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New podcast “Freeway Phantom” investigates the 1970’s serial murders of six black girls in Washington, DC.

Freeway Phantom podcast

Six Black girls, ranging in age from 12 to 18, went missing in the Washington D.C. area between 1971 and 1972: Carol Spinks, Darlenia Johnson, Brenda Crockett, Nenomoshia Yates, Brenda Woodard, and Diane Williams. Each girl was found murdered and discarded alongside DC highways, leading local media to call the killer “The Freeway Phantom.” The killer taunted police with a note claiming responsibility and terrorized victims’ families with calls to their homes. Five decades later, the killer has never been brought to justice.

The 10-episode series “Freeway Phantom” will share the stories of the six victims and explore new evidence that could help solve these cold cases. Hosted by journalist and public radio veteran Celeste Headlee, the series examines racial disparities, how strategies for solving murders have evolved over time, the lack of trust between law enforcement and local communities, and the role of community action in bringing justice.

Headlee, who has spent the past two years sifting through documents and interviewing investigators and family members, is joined by retired DC police detective Romaine Jenkins, who spent a great deal of her career working on the Freeway Phantom murders.

“This is an engrossing story, not only because of how much has changed in the way we track down serial killers, but also what has not changed. Our effort to protect the public is still hampered by racism, mistrust between communities and authorities, and a lack of cooperation among those whose job is to protect and serve. This series answers so many tough questions and asks just as many.”

According to Black Bar Mitzvah President Jay Ellis, the story of the Freeway Phantom is important to tell because it sheds light on the stories of the victims and their families, as well as the inequities that continue to exist 50 years later. Host Celeste Headlee adds that the series asks tough questions about systemic issues that persist today and shines a light on the tragedies that families have had to endure for so long.

Co-founder and CEO of Tenderfoot TV, Donald Albright, notes that the lack of coverage surrounding the murders of these six Black girls, both then and now, is shameful.

The Freeway Phantom podcast premieres on February 15, 2023.

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Freeway Phantom podcast via iHeartMedia with usage type - News Release Media

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Freeway Phantom podcast via iHeartMedia with usage type - News Release Media

 

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