Reveal

Hosted By Al Letson

Reveal is an investigative program from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Hosted by Al Letson.

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Sundays 10 p.m. – 11 p.m.
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Friday, September 18, 2015 Permalink

Inside America's Coldest Cases, Listen At 9 a.m. Friday

  

As uncovered in our Left for Dead series, there are more than 10,000 known Jane and John Does in the U.S. – unidentified and unclaimed bodies languishing in limbo for years, sometimes for decades.

In this episode of Reveal, we crisscross the nation tracing these cold cases, showing why so many bodies remain unidentified despite new and powerful forensic tools. In some cases, amateur Web sleuths end up cracking cases that stymied law enforcement.

091815 reveal cold cases skulls r                                                                                                                                            Michael I Schiller / Reveal

In This Episode:

She Never Left Harlan Alive

In 1969, a young woman was stabbed to death in Harlan, Kentucky, and buried without a name. Local authorities undertook an exhumation last November in hopes of identifying the victim known only as “Mountain Jane Doe.” But the results were surprising.

 

Unidentified Migrants Reach Undignified End

Out of the thousands of unidentified bodies scattered across the country, many are found in South Texas, where migrants are crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. We travel to border to find out what happens to these remains.

 

Buried In Blue Earth

In 1980, 18-year-old Michelle Busha left her Bay City, Texas, home and never returned. But her remains weren’t identified for another three decades. Meet the two woman who didn’t know each other, yet spent years seeking answers in Michelle’s disappearance.

 

The Code For Cracking Cold Cases

Throughout this episode, we’ve heard about NamUs, a federal database of missing and unidentified persons. This system allows law enforcement agencies and amateur sleuths to search and gather information about active cases. Networks and communities of volunteer detectives have grown online – sleuthing on their own time.

 

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