Jensen & Holes: The Crime Podcast That Needs Your Help

Nicole Doliner

True crime is super hot right now. Everywhere I turn, there’s a new TV show, book, or podcast popping up on my radar that details fascinating cases from missing persons, to murder, to robbery with a neck bomb (Evil Genius on Netflix, anyone?)

Recently, fans of the true crime/comedy podcast My Favorite Murder have become invested in the case of the Golden State Killer, thanks to Michelle McNamara’s 2018 book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. McNamara, the late wife of Patton Oswald, was obsessed with this case in particular. In fact, she is the one who coined the name Golden State Killer. After her untimely death in 2016, friend and crime journalist Billy Jensen, along with researcher Paul Haynes, finished her book and it became a bestseller. The day Joseph DeAngelo was caught, murderinos around the country cheered with delight at the posthumous victory for McNamara. Paul Holes was interviewed for McNamara’s book numerous times and was one of the members of the FBI Task Force who used DNA to catch DeAngelo.

In this new podcast, Jensen & Holes use their expertise in criminal investigation, forensics, DNA analysis, genealogy, and journalism to craft together a narrative about an unsolved crime for each episode. As of this article’s writing, Episodes one & two have been made available through Exactly Right Media, and they have both been captivating. The premise of the podcast is to invite listeners to become armchair sleuths -- and to do so with respect for victims, their families, and other amateur sleuths. Their website, themurdersquad.com, includes a code of conduct for listeners to adhere to when sharing information & working to identify people.

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In the first episode, we learn about serial killer Bill Bradford, who would offer to take photographs of young women, and then take them into the California desert to do unspeakable things to them, leaving them for dead. Bradford had a collection of over 50 women he photographed, and at least three of them were murdered by him. Police released images of the women in his photography collection; many were safe & sound, but over a dozen were not identified. Jensen & Holes discussed these victims in the episode and then put these pictures out on social media in order to identify them.

The second episode will sound familiar to those who have listened to Bear Brook, another true crime podcast. This case is trying to identify the victims of Terry Rasmussen, who left four bodies in barrels in New Hampshire, among other crimes all across the US with a number of different aliases.

I am really feeling positive about the whole theme of the series: families deserve to know what happened to their loved ones and law enforcement needs help figuring out who these victims are. I am already looking forward to Episode three and hopefully, we’ll get an update on some of these unidentified victims soon, thanks to the work of Jensen and Holes and their audience.

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