In the Dark: S1 Update: The Wetterling File
December 18, 2018 3:02 AM - Subscribe

In Season 1 of our podcast, we reported that the Jacob Wetterling case was a botched investigation. Just yesterday, law enforcement acknowledged it too.

A lot has happened since the airing of In The Dark's first season - Sherriff Sanner has resigned, Dan Rassier is gearing up to sue, and the appointment of a new Sheriff. This update is a must-listen, that profoundly vindicates the work of Madeleine Baran and the entire APM team.

(From the podcast feed's credits: Support investigative journalism with a donation to In the Dark, or to APM Reports.)
posted by progosk (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was obsessed with the first season of this podcast. I grew up in Minnesota, and for many reasons -- white privilege is a huge one, and the funny accent that makes us seem adorable -- Minnesota gets a major cultural "pass" on its screwed-up cultural aspects. The South, for example, has its screwed-up cultural aspects publicly aired, and dissected, and Great American Literature written about it in a way that Minnesota does not. (Classism rears its head here as well I suppose.)

But even though there are great things about Minnesota culture, things I love, one of its worst flaws is on full display here: The idea that you can't say something is wrong, because calling attention to it is worse than the thing being wrong in the first place, and who are you, you selfish person, to dare say something is wrong. And not even "wrong" as a moral issue but "wrong" as in "You didn't talk to everyone on that street and that is Policing 101." And why should your grief bother other people? Sure your daughter is murdered, your son disappeared, but you can't make a fuss over it or rock the boat, because that would call attention to the fact that things aren't great here.

And something else that comes out of it, too, is the way policing like this poisons a town. That Danny Heinrich lived among everyone for years. That all those boys who were kidnapped and abused, and those parents whose children vanished, and really everyone around know that they live in a town with the perpetrator walking around free.

Right after I left Minnesota to live elsewhere I read Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which has a plot point where a small Northern town essentially sacrifices a child every winter to an old god. That's... that's not really such a fantasy.
posted by Hypatia at 9:57 AM on December 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

From the first linked article: At a news conference after Heinrich confessed in the fall of 2016, Sanner said, "Over the years, I've been asked to look back and comment on things that might have been done differently. My response has always been the same. Our energy needs to stay focused on what we can control and not waste it on things we have no control over."

OMG, the lack of self-reflection here is APPALLING. Good riddance. This is how systems and institutions stay broken.

Thank you, progosk, for alerting me to the update! I had deleted it from my player and didn't know.
posted by emkelley at 11:57 AM on December 18, 2018

(If their first season struck a note with you, the second one is... unmissable.)
posted by progosk at 2:29 PM on December 18, 2018

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