Slate Presents: The Queen | The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth

22 EpisodesProduced by Slate Podcasts

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. In The Queen, Josh Levin reveals the never-before-told story of a wom… read more

22 Episodes | 2018 - 2019

Bonus | The Queen: An Audiobook Preview

June 17th, 2019


Listen to the first chapter of the audiobook version of The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth. Narrated by January LaVoy.

Bonus | The Queen: How to Write This Book

June 11th, 2019


In this excerpt from the second bonus episode of The Queen, Dan Kois talks to Josh Levin about the process of writing the reporting-intensive book the podcast series is based on. They’re joined by a panel of three …

Bonus | The Queen: The Kidnapping of Baby Fronczak

June 10th, 2019


Is it possible that Linda Taylor perpetrated one of the most infamous child abductions in American history? In this excerpt from the first bonus …

The Queen | Ep. 04: Bobbie and Diana

June 7th, 2019

Linda Taylor had a tendency to emerge from out of nowhere, upend everything in her path, then vanish without leaving a forwarding address. The final episode of The Queen focuses on two different stories about the lives …

The Queen | Ep. 03: Constance

June 6th, 2019

A decade before she became known as the “welfare queen,” Linda Taylor put herself at the center of a different Chicago scandal. Upon the death of gambling kingpin Lawrence Wakefield, Taylor posed as the heir to his …

The Queen | Ep. 02: An Incredible Con

June 5th, 2019

In the 1970s, a pair of very different men fought to define Linda Taylor’s image. For presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, Taylor epitomized the brokenness of the federal bureaucracy and the broader trend of poor …

The Queen | Ep. 01: Coronation

June 4th, 2019

Linda Taylor became the “welfare queen” in 1974 when the Chicago Tribune publicized her outrageous exploits. The reporter who introduced her to the …

Season 3 Trailer | The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth

June 3rd, 2019

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its …

Charged | Ep 6: The Other Side

May 22nd, 2019


We check in with Tarari and others as they complete their time in the diversion program and look toward their futures. We hear from the people inside the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office about their plans to reshape …

Charged | Ep 5: The Long Tail

May 15th, 2019

A standalone episode about one of the voices featured in our series who is introduced to listeners as an expert but who goes through his own harrowing experience with the system when he’s sent to Rikers a few days shy …

Charged | Ep 4: The Escape Hatch

May 8th, 2019

Tarari enters a diversion program which saves him from jail but puts his life — and the lives of other defendants like him — on a knife’s edge. We hear from social workers who run the program about the many ethical …

Charged | Ep 3: The Ghost of Tyrone Howard

May 1st, 2019

Tarari faces a very long prison sentence before he’s offered the chance at mercy — with many strings attached. An episode from Eric’s past comes back to haunt him as he campaigns for D.A. and thinks through the …

Charged | Ep 2: Criminogenic

April 24th, 2019

As his family and friends hustle to come up with his bail money, Tarari ends up at one of the most infamous jails in the country: Rikers Island. Eric runs for his own term as district attorney just as the demands to …

Charged 1+: The Making of Charged

April 20th, 2019

This is a free preview of a Slate Plus bonus episode of Charged. Only Slate Plus members get an additional episode of Charged every week, diving deeper into the legal issues discussed on the show. To listen to the rest …

Charged | Ep 1: Born In Brooklyn

April 17th, 2019

The mayor of New York deals with a big political problem by creating a new court in Brooklyn. Two men, born 25 years and a few blocks apart in …

Season 2 Trailer | Charged: A True Punishment Story

March 8th, 2019


Season 1 of Slate Presents brought you the story of Ruby Ridge, and Season 2 brings you a fight to transform one big-city justice system.

Standoff | Ep. 4: Afterlife

November 28th, 2018

In the final episode of Standoff, our narrative miniseries on the story of Ruby Ridge, host Ruth Graham recaps the prosecution of Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris, and explores how the story of the standoff became …

Standoff | Ep. 3: The Wisdom of the Crowd

November 21st, 2018

Host Ruth Graham describes what happens for the bulk of the 11-day siege on the Weaver family property. As the surviving Weavers stayed holed up …

Standoff | The Order and Women in White Power

November 14th, 2018

Sociologist James Aho offers more on the The Order, a white supremacist group that went on a violent crime spree in the 1980s, and historian Kathleen …

Standoff | Ep. 2: Rules of Engagement

November 7th, 2018


Ruth Graham breaks down what led to a shootout on the Weaver family property on Aug. 21, 1992, that left three people dead.

Standoff | Ep. 1: Two Shotguns

October 31st, 2018

Randy and Vicki Weaver moved their family to a remote Idaho cabin. They feared their world would be destroyed in an apocalyptic confrontation with …

Season 1 Trailer | Standoff: What Happened at Ruby Ridge?

October 23rd, 2018

In 1992, hundreds of armed federal agents surrounded a family of white separatists in a ramshackle mountaintop cabin. Eleven days later, three people were dead—and the story of Ruby Ridge was just beginning. Journalist …
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