The Vault

Join host Trisha Taurinskas as we delve into the news vault for a fresh look at the cold cases, crime and intrigue in our upper Midwest communities. Brought to you by Forum Communications Company.

Hosted By
Trisha Taurinskas
Trisha Taurinskas
Latest Episodes
The Deadly Medina Shootout
Wed Feb 01 10:17:00 EST 2023
On this episode, Forum Digital Managing Editor Paula Qualm interviews Forum columnist Jim Shaw about the deadly Medina Shootout. Jim recently wrote a 3-column series on the infamous shootout that occurred four decades ago.

Was this missing North Dakota woman the victim of America's oldest serial killer?
Wed Jan 25 15:24:00 EST 2023
Sharon Hensley left her home in Bismarck, North Dakota, in the summer of 1970 with peace and love on her mind.

She wanted to experience life in a way that she hadn’t before, alongside fellow free spirits etching their existence into the aftermath of the now famous “Summer of Love.”

San Francisco was Hensley’s ultimate destination. She succeeded in her journey, yet the life that unfolded looked nothing like the idyllic lifestyle Hensley dreamt up in her North Dakota bedroom.

Instead, that life intersected with Felix Vail, her one-time boyfriend who is now known as the nation’s oldest serial killer.

Part 2: The Starvation Doctor
Mon Jan 09 16:54:00 EST 2023
Sheltered, wealthy and enamored with alternative medicine, Dorothea and Claire Williamson were the perfect marks for Linda Hazzard, an osteopath-turned-fasting fanatic.

The British sisters, both in their 30s, had wealth and a life of leisure, which made it possible to travel whenever they wanted.

Orphaned at a young age, the siblings had grown especially close and came to view themselves as their own little family unit. Dorothea, also called Dora, saw herself as the mother figure, treating Claire, just four years younger, like a pampered child.

The Williamsons had another peculiarity. They were hypochondriacs. Although nothing was seriously wrong with them, they were sure they weren't well. Dora talked of swollen glands and rheumatic pains, while her younger sister was told by a physician that she had a dropped uterus.

While staying at a posh hotel in British Columbia, the sisters spotted an ad for Linda Hazzard’s book, “Fasting for the Cure of Disease.”

And so began their journey with Linda Hazzard... 


Written by Tammy Swift

Part 1: The Starvation Doctor
Thu Jan 05 14:17:00 EST 2023
Linda Hazzard was a force of nature.

She stood nearly as tall as her 6-foot husband, although some wondered if her personality was so imposing that she simply seemed larger than she actually was.

A formidable figure with sharp cheekbones, a resolute chin and an unflinching gaze, everything about Hazzard exuded authority. She spoke with unwavering assurance — as if she were absolutely right and anyone who disagreed with her was a fool. While studying osteopathy in her quest to be a nurse, she became convinced that drastic fasting — ingesting only thin vegetable broths for weeks or even months — was the key to healing all disease.

Hazzard’s followers, who included prominent intellectuals and politicians, swore by her methods and proclaimed her a "gifted and intelligent" healer.

Others considered her a serial killer.

Written by Tammy Swift

Minnesota's Cheers connection: Where every felon knew your name
Tue Jan 03 17:53:00 EST 2023
Every Thursday for 11 years, from 1982 to 1993, millions of Americans settled into their sofas as the notes started playing: “Making your world in the world today takes everything you’ve got…”

The theme song to the sitcom “Cheers” was recently ranked by “Rolling Stone” magazine as the 13th best. Writers praised the song for its initial “somber” lyrics about life’s challenges to its “rousing” conclusion about the simple beauty of going somewhere warm and welcoming where "they’re always glad you came.”

For people in northern Minnesota, another element of that open feels like home. One of the photos in the opening montage was taken at a bar in Craigville, Minnesota in 1937.   By Tracy Briggs  
Refugio Rodriguez, part 1: A Minnesota hitjob? Why did police ignore clues and rule it suicide?
Wed Dec 21 07:36:00 EST 2022
A Minnesota man found dead on walking path told family he was a 'goner' after identified as confidential informant. Yet despite the suspicious death, his case was closed after suicide determination.

This Minnesota man went missing without a trace. 7 years later, there are still no answers
Fri Dec 09 11:01:00 EST 2022
The night before Zak disappeared, he’d been texting his mother about plans for Christmas and was arranging his work schedule at a Super One bakery in Duluth. Investigators feel that a cellphone ping may have misled the investigation from immediately searching the grounds near where he went missing. 


How a 14-year-old bootlegger and ended inspiring a big change in North Dakota law
Thu Nov 17 11:00:00 EST 2022
In this episode, reporter Tracy Briggs tells the story of Engolf Snortland, who started a life of crime as a teenager in North Dakota. He'd continue it with kidnapping and robbery in Idaho. But his return to North Dakota ended up inspiring a change in the law.

The missing persons case of Joshua Guimond: Investigators withheld key information for years
Thu Nov 10 15:39:00 EST 2022
Days before the "Unsolved Mysteries" episode on Joshua Guimond aired, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office released 28 images of individuals found on the computer, along with a plea to the public to help identify those pictured. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office has had those images since — at least —2008. Joshua's father, Brian, lost a lawsuit this year to get his hands on investigative materials related to his son's case, which would have included those images, among other information provided to the Netflix series.   

The mysterious disappearance of Cheryl Miller and Pamela Jackson, and how the case was solved 43 years later
Thu Oct 27 13:17:00 EDT 2022
Cheryl drove away from her home around 6:30 p.m., riding in style in her grandfather’s beloved 1960 Studebaker. She picked up Pamela, and together they drove to the party.

Somewhere along their travels to the party, however, Cheryl and Pamela would go missing, without a trace. The question about happened to them wouldn't be answered for 43 years.

Written by Cassie Williams, Mitchell Republic 

Hosted by Trisha Taurinskas