Here is a quick round-up of some of our top stories this week


A son shot his father and left his body in a South Dakota wetland; his hometown friend helped

An entrance to Oakwood Lakes State Park in rural Brookings County in eastern South Dakota on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service
An entrance to Oakwood Lakes State Park in rural Brookings County in eastern South Dakota on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service

On an August night in 2007, two 19-year-olds, including his own son, killed 47-year-old Brian Brody Sr. in his trailer. Brody had a history of abuse toward his family, but his death roiled the South Dakota college town -- the first homicide in over a decade.

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Answers still elusive 7 years after NDSU student Tommy Bearson's death

NDSU freshman Tommy Bearson went missing Sept. 20, 2014 and was found dead three days later in a Moorhead RV lot. Seven years have passed and no arrests have been made in his death, but the case remains open and active. File photo / Forum News Service
NDSU freshman Tommy Bearson went missing Sept. 20, 2014 and was found dead three days later in a Moorhead RV lot. Seven years have passed and no arrests have been made in his death, but the case remains open and active. File photo / Forum News Service

FARGO — The father of a college freshman who died seven years ago this week is again making a plea to those responsible to identify themselves because a guilty conscience is a heavy burden to carry.

Greg Bearson, father of 18-year-old Tommy Bearson, said the only way those involved can overcome guilt is by coming forward and telling everyone what happened.

“Until then, you will never find peace in your life,” he said.


'Evil resorts' dominated Canal Park in Duluth-Superior's vice-ridden early days

Duluth Mayor R.D. Haven unsuccessfully sought to shut down the rowdy saloons and brothels in the city's Tenderloin district, now known as Canal Park, in 1908. (News Tribune archives)
Duluth Mayor R.D. Haven unsuccessfully sought to shut down the rowdy saloons and brothels in the city's Tenderloin district, now known as Canal Park, in 1908. (News Tribune archives)

DULUTH — Long before the Lakewalk, hotels, gift shops and eateries turned Canal Park into the tourism hub of Duluth, the lakefront area was far less inviting with its smattering of junkyards and warehouses.

The story of its transformation has been well-told in recent years, with resurfaced photographs showing old car parts and scrap metal lining the shore of Lake Superior. But long before that, in an era not so easily recalled, Canal Park was a thriving area of the burgeoning young city for even seedier reasons.


Moonshine poured across Canadian border during Prohibition, overwhelming authorities in the Northland

The News Tribune on March 22, 1921, reported on a "city-wide war on moonshine plants and bootleggers" that kicked off with the seizure of 500 gallons of mash, two huge stills and a wagon-load of accessories.
The News Tribune on March 22, 1921, reported on a "city-wide war on moonshine plants and bootleggers" that kicked off with the seizure of 500 gallons of mash, two huge stills and a wagon-load of accessories.

DULUTH — When Prohibition became the law of the land in January 1920, it didn't take long for liquor to start flowing across the Canadian border into northeastern Minnesota.

Customs officials were told to keep a close eye on trains, vessels and automobiles entering the United States. Cargo was searched, and boats were stationed on the Great Lakes to watch for suspicious activity. Authorities triumphantly announced the break-up of smuggling rings and the seizure of casks of whisky.


The Vault - An interview with James Wolner of 'Dakota Spotlight' Part 2

iStock photo
iStock photo

In part two, of Forum Communications popular podcaster James Wolner, journalist and podcaster Tracy Briggs gets in-depth with James about some potential pitfalls of true-crime storytelling.

How do you not sink into a deep depression telling such sad stories and how hard is it to balance the ethics of seeking justice and honoring victims while not exploiting their memory and hurting surviving relatives?

How a forbidden love affair between an English laborer, teenage boy helped end capital punishment in Minnesota

The Lovesick Steamfitter
The Lovesick Steamfitter

ST. PAUL — When a state chooses to make a dramatic change in the way it enforces law and order -- most notably in how it punishes those who break the law, it’s safe to assume the change would come after careful study, well-reasoned feedback from the state’s residents or maybe after those residents took to the streets to protest and demand change.

But when the state of Minnesota chose to abolish the death penalty in the early 20th century, the change came not from any of those things, but from the fallout of a forbidden love affair between a mutinous, bar-brawling Englishman and a teenage boy. And how the people from the land of 10,000 lakes reacted to it.


Investigators keep pushing for clues in TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit's 27-year disappearance

Undated courtesy photo of Jodi Huisentruit. The 27-year-old Long Prairie, Minn., native was working as a morning TV news anchor in Mason City, Iowa, when she disappeared in 1995. During the early-morning hours of June 27, 1995, someone attacked Huisentruit as she was unlocking her red Mazda Miata in the parking lot of her apartment complex and dragged her into an unknown vehicle. She hasn't been seen since. Contributed / FindJodi.com
Undated courtesy photo of Jodi Huisentruit. The 27-year-old Long Prairie, Minn., native was working as a morning TV news anchor in Mason City, Iowa, when she disappeared in 1995. During the early-morning hours of June 27, 1995, someone attacked Huisentruit as she was unlocking her red Mazda Miata in the parking lot of her apartment complex and dragged her into an unknown vehicle. She hasn't been seen since. Contributed / FindJodi.com

MASON CITY, Iowa — Few people are as intimately familiar with the details surrounding the mystery of television news anchor Jodi Huisentruit's disappearance as Scott Fuller.

Twenty-seven years later, the case has yet to be solved. And there are few signs it ever will be.


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