Cases that Web Sleuths Helped Solve

Web Sleuths

In the past, if you wanted to solve a crime, you had to go to the police. But now, with the help of the internet, anyone can be a detective! There are websites and forums where people can come together to try and solve crimes. These web sleuths use their online research and analysis skills to try and piece together what happened. Let’s cases that these sleuths have solved.

– How web sleuths solved the murder of Laci Peterson

In December of 2002, Laci Peterson disappeared from her home in Modesto, California. Her husband, Scott, claimed that she had gone for a walk and never returned. However, police quickly began to suspect Scott in her disappearance, and the case captured national attention. As the investigation continued, detectives turned to the internet for help. They found that Scott had been cheating on his wife with several women, and he had also searched for information on how to kill someone without being detected. Based on this evidence, Scott was arrested and charged with murder. 

– How web sleuths solved the mystery of flight MH370

In March of 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. For years, the official investigation turned up no clues as to what happened to the plane or its 239 passengers. However, a group of web sleuths continued to search for answers. By combing through satellite data, flight manifests, and eyewitness reports, they were able to piece together a likely scenario for the plane’s final hours. Their work ultimately helped to narrow the search area, and in 2018, wreckage from the plane was finally discovered. The story of MH370 shows how determined citizens can use the power of the internet to solve even the most complex mysteries.

– How web sleuths solved the Boston Marathon bombing

Web sleuths played an important role in solving the Boston Marathon bombing. After the bombs went off, photos and videos of the explosion quickly circulated online. Amateur detectives combed through these images, looking for clues that could identify the suspects. One key piece of evidence was a video that showed a man dropping a bag at the second explosion site. This footage was widely circulated, and web sleuths were able to zoom in and enhance the image, revealing a partial name on the suspect’s backpack. This led law enforcement to identify the suspect as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The web sleuths also found photos of Tsarnaev at the marathon finish line, which helped authorities track his movements on the day of the bombing. 

– How web sleuths solved the murder of Chandra Levy

On May 1st, 2001, Washington D.C. intern Chandra Levy disappeared. Police investigation turned up few leads. In 2002, news reporter Jennifer Gonnerman wrote a profile of the case for The Village Voice, which generated a great deal of public interest. A number of amateur detectives began combing through the evidence and sharing their findings online. The result was a crowdsourced investigation that eventually led to the arrest and conviction of Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant who had been previously convicted of attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park.

– How web sleuths solved the murder of Teresa Halbach

In 2005, Teresa Halbach was murdered in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Her body was found in a remote wooded area, and her car was discovered hidden in a nearby salvage yard. The investigation into her death quickly focused on Steven Avery, a man with a history of violent crimes who lived near the salvage yard. However, Avery maintained his innocence, and many members of the public were skeptical of the police’s case against him. In the years that followed, a number of web sleuths began to investigate the case, and they soon uncovered a wealth of evidence that the police had overlooked. Avery was eventually exonerated thanks to their efforts, and the real culprit was brought to justice. 

– How web sleuths solved the Amanda Knox case

In 2007, American college student Amanda Knox was convicted of killing her roommate in Italy. However, many people believed that she was innocent, and a group of web sleuths set out to prove it. Through their research, they uncovered new evidence that helped to exonerate Knox. For example, they discovered that the prosecutor had misrepresented key facts during the trial and found inconsistencies in the police investigation. In addition, they uncovered new witnesses who could corroborate Knox’s alibi. Thanks to the work of these web sleuths, Amanda Knox was eventually exonerated and freed from prison.


While it’s impossible to know how many cases have been solved by web sleuths, it’s clear that their efforts have helped bring closure to many families. They’ve even helped law enforcement officials identify and apprehend criminals in some instances. For the loved ones of missing persons and for those who are searching for answers, web sleuths provide an invaluable service.


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