We’re building a platform to help uncover answers about cold cases with the help of citizen detectives through collective impact—join us!

We believe the more resources we can provide to digital volunteers and citizen solvers mean more “citizen detective” communities.

Citizen Detective Guide Cover
We’re using the power of collective impact to bring peace to families of murdered or missing people by combining data, technology, and the wisdom
of the community.

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime communitytogether we can do better.

There are many tools in the cold case toolbox and no one person knows how to use them all to their full potential. Thankfully, you don’t have to. You just need to have a collection of people that do.

— Gene Miller, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, Criminal Investigator, High Priority Offender Unit,
National Best Practices for Implementing and Sustaining a Cold Case Investigation Unit

While the podcast Serial may have ignited new interest in true crime in the last few years, people are switching from entertainment consumption to a passion for activism to help solve cold cases.

We’ve created a step-by-step guide to develop your unique abilities, test your knowledge, and even discover new talents. We need more Citizen Detectives to polish their skills to join us at Uncovered!

What you’ll learn with this guide
• Spark new insights for how you perceive information
• Understand key components to request public information
• Support further education and skill development
• Evaluate key processes for data collection
• Engage diverse methods in desktop research

The guide also comes with work space so you can map out your next case and prepare for the launch of Uncovered to combine publicly available information, with the ever-growing wisdom of the crowd, to do something that matters and find the intersection of justice, peace, and closure for families.

What 500 people have to say about true crime

We heard you when you said:
“I would definitely already be willing; I just wouldn’t know where to start!”

“Knowing my own potential to help and being armed with tools to help without disrupting ongoing investigation”

“Being able to identify clear opportunities to gather information that (I) was not looking into.”

“Feeling like I could make a meaningful contribution to it. Is there a path to get my research to someone who could affect the outcome?”

We took notice when:
89% of those surveyed said that they look for additional info on cases on more than one platform.

62% of people say they would take action by collaborating with others if they knew the victim.

On average, true crime and cold case info come from 4 to 5 sources with podcasts and documentaries leading.

Families Deserve Answers; Victims Deserve A Voice, And No One Should Be A Statistic.

Together We Can
Make A Difference

We’re combining publicly available information, with the ever-growing wisdom of the crowd, to do something that matters and find the intersection of justice, peace, and closure for families. Stay up-to-date with the latest case details.

Citizen Detective

Starting your own investigation into a cold case can take many forms. Uncovered is committed to providing resources to digital volunteers, family advocates, and citizen solvers to become a citizen detective and to uncover answers in cold cases with the help of our citizen detective website and the resources held within.

The big question now is, what are citizen detectives? Billy Jensen, author of Chase Darkness with Me’ and host of ‘Murder Squad‘ provides us with a clear citizen detective definition. Billy Jensen describes a citizen detective as “an individual who devotes his or her time and expertise to aid in the solving of a crime, without compensation or expectation of reward”. This is the true sentiment and reasoning why a citizen detective’s meaning can be different for each individual. A recent survey from Uncovered relayed that from the 500 people interviewed an overwhelming response to getting involved in solving a cold case is proximity.

How To Become a Detective

The more traditional career for those interested in solving cold cases is typically found within law enforcement, along the lines of leading a detective career. How to become a detective is laid out clearly while researching police detective requirements. These requirements vary from state to state, but almost always include the requirement of a high school diploma or GED, and have prior experience as a police officer.

A seemingly more common, yet less traditional hobby for those interested in solving cold cases is becoming a self-identified citizen sleuth or citizen detective. Although there is no clear outline for how to become a citizen sleuth, Uncovered has created a free Citizen Detective Guide that will assist you on your journey as citizen sleuths. One of the largest sleuthing communities is within the citizen detective Reddit community.

Citizen Detective Podcast

Citizen detective podcasts, also known as true crime podcasts, are one of the most popular podcast genres at the moment. The hosts of these podcasts have a great range of histories and careers, some have a background in law enforcement or the judicial system, while others have a career in investigative journalism; all with the underlying interest in being a citizen detective. Most of these podcast hosts and their listeners hold great pride in their community when they see citizens solving crimes through doing research into crimes, especially cold cases. A prime example of one of these communities is the many web sleuths Reddit users, who work diligently to find new information on cases and aid each other in their search for answers. Another example is the website Websleuths, filled with self-proclaimed web sleuths. What is a web sleuth exactly? Although there isn’t an exact definition for a web sleuth, they often do the same work as citizen detectives on other websites and communities, speculating about unsolved crimes in order to attempt to find the answers needed to solve a crime.

Citizen Detective Review

An easy way to dive headfirst into the true-crime community is to become a citizen detective. Citizen detectives review evidence, timelines, locations, and people involved in unsolved cases, and use their own special skills to try to connect dots that haven’t been connected by law enforcement using every resource they have available to them. Citizen detectives can be compared to a private investigators, in some ways, and are active all over the world, including, but not limited to, citizen detectives in the United States, Europe, Canada, and citizen detective Australia.

One way to really put your citizen detective skills to use, or to make it your career, is to become a private investigator. Although the steps towards becoming a private investigator vary from country to country, one constant remains, which is the need for citizenship in the country you live in and want to work in. The requirements and steps on how to become a private investigator in Australia, for example, are as follows. In order to become a private investigator in Australia, you must first gain your Australian citizenship, as well as earning your high school diploma or approved equivalent, as well as keeping a clean criminal record, and taking a government private investigator course in Australia. The average private investigator salary in Australia ranges from $50,000 AUD to $100,000 AUD, depending on experience and skill.

Citizen Detective Book

Billy Jensen is a true-crime expert and investigative journalist who focuses on unsolved cases of missing and murdered people. He is most known for his investigative work with retired cold case investigators, Paul Holes and Billy Jensen podcast, The Murder Squad, as well as his citizen detective book, ‘Chase Darkness With Me’. ‘Chase Darkness With Me’ focuses on Billy Jensen’s investigation into serial killer Terry Peder Rasmussen, who killed three girls in New Hampshire before their bodies were found in barrels in a state park. On May 6, 2019, police announced that the three individuals had been positively identified as Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch and her two daughters, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn and Sarah Lynn McWaters. Billy Jensen’s bodies in barrels investigation focused not only on discussing the case but also explaining his thoughts on whether Rasmussen had killed other people. Uncovered’s Citizen Detective guide is also a great reference for citizen detectives.