May I Help You Solve A Crime?

About this episode

CW: Adult themes/descriptions of violence

Fascinated with true crime? You’re not alone. 

The number of true crime podcasts and novels has skyrocketed in the past decade… and with it has come the rise of the ‘armchair detective’ and ‘online sleuth.’ The popular podcast “The Murder Squad” is centered around this very premise. 

But how exactly can the average citizen help to solve a crime?

That’s the focus of this episode, where Candy and Ashley touch on everything from DNA submission to the break that led to finding Gabby Petito’s remains, to Chris Lambert’s podcast “Your Own Backyard.” 

Join us for this fascinating episode, and in the words of Billy Jensen and Paul Holes, “Keep digging!”

Show Notes for Episode 36!

Top row: Patton’s tribute to wife Michelle McNamara after case breaks,; Gabby Petito Memorial, Fox 13 News; Bottom row: Murder Squad website; Billboard for missing student Kristin Smart, Rolling Stone


“The Murder Squad” Podcast website

“How an Unlikely Family History Website Transformed Cold Case Investigations,” The New York Times, by Heather Murphy, October 15, 2018 

“New owner of consumer DNA database GEDmatch vows to fight police search warrants, NBC News, by Jon Schuppe, December 10, 2019

“The ‘Golden State Killer’: Inside the timeline of crimes,” ABC News, by Emily Shapiro, October 30, 2020 

“’A national disgrace’: Holes in DNA databases leave crimes unsolved for decades,” NBC News, by Jon Schuppe, August 16, 2020

“How Your DNA could send a relative to jail,” The New York Times, by Rafi Kroll-Zaidi, Updated January 3, 2022

‘Happy Days’ Actor Ron Howard Has Interesting Connection to Viral Netflix Series ‘Cecil Hotel,” Outsider, by Suzanne Halliburton, March 11, 2021

Netflix’s ‘Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ true-crime docuseries: Why you won’t want to check out,” USA Today, by Erin Jensen, February 10, 2021

The Girls of Murder City, by Douglas Perry, p.202 

The rise of ‘citizen sleuths’: the true crime buffs trying to solve cases, The Guardian, by Amelia Tait, October 2, 2021

The Leopold and Loeb Trial, American Experience, PBS

“‘The Murder Squad’ Is a True-Crime Podcast That Wants You to Solve The Crimes,” Vulture, by Devon Sherer, March 13, 2019

Gabby Petito family’s lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s parents will head to jury trial in 2023, courts say, Fox 13, April 13, 2022

Gabby Petito case leads to rise of armchair detectives, Washington Examiner, by Barnini Chakraborty, September 24, 2021

“When was Brian Laundrie reported missing?” News Channel 8, by Mahsa Saeidi and Heather Monahan, October 23, 2021

“Gabby Petito case: A timeline of her disappearance and homicide,” CBS News, by Tamara Weitzman and Chelsea Narvaez, Updated October 21, 2021 

“How the Case of Gabrielle Petito Galvanized the Internet,” The New York Times, by Katherine Rosman, Updated October 20, 2021

“Updated Kristin Smart billboard now visible in Arroyo Grande,” KSBY, by Kathrene Herndon, Updated April 15, 2021

“Kristin Smart case: Podcaster helped California cops solve cold case killing,” KCRA3, by Brian Melley, April 16, 2021

“’Your Own Backyard’ podcast on Kristin Smart case adds two new episodes following arrests,” ABC10, by Samantha Solomon, Updated July 6, 2021


The “Stranger Things” trailer breakdown that Ashley references inside the episode

Cecil Hotel Elevator footage (No Sound)

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Scandal Water is produced by Candy Thomas and Ashley Raymer-Brown 

Theme song is Scandal Water by Josh Martin