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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Camp Hell: Anneewakee

Available on Apple Podcasts / Podcasts

Though this podcast’s title is far from subtle, it tells its story, about a camp for troubled boys and the abuse that occurred there, with nuance and depth. Founded in 1962, the Anneewakee Treatment Center for Emotionally Disturbed Youth was led by Louis Poetter, a quack psychologist and pedophile, who was ultimately imprisoned for life. (The camp was eventually bankrupted by lawsuits.) The series is not for the faint of heart, but several fascinating characters help keep it more interesting than your average true-crime tale—for instance, two former counselors who spent years trying to shut the camp down, to almost no avail. That the camp stayed in business—with Poetter at the helm, no less—for as long as it did is shocking, but perhaps more unbelievable is the number of alarm bells rung before anyone would listen, and the various power brokers that helped silence the center’s survivors and their advocates. —C.J.F.

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