Reveal

By The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX

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From prisons to protests, immigration to the environment, Peabody Award-winning Reveal goes deep into the pressing issues of our times. The Atlantic says “the experience of each episode is akin to a spoonful of sugar, even when it’s telling a story about Richard Spencer’s cotton farms or a man’s final days as a heroin addict.” Reveal is a project of The Center for Investigative Reporting and is co-produced with PRX. The show is hosted by Al Letson and partners with reporters and newsrooms around the world, including The Washington Post, ProPublica, APM, The Marshall Project and The Investigative Fund. Reveal is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won many broadcast journalism awards, including a duPont and three national Emmys.


Episode Date
Mississippi Goddam Chapter 6: Mississippi Justice
50:24

Black communities around Mississippi have long raised concerns about the suspicious deaths of young Black men, especially when law enforcement is involved. 

Curley Clark, vice president of the Mississippi NAACP, calls Billey Joe Johnson Jr.’s case an example of “Mississippi justice.” 

“It means that they still feel like the South should have won the Civil War,” Clark said. “And also the laws for the state of Mississippi are slanted in that direction.”

Before Johnson died during a traffic stop with a White sheriff’s deputy, friends say police had pulled him over dozens of times. And some members of the community raised concerns that police had been racially profiling Black people.  

Reveal investigates Johnson’s interactions with law enforcement and one officer in particular.

Nov 27, 2021
Amazon Leaks
51:25

Amazon gathers a lot of information about its customers, from what they read and watch to what they search for and buy. And the company says customers trust it to keep their data safe. But internal memos and people who have worked inside Amazon paint a different picture.

Reveal found Amazon’s intense focus on growth left the company vulnerable to serious security risks. Amazon couldn’t track where all of its data was, according to a former executive. Customer service employees had the ability to look up the shopping history of celebrities, and some shady companies went through a back door to take the personal information of millions of Amazon shoppers. When Amazon found out, it kept it a secret from its customers.

Customer data wasn’t the only thing at risk. As a result of the company’s security struggles, corruption spread and independent sellers on Amazon’s marketplace have suffered attacks. Reveal explores the cutthroat world of Amazon sellers.

Nov 20, 2021
Mississippi Goddam Chapter 5: Star Crossed
50:24

Billey Joe Johnson Jr. and Hannah Hollinghead met in their freshman year of high school. Hollinghead says Johnson was her first love, and in many ways, it was a typical teen romance. Friends say they would argue, break up, then get back together again. Some people were far from accepting of their interracial relationship.

On Dec. 8, 2008, they were both dating other people. According to Hollinghead and her mother, Johnson made an unexpected stop at her house, moments before he died of a gunshot wound during a traffic stop on the edge of town. 

But it appears that investigators failed to corroborate statements or interview Johnson’s friends and family to get a better idea of what was going on in his life on the day he died. Reveal exposes deep flaws in the investigation and interviews the people closest to Johnson, who were never questioned during the initial investigation.

Nov 13, 2021
Mississippi Goddam Chapter 4: The Investigator
50:44

Special Agent Joel Wallace of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the death of Billey Joe Johnson. He worked alongside two investigators from the George County district attorney’s office. 

Wallace said that arrangement didn’t happen very often. And he now questions why they were assigned. “If you've got me investigating the case, then I’m an independent investigator,” he said. “But why would I need the district attorney investigator to oversee me investigating a case?”

The Johnsons were initially relieved, because Wallace had experience investigating suspicious deaths. As a Black detective, he had dealt with racist backlash to his work. 

Reveal host Al Letson and reporter Jonathan Jones visit Wallace, now retired, to talk about what happened with the investigation. When Wallace finds out what Reveal has uncovered, he begins to wonder whether the case should be reopened.

Nov 06, 2021
Mississippi Goddam Chapter 3: The Autopsy
50:41

After Billey Joe Johnson Jr. died in 2008, the state of Mississippi outsourced his autopsy. Al Letson and Jonathan Jones travel to Nashville, Tennessee, to interview the doctor who conducted it. Her findings helped lead the grand jury to determine Johnson’s death was an accidental shooting. However, Letson and Jones share another report that raises doubts about her original conclusions.

Oct 30, 2021
Mississippi Goddam Chapter 2: The Aftermath
50:41

On the morning of Billey Joe Johnson’s death, crime scene tape separates the Johnsons from their son’s body. Their shaky faith in the criminal justice system begins to buckle.

As Billey Joe Johnson’s family tries to get answers about his death, they get increasingly frustrated with the investigation. They feel that law enforcement, from the lead investigator to the district attorney, are keeping them out of the loop. While a majority White grand jury rules that Johnson’s’s death was accidental, members of the family believe the possibility of foul play was never properly investigated.

Oct 23, 2021
Mississippi Goddam Chapter 1: The Promise
50:55

Billey Joe Johnson Jr. was a high school football star headed for the big time. Then, early one morning in 2008, the Black teenager died during a traffic stop with a White deputy. His family’s been searching for answers ever since.

Ten years ago, Reveal host Al Letson traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi, to report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While there, locals told him there was another story he should be looking into: Johnson’s suspicious death.  

During a traffic stop with a White deputy, police say Johnson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But for Johnson’s family, that explanation never made sense. 

In the first episode of this seven-part series, Letson returns to Mississippi with reporter Jonathan Jones to explore what happened to Johnson – and what justice means in a place haunted by its history.

Oct 16, 2021
When Abusers Keep Their Guns
51:16

Reveal’s Jennifer Gollan leads an investigation that exposes the consequences of passing gun laws with no teeth. For the first time, Reveal tallies the number of intimate partners, children and bystanders whose lives are shattered by abusers who fail to give up their firearms. Our analysis of 21 states finds that from 2017 through 2020, at least 110 intimate partners, children and bystanders were killed by suspects using guns they weren’t allowed to have under federal law and, in some cases, state law as well. This is likely a massive undercount because the federal government does not track the number of people killed by intimate partners who are prohibited from possessing guns. 

We meet Chad Absher, who even as a young man could not control his rage. He was convicted of shooting at an ex-girlfriend's house, which meant he could never have a gun again. Absher’s story with guns should have ended there, but it didn’t. 

Gollan picks up his story years later when Absher starts dating another young woman, Ashlee Rucker. It isn’t long before he becomes controlling and abusive, and Rucker wants out of the relationship. But Absher won’t let go and, once again, threatens violence. Despite the law, he has a firearm. 

In the final segment, Gollan tracks the law enforcement failures that make it possible for felons such as Absher to possess guns. From the local sheriff to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a member of Congress, Gollan discovers that laws that have been on the books for decades have very few enforcement mechanisms. She also speaks with a prosecutor in King County, Washington, which is trying to make the laws work as they were originally intended.

Oct 09, 2021
Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe
04:24

Sometimes one story can tell you everything about race and justice in America. Reveal’s new series, “Mississippi Goddam: the Ballad of Billey Joe” is that story. With a title inspired by Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem, Reveal weaves the history of the criminal justice system with the case of a Black high school football star who died during a traffic stop with a white deputy.

Hear this exclusive preview of Reveal's new seven-part series, dropping weekly starting October 16, 2021.

Oct 07, 2021
Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe
04:24

Sometimes one story can tell you everything about race and justice in America. Reveal’s new series, “Mississippi Goddam: the Ballad of Billey Joe” is that story. With a title inspired by Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem, Reveal weaves the history of the criminal justice system with the case of a Black high school football star who died during a traffic stop with a white deputy.

Hear this exclusive preview of Reveal's new seven-part series, dropping weekly starting October 16, 2021.

Oct 07, 2021
Weapons with minds of their own
50:26

The future of warfare is being shaped by computer algorithms that are assuming ever greater control over battlefield technology. Will this give machines the power to decide who to kill?    

The United States is in a race to harness gargantuan leaps in artificial intelligence to develop new weapons systems for a new kind of warfare. Pentagon leaders call it “algorithmic warfare.” But the push to integrate AI into battlefield technology raises a big question: How far should we go in handing control of lethal weapons to machines?

We team up with The Center for Public Integrity and national security reporter Zachary Fryer-Biggs to examine how AI is transforming warfare and our own moral code. 

In our first story, Fryer-Biggs and Reveal’s Michael Montgomery head to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Sophomore cadets are exploring the ethics of autonomous weapons through a lab simulation that uses miniature tanks programmed to destroy their targets.

Next, Fryer-Biggs and Montgomery talk to a top general leading the Pentagon’s AI initiative. They also explore the legendary hackers conference known as DEF CON and hear from technologists campaigning for a global ban on autonomous weapons.

Machines are getting smarter, faster and better at figuring out who to kill in battle. But should we let them?

Oct 02, 2021
A Racial Reckoning at Doctors Without Borders
50:47

For decades, Doctors Without Borders has been admired for bringing desperately needed medical care to crises around the globe and pioneering modern-day humanitarian aid. It’s an organization with radical roots, promising to do whatever it takes to deliver life-saving care to people in need. But now, it’s struggling to address institutional racism.

The organization, also known by its French acronym MSF, has about 63,000 people working in 88 countries. While foreign doctors parachuting into crisis zones get most of the attention, 90 percent of the work is being done by local health workers. 

In the summer of 2020, more than 1,000 current and former staffers wrote a letter calling out institutional racism at MSF. They say that MSF operates a two-tiered tiered system that favors foreign doctors, or expat doctors, over local health workers. 

On the eve of MSF’s 50th anniversary, reporters Mara Kardas-Nelson, Ngozi Cole and Sean Campbell talked to about 100 current and former MSF workers to investigate how deep these issues run. We meet Dr. Indira Govender, a South African doctor who in 2011 accepted what she thought was her dream job with MSF in South Africa, only to get a front-row seat to the organization’s institutional racism. Even though she’s officially the second-in-command of her project, she says it feels like a select group of European expats and White South Africans are running the show.  

Then, Kardas-Nelson and Cole take us inside the inequities MSF staffers experienced during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. While expat doctors had their meals together and socialized, local health workers were left out. But inequities ran deeper. If expat doctors got sick, they would be evacuated out of the country, while local workers didn’t get that care – they were treated at the same center where they worked. Kardas-Nelson and Cole reported the story from Sierra Leone in the Spring of 2021 and spoke to former National MSF clinicians.

Finally, we talk about what can change in humanitarian aid. Govender is part of a group of current and former MSF workers called Decolonize MSF. While she and others are pushing the organization to commit to changes that address racial inequities, some are skeptical about what will actually change. 

This week’s episode was created in partnership with the global news site Insider.

Sep 25, 2021
The Bitter Work Behind Sugar
51:14

Sugar is a big part of Americans’ daily diet. But who harvests some of that sweet cane?  

Reporters Sandy Tolan and Euclides Cordero Nuel visit Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic who do the backbreaking work of cutting sugarcane for little pay. They live in work camps, or “bateyes,” that are part of a vast sugar plantation owned by the Central Romana Corp. The company is the Dominican Republic’s largest private employer and has strong links to two powerful Florida businessmen, Alfonso and Pepe Fanjul. The reporters speak to workers who have no access to government pensions, so they’re forced to work in the fields into their 80s for as little as $3 a day. Through its sugar exports to the U.S. and other businesses, Central Romana generates an estimated $1.5 billion a year – but some workers are so poor they can’t afford doctors’ visits. 

In the 1990s, Tolan reported on human trafficking and child labor in the Dominican sugar industry. Conditions improved following pressure on the government from local activists, human rights groups and the U.S. Labor Department. But major problems persist. And cane cutters say they must go into deep debt just to survive, leaving them trapped. 

Sep 18, 2021
Forever Wars
51:41

Since 9/11, the power of the U.S. military has been felt around the world in the name of rooting out terrorism. But at what cost? From Fallujah in Iraq to tiny villages in Afghanistan and Yemen, Reveal reporter Anjali Kamat talks to three journalists about how America’s so-called war on terror has shaped an entire generation. 

Anand Gopal is a foreign journalist who traveled across the Afghan countryside, meeting with Taliban commanders and trying to understand how people understood the war. He says when U.S. President George W. Bush divided the world into those who are “with us” and those who are “with the terrorists,” it was an oversimplification and had tragic consequences for Afghanistan. Within months of the invasion, the Taliban wanted to surrender, but 9/11 was fresh and the U.S. said no. Instead, the military allied with anti-Taliban warlords and incentivized them to hunt down “terrorists.” Gopal says thousands of innocent people were arrested, tortured and killed – which only galvanized the Taliban and drew more recruits to their ranks. 

To many Americans, Fallujah is remembered as the site of two brutal battles where many Americans died during the invasion of Iraq. But to journalist Feurat Alani, it’s also his parents’ hometown. While American TVs filled with images of the city as a jihadist stronghold, Alani knew it was a bustling city full of regular people whose lives would be forever changed by the invasion. Alani recounts precious memories of Fallujah, like swimming in the Euphrates River with his cousins and seeing football matches with his uncles. But after the invasion, his family fell apart and the city was reduced to rubble. The football stadium turned into a cemetery, and joyful moments there became somber walks through gravestones.   

Finally, journalist and filmmaker Safa Al Ahmad talks about what America’s post-9/11 wars have done to Yemen, where drone strikes became part of everyday life for civilians. Al Ahmad recounts what it felt like to ride in a pickup truck, wondering if she would be targeted as the sound of a drone buzzed overhead. She saw on the ground how the tactics of the war on terror in Yemen led to resentment and hostility among people whose lives were upended. While the 9/11 attacks happened 20 years ago, Al Ahmad says that for people in other places, bombings, airstrikes and drone attacks have never stopped. “They're still living the nightmare that people in New York lived for the day,” she says.

Sep 11, 2021
Fighting Fire with Fire
50:49

Year after year, wildfires have swept through Northern California’s wine and dairy country, threatening the region’s famed agricultural businesses. . Evacuation orders have become a way of life in places like Sonoma County, and so too have exemptions to those orders. Officials in the county created a special program allowing agricultural employers to bring farmworkers into areas that are under evacuation and keep them working, even as wildfires rage. It’s generally known as the ag pass program. Reporter Teresa Cotsirilos investigates whether the policy puts low-wage farmworkers at risk from smoke and flames. This story is a partnership with the nonprofit newsroom the Food & Environment Reporting Network and the podcast and radio show World Affairs.


Then KQED’s Danielle Venton introduces us to Bill Tripp, a member of the Karuk Tribe. Tripp grew up along the Klamath River, where his great-grandmother taught him how controlled burns could make the land more productive and protect villages from dangerous fires. But in the 1800s, authorities outlawed traditional burning practices. Today, the impact of that policy is clear: The land is overgrown, and there has been a major fire in the region every year for the past decade, including one that destroyed half the homes in the Karuk’s largest town, Happy Camp, and killed two people. Tripp has spent 30 years trying to restore “good fire” to the region but still faces resistance from the U.S. Forest Service and others.

Twelve years ago, the Forest Service officially changed its policy to expand the use of prescribed burns, one of the most effective tools to mitigate massive, deadly wildfires. But Reveal’s Elizabeth Shogren reports that even though the agency committed to doing controlled burns, it hasn’t actually increased how much fire it’s using to fight fire.The Forest Service also has been slow to embrace another kind of good fire that experts say the West desperately needs: managed wildfires, in which fires are allowed to burn in a controlled manner to reduce overgrowth. To protect the future of the land and people – especially with climate change making forests drier and hotter – the Forest Service needs to embrace the idea of good fire. 

Sep 04, 2021
The Jail Tapes in the Dumpster
50:14

Sixteen-year-old Myon Burrell was sent to prison for life after a stray bullet killed an 11-year-old girl in Minneapolis in 2002. Amy Klobuchar, who was Minneapolis’ top prosecutor, brought first-degree murder charges as part of a national crackdown on gang violence – a crackdown that engulfed young men of color.  

Burrell maintained his innocence for 18 years in prison. Associated Press reporter Robin McDowell spent a year looking into his case and found that multiple people had lied about Burrell’s involvement in the shooting and that police didn’t talk to his alibi witnesses. In December 2020, the state commuted Burrell’s sentence, allowing him to walk free. 

This end to a prison sentence is rare: Burrell’s case was the first time in at least 28 years that Minnesota commuted a sentence for a violent crime case. But the factors that put Burrell in prison are not rare at all. According to The Sentencing Project, over 10,000 people are serving life sentences in the U.S. for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Half of them are Black. Burrell’s long shot reveals just how difficult it is to right a wrong in our criminal justice system. How many others like Burrell are there? 

This episode was originally aired on April 17, 2021.

Aug 28, 2021
For 20 years, I saw no peace
51:11

We open with a story from Aysha, a Kabul resident in her mid-twenties, who we’ve been checking in with over the past few months. Aysha was born in Pakistan. Her parents fled Afghanistan after the Taliban rose to power in the mid 90’s. Then, after the 2001 invasion by the U.S. and other allies, her family returned to Afghanistan. They saw the war as an opportunity to reclaim their country. Now though, 20 years later, Aysha feels betrayed. She likens it to a doctor leaving in the middle of surgery: “I opened your heart. I fixed your heart bleeding. Now you stitch back yourself.” Our story follows Aysha throughout the final U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban’s return to power. 

Then, Al talks with Fariba Nawa, an Afghan journalist based in Turkey, who is fielding calls from desperate people who are trying to flee Afghanistan. She talks about the uncertain future women face under the Taliban and the moral responsibility the U.S. has to accept refugees from the war we’ve waged for 20 years. 

 Since the U.S. first invaded Afghanistan, more than 800,000 Americans served in the war. James LaPorta is a former Marine who first arrived in Afghanistan in 2009. He describes the fighting, fear, and uncertainty he faced during two tours of duty and how after coming home, he has “the burden of memory.” He notes war doesn’t end with the signing of a treaty or the last day of combat, as everyone affected by the violence is still dealing with its aftermath.  

Reveal producer Najib Aminy watched the fall of Kabul on TV, sitting next to his parents, who left Afghanistan for New York in the 1970s. Najib talks with one of Afghanistan’s most treasured poets, Abdul Bari Jahani, who wrote the country’s national anthem. Jahani says the anthem carries a message of unity and justice for the  Afghan people.  

Aug 21, 2021
Minor violations
49:47

Shelter staff have called 911 on migrant kids for minor offenses. In some cases, police have arrested, jailed and even tased those kids. 

When unaccompanied children arrive alone at the U.S. border and seek asylum, they get sent to cells, then to government-funded shelters, where they wait to be released to family members or sponsors. Kids can spend months, sometimes years, at these shelters, and they can be secretive places. It’s hard for reporters and even government officials to get access to the shelters. But Reveal reporters Aura Bogado and Laura C. Morel found that one group sometimes entering shelters is police. 


Reveal had to sue the federal government to get the records on migrant children in shelters run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The documents show that since 2014, at least 84 children held in shelters have been turned over to law enforcement. 

First, Bogado and Morel share the story of a 16-year-old asylum seeker from Honduras who was tased by a Texas sheriff’s deputy. The incident was caught on the deputy’s body camera, which also captured the deputy’s partner as he insulted the teenager, calling him “El Stupido.” Then, we hear another disturbing story of a 17-year-old boy who briefly grabbed another teenager – and wound up being arrested for assault, held in jail and deported. 

These are cases of overpolicing in a place where there are no bystanders to record, a place that is supposed to be taking care of vulnerable children. With a new administration, will anything change?

Aug 14, 2021
Juvenile (In)justice
50:46

Larissa Salazar grew up in Wyoming, and when she was in eighth grade, she got in a fight on a school bus. That snowballed into her spending 16 months in a state juvenile facility. 

Reporter Tennessee Watson follows Larissa’s experience in the juvenile justice system in Wyoming, which locks up kids at one of the highest rates in the nation. Larissa’s mom says that instead of helping her daughter, the system made things worse.

Then Watson explores why Wyoming is clinging to its “get tough” approach to juvenile justice, even as many other states are moving away from punishing kids – especially for low-level or nonviolent offenses. Research shows that locking kids up doesn’t change their behavior and often creates a new set of problems. 

We end with Watson visiting South Dakota, a state that in the past few years has changed how it deals with kids who get in trouble. South Dakota’s juvenile justice system recognizes that kids who are incarcerated are more likely to get in trouble again, whereas kids who are held accountable and receive support close to home are not.

This show originally aired March 20, 2021.

Aug 07, 2021
The teen reporter, the evictions and the church
50:20

Three stories from local reporters who uncovered injustice and inequality in their hometowns, from an eviction crisis in Ohio to a Hitler-quoting state police training in Kentucky. 

Louisville high schooler Satchel Walton knew something was off about the PowerPoint presentation used by the Kentucky State Police to train new recruits. The slides urged officers to be “ruthless killers” and quoted both Robert E. Lee and Adolf Hitler. Walton reached out to Reveal to ask about our past reporting on police officers in White supremacist Facebook groups, then co-wrote a story with his brother about the training presentation for his high school newspaper, the Manual RedEye. After Walton broke the story, the state police commissioner resigned. Guest host Ike Sriskandarajah talks with Walton about how he reported the story and the change it’s brought to the state. 

Then, Reveal reporting fellow Noor Hindi documents an overlooked part of the housing crisis. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government issued a ban on evictions. But as Hindi reports, in Akron, Ohio, evictions kept happening despite the ban. She watched 132 housing hearings this past fall – and found that many renters at those hearings were evicted. Hindi follows the story of mother and nursing-home worker Amber Moreland, who lost her rental home during the pandemic, despite being an essential worker who tried to apply for federal aid. 

Next, CapRadio reporter Sarah Mizes-Tan looks into the racial disparities around the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. Earlier this year, Reveal found that in major cities across the country, the rate of PPP lending was higher in majority-White neighborhoods than in neighborhoods of color. We shared our data with local reporters around the country, and Mizes-Tan found something else: In Sacramento, California, the disparity was even more pronounced for places of worship. There, three times as much money went to places of worship in White neighborhoods compared with those in neighborhoods where people of color are the majority. 


Reporters featured on this episode worked with Reveal’s local reporting networks. If you’re a journalist, learn more about Reveal’s Reporting Networks.

Jul 31, 2021
Into the COVID ICU
50:43

Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez graduated from medical school during the pandemic. We follow the rookie doctor for her first months working at a hospital in Fresno, California, as she grapples with isolation, anti-mask rallies and an overwhelming number of deaths. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jul 24, 2021
Baseball Strikes Out
50:12

In the early 2000s, rampant steroid use across Major League Baseball became the biggest scandal in the sport’s history. But fans didn’t want to hear the difficult truth about their heroes – and the league didn’t want to intervene and clean up a mess it helped make. 

We look back at how the scandal unraveled with our colleagues from the podcast Crushed from Religion of Sports and PRX. Their show revisits the steroid era to untangle its truth from the many myths, examine the legacy of baseball’s so-called steroid era and explore what it tells us about sports culture in America.

We start during the 1998 MLB season, when the home run race was on. Superstar sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa battled to set a new single-season record, and McGwire, the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, was portrayed as the hero baseball needed: part humble, wholesome, working man and part action hero, with his brawny build and enormous biceps. So when a reporter spotted a suspicious bottle of pills in his locker in the middle of the season, most fans plugged their ears and refused to acknowledge that baseball might be hooked on steroids.

Joan Niesen, a sportswriter and host of the podcast Crushed, takes us on a deep dive into an era that dethroned a generation of superstars, left fans disillusioned and turned baseball’s record book on its head. The story takes us from ballparks and clubhouses to the halls of Congress to explain how baseball was finally forced to reckon with its drug problem.

Jul 17, 2021
Timber Wars
50:16

Thirty years ago, activists and scientists turned a fight over the spotted owl and ancient trees into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the century. The process transformed the way we see – and fight over – the natural world.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jul 10, 2021
The Ticket Trap
50:08

Sports, theater and concert fans are excited venues are opening up again. So are clever ticket sellers who’ve figured out ways to cash in on unsuspecting customers shopping online. 

Reveal’s Byard Duncan starts with an examination of the tricks and traps that await fans who try to buy tickets online, at the hands of some of the largest companies in what’s known as the secondary ticket market. 

Then Reveal’s Ike Sriskandarajah visits his favorite theater in Oakland, California, which went dark in March because of the pandemic. Like venues across the country, the Paramount Theatre plans to reopen its doors later this year, and we find out what it will look like.  

We end with an essay from reporter Yoohyun Jung, who’s been a fan of K-pop music for most of her life. But when she went from being a fan to working in the business, she saw some disturbing things that gave her a new perspective on this international phenomenon. 

This is an update of an episode that originally aired February 6, 2021.

Jul 03, 2021
Weapons with minds of their own
50:10

The future of warfare is being shaped by computer algorithms that are assuming ever greater control over battlefield technology.  Will this give machines the power to decide who to kill?

The United States is in a race to harness gargantuan leaps in artificial intelligence to develop new weapons systems for a new kind of warfare. Pentagon leaders call it “algorithmic warfare.” But the push to integrate AI into battlefield technology raises a big question: How far should we go in handing control of lethal weapons to machines?

We team up with The Center for Public Integrity and national security reporter Zachary Fryer-Biggs to examine how AI is transforming warfare and our own moral code. 

In our first story, Fryer-Biggs and Reveal’s Michael Montgomery head to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Sophomore cadets are exploring the ethics of autonomous weapons through a lab simulation that uses miniature tanks programmed to destroy their targets.

Next, Fryer-Biggs and Montgomery talk to a top general leading the Pentagon’s AI initiative. They also explore the legendary hackers conference known as DEF CON and hear from technologists campaigning for a global ban on autonomous weapons.

Machines are getting smarter, faster, and better at figuring out who to kill in battle. But should we let them?

Jun 26, 2021
Monumental Lies
50:24

The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer last year sparked a wave of social justice protests, including ones targeting monuments that celebrate segregationists, slave-owners, conquistadors and Confederate leaders. Since then, about 160 monuments have come down, but roughly 2,000 remain standing. 

We teamed up with Type Investigations to visit dozens of Confederate monuments and found that for devoted followers, they inspire a disturbing – and distorted – view of history: Confederate generals as heroes. Slaves who were happy to work for them. That twisted history is also shared with schoolchildren on class trips. And you won’t believe who’s funding these sites to keep them running. 


Then, reporter Stan Alcorn follows the story of New Mexico’s great monument controversy. In 1998, the state was set to celebrate its cuarto centenario: the 400th anniversary of the state’s colonization by the Spanish. But a dramatic act of vandalism would turn the making of a monument in Albuquerque into a fight over history the city didn’t expect.


This show is an update from a 2020 episode that was based on reporting originally broadcast Dec. 8, 2018.

Jun 19, 2021
Emission control
50:35

If we want to quickly combat climate change, we need to deal with “the other” greenhouse gas: methane. Methane leaks are heating up the planet and harming people who live where gas drilling takes place. 

Reporter Elizabeth Shogren introduces us to a NASA scientist who’s devoting his career to hunting down big methane leaks. Riley Duren and his team have figured out how to spot methane pollution from airplane flyovers, and in an experiment, his data was used to make polluters plug their leaks. Scientists have answers to the methane problem. The question is whether governments will step up to fund a comprehensive methane monitoring system. 

Next, Shogren zooms in on Arlington, Texas, a community that bet heavily on drilling for methane, the main ingredient in natural gas. There are wells all over Arlington, next to homes and shopping centers, even day cares and schools. Arlington’s children have unwittingly been part of an experiment to see what happens when gas wells and people mix.

We end the show with a story from Reveal’s Brett Simpson about a serious source of methane that is often overlooked. Cows and other livestock produce 14% of the world’s methane emissions, in many places belching more of the gas than oil and gas wells. We meet a scientist who’s figured out how to reduce methane emissions from cows by 80%.

Jun 12, 2021
Viral Lies
50:47

From anti-vaxxers to QAnon, we look at how misinformation spreads online – and the lives it disrupts. 

There are lots of reasons people give for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine – lack of access, personal choice or general distrust. Then there are the conspiracy theories, which have spiked during the pandemic. The World Health Organization calls it “an infodemic,” where dangerous medical misinformation sows chaos and mistrust. So how do conspiracy theories spread? Reporter and episode host Ike Sriskandarajah unravels the history of the lie that there is a tiny microchip in each vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Then reporter Stan Alcorn digs into the origins of “Stop the Steal.” In 2016, it was the name of a right-wing activist group that spread the idea that the United States’ democratic institutions were rigged against Donald Trump. In 2020, it re-emerged as a hashtag attached to baseless Republican claims of voter fraud, gained huge audiences on social media and became a rallying cry among the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6. 

We close the show with a conversation between a mother and son who are divided over conspiracy theories. Lucy Concepcion is one of roughly 75 million Americans who believe the results of the presidential election were illegitimate. She also believes in QAnon. Her son, BuzzFeed reporter Albert Samaha, believes in facts. Samaha describes what it’s like when someone you love believes in an elaborate series of lies, and we listen in as he and his mom discuss their complicated and loving relationship. 

Jun 05, 2021
The Mystery of Mountain Jane Doe
50:08

In the summer of 1969, a young woman was found dead off a remote mountain trail in Harlan, Kentucky. She’d been stabbed multiple times. Her identity was a mystery, so locals referred to her as Mountain Jane Doe. Decades later, a woman from the area takes up the cause of identifying the murdered woman, and her quest for answers leads investigators to a hillside grave and a DNA lab, bringing some long-awaited answers. 

Mountain Jane Doe is one of more than 13,000 in a national database of unidentified dead. There are no national laws requiring coroners or law enforcement to use the database, and as a result, cases fall through the cracks and family members are left in the dark about their loved ones. 

An exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who Mountain Jane Doe was and why she might have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening cold cases and using DNA science to try to solve them. 

But as one mystery is solved, another remains unanswered: Who killed her?

This episode originally was broadcast April 1, 2017. We updated this show Jan. 26, 2019.

May 29, 2021
The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, Lies and Leaks
49:52

In 1971, a 22-year-old named Robert Rosenthal got a call from his boss at The New York Times. He was told to go to Room 1111 of the Hilton Hotel, bring enough clothes for at least a month and not tell anyone.

Rosenthal was part of a team called in to publish the Pentagon Papers, an explosive history of the United States’ political and military actions in Vietnam that shattered the government’s narratives about the war. Former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the secret papers to the press. In this episode, we hear the experiences of both Ellsberg and Rosenthal. 

When Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, he was turning his back on a long career close to power, immersed in government secrets. His work as a nuclear war strategist made him fear that a small conflict could erupt into a nuclear holocaust.

When the Vietnam War flared, Ellsberg worried his worst fears would be realized. He wonders if leaking the top-secret report he’s read could help stop the war. Soon, he was secretly copying the 7,000-page history that would come to be known as the Pentagon Papers and showing them to anyone he thought could help.

President Richard Nixon wakes up to the biggest leak in American history. But his first reaction is a little surprising: The Pentagon Papers might make trouble for the Democrats – this instinct starts a chain reaction that helps bring down his presidency.

This episode was originally aired in May 2016.

May 22, 2021
The Bad Place
50:09

The graffiti says it all: “This is a bad place.” Why do states send children to facilities run by Sequel, after dozens of cases of abuse?

The vacant building that once housed the Riverside Academy in Wichita, Kansas, was covered in haunting graffiti: “Burn this place.” “Youth were abused here … systematically.” “This is a bad place.” The facility, run by the for-profit company Sequel Youth & Family Services, promised to help kids with behavioral problems. But state officials had cited the facility dozens of times for problems including excessive force by staff, poor supervision and neglect.  

Riverside was just one residential treatment center run by Sequel. In a yearlong investigation, APM Reports found the company profited by taking in some of the most difficult-to-treat children and providing them with care from low-paid, low-skilled employees. The result has been dozens of cases of physical violence, sexual assault and improper restraints. Despite repeated scandals, many states and counties continue to send kids to Sequel for one central reason: They have little choice.

For much of its 20 year history, Sequel was able to avoid public scrutiny. But that changed recently in Oregon, when State Senator Sara Gesler began to investigate the conditions of kids the state placed under the company’s care. What she found led to Oregon demanding change and eventually severing ties with Sequel. 

This is an update of an episode that originally aired on 11/21/20.

May 15, 2021
Why Police Reform Fails
50:23

Six years after Ferguson, St. Louis hasn’t seen a single substantive police reform. A group of young Black leaders have instead set their sights higher: taking control of city politics.

In 2014, then-Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. His death sparked reports, blue-ribbon commissions and countless police reform efforts. But so many of those reforms fell short of their stated goals. Today, St. Louis leads the nation in police killings per capita. 

As the nation continues to grapple with how to save Black lives from police violence, we’re partnering with The Missouri Independent to examine why police reform efforts so often fail. We follow a new generation of leaders who, as a part of the Ferguson movement, are finding new ways to change policing in the St. Louis region. Reporters Trey Bundy and Rebecca Rivas follow local activist Kayla Reed, who went from attending protests to organizing them. After years of frustratingly slow progress toward reform, Reed transformed herself into a political powerbroker who is upending city politics.

And there’s no way to talk about police reform without talking about the power of police unions. We look how the St. Louis Police Officers Association, the city’s main union, formed to protect white police officers from accountability after beating a Black man. And we talk with James Buchanan, one of the city’s few Black police officers in the 1960s, who went on to help start the Ethical Society of Police, a union founded by Black officers to fight for racial equity in the department and community.

This show is guest hosted by Kameel Stanley, executive producer of Witness Docs, a documentary podcast network from Stitcher and SiriusXM. 


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May 08, 2021
Banking on Inequity
50:59

Congress spent hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue small businesses hurt by the pandemic. But Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money disproportionately went to White neighborhoods, leaving communities of color behind.

Small businesses are the heart of Los Angeles’ many neighborhoods. Reporter Laura C. Morel talks with business owners around Los Angeles who either received PPP money or faced insurmountable hurdles to get one of the forgivable loans. Morel talks with a Latinx barber in the Florence neighborhood, where just 10% of businesses got PPP loans. In a predominantly Black area of Inglewood, we meet clothing store owner Annie Graham, who couldn’t get a PPP loan last year, even from a lender who hooked up with Magic Johnson to specifically help minority- and women-owned businesses access the government lending program. In Graham’s neighborhood, 32% of businesses got PPP loans. Meanwhile, in the majority-White neighborhood of Playa del Rey, 61% of businesses got PPP loans. The disparity among neighboring communities is striking.

We end with an interview with reporter Gabriel Thompson about fast food franchises that received PPP money. One McDonald’s owner in Chicago got half a million dollars, but workers there filed multiple complaints with OSHA because they felt they were not protected from COVID-19.

This show is guest hosted by Sarah Gonzalez of Planet Money.


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May 01, 2021
The Rise and Fall of Madoff's Ponzi Scheme
49:32

After Bernie Madoff’s death, we dig into how he pulled off one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history. Reporter Steve Fishman explores what lessons the fallen financier’s story holds for today. Madoff duped thousands of investors out of tens of billions of dollars, and his scam rocked Wall Street for years.  


Fishman, who spent years interviewing investors, regulators and even Madoff himself from inside federal prison, traces the rise and fall of his scheme. We learn how Madoff pulled it off and why nobody caught on for decades. We also hear from experts who say investors still are vulnerable to financial fraud, especially in the era of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

This show was originally broadcast Feb. 3, 2018.

Apr 24, 2021
The Jail Tapes in the Dumpster
50:37

Sixteen-year-old Myon Burrell was sent to prison for life after a stray bullet killed an 11-year-old girl in Minneapolis in 2002. Amy Klobuchar, who was Minneapolis’ top prosecutor, brought first-degree murder charges as part of a national crackdown on gang violence – a crackdown that engulfed young men of color.  

Burrell maintained his innocence for 18 years in prison. Associated Press reporter Robin McDowell spent a year looking into his case and found that multiple people had lied about Burrell’s involvement in the shooting and that police didn’t talk to his alibi witnesses. In December 2020, the state commuted Burrell’s sentence, allowing him to walk free. 

This end to a prison sentence is rare: Burrell’s case was the first time in at least 28 years that Minnesota commuted a sentence for a violent crime case. But the factors that put Burrell in prison are not rare at all. According to The Sentencing Project, over 10,000 people are serving life sentences in the U.S. for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Half of them are Black. Burrell’s long shot reveals just how difficult it is to right a wrong in our criminal justice system. How many others like Burrell are there?

Apr 17, 2021
The Robert Mueller of Latin America
51:32

Guatemala sends more migrants to the U.S. than anywhere in Central America. What is driving so many people to leave?

Crusading prosecutor Iván Velásquez has been called the Robert Mueller of Latin America. He’s known for jailing presidents and paramilitaries.

But Velásquez met his match when he went after Jimmy Morales, a television comedian who was elected president of Guatemala. Morales found an ally in then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

Like the alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine that prompted Trump’s impeachment, the details can seem confusing – but, ultimately, Velásquez says, both parties got what they wanted: Morales got Trump to pull U.S. support for an international anti-corruption force that was going after his family. And he says Trump secured Guatemala’s support for some of his most controversial policies, both in the Middle East and on immigration.

Veteran radio journalist Maria Martin teams up with Reveal’s Anayansi Diaz-Cortes for this week’s show. Martin takes us to Huehuetenango, a province near Guatemala’s border with Mexico that sends more migrants to the U.S. than anywhere in Central America. There, she shows that Trump’s hard-line immigration policies did nothing to slow the movement of people from Guatemala to the southern border of the U.S.

This is an update of an episode that originally aired Aug. 29, 2020.

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Apr 10, 2021
Sick on the Inside
50:34

For decades, the United States has operated a system of private “shadow prisons” to house noncitizens convicted of federal crimes. Now, President Joe Biden has ordered these contracts to be wound down.

We revisit an investigation with Type Investigations and The Nation Magazine into these prisons – and ask what will happen to them now.

This show has been updated with new reporting, based on a show that originally aired Feb. 6, 2016.

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Apr 03, 2021
Minor League Pay
51:13

From the Frisco RoughRiders to the Dayton Dragons, minor league baseball teams are a classic American tradition. But their players are not covered by some classic American laws: Players can earn less than the equivalent of minimum wage and don’t get paid overtime.

We explore how that’s even possible with the podcast The Uncertain Hour from our colleagues at Marketplace. This season, they’re looking at how certain companies – and whole industries – maneuver around basic worker protections.


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Mar 27, 2021
Juvenile (In)justice
50:24

Larissa Salazar grew up in Wyoming, and when she was in eighth grade, she got in a fight on a school bus. That snowballed into her spending 16 months in a state juvenile facility. 

Reporter Tennessee Watson follows Larissa’s experience in the juvenile justice system in Wyoming, a state that locks up kids at the highest rate in the nation. Larissa’s mom says that instead of helping her daughter, the system made things worse.


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Mar 20, 2021
Protecting Kids from Abuse
38:33

For years, the Pentagon mishandled sexual assault cases involving kids living on military bases, until an Associated Press investigation jolted lawmakers into action.

Reporter Holly McDede brings us to Berkeley High School in California, where students were fed up with what they saw as a culture of sexual harassment and assault among their peers. 

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Mar 13, 2021
The Unpaid Cost of Elder Care
51:03

Residential care homes seem like the perfect place for Mom or Grandpa to live out their golden years, but their home-like facades are hiding rampant wage theft and exploitation of caregivers. Reveal’s Jennifer Gollan takes us into her investigation of the care-home industry.


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Mar 06, 2021
Remember Me This Way
12:07

In this special episode of the podcast, we hear the story of one of more than 500,000 Americans who’ve died from COVID-19. David León was a father of six; a small-business owner in Fresno, California; and a leader in the city’s Latino community. His death left a hole in that community and with the family he left behind.   


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Mar 03, 2021
Into the COVID ICU
50:58

Dr. Paloma Marin-Nevarez graduated from medical school during the pandemic. We follow the rookie doctor for her first months working at a hospital in Fresno, California, as she grapples with isolation, anti-mask rallies and an overwhelming number of deaths. 

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Feb 27, 2021
An American Murder in Istanbul: Justice for Halla
51:18

An American journalist and her mom are found murdered in Istanbul. Police say they caught the killer. Friends and family say the investigation was incomplete. In collaboration with ABC News and freelance reporter Fariba Nawa, we dig into the investigative files against the convicted killer and learn that the U.S. government chose not to get involved in the investigation.

This show was originally released on Oct. 10, 2020.

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Feb 20, 2021
Timber Wars
50:30

Thirty years ago, activists and scientists turned a fight over the spotted owl and ancient trees into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the century. The process transformed the way we see – and fight over – the natural world.

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Feb 13, 2021
The Ticket Trap
50:27

Sports, theater and concert fans are itching for events to start happening again. So are clever ticket sellers who’ve figured out ways to cash in on unsuspecting customers shopping online.

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Feb 06, 2021
How the Pandemic Changed Us
50:00

Racial justice, police accountability, mutual aid, climate activism and warp-speed vaccines – we examine the ways our COVID-19 year changed American society. 

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Jan 30, 2021
A Transfer of Power
49:27

Rage, chaos and conspiracies defined Donald Trump’s last days as president. As the nation swears in Joe Biden, we look at the long shadow cast by the White supremacist and anti-immigrant forces that brought Trump to power.

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Jan 23, 2021
The Evolution of All-American Terrorism (rebroadcast)
50:26

Long before the attempted coup by his supporters, Trump fanned the flames of white supremacy & domestic terrorism. This week on Reveal, we track the increase in right-wing domestic terrorist attacks since 2016—and ask whether law enforcement has taken these violent threats seriously enough.

This is a rebroadcast of a show that originally aired June 27, 2020. 

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Jan 16, 2021
Democracy Under Siege
48:56

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, aiming to block the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. How did we get here? We examine President Donald Trump’s rhetoric over the last four years, as he stoked conspiracy theories, coddled White supremacists and laid the groundwork for inciting violence. 


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Jan 09, 2021
Take No Prisoners (Rebroadcast)
50:32

This episode originally was broadcast July 28, 2018

In December 1944, Frank Hartzell was a young soldier pressed into fierce fighting during the Battle of the Bulge. He was there battling Nazi soldiers for control of the Belgian town of Chenogne, and he was there afterward when dozens of unarmed German prisoners of war were gunned down in a field. 

Reporter Chris Harland-Dunaway pieces together what led up to that event, who was responsible and why no Americans were held accountable for this war crime.

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Jan 02, 2021
When Lighting the Voids (Rebroadcast)
50:51

This week, we present a special episode of Reveal produced by our partners at StoryWorks, a documentary theater company. “When Lighting The Voids” is an audio drama inspired by Reveal’s investigation into a deadly explosion at a Mississippi shipyard. This deconstructed mystery is based on real accounts, real events and real people.

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Dec 26, 2020
Policing Pregnancy
50:34

If the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, states could set their own rules about abortion.  Some states have already closed clinics, and for those that remain they’ve added obstacles—like collecting personal data about people who get abortions and declaring that fetuses have civil rights from conception.

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Dec 19, 2020
All the President’s Pardons (Update)
51:00

President Donald Trump has granted clemency to several controversial people, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s friend and political operative Roger Stone. But what about the people who have applied through the official process and are waiting for answers? We go beyond the headlines and tell the story of a pardons system that’s completely broken down. In 2019, we focused on the case of Charles “Duke” Tanner, a former boxer who was sentenced to life in federal prison after being convicted of drug trafficking. His arrest came during the war on drugs, which started in the 1980s, disproportionately putting tens of thousands of Black men in prison for decades. Tanner applied for clemency twice, his application just one among 13,000 others waiting for a decision at the federal Office of the Pardon Attorney when our show first aired. In this episode, we learn what happened after the president heard about Tanner’s case.

Next, we look at why the mechanism for granting pardons has stopped functioning. We meet a pardons advocate and a former staff member of the pardon attorney’s office and learn that the system stalled after then-President Barack Obama attempted to reduce mass incarcerations from the war on drugs. The pardon attorney’s office has been without leadership for more than four years, and the Trump White House is largely ignoring its recommendations. 

We end our show by looking at the rarest of pardons: when the person receiving a pardon is the president. Trump has tweeted that he has the authority to pardon himself, a concept that first was discussed during the Nixon administration. In that case, former President Richard Nixon eventually was pardoned by the next president, Gerald Ford. In this story, we hear Ford explain in his own words why he decided to pardon his predecessor.


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Dec 12, 2020
Reproducing Racism (Rebroadcast)
50:32

As racial disparities in health come into the spotlight amid COVID-19, we explore how the legacy of racism affects maternal health in the U.S. Plus, we hear from doctors working hard to turn things around.

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Dec 05, 2020
Fancy Galleries, Fake Art (Rebroadcast)
50:44

The story of how two well-respected New York art galleries sold more than $80 million in fake art, and why almost no one ever was punished by authorities.


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Nov 28, 2020
The Bad Place
50:57

The vacant building that once housed the Riverside Academy in Wichita, Kansas, was covered in haunting graffiti: “Burn this place.” “Youth were abused here … systematically.” “This is a bad place.” The facility, run by the for-profit company Sequel Youth & Family Services, promised to help kids with behavioral problems. But state officials had cited the facility dozens of times for problems including excessive force by staff, poor supervision and neglect. 


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Nov 21, 2020
Trump’s Global Echoes
08:37

The United States has traditionally been a leader of democracy internationally, taking a big role in establishing institutions such as the United Nations. But President Donald Trump’s “America First” priorities have left a leadership vacuum in important international organizations. What will it take to turn that around?

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Nov 18, 2020
United, We’re Not
51:23

Where does America go from here? 

We talk with an asylum-seeking family, a Georgia woman on abortion access, and West Virginians on the impact of Black Lives Matter.


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Nov 14, 2020
The American Divide
50:59

Unborn babies' hearts are at risk as EPA caves to chemical companies’ 20-year effort to whitewash the science on the risks of an extremely dangerous and prevalent chemical, TCE. 

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Nov 07, 2020
Stopping a Movement
50:16

In what may be the largest protest movement in the nation’s history, millions of Americans have taken to the streets this year to protest racism and police brutality. In response, the federal government cracked down, filing charges against protesters in 31 states. We also learn how Austin, Texas, voted to slash its police budget.

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Oct 31, 2020
Remembering a White Supremacist Coup
50:42

On the eve of a contentious election, Reveal looks back to the nearly forgotten election of 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina. A coup d’etat gave birth to much of the structural racism that still plagues our nation today. This suppressed history left a deep scar that the local community is still working to overcome. 

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Oct 24, 2020
An Adolescence, Seized
50:06

A 10-year-old Honduran girl came to the United States seeking asylum. Instead, she was detained – away from her family – for nearly seven years. Reporter Aura Bogado follows her story. After a lawsuit against the U.S. government, we discover that tens of thousands of children have been held in custody for months, instead of days. And nearly 1,000 have spent more than a year in shelters. 


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Oct 17, 2020
An American Murder in Istanbul: Justice for Halla
51:48

An American journalist and her mom are found murdered in Istanbul. Police say they caught the killer. Friends and family say the investigation was incomplete. In collaboration with ABC News and freelance reporter Fariba Nawa, we dig into the investigative files against the convicted killer and learn that the U.S. government chose not to get involved in the investigation.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Oct 10, 2020
Whose Vote Will Count?
50:46

From problems with vote-by-mail systems to voter suppression, we travel to Wisconsin and Florida to examine the potential for chaos in the 2020 elections. Then we hear from postal workers about handling the huge number of mail-in ballots.

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Oct 03, 2020
Catching Amazon in a Lie
50:44

Amazon says its warehouses are safe for workers, but we’ve obtained numbers that show they’re getting hurt much more often than the company claims.


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Sep 26, 2020
COVID-19 in Confinement
50:36

At a time when self-isolation is the best way to avoid the pandemic, we examine two places where people have no choice but to live with strangers: nursing homes and prisons. 

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Sep 19, 2020
America's Ring of Fire (Rebroadcast)
50:05

Wildfires are getting bigger, more expensive to fight and closer than ever to where people live. The consequences can be deadly. We examine how wildfires got so dangerous – and how some are fighting back.

Parts of this episode originally were broadcast Oct. 8, 2016. 

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Sep 12, 2020
The Robert Mueller of Latin America
51:14

Crusading prosecutor Iván Velásquez has been called the Robert Mueller of Latin America. He’s known for jailing presidents and paramilitaries.

But Velásquez met his match when he went after Jimmy Morales, a television comedian who was elected president of Guatemala. Morales found an ally in Donald Trump.

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Sep 05, 2020
The Refuge Revealed (Rebroadcast)
50:56

The 40-year fight over drilling for oil in one of the world’s wildest places, Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is coming to a head. The Department of the Interior has just removed the final hurdle to allow oil industry bids for the right to drill in the refuge. Opponents say climate change is warming the Arctic twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and the plants, animals and people living there are struggling to adapt.

In this episode, we examine the future of the refuge for the people who live there. It’s a collaboration with the award-winning podcast Threshold, which was supported by the Pulitzer Center

This episode originally was released March 7, 2020

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Aug 29, 2020
Lost in Transplantation (Rebroadcast)
50:39

Quickly delivering donated organs to patients waiting for a transplant is a matter of life and death. Yet transportation errors are leading to delays in surgeries, putting patients in danger and making some organs unusable. 

This episode originally was broadcast Feb. 8, 2020

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Aug 22, 2020
Monumental Lies (Update)
51:55

The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, but the Confederacy didn't completely die with it. Monuments, shrines and museums are found throughout the South. We teamed up with Type Investigations to visit dozens of them and found that for devoted followers, they inspire a disturbing – and distorted – view of history: Confederate generals as heroes. Slaves who were happy to work for them. That twisted history is also shared with schoolchildren on class trips. And you won't believe who's funding these sites to keep them running. 

Plus, the story of New Mexico’s great monument controversy. In 1998, the state was set to celebrate its cuarto centenario: the 400th anniversary of the state’s colonization by the Spanish. But a dramatic act of vandalism would turn the making of a monument in Albuquerque into a fight over history the city didn’t expect.

This show has been updated with new reporting, based on a show that originally was broadcast Dec. 8, 2018.  


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Aug 15, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 8: Shadow Workforce
52:56

For decades, work-based rehabs have spread across the country. No one knows how many are out there, so we counted them ourselves.

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Aug 08, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 7: The Work Cure
50:28

One man’s journey into Cenikor leads to almost two years of backbreaking labor. The program will change him. But can it help Chris Koon with his addiction?


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Aug 01, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 6: The White Vans
23:39

Before sunrise, a line of passenger vans heads to job sites across Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Cenikor didn't want to show us where they were sending rehab participants to work. So we followed the vans to find out.

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Jul 29, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 5: Reagan with the Snap
34:03

Cenikor rises from the ashes, thanks to the inventor of NFL football pads, the war on drugs and the endorsement of an American president.

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Jul 25, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 4: Cowboy Conman
51:06

He’s a liar, a killer and a wannabe country music singer. Luke Austin finds Synanon in prison and borrows from its philosophy to create Cenikor. But graft and violence nearly destroy it.

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Jul 18, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 3: A Venomous Snake
01:00:12

After amassing a small fortune, Synanon’s megalomaniac leader turns the revolutionary rehab into a violent cult, with mass sterilization, a paramilitary group and a rattlesnake in a mailbox.

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Jul 11, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 2: Miracle on the Beach
54:22

Cenikor’s bizarre form of rehab has its roots in Synanon: a revolutionary rehab that started in the 1950s on a California beach. Its charismatic leader, Charles Dederich, mesmerized the nation by claiming to have developed a cure for drug addiction. The program became a phenomenon and quickly spread across the country. But soon, Dederich wanted to profit off its success, and this “miracle” began to change.  

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Jul 04, 2020
American Rehab Chapter 1: A Desperate Call
22:37

Penny Rawlings is relieved to finally get her brother into rehab at a place called Cenikor. She doesn’t realize that getting him out of treatment is going to be the bigger problem. 

This is the first chapter in Reveal’s American Rehab series, exposing how a treatment for drug addiction has turned tens of thousands of people into an unpaid shadow workforce.

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Jul 04, 2020
An Old Hate Goes Viral
15:28

Since the coronavirus started spreading in the United States, members of the Asian American/Pacific Islander community have been verbally assaulted, coughed at and spit on, and even physically attacked. This is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of hate and racism spreading alongside a public health crisis. 


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Jul 01, 2020
The Evolution of All-American Terrorism
50:59

The Trump years have seen an increase in domestic terrorist attacks linked by hateful ideologies that thrive online. Reveal teams up with Type Investigations to track each case and determine what the government has done to fight them.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 27, 2020
Unrepentant
49:57

Despite revelations of clergy sex abuse and promises of transparency, a prominent Jesuit university does little to punish priests who cross the line. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 20, 2020
Divided States of the Pandemic
49:18

The federal government’s early failures to manage the coronavirus shifted a heavy burden to local officials. We look at how decision-makers in two states, California and Florida, found their way to shutdown and beyond. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 13, 2020
The Uprising
48:24

As Americans take to the streets, we hear from the person prosecuting the police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing. We also hear from protesters around the country and remember the history of policing in black communities. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 06, 2020
Home School
50:46

Online learning works only if you can get online. Why tens of thousands of families are still caught on the wrong side of the digital divide.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 30, 2020
Reproducing Racism
50:09

As racial disparities in health come into the spotlight amid COVID-19, we explore how the legacy of racism affects maternal health in the U.S. Plus, we hear from doctors working hard to turn things around.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 23, 2020
Homewreckers (Rebroadcast)
50:54

After the housing bust, a group of men profited by destroying the American dream of homeownership for hundreds of thousands of families. On Reveal, we learn how these Homewreckers did it and expose how that’s putting our economy at risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This episode originally was broadcast Oct. 19, 2019.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 16, 2020
(Un)protected
49:39

At a time when America is relying on health care workers more than ever, we look at why there’s not enough protective gear to keep them safe. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 09, 2020
Harpooned by Facebook (Rebroadcast)
50:54

As the pandemic sends more people online looking for entertainment, we look at how Facebook and other companies gather information about their users and turn it into profits. 

This episode originally was broadcast Aug. 3, 2019.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 02, 2020
Pandemic, Protests and Profits
49:58

Protesters around the country are pushing to loosen stay-at-home orders, even though health experts say that could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, some Amazon workers say not enough is being done to protect them.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 25, 2020
The Cost of COVID-19
49:39

Can the biggest stimulus in modern U.S. history stave off home foreclosures, save businesses and prevent the worst economic crash since the Great Depression? 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 18, 2020
Detained and Exposed
49:49

Social distancing, hand-washing and self-isolation are supposed to keep us safe from the coronavirus. But if you’re locked up in an immigrant detention center, it’s impossible to follow those rules. 


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 11, 2020
Essential Workers
50:10

While much of America shelters in place, farmworkers, grocery store clerks and airline employees remain on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. But what’s being done to protect them from catching and spreading the virus? 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 04, 2020
Quarantine Nation
50:30

Quarantines are supposed to contain the new coronavirus, but are the right people going into isolation, and are federal guidelines strong enough? Plus, why California abandoned medical stockpiles that could help doctors treat COVID-19. 


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 28, 2020
COVID-19 in the ER
49:41

As the new coronavirus spreads, an ER doctor in Seattle explains how he and other front-line physicians are learning to treat patients and keep themselves safe. Plus, more than eight years after the end of the Iraq War, an Iraqi man is suing a U.S. company that ran interrogations at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.   


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 21, 2020
A Message from Reveal
01:04

Al Letson with a programming note on Reveal's upcoming episodes

Mar 19, 2020
Containing the Coronavirus
48:38

As the new coronavirus spreads through the U.S., we chronicle how it came to California, with the voices of first responders, experts and passengers quarantined on a cruise ship docked in San Francisco Bay. 

Plus, we hear the story of an African American man who decades ago was shot and killed by a police officer who later became leader of the Ku Klux Klan. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 14, 2020
American Rehab (Trailer)
01:39

Reveal is launching its first serialized investigation: American Rehab. In the midst of the worst opioid crisis in America’s history, Reveal uncovers a type of rehab that is flourishing by turning tens of thousands of people desperate for treatment into an unpaid workforce. The eight-episode series will run in Reveal’s podcast feed from March 28 to May 2, 2020.

Mar 11, 2020
The Refuge Revealed
51:21

Oil rigs may soon be coming to the nation’s largest wildlife refuge. We find out what that could mean to the people who live there.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 07, 2020
The Tell-Tale Hearts
50:50

Unborn babies' hearts are at risk as EPA caves to chemical companies’ 20-year effort to whitewash the science on the risks of an extremely dangerous and prevalent chemical, TCE. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 29, 2020
Scuttling Science (Rebroadcast)
50:50

Advisory panels slashed, environmental regulations rolled back – how the Trump administration uses questionable science to justify its policies.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 22, 2020
Six Years Separated
50:57

An asylum-seeking migrant girl is separated from her family at the border and enters U.S. custody at 10 years old. Now, she’s 17 and still in a shelter, even though her family is ready to take her in. They just can’t find her. They turn to reporter Aura Bogado for help.

We then revisit our 2019 investigation into an immigration judge who rejected nearly every asylum case that came before her. Finally, we follow a transgender woman as she tries to claim asylum

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 15, 2020
The honor walk
13:34

A new ritual called an honor walk is bringing solace to families who’ve lost a loved one and consented to have organs donated. Hospitals are organizing these walks as a way to honor the gift of life that will be passed on to those who will benefit from transplants.  

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Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 12, 2020
Lost in Transplantation
38:42

Delivering donated organs quickly to patients waiting for a transplant is a matter of life and death. Yet transportation errors are leading to delays in surgeries that put patients in danger and make some organs unusable. 

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Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 08, 2020
Don’t Count on the Census
51:02

The census is approaching, but experts warn the count will be inaccurate. From the controversial citizenship question to a flawed online rollout, we look at why the census is struggling and whether efforts to save it will work.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 01, 2020
Fancy Galleries, Fake Art
50:35

How two well-respected New York art galleries sold more than $80 million in fake art.

*
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Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 25, 2020
Catch a Killer With Your DNA (rebroadcast)
51:10

This episode originally was broadcast Oct. 5, 2019.

Genetic genealogy is a powerful crime-solving tool that combines DNA science with family tree research. Where will it take us – a crime-free world or a dark dystopia?


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 18, 2020
The lost homes of Detroit
50:20

Entire blocks of Detroit look abandoned because people fell behind on property taxes and lost their homes. But hundreds of millions of dollars of that tax debt never should have been billed in the first place.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 11, 2020
The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, lies and leaks (rebroadcast)
50:34

This episode was originally broadcast in May 2016. Back in 1971, a 22-year-old journalist named Robert Rosenthal got a call from his boss at The New York Times. He told him to go to Room 1111 of the Hilton Hotel, bring enough clothes for at least a month and not tell anyone. 


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 04, 2020
Take No Prisoners (rebroadcast)
50:55

This episode was originally broadcast July 28, 2018.

In December 1944, Adolf Hitler surprised the Allies with a secret counterattack through the Ardennes forest, known today as the Battle of the Bulge. In the carnage that followed, there was one incident that top military commanders hoped would be concealed. It’s the story of an American war crime nearly forgotten to history.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 28, 2019
When Lighting the Voids
58:18

An audio drama inspired by Reveal’s investigation into a deadly explosion at a Mississippi shipyard, produced by our partners at StoryWorks, a documentary theater company.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 21, 2019
Think Globally, Report Locally
54:37

A high number of high school sports concussions. A low number of arrests for sexual assault. Reveal’s Reporting Network digs in.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 14, 2019
When Tasers Fail (rebroadcast)
50:55

A Taser is supposed to help police resolve a situation without using their guns. But in police departments across America, Tasers aren’t always living up to their promise, sometimes with lethal results. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 07, 2019
Building a Wall Out of Red Tape
51:12

Who qualifies for a visa? How much does it cost to become a U.S. citizen? Stories about the invisible barriers immigrants come up against when trying to apply for legal status.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Nov 30, 2019
Amazon: Behind the Smiles
50:57

Shop. Click. And the next day, your purchase is on your doorstep. Amazon has changed the face of shopping, but at a surprisingly high cost to its workers. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming soon, we look at what’s behind those smiling packages to reveal the dangers of working at Amazon.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Nov 23, 2019
Pushed out
10:44

Black girls are being pushed out of school and into jails at alarming rates, but this issue often is overlooked because youth incarceration reform focuses so much on boys. Reporter Ko Bragg explains how the cycle begins and what researchers hope will break it.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Nov 20, 2019
Development Arrested
50:14

**How does a seventh grader end up in solitary confinement in an adult jail? Reporter Ko Bragg takes us to Mississippi to learn about a set of laws that automatically send kids into the adult legal system for certain crimes. 
**


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Nov 16, 2019
The Secret List of Convicted Cops
50:39

A reporter is threatened with prosecution, an officer outruns his past, and our host sits down with the president of the largest U.S. association of police officers to ask the question: When police officers misbehave, why does it stay secret?

**
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Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.*

Nov 09, 2019
Pardon Me (Rebroadcast)
51:03

As the House of Representatives continues its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, we go back in time to the Nixon administration, when the threat of impeachment and a presidential pardon changed the course of history. We then examine the pardons system and learn why it has stopped functioning as originally intended.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Nov 02, 2019
The Lynching of Thomas Finch
50:56

In 1936, an unarmed black man was killed by an Atlanta police officer who later became leader of the Ku Klux Klan. We explore why the city doesn’t recognize the case as a lynching.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Oct 26, 2019
Homewreckers
51:33

After the housing bust, a group of men profited by destroying the American dream of homeownership for hundreds of thousands of families. On Reveal, we learn how these Homewreckers -- many of whom are close to President Donald Trump -- did it and meet a woman who fought back. 

This episode is based on Aaron Glantz’s new book, “Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream.”

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Oct 19, 2019
Losing ground (rebroadcast)
50:45

In 1996, Eddie Wise, the son of a sharecropper, purchased a farm with a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Twenty years later, the USDA foreclosed on the property and evicted him. Reveal investigates his claim that he was discriminated against because of his race.

*
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Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Oct 12, 2019
Catch a Killer With Your DNA
50:38

Genetic genealogy is a powerful crime-solving tool that combines DNA science with family tree research. Where will it take us – a crime-free world or a dark dystopia?

**
*
Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.*

Oct 05, 2019
Commander-in-Tweet
50:30

These days, a presidential tweet can dictate the news cycle for days on end. But is it driving us to distraction? 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Sep 28, 2019
America’s Drug War, Revealed (rebroadcast)
51:43

How a baggie of crack cocaine packed with fear, distortion and misconceptions, and one presidential address in the 1980s, helped shape the war on drugs.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Sep 21, 2019
Scuttling Science
50:59

Advisory panels slashed, environmental regulations rolled back – how the Trump administration uses questionable science to justify its policies.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Sep 14, 2019
The Right to Boycott (rebroadcast)
50:39

“It is wrong to boycott Israel” is a bipartisan message. But is banning the boycott a violation of First Amendment rights? Also, the story of a man who is trying to boycott Israel while living under Israeli occupation. And the story of Captain Boycott, who gave his name to a new kind of protest.



Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Sep 07, 2019
Farm Wars (Rebroadcast)
50:48

The herbicide dicamba is causing a civil war in farm country. Plus, honeybee rustling in California’s almond groves. Lastly, sulfur and its link to asthma in children.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Aug 31, 2019
Year of Return
51:00

Four hundred years ago, English pirates brought enslaved Africans to America’s shores. We reflect on how the legacy of slavery has reverberated through the generations to the present.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Aug 24, 2019
The Cost of School Choice
50:56

Dominique Martin was thrilled to get a state-funded voucher to send her daughter to private school. We go to Louisiana to investigate the cost of school choice. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Aug 17, 2019
Bundyville Revealed
51:29

**A bombing in rural Nevada you’ve probably never heard of. A plot to blow up a government building.  Reveal teams up with the podcast series, Bundyville, produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Longreads, to see what happened to rancher Cliven Bundy’s supporters since his original armed standoff with the government.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Aug 10, 2019
Harpooned by Facebook
51:34

As smart devices become a bigger and bigger part of our lives, we look at how Facebook and other companies gather information about their users and turn it into profits. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Aug 03, 2019
Lasting Impact (rebroadcast)
51:02

In Oregon, the concussion protocols that were supposed to keep high school athletes safe end up falling short for a star quarterback. 

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jul 27, 2019
In Harm’s Way
49:56

The federal government is quietly expanding its use of “tender age” shelters for migrant kids. We’ll tell you what we know. Then, we revisit a story from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, looking at how Jesuit priests got away with sexually abusing children.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jul 20, 2019
Silencing Science (Rebroadcast)
51:21

President Donald Trump says he doubts humans have much of a role in climate change. His administration has downplayed the science of climate change and sought to silence scientists working for the federal government.*
*

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jul 13, 2019
Pardon Me
50:34

Presidential pardons grab the headlines each time Donald Trump grants clemency to a controversial person. We tell the untold story of a pardons system that is completely broken, leaving a backlog of 13,000 applications, and a pardon attorney’s office that’s being ignored by the White House.  

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jul 06, 2019
The Military's Deadliest Helicopter (Rebroadcast)
50:45

How did one helicopter become the deadliest aircraft in the US military? To find out, Reveal partners with Investigative Studios, the production arm of the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 29, 2019
Cops on a Crime Spree (Rebroadcast)
50:41

They belonged to an elite police task force charged with getting guns off Baltimore’s streets. Instead, the plainclothes cops roamed the city, robbing people on the street, breaking into homes to steal money and drugs, and planting evidence on their victims.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 22, 2019
Hate is all around you
50:24

In the second part of Reveal’s series about hate, we look at how racism and white supremacy are institutionalized in America.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 15, 2019
Hate in the homeland
50:23

This episode surveys the state of the hate movement in America, focusing on how hate groups are spreading their message and winning converts.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 08, 2019
To the ends of the Earth
50:54

We travel the globe, from bottom to top, to confront the growing threats from climate change.****

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jun 01, 2019
The City – Revealed (Rebroadcast)
50:33

A giant, mysterious illegal dump in Chicago was part of a federal investigation that brought down a dozen corrupt politicians, but it left neighborhood residents angry and feeling used.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 25, 2019
The Unpaid Cost of Elder Care
51:01

Residential care homes seem like the perfect place for Mom or Grandpa to live out their golden years, but their home-like facades are hiding rampant wage theft and exploitation of caregivers. Reveal’s Jen Gollan takes us into her investigation of the care-home industry.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 18, 2019
When Tasers Fail
50:54

A Taser is supposed to help police resolve a situation without using their guns. But in police departments across America, Tasers aren’t always living up to their promise, sometimes with lethal results.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 11, 2019
Monumental Lies (Rebroadcast)
50:27

Myths of the Civil War and slavery are being kept alive at Confederate monuments, where visitors hear stories of “benevolent slave owners” and enslaved people “contented with their lot.”  Plus, an artist finds herself in the middle of the creation of New Mexico’s most controversial historical monument.

*
*
Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

May 04, 2019
America’s Drug War, Revealed
51:40

How a baggie of crack cocaine packed with fear, distortion and misconceptions, and one presidential address in the 1980s, helped shape the war on drugs.

*
*
Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 27, 2019
Farm Wars
50:14

The herbicide dicamba is causing a civil war in farm country. Plus, honeybee rustling in California’s almond groves. Lastly, sulfur and its link to asthma in children.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 20, 2019
Flood Thy Neighbor (Rebroadcast)
50:50

Some people who live along the Mississippi River are willing to do anything to keep their homes and farms safe from flooding – even if it means inundating their own neighbors. This week, we team up with ProPublica to investigate how rising waters have set off a race to build the highest levee.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 13, 2019
Trans National Migration
50:40

We meet an immigration judge who rejected nearly every asylum case that came before her, then follow a transgender woman as she tries to claim asylum. Finally, we go to Turkey, where young Afghan women are trying to leave their past behind.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 06, 2019
Captain Boycott
15:29

Before there were boycotts, there was Captain Boycott. Meet the man who gave name to a new kind of protest.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Apr 04, 2019
The Right to Boycott
37:13

“It is wrong to boycott Israel” is a bipartisan message. But is banning the boycott a violation of First Amendment rights? Also, the story of a man who is trying to boycott Israel while living under Israeli occupation.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 30, 2019
Behind Trump's Energy Dominance (Rebroadcast)
50:19

Reveal received a secret recording of oil industry executives rejoicing over the “unprecedented access” they have to David Bernhardt, the No. 2 official at the Interior Department. President Donald Trump has nominated Bernhardt to the top slot at the department, following the resignation of Ryan Zinke, and Bernhardt’s confirmation hearings are this week.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 23, 2019
Pizzagate: A Slice of Fake News (Rebroadcast)
50:49

A journey into the world of right-wing Twitter trolls, pro-Trump political operatives and fake-news profiteers from St. Louis to Macedonia, to answer one big question: How did America become a post-truth country?

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 16, 2019
Bitter Custody
50:56

A controversial theory about child abuse is swaying family court judges to award custody to parents accused of harming kids. We trace the origins of “parental alienation.”

**
*
Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.*

Mar 09, 2019
A Desperate Bargain
50:11

Parents are forced to give up custody to get their children medical and psychological treatments. Also, a Trump administration practice forces parents to risk deportation in order to claim their kids from government shelters.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Mar 02, 2019
The red line: Racial disparities in lending (Rebroadcast)
50:57

It’s been 10 years since the great housing bust and lending is back for some Americans, but not for others. In dozens of cities across the country, lenders are more likely to deny loans to applicants of color than white ones.

On this episode of Reveal, we dig into the new redlining.


Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 23, 2019
Five Years on Nauru
50:50

Children refusing to eat, talk, or even drink water. A surreal mental illness sweeps across families stuck in an Australian immigrant detention camp on a tiny island nation in the South Pacific.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 16, 2019
Lasting Impact
50:49

In Oregon, the concussion protocols that were supposed to keep high school athletes safe end up falling short for a star quarterback.

**
*
Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.*

Feb 09, 2019
When They Took My Son (rebroadcast)
50:59

We examine the stories of two families separated in 2018 at the U.S.-Mexico border and how what happened to them matches up with what the government said was supposed to happen.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Feb 02, 2019
The Mystery of Mountain Jane Doe (rebroadcast)
50:59

Investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim, 45 years after she was buried, in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she may have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening up cold cases.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 26, 2019
The Military's Deadliest Helicopter
50:52

How did one helicopter become the deadliest aircraft in the US military? To find out, Reveal partners with Investigative Studios, the production arm of the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 19, 2019
The Pentagon Papers: Secrets, lies and leaks (rebroadcast)
50:32

In 1971, a 22-year-old journalist named Robert Rosenthal got a call from his boss at The New York Times. He told him to go to room 1111 of the Hilton Hotel, bring enough clothes for at least a month and not tell anyone.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 12, 2019
Silencing Science
50:34

President Donald Trump says he doubts humans have much of a role in climate change. His administration has downplayed the science of climate change and sought to silence scientists working for the federal government.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Jan 05, 2019
Take No Prisoners (rebroadcast)
50:50

In the carnage that followed the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, there was one incident that top military commanders hoped would be concealed. It’s the story of an American war crime nearly forgotten to history.

**Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 29, 2018
The City (Revealed)
51:00

A giant mysterious illegal dump in Chicago was part of a federal investigation that brought down a dozen corrupt politicians, but it left neighborhood residents angry and feeling used.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 22, 2018
Sins of the Fathers
51:10

In Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the Catholic church had a problem with Jesuit priests sexually abusing children. The church’s first solution was to send the priests to remote Native villages, but there they continued to abuse. So the church tried something else: hiding them in plain sight.

*Listeners should know that this episode includes descriptions of abuse and predatory behavior, and is not a story for all listeners.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 15, 2018
Monumental Lies
54:08

Myths of the Civil War and slavery are being kept alive at Confederate monuments, where visitors hear stories of “benevolent slave owners” and enslaved people “contented with their lot.”  We team up with The Investigative Fund and discover how public money is supporting this false version of history.

Plus, an artist finds herself in the middle of the creation of New Mexico’s most controversial historical monument.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 08, 2018
Al Letson Reveals: Jerome Corsi
08:08

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 03, 2018
Trial and terror (rebroadcast)
51:09

The recent killing of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue refocused the nation’s attention on right-wing extremist terrorists. Meanwhile, the Trump administration points to radical Islam as the bigger threat to security. On this episode of Reveal, we investigate which terror threats get tracked and which are ignored.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Dec 01, 2018
Burning Hotter and Faster
50:59

Half of California’s 10 worst wildfires have struck in the last two years. We look at the recent Camp Fire, which is the deadliest and most destructive in state history. And we revisit an investigation from earlier this year looking at how extreme wildfires are breaking our emergency response systems. Produced in partnership with KQED.

Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

Nov 24, 2018
Case Cleared (Part 2)
50:04

He seemed to confess to the crime, twice to his ex-girlfriend, once to police. But prosecutors never charged him. The reasons why show how rape myths continue to influence how justice is meted out in America. Reported in partnership with Newsy and ProPublica.

Nov 17, 2018
Case Cleared (Part 1)
51:03

When police closed the rape case against Bryan Kind, they made it look like it had been solved. But he never was arrested – or even charged. We team up with Newsy and ProPublica to investigate how police across the country make it seem like they’re solving more rape cases than they actually are.

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Nov 10, 2018
Working Through the Pain at Tesla
50:53

After being called out for hiding worker injuries at its factory, Tesla decides to double down. Plus, a report card on diversity in Silicon Valley.

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Nov 03, 2018
Coming Soon: Working Through the Pain at Tesla
02:51

After being called out for hiding worker injuries at its factory, Tesla doubles down. Hear a sneak preview of our latest investigation.

Nov 01, 2018
The Storm After the Storm
51:15

Doctors in Puerto Rico are outraged at the government’s unexpected decision to declare the Zika crisis over in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Plus, communities in Houston and North Carolina struggle to put their homes and lives back together.

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Oct 27, 2018
Coming Soon: The Storm After the Storm
02:45

2017 was the worst hurricane season on record. A year later, we look at how Hurricane Harvey has made it almost impossible for people to find affordable housing in Houston. Listen to a sneak preview of this Saturday’s episode.

Oct 25, 2018
Who Gets to Vote?
50:56

Approaching 2018’s midterms, the country has its eyes locked on Georgia’s governor’s race. It’s a close contest between Stacey Abrams, a former state congresswoman who could become the first-ever black female governor in America and Brian Kemp, a tough-talking Trump loyalist with a penchant for the Second Amendment. The race has become a battleground for many of America’s most pressing concerns about democracy – from voter suppression to election security.

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Oct 20, 2018
Coming Soon: Who Gets to Vote?
02:44

Get a sneak preview of Saturday’s show where we investigate voter suppression ahead of the midterm elections.

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Oct 18, 2018
Hunting the Ghost Fleet (rebroadcast)
51:25

We hike through the jungles of El Salvador to find an elusive fleet of shark-fishing boats implicated in overfishing and possible human trafficking. Then we join a UN mission to intercept a crewmember from one of those boats who might be a victim of human trafficking. Finally, we investigate a U.S.-based seafood company that purports to be a model of sustainability.

From reporters Sarah Blaskey, Ben Feibleman, Robin McDowell, Margie Mason and Martha Mendoza, producer Michael Montgomery, and editor Brett Myers. This show was originally broadcast June 30th, 2018.

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Oct 13, 2018
10 Years or Life
50:10

An accused man faces an impossible choice in New Orleans. Plus, a new district attorney in Philadelphia sets out to undo the work of those who came before him.

From reporters Eve Abrams and Laura Starecheski, and editor Catherine Winter.

Oct 06, 2018
When They Took My Son
50:49

A 6-year-old child sleeps in a vacant office building, surrounded by strangers. An infant is taken from his breastfeeding mother. We examine the stories of two families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border and how what happened to them matches up with what the government said was supposed to happen.

From Reveal’s Aura Bogado, and Neena Satija (who also works with our partners at The Texas Tribune), Anayansi Diaz-Cortes, along with Casey Miner.

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Sep 29, 2018
Coming Soon: When They Took My Son
02:11

At 7 years old, Wilson was taken from his mother as part of the Trump administration’s policy of family separation this summer. Our next show tells you what happened to him.

Sep 27, 2018
Never Meet Your (Super) Heroes
50:38

There’s a new battlefield in the culture wars: comic books. The alt-right now has gotten in the business, led by a buxom, Confederate flag-waving superhero named Rebel and a white vigilante who turns immigrants over to ICE.

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Sep 22, 2018
Misconceptions (rebroadcast)
49:59

Desperate to have a child, a couple puts its trust in a fertility clinic that promises more than it can deliver. They enter a world where some clinics take unnecessary risks to make them look far more successful than they are in reality.

From reporter Jonathan Jones and Reveal’s Bernice Yeung and Emily Harris.

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Sep 15, 2018
The Messy Truth About Victim Compensation
50:42

Victim compensation funds are supposed to help victims of crime cover lost wages or funeral expenses. But Reveal teamed up with The Marshall Project and discovered that in some states, African Americans are disproportionately hurt by rules on how that money is handed out.

Then, Reveal reporters Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter uncover a scheme at a drug rehabilitation facility in the mountains of North Carolina, where clients are being used as a source of free labor.

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Sep 08, 2018
Flood Thy Neighbor
50:25

Some people who live along the Mississippi River are willing to do anything to keep their homes and farms safe from flooding – even if it means inundating their own neighbors. This week, we team up with ProPublica to investigate how rising waters have set off a race to build the highest levee.

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Sep 01, 2018
How Bernie Made Off: Are we safe from the next Ponzi scheme? (rebroadcast)
50:18

*This show was originally broadcast February 3, 2018. *It’s been ten years since former NASDAQ chairman Bernie Madoff was arrested for committing one of the largest financial crimes in U.S. history. For decades he ran a Ponzi scheme from a secret office in New York, duping thousands of investors out of billions of dollars. Many of them lost everything when the house of cards fell.

How did Madoff pull it off? And what steps have regulators taken in the past decade to ensure that it doesn’t happen again? For this week’s episode, we teamed up with Steve Fishman, a reporter based in New York City who’s followed the story for years. He produced and hosted a seven-part podcast for Audible called “Ponzi Supernova.”

Through interviews with financial experts, federal agents, Madoff’s cellmates and Madoff himself, Fishman explains how the $60 billion con worked, and why Madoff was able to elude regulators for decades. Fishman says that while Madoff was the mastermind of the scheme, it was banks and other financial institutions who “weaponized” him, turning him from a “local swindler” into an unstoppable force.

Madoff will spend the rest of his life in prison, but no one from these institutions faced similar consequences. And even though some precautions have been put in place since Madoff’s arrest, financial experts warn that for the most part, investors are still on their own.

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Aug 25, 2018
Across the Desert and the Sea (rebroadcast)
51:05

African migrants fleeing persecution or seeking opportunity often end up in Libya, where they are tortured and trafficked. Many try to escape to Europe, only to be intercepted at sea and returned to Libya. On this episode of Reveal, we trace their journey and explore how Europe’s immigration policy is helping Libyan warlords and putting migrants at risk. This episode was originally broadcast on May 19, 2018.

In the first segment, reporter Raphaël Krafft takes us to the open waters off the coast of Libya, where a small boat carrying migrants is trying to flee the country. The boat is filled beyond capacity and starts to take on water and sink. A rescue ship run by nongovernmental organizations from Europe is poised to help, but a coast guard boat from Libya intervenes, creating a standoff at sea.

Next, we learn why so many migrants – mostly from Africa – end up trapped in Libya and about the conditions they face when they’re there. Krafft meets a young Nigerian man named Osaze Sunday, who was held for ransom and trafficked in Libya before attempting to escape by boat to Italy.

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Aug 18, 2018
No place to run (rebroadcast)
51:06

In Texas, the foster care system is failing the vulnerable children it’s meant to protect, leaving many without a safe place to live. Foster children often end up on the streets or in jail, which is one of the few places where they can receive treatment services. This week we look into the crisis in foster care, and efforts to fix it.

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Aug 11, 2018
Trapped: Abuse and Neglect in Private Care
50:32

Deep in the backroads of central Florida, hidden between trees dripping with Spanish moss, sits the campus of an infamous center for the developmentally disabled. Its story shows what can happen when families have nowhere else to find care for their loved ones.

After years of complaints, Carlton Palms is finally being shut down. But its parent company, Bellwether Behavioral Health, is still running group homes across the country, where new allegations have arisen.

WNYC reporter Audrey Quinn investigates the company and speaks to a family whose son was abused at two of Bellwether’s New Jersey facilities. She discovers that, with national spending on autism services expected to increase 70 percent by 2025, the company is owned by a private equity firm.

Then, reporter Elly Yu investigates the death of a DACA recipient while at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia.

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Aug 04, 2018
Take No Prisoners: Inside a WWII American War Crime
50:47

In December 1944, Adolf Hitler surprised the Allies with a secret counterattack through the Ardennes forest, known today as the Battle of the Bulge. In the carnage that followed, there was one incident that top military commanders hoped would be concealed. It’s the story of an American war crime nearly forgotten to history.

After desperate house-to-house fighting between German and American forces, American soldiers wrested control of the Belgian town of Chenogne. Americans rounded up the remaining German prisoners of war, took them to a field and machine-gunned them.

Reporter Chris Harland-Dunaway found an entry in General George S. Patton’s handwritten diary referring to the incident in Chenogne. Patton called it murder. So why then was there no official investigation?

Through vivid interviews with a 93-year-old veteran who witnessed the event, conversations with historians and the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials, and analysis of formerly confidential military records, we investigate why justice never came for the American soldiers responsible for the massacre at Chenogne.

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Jul 28, 2018
Poisoned, Ignored and Evicted: The Perils of Living With Lead (rebroadcast)
50:55

Old paint, old pipes and demolition dust often are sources of toxic lead. It’s a poison known to cause neurological damage in children. For adults, new science shows lead exposure increases the risk of heart disease. Reveal investigates the lurking threat from the dust of urban demolitions to the wilds of Wyoming. This episode was originally broadcast March 31, 2018.

In Detroit, dust is a particular concern. Because of the population drop, the city is tearing down tens of thousands of empty homes. Contractors are supposed to follow strict protocols on  demolitions, but when those rules are not enforced, lead dust can drift around the neighborhood, poisoning children in unsuspecting families. Reporter Eilís O'Neill explores the impact.

Next, we go to the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland, California, where the rate of kids with high lead levels in their blood was greater than in Flint, Michigan, during the height of the water crisis there. Reporters Angela Johnston and Marissa Ortega-Welch of KALW in San Francisco explain how high housing costs and lead exposure are connected and introduce us to public health nurse Diep Tran, who says lead poisoning puts enormous stress on families.

I've seen parents go into shock,” Tran says. “Most of them are anxious. Some feel guilty and go into denial, which is not good for the child, because parents in denial don't want to work with us. How can the child recover if we don't help the family?”

She says her only option sometimes is to advise families to move to a homeless shelter to escape exposure to lead.

Paul Flory could not escape. He grew up in Idaho’s Silver Valley, a longtime mining area that’s now a lead-laced Superfund site. Host Al Letson talks with him about going to school next door to a smelter and the struggles he’s had after his childhood lead poisoning was recorded – and then largely ignored.

Finally, we discover how tiny fragments of lead bullets hurt hunters’ unintended targets: eagles, condors and other scavenging wildlife. We trace lead dust from game guts to eagle brains in Wyoming.

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Jul 21, 2018
Behind Trump's Energy Dominance
50:55

President Donald Trump has pledged allegiance to what he calls America’s “energy dominance.” This is good news for the oil and gas industry. We examine what this means for Alaskan villagers coping with climate change, Native American artifacts in Utah and birds flying over the U.S.  

*
*
To find out, we talk with a former Interior Department official who became a whistleblower after helping relocate Alaskan Native villages threatened by rising temperatures. We also examine the energy industry’s influence on the Trump administration and visit public lands in southeastern Utah, where parcels leased for oil and gas exploration contain sensitive Native American archeological sites.

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Jul 14, 2018
Families Splintered Apart, by Government and by Storms
50:54

This week, we continue our ongoing investigation into what happens to immigrant children after they’re detained by the U.S. government. Our latest story investigates a vacant office building being used by a defense contractor to house children.

Then, we travel to the Gulf Coast to learn why last year was the costliest hurricane season on record. In Houston, we discover that homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were actually built inside a reservoir.

We end on the Louisiana coast, where officials say they can no longer provide protection to homes most vulnerable to flooding, and that residents will have to abandon them.

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Jul 07, 2018
Hunting the Ghost Fleet
50:33

This week’s episode of Reveal investigates shark fishing in Central America and a U.S.-based seafood company that claims to be a model of sustainability.

We start in the jungles of El Salvador, where reporter Sarah Blaskey and photojournalist Ben Feibleman investigate one of the largest shark-fishing operations in the region. The men who crew these boats are migrants from Vietnam who work under grueling conditions.

Next, we follow reporters from The Associated Press as they continue their award-winning investigation into the seafood industry. Robin McDowell, Margie Mason and Martha Mendoza look into one of the country’s leading sustainable seafood companies, Sea to Table.

The company provides seafood to restaurants, universities and private homes across the country, claiming all its fish are wild caught and directly traceable to a U.S. dock. The reporters examine whether those claims hold up.

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Jun 30, 2018
Al Letson Reveals: Pussy Riot
12:34

Far from the World Cup stadium cheers, a prisoner held in Russia is six weeks into a hunger strike.

Reveal host Al Letson talks with Masha Alyokhina, a founding member of the Russian feminist punk rock collective Pussy Riot, about the efforts to free Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker convicted of an armed plot during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He denies any involvement. His supporters fear U.S. President Donald Trump has undermined their cause. Alyokhina knows the topic well: She spent time in prison for challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin, too.

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Jun 28, 2018
Ripped Apart: Families Separated at the Border
51:03

President Donald Trump said he was ending family separation at the border this week. But we’ve stayed on the story, investigating the issues that remain: children being drugged at migrant shelters, asylum-seekers being denied at ports of entry and the problems with Trump’s new detention plan.

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Jun 23, 2018
Losing ground (rebroadcast)
50:04

This episode was originally broadcast July 1, 2017.

Picture an American farmer. Chances are, the farmer you’re imagining is white – more than 9 out of 10 American farmers today are. But historically, African Americans played a huge role in agriculture. The nation’s economy was built largely on black farm labor: in bondage for hundreds of years, followed by a century of sharecropping and tenant farming.

In the early 1900s, African American families owned one-seventh of the nation’s farmland, 15 million acres. A hundred years later, black farmers own only one-quarter of the land they once held and now make up less than 1 percent of American farm families.

The federal government has admitted it was part of the problem. In 1997, a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said discrimination by the agency was a factor in the decline of black farms. A landmark class-action lawsuit on behalf of black farmers, Pigford v. Glickman, was settled in 1999, and the government paid out more than $2 billion as a result. But advocates for black farmers say problems persist.

On this episode of Reveal, reporter John Biewen of “Scene on Radio” tells the story of a black farmer who says the USDA treated him unfairly because of his race.

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Jun 16, 2018
Reveal Answers Your Questions About Immigration
51:00

Last fall, we threw out a simple question after a show about U.S. immigration policies: What do you wish you knew about immigration?

Across the country, listeners responded with hundreds of text messages – from small towns in Iowa, Colorado and Massachusetts to big cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago.

We chose four questions and took our team of reporters and producers to task to answer them.

To figure out the answers, we go deep into immigration court, help one listener uncover her grandfather’s secret past about entering the country and break down the path to legal citizenship. On the way, we meet scam artists, attorneys, asylum seekers and do-gooders learning immigration law for kicks.

Jun 09, 2018
Cops on a Crime Spree
53:12

Baltimore’s police department was already notorious.

But this year, eight former police officers were convicted on federal racketeering charges stemming from an FBI investigation. They belonged to an elite task force charged with getting guns off the city’s streets. Instead, the plainclothes cops roamed Baltimore neighborhoods at will, robbing people on the street, breaking into homes to steal money, drugs or guns and planting evidence on their victims.

The targets of the Gun Trace Task Force included drug dealers and ordinary citizens. One of its favorite tactics was to speed toward a group of men on a street corner, chase whoever ran and shake them down. On top of all this, the officers falsified their timesheets to almost double their salaries.

This episode of Reveal asks if the task force was simply a rogue operation or if the officers were aided and abetted by fellow cops and even supervisors within the department.


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Jun 02, 2018