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Freeway Phantom

Author: iHeartPodcasts and Tenderfoot TV

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Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. Their bodies were discarded alongside DC freeways. And their killer was never found. The media dubbed him “The Freeway Phantom.”



From iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV, a new podcast reinvestigates the 50 year old unsolved murders of these young girls. Journalist and Public Radio veteran Celeste Headlee (NPR, PBS, TEDx) examines old case files and interviews the investigators and family members who are still haunted by these killings. Headlee will ask the questions: Why didn’t these murders make the news headlines? Did law enforcement do enough to solve these crimes? And how do racial disparities impact these types of investigations, past and present? Plus, we’ll explore new evidence which may crack the cold case wide open again.



If you have any information relating to these unsolved crimes, contact the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099. If you have a tip and would like to reach out directly to Tenderfoot TV, email us at tips@tenderfoot.tv.
14 Episodes
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'Freeway Phantom' is a new investigative true crime podcast from Tenderfoot TV, iHeartRadio, and Black Bar Mitzvah. Hosted by Celeste Headlee. The first two episodes drop on May 17th, 2023.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Forgotten Girls

Forgotten Girls

2023-05-1755:1810

On April 25th, 1971, 13-year-old Carol Spinks mysteriously disappeared from her neighborhood in southeast Washington D.C. Six days later, her body was discovered off a nearby freeway. Investigators assumed this was a one-off murder. Little did they know, Carol was the first victim of D.C.'s first serial killer. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Congress Heights

Congress Heights

2023-05-1747:278

In early July of 1971, multiple drivers reported seeing a dead body just off a freeway in D.C. Only weeks later was the cadaver recovered. Police eventually discovered it was the body of 16-year-old Darlenia Johnson, who had gone missing weeks earlier. The killer had struck again...See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Did My Mother See Me?

Did My Mother See Me?

2023-05-2451:389

On July 27th, 1971, 10-year-old Brenda Crockett did not return home from a trip to the grocery store. Hours later, Brenda called home to deliver a cryptic message. And then, the line went dead. Her body was discovered just hours later...See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Moniker

The Moniker

2023-05-3150:414

On October 1st, 1971, a fourth victim was taken and later found dead: 12-year-old Nenomoshia Yates. Finally, news outlets begin to pick up the story of these murdered black girls. And the media gives the killer a name...See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

2023-06-0747:153

In the early morning hours of November 16th, 1971, police discovered the body of 18-year-old Brenda Woodard. But this time, it's clear that the victim fought back against the killer. And in Brenda's coat pocket, police discover a handwritten note from the Phantom.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Hospital

The Hospital

2023-06-1454:455

After a hiatus of 10 months, police find the body of 17-year-old Diane Williams on September 6th, 1972. Diane would be the final confirmed victim of the Freeway Phantom. Sadly, police attention would be diverted away from the case by the Watergate Scandal. Plus, a suspect is revealed.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Green Vega

Green Vega

2023-06-2150:244

More suspects come to light. And we learn about two other murdered girls who may have been unconfirmed victims of the Phantom: 18-year-old Teara Bryant and 14-year-old Angela Barnes.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Who is the Phantom?

Who is the Phantom?

2023-06-2852:373

Why was the Phantom never caught? Is it possible he's still alive, walking freely? We explore all evidence pointing to his identity. And we ask: what hope is left?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A New Profile

A New Profile

2023-07-0501:00:493

We recruit a former FBI profiler to create a new profile of the Freeway Phantom. And we look at the systemic issues that led to the Phantom's success.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Epidemic

The Epidemic

2023-07-1258:322

The Freeway Phantom case is but one example of a wider epidemic of missing black girls in DC who don't get the attention they need. How can we fix this? And how can we finally bring the Phantom to justice?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
BONUS: Courtney's House

BONUS: Courtney's House

2023-07-1943:003

We explore an issue deeply connected to the missing persons cases we've disccused this season: domestic trafficking. Tina Frundt of Courtney's House in D.C. takes us through her story as a survivor, and how her nonprofit works to combat the effects of human trafficking. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Henderson Long has worked on missing persons cases for over a decade. Long was also instrumental in the early stages of our Freeway Phantom investigation. We talk with him about his personal connection to the issue and his work to help families searching for answers in Washington D.C.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Up and Vanished presents... Status: Untraced. In 2016, survivalist and world traveler Justin Alexander goes missing in the Parvati Valley while on a spiritual trek into the Himalayan Mountains. While the circumstances of his disappearance point to murder, a chilling message he left behind throws everything into question: “I should return mid-September or so. If I’m not back by then, don’t look for me.” Four years later, host and true crime newcomer Liam Luxon is introduced to Justin's story and embarks on an investigation into the case. "Status-Untraced" is a 10-episode journey that explores the secrets the Valley holds, the stones left unturned, and what really happened to Justin Alexander.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Comments (1)

Jace

You can immediately tell that it's not the work of HowStuffWorks when there is minimal background music, mid intro and the storytelling comes off as kinda boring, compared to the other series which are compelling

Jun 29th
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