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The Citizen Detective

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Join 20,862 fellow true crime enthusiasts and get the 5-minute run-down of what's going on in the true crime world in your inbox every other Tuesday, for free.

🔎 The Citizen Detective connects the dots on cold cases, the latest binge-worthy content, and trending mysteries — so you don't have to. Think of us as your online sleuthing friend obsessed with every true crime topic imaginable because… well, we are.

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Go deeper into the cases and topics that keep us up at night

Hot off the Press

Explore the latest in high-profile investigations, trials, and content

Compelling Storytelling

Delve into a case to piece together the truth

Why we do it

There's an endless stream of true crime media — and we know there's no shortage of cold cases. We spent months looking for the one place to get curated, well-rounded criminally good content.

When we couldn't find it, we knew we had to create it.

Spend less time trying to get to the end of the rabbit hole, and spend more of your time being informed, with 🔎 The Citizen Detective.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll get in your inbox!

February 27, 2024

FEATURED CASE
Who Killed Nicole?

In the fall of 2018, Nicole Coleman checked herself into a mental health facility in Austin, Texas, to receive treatment. She was starting to get better while living in a small group home for women.

On December 28, 2018, Nicole can be seen on surveillance footage walking through the Kool Corner gas station parking lot. She walked through the lot at 5:26pm, and then again at 6:07pm.

Days later, as two cyclists were riding along a nearby highway, they noticed what looked like something suspicious down in the woods off the pavement. After checking it out, the pair called 911 saying, “It’s a body.”

Investigators have been tight-lipped about their work but noted that they recovered “items of evidence” at the scene.

🔎 After Nicole was murdered, her father wrote in an emotional Facebook post: “Nikki, I want people to know there was a lot more to you than just the mental health issues.” Could someone have taken advantage of Nicole's kind heart?

TRIAL WATCHERS
♥️ Settlement Reached

A lawsuit settlement between Gabby Petito’s family and Brian Laundrie’s family has been reached, avoiding a civil trial.

"After a long day of mediation, a confidential resolution has been reached between the parents of Gabby Petito [and] the parents of Brian Laundrie…” a statement from Gabby’s parents read.

The family has noted that they got the answers they were looking for.

The statement concludes by saying: “Our hope is to close this chapter of our lives to allow us to move on and continue to honor the legacy of our beautiful daughter, Gabby."

🔥 Last year, a ‘Burn After Reading’ letter written by Roberta started to raise eyebrows. Why did she write that she "would bring a shovel to help bury a body"? Read our letter analysis here.

CHECK THIS OUT
🎥 YouTube Live Investigative Series!

It’s 2012. Dawn Pasela, a trusting and fierce advocate for justice, has just realized the unimaginable — the prosecutors she works for are hiding evidence to keep innocent people imprisoned for mortgage fraud. She’s threatened to stay silent, but she’s determined to testify against them and do what’s right.

She’d never get that chance.

Just as Dawn is supposed to testify, she’s found dead in her apartment under suspicious circumstances.

⚖️ Join us — Dana Poll, Lexi Kakis, and Andrea Cipriano — for our weekly YouTube Live investigative series into the suspicious death of Dawn Pasela, starting Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00pm EST! It’s never too late to uncover the truth.

TRUE CRIME TRIVIA BREAK

Uh-oh, something changed with the image above!! Which killer would write this symbol at the end of letters sent to the police and the media?

A) John Wayne Gacy
B) Keith Hunter Jesperson
C) Samuel McDowell
D) Pedro López

HOT OFF THE PRESS
🩺 Justice for Laken Riley

Late last week, Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University, went for a run on the intramural fields at the University of Georgia’s main campus in Athens.

Her roommate began to worry when she didn’t return, so she called the police and reported her as missing. A few hours later, Laken was found in the woods, unresponsive and with “visible injuries.” Her death was deemed a homicide.

Over the weekend, investigators identified and arrested the alleged killer responsible — Jose Ibarra, an illegal immigrant previously arrested in New York City for another crime.

🔎 Many are drawing case detail similarities to the unsolved murder of Rachel Morin, a mother who went out for a run on a Maryland hiking trail. Rachel’s killer is known to travel, considering his DNA was also found at a crime scene in Los Angeles, California.

FEEL GOOD NEWS
1 Tip, 35 Years Later!

Authorities in Missouri say a 1989 cold case has been solved after someone came forward with a “rock-solid tip” 35 years later!

Three men in their 60s have been arrested and indicted on first-degree murder, forcible rape, and first-degree kidnapping charges in the 1989 killing of 24-year-old Kelle Ann Workman.

Kelle was last seen cutting the grass at a rural cemetery in southwestern Missouri on June 30, 1989. A week later, her body was found submerged in a creek more than 10 miles away.

Douglas County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Weatherman said the information was the last piece they needed to “slide it all together” — proving that any cold case can be solved decades later with the right information!


WANT MORE FROM UNCOVERED?

Today's newsletter was written by Andrea Cipriano and edited by Dana Poll.

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Search our database to find and follow cold cases near you.

WHY DO WE EXIST?

With more than 200,000 unsolved cases having gone cold since 1980, Uncovered built the nation's largest database of public information and it's powered by our community.

It's where the most passionate true crime enthusiasts learn from and teach others while digging deeper into the stories you've heard before in ways that actually help.

At some point, compassion causes entertainment to grow into a need for activism, contribution, and community to solve the stories of real people. Join us.

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Copyright ©2023 Uncovered, PBC. All rights reserved.
2770 Arapahoe Road Suite 132-682, Lafayette, Colorado 80026

February 13, 2024

FEATURED CASE
💔 High School Sweetheart Tragedy

Stephanie Hart-Grizzell, 16, and Nicholas “Nick” Kunselman, 15, became fast friends when they met in middle school. It wasn’t until they started at Columbine High School that their friendship blossomed into something more romantic.

In 1999, the first of two tragedies struck. Stephanie and Nick survived the infamous Columbine shooting, inspiring the two to grow closer as they worked through the trauma they endured.

But, 10 months later, Stephanie and Nick would find themselves in another active shooter situation — around 1:00 AM on Valentine’s Day.

🔎 Did someone target this loving pair, or did the Subway sandwich shop cater darker secrets? And, with an illusive suspect description, will this case ever get solved?

TRIAL WATCHERS
Justice for Harmony

Harmony Montgomery, 5, had a sweet face and bright smile that’s unforgettable. Earlier this month, a jury began hearing the tragic details about Harmony’s untimely death.

She disappeared in 2019, but police didn’t know Harmony was missing until two years later. Her body has never been found, but now, her father and stepmother are facing charges.

Kayla Montgomery, Adam’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother, told the jury that Harmony’s death in the backseat of their car was a result of rage over toileting accidents.


CHECK THIS OUT
Maura Murray Age Progression

It’s been 20 years since the talented and vibrant Massachusetts nursing student Maura Murray, vanished.

In light of the milestone anniversary, investigators have released an age-progressed photo, created by the FBI. They say this is part of an effort to prompt new leads.

With that in mind, the people who love Maura the most have a way to hopefully prompt new leads too: the Media Pressure Podcast.

🎧 Maura’s sister, Julie, hosts Season One of Media Pressure. This season reveals who Maura Murray really was through exclusive interviews, an in-depth look into the investigation efforts, and an exploration of the impact on those left behind.

TRUE CRIME TRIVIA BREAK

Uh-oh, something changed with the image above!! Which killer would write this symbol at the end of letters sent to the police and the media?

A) Dennis Rader
B) Jack the Ripper
C) Keith Hunter Jesperson
D) Richard Ramirez

CRIMINALLY GOOD CONTENT
‘Lover, Stalker, Killer’ on Netflix!

Dave (pictured above) was looking to try online dating to meet someone for a casual relationship. To his luck, he met Liz and Cari — both single moms with winning personalities that helped Dave come out of his shell.

But when one romance soured, it turned Dave’s life into a twisted love triangle, putting him and everyone he loved at risk.

This newest Netflix documentary uses interviews with those involved, including the detectives who cracked the case, alongside vivid reenactments to bring viewers into the tension and paranoia of Dave’s 4-year nightmare.


FEEL GOOD NEWS
Savannah PD Solve 1st Cold Case!

The Savannah Police Department solved its first cold case since the inception of their Cold Case Unit in 2016, Savannah Now reports.

The team is made up of seven investigators who, under city policy limits, can only work under 20 hours per week. But, that hasn’t stopped them from making headway on cases and using their combined 180 years of total policing experience.

It’s been revealed that a Chatham County grand jury recently indicted Kenneth Brown for two counts of malice murder in connection to the 1987 bludgeoning and suffocation death of Deneen Rawls. Genetic genealogy played a role in helping to solve this case!


WANT MORE FROM UNCOVERED?

Today's newsletter was written by Andrea Cipriano and edited by Dana Poll.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Support our work by advertising in this newsletter.

Search our database to find and follow cold cases near you.

WHY DO WE EXIST?

With more than 200,000 unsolved cases having gone cold since 1980, Uncovered built the nation's largest database of public information and it's powered by our community.

It's where the most passionate true crime enthusiasts learn from and teach others while digging deeper into the stories you've heard before in ways that actually help.

At some point, compassion causes entertainment to grow into a need for activism, contribution, and community to solve the stories of real people. Join us.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from the list.
Copyright ©2023 Uncovered, PBC. All rights reserved.
2770 Arapahoe Road Suite 132-682, Lafayette, Colorado 80026

January 30, 2024

FEATURED CASE
Who killed 'The Black Daliah'?

It’s a Hollywood murder case that has gripped the nation for over 77 years; the death of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, later nicknamed “The Black Dahlia” because of her rumored Gothic appearance of dark hair and attire.

While you may be familiar with the infamous descriptions of the horrific crime scene, some of the lesser-known case facts still stun Citizen Detectives — and offer up countless questions.

🤨 Who was the man, Robert “Red” Manley, Elizabeth was last seen with? Who mailed the postcards and cut out notes asking to make a deal with the police? Could her killer have been one of the 150 suspects?

TRAIL WATCHERS
Kohberger trial in 2025?

While many are eager to see Bryan Kohberger face a jury for the Idaho 4 murders sooner rather than later, his defense team is arguing for a 2025 trial date.

Anne Taylor, one of Kohberger’s attorneys, said in court that they recently received discovery that contained over 9,000 tips and more than 500 hours of HD video they haven’t had time to work through.

Prosecutor Bill Thompson agreed with the sheer amount of evidence, but still stressed that a 2024 summer trial would be best since school would not be in session.

⚖️ Ultimately, the judge said he would take the matter under advisement before issuing a ruling. To that end, he said he’d prefer an earlier trial.

RECENT COVERAGE
Alex Murdaugh Retrial Hearing

Yesterday, jurors faced a retrial evidentiary hearing in the case of Alex Murdaugh, the former South Carolina lawyer who was convicted of killing his wife and son.

It was a bombshell hearing with a shocking revelation that jurors were live streaming the proceedings on their cell phones ahead of going on the stand! Judge Toal was so shocked, considering they were not supposed to hear the lawyers' arguments, that she had everyone take a break.

One juror said her verdict was influenced by Clerk of Court Becky Hill, but ultimately, the judge said she did not find that Hill's actions had any impact on Alex Murdaugh's guilty verdict.

She denied his motion for a new trial.


CHECK THIS OUT
Documentary Backlash

American Nightmare, which was released on Netflix earlier this month, examined the so-called “Gone Girl” case about a couple in Vallejo, California, who were targeted by a kidnapper and rapist in 2015.

The case had movie-like twists and turns — so much so that the Vallejo Police Department didn’t believe the victims about what happened.

Now that the trending Netflix documentary has exposed the truth about the case and shined a light on the botched investigation, the Vallejo Police Department’s social media pages and Google Reviews are being bombarded with hate comments.


TRUE CRIME TRIVIA BREAK

Uh-oh, something changed with the image above!! Which killer wrote an infamous pentagram symbol in lipstick at crime scenes?

A) William Heirens
B) Jack the Ripper
C) Charles Albright
D) Richard Ramirez

HOT OFF THE PRESS
1st Nitrogen Gas Execution

Last week, officials in Alabama executed a death row inmate using nitrogen gas, making it the first time an individual was put to death in the U.S. using this method.

According to reporters who attended the execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith, 58, it was a death that was difficult to watch and took a long time.

Smith was convicted of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot in 1988, killing Elizabeth Sennett. He previously survived an earlier execution attempt by lethal injection in November 2022.

🔎 While delivering his final statement, Smith said: “Tonight, Alabama causes humanity to take a step backwards.” Critics have agreed, saying this was “experimental” and a potential breach of international conventions against torture.

FEEL GOOD NEWS
High School Students Solve Case!

In 2018, a sociology teacher at Elizabethton High School gave his students a challenge — gather as much evidence as you can about the “Bible Belt Strangler,” a killer who took the lives of at least six redheaded women from 1983 and 1985.

The students hit the ground running, and ultimately uncovered evidence that suggested Jerry Johns, a truck driver, was a likely suspect.

A year later, in 2019, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made a connection between Johns to one of the victims. Now, DNA has finally confirmed that Jerry Johns is the infamous killer.

⚖️ Johns died in prison in 2015 after being convicted of strangling a sex worker in Knox County, Kentucky, in 1985.

WANT MORE FROM UNCOVERED?

Today's newsletter was written by Andrea Cipriano and edited by Dana Poll.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Support our work by advertising in this newsletter.

Search our database to find and follow cold cases near you.

WHY DO WE EXIST?

With more than 200,000 unsolved cases having gone cold since 1980, Uncovered built the nation's largest database of public information and it's powered by our community.

It's where the most passionate true crime enthusiasts learn from and teach others while digging deeper into the stories you've heard before in ways that actually help.

At some point, compassion causes entertainment to grow into a need for activism, contribution, and community to solve the stories of real people. Join us.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from the list.
Copyright ©2023 Uncovered, PBC. All rights reserved.
2770 Arapahoe Road Suite 132-682, Lafayette, Colorado 80026