Online Supersleuths

Friday, July 11, 2014


There's an estimated 40,000 unidentified human remains in the United States. When writer Deborah Halber heard this figure, she did some research and discovered a thriving community of internet sleuths who spend hours trying to attach names to these John and Jane Does. Brooke speaks to Halber about her new book, The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases.


Deborah Halber

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [1]

Maureen Sanchez from Oswego, IL - sister missing from Baltimore, filed NYS

THANK YOU for doing this piece. My sister, Judy O'Donnell has been missing for 34 years. Her NAMUS case file is 8051. The websleuths at have been amazing - people who have no real reason to help me - but have been immeasurably helpful - in trying to find my sister. I cannot tell you how many times I've called - when human remains are found. The ups, the downs, the unknown. I found an editor of a LI newspaper who was willing to put my sister's story on the front page of the LI Press while the Gilgo Beach story was unfolding - through websleuths. It's the strangest feeling, knowing that people can simply vanish. Without a trace. That was especially true in the 70s and 80s, when we tried reporting my then 19-year old sister missing. No one wanted her case. She was of legal age. Who knows how many clues were missed? And how many Does were buried, without DNA testing - we may NEVER learn where she is, how she (presumably) died. But the tireless work of the NAMUS people, and that of the Websleuths has been incredibly encouraging. I'm Maureen, Judy's sister. And I personally thank you for airing this story. It's important.

Jul. 12 2014 05:08 PM

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