In the Dark
It took Danny Heinrich 27 years to confess to the abduction, molestation, and murder of 11-year-old St. Joseph resident Jacob Wetterling, thus ending the most gut-wrenching mystery in Minnesota history. That horrific reveal happened to coincide with a recent boom in the popularity of true crime – think Netflix’s Making a Murderer or HBO’s The Jinx. St. Paul’s American Public Media was already set to release In the Dark, a true-crime podcast exploring the Wetterling saga, prior to Heinrich’s confession. Reporter Madeleine Baran and colleagues scrambled to bookend the case, but nothing about the nine-part podcast feels rushed. Instead, it’s a methodically reported probe of the investigation into Wetterling’s disappearance, one that pulls zero punches with inept local law enforcement and explores bigger-picture implications around child abduction. In the Dark is chilling, illuminating, and addictive. If only it had a happy ending.