Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


This time around, Linda Glantz wanted to be involved.

Glantz lives in Livingston and works an administrative job at the Bozeman hospital. But she was 8 years old in 1987, living with her family in a home in Billings, when a man broke into the house through a window and raped her. An 18-year-old who had recently left a juvenile detention center was convicted of the crime and went to prison for almost 15 years.

And for a time, that was it.

But then, in 2002, DNA evidence exonerated Jim Bromgard, the man behind bars for the crime. After a decade-and-a-half in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Bromgard was free, and in 2015, the same DNA evidence that showed Bromgard didn’t commit that crime in 1987 matched another man, Ronald Dwight Tipton. Yellowstone County filed three felony rape charges against Tipton, but in 2018, the state Supreme Court dismissed the charges.

At the time of the crime, Glantz was an anonymous victim. But this time, and especially after the new DNA match, she wanted to share her side of the story.

“When we heard that there was a DNA match with Tipton, it was almost like, I can’t believe this is going to be front and center of my life again,” Glantz said. “It gets very tiring to keep everything in and to keep the secret, so I was ready this time.”

It was around that same time the DNA pointed to Tipton that Glantz first met Jule Banville, a journalism professor at the University of Montana and the producer of “An Absurd Result,” a seven-episode podcast about Glantz, Bromgard and the crime that threw both of their lives in a new direction. The final two episodes of “An Absurd Result,” a production of Mopac Audio, dropped Wednesday.

Banville was the first journalist who Glantz talked to about the crime, the trial and the fallout from both that changed her life. The two didn’t immediately work together — Banville helped Glantz get in touch with a different reporter who wrote the first story identifying Glantz as the then-8-year-old in the 1987 crime — but they kept in touch. Last year, Banville took a sabbatical from teaching to produce “An Absurd Result.”

Ever since Banville learned of Glantz’s story in 2015, it had been weighing on her. She wanted to get Glantz’s story out there, and she wanted to share Bromgard’s story as well.

“This was a chance to really report out what happened and the whole context of everything from 1987 until now, and then for her to reflect and say what she wants to say and say what she needs to say,” Banville said.

Listening to the podcast as episodes came out was both exciting and emotional for Glantz, she said. She was only 8 when the crime happened and 9 when she testified in court, and her recollection of the events is filtered through that lens of being a kid. But hearing Banville tell the story has been refreshing.

“It’s all been therapeutic,” Glantz said. “It’s nice to have someone else tell the story from beginning to end in a way that makes sense.”

The podcast includes a number of interviews with Glantz, her family members, law enforcement officers who worked on the case and people who worked at the national Innocence Project and helped make Bromgard’s exoneration happen. But it also has several interviews with Bromgard and his mother, something Glantz said moved her in a way she didn’t quite expect.

“Hearing (Bromgard’s mother) speak and the stories she told and hearing things from their perspective were eye-opening for me,” she said. “And then you realize it’s so much bigger than just me and Jimmy being affected by this. So many people were affected by this.”

More information about “An Absurd Result” is available at anabsurdresultpodcast.com.

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.