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Dec 23, 2022

Hello Dakota Spotlight followers: I have a bit of a holiday treat for you today, which I am very excited to share with you.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to the town of Montevideo, Minnesota. I was there to take part in a meeting with three of my colleagues to plan and discuss work for The Vault - which is Forum Communication’s online catalog of great stories about Midwest history, mysteries and, of course, true crime.

Why did we convene in Montevideo, Minnesota?

Montevideo was purely a logistical destination as we all live in different places; 3 of us drove to Montevideo where a 4th colleague lives. Her name is Trisha Taurinskas.

Over coffee we asked Trisha if there were any local stories that she had considered for The Vault. It turns out there was one story that Trisha had on her mind–in fact, to me, it seemed to be stuck in her mind.

I could tell right then and there, this story was not gonna to just go away for her—she was in the early phases of experiencing a nagging feeling that I know very well myself–I would describe it as an almost uncomfortable sense of ‘calling’ … a somewhat involuntary compulsion to act and go look for and find answers–all in the name of justice and the truth.

And that’s exactly what she did–exactly what she is currently in the middle of doing...

Fast forward a few months and now my holiday treat for you then, coming up right here, right now, is the full first episode of Trisha Taurinskas’ reporting on the death of Refugio Rodriquez. A Minnesota man found dead on a walking path – a man who had just told his family his life was in danger after he was outed as a confidential informant for law enforcement. Yet despite the suspicious death, his case was closed, the death ruled a suicide.

But as you might imagine, and as Trisha sensed all along, there is a lot more to the story than that.  

/ James Wolner email:

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