WBUR presents the return of Last Seen, with a season of episodes about people, places and things that have gone…missing. An urn containing a stranger’s ashes. The heist of the century in New York City. A planet no one can find. And that’s just the beginning. Each episode features something new and intriguing about the mystery of loss and the quest for resolution to unanswered questions.
Last Seen Season Two is an anthology of stories produced by host Nora Saks (Richest Hill) and editor Nick White (Lost Notes), that introduces a genre-bending twist on true crime. Episodes dig deep, exploring not only what happened, but why we keep searching, and in some cases, whether or not the missing can — or should — be found.
“We’ve connected with storytellers from across the globe to curate a compilation of fascinating stories that not only highlight how things go missing, but the consequences of loss,” said host Nora Saks. “The diversity and variety of narratives explored in this season spotlight disappearance in history, art, business, space and nature and gives a platform to those still searching.”
In 2018, WBUR, in partnership with The Boston Globe, premiered the first season of Last Seen, which delved into the largest unsolved art heist in history and Boston’s best-known mystery – the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art theft.
Listeners are now invited on a quest around the world to investigate tales of things lost and the impact of their absence on those around them. Journalists and artists alike share the stories that piqued their investigative interests and the findings that shed new light on buried leads.
In Episode 1, WBUR co-host and senior producer of Endless Thread Amory Sivertson explores the enigmatic career of Jack 'Murph the Surf' Murphy, who's widely remembered for pulling off the biggest jewel heist in New York City history, but whose full story is much darker. The episode features Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and CBS Sunday Morning’s Faith Salie, who also introduced Amory to the story of Murph.
"I mean, look at this psychopath," Salie told Sivertson. "He is still compelling us to tell his story. There's no denying it."
In another episode, podcast producer Isabel Cadenas Cañón traces a story that begins with missing bodies from the Spanish Civil War and how one discovery led to a wave of social change. Journalist Allyson McCabe broadens the scope of missing to include “renounced objects,” taking a journey to understand how one person’s trash becomes another’s treasure.
"A few years ago, I started noticing that everyone seemed to be talking about objects that ‘spark joy,’” said McCabe. “But what about objects that don't spark joy, the stuff that reminds you of a painful breakup, the death of a loved one, a failed dream? It should be easy to get rid of those things, right? Turns out... not so much.”
Last Seen Season Two launches on Tuesday, February 1 with two episodes. Subsequent episodes will drop each week for nine weeks, through the end of March, showcasing an anthology of stories about missing things.