Former detective Karen Smith set out to solve the oldest cold case in American history in the new season of the “Shattered Souls” podcast, and listeners believe she’s done it.

During Season 2 of the popular podcast, Smith took a deep dive into a case that’s close to her heart, an unsolved 1935 double-murder cold case. The murders took on the name “The Car Barn Murders” after two people were found dead near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and the former B&O Railroad tracks in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Smith’s great uncle, Emory, was one of those victims.

Smith, a former major detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in Florida, set out to solve the murders after her father told her about them. However, given that her prime suspects are long deceased, she had no hope of presenting her case in front of a judge.

Instead, Smith decided to take the case public and ask her listeners what they thought.

“Juries are made up of the public,” Smith said. “We use them every day in court. So what better way? To make a ruling on this case then to give them the rules of engagement, which I did.”

Smith told CrimeOnline that every person that participated in her online poll agreed that three men revealed in the podcast were responsible for the botched robbery murders, which also took the life of store clerk, James Mitchell, for “$60 in quarters, $31 in dimes and a single $20 bill.”

“I told them (the listeners) what they needed to consider and not consider and how evidence worked, and basically kind of the rules of the courtroom and to make their verdicts on all three of the suspects. And to my surprise, they ruled 100% guilty on all three,” Smith said.

Although there’s no way to formally convict the suspects, who have all been deceased for decades, Smith said she plans to meet with the Montgomery County state attorney and obtain a honorary declaration for the case, since there’s no court process.

“They’re willing to hear me and hear the evidence and. It’s all circumstantial evidence because it’s such an old case,” Smith explained.

“The only eyewitness died years ago, but his information was in the file and it played a key part in the solutions. The rest of my investigation focused on breaking down timelines, alibis, doing geographic profiling, and finding inconsistencies in new statements.”

“There’s no DNA, there’s nothing forensically to work with. It’s gone. Circumstantial evidence is one thing, but it’s still what most cases are based on; it’s nothing new or novel.  So, you know, when I got 25 pieces of circumstantial evidence against one suspect…I mean, that’s more than I had on some of my cases I took to court.”

You can listen to Smith’s full investigation into The Car Barn Murders on Season 2 of the “Shattered Souls” podcast, available Apple PodcastsiHeart PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. All 17 episodes are available to bingo now.

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