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Mar 25, 2020

An Unsettling Crime at the Top of the World

The tiny town of Longyearben is the kind of place where people go to start their lives over. (Photo: Helge Skodvin)
The tiny town of Longyearben is the kind of place where people go to start their lives over.

In the isolated Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, some 800 miles from the North Pole, the tiny town of Longyearben is the kind of place where people go to start their lives over. With brightly colored homes laid out neatly against a mountainous backdrop, it seems out of a fairytale. There’s almost no crime, so residents leave their front doors unlocked and their keys in the car. In the surrounding Arctic wilderness are abundant polar bears, arctic foxes, and reindeer. But when an eerie crime happened in the frozen winter darkness, it brought home a harsh reality: in the modern world, trouble always finds you. Listen to our podcast based on our January feature, "The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town."

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.