#28 - No Trail

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 02:35 PM

Philip Welsh's house, door ajar (Google Maps)

In February of this year, Philip Welsh of Silver Spring, Maryland, was murdered. His murder remains unsolved, largely because he didn't use the internet, and left no digital trail. Alex talks to Philip's family and reporter Dan Morse about the case. 

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. If you'd like to hear more of Josh Welsh's band Meatyard, they're on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud. And if you have any information about the murder of Philip Welsh, please call the Montgomery County Police Department at 240-773-5070.


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Comments [11]

Sandy Barton from Manassas Virginia

My dear friend Phil Welsch or as I called him Welshy is truly missed. He refused to get a cell phone because he said the world isn't personable anymore. Welshy refused to get a computer to go on the internet. He said he could find out anything just by picking up a book. He used to love to type. One birthday I took up a collection and got my dear friend his new beloved computer that he typed his songs and letters on. Wesch loved to write letters to his friends. That aside my question is what did the police do before technology with cell phones and hard drives? How did they solve crimes? This is ridiculous!! Somebody has to know something! Someone please help solve my dear friend's vicious murder!!!

Jul. 11 2015 10:20 PM
Lynn from Greensboro, NC

It is still hard to comprehend that my good friend is gone. He was, without a computer and a cell phone, an amazingly social and charming human being. A wonderful friend who not only wrote letters but called on his land line phone (yes, they still exist) to talk in person for hours at a time. He wrote poetry, much of it turned into songs by his brother. CD's of these songs are out there in the world, still entertaining us. The public library box in his honor outside his home would make him very happy, I believe. So many hours were spent on his porch or in his dining room discussing everything and anything, and most of all, having such good laughs - and big hugs every time I'd walk into or out of his open door. Yesterday was his birthday. He will never be forgotten.

Aug. 09 2014 01:20 PM
merle newgrain from 60647

How is it possible that without the internet one even exists at all? This bit of media imbecility deserves a story on its own..... : On the Media Means You Exist"

Jul. 27 2014 01:56 PM
Jason from Falls Church, VA

@Max - the song at the end of the show is "Toot Toot, Boom Boom" by Meatyard. Philip's brother, Josh Welsh, is in the band. Several of their songs are based on Philip's poems. Not sure if that is the case for this one but you can listen to it at http://open.spotify.com/track/78wy7RF7rC58hiegE98bkT or https://myspace.com/meatyard/music/song/toot-toot-boom-boom-27224778-27025963 Enjoy!

Jul. 07 2014 09:46 AM

I'm not sure the Police would have found anything by going through a cellphone or social media account. If it is true that he was killed by someone who walked through the open door, no data on the internet could give the police any information.

I get that it is sensational that someone doesn't have internet or a cellphone but really I fail to understand why the focus of the story headline and introduction was his openness and trusting character.

Jun. 23 2014 03:20 AM

The house-shaped wooden box that you mention at the end of the story is probably a Little Free Library.

Jun. 22 2014 07:44 AM
Dianne from San Diego

I'm troubled that we are somehow deciding that people don't exist unless they have social media projecting their lives. I won't use Facebook or Twitter or Google...too bad for the lazy detectives if I am not leaving a big enough trail. Perhaps the police are wrong to do their searching online instead of using traditional police techniques. What happened to face-to-face communications? My brother stays in touch the same way as Phillip and his friendships are substantial. It is tragic that Phillip was murdered, but it doesn't mean he didn't exist....the real tragedy is if we get so obsessed with digital trivia that that is the only thing that defines us or we are doomed to remembered only as byte dust. Perhaps he existed more thoroughly than a lot of people obsessed with a virtual life instead of living a real one.

Jun. 15 2014 11:05 PM
kommunic8 from Melbourne

I took a de-tour going to work, because I wanted to listen to the end. What a sad, beautiful story. At the beginning, the first 30 seconds or so, I didn't know where it was going to end but I never expected what came at the end. A delicate portrait of someone who was generous and who was really loved. I hope they find who did it. Not for anything else, just to be able to close that door.

You are great guys, listening to you is always a treat.

Jun. 11 2014 06:25 AM
Max from S.F.

What's the name of that beautiful song at the end? "Wish I could be walkin, in the rain with you"

Jun. 11 2014 12:28 AM

How funny that you posted a pic of the house here, door ajar; I just spent 20 minutes finding the same picture, because the story had made me curious.

Jun. 10 2014 09:54 AM

Great article. Thanks for sharing Philip's story. So sad. I am a long time Woodside neighbor.

Jun. 06 2014 04:30 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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