Finding Tammy Jo Episode 4: Web Sleuths

May 22, 2016

The story of a girl's mysterious murder in 1979 continues in the fourth episode of this series.

When the unidentified girl was found fatally shot in the Caledonia cornfield in 1979, the Internet was years from being a household tool for transmitting and receiving information. But, as the years passed and the Internet became a societal constant, Livingston County Sheriff John York predicted that it would one day answer the mystery of the girl’s identity.

What he did not know was that an online network of citizen sleuths had been following the case of “Cali Doe,” as the teenager was called. They’d been waiting for the slightest hint that could lead to her identification. And one California man in particular constantly drew new versions of her possible appearance, designed to show what she may have looked like before her death.

These are some of Carl Koppleman's renderings of what Tammy Jo Alexander may have looked like before her death.
Credit Carl Koppleman

This citizen network, some of whom participated in the online website websleuths.com, would become central to the ultimate recognition of “Cali Doe.”

Finding Tammy Jo is a podcast hosted by WXXI's Veronica Volk and the Democrat and Chronicle's Gary Craig.

In a diner the next town over, they find the person who is probably among the last to see the Jane Doe alive, and she tells them the girl wasn't alone.

Listen to this episode by subscribing to the podcast on iTunesGoogle Play, or Stitcher. Or listen here: