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

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie

The North Carolina primary is just days away and early voting is already underway. White House hopefuls from both sides of the aisle are visiting the state to make their final pleas for votes. '

Will Tuesday’s votes solidify the nominees on both sides? And GOP contenders met again last night in Miami for a more civil exchange than earlier debates.

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

An image of the book cover for 'Hanging Mary' by Susan Higginbotham
Sourcebooks Landmark

Mary Suratt is the first woman executed by the U.S. In 1865, she was convicted and hanged for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Surratt was a widow, Confederate-sympathizer and operator of a small boardinghouse in Washington D.C. But was she partly responsible for one of the most famous deaths in American history? 

An image of the Raleigh pop duo Season & Snare
Thomas at Photography Pop

For Autumn Brand and Casey Allen, every song starts with a story. As soon as the couple began dating, they also began crafting songs based on their personal experiences and upbringing. They are featured as the pop-rock duo Season & Snare in the new arts project from the City of Raleigh called "Oak City Sessions."

A drawing of 'Jolly' Jane Toppin
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

The turn of the last century was a time marked by chilling deaths at the hands of unexpected culprits.

Remember Lizzie Borden and Typhoid Mary?  In this week's Criminal podcast, Phoebe Judge takes a deeper look at a lesser-known character known as "Jolly" Jane Toppan.  

Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge

A middle school in Minnesota averted a school shooting by using a well-prepared lockdown.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Many American adults remember fire and tornado drills from their school days.  But students coming up today are also being prepared to jump into action when a gunman shows up at school.  

In this week's episode of Criminal, members of a school community in Hastings, Minnesota remember a close call a few years back. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge

A drawing of a sick tree.
Julienne Alexander /

An iconic oak tree is the subject of this week's Criminal podcast, produced at WUNC. The program tells the stories of people who have done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.

John Giedraitis was the city forester in Austin, Texas in 1989, when a beloved live oak tree there got sick.

"I proposed to my wife underneath the tree, because it's a big, strong, important tree that symbolizes timelessness, endurance, strength and that sort of stuff," Giedraitis says.

Dave Mascarenas took a dangerous dive into the La Brea tar pits searching for police evidence.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Maybe your idea of a typical crime scene is set in a ransacked hotel room or a dark alley.

But Los Angeles Police Sergeant Dave Mascarenas doesn't investigate crimes on land. He heads up the LAPD's dive team, and one of his most harrowing adventures is the subject of this week's Criminal podcast, hosted by Phoebe Judge

Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC.

Robert Cohen captured the image of Edward Crawford throwing a tear gas cannister during a protest in Ferguson, Missouri. The photo went viral and won a Pulitzer Prize.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

It's been more than a year since Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. The incident drew a wave of news stories and protests that sometimes turned violent.

Criminal host Phoebe Judge talks with a man who became an icon of the demonstrations in Ferguson. That's the subject of this week's episode. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC.

A drawing of a bank bag and money before a Texas flag.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Bank robbery is an American criminal tradition, with heists laying the scene for some of Hollywood's most exciting movies.

In this week's Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge talks with Clay Tumey, a Houston man who became a real-life bank robber. That's the subject of this week's episode of Criminal, a podcast recorded at WUNC.

Clay Tumey had always been fascinated by bank robber: For him, it was a romantic, exciting crime. His friend Audrey Fernandez recalls Tumey chatting about plans to rob a bank, even as a teenager.

Illustration for Criminal podcast
Julienne Alexander /


Danny Egipciaco is serving a prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit. He never actually got the chance to. 

He was targeted by a the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force. They were running a reverse sting operation. That's when authorities are involved in the actual planning of a crime. 

Phoebe Judge takes a closer look in this week's episode of Criminal, a podcast produced in the WUNC studios and hosted by Judge.  

Illustration of K-9 dog for Criminal podcast
Julienne Alexander /

K-9 officers make up a vital part of the Hillsborough Police Department.  These dogs are highly trained, and human officers rely on them to track suspects and assist in peaceful arrests.  

Illustration for Criminal podcast
Julienne Alexander /

In 2009, Patti Hammond Shaw was arrested for assault in Washington D.C.  When she arrived at the police station, she was placed in a holding section with male inmates.  Shaw protested, but it did no good.

Shaw is a transgender woman. Her story is the subject of the latest episode of Criminal, a podcast produced in the studios of WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge.  

Here's how Shaw describes herself.

Julienne Alexander. /


An image of the cover for 'Criminal'
Julienne Alexander /

In 2002, a professional soccer player living in Philadelphia found himself working alongside homicide police to try and solve a grisly murder.  Adam Bruckner's story is the topic of the latest episode of the Durham-based podcast, Criminalhosted by Phoebe Judge

Hurricane Irene
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina could experience fewer hurricanes in the coming decades, according to a new study from Colorado State University.

The Atlantic Ocean has been in an active era of hurricane activity since 1995, but cooler water temperatures and lower salinity rates in the North Atlantic could signal a beginning of the inactive period. 

The truce signing in 2003 with Reo Hatfield, Bo McCoy and Ron McCoy
Ron McCoy and Jerry D. Hatfield

The Hatfields and the McCoys are two of the most well-known American families. Their legendary family feud ended more than a century ago but continues to capture the American imagination to this day.

In the past two decades, direct descendants of the patriarchs have been working to reunite the two families and reintroduce their heritage and story to the American public.

Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck with (L-R) Becca Plumlee, Sophia Woo and Sunny Lin
Jeremiah Alley / Food Network

When Sophia Woo worked as an accountant, she spent many of her free nights and weekends making food. Her friends loved her culinary treats, especially the dumplings. She left her day job and joined a high school friend in building a food truck.

Their success caught the attention of Food Network producers and now they are competing in the sixth season of “The Great Food Truck Race,” a competition between seven trucks across Route 66.

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers have 10 days before the latest temporary budget expires.

The House and Senate are trying to reconcile their $21 billion spending plans, and among the sticking points are environmental issues, including the state's solar energy tax credit, renewable energy standards, and water quality requirements for Jordan Lake.

Craig McLaughlin grew up around tigers, ostriches, monkeys and other exotic animals on his step-father's farm in Pittsboro, N.C.
Craig McLaughlin

Craig McLaughlin was given 12 years to live when he was born with hemophilia in 1957. With the help of developments in medicine and some good fortune, McLaughlin exceeded the life expectancy and eventually started a family.

But along the way, he experienced hard bumps in the road. As a child, McLaughlin battled constant physical pain and social isolation. He was diagnosed with HIV from a blood transfusion as a young adult. 

Pianist Pamela Howland creates musical arrangments using the sounds of The Beatles with a classical music influence.
John Chapman

Pianist Pamela Howland has had a long love affair with legendary Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin. She wrote a one-woman show about his life and documented his roots in a film.

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

School is back in session for the new year but assessment of last year's grades is ongoing. The report card for statewide performance in the 2014-2015 school year is out.

The Department of Public Instruction released their findings yesterday: graduation rates are up but fewer schools are hitting their targets.

  Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with WUNC education reporter Reema Khrais about the test results.

Image of Adam Johnson, author of 'Fortune Smiles' and professor of creative writing at Stanford
Samson Yee

When Adam Johnson worked in construction, he heard all sorts of stories from his co-workers, some of whom were Vietnam veterans and others who were ex-cons. Johnson’s had his share of tales too, from visiting North Korea to a dangerous swim in an Arizona sewage pipe.

'Poet' looks at the life of poet George Moses Horton
Don Tate

George Moses Horton was born into slavery in Northampton County, N.C. in the late 18th century. He was enslaved in rural Chatham County for most of his life, yet he built a remarkable career for himself off the plantation.

As a child, George secretly taught himself how to read, and as a teenager he began making trips to Chapel Hill where he composed poems for students on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

An image of the Lawson family

In 1929, one of the worst murders in Stokes County occurred when a tobacco farmer killed six of his seven children and himself.  Since then, the Lawson family murders have gained widespread attention with continuing questions about why Charlie Lawson committed the crime.  The event is the subject of the latest episode of the Durham-based podcast Criminal, hosted by Phoebe Judge.

Image of P. Murali Doraiswamy
Duke University

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and new evidence that suggests women's brains are especially vulnerable to the disease.