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The Reform Podcast, a True Crime Policy Podcast, Lady of the Dunes Season One

July 26, 1974. It was a beautiful summer day in Provincetown Massachusetts. It started like any other day with beautiful sunny weather, bright blue sky, some white clouds, and a slight breeze. You could hear the sound of the surf crashing against the sand, the wind in the trees and blowing through the tall grasses, birds flying through the air. 

It was just like any other day - until a discovery was made that would start an unsolved mystery which would go on for decades. It happened when a young girl discovered the naked and nearly decapitated body of a woman, missing both hands, lying as though she was peacefully sunbathing in the tall grasses. 

This was a woman who would remain unidentified for decades, still unidentified today, nearly 5 decades later. She would become known as the Lady of the Dunes and her death and the mystery surrounding it reminds unsolved today.

Join us in our search for the woman's identity and an exploration about important policy issues involved with her case.

Season One - The Lady of the Dunes: About


Body of Lady of the Dunes where she was discovered at Race Point Dunes in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 26, 1974. Photo from Provincetown Police Department, accessed at Wikimedia Commons.

Season One - The Lady of the Dunes: Image

Facial reconstruction images of the Lady of the Dunes created by forensic experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Smithsonian Institution, accessed from Provincetown Police Department.

Lady of the Dunes composites
Season One - The Lady of the Dunes: Image


The Discovery

In this first episode of Season One, we delve into the July 26, 1974, discovery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, by a young girl of a naked and nearly decapitated woman, missing both hands, lying as though she was peacefully sunbathing in the tall grasses. The woman's identity has remained a mystery for decades. She would become known as the Lady of the Dunes. Join us to begin our search for the woman's identity and what was found that day.

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The Scene, Body, Teeth, & Bones

This episode explores the scene where the Lady of the Dunes was found. We have an in-depth discussion about her dental work and missing teeth. We also talk about how a dentist, pawnshop, or gold collector could hold the key to the identity of the Lady of the Dunes killer.

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DNA Laws, Privacy, & State Policy

Hear from our host about how the REFORM Podcast examines state policy. The focus this season is DNA laws and how it impacts criminal investigations and individual privacy.

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Why We Are Doing The REFORM Podcast

Hear from our host about why we are doing the REFORM Podcast. Learn how it is an extension of the true crime podcasts that already exist and how this podcast seeks to help people impact laws in their states to help crime victims and crime survivors.

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Investigation, Exhumation, Skull, & Bones

The investigation into the Lady of the Dunes discovery - what occurred, the twists it took, and whom she was suspected to be. Exhumed three times with blood and bone removed for testing, her skull not buried back with the rest of her body. Hear the steps Police Chief James Meads went to trying to learn her identity. Questions arose as to whether she was escaped bank-robber Rory Gene Kessinger, Montanan Francis Ewalt, or psychology student Vicke Lamberton.

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Jaws, Serial Killers, & Mobsters

Was the Lady of the Dunes an extra on Jaws? Has her identity been in front of us for decades? Was she murdered by serial killer Hadden Clark? Or mobster Whitey Bulger?

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Was She A Human Trafficking Victim?

Was the Lady of the Dunes a human trafficking victim? Did her killer mark her with a tattoo of his name or a brand before he killed her, removing it after her death? If you want to learn practical steps you can take to fight against the modern-day slavery that is human trafficking, listen up because we cover it in this episode!

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The Golden State Killer & DNA Evidence

DNA evidence led to the arrest of serial killers like the Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Let's talk about how DNA evidence and using genetic genealogy databases helped capture this killer. DNA and genetic genealogy databases may make us safer but they may also be abused and violate our privacy. Let's start the conversation!

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What States & The Feds Are Doing To Regulate

SEASON ONE FINALE! Let's talk about what the federal government and states are doing to regulate law enforcement using genetic genealogy databases to solve crimes, passing laws (like Montana and Maryland) and making administrative rules (California, Colorado, Texas and Virginia) to provide guidance for when these searches may be done. We talk about how you can advocate for using DNA information to identify criminals or victims and also how to protect privacy.

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Lady of the Dunes Update

SPECIAL EPISODE! Join host Kimberly Dudik when she talks with movie producer Frank Durant and author Chris Setterlund for a special update. Frank discusses the documentary movie he made about the Lady of the Dunes. Chris talks about the book he has written about the mystery and Frank's work on it. Mystery, mobsters, psychics and more!

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Season One - The Lady of the Dunes: Text
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