A New App Makes It Easier Than Ever to Discover and Solve Real Life True Crime Cases (EXCLUSIVE)

Jamie Lerner - Author
By

Mar. 4 2022, Published 1:22 p.m. ET

Many people enjoy watching, reading, and listening to stories about true crime. Perhaps it’s the psychology of the dredges of humanity that people find so interesting, or maybe it’s the overwhelming desire to stop more crimes like these from happening. One such aficionado, Lauren Mandt, felt the latter, so she co-founded the CrimeDoor app with her husband, Neil Mandt, to make it happen.

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On the heels of the fifth anniversary of the Delphi murders, CrimeDoor featured victims Abby and Libby in one of their augmented reality (AR) doors to bring the sisters’ tragic cold case to the wider public. CrimeDoor is a victim-centric app, meaning that every case featured on the app is there to help the victims in some way.

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Whether that means helping solve a missing persons case or bringing closure to the victims’ families, CrimeDoor could be the key to making our true crime binging actually useful. Distractify spoke exclusively with Lauren Mandt about how CrimeDoor is making a difference in the world of consuming and solving true crime.

The CrimeDoor app features high-profile cases, like Carla Walker and the Delphi murders.

Carla Walker disappeared 48 years ago after she was kidnapped at gunpoint in Fort Worth, Texas. Five years ago, sisters Abby and Libby went missing in Delphi, Indiana. Today, missing persons and murder cases are just as prevalent. Although the bodies of these young women were found just days after they went missing, Carla Walker’s case remained unsolved until DNA evidence brought the killer to light in 2020. Abby and Libby’s tragic deaths remain a mystery.

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However, Lauren Mandt wants to change that. Knowing that there are many true crime aficionados out in the world willing to read, listen, watch, and speak out on behalf of the victims, she and her husband found a way to recreate the crime scenes using 3D and AR technology. According to Lauren, the goal was to make CrimeDoor like the “ESPN of true crime.”

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It houses podcasts, articles, and their unique doors to give true crime aficionados a way into these crimes. With a focus on missing persons and murders, CrimeDoor allows us to use our curiosity for good. And by featuring high-profile cases, like Carla Walker with the help of Paul Holes (before her case was solved) and the Delphi murders, CrimeDoor draws in new users and introduces them to lesser-known, but just as evil, crimes.

There’s an overwhelming amount of true crime content, but CrimeDoor helps make it human.

“True crime is real crime,” Lauren reminds us. Behind every gruesome story of a mysterious killer, there’s a family who’s hurting and a victim whose life was cut short. “We started with the idea of giving a voice to the victim. There are people who have been affected by true crime in some way, and there's an interest of people wanting to get awareness out for their family or their loved one.” Now, CrimeDoor is creating that awareness by amalgamating numerous crimes that might not have made it to the mainstream media.

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On the other hand, Lauren muses that there are also people who “want to learn about safety,” who might think, “I'm nervous. I don't want this to happen to me. What are the things that I can do to protect myself?” But of course, then there are “the Sleuths.” In this case, “they want to really do a deep dive into a case and try and solve it.”

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Now, Lauren spends her day-to-day raking through crimes, missing persons cases, and more, all while still binging along with us on shows like The Night Stalker and Inventing Anna. But in doing so, she’s learned something even we weren’t expecting: “I knew that there were so many cases, but I didn't understand the magnitude of it. Right now we have just over 1,500 cases, and I have a queue of 1,200 more ready to go."

“It's constant — there's so many missing persons, so many families. You hear about these larger stories and serial killers, but the impact has really been powerful to see ... people go missing all the time, whether they want to go missing or they were taken. Maybe that's why so many people can relate in some way because it’s happened in their neighborhood or they've heard a story.”

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So for all the true crime aficionados, for whatever reason we watch, read, and listen to these gory stories, CrimeDoor gives us a new way to learn more about them — and maybe even help solve them.

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