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Now available to 'binge-listen,' full Dakota Spotlight podcast season dissects Diede/Anderson disappearance

As for who is responsible for the disappearances of Diede and Anderson, a listener would have to tune in and, ultimately, decide for themselves. With all 11 episodes now out, this season of the true-crime investigative podcast Dakota Spotlight is fully available to binge-listen.

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Described as a true crime podcast with heart, Season 6 of Dakota Spotlight tells the real-life story of what happens when two people vanish from the earth, leaving behind a trail of heartache, pain and unanswered questions.

Hosted by Dakota Spotlight creator and host James Wolner and co-produced by Forum Communications journalist Jeremy Fugleberg, the investigative series, “Vanishing Act,” takes a deep dive into the lives of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson, tracing the two Minnesotans' final steps and interactions before vanishing from the plains of North Dakota.

Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson, May 1, 1993
Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson taking a stroll in the woods. May 1, 1993
Contributed / Anderson Family

New evidence, heart-wrenching interviews and even the help of a former detective wrap together to create a compelling account not only of the disappearances of Diede and Anderson, but also the impact of their loss.

The listener is taken on the investigative ride alongside Wolner and Fugleberg, receiving information on the case never before disclosed, including multiple cross-state links in South Dakota. Ditching sensationalism and dramatics, the podcast sticks to a journalistic style of integrity, providing necessary information to the public in an attempt to shine a light on a story that has gone unreported and unexamined for decades.

The story behind the podcast 

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Wolner has been following the story of Diede and Anderson since 2015, before he began hosting Dakota Spotlight, a Forum Communications podcast. The case piqued his interest due to the wording used to describe it on the North Dakota State Attorney General's website.

“I thought it was interesting that two people would disappear like that,” Wolner said. “And it’s mentioned on the attorney general cold case space that they are believed to be victims of homicide, which is different from all the other ones they listed. It’s just an interesting way of describing it: They are believed to be victims of homicide. They must have some reason to believe that.”

Wolner’s interest in the case prompted him to search for a way to learn more about the story — he sought out a book and any videos related to the story. He didn’t find anything. So, he searched through the newspaper archives. Still, he didn’t find much information.

So, he started doing a little investigating himself — a path that led him to those closest to Diede and Anderson. Over the years, he’s come to know more about this case than, arguably, anyone. That put him in an opportune position to tell the story. Joining forces with Fugleberg, they did just that.

The story of Diede and Anderson

Diede, a mother of two young children at the time of her disappearance, was living in Bloomington in 1993 when she made the trip with her boyfriend, Anderson, to her hometown of Wishek, North Dakota, to retrieve some belongings. They haven’t been seen or heard from since.

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Kristin Diede, who went missing on Aug. 15, 1993, is pictured here on a missing poster later placed around town by friends in Bloomington, Minnesota
Contributed photo

Wolner and Fugleberg carefully dissect the disappearances, interviewing close friends and family members of Diede and Anderson, along with law enforcement and Diede’s ex-husband.

Never-before-revealed evidence and aspects of the “crime” are presented, providing compelling evidence that casts doubts on any assumption that Diede and Anderson took off, leaving their friends and family members behind.

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Along the investigative path to uncover who is responsible for the disappearances of Diede and Anderson, the podcast also hits on another aspect of true crime cases that often goes unobserved: the complicated and lifelong pain that is inflicted upon those who loved the missing.

Spanning generations, the heartache has penetrated the lives of many who knew Diede and Anderson, while indirectly impacting those who never even got the chance.

An empathetic listener will be drawn in not only for the mysterious aspects of this story, but also for the real-life and raw storytelling that turns the microphone over to those who were impacted.

In the final episode, “Open Letter to a Killer,” the podcast uses the voices of those who loved Diede and Anderson to speak directly to who might be responsible for their losses. It’s a reminder to the listener that true crime stories happen to real-life people.

As for who is responsible for the disappearances — or deaths — of Diede and Anderson, a listener would have to tune in and, ultimately, decide for themselves.

With all 11 episodes now out, this season of Dakota Spotlight is fully available to binge-listen.

Download Dakota Spotlight wherever you listen to podcasts.

Get Dakota Spotlight on your favorite podcast app Apple | Spotify | Google

Trisha Taurinskas is an enterprise crime reporter for Forum Communications Co., specializing in stories related to missing persons and unsolved crime. Her work is primarily featured on The Vault.

Trisha can be reached at ttaurinskas@forumcomm.com.
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