Utah Cold Case Coalition founder speaks with BYU students about solving crimes

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From left to right, BYU seniors Bailey Sorensen, Ariel Harmer, Hannah Rigby and Jason K Jensen. These BYU seniors are in the leadership of the BYU Cold Case Club, who invited Jensen to come speak to their club. (Joe Wirthlin)

Utah Cold Case Coalition founder Jason K Jensen spoke at the BYU Cold Case Club meeting on Oct. 5.

The BYU Cold Case Club, started this summer by BYU students Hannah Rigby and Ariel Harmer, invited Jensen to speak at one of their club meetings. He spoke for more than an hour and a half, describing his job and detailing three of the cases that he worked on.

Jensen said he was a private investigator for 10 years before he decided he wanted to give back to the community and share the skills he had learned. He helped create a website for Utah cold cases, as well as a police database to help different police departments work together to solve more than 410 different cold cases.

Jason K Jensen describes how a cold case becomes hot again. Cases go cold after three years of no additional breakthroughs, but with the advancement of technology, more and more details can come to light. (Joe Wirthlin)

“It’s like a maze, you’re trying to solve a maze, and if you’re a maze person or a word puzzle guy, cold cases are your thing,” Jensen said.

Rigby said she thought the meeting went well. “It’s always been a passion of mine,” she said. She said she has always been a big true crime fan, but not purely for entertainment. Rigby and Harmer said they started the club because they were inspired to “give people a voice that don’t have it anymore because it was taken from them.”

Cold Case Club secretary Bailey Sorensen said she thought the event was great. She said she focuses on spreading awareness of the club by sharing things on social media and spreading news by word of mouth.

“I would steer them towards things that would advocate victims of violence,” Sorensen said.

Rigby, Sorensen and Jensen all encouraged students to come and learn more. Sorensen is “excited to be spreading awareness about responsibly consuming true crime and doing what we can to be informed about local Utah cold cases.”

Students can learn more by visiting the BYU Cold Case Club website or their Instagram account. The hosts of the Zion’s Lost podcast will attend their next meeting on Oct. 19.

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