Latest Work

Criminal Episode 1: Animal Instincts

In 2001, a woman was found dead in a pool of her own blood. Her husband was convicted of her murder. But a curious neighbor had a different theory… one that brings new meaning to man vs. beast.

The Legacy Of A Home For Leprosy Patients

At its peak, the National Leprosarium in Carville, La., housed more than 450 leprosy patients. Some were forced there in shackles, few people visited, and postal mail was sterilized before being sent out of the home.

Then, in the 1940s, scientists discovered how difficult it is to transmit Hansen’s disease, as leprosy had become known, and they allowed patients to leave. But few did.

Today, six patients still live in Carville. Guest host Phoebe Judge visits Carville, where she meets Dr. Jim Kranbul, a Hansen’s disease expert, and gets a tour from Mr. Pete, a long-time resident. He explains to her why he has chosen to never leave.

A Preventive Mastectomy at 31

When actress Angelina Jolie told the world she’d elected to have a preventive double mastectomy, people paid attention. For Nell Boeschenstein, the story was personal.

“You know when you have your breasts taken off, your insecurities can kind of take over. To have the most womanly-woman in the world come out and say that was just hugely moving,” Nell says. 

Like Angelina Jolie, Nell carries the BRCA-1 gene, significantly increasing her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. After her aunt and sister developed breast cancer, Nell had a preventive double mastectomy at 31 years old.

Retracing The Route Of An Old Murder Spree

Phoebe Judge speaks with photographer Christian Patterson, who drove the same Nebraska path as two teenage murderers. Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate killed 11 people in the 1950s. Patterson stopped at old crime scenes and found undiscovered evidence from 50 years ago.
— 11 months ago
Selected Interviews

The Sisterhood of CIA Analysts who Led the “Manhunt” for bin Laden

Guest host Phoebe Judge speaks with Cindy Storer and Susan Hasler, two of the women who were part of the “sisterhood” of CIA analysts who tracked Osama bin Laden.

The Ganges River

Thousands of people bathe, wash clothes and pray in India’s Ganges River each day, despite waste lines depositing sewage into the water. Some say it’s time to clean up the holiest river in India. 

Walking with Robert MacFarlane

Robert MacFarlane has walked the world’s ancient paths through Britain, Scotland, China and Palestine. 

After Visiting Friends

Michael Hainey’s father was said to have died “after visiting friends.” Hainey spent years trying to figure out who these “friends” were, and why the story of his father’s death was being kept secret from the family.  

The Modern Midwife: Ina May Gaskin

In 1971, Ina May Gaskin founded “The Farm,” a place where women can give birth without machines or drugs. She remembers giving birth to her children conventionally, and explains why that moved her to find another way.

A Pilgrimage for Annie Leibovitz

After the loss of her partner, Susan Sontag, and a significant financial upheaval, Annie Leibovitz wanted to shoot whatever she liked, whenever she liked. Phoebe Judge traveled to Concord, Massachusetts to ask Leibovitz about most personal projectPilgrimage.

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— 1 year ago


Phoebe Judge is the host of Criminal, a new podcast about crime, and the midday host of Here & Now on WUNC. 

Previously, she was a producer and guest host of The Story, and the Gulf Coast Reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, covering the BP oil spill. Phoebe has won Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. 

Born and raised in Chicago, she’s a graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

Email Phoebe  or follow her on Twitter.

— 1 year ago