Dakota Spotlight Podcast

Dakota Spotlight is a slow burn, deep-dive True Crime podcast from and about the upper midwest. Season 5: A Better Search for Barbara Cotton: Season 4: Chasing Billy. Season 3: The House on Sweet and Seventh. Season 2: Zeeland, the untold story of Wade and Ellen Zick. Season 1: The case of Victor Newberry. A production of Forum Communications

All Episodes

105 Bruises - interview with Jamie Pultz - Beenham Valley Road

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When Kirra McLoughlin died her boyfriend said she must have overdosed on prescription drugs.  That didn't explain the over one hundred bruises on her body however.  And yet, nobody has been charged with Kirra's death.  

That didn't sit well with Jamie Pultz.  He had met Kirra once at his former job, back when he was a police officer in Queensland Australia.   When he heard that Kirra had died and nobody had been held accountable, he decided to do something about it.  

This is the third installment of our summer series about mysterious crimes and disappearances from around the globe and the people who fight to get justice for victims and their families.  

Jamie Pultz's media company Six 10 Media

Beenham Valley Road podcast on Spotify

Dakota Spotlight at FCC

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No conviction: The Brandy Myers story

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When an innocent teenager is murdered, family members are left devastated and heartbroken. The closest these loved-ones can get to some kind of closure is when the person or persons responsible are apprehended and convicted of the crime. Sometimes that just never happens, even when we know who did it.

In 1992, 13-year-old Brandy Myers left her home in Phoenix, Arizona to walk door-to-door and collect money for a book-a-thon. She never returned home. Police know who did it, but they won't be prosecuting him.

This is the second installment of our summer series about mysterious crimes and disappearances from around the globe and the people who fight to get justice for victims and their families.  

In this episode Dakota Spotlight speaks with Erin Reed, victims advocate and producer/host of Sipping on Some Crime podcast. 
Justice for Brandy Myers Facebook page
Sipping on Some crime Podcast

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Everybody counts or nobody counts: Looking for Marion Barter

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This is the first installment of our summer series about mysterious crimes and disappearances from around the globe and the people who fight to get justice for victims and their families. 

Marion Barter, aged 51, boarded a plane in Australia in 1997 to embark on a trip of a lifetime and has never been seen again.  When her family went to the police they were told that Marion had been located and was safe and sound.  But it wasn't that simple.  

22 years later Marion's daughter Sally Leydon teamed up with Seven News in Australia and produced a podcast The Lady Vanishes.  After two long years of hard work, the team may finally be close to answers about what happened to Marion Barter.  Dakota Spotlight speaks with producer and host Alison Sandy to learn more about this surreal and very puzzling case om Australia. 

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The Vault:  Mysteries and True crime at Forum Communications

Dakota Spotlight home:  Inforum.com/dakota-spotlight

Email me at dakotaspotlight@gmail.com 

 

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Summer Update 2021

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Hey there, This is James, host and producer of Dakota Spotlight podcast.  This is just a quick update on what's going on with the podcast this summer. I have some important dates to tell you about and some other news.

In this part of the world (north of the equator) it is SUMMERTIME. With summer comes sunshine, the outdoors and some leisure.  North Dakota is a rough climate in the winter, so I am making attempts to spend a little more time outdoors in the sunlight.  I live fairly close to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the so called Badlands, so I’ll be doing some hiking there soon, hopefully.  I’ll likely run into prairie dogs and buffalo, or Bison, and who knows maybe a rattlesnake. I’m also looking forward to the Icelandic Festival in Mountain North Dakota, which takes place every year on the first weekend in August.  No matter where you live on the planet, no matter what your plans are, I hope you are well. 

If you listened to Season 2, ZEELAND: the untold story of Wade and Ellen Zick, their lives and tragic murders, you know all about the events that took place in south-central North Dakota in July of 1976. Wade Zick, bank manager in the sleepy town of Zeeland, and his wife Ellen were kidnapped and tragically murdered in a bank heist perpetrated by three local men.  

Well, I want to let you know that on July 10, a gathering will take place in Zeeland, ND, to pay tribute to the Zicks and to their family. I will be attending and welcome you to join us. Visitors are asked to gather at the Zeeland Community Center at 10 a.m., which is just right downtown.  You can’t miss it on main street.  At 10:30, an organized procession will go to where the Zicks lost their lives, one mile north-east of town., A new memorial monument will be inaugurated at the site, with a burger feed following at the community center. I’m looking forward to attending and meeting some of you there. That’s July 10th, in Zeeland, starting at 10 am. 

Don’t miss the Facebook-live concert for Dakota Spotlight fans at 7:30 p.m. CDT on June 29th . Peter Hicks, of the band Sleepy Driver, who provided and performed the music for Season 2, ZEELAND will be streaming live on the Dakota Spotlight Facebook group playing favorites like, this song,  ‘North Dakota.’ That's live on Facebook this coming Tuesday, June 29th, for members of dakota spotlight group.

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/dakotaspotlight 

And by the way please support peter hicks and the band Sleepy Driver. These guys supplied this wonderful music to me and the podcast free of charge, if you can believe that generosity. I’d really appreciate it if you could check them out at bandcamp.com on send them some support.  Head over to sleepydriver dot bandcamp dot com to listen to more of their music and maybe purchase something.  Thanks much Peter Hicks and Sleepy driver, we’ll literally see and hear Peter on Tuesday at 7:30 pm Central. 

In Season 5, A Better Search for Barbara Cotton, our search for answers continues. Barbara Cotton, aged 15, vanished without a trace on April 11, 1981 and you have not already you can listen to the intriguing twists and turns of this open investigation anywhere you get your podcasts. 

Regarding Barbara’s story and future episodes, I currently am navigating legal channels and jumping through ‘open records’ hoops in Montana and while this process is time consuming, I am making progress. I intend to travel to Montana later this summer to retrace the footsteps of, Stacey Werder, a person of interest.  Werder was seen with Barbara Cotton on the night she disappeared and later took his own life while in custody in Malta, Montana.

Another update about Barbara Cotton is this,  just yesterday I sent another tip to Williston PD.  Its a long shot but certainly intriguing and exciting.  So in a nutshell, although it has been a couple weeks since I put out an episode about Barbara, we are not done there.   

One final thing I want to tell you about is a short summer podcast Series that I will start on July 7th.  Every Wednesday for at least 6 weeks, I’ll be sharing an interview with a different true-crime podcast host or producer from around the world.  We will travel virtually from Arizona to Australia and meet other skilled storytellers, passionate victim advocates and other dedicated podcast hosts.  That’s every Wednesday starting July 7. 

And hey, If you have not gotten your Dakota Spotlight t-shirt or Sweatshirt you can head over to  shop.forumcomm.com and check out all the cool stuff there.

You can reach me at dakotspotlight@gmail.com

Thank you so much for listening to Dakota Spotlight! 

 

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Open Records - A Better Search for Barbara Cotton

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About the Podcast

Dakota Spotlight is a slow burn, deep-dive True Crime podcast from and about the upper midwest. Season 5: A Better Search for Barbara Cotton: Season 4: Chasing Billy. Season 3: The House on Sweet and Seventh. Season 2: Zeeland, the untold story of Wade and Ellen Zick. Season 1: The case of Victor Newberry. A production of Forum Communications

Hosted by

Picture of James Wolner

James Wolner is the producer and host of