The Trail Went Cold – Episode 287 – Danny Casolaro

August 10, 1991. Martinsburg, West Virginia. The nude body of 44-year old freelance investigative journalist Danny Casolaro is discovered inside the bathtub of his hotel room. Each of his wrists have been slashed multiple times, but since a suicide note is found and there is no evidence of foul play, the authorities conclude that Danny took his own life. In the year prior to his death, Danny claimed he was working on a massive story about widespread government corruption which he titled “The Octopus” and had supposedly travelled to Martinsburg to meet a source who would provide him with important information. Since the investigation contains number of suspicious mistakes and discrepancies, Danny’s loved ones believe he was murdered and that a cover-up took place. Did Danny Casolaro’s death actually a suicide or did his investigation into “The Octopus” put his life at risk and cause him to become the victim of foul play? This week, “The Trail Went Cold” will be presenting one of the longest and most convoluted episodes we’ve ever done, as we explore a truly controversial unexplained death.

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Additional Reading:

“The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro” by Kenn Thomas & Jim Keith

“The Last Circle: Danny Casolaro’s Investigation into the Octopus and the PROMIS Software Scandal” by Cheri Seymour

“Spy Magazine: Dec. 1992-Jan. 1993”

“Report of Special Counsel Nicholas J. Bua to the Attorney General of the United States Regarding the Allegations of Inslaw Inc.” (March 1993)

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“The Trail Went Cold” will be appearing at the True Crime Podcast Festival, taking place at the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas, Texas on August 27-28, 2022. To purchase tickets, please visit

“The Trail Went Cold” is now doing a weekly livestream show on  GetVokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True  Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.

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

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.