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Jaime Stickle Creates a Podcast to Tell the Story of the Jamie Stickle Who Can't

Two women with the same name on different sides of the country—what happens when one of them is killed?

photo of jaime stickle and screenshot of her podcast

In the early morning hours of February 8, 2002, Jamie Stickle, a bartender and fixture in the Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ community, was burned alive in her car just outside of her home.

Despite compelling evidence that suggested foul play, the cause of death was listed as undetermined, and the case went inactive after six months.

More than twenty years later, two decades during which Jamie’s case sat untouched, someone has stepped up to re-examine this story. And you guessed it. That person is none other than Jaime Stickle.  

Following LA-based writer, actor, and podcaster Jaime Stickle as she investigates the life and death of moniker-mate Jamie Stickle, The Girl with the Same Name dropped its first episode February 15th.

The Lineup had a chance to sit down with Jaime to talk about the strange coincidence that has haunted her for years and how it led to her creating a podcast that aims to stand apart from anything else in the true crime genre.  

When asked why society has such an appetite for true crime, Jaime Stickle has two answers.

“Our craving for understanding one and other is a part of that fascination,” she says, and when it comes down to female-listeners, she adds, “We want to see who is taking care of us, and if we can take care of each other.”

It makes perfect sense that she thinks this way, especially when considering the larger goals for this season of The Girl with the Same Name. The show aims to take care of the deceased Jamie Stickle—to tell her story, to look out for her in all the ways that our system was unable to before. It also seems like the living Stickle wants to prove to true crime listeners how the understanding we crave is often directed at the wrong players. 

“That was the biggest thing,” Jaime Stickle says. “Telling [Jamie’s] story in a different way. We fantasize about the killer or the sociopath or the psychopath or the murderer. And we tell stories like Dahmer, for example. We get these huge audiences because we’re so interested in the psychology of what makes a killer. [..] In books, too. It’s always about the one solving the case or it’s about the murderer. It’s never about the person or the community who is actually the victim of a crime. And [in the case of Jamie Stickle] when we started to uncover who those people were—it’s absolutely the most fascinating story.”

Re-shifting focus was Stickle’s strategy for getting Stickle’s family, friends, and community, who are interviewed throughout the first episode, on board, too. 

The Girl With The Same Name Episode One

As followers of true crime, we all have those cases that stick, the ones that wished we had at the resources to investigate firsthand. In the driver’s seat of this once in a life time experience, Jamie did a ton of research to prepare. 

“When is the last time these people heard from the police,” she wanted to make sure she knew, and when it finally came to cold calls: “the first step was introducing myself with the same name as the person they loved,” Jaime says.

From there, her strategy was honesty and sincerity. “You have to reveal something about yourself.”

And she does. Jaime gets emotional in episode one when talking about everything Jamie did in her short time on Earth—how she was ahead of her time for coming out as a kid in the eighties, for how passionate she was about philanthropy, raising tens of thousands of dollars for a many community cause.

“She lived a life,” Jaime says. “You can’t just end it and say that’s it.” This deep connection Jaime feels with Jamie is something so fresh and unique. “I’m not approaching this as a journalist or as a news reporter, but as a storyteller. I do get upset, and we’re not cutting that out.”  

This mindset is a stark difference to many of the iconic journalists of decades past like Barbara Walters, the ones who Jaime grew up watching, whose success hinged on their stoic fronts.

And in total contrast, throughout the process Jaime found herself regularly asking: “Are we being soft enough?”

This is also a huge shift from some of the more modern approaches to true crime—you know the ones where presenters do their makeup or drink mimosas while re-hashing the story of a person’s violent death.

“I don’t need a gimmick,” Jaime says. “All we need is the truth and compassion and that should be compelling enough.” The desired effect is to “turn the genre on its head and focus on the person who lived a huge life and affected so many.” 

photo of jaime stickle
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  • Photo of Jaime Stickle

Despite how emotional and transformative this process has been, and that the two women literally share the same name, the living Jaime Stickle doesn’t want to center herself.

“It’s not my story,” she says. “I have to tell it in a way that honors both Jamie, her family, and her community.”

The living Jaime’s role in The Girl with the Same Name mostly serves to “give strength to other women who want to help solve cases in their communities.”  

The Girl With The Same Name Official Trailer

So, what’s next? “A lot of theories,” Jaime says. “We promised theories in episode one, and they’re coming. The deeper you get. The wider the story goes.” 

You can find The Girl with the Same Name on all podcast streaming platforms, and if you haven’t already, be sure to listen to episode one now!