|Alma mater||University of Kansas|
|Organization||Bill Jensen Industries|
|Genres||Memoir, Crime & Non-Fiction|
Billy Jensen is an American investigative journalist, digital strategist, producer, podcaster, and author. Jensen currently serves as the executive producer and co-host of the multi-part series Unraveled on Discovery+. He is also the co-host of the podcast The First Degree and the co-creator of the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad.
Jensen is best known as the author of the New York Times bestseller Chase Darkness With Me. He has written influential investigative articles and crime stories on unsolved murder mysteries and missing persons. Jensen has been called an expert on amateur digital detectives by MSNBC and Al Jazeera America. He has also been a panelist for the panel “Solving Murders with Social Media” at the National Cybercrime Conference and SXSW Interactive.
Early life and education
Born in the United States, Billy Jensen graduated from Boston University, and later earned his master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Kansas. While focusing on new religious movements, Jensen specialized in studying Christian Apocalyptic groups in the central United States. At the same time, he also played on the hockey team for the University of Kansas. After obtaining his master’s degree, Jensen moved back to his hometown due to his father’s illness and began working for his family’s house painting business.
With the desire to own a creative outlet, Jensen started The Fight Card, a magazine that recorded and published details of all the fights that the New York Islanders engaged in during the 1996-97 season.
After seeing his work on The Fight Card, the editor of The Village Voice offered Jensen a single story to be published in their first issue in 1997., In 1998, he was hired by The Village Voice to work on their Long Island edition. He continued writing stories on sports, crime, and entertainment.
In 1997, after his father’s recovery from his illness, Jensen returned to playing hockey by joining the professional league Major League Roller Hockey and earned the first minor penalty in league history.
In 1998, Jensen's first cover story, “My Dad Kicked Your Ass at Shea, a Baseball Memoir,” was published and he began working as a full-time listings assistant and editor. Jensen also wrote crime stories for The New York Times on the weekends.
In 2001, Jensen started working at Wizard World as its managing director. He supervised a team of 5 content producers and oversaw editorial operations for Anime Insider and ToyFare.
In February 2002, Jensen co-founded The Long Island Press. As the managing director, he helped build the startup and oversaw the company’s daily website and weekly newspaper. He managed a team of 20 persons and oversaw editorial content, investigative reporting, weekly features, and columns. He helped raise the publication’s circulation from around 60,000 to 150,000 newspapers within a year and the paper became the third-largest weekly newspaper in the country.
In June 2005, Jensen joined The Boston Phoenix as its editor-in-chief. During his tenure at Phoenix Media, he oversaw a cover story for The Boston Phoenix titled “The Worst Homicide Squad in America” which may have influenced the resignation of Boston’s police chief at the time.
In October 2006, Jensen was appointed director of New Media at The Village Voice Media and helped the company transition from a weekly newspaper publisher into a multiplatform digital media company. He introduced daily content and improved the company’s website SEO and social media. He also improved the user interface for the website, which resulted in an increase in page views from 160 million to 710 million per year in four years and also led to an increase in visitors from 2.7 to 16 million visitors per month. As the director, Jensen also developed and marketed several iPhone and Android mobile apps such as Village Voice and LA Weekly, which subsequently earned a combined 1.5 million downloads within a period of 13 months from the date of their launch. He also helped develop the Best Of… app, which was listed as one of 400 essential apps by Wired and Gizmodo in 2011, and one of the top 5 travel apps of 2011 by Apple. Jensen also led the creative development and launch of several national entertainment and true crime sites including ToplessRobot.com, Joystickdivision.com, and TrueCrimeReport.com.
He wrote large crime feature stories for LA Weekly, Boston Magazine and the Washingtonian. His feature for Rolling Stone, “Animal Instinct: How Cat-Loving Sleuths Found an Accused Killer Sadist: A shocking story of citizen detectives, a videotaped murder, animal torture and one very disturbed celebrity wannabe” was published in March of 2014, and provided much of the basis for the Netflix crime series Don’t F*ck with Cats.
In July 2015, Jensen joined America’s first daytime syndicated crime show, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, as the show’s senior producer and investigator. He was in charge of the digital face of the show, and focused on the website and Youtube channels, which grew into one of the biggest crime Youtube channels in the world.
After a 17-year career of writing crime stories and reporting missing persons, Jensen decided to solve unsolved murder mysteries and find missing persons himself. By utilizing social media investigative techniques, Jensen has helped solve 10 homicides. Several law enforcement agencies and organizations now reach out to Jensen for his help as a consulting detective. In 2019, he co-created the podcast Jensen & Holes: The Murder Squad.
Jensen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Chase Darkness With Me, in which he recounts his journey. As an author, Jensen is also known for helping his friend and author Michelle McNamara finish her book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark after her sudden demise. His next book is Killers Amidst Killers: Hunting Serial Killers Operating Under the Cloak of the Opioid Epidemic.
- Chase Darkness With Me (2019)
- Killers Amidst Killers (2022)
- "Billy Jensen". IMDb. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
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- "8 Questions for Billy Jensen and Alexis Linkletter, Hosts of ID's 'Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer' Podcast". Investigation Discovery. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen". Podchaser. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "LadyGang: Billy Jensen on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen". linkedin. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen". Spreaker. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Home". Billy Jensen. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Investigating Billy Jensen's Islanders Fandom". NHL.com. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen Biography | Booking Info for Speaking Engagements". www.allamericanspeakers.com. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- Gulino, Elizabeth. "The Facebook Detective Who's Helping Solve Murders With Social Media". Men's Journal. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen On His Must-Read Book For True Crime Fanatics". UPROXX. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "How a crime reporter went from covering murders to solving them". New York Post. 7 September 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "Billy Jensen - Alcatraz East Pigeon Forge". Alcatraz East. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- "The rise of 'citizen sleuths': the true crime buffs trying to solve cases". the Guardian. 2 October 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
- Inc, Indigo Books & Music. "Interview with True Crime Author Billy Jensen | chapters.indigo.ca". indigo.ca. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
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- Noble, Barnes &. "Killers Amidst Killers: Hunting Serial Killers Operating Under the Cloak of America's Opioid Epidemic". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 17 November 2022.