Jackie Rehwald, Springfield News-Leader Published 10:24 p.m. CT Oct. 3, 2019
On Oct. 17 — the 44th anniversary of the killing of Shirley Jane Rose — a podcast about the Springfield cold case will be released.
“The Toll” podcast will be available on both Spotify and iTunes and is eight episodes long.
According to “The Toll’s” website, the podcast is “a True Crime Podcast where the host carefully examines the impact a violent crime or traumatic event has on families and their communities.”
KTTS anchor Nancy Simpson, who has been a journalist for 20 years, co-created and hosts the podcast.
Shirley was 9 when she disappeared in 1975. Police say she was walking from her grandmother’s house at 865 S. West Ave. to her home at 1309 S. Scenic Ave. when she was abducted on Oct. 17, 1975.
Witnesses reportedly saw the girl talking to a man in a blue Chevrolet car that evening. Two months later, her body was found near McDaniel Lake north of Springfield.
No one has been charged in the crime.
In making the podcast, Simpson said she interviewed family members and law enforcement who were involved in the investigation. She also interviewed family members of a suspect, someone who “the community had targeted” but who has since died.
Simpson said if people come forward with information about the case, she will do more episodes.
“We will continue to pursue information,” she said. “We can do other layers if needed.”
“Obviously some of the important people involved in the case are deceased. But DNA evidence has come a long way,” Simpson said. “We can’t give up hope that maybe evidence will lead to an end.”
Other local people who have been involved with the podcast include co-creator Jay Lashley, program director at Power 96, and Kat Morgan Gaines, technical producer and audio editor of ‘The Toll.”
Simpson also has a team in Detroit that helps with marketing.
The podcast is called “The Toll” because it focuses on the impact violent crime has on the family and community, Simpson said.
Learn more about the project at thetollpodcast.com.