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Reveal

The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX

Reveal’s investigations will inspire, infuriate and inform you. Host Al Letson and an award-winning team of reporters deliver gripping stories about caregivers, advocates for the unhoused, immigrant families, warehouse workers and formerly incarcerated people, fighting to hold the powerful accountable. The New Yorker described Reveal as “a knockout … a pleasure to listen to, even as we seethe.” A winner of multiple Peabody, duPont, Emmy and Murrow awards, Reveal is produced by the nation’s first investigative journalism nonprofit, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and PRX. From unearthing exploitative working conditions to exposing the nation’s racial disparities, there’s always more to the story. Learn more at revealnews.org/learn.

© 2022

Reveal’s investigations will inspire, infuriate and inform you. Host Al Letson and an award-winning team of reporters deliver gripping stories about caregivers, advocates for the unhoused, immigrant families, warehouse workers and formerly incarcerated people, fighting to hold the powerful accountable. The New Yorker described Reveal as “a knockout … a pleasure to listen to, even as we seethe.” A winner of multiple Peabody, duPont, Emmy and Murrow awards, Reveal is produced by the nation’s first investigative journalism nonprofit, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and PRX. From unearthing exploitative working conditions to exposing the nation’s racial disparities, there’s always more to the story. Learn more at revealnews.org/learn.

© 2022

Alphabet Boys Revealed

Thumbnail for "Alphabet Boys Revealed".
February 10, 202450min 40sec

The summer of 2020 was a hinge point in American history. The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police inspired racial justice demonstrations nationwide. At the time, the FBI was convinced that extreme Black political activists could cross the line into domestic terrorism – a theory federal agents had first termed “Black identity extremism.”

That summer, Mickey Windecker approached the FBI. He drove a silver hearse, claimed to have been a volunteer fighter for the French Foreign Legion and the Peshmerga in Iraq, and had arrest records in four states that included convictions for misdemeanor sexual assault and menacing with a weapon, a felony. He claimed to the FBI that he had heard racial justice activists speak vaguely of training and violent revolution in Denver. 

The FBI enlisted Windecker as a paid informant, gave him a recording device and instructed him to infiltrate Denver's growing Black Lives Matter movement. For months, Windecker spied on activists and attempted to recruit two Black men into an FBI-engineered plot to assassinate the state's attorney general.

Windecker's undercover work is the first documented case of FBI efforts to infiltrate the 2020 racial justice movement. Journalist Trevor Aaronson obtained over a dozen hours of Windecker's secret recordings and more than 300 pages of internal FBI reports for season 1 of the podcast series Alphabet Boys

This episode of Reveal is a partnership with Alphabet Boys and production company Western Sound


This is an update of an episode that originally aired in September 2023.