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'The Vault' true crime stories: A week in review for Sept. 18

A round-up of The Vault's true crime stories for the past week


Here is a quick round-up of some of our top stories this week

How a forbidden love affair between an English laborer, teenage boy helped end capital punishment in Minnesota

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The Lovesick Steamfitter


ST. PAUL — When a state chooses to make a dramatic change in the way it enforces law and order -- most notably in how it punishes those who break the law, it’s safe to assume the change would come after careful study, well-reasoned feedback from the state’s residents or maybe after those residents took to the streets to protest and demand change.

But when the state of Minnesota chose to abolish the death penalty in the early 20th century, the change came not from any of those things, but from the fallout of a forbidden love affair between a mutinous, bar-brawling Englishman and a teenage boy. And how the people from the land of 10,000 lakes reacted to it.

Investigators keep pushing for clues in TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit's 27-year disappearance

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Undated courtesy photo of Jodi Huisentruit. The 27-year-old Long Prairie, Minn., native was working as a morning TV news anchor in Mason City, Iowa, when she disappeared in 1995. During the early-morning hours of June 27, 1995, someone attacked Huisentruit as she was unlocking her red Mazda Miata in the parking lot of her apartment complex and dragged her into an unknown vehicle. She hasn't been seen since. Contributed /

MASON CITY, Iowa — Few people are as intimately familiar with the details surrounding the mystery of television news anchor Jodi Huisentruit's disappearance as Scott Fuller.

Twenty-seven years later, the case has yet to be solved. And there are few signs it ever will be.


The Vault: An interview with James Wolner of 'Dakota Spotlight' Part 1

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iStock photo

James Wolner is one of Forum Communications' most popular podcasters. His podcast, "Dakota Spotlight" has listeners around the globe, addicted to his low-key storytelling about some of the most mysterious and puzzling true crimes in the Midwest.

In the first of this two-part series, Forum Communications journalist and fellow podcaster Tracy Briggs asks the questions you've always wanted to know, including how Wolner, a California native ended up a small North Dakota town, what drew him to true crime storytelling and what drives him to work tirelessly at it.


In August 2001, the Minneapolis FBI was on a race to stop a 9/11 conspirator

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Zacarias Moussaoui, shown in an Aug. 17, 2001, police photo, was detained by immigration authorities in Minnesota after trying to buy training time on a Northwest Airlines jet simulator in Eagan, Minnesota. (KRT / St. Paul Pioneer Press)

ST. PAUL — On Feb. 23, 2001, Zacarias Moussaoui stepped off an airplane that flew him from the United Kingdom, where he was living, into Chicago.

His entrance to America was legal: As a French citizen, he was permitted to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. He could legally stay until May 22, 2001.

But he would overstay that period and, over the course of six months, take flying lessons throughout the country as a member of al-Qaida’s network, which plotted and carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Hate crime turned hoax shocked Fargo-Moorhead in 1995

Supporters march for the Kabob House on Oct. 24, 1995, in Fargo. Nick Carlson / The Forum

FARGO — Federal hate crime laws hadn’t been on the books long when the Fargo-Moorhead community faced a possible race-related crime, a major case that spurred public demonstrations and donations.

It came on a Monday, early in the evening of Oct. 23, 1995, outside a Middle Eastern restaurant in a strip mall along 25th Street and 32nd Avenue South.

A woman, who appeared to have been bound and gagged, rushed out of the burning family business. She would tell police she’d been attacked by unknown assailants and that they’d carved a crude cross into her abdomen.

Addictive 'American Crime Story' turns President Bill Clinton's impeachment into must-see TV

Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp and Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky in "Impeachment: American Crime Story." (Tina Thorpe/FX/TNS)

Impeachment as entertainment might seem impossible after years of slogging through the real thing. The Trump administration brought us day after day of melodrama, including overwrought performances on the House floor, and never fully stuck the landing.

But the FX drama "Impeachment: American Crime Story" manages to turn the dismal state of our democracy into a must-see limited series, pulling the narrative back to the quaint 1990s, when President Bill Clinton's (Clive Owen) relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein) was presented as a national crisis.


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