The Trail Went Cold – Episode 245 – Crystal Champagne

July 19, 1996. Westwego, Louisiana. After leaving her apartment to walk to a supermarket, 14-year old Crystal Champagne fails to return and is found strangled to death in a wooded area the following evening. When Crystal’s 22-year old step-cousin, Damon Thibodeaux, is interrogated by police, he confesses to her murder and is subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. However, Damon maintains that his confession was coerced and none of the physical evidence from the crime matches him, so after 16 years of incarceration, Damon’s conviction is vacated and he is released from death row. But who was actually responsible for the death of Crystal Champagne? On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we explore the tragic story of an horrific murder which led to a wrongful conviction. Special thanks to listener Anne King for narrating the opening of this episode.

Additional Reading:

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.