Artwork for The Pope's Long Con

The Pope's Long Con

Louisville Public Media

In 2016, Danny Ray Johnson was elected to state office. The fast talking biker-preacher known as "The Pope" paints himself as a 9/11 hero. He says he raised the dead! But our seven month investigation uncovered a much different picture: Attempted arson. Another mysterious fire. Alleged bootlegging and molestation in the church. For years, Johnson broke laws. Now he helps make them. What happens wh... more

PublishesDailyEpisodes8Founded6 years ago
Religion & SpiritualityNews

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Artwork for The Pope's Long Con

Latest Episodes

From the newsroom that brought you the Pope’s Long Con, check out our newest podcast, Dig. In the first season, we bring you the results of a yearlong look at how rape cases are investigated in Louisville. What we’ve learned: here, the police defer t... more

4 years ago

We knew the story wasn't over at the end of the last chapter — but no one could've known what would happen next. +

6 years ago

Over and over, there were warning signs for law enforcement, political leaders and others. What happens when the institutions we rely on look the other way? How does a liar slip through the cracks into a position of power?

6 years ago

A teenage girl thought of Johnson as a second dad. Her family trusted the pastor. But in 2013, he allegedly molested her. Hear her story. And listen to Johnson's extraordinary response.

6 years ago


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4.6 out of 5 stars from 1.2k ratings
  • And that’s how local journalism is done

    Congrats on ur work dismantling the unfair good ol boy network. I’m sad it ended this way but I’m glad the truth was known before other children got hurt.

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa year ago
  • Typical

    The guy is awful. That’s a given. But so are biased journalists. The hypocrisy here is stunning.

    Apple Podcasts
    United States2 years ago
  • Very well done!!

    Awesome hosts, great music, and I loved the recordings mixed with the storytelling. Really well written and produced. I hope to hear more like this soon.

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 years ago
  • Wow

    Crazy story!!

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 years ago
  • I wish....

    I wish it was longer, had more substance & got this man out of office. This just made me think of another criminal in power that’s going to stay in power, wreak havoc because of their stature or position & destroy lives until the people around them can no longer ignore the behavior...then it’s too late. I gave the podcast 5 stars despite this because these small country towns are incestuous to the point that right & wrong changes based on who you just had a beer with, sat beside in church, went ... more

    Apple Podcasts
    United States3 years ago

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