MYSTERY WIRE — The true crime genre spreads over multiple forms of media – books, movies, TV, podcasting and now an app.
Founded by Neil and Lauren Mandt, CrimeDoor allows viewers to revisit crimes via augmented reality, with a virtual door opening onto high profile crime scenes and cold cases.
“CrimeDoor is a one stop shop for fans of true crime to consume content and perhaps even solve a crime,” explains Neil Mandt. “And within that app, we have the ability to revisit crimes via augmented reality. And that allows you to open basically a magical doorway in your living room. And you can walk into the crime scene as it was when the detectives were there.”
CrimeDoor is adding the execution of Jesus Christ to their app.
“The story of the crucifixion is perhaps the biggest, most famous murder of all time,” said Mandt. “The average person has a peripheral view of two other victims that are near him, but no real context of the scene. And so, we thought it was important to understand what it was really about and why the cross was placed where it was outside of Jerusalem,” said Mandt.
One of their most reviewed cases is the murder of 6-year-old American child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, with a virtual recreation of the basement where her body was found by her father.
A recently released addition is the unsolved murder of rapper Biggie Smalls.
“There was a shooter that shot through the door and killed Biggie and we knew that person had a blue outfit on,” says Mandt. “That’s all we knew. And so, he’s kind of dark. We get a sense of his figure and we actually see the bullet in midair and the shell in the air from the gun, as well as the flash bang. And the positioning of the bullet holes on the door are, of course, exact.”
Each case is assembled based on news reports and crime scene images.
Of the more than 700 case profiles from around the world featured, Lauren Mandt says approximately 65 percent are unsolved.
“These are focused on missing persons, murders and mysterious deaths,” she says. “So, we’re really trying to give a voice to these cases, a voice to these victims.”
The app is free to download. The cost is $1.99 to open each CrimeDoor, or $4.99 a month for unlimited use.
The Associate Press contributed to this story.