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The making of the Bardstown podcast

During their time in Bardstown, the team revisited crime scenes, drove Officer Ellis’ final route and walked through forests with the leader of Team Crystal.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bardstown tells the dark story of “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America.” The small knit community holds a lot of secrets, including five unsolved murders.

Officer Jason Ellis was found shot to death on his route home from work. A mother and Daughter, Kathy and Samantha Netherland, were found murdered in their home. Crystal Rogers disappeared, her car and belongings found on the side of the road. Tommy Ballard, Crystal’s father, was shot and killed during a hunting trip and his death is being investigated as a homicide.

MORE | Learn about the victims and cases covered in the Bardstown podcast

In this 10-part podcast, the team behind “Bomber,” “True Crime Chronicles” and “88 Days” digs into Bardstown’s mysteries in hopes of uncovering the truth.

The interviews were gathered over a month, in which the team made three trips to Bardstown. They spoke with law enforcement, forensics experts, community members, families and even a main suspect.

During their time in Bardstown, the team revisited crime scenes and family homes, drove Officer Ellis’ final route and walked through forests with the leader of Team Crystal.

The podcast is a collaboration between Vault Studios and WHAS11 News.

Subscribe now through Apple Podcasts and download all 10 episodes on August 28.

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Shay McAlister is an investigative journalist at WHAS11 in Louisville, KY and host of the new podcast ‘Bardstown’. Shay has worked in Louisville since 2015. During her first few weeks on the job, she covered the disappearance of Crystal Rogers and the searches that followed. One year later, she covered the murder of Tommy Ballard and has followed the cases closely since. Shay recently won an Emmy for her cold-case series UNSOVLED, which highlights Kentucky crime investigations that have gone years without answers.


Jessica Noll is an investigative journalist and podcast producer/host for VAULT Studios. She co-hosts the weekly true crime podcast, True Crime Chronicles. As a National Edward R. Murrow recipient, and a three-time Emmy Award-winning multimedia journalist and storyteller, she’s been uncovering the truth and digging into crime investigations for 17 years in print, TV and digital platforms, including most recently with Atlanta’s NBC affiliate. Her work has been featured on MSNBC, HLN, CNN, Fox News and CrimeOnline w/Nancy Grace. She started investigating Jason Ellis’ murder in 2013 and documented his final 24 hours in a digital, longform narrative piece for the Cincinnati ABC affiliate.

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