Melissa Jeltsen examines ‘What Happened to Sandy Beal:’ Was the 18-year-old’s 1977 death a suicide?

True Crime March 15, 2022
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Listen to ‘What Happened to Sandy Beal’

18-year-old Sandy Beal seemed excited about the future with dreams of becoming a law enforcement officer in Maryland. But in 1977, Sandy was found shot in her car, and her death was ruled a suicide. Due to her family’s instincts, clues that suggested foul play, and inconsistencies in the case, Sandy’s mom, Joanne, begged police to reinvestigate. Sandy’s cousin, Kim Parmer, suspected that Sandy was murdered and joins journalist and host Melissa Jeltsen in episode 1 of the new true crime podcast, “What Happened to Sandy Beal.”

Melissa is a reporter covering violence against women, and she has received tons of letters asking for investigative help. Melissa learned about Sandy’s story when Kim approached her at a domestic violence conference with a packet of documents. Kim, Melissa, and Joanne began discussing the case and learned there was more to this scenario than initially reported.

According to Sandy’s family, she did not exhibit any signs of distress or self-harm before her death. On the podcast, Melissa interviewed Sandy’s family, friends, and law officials and revealed information left out from police reports and the media’s narrative including a relationship, a pregnancy, and investigative missteps. Strange things were noticed at the crime scene as well. For example, why was cardboard placed underneath all 4 of Sandy’s car tires and why was her car found at an unusual location?

The Beal family is convinced that the truth was covered up, and Melissa needed to find out more. Melissa shared that Sandy’s death sparked nervousness and confusion in the community. Was someone guilty of a crime? Melissa combed through Sandy’s personal notes as she left behind an assortment of clues, like the secretive world she was attempting to join in an era where few women were choosing law enforcement careers. How could things have gone so wrong?

To hear the full story, tune into new, weekly episodes of “What Happened to Sandy Beal,” streaming wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Listen to ‘What Happened to Sandy Beal’

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