August 10, 2018

The Feather Heist

A flute player breaks into a British museum and makes off with a million dollars worth of dead birds. 

An “analytical diagram” illustrating the various parts of a Jock Scott salmon fly. 

George M. Kelson’s The Salmon Fly: How to Dress It and How to Use It (1895) 

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.


After hearing about the heist, Kirk Wallace Johnson gets sucked into the feather underground. He ends up discovering things that the people in charge of the theft investigation didn’t. Kirk’s book about the heist is called “The Feather Thief." (7 minutes)

Act One

The Specimens

The birds Edwin Rist stole were valuable and collected in the mid-1800s by one of the greatest scientific explorers of his time: a man named Alfred Russel Wallace. (6 minutes)

Act Three

The Museum

Edwin visits a branch of Britain's Natural History Museum in a little town called Tring. (3 1/2 minutes)

Act Four

The Heist

The detective on the case takes Kirk to the crime scene. (6 minutes)

Act Six

The Suspect

Kirk wonders if Edwin has a sidekick who helped him the night of the Tring heist. (5 minutes)