Murder In a Safe Place, season 2 of WTOP’s American Nightmare series, the first podcast supported by SpotlightDCdropped Monday, February 22, across multiple platforms, including Apple, Spotify, and Google. We are thrilled to work with Media Partner WTOP-FM 103.5 ( in launching veteran DC reporter Paul Wagner’s six-part examination of an unsolved 1998 murder in Prince Georges County, MD, season two of WTOP’s American Nightmare podcast series.

 Here’s Wagner’s take, below and on his website,

“Twenty-three years have gone by since Sherry Crandell, a nurse and administrator, was found raped and strangled inside her small office in the Prince George’s Hospital Center. Despite having DNA, fingerprints and a witness to the attack, police have been unable to find her killer.

The Prince George’s County Police detective who took the lead in the investigation the night of the murder is still on the case more than two decades later. Bernie Nelson refuses to give up. “It’s personal now,” he tells me.

Listeners to the WTOP podcast series Murder in a Safe Place will take a journey with Sherry’s three children as they relive the night of the murder and share the crushing impact their mother’s death had on their young lives.

The nearly three-hour-long documentary explores every aspect of the case and reveals new information: the controversy over a DNA dragnet, the email with an ominous warning, the witness police never told anyone about.

And now, 23 years later, a promising new lead. Police are using genealogy in hopes of finally identifying the man who killed Sherry Crandell. Investigators are tracing several family trees after the killer’s DNA was entered into a database holding millions of genetic profiles. 

Law-enforcement agencies nationwide are now using ancestry databases like “23 and Me” to solve rape and murder cases that have baffled detectives for years.

Can genealogy solve Sherry’s case?”