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True crime, true story: Dakota Spotlight podcast goes behind the scenes, interviews show creator James Wolner

Co-producer Jeremy Fugleberg interviews Dakota Spotlight creator and host James Wolner about his background, the story behind the creation of Dakota Spotlight, true crime, tales from creating five previous seasons of the podcast, and asks him a number of listener questions, including grilling James on his favorite music.

James Wolner Jeremy Fugleberg
James Wolner and Jeremy Fugleberg meet in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Oct. 12, 2021 to discuss the upcoming season of Dakota Spotlight, the investigative true crime podcast created by Wolner, now in its sixth season.
James Wolner / Dakota Spotlight
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Listen to Episode 5 — 'Secrets of His Storytelling: Interview With Dakota Spotlight Creator James Wolner'

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In the latest episode of Dakota Spotlight, the podcast goes behind the scenes, answers listeners' questions, provides additional information on upcoming episodes and events, and does a deep dive on the podcast itself.

Co-producer Jeremy Fugleberg interviews Dakota Spotlight creator and host James Wolner about his background, the story behind the creation of Dakota Spotlight, true crime, tales from creating five previous seasons of the podcast, and asks him a number of listener questions, including grilling James on his favorite music .

  • Additional music in this episode provided by Peter Hicks and Sleepy Driver .

About Dakota Spotlight, Season Six: 'Vanishing Act: The Untold Story of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson'

In this season of Dakota Spotlight, the podcast tackles a live, multi-part investigation that spans multiple states including Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, in which host James Wolner and co-producer Jeremy Fugleberg try to figure out what happened to Kristin Anderson and Bob Anderson, who vanished in North Dakota on Aug. 15, 1993.

Police are tight-lipped about the case, but the duo works with Kristin and Bob's family members, friends and allies to untangle why they went to North Dakota, what exactly took place on Aug. 15, 1993 — the last day they were seen and why the couple has never been found.

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The investigation reveals the painful holes ripped through people's lives when their loved ones disappear without a trace. The mystery of Diede and Anderson's disappearance continues to haunt many whose lives they touched.

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In this episode of Dakota Spotlight, retired Bismarck Police Detective Bill Connor speaks frankly about the details of the case, still sharp in his memory, and his encounters with those connected to Michelle "Shelly" Julson as he re-investigated the case from 2005 to 2010.

People in previous episodes

  • Betty: Kristin's mother, now deceased, who told James the family had no photos of Kristin.
  • Brenda: Kristin's sister, who recalled her sister enjoying cards and other games.
  • Chase: Son of Bob Anderson. Chase had long been told his dad had abandoned him, and had lived a troubled life with addiction and prison time. He later found out his dad actually hadn't abandoned him, but had instead vanished in 1993 and authorities believed he had been murdered.
  • Clyde: Kristin's estranged husband. They married in 1983 and had two kids together, Mitchel and Deanna. He was convicted of 5th-degree domestic assault against Kristin, and issued a no-contact order for her, in May 1993, three months before she vanished.
  • Dan: Dan was a reporter at WCCO television in Minneapolis in 1995. He flew to Wishek, North Dakota, to pursue the missing persons case, was met with hostility from the Diede family and believes he was followed around town and back to the town's airstrip. He remains haunted by the experience.
  • Dean: Bob's brother, and the last Anderson family members to see him alive. He recalled a happy family, and a childhood growing up on a hobby farm.
  • Debra: Bob's sister, who recalled how he was quiet and supportive, and how much she looked up to her big brother.
  • Diane: Bob's sister, who shared numerous memories of her brother, and their family — including a father who promoted education and told her she could do what she aspired to do in life.
  • Heather: A neighbor of Kristin in Bloomington, Minnesota. She and a friend, Tiffany, befriended Kristin, helped coax her out of her shell after her marriage to Clyde had collapsed, and were the first to report her missing to law enforcement.
  • Larry: Kristin's brother, who was in Wishek the weekend Kristin and Bob disappeared and remembers her as happy person but one who didn't talk much about her problems.
  • Molly: An advocate at Cornerstone, a domestic violence shelter and advocacy program in Bloomington, Minnesota. Molly became Kristin's case worker and helped her navigate her relationship with her estranged husband Cylde, including her pursuit of a domestic assault charge against him.
  • Sandra: Kristin's sister. Sandra saw Kristin and spoke with her at their brother Larry's place before Sandra and other members of Kristin's immediate family left for a trip to Idaho on Saturday, Aug. 14, 1993 — the day before Kristin vanished.
  • Sherri: Kristin's niece, who explained that Kristin had grown estranged from the Goebel family.
  • Susan: Former executive director of Cornerstone, a domestic violence shelter in Minnesota, where Kristin sought help. Susan has been a steadfast advocate for Kristin's case.
  • Tiffany: A neighbor of Kristin Diede in Bloomington, Minnesota. She and friend Heather befriended Kristin. Tiffany was the last person Kristin was known to have called before vanishing with her boyfriend, Bob.
  • Travis: Nephew of Kristin. He has made it his mission to better understand what might have happened to his aunt and her boyfriend in 1993.
  • Wes: Retired trooper of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, stationed in Wishek, North Dakota, on Aug. 15, 1993. Kristin and Bob visited Wes on that day, the day they disappeared, to ask about legal issues regarding Kristin, Clyde and their children before leaving for the Diede farm.
Related Topics: DAKOTA SPOTLIGHTTRUE CRIME
James Wolner is a Digital Content Producer at Forum Communications Company, Fargo North Dakota and the creator, producer and host of Dakota Spotlight, a true crime podcast. He has lived the Upper Midwest since 2013 and studied photojournalism at California State University at Fresno. He is fluent in English and Swedish.
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