Inside Appalachia Features the Pope’s Long Con


This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn about the life of  Kentucky politician and pastor Danny Johnson, and the investigation that exposed a long line of questionable actions that preceded his rise to power. 

The Pope’s Long Con” from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has earned several national honors, including a Peabody Award

The 5-part investigation revealed some shocking facts about Johnson’s personal life, including one account from a woman who alleges that he sexually molesting her. On December 12, 2017, a day after a print version of this report ran, Johnson held a press conference at his church,where he denied the accusations. The next day, he killed himself.

Listen to the episode to hear the investigation and a candid discussion with the journalists who produced this series about the investigation process, the role of media today, and what it was like coping with news of Johnson’s suicide.

We had help producing Inside Appalachia this week from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WFPL in Louisville.

Our theme music is by Ben Townsend. Musical scoring in the Pope’s Long Con was the work of Kevin Ratterman at La La Land Sound and the theme song was “Seventh Son” by Willie Dixon; recorded by Ratterman and featuring Patrick Hallahan, Alex Wrickle, Scott Carney and Otis Jr., with backing vocals from Hannah Sexton and Savannah Ecklar.

Glynis Board produced and mixed our episode this week. Roxy Todd edited this episode. Our executive producer is Jesse Wright. Molly Born is our web editor. You can find us online on Twitter @InAppalachia