One day Barbara Louise Cotton was a 15-year-old daughter, sister and friend in Williston, N.D. The next day she was just gone.
Since that morning, April 12, 1981, the story of Barbara Cotton has focused on the one thing that cannot be put into focus -- her absence. We may not know where Barbara Cotton is or where she ended up, but we know one thing for certain; she’s not here. She has not been here, among us, for 40 years. We don’t know a whole lot more than that.
What is clear is that a lot of people want to know what happened to her. The story of Barbara’s disappearance has travelled to more than 40 countries and, over the course of Season 5, the Dakota Spotlight Facebook group swelled from approximately 550 members to a current 3,300.
Somehow the void Barbara left behind has become a gathering place where seekers connect and new friends meet. Barbara Cotton may not be here, but she is a connector and in no way forgotten.
In episode 14, host James Wolner takes a momentary interlude and steps away from the investigation to talk about music, crime and Barbara Cotton with two musicians: Lili Trifilio of the band Beach Bunny, and North Dakota born Isaac “Ike” Turner of Kalamazoo, MI.
Also in this episode, we travel to the State Historical Society of North Dakota where Dakota Spotlight will become the first podcast to be preserved in the state archives.
- To get the full story on Barbara Cotton and this perplexing mystery start at the beginning by listening to episode one.
- Related: Beach Bunny | Isaac Turner's music | Archives at the State Historical Society of North Dakota
Listen to Episode 14
Listen to Previous Episodes:
- Episode 1: "Five Blocks from Home" explores the night Barbara went missing from the perspective of her childhood friend Sandee Evanson. Read more about this unsolved mystery and listen to Episode 1: Five blocks from home.
Episode 2: "Tributaries of the Truth" we attempt to untangle the confusion surrounding Barbara's last known whereabouts. We also look closer at the question: Could Barbara Cotton have simply run away? Listen to Episode 2: Tributaries of the Truth
Episode 3: We look closer look at the initial police investigation. We also ask the question: might Barbara's kindness and big heart have led to her demise? Listen to Episode 5: She was gentle and kind
Episode 11: episode 11 was a 7 minute update about technical difficulties with the facebook group.
True Crime podcasts BY JAMES WOLNER
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