WHAT DO YOU DO when a family acquaintance is brutally murdered, and 14 years later, the crime is still unsolved, no one is looking for the killer and the case has gone cold? If you’re freelance writer and bestselling author Catherine Townsend, you undergo 6,000 hours of training to become a private investigator, return to your dad’s home in Mountain View (the area where the murder took place) and try to find the killer yourself … all while recording a podcast following your real-time investigation—a chart-topping podcast, no less, that Entertainment Weekly has named one of the top-five best of 2018.
So, just who killed 22-year-old college student Rebekah Gould on Sept. 20, 2004? Your guess is as good as ours. What we do know is that the podcast, Hell and Gone, which just wrapped its first season, isn’t over yet—and neither is the story. For those who’d like to get caught up, take a read through our primer to properly prepare yourself (or better yet, listen to the show at hellandgonepodcast.com).
Who is Catherine Townsend?
Catherine Townsend’s writing has appeared in New York, The Independent newspaper, and many other publications, including The Atlantic, Elle, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and HuffPost. She is the author of the bestselling books Sleeping Around and Breaking the Rules, and Universal Cable Productions has acquired her life-story rights with the goal of developing a TV series.
What’s the story so far?
Fourteen years ago, Rebekah Gould came home to Mountain View for the weekend from college in Northwest Arkansas. The following Monday morning, she dropped Casey (a boyfriend, some say; a friend who was obsessed with her, say others) off at Sonic for work, then went to the Possum Trot gas station in Melbourne, the last place she was seen alive. The next day, all of her belongings—including her purse and car—were found at Casey’s house … as well as some of her blood. A week later, Rebekah’s body was found on a steep embankment along Arkansas Highway 9. Casey was ruled out as a suspect because he had an airtight alibi: He was at work all day Monday and had no transportation. Now, nearly a decade and a half later, the case has gone cold—and Rebekah’s killer is still on the loose.
Any big reveals? (CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD)
Catherine’s investigation suggests that Casey’s alibi isn’t as airtight as it first appeared. On the afternoon of Rebekah’s disappearance, Casey’s friends drove him to Batesville to retrieve his truck. But supposedly, his truck was seen that morning at the Mountain View Sonic. How did it get to Batesville that afternoon? Casey told his friends that his father had driven it there. But, Catherine asks, was his truck-driver father actually on the road that day? And while Casey was, indeed, working at Sonic that day, lending credence to his story, one of his co-workers acknowledged that the Sonic management allowed workers to run errands at times. Nobody can remember if Casey did such a thing that fateful day. But on the Dec. 5 episode, Catherine received an anonymous text claiming that the sender knew Casey and had information to share. She followed up with a phone call, and the male “insider” revealed that … well, you’ll just have to listen for yourself.
For case updates and more information about the show, visit hellandgonepodcast.com.