The podcast network Exactly Right tweeted in May 2022 says it’s the end of an era. Holes and Jensen: The Murder Squad will no longer be broadcast. The tweet sparked horrified rumors among real crime enthusiasts, and with good reason: Featuring Billy Jensen, who helped finish the 2018 best-seller Ill Be Gone in the Dark after author Michelle McNamara passed away in 2016, and Paul Holes, the retired detective who assisted in solving the Golden State Killer case, the podcast, which debuted in 2019, was a popular powerhouse of the genre. When McNamara teamed up with amateur sleuths and actual investigators to find the murderer, who turned out to be former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., she hit gold. This fire was sparked by The Murder Squad, which set out to be the first true-crime program to bring together amateur sleuths and professionals to crack open cold cases.

It succeeded, in part—the hosts claim to have assisted in solving at least one cold case—so it came as a shock when the podcast was abruptly stopped. Considering that the program lasted three seasons, both hosts had upcoming books and tens of thousands of social media followers who left comments and liked each tweet and photo. The end-of-an-era tweet was the only public statement regarding the decision provided by Exactly Right, the podcasting company created by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, hosts of the immensely popular My Favorite Murder. Rolling Stones’ requests for comment were not answered. The corporation only allowed so many replies per tweet, but that didn’t stop the network’s followers from asking for clarification. As one social media user put it, “The speculations flying around are about to get ahead of this, so it’s time to step up and be honest.” They did, too.

Two podcasters made public accusations of Jensen’s sexual misconduct in episodes that were released in June. One of those podcasters alleged that Jensen had slapped her during an otherwise consensual interaction, a charge that Jensen has denied to Rolling Stone and publicly on his website. A “mega thread” to discuss Jensen erupted on the true crime podcasts Subreddit. The long criticisms of Jensen that Paul Haynes, who had also contributed to McNamara’s book, posted earned him an cease-and-desist from Jensen’s legal team. The charges quickly sent true-crime social media into a tailspin as individuals took sides.

Some of these charges, when taken on their own, reveal embarrassing behavior in my personal life, Jensen told Rolling Stone. However, presenting these instances incorrectly, collectively, and without context leads to a fundamental misrepresentation of who I am and have been as a person, as well as a mischaracterization of each of the individual incidents.

Jensen argues that Jenn Tisdale, the podcaster who alleged that he slapped her, has coordinated an attack with the help of her pals, including Haynes, who Jensen claims has a professional grudge. to compile unfavorable reports and criticisms of me in order to distribute them widely to the public.

Haynes and Tisdale vehemently disagree with this description. According to Haynes, I wasn’t working with anyone else or acting in concert with them. As women I didn’t know started contacting me to relate their own experiences with “Jensen,” and as other women posted their stories anonymously on Reddit and Facebook groups, the number of stories of which I was aware significantly rose. There was no organized smear operation here.

In addition, according to Jensen, Tisdale made accusations against him because he turned down her advances; on his website, he has provided a copy of amorous messages she sent both before and after their purported encounter. But Tisdale disputes this. She says: “From what I gather, Billy kind of presented it as though I’d been scorned.” like I was in love. My answer is no. I never felt a romantic inclination for Billy. Tisdale claims that after hearing about the accusations made following a 2021 party that finally caused Jensen’s expulsion from his podcast, she made the decision to talk about the alleged slap on her podcast. In response to Jensen’s accusations of a smear campaign, Tisdale maintains that she and others are uniting to seek peace and comfort, not to make a deliberate effort to discredit him.

Five sources who talked with Rolling Stone said that Jensen has a history of inappropriately touching women. Jensen allegedly made inappropriate physical contact with two podcasters, touching or grabbing them without their permission, according to Rolling Stone. This alleged conduct appears to have surfaced following an Exactly Right Halloween celebration in 2021, which prompted a workplace investigation and ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the Murder Squad.

In answer to a long list of inquiries from Rolling Stone, Jensen apologized for some of his claimed actions, disputed others, and admitted to having both a drinking problem and mental health problems. He also said he had attended rehab to address both of these concerns. I realize that some people might be skeptical of my decision to seek treatment, but I also needed to address my mental health, he says. The only thing I can do at this point is to continue working the program in order to be and remain accountable, to make direct reparations when necessary, and to treat my underlying issues in order to keep moving ahead.

Images provided by Terra Newell and Celene Calderon-Olsen, respectively.

In the middle of October 2021, podcaster Alvin Williams went to the Exactly Rights Halloween party with his friend, a network staffer, whom he declined to name. The alleged victim did not reply to demands from Rolling Stones for an interview, and when her lawyer was contacted for comment, he declined to address the issue. The second podcaster to come forward was Williams, who initially discussed what happened that evening on his program Affirmative Murder. At one point during the party, his acquaintance came over to him and informed him that Jensen had just grabbed her buttocks. He recalled that Jensen appeared to be intoxicated. Williams said that his friend contacted him again a few months after the party to discuss about the alleged encounter in a sworn statement he provided to his friend’s lawyer in April 2022, which Rolling Stone examined. Williams stated in the sworn statement, “She informed me Billy grabbed her after he came up behind her, and that she felt quite violated by this.” She seemed upset and greatly impacted by this happened, in my opinion.

Jensen acknowledged to Rolling Stone that he was the focus of an office party inquiry. Soon after the party, a lawyer from Exactly Right allegedly got in touch with Jensen and set him up with an investigator, who claimed that three persons had complained that his and their hugs and embraces had crossed the line. One person claimed I hugged and talked to them too tightly, another claimed I repeatedly put my arm around them, and a third claimed I touched their behind while we were hugging.

Jensen claims that after the investigation was over, he was informed that he had behaved inappropriately, and the podcast was subsequently canceled. I was astonished, humiliated, and saddened to hear that I had caused others to feel uneasy when I learned of the allegations, Jensen says Rolling Stone. The way I was portrayed as acting—making a spectacle of myself and getting too cozy with people—sounded rude. In light of this, I want to be clear that I was not aware of having done anything improper, and it was not intended. I sincerely apologize for any discomfort I may have caused others.

Jensen is hardly a newcomer to the true crime scene; he began his career in the 1990s as a reporter on Long Island and later covered crime for alternative publications and weekly newspapers, including Rolling Stone. In 2016, he joined a sizable online community of investigators who have since garnered praise for their contributions to the conclusion of significant cases. Families of victims have started putting their trust in amateur detectives and podcasters since the popularity of true crime podcasts started to skyrocket because they think they can help revive cases that may have lingered in obscurity. 2019’s Finding Cleo, a CBC investigative program, shed attention on the tragedy of the missing indigenous girl Cleopatra Semaganis Nicotine’s community by revealing what happened to her. The family of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who was killed by her fianc while traveling across the country in a van, commended social media sleuths last year for their assistance in drawing attention to the case.

Jensen, a lanky, self-described goth who stands over six feet tall in his distinctive black leather jacket, forged a career as a television personality and a brooding warrior for justice after the popularity of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. He has made appearances on Discovery ID series, co-hosted the true crime podcast The First Degree, written books, founded the Murder Squad with Holes, and been hailed by adoring crowds at true-crime events that are growing in popularity. In addition, this publication has profiled him. Everything now appears to be collapsing.

According to Terra Newell’s account to Rolling Stone, Jensen repeatedly behaved improperly with her after she appeared as a guest on an episode of The First Degree. The most well-known survivor in contemporary true crime is perhaps Newell. She played the unlikely hero who, in 2016, stabbed her mother’s con artist husband to death in self-defense after he attacked her in a California parking garage in Dirty John (the first criminal epic to cross the media gamut from newspaper series to podcast to documentary to scripted series).

According to Newell, the first allegedly inappropriate event happened during a book signing for Chase Darkness With Me by Jensen on August 13, 2019, in Los Angeles. After the event, Jensen, his co-hosts from First Degree, Newell, and Newell’s friend Rachael OBrien proceeded to a bar. Some of the details, according to Newell, are fuzzy because she claims to have been intoxicated, but she asserts that after his co-hosts left, Jensen started acting aggressively flirtatious with her and talking about his open marriage, which is a practice that is well-known among his friends and acquaintances. In reaction to recent allegations, he also made a public post about it on his website. He was holding onto the nape of my neck. He had my thigh in his hand. According to Newell, he was grabbing me all over the place. While witnessing the alleged touching, OBrien asked her buddy whether she was alright before leaving. According to OBrien, who spoke with Rolling Stone to confirm Newell’s allegation, she left the gathering because she didn’t like the way Jensen was treating Newell.

Jensen allegedly tried to persuade Newell to book a hotel room after the rest of the group had left. She claims that he also made a comment about how he would treat “his coworker”. He was bragging to me about how great a guy he was at picking on women. She claims they determined getting a room would be difficult. Before Newell boarded her Uber, she claims Jensen kissed her.

When Newell visited OBrien’s home later that evening, OBrien claims that Newell told her about the interaction and the kiss. She claims that Terra is a really intelligent and kind young woman. That, I believe, is what most repulsed me about him—the fact that he is aware of how severely traumatized she is. Therefore, if you’re a guy that supports women, how about you don’t target the most helpless? But at the time, Newell defended Jensen and urged O’Brien to release a podcast episode they had co-written. Newell claims that all I was doing was making excuses for his actions. I believed that I was solely to blame.

The following time Newell met Jensen was on October 18, 2019, at a true-crime meetup at the L.A. pub Idle Hour. Any flirtatious conduct with him is definitely not acceptable because I’m currently dating someone, Newell explains. She claims that Jensen started making moves on her once more after the birth of the man she was dating. She remembers, “That night, he was grasping my legs, grabbing my thighs, grabbing me by the back of the neck.” Many people observed this at the time, and it subsequently spread that he might have been seeing me.

Images 3 and 4 courtesy of Nicholas Karlin and Karlin Villondo

After learning about the charges made by the Exactly Right employee, Newell claims she reconsidered Jensen’s behavior at the time of these interactions. To be really honest, I was friends with Billy for a long before any of this information came to light, she claims. I immediately came to the realization that Billy Jensen was simply groping another girl like me.

According to Jensen, he believed there had been a mutual flirtation and kiss between him and Newell. He also notes that the two remained friends for three years following the claimed encounters. Jensen says, “I have the utmost respect for ‘Newell’ as a person. She is a survivor, but that wasn’t how I perceived her; instead, I saw her as a rival in the true-crime community. Jensen responded that hearing her version of his words at the bar that night in Los Angeles makes me ashamed and that I have previously apologized to her for over-the-top remarks. I am currently attending rehab at Terra’s recommendation, which she made to me in May.

Celene Additionally, Beth Calderon-Olsen, a victim advocate and podcast host who has openly discussed suffering rape, claims that Jensen behaved inappropriately toward her in 2019. The two met on November 8, 2019, in Washington, D.C., at the Death Becomes Us true crime and pop culture event after connecting online over their shared dissatisfaction in a Netflix Ted Bundy documentary.

Calderon-Olsen claimed that some festival attendees were having a gathering in the hotel’s bar while they were staying there for the occasion. I recall entering and Billy snatching me up right away and giving me a hug that got a bit too long, she recalls. It was just a little startling because he hadn’t interacted with me in the same way when I had last seen him an hour or two earlier. I almost didn’t recognize him when I saw him in the pub. That evening, everyone drank, including her, claims Calderon-Olsen, who also notes that Jensen appeared particularly buzzed.

Calderon-Olsen claims that while Jensen was standing behind her during a conversation with another guy earlier in the evening, she felt his hand brush her head. Calderon-Olsen claims, “I felt {Jensen’s} hand simply grip and hit, literally, the back of my head.” She claims that after that, he grabbed her head in his hand. Then, she claims, I felt him running his fingers through my hair. Being virtually squished between the two “guys” was a strange situation.

Calderon-Olsens’ friend Sarah Cailean, a former police officer and expert in criminal behavior who was also present, recalled seeing Jensen touch Calderon-Olsens’ hair. She claims it was quite embarrassing. It’s not like he walked right by her. The way she was being petted and had her hair stroked was really apparent and obvious. Her expression was just as astonished and ashamed as mine was.

According to Calderon-Olsen, she had hoped much more from Jensen. He knows I’m a survivor, she asserts. He is well aware of my public disclosure of my rape. Again, those boundaries were broken by someone who was meant to be knowledgeable about survivors and victim sensitivity. For his part, Jensen asserts that Calderon-Olsen is a part of the coordinated campaign to discredit him; she rejects this assertion and labels it reckless, claiming that she only spoke out in support of his accuser at Exactly Right. Jensen claims that aside from the fact that it was a nice hug, he has no memory of the incident as Calderon-Olsen recounts it. I didn’t hit or grab her behind the head. Jensen claims that Calderon-Olsen never objected to him and that he was first made aware of this claim when Rolling Stone contacted him for comment. Jensen cites tweets Calderon-Olsen and Cailean tagged him and others in after the Death Becomes Us event as evidence that he, Calderon-Olsen, and Cailean continued to be friends as usual after the alleged incident. (Thank you for a great time; I’m looking forward to the next time we’re all in the same place!, reads the tweet from Calderon-Olsen. What a wonderful evening,” Caileans reads.

Before Murder Squad was canceled and claims of Jensen’s inappropriate touching surfaced, according to two additional people, there were rumors about him in the true crime world. According to a former acquaintance of Jensen’s, who claims she fell out with him over reporting choices he made in one of his podcasts, Jensen has long been regarded as a missing step, or rather, something you should alert newcomers about in order to save them from falling. There are folks who lack stairs in several communities. People that a whisper network will alert you to, according to her. So, there had been rumors about Billy for a while, but he was simply a drunken person who hit on your pals.

The neighborhood seems to be moving away from Jensen during the last two months. He is no longer a part of the program, the hosts of The First Degree informed Rolling Stone. His upcoming book, Killers Amidst Killers: Hunting Serial Killers Operating Under the Cloak of America’s Opioid Epidemic, whose publishing date was set for this summer has also been postponed indefinitely. Of course, the Murder Squad has come to an end.

Rolling Stone’s sources claim that after the termination of the show, they have started to reevaluate their friendships with Jensen. A few times since the alleged hair-touching event in November 2019, according to Calderon-Olsen, the podcaster who became friends with Jensen over the Bundy documentary. Once in December of that year, he let her know he’d referenced a Bundy project she was working on in an interview he conducted. She claims that even though she was still processing what had happened a few weeks before, she felt honored that he would do anything like that for her. When her close buddy passed away another time, he sent her condolences. Again, all these indications suggested that he was a kind person. She also admits that she tagged him in several social media posts and that she contacted him with a business request on behalf of the production firm she works for. In 2020, as the pandemic spread, they lost contact.

When Jensen was assisting Newell with a book she was working on, Newell claims she severed her relationship with him at the beginning of June. She had read online allegations about his behavior during the Halloween party, which caused her to reflect on her previous experiences with him, which she claims she hadn’t properly processed. That’s when it finally dawned on me that this behavior is not acceptable, said Newell. Following her encounter with Jensen, Newell claims she stopped drinking heavily in social settings. I completely stopped drinking because of the whole Billy affair, she claims. as a result of how traumatizing it has been.

To better explain a conversation between Newell and Jensen, this page has been revised.

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