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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
Latest Episodes
Sandra Jacobson, Episode 4: Remembering Sandra and John
Thu Aug 04 15:15:06 EDT 2022
In this final episode, reporter Trisha Taurinskas explores who Sandra and John Jacobson were, through the eyes of their family members. 

Sandra and John Jacobson went missing in November 1996 from Bismarck, North Dakota. John was just 5 years old at the time. Neither of them have been seen or heard from since. 

 

'They’re all dead, sir.' Double murder-suicide shocked Sioux Falls in 1893
Wed Aug 03 10:34:09 EDT 2022
On an otherwise pleasant Sunday evening in 1893, a seven-year-old boy from Sioux Falls wandered into the home of a neighbor. Apparently shell-shocked, he managed to get out a few words about the horrific incident he had just witnessed.

 

“They’re all dead, sir.”

The young man was Sumner Lacey, the son of Harry and Clara Lacey. He had been at his grandmother’s home earlier in the evening when his father, whose controlling nature and financial instability had finally caught up with him, pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and shot his wife and his mother-in-law, Lydia Bunker, in the head.

Written by: Erik Kaufman

Narrated by: Trisha Taurinskas 

 

Virginia Piper, Pt. 4: 'I needed to brace myself that I might never see either of my parents again'
Wed Jul 27 05:00:00 EDT 2022
In 1972, kidnappers took his mother away and demanded his father deliver the $1 million dollar ransom. Virginia Piper's son remembers the traumatic day 50 years ago that changed his family forever.

She was killed in an ND hit-and-run in 2019. Police ID'd the vehicle type. But who was the driver?
Wed Jul 20 19:30:00 EDT 2022
Evidence indicates 39-year-old Christina Lynn Melvin was struck and killed between 4:45 and 4:59 a.m. on April 7, 2019, in Grand Forks. It was later determined that Melvin, a resident of Bedford, Pennsylvania, had been passing through Grand Forks on the Amtrak train.

Virginia Piper, Part 3: Why did 2 men walk away after her kidnapping?
Wed Jul 20 10:00:00 EDT 2022
With just 16 days before the statute of limitations ran out on the kidnapping of a wealthy Orono, Minn., woman in 1972, the FBI indicted two men in the crime. But the case was far from over. In fact, the roller coaster ride was just beginning. Here is Part 3 of "The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper — 50 years later."

Sandra Jacobson, Episode 3: Missing diary could shed light on North Dakota missing mother and son
Tue Jul 19 11:19:29 EDT 2022
In this episode, reporter Trisha Taurinskas dives into Sgt. William Connor's quest to find Sandra's journal, which he believed could have shed light on what happened to her and John. Also in this episode, learn why an address in rural North Carolina kept popping up in this case. 

 

Virginia Piper Part 2: Did her 1972 kidnapper murder his family 4 years later?
Wed Jul 13 06:00:00 EDT 2022
Following the 1972 kidnapping of Virginia "Ginny" Piper of Orono, Minnesota, the FBI interviewed an estimated 1,000 people. One of the suspects at the top of the list was a man on the verge of committing a mass murder.

The kidnapping of Virginia Piper is considered one of the most successful kidnappings in U.S. history. Now 50 years after the Twin Cities socialite was grabbed from her garden, Forum Communications takes a fresh look at the case with updated reports and new podcasts and videos, plus exclusive interviews with those involved.

Here is Part 2 in "The Kidnapping of Virginia Piper — 50 years later."

Sandra Jacobson, Episode 2: Police file reveals suspicion fell on husband
Tue Jul 12 13:16:42 EDT 2022
In episode 2, examination of the police file related to the missing persons case of Sandra and John Jacobson continues. In this episode, reporter Trisha Taurinskas clarifies an important aspect of the case with retired detective, Tim Turnbull. We also hear from Sgt. William Connor, who took over the case in 2004. Connor reveals the key piece of evidence that could have shed light on what happened to Sandra and John. 

This month marks the 50th anniversary of one of Minnesota's most notorious and unsolved crimes
Tue Jul 05 13:30:00 EDT 2022
The kidnapping of Virginia Piper is considered one of the most successful kidnappings in U.S. history. Now 50 years after the Twin Cities socialite was grabbed from her garden, Forum Communications takes a fresh look at the case with updated reports and new podcasts and videos, plus exclusive interviews with those involved.

Sandra Jacobson, Episode 1: Police file reveals flawed investigation into North Dakota mother and son missing persons case
Wed Jun 29 18:01:51 EDT 2022
The police file from this 1996 case, recently obtained by Forum News Service, reveals what Bismarck Police Department found when it reinvestigated the case of Sandra and John Jacobson: an initial missing persons investigation that left key questions unanswered, vital evidence unaccounted for and potential suspects cut loose.

Reporter Trisha Taurinskas unpacks the North Dakota mystery in this multiple-part series. 

Read more here: https://www.inforum.com/news/the-vault/police-file-reveals-flawed-investigation-into-1996-missing-persons-case-of-north-dakota-mother-and-son