Last Seen

Last Seen

From the fallout of a tragic homicide in Boston’s Haitian community, to the search for a real life Willy Wonka in Cambridge, WBUR’s 'Last Seen' podcast is back with a third season of all new mysteries from public radio storytellers about surprising people, places and things that have all gone ... missing.

Episodes

October 6, 2023 3 mins

Produced by WBUR, Boston’s NPR, in partnership with The Trace, The Gun Machine looks into the past to bring you a story that most Americans never learned in history class: how early partnerships between mad scientist gunsmiths and a fledgling U.S. government created the gun industry in the Northeast, and how that industry has been partners with the government ever since.

Host Alain Stephens examines how this 250-year relations...

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Why did Jacob Wideman murder Eric Kane?

In 1986, the two 16-year-olds were rooming together on a summer camp trip to the Grand Canyon when Jacob fatally — and inexplicably — stabbed Eric.

That night, Jacob went on the run, absconding with the camp’s rented Oldsmobile and thousands of dollars in traveler’s checks. Before long, he turned himself in and eventually confessed to the killing — although he couldn’t explain what dr...

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We thought Last Seen fans would want to hear this trailer for a new podcast from WBUR.

Violation tells the story of two families bound together by an unthinkable crime. It explores America's opaque parole system and asks: How much time in prison is enough? Who gets to decide? And, when someone commits a terrible crime, what does redemption look like?

Listen to the trailer and if you like what you hear, head over to the Violat...

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December 27, 2022 28 mins

On a sunny Saturday in 2016, Benine Timothee left her house to visit a friend who lived close by and never returned. She had lived in the United States for only three months when she was shot and killed outside a corner store in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. No arrests have been made, and there are no suspects in the case.

This is the third and final episode of our three-part series, A Family's Peace, reported by independen...

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December 20, 2022 29 mins

On a sunny Saturday in 2016, Benine Timothee left her house to visit a friend who lived close by and never returned. She had lived in the United States for only three months when she was shot and killed outside a corner store in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. No arrests have been made, and there are no suspects in the case.

This is the second episode of our three-part series, A Family's Peace, reported by independent investi...

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December 13, 2022 23 mins

On a sunny Saturday in 2016, Benine Timothee left her house to visit a friend who lived close by and never returned. She had lived in the United States for only three months when she was shot and killed outside a corner store in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. No arrests have been made, and there are no suspects in the case.

For six years, her family and others have been haunted by the question — what really happened to their ...

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December 6, 2022 30 mins

This week, we're bringing you another food-related mystery - this time from our friendly neighbors to the north, Vermont Public and Brave Little State producer Josh Crane.

If you go out to eat right now, you’re likely to run into restaurants that are struggling because they’re missing a crucial ingredient: staff. In this episode, Josh sets out to solve the mystery of the COVID-era restaurant industry exodus, by telling the story...

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November 29, 2022 32 mins

Mashed potatoes, corn and ground beef. These aren't the ingredients for shepherd's pie, but for Chinese pie, a traditional and very famous French Canadian dish.

WBUR producer Amanda Beland, grew up eating Chinese pie, or pâté chinois, with her French Canadian family. But the pie's origins have always been a culinary mystery. In this episode of Last Seen, Amanda talks to historians and culinary experts to reveal where pâté chinoi...

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November 22, 2022 28 mins

For years, WBUR senior arts and culture reporter Andrea Shea drove by an old, mysterious factory in Cambridge, Mass. To her surprise, it turned to be the last vestige of a 20th century candy hub called Confectioner's Row.

Manufacturing jobs dried up, and only one factory, Cambridge Brands, remains. In this episode of Last Seen, Andrea walks us through the history of Confectioner's Row and meets face-to-face with the CEO of Cambr...

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November 14, 2022 30 mins

WBUR senior arts reporter Amelia Mason is on the hunt to solve a mystery that has been haunting her for years: why are black raspberries so hard to find? The answer takes us through grocery stores, farms, foraging expeditions, and Amelia's own childhood backyard.

Tell us what you think of Last Seen! Please fill out our short survey.

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November 9, 2022 1 min

The third season of Last Seen, coming November 2022, is a collection of personal and political mysteries from public radio storytellers that you won't want to miss.

Tell us what you think of Last Seen! Please fill out our short survey.

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April 29, 2022 1 min

Season 2 of Last Seen just wrapped, which means it's time for a listener survey!

The second season of this show was one big experiment. We brought you an anthology of ten new mysteries - from the esoteric to the straight forward - told by a variety of storytellers, in a variety of styles, about all kinds of people, places and things that have gone missing.

And we're so curious to find out what YOU - our loyal listeners - thou...

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March 29, 2022 55 mins

On his way to Hollywood, a young Black man named Winston Willis stopped in Cleveland in 1959 to shoot a little pool and walked away $35,000 richer. He used his winnings to open over two dozen businesses on Cleveland's East Side, a vibrant area that locals referred to as "Inner City Disneyland." For a time, Willis was a multi-millionaire, the largest employer of Black people in the Midwest, and a bold business mogul with a big reput...

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March 22, 2022 40 mins

People will tell you Richard Bento is a good actor — on and off the stage. Over the past decade, he's been a pillar of the New England community theater scene - acting in and directing countless productions, and fostering the love of theater in other thespians.

But lately, he's been at the center of some real life dramas swirling behind the scenes,  involving accusations of fraud, embezzlement, and other kinds of scams. After di...

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Many prized possessions and artifacts imbued with sentimental value go missing, unintentionally. But, what about when we choose to renounce the items that mean the most to us -- like that mixtape your old girlfriend made, right before she broke up with you? The Nirvana baseball cap you wore to a Kurt Cobain memorial? Or the Sorel boots your father-in-law gave you, right before he died?

Join arts and culture journalist Allyson Mc...

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March 8, 2022 34 mins

When artist Alison Byrnes opened a package she had mailed to herself two years earlier, she was expecting to find a sealed box of her prints - but that's not what was inside.

The United States Postal Service had made a rather serious mistake. Instead of artist prints, USPS delivered a little blue urn -- containing the ashes of a total stranger. 

Attempts at finding the family of the deceased failed, and the cremated remains o...

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March 1, 2022 46 mins

Spain has one of the highest number of forced disappearances in the world, second only to Cambodia. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, fascist troops killed tens of thousands of people and threw them into mass graves.

For decades, few people knew this — and no one in Spain talked about it. But in the year 2000, a man in the middle of an identity crisis began digging into his fam...

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February 22, 2022 38 mins

When three friends went on a rum-fueled rampage one night deep in the Nevada desert, they never expected the trouble they would find themselves in a week later.

The men broke into a remote unit of Death Valley National Park known as Devil's Hole — a mysterious flooded cave that happens to be home to the one of the rarest fish on Earth, and one that's critically endangered too.

This episode, based on Paige Blankenbuehler's Hig...

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February 14, 2022 43 mins

In 1960, dubbed "The Year Of Africa", a pair of bold leaders fanned the flames of hope for a brighter future in the Belgian colony of Congo. But by the following year, that hope had been dashed by outside forces.

Using traditional griot storytelling, writer Brenton Zola transports us to a turning point in Congo's path to independence, and remembers the future that almost was.

Tell us what you think of Last Seen! Please fi...

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February 8, 2022 35 mins

Every school kid learns that there are exactly eight planets in our solar system. But what if we told you there might be a ninth? A world that may be six times the size of Earth and take 12,000 years to orbit the Sun. The only thing is, while some scientists are convinced Planet Nine exists, no one has seen it. Yet.

Science journalist and WBUR producer Dean Russell (Endless Thread) traces the lives of two astronomers, separated ...

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