Produced by Noel Black, host and senior producer; Tyler Hill, co-host and producer; and María José Maddox, assistant producer, the eight-episode season takes a critical look at justice in the historical West and, more broadly, in the United States, closely examining where promises of justice have fallen short.
“Producing these podcast stories often feels like staring through a mirror into the future,” said Black. “Right after we produced ‘Mascots, Mask Off’ for Season 1, about efforts to get Colorado schools to remove American Indian mascots, the NFL football team from Washington suddenly removed theirs and changed their name. With Season 2, we produced stories in connection to the Spanish flu in Colorado as America was tiring of the first wave of Covid-19. And now, as we launch the third season, it's amazing to see how clearly our early history lives alongside contemporary history."
Episodes will launch throughout the winter and spring of 2022. In episode one, listeners will learn more about Alfred Packer’s notorious case and how a series of fateful decisions could have been avoided. The episode also looks at how newspaper coverage made the question of innocence irrelevant before Packer’s trial and how the media continues to make mistakes when reporting on “justice.”
Additional episodes will examine the spread of the Klu Klux Klan into the West, focusing on the story of Joseph Westbrook, a Black Denver doctor who went undercover in the KKK during the 1920s and 1930s. We’ll also investigate the striking coal miners of Southern Colorado’s Coalfield War in 1913-14 —alongside Mary G. Harris Jones, who was more famously known as “Mother Jones.” This episode will review how women played a lead role in America’s most violent labor strike, organizing for justice and ultimately negotiating peace.
"I'm excited for fans to hear the third season of Lost Highways,” said Natasha Gardner, managing editor at History Colorado. “This award-winning podcast team has returned with their distinctive, immersive storytelling to tackle topics of justice in the West, themes that feel more relevant now than ever before. Each episode dives deep into Colorado history, but finds connections to our lives today, no matter where you live."
Each episode of Lost Highways begins by inviting listeners to draw connections between western history and current events. Hosts Black and Hill engage listeners with historical topics and invite them to cultivate a sense of wonder at the stories discovered along the way. Episodes span diverse cultures, geographies, and time periods in the history of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West. Episodes can be downloaded through Apple, Spotify, as well as anywhere podcasts are found, or by visiting historycolorado.org/losthighways.
Lost Highways is made possible by ongoing support from the Sturm Family Foundation and a more than $300,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the Hosts
Noel Black is the senior producer and host of Lost Highways. Formerly he was the creator, co-host, and senior producer of Wish We Were Here, an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning show and podcast produced by KRCC public radio in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tyler Hill is producer and co-host. He has worked at NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.
About the Lost Highways Supporters & Sponsors
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Lost Highways is made possible by the Sturm Family Foundation, proud supporters of the humanities and the power of storytelling for more than 20 years.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 142-year-old institution that operates ten museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.