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The DNA detective

The DNA detective

Update: 2024-06-05


Valerie doesn’t know who her grandfather is or how to find him. She’s told that African American genealogy is ‘too hard’. There aren’t enough DNA records of black people. It’s an impossible case. But Valerie is driven by the desire to solve a family mystery, so she investigates herself. What she finds changes everything.

After Valerie’s story, producer Alice Fiennes and true crime expert Rachel Monroe discuss how Valerie's field of genetic genealogy was used to help identify the Golden State Killer, and why the certainty of forensic science is so appealing to true crime fans.

Home Sleuth brings you true crime stories from citizen investigators taking justice into their own hands.

An unidentified murder victim, a schoolteacher’s suicide, the brutal dismembering of animals. The police have investigated these cases, but our sleuths aren’t content with the answers. They begin their own search for justice.

Over five episodes, we hear the gripping story of the role that home sleuths play in investigating crimes and mysteries, from the original internet sleuth in the 1990s through to present-day true crime YouTubers.

In most true crime podcasts, a presenter tells you where the story is going. This time, we break the mould. The sleuths present their own stories. After each episode, true crime expert Rachel Monroe dissects the case and looks deep inside the search for truth. Why do ordinary people dedicate themselves to these investigations? Is it ethical? What does it say about our obsession with true crime?

Home Sleuth is a Furrowed Brow production for BBC Sounds.

Created and produced by Alice Fiennes and Poppy Damon
Associate producer - Brenna Daldorph
Sound Design by John Scott
Fact-checking by Arthur Gompertz
Editorial consultation and additional sound design by Nick Van Der Kolk at Wingdog Audio
Commissioned by Luke Eldridge and Nicky Birch for BBC Sounds

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The DNA detective

The DNA detective

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