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Podcast Reveal
Podcast Reveal



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  • Buried Secrets: America’s Indian Boarding Schools Part 1
    In a two-part collaboration with ICT (formerly Indian Country Today), we expose the painful legacy of boarding schools for Native children. These schools were part of a federal program designed to destroy Native culture and spirituality, with the stated goal to “kill the Indian and save the man.” ICT reporter Mary Annette Pember, a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe, explores the role the Catholic Church played in creating U.S. policy toward Native people and takes us to the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Under pressure from the community, the school has launched a truth and healing program and is helping to reintroduce traditional culture to its students. Next, Pember visits 89-year-old boarding school survivor Basil Brave Heart, who was sent to the Red Cloud School in the 1930s. He vividly remembers being traumatized by the experience and says many of his schoolmates suffered for the rest of their lives. We also hear from Dr. Donald Warne from Johns Hopkins University, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota tribe who studies how the trauma of boarding schools is passed down through the generations. We close with what is perhaps the most sensitive part of the Red Cloud School’s search for the truth about its past: the hunt for students who may have died at the school and were buried in unmarked graves. The school has brought in ground-penetrating radar to examine selected parts of the campus, but for some residents, that effort is falling short. They want the entire campus scanned for potential graves. This is a rebroadcast of an episode that originally aired in October 2022. Support Reveal’s journalism at Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • From Victim to Suspect
    Nicole Chase was a young mom with a daughter to support when she took a job at a local restaurant in Canton, Connecticut. She liked the work and was good at her job. But the place turned out to be more like a frat house than a quaint roadside sandwich spot. And the crude behavior kept escalating – until one day she says her boss went too far and she turned to the local police for help. What happened next would put a detective on the hot seat and lead to a legal battle that would drag on for years. The United States Supreme Court would even get involved. Reveal reporter Rachel de Leon spent years taking a close look at cases across the country in which people reported sexual assaults to police, only to find themselves investigated. In this hour, we explore one case and hear how police interrogated an alleged perpetrator, an alleged victim and each other.  De Leon’s investigation is also the subject of a forthcoming documentary, “Victim/Suspect,” which debuts May 23 on Netflix.   Support Reveal’s journalism at Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • Baseball Strikes Out
    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. This is a rebroadcast of an episode that originally aired in July 2021.  Support Reveal’s journalism at Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • Listening in on Russia’s War in Ukraine
    In this week’s episode, produced in collaboration with the Associated Press, reporters on the front lines take us inside Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and share never-before-heard recordings of Russian soldiers.  The day President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion, Feb. 24, 2022, Russia unleashed a brutal assault on the strategic port city of Mariupol. That same day, a team of AP reporters arrived in the city. Vasilisa Stepanenko, Evgeniy Maloletka and Mstyslav Chernov kept their cameras and tape recorders rolling throughout the onslaught. Together, they captured some of the defining images of the war in Ukraine. Stepanenko and Maloletka talk with guest host Michael Montgomery about risking their lives to document blasted buildings, burned-out cars, enormous bomb craters and the daily life of traumatized civilians. As Russian troops advanced on Mariupol, the journalists managed to escape with hours of their own material and recordings from the body camera of a noted Ukrainian medic, Yuliia Paievska. The powerful footage went viral and showed the world the shocking brutalities of the war, as well as remarkable acts of courage by journalists, doctors and ordinary citizens.   Next, we listen to audio that’s never been publicly shared before: phone calls Russian soldiers made during the first weeks of the invasion, secretly recorded by the Ukrainian government. AP reporter Erika Kinetz obtained more than 2,000 of these calls. Using social media and other tools, she explores the lives of two soldiers whose calls home capture intimate moments with friends and family. The intercepted calls reveal the fear-mongering and patriotism that led some of the men to go from living regular lives as husbands, sons and fathers to talking about killing civilians.  In Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, Russian soldiers left streets strewn with the bodies of civilians killed during their brief occupation. Kinetz shares her experiences visiting Bucha and speaking with survivors soon after Russian troops retreated. In the secret intercepts, Russian soldiers tell their families about being ordered to take no prisoners and speak of “cleansing operations.” One soldier tells his mother: “We don’t imprison them. We kill them all.”  Will Russian soldiers and political leaders be prosecuted for war crimes? Montgomery talks with Oleksandra Matviichuk, a Ukrainian human rights lawyer who received a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. She runs the Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, which has been gathering evidence of human rights abuses and war crimes in Ukraine since Russia’s first invasion in 2014. Matviichuk says it’s important for war crimes to be handled by Ukrainian courts, but the country’s legal system is overwhelmed and notoriously corrupt. She says there is an important role for the international community in creating a system that can bring justice for all Ukrainians.   Support Reveal’s journalism at Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • How a 7-Year Prison Sentence Turns Into Over 100
    WBEZ reporter Shannon Heffernan brings us the story of Anthony Gay, who was sentenced to seven years in prison on a parole violation but ended up with 97 years added to his sentence. Gay lives with serious mental illness, and after time in solitary confinement, he began to act out. He was repeatedly charged with battery – often for throwing liquids at staff.  Gay acknowledges he did some of those things but says the prison put him in circumstances that made his mental illness worse – then punished him for the way he acted. With help from Chicago-based lawyers, Gay appealed to the local state’s attorney. What happens when a self-described “law and order” prosecutor has to decide between prison-town politics and doing what he believes the law requires?  Finally, host Al Letson speaks with Ear Hustle co-creator and co-host Earlonne Woods about the power of local prosecutors and the complicated politics of prison towns. This episode is a partnership with the podcast Motive from WBEZ Chicago.  Support Reveal’s journalism at Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the scoop on new episodes at Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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