short Creek, is a thoughtful portrait of a community so often misunderstood. It strikes me how well it captures the women of the community: their hearts, their intellects, their nurturing and strong spirits. Ultimately it’s a story of how independent thinking can set you free to truly love your community, can liberate you to leave and can release you to return. Highly recommend!

LindsayJayne ,

Compassionate and thought provoking

This podcast is surprising in its combination of current facts, history, and compassion for both those who have left and those who remain believers. That delicate balance can be nearly impossible, particularly with such a contentious topic. I can’t wait for more.

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