When Shapearl Wells’s son Courtney is found outside a Chicago police station with a fatal bullet wound, Shapearl immediately distrusts the official narrative. So she launches her own investigation into her son’s murder and teams up with journalists from the Invisible Institute to confront the cops and find the truth about Courtney’s death. Somebody explores the racial disparities and turbulent relationship between law enforcement and citizens in one of America’s largest cities.

Somebody is a co-production of Topic Studios,The Intercept, the Invisible Institute, and iHeartRadio, in association with Tenderfoot TV. Somebody has won numerous awards, including a2020 Third Coast award for best serialized story, Adweek’s podcast host of the year, IDA Documentary Awards’ best audio documentary, theScripps Howard Award for excellence in radio/podcast coverage, and a Headliner Award.

For educators, we have a free 10-lesson curriculum available on the Invisible Institute’s resource page for teachers.



Courtney’s Book Bag

Somebody - Sep. 29 2020
The team shares a major development in the case. Shapearl keeps busy with the Courtney Copeland Memorial Foundation’s annual book bag giveaway (, as Alison remembers the role of Courtney’s own book bag in the murder investigation. And Shapearl memorializes one of Courtney’s best friends, Steve Otero. A co-production of Topic Studios, The Intercept, the Invisible […]

Shapearl Wells on A Slight Change of Plans Podcast

Somebody - Dec. 23 2021
We’re sharing a special podcast with you this week: A Slight Change of Plans, which was just named Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year. Hosted by Dr. Maya Shankar, A Slight Change of Plans is all about understanding the science of change. That understanding, mixed with a healthy dose of compassion, has made the show […]