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The Vault

Join us as we delve into the news vault for a fresh look at the cold cases, crime & mysteries of our communities. Brought to you by Forum Communications Company.

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Tracy Briggs
Trisha Taurinskas
Trisha Taurinskas
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Jeremy Fugleberg
A bio photo of Kris Kerzman.
Kris Kerzman
Latest Episodes
Stranger than fiction: Nopeming Sanatorium's history of tuberculosis, ghost hunts and ownership scandals
Wed Sep 21 11:26:42 EDT 2022
As medications for tuberculosis became available, the need for the sanatorium waned. While the transition to nursing home care began in the 1950s, by 1971 it officially became a St. Louis County nursing home, known as Nopeming Nursing Home.

By 2002, the county made the decision to close the facility, ending another chapter of Nopeming’s history.

Just a few years later, a new chapter began when the building was purchased by Frank Vennes Jr., a Twin Cities businessman now serving prison time for his involvement in Tom Petter’s Ponzi scheme.

Meet 4 stars of Minnesota's 'League of Their Own' team, hounded out of the state by hostile media
Fri Sep 16 17:34:23 EDT 2022
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, formed as male ball players were being drafted into the military for World War II efforts, allowed more than 600 female players a chance to shine and get a paycheck to play their game on a national stage. It was immortalized in popular culture by the movie "A League of Their Own" and a new streaming show by the same name.

Wild Bill Hickok's Deadwood gun gets a buyer, nearly 150 years after the legendary gunslinger was slain
Fri Sep 16 15:19:25 EDT 2022
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was undoubtedly carrying at least one sidearm in the gold mining town of Deadwood in what was then Dakota Territory. So what happened to Hickok's gun?

'There's a murderer living amongst you' — Family of slain North Dakota man continue quest for justice
Sat Sep 10 10:45:15 EDT 2022
Joel Lovelien, 38, was beaten to death outside of the Broken Drum Bar in Grand Forks the weekend before Halloween on Oct. 27, 2007, while in costume as a hockey player.

Written by: Meghan Arbegast

Narrated by: Trisha Taurinskas

This four-story pyramid in North Dakota was a Cold War icon. Now, it'll house a cryptocurrenc
Fri Sep 09 17:58:58 EDT 2022
The pyramid and surrounding buildings near Nekoma, North Dakota were created to defend the country’s nuclear weapons during the Cold War. They've been empty for decades. But soon the facility will be a cryptocurrency mine, whose heat will warm an on-site greenhouse.

'Is it a killer cloud?' Duluth-Superior benzene oil spill evacuation: Through the eyes of a child
Tue Sep 06 11:22:30 EDT 2022
In the minutes before 3 a.m. on June 30, 1992, as the Northland slept, a freight train carrying hazardous materials just south of Superior derailed, sending train cars carrying aromatic chemicals sailing 71 feet into the waters of the Nemadji River. 

The result was catastrophic —  the chemical cocktail created an orange colored vapor cloud measuring 20 miles long and 5 miles wide — and it parked itself over the populated area of Superior and neighboring Duluth. As a result, more than 50,000 residents were evacuated. 

Reporter Trisha Taurinskas recalls the scary situation and speaks with then-Police Chief Scott Lyons about the events of that day. 

In 2012, an experienced pilot vanished over Minnesota's North Shore. What happened to Michael Bratlie?
Fri Sep 02 17:42:48 EDT 2022
Radar tracks put Michael Bratlie, an experienced military and commercial pilot, just past Two Harbors, Minnesota, in his two-engine plane. There the flight path ended, drawing exhaustive searches of Lake Superior and the thick woods and rugged terrain on shore.

Al Capone's 'Up North' getaways
Tue Aug 30 10:12:54 EDT 2022
Where did an infamous mobster go when he needed a little rest and relaxation? Residents of the North Shore and Iron Range have long boasted their backyard as the bootlegger’s land of leisure.

'Minnesota's Titanic': The Sea Wing disaster killed 98, yet the tragedy remains little known
Wed Aug 24 15:59:08 EDT 2022
On July 13, 1890, the steamer Sea Wing was returning from a carnival-like day at a military encampment when it capsized from a sudden and violent storm.

Many of the excursionists made the understandable but fateful decision to retreat to the ship’s passenger cabin for protection. When the ship flipped over, they were trapped inside the upside-down boat and drowned.

Author: Matthew Stolle

Narrator: Trisha Taurinskas

Minnesota's top mobsters: When organized crime ruled the state
Fri Aug 19 08:24:57 EDT 2022
In the midst of the Northern pines and quaint Scandinavian communities of the early 1930s, a sinister underbelly of organized crime was brewing in Minnesota.

While St. Paul was considered a crook’s haven for mobsters to lay low, the infamous Al Capone was known to wander up North for rest and respite.

Some point to St. Paul law enforcement as the key instigators in making Minnesota mob-friendly.