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Paula Oberbroeckling's cold case and the weekly 5K that's part of an international movement

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Katherine Dykstra is the author of What Happened to Paula; on the Death of an American Girl. The book tells the story of Cedar Rapids local Paula Oberbroeckling, who in 1970 was found dead in a field. The case has never been solved.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, listen back to host Charity Nebbe's conversation with Dykstra as she argues that Paula died largely because she was female and faced many risks. Oberbroeckling followed her own path, and it appeared that nobody really cared about her. The media barely covered the story at the time, and people “didn’t think she was a ‘good’ victim," said Dykstra.

Later in the podcast, runners and walkers are meeting up at a park in Iowa City for a free weekly 5K that is part of an international movement. Charity heads out into the field for a visit with ParkRun Iowa City and captures what the Saturday morning run is all about.


  • Katherine Dykstra, author, What Happened to Paula; on the Death of an American Girl
  • Joel Berger, ParkRun Iowa City

Charity Nebbe's conversation with Katherine Dykstra was originally produced on August 12, 2021.

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Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa