Fifteen years ago, 21-year-old Jennifer Cave went out with her friend Colton Pitonyak to celebrate getting a new job. She never showed up for her first day of work. Two days later, Jennifer’s body was found at The Orange Tree, a condo complex near the University of Texas at Austin. Pitonyak, a promising UT business student who lived in the condo, had fled to Mexico … and he wasn’t alone. He had gone with another UT student, Laura Hall. The crime’s gruesome nature, Pitonyak’s surprising defense, and Hall’s mysterious involvement shocked the city of Austin.
The Orange Tree is reported and hosted by Tinu Thomas and Haley Butler, who started working on the story when they were journalism students who lived and went to classes just a few blocks from the crime scene. From The Drag, a new audio production house based in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas.
The Orange Tree climbed to the top of podcast charts after the release of it’s first few episodes and maintained steady listenership & widespread interest.
Less than 2 weeks after partial release The Orange Tree ranked #6 on Apple’s Top True Crime Podcasts chart & #25 in Top Podcasts.
Marie Claire: 50 True Crime Podcasts We’ve Been Hooked On This Year
Pocketcasts: Behind The Podcast: The Orange Tree
Podcast Business Journal: College Students Launch True Crime Podcast
Moody College of Communication: Growing The Orange Tree
Texas Standard: New Podcast Takes A More Sensitive Approach To True Crime
Austin American Statesman: Student-led UT podcast takes a sensitive approach to true crime
The Austin Chronicle: Exploring the Life and Death of Jennifer Cave in True Crime Podcast The Orange Tree