James Wolner

Podcast Producer, Filmmaker

Languages: Swedish, English
James Wolner is an regional Emmy award-winning filmmaker and the creator, producer and host of Dakota Spotlight a true crime podcast that focuses on the Upper Midwest.

He holds a Bachelor's degree from California State University at Fresno where he studied photojournalism and English Literature.

A California native, Wolner lived in Sweden for over two decades before relocating back to the United States in 2012.

With long experience in the Information Technology industry, he is a certified MySQL Database Administrator and open source programmer; He worked primarily as a website and database developer in Europe and the United States until 2020 when he made a career change to investigative reporting, writing and podcast and film production.

In 2021 Wolner won a regional Emmy award for Forum Communication's documentary film The House on Sweet and Seventh.

He can be contacted at jwolner@forumcomm.com
twitter: @dakotaspotlight

Languages: English and Swedish
Hobbies: Running, reading, hiking, cooking
Best part of any day: First sip of coffee
Favorite Movies: The Double Life Of Veronique,Lost in Translation, The Giant Mechanical Man

See Everything by Dakota Spotlight

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15 years after Joel Lovelien was found slain, his death, and the murder trial and verdict that followed, continues to reverberate in many people's lives.
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Charged with murder in Joel Lovelien's death, Travis Stay went on trial in Grand Forks in December 2008. 'Everyone had an opinion,' recalled a reporter who covered the trial. The verdict: not guilty.
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The Dakota Spotlight podcast reviews what evidence Grand Forks County submitted against Travis Stay when he was arrested for the murder of Joel Lovelien in 2007.
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Joel Lovelien was a big man with a big personality. Not aggressive, but smart, with a dry, raunchy sense of humor. And don't forget his fondness for belting out the "SpongeBob Squarepants" theme song.
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In this Dakota Spotlight episode, the podcast tracks the movements and actions of Travis Stay and others. What was going on with him and his friends that weekend night just before Halloween?
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As police responded to the scene of the beating death of Lovelien in Grand Forks on Oct. 28, 2007, they quickly zeroed in on three costumed partiers that night: a clown, a cowboy and a hunter.
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In its eighth season, the Dakota Spotlight podcast is re-examining the killing of Joel Lovelien, which took place outside the Broken Drum bar in Grand Forks on Oct. 28, 2007.
'Clinker' found on the engine block of Michele 'Shelly' Julson's abandoned car in 1994 may be linked to an early sighting in rural Burleigh County, North Dakota, the Dakota Spotlight true crime podcast reports.
In the new and perhaps final episode of Season 7 of the Dakota Spotlight investigative podcast, founder and host James Wolner looks into Schaffer, his long career at the Bismarck Police Department and how his paths crossed with Shelly Julson's before she disappeared in 1994.
When 51-year-old Australian schoolteacher Marion Barter disappeared while taking a sabbatical to travel the world local authorities dismissed the family's concerns. 25 years later, the dogged efforts of The Lady Vanishes podcast are uncovering a disturbing story.