On Jan. 3, 2021, a new true crime special called The Jane Doe Murders premieres on Oxygen, and it aims to solve the mystery of one of the thousands of murder cases that have remained opened for years. Countless unidentified men and women have never seen justice due to a lack of evidence or even awareness (these individuals are called Jane or John Doe), but The Jane Doe Murders uncovers one case that may just give a victim's family peace and the justice she deserves.
The two-hour special stars Yolanda McClary, a famous forensic specialist who was also a crime investigator in Las Vegas. Her bread and butter is recovering old DNA, and with new technology in the forensic industry, it's become more illuminating for experts to uncover previously hidden or unknown facts.
In this case, Yolanda and her team of DNA pros look into a 23-year-old murder case to try and find the identity of a woman left in the forest in Polk County, Ore. In the trailer, Yolanda admits they're lucky they even found her remains.
If anyone can solve a murder mystery, it's Yolanda.
What to know about 'The Jane Doe Murders' forensic expert, Yolanda McClary.
Yolanda McClary has been in law enforcement for 26 years, and according to her Facebook page, she worked on more than 7,000 crimes as a crime scene investigator before retiring. She was such a successful investigator, that the CSI character Catherine Willows is based on her (and she's also been shadowed on the job so that CSI producer and actress Marg Helgenberger could understand her line of work and what it takes).
She began working on shows like NBC's Dateline (2009-2011), Cold Justice (2013-2015), and The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes (2019) as a crime scene expert. She serves as a producer and writer on The Jane Doe Murders.
Yolanda has worked with the best in class forensic experts and believes that with all the new advances in forensic technology will lead to amazing new discoveries. It sounds like, as viewers, we'll be able to learn more about how DNA and forensic technology has made it possible to solve crimes that were once believed to be impossible to crack.
"They've taught me so much. It's fascinating how that world works. And so ultimately our hope is that we can figure out who she is," McClary told Fox News, in regard to the Jane Doe in the Oxygen special.
She added, "Once we figure out who she is, well, now all these roads open and you have to realize the police have never been able to really go down an investigation on this person because they didn't know who she was. The most they could do is try to figure out how she got there, does she have any evidence that could lead to a suspect who maybe dumped her there, which typically steers you into a big wall."
Another interesting industry tidbit we learned from Yolanda? While actors who play investigators on shows like CSI look put together, Yolanda admits, per Fox News, that when you work in crime investigating, you end up looking pretty worn down by the end of the day.
"I mean, the actors playing the investigators always look beautiful when they're done. We always look like s--t by the end of our shift. They look nice enough to go and get a drink at a bar – yeah, no. We all look like just tattered, awful-looking people and we stink because half the time we might have been in a dumpster," she said.
On a personal level, the 57-year-old was born in Nevada (although there are some sources that claim she was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. when she was a child), where she went to school, earned her forensic science diploma, and joined the Las Vegas Metro Police force.
Yolanda keeps her personal life pretty private, given her profession. However, we do know that she's married to Michael McClary and that she has a daughter named Presley who's 36 years old.
What's Yolanda McClary's net worth?
Although Yolanda likely earned a humble salary when she was on the police force (the average salary of a crime scene investigator in the U.S. is about $50,000) it's estimated that with the success of Dateline, Cold Justice, and The DNA of Murder, Yolanda has a net worth of $1 million.
We also know Yolanda rocked a big 'do back in the '80s. "Happy 31st birthday to my beautiful daughter. Time flies & boy did the 80's have big hair!" Yolanda wrote in the caption. The photo was shared back in 2015.
Yolanda also has a pooch named Delia, who has several spots on her Instagram feed.
Catch The Jane Doe Murders on Oxygen tonight at 7 p.m. EST.