It sounds like just another urban legend -- a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer's death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.
True Crime podcasts are Nothing New , but for police in the Netherlands this was an unprecedented venture. Thousands tuned in to the three-part series when it aired last month and tip-offs have been Coming In ever since.It began with The Body in the blanket
There was no ID and decomposition had rendered his body unrecognisable.
Johan Baas had recently been appointed as a detective in The City of Naarden when The Body was found. "I was on vacation leave for a few days when my boss called me and informed me about The Discovery of The Body ," he Recalled .
Mr Baas remembers it vividly. "The Body was minutely dissected and everything was recorded photographically and in writing," he said.
During the 1990s, Dutch police estimate that about 90% of all murders were solved. But DNA technology was still in its infancy and resources were limited, so the case was harder to crack than it might be today.
Large amounts of blood or sperm were needed to find an offender and there was no DNA database.
No witnesses came forward and police had no picture to hand out because of the condition of The Corpse .
Efforts to analyse his clothes bore no results and the electric blanket, produced in Germany in the 1960s, was sold by the thousands in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Detectives discovered that it was bought through a mail order company called Otto and began tracking down the buyers.
Witnesses confirmed the sale and said the buyer went to the same bar almost Every Day .
However, the mysterious character, believed to be Turkish, had not been seen in weeks and police never discovered who he was or if it was his body that had been found.
In Johan Baas's later investigations it was always clear who was The Victim and who was the perpetrator. But police had hit a stumbling block and the case was ultimately dropped.How the podcast began
Unable to crack the case alone, last month.
Listeners across the Netherlands tuned in and came forward each day with information that may be relevant to the case.
Police said they could not give details of the tip-offs they had received but several had contained useful information.Can podcasts work?
But police podcasts have their limitations, as there are some areas they cannot touch, because of laws on what they Can say so as not to prejudice any future case.
Even so, numerous cases have been solved by police crime appeal programmes such as the UK's Crimewatch and its Dutch TV equivalent, and Mr Wilson is confident podcasting will probably bring the same results.
No names have emerged so far and Mr Baas says The Man 's family need to know.
"I know what impact a loss has on those Left Behind . Of course you want to arrest a suspect as a detective, but unfortunately it never came to that. "
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