Phoebe Judge

Host / Reporter

Phoebe Judge is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured on a numerous national radio programs. She regularly conducts interviews and anchors WUNC's broadcast of Here & Now. Previously, Phoebe served as producer, reporter and guest host for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. Earlier in her career, Phoebe reported from the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Phoebe's work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Phoebe was born and raised in Chicago and is graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

She is a co-founder of the podcast Criminal.

Ways to Connect

This week's year-end episode of Criminal shares some listener stories about spooky visitors.
Julienne Alexander / CRIMINAL

The Criminal podcast often examines the back story of infamous crimes. But one popular story remained a mystery, and made some of your skin crawl. This week's year-end episode of Criminal shares some listener stories about spooky visitors. 

A drawing of fingerprints.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

In the latest Criminal podcast, we hear about the notorious wrongful conviction of Willie Grimes, who was arrested in Hickory in 1987 on rape and kidnapping charges and spent more than two decades in prison.

Secrets and Séances
JULIENNE ALEXANDER / CRIMINAL

In this week's Criminal podcast, we hear the story of a Scottish woman named Helen Duncan, who was put in jail during World War II for practicing witchcraft. The British government believed she was a threat to national security.

A drawing of plants under a microscope.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Botanists know all about plants, whether they're working in a forest or on a farm, but they can also identify plant matter after it's begun digesting. It turns out, that can be a pretty useful skill in solving murder cases. That's the topic on this week's Criminal podcast.

A drawing of floodwaters
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Destructive flooding is sometimes seen as an "act of God," but one Illinois man is serving time in prison for causing the Mississippi River to inundate a town in Missouri. We hear his story in this week's Criminal Podcast. Phoebe Judge hosts the show.

Julienne Alexander / Criminal

  


  

In the 19th century, the weak beer and cider that many Americans were drinking at every meal began to be replaced by distilled liquor: rums and whiskeys with a much higher alcohol content. This created a lot of problems, especially for women. Men began spending a lot of time and money in bars. Many weren't helping out at home, or even buying food. Women all over the country advocated for temperance, but the face of prohibition was a woman named Carrie Nation. Her story is the subject of this week's episode of the Criminal podcast.

A drawing of Effigy Mounds.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

National Parks and Monuments are often considered wholesome environments: peaceful places that preserve nature and history. However, this week's Criminal podcast tells how the remains of 41 American Indians disappeared from the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa.

Julienne Alexander/Criminal

We don't often get to hear the police speak candidly, but this week's Criminal episode offers the personal perspective of former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. He was chief during the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers days after protests of the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Criminal: All The Time In The World

Jun 2, 2017
Julienne Alexander/CRIMINAL

This week's Criminal podcast takes us on a trip to explore the depths of human decomposition at a so-called body farm. Phoebe Judge tells us about her visit to the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University.

Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Louisiana governor Huey P. Long is a legendary character in his state's history. This week's Criminal Podcast looks at the mysterious death of Governor Long, a controversial character with a big persona.

The Oxford English Dictionary recently added the phrase 420 to its pages. This week's Criminal podcast investigates the origin of the word. Host Phoebe Judge interviewed the dictionary editor charged with finding the word's history and the two men who claim they invented the phrase.

Logan Ulrich / WUNC

House Bill 2 sparked national discussion after it was introduced in the North Carolina legislature in March 2016. At the center of HB2 was whether transgender people should have the right to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity rather than the biological sex listed on their birth certificate. One year later, the debate over HB2 continues.

Nina Simone's Tryon, NC, Home Sold to Artists

Mar 22, 2017
A clapboard house sits on a hill in the town of Tryon, NC
Courtesy of BPR News

In the 1930s and '40s, the community of Tryon, North Carolina supported local girl Eunice Waymon on her path to becoming a classical pianist. But she veered far from that trajectory, and eventually became an internationally-celebrated jazz and soul singer known as Nina Simone.
 

The three-room wooden house Simone was born and raised in was preserved by community members and recently purchased by four New York City-based artists.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Blue Ridge Public Radio reporter Helen Chickering about the house and its future.

Marc Edwards has been named among the most influential people in the world by Time, Fortune, Politico, and Foreign Policy Magazine. Edwards is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and he blew the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to vote on the American Health Care Act Thursday. The bill would replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Obama’s signature legislation. Approval of the AHCA would mean approximately 24 million people could lose health care coverage by 2026, according to an estimate released last week by the Congressional Budget Office. 

Sea Level Rise Threatens Military Bases

Mar 21, 2017
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy's Photostream

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reveals that 128 U.S. military installations could be threatened by rising sea levels.

WUNC Military reporter Jay Price found that some bases are already experiencing flooding, and that the Department of Defense has no long-term plan for addressing climate change.
 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Jay Price about the findings and the military’s uncertain path forward.  

A profile of a smiling Bakari Sellers, CNN political analyst, lawyer, and former South Carolina State Representative.
Courtesy Bakari Sellers

In 2006, Bakari Sellers became the youngest elected state representative in South Carolina. At one point he was also the youngest black elected official in the United States.
 

In conversation with guest host Phoebe Judge, he reflects on his father’s civil rights legacy and his own political career.

An image of Duke University Professor Sarah Gaither
Duke University

Sarah Gaither is interested in how growing up with multiple racial identities shapes one’s social perceptions and behaviors. Gaither is an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, and her work explores how racial and gender diversity can facilitate positive relationships within different social circles.

Criminal: 'Rochester, 1991'

Mar 17, 2017
A drawing of an engagement ring.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

In this week's Criminal podcast, we hear the story of a woman who suffered domestic violence for years. She then served 17 years behind bars for killing her abuser.

A drawing of a body and an empty canoe.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

When people imagine having a superpower, invisibility is a popular choice. On this week's Criminal podcast, we'll hear stories about people who successfully disappeared by faking their own deaths.

Criminal host Phoebe Judge says it's a tough trick to pull off, but has been a popular pursuit. How-to guides were popular in the 1980s, but those are now outdated, Judge says, now that we all have digital footprints to follow.

illustration of grass
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Some mysteries take years to solve, and a certain type of person to solve them. In this week's Criminal podcast we'll hear of a steadfast woman who made it her personal mission to find the missing bodies of two children she'd known only from stories on the news.

A drawing of Ellen Craft in disguise.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week's Criminal podcast tells a love story. Host Phoebe Judge talks with University of Georgia English Professor and author Barbara McCaskill about Ellen and William Craft. The couple was born into slavery, and they make a daring escape in hopes of having a proper wedding.

A drawing of Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week, the Criminal podcast tells the story of how a juvenile detention center breathed life into a dying Mississippi town. That facility later became the most violent prison in the state.

Host Phoebe Judge says Walnut Grove, Mississippi, is a small town about an hour from the state capitol. It's always had economic problems, but it was buoyed by a manufacturing industry until those dried up during the Recession. That's when the state built a juvenile detention facility there in 2001.

A drawing of a cigarrette butt.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On the last Criminal podcast, we heard from Melinda Dawson. She learned as a girl that her parents had secretly purchased her from a man called Dr. Hicks at his Georgia clinic. Dawson and her mother, Judy, became outspoken about the realities of life as a so-called "Hicks Baby."

A drawing of a hand paying a stork with a bundle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

People can become parents in the usual ways: by birth, by marriage and by adoption. But in this week's Criminal podcast, we hear from Melinda Dawson, who learned as a girl that her parents had secretly purchased her from a clinic doctor many miles away.

A drawing of a brain scan.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On the last Criminal podcast, we heard from a woman who learned that her mother had stolen her identity, ruined her credit and never came clean. Axton Betz-Hamilton now suspects that her mother was a psychopath. In this week's episode, several experts explain what it really means to be a psychopath. 

A drawing of falling cash.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Axton Betz-Hamilton is an expert on identity theft. The issue hits close to home because her own identity was stolen when she was just a child. In this week's Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge tells the story of Betz-Hamilton's crusade against identity theft and the discovery of her own perpetrator.

Hunter Lewis
Courtesy of Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis grew up in a big family in North Carolina where gathering for meals was the centerpiece of the day.

He deepened his passion for food when he moved to New York to work in some of the top restaurants in the city. Eventually he merged his love of food with his journalism skills. He became food editor at Bon Appetit, then editor of Southern Living and now, editor of Cooking Light.

Ken Rudin
kenrudinpolitics.com

  Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail after a health issue sidelined her for a few days.

And health becomes a key issue in the campaign. Donald Trump releases some of his medical details of the Dr. Oz show. 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with political junkie Ken Rudin about the latest in political news.

Roger Winstead

Nine months before he delivered his acclaimed “I have a dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a version of that speech to a crowd packed into a gym at Booker T. Washington High School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

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