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It started as an American success story. The Easterday family took a couple hundred acres of farmland in rural Washington state and grew it into a farming and ranching empire worth millions. Then, it all came crashing down. Ghost Herd – the new investigative podcast – tells the story of Cody Easterday, the man at the center of one of the largest cattle swindles in U.S. history. Easterday invented a “ghost herd” of 265,000 cattle that only existed on paper … and swindled companies including a meat-packing giant to the tune of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. Ghost Herd is a story of family and fraud, but also a story about the value of dirt and the shifting powers in the American West. Creator and host Anna King explains how she got the story.



Anna King, Correspondent at Northwest Public Broadcasting

Award-winning journalist Anna King shines a national spotlight on the complex stories of the Northwest – from complex nuclear waste cleanup, to mysterious cattle mutilations.

Her work appears on Northwest Public Broadcasting, the Northwest News Network, National Public Radio and its member stations across the country.

King earned the David Douglas History Award from the Washington State Historical Society in 2016 for her “Daughters of Hanford” series and museum show.

Her work has been recognized nationally and she has earned two Gracie awards, a Sigma Delta Chi medal and a RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting – on her news series about Cody Easterday’s major cattle swindle and its outfall, she’s been doggedly covering the story since it broke in the winter of 2021. And King is the creator and host of NWPB and KUOW’s fresh new podcast Ghost Herd, that’s garnered about a half-million downloads so far.