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Mackenzie Martin

Senior Podcast Producer/Reporter

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.

I'm a podcast producer and reporter at KCUR. I help make A People's History of Kansas City, Overlooked, and Hungry For MO. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.

  • In the early 1900s, the three Conley sisters barricaded themselves in a Wyandot cemetery in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, to save it from destruction. Then Lyda Conley took the battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — the first Indigenous woman to do so. In this episode, which originally aired in 2020, Suzanne Hogan uncovers Conley’s story and reports how the Kansas City arts community is newly celebrating her legacy.
  • When hip-hop hit Kansas City streets, the effect was immediate. The new sound took over record stores, local high schools and underground dance parties. As the country celebrates 50 years of the art form, Kansas City honors its own contributions to the culture.
  • When hip-hop first hit Kansas City streets, the effect was immediate. The new sound took over record stores, local high schools and underground dance parties. As America celebrates a half century of hip-hop, KCUR’s Lawrence Brooks IV honors Kansas City’s own contributions to the culture.
  • In 1948, Phillip Sollomi debuted an Italian vinaigrette at his Kansas City fried chicken restaurant, the Wishbone. An immediate hit, the salad dressing formed the foundation for an empire: For 75 years, Wish-Bone Italian dressing has helped bring people together around the dinner table, but few Kansas Citians know their connection to the iconic bottle. KCUR’s Jenny Vergara and Natasha Bailey track down why.
  • After dying suddenly under mysterious circumstances, Kansas City philanthropist Thomas Swope became the focus of one of the most publicized murder trials of the early 20th century. It’s long been suspected that Swope’s nephew-in-law murdered him and other members of his family as part of a plot to steal their fortune — but the events remain unresolved more than 110 years later.
  • For more than a century, Kansas City has been haunted by the mysterious death of philanthropist Thomas Swope. Suspect number one is his nephew-in-law, Dr. Bennett Hyde, who stood to inherit a sizable portion of the Swope family fortune. But did Hyde really murder Thomas Swope, or was the physician actually the victim of a longstanding family grudge? This question was at the center of one of the most publicized murder trials of the early 20th century. Producer Mackenzie Martin walks host Suzanne Hogan through the evidence of this still-unsolved mystery.
  • At the turn of the 20th century, a self-taught caterer in Columbia gained national acclaim with her sought-after biscuit recipe. Fisher’s famous beaten biscuits made it onto the plates of presidents and Hollywood stars alike — making her one of the wealthiest Black women around. But her story may have been lost if not for a few determined Missouri women.
  • At the turn of the 20th century, a self-taught caterer in Columbia gained national acclaim with her sought-after biscuit recipe. Fisher’s famous beaten biscuits made it onto the plates of presidents and Hollywood stars alike — making her one of the wealthiest Black women around. But her story may have been lost if not for a few determined Missouri women.
  • Kansas City’s first Pride parade in 1977 was spearheaded by Lea Hopkins, a bold, Black lesbian whose organizing sparked a wider gay rights movement that continues today. But it was only a few weeks after that successful event that Hopkins found herself on the defense again, when a prominent anti-gay activist came on a crusade through town.
  • Kansas City’s first Pride parade in 1977 was spearheaded by Lea Hopkins, whose organizing sparked a wider gay rights movement that continues today. But it was only a few weeks after that successful event that Hopkins found herself on the defense again, when a prominent anti-gay activist came on a crusade through town.