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Established New York 1997
Established New York 1997

Field Reports

The Crime Watch Daily Investigation Of The Murder of Faith Hedgepeth

Posted February 17th, 2016 in Field Reports, Investigations by Billy Jensen

In a special one-hour segment of Crime Watch Daily, we investigate the still-unsolved murder of Faith Hedgepeth, and reveal a pocket-dial voicemail that could break the case wide open.

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Finding Boshek

Posted February 8th, 2016 in A Life Outside Of Crime by Billy Jensen

BoShek

 

He was the man who could have been Solo.

 

I have always been intrigued by BoShek. When Ben Kenobi enters the cantina on Mos Eisley looking for a pilot to take himself, the boy and two droids to Alderaan, his first choice is a smuggler sporting arched eyebrows, killer muttonchops, and a black and white space suit more akin to an astronaut than a fighter pilot. While we cannot hear their dialogue, it is obvious that Kenobi asks him for a ride to Alderaan–and for whatever reason, the space pilot says no.

 

Was his ship out of commission? Did he have another charter later that day?

 

Whatever the reason, BoShek turns down the offer, but smoothly motions over his shoulder to the furry beast behind him, in my mind saying something to the effect of “Sorry, I can’t help you. But why don’t you give him a try?”

 

That furry beast, Chewbacca, then brings Kenobi and Skywalker to the table, Han Solo sits down, the rest is history…and BoShek faded forever into the darkness of the Mos Eisley bar.

 

So as I sat with my daughter in the Anaheim Convention center listening to Tom Spina and Pablo Hidalga’s fantastic panel “Secrets of the Mos Eisley Cantina,” I was shocked to discover that we had no idea who the actor was who played BoShek.

 

What? BoShek even has his own action figure. But we don’t know the name of actor who played him?

 

If these two Star Wars scholars—Spina, of Tom Spina Designs, an incredible designer who had recently recreated the Cantina scene for a Volkswagen commercial, and Hidalgo, Creative Executive at Lucasfilm—did not know who BoShek was, it was pretty safe to say the internet didn’t either. But the crowd can be very powerful when tapped.

 

I make my living as an investigative journalist. I write and produce true crime stories for places like Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Magazine, and I am on the Warner Bros. syndicated show Crime Watch Daily. Many of the stories I tell are of the unsolved murder and missing persons variety. I am also one of the country’s experts on citizen detectives—individuals who team up online to solve crimes. The last time I was at a conference, I was presenting a panel called “Citizen Dicks: Solving Murders With Social Media.”

 

So as I sat with my daughter listening to Spina and Hidalgo’s panel, I felt I had found my sense of purpose in the Star Wars universe. Since Star Wars has neither had a journalist nor a detective onscreen, this could be my best chance to make a contribution.

 

I was going to find BoShek.

AMERICA’S MISSING PERSONS CRISIS: INVESTIGATING THE GAP IN THE SYSTEM

Posted December 16th, 2015 in Field Reports, Investigations by Billy Jensen

When a loved one goes missing, family members contact local police, who create a case file. When human remains are discovered, another case file is created.

 

But here is the problem: Under the current system, these two files have no way of talking to each other. The information is spread across thousands of databases across the country, and families can search for years for their loved one who may have already been found.

 

Here is my Crime Watch Daily investigation on what some call the nation’s “Silent Mass Crisis.”

 

 

 

The unsolved murder of dino dizdarevic in chester, pa

Posted November 17th, 2015 in Field Reports, Investigations by Billy Jensen

He used an app to set up a date with a man 20 miles away. He never came home.

 

His friends used the same app to track his movements and guide police to the neighborhood where he was headed.

 

This is a story I produced for Crime Watch Daily on the unsolved murder of Dino Dizdarevic. I want to see some justice from the people in Chester, PA.

 

Part 1

 

Part 2

 

Dino’s boyfriend told me he was wearing this jacket that night, and it is missing. Finding the jacket could lead to some answers.

 

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How A Citizen Detective Artist Helped Solve The Mystery Of Caledonia Doe

Posted November 12th, 2015 in Field Reports, Investigations by Billy Jensen
Caledonia Jane Doe,” or “Cali Doe,” was murdered in New York and remained unidentified for years. Here is the story I did for Crime Watch Daily on the unemployed accountant who helped give Cali Doe her true name back.

 

Click here to view the clues of the case and learn how you can help solve her murder. 

How A Detective And A Sports Blogger Worked Together To Solve A Crime

Posted October 4th, 2015 in Field Reports, Investigations by Billy Jensen

Twitter Detectives

It was by all accounts a brutal beating.

 

On September 11, 2014, 28-year old Zachary Hesse and his 27-year old boyfriend Andrew Haught were going out for pizza on a Thursday night in Philadelphia’s trendy Center City neighborhood. They walked past a group of about a dozen well-dressed males and females. Clean cut, preppy types. The women in dresses. The men in oxfords and polos, one in a loud orange vest.

 

There was bumping. According to testimony in the criminal case that followed, words were exchanged. “Is that your fucking boyfriend?!” one of the people in the large group yelled. “Yeah he is my fucking boyfriend. Do you have a problem with that?” replied Hesse. “So you’re a dirty, fucking faggot?” said one of the men. “Maybe I am a dirty, fucking faggot,” said Hesse.

 

Then it went haywire. The assailants allegedly yelled, “You dirty faggot!” as punches and kicks rained down on the two men. At one point, Hesse claimed his hands were held while a woman in a white dress scratched his face, yelling, “Fuck you faggot!”

 

Haught eventually passed out in a pool of his own blood.

 

Hesse and Haught spent the night at Hahnemann Hospital, Haught in surgery with two broken cheekbones, getting his jaw wired shut and patching up the deep lacerations on his face.

 

Police analyzed a video surveillance tape of the individuals they believed were part of the attack, but could not identify them. So they released the tape to the public. The case then morphed into one of the best examples to date of crowdsourcing leading to an arrest. And it was the Twitter relationship between a snarky sports blogger and a police detective that was one of the main keys to the tale…. Read the rest of the tale at Vocativ.

 

 

Urban Outfitters’ Kent State Sweatshirt: Blood Splatter Oversight or Statement?

Posted September 14th, 2014 in Field Reports by Billy Jensen

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Kent State Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters is selling what they are calling a “Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt” with what appears to be blood splatter splashed on the front. It is part of their vintage collection, which features one-of-a-kind items. Reads the description: “Washed soft and perfectly broken in, this vintage Kent State sweatshirt is cut in a loose, slouchy fit. Excellent vintage condition. We only have one, so get it or regret it!” Is this the beginning of a series, with a UT Austin sweatshirt not far behind?

Al Jazeera story on citizen sleuths

Posted June 11th, 2014 in Field Reports by Billy Jensen

Al Jazeera America just published a story about online citizen detectives. It covers animal crush cases, websleuths.com, Animal Beta Project, NAMus and a bunch of other things. Here is one of my quotes quotes from the story.

 

“Currently, there is no national database of cold murder cases, but Jensen is developing one, which he said will provide basic information for the 200,000 unsolved murders in the U.S. “Right now, many of these cases are sitting in a box in a warehouse gathering dust,” he said. “Why not let the public give it a shot? The people who committed the crime have gotten away with it. They’re ghosts. But the crowd can help. And it doesn’t need to be a witch hunt. The crowd can dig up the information, and funnel it through a detective who can follow up.”

 

Read the whole thing here.

SLA Shootout with LAPD, May 17, 1974

Posted May 17th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Billy Jensen

Today is the 40th anniversary of the shootout between the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Glenn Miller, former White Nationalist leader, Identified as suspect in Kansas Jewish Center Shooting

Posted April 14th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Billy Jensen

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., a 73-year old from Aurora, Missouri who also goes by the name Glenn Cross, has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the suspect in the shootings at two Jewish centers in suburban Kansas City.

 

Miller is the founder of the White Patriot Party in the early 1980s.

 

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In 2012, he spoke to a group of students at Missouri State University. He covered various topics, including the Holocaust, Henry Ford, and what he perceived as the Jewish dominance of government. In a “heated exchange” with a Jewish student, Miller told her Hell yes, I hate you and all Jews, and you all deserve my hate for what your people have done to mine”.

 

(Incidentally, other guests included Dan Gayman of the Church of Israel, who I interviewed as part of my Master’s final project at the University of Kansas.)