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Tenderfoot And iHeart Boost Reward For Arrest Of Killer Involved In Story Told In New Podcast.


Tenderfoot TV and iHeartMedia have increased the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the “Freeway Phantom” murders in Washington that are featured in the true crime investigative podcast Freeway Phantom. The previous reward, of up to $150,000, offered by the Metropolitan Police Department has been matched. If and when the Metropolitan Police Department pays a reward on any of the six cases listed above, Tenderfoot TV and iHeartMedia say they will match the reward payment, up to $25,000 per victim – bringing the total reward up to as much as $300,000.


Launched this week, the 10-episode Freeway Phantom podcast examines the death of six Black girls aged 12 to 18 in 1971 and 1972. The girls – Carol Spinks; Darlenia Johnson; Brenda Crockett; Nenomoshia Yates; Brenda Woodard; and Diane William – were each found murdered and discarded alongside DC highways. It led local media to call the killer “The Freeway Phantom.” Despite the attention the case received, 50 years later no arrests have been made.


Journalist and public radio veteran Celeste Headlee said in an interview with WAMU Washington (88.5) that she spoke with family members of the murdered girls, and decades later, it remains painful for them.


“It’s kind of what motivates the podcast itself,” Headlee said. “What kept the whole team going was the idea that there was still a chance that we can possibly bring some answers to these families. I think that was the biggest motivator for us.”


Headlee, a veteran of NPR, PBS, and TEDx, has spent the past two years sifting through boxes of documents and interviewing investigators and family members who are still haunted by these murders. The series also explores racial disparities, how strategies for solving murders have evolved over time, and the lack of trust between law enforcement and local communities. “There has to be some trust between law enforcement and a community in order for these investigations to truly be successful,” Headlee said. “That was not the case in the 1970s, and it is still not the case today.”


The first two episodes of Freeway Phantom are out now. The remaining eight episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays. The series will be available across all podcast platforms. Ad-free listening and early access will also be available on Tenderfoot+ on Apple Podcasts.


Tenderfoot TV earlier released true crime series Monster: DC Sniper, Atlanta Monster and The MLK Tapes with iHeart.

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