Unfinished

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Witness Docs presents Unfinished, an investigative anthology series digging into America's unfinished business. Season one of Unfinished, Deep South, produced in collaboration with Market Road Films, brought us on a journey into the Arkansas Delta to investigate the lynching of Isadore Banks. Season two takes us to Short Creek, a community on the Utah/Arizona border divided by much more than a state line. On one side are fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons who believe the town should be run by God—and his prophet. On the other are ex-believers who want democracy—and the right to believe (or not believe) as they want. When the prophet, Warren Jeffs, goes to prison for sex crimes, the community has to face its painful past...and struggle to define its future. From Witness Docs and Critical Frequency, hosts Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre move beyond the headlines and embed in the community to bring you Unfinished: Short Creek, a very American story⁠ about the battle between freedom of religion and freedom from religion that asks whether people on two sides of a deep divide can rediscover common ground. Hear more great stories about complicated people from Witness Docs at witnesspodcasts.com.

 
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Recent Reviews
  • UnsinkableM
    Required listening for all Americans
    Especially the white ones. Beautiful told.
  • BoombaHey
    Fascinating story
    Really enjoying the podcast so far--the reporters clearly have really captured more of the story by really getting to know the community and history. The music and producing is also seamless, so is a fascinating listen!
  • Pitchblackdam38
    Emotionally moving
    I’m not sure where to begin, but both Deep South and Short Creek are so well done. Such balance, very factually driven (which is something I look for in podcasts), yet so well balanced with the emotional reality that is both easy to understand yet hard to grasp in so many ways. I look forward to many more podcasts.
  • 8373david
    Awesome
    The Short Creek season is awesome. I’ve always been fascinated with the FLDS so I’m very excited for more episode’s
  • gosarah
    Sarah
    Excellent podcast! Well researched.
  • Zi-un
    SO SO good.
    For a community that is weary of outsiders reporting on them, I feel like this does an amazing job of capturing the complexities and nuances of the Short Creek community. WELL DONE!
  • Sip Sip!
    Great New Podcast
    This is a fantastic new podcast about the FDLS church. It’s a very real and nuanced view, which is so fascinating. It’s easier to think if the community as some kind of crazy “other,” but this helps us see the humanity and tragedy in each person and life affected.
  • FordEscorts4lyfe
    Incredible!
    Enthralling. Great information and research.
  • MissSR13
    Beautiful.
    I often rate - rarely review. This is a beautiful podcast. Interesting and moving (seriously, I cried twice). I am fascinated by FLDS stories and have read many books and watched many documentaries on the subject. By far, this is the most balanced of any I have encountered. This subject, which I always felt was just interesting for all of its ‘weirdness’ or its difference from my own upbringing, became a universal, moving story about humans and community.
  • iloveorgans
    Season 2
    I just wanted stop in and to applaud the theme music for Season 2. It gives me goosebumps!
  • Modernista64
    Great so far
    I’ve been a fan of Sarah Ventre’s journalism for a while, so was excited to learn about this new podcast. Two episodes in and I’m hooked. The deep dive into the isolated Short Creek community is fascinating, and I’m sure it will get even better as the podcast continues.
  • Runninglikemad
    Waiting for this!
    Growing up in the Christian north I’ve always been aware of the Jeff’s and wanted to learn more honestly. Didn’t listen to season 1 but am completely into understanding more and how. Thanks for shedding light on other non mainstream religions.
  • MSN12344
    Listen
    Moving, powerful, with sharp but empathetic reporting
  • Chrissie in Hawaii
    Frighteningly Interesting
    I had never heard of Isadore Banks, and I’m really glad that this podcast educated me. In today’s climate, this kind of investigation is extremely important. I originally became interested in this podcast because of season 2, investigating into short creek and Warren Jeffs. I grew up Mormon but have since left the church and have found the FLDS frighteningly interesting. The first two episodes are so good, but before they went live I decided to go back and listen to season 1. I’m really excited for future episodes and the future subject matter for new seasons. Keep doing the good work.
  • nmd2000
    Thank you
    Deep South is chilling and riveting. We must continue to expose ourselves to the painful but necessary history of lynching in America. Many stories cannot be investigated this thoroughly because of time. Thank you for doing the difficult legwork and being relentless to tell the truth about the racial violence that has been routinely inflicted on African Americans and its generational toll.
  • h.ander$on
    Short Creek
    The Short Creek series is fascinating! Hosts Ash Sanders and Sarah Ventre expertly navigate the world of the F-LDS community. Highly, highly recommend.
  • Miss Millie44
    Thought Provoking
    I had never heard of Isadore Banks until this podcast. As a history buff of civil rights I felt compelled to read more about this lynching of this gentleman and another view into circumstances like this.
  • Family-to-go
    Worth the listen...
    Superb description of an ugly part of our history. I felt the conclusion to be a bit rushed, and I was not entirely convinced, but at least Mr. Banks’ life was brought out of the shadows.
  • Buhnanie
    Excellent Podcast
    Well done and well worth the listen. There are so many things we don’t know about our country. Here’s a little more.
  • Grateful audience
    Important stories
    These are crucial stories, well told.
  • tamschap
    Brilliant storytelling
    Unfinished: Deep South was the most engaging podcast series I’ve heard in years. On the level of S-town. Spread the word about this one!
  • ogsparklelove
    Deep South
    Thank You! This podcast is so important. We need to know more facts about lynchings in this country to be able to grasp the enormity of the history and how it relates to current events. This podcast bridges that gap by talking to the family and people who remember Isador Banks. You both told the story so well. It was interesting and captivating. I love how it ends with the Equal Justice Initiative’s Memorial and Museum Ceremony. I visited the memorial and this story really brought all of that to life. RIP Isador. I can’t wait for Short Creek.
  • CJL13
    Gripping
    I never knew the racial injustice in this country ran this deep. To see that something so unjust happened in the last century really makes you think. Love the music! Really good deadpan storytelling. 🥰
  • atom_box
    Respectful of the South
    Ep. 5 is like All The President's Men; it makes you want to dedicate your life to muckraking. A good #lessonplan for inspiring students to change the world as journalists And while exposing violence & racism, it is respectful of the South.
  • madmingusmax
    A must listen
    I’m a podcast junkie and this podcast is in my top 3. And at this moment, I can’t even name the other two completing that number! It’s reporting and research is top notch and beautifully done. I appreciate the honesty and explanation for facts highlighted and not focused on. Having grown up in central AR. This podcast answered so many questions and gave me such an understanding of things I’d always questioned. You see, in rural America we don’t learn true history, we get the whitewashed textbook version, if any. See, I had heard AR wasn’t part of the Deep South and AR was a haven for blacks...
  • M from PDX
    Great story, okay storytelling
    Worth a listen - really interesting and compelling history of a tragic lynching from the 50s. Excellent story, though the storytelling is a bit sloppy and a little too preachy. As many listeners have noted, the hosts can’t seem to agree on the pronunciation of the guy’s name. (Spoiler, they never do, even at the end.) You can get past that. But they pretty well exhaust the already tired trope of “New York liberal obliged to tell the shocking story of white southern bigotry and help us all learn from it.” Sigh. otherwise it’s a good listen that will cause you to reflect on America’s history of racial abuse, even if the hosts’ efforts to help us feel it actually diminishes the effect.
  • Deb Beast
    Powerful Story
    This documentary does a wonderful job of showing why we must acknowledge the sins of the past if we have any hope of moving forward together as a nation. It clearly shows how our institutions have been systematically used to persecute African Americans. Stories like Isadore Banks’s need to told. Thank you for creating this podcast.
  • Sashaaurand
    Started out strong then blamed the Italians?
    I just don’t see how it’s okay to profile ANOTHER group of people when you actually don’t know who killed him?
  • Nise-nise
    Eye Opening
    A well put together podcast that had me anxiously waiting for the newest episode every week. I can’t wait to see what future endeavors these journals have lined up next. 👍🏾
  • JWBB33
    A Great Listen
    I looked forward to this podcast every Sunday — this is a great take on history and crime that often gets overlooked. I hope you guys are able to continue with more stories such as these!
  • Awarrenkids
    Ridiculous last episode!
    I have listened and felt heartbroken for this family and still do feel devastated for their tragic and horrible loss. You lost me right after his son attempted to blame Trump for what he feels is a new wave of racism. There is no accountability for the divide in race relations that began under the Obama Administration. In all honesty, if his neighbors are no longer waving at him, maybe he should check how his behavior has changed. Most white people are not racist! We were not raised to be and always eye-rolled at our older family members who had any tendencies towards racism. I am 40 years old and a Tennessee native for all of those years and can honestly say that all of my life there have been more opportunities for POC’s advancement than for any other race of people. Minority scholarships, EO job placement priorities, Black universities, BET, Black Mrs. America. Any and I do mean ANY organization that begins with a race description is a racist organization! If white, or brown people where to have a similar organization it would be condemned from the highest mountains! It’s an issue that runs both ways now but to blame the current generation for those of the past and to try to take your vengeance on this generation is asinine and causing an even greater divide. Both races home training has changed since the 50’s! White family's are not teaching racism but black family’s have stopped making home training and families a priority! Again RIDICULOUS!
  • tosha.marie-sha
    Awesome Listen
    This is a great, tragic story. The podcast is well told and very eye opening to the harrowing history of the south.
  • RunnersDelite212
    Heartbreaking and informative
    Packed with untold history. I am the proud descendant of AA’s who left the Carolinas after the Civil War to rebuild their lives in Arkansas. This podcast answers the question I’ve always had about why they went there and why eventually their children left for the Northeast. God rest Mr. Bank’s soul - he and his family deserve so much more than they got. A sin and a shame.
  • chrlstn
    Great, in depth story telling, peeling back the layers of hidden history.
    Great, in depth story telling, peeling back the layers of hidden history.
  • Lmart513
    From the area
    I’m from the area and I think this is a very well done podcast. I like the historical aspect and the way they relate the history to current day events. Keeping the history truthful as well as showing perspective for the ways things have and have not changed. I appreciate the hard work you have done on this story and spreading the word about Mr.Banks tragic murder. For someone who actually lives near by it’s always eye opening to know the history that is literally under our noses.
  • mm80skid
    One of my go to’s
    Captivating and very well done.
  • PurpkeKnight
    Unfinished Deep South
    Unfinished Deep South is a superbly written and presented Podcast that I simply can not get enough of. As a child of the 50s and 60s I am totally caught up in the history of the south. I grew up in New Orleans and have relatives throughout the south to include many of the places covered in this captivating story. As an amateur genealogist your podcast adds rich text to the research I am conducting. Purely coincidentally I am in search of a relative/ancestor from Gilmore Arkansas which is in Crittenden county. He is the last of 11 children who we are trying to connect with the descendants of, if there are any but to definitely gather info on him. Was he a victim of lynching? We hope find out. I look forward to your future episodes. Keep up the great work.
  • Elle104
    Heavy heavy
    This podcast masterfully takes us on a journey of who lynched/killed Isadore Banks while providing context on how history was kept, the purpose of lynchings, and how what happened to Isadore was interconnected with other themes such as rascism, Jim Crow, power, and reconstruction. Though this podcast is heavy with stories and real accounts of rage and murder, it is a must listen. Though I am from the south I don’t think I could have ever articulated some of the tension, that dates back so long ago. Well done!!
  • g.tief
    Entertaining and Important
    At the heart of this podcast is the investigation into a murder by lynching of a charismatic, powerful and wealthy Black farmer and landowner in the 1950s. However, as it unfolds you also get an important education on the racial divide in the Deep South during the onset of the Civil Rights era. There were literally two sides to the same story and this podcast really gets to the heart of that. Its hard to reckon with the past of this country, but stories like these are important to understanding the present. I love this podcast and can’t wait for the next episode.
  • kshelduff
    Left me with much to think about
    This journalistic telling of an investigation into an unsolved lynching revealed many of the ways white supremacy works to this day, how black people have resisted and adapted to survive, and entire communities continue to bear the weight of intergenerational traumas. An eye-opening look into the many shades of silence.
  • AyJaySeven
    Fascinating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I grew up about an hour from Marion in DeSoto County, MS and am a lifelong Southerner, so this interests me greatly. Very compelling story, and sadly not the only unsolved racial murder I am aware of. I actually thought Isadore was going to be kin to a very wealthy white Banks family in the Memphis/MidSouth area at the start of this... Who knows what y’all will turn up? 👀💁‍♀️
  • Rachel Cummings
    Love this podcast!
    I’m from Arkansas and this is so refreshing. I can’t get enough! Thank you
  • Bobygodean
    Not a lot has changed
    I’ve lived in Arkansas most of my life and it’s not hard to understand why race relations here, and nationwide generally, are still quite tense. Wonderful job of reporting.
  • dreamevr
    Why can’t they pronounce the name Isadore?
    I see that I am not the only one who has issue with the hosts’ mispronunciation of Isadore’s name. It is completely disrespectful and so distracting. I also agree that there is very little content in each episode. This has not been planned out well
  • Shirá
    Captivating
    As a child I lived in the segregated south. It feels so strange to go back to those memories, and worst of all, how “normal” it all seemed. .While listening to this excellent podcast I realize that it was all happening around me when I was a child.
  • Nealh
    Eye opening podcast
    Well researched and told
  • TheDimOne
    Fascinating
    Enthralling and captivating!
  • elle+
    GREAT PODCAST! One thing...
    This is an amazing podcast. I thoroughly enjoy it. One thing tho—ep. 7, “The Stepdaughter”—Julie is lying. Sounds like a concocted story to clear her mother and step-father of racism and their influence on her.
  • tricka186
    Enthralling
    I am absolutely enthralled with this story. I am absolutely horrified, angry and heartbroken for his family and descendants. I hope and pray that they receive the justice that they so deserve. Wonderful reporting and producing. A wonderful choice of story to share.
  • Maur_een
    Awesome
    Excellent podcast!
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