Jennifer Short’s disappearance following the murder of her parents in their home in 2002, one of the area’s most powerful and engaging stories, is being retold in a new way by a television station in High Point, N.C.
WGHP-Channel 8 has launched a podcast series titled “Who killed Jennifer Short?”. The series debuted Thursday at myfox8.com. New episodes will be posted each week.
Michael and Mary Short were found in their home 10820 Virginia Ave. in Oak Level on Aug. 15, 2002, each with a single gunshot wound to the head. The remains of their 9-year-old daughter, Jennifer, were found more than a month later in a ditch near Madison, N.C., also with a gunshot wound to the head.
No arrests have been made in the case, which has prompted continuing public efforts to keep the Shorts’ names alive in an effort to find their killer.
That in part is why WGHP has launched this programming, the station’s news director said.
“We choose long-format stories we can feature on television and then turn into a podcast,” WGHP News Director Kevin Daniels said. “These are stories where viewers and listeners can make an emotional connection. ‘Caitlin Can’t Remember’ and ‘What Happened to Baby Doe?’, our previous podcasts, paved the way for ‘Who Killed Jennifer Short?’. The August anniversary of the murders and abduction seemed like a natural fit for much longer storytelling.”
This podcast was written and co-produced by Tess Bargebuhr and edited and co-produced by Sam Walter, who, Daniels said, have devoted countless hours to the production.
“We’ve heard from some new voices, including former classmates now all grown up and family members about how that day 17 years ago affected how they are raising their families. On the investigation side of things, I think we went pretty aggressively at the FBI, and the lead investigator, who hasn’t previously talked.”
Daniels served as its executive producer, and it’s a story he knows well.
“I was in the newsroom the day of the Short murders and Jennifer’s abduction 17 years ago; I was the assistant news director at the time,” he said. “We’ve done this story 17 times, but I learned new things as we delved deeper into the crime and the investigation.”
He said he thinks in the podcast viewers will learn more about the crimes from family members describing what was going on at that time.
“Hopefully the podcast will generate some new leads,” he said.