The Orange Tree
True Crime Podcast
It has been fifteen years since the night Jennifer Cave set out to celebrate her new job at a law firm with companion Colton Pitonyak.
When Jennifer failed to show up for her first day of work her mother knew that this was unlike her daughter and something was very wrong.
Two days later Jennifer’s body was found at a condominium complex, The Orange Tree, where Colton Pitonyak lived, as he pursued his education in business at the nearby University of Texas. He also was involved in drug culture.
Hosted by Tinu Thomas and Haley Butler, who began working on the story as senior journalism students at U of T. The pair lived and attended classes near the crime scene and could identify with the victim, as young students, pursuing their future.
Through seven episodes Thomas and Butler introduces and shares the life of Jennifer Cave as a person and the people she cared about.
We also learn about the prime suspects, Colton Pitonyak and Laura Hall. Shortly after the homicide the couple fled to Mexico. Eventually apprehended, they were brought to trial for the shocking crime.
While the murder shocked the city of Austin it also changed the lives of those who were close to Jennifer, Colton, and Laura.
Well researched and edited the story-telling flows nicely. The series is certainly binge-worthy!
The Orange Tree is produced by The Drag, a production house at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas.
About the Hosts
Haley Butler – Before the founding of The Drag, Haley produced her podcast about forgotten women’s histories from her student apartment closet. Presently, Haley co-teaches a journalism capstone class about audio storytelling.
Tinu Thomas – Joining The Drag early on as Director of Audio, Tinu spent a year researching, reporting, writing, and producing The Orange Tree.
Listen to The Orange Tree
True Crime at Amazon
True Crime on Youtube – For fans of true crime Youtube offers a multitude of channels dedicated to crime and justice. As with everything that offers a large collection of possibilities it isn’t always easy to know where to begin tuning in.
The following are a selection of some of the channels that I enjoy tuning into.
Killer’s Vault Podcast – Narrated by Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts and hosted by celebrated actress Elisabeth Rohm of Law and Order, the podcast will go inside the mind of each serial killer, revealing disturbing childhood memories, the thrill of taking lives, and their express desire to kill again.
Robert Riggs Honored for Best True Crime Podcast – Robert Riggs and the True Crime Reporter™ podcast announced today that it has been honored for Best True Crime Podcast in the 25th Annual Webby Awards.
The Officer’s Wife – This unusual “who done it” asks the question was this a suicide or a devious plan of a husband to be rid of his wife?
The answers don’t come easily as narrator Brendan Keefe guides listeners through a complicated story via first-person and police interviews and statements. The series is well-researched and presented. Brendan Keefe has won many awards in journalism, including a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, and five National Edward R. Murrow Awards.
The Vanished – Hosted by Marissa Jones, the weekly podcast had its debut in February 2016. With more than 240 episodes, this popular podcast has recieved more than 50 million downloads.
“Covering missing persons, one episode at a time,” the stories of the missing are told by those who were close to the victims and through police and investigators involved with the cases.
Homicide At Rough Point – Emmy-winning investigative reporter proves that Doris Duke, the richest woman in America, got away with murder.
Ann Rule – Rule’s career began as an officer with the Seattle Police. She began writing about crime in 1969, under the pen name of Andy Stack, for True Detective magazine and went on to publish dozens of true crime books. I have enjoyed her books for more than thirty years. Rule had a gift for quickly drawing her audience in. Each case is a page-turner!