Barbara Louise Cotton disappeared from Williston, N.D., on April 11, 1981. She was reportedly last seen walking towards her home after having dinner with her boyfriend and another friend. Barbara, 15, never arrived at her destination and has never been seen or heard from again. Her case is considered open and unsolved. Dakota Spotlight's podcast series, "A Better Search for Barbara" explores and investigates this cryptic cold case from North Dakota's northwest corner.
- To get the full story start at the beginning by listening to episode one.
"Don't give up. There are people out there who care, who are praying for a resolution."
Andre Johnson - cold case advocate and childhood friend of Delapena's victims
In Episode 9, James Wolner looks closer at one of several persons of interest in Barbara's disappearance: Frank J. Delapena.
Delapena was living in Williston, N.D. when Barbara Cotton vanished. One month later, he murdered two young girls in Rawlins, Wyo. He was quickly apprehended but took his own life in a Colorado jail cell.
Podcast host James Wolner traces Delapena's movement between Williston, N.D. and Rawlins, Wyo. and interviews missing persons advocate Andre Johnson. A childhood friend of Delapena's victims, Johnson shares her own memories of how Delapena's crimes affected her and the community of Rawlins, Wyo.
Listen to Episode 9
Listen to Previous Episodes:
- Episode 1: "Five Blocks from Home" explores the night Barbara went missing from the perspective of her childhood friend Sandee Evanson. Read more about this unsolved mystery and listen to Episode 1: Five blocks from home.
Episode 2: "Tributaries of the Truth" we attempt to untangle the confusion surrounding Barbara's last known whereabouts. We also look closer at the question: Could Barbara Cotton have simply run away? Listen to Episode 2: Tributaries of the Truth
Episode 3: We look closer look at the initial police investigation. We also ask the question: might Barbara's kindness and big heart have led to her demise? Listen to Episode 5: She was gentle and kind
Information about Missing Kids
True Crime podcasts BY JAMES WOLNER
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- The House on Sweet & 7th : the Erickstad homicides.
- Chasing Billy: A Pursuit for Justice