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Chapter 4: Roger Golubski, the chameleon

Roger Golubski, a retired Kansas City, Kansas Police Department detective, was arrested in September by the FBI on charges that he kidnapped and raped two women. Federal prosecutors have accused him of a pattern of abuse.
Chandler Johnson
/
Kalimizzou
Roger Golubski, a retired Kansas City, Kansas Police Department detective, was arrested in September by the FBI on charges that he kidnapped and raped two women. Federal prosecutors have accused him of a pattern of abuse. Photo by Carlos Moreno.

Who is Roger Golubski? Once interested in being a Catholic priest, Golubski spent 35 years in the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, which had a reputation for racism and corruption. The secret to Golubski’s career was his use of “confidential informants,” who he cited to secure countless convictions — including at least one person who was innocent. Now, Golubski is facing a federal indictment for kidnapping, raping and assaulting women.

Read more about how Roger Golubski built a career on abusing Black women from KCUR's Peggy Lowe.

Overlooked is a production of KCUR Studios and the NPR Midwest Newsroom, and a member of the NPR Podcast Network.

It’s hosted by Peggy Lowe, with reporting by Peggy Lowe, Steve Vockrodt and Dan Margolies. Mackenzie Martin and Suzanne Hogan produced, mixed, and did the sound design for the podcast, with editing by CJ Janovy and mixing help from Paris Norvell. Digital editing by Gabe Rosenberg. Social media promotion by Allison Harris. Photos by Carlos Moreno and Julie Denesha. Artwork by Crysta Henthorne and Chandler Johnson of Kalimizzou. Music from Blue Dot Sessions.

Special thanks this episode to Genevieve Des Marteau, Lisa Rodriguez, Holly Edgell, and Anne Lacey at the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library.

Overlooked: Season 1
I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.
Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a community storyteller taking a new look at local history, I aim to provide that context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
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