Season three looks at concepts of justice and will leave the listener with a deeper understanding of how that has operated—and where it has fallen short of its promise—in the historical West and, more broadly, in the United States. Our premier focuses on the notorious case of Alfred Packer, and later episodes discuss topics as varied as the Black Denver doctor who infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan, the story of striking coal miners of the 1913-1914 Coalfield War, and more.
In the winter of 1874, Alfred Packer led a group of prospectors into the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. After returning alone, he confessed to eating the remains of his travel companions, and was convicted of murder despite claiming self-defense. The conviction sealed his place in history as the "Colorado Cannibal." After almost 150 years, Noel and Tyler look back at Packer's story and discover there’s much more to it than simple questions of guilt or innocence.
Guests: David Bailey | Dr. Christiana Gregoriou | Regina Lopez Whiteskunk | Dr. Megan Kate Nelson | Tom Noel (“Dr. Colorado.”) | Dr. Terrion Williamson
People don't often think of Colorado when they hear the word "lynching." But in 1900, one of the most horrifying racial terror lynchings in US history took place in the small town of Limon on the Eastern Plains. Hundreds of spectators looked on as fifteen-year-old Preston Porter, Jr., was burned alive. More than a century later, a group of people from across the state of Colorado came together to make sure that he was remembered—and that his story was told.
Guests: Terri Gentry | Stephen Leonard | Rosemary Lytle | Jovan Mays | Dara Ollman | Judy Ollman | Anthony Suggs
In 2019, Spike Lee's 2018 film "BlacKkKlansman" won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film brought national attention to the story of Ron Stallworth, the first Black Detective to work in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. But what many people don't know is that Colorado has been home to THREE Black Klansmen. In this episode, Noel and Tyler talk to experts, scholars, Theo Wilson (the most recent Black Klansman), and more as we explore the story of Dr. Joseph Westbrook, who infiltrated the KKK in the 1920s in an effort to protect the thriving Five Points community in Denver.
Guests: Sam Bock | Shaun Boyd | Cara Caddoo | Terri Gentry | Robert "Bob" Goldberg | Nicki Gonzales | Linda Gordon | Theo Wilson
In 1863, two brothers from Colorado's San Luis Valley allegedly went on one of the most infamous killing sprees in the history of the American West. But the story's sensationalized lore has been entwined with the deeply contentious and unresolved history of land rights in the Borderlands of Southern Colorado for centuries. In this episode, we work with folklorist Jake Rosenberg to peel back the layers and see why the story still resonates today.
Guests: Eric Carpio | Louise Coleville | Adam James Jones | Jake Rosenberg | Virginia Sanchez
In November of 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) into law. Now, more than 30 years later, we look back at both the letter and spirit of the law, which aims to return tens of thousands of stolen Indigenous remains and funerary artifacts to their tribes.
On this episode of Lost Highways, we look back at Mother Jones, one of the fiercest labor organizers in American history, and her role in the United Mine Workers of America's massive strike in the southern Colorado coalfields that led to the Ludlow Massacre on April 20, 1914.
Guests: Thomas Andrews | Ginny Ayers | Bob Butero | Rosemary Feurer | Elliot Gorn | Karin Larkin | Linda Linville | Zeese Papanikolas