classic city crime

The first episode of the "Classic City Crime" podcast plays on an iPhone on July 26, 2020. (Culture Editor/Anna Thomas)

"Classic City Crime," a true-crime podcast hosted by Cameron Jay, centers around the tragic death of Tara Louise Baker. The podcast currently has over 1,000 followers on Instagram and has over 90,000 listens on Spotify.

The Athens Clarke County Police Department has released Baker’s autopsy as of Sept. 19. Meredith S., Baker’s sister, said in the release that the autopsy answered the question of precisely what happened to Baker and has given their family a clear answer after two decades of waiting and being misinformed by police and investigators.

"I have not seen the autopsy report as it is in care of the family," Jay said. "I asked not to see the details as it may threaten the investigation, and I don't think it is anything that would change the course of the podcast."

Knowing the case's main details is all the information Jay needs to keep the investigation going. The autopsy was mainly for the family to know specific information.

Jay said his listeners can eventually solve this case if people keep telling their truths, and any detail is a significant one because it can potentially lead to a new angle of the story. Baker's mystery has become such a big part of Jays' life, and he even quit his main job to continue telling it to his best ability.

Jay said he isn’t doing the podcast for his own benefit; he is doing it because people are finally starting to "really gain ground on the case and the investigation,” and are “finally getting answers to the family."

Recent podcast episodes range from interviews with Michael J. Perrotti, a forensic psychologist, to coverage about a suspicious man seen in the footage on a news channel at the crime scene. Jay released the episodes before a week-long break that was needed for investigation purposes. During the hiatus, the police released the autopsy.

Also during the break, Jay got the chance to interview many new people. He spoke with Baker's boyfriend at the time of the crime, and said listeners suspected him as Baker's killer, therefore making him a suspect worth investigating. He also analyzed many new leads, the boyfriend just being one of them.

Jay said the leads are "ever-flowing" because there is always somebody leaving a new clue to investigate. This break was also crucial for Baker's family to digest the police's hard news recently presented to them.

There were concerns that the autopsy and leak of specific details to the public could be detrimental or damaging to the investigation, Jay said, so he believes that is why officials delayed the release.

After the police decided to release this information, Jay said he is hopeful the officials will be more involved from here on. New officials are in charge of this case, leaving Jay hopeful since they are not the same ones from 20 years ago, he said.

Jay’s relationship with the Baker family has only grown stronger since the podcast's beginning, he said. He wants the best for them, and the best way to do this is to keep making Baker's case an important one.

"I encourage people to keep speaking out," Jay said. "Let's find justice for Tara."

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(3) comments

wjabbe

About 54 years ago when I arrived at Athens from California, it was like entering another world, some good and some bad. It didn't take long to meet one of my longest and closest friends, who was then a young, brash, newly minted UGA graduate in business with red hair, Marion Cartwright. He sold us a new home on Duncan Springs near Five Points for $34,500 but didn't even have to drive us over there because we sold it to ourselves! How much would that home be today? Marion is an old hot rodder like I was in California; I pulled engines in my Dad's flat roof garage while he pulled engines under a Pecan tree in South Georgia. It wasn't time for the Good Lord to take either of us yet; sorry to disappoint some folks. Marion has turned out to be one of the most successful businessmen in Athens but he is not loved by the government here. He even once owned that great weekly newspaper founder by well known editor Pete McCommons; Pete started it about 1970's but Marion owned it for about 5 years shortly before its very unfortunate demise. As owner and editor Marion pulled no punches in articles written by some of his great writers on important subjects like the unsolved Jennifer Stone Murder. A few years back my wife and I visited the archives room at the UGA Library and dug out some of those great articles from that fabulous small town weekly. It was not pretty reading how that crime was obstructed by authorities then. But little has changed today. Marion once confided to me that they had to stop because the powers that be were putting so much pressure on him and his family for the courage to publish truths about that crime in downtown Athens behind the Bus Station. Could it be that all that pressure on him to stop talking about that case because the son of a local Judge was implicated? How has the investigation gone since then? Nothing except more cover up by the full military armed force of government little different than any garden variety totalitarian government. This is all a shameful disgrace. The State Legislature could change all this by simply changing the law and forcing all crime scene investigations released to the public, in full, after say 5 years. How about it? Thank you Giant Citizen of Athens, Georgia Marion Hoss Cartwright from South Georgia, Investor and Developer and former Editor and Owner of the weekly newspaper the Athens Observer. Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics citizen for 54 years.

wjabbe

Here is a corollary to the first comment on using the full military armed force of government to hide decades old investigative files which have not been shown to even still exist:

Here are the number of UGA Law School Faculty Members:

UGA LAW SCHOOL COMMUNITY

FACULTY STATISTICS

• Full Time : 46

• Part Time : 21

Why the deafening silence from these many law school faculty members at UGA about these two Unsolved Murders in Athens, Jennifer Stone, April 20, 1992 and Tara Baker January 19, 2001? All of you have protected freedom of speech. The local authorities have failed to bring the perpetrators of these local murders of two UGA students to justice. Why the deafening silence from all of you “experts” in the law? What good does it do for justice to keep all the investigative files a carefully guarded secret using the full military force and power of Georgia government? Open these investigative files up for all the public to view. How do we know they even still exist or have not been corrupted? Your collective silence is deafening. Secrecy is the enemy of the truth. Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D.,Physics citizen for 54 years. Hey, they could have been your loved ones! Perhaps some of you experts can solve them!

wjabbe

Note that if the info published about her is true she would have been 24 on her birthday January 20, 2001 had she survived to the next day, which would be 20 years ago next January 19, 2021. It may be significant that all this happened so close to her 24th birthday.

• If done properly the autopsy is the only way to determine the approximate true cause of death although even they can be ambiguous at times. Such reports are usually hundreds of pages long. The loved ones may also be able to talk to the pathologist if they have questions although the long delay of this one may prevent that. Caroline Embleau the author and Cameron Jay of the Podcast are to be highly commended for this article as are the editors of the Red and Black for publishing all this great information. The authorities should release all information they have; they have failed for about 20 years. All secrecy does is protect corruption or worse. Secrecy is the enemy of the truth. But the Athens Police Dept. is to be commended for releasing this autopsy report to the family. This is one small step in the right direction of the TRUTH. Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics citizen for 54 years.

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